Sunday, March 18, 2018

No Nostalgia for Obama, Please

New World Notes #524, 28:56 (March 20)
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Yes, (KD argues,) Trump is unfit to be President. But so were two recent predecessors: W. Bush and Saint Ronald Reagan. The difference is that Reagan and Bush had the full support of America's oligarchs and corporate elite. Trump does not have their full support. So Trump gets the bad press.

But let not Republican malfeasance blind us to the sins of the Democrats, specifically Barack Obama. He served the oligarchs and the elite--and damaged "the 99%"--just as thoroughly as the Republicans.

A brief introduction by KD is followed by a prescient talk that Noam Chomsky delivered in November 2008--after Obama's election but before his inauguration. Chomsky explains why our election was far less democratic than recent elections in Haiti and Bolivia--and why the Obama administration would likely serve the financial elite at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Unfortunately, Chomsky proved right on every count.

Note: In his talk, Chomsky names the democratically elected president of Haiti (Bertrand Aristide) but not of Bolivia. He is Evo Morales.

Chomsky was recorded at Arlington Street Church, Boston, on November 19, 2008 . Thanks to the anonymous recordist (I have my suspicions) for the excellent recording.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Destroying the American Dream

New World Notes #523, 28:06 (March 13)
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Noam Chomsky discusses (with Ralph Nader) more of the key ideas of his recent book and film, Requiem for the American Dream: The Ten Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power.

In this final installment, Nader discusses three more ways in which the rich and powerful are destroying democracy and establishing plutocracy in the U.S. These are: (1) "Keep the rabble in line," (2) "Manufacture consent," and (3) "Marginalize the population."

A brilliant, cogent, and very true-sounding talk.

Audio (slightly condensed by me) courtesy of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (originally broadcast May 27, 2017). Many thanks.

Two earlier installments of New World Notes carried other portions of Chomsky's long talk: #499 ("Potpourri 5"), September 26, 2017; and #510 ("Potpourri 6"), December 12, 2017.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Other America

New World Notes #522, 29:15 (March 6)
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Martin Luther King, Jr. (left), and Malcolm X (right),
March 26, 1964

A very good but little-known late speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. "The Other America," was delivered at Stanford University (California) on April 14,1967--10 days after King's great (and somewhat better-known) speech, "Beyond Vietnam."

Here King goes beyond mere "civil rights" and speaks forcefully on the larger issues of growing economic inequality and an out-of-control Military-Industrial Complex.

The sonewhat condensed audio recording was produced in 2008 for the radio program, "DC37 Radio"--apparently the predecessor of the "Building Bridges" show. Thanks to producer Ken Nash.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Hidden Ideology of the News Media

Part 1: New World Notes #520, 28:39 (February 20)
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Part 2: New World Notes #521, 28:41 (February 27)
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Another in our series of classic talks by Progressive political scientist Michael Parenti.  This one--one of his best--dates from 1997.
Parenti demolishes the myth of "the liberal media."  With wit, humor, facts, and examples, he shows that the US news media are little more than the propaganda arm of the the most powerful corporations and the government.

Parenti spoke in Burlington, Vermont--at the same university that had fired him for his antiwar activism 25 years earlier.

Previously broadcast, in May 2015. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #375 and 376.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Only Mutiny Can Save the Ship

New World Notes #519, 29:25 (February 13):

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A stunning talk by journalist/prophet Chris Hedges.  Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick is an apt (and scary) metaphor for the U.S. today, says Hedges.

The relentless pursuit of an insane goal: that's Captain Ahab on the ship Pequod, and that's corporate capitalism today. On the Pequod, the pursuit yielded repression and then destruction of ship and crew. That's where the world today is heading.

Only mutiny by the crew could have saved the Pequod, and--Hedges argues--only nonviolent rebellion by citizens can save the U.S. and the planet's ecosystem

I have condensed Hedges' talk substantially.  He delivered the talk, under a different title, at Moravian College on October 22, 2013.  A video of the complete talk is available on YouTube.

