Announcements Announcements

"UNSTOPPABLE": Ralph Nader booksigning July 26, 2014

Listen to Ralph Nader's 75 min. talk at Barnes and Noble, Milford, CT. Nader makes a compelling case for Left-Right alliances on majoritarian issues that progressives and conservatives agree on, acknowledging that individuals feel all too often that they have no power against the big power structure. He notes that issues such as school prayer, reproductive rights and gun control are issues that the power structure prefers to keep the majority divided. The minimum wage, breaking up the big banks, Pentagon audits, health care, campaign finance reform, corporate tax inversions, Net Neutrality, fracking and GMOs are just a few examples of left-right issues discussed with the audience, where just a fraction of the left and right – working together – can make a huge "unstoppable" political realignment in passing legislation, despite the "ick factor" of working with those whose other views you don't always agree with.


Listen to Ralph Nader's short interview on current events with Scott Harris before the booksigning.

Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine was at the Left Forum, May 30 - June 1, 2014, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York


Audio recordings from the Left Forum here.



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PETE SEEGER (1919-2014): "Folk Music's Granddad Plays It Green"

Read a partial interview transcript with Pete Seeger conducted by Between The Lines' Scott Harris on June 5, 1994 and published in E: The Environmental Magazine in December 1994


Listen to the entire 30-minute interview here.


JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.




NOAM CHOMSKY: Obama Threat Against Syria Based on Maintaining U.S. 'Credibility'



Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine at the Left Forum, June 7-9, Pace University, New York City


Between The Lines' Left Forum audio coverage (more forthcoming):

SPECIAL AUDIO RECORDING:
Bill McKibben, environmental activist and founder of 350.org talks about the next steps in the climate change campaign


An address by Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, upon receiving the annual Gandhi Peace Award from the New Haven-based group Promoting Enduring Peace on April 18 in Hamden, CT

Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College and author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with "The End of Nature" in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. The group he founded, 350.org, has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. The Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was "probably the country’s most important environmentalist."



SPECIAL AUDIO RECORDING:
Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's Left Party Coalition, on "Anti-Austerity Politics in Greece, Europe and Beyond"


A talk recorded on Jan. 25, 2013 at The City University of New York, in a program sponsored by CUNY's Center for the Study of Culture, Technology, and Work.

Alexis Tsipras, a member of the Hellenic parliament, president of the Synaspismos political party since 2008, head of the SYRIZA parliamentary group since 2009, and leader of the Opposition since June 2012. SYRIZA currently leads in Greek opinion polls. Listen to the audio here.


Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at www.WPKN.org (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.


Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"Drifting Towards War,?" by Reginald Johnson, May 23, 2014

"Media on Ukraine: What Happened to Journalism?" by Reginald Johnson, May 2, 2014

"Dismantling the Corporate State," by Reginald Johnson, April 8, 2014

"Talking Tough on Russia," by Reginald Johnson, March 20, 2014

"Those Lying Russians," by Reginald Johnson, March 6, 2014

"Fighting Back Against NSA Spying," by Reginald Johnson, Feb. 28, 2014

"Pete Seeger - 1919-2014," by Reginald Johnson, Feb. 28, 2014

"Nov. 22, 1963: A Turning Point for America," by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 22, 2013

"Demanding Action on Fukushima," by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 18, 2013

"Fukushima -- A Global Threat," by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 4, 2013

"Impeach Obama," by Reginald Johnson, Sept. 5, 2013

"America Attacks Again," by Reginald Johnson, Aug. 28, 2013

"Keeping WBAI Alive," by Reginald Johnson, Aug. 21, 2013

"WBAI in Crisis," by Reginald Johnson, July 25, 2013

"Restore the Fourth!" by Reginald Johnson, July 10, 2013

"Sustainable Business Models: A Third of All States Have Benefit Corporation Laws," by Anna Manzo, June 30, 2013

"Making War on Syria," by Reginald Johnson, June 14, 2013

"Syria in the Gunsights," by Reginald Johnson, May 9, 2013

"Curbing Gun Violence," by Reginald Johnson, April 4, 2013

"Fighting the Pipeline," by Reginald Johnson, March 26, 2013

"Downgrading Ed Schultz," by Reginald Johnson, March 17, 2013

"Rand Paul: Making a Point," by Reginald Johnson, March 8, 2013


Special Programming Special Programming


MP3: Glenn Greenwald delivers a keynote address at "A Conference in Defense of Civil Liberties and to End Indefinite Detention" at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Dec. 8, 2012.

Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian newspaper. He's a former constitutional lawyer, and until 2012 was a contributing writer at Salon.com. Greenwald is the author of "With Liberty and Justice For Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful."

Read his column at The Guardian (UK)
Between The Lines' executive producer Scott Harris conducted an interview with Glenn Greenwald at the conference.


Noam Chomsky is linguistics and philosophy professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Author of nearly 100 books, Chomsky is one of the world's most widely read progressive dissident intellectuals. He talks about his new book, "Occupy," about the Occupy Wall Street movement and the wider issues of class warfare in the America today.
Listen to this interview (June 6, 2011)

MP3: Nathan Schneider (www.wagingnonviolence.org) has been reporting on the OWS movement from its first days in August, 2011. In this April 3, 2012 interview, Richard Hill asks him to assess the on-going debate in the movement between those espousing a strict adherence to non-violence principles and practices and those advocating a 'diversity of tactics', Interview conducted by Richard Hill, WPKN

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Roiled by Protests, Divided Ukraine Weighs Future Trade Relations with EU and Russia

Real Audio  RealAudio MP3  MP3

Posted Dec. 18, 2013

Interview with Stephen F. Cohen, author and professor emeritus in Russian Studies and Politics at New York University, conducted by Scott Harris

ukraine

For weeks, tens of thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square to protest Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s recent decision to delay or drop plans to sign an association trade agreement with the European Union. The protests calling for the dismissal of Ukraine’s government and new elections are the largest since the 2004 Orange Revolution. U.S. Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential candidate, traveled to Kiev on Dec. 15, where he spoke to protesters strongly expressing his support for their cause.

