Sunday, December 26, 2010

TSA: Teaching Submission to Americans?


New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 52 -- December 26, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #147, Dec. 28:

TSA: Teaching Submission to Americans?

In brief

Thousands Standing Around? Testicle Squeezers of America?

Which is better, a police state run by the Gestapo or a police state run by the Keystone Kops? Answer: Neither, but what we've got is the latter.

"Security" indignities at the airport are part of a larger pattern of decreasing civil liberties and increasing Executive Branch power. With some modicum of humor, we look at the TSA's airport excesses in their larger context.

Includes a comic audio collage contributed by Scooter (of "The innerSide," on KPFT), the song "Don't Touch My Junk," and commentary by Glen Ford and Paul Craig Roberts.

PS: I also like Too Stupid for Arby's.

Here's a video with plenty more:

video

It may be time for a remake of Luis Bunuel's 1977 film, That Obscure Object of Desire. Thanks to Homeland Security hysteria, that object is much less obscure than she used to be. Is that a jewel in her navel (below)? Most graphics: Click to enlarge.

Notes, credits, & links

This week's song: Michael Adams, Don't Touch My Junk

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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: Satire on Homeland Security's unceasing barrage of Terror Alerts. (Click to enlarge.) Bottom: Paul Craig Roberts, apparently on surveillance duty at the country club. Progressives and real conservatives like Roberts agree on many issues, among them defending the Bill of Rights.


Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • January 4 -- The Body Toxic, with Nena Baker
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):



A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmastime Absurdities


New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 50 -- December 18, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #146, December 21:

Christmastime Absurdities

Publicity photo for a performance of Ionesco's The Lesson--a classic of the Theatre of the Absurd. Most Photos: Click to enlarge.

In brief

This is a season of absurdities--in both meanings of the term--and Installment #146 of New World Notes explores them with a light touch.

(The second meaning--known only to those who majored in Drama, Philosophy, or English in college--refers to the unbridgeable gap between what exists and what the human spirit needs.)

With prose by me and AP ... and with comic-satiric seasonal songs by Roy Zimmerman, Hugh Blumenfeld, and Stan Freberg ... we celebrate the absurdities of the season. Some of which can be traced back to Biblical times.

Like, can anybody make sense of the historical Jesus? What's with driving the money-changers out of the Temple? What's so bad about currency exchange? American Express does it all the time. Now, driving the High Priests out of the Temple . . . that would have been 'way cool!

Included, at no additional charge: an update on the most absurd news story of last Christmas ... anybody remember? ... the Scam of the Alleged Underwear Bomber.

Roy Zimmerman in West Hartford, August 2008.
Photo by Kenneth Dowst
.

Notes, credits, & links

This week's music:

  • Roy Zimmerman, Buy War Toys for Christmas
  • Hugh Blumenfeld, Long-Haired, Radical, Socialist Jew
  • Stan Freberg, Green Chri$tma$

Of the 3 recording artists who produced this week's Christmas music, one (Stan Freberg) is actually a Christian. You don't have to be Jewish to write a good Christmas song, it turns out!

Check out Tereza Coraggio's podcasts at http://www.thirdparadigm.org/ .

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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: Hardened Muslim-extremist terrorist Umar Abdulmutallab. On cap, note logo of terrorist organization, AQIWA (Al Qaida in Western Africa). Bottom: Stan Freberg, creator of the immortal Big Production Number, Green Chri$tma$.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • December 28 -- TSA: Teaching Submission to Americans? (Thousands Standing Around? Testicle Squeezers of America?)
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):



A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net


PS: For fun, scroll down to the previous entry & check out these photos of an apparition that appeared in the ice cubes in my wine glass. (Please don't ask what ice cubes were doing in my wine glass.) Is it Christ? Sonny Bono? Saddam Hussein? Fr. Guido Sarducci? You decide! (Permanent link: http://newworldnotes.blogspot.com/2010/12/apparition.html .)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Apparition

Click to enlarge.
Photos copyright (c) Kenneth Dowst 2010;
Creative Commons license (Attribution--Noncommercial)*

Christ? Saddam Hussein? Sonny Bono? Hitler?