Previously broadcast in February 2014. MP3 files downloaded from the linls, above, are identified as NWN #311.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Things Fall Apart

New World Notes #518, 28:50 (February 6)
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 A public library, from The Ruins of Detroit
by Yves Marchant and Romain Meffre
(Click to enlarge)

The economy ... American political democracy ... the climate ... the whole ecosystem--all seem to be collapsing at once. In a poem of 1920, W.B. Yeats noted, "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold." The show features a good routine on the very subject by George Carlin (early 1990s), music by James McMurtry ("Ruins of the Realm"), Yeats's poem, and somewhat-humorous reflections by K.D.
William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Anti-Russia Hysteria

New World Notes #517, 27:32 (January 30)
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Philip Giraldi

K.D. reflects on U.S. exaggerations of the Russian threat in the 1950s. Those "Cold War" lies and distortions greatly increased the profits of the military-industrial complex (as intended). And it looks like the same stunt is being pulled again today.

Next we read an article on the subject by retired CIA officer Philip Giraldi--"Washington Invented Hacking and Interfering in Elections." Then a recording of Giraldi discussing today's anti-Russia hysteria and related issues.

The Giraldi audio is excerpted from the radio program Takes On the World (January 11, 2017). Many thanks to producer and host Jeff Blankfort. An archive of Takes On the World is available on

Giraldi's article was published in Unz Review on January 10, 2017.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Map Is Not the Territory

New World Notes #310, 27:28 (February 11):
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Click to enlarge (all graphics)

In brief

Illusion vs. reality in America today.  Getting lost on Groundhog Day inspires a reflection by K.D. on S.I. Hayakawa's maxim, "The map is not the territory." The "map" of reality handed to us by the corporations and politicians falsely depicts the lay of the land (so to speak).  Inaccurate maps are useful to Established Power, bad for the rest of us.

Plus--making similar points--a selection from Virtual Renderings' new audio collage. Includes commentary by Woody Harrelson, Chris Hedges, and Jordan Maxwell and a timely song by Jackson Browne.

Virtual Renderings' collage is titled, "Ponderings From Within Leviathan."  The complete (56-minute) version is available for free download. (Lo-Fi version and program information page are also available.)

Above: S. I. Hayakawa
Below: Suzuki Hayabusa
(Easy to confuse!)

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #310, in February 2014.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Power, Propaganda and the Silence of Writers

New World Notes #515, 28:54 (January 16)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB) -- Link corrected 2-11-2018
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In brief

Independent journalist John Pilger exposes the hypocrisy of the news media--and how they further the aims of Established Power by producing a barrage of propaganda.

The examples he cites are striking. In Pilger's native Australia, the media have invented a child-prostitution scandal among Australia's indigenous people--thus furthering yet another land-grab by the government.

Then there's the press's "propaganda of silence": not reporting facts and stories that contradict the (often false) claims of the powerful.

UN weapons inspectors and all the major U.S. spy agencies report that they have found no evidence that Iran has a program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has signed and is abiding by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Under the treaty, Iran has the right to enrich uranium to levels useful for power generation and medical research. Enriching it to the much-higher level needed to make bombs would require a huge increase in uranium imports and a huge increase in infrastructure--impossible to conceal.

Israel has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons.

Don't look for any of these inconvenient facts on the front page of the New York Times--or from any other Establishment "news outlet."

John Pilger

Notes, credits, & links

Pilger gave this talk on August 23, 2008, at the Melbourne Writers Festival. I've condensed the talk for radio broadcast. A video of the entire presentation is here:

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN # 212, in March 2012.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Killing Us Softly

New World Notes #514, 27:42 (January 9)
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A smart, funny, and important talk on advertising's image of women.

With wit and humor, Jean Kilbourne shows the preposterous body images, emotional styles, sexuality, and attitudes towards violence that consumer advertising presents to women (and men) as desirable and normal. Kilbourne's critique is far from radical, but it is very sound, very interesting, and in places very funny. Both men and women will find this talk well worth a listen.

