405 episodes

Scheer Intelligence features thoughtful and provocative conversations with "American Originals" -- people who, through a lifetime of engagement with political issues, offer unique and often surprising perspectives on the day's most important issues.

Scheer Intelligence KCRW

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 358 Ratings

Scheer Intelligence features thoughtful and provocative conversations with "American Originals" -- people who, through a lifetime of engagement with political issues, offer unique and often surprising perspectives on the day's most important issues.

    NATO: From Cold War defensive coalition to global military behemoth

    NATO: From Cold War defensive coalition to global military behemoth

    The 75th anniversary celebrating the creation of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, creates an opportunity for those in the war machine to double down their commitment to war and for peace advocates to amplify their calls for non-violence. David Swanson, co-founder and executive director of World BEYOND War and long-time peace advocate, joins host Robert Scheer on this episode of Scheer Intelligence. Swanson talks about his new book with Medea Benjamin, “NATO: What You Need To Know,” and how it analyzes what NATO means today as a worldwide enforcer of U.S. led military power, having grown from a 12-member organization to 32 members and “partnerships” with more than 40 non-member countries and international organizations.

    According to Swanson, NATO's original function as a defensive alliance against the Soviet Union has outlived the fall of the communist state and transformed the organization into a rapidly expanding extension of the U.S. war machine. “You don't have to ask informed historians or intelligent peace activists. The Secretary General of NATO says it; they now wage wars, not just in defense or what they call deterrence.”

    What was once envisioned as an adjunct to the United Nations addressing war and peace has now evolved, with NATO extending its reach far beyond the Atlantic to forge partnerships with Asian countries in a militarized response to China's rise.

    Swanson does not make light of what this will mean for the future: “It's the end of everything. It's the end of all life on earth. There's no small nuclear war. There's no tactical nuclear war, and yet this is where we're headed.”

    • 44 min
    The Supreme Court criminalizes being homeless

    The Supreme Court criminalizes being homeless

    The Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow cities to ban people from sleeping outdoors presents a major shift in the perception of poverty and homelessness in the U.S. and what the Eighth Amendment represents. Clare Pastore, a law professor at the University of Southern California, joins her faculty colleague Robert Scheer on this episode of the Scheer Intelligence podcast to break down what the decision means and expand on her article published in The Conversation.

    Pastore explains that the legal precedent reversed by the conservative majority was that “it's cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to criminalize sleeping outdoors for people who have no other option.” Now, Pastore tells Scheer, cities are not barred from enforcing this kind of criminalization.

    “These are not laws to protect people. Homeless people are at greater danger than they are a danger to others. These are laws trying to get people to just move out of the jurisdiction and go somewhere else,” Pastore said.

    Scheer argues that the problem has been around long before the recent SCOTUS decision and the elephant in the room for states like California, which Scheer points out is the fifth largest economy in the world, do not use their vast resources to address the problem but rather put the blame on decisions like this and continue their politics that ignore the central issue.

    Pastore agrees, telling Scheer, “My biggest fear, in terms of a generation of people who are growing up thinking this is normal, is that this idea that this is intractable, is taking hold and it's not right.”

    The greed in the U.S., where housing is regarded as a private good, strains the ability to attack the roots of the issue. “We have very few controls on how much [housing] can cost and we have very few incentives to make it cost less and we just don't put those kinds of legal mechanisms in place to preserve and create more affordable housing,” Pastore said.

    • 54 min
    Dennis Kucinich explains new Automatic Draft Registration legislation being considered by Congress

    Dennis Kucinich explains new Automatic Draft Registration legislation being considered by Congress

    The last time the United States saw large scale student anti-war protests was in response to the Vietnam War in 1968 and today against the genocide in Gaza. The last time the United States saw automatic draft registration was also during the Vietnam War era and today. Long serving Congressman Dennis Kucinich joins host Robert Scheer on this episode of Scheer Intelligence to break down what the new automatic draft registration provision, which was passed by the House and now under consideration by the Senate, really means for the future of America. 

    • 33 min
    Max Blumenthal: The Washington Post’s attack on The Grayzone

    Max Blumenthal: The Washington Post’s attack on The Grayzone

    Everyday the Washington Post’s “democracy dies in darkness” grows evermore ironic and detached from the reality of what the publication—and legacy media as a whole—has become. In the latest clash between independent and mainstream press, one of the country’s largest remaining newspapers accused—and then retracted—a claim that The Grayzone had received payments from the Iranian media. 

    • 45 min
    Ron Kovic: ‘A dangerous country: An American elegy’

    Ron Kovic: ‘A dangerous country: An American elegy’

    Paralysis from the chest down as a result of serving in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War may sound like devastation beyond reconciliation, but for Ron Kovic, it became a transformative and politically enlightening experience. The two-tour veteran amplified his activism a few years after being discharged from the army with honest and insightful writing about what serving in this war was truly like. His best-selling memoir, “Born on the Fourth of July,” was published in 1976 and later was made into a film adaptation directed by Oliver Stone. 

    He continued his activism, most notably with his second book, “Hurricane Street,” following his nationwide organization of the American Veteran Movement, which fought for improved conditions in VA hospitals. Akashic Books recently published Kovic’s third book in his autobiographical trilogy— “A Dangerous Country: An American Elegy.”

    • 44 min
    Navigating the deadly maze of the prison industrial complex

    Navigating the deadly maze of the prison industrial complex

    Being a 140-pound 19 year old, who had not yet had to shave is a daunting time to enter an American prison with a life sentence, especially when the system has no interest in rehabilitating you or helping you reintegrate into society. The greed of the prison industrial complex squeezing slave profits out of imprisoned people through the exploitation of the 13th amendment and the brutal system set up to limit opportunity usually leaves most who walk through the gates hopeless and abandoned.

    Dorsey Nunn, a formerly incarcerated individual, co-director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) and co-founder of All of Us or None (AOUON), a grassroots movement of formerly incarcerated people working to secure their civil and human rights, explains to host Robert Scheer how his prison experience is rare but demonstrates that it is possible to make it out of San Quentin’s cells a changed person, with the hope of helping others.

    • 1 hr 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
358 Ratings

358 Ratings

Flacomayes ,

1 of r favs but….

We rank this as one r top pc yet we turn off many times bc audio is insufferable IRHO. BOB’s voice to soft then guest voice 2 loud. Fix this pls

Peter Hanna ,

A meaningful, worthwhile, and essential news podcast

Bob Scheer is a journalistic legend, treasure, and rarity — he speaks plainly and directly, asks questions that listeners and readers want answered, and asks them of guests with relevant and timely knowledge and expertise. Every discussion on Scheer Intelligence is substantially (really, by light years) more informative and compelling than consuming hundreds upon hundreds of hours of the highly propagandistic slop served to us by the so-called mainstream or legacy media. We need many many more people like Bob Scheer, Caitlin Johnstone, Chris Hedges, Max Blumenthal, and far fewer of the lackeys of power who use near-limitless resources and access to daily launder the many lies upon which this fascistic empire is built to the beleaguered American people. There will be no progress and no change until our eyes are opened, and programs like Scheer Intelligence cast so much light that many eyes cannot help but open. Thanks Bob and team for a great and essential program, and for all your contributions to the truth over a distinguished career.

JimV 1 ,

Great Pod!!

Great Pod!! Bob does need to let the others speak sometim

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