My son Jonathan says John Lennon, but I think that's a stretch. Mary says Fr. Guido Sarducci.

Whoever appeared in my wine glass on the afternoon of December 17, ... he looks not at all pleased with the state of the world. And can you blame him?

It's comforting to think of former Congressman Sonny Bono looking contrite. Doubtless, he's reflecting on his signature legislation, the Sonny Bono Give Corporations Copyright Protection FOREVER, Especially Disney, Act.

And what kind of nutcase would put ice cubes into a glass of white wine? All I can say is, If you've never tried Tisdale California Chardonnay, ... please withhold judgment. (At least I grasp the glass by the stem.)

Fr. Guido Sarducci?


* I retain copyright to these photos. I licence to you the right to reproduce them
for any noncommercial purpose, provided that you credit me as the
photographer. Fair enough?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Why We Fight


New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 50 -- December 11, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #145, Dec. 14:

Why We Fight

Payback for 9/11? Baghdad, 2003.
Most photos: Click to enlarge.

In brief

Not Frank Capra's propaganda classic of the 1940s but a different award-winning documentary with the same name. Eugene Jarecki's film won the Grand Jury Prize of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

A tapestry of many threads, Why We Fight depicts the U.S. war machine, the Military-Industrial Complex, and U.S. imperialism since World War Two. My much-condensed radio version follows just a few of the threads. It includes expert commentary by Gore Vidal, John S.D. Eisenhower, and the late Chalmers Johnson.

Interwoven is the story of Wilton Sekzer, a retired NYC cop . . . grief-stricken at the death of his son in the Twin Towers, yearning for revenge against the perpetrators, who he had been led to believe were the Iraqis. He sought a memorial to his son, and eventually a large bomb was dropped on Baghdad bearing the inscription, "In loving memory of Jason Sekzer" (see photo).

He now struggles with the knowledge that the Iraqis were innocent of 9/11 and that he had been deceived by his President.

Bottom: John S.D. Eisenhower, son of the president (Top), reflects on his father's distaste for war and distrust of the U.S. military establishment.

Notes, credits, & links

Over the past 10 years, Chalmers Johnson did much to popularize the term blowback . . . and the insight that the United States in fact is an empire. He died on November 20, 2010. Gore Vidal and Michael Parenti, likewise, have long argued that our republic has become an empire.

http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/

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

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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: Chalmers Johnson. Bottom: Wilton Sekzer (inset) and the memorial to his son Jason. Soon after the photo was taken, the Guided Bomb Unit (it appears to be a "bunker-buster") was dropped upon Baghdad.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • December 21 -- Christmastime Absurdities
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):



A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net


Friday, December 3, 2010

Killing Us Softly



New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 49 -- December 3, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #144, December 7:

Killing Us Softly:
Advertising's Image of Women

In brief

A smart, funny, and important talk. 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.

Caption contest!

Vote for the caption(s) that best explain the five graphic images on this page. (Winners announced next week.)

  • WTF??
  • This can't be happening
  • Please, dear Jesus, . . .
  • I dreamed I incinerated Madison Avenue . . . in my Maidenform Bra
  • OMG
  • Seven inches? I'm supposed to be impressed?
  • How do I join N.O.W.?
  • [Write in:] ____________________________

Notes, credits, & links

Based on the video (Edition 3, year 2000). Condensed and adapted to radio by KD. This video is available on The Internet Archive ( http://www.archive.org/ ). An updated version--Edition 4, 2010--is available for purchase from the Media Education Foundation ( http://www.mediaed.org/ ).

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

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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. Coming soon (Tuesday air debut dates shown)

  • December 14 -- Why We Fight. Not Frank Capra's classic but a new documentary on the post-9/11 world. Adapted to radio by KD.
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):


A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Betrayed!