Based on the video (Edition 3, year 2000). Condensed and adapted to radio by KD. This video is available on The Internet Archive (

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #144, in December 2010. MP3 files downloaded fromthe links, above, are identified as NWN #144.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

SCADs and Conspiracy Theories

Part 1: New World Notes #512, 28:49 (December 26, 2017)
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Part 2: New World Notes #513, 28:38 (January 2, 2018)
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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.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #404-405, in December 2015. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #404 and 405.

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

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, December 16, 2017

Comic Satire for Christmas

New World Notes #511, 27:15 (December 19)
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Stan Freberg

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

  • Hugh Blumenfeld, Long-Haired Radical Socialist Jew
  • Simon and Garfunkel, Silent Night / Six O'Clock News
  • Anne Feeney, Brave New Christmas
  • Roy Zimmerman, Buy War Toys for Christmas
  • Stan Freberg, Green Chri$tma$
  • Tom Lehrer, A Christmas Carol
Note: MP3 files downloaded from the liinks, above, are identified as NWN  #355.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Potpourri 6

New World Notes #510, 29:00 (December 12)
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A bit of this, a bit of that. Features more of Noam Chomsky's discussion (with Ralph Nader) on the ill effects of the growing concentration of wealth and power. Plus KD's "Press Review" of oddball newspaper stories and a song by Ethan Miller & Kate Boverman.

Chomsky audio courtesy of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour for May 20, 2017

This installment of New World Notes presents the second part of the Chomsky/Nader discussion. For the first part, see NWN #499--Potpourri 5--broadcast in September 2017.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bruce Gagnon on Endless War & the Economy

Part 1: New World Notes #508, 29:20 (November 28)
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Part 2: New World Notes #509, 28:19 (December 5)
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Aegis-class destroyer USS Oscar
Austin leaves the Bath (Maine) Iron Works. Balloons for the kiddies
of Gagnon's home town. Maine's principal exports appear to be
Aegis destroyers and potatoes.

Antiwar/antinuke activist Bruce Gagnon shows how militarism is detroying both the American economy and our lives.

In Part 1, he discusses the connections among crumbling infrastructure, unemployment, decreasing educational opportunities for working-class kids, the increasing militarization of our society, the export of war machines, aggressive U.S. foreign policy, corporate globalization, our rulers' desire to control the world's oil, ...  and the wisdom of forming alliances with the "Tea-partiers."

Bruce Gagnon (2004)

 In Part 2, he shows the bad effects of NATO expansion and of our encircling Russia and China with "missile defense" installations.

He also discusses universities' increasing dependence on Pentagon funding (for war research); ... the allegiance of both parties to capitalism, oligarchy, & military empire; ... & how spending on infrastructure creates many more jobs than "defense" spending.

-- ### --

Bruce Gagnon is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (

Recorded live by me in West Hartford, Connecticut, on April 16, 2010.  Gagnon's talk was sponsored by the West Hartford Citizens for Peace and Justice ( This program was originally broadcast in 2010.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

George Carlin on American B.S.

New World Notes #507, 28:13 (November 21)
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In his last years, socially-engaged comedian George Carlin seemed less angry, more resigned, and shrewd as ever as he observed American politics and culture rushing to hell in a handbasket. Our show presents some of Carlin's last performances and parts of an interview--plus a Carlin-like song by David Rovics.

The theme is B.S., America, and why the two make an especially bad combination.

Prologue by K.D.

George Carlin died June 22, 2008.


Thanks to Chuck Rosina for the live recording of David Rovics' "God Bless the USA"

A faint echo of the word "bullshit" can once (barely) be heard in the "mid-fi" audio file. The "broadcast quality" file snips the echo out.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #272, in May 2013. Just to keep you on your toes: the "decent quality" file downloadable from the link, above, is identified in the filename as NWN #272. The "broadcast quality" file is identified as NWN #507. As they used to say in my old neighborhood, "Same difference!"

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

An Earth-Toned Collage

Part 1: New World Notes #505, 28:49 (November 7)
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Part 2: New World Notes #506, 27:56 (November 14)
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A new audio collage on responding radically to the environmental crisis. It's by Chazk (aka Virtual Renderings). It features commentary by figures such as Dale Pendell, Derrick Jensen, Guy McPherson, and Charles Eisenstein--plus some relevant music.

