Civilizations 18: The Mexican-American War 1846-8

The Mexican-American War 1846-8

This episode is about how the US became the territorial empire that it is. We cover the Mexican-American War 1846-8, as well as the repeat performance when France invaded under Louis Napoleon. We end talking about US expansionism and its many 19th century wars with Indigenous nations.

AEP 68: The Donziger Case and the Assange Trial

The Donziger case and the Assange Trial

Joe Emersberger and I talk about the Steve Donziger case, in which an environmental lawyer who won a landmark settlement against one of the world’s most powerful oil corporations (Chevron) is now disbarred and under house arrest, persecuted by a pro-business judge and the entire US corporate-legal nexus.

In the second half, we talk about the Assange trial, in which the weight of two countries’ judiciaries (the US and UK) are being brought down to try to crush a journalist, for doing journalism, and all the sleazy journalists running for cover claiming that they don’t like his personality.

I referred especially to Debunking All the Assange Smears by Caitlin Johnstone, and Joe’s article Manufacturing Disgrace: Reuters distorts Chevron vs. Donziger.

AEP 67: Haiti Arms Trade and The US State Department

The Haiti Arms Trade and the US State Department, with Kira Paulemon from CEPR

I’m joined by Kira Paulemon of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (, co-author with Jake Johnston of a recent report about a State Department contract to a politically-connected firm in Haiti. We talk about the contract, the two years of demonstrations in Haiti, the current president’s rule by decree, contrasts with the US attitude towards earlier Haitian presidents, and talk a little bit about how CEPR approaches its research.

Civilizations 16: Chartism, Reformism, Police Origins, Irish Famine

Why didn’t Britain have an 1848 Revolution?

We investigate Britain around 1848. Why was there no revolution? We look at the Chartist and Reform movements in Britain and in Canada, Robert Peel and the origins of modern policing, Australia and the early debates about how to create misery in prisons, the Irish famines and their repercussions.

AEP 66: Lopez Obrador takes on the Zapatistas

Lopez Obrador vs. the Zapatistas in Chiapas

In Chiapas, Mexico, the Indigenous Zapatista rebels have raised the alarm about an intensification of paramilitary attacks on their communities. Manuel Rozental and I are joined by author John Gibler to talk about Mexican politics and how it is that a Mexican government led by a leftist president continues the historical pattern of dirty war against the Indigenous movement.

Civilizations 15: 1830-2 French Revolution, Algeria Colonization, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, and Slave Revolts in the Americas

French Revolution of 1830, Algeria colonization, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, and Sam Sharpe’s rebellions.

Your Western Civilization course covers the French Revolution of 1830. But the Civilizations Series gives you that and Muhammad Ali of Egypt, France’s colonizing Algeria, and the slave rebellions of Denmark Vesey in South Carolina, Nat Turner in Virginia, and Sam Sharpe in Jamaica. 

AEP 65: Thinking about teaching, through martial arts, with Shawn Zirger

Teaching and martial arts, with Shawn Zirger

A different angle this episode: my guest is my martial arts instructor, Shawn Zirger, who teaches Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do and other martial arts at the Zirger Academy. We talk about Bruce Lee’s approach to knowledge, how martial artists think about cultural appropriation, the problem of trying to “find geniuses” when teaching, our own martial arts journeys, and quite a bit more.

AEP 64: Rwanda threatens Congolese doctor

A sixteen minute solo episode about James Kabarebe, special presidential advisor in Rwanda, and his recent threatening comments towards Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege.

Read my profile of Mukwege from 2013

Why is Rwanda so afraid of Dr. Mukwege? france-rwanda August 14, 2020

A petition from Bukavu – end impunity in Congo August 2020

The UN Mapping Report on human rights violations in DR Congo 1993-2003

AEP 63: Coffee, Tourism, and Lithium imperialism in Latin America with Yanis Iqbal

Commodity imperialism in Latin America

Independent journalist Yanis Iqbal, based in India, has written a series of articles about commodities and imperialism in Latin America. He presents some of his findings on coffee in Colombia, tourism and the displacement of Indigenous people in Honduras, and lithium imperialism in Chile and Bolivia.