New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 48 -- November 27, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #143, November 30:

Betrayed!

In brief

The poor, the working class, and at last (surprise!) the middle class have all been shafted by the mainstream "liberal" institutions that once--to an extent--looked out for our interests. Journalist/prophet Chris Hedges identifies a half-dozen such institutions that have by now said, "If you can't beat 'em [the plutocrats], serve 'em!" To Hedges, the worst offenders are the liberal Christian Church, the media, and--worst of all--the Democratic Party.

This program focuses on the Democratic Party.

We'll hear parts of a fine talk by Hedges--on the Dems from Clinton onwards--and some ruminations by me. And we'll read aloud a nice essay by Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff. Lindorff focuses on the perfidy of the Obama administration in particular. Continuity we can believe in!

Other audio included: the "I'm as mad as hell" rant by "Howard Beale" (from the movie Network) & 2 songs by Fred Eaglesmith.

Top: Satan (former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel) tempting the President.
This week's graphics (except Clinton photo) are by David Dees.
Most graphics: Click to enlarge.

Notes, credits, & links

This week's songs: Fred Eaglesmith, White Trash and 49 Tons

Chris Hedges spoke on "The Death of the Liberal Class" at the Sanctuary for Independent Media, Troy, NY, October 15, 2010. Our audio of Hedges is taken from the video released by Sanctuary TV.

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

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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: Clinton: "The greatest traitor to the American working class ever
produced by the Democratic Party"
(Chris Hedges).

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • December 7 -- Killing Us Softly: Advertising's Image of Women
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):



A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jonathan Zittrain: How to Save the Internet


New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 47 -- November 20, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #142, November 23:

Jonathan Zittrain:
How to Save the Internet

The inventors of the Internet (25 years later).
L to r: Jon Postel, Steve Crocker, Vint Cerf.
Most graphics: Click to enlarge.


In brief

A sharp & funny presentation by Internet Law expert Jonathan Zittrain. The more we depend on the Internet, the scarier is its very real vulnerability to malicious attacks. However, Zittrain argues, the "solution" urged by government and Big Telecom--"top-down" control of the network by themselves--would ruin the Internet.

A better solution is continued "bottom-up" control by users--but control of a more "communitarian," consensus-seeking sort than is typical now. Examples of this approach are working well in practice, among them Wikipedia.

Not to mention the time Pakistan kidnapped YouTube. A bunch of mid-level server operators--personally unknown to one another--joined together and rescued the site within a couple of hours.


Top: Jonathan Zittrain

Notes, credits, & links

Zittrain spoke at The University of Hartford on October 20, 2010. This installment comprises selections from his long presentation. Recorded and edited by Kenneth Dowst.

Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

http://www.jz.org/

Zittrain's recent book, The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It (Yale University Press, 2008) is available in print and also as a free download.

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

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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: If AT&T had designed the Internet, data would be much more
secure. But would the world have
http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/?
Not likely! Shown: "kitler" #5448.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut dates shown)

  • November 30 -- Betrayed!
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):



A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net


Saturday, November 6, 2010

JFK in 1963: Disarmament Crusader


New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 45 -- November 6, 2010

This fortnight in New World Notes, radio programs #140 & 141, November 9 & 16:

JFK in 1963:
Disarmament Crusader

(A 2-part series)

Kennedy addresses the nation during the Cuban Missile
Crisis, October 1962

In brief

Historian/peace activist Jim Douglass shows how--and why--President Kennedy "turned" from a Cold Warrior into a crusader for military disarmament. Douglass focuses on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which nearly touched off a nuclear war with the Soviet Union--a war that the Pentagon and the CIA very much wanted. Douglass also discusses--and we'll hear major excerpts from--one of the results of the crisis, John F. Kennedy's great "Peace" speech at American University, June 10, 1963.

This pair of shows was first broadcast in December 2008.

