Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Feed the Naked": Comedian Jimmy Tingle

New World Notes News
Volume 2, Number 13 -- March 31, 2009

This week in New World Notes, #57 -- March 31 & April 3:

"Feed the Naked":

Comedian Jimmy Tingle

A surprising amount of humor is heard on New World Notes. I'm as surprised as anybody. On the one hand, certain comedians deliver astute social and political commentary (George Carlin, Stephen Colbert). On the other hand, certain social/political commentators and activists sometimes are very funny.

This second group, larger than the first, includes Medea Benjamin, John Pilger, Michael Parenti, Kathy Kelly, Molly Ivins, Jello Biafra, and singer/songwriter Roy Zimmerman--to name only a handful of voices that have apppeared on the show so far. And James Howard Kunstler (next week) and Jeremy Scahill (the week after that).

As Monty Python used to say . . . before serving up a generous helping of more-of-the-same . . . And Now For Something Completely Different!

This week's radio show comprises an interview with stand-up comedian Jimmy Tingle intercut with selections from his recent CD, Jimmy Tingle for President (see

Tingle is a Boston-area institution--like Legal Seafood but better looking. He's known nationally and abroad, thanks to appearances in films and TV. He served a 2-season stint as the humorous commentator on CBS's 60 Minutes II.

I didn't know there was a 60 Minutes II, but these oversights happen when you deep-six the TV set. Alas, unlike Utah Phillips, I didn't have the wit to blast the damned thing to Kingdom Come with a 12-gauge shotgun. I assume he used a 12-gauge. It doesn't really matter. Even a .410 would do the trick, I should think. I'm just speculating, of course.

I would have given the program a more creative name, though . . . like Another 60 Minutes . . . or Son of 60 Minutes . . . or maybe 38 Minutes Plus Commercials.

Jimmy Tingle is a self-confessed, card-carrying Roman Catholic Massachusetts Liberal Democrat (RCMLD--pronounced "rice-mold"). Could he possibly be funny?

I mean, look at fellow RCMLD John Kerry. There was a laugh riot in 2004! How about Michael Dukakis? OK, maybe he was Greek Orthodox, but still. . . . Face it: the Democrats nominated Kerry just to make Al Gore look alive by comparison.

In any case, as Lance Itoh was always saying, "You be the judge!" No, he isn't the bicycle racer. Think back. . . .

Personally, I like him. Tingle, that is, not Itoh.

Entertaining the troops: Tingle on the picket line in Cambridge, MA,
during the Writers Guild strike, December 2007

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern) . . .

Soon to Come -- Date of first scheduled broadcast [on WWUH] listed:

  • April 7 -- Can Technology Save Us?
  • April 14 -- Independent Journalism & Alternative Media: Jeremy Scahill
  • April 21 -- Men and War

Poster by Ricardo Levins Morales (courtesy
Northland Poster Collective)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

John Pilger on Venezuela

New World Notes News
Volume 2, Number 12 -- March 24, 2009

This week in New World Notes, #55 -- March 24 & 27:

John Pilger on Venezuela

Last week's newsletter/blog extravaganza took 'way too much time, so this week (God willing) we shall be brief. If you haven't yet seen last week's opus--a quirky though still scary collection of five dozen photos exploring some parallels between the Warsaw Ghetto of 1940-43 and Gaza and the West Bank today--you can page downwards a couple of entries or else take this link: .

This week's installment of New World Notes is taken from lefty Aussie filmmaker John Pilger's super documentary, The War on Democracy. It's the film's 20-minute segment on Venezuela, nicely adapted to radio by the Unwelcome Guests Collective.

