Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine held a Left Forum panel discussion:
"Successes and Challenges of Human Rights Campaigns for Publicly Financed Health Care in the U.S." on May 30, 2015
Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the three-day weekend.
Economics professor Richard Wolff compares socialist and capitalist economic models, presents a new paradigm for socialist transition and debunks mainstream pundits' consignment of socialism to the "ash heap of history." He then deconstructs the argument for so-called "free trade" and analyzes the threats to working people everywhere and what is left of the American middle class by the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Interview with Between The Lines' Richard Hill on May 5, 2015.
Gareth Porter, award-winning investigative journalist, deconstructs the web of half-truths and outright deceptions that have tainted the debate over negotiating a peaceful resolution to the Iran nuclear issue. Interview with Between The Lines' Richard Hill, on April 7, 2015.
Reflections on the extraordinary life of activist, author, news analyst, documentary filmmaker and Between The Lines' friend Danny Schechter, "The News Dissector," who died on Thursday, March 19, 2015
Edward Snowden via video link from Moscow joined Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras discussing Poitras' new Academy Award-nominated documentary film, "Citizen Four,"at a TimesTalk event Feb. 12, 2015. Listen to an audio recording of the entire one-hour event.
Selected Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine audio recordings from: The International Forum on Globalization's conference, Oct. 25, 2014, Cooper Union, New York City
Listen to Ralph Nader's 75 min. talk and interview about his new book, "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State" at Barnes and Noble, Milford, Connecticut. 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 are powerless against the big power structure. He notes that issues such as school prayer, reproductive rights and gun control are issues that the power structure depends on 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. He says 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 they don't always agree with.
Listen to Ralph Nader's short interview on current events with Scott Harris before the booksigning.
Audio recordings from the Left Forum here.
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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.
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.
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."
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.
Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live,
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Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines'
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"Mentor, Friend and Supporter Danny Schechter Will Be Missed" by Scott Harris, March 27, 2015
"A Travesty of Reporting," by Reginald Johnson, March 22, 2015
"GOP senators defend CIA cannibalism program," by Samuel Schmaltz, Dec. 13, 2014
"Demanding Justice for Michael Brown," by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 25, 2014
"Shut Down a Cold War Relic," by Reginald Johnson, Oct. 7, 2014
"U.S. breaking the law? Who cares?" by Reginald Johnson, Sept. 2, 2014
"Warsaw Ghetto 1943 and Occupied Gaza 2014: No Valid Comparison, but Several Haunting Parallels," by Scott Harris, July 31, 2014
"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
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Posted Jan. 23, 2013
Interview with Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy & Global Warming Project, director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
On Jan. 26, hundreds of protesters are expected to converge in Portland, Maine, for what's being billed as the largest tar sands protest in the Northeast. The impetus is what organizers say are plans to reverse the flow of an existing pipeline that currently takes oil from ships arriving in South Portland harbor and pump it to Montreal, Canada. Activists say the Canadian company Enbridge is now considering pumping tar sands oil from Alberta through Quebec, to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Both Enbridge and the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line Corporation, which is owned by ExxonMobil, say such plans were put on hold in 2009. But the National Wildlife Federation has released documents indicating that the proposal is still very much an active option.
Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy and Global Warming Project director with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, one of the groups that's organizing the protest, along with Environment Maine, 350.org, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and other groups. Voorhees explains that despite asserting they have "no plans" to reverse the pipeline flow, the companies have, in fact, expressed a keen interest in doing just that.
DYLAN VOORHEES: They've actually not said that they don't want to do this. In fact, what they've told public officials in a number of meetings is that they'd very much would like to do this. But what they're saying also in public is that they have no plan at this time to do it. That's like saying, "I don't have a plan yet for dinner tonight." They admit they'd like to do it because I think the prospect of sending oil into Canada these days is a diminishing market for them, and that's what the pipeline does right now. It takes regular crude oil off tankers that come into Portland harbor and it flows up to Montreal. And it's been doing that for 60 years. But there's a new day in oil, and that's because of tar sands in Canada. And Canada has, in the ground, enormous amounts of tar sands that oil companies are trying to get out of Canada. That's the situation across Canada, and that's led to proposals like the Keystone XL pipeline that would go from Canada down to the Gulf; there's a project proposed for taking tar sands west to British Columbia, and this is really more of the same.
