Steve Poikonen, cohost of Slow News Day / the Free Assange online vigil series – Ep 79

Steve Poikonen, host of Slow News Day and co-host of the Free Assange online vigil series, joins us for a discussion on all things Julian Assange (FYI: this was recorded before the recent hearings on Julian’s extradition from the U.K.)  We discuss Steve’s view of NAFTA-driven neoliberalism in his childhood home of Elwood, IN, how the fallout from Chelsea Manning’s leaks made life better for all whistleblowers, even if just on paper, and of course, on the importance of Julian Assange’s actions as a publisher and how important unvarnished views of government activity are to activists who call out government criminality.   


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A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War – Ep 78

It’s here folks!!  Danny’s new book is out first thing tomorrow.  You can find it right here at Heyday Books.  For this episode, Danny and I broke down the book a bit, discussing the differences between Ghost Riders of Baghdad (Danny’s first book.  Get it here) and Patriotic Dissent, and even a few tidbits on the podcast itself, and a whole lot more.  Enjoy!!!


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A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Stone and Sjursen Part 4 – Ep 77

Danny’s final discussion with Oliver Stone is here!!!  The discussion includes how Oliver expressed his angst with his parents’ divorce through the stories of Elias and Barnes in Platoon, boot licking war films (like Gladiator and Blackhawk Down) and their exceptionally narrow points of view, and the DOD’s reaction to providing support for Platoon.

Buy Oliver’s new book right here, “Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game”

Danny’s new book, “Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War” releases on September 8th.  Pick it up right here from Heyday Books.


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Mike Monetta, National Director of Wolf-PAC – Ep 76

Read

Mike Monetta, National Director for Wolf-PAC, stops by the podcast to discuss his organization’s vision of fighting money in politics amid a sea of political corruption, how progressives and those who align with them can find common cause, and how the American ideal of thanking veterans for their service desperately needs reform.

Wolf-PAC’s main mission, from the org’s website: Build a citizen movement powerful enough to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will break the stranglehold that corruption and special interests have on Congress. In short, we aim to ensure a government of, by, and for the people. Current objective: pass our measures in 34 states. Every action we take must be towards this goal.  

HBO documentary “The Swamp”


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

The buck does not stop here – the murder of Vanessa Guillen – Ep 75

The murder of Vanessa Guillen has struck a violent, but unsurprising chord among the progressive community, anti-war veterans as a whole, and the many victims of military sexual trauma, as the activist reaction, given the high violent crime rate at Ford Hood, is to demand shutting down the entire Army post (the second biggest one in the continental U.S.) and insisting that the entire chain of command from Vanessa’s first line supervisor to the commanding general, resign in shame at their failing to protect an innocent human being under their command.

Here, Danny and I discuss this issue with Pam Campos-Palma, a progresive Latina political strategist whose activism includes, among many topics, fighting for lasting change within the military’s sexual assault / harassment systems, and we’re excited to bring her incredible experience to Fortress On A Hill.

Pam Campos-Palma is an impactful political strategist and movement builder focused on peace and security, equity engineering, and movement building at home and across borders. She is an often consulted and trusted adviser to national-level leaders, organizations, think tanks, and campaigns, expertly bridging the gap between grassroots movement and grasstops policy worlds to win lasting change. At the core of all her work is the democratization of foreign/defense/security policy through the leadership development, coalition building, and political organizing of war-affected peoples, namely the vets/military community. She is also engaged in transatlantic work around populism and defeating rising global ethno-nationalism and democratic slide.

Pam served in the U.S. Air Force for over a decade as an operations and anti-terrorism intelligence analyst working in Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq and Afghanistan. She began her career in the immigrant rights movement, served as a gubernatorial appointee for the state of Oregon, and as a consultant to international NGO’s and social impact ventures. She is a 2019 Atlantik-Brücke Young Leader, was named a “Top 40 Under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy” by Huffington Post and a 2018 Champion of Change by the UN. Pam has been featured on NBC, CNN, BBC, and NPR, among others, and holds a Masters of Public Administration from NYU with a focus in International Policy and Management. She is a Defense Council member of the Truman National Security Project, an Advisory Board member of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS), and was a member of the 2019 Women’s March Steering Committee.


