Category Archives: Culture

Stephen Marche THE NEXT CIVIL WAR: Dispatches from the American Future

Stephen Marche is a Canadian novelist and journalist. He writes for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and Esquire, among other outlets. His latest book, which we’ll be discussing in this interview is THE NEXT CIVIL WAR: DISPATCHES FROM THE AMERICAN FUTURE, published by Avid Reader Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.

He writes, “There will be those who say that the possibility of a new civil war is alarmist. All I can say is that reality has outpaced even the most alarmist predictions.”

“The intelligence services of other countries are preparing dossiers on the possibilities of America’s collapse. Foreign governments need to prepare for a post-democratic America, an authoritarian and hence much less stable superpower. They need to prepare for a broken America, one with many different centers of power. They need to prepare for a lost America, one so consumed by its crises, that it cannot manage to conceive, much less to enact, domestic or foreign policies.

The purpose of this book is to give readers access to the same advance information. These dispatches are projections but not fantasies. The next civil war isn’t science fiction anymore. The plants to the first battle have already been drawn up. And not by novelists. By colonels.”

We spoke with Stephen Marche on April 19, 2022.

Links to articles pertinent to this interview:

With the end of Roe, the US edges closer and closer to civil war

Effort to Remove Marjorie Taylor Greene From Ballot Can Proceed, Judge Says

Judge Blocks Effort to Disqualify Cawthorn from Ballot as ‘Insurrectionist’

Legal Effort Expands to Disqualify Republicans as ‘Insurrectionists”

How Do We Break the Cycle Of Political Violence?

Self-proclaimed Leader of Sovereign Citizen Group Sentenced to Federal Prison for Promoting Tax Fraud Scheme

Sovereign citizen Bruce Doucette sentenced to 38 years in prison

Everything We Know About Jerad And Amanda Miller, The Las Vegas Couple Who Went On A Shooting Rampage

Florida Neo-Nazi leader gets 5 years for having explosive material

Extremists like Marjorie Taylor Greene are the future of the Republican party

Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid also:

For a Black Man Hired to Undo a Confederate Legacy, It Has Not Been Easy

Fearing a Trump Repeat, Jan. 6 Panel Considers Changes to Insurrection Act

Remembering Marla Ruzicka

Before she died on April 16, 2005, Marla Ruzicka succeeded in documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, and persuading the U.S. Military and the U.S. Congress to assist victims and their families, as well as to create a fund to grant reparations for the harms done. It is believed to be the first time in history that this has been done.

This is an updated rebroadcast of a program originally aired on Easter Sunday, 2006. It was the first anniversary of her death at the age of 28. We spoke with her parents, Cliff and Nancy Ruzicka, and her twin brother, Mark, at their home on the shore of Clearlake, CA.

Equally at home with the military, the media, members of Congress of the people of the many countries she visited and came to know in her short life, she lived her belief that every life matters and deserves dignity, respect and justice.

Marla Ruzicka ¡PRESENTE!

The organization she founded, CAMPAIGN FOR INNOCENT VICTIMS IN CONFLICT (CIVIC) in 2003, can be accessed here:

Ray McGovern – Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity – Russia & Ukraine

Ray McGovern earned a Masters’ degree with honors in Russian Language, Literature and History from Fordham University. In the early 1960s, he served as a US Army Infantry Intelligence Officer in the analysis division on Soviet foreign policy, especially with respect to China and Indochina, which includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Thailand.

In the CIA, he served under seven presidents from 1963 to 1990, beginning with John F. Kennedy. In the 1980s he chaired the National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President’s Daily Brief. In 2003, he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) dedicated to analyzing and criticizing the mis-use of intelligence, specifically the false claims leading to the Iraq War. In 2006, he returned to CIA headquarters to protest the CIA’s involvement in torture, when he returned his Intelligence Commendation Medal.

We spoke with Ray McGovern on April 6, 2022. The next day, The United Nations General Assembly voted to expell Russia from The Human Rights Council.

Articles or videos referenced or pertinent to the interview:

The War in Ukraine Has Unleashed a New Word

With Us or With Them? In a New Cold War, How About Neither.

