Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dave Zirin on American Football

New World Notes #447, 28:17 (September 27)
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University of Pennsylvania football team, 1901

Progressive sports commentator Dave Zirin explains the upper-class origins of American football. And he shows football's connections with "muscular Christanity" and with 19th century US imperialism.
 
The game has always been violent and has caused countless player injuries and deaths--but Zirin argues against those who would ban the sport. Zirin's solution: for all jobs--including NFL football--is this: support the workers in their struggle to control workplace rules and working conditions.

I have never been a sports fan. I think the last football game I watched was in 1968. We--that is to say, Bucknell--won. Or maybe we lost. Who cares? Instead of warming the bleachers, I should have burning my draft card.

But even I find Zirin's talk to be to be witty, interesting, and well worth a listen.

Dave Zirin

I have condensed Zirin's talk, which he delivered at the Socialism 2012 conference, in the Chcago area, in September 2012.

This program was previously broadcast, as NWN #240, in October 2012. Audio files downloaded fro the links, above, are identified as #240.



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tariq Ali on Palestine

New World Notes #446, 28:41 (September 20)
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A fine talk on the past, present, and possible future of Palestine and its people, now enduring a brutal blockade and half-century-long military occupation by Israel. Much of Ali's criticism, though, is directed not against Israel but against the corruption of Palestine's "leaders"--the PLO and the so-called Palestinian Authority. These "leaders," conniving with Israel, have enriched themselves while the mass of Palestinians suffer, and they have made a "two-state solution" now impossible

Ali also criticizes the Arab countries, the United States, and most of Europe for their indifference to the Palestinians. And he praises the B.D.S. movement (boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel)--while noting its limitations.

Also of note: Ali's comparison and contrast of Palestine today and apartheid South Africa of years past ... and his discussion of why the Bernie Sanders movement is so encouraging.

Ali's remarks--which I have edited and condensed for radio broadcast--are from a panel discussion at the Left Forum, in New York, in May 2016.

Thanks to David Schonfeld, my colleague at WWUH-FM, in West Hartford, for technical assistance.

London-based Tariq Ali is an activist and a scholar of international affairs. He is the author of more than a dozen books and the editor of the New Left Review.



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Joe Bagent

New World Notes #445, 28:28 (September 13)
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Joe Bageant

A celebration of writer Joe Bageant (1946-2011). He wrote brilliantly, profanely, and with humor on the corporate plundering of America ... on the connivance of our politicians ... and on a despised minority group: poor whites ("rednecks"). He was born and raised one himself. He's best known for his best-selling book, Deer Hunting With Jesus (2008).

This installment features readings from 2 of Bageant's essays, a nice obituary in a style much like Joe's, and selections from recorded interviews.

This program was previously broadcast, as NWN #167, in May 2011.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jobs

New World Notes #444, 28:36 (September 2)
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Which is worse: a job where your bosses are idiots, you don't have a prayer of success, it's 110 degrees, sex is a distant memory, once in awhile people shoot at you, and the nearest bottle of beer is 100 miles away? ... Or unemployment?

That's a close call. Listen and decide for yourself.

This week we look at jobs, unemployment, and federal policies that affect the economy. We start with a good short movie by Progressive economists ECON 4. They say that the country's budget deficit is not an important economic problem. The main economic problem is widespread unemployment, and increased government spending should be part of the cure. Politicians of both parties are lying.


Then we hear about a really bad job--in both senses of the term. KD reviews a scathing and very funny book, full of first-hand details of how the State Department botched Iraq reconstruction--written by a foreign service officer on the scene who helped botch it. (We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, by Peter Van Buren, Metropolitan Books, 2011)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Chris Hedges: The Algebra of Revolution

Part 1: New World Notes #442, 28:41 (August 23)
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Part 2: New World Notes #443, 28:38 (August 30)
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Chris Hedges

A new, hard-hitting speech by journalist/essayist Chris Hedges. It's about the corruption of "the System" ... the increasing power of "the one percent" ... the betrayal of the people by the Democratic and Republican parties ... the century-long crackdown on dissent ...

And it's about our increasingly meaningless national politics, in which our real and pressing problems (climate change, oligarchy, a plundered economy) are seldom even mentioned--let alone debated, let alone put to a vote.

Hedges devotes some particular attention to the three national candidates: Clinton, Sanders, and Trump. None of them advocates the sort of radical change that (to Hedges) is our only hope.

Introduction by K.D.

Hedges spoke in Seattle on April 25, 2016. Video recording courtesy of Pirate Radio Seattle. I have edited the soundtrack for radio broadcast.

Photo (above) by Justin Norman, Creative Commons licanse (by-cc). Thanks.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dog Day Afternoon at the Movies

New World Notes #441, 29:04 (August 16)
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The neighborhood movie theater of my youth: Manor Theater,
Prospect Park, Pa. (destroyed by fire in 1970)

Three short, Progressive documentary films on our environmental crises--specifically, on fossil fuels, air and water pollution, consumer-electronics trash, and Wall Street schemes.

The films are
  • 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds by the Post Carbon Institute (Richard Heinberg)
  • The Story of Cap & Trade by Annie Leonard
  • The Story of Electronics by Annie Leonard
Annie Leonard is now (since 2014) Executive Director of Greenpeace USA.

This program was previously broadcast, as NWN #283, in August 2013. MP3s downloaded from the links, above, are labelled with the older program number.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

GMOs Are Bad. The System Is Worse.

New World Notes #440, 29:20 (August 9)
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Mickey Z.

Writer and activist Mickey Z. concisely explains everything that's wrong and bad about genetically modified crops (GMOs), particularly Monsanto's GMOs. He shows what's wrong economically, environmentally, nutritionally, politically, you name it.

But GMOs are a part of a larger evil--monopolistic corporate agribusiness. And that is a part of an even larger evil: "the whole System." 

But people have power to bring about change, and Mickey Z offers some suggestions and examples.

With an introduction by K.D.

Mickey Z (Mike Zezima) spoke in New Yok City on May 25, 2013.  From a video by Wilton Vought, available at www.othervoicesotherchoices.blogspot.com.  Edited by KD. Many thanks to Wilton.

This program was previously broadcast, as NWN #317, in April 2014. MP3s downloaded from the links, above, are labelled with the older program number.




Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Part 1: New World Notes #438, 28:08 (July 26)
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Part 2: New World Notes #439, 28:22 (August 2)
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Robert Lustig is a physician (pediatric endocrinologist) and medical researcher. In this engaging and wide-ranging talk, he identifies the most important cause of America's epidemic of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary disease, liver disease, and metabolic disorder. The culprit is sugar, specifically fructose.

Industry is increasing the amount of fructose in packaged foods, including and especially soda. High fructose corn syrup is not the only villain: many forms are bad, including table sugar (which the body turns into fructose).

Lustig explores the politics, economics, and biochemistry behind this now-global problem.

With an introduction by K.D.

Robin Upton, of Unwelcome Guests, adapted Lustig's lecture to radio. A video also is available, on YouTube.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine

New World Notes #437, 29:02 (July 12)
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An essay on America's current problems from Class War Films. A wide-ranging but concise critique of how America is run by a financial and corporatist elite. It's also about how our national myths (e.g., American Exceptionalism) are used to sugar-coat and justify imperial war abroad, political repression at home, and economic exploitation everywhere.

Beneath the Doomsday/Armageddon tone and style of this piece is an intelligent, cogent, left-of-center critique of our current system.

Plus--relatedly--a few words by me on this unhappy election season.




Sunday, July 10, 2016

How the Government Spies on You

New World Notes #436, 27:52 (July 12)
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A talk by technology expert and civil-liberties activist Chris Soghoian.