Filmmaker John Pilger

It's a fascinating narrative of an idealistic reformer taking on Established Power, becoming beloved by the common people, hated by the rich oligarchs, overthrown in a (it goes without saying) CIA-sponsored coup, and restored to power soon afterwards by popular demand. This is quite a story! and the climactic scene of Chavez's return is stunning. It recalls the climax of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Al Gore won the popular vote in Florida in the year 2000--hence the electoral vote in the United States. The establishment press and TV networks acknowledged same (very quietly) weeks later. They had joined together and hired the respected Roper Organization to examine all the Florida ballots cast in the election. Roper concluded that--no matter what sane principles of counting one employed--Gore received more votes than Bush.

The U.S. Supreme Court had ordered the recount of the Florida ballots stopped when it became clear that Gore would win if the recount continued. According to the court's unsigned decision, the civil rights of one G.W. Bush would be irreparably harmed if the recount proceeded according to Florida law.

Overdosed on lies and BS by the mass media, Americans sat on their sofas, refused to see a coup d'etat when it was unfolding in front of them, and on cue cried out, "Why won't Gore accept defeat?!"

In a similar situation, the people of Venezuela, unarmed, took to the streets, stormed the President's mansion, persuaded the enlisted soldiers guarding it to fight against the coup, and restored the deposed Chavez to office in short order.

Democracy, anyone?

Hugo Chavez

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern) . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land -- Part 3 -- CONTINUED

This is the 2nd part of a two-part photo-essay.

For the 1st part, please scroll downwards to the next entry
or else click here:

The Dead

(Monochrome photos from the Warsaw Ghetto, ca. 1942-43;
color from Gaza, December 2008-January 2009)

Jewish Cemetary, northwest corner of the ghetto

Victim of Israeli assault, aged 14

Bombing victim. Not decapitated but crushed to death.

The body of Dena Balosha, dead at age 4, is held by her father

Father and son.

Nice Jewish Girls

2 captured resistance fighters

Teacher & pupil study Palestine in a clandestine school
in the Warsaw Ghetto. Note required star
on her dress,
identifying her as a Jew.

"The Little Insurgent" (not " ... Terrorist"). This monument in
Warsaw indicates--correctly--that children too fought in the
Ghetto uprising. Hamas, don't try erecting monuments like
this at home!

Jewish assassin Niuta Teitelbaum killed a number of
SS officers in Poland
Women from Warsaw Ghetto about to be shipped eastwards in
boxcars--likely to Treblinka.

Israeli woman in shock following rocket attack.
Striking Polish 2-zloty (about 50 cents) coin commemorates the
65th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The resistance
fighter shown may be a composite of the two captured fighters
shown at the top of this section. The decision to represent a
woman here is interesting. In the high-relief sculpture of Warsaw's
large public monument to the Uprising, male figures predominate.

The Three Ministers of the Gaza Apocalypse at the time of the attack
(l to r): Livni (Foreign), Olmert (Prime), and Barak (Defense). Even
the name chosen for the Gaza adventure suggested that Israel
anticipated some serious mayhem: Operation Cast Lead.
reasons still unclear to me--possibly Semitism--Olmert rejected the
Official Campaign Motto I proposed:
"We'll take the lead: You take the
Of course the first rhymes with "bleed," the second with"dead."
Something about the pun not working in Arabic.

NJGs from Cincinnati transcribing names from the walls of a
Holocaust memorial just north of the Warsaw Ghetto. The
monument marks the
Umschlagsplatz, a loading/unloading
area for railroad freight--including thousands of ghetto
residents shipped in box cars to concentration camps to the
east. The monument itself was designed to suggest a boxcar
with doors opened slightly.

Nice Christian Girls

Beit Jala (Bethlehem District), 1940. Note the couple's multi-ethnic,
multicultural--and likely multiconfessional-- circle of family and friends.