Malcolm Nance, TV pundit turned fighter in Ukraine: ‘I believe in the defense of democracy’

Russia’s standing in G-20 not threatened by Ukraine invasion

Building a Just & Peaceful World with Anatol Lieven and Ray McGovern

Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Salon | Ray McGovern, John Mearsheimer

Lev Golinkin on Russia’s New Offensive & War Crimes in the Donbas by Both Sides over Past 8 Years

Ukraine War Causing Fractures in the Peace Movement When It’s Needed Most

A Three-Step Plan For Ending War in Ukraine and Building a Global Peace Movement

Ukraine profile – Timeline

Ukraine, the UN and history’s greatest broken promise

The U.S. Has Its Own Agenda Against Russia

Russia’s Newest Weapon in Ukraine May Be Mercenaries Linked to Putin

Ukraine: The Mess that Victoria Nuland Made

The Azov Battalion: Extremists defending Mariupol

There’s One Far-Right Movement That Hates the Kremlin

Nazis & Hitler are verbal daggers in the Ukraine war

Amid Reports of Radiation Sickness, IAEA Says Russia Has Withdrawn From Chernobyl

Is Russia committing genocide in Ukraine? A human rights expert looks at the warning signs

NBC Off by 18 Years on US’s Last Use of Cluster Bombs

The Geopolitics of Hell

How the World’s Not-So-Great Powers Are Miscalculating on Ukraine

What if Putin Didn’t Miscalculate?

Digitally Disappeared: YouTube Has Deleted Six Years of My Show

‘No hope for science in Russia’: the academics trying to flee to the west

The big idea: how to win the fight against disinformation

Don’t assume Russia and China are on the same page. The US can work with China

The starvation of a nation: Putin uses hunger as a weapon in Ukraine


Henry Giroux PEDAGOGY OF RESISTANCE Against Manufactured Ignorance

Henry Giroux is McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest & The Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy.

An internationally renowned writer and cultural critic, Professor Giroux has authored, or co-authored over 65 books, written several hundred scholarly articles, delivered more than 250 public lectures, and been a regular contributor to print, television, and radio news media outlets.

 He is on the Board of Directors for Truthout, and he is on the editorial and advisory boards of numerous national and international scholarly journals, and he has served as the editor or co-editor of four scholarly book series. He co-edited a series on education and cultural studies with Paulo Freire for a decade. His books have been translated into many languages and his work has appeared in the New York Times and many other prominent news media

His latest book is PEDAGOGY OF RESISTANCE AGAINST MANUFACTURED IGNORANCE, which will be published on April 21, 2022 by Bloomsbury Academic.

We end this archived edition of Forthright Radio with a song by the Ukrainian group, Beton.

From the Guardian article of March 19, 2022 headlined:

Kyiv calling: famous Clash anthem reborn as call to arms
Ukrainian punk band Beton win blessing of the Clash to record new version of song to raise funds for support network

The Clash have given their blessing to a new version of their song London Calling by a Ukrainian punk band called Beton. Kyiv Calling, recorded near the front line, has lyrics that call upon the rest of the world to support the defense of the country from Russian invaders.
All proceeds of what is now billed as a “war anthem” will go to the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement (FURM) to help fund a shared communications system that will alert the population to threats and lobby for international support. Its mission is to restore territorial integrity and strengthen Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

Articles referenced or pertinent to this interview:

The real – and far scarier – reason Republicans think Biden is illegitimate

In an age of fascist counterrevolution, our biggest problem may be the death of ethics

Convoy Movement Isn’t a Struggle Over Freedom, It’s an Attempt to Kill Democracy

Banning books and ideas meant to ban democracy itself

Texas Librarian Fired for not pulling books off the shelves in banned book purge

GOP’s Banning of Books and Attack on Teachers Expose the Party’s Rising Fascism

Progressives are resisting right wing book banning campaigns – and are winning

Fighting back against the age of manufactured ignorance: Resistance is still possible

Right-Wing Authoritarianism and the Crisis of Education

New wave of teachers’ strikes rolls across US

Jim Crow Politics Have Descended on Education

How higher education can win the war against neoliberalism and white supremacy

The Politics of Racial Cleansing and Erasing History

To End Racial Capitalism, We Will Need to Take On the Institution of Policing

America’s Nazi Problem and the End of Policing

Tucker Carlson Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg in Right-Wing Media’s War on Truth

America Radiates Violence: Challenging the Politics of Isolated Incidents

Are white Christians under attack in America? No, but the myth is winning

Putin’s war propaganda becomes ‘patriotic’ lessons in Russian schools

Amid Apocalyptic Cynicism, Let’s Embrace Radical Hope in the New Year

How Europe Got Hooked on Russian Gas Despite Reagan’s Warnings


With the latest addition to his Hidden History Series, veteran author, journalist, Thom Hartmann, returns to discuss THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF BIG BROTHER IN AMERICA: HOW THE DEATH OF PRIVACY AND THE RISE OF SURVEILLANCE THREATEN US AND OUR DEMOCRACY. It was just published by Barrett-Koehler on international women’s day, March 8, 2022.

