Sarah Chayes is an award winning journalist, author, former senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and special advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sarah Chayes. Her latest book is ON CORRUPTION IN AMERICA AND WHAT IS AT STAKE, published by Knopf.
Her fluency in French, Arabic and Pashto, not only allowed her to be an NPR reporter in Paris, North Africa, and the Balkans from 1996 to 2002, but after 9/11 she reported from Afghanistan. In 2002, she left reporting to contribute to rebuilding that country. She arrived in Kandahar two days after the Fall of the Taliban and lived there til 2009, where she helped establish the Argand Cooperative in 2005, and became intimately acquainted with kleptocracy.
In 2010, Sarah Chayes became a special adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. In this capacity, she contributed to strategic US policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Spring. Her previous books include The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban and Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.
Robert Jay Lifton is a nonegenarian psychiatrist, author, and psychohistorian. In his long life, he has studied and written about the psychological causes and effects of wars and political violence. In addition to his theory of thought reform, he was an early proponent of psychohistorical techniques, and he was instrumental in the inclusion of Post traumatic Stress Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder. He coined the term, psychic numbing. In 1953, he began interviewing US servicemen who had been prisoners of war during the Korean War, as well as others who had been in Chinese prisons after 1951. He published THOUGHT REFORM AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TOTALISM: A STUDY OF BRAINWASHING IN CHINA. Among his other books are DEATH IN LIFE: SURVIVORS OF HIROSHIMA; HOME FROM THE WAR: VIETNAM VETERANS – NEITHER VICTIMS NOR EXECUTIONERS; and THE NAZI DOCTORS: MEDICAL KILLING AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GENOCIDE.
His latest book is LOSING REALITY: ON CULTS, CULTISM AND THE MINDSET OF POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS ZEALOTRY. We spoke with Dr. Lifton on October 19, 2020.
Jake Laperrruque INJUSTICE: Tracking BIll Barr’s Misconduct as Attorney General
In addition to being the only working farmer in the US Senate, and an organic farmer at that, he has now written a memoir, GROUNDED: A SENATOR’S LESSONS ON WINNING BACK RURAL AMERICA, just published by Ecco Press.
Jon Tester entered the US Senate in 2006 and was re-elected for a third term in 2018, in spite of having been the recipient of Donald Trump’s ire for having announced the unsuitability of his nominee for Director of Veterans Affairs, his personal physician, Dr. Ronald Jackson, because more than two dozen Whistle blowers had reported serious, credible problems with Dr. Jackson’s nomination. After Jackson withdrew his name, Trump flew to Montana four times to campaign against Senator Tester, Donald Trump, Jr. came four other times, and Vice President Pence also came, each determined to defeat Jon Tester. However, notwithstanding the fact that Trump had won the state of Montana in 2016 by 20 points, not only did Senator Tester get re-elected in 2018, but by a larger percentage of the vote than in any of his previous elections.
In these polarized times, when power trumps propriety, when those who serve are seen as suckers and losers, when science and good sense are subsumed in phantasmagorical conspiracies, there are those few who remain true to their roots, who not only believe in democracy, but struggle to maintain it against ever increasing odds. Such a one is Senator Tester. We recorded this interview on September 23, 2020.
Jake LaPerruque is Senior Counsel of The Constitution Project at the Project on Government Oversight, POGO. POGO is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public, or silences those who report wrongdoing.
They published Jake LaPerruque’s article, Injustice: Tracking Bill Barr’s Misconduct as Attorney General, on September 25, 2020. It examines William Barr’s tenure since being confirmed as Attorney General of the United States on Feb. 14, 2019, identifying what they call a long string of actions that constitute serious misconduct, and may inflict lasting damage to the Justice Department. These actions generally fall into four key categories of misconduct that are antithetical to the department’s responsibilities to the public and to the Constitution. Namely, Barr has on numerous occasions interfered with impartial prosecutions, prioritized politics over justice, undermined the independent special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and hindered congressional oversight.
The latest in Thom Hartmann’s Hidden History series has just been released by Barret-Koehler Publishing, THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES: HOW BIG BUSINESS DESTROYED THE AMERICAN DREAM. In addition to his daily 3 hour radio program, he somehow finds the time and energy to write the Hidden History Series, and he has been generous enough to be our guest on Forthright Radio each time one is published.
Here’s what Ralph Nader writes in the forward to THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF MONOPOLIES: HOW BIG BUSINESS DESTROYED THE AMERICAN DREAM:
”This is the most important, dynamic book – small as it is – on the cancers of monopoly by giant corporations written in our generation. he goes on “Because he is by far the most erudite longtime national radio talk show host, he has had an uncanny sense of retrieving critical segments of American history, ignored by historians, regarding the suspicion and caution our forbears had about this artificial entity called the large corporation as it became more immune and more privileged than real human beings……” he goes on from there, but we’ll just let the Thom speak and you can hear for yourself why Nader has such high appreciation of the man.
You can find the past shows on the Forthright.media archives.
