Sunday, April 16, 2017

Work, Debt, and Crisis

Part 1: New World Notes #476, 29:11 (April 18)
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Part 2: New World Notes #477, 28:18 (April 25)
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A fine audio collage--originally titled Observations on Work--by Chazk, a.k.a. Virtual Renderings. An intriguing and sometimes rocking blend of satire, music, and also analysis by several voices (among them economist Richard Wolff's).

It explores the economic problems of our time--fallling wages, consumer debt, overwork, unemployment, decline of manufacturing, corrupt politicians, crooked banks and bankers, soaring corporate profits, and stratospheric executive salaries ... among others.

I have slightly condensed the original audio collage--mostly by shortening some of the musical selections.  The original (of July 26, 2009) is available on You'll find a link to Virtual Renderings' (almost) complete work on the right sidebar to this page, under "Worth a Look."

This pair of programs was previously broadcast, as NWN # 371-371, in April 2015. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, may be identified by those program numbers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cheap Junk and the Deindustrialization of America

New World Notes #475, 29:12 (April 11)
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We explore the connections among ubiquitous cheap junk merchandise ... domestic unemployment and poverty ... starvation wages abroad ... pollution everywhere ... the destruction of the environment ... the deindustrialization and Third-World-ization of America ... and the ever-increasing wealth of the already-rich.

Was there a vote on all this that somehow I missed?

Includes unflattering words on G.E. by labor leader Marie Lausch,  a passage on IKEA from Ellen Ruppel Shell's book, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, and a song by Anne Feeney.

I recorded Connecticut United Electrical Workers Union president Marie Lausch at a symposium on converting Connecticut to a peacetime economy held at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, November 14, 2009. The Shell passage is as reprinted by the Toronto Globe & Mail, July 19, 2009, condensed for radio by me.

This is a replay of NWN #180 (2011). MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, may be identified as NWN #180.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

50th Anniversary of MLK's "Beyond Vietnam"

New World Notes #474, 29:17 (April 4)
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We play major portions of one of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s finest--yet now little-known--speeches. He delivered "Beyond Vietnam" in New York on April 4, 1967.

For this speech, King was denounced by the entire Establishment (including the NAACP!) and the corporate-controlled media. The speech is a stirring indictment of misplaced national priorities, including cutbacks in social programs at home in order to fund an unnecessary, counterproductive, and evil war abroad.

This is as stirring an indictment of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex--and of the government's priorities, and of unrestrained capitalism--as we are likely ever to hear. And it's a strong call to resist.

Change a place-name or two--substitute "Iraq and Afghanistan" for "Vietnam"--and the speech talks directly to us, today ... about our own government and our own world.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

From Serving Money to Serving Life

New World Notes #473, 29:06 (March 28)
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 David Korten (2010)

A clever audio collage by Chazk (Virtual Renderings), slightly condensed by me. It features selections from David Korten's Earth Day 2015 talk in Seattle.

Korten shows that the fundamental maxims of corporate capitalism--"the Sacred Money and Markets Story"--are both false and preventing us from saving our environment. Based on a synthesis of principles from religion, science, and mysticism, he proposes a different set of maxims--the "Sacred Life and Living Earth Story."

As usual, Chazk interweaves with the spoken words several relevant song passages, film clips, and other interesting audio.  I have condensed the original collage--mostly my shortening the musical selections--to fit our radio timeslot.

NWN previously broadcast this program, as #387, in August 2015.

The original, unedited version of Chazk's/Virtual Renderings' collage--and more than 100 others by him--are available for free download or online listening. For a liting, find the link on the gray sidebar to this page, under the heading, "Worth a Look."

NOTE: MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #387.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Is Water the New Oil?

Part 1: New World Notes #471, 27:57 (March 14)
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Part 2: New World Notes #472, 27:41 (March 21)
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Darling's own title for his talk. I like my title better.

Scientist Seth Darling offers a comprehensive--and sobering--look at an endangered vital resource: fresh water. Blending history, political science, chemistry, ecology, and several other academic disciplines, he surveys society's water policies and the probable disastrous results of failing to change them.

In the 20th century, many bloody conflicts were for the control of oil. In the 21st, many will be for the control of water. Darling ends on a positive note, though, reviewing some encouraging advances in purification technology. Science itself, though will not solve the problem.

In the recent past, fresh water was cheap, safe, and abundant. In the 21st century, Darling argues, we can have any two of these three qualities, ... but we can't have all three.

Part 1 includes an introduction by KD. Part 2 includes a song on pollution by Tom Lehrer (1965).

Dr. Seth Darling

Seth Darling is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Argonne National Laboratory. He spoke in Chicago on May 18, 2016. The original recording was provided by Dale Lehman of radio station WZRD (thanks!). I have slightly edited and condensed the talk for radio broadcast.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jill Stein

New World Notes #470, 28:51 (March 7)
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Progressive activist and presidential candidate Jill Stein speaks on the corrupt Republican-Democrat party ... on how citizens have been getting a bad deal for decades ... and on how real change can come from the grassroots.

Introduction and afterword by KD.

Stein spoke at the Inaugurate the Resistance rally in Washington, D.C., January 21, 2017. Thanks to Wilton Vought (, for this live recording, which I have gently edited.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Helen Caldicott on the Three Global Crises

New World Notes #469, 28:39 (February 28)
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Famed antinuke crusader Helen Caldicott, MD, displays her signature combination of wit, compassion, passion, and technical expertise. She spoke in Houston on November 12, 2010.