He explores how the government and corporate America misuse our personal data and shows how we can reclaim our privacy. Thom Hartmann documents exactly how the government and corporations are tracking our every online move and using our data to buy elections, employ social control, and monetize our lives. Thom Hartmann traces the history of surveillance and social control, looking back to how Big Brother invented whiteness to keep order, and how surveillance began to be employed as a way to modify behavior. As he writes, “The goal of those who violate privacy and use surveillance is almost always social control and behavior modification.”

Along with covering the history, he shows how we got to where we are today, how China — with its new Social Credit System — serves as a warning, and how we can and must avoid a similarly dystopian future. By delving into the constitutional right to privacy, Hartmann reminds us of our civil right and shows how we can restore it.

And particularly now, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, cyberwarfare is a factor, whether control of information or disruption of infrastructure. We spoke with Thom Hartmann on March 9, 2020 via Skype.

We end this edition of Forthright Radio, mindful of the suffering of the Ukrainian people enduring the crimes against humanity at the hands of Russian military forces at the behest of Vladimir Putin. First, Russians unplugged live – with Sting introducing his live performance. This is followed by Ukrainian poet/composer, Valentin Silvestrov’s, Prayer for Ukraine performed by the Kyiv Chamber Choir in 2014 as part of the Maidan Cycle. And finally, a little girl, Amelia, singing “Let It Go” in Ukrainian while sheltering in a crowded basement under Russian Bombardment.

Prayer for Ukraine

Links to articles/videos/films pertinent to this edition of Forthright Radio:

With Roe Under Threat, Sale of Location Data on Abortion Clinic Patients Raises Alarm

Valentin Silvestrov: Prayer for Ukraine

Little girl singing “Let it go” in a shelter in Kyiv

Violinists Across the World Play for Ukraine
Russians unplugged live – Sting 2022


Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Mr. Jones

Evgeny Maslin, Russia General Who Secured Nuclear Arsenal, Dies at 84

‘We are not ready’: a cyber expert on US vulnerability to a Russian attack

As the Fourth Great Turning Unwinds, Ukraine has become the George Floyd of the World

‘We Are the First in the World to Introduce This New Warfare’: Ukraine’s Digital Battle Against Russia

Can the World Learn from the Failure of the Budapest Accords?

Investigation Shows Police Are Still Secretly Surveilling Minnesota Activists

Exposed: The Trump, Putin & Saudi Connection to High Gas Prices

Social media turn on Putin, the past master

I’ve Dealt With Foreign Cyberattacks. America Isn’t Ready for What’s Coming

How Can America Avoid the Bloodshed & Chaos of Civil War?

This is how we defeat Putin and other petrostate autocrats

Ukraine Again Shows Why Decentralized Energy is Essential

Russia’s War Crime in Targeting Nuclear Plant Makes Clear the Urgency for Renewable Energy

Santa Claus Is About To Drop a Bomb On Biden

Past Forthright Radio Interviews with Thom Hartmann:

Thom Hartmann – The Hidden History of American Healthcare: Why Sickness Bankrupts You & Makes Others Insanely Rich

Thom Hartmann The Hidden History of American Oligarchy: Reclaiming Our Democracy from the Ruling Class

Thom Hartmann MONOPOLIES: How Big Business Destroyed the American Dream

Thom Hartmann: The War on Voting & Jane Kleeb: Harvest the Vote

Thom Hartmann The Hidden History of the Supreme Court + The Hidden History of Guns & the 2nd Amendment

Jonathan Katz GANGSTERS OF CAPITALISM: Smedley Butler, The Marines, and the Making and Breaking of the American Empire

This interview was first broadcast as the sovereign nation of Ukraine was being invaded by the Russian Army. Terrible as this was, it was also an appropriate time to examine our own history, which Jonathan Katz has done in his most recent book, GANGSTERS OF CAPITALISM: Smedley Butler, The Marines, and the Making and Breaking of the American Empire, published in January 2022 by St. Martin’s Press.

He is an award winning journalist, whose earlier book, The Big Truck That Went By, chronicles his time in Haiti, where he was the only full-time American correspondent in Haiti, when the devastating earthquake struck on January 12, 2010 and the ensuing disasters brought on by the multiple failures of international aid projects. More than 230,000 people were killed.

As he describes in our interview, Smedley Butler was there from the very beginning of the United States’ imperialism, first as a 16 year old lieutenant in the Spanish-American War, when we secured Guantanamo Bay, then on to Puerto Rico, The Philippines, China, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

After a long career in the Marines, in which he pioneered counter-insurgency methods and the militarization of police forces to enforce the prerogatives of capitalist oligarchs, who he eventually came to understand were calling the shots, he retired with the rank of General, the most decorated Marine in history, as well as the first of only 19 Marines to have been awarded the Medal of Honor twice.