Kennedy was murdered 47 years ago this month, on November 22, 1963.

Some background

In the early 1960s almost the whole of the U.S. "national security state" (Pentagon, spy agencies, National Security Council) very much wanted war with the Soviet Union. We would win this nuclear war, they calculated, losing only 40 million lives, while the Soviet Union would lose perhaps 200 million and be destroyed. The U.S. would emerge as the world's sole superpower.

In October 1962, the CIA discovered a Russian-controlled nuclear-capable missile base in Cuba. The war-hawks immediately began shrieking that we must bomb the base. "Taking out" the base, they "reasoned," would have the additional good effect of starting the war with the Soviet Union that they so much wanted.

Only one American of any influence opposed the war-hawks: President John F. Kennedy. As he was on the brink of failing to prevent World War III, he begged for help from his nominal adversary--and secret pen-pal--Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev. Khrushchev very publically dismantled the Soviet bases in Cuba.

To many Europeans, the USA ca. 1961 looked less like Camelot than like
Hell's own lunatic asylum. Police brutality, racial strife, sexual license,
radioactive "fallout," and a President of dubious competence with his
finger on The Button: Gerald Scarfe was having none of it.

Afterwards, in a speech of June 10, 1963, Kennedy announced a bold reversal of U.S. policy. He announced military disarmament as desirable, attainable, and henceforth a policy goal of the U.S. Government. And he announced several steps in that direction, to be undertaken immediately, including the negotiation of a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union.

The speech essentially called for an end to "the Cold War." The Military-Industrial Complex was not amused.

Few Americans have ever heard this amazing story. Or heard what Khruschchev called "the greatest speech by any American President since Roosevelt."

These two installments alternate between Jim Douglass' fascinating telling of the story and the June 10 speech itself--Kennedy's commencement address at American University.

PS: Within a year of Kennedy's great speech, the Powers That Be deposed Khrushchev and murdered Kennedy.
Notes, credits, & links

Included music:

  • #140: from Linda Finkle, Georgie Porgie
  • #140: Mediacracy, Imagine This!
  • #141: David Rovics, Guantanamo Bay

Correction: In my new preface to NWN #140, I gave the date of Kennedy's great "Peace" speech at American University as June 10, 2003. In fact, the date was June 10, 1963.

Douglass talk courtesy of Mike McCormick and Mind Over Matters.

Douglass is the author of JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.

The audio of Kennedy's complete speech is available as a free download from The Internet Archive.

For a brief, illustrated background-sketch of the geopolitical crises the Kennedy Administration had to face, please see my page, "The Story Behind the Greatest Speech You Never Heard."

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

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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.

Kennedy and Khrushchev. Cartoon by Herbert Block.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • November 23 -- Jonathan Zittrain: How to Save the Internet
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):


A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Haiti: The Shape of Things to Come?



New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 44 -- October 30, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #139, November 2:

Haiti:
The Shape of Things to Come?

Garment factory in Haiti.

In brief

Third World people are intentionally kept poor so that our rich "investors" may become still richer. British journalist Johann Hari argues this case, using Haiti as example. Michael Parenti (from the early 1990s) concurs, with examples from Haiti and elsewhere. I suggest that the US is now being pushed down the same road as Haiti. And comedians Bob and Ray offer a comic look at a domestic company that has adopted a Third-World business model: The Great Lakes Paper Clip Company.

Top: Aristide, of Haiti (2010): Probably the only democratically elected
head of government to have been overthrown twice by the United States.
Bottom: Brit journalist/commentator Johann Hari.

Notes, credits, & links

http://www.michaelparenti.org/

Johann Hari's "Suffocating the Poor: A Modern Parable" from Common Dreams, September 19, 2010.

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

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both radio4all.net and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

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.


Coming soon (Tuesday air debut dates shown)

  • November 9 & 16 -- JFK in 1963: Disarmament Crusader
Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):



A-Infos Radio Project http://www.radio4all.net