Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is There a Right of Self-Defense? -- The US vs UK

New World Notes News
Vol. 2, No. 47 -- December 1, 2009

This week in New World Notes, #91 (December 1, 2009):

Joyce Malcolm discusses,
Is There a Right of Self-Defense?
-- The U.S. vs. the U.K.

Noted historian and legal scholar Joyce Lee Malcolm discusses the diverging English and American views of the ancient English right on which the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is based--the right of self-defense.

This legal right has been preserved in the United States but has largely been abolished in the United Kingdom. Malcolm's stories of the practical effects in England of this change fascinated her audience. Would you believe a homeowner jailed for holding a toy gun on burglars?

This program features the first two-thirds of a public lecture Malcolm delivered at the University of Hartford on October 7, recorded & lightly edited by yours, truly. The final third was included in installment #90, broadcast last week. You can listen to or download #90 (64 kbps mp3) at any time.

Next week: selections from Michael Parenti's lecture, "Political Liberties and Economic Democracy," recorded live on November 4.

"The Little Insurgent": Monument in Warsaw
commemorating the Ghetto Uprising of 1943.
photo to enlarge for detail.
For more on the
Warsaw Ghetto (and its similarities to Palestine
today), see our photo essay, here.

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Joyce Malcolm on the Meaning of the 2nd Amendment

All graphics: Click to enlarge

This week in New World Notes, radio program #90 (Tuesday, November 24):

Joyce Malcolm on the Meaning
of the 2nd Amendment

In a nutshell:

An offbeat look at guns & gun-banning. I tell of my own development from a capgun-slinging 7-year-old to a liberal-academic gun-banner ... to somebody who knows a little about guns & gun laws and thinks the NRA is not totally wrong about everything.

Then historian & legal scholar Joyce Lee Malcolm discusses the meaning of the 2nd Amendment & the recent landmark Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which affirmed the right of the individual citizen to keep & bear firearms.

Heller, though, applies only to the District of Columbia! Next year, in McDonald v. Chicago, the Court will decide whether the individual right applies to the rest of the country as well.

Joyce Lee Malcolm

Thought experiment

What do you understand this sentence to mean?--

  • A well-educated workforce being necessary
    to the prosperity of a free State, the right of
    the people to buy and read books shall not
    be infringed.

Does it, say, guarantee only the right of an employer to provide printed instructional materials as part of a formal job-training seminar?

Does it empower the government to ban the possession of racy novels or other literature having no connection with earning a living?

This week's song: Fred Eaglesmith, Time to Get a Gun

Miss part or all of our last 2 programs?

Our radio adaptation of the documentary Sir! No Sir! is good for the soul and good for the blood pressure. Learn more, listen online, or download the audio for future listening by clicking on this link.

No comment.

Coming soon -- Tuesday debut date on WWUH shown:

  • December 1 -- Joyce Malcolm asks, Is There a Right of Self-Defense? -- The U.S. vs. the U.K.

  • December 8 -- Michael Parenti on Political Liberties and Economic Democracy

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

Malcolm's latest (Yale University Press, 2009)--nominated for a
Pulitzer Prize. More information at .

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sir! No Sir!

Listen to or download Part 1 now (Broadcast quality 192 kbps -- 41 MB)
Listen to or download Part 1 now (Good quality 64 kbps -- 13 MB)
Listen to or download Part 1 now (32 kbps for dialup -- 7 MB)
Listen to or download Part 2 now (Broadcast quality 192 kbps -- 41 MB)
Listen to or download Part 2 now (Good quality 64 kbps -- 13 MB)
Listen to or download Part 2 now (32 kbps for dialup -- 7 MB)
List all . . . and listen to or download any . . . installments

Donald Duncan

This week and next in in New World Notes, radio programs #88 and #89 (Tuesday, November 10 & 17):

Sir! No Sir!
(2 Parts)
adapted to radio by K.D.

In a nutshell:

David Zeiger's fine video documentary makes great radio. Rebellion by America's soldiers & sailors (God bless 'em!) ended the Vietnam War. Recent reflections by anti-Vietnam-war vets & other activists--some famous, some obscure--mix with period (~1970) newscasts & other recordings. The famous ones include Army physician Dr. Howard Levy, Army "Green Beret" Sgt. Donald Duncan, and actor & activist Jane Fonda. I've adapted the 50-minute BBC-4 version of the documentary to radio. The longer, American version is available for sale on DVD.

NB: For the complete screenplay (U.S.-version), illustrated with hundreds of screen-capture photos, click here.

Top: Jane Fonda

Quoth the raven:

GREG PAYTON, U.S. ARMY: Guys were coming from all over the country, so you getting people coming in with different information about the black power struggle at that time, and black unity, and feeling real good about yourself. You had to really question what you were doing in Vietnam.

I remember one day this first-sergeant was talking about gooks [Vietnamese people]. To show you how naive I was, I didn't know that gook was a racial slur. I didn't really understand that. And one day he was talking about gooks and I remember, a light went off in my head, and I said, "Wow! A gook is the same thing as a nigger!"

I was a member of the Medical Committee for Human Rights. And then I remember also hearing about the B-52 bombers that were dropping leaflets on Vietnam, urging the Vietnamese to defect.

And I thought, well, if they can do it overseas, then we can hire a small private plane, load it up with leaflets, and drop the leaflets on military bases in the San Francisco Bay area. Thousands and thousands of leaflets.

At one point I know we were a little concerned about getting shot down, but nothing happened. Evidently they landed pretty accurately. That's what they testified at the court-martial.

And on my way driving in to the [anti-war] demonstration, I decided I was going to wear my naval uniform. . . .

David Cline

DAVID CLINE, U.S. ARMY: The third time I was wounded was on December 20, 1967, and we got overrun by North Vietnamese regulars. . . .

After the fighting ended, and the sun came up, they carried me over to this guy who had shot me. And he was sitting up against the tree stump, and he was dead. He had three bullet holes up his chest, and he had his AK [-47 rifle] laying across his lap. And the sergeant said, "Here's this gook you killed. You did a good job."

And I seen this guy, and he was about my age, and I started thinking, you know, "Why is he dead and I'm alive?" It was just a matter of pure luck. Then I started thinking, I wonder if he had a girlfriend, and how his mother is going to find out. And things like that.

And when you just went through an experience of that nature, and you find out that it's all lies, and that they're just lying to the American people, and your silence means that you're part of keeping that lie going, I couldn't stop. I mean, I couldn't be silent. I felt I had a responsibility to my friends, and to the country in general, and to the Vietnamese.

The last guy who I shot -- and I don't consider he was the first guy I shot, but it was the first guy I shot where I was shooting it out barrel to barrel with him, and looked him in the face afterwards -- and I felt a certain amount of responsibility to him. To make his death not be in vain meant that I had to try to advocate for the justice that he was fighting for. Because I believe he was fighting for his country. So I became involved in the [anti-war] Movement.

Top: Levy today. Bottom: Unidentified GI in Vietnam

Coming soon -- Tuesday debut date on WWUH shown:

  • November 24 -- Joyce Malcolm on the Meaning of the 2nd Amendment

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

Unadvertised Special!

Rita Martinson sings that great song with which Part 2 ends, Soldier, We Love You. YouTube video -- complete, uncut, un-voiced-over, and in living color: (Click here).