He became the Head of Public Safety for the City of Philadelphia, where he militarized that city’s police force. He eventually synthesized his experiences and understanding from his years subduing nationalist forces in those many countries – as well as battling gangsters in Prohibition era Philadelphia – to write his book, War Is a Racket, published in 1935.

He wrote, ”War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

He spent his final years promoting democracy here in the United States and fighting fascism here and abroad, as well as trying to prevent what became World War II. Smedley Butler died of cancer at the age of 59 on June 21, 1940.

This edition of Forthright Radio ends with a tribute to Dr. Paul Farmer, who died on on February 21, 2022 at the age of 62. It is followed by Paul Farmer’s own voice speaking of his work.


Links to articles pertinent to this interview:

Gorsuch Calls for Overruling ‘Shameful’ Cases on U.S. Territories

Civil Rights Groups To Biden DOJ: Stop Using 100-Year-Old Racist Precedents In Court

As Honduras’s New President Seeks End to Narco-State, Will US Stand in Her Way?

Former Honduras President Detained After a U.S. Extradition Request

Dominican Republic begins building border wall with Haiti

Paul Farmer, Pioneer of Global Health, Dies at 62

A Moment in the Sun a novel by John Sayles

Kehinde Andrews THE NEW AGE OF EMPIRE: How Racism & Colonialism Still Rule the World

Kehinde Andrews is Professor of Black Studies in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University. He is the director of the Center for Critical Social Research, founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity,
and co-chair of the UK Black Studies Association. In fact, he was the first black studies professor in the UK and led the establishment of the first black studies program in Europe at Birmingham City University.

Among his books are Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality, and the Black Supplementary School Movement and Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century.

His most recent book is THE NEW AGE OF EMPIRE: HOW RACISM & COLONIALISM STILL RULE THE WORLD, published in the US by Bold Type Books.

“Where knowledge is duty, ignorance is a crime.” Thomas Paine
http://Public Good: Being an Examination Into the Claim of Virginia to the Vacant Western Territory and of the Right of the United States to the Same to Which Are Added, Proposals for Laying Off a New State, to Be Applied Asa Fund for Carrying on the War

Articles referred to or pertinent to this interview:

The Psychosis of Whiteness

His Name is George Floyd by Robert Samuels & Toluse Olorunnipa review – the murder that shamed the US

THE RANSOM – The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers

D.C.’s Enslavers Got Reparations. Freed People Got Nothing.

Jamaican Leaders Shun Prince William, Kate Middleton Visit, Demand Slavery Reparations

As a historian of slavery, I know just how much the royal family has to answer for in Jamaica

My family benefited from slavery. Why can’t we accept white people still owe a huge debt?

A Bill Proposed to Teach History. It Got the History Wrong.

Rich Countries Lure Health Workers From Low-Income Nations to Fight Shortages

We can afford to reverse poverty and climate breakdown. What we can’t afford is the alternative

When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity?

Built on the bodies of slaves: how Africa was erased from the history of the modern world

Reparations to the Caribbean could break the cycle of corruption – and China’s grip

There was a time reparations were actually paid out – just not to formerly enslaved people

Why climate change is inherently racist

80 Years Ago the Nazis Planned the ‘Final Solution.’ It Took 90 Minutes.

Lessons to remember this Holocaust Memorial Day

Our people will be mourning on 26 January, but it can still become a day of healing

The west was built on racism. It’s time we faced that – video

Native American tribes reclaim California redwood land for preservation

White women and fascism: Seyward Darby on how right-wing women embrace their “symbolic power”

Fascism’s “Legal Phase” Has Begun. Threats of White Vigilante Violence Are Real.

David Lammy requests pardon for 1823 slave rebellion convicts

Karen Greenberg – SUBTLE TOOLS: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump

Karen Greenberg is the Director of The Center on National Security at Fordham University. Her 2016 book, ROGUE JUSTICE :The Making of the Security State, explores the War on Terror’s impact on justice and law in America.

Her latest book, SUBTLE TOOLS: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump, is published by Princeton University Press.

We spoke with Karen Greenberg on January 7, 2022, one year and a day after a momentarily united, bipartisan Congress fled in fear for their lives from a mob, who had violently invaded the capitol, preventing the fulfillment of their obligation under the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to meet on January 6 and count the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election. They were unable to do so until January 7, 2021, one year to the day that Karen Greenberg and I spoke.