Christian babies are best, of course. But if one can't be obtained in time
for the ritual murder
(Ritualmord), what's a rabbi to do? Not to worry.
In a pinch, a beautiful, blonde-haired, Aryan, Christian maiden will work
just fine. It's all explained clearly here in the pages of the German Nazi
Der Stuermer. The paper's motto appears at the bottom:
"The Jews are Our Misfortune." Dream job #5: fact-checker for
Stuermer (#6: Maytag repairman).
Postscript, 3-15-09: I've just taken a long look at the headline.
Insofar as I can decipher the script and translate the language, I think
the full headline reads,
"Ritual Murder! The murder of 10-year-
old Gertrud Lenhoff in Quierschied, Saarland."
What a shame
poor Gertrud didn't live to reach puberty. At age 16, she probably would
have been--as the Germans say--"quite a looker"! I believe the final
pair of words is a caption, "Jew Murderer." Added for the benefit of
readers who had trouble understanding the picture. I would have
gone a step further: "Jew Murderer (top, holding knife)."

Somewhere in the Third Reich: Christmas party at the Mercedes plant.

Rudy Giuliani, self-proclaimed Hero of 9-11, Presidential aspirant, and
erstwhile mayor of the city with the largest Jewish population in the
world. (80 years ago, Warsaw was #2, if memory serves.) A rabid
supporter of the most warmongering and expansionist strains of
Zionism imaginable. To answer your questions: I do believe the photograph
is real, not Photoshopped. And yes, a little black dress and a simple gold
necklace with pendant cross would be in much better taste. Or pendant
Star of David, depending on the neighborhood in which you're campaigning.

Palestinian parishioner of the Holy Family Church in Ramallah
West Bank. Yes, you can be a Palestinian, an Arab, and a Christian
all at once. Happens all the time. (The photo of another NCG
appears in the first section, "The Dead." Note the cross
on her coffin.)

Bethlehem: praying at the grotto believed by the faithful to be the exact
birthplace of Jesus Christ. I am told that Moslems--following the example
of the Prophet Mohammed himself--venerate Jesus, even applying the
term Christ to him (roughly: messenger of God or divinely-inspired prophet;
literally, "the annointed one")--though stopping short of belief in
Jesus' Divinity. So much for the great Clash of Civilizations. I always
suspected the Clash was basically about oil--and not the kind
you get annointed with.

Jerusalem: nuns and others pray for Gaza

Recess time at a Catholic school in Gaza City. I guess
that doesn't make these two kids Nice Christian Girls.
Maybe they're nice Moslem girls. Or one of each.
The girls' attention seems to be on other matters.

Curator's note: Yes, I did assemble a parallel section on "Nice Moslem Girls." For practical reasons, much had to be cut out of this exhibition. Sequel if popular demand warrants.


Nalewki Street, 1936

Can't you just hear Goebbels saying, "Then the Jews moved in,
and now look at it!" Nalewki Street, 1943.

Charity medical clinic, sponsored by Caritas, in Gaza City. Bombing
"enemy" civilian hospitals seems to be a popular tactic these days.
U.S. forces did this with great success shortly beforehand, in Baghdad
and Fallujah. Of course, "success" assumes that your goal is causing
needless death and suffering to noncombatants and making the "enemy"
people hate your country for the next generation or two. How much
would all your Lockheed stock be worth if everybody loved us?

Right: about as much as your 401(K).

Gaza office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. That's
right, he's Fatah, not Hamas. Put into office by the U.S. and buddies
right after the Palestinians, by a large margin, voted to elect the guys
from the opposite party, Hamas. Then, in what the U.S. calls a "coup,"
Hamas gained control of the government of a small part of Palestine,
Gaza. Still with us? . . . OK, then why did the government of Israel
destroy the offices of the guy they wanted to be President of the P.A.
and installed as the President of the P.A. (with a little help from their
friends)? Beats me too, but they did the same to his predecessor,

Ruins of a police station--which the U.S. news media prefer to call a
"Hamas police compound"--in Gaza. The local police--sorry: "The
Hamas police"--seem to have been one of the prime targets of the
assault, including even Hamas Traffic Cops. The blog entry for
January 2 contains 2 photos of more-than-a-dozen dead policemen.
As I understand it, Israeli forces launched a rocket attack upon the
site where police academy graduation ceremonies were in progress.

