Political Analysis

From the grassroots to Washington and beyond, the realities of politics and power are routinely cloaked in euphemism and evasion.

    Political Analysis
    Loading Downloads
Jan 30th, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork at 6:48 pm

Adrian James Tan, a Lecturer of Sociology at the University of North Texas at Dallas and independent reporter Rania Khalek came on the show to discuss both the sociology of the fitness/weightlifting industrial complex and Tan's book titled "Million Dollar Muscle: A Historical and Sociological Perspective of the Fitness Industry", as well as the ongoing Jeffrey Epstein-Alan Dershowitz human-trafficking/sex slave saga that Rania Khalek's been digging into, respectively.

Jan 16th, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork at 2:32 pm


Dr. Margaret Flowers, Kevin Alexander Gray, Kevin Zeese, Phil Rockstroh

On tonight's Political Analysis, Sandy LeonVest hosts a conversation about effective 21st century activism, featuring a veritable rock star lineup of activists. 

Sandy is joined by the magnificent Dr. Margaret Flowers, activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray, attorney and activist Kevin Zeese and poet and political philospher/sattirist Phil Rockstroh to talk about organizing strategies for the 21st century, the pros and cons of social media (and "armchair activism") and creating a sustainable, non-violent revolution.

Dec 12th, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork at 2:29 pm
Three guests joined Sandy Leonvest and Steve Horn on the show for this week.
For the first third of the show, Sam Daniel, a campaigner for Greenpeace Israel, came on to talk to Steve about the massive oil spill that recently took place in southern Israel, where clean up efforts have just begun. It was the biggest spill in the history of the country.
For the second third, "Newsvandal," historian and investigative journalist JP Sottile joined Steve and Sandy to discuss plummeting global oil prices and ask the questions: who, what and why? They also discussed the central role of OPEC and the Saudi Arabian autocracy, as well as the key role of the dollar empire and "petrodollars."

And for the last part of the show, Steve and Sandy chatted with Anne Petermann, executive director of the Global Ecology Justice Project, about the failed (or a success, for corporate sponsors) of the Lima, Peru United Nations climate negotiations, as well as deforestation issues in Paraguay. They also discussed the "people's climate summit," a counter to the corporate-dominated event in Lima.

Nov 21st, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork at 2:37 pm

For the first two-thirds of the show Steve Horn had Zach D Roberts on the show, a photo/video journalist whose work has been published in the Observer, The Guardian, TheNation.com. He has been photographing and researching for an investigation on voting suppression for Al Jazeera America with investigative journalist Greg Palast, which we discussed on-air.

For the last third of the show, Steve had on Darren Dorchuk, Associate Professor, Department of History and Associate Professor in the Humanities in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. His research explores points of connection between religion, politics, and culture in modern U.S history. He is author of the 2011 books "Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism" and "Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Space, Place, and Region" He is currently on the book, "Anointed With Oil: God and Black Gold in Modern America," which served as the topic of discussion for the show.
Nov 14th, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork at 3:05 pm
***Part 3 of Political Analysis' series on the Global Water Crisis***


Tonight Sandy LeonVest is joined by researcher Laura Stroup, who co-authored with Michael Finewood, the groundbreaking new report, "Fracking and the Neoliberalization of the Hydro-Social Cycle in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale."

Sandy and Laura discuss, among other issues, the ways neoliberalism is re-defining the relationships between people and the non-human world; the significance (or lack thereof) of this week's US-China climate agreement; and how "multi-scale neoliberal discourses" obfuscate a deeper understanding of the impacts of fracking on water resources -- and facillitate the normalization of a false narrative on fracking and other energy-related issues and practices.

They also discuss the huge socio-environmental costs of the current "fracking frenzy" in the US and abroad, as is so graphically illustrated in Ukraine, where the connection between neoliberal policies and the global fracking rampage is painfully apparent -- and emblematic of the larger problem. 

The report states: "But more broadly, we are interested in contributing to a context-specific analysis of  As market approaches to environmental regulation become a more accepted, and perhaps a dominant part of governance strategy, places like northeastern PA are ''written off for environmental destruction in the name of a higher purpose, such as the national interest" (Scott 2010, 31). These 'sacrifice zones' assume an ecological disconnect between people and their environment, normalizing environmental degradation in some places while protecting others, and also assume no alternative uses ofland or energy resources. This can be viewed as a form of remote environmental exploitation and brutality where the scalar issues make these sacrifice zones almost invisible to the larger nation and world. We feel that these struggles to (re)define the nature/ society relationship is about the power to ensure capital flows into specific hands, which will likely result in greater costs to other people and their environments. Formally investigating and deconstructing pro- fracking discourses is part of an ongoing project to come to terms with the realities involved with the transformation of the hydro­ social cycle and with the water-energy nexus, and to strive for a more equitable future."


(Michael H. Flnewood and Laura J. Stroup, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA; St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT)

The Global Labor Institute's Dr. Sean Sweeney joins Sandy LeonVest on tonighit's Political Analysis. Sandy and Sean reflect on Tuesday's election results and the ramifications for the climate. They also discuss Energy Democracy in an increasingly undemocratic world and this November's Labor and Climate Justice Forum in NYC (moderated by  Dr. Sweeney). Other topics include the folly of Obama's "all of the above," methane-powered climate plan; the imperative of organizing a mass, "transformative" movement -- from the ground up; effective coalition building on a divided planet and current strategies for uniting various activist and grassroots groups, in the interest of saving the climate.

"With the threat of climate change and the likely breach of planetary resource limits, human civilization faces an energy emergency of global proportions." (from the WorldwatchInstitute’s State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability, co-authored by Dr. Sean Sweeney, co-director of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University.) The book highlights the need for economic and political institutions to serve people and preserve and protect our common resources.



SolarTimes FB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/244748076427/



Oct 31st, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork at 11:59 am

Steve was joined for the first 35 minutes by Brandon Garrett, a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law and author of the new book, "Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations." They discussed what he means by "too big to jail," how the heck corporations and executives got "too big to jail" to begin with, why lack of corporate accountability matters, the online research database he created as an appendix of sorts for his book on corporate crimes and lack of federal prosecutions and if he thinks tort lawsuits and private litigation can act as a remedy to lack of U.S. government prosecution of corporation, among other related issues. For the last 20 minutes of the show, Steve talked with Paul Street, an independent journalist, policy adviser, and historian. He is author of the new book "They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy," and also authored the books, "Crashing the Tea Party" and "The Empire's New Clothes." They discussed what he means by "they rule" and also went into depth on some of the contents found within the book including financialization, the deep state and solutions to shifting the balance of power away from the 1%.

Sandy and Steve are joined for the first half-hour byJoel Dyer, editor at the Boulder Weekly, an alternative online publication out of Boluder, CO. They talk to him about fracking politics, and why the fracking battle in Colorado is both illustrative of the bigger fracking battle and key to winning the "fracking war." They also talk about Joel Dyer's recent piece (co-authored with Matt Cortina and Elizabeth Miller), titled, "Who Killed the Vote on Fracking? -- Why Colorado’s anti-fracking measures were not supported by Democrats and environmental groups." Dyer's work has been published in a host of publications, including Vanity Fair and Mother Jones.

During the second half-hour, Steve and Sandy are joined by anti-fracking activist Carolyn Harding. Among other issues, they talk about why the "community rights-based" initiatives cropping up across the country are so important, and why the anti-fracking movement and the anti-nuclear movement are a "natural alliance." Carolyn is a Columbus, Ohio-based grassroots activist working to pass a Community Bill of Rights there, with the help of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). The initiative would ban fracking waste injection within city limits, on the basis that safe air, water and food are a human (or community) right. She also works with Radioactive Waste Alert, a grassroots group in Columbus.

Oct 17th, 2014 by progressiveradionetwork at 12:52 pm

First Segment:


Medical Apartheid, “Bioeconomic Warfare” and Neoliberalism

 Sandy is joined for the first half-hour by author, activist and scholar Dr. Horace G. Campbell, Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University in New York. 

Dr. Horace Campbell is the author of numerous books, his most recent, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1583674128/counterpunchmaga), published in 2013, has been met with wide acclaim from the academic press and progressives alike. 

Among other issues, Dr. Campbell talks about how the "progressive left" is failing to connect the dots with respect to racism and the militarized response to Ebola (and everything else) in West Africa -- and the continent at large. He makes an impassioned plea for progressives to take on the issue of systemic, globalized racism and the "debasing" of black Africans, whom, to this day, suffer profoundly from ongoing colonialism and neoliberal policies, as illustrated by West Africa's devastated healthcare infrastructure.

He talks about bio-economic warfare, medical apartheid and his recent piece published last week at Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/10/ebola-the-african-union-and-bioeconomic-warfare/)  

From his early years in Jamaica, Dr. Campbell has been involved in the Black Liberation Struggle and in the struggle for peace and justice, and he's been an influential force all over the world, lecturing and offering alternatives to the hegemonic ideas of capitalism. 

While at the University of Dar es Salaam, he was the Secretary of the Liberation Support Committee. As a member of the Dar Es Salaam school he was active in debates on the transition beyond colonialism. At Syracuse University, he is the Director of the Africa Initiatives and  works in the wider Syracuse Community as a peace activist. He is a board member of the Syracuse Peace Council.

Second Segment:


Big Coal's Last, Gigantic, Mountain-Swallowing Last Gasp

During the second half of the show, Sandy is joined by Head-On Radio's Bob Kincaid and activist Bo Webb. They discuss Big Coal and the ongoing practice of “mountaintop removal,” which continues to devastate communities in and around the Appalachian Mountains. They also talk about the ACHE Act, which Bo Webb describes as "elegant," in that it demands that the health and welfare of communities be absolutely assured before any other mountaintop removal projects go forward. 

The ACHE Act (HR 526) establishes a moratorium on new mountaintop removal mining permits while the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences initiates comprehensive studies into the health effects of the mining on people in surrounding communities. It would halt new or enlarged mountaintop removal permits unless and until the federal government completes a definitive health study determining that the process does not harm residents’ health.

The two activists explain why the ACHE Act is so important, and why the battle against Big Coal isn't over yet.

Resources for tonight's show:

First half-hour:

Ebola, medical apartheid, neoliberalism and militarized response in Africa:








http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10367 (Emira Woods on Obama and the militarization of Africa)


Second half-hour:


What is the ACHE Act: http://media.wix.com/ugd/257771_3da6c49419844d9c921530644d2f73d5.pdf


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FvtNyzp-P34 (Bo Webb)




https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=twOziMkQnXo (Bo Webb)


Sottile and Horn discussed oil price volatility, LNG and oil exports, corporate interests in the Ukraine conflict and oil interests underlying the Islamic State conflict in the Levant for the first two-thirds of the show. Tempus and Horn then discussed issues surrounding climate change and sea-level rise and what -- and what not -- big cities are doing to prepare for what's to come. They also unpacked the oft-used euphemism, "resiliency." 

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App