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Badges Beyond Borders w/ Stuart Schrader – Ep 74

Stuart Schrader stops by the podcast to discuss his book, “Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing”, along with the recent protests against police brutality, the massive changes in policing that came out of the fight for civil rights in the 60’s, and where the empire of cops is headed in the future.

Buy Stuart’s book right here at UC Press.  After clicking the link, under the cover image for the book, click “Create a flyer for this title”, and it creates a 30% off coupon if you purchase it through UC Press.  Wherever you buy, be sure to buy from an independent bookstore.

Stuart Schrader is the Associate Director of the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship and a Lecturer / Assistant Research Scientist at John Hopkins University. He is also affiliated with the 21st Century Cities Initiative and received his PhD in American Studies from NYU in 2015. Before coming to Hopkins, Stuart was a postdoctoral fellow at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University and the Center for the United States and the Cold War at the Tamiment Library at New York University. At Hopkins, Stuart teaches courses on police and prisons, Black social movements, and critical race theory, listed in Africana Studies, International Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, Tristan Oliver, Marwan Marwan, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Waking Up On The Appalachian Trail w/ N.B. Hankes – Ep 73

N.B. Hankes stops by the podcast to discuss his new book, “Waking Up On the Appalachian Trail: A Story of War, Brotherhood, and the Pursuit of Truth.”  We discuss Nate’s time as a drone operator in Iraq, his long trek on the Appalachian Trail with his brother, and ridding one’s self of the American military hero mythos.  If you want to buy a copy of his book, go to his site (linked above) and use the code FORTRESS to get free shipping.  Enjoy!

N. B. Hankes (pronounced hang-kiss) is author of the recent adventure travel bestseller, Waking Up On the Appalachian Trail: A Story of War, Brotherhood, and the Pursuit of Truth. He is a veteran of the Iraq War, where he operated drones with 4th Brigade 1st Infantry Division between February 2007 and April 2008. He is also the founder of the Veteran Artist Residencies non-profit, which provides artistic residencies for OEF and OIF combat veterans seeking self-expression and healing through the arts.


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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Stone & Sjursen Part 2 – Ep 72

Part 2 of Danny’s discussion with Oliver Stone is here!!!  Danny and Oliver discuss differences between their combat experiences, the unabashed hero worship of modern military movies, the productions of Platoon and Salvador, the all volunteer force, and much, much more.  A great discussion and it’s only part 2 of 4.  Enjoy!!!

Order Oliver’s new book, “Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game”

Pre-order Danny’s new book “Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War.”


Let me guess.  You’re enjoying the show so much, you’d like to leave us a review?!  Click here for Stitcher.  Click here for Apple Podcasts.  Click here for our Facebook page.

Email us at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Check out our t-shirt store on Spreadshirt.com

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Stone & Sjursen Part 1: The Unbearable Violence of Being American – Ep 71

(click here to see the video version of this episode.)

America’s military industrial complex and multiple presidential administrations have funnelled several generations of soldiers through unwinnable wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq seemingly without qualms. What has emerged from these tragedies are thousands of traumatized young Americans bringing home wars and leaving behind millions of innocent civilians killed, wounded and forced to become refugees. But some of these former soldiers also came home with an urgent new perspective to share with their compatriots. That is the case of the two veterans on this week’s “Scheer Intelligence” episode: Oscar-winning film director Oliver Stone and journalist Maj. Danny Sjursen.