IMHO, this is one of Chazk's best.

With a brief introduction by K.D.  (Original title: An Earth Toned Collage of Collages.)

Near the top of the gray sidebar, to the right of this page--in the section, "Worth a Look:"--you'll find a link to a large, free archive of audio colages by Chazk / Virtual Renderings. Feel free to browse, sample, and download!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Naomi Klein: Capitalism vs the Climate

Part 1: New World Notes #503, 27:51 (October 24)
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Part 2: New World Notes #504, 27:34 (October 31) 
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Writer and activist Naomi Klein discusses the subject of her recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

Klein argues that any real solution to the climate crisis must necessarily overturn four factors that are making the crisis worse. And making our lives worse. They are privatization, deregulation, "austerity," and "free trade" deals.

These four factors--pillars of neoliberal economic theory and policy--well deserve overturning on their own (lack of) merits. Because of the climate crisis, transforming the global economy for the better seems much more possible now than it did a decade or two ago.

An interesting and upbeat talk with many good specific examples.

Klein spoke in Montreal on September 16, 2014. Original recording courtesy of CKUT-FM, Montreal. I have lightly edited the original for radio broadcast.  Chuck Rosina recorded David Rovics' "The Biggest Windmill" (in Part 2) live in Boston on January 27, 2013.

This program was originally broadcast, as NWN #344 and 345, in October 2014. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified in their filenames as NWN #344 and 345.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hugh Hefner

New World Notes #502, 28:12 (October 17)
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We explore both the good points and the bad of those 20th-century icons, the late Hugh M. Hefner and his Playboy magazine.

Includes excerpts from the Times's fine obituary. Plus personal reminiscences by KD exploring the role of Playboy in his adolescent development--and the magazine's role in American culture. With a relevant song by Tom Lehrer.

Note: Adult themes and language: listener discretion is advised. 

Hugh M. Hefner died September 27, 2017. 

Photo: Bunnies say a tearful final farewell to Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner. That would be a great caption. Alas, the photo shows the inaugural flight of the corporate jet, 1970.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

New World Notes #501, 27:39 (October 10)
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Prophet and war correspondent Chris Hedges reflects on the psychologically destructive--yet addicting--nature of war. He focuses not on rulers and generals but on the people on the ground--civilians and enlisted soldiers and war correspondents too.

This talk is based on his own experience and based on his book, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002).  Plus some additional reflections by Hedges on PTSD among soldiers who fought in World War Two.

Audio courtesy of Robin Upton's Unwelcome Guests radio program.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #295, in October 2013. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #295.

Saturday, September 30, 2017


New World Notes #500, 28:49 (October 3)
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An interesting look at our fascination with celebrities ... and corporate marketers' exploitation of this to sell products.

In fact our attraction to celebrities appears rooted in our evolution: the closer our ancestors got to the alpha male, the more likely they were to survive.

The show includes parts of the documentary film Starsuckers and Chris Hedges' critique of Michael Jackson's funeral.

Chris Hedges' speech was recorded on October 14, 2009, by Ethan Osland, of Black Mask Winnipeg ( Thanks to Ethan and Black Mask for permission to rebroadcast.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #183, in September 2011.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Potpourri 5

New World Notes #499, 28:29 (September 26)
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Salvador Dali celebrates National Lobster Day

A hodgepodge of interesting stuff.

The show includes a Press Review of oddball stories you may have missed--National Lobster Day, the US claims to have "conquered" Jupiter, and more. David Rovics sings about a huge London riot the US press chose to ignore. Then Noam Chomsky explains some of the ways the US's ruling elite keeps "the 99%" powerless, obedient, and economically insecure.

Plus remarks, here and there, by KD.

Homer Simpson channels Gerard de Nerval

Chomsky audio courtesy of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour for May 20, 2017. Chomsky's recent publications include a film and book, Requiem for the American Dream (2017).