The government tried to prevent strong encryption of phone calls and text and email messages. Failing that, it now hacks and decrypts personal communications at will ... and worse. It's not just the NSA and FBI: with federal funds, local police forces also are acquiring and using the latest secret surveillance technology. Citizens have been fighting back--often successfully--through the courts and the media.

Soghoian spoke in Seattle on March 11, 2016.  The original audio recording (which I have edited and condensed a little) courtesy of Mike McCormick.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bitter Lake

Part 1: New World Notes #433, 29:15 (June 21)*
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Part 2: New World Notes #434, 29:00 (June 28)*
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Part 3: New World Notes #435, 28:12 (July 5)*
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Carlos Latuff, "Obama and Vietghanistan" (2009)

Adam Curtis's new video documentary, condensed and adapted to radio by KD.

It's about the history and politics of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and the U.S. since the 1940s. It's about the repeated failures of reformers--American, Russian, and Afghan alike--to remake and modernize Afghanistan.

It's about shrewd and cynical calculations by Saudi and American leaders--who promoted development and stability in Saudi Arabia by exporting Saudi extremist Islam (Wahhabism) abroad--including to Afghanistan.

It's about Wall Street giants, fat with Saudi petrodollars, beyond the control of any government. About Western governments that don't want to govern, anyway.

It's about how Afghanistan always seems to destroy the armies that invade it--and damage the invading countries. And it's about those two pillars of Western foreign policy: blowback and unintended consequences.

An original and interesting view of the world today and how we got here.

Russian troops leaving Afghanistan, late 1988 or 1989

Part 1 looks at the fateful postwar U.S.-Saudi alliance ... early attempts to modernize and Westernize Afghanistan ... and how, for decades, Saudi rulers achieved stability at home by exporting the reactionary, extreme form of Islam-Wahhabism--abroad.  And it looks at decades of political upheaval in Afghanistan, leading to a home-grown socialist revolutionary government--and Russian intervention when that fell apart.

Part 2 focuses on the failed Russian attempts to reform Afghanistan in the 1980s ... the failed American attempts to reform Afghanistan since 2001 ... the transfer of political power in the West from governments to defense industries and the banks ... the naive "Good vs. Evil" worldview shared by Washington, London, the Taliban, and Osama Bin Laden ... the vicious battle of the Afghan Mujahideen and the Russians ... and how the West aided the rise of Islamic extremism.

Part 3 shows the corruption, conflicts, complexity, warlordism, and ever-shifting local alliances of Afghan society today. And it shows the naivete and ignorance of the English and American occupying forces--and of the politicians who dispatched them. Armed with a simplistic "Good vs. Evil" worldview--and ignorant of the complexities and conflicts of modern Afghan society--the occupying troops are increasing death and destruction while moving Afghanistan farther away from the goal of stability and democracy.

Filmmaker Adam Curtis

More by Adam Curtis: New World Notes adapted Curtis's film Love and Power to radio, in two installments, in December 2013. For more information and links to the audio, see our Web page for that program.


*MP3s downloaded from these links are numbered as New World Notes #362, 363, and 364.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Amy Goodman in Cambridge

Part 1: New World Notes #431, 28:45 (June 7)
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Part 2: New World Notes #432, 27:43 (June 14)
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Amy Goodman

Selections from a recent talk in Cambridge, MA, by journalist Amy Goodman, longtime host of Democracy Now!  Goodman tells stories that explore the corruption of the corporate media and that show ordinary people fighting back against the System--sometimes successfully.

In Part 1, many of her stories come from the recent past--specifically 2011. Highlights include the trial and execution of Troy Davis, popular rebellion in Wisconsin, Occupy Wall Street, and some memorable climate activism.

In Part 2, Goodman tells of KPFT-FM vs. the Klan ... the 2015 murder of Black church members in Charleston ... and Bree Newsome's heroic (if felonious) cuting down of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse lawn. Plus tales of Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, and more. Plus a song by David Rovics.

Goodman spoke in Cambridge on May 10, 2016. The original 75-minute recording--which I have condensed and edited--courtesy of Stan Robinson for Truth and Justice Radio (truthandjusticeradio.org).

