Category Archives: economics

Kevin Kamps: Beyond Nuclear

Seven years to the day, after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daichi plant in Japan, on March 11, 2011, French President, Emmanuel Macron, visited India to seal a deal to sell what at least 2 international groups are calling, “untested, expensive and technically troubled French EPR reactors”.

We speak with Kevin Kamps, a staff member of one of those groups, Beyond Nuclear ( We update the national and international situation regarding all things nuclear.

What about the sailors of the USS Ronald Reagan, who were exposed to radiation while engaged in Operation Tomodachi, the humanitarian relief effort responding to the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster? Some of the 4500 sailors have already died. Many more are suffering from radiation specific illnesses. What happened to them, and the lawsuits survivors have brought in the United States against reactor owner/operator, TEPCO? How about Trump administration revisions to the Nuclear Posture Review, expanding first use of nukes, or efforts to prioritize reviving and expanding nuclear power generation in the United States, not to mention efforts by Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, to sell Westinghouse nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia? What about the unsolved – and many believe unsolvable – problem of safe disposal of ensuing radioactive waste products?

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Kevin Kamps is a longtime leading opponent of government and industry efforts to dump nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. He is an expert about the risks of radioactive waste generation and storage at reactor sites, as well as transportation through communities across our country. In addition, he focuses on eliminating federal subsidies for new reactors and reprocessing facilities. Kevin Kamps has traveled to Chernobyl in the Ukraine. He founded a Michigan chapter of the international Chernobyl Children’s Project, which brings child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to the United States for medical help. He has addressed communities in the US & overseas, as well as governmental forums & federal, state and local government agencies.

fukushima-four-years-after-tsunami.jpgRows of trash bags containing radioactive waste from the Fukushima nuclear disaster now litter the area. (courtesy

Some of the articles cited in today’s interview can be found here:

7 Years on, Sailors Exposed to Fukushima Radiation Seek Their Day in Court

Injustice At Sea: the Irradiated Sailors of the USS Reagan

Japan Plans to Expose Its People and 2020 Tokyo Olympians to Fukushima Radiation

A Tale of Two Vogtles: Georgia Reactors are Nuclear’s Last Stand, and the End of the Road

Trump Administration Rushing Bailout for Nuclear and Coal Market Rules Could Reshape U.S. Energy Policy, Block Renewables

Pentagon to Allow Nuclear Responses to Non-Nuclear Attacks

The Race to Win Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Reactor Bid Raises Fears of Proliferation

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US Energy Secretary Rick Perry with Saudi Energy & Industry Minister, Khalid Bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih (courtesy

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz LOADED: A Disarming History of the 2nd Amendment


LOADED: A DISARMING HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT  (City Lights Publishing) – is a provocative, timely, and deeply researched history of gun culture, and how it reflects race and power in the United States. Although LOADED is highly topical as we broadcast because of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, production of this show actually began last November, 2017. And in case you feel overloaded with coverage of the aftermath of this latest massacre, Professor Dunbar-Ortiz’s history of gun culture and the second amendment is very different from the approach taken by the mainstream media or academia. For one thing, it is rooted in her 50+ years of activism. In the 1960s and 1970s, she was active in the anti-Vietnam War Movement and radical left movements, and worked closely with the SDS, the Weather Underground, and the African National Congress. She was also very active in the women’s rights movement, and from 1968–1970 was a leading figure in the radical feminist group, Cell 16. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades, and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. In 1974, she began teaching in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University – Hayward, and she helped found their Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies, where she is now Professor Emerita.


She has published many books and articles, including Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960–1975 . Blood on the Border is about what she saw during the Nicaraguan Contra war against the Sandinistas in the 1980s. Her 2014 book, AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, radically reframes Eurocentric history.


Her 1977 book, The Great Sioux Nation, was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva.

We are also thankful to the ever magnificent Roy Zimmerman for permission to include his “SING ALONG SECOND AMENDMENT SONG” after our interview with Professor Dunbar-Ortiz. You can hear more of his pointed, pithy civic lessons here:

or see him perform the Sing Along 2nd Amendment song here:

David Cay Johnston – It’s Even Worse Than You Think

We welcome back Pulitzer Prize Winning investigative journalist and best-selling author, David Cay Johnston. In this interview recorded on January 26, 2018, we discuss his latest books, IT’S WORSE THAN YOU THINK: WHAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS DOING TO AMERICA, just out from Simon & Schuster, and THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP, published in 2016 by Melville House.

David Cay Johnston digs deep, gets the facts others evade, ignore or fail to look for – much less find – and exposes exactly how the American system is rigged in favor of the 1% of the 1%.

DavidCayJohnston.pngWhen he was 18 years old the San Jose Mercury recruited him. His investigations over the next four decades appeared in that paper, The New York Times & other national journals. He exposed LAPD political spying and brutality, and he once hunted down a killer, whom the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had failed to catch, resulting in an innocent man winning acquittal at his fifth trial; revealed news blackouts and manipulations that forced a six-station broadcast chain off the air;  deconstructed the way foreign agents from South Africa and Taiwan secretly influenced American government policy; misuse of charitable funds at United Way; and explained the economics of former GE chairman Jack Welch’s retirement perks, prompting Welch to relinquish them.
He teaches business regulation, property and tax law at Syracuse University’s law and graduate business schools.


