This year marked six years of “Scheer Intelligence” — done in cooperation with KCRW, NPR’s station in Santa Monica — where each week host and ScheerPost publisher Robert Scheer welcomed guests who are experts on a diverse range of topics onto the show to discuss (and sometime debate) the critical issues of our time.
In 47 new episodes, with five additional rewinds of previous episodes in observance of a timely event, Scheer delved into issues such as the events and narratives regarding the war in Ukraine, US imperialism and militarism, the global economy and capitalism, incarceration and rehabilitation, gay rights, conflict in the Middle East, censorship and Big Tech, immigration and democracy.
It was a turbulent year of nuclear brinkmanship, attacks on free speech, and continued global healthcare and economic crisis. Questions of democracy abounded. Scheer covered these topics every week to keep listeners informed on the most critical developments and narratives in the world.
Here are some of the most popular of those stories:
Michael Brenner: American Dissent on Ukraine Is Dying in Darkness
When it came to the Ukraine conflict, Professor Michael J. Brenner did what he’s done his whole life: question American foreign policy. This time the backlash was vitriolic. In this episode of Scheer Intelligence, Robert Scheer speaks with Brenner about the vitriolic backlash he experienced when speaking out against the US’s involvement in Ukraine.
Robert Scheer and author and renowned physician Dr. Gabor Maté to talk about Mate’s recent New York Times best-selling book, “The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture,” written with his son, Daniel Maté. Through his new book he hopes to shed some light on the actual health impacts of this growing system through his own life’s journey and those of others and believes “a system where people are so committed to power and profit, I don’t know that they still have the capacity to reform the system in order to save itself.”
Nomi Prins: How the Federal Reserve and Allied Central Bankers Wrote the Obituary for Competitive Capitalism
From the housing crisis to the pandemic, all disasters are an opportunity for plunder of the vulnerable. In this episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Dr. Nomi Prins examines the games the wealthy elites play while the 99% suffer. Rising from a world of deep financial sin at Goldman Sachs, where she served as a managing director during the creation of the housing Ponzi scheme that wrecked much of the world’s economy, Prins has written seven books detailing the corruptions of the financial elite that has only intensified its destructive assault on the livelihood of the world’s struggling population.
Oliver Stone: American Exceptionalism Is on Deadly Display in Ukraine
U.S. reports, according to “Scheer Intelligence” host Robert Scheer, have failed thus far to understand the perspective of Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, and do so to the detriment of everything and everyone at stake. Film director Oliver Stone, however, offers a unique insight into the crisis given his experience interviewing the Russian leader a dozen times over two years for Stone’s Showtime series “The Putin Diaries.” The Oscar winner and Vietnam War veteran joins Scheer on this episode to discuss the critical nuances Americans are missing in Ukraine.
Economic expert and lawyer Ellen Brown joins Robert Scheer on this week’s “Scheer Intelligence” to discuss how Russia’s decision to undermine the dollar as the global reserve currency changes everything. Brown builds on thoroughly-researched piece for ScheerPost on the episode, and explains the history of the “PetroDollar” and outlines how Russia’s response to Western sanctions—aimed at strengthening the ruble—could be the start of a “Petro Ruble” revolution, which threatens the dominance of the dollar.
Nuclear War with Russia? ‘A Wall of Fire that Encompasses Everything Around Us at the Temperature of the Center of the Sun.’
On this “Scheer Intelligence,” nuclear weapons specialist Ted Postol joins Robert Scheer to discuss how the Ukraine crisis could lead the world past the point of no return. Listen to the full conversation between Scheer and Postol as they consider Vladimir Putin’s motives for raising the possibility of using Russia’s nuclear arsenal, and how the U.S. in many ways could be its own worst enemy in this terrifying climate.
The US Spends Almost as Much on Healthcare as the Rest of the World Combined and Has One of the Worst Outcomes
Health can be a complicated matter within a society, which is why Robert Scheer welcomes Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, a former emergency physician, current scholar of the impact of economic inequity on health, and author of “Inequality Kills Us All: COVID-19’s Health Lessons for the World.” His new book explores just how deadly inequality can be to humanity and explores how even the smallest of policy changes, like parental leave, can make a huge impact on the long-term health of an individual’s life.