National Lobster Day is September 25, 2017--if Stop and Shop Supermarkets' weekly circular is to be believed.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Chris Hedges: The Corporate War On the People

This fortnight in New World Notes, radio programs #497-498, September 12 & 18:

Chris Hedges:
The Corporate War on the People

December 16, 2010: Hedges at an antiwar protest outside the White House. Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, and others later chained themselves to the surrounding fence. 131 were arrested.

Journalist, columnist, and former war correspondent Chris Hedges discusses the corporate attack on the American people and on the "liberal" institutions that once helped empower the people.

Part 1: How we got here. In the first of two installments, Hedges discusses how things got to their unhappy current state. He explores the mass-propaganda machine created during World War I, the rise of the public relations industry to serve corporate power, the campaign against labor unions and other liberal institutions, militarism, the replacement of traditional American values (such as thrift) with corporate values, and the sell-out of the Democratic Party.

Part 2: How to fight back. In the second installment, Hedges discusses totalitarianism, American-style; the Christian Right; why the Tea Party (rightly) hates the Liberal Establishment; the perfidy of the Democratic Party; U.S. parallels with the former Yugoslavia; the necessity of resistance; and the importance that the resistance be nonviolent.

Top: Master propagandist of the Wilson administration, George Creel manufactured American public support for World War I. After the war, Creel's techniques would serve the interests of the large corporations.Bottom: Creel-sponsored propaganda film. Most graphics: Click to enlarge.

Notes, credits, & links

NWN #497 and 498 rebroadcast an interview conducted by Mike McCormick, of the radio program "Mind Over Matters," on December 2, 2010 (slightly condensed by me). . Thanks to Mike for a fine interview and permission to rebroadcast it.

New World Notes originally broadcast these two installments, as NWN #150-151, in January 2011. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #150 and #151.

Chris Hedges' recent book is Death of the Liberal Class (2010).

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "table") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Top: abandoned U.S. factory 

A-Infos Radio Project

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Dubious Achievements

New World Notes #496, 28:28 (September 5)
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We remember magazines that have bit the dust--and defunct magazine features, too--notably Esquire magazine's wonderful Dubious Achievement Awards (died February 2008).  This funny annual satire on the year's vice and folly is much missed--and much needed today.

Surely a Dubious Achievement Award would have gone to the Keystone Pipeline. And to Saudi Arabia, for joining the Paris march celebrating freedom of the press.  And to the U.S. Senate, which just decreed that humans are not causing global warming.  And to ...

We still have Conn Hallinan's "Are You Serious?" Awards. We'll read some of the latest. Plus another take on the Keystone Pipeline by singer David Rovics.

 Conn Hallinan

This program was originally broadcast, as NWN #361, in January 2015. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #361.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Escaping the Matrix

Part 1: New World Notes #494, 29:10 (August 22)
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Part 2: New World Notes #495, 29:03 (August 29)
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Dialogue from the film. (Click to enlarge.)

First some brief personal reflections by KD and a bit of music. Then a reading (by Lyn Gerry) of the first half of Richard K. Moore's classic essay, "Escaping the Matrix."

Moore's essay, published in 2000, is a fine discussion of the gap between the Establishment's official propaganda and the real truth about how The System actually works. It's also a concise history of the changing interplay among the forces of imperialism, capitalism, economic policy, and the state.

Lyn Gerry's reding is from installment #87 of her Unwelcome Guests radio program (January 11, 2002). Thanks to Lyn, her successor Robin Upton, and the Unwelcome Guests Collective.

I snipped the song, "The Design of the Galaxy" (in Part 1), from one installment or another of Radio Ecoshock, several years back. "Thanks and a tip o' the hat" to producer Alex Smith.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

What If You Knew

Part 1: New World Notes #492, 28:52 (August 8):

Part 2: New World Notes #483, 28:42 (August 15):
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Virtual Renderings' fine audio collage on our environmental crisis, especially global climate change. Features many perspectives and a wide range of voices going back as far as 1958 ... and some relevant music . . . and a little post-apocalyptic science fiction.  I've chopped the piece into two parts.  Introductions and a few inserted notes by K.D.

I've condensed the 55-minute collage slightly to fit our radio timeslots.  The complete 55-minute version (50 MB MP3) may be downloaded  here.  (Right-click then Save)  A smaller, low-bandwidth file (13 MB) also is available.  A large archive of Virtual Renderings' audio collages is available for free listening or download.