Goodman's new book (with Denis Moynihan and David Goodman) is Democracy Now!: 20 Years Covering the Movements Changing America.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Slippery Slope of Memorial Day

New World Notes #430, 28:31  (May 31)
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An anti-war, anti-militarism perspective on Memorial Day.

Journalist Robert Fisk explains that (and why) there's been no "Good War" after 1945. KD reads Howard Zinn's famous 1976 column on Memorial Day (which got Zinn fired from the Boston Globe). KD also reads and demolishes the beloved war poem, "In Flanders Fields." Plus Steppenwolf's antiwar rock classic of the 1970s, "Monster."

This program was first broadcast (as NWN #65) in May 2009. Fisk talk courtesy of tucradio.org. Zinn essay, "Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?"--and much other good stuff--from The Zinn Reader (Seven Stories Press, 1997).


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Potpourri 4 (Resisting the Oligarchs)

New World Notes #429, 27:32  (May 24)
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Joseph Keppler, The Bosses of the Senate, 1889
(Click to enlarge.)

A bit of this, a bit of that--all loosely connected by the theme of how the Powers That Be wield their power in practice. Includes comic satire by The Final Edition, a new song by David Rovics, and thoughts on Trump and the media by KD.

The real story about Trump, KD argues, is not his personal failings or his unsound policies. The real story is how the US oligarchs--and their mouthpiece, the media--work to destroy politicians who are not reliable servants of the oligarchy.

Final Edition sketch courtesy of Scooter's "innerSide" radio program (KPFT-FM, Houston).

David Rovics's song, "State House Lawn," is from his recent album, The Other Side.  https://davidrovics.bandcamp.com/music .

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Why Our War Against ISIS Can't Be Won

Part 1: New World Notes #427, 29:59 (May 10)
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Part 2: New World Notes #428, 28:04 (May 17)
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Phyllis Bennis

Progressive activist Phyllis Bennis explains how US actions in the Middle East gave rise to ISIS and sustain it. Since ISIS's terrorism is a response to the profound damage the US military has done to the region--and to other US crimes and blunders--still more US military action will only make matters worse.

There is no military solution, Bennis argues, but diplomatic solutions are indeed possible. But does the US even want a diplomatic solution instead of unending war?

In Part 2, Bennis also brings in Israel, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia; and I add a few thoughts on 9-11 coverups.and the Northern Ireland peace agreement of 1998.

Phyllis Bennis's new book is Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer (2015).

Bennis spoke in Seattle on February 2, 2016. Original recording courtesy of Mike McCormick, of "Mind Over Matters."  Many thanks.



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bill Hicks

New World Notes #426, 28:56 (May 2)
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Cultural critic and stand-up comedian Bill Hicks died 22 years ago at age 32. In memoriam, we present a sampling of his recorded routines (suitable for broadcast).  With brief introductions by KD.

Included:
  • The war
  • The elite
  • Hillbillies
  • Gays in the military
  • "This is your brain on drugs"
  • Jay Leno
  • It's only a ride

Thanks to Scooter at KPFT-FM in Houston for some of the selections here.

* Previously broadcast, as NWN #318, in April 2014. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are named with this older program number.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Capitalism Hits the Fan

Part 1: New World Notes #424, 28:35 (April 19)
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Part 2: New World Notes #425, 27:42 (April 26)
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Richard Wolff

With clarity, force, and wit, economist Richard Wolff explains the long process that got the U.S. economy into its present crisis. He shows why there are no quick fixes--while suggesting (in Part 2) some practical actions that will help. More fundamentally, we need to re-think our commitment to corporate capitalism.

Part 1 focuses on the factors most affecting workers: growing workforce, growing productivity, declining available jobs, stagnant pay, and growing consumer debt.

Part 2 focuses more on CEOs and financiers--who managed to make a bad situation much worse. Plus Wolff's practical suggestions.