Although they served in the U.S. military with very different ranks and decades apart, the two share one important commonality: dissent. Before pursuing a career in film, that ultimately would win him many awards and accolades, despite often tackling controversial topics, Stone worked first on a U.S. Merchant Marine ship in 1966, and later joined the U.S. Army and requested to be sent into combat. Sjursen took another route, becoming  a military officer at the prestigious West Point Academy before being sent overseas for several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and recently retiring after nearly two decades of service.

Stone’s new book, “Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game” coming out soon, and Sjursen’s new book, “Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War,” to be published in September, the two dissenters sat down with host Robert Scheer to discuss the concepts of patriotism and American exceptionalism in the context of their own life experiences as well as the film director’s career. 

“When we talk about exceptionalism,” says the retired Army major, “through these terrible movies that are made post-9/11 about combat, it strikes me that perhaps your dedication to showing reality, to showing the brutality, is often misunderstood [by critics] as liking the violence or fetishization of violence when the reality is you hate violence so much. Perhaps you’re trying to demonstrate that through a refusal to whitewash it. Has that been an aspect for you throughout [your career]?”

“As I said in the book, it’s in me too,” responds Stone, reflecting on the violence he internalized while fighting in Vietnam. “There is an aspect of that ugliness in me. Charlie Sheen comes out of that war [in my film “Platoon” and] he says, ‘I’m the stepchild, the child of both [sergeants] Barnes and Elias.’ You take in the poison. You have to, to survive, I suppose. You can’t be an idealist in a war. You’re on site. It’s a very dirty situation. 

“So I came home a darker strain of myself,” he concludes. “And I saw it in myself. So when I did these movies, I said, ‘Let it out, show it, man. Show it in all its ferocity, and let them fucking realize.’ That was what was misunderstood, and thank you for saying that. That’s been constant in my fucking life, just constant.”

Sjursen pins the conversation back to Stone’s book, which details the first four decades of the film director and screenwriter’s life, throughout the discussion, insightfully linking Stone’s many films, from “Platoon” to “Salvador” and “The Untold History of the United States,”  to the political events that not only shaped the two veteran’s lives, but also the America we all know and live in today. 

Tying the two careers together, Scheer concludes, “Oliver Stone’s movies and Maj. Danny Sjursen’s writing are ultimately attempts to hold us accountable. For our apathy, our indifference. We send people like Oliver and Danny to war. We all do; we pay the taxes. Most people didn’t protest, most people think it’s just hunky-dory, right. And you guys witnessed evil by your own side.” 

Listen to Stone, Sjursen and Scheer grapple with what it means to be American, the coronavirus pandemic, ongoing police brutality and the upcoming presidential election.

(This episode was a co-production of Scheer Intelligence and Fortress On A Hill.  To see the full credits and transcript at scheerpost.com, click here.)


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Email us at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.

Check out our t-shirt store on Spreadshirt.com

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s) – Ep 70

Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry’s) stops by the podcast to discuss his many philanthropic efforts, his long standing friendship with Bernie Sanders, his new project with Danny called the Eisenhower Media Network, his thoughts on police violence and Black Lives Matter, and even a spoonful or two about ice cream.  Enjoy!!!

(Editing note: apologies for the wind on this episode.  Ben called in from Lake Champlain.)


Let me guess.  You’re enjoying the show so much, you’d like to leave us a review?!  Click here for Stitcher.  Click here for Apple Podcasts.  Click here for our Facebook page.

Email us at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.

Check out our t-shirt store on Spreadshirt.com

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our patrons today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our Patreon honorary producers – Will Ahrens, Fahim Shirazee, James O’Barr, Adam Bellows, Eric Phillips, Paul Appell, Julie Dupris, Thomas Benson, Emma P, Janet Hanson, Lawrence Taylor, and the Statist Quo Podcast.  You all are the engine that helps us power the podcast.  Thank you so much!!!

Not up for something recurring like Patreon, but want to give a couple bucks?!  Visit Paypal.me/fortressonahill to contribute!!

Fortress On A Hill is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, Danny Sjursen, and Keagan Miller.

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.