The title song is (IMHO) one of David Rovics' best. It's played in its entirety near the end of Part 2.

Originally broadcast, as NWN #306-307, in January 2014. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #306-307.

Monday, July 31, 2017

John Pilger

New World Notes #491, 28:48 (August 1)
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Documentary filmmaker John Pilger discusses the real story behind the U.S.'s opposition to Russia, China, North Korea, and Syria. Pilger's shrewd analysis of actual U.S. foreign policy naturally leads to a discussion of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the corruption of both Clinton and the Democratic Party, the propaganda served up by the mainstream media, and (in Pilger's view) Clinton's well-deserved loss in the 2016 election.

Pilger responds to questions from Cindy Sheehan, from a broadcast of May 23, 2017. Audio courtesy of The People Speak, with Cindy Sheehan. The original program is available on I have edited the audio slightly, mostly removing stumbles and hesitations.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dispatches from the Class War

New World Notes #490, 27:51 (July 25)
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T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia") astride Vincent SS100

Insightful comments on class conflict in America--some recorded, some read aloud--by Noam Chomsky; Nicholas Kristoff; Paul Burchheit; yours, truly; and (very briefly) George Carlin.  Plus a song on the same theme by Jonathan Blackshire.

Note: MP3s downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #384.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Costs of Empire

Part 1: New World Notes #488 (July 11):
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Part 2: New World Notes #489 (July 19):
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In brief 

A brilliant, witty speech by Progressive political scientist Michael Parenti, delivered in 1994.  One in a New World Notes series of classic talks by Parenti.

In Part 1, Parenti argues that the U.S. is an imperial power.  However, the goal of this empire is not national glory but rather increasing the profits of the Fortune 500.  He shows how "neoimperialism" has replaced "direct-rule" imperialism, how empires cannibalize the republics from which they sprang, and how imperialism is a matter of class politics more than national politics.

In Part 2, Parenti develops his point that empires are about class and wealth, not nationalism. Empires are ruinously expensive, but the expense is paid by [what we would now call] the 99% in order to make the 1% even richer. The costs include not only dollars but also environmental damage, the gutting of the civilian economy, loss of liberty, degradation of politics and public discourse, increasing poverty, many deaths and injuries of our soldiers, and many others.

The gloomy picture is enlivened by Parenti's trademark wit and humor

With many examples from recent U.S. history.  Introduction by K.D.

Note: In Part 1, Parenti and I each discuss the U.S.'s glorious military victory over the island nation of Grenada. This year marks our great triumph's 34th anniversary!

Michael Parenti

Note: MP3s downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #286 and #286.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Jean Shepherd vs "Creeping Meatballism"

New World Notes #487, 28:08 (July 4)
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A look at radio great Jean Shepherd's humorous critiques--from the 1950s--of Americans' conformity, consumerism, and false sense of "progress."

KD reads (and briefly discusses) Shepherd's famous short essay, The Night People vs. 'Creeping Meatballism.' Then--on the same theme--we hear selections from one of Shep's late-night radio broadcasts (May 2, 1959).

Here Shep talks about credit cards ... Green Stamps ... a used atom-smasher for sale ... "progress" ... self-help advice from Senator Lyndon Johnson ... how many ice cream flavors Howard Johnson's restaurants actually have* ... and the brief but glorious crime spree of Ronald Medsker.

* (Claimed = 28. Highest number observed = 26, at the HoJo's at the New Bedford exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.)

Recording of Shepherd's 1959 broadcast courtesy of Flick Lives!  Many thanks.

Note: MP3s downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #359.

More by Jean Shepherd.  We explored Shepherd's art from a different perspective--and heard a different sample of his work--in an earlier installment of New World Notes.  This was NWN #52 (February 2009), rebroadcast August 2012.  Click the links to take a look or listen.

Jean Shepherd, searching in vain for a size "small" tube of toothpaste. Illustration by Wally Wood to Shep's essay "The Night People ...," in Mad magazine, April 1957.