Tensions rose soon after President Yanukovich put off signing the EU agreement, and instead began talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is putting together his own custom union trade bloc. On Dec. 17, Putin and Yanukovich announced a joint economic plan of action, that included plans for Moscow to buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and a reduction by almost half of the price Ukrainians pay for Russian-supplied gas.

The Ukrainian nation is divided by language, culture and religion, where the eastern half the country identifies with Russia, and the western half believes its future is brighter with closer ties to Europe. The concern among many Ukranians is that signing an agreement with the EU would mandate austerity policies that could trigger high unemployment and diminish the market in Russia for its eastern-based heavy industry and coal mining. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, Moscow has expressed concern that the eastern expansion of the EU and the NATO military alliance constitutes a grave threat to Russian security. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus in Russian Studies and Politics at New York University and Princeton, who takes a critical look at U.S. corporate media’s one-dimensional coverage of Ukraine’s trade issues and Sen. McCain’s provocative actions during his recent visit to Kiev.

STEPHEN F. COHEN: It's gone beyond irony with (Sen. John) McCain. I think it's kind of an obscenity and a disgrace for American elected officials to behave as they do. It's not only McCain, he's been accompanied by the Democratic senator from Connecticut, I think his name is Christopher Murphy. And the Democratic senator from Connecticut said he was with McCain to show bipartisan support for this. In fact, almost all of America's unwise policy toward Russia since the Soviet Union ended in 1991 has been bipartisan. It began with Clinton, it went to Bush, Congress has pretty much backed anything the president, whether Republican or Democratic did.

But in the case of McCain, there is something just whacky about this. He liked to go to the former Soviet republic of Georgia before 2008 and the things he said there, not only McCain, but others, the late Richard Holbrooke, certainly encouraged President Mikheil Saakashvili of George to attack the Russian enclave in Georgia, to kill a number of Russian citizens and some UN observers and lead Russia to come to into Georgia in 2008.

And if we know fully the story of what happened, we probably came – we the United States, because that was kind of a proxy war – as close to war with Russia as we have since the Cuban missile crisis. Yet, these people take no responsibility for their action.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Professor Cohen, the U.S. media generally parrots the State Department line and people like John McCain and saying that Russia is bullying Ukraine into dropping its original predilection to go ahead with the European trade agreement. Now Russia's offering some money here; on the other side, the European Union deal offers austerity of the kind that has plagued many of the Western European nations where austerity has been in place with very high unemployment figures. But maybe you can talk about the conflict here in terms of decisions the Ukraine has to make.

STEPHEN F. COHEN: Let's back up just a minute because you mention the American media, and look at the narrative that virtually every American is stuck with. If that American watches the mainstream television or reads mainstream newspapers. (There are four pieces of the narrative that we find in the American media about what's going on in the Ukraine.)

First of all, the signing with the EU would bring democracy to Ukraine, and therefore the protesters in the street are pro-democratic.

Secondly, it would bring economic prosperity to Ukraine because Ukraine would have access to Europe's markets, all the perks of the Economic Union.

Thirdly, it's a civilization choice – that's a phrase often used – if they would escape the Slavic Russian civilization and become like us, part of Western Civilization.

And fourth, this is being prevented by Russia's bullying and meddling. The fact is, all four of these bits of the narrative are false or misleading. The protesters in the street are now calling for the overthrow of Yanukovich’s government. And they're being supported by the American representatives in Kiev. That was a democratically-elected government, both the Parliament and president. And everybody agreed that election was pretty fair, a pretty clean election. It is not democratic to overthrow a democratically-elected government. It's the opposite of that. There's an election scheduled for 2015. So to the answer to these people is, "If you feel that strongly, that you've been betrayed by the government you elected, and the Parliament you elected, then in the year 2015, get your electoral act in order and go out to defeat them."

But to tell them to try to overthrow and turn this into a regime change, which has become the policy of the European Union and apparently the State Department, that is anti-democratic. So we're the promoters of anti-democratic action in Ukraine. Not the Russians in this stage.

As for prosperity, Ukraine is an absolute economic basket case. It needs $18 billion in the next 16 months to avoid going belly up, defaulting on its sovereign debt. The IMF, the International Monetary Fund, will give it part of that, but only, as you just said, on the conditions in an act of an austerity program, which means cutting social services, letting people go, ending subsidies to people who don't make a sufficient wage, and most Ukrainians make about $150 a month. It would have the kind of impact, but worse, because Ukraine is poor, as it has in Spain and Greece. Moreover, do we really believe, does anybody really believe the Ukrainian goods – goods produced in Ukraine are going to be successful in Italy and France and Spain and Germany? This is utter nonsense.

And finally there's a very strong anti-immigration movement spreading across Europe. It's highly unlikely that unemployed Ukrainian workers will be welcomed into the European Union. The only country that can help in a practical way, and maybe it would be bad because maybe there would be political conditions. But if we're talking about prosperity, we're talking about economic well-being, it's only Russia. Russia's in a position to give Ukraine very favorable access to all of its markets and to give it discounted energy.

What Russia's done is exactly what the EU has done. It's playing economic hardball. Ukraine is for sale. That's what's going on. The government of Yanukovich has been saying, who makes me the best offer? And Russia's making an offer, and the EU's making an offer, and when we last turn the page, Russia's offer was better.

Stephen F. Cohen is the author of "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War.” Find more of Cohen's perspectives on the crisis in Ukraine by visiting The Nation magazine.

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