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Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all. www.ralphnaderradiohour.com


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Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all. www.ralphnaderradiohour.com



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Captains of Conscience

On today's program, Ralph welcomes two guests who have worked as civic advocates for more than fifty years—chemical engineer and environmentalist Barry Castleman, and solar energy advocate Ken Bossong. How do they maintain their civic stamina over more than five decades? That's what Ralph wants to know. Then, Ralph is joined by our resident international law expert Bruce Fein, to discuss breaking news from the International Criminal Court. Barry Castleman is a chemical engineer, environmentalist and researcher specializing in health issues. He is the author of Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects and has worked with public interest groups around the world over the past 50 years on the control of asbestos and chemical hazards. Mr. Castleman has been involved in rule-making on asbestos by numerous federal agencies as a consultant to the agencies and to environmental groups. He has testified as an expert witness in civil litigation in the US on the history of asbestos as a public health problem, and the reasons for failure to properly control asbestos hazards. I remember speaking to students at Johns Hopkins about 30 years ago about careers in international public health, and talking to them about how they should try and listen into themselves and think about what it is they'd really like to do, what they're really interested in, and try to follow that. Rather than following the money or auctioning themselves off to the highest bidder when they graduate from Hopkins. Barry Castleman You lose your innocence reading these corporate documents. They're unbelievable in terms of showing that all of these decisions about health and safety and environment are business decisions to the people who make them. And the wanton, reckless, willful disregard of public health is clear. So making these documents publicly available is an extraordinary public service. Barry Castleman Ken Bossong is the Executive Director of the Sun Day Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organization he founded in 1992 to aggressively promote sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels. Mr. Bossong has advocated for solar energy and other renewable energy for more than 50 years, and he previously served as Director of the Critical Mass Energy Project at Public Citizen. Nearly 100% of all the new generating capacity in the United States in the month of March—which is the most recent month for which there are statistics—came from solar alone. There was none from coal. There was only one megawatt from natural gas. There was, I think, three megawatts from oil. And there was zero from nuclear. So the only resource that's growing and scaling up rapidly is solar. Coming in second place is wind. The fossil fuel technologies and nuclear power combined are producing very little. Ken Bossong What keeps me going? Basically the bad guys. I am always ginned up by the challenge of confronting people who are doing things which I consider to be socially, environmentally irresponsible. And as you pointed out with the example of the oil companies, there's never been a shortage of people who are trying to do things that I think are damaging. Ken Bossong Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law. Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall. Although it doesn’t really change a whole lot on the legal chessboard, the more countries that recognize a Palestinian statehood, the more pressure there will be on the United States to do something that acknowledges their right…The one other element that comes into play, however, is that there are various tribunals, jurisdictions that can be employed only by a state... So the more that we have international recognition of a Palestinian state, it then would have standing...


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The Power of Youth

We explore how young people have made meaningful careers and lasting change working in the public interest with Sam Simon, editor of “Choosing the Public Interest: Essays From the First Public Interest Research Group” and Lisa Frank, Vice President and D.C. Director at The Public Interest Network and also Executive Director in the Washington Legislative Office at Environment America. Plus, the indomitable Chris Hedges stops by to report on his interviews with college students protesting the genocide in Gaza, which he chronicled in a Substack piece titled “The Nation’s Conscience.” Sam Simon is an author, playwright, and attorney who co-founded the Public Interest Research Group with Ralph and the other Nader’s Raiders in 1970. He compiled and edited the new book Choosing the Public Interest: Essays From the First Public Interest Research Group. This is something that every one of these themes have and that this movement has had—that the consumer, the user, the student, the pensioner have equal voice in our systems to help create the systems that are intended to benefit them, and not leave that power in the hands of corporate entities and profit-making enterprises. And that idea needs to continue to exist. And I'm glad that the Public Interest Network and PIRGS still thrive on many campuses. Sam Simon What I want to come out of this book is that average kids from average backgrounds ended up doing amazing things with their entire lives, because of the opportunity and the vision that they could do that. Sam Simon Lisa Frank is Vice President and D.C. Director at The Public Interest Network. She is also Executive Director in the Washington Legislative Office at Environment America, where she directs strategy and staff for federal campaigns. Ms. Frank has won millions of dollars in investments in walking, biking and transit, and has helped develop strategic campaigns to protect America’s oceans, forests and public lands from drilling, logging and road-building. The particular types of problems we're focused on at [PIRG] are ones that really have been created in a sense by our success as a country in growing. We’re the wealthiest country the world has ever seen. We figured out how to grow more than enough food than we can eat, we produce more than enough clothing than we can wear, certainly more than enough plastic…And all of this abundance is leading to new types of problems…The problems that have either come about because of the progress we've made as a society and now we've got the ability to tackle them, or problems where—clean energy is an example—where there are problems that we newly have the ability to solve. Lisa Frank You have Congress that passed these five laws that are being violated, with the result of huge death and destruction overseas— and not just in Gaza, but places like Iraq and Libya in the past. And they’re talking about students trespassing at their own university, and nonviolent protests? The problem starts in Congress. They’re the funders, the enablers, the surrenderers of their constitutional rights of oversight and war-making powers. Ralph Nader Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He is the host of The Chris Hedges Report, and he is a prolific author— his latest book is The Greatest Evil Is War. [Students] understand the nature of settler colonial regimes. The expansion or inclusion of students from wider backgrounds than were traditionally there at places like Princeton…has really added a depth and expanded the understanding within the university. So they see what's happening in Gaza, and they draw—rightly— connections to what we did to Native Americans, what the British did in India, what the British did in Kenya, what the French did in Algeria, and of course, they are correct. Chris Hedges [Students] have defied, quite courageously, the administrations of...


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The Hammer

Ralph welcomes labor journalist Hamilton Nolan to discuss his latest book, "The Hammer: Power, Inequality, and the Struggle for the Soul of Labor". They'll get into why some of the biggest names in organized labor have gotten so bad at organizing labor, and they'll highlight the labor organizers who are effectively wielding power. Then, Ralph is joined by child advocate and original Nader's Raider Robert Fellmeth to discuss the dangers of online anonymity. Plus, a creative call to action from Ralph! Hamilton Nolan is a labor journalist who writes regularly for In These Times magazine and The Guardian. He has written about labor, politics, and class war for The New York Times, the Washington Post, Gawker, Splinter, and other publications. He was the longest-serving writer in Gawker’s history, and was a leader in unionizing Gawker Media in 2015. His new book is The Hammer: Power, Inequality, and the Struggle for the Soul of Labor. A quality of the labor movement that I think makes the labor movement special and distinct from other movements and other political parties is that the labor movement acts to give people power. The labor movement does not necessarily tell people what to do. The labor movement instills people with power. Hamilton Nolan More and more non-unionized workers know that a lot of what they get positively in the workplace is due to the few workers who are unionized. And the companies—wanting to avoid being unionized—up the wages, improve the working conditions, maybe fulfill more of the pension reserve requirements. So the second–order effects of unionism—which has been so long misunderstood, largely due to propaganda— has been sinking in the minds of more and more non-union workers, and the approval of unions and the number of American workers who want to join unions has resurged. Ralph Nader You know, it turns out that a half century of rising inequality does in fact piss people off at a certain point. And causes tens of millions of American workers to say that they want something better—that they want what the labor movement has to offer. Hamilton Nolan For many, many years, organized labor has had a very unhealthy relationship with electoral politics. You're in a two-party system and the [Republican] Party wants to destroy unions and crush them off the face of the earth. And the Democratic Party's attitude has basically been—we're the only game in town and so give us money, and we won't try to kill you, but we won't really do too much to help you either. Hamilton Nolan Another thing unions can do with their money is— instead of sending it to Joe Biden's campaign—use it to organize workers. The choice is not just between Democrats and Republicans. We can take those resources and use it to organize workers, which will increase our political power in its own right. Hamilton Nolan Robert Fellmeth is the Price Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego and the Executive Director of the Center for Public Interest Law. He is also Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Institute, which authored The Fleecing of Foster Children: How We Confiscate Their Assets and Undermine Their Financial Security. The First Amendment is not just the right of the speaker to belch whatever…the audience has some rights there. The audience has a right to hear, to listen, to understand, and to know something about the speaker, because the idea behind speech is not simply making noise. It's to advance understanding, to advance knowledge. And therefore there should be a requirement that speakers identify who they are. And that allows the audience who are listening to decide whether they want to listen. Robert Fellmeth Get full access to Ralph Nader Radio Hour at www.ralphnaderradiohour.com/subscribe


