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 radio4all.net. 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.



Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Sad Heart At the Supermarket

New World Notes #486, 28:32 (June 27)
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Why is supermarket shopping so tiring and depressing? Maybe it's the constant vigilance required to prevent your getting fleeced.

KD contrasts the supermarket's celebration of deception, swindling, and bad faith (all legal) with the eccentric charm of the small shops of Pittsburgh in the 1970s.

Adding to the critique of corporate agro-marketing are two short talks by Jim Hightower and a song by David Rovics.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Russia, China, and the Crisis of the US Ruling Class

Part 1: New World Notes #484, 28:43 (June 13)
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Part 2: New World Notes #485, 29:22 (June 20)
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In a recent talk in Hartford, Glen Ford insightfully dissects US geostrategic policy. He explains how the current anti-Russia hysteria--and, more importantly, the US's disastrous and failing military interventions in the Middle East--are part of a larger effort to contain China. The US ruling class's "crisis" is genuine: the increasing threat that China poses to the US rulers' global hegemony.

To control China, the world's current rulers have to control the oil of the Middle East. But after the Iraq debacle, they lack the public support they would need to commit tens of thousands of American soldiers. So they hire local armies of radical Islamic jihadists as mercenaries. These desperate alliances cannot be publicly acknowledged. So the ruling class works hard to distract the US public.

Glen Ford (2013). Photo by Kenneth Dowst*

Ford spoke at the University of Hartford on May 15, 2017. David Schonfeld recorded the talk live and provided New World Notes with a copy. Many thanks.

* Photo: Creative Commons license granted (BY-NC).




Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Backlash Against Women

New World Notes #483, 28:50 (June 6)
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Jennifer Roesch explores the apparent contradiction in our culture: rampant hypersexualiztion and commodification of women but also increasing repression of women's sexuality. In combatting the former, she argues, we should not promote the latter. Let's not recreate the 1950s--the late 1960s are a better model of progress and liberation.

For Roesch, the ultimate cause of both sleaze and repression is capitalism run amok. And we can't have sexual freedom without social and economic freedom.

Roesch spoke at the Socialism 2013 conference, June 27, 2013.  Audio (which I have condensed and edited for radio) courtesy of wearemany.org.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #380, in June 2015. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, may be identified by that program number.



Monday, May 29, 2017

Reasons for Alarm, Reasons for Hope

New World Notes #482, 28:51 (May 30)
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Eastern Phoebe

A brief talk by KD--on symbiosis, phoebes, and responding to backyard squirrel terrorism--introduces a longer (some would say "better") talk by Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky continues his discussion of the US today. This week he shares some shrewd insights on the radical pro-corporate, anti-social policies of the Republican Congress; the compromised news media; the Trump administration; the U.S.'s growing nuclear arsenal; and the government's persecution of Wikileaks' Julian Assange..

Yet Chomsky finds reasons for hope, too--in the recent large protest demonstrations by citizens; in the heroism of Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden; and in the popular success of Bernie Sanders.

Chomsky spoke in Cambridge, MA, on April 24, 2017, in response to questions posed by Amy Goodman. Chuck Rosina recorded the talk live. (Thanks again.) His complete recording is available on radio4all.net.

This is our fourth and final installment of Noam Chomsky's April 24 public talk. Previous installments are in NWN # 478, 479, and 480.





Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Empire Turns on its Citizens

New World Notes #481, 27:46 (May 23)
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Chris Hedges

Two short talks by journalist/essayist Chris Hedges on the bad effects of empire at home.

As empires buckle under their own weight, the harsh measures of control they use to subjugate countries abroad are turned on their own citizens. We see the evidence all around us: government spying on everyone, economic plunder, militarized police, trumped-up charges against dissenters, and the world's largest prison system.

The goal of the repression is to crush dissent and opposition, says Hedges

Hedges selections are taken from an interview with Sonali Kolhatkar, February 9, 2015, courtesy of Uprising Radio; and from a speech in Newark, NJ, October 9, 2014, courtesy of Building Bridges Radio. Many thanks to producers Sonali Kolhatkar, Ken Nash, and Mimi Rosenberg.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #379, in July 2015. MP3 audio files downloaded from the links, above, may be identified as #379.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Capitalism vs. Democracy, Prosperity, Ecology

New World Notes #480, 27:52 (May 16)
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Noam Chomsky

Nuclear weapons and climate change pose existential threats to life on earth. Democratic institutions would be able and inclined to deal with these threats. But since the 1970s, capitalism has succeeded in undermining democracy and democratic institutions, both in Europe and the U.S.  Thus we have a "perfect storm" of crises.

By undermining democracy, capitalists have also greatly increased their own wealth and reduced the prosperity of the 99%.

So argues Noam Chomsky, in this portion of his briliant and lucid recent talk in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The week's program features 13 minutes of Chomsky plus a related article, "We've Let Capitalism Kill the Planet," by Christian Sorensen. With brief introductions and commentary by KD and a song by Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Noam Chomsky spoke  on April 24 in response to questions posed by Amy Goodman. Chuck Rosina, recorded the entire talk live. (Thanks again.) His complete recording is available on radio4all.net.

"We've Let Capitalism Kill the Planet"--here lightly edited for radio by me--originally appeared on Counterpunch.org, March 28, 2017.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Noam Chomsky on North Korea and Syria

New World Notes #479, 27:25 (May 9)
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North Korea and Syria--what to do? Noam Chomsky reveals some not-well-known facts about the situations, and he makes some intelligent suggestions for wise and humane action by the U.S.

As usual, Chomsky's analysis is a refreshing alternative to the belligerent cliches recited by government spokespersons and the corporate-controlled media.

He spoke in Cambridge, Massacgusetts, on April 24, 2017--in response to questions posed by Amy Goodman.

Chuck Rosina, recorded the talk live. His complete recording is available on radio4all.net.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Energy and the Environment: Good News and Bad

New World Notes #478, 28:31 (May 1)
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Some recent news on energy and the environment is encouraging: The Coal Museum goes solar, and nuclear-plant-builder Westinghouse goes bankrupt. Other news, not so encouraging.

The show features two newspaper items read by KD, a talk by Noam Chomsky, and a song ("East Tennessee") by David Rovics.

Thanks once again to Chuck Rosina, who recorded the Chomsky talk live in Cambridge, MA, on April 24, 2017.



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 Radio4all.net. 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 (othervoicesotherchoices.com), 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 radio4all.net. 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 (othervoicesotherchoices.com), 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.

www.michaelparenti.org

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