Wolff gave this guest-lecture at Brown University on December 2, 2009. I have condensed it for radio broadcast. A video of the entire presentation including introductions (1:45:00) can be found on YouTube.

New World Notes previously broadcast this two-part program in April 2012 (as NWN #213-214). MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are named with these older program numbers.



Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Crisis of Civilization

Part 1: New World Notes #422, 28:04 (April 5)
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Part 2: New World Notes #423, 29:09 (April 12)
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U.K. political analyst Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed has written and narrates an engaging documentary film, The Crisis of Civilization. I have condensed and adapted the film to radio,

New World Notes first broadcast this two-part program (as #238-239) in September 2012--a Presidential election year, like this one. In case you were wondering why Part Two talks a bit about George Romney.

In the film, Ahmed surveys (by my count) seven serious global crises that are now besetting Western Civilization as we know it. He argues that the seven are interconnected. So none can be fixed (or even much improved) without addressing the other six.

The seven interconnected crises are
  • climate change
  • peak energy
  • food production and distribution
  • economic instability
  • international terrorism
  • militarization
  • destruction of civil liberties
Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed 

Clips from old films enliven Ahmed's discussion, which is pretty interesting in itself.

In Part One of our adaptation, Ahmed looks at economic instability and terrorism.

In Part Two, he examines militarization and destruction of civil liberties. Also in Part Two, we'll read a good essay by Bruce Dixon, of Black Aganda Report, on how Obama and Romney agree on almost every issue. (Replace these names with "the Democrats" and "the Republicans," and the point is valid today too.)

Another thing politicians have agreed on: not to mention six of the crises we're identifying--and not to say anything sensible about the seventh, terrorism.  And I think that applies to every candidate running for President at any time in 2016--with perhaps the partial exceptions of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Part Two has new introductions and comments by K.D.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Humanitarian Intervention B.S.

New World Notes #421, 27:43 (March 29)
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Belgrade, Serbia, 1999: NATO humanely intervenes--protecting civilians in Bosnia by killing civilians in Serbia

Radovan Karadzic's conviction for genocide and war crimes brings to mind the US's disastrous "humanitarian intervention" in Bosnia and Serbia in the 1990s--and more recent disastrous interventions in Libya and Syria.

In almost every case in recent history, "humanitarian intervention" has been a pretext for illegal aggression by a major power.

Brief reflections by KD are followed by a fine talk, on the same subject, by Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky spoke in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in early October, 2013.  Recording courtesy of Chuck Rosina. I have snipped out a few stumbles; the talk is otherwise uncut.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Vice and Folly--At Home and Abroad

New World Notes #420, 28:56 (March 22)
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Trump; the panicking Republican "elders," the corporate-controlled press, Hillary Clinton, the Presidential campaign, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. domestic policies--how many disasters can we take all at once?

We explore, with some help from commentators William Blum and Glen Ford and singer David Rovics.


Glen Ford's talk courtesy of Black Agenda Report.

William Blum's essay (condensed by me) courtesy of Counterpunch (March 11, 2016).


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Afghanistan: Won't Get Fooled Again!

New World Notes #419 (#93), 29:34 (March 15)
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Why are at war in Afghanistan? Four figures (including me) explore. Steve Fournier questions why H. Clinton called suicide bombers "cowards" while the US is bombarding wedding parties by remote control. David Model (read aloud) lucidly explains the real reason for this war. In a brilliant speech, Afghan activist Malalai Joya denounces the cruelty and hypocrisy of Bush, Obama, Karzai, NATO, the warlords, and the Taliban.

This program was previously broadcast (as NWN #93) in December 2009. Alas, hardly a word needs to be changed! A couple names are now different--e.g., the president of Afghanistan is now named Ohani, not Karzai.

Afghani proverb: "Same donkey, new saddle."