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Life Or Death Foods

Ralph welcomes back medical journalist and New York Times bestselling author, Jean Carper, to elaborate on her latest book, “100 LIFE OR DEATH FOODS: A Scientific Guide to Which Foods Prolong Life or Kill You Prematurely.” Plus, the latest news about Boeing and the UAW. Jean Carper is a medical journalist, and wrote “EatSmart” (a popular weekly column on nutrition, every week for USA Weekend Magazine) from 1994 until 2008; she is still a contributing editor, writing health and nutrition articles. Ms. Carper is also a former CNN medical correspondent and director of the documentary Monster in the Mind. She is the best-selling author of 25 books, mostly on nutrition and health. Her latest book is 100 LIFE OR DEATH FOODS: A Scientific Guide to Which Foods Prolong Life or Kill You Prematurely. The reason I wrote the book was that I knew there is no other book like this. Nobody has taken a scientific look at all the studies that are being done on specific foods with conclusions as to how they are going to affect longevity. It is a totally new field. It really only started several years ago where scientists are getting interested in this. I thought of all the things that would be the most interesting about a food, and whether or not you wanted to eat it would be, “Oh, how long does it prolong my life? Or on the other hand, is it likely to shorten my life?” Jean Carper Less-developed countries with their natural food from over the history of their cultures are very often far superior [in longevity studies] to the so-called corporatized Western diet. Ralph Nader In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis 1. The International Criminal Court at the Hague is preparing to hand down indictments to Israeli officials for committing war crimes. The Guardian reports the indicted are expected to include authoritarian Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, among others. These indictments will likely focus on Netanyahu’s strategy of intentional starvation in Gaza. Yet, lest one think that the United States actually believes in the “rules based international order,” they have touted so frequently, the Biden administration will not allow these indictments to be effectuated, baselessly claiming that the ICC does not have jurisdiction in Israel. Democracy Now! reports State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told the press “Since this president has come into office, we have worked to reset our relationship with the ICC, and we are in contact with the court on a range of issues, including in connection to the court’s important work on Darfur, on Ukraine, on Sudan, as well. But on this investigation, our position is clear: We continue to believe that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the Palestinian situation.” Former Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth – who has faced retribution for his past criticism of Israel – called this “the height of hypocrisy.” 2. Even as the United States shields Israel from international legal consequences for its crimes, an internal state department memo indicates the American diplomatic corps is increasingly skeptical of the pariah state. Reuters reports “senior U.S. officials have advised Secretary of State Antony Blinken that they do not find ‘credible or reliable’ Israel's assurances that it is using U.S.-supplied weapons in accordance with international humanitarian law.” This memo includes “eight examples of Israeli military actions that the officials said raise "serious questions" about potential violations of international humanitarian law…[including] repeatedly striking protected sites and civilian infrastructure; "unconscionably high levels of civilian harm to military advantage"; taking little action to investigate violations or to hold to account those responsible for significant civilian harm and "killing humanitarian workers and journalists at an unprecedented rate."” The State Department however will only release a “complete assessment of...


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Catastrophic Mismanagement of U.S. Security Policy

Ralph welcomes Professor Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT. We discuss the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel/ Palestine and breakdown what the weaponry being used in both conflicts tells us about the intentions and capabilities of all parties involved. Plus, Ralph answers listener questions! Theodore Postol is Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy Emeritus in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. His expertise is in nuclear weapon systems, including submarine warfare, applications of nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defense, and ballistic missiles more generally. He previously worked as an analyst at the Office of Technology Assessment and as a science and policy adviser to the chief of naval operations. In 2016, he received the Garwin Prize from the Federation of American Scientists for his work in assessing and critiquing the government’s claims about missile defenses. We have a very complicated situation. In some ways, there's no right or wrong. There are different groups of people with deep ethnic commitments, and a central government in Kiev that has acted in a way that's completely intolerant of a significant fraction of its own citizens who happen to be of Russian descent. And right from the beginning, there was hostility from the West. Theodore Postol There's a long history of the central Ukrainian command not supporting their troops at the battlefront. This is a real problem with the troops. The morale of the troops has been tremendously affected in an adverse way by the sense that their military leadership is not concerned about their life. It's one thing to ask a soldier to go risk their lives or lay down their life for their country and be providing everything you can to protect them and make it possible for them to fight. It's another thing when you're sending them to a certain death just because it looks good. Theodore Postol The people in leadership roles are clueless, to a point that it's astonishing. The last situation that I know of historically where the leadership was so clueless was Tsar Nicholas II in 1917. Theodore Postol In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 4/23/24 1. According to AP, the United States has vetoed Palestine’s latest bid for full membership in the United Nations. The vote in the 15-member U.N. Security Council was 12 in favor, including close U.S. allies like France, Japan, and South Korea, with the U.K. and Switzerland opting to abstain. Only the United States voted against the resolution. If U.S. had not blocked the resolution, the question would have gone to the full U.N. General Assembly, where no country holds veto power. While the U.S. claims this vote “does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood,” these words obviously ring empty. Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the council “The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will and it will not defeat our determination…The state of Palestine is inevitable. It is real.” 140 countries recognize Palestine. Palestine currently sits as a non-member observer state at the U.N. 2. Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a prominent Palestinian-American academic, was arrested at her home in Jerusalem last week, Democracy Now! reports. According to this report, Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian “was suspended by Hebrew University last month after saying in an interview Israel was committing genocide in Gaza.” Sarah Ihmoud, a co-founder of the Palestinian Feminist Collective who teaches at College of the Holy Cross is quoted saying “We see this as yet another example of Israel attacking Palestinians wherever they are, whoever they are. It underscores that no Palestinian is safe under Israel’s racist apartheid rule.” Now, Ryan Grim of the Intercept reports that Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is communicating trough family that she is being tortured in Israeli custody. Maddeningly, it appears unlikely that...