Former housewife surveys her former house--Jamalya, Gaza Strip

Site of the Warsaw Ghetto, seen from outside, probably 1943

In 1945, Germany ordered that the ruins of Warsaw Ghetto be razed
and the rubble carted off. "Conspiracy theorists" will doubtless say,
"Of course! That's what governments always do, particularly when
they've committed mass murder. Granted, there's a difference in
scale, . . . but look how quickly they destroyed all the physical
evidence at Waco, at Oklahoma City, at the World Trade Center. . . ."
"Now, you look," I reply wisely. "Who wants to leave evidence lying
around where people can trip on it and maybe sue the city for
negligence? That's why America needs meaningful tort reform. . . ."

Silent newsreel caption? "There is no longer a Jewish residential
district in Warsaw!" Now cut to the clip of Stroop saluting and
then shaking the proffered hand of the
Fuehrer. . . . Next a few
seconds' aerial view of Warsaw . . . .


Erez, Israel, 2008: Activists from several countries attempt
to bring humanitarian aid into
Gaza via the Erez crossing.
Israeli authorities allowed neither them nor the supplies to
cross the border. The black flag of Anarchism (right) outside
barricaded Gaza brought me to the song, below. It helps
if your mind can still hear Grace Slick's strong, beautiful
voice. Photo by moomin13, on

We should be together
Come on all you people standing around
Our life's too fine to let it die and
We should be together . . .

We are forces of chaos and anarchy
Everything they say we are, we are
And we are very
Proud of ourselves

Up against the wall
Up against the wall, motherf***er
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls

We should be together
We should be together my friends
We can be together
We will be

We must begin here and now
A new continent of love and fire . . .
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls
Won't you try . . . .

-- Jefferson Airplane

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land -- Part 3

Download this radio program

New World Notes News

Volume 2, Number 11 -- March 17, 2009

This week in New World Notes, #56* -- March 17 & 20:

The third and final part of the documentary on the news media's bias in reporting on Palestine airs this week. The blog entry--actually pair of entries--is a photoessay about certain similarities between Germany's policies concerning Poland (1940-1943) and Israel's policies concerning Palestine (1967-present). You are reading the first of the photoessay's two halves. In this half, the click-to-enlarge function does not work; in the second half (= next blog entry), click-to-enlarge does work. To reach the second half of the photoessay, scroll upwards.


"According to [UN Special Rapporteur Richard] Falk, 'A recent study reports that 46 percent of all Gazan children suffer from acute anemia. There are reports that the sonic booms associated with Israeli overflights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children. Gazan children need thousands of hearing aids. Malnutrition is extremely high in a number of different dimensions and affects 75 percent of Gazans. About 18 percent of Gaza's children have stunted growth. There are widespread mental disorders, especially among young people. Over 50 percent of Gazan children under the age of 12 have been found to have no will to live. . . .

"'It is macabre,' Falk said of the blockade. 'People have been referring to the Warsaw ghetto as the nearest analog in modern times.'"

-- Chris Hedges, from "Party to Murder," condensed by KD.

The walls of the Warsaw ghetto--erected by the Nazi authorities beginning
1940--enclosed not only the olive-colored areas but also the orange area
and the Jewish Cemetary. Mila Street (in the orange section) was made
famous in the U.S. by Leon Uris' popular 1961 novel,
Mila 18 ("18 Pleasant
Street," in English). Not to be confused with
Milah 18, which would be "18
Circumcision Street." Mila 18 is was the address at which SS troops killed
the last of the resistance fighters, ending the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The forces of Law and Order were led by SS Major-General Juergen Stroop

(likely pronounced "Schtrope"). The insurgency began in mid-January 1943;
the period of most intense fighting was April 19-May 16.