Credit where due:

Steve Fournier's jeremiad recorded exclusively for New World Notes. Read Steve's "Curent Invective" at www.currentinvective.com

David Model's essay, "NATO's Chimerical Enemy in Afghanistan," from CounterPunch, condensed & edited for radio by K.D. http://www.counterpunch.org/model11132009.html

Malalai Joya's November 14 speech in Vancouver recorded for CFRO by Alex Smith--www.ecoshock.org. See also www.stopwar.ca. Joya's speech edited by KD.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Obey and Keep Calm

Part 1: New World Notes #417, 27:56 (March 1)
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Part 2: New World Notes #418, 29:25 (March 8)
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Temujin Doran (pronounced TEM-yu-jin, I think)

Temujin Doran's film, Obey: How the Rise of Mass Propaganda Killed Populism, adapted to radio.  It's about the military, political, and economic crimes of the Corporate State. It features readings from from Chris Hedges' 2010 book, Death of the Liberal Class.

Part 1 features the first half of Obey and then also--to cheer things up a bit--a sweet short film by Doran on the poster and slogan, "Keep calm and carry on."

Part 2 features the second half of Obey--but first some words about our Syria war-fever and a reading of Chidanand Rajghatta's essay, Why America Cannot Live Without Wars.

These two installments of New World Notes were originally broadcast (as #287-288) in September 2013.

Temujin Doran's Web site is http://studiocanoe.com .




Friday, February 19, 2016

The Late 1960s ... and Now

New World Notes #416, 29:15 (February 23)
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Draft card burning

The deaths of musicians Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson inspire reflections (by me) on the virtues of the late-1960s "counterculture"--virtues seemingly in short supply today. Such as distrust of authority, feeling of personal power & community, belief that the people can change the world for the better, and experiments in alternative structures.

Or maybe today's situation is actually more hopeful than it seems at first glance.

The show includes commentary by Glen Ford, a poem by W.H. Auden, and music by Jefferson Airplane.

Paul Kantner, 1941-2016


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Economics and Inequality

Part 1: New World Notes #414, 28:46 (February 9)
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Part 2: New World Notes #415, 28:10 (February 16)
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Economist Joseph Stiglitz shows that economic inequality in the U.S. is bad, and it is getting worse. Likewise, inequality of opportunity. The causes of the problem--says Stiglitz--are the U.S.'s dysfunctional style of capitalism and a political system that increasingly serves only the economic elite, not "the 99%."

The situation is not only bad for democracy, it's even bad for capitalism, Stiglitz argues. (No socialist, Stiglitz wants to reform capitalism, not replace it.)

Stiglitz's talk is short of proposed solutions, but it is an excellent, lucid, and very listenable survey of the problems we face--and their causes.

Stiglitz's accolades include the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is former Chief Economist of the World Bank and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. He gave this talk, in Washington D.C., in 2012 on his tour supporting his book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (Norton, 2012).




Saturday, January 30, 2016

Climate Change Hope

New World Notes #413, 28:58 (February 3)
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Australian climate scientist Tim Flannery reviews some new, cutting-edge approaches to restraining or halting global warming.

Flannery opposes risky "geoengineering" schemes. But the new, "Third Way" approaches, he says, are different. Based on natural processes, they actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

These new technologies--combined with a shift from fossil fuels to wind and solar power--give us some reason to hope that climate catastrophe may be averted.

Tim Flannery

Flannery spoke in Seattle on November 12, 2015. The audio of his complete presentation was provided by Mike McCormick, producer of Mind Over Matters, in Seattle. (Many thanks.) I have substantially condensed the talk for this radio program.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Beyond Militarism

New World Notes #412, 28:33 (January 26)
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Is American militarism a problem? What are the causes of this militarism? Why are we now calling every guy who ever put on a uniform a "hero"? And can militarism be stopped?

Former career soldier Stan Goff addresses these questions with impressive insight and erudition.

We supplement Goff's analysis with a few minutes of Martin Luther King's fine address on American militarism and war, Beyond Vietnam (April 4, 1967). Plus some background and commentary by KD.


Thanks to Michael Welch, the Global Research News Hour, and station CKUW-FM (Winnipeg, Manitoba) for the recorded interview with Goff, which I have edited and condensed.

Illustrations by Eric Drooker (top), Robert Shetterly (above).

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Capitalism vs. Reality

Part 1: New World Notes #410, 29:10 (January 12)
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Part 2: New World Notes #411, 28:09 (January 19)
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Michael Parenti (2nd from left)

In this new talk, political scientist Michael Parenti refutes the claim that the "free enterprise" system (capitalism) promotes both democracy and prosperity.

Part 1 focuses on democracy. Through several historical examples--from ancient Greece to the Constitutional Convention to the present day--Parenti shows how the capitalists (and their predecessors) fought democracy every step of the way--and continue to do so. Rather, democracy emerged, in fits and starts, from the struggles of ordinary people to bring practical improvements to their lives.

Part 2 focuses more on prosperity. Drawing on the past 150 years of American history, Parenti refutes the myth that capitalism increases the general prosperity. In fact the system has brought regular recessions and depressions to ordinary citizens. Not "free enterprise" but a massive increase in government spending finally lifted America out of the depression of the 1920s and 1930s.

Parenti spoke at the University of Illinois at Springfield on October 16, 2015. Thanks to the university, and to Dale Lehman of WZRD-FM, Chicago, for the original recording.  I have lightly edited the original and done what I could to improve its audio quality.

The real origins of democracy, according to Parenti



Saturday, January 2, 2016

Searching for the Authentic on a Motorcycle

New World Notes #409 (#358), 29:47 (January 5)
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This week's show is mostly monologue.  It's an extended "personal essay" by me, more or less in the tradition of Blue Highways and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  With I guess a few echos of "News From Lake Wobegon."

It's about authenticity and its opposites.  It's also about motorcycle design, and simplicity versus clutter, and the rebirth of the "Indian" brand, and the quiet, subtle virtues of a Harley-Davidson. It's about how New England place-names sort of begin to make sense after you've lived here 20 or 30 years.

It's about corporate franchises and their phony food and their phony architecture--including fake gables, fake windows and even fake "widow's walks."  And it's about taking a motorcycle to search for "the authentic"--and sometimes even finding it when you get far enough out of town.  Uncasville, maybe.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #358, in January 2015.



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Trends

New World Notes #408, 29:00 (December 29)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Botox for men. Extra points for the two-day-old-looking beard.

In places seriously, in places tongue-in-cheek, we take a look at some current trends. Important ones include the decline of suburbs and the increasing wealth of the plutocrats.

But let's not neglect Botox for men ("brotox"), celebrity vegetarianism, women NOT dyeing their hair, special-interest magazines, exploring power plants while naked....  Contributors include J.H. Kunstler, George Carlin, Paul Krassner, provincial newspapers, and singer David Rovics.

With a new foreword by K.D.  Previously broadcast, as NWN #217, in May 2012.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Comic Satire for Christmas

New World Notes #407, 27:15 (December 22)
Broadcast quality MP3 (labeled as #355 -- 39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (labeled as #355 -- 13 MB)


This year's Christmas show bears a certain relationship to last year's Christmas show.  The name of that certain relationhip is "identity."  (Yes, I stole that one from Peter Schickele/PDQ Bach.)

The show contains brief commentary by me, five satiric seasonal songs, and one imitation Broadway "big production number." All take a comic but critical view of American hypocrisies, religiosity, commercialism, class warfare, and other Christmastime traditions.

I'm especially fond of the pseudo- "big production number": Stan Freberg's 1958 masterpiece, Green Chri$tma$.  The audio fidelity is very good even by today's standards; the production is rich and sophisticated; the script is witty; and the message (alas) is still relevant.

Other contributionsare by Hugh Blumenfeld, Simon and Garfunkel, Anne Feeney, Roy Zimmerman, and Tom Lehrer.

Bah! humbug! and merry Christmas to all!