Jorja Leap on the American Women and Children We All Conveniently Forget
JOn this week’s “Scheer Intelligence,” Jorja Leap, an academic and professor at University of California, Los Angeles, joins fellow Angeleno Robert Scheer to discuss California’s female prison population and the scholar’s must-read new book. Focusing not just on what happens in jails and prisons but what occurs upon reentry, Leap reports with a keenly humanitarian perspective on how these women’s trials and tribulations can often be as difficult if not more so once they’re free. A shocking lack of reentry programs and immense legal obstacles to reuniting with their children are just some of the many problems the scholar and Scheer discuss on the show.
Ray McGovern: What Role Has the U.S. Played in the Ukraine Crisis?
On this episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” CIA veteran Ray McGovern spars with Robert Scheer about whether or not American politicians and pundits have Ukrainian blood on their hands. McGovern spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, during which time he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President’s Daily Brief for three U.S. presidents. The two ultimately consider how NATO’s expansion past eastern Germany may have baited Putin into his current position, indefensible as it may be.
Mary Childs on the Man Who Turned America’s Economy Into a Literal Casino
The co-host of NPR’s “Planet Money” joins Robert Scheer to discuss her new book, “The Bond King,” on this episode of “Scheer Intelligence.” In a gripping conversation, Childs and Scheer approach the crisis that destroyed the lives of thousands—disproportionately Black and brown Americans—and had devastating ripple effects around the world from different vantage points. Childs’ and Scheer’s perspectives make for an unmissable meeting of minds that will lead listeners one step closer to understanding how the U.S. economy works against 99 percent of us.
Ron Kovic: The Dark Irony of This Patriotic Orgy and the Celebration of War
Ron Kovic, literally “Born on the Fourth of July,” author of his classic anti-war memoir and subject of the Oliver Stone film based on the book, marks the day of patriotic zealotry with dread. Kovic was inspired to enlist as a US marine and fight in Vietnam, answering President John F. Kennedy’s call to serve country before self. The result failed both the country and the young marine, who was severely wounded in action in a war that he believes betrayed the nation’s stated ideals and left him a paraplegic, bound for a half century to his wheelchair but freeing his voice to speak as clearly as anyone on the dark folly of war.
Daniel Ellsberg: Putin Is Already Using His Nuclear Weapons
On this episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Ellsberg joins host Robert Scheer to discuss just how close the world is coming to annihilation in the context of the Ukraine conflict. While the two disagree on certain nuances relating to US officials’ eagerness or “giddiness” to actually deploy nuclear weapons, throughout the lively discussion they arrive at stark warnings about what direct conflicts with Russia over Ukraine, and China over Taiwan, would mean to the future of the human race.
Javier Zamora: Nine Hellish Weeks as a Nine-Year Old Crossing Borders from El Salvador to the US
In this episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” as in his New York Times bestselling book, “Solito: A Memoir,” celebrated poet Javier Zamora cuts through the nasty dehumanization about undocumented immigrants with the focused memory of his perilous journey as a child refugee attempting to join his family under the most vulnerable of circumstances. With their lives overturned by the U.S.-sponsored war in El Salvador, Zamora’s parents had found refuge in California, but it took eight years and the risky efforts of a paid smuggler to open the possibility for their child to join them.
CIA Vets McGovern & Kiriakou: It’s Scoundrel Time Back in the USA
Critics of the West’s role in the Ukraine war, such as CIA veterans Ray McGovern and John Kiriakou, are being ostracized from the American media landscape. On this installment of “Scheer Intelligence,” the three spar about how the Ukrainian conflict is being covered in the U.S., where this war is heading, and what the conflict means for U.S.-China relations, as well as the potential for nuclear war. Listen to the full discussion between McGovern, Kiriakou and Scheer as they expertly pick apart many myths that are being dangerously propagated about Ukraine, Russia, and the West.
The story of Jesus Christ is jumbled and twisted in a perennial game of telephone every December. The true meaning and interpretation of the Bible is convoluted with ideas heavily relating to whatever the dominant political system is, capitalism the most recent example. Rev. Madison Shockley joins host Robert Scheer on this episode of “Scheer Intelligence” to provide greater context into the world’s dominant religious force and the stories that define it.
Ralph Nader: Is There Any Hope Left for Democracy?
As many Americans increasingly despair at the Biden administration’s policies—and lack thereof—and both Republicans’ and Democrats’ unwillingness to stand up to Big Money or the Military Industrial Complex, Nader joins “Scheer Intelligence” host Robert Scheer to talk about what’s left of their country’s democracy. Listen to the full conversation between Nader and Scheer as they grapple with the concept of Democrats as “the lesser evil” and explore whether Americans can find optimism in local politics.