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Mumia Abu-Jamal: Criminal Injustice

Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent the last forty-two of his seventy years on Earth behind the bars of a Pennsylvania state prison, twenty-nine and a half of those on Death Row based on a dubious and extremely flawed and biased conviction for murder. Today, we explore his story and what it tells us about what Ralph calls our “criminal injustice system.” We speak to Noelle Hanranah, the founder and legal director of Prison Radio for which Mumia has done thousands of commentaries, and Professor Joy James, political philosopher, academic and author, who has studied America’s carceral state. Plus, we get the rare opportunity to speak to Mumia himself, who answers our questions from prison. Joy James is Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities at Williams College. Professor James has published numerous articles on: political theory, police, prison and slavery abolition; radicalizing feminisms; diasporic anti-black racism; and US politics. She is the author and editor of several books including The New Abolitionists: (Neo)Slave Narratives and Contemporary Prison Writings, Imprisoned Intellectuals, Resisting State Violence, and Warfare in the American Homeland. [Mumia’s] a treasure. And I don't want to make him an isolate. I think there are a number of people who have been incarcerated for decades who study and struggle—that's a phrase people use in terms of books reaching the incarcerated, but also the writings of the incarcerated coming out of prisons. They enable us to be able to learn and study with them. If not physically in the same space, definitely with the same ethics and the same commitments. Joy James The way that I see what we're struggling against—which I believe echoes what Mumia has been writing about and talking about—is very complex, overlapping systems of containment and control in which poor- and working-class people are going to be the most negatively affected. Joy James Noelle Hanrahan is the founder and legal director of Prison Radio, a multimedia production studio that brings the voices of incarcerated people into the public debate. Since 1992, she has produced over 3,500 multimedia recordings from over 100 prison radio correspondents, including the critically acclaimed work of Mumia Abu-Jamal. [Mumia Abu-Jamal is] facing a system in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, which literally does not privilege the U.S. Constitution. It's more interested in finality…So they privilege procedure over merit. Noelle Hanrahan Mumia Abu Jamal is an award-winning broadcast journalist, essayist, and author of 12 books. Most recently, he’s completed the historic trilogy Murder Incorporated (Perfecting Tyranny, Dreaming of Empire, and America’s Favorite Pastime.) In the late 1970s, Abu-Jamal worked as a reporter for radio stations throughout the Delaware Valley. In 1981, Abu-Jamal was elected president of the Association of Black Journalists’ Philadelphia chapter. Since 1982, Abu-Jamal has lived in state prison (28 of those years were spent in solitary confinement on death row.) Currently, he’s serving life without parole at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, PA. Abu-Jamal’s 1982 trial and its resultant first-degree murder conviction have been criticized as unconstitutionally corrupt by legal and activist groups for decades, including by Amnesty International and Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, and Desmond Tutu. I love it when I hear or read about so-called conservatives talking about “two tiers of justice.” Justice if anything is at least three tiers— it's one tier for white people, another tier for black folks, and a third tier for the very rich. Now guess who gets sweetest deals? I mean look, it doesn't take a rocket scientist, right? If you're rich in this country, you can get every break that you can afford. You can get the best justice, the best lawyers, and they will fight wars. Mumia Abu-Jamal When prisoners use the phone or go to the commissary—every item you buy, every call you make, it's taxed. So what about...


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Saving Israel and Palestine

Ralph welcomes Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs to discuss what's motivating anti-Palestinian extremism in Israel, how the U.S. has been complicit in Israel's theft of Palestinian territory and genocide against the Palestinian people, and what the United Nations can do to help achieve a lasting peace. Plus, we share Ralph's recent column: "Israeli Leaders’ Objective All Along Has Been the Expulsion of Occupied Palestinians and Seizure of Their Remaining Land." Jeffrrey Sachs is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he holds the rank of University Professor (the university’s highest academic rank) and he served as Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. Mr. Sachs has also served in numerous positions at the United Nations, including as President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The reason that diplomacy is not happening is perfectly obvious. Which is that the core of this government does not want diplomacy, even if it were to deliver security. Their aim is not security through diplomacy. Their aim is “Greater Israel.” Jeffrey Sachs I have lived through…watching the U.S. government abandon so many projects, from Southeast Asia through the Americas—these have been terrible projects often—but the U.S. loses interest, it moves on. And Israel needs to actually live in its neighborhood if it's going to survive. And counting on military might to do that is a profound mistake. It's eating away at its own fundamental capacity to act as a society—the idea that you can stand alone in the world community and have no one support you. This is a huge mistake. So I've tried to say to my counterparts in Israel…that this path is not only wrong and immoral, but doomed to fail as well. Jeffrey Sachs The Palestinians have one of the highest literacy rates—97 % — in the world. Under dire conditions, they have accomplished farmers, physicians, scientists, engineers, poets, musicians, novelists, artists, and a deep entrepreneurial tradition carried on by the Palestinian diaspora around the world. It is no accident that Israeli bombers directly target Palestinian cultural and educational institutions in their recurrent assaults on Gaza. Israeli militarists have to degrade all Palestinians… to expel them from their ancestral lands. Ralph Nader In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 4/10/24 1. An unsettling story in Business Insider recounts how the Israeli military uses an AI system – chillingly called “Where’s Daddy?” – to track Hamas militants to their homes. As one IDF officer put it, “We[‘re] not interested in killing [Hamas] operatives only when they…[are] engaged in a military activity…On the contrary, the IDF bomb[s] them in homes without hesitation, as a first option. It's much easier to bomb a family's home.” This policy of bombing family homes “as a first option” is a major factor in why so many Palestinian families have lost unimaginable numbers of relatives in Israeli strikes. IDF officers added “human input in the target identification process…[is] essentially [to] ‘rubber stamp’ the machine's picks after little more than ‘20 seconds’ of consideration — which was largely to double-check the target is male.” 2. As we know from the recent polling on the issue, only 22.5% of Democrats now support military aid to Israel, while 83% want a permanent ceasefire. More surprising is that only 41% of Republicans want the U.S. to send military aid to Israel, and 58% want a permanent ceasefire. This poll is now joined by a similar poll from the United Kingdom, showing 56% of the British public – including 74% of Labour Party voters – support their government refusing to sell more weapons to Israel, with only 17% in support of continuing such sales. Pressing on this issue, progressive members of Congress Mark Pocan and Jan Schakowsky have penned a letter to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken “strongly...


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Infectious Generosity

Ralph welcomes Chris Anderson, author of “Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading” where he explains how techniques for tapping into the potential of “the internet to turbocharge generosity” can fund and scale-up bold, audacious projects for the common good. Chris Anderson is the founder of the Sapling Foundation, and Curator of TED, a nonprofit devoted to sharing valuable ideas, primarily through the medium of 'TED Talks' — short talks that are offered free online to a global audience. He is the author of Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading. There're actually so many ways to be generous. And in the connected world, just acts of human kindness and sharing stories of human generosity can help transform the culture. We've somehow convinced ourselves that humans are pretty awful and especially “those other humans over there” are really awful and scary, and we don't want anything to do with them. And this is really dangerous because we're taking away what I think is humanity's superpower, which is the ability for very very different people to connect and to negotiate and to agree and to find ways of cooperating. Chris Anderson The key mind shift here is to flip from saying what change could I pull off on my own or with someone I know, to saying how can we create a moment of ignition, a moment of bringing people together in a way that they see each other and are persuaded by each other to do something big together. Chris Anderson Generosity is way beyond just money. It's time, advice, experience. It's a retired lawyer, a retired doctor, for example, providing counsel to local neighborhood or community groups. Sometimes they make connections, they help networking in these groups. So it's always good, I think, when you ask people for money to ask them for their advice, their time, their networks, the benefits of their experience. And oftentimes that way you can actually raise more money than if you just ask them for money. Ralph Nader In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantisNews 4/3/24 1. In an airstrike, Israel killed six foreign aid workers, including an American citizen, along with their Palestinian driver, Al Jazeera reports. These workers were affiliated with Chef Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen, which had been doing what it could to fill the gap left by UNRWA after the U.S. and other Israel-allied nations pulled the organization’s funding following dubious claims about UNRWA workers colluding with Hamas. On Twitter, Andres wrote “These are people…angels…They are not faceless…they are not nameless. The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing…and stop using food as a weapon.” Israel claims that striking the convoy was unintentional, with PM Netanyahu saying “This happens in wartime,” while smirking in a video message. World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Goran, quoted in the Washington Post, maintains that this strike was “[a] targeted attack” by the IDF and called the strike “unforgivable.” 2. The “uncommitted” electoral protest movement continues to pick up votes in Democratic primaries nationwide. In Missouri, Uncommitted took nearly 12% of the vote statewide and over 20% in the first Congressional district - represented by outspoken ceasefire advocate Cori Bush - per St. Louis Public Radio. In Maine, blank ballots - that state’s version of an uncommitted ballot line - took over 10% of the vote statewide, a tenfold increase from 2020, per political blogger Ettingermentum. 3. More troubling for the Biden campaign are the polls - nationwide and in swing states - that show widespread discontent with his handling of Israel’s murderous rampage. A recent Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans now disapprove of Israel’s campaign by a margin of 55% to 36%, the result of an 18% drop among Democrats and Independents, and a 7% drop among Republicans. The same poll shows that only 27% of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the situation in...


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Live Taping w/ the Father of Bad Faith Insurance Law

Not a lot of lawyers can say that they helped create a whole new legal field, but William Shernoff can. On this week's episode, Ralph welcomes trailblazing attorney William Shernoff to discuss predatory insurance practices, and how consumers can protect themselves. This special episode was co-presented by The American Museum of Tort Law, and was recorded in front of a live virtual audience. William Shernoff is the founding partner of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria, a law firm specializing in insurance bad faith litigation. A longtime consumer advocate, he has made a career of representing insurance consumers in their cases against insurance companies. Often called the “father” of bad faith insurance law, in 1979, Mr. Shernoff persuaded the California Supreme Court to establish new case law that permits plaintiffs to sue insurance companies for bad faith seeking both compensatory and punitive damages when they unreasonably handle a policyholder’s claim (Egan v. Mutual of Omaha). A frequent lecturer and writer, Mr. Shernoff co-authored the legal textbook, Insurance Bad Faith Litigation, which has become the field’s definitive treatise, as well as How to Make Insurance Companies Pay Your Claims . . . . And What To Do If They Don’t, Fight Back and Win – And How To Make Your HMO Pay Up, and Payment Refused. Under bad faith law in California and in most states, you not only could get the benefits you deserve under the insurance policy—whether it be life insurance or disability insurance or health insurance. But you can also get damages over and above the policy limits, which are emotional distress damages…Not only can you get the emotional distress damages, but any aggravation of your medical condition. And then punitive damages are on top of that. And attorney's fees are on top of that. So all of these damages are coming from insurance bad faith if the insurance bad faith law applies. And punitive damages are designed to punish the insurance company so that they correct their wrongful conduct in the future, and deter them from unfair claims practices. William Shernoff Most people, if they get a letter from an insurance company—which they consider to be an authoritative source— and the insurance company says, “Your claim is denied because…” and then they cite all kinds of fine print in the insurance policy, most people accept that and don't do anything. They don't see a lawyer. They just accept what their insurance company told them because it sounded quite official to them. William Shernoff Insurance regulation is state-controlled. The federal government has been blocked for decades and the Congress has imposed itself on the federal Federal Trade Commission and said that they can't even investigate the insurance companies without being allowed to by a committee in the House or the Senate that has jurisdiction over such matters. So the privileges of the insurance lobby are quite extraordinary even by comparison with other corporate lobbies. Ralph Nader More people should know about bad-faith cases rights—and use them. And not take whatever is dealt to them by insurance companies—denials, rescission of insurance policies, refusing to renew, other delays, or other crazy obstructions. Learn about your rights. Ralph Nader In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 3/27/24 1. CNN reports the United Nations Security Council has passed a Gaza ceasefire resolution. The resolution itself is imperfect, calling only for a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan, but this watered down language paved the way for the United States to allow the resolution to pass. The U.S. has vetoed every previous ceasefire resolution before the Security Council and disputes the extent to which this resolution is legally binding. For its part, Israel’s Foreign Minister stated unequivocally that Israel “will not cease fire,” per CNN. 2. Following the passage of the Security Council resolution, Prime Minister Netanyahu canceled a planned...


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Apartheid Education/Gas Station Heroin

Legendary public school reform advocate, Jonathan Kozol, joins us to discuss his latest book “An End To Inequality: Breaking Down the Walls of Apartheid Education in America.” Then, we do a deep dive into the scourge that is kratom, the dangerous so-called pain relief supplement our guest, lawyer Matt Wetherington, calls “gas station heroin.” Jonathan Kozol is a leading advocate for equality and racial justice in our nation’s schools, and he travels and lectures about educational inequality and racial injustice. Mr. Kozol is the author of nearly a dozen books about young children and their public schools, including Death at an Early Age (for which he received the National Book Award), Savage Inequalities, and The Shame of the Nation. His latest book is An End to Inequality: Breaking Down the Walls of Apartheid Education in America. I still give [Jonathan Kozol’s book Death at an Early Age] out to people to show them what indignant writing backed by irrefutable evidence is like. There's too much cool writing in America today about ghastly situations. Ralph Nader The Brown decision is now like the Ghost of Christmas Past. Most school officials have pretty much turned their back on the legacy of Brown and the dream of Dr. King, who was very explicit in his condemnation of segregated schools. I find it particularly heartbreaking that segregation is now at its highest level since the early 1990s. And many of the schools I visit are far more deeply segregated than the one that I described in Death in Early Age. Jonathan Kozol We hear a lot about the “school-to-prison pipeline,” but this is a case where the prison is already there. It's right there. They don't have to wait 20 years. Children get a taste of our racist penal system when they're barely out of diapers. Jonathan Kozol The excuse, of course, we always hear in the big cities is that finances are scarce— “We would love to make these corrections. We would love to build new buildings. We would love to clean out the lead. But we just don't have enough resources to do this.” I call it the myth of scarcity. It's starvation funding for minority children in one of the richest nations in the world. Jonathan Kozol I'm always asked, “Why don't you come up with upbeat suggestions?” I always say I'm not going to be forced into a phony optimism to please my critics. The fact is, right now, we have a racist and autocratic education system teed specifically to the historic victims of American society. And it's not gonna change until teachers can expand their reach politically to the parents of their children, to the surrounding communities, to the unions—not only the teacher unions, but other unions of all sorts—in order to transform the political leadership of this nation. Jonathan Kozol Matt Wetherington is ​​a nationally-recognized lawyer focused on high-stakes cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, and class actions. He currently represents plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit against more than a dozen defendants, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of Kratom products. Under the guise of safety, the [American Kratom Association] have tricked legislatures— and now they're trying to do it on the federal level—into making a product that is dangerous, deadly, and has absolutely no proven medicinal purpose, de facto legal. Matt Wetherington The kratom industry is trying to put the burden on safety advocates to prove that kratom is unsafe. Rather than going through the normal model that literally every other drug has gone through, which is to prove a medicinal purpose before it can be sold anywhere. They've put the cart ahead of the horse here by saying, until you can prove that it's unsafe, you can get this heroin-like drug at any gas station. So I reject the premise that we have to be the ones that come out and prove that this is unsafe. And the reality is that they have the burden of proving that it has a medicinal purpose. Matt...