Friday, December 11, 2015

Scooter's War on Christmas Kickstarter

New World Notes #406, 28:33 (December 15)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

The Church fights back

A fine audio collage on Christmas and America produced by Scooter. A blend of social satire, inspired nonsense, improbable music, serious debate, standup comedy, right-wing craziness, & great fun.

This collage weaves together a debate on religion by the late Christopher Hitchens and Bill Donahue, a parody musical-comedy Christmas movie, a parody war movie (climaxing in the death of all three Chipmunks), ravings by Bill O'Reilly and a few televangelists, heavy-metal Christmas carols, standup comedy by Lewis Black and Sam Kinison, and more.

Last December we played a 12-minute excerpt from the piece. This year (what the heck) we present Scooter's tour-de-force almost uncut ... almost uncensored ... and almost unabridged!

Scooter, in a reflective moment

Scooter produces "The innerSide" radio program at KPFT-FM, Houston. Find more of his work at http://aksisofevil.org.






Saturday, November 28, 2015

SCADs and Conspiracy Theories

Part 1: New World Notes #404, 28:49 (December1)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #405, 28:38 (December 8)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Lance deHaven-Smith

Public policy scholar Lance deHaven-Smith discusses the concepts of "conspiracy theories" and SCADs--State Crimes Against Democracy. "Conspiracy theory" is a pejorative term introduced by the CIA in the 1960s to smear critics of the Warren Commission Report. SCADs, though, are real crimes that high government officials (often conspiring together) committed.

Part 1 of this interesting talk discusses both concepts and provides some little-known facts about famous SCADs including Watergate and candidate Richard Nixon's scuttling of the Vietnam peace talks in 1968.

Part 2 says more about both concepts and provides many little-known facts about proven SCADs, probable SCADs, and possible SCADs. One focus is this country's many assassinations and attempted assassinations.


deHaven-Smith spoke in Denver on September 6, 2013. Robin Upton, of Unwelcome Guests (unwelcomeguests.net) provided an edited sound recording--which I have edited a bit more. Thanks to Robin.

Lance deHaven-Smith is Professor of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. His books include Conspiracy Theory in America (University of Texas Press, 2013).


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Parenti Ad Lib

Part 1: New World Notes #402, 28:31 (Nov.17)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #403, 28:00 (Nov.24)
Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Michael Parenti

In Part 1:

Progressive political scientist Michael Parenti's unscripted reflections on capitalism, socialism, student rebellion, Cuban plumbers, Russian prostitutes, worker ownership of workplaces, and Parenti's former running mate--and former close friend--Bernie Sanders.

Plus a relevant song by David Rovics.

In Part 2:

Parenti takes on capitalism, socialism, public utilities, popular rebellion, plutocrats in general, the Waltons in particular, Occupy Wall Street, and the monetary system.

Plus a brief recorded Parenti essay from 2005--"Welfare for the Wealthy"--and a song by Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Parenti spoke in Springfield, Illinois, on October 6, 2015.  The original recording--which I have condened and edited--is courtesy of the Unifersity of Illinois at Springfield and Dale Lehman/WZRD (via radio4all.net).  "Welfare for the Wealthy" courtesy of L.A. Sound Posse.  Many thanks.

 Bernie Sanders (courtesy politico.com)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Hidden Life of Garbage

New World Notes #401, 27:28 (November 10)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Refilled glass soda-pop bottles (1949). Was this a bad idea?

We present Heather Rogers' 18-minute video documentary from 2005, Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage plus introduction and other commentary by me.

It's about the growing mountains of waste generated by a consumer economy based on disposable products. It's about the inability of recycling programs to actually recycle most of the stuff they receive. It's about the massive "Keep America Beautiful" anti-littering campaign--an industry ploy designed to head off anti-disposables legislation.

We end with a couple minutes on plastic waste from Annie Leonard's The Story of Bottled Water.

"Gone Tomorrow" was adapted to radio by Robin Upton, of Unwelcome Guests.

Discarded water bottles at a landfill