Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Myth of Progress, the Necessity of Rebellion

Part 1: New World Notes #356, 28:07 (December 30, 2014)
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Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #357, 29:28 (January 6, 2015)
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In a brilliant speech, journalist/essayist/prophet Chris Hedges argues that the class war is real ... that the ordinary people are losing ... that all of society's institutions have betrayed the people and "sold out" to Established Power ... that whatever political and economic justice there has been exists only because ordinary people struggled hard against the elite to create that justice... and that widespread nonviolent rebellion by the people is now essential to prevent disaster.

Part history lesson, part political science, part cultural analysis, and part sermon, Hedges' talk is an intellectual tour-de-force--and also a great listen.

The audio (taken from a videotape recently made available online) was lightly edited for radio by Robin Upton and previously broadcast on his Unwelcome Guests program ( Thanks again to Robin. I have made some small additional cuts in Part 2.  I believe that Hedges delivered this speech in 2011. 

Introductions by KD. I am responsible for the title used here.

Manila, 2011

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Comic Satire for Christmas

New World Notes #355, 27:14 (December 23)
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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 contributions by Hugh Blumenfeld, Simon and Garfunkel, Anne Feeney, Roy Zimmerman, and Tom Lehrer.

This installment was previously broadcast (as NWN #303) in December 2013.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dispatches From the War on Christmas

New World Notes #354, 29:23 (December 16)
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A mostly lighthearted look at the Right Wing's favorite seasonal fantasy. Which is that "secular progressives" have declared a "war on Christmas"--allegedly part of their larger war to destroy Christianity, promote drug use and gay marriage, separate church and state, and so on.

We'll hear some ravings by Bill O'Reilly, a funny rebuttal by Jon Stewart, personal reflections by KD, and a short history lesson. (The only real wars on Christmas were fought by the Puritan Christians). We end with selections from a humorous audio collage on the subject by Scooter.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #302, in December 2013.

Scooter produces the weekly radio show "The innerSide" on KPFT-FM, Houston.  His Web site is .

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Crime and Punishment

New World Notes #353, 27:54 (December 9)
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This week we tie together several recent crime stories--from a vehicular-homicide trial in my town to the police shootings in Ferguson and New York ... to the rash of alleged gun-suicides by frisked, handcuffed black men in the back seat of police cars ... to the surprising indictment of former coal mine executive Donald Blankenship.

Who gets the book thrown at him, who gets his wrist slapped, and who walks away without even a trial? Is there any pattern here?

Includes commentary by Glen Ford and a song by Anne Feeney.

Glen Ford's recorded commentary courtesy of Black Agenda Report (

Photo: The electric chair at Sing Sing, date unknown.