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America, Stop Trying to Make Nuclear Power Happen. It's Not Going to Happen.

Ralph is joined by Tim Judson from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (N.I.R.S.) to discuss the growing support for nuclear power in Congress, and the persistent myths that fuel nuclear advocates' false hopes for a nuclear future. Then, Ralph pays tribute to Boeing whistleblower John Barnett, who died unexpectedly this week in the middle of giving his deposition for a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against Boeing. Plus, Ralph answers some of your audience feedback from last week's interview with Barbara McQuade. Tim Judson is Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (N.I.R.S.). Mr. Judson leads N.I.R.S.’ work on nuclear reactor and climate change issues, and has written a series of reports on nuclear bailouts and sustainable energy. He is Chair of the Board of Citizens Awareness Network, one of the lead organizations in the successful campaign to close the Vermont Yankee reactor, and co-founder of Alliance for a Green Economy in New York. Listeners should know that this very complex system called the nuclear fuel cycle—that starts with uranium mines out west piling up radioactive tailings, which have exposed people downwind to radioactive hazards…And then they have to enrich the uranium—and that is often done by burning coal, which pollutes the air and contributes to climate disruption. And then they have to fabricate the fuel rods and build the nuclear plants. And then they have to make sure that these nuclear plants are secure against sabotage. And then you have the problem of transporting—by trucks or rail—radioactive waste to some depositories that don't exist. And they have to go through towns, cities, and villages. And what is all this for? It's to boil water. Ralph Nader In 2021 and 2022, when the big infrastructure bills— the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act—were being passed by Congress, the utility industry spent $192 million on federal lobbying in those two years. That's more than the oil industry spent in those two years on lobbying. These are the utility companies that are present in every community around the country. And their business is actually less in selling electricity and natural gas, and more in lobbying state and federal governments to get their rates approved…The utility industry (and the nuclear industry as a subset of that) have been lobbying Congress relentlessly for years to protect what they've got. Tim Judson Fusion is one of these technologies that's always been 30 years away. Whenever there's an announcement about an advancement in fusion research, it's still “going to be 30 years before we get a reactor going.” Now there's a lot more hype, and these tech investors are putting money into fusion with the promise that they're going to have a reactor online in a few years. But there's no track record to suggest that that's going to happen. It keeps the dream of nuclear alive— “We could have infinite amounts of clean energy for the future.” It sounds too good to be true. It's always proven to be too good to be true. Tim Judson One of the lines that they're using to promote theAtomic Energy Advancement Act and all of these investments in nuclear… is that we can't let Russia and China be the ones that are expanding nuclear energy worldwide. It's got to be the US that does it. Tim Judson In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 3/12/24 1. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, has released a report claiming that “employees released into Gaza from Israeli detention [were] pressured by Israeli authorities into falsely stating that the agency has Hamas links and that staff took part in the October 7 attacks,” per the Times of Israel. These supposed admissions of guilt led to the United States and many European countries cutting off or delaying aid to the agency. The unpublished report alleges that UNRWA staffers were “detained by the Israeli army, and…experienced…severe physical beatings,...


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Tribe Over Truth

Ralph speaks to law professor, Barbara McQuade, who specializes in national security issues and has written a book that outlines the very real threat to American democracy, “Attack From Within: How Disinformation Is Sabotaging America.” Also, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson sums up Israeli goals in its war on the Palestinians with three words “eradication, elimination, and expulsion.” Barbara McQuade is a professor from practice at Michigan Law School. Her interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, national security, data privacy, and civil rights. From 2010 to 2017, Professor McQuade served as the US attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. As US attorney, she oversaw cases involving public corruption, terrorism, corporate fraud, theft of trade secrets, civil rights, and health care fraud, among others. She also serves as a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Barbara McQuade is the author of Attack from Within: How Disinformation is Sabotaging America. I think people are still bewildered about how to respond to Donald Trump. I think the media is bewildered because we've never seen anything like him—he's an absolute disruptor of how our system works. And so, he's a big bully who runs around and says all kinds of mean things and nobody knows how to deal with it. I think the media still struggles to decide how do you cover someone—when we've been trained to get both sides of an argument which presumes that both sides are engaging in good faith—when instead you have someone who is not engaging in good faith, engaging in lies, making inconsistent statements. Barbara McQuade We need to demand truth. We can't allow ourselves to engage in fiction, even if we believe it is to advance our ends. The ends can never justify the means. Our country is built on integrity in the rule of law and we need to demand truth if we are going to have a democracy and effective self-government. Barbara McQuade You don't want to go down in the mud with people. But when the national press begins and continues to be [Trump’s] bullhorn, verbatim, repeating it, repeating it, giving no right of reply, there's no way you can simply say, “I don't want to go to his level,” because the press has raised it to a level that is devastating to our democracy. Ralph Nader Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired U.S. Army colonel. Over his 31 years of service, Colonel Wilkerson served as Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2005, and Special Assistant to General Powell when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. Colonel Wilkerson also served as Deputy Director and Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia, and for fifteen years he was the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network, senior advisor to the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and co-founder of the All-Volunteer Force Forum. The media is an Israeli agent when they do give some kind of deference to “the other side,” as it were, it's always in words and terminology and short sentences that make you know that “they are balanced.” “They are fair and balanced.” They're about as fair and balanced as my left foot. That's the way it is. The purpose here is eradication, elimination, or expulsion, period. Eradication, elimination, or expulsion. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson We all need to wake up, and we need to start taking actions such as we can locally—whatever's within our purview and power to do. Because we're losing this country. We're losing it to the moneyed oligarchy. We're losing it to the unprecedented amount of money, because of Citizens United, that's pouring into the political coffers of people who have no interest in what you want…These people are basing their decisions on money. Money—not you. They're not the people's representatives… They're the representatives of the deep state, which...