Articles pertinent to this interview:

The U.S. drops an average of 46 bombs a day: Why should the world see us as a force for peace?

The 20-Year War on Terror Was an Amazing Success—If You Were Terrorism

Crisis of Command: The Pentagon, The President, and January 6

Timeline for Anniversary of January 5: DOJ Election Fraud Investigations and GA Senate Runoff

The American polity is cracked, and might collapse. Canada must prepare

Links to audio additions to the broadcast version of this interview:

Tapping My Own Phone (Ron Whitehead)

Uncivil War (Shemekia Copeland)

The Dance – Ron Whitehead & The Storm Generation

Kristen Iversen FULL BODY BURDEN:Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats

In this interview with Kristen Iversen from June 27, 2012, we learn about the history and legacy of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Site, located 15 miles northwest of Denver, CO. Iversen grew up in nearby Arvada, and worked at the plant.

The recent catastrophic fires in Superior and Louisville, CO, brought it to mind, since Superior butts right up against and downwind from the Rocky Flats site, and Louisville butts right up against Superior. On the day of the fire, December 30, 2021, winds were clocked at Rocky Flats at 115 miles per hour. But beyond that, as Kristen Iversen tells us, those winds had been blowing east from the plutonium contaminated site for 6 decades.

Local residents protested the moral and physical dangers at Rocky Flats, as well as proposed real estate developments along its borders, which were nonetheless built, in spite of the scientific findings of plutonium contamination and strong, local resistance, and which have now been utterly destroyed by the fires.

An aerial view of one of the Boulder County neighborhoods that burned to the ground on Thursday. Photo: Hart Van Denburg/AP/Shutterstock

It has been widely reported that abundant spring rains allowed the grasses to grow profusely, only to dry completely in the ensuing drought and unseasonably hot and dry Fall and early Winter. In the growing, those plants absorbed plutonium, known to have been blown there from the Rocky Flats Weapon Lab site during those six decades. The fire vaporized whatever plutonium had been taken up by that tinder dry plant material, blowing it in unknown amounts and unknown distances to the east. I have not found any reports mentioning this aspect of the fires, much less considering the fallout from it, in the most literal sense.

Perhaps this post can be a beginning of that consideration.

Articles referenced or pertinent to this story:

The Return of the Urban Firestorm

The Rocky Flats Grand Jury’s Files Have Gone Missing

Update Regarding Rocky Flats Hot Particle Study

Plutonium Inventory Differences at the Rocky Flats Plant & Their Relationship to Environmental Releases

It’s alive: The groundbreaking research on the microbes in wildfire smoke

Alfred McCoy TO GOVERN THE GLOBE: World Orders & Catastrophic Change

Alfred McCoy is University of Wisconsin Harrington Professor of History. He was our guest in 2017, when his book, IN THE SHADOWS OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY: THE RISE AND DECLINE OF US GLOBAL POWER, was published by Haymarket Books. That archived interview can be heard on our website,

Fifty years ago, the publication of his book, THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTH EAST ASIA, led to his testifying before the Senate Committee on Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee in June 1972. His research, including traveling to Hmong villages in Laos, revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency was knowingly involved in the transportation of heroin in the Golden Triangle of Burma, Thailand, and Laos. The CIA tried to block its publication, but it has been translated into 9 foreign languages with three English editions and is regarded as the “classic” work on global drug traffic.

His new book, also published by Haymarket Books, is titled TO GOVERN THE GLOBE: WORLD ORDERS & CATASTROPHIC CHANGE.

In it, he explores the interplay of three factors—sovereignty, human rights, and energy—in shaping the succession of empires and their global systems from the Black Death of 1350 through the coming climate crisis of 2050.

It is packed with meticulously researched facts and analysis of world history of the last 600 years, examining the continuities and disruptions that create systems that rule international affairs.

He asserts that China will become the world hegemon by 2030, via initiatives such as the Belt & Road Initiative, which makes manifest Halford Mackinder’s thesis that who controls the World Island, controls the world.

Articles referenced or pertinent to this interview:

Russia & China: Together At Last

The Grand Theory Driving Putin to War

On the Most Fundamental of All Human Rights: Survival

Climate Crisis at the Top of the World

Washington’s World Order and Catastrophic Climate Change

In China’s new age of imperialism, Xi Jinping gives thumbs down to democracy

China Biggest Winner in Afghanistan

The US military trained him. Then he helped murder Berta Cáceres

Washington’s Great Game and Why It’s Failing

Julius S. Scottt, Groundbreaking Historian of the Caribbean, Dies at 66

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

Here’s how to repay developing nations for colonialism – and fight the climate crisis