BETWEEN THE LINES: Burlington, Vt., and Casco, Maine, have recently passed resolutions opposing tar sands going through their towns. What, if any, control do towns have over a pipeline going through their territory?
DYLAN VOORHEES: Very little, unfortunately. And the town of Casco, Maine, which is a small town on Sebago Lake – which is one of the larger lakes in the state and kind of a jewel in the tourism region in southwestern Maine – Casco passed a resolution which expresses the sentiment of the town. It doesn't really have a lot of binding impact, but it says very clearly and it was an actual vote of the townspeople at a town meeting, that they're opposed to this and they're very concerned about their economy and their environment. And I think that's what we'll begin to see in more towns across Maine and New Hampshire and Vermont, and we've already seen a little of it in Quebec – towns saying, "We don't want this." And hopefully, collectively, this sends a message. But towns don't have a lot of say and even states may not have a lot of say. What we've been starting to say is that we're calling on the U.S. State Department to require what's called a presidential permit, and that's because the pipeline crosses an international boundary, the State Department is the one that can control permitting. And we want to make sure a presidential permit will be required before this happens and that will enable us to see an environmental review happen. If that doesn't happen, then we're very concerned that this project could go forward without, really, environmental reviews.
BETWEEN THE LINES: Dylan Voorhees, tar sands is a lot more corrosive than other oil, and this pipeline is already 60 years old. Are there concerns about spills?
DYLAN VOORHEES: There's a lot of concerns in Maine about possible spills if tar sands was moving to this pipeline. And that's because tar sands has different physical properties than crude oil. It's much more viscous. It's much more toxic. It's actually diluted down with very dangerous, toxic chemicals. And because of the higher temperatures, higher pressures, and additional corrosiveness, acidity, and abrasives, we think the danger is significantly greater. What we particularly know is that tar sands pipelines in the Midwest that have been carrying tar sands for some time, have had spills or leaks at three times the rate of regular oil pipelines per mile of pipeline. Secondly, the consequences of a spill of tar sands are much more damaging than regular crude oil, and that's because it's so thick and it's so heavy and it has these toxic chemicals in it. And the huge oil spill, tar sands spill, in the Kalamazoo River in 2010 – which was an Enbridge pipeline – really demonstrated how practically impossible to clean up tar sands is if it spills.
BETWEEN THE LINES: This rally is being billed as the largest tar sands protest in the Northeast. What exactly is your goal in bringing people to Portland on January 26?
DYLAN VOORHEES: I think the rally is meant to really get on the radar that this is a very serious issue, and that the public – not just in Maine, but across the region – really don't want to see this happen, and are calling on elected officials, first and foremost, to act on the people's behalf and really make sure, as a first order, that there's an environmental review before this happens, and that's sort of common sense but it's not a foregone conclusion that there would even be a real permitting and environmental review process for this change. The direction of the flow is not in itself the threat. The threat is tar sands and that's why there's been this huge outpouring of concern. It's because the substance is not only heavy and toxic and threatens our water quality and the environment and people's health and the economy – and certainly Maine relies on a clean environment, in that region in particular – and also because tar sands is kind of climate destroying, and the pollution associated with tar sands is so much higher than regular oil, and also there's an increased awareness that we really need to be tackling climate pollution in a more serious way, so this switch to tar sands is really the wrong direction and the wrong idea for all kinds of reasons.
Find more information on the campaigns to stop the development and transport of tar sands oil by visiting the Natural Resources Council of Maine website at nrcm.org.