On August 14, 2020, we spoke with Beth Ann Kennedy, artistic/managing director of the Bozeman Film Celebration, about how she came to create the BZN International Film Festival, whose first season was in June of 2018. Her training in speech, music, dance and the dramatic arts, from the early 1970s, as well as her decades of experience acting, directing and producing in theater and film, contributed to her success in bringing to Bozeman what has become an annual Film Festival. Her excellent interpersonal skills and work with business and international government leaders, educators, entertainment celebrities, musicians, choreographers and thousands of American youths, prepared her for the gargantuan effort of coordinating the many people and jobs required in bringing a film festival into reality. After only its second year, the BZN International Film Festival was listed by Film Freeway among the top 100 festivals in the world. We asked her about her experiences, challenges, and goals over the past three years, and about re-creating the festival during a pandemic. Our conversation in a garden includes commentary from the neighborhood birds and dogs.
Members of the 2019 BZN International Film Festival Staff
Some of the 2020 BZN International Film Festival Staff, dutifully socially distancing. Beth Ann Kennedy in white top at center.
This special edition of Forthright Radio for August 26, 2020, celebrates the Centennial of the signing of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, after the very long, very hard struggle by women of different races and backgrounds to win the right to vote.
As our guest, Professor Martha S. Jones reminds us, this struggle is not over.
Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian, whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy.
Professor Jones is the author most recently of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, which will be published by Basic Books on September 8, 2020.
Her other books include Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), winner of numerous prestigious awards, and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900, and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women.
Professor Jones currently serves as a Co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and on the Executive Board of the Society of American Historians.
Other articles relating to the struggle for suffrage or pertinent to this interview include:
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, and First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s newest documentary is The Great American Lie. The film exposes social and economic immobility, viewed through the lens of our gendered values.
After the response to her first film, Miss Representation, which came out in 2011, Jennifer Siebel Newsom created The Representation Project.
Our guest today on Radio Goes to the Movies is Soraya Chemaly. She is the Executive Director of The Representation Project, which has produced two more feature length documentaries examining the harmful impacts of the role gender exerts in our culture for both males and females, as shown in the second film, The Mask You Live In.
The third film, which is being screened at the 2020 BZN International Film Festival, is THE GREAT AMERICAN LIE.
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer, activist, and media critic. She writes and speaks frequently on topics related to social justice, free speech, violence, and technology. The former director and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, she has long been committed to expanding women’s civic and political participation and the power of socially transformative storytelling.
Her work as a writer, activist, and organizer is featured widely in media, books, and academic research. She is the author of the seminal book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.
Soraya currently serves on the national boards of the Women’s Media Center, Women in Journalism, and the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. We spoke with her on August 12, 2020.
Newsome interviewing journalist Charles M. Blow for The Great American Lie
Here is the link to the article cited in the interview:
Father-daughter actors, Zac Titus and Alexis Titus joined us on Radio Goes to the Movies to discuss their film, TWO YELLOW LINES, which is premiering at the virtual 2020 BZN International Film Festival. It won the Best Narrative Feature Award at the festival.
“Veteran smokejumper Jack Elliot fells trees on a steep mountain slope high in the Montana wilderness. He’s one of a five-man crew harvesting beetle-infested pines. It’s a long road from the frenetic lifestyle of a smokejumper, but after losing most of his unit in a runaway backcountry fire, the tranquility of a quiet wood is a welcomed peace.His phone rings. Jack’s estranged ex-wife can’t pick up their teenage daughter from camp in Wyoming.After the fire, Jack lost himself, and consequently lost his family. He hasn’t seen either of them in five years. Hesitant at first, he agrees.When Jack arrives at Sky Camp, it’s not exactly what he was expecting. He pulls in on his ’98 Dyna, sleeping bags latched to the back, eating the dust of a black G-Wagon. When Hanna sees her Dad, out in the middle of nowhere, atop a twenty year old Harley, it’s not exactly what she’d had in mind, either. Reluctantly she gets on.Over the next four days, we watch these two strangers battle as they ride across the wild Montana landscape and sleep beneath her bounty of stars. Watching his baby grow into a young woman, and seeing her hero shrink to a man, a battle that starts off as face to face, slowly becomes back to back.
But the mountains, the passersby, and the small seat of a motorcycle can only do so much to bring them together. The rest is up to them.” from the website, https://www.twoyellowlinesfilm.com/
On the day that Henry Giroux finished his latest book, Race, Politics, and Pandemic Pedagogy: Education in a Time of Crisis, he graciously joined us for an interview. It will be published in 2021.
Henry Giroux is Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy and Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest at McMaster University.
He has written more than 56 books since his first book, Ideology, Culture and the Process of Schooling was published in 1981, and he has been generous with his time over the years as he published books such as Zombie Politics in the Age of Casino Capitalism; Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories, and the Culture of Cruelty; The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine; Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle; America at War with Itself; American Nightmare: The Challenge of US Authoritarianism; and The Terror of the Unforeseen.
We spoke with him on August 2, 2020 about the multiple crises with which we are faced.