Law and Disorder Radio – Battle Against Fracking in Marcellus Shale – Michael Smith and Paul LeBlanc on How to Make a Revolution in the US – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

Palestinians forbidden to mourn the Nakba – “If people can’t remember their past they won’t rebel.”









Marc Thiessan – Courting Disaster – Jane Mayer Savages Thiessan – Filled with counterfactual falsehoods.

Thiessan: “The Dean of the Gitmo Bar” / Meet Michael Ratner, lead terrorist defender.

Michael Ratner: “To a certain extent a man may be known by his enemies.” G. Orwell, “As I Please” (1944)







MarcellusShalea PinedaleWyomingCitizens’ Battle Against Halliburton Gas Drilling Heats Up

Environmental community groups from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania gathered last week in Philadelphia, pulling together strategies to protect the Marcellus Shale watershed from natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The shale is believed to hold some of the world’s largest deposits of natural gas, and those that want to mine this resource say it will reduce dependence on foreign oil and boost the economy. The environmental and public health costs are too high, say opponents. They point out that gas drilling causes increased runoff because the water used in drilling won’t be returned to streams. There will be more erosion; water quality will worsen. The lesson is clear from other locations that had the same drilling. Near the Jonah gas field in Wyoming, there was a drop in wildlife of 50%, an increase in crime, loss of businesses, a drop in property values, accidents like wildfires, more traffic, and a greater need for emergency services. Damascus Citizens for Sustainability Man lights tap water on fire – video

Late last week, the EPA stated it will investigate how hydraulic fracturing will impact water supplies and water quality in New York State. The Upper Delaware River Watershed Basin is the source of pure water for 20 million people in Philadelphia, New York City and half of New Jersey. 171 products and 245 chemicals are used in fracking, among millions of gallons of water and sand. Halliburton’s gas well drilling process is now exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Right to Know Act.

Susan Blankensop:

  • I live in New York City and I have part time residency in Pennsylvania.
  • In January of 2008, some neighbors of mine starting speaking about these land men who were coming around the neighborhoods speaking to private land owners, and offering them money for their mineral rights under their land.
  • It was all secretive; they said don’t tell your neighbor because I’m offering you a better deal.
  • Then we started hearing about this Marcellus Shale and natural gas deposits, hydro-fracturing and horizontal drilling. They’re offering $3500 an acre with 18 percent royalties.
  • Halliburton is the company that developed hydro-fracturing, which is where they drill down into these deep shale levels. They go vertically down about a mile then bore horizontally and start setting off mini-explosions. Other companies involved – Chesapeake Energy Fortuna – Now Talisman Hess
  • Explosions – a high velocity mixture of water, chemicals and sand, creating fissures, then the gas escapes up the well. Each time they drill a well, they use an estimate of 5 to 9 million gallons of water, just to drill one well. Each time they fracture a well, it’s another 5-9 million gallons of water, and they can fracture a well multiple times.
  • Huge amounts of water–where are they getting the water? Huge amounts of chemicals, 275 different toxic chemicals. After they drill the well, they end up with millions of gallons of industrial waste, this radioactive water. 40-70 percent of it stays underground.
  • 90 percent of the New York City’s drinking water comes from ground zero of where Halliburton wants to drill into the Marcellus Shale for natural gas.
  • The land owners stand to gain from this, but everybody is going to be affected by the contamination of the water. It’s going to turn the countryside into an industrial zone.
  • TIMETABLE: In New York State, the drilling companies are waiting for the DEC guidelines.
  • However, the EPA came out with a statement, saying that those guidelines were totally inadequate. (No long term, cumulative effects of contamination)  The hydro-fracturing has no federal regulating body.
  • Documentary – Gasland, directed by Josh Fox
  • Organizing – at this point – stay as local as you can. Each area is different.
  • Natural gas burns relatively cleaner than oil and coal, but it’s still a hydrocarbon. It’s still polluting, and the extraction process is highly contaminating.
  • NYH2O – Events: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 7 PM / John Jay College, Gerald W. Lynch Theater / 899 10th Avenue @59th Street, NYC
  • Symposium and Public Programs for Natural Gas – April 14-15, Cooper Union

Guest – Susan Blankensop, public speaker and member of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, a non-profit advocacy group.


Left Forum: How to Make a Revolution in the US

We hear from our own co-host Michael Smith and historian Paul LeBlanc, who spoke at the Left Forum panel titled “How to Make a Revolution in the U.S.”  Paul teaches history and political science at LaRoche College.

Historian Paul LeBlanc:

  • One percent of the families own 40 percent of the wealth, top 20 percent own 80 percent of the wealth.
  • Economic power translates into political power. This is an international reality, this inequality of wealth and power. A revolution involves flipping this.
  • So that there is an equal share of wealth and power. An economic democracy that is equal in power throughout the world. The oppressed workers no longer accepting rulership over them, that’s a revolution and that’s what we need. We have crisis, and capitalism generates crisis.
  • The movie Children of Men shows global demonstrations, but they didn’t change the balance of power in society.
  • People who are struggling for social change, can be co-opted by those who have power to repress, make adjustments. We have to oppose imperialism, extraction industries, for those who own and control multi-national corporations, which exist not to meet the needs of the people of the Earth but to maximize profits for those who have economic power.
  • They will do WHATEVER is necessary to maintain power and profit. They’re doing it in Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening to do the same in other regions.
  • We have a responsibility to oppose that. Building anti-war movement. I think I’m going to die before we make the revolution. We need to replace capitalism.
  • They thought Obama would end the wars. Obama wanted to be president of the United States empire.
  • Anti-war movement weakened. There is a lack of cadre. People who know how make a leaflet, organize a meeting. Who know how to use a series of meetings that will result in a demonstration, and that demonstration will be part of an overarching strategy, that will build an increasing militant and radical majority. We need to develop cadre. A strategic perspective that fights for victories in the here and now.

Speakers – Michael Steven Smith and historian Paul LeBlanc. Professor LeBlanc graduated from University of Pittsburgh – B.A., M.A., Ph.D. He’s written many books, including Black Liberation and the American Dream (2003), U.S. Labor in the Twentieth Century (edited with John Hinshaw, 2000), A Short History of the U.S. Working Class (1999) and Rosa Luxemburg: Reflections and Writings (1999).