We last had him on Forthright Radio in 2012, when the 3rd book in his trilogy on the American Economy – The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind, which focused on monopolies, had just been published.

We also revisit a segment from this 2012 interview with David Cay Johnston, in which he explicitly states that PG&E’s failure to properly maintain & replace power poles would lead to deadly wildfires, a prediction that came all too tragically true in October 2017.

The full interview from 10-31-12 is posted below this interview:

514chSHEAPL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe other two books were –  Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich — and Cheat Everybody Else (2004 Investigative Book of the Year award winner), and Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill), both of which were New York Times and Wall Street Journal best sellers.


David Cay Johnston – The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind

After our most recent interview with Pulitzer Prize winning, New York Times & Wall Street Journal best selling investigative journalist, David Cay Johnston, about his latest books, IT’S WORSE THAN YOU THINK: WHAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS DOING TO AMERICA, & THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP, in which we aired a segment from this interview originally broadcast on Oct. 31, 2012, we decided to make the full interview available.

In that segment, he explicitly stated that PG&E’s failure to properly maintain & replace power poles would lead to deadly wildfires, a prediction that came all too tragically true in October 2017.



Henry Giroux: America At War With Itself

In this interview, we welcome back Henry Giroux, public intellectual, prolific writer, cultural critic, scholar and one of the founding theorists of critical pedagogy. He has spent a lifetime asking & analyzing important, hard, even scary questions such as these, which I quote from his essay, Thinking Dangerously: The Role of Higher Education in Authoritarian Times (

What happens to democracy when the president of the United States labels critical media outlets as ‘enemies of the people,’ and disparages the search for truth with the blanket term ‘fake news’? What happens to democracy, when individuals and groups are demonized on the basis of their religion? What happens to a society, when critical thinking becomes an object of contempt? What happens to a social order ruled by an economics of contempt, that blames the poor for their condition, and subjects them to a culture of shaming? What happens to a polity, when it retreats into private silos, and becomes indifferent to the use of language deployed in the service of a panicked rage — language that stokes anger, but ignores issues that matter? What happens to a social order, when it treats millions of undocumented immigrants as disposable, potential terrorists and “criminals”? What happens to a country, when the presiding principles of its society are violence and ignorance?
We discuss these and other questions, and it may surprise you to learn that Henry Giroux’s analysis, although clear-sighted in the face of the forces of dystopia, leads to an energized, engaged vision of collective agency and action.

Henry Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest. He is the author of more than 65 books, has published more than 400 papers, in addition to hundreds of chapters in the books of others, as well as many essays and articles in such journals as Truthout, Truthdig, and CounterPunch. His works have been translated into numerous languages.
He is particularly interested in what he calls the war on youth, the corporatization of higher education, the politics of neo-liberalism, the assault on civic literacy and the collapse of public memory, public pedagogy, the educative nature of politics, and the rise of various youth movements across the globe.


His latest book is America at War With Itself, published by City Lights Books. His forthcoming book, The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism, is to be published in 2018 by Routledge.

Learn more at


Dean Baker – Sensible Economics

Dean Baker co-founded The Center for Economic and Policy Research in 1999. His areas of research include housing and macroeconomics, intellectual property, Social Security, Medicare and European labor markets. Before that, he worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, and was an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, and the OECD’s Trade Union Advisory Council. He is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, and NPR. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian Unlimited (UK), the Huffington Post, TruthOut, and his blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting.


He is the author of several books, including Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer; Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People; The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive; and The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer.



“I have suggested that economists who prescribe policies that turn out badly, or who can’t see multitrillion dollar housing bubbles coming whose collapse sinks the economy, ought to pay a price in terms of their careers. Invariably people think I am joking. When they realize I am serious, they think I am crazy or vindictive.” Dean Bakerbg111017dAPR20171109114505.jpg














This edition of Forthright Radio was originally broadcast on October 4, 2017, the 60th anniversary of the launching by the Soviet Union of Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite, which triggered the Space Race.


Our guest today, Professor Alfred McCoy, writes of this and much more about the history for global dominance in his latest book, IN THE SHADOWS OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY: THE RISE AND DECLINE OF US GLOBAL POWER, just published by Haymarket Books.


Alfred McCoy, who holds the Harrington Chair in History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, has been shaking up our understanding and beliefs about the role of the United States in the world since 1970, when he co-edited LAOS: WAR AND REVOLUTION .


His research led him to publish THE POLITICS OF HEROIN IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, in 1972, which led to his testifying before the foreign operations subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee in June of that year about the role of the CIA in the production and distribution of heroin. Among his numerous other books are POLICING AMERICA’S EMPIRE: THE UNITED STATES, THE PHILIPINES AND THE RISE OF THE SURVEILLANCE STATE; A QUESTION OF TORTURE: CIA INTERROGATION, FROM THE COLD WAR TO THE WAR ON TERROR. In 2012 Yale University awarded him the Wilbur Cross Medal for work as “one of the world’s leading historians of Southeast Asia and an expert on … international political surveillance.”


In this interview, we discuss the geopolitics of global dominance; the covert netherworld of U.S. government agencies colluding with international drug cartels at the same time the military ineffectively attempts to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan; the rapid rise of China as a dominant force; cyberwarfare; the vulnerability of our  and much more.

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