A pedestrian bridge over Chlodna St. connects the "Little Ghetto" in the south
with the "Large Ghetto." That part of Chlodna was not crossed by a wall, as
authorities did not wish to disrupt the (Gentile) streetcar line running along
the street.

Trivia (or not): 1961 also saw the appearance of Joseph Heller's first
Catch-18. Mila 18 soon became so well-known that Heller's editor
at Simon & Schuster decided that a post-publication change of title--by the
newbie Heller, not by the established Uris--was called for. What to call
the damned thing?
Catch-11 was too close to Ocean's 11 . . . . Could I
make this stuff up? Now everyone agrees that
Catch-22 is the best title
imaginable for the book. See

The German occupiers of Poland were not the only force to see the
advantages of a nice wall. The Israeli occupiers of Palestine concur.
Here is a map of Israeli enclosures, encroachments, ethnic cleansing,
and future
Anschluess of just one region: the Bethlehem District of
the West Bank.

Key to Map

Colored areas: medium violet = Israeli colonies; light violet = land
between the segregation wall and the West Bank border; dark red =
Israeli military bases; yellow = Palestinian built-up areas.
Thick lines: red = existing wall; yellow = wall under construction;
magenta = planned wall; green = predicted wall; dashed green/
= bypass road. Thin blue-green line: boundary of Bethlehem


If the wanton destruction of Gaza recalls the Warsaw Ghetto of 1943, the building of confinement walls by the occupying forces recalls the Ghetto of 1940-41. Credit where due: the walls the Nazis ordered built in Warsaw were easier on the eye than those that others put up in Baghdad and throughout Palestine--being built of brick and to a more human scale.

Only remaining German-built section of the Warsaw Ghetto wall.

"O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie." Well, actually,
from the north we can't see much of thee at all. Except by Apache
helicopter and perhaps from the hilltop that is now part of an Israeli
colony--which CNN insists on calling a "Jewish neighborhood." Note
how the wall cuts the olive orchards off from the town. The hopes
(Israeli) and fears (Palestinian) of all the years are met in thee tonight!


Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K. U.K.-ians say "Happy Christmas,"
not "Merry. . . ." Who would have imagined that the Protestants and
the Catholics of Northern Ireland could ever live together in peace?

Fire & Smoke

Warsaw, 1943 -- Gaza, December 2008-January 2009

SS Major-General Juergen Stroop was placed in charge of
eradicating the Jewish insurgency in Warsaw and razing the
Ghetto. After the war he was sentenced to death by the
Nuremberg Tribunal, extradited to Poland, then tried, convicted,
and executed by Polish authorities.

Marched off to the Umschlagsplatz (railroad freight loading area)
just north of the Ghetto; thence to Treblinka.

Propaganda Minister J. Goebbels was one of the greats of the P.R. industry, but he wasn't perfect. It didn't occur to him to explain, "We had to destroy the Ghetto in order to save it!" --paraphrasing an obscure U.S. Army major's remarks on the village of Ben Tre, a generation later. Righteous outrage at the Warsaw inferno should be expressed cautiously by citizens of the country that intentionally torched Dresden and Tokyo at roughly the same time Stroop was burning a good deal of Warsaw.

Wait. . . . My photos are all mixed up! Is this a shot of Warsaw (just above), or is this one of my photos of Tokyo? Dresden? Beirut? Fallujah? The electrical hardware looks too old for this to be Gaza City, and I don't think Ben Tre had electricity.

Policeman signals.

City of Rafah, Gaza Strip.

UN facility in Gaza housing relief supplies for Gazans--food, fuel,
clothing--destroyed by Israeli missiles. The Israel Defense Forces
has frequently attacked UN humanitarian sites including aid
depots, temporary shelters, schools, and refugee camps.

* NWN installment #55 will be broadcast next week (if God permits).

Photoessay continued in next entry . . .

Please scroll upwards or click here: