Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dave Zirin on American Football

New World Notes #447, 28:17 (September 27)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

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)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

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)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

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


New World Notes #444, 28:36 (September 2)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

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)