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Bishop William Barber

Ralph welcomes Bishop William Barber from the Poor People's Campaign to discuss their March 2nd mass moral march on State Assemblies and their efforts to mobilize millions of poor and low-wage voters. Then, Ralph is joined by Washington Post health reporter Dan Diamond to discuss his team's recent report on a $2 billion Medicare fraud scheme. Bishop William Barber is President and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, which was established to train communities in moral movement building. He is Co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, and Founding Director and Professor at the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy at Yale Divinity School. The biggest mistake people who are not poor can make is [thinking] that helping poor and low-wage people in this country doesn't improve their life. Total nonsense. And we're going to see how a greater turnout of poor and low-wage people in the elections can transform politics in this country at the national, state, and local level. Ralph Nader You cannot, in a democracy, let your power sit on the shelf. If folk are not recognizing that, you must force them. And we now have this power— we don't even know what battleground states are. Because if poor and low-wealth people voted at the same percentage rate as middle class and others, it would change all of the political calculations. And it is the fear of the greedy aristocracy. It is time for us to realize their fear. Bishop William Barber Bad policy is mean, it is violent, and it is deadly. Because now we live in a reality… [where] poverty is the fourth-leading cause of death in this country. If you are not for ending policies that perpetuate poverty and low wages, then you are an accessory to the crime of human beings' lives being taken Bishop William Barber Dan Diamond is a national health reporter for The Washington Post, focused on accountability, federal agencies and public health. He joined the Post in 2021 after covering the Trump administration for Politico, where he won a George Polk award for investigating political interference in the pandemic response. One would think that somewhere at Medicare, there was the alert that this was a scheme to be looking out for. On the state level, several states began last year to issue warnings—the state of Hawaii, the state of Oklahoma, among others—saying, “Watch out, Medicare beneficiaries, for these catheter-fraud schemes.” So that was nine months ago at this point. Medicare itself—nationally—were not aware of any similar warnings or action, at least publicly. Again, they may have been doing things behind the scenes. They may have been wanting to bait the trap for these potential fraudsters,and maybe that's why they didn't say anything. But still it raises real questions—why they have waited so long to do anything, and why it takes news coverage in February 2024 to put a spotlight on something that's been going on for eighteen months. Dan Diamond In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 2/28/24 1. The Michigan primary was held on Tuesday. On the Republican side, Donald Trump cruised to victory over Nikki Haley, but on the Democratic side, all eyes were focused not on the candidates themselves but on the “Uncommitted,” ballot line. In recent days, activists and prominent progressive elected officials urged voters to register their opposition to President Biden’s support for Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza by voting Uncommitted. The campaign set a goal of 10,000 Uncommitted votes; according to the New York Times they won over 100,000. The success of this protest vote movement in a key swing state should be setting off major alarm bells within the Biden campaign and hopefully will force the president to reckon with dissent to his Gaza policy from within his party. 2. On Sunday, U.S. Airman Aaron Bushnell self immolated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, registering the ultimate protest against the ongoing...


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Practical Radicals

Ralph welcomes Professor Stephanie Luce of the City University of New York, who has co-authored “Practical Radicals: Seven Strategies to Change the World,” and together they outline the challenges and the strategies that face underdogs trying to change the system. Plus, our resident constitutional scholar, Bruce Fein, joins us to discuss the death of Russian dissident, Alexei Navalny. Stephanie Luce is Professor of Labor Studies at the School of Labor and Urban Studies, and Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center at City University of New York. Professor Luce is best known for her research on living wage campaigns and movements. She is the author of Fighting for a Living Wage and co-author of The Living Wage: Building a Fair Economy, and The Measure of Fairness. Her latest book, co-authored with Deepak Bhargava, is Practical Radicals: Seven Strategies to Change the World. We find it's actually hard to get people to imagine really liberatory worlds because we're so dominated by corporate culture and consumer culture and undemocratic functioning that it is hard to imagine a world that's different. So even just getting people to dream of a different possibility is a good start, and then we have to think about what kind of power it's going to take to make those changes. Stephanie Luce A lot of people critique [collective care as a strategy]. They think it's just about taking care of one another as part of life—that's what we do. We're arguing it can also be strategic because when done well, it enables people to engage in a fight in the long term. You can't go on strike if you don't have someone to watch your children, or if you don't have a strike fund. You can't risk arrest if you don't know if you have bail. So collective care is a way of taking care of one another, doing the things that enable us to take risks and to know people have our back. And that helps us up our militancy and strategy because we can take bigger risks and build the capacity for other kinds of struggle. Stephanie Luce There’s such a thing as the civic personality that is a huge Achilles’ heel of the drive to train people civically. You can train people civically… but if they don't have a civic personality, if they don't have fire in their bellies, so to speak, emotional intelligence, if they don't have a framework of a public philosophy, if they don't have a capacity for resilience to learn from their last mistakes, if they haven't controlled their ego so they can give credit to other people in their circle and set an example and motivate, if they're not willing to read and stay up to date with what's going on in their fields and in the area of their opponents, it doesn't matter how many skills they learn from our efforts. Ralph Nader Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law. Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall. [Alexei Navalny] was free. He knew he could have left [Russia]. He probably could have won a Nobel Peace Prize. He returned anyway. And the pride which I can express in such a human being is beyond words. Bruce Fein In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 2/20/24 1. A diplomatic row is brewing between Israel and Brazil. On Sunday, leftist Brazilian President Lula compared Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza to Hitler’s genocide of the Jews during an address to the African Union. In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared that until he retracts his comments, Lula is “persona non grata in Israel.” Yet Lula does not intend to retract these comments, and has instead recalled the Brazilian ambassador to Israel. The Israeli campaign against Gaza has forced nearly all of its over 2 million inhabitants from their homes. This from Reuters. 2. On Monday, the United Nations Office of the High...


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Labor for a Ceasefire/ Trump's Cult of Personality

Ralph is joined by labor activist Gene Bruskin to discuss how labor leaders are joining with Progressive lawmakers to demand a ceasefire in Gaza, and the true meaning of solidarity. Then Ralph welcomes Rick Perlstein— historian, chronicler of American conservativism, and author of Nixonland—to explain Donald Trump's iron grip on the Republican Party. Gene Bruskin is a veteran of the labor movement as a local union president, organizer, and campaign coordinator for numerous local and national unions. He has done extensive international labor solidarity work, including with Iraqi workers and unions, and is a founder of US Labor Against the War. He is also a member of the National Labor Network for a Ceasefire. Never in the 140 year history of the labor movement—starting with the A.F.L. formation in 1885—has there been such a broad-scale resistance to U.S. government policy in the middle of a conflict like this. It's just never happened before. Gene Bruskin The labor movement has to understand that there's a lot of contradictions in the Democratic Party and we cannot allow the party to define our interests. And on foreign policy, the idea has been long time proposed in the labor movement that our national interests require us to do “this” kind of foreign policy or “this” war… But really what we did in our organization U.S. Labor Against the War during the Iraq War—where we actually built real solidarity with Iraqi workers and brought them all over the country here—was we said the national interest of the corporations is not the same as the national interest of the average worker. Gene Bruskin Someday we will see that when unions endorse Democratic presidents, they make demands in return. They should not have simply endorsed Biden—as the U.A.W. did, and others—without demanding a public commitment. Ralph Nader Rick Perlstein is a historian and chronicler of American conservativism. He is the author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, and Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980. These feelings of dispossession, of vulnerability, of weakness really get at the darkest and most easily-manipulated parts of the human mind that are based on the most primal fears. Stuff like fears of snakes, fear of cockroaches, fear of dark things that go bump in the night. And those are there in our brains, they're in the lowest parts of our brains. And what the Republican Party has been doing for decades… is they're exploiting that animal part of the brain in order to aggrandize their own power. And it's really, really scary. And one of the things that makes it, again, so scary is it is precisely not amenable to rational persuasion. Rick Perlstein The Democratic Party is not the kind of party that says, “Wow, we can use this and sustain these things that we were able to put in during an emergency to shore up our power forever.” Instead, as soon as they had the chance, they took them away. Rick Perlstein In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 2/14/24 1. On Monday, the Senate voted through a mammoth $95 billion foreign aid package furnishing American assistance to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. Beyond arming Israel however, this bill also bans funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, one of the key agencies providing relief to Palestinians in Gaza – even as starvation in Gaza deepens to lethal levels – and removes previous requirements that the president inform Congress of additional weapons transfers to Israel. Voting against the bill, Senator Merkley of Oregon said “The campaign conducted by the Netanyahu government is at odds with our American values & American law…I cannot vote to send more bombs & shells to Israel when they are using them in an indiscriminate manner against Palestinian civilians.” In another speech, Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said “Kids in Gaza are now dying...


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Slanted Opinions on Gaza/One Family’s Tragedy

Ralph welcomes Janine Jackson, of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and producer and host of FAIR’s syndicated weekly radio show “CounterSpin” to give us her take on the corporate media landscape and in particular how the major outlets are opining on the crisis in Gaza. Then, Palestinian American, Dr. Tariq Haddad, cardiologist and member of the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights joins us to recount the tragic story of how he has lost nearly one hundred family members in the current Israeli bombardment. Janine Jackson is the program director of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and she is the producer and host of FAIR’s syndicated weekly radio show CounterSpin. Ms. Jackson contributes frequently to FAIR’s newsletter Extra!, her articles have appeared in various publications, including In These Times and the UAW’s Solidarity, and in books including Civil Rights Since 1787 and Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism. What I like to say is: we hear a lot from the people we hear a lot from. The conversation becomes kind of insular, and it's very much a pro-U.S. and whatever the U.S. is doing position, with some criticism around the edges. But the point is, you're not hearing from the people who are recipients/victims of U.S. policy. You're hearing overwhelmingly from the people who make that policy. Janine Jackson If you just read the New York Times and the Washington Post, the U.S. is the world. We're the only good country in the world. Anything we do is democracy. Anybody we bomb, we're bombing in service to democracy. And you're just supposed to keep swallowing that. And I feel that elite news media don't understand that people are not buying it. We're not buying it anymore. Janine Jackson What [Dr. Tariq Haddad] relates is not going to be easy to take for our listeners, but bear with us, listeners. We have to face up to it because it's your tax dollars, it's your US weapons… and cover—diplomatic and political—that is what Netanyahu wants and gets. The rest is just deceptive rhetoric. Ralph Nader Dr. Tariq Haddad is a cardiologist and member of the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights— a broadly based, growing coalition of 19 organizations, with over 10,000 Virginians from diverse backgrounds, who advocate for Palestinian human rights. Dr. Haddad grew up in Gaza. For the last four months, my routine has been basically every morning finding out who's died, who's survived, who's suffering, who needs help, and it's been a constant daily thing starting from October. Dr. Tariq Haddad I couldn't bring myself as a human being—forget as a physician—couldn't bring myself to meet with somebody (Secretary of State, Antony Blinken) for a photo op as a grandstanding opportunity, knowing full well what this administration has done to cause suffering and death in my family. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. And I just—especially given three minutes. How am I, in three minutes, going to describe everything that's happened to my family and all my fellow Palestinians in Gaza? Dr. Tariq Haddad In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 2/7/24 1. Eminent scholar Professor William Youmans, working with the Arab Center Washington DC, has published a study examining media bias on Gaza in the context of Sunday talk shows – including NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’ Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week and Fox News Sunday. This study found significant “patterns of bias in guest booking, in the range of views expressed by guests, and in the framing of issues,” signifying “an abandonment of the ideal that news media’s purpose is to scrutinize government policies and the actions of those in power and to inform the public so it can forge independent opinions.” 2. A groundbreaking report from the Lever has revealed many of AIPAC’s top donors, including such shady characters as Leonid Ravinsky, the billionaire behind the amateur pornography site OnlyFans, and Leslie Wexner, former CEO of...


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Mad as Hell

Ralph welcomes Eva Borgwardt from the grassroots Jewish-American organization IfNotNow to bust the myth that Palestinian rights and Jewish safety are mutually exclusive. Then, Ralph is joined by CPA and corporate accountability advocate Dr. Ralph Estes to discuss his book “Fight the Corpocracy, Take Back Democracy: A Mad As Hell Guide for the 99%." Eva Borgwardt is the national spokesperson for IfNotNow, a grassroots Jewish-American organization that is dedicated to ending U.S. support for Israel's apartheid system and demanding equality, justice, and a thriving future for all Palestinians and Israelis. It's terrifying for Jews, for Muslims, for any marginalized community in the US—so many people would be vulnerable and under existential threat under a Trump presidency. And so I'm very clear-eyed about that. And I'm furious with President Biden, who seems to be willing to risk that scenario by insisting on sending unconditional aid and unconditional diplomatic support for this assault on the Palestinian people in Gaza led by Netanyahu's rightwing government. Eva Borgwardt There's a key concept that's happening—especially among young people—which is that you can't manufacture consent with a population that has social media and direct access to what Palestinians are experiencing…And the immediacy of that horrific situation is very, very clear for a much wider swath of the American public than has had access to that type of information before. Eva Borgwardt Investors do not create corporations, they finance them. All corporations are created by the state. And that's often missed by the public in the description of private enterprise. It's viewed like it's sui generis—someone figures out a thing to produce or a service and goes around raising capital and starts a corporation. And what Ralph Estes is saying is the essence of the corporation—the reason why it's allowed to have limited liability for its shareholders, the reason why it has so many privileges and immunities—is because it was originally supposed to fulfill public purposes. Ralph Nader Dr. Ralph Estes is Emeritus professor of business and accounting at American University in Washington, D.C., organizer of the Stakeholder Alliance, co-founder and vice president of The Center for Advancement of Public Policy, and Emeritus Trustee at the Institute for Policy Studies. He is the author of several books, including Tyranny of the Bottom Line: Why Corporations Make Good People Do Bad Things and Fight the Corpocracy, Take Back Democracy: A Mad As Hell Guide for the 99%. When I was in accounting, I learned one thing…Your goodwill, your persuasion, your humanness—these things, they've all got the lip service for it, they've got the words, but it doesn't cause action. I discovered what causes action is embarrassment. Corporate executives do not want to be embarrassed. Dr. Ralph Estes Get full access to Ralph Nader Radio Hour at www.ralphnaderradiohour.com/subscribe


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Grassroots Groups for Gaza

Ralph welcomes leaders from two grassroots groups advocating against the war on Gaza. First, from Tel Aviv, we are joined by Ido Setter of “Standing Together” a movement aimed at mobilizing Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel in pursuit of peace, equality, and social and climate justice. Then, here in America, Stefanie Fox, executive director of Jewish Voice For Peace, reports on their work taking action in Congress, on the streets, and in the press to stop the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Ido Setter works on Standing Together's digital mobilization team. Standing Together is a grassroots movement mobilizing Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel in pursuit of peace, equality, and social and climate justice. For the last two decades, the Israeli government and Israel as a state didn't offer any kind of hope for the Palestinian. There wasn't another serious peace process, no serious talks, and basically the Israeli government said to Palestinians, “Listen, this is how things are going to be. Deal with it.” And when you don't offer any hope, people will go to extreme places. So what happened on October 7th was, of course, a strategic collapse. But it was also an accumulation of the past two decades, where Israel didn't think that moving forward with a peace treaty or some kind of a peace agreement with the Palestinian people was an imperative. Ido Setter Nothing stays on one side of the border. Everything that happens on the Palestinian side of the border eventually comes back to the Israeli side of the border… We need to stop right now what's happening at the current moment in Gaza, have compassion, and move in the opposite direction that Benjamin Netanyahu and his hawkish government is trying to lead us. Ido Setter Stefanie Fox is Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, which is one of the largest Jewish anti-Zionist organizations in the world. There is a large and growing community of faith leaders, of rabbis, of synagogues, of many, many Jews who are working to build a Judaism liberated from Zionism. And so there's probably 10 synagogues across the country that are anti- or non-Zionist. There are dozens of independent spiritual communities we call Chavurot that are connected (or not) to Jewish Voice for Peace. There's a burgeoning and growing movement to fight for the soul of Judaism, to fight for the future of our communities. And we have millennia of Jewish tradition—that predate the founding of the state of Israel and the movement of political Zionism—to lean on and to extend into a future where we are not bound up and made complicit in support for a genocidal ethno-state. Stefanie Fox The term ‘semite’ comes out of 19th century scientific racism. It's not really something in any moment in history that anybody has actually used to describe themselves. It's only a racist term. And so, the term ‘antisemitism’ does refer to the bigotry and discrimination that emerged out of that racist classification system. And at its root it comes from the same white supremacy in which anti Palestinian racism and erasure and Zionism itself were born… And of course, antisemitism is real. There's real hatred and bigotry and discrimination against Jews. The point is that antisemitism and white supremacy and Zionism emerge from the same root of exclusionary ethno-nationalist racialized state building. Stefanie Fox In order for [President Biden and the US Congress] not to ask for a ceasefire, they are engaged in hostilities now—the U.S. that is—against the Houthis in Yemen. They are bombing in Iraq and Syria. It's quite a price the U.S. is paying…because if there were a ceasefire, there'd be no Houthi assailing of shipping in the Red Sea. There would be no missiles with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Ralph Nader In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 1/24/24 1. Just Foreign Policy reports that there is dissent brewing among Obama foreign policy alumni regarding President Biden’s air war on the Yemeni Houthis....


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Conscientious Objector/Israeli Agents

Attribution: Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa) in contract with APAimages Ralph welcomes Josh Paul, the State Department official who resigned in protest over the Biden Administration’s policy of unconditional arms transfers to Israel in the response to the attacks of October 7th. Then, investigative reporter, James Bamford joins us to discuss his deep dive into how the Israeli government has recruited Americans as foreign agents to troll, dox, and blacklist college students and professors who dare to criticize Israeli policies. Josh Paul served 11 years in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the US Department of State, before his resignation on October 17, 2023. Mr. Paul previously worked on security sector reform in both Iraq and the West Bank, with additional roles in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, US Army Staff, and as a congressional staffer. I have spoken with a number of members of Congress in the last few months and—even for those who haven't publicly called for a ceasefire—many are willing to acknowledge behind closed doors that yes, actually, they do believe that Israelis are committing war crimes, but they will not say it publicly. And that just seems to me such a moral abdication of the purposes for which you were elected. If you know something to be a fact, if you know the U.S. to be complicit in facilitating war crimes, but are unwilling to say it because you are afraid of how your donors might react or how your next election might go, why are you even in Congress? Josh Paul It is interesting that the United States places control of arms transfers and security assistance within the State Department. That is a different model than most of our allies follow… And there is an advantage to putting them in the State Department, so that they can be considered as tools of foreign policy along with other diplomatic tools such as economic assistance, such as of course diplomatic engagement. So there is an advantage there, but of course there is also inherently by doing so a militarization of foreign policy. Particularly when we look at the massive amount of funding that is provided for military assistance. And of course, the way that that providing that assistance then links us to the actions of our partners, whether we want to be complicit in those actions or not. Josh Paul It's been said that in the last three months, the pro-Palestinian people in the United States have controlled the streets, but the pro-Netanyahu people in the United States have controlled the suites in Congress and the Executive branch. Ralph Nader James Bamford is a best-selling author, Emmy-nominated filmmaker for PBS, award-winning investigative producer for ABC News, and winner of the National Magazine Award for Reporting for his writing in Rolling Stone on the war in Iraq. He is the author of several books, including Spyfail: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs, and the Collapse of America's Counterintelligence. I think some of these (American) groups should be arrested for being agents of a foreign government. I mean, if you're an American and you're contributing money and support to a clandestine foreign operation or clandestine foreign agency of a foreign government, then that's pretty much the definition of being an agent of a foreign government. James Bamford [People] get put on this blacklist—the Canary Mission list—and their job opportunities are extremely limited. Because if anybody goes for a job and their employer looks on the internet, one of the first things they'll see is that their name is on this blacklist where they're called a variety of names basically for doing something that's basically honorable. James Bamford In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis * On Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders forced a vote on Section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act, which, if passed, could have resulted in the United States cutting off military aid to Israel, the Intercept reports. While this...


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Big Gambling

Ralph welcomes Professor John Kindt to discuss his recent article in the Capitol Hill Citizen, "Time to Criminalize Internet Gambling." Then, our resident international law expert Bruce Fein takes us to the International Court of Justice and explains the lawsuit that South Africa has filed against Israel, which alleges genocide. Finally, Ralph has some choice words about Boeing's latest disaster. John Kindt is Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at the University of Illinois Gies College of Business, where his teaching focuses on—among other topics—the socio-economics of gambling and legal policies. Mr. Kindt has frequently testified as an expert witness before state legislative and congressional committees. Illinois was one of the first states to get the so-called riverboat casinos. And of course, this was just deployed to bring casinos everywhere to Illinois and to other states. They promise what we call “the E's” — they'll help education, they'll help the environment, they'll help the elderly, they'll help employment. None of that is accurate. They just throw nickels and dimes at this. John Kindt I feel very comfortable naming names of these companies. If you just talk about “Big Gambling”, you're nowhere near specific accountability. When you talk about specific names of companies, the next step is the names of the CEOs, the names of the Directors of Marketing and Advertising. You find out whether there are any whistleblowers. Ralph Nader Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law. Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall. To my mind, this perhaps is the strongest case in the history of the Genocide Convention…Literally hundreds of officials from the highest levels of the Netanyahu administration have openly stated, “We are going to lay a siege. No water, no food, no medicine, no shelter, no hospitals.” You can't survive under those conditions… And they've also stated clearly that in their view, Palestinians are animals and will be treated accordingly. Many statements saying, “They need to be driven out of Gaza. They don't deserve to be there.” These are the most flagrant, direct confessions of a genocidal intent that's imaginable. Bruce Fein The FAA has inspection offices up in Seattle and they go to the Boeing factories all the time, but they've been rather lax over the years— to put it mildly. They have delegated regulatory authority to Boeing to regulate itself, and then they do the paperwork at the FAA… There’s going to be more and more disclosures, and it will come right back to the lack of regulatory enforcement and prosecution of the culpable executives who have turned a once-proud engineering aerospace company into a speculative tool to increase the stock price on Wall Street. Ralph Nader In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis News 1/10/24 1. In response to Israel’s campaign of destruction in Gaza, South Africa has filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice alleging that Israel’s actions “‘are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part’ of the Palestinians in Gaza,” per PBS News Hour. Israel – which PBS acknowledges “has a history of ignoring international tribunals,” – intends to send a legal team to the Hague to fight this case. 2. South Africa is joined in this case by a number of states, including the Organization of Islamic Countries, the Plurinational state of Bolivia, Jordan, Turkey, and Malaysia, according to Al Jazeera. Some high-profile individuals have also signed on, most notably Israeli Leftist MK Ofer Cassif, who said “My constitutional duty is to Israeli society and all its residents, not to a government whose members and its coalition are calling for ethnic cleansing and even actual genocide.”...