Caldicott discusses, in turn, what she sees as the three greatest threats to life on earth--global warming, nuclear war, and nuclear power--and urges the audience to take concrete actions against each. She even suggests a few specific actions.

With preface by K.D. & a song (from 1965) by Tom Lehrer.

The talk was recorded by Wally James. It was previously broadcast by Scooter, on "The innerSide" on KPFT-FM, Houston. Thanks to both.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #149, in January 2011. MP3 audio files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #149.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Peasant of the Dawn

New World Notes #468, 28:58 (February 21)
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Nice audio collage by Virtual Renderings (a.k.a. Chazk), introduced & slightly condensed by me. It's a meditation on class warfare, the ruling elite's dislike of democracy, American exceptionalism, economic inequality, mind control, and the prescience of George Orwell.

Voices heard belong to Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, Noam Chomsky, historian Morris Berman, and Ken Nordine (himself a master of audio collage), among others. Includes dramatic readings from Orwell's 1984 & some good music.

At last count, 111 audio collages by Virtual Renderings can be downloaded without charge from For a listing, click on the link at the top of the gray sidebar, to the right (under "Worth a Look").

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Diamond Cartel

New World Notes #467, 28:45 (February 14)
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Advertisement from the Belgian couture house Natan

An ironic salute to Valentine's Day features an expose' of the worldwide diamond cartel (a.k.a. DeBeers). And how a U.S. advertising agency--hired by the cartel to increase sales--invented and marketed the "tradition" of the diamond engagement ring.

Lyn Gerry, of Unwelcome Guests, reads from Edward Jay Epstein's article, "Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?" in Atlantic Magazine, February 1982.

Plus a few ironic and/or kinky love songs by Tom Lehrer and The Kinks.

Originally broadcast, as NWN #51, in February 2009.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Chris Hedges - Bernie Sanders

New World Notes #466, 28:44 (February 7)
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In a fiery post-Inauguration speech, Chris Hedges calls for resistance--not just to Trump but to the whole corrupt and oppressive system. Then KD reads a similar though milder short essay by Bernie Sanders. In-between: an appropriate song by Ethan Miller and Kate Boverman

Thanks to Wilton Vought (, who recorded Hedges in Washington, D.C., on January 21, 2017. Sanders' op-ed essay (which I have slightly condensed) was published in newspapers in late June 2016. Thanks too to Chazk/Virtual Renderings for Miller & Boverman's "Song for the Unnamed Capitalist."

Fat-Free Snake Oil

New World Notes #465, 27:26 (January 31)
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Two critical views of the American economic system--one trivial, one profound. First, product marketing run amok. KD discusses the 40 different varieties of Colgate toothpaste at the supermarket And he explains why spray cooking oil--which is 99% fat--is sold as "fat-free spray oil."

Then Noam Chomsky discusses Big Business's expensive campaign to accelerate climate change regardless of its threat to all life on the planet. This recent talk is titled, "Wrecking Nature for Short-Term Profit."

Of particular interest: Chomsky explains that the Magna Carta had two sections. The section establishing political liberties (the Charter of Liberties--the part we've heard about) has been largely scrapped by the Bush II and Obama administrations. The section establishing the people's rights to the natural resources they needed to live (the Charter of Forests) was scrapped a few centuries back, in the early days of capitalism.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #275, in June 2013. Note: MP3 audio files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #275.

Nader: The Government's Crimes Against the Constitution

New World Notes #464, 28:40 (January 24)
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In this hard-hitting talk at Harvard Law School, Ralph Nader indicts both Barack Obama and G.W. Bush for their (clearly impeachable) crimes against the U.S. Constitution and against the people of the United States. And he denounces the needless suffering and deaths caused by government policies that place corporate profits over the welfare of the citizens. On a positive note, Nader urges law students to be "first responders" in defense of our liberties. Includes selected Q&A.

From Harvard Law School's official video of Nader's talk, February 8, 2012. Gently edited for radio by K.D.  Previously broadcast, as NWN #209, in March 2012.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

James G. Anderson on Climate Change

Part 1: New World Notes #462, 29:05 (January 10)
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Part 2: New World Notes #463, 27:59 (January 17)
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Harvard climate scientist James G. Anderson interviewed by Dale Lehman.

In Part 1, Anderson lucidly explains why "global warming" is a bad term to use (it understates the problem's breadth and severity). He makes short work of the claim that climate change is natural, not man-made. And he has interesting things to say about the ozone layer ... the Kyoto Protocol ... and why electricity is overwhelmingly the best fuel, not only for transportation but for heating too. Plus a song by David Rovics.

In Part 2, Anderson discusses--among other matters--how vulnerable the U.S. is to climate chnge, what steps need to be taken, and how to persuade the American people to act. Plus a short talk on climate and the environment by political scientist Michael Parenti (2006) and another song by David Rovics.

Thanls to Dale Lehman (WZRD, Chicago) for the interview and for the original recording, which I have gently edited and condensed.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Haiti: The Shape of Things to Come?

New World Notes #461, 28:44 (January 3)
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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. Political scientist Michael Parenti (early 1990s) concurs, with examples from Haiti and elsewhere. I suggest that the U.S. 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.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #139, in November 2010.

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