Thursday, December 20, 2018

Comic Satire for Christmas

New World Notes #564, 27:14 (December 25)
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An NWN Xmas tradition. Brief commentary by me, five satiric seasonal songs, and one imitation Broadway "big production number." All take a comic but critical view of American hypocrisies, religiosity, commercialism, class warfare, and other Christmastime traditions.

I'm especially fond of the pseudo- "big production number": Stan Freberg's 1958 masterpiece, Green Chri$tma$.  The audio fidelity is very good even by today's standards; the production is rich and sophisticated; the script is witty; and the message (alas) is still relevant.

Other contributions by Hugh Blumenfeld, Simon and Garfunkel, Anne Feeney, Roy Zimmerman, and Tom Lehrer.

This installment has previously been broadcast from time to time. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #355.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Scooter's War on Christmas Kickstarter

New World Notes #563, 28:33 (December 18)
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The Church fights back

A fine audio collage on Christmas and America produced by Scooter. A blend of social satire, inspired nonsense, improbable music, serious debate, standup comedy, right-wing craziness, & great fun.

This collage weaves together a debate on religion by the late Christopher Hitchens (atheist) and Catholic spokesman Bill Donahue, a parody musical-comedy Christmas movie, a parody war movie (climaxing in the death of all three Chipmunks), ravings by Bill O'Reilly and a few televangelists, heavy-metal Christmas carols, standup comedy by Lewis Black and Sam Kinison, and more.

Once again we present Scooter's tour-de-force almost uncut ... almost uncensored ... and almost unabridged!

This installment was previously broadcst--most recently in December 2016. The "broadcast quality" version has an extra bleep, making it all the more suitable for airplay.

Scooter, in a reflective moment

Scooter produces "The innerSide" radio program at KPFT-FM, Houston. Find more of his work at

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Plundering the Workers for Fun and Profit

New World Notes #562, 28:19 (December 11)
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Richard Wolff (2016)

With typical verve and wit, economist Richard Wolff shows how and why the corporate elite made themselves even richer and more powerful by plundering the American working class--and misleading them about what was happening to them. He also shows why the scam cannot go on much longer.

An especially interesting theme runs theough the talk: The very people who falsely claim to champion "family values" are the ones who themselves destroyed the traditional family--in order to preserve corporate profits.

With a brief introduction by KD.

Wolff spoke at the 2018 Left Forum in New York. This installment's title is my own. Wolff audio courtesy of

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Michael Parenti vs God and his Demons

Part One: New World Notes #560, 28:18 (November 25)
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Part Two: New World Notes #561, 28:42 (December 4):
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In a telephone interview with me on April 6, 2010, Left-leaning political scientist Michael Parenti discusses his book, God and His Demons (Prometheus Books)--a survey of the woes caused in the name of, and by, Organized Religion.

In Part One, Parenti talks about rampant child sexual abuse by the Christian (and other) clergy and the coverup thereof--and now, at the Vatican, the coverup of the coverup. He talks about the venality of the Protestant televangelists and the oppressive Buddhist theocracy in Tibet before the Chinese Communists took over. He talks about our society's ignoring some sins frequently denounced in the Bible--e.g., charging high interest rates ("usury")--while we piously condemn "sins" the Bible never mentions (gay marriage, abortion). And he rebuts creationism, "Intelligent Design," . . . and some of the conclusions of Charles Darwin.

Micharl Parenti

In Part Two, Parenti discusses the unholy alliance of the Church, the nation-state, and economic power; ... FEMA's enlistment of the clergy to preach obedience to authority; ... and the Christian Right's takeover of the Air Force Academy. He ends with praise for 2 unorthodox 16th-century Christians--Montaigne and Giordano Bruno--and explaining why, despite everything, he's not an atheist.

Music added: satiric songs by Roy Zimmerman (one in each part).

These installments were originally broadcast in April-May 2010. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identifiedas NWN #280 & 281.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Chris Hedges: Stop Fascism

Part 1: New World Notes #558, 27:44 (November 13)
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Part 2: New World Notes #559, 28:58 (November 20)
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A fine and fiery speech by journalist/activist Chris Hedges. He vividly tells the story of the "slow-motion coup" that replaced American democracy with oligarchy and the Corporate State.

Part 1 explains the takeover. Part 2 continues the story and then shows how--in the recent past--nonviolent popular resistance has overthrown oligarchies and established democracy.

Hedges spoke at an event titled Stop Fascism in the U.S., in Portland, Oregon, May 26, 2017. The event was sponsored by KBOO Community Radio. His speech was adapted to radio by Robin Upton and broadcast in installment #749 of Unwelcome Guests. Videos of the talk are available on YouTube. Thanks also to David Schonfeld, of WWUH-FM in Connecticut,  for his suggestions and advice.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Human Resources

Part 1: New World Notes #554, 27:42 (October 16)
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Part 2: New World Notes #555, 29:28 (October 23)
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Part 3: New World Notes #556, 28:33 (October 30)
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Part 4: New World Notes #557, 27:47 (November 6)
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Scott Noble's wide-ranging and fine documentary film of 2010. It's about the many attempts--some fairly successful--to reduce human beings to mere "cogs in the machine"--in order to further increase the wealth and power of the elite. Aiding this process at every step were the findings--and often the practitioners--of research in psychology, especially the "behaviorist" school of psychology.

Part 1 focuses on industrial relations. Through "scientific management," power in the workplace was taken from workers and given to management--yielding higher profits for the owners but degrading conditions for workers.

Part 2 begins with public schools. Schools were never designed to educate children--still less to empower them--but to turn them into obedient, docile workers and passive citizens. So argue both John Taylor Gatto and Alfie Kohn

The film then begins to explore how "the System" causes violence among the oppressed--and how that violence helps cement the elite's rule.

Part 3 shows psychology's "frustration-aggression" principle used as a means of social control. One predictable result of the human frustration "The System" creates is mass murder--as shown in the case of killer James Huberty.

But the worst mass-murderers are governments and politicians. With that claim (by anthropologist Elliott Leyton), the film begins to explore the CIA's infamous Project MK-ULTRA and other deadly experiments the U.S. government conducted on unwitting citizens in the decades following World War II.

A key figure in MK-ULTRA, infamous CIA-funded mind-control experimenter Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron destroyed the physical and mental health of scores of his patients. (Part 4 of this series)

Part 4 begins with KD reflecting on connections among the film, his life, and the recent massacre in his (and Mister Rogers') former neighborhood, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.

Then the film focuses on MK-ULTRA and its trail of damaged human beings. With MK-ULTRA, the CIA failed to discover the techniques of mind-control it was seeking. However it did find new techniques of torture, which it employed in recent years at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere.

Human Resources was adapted to radio by Robin Upton, of Unwelcome Guests. Many thanks to Robin.

This and other films by Scott Noble are available without charge at

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Climate Change Hope

New World Notes #553, 28:58 (October 9)
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Australian climate scientist Tim Flannery reviews some new, cutting-edge approaches to restraining or halting global warming.

Flannery opposes risky "geoengineering" schemes. But the new, "Third Way" approaches, he says, are different. Based on natural processes, they actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

These new technologies--combined with a shift from fossil fuels to wind and solar power--give us some reason to hope that climate catastrophe may be averted.

Tim Flannery

Flannery spoke in Seattle on November 12, 2015. The audio of his complete presentation was provided by Mike McCormick, producer of Mind Over Matters, in Seattle. (Many thanks.) I have substantially condensed the talk for this radio program.

This installment was previously broadcast as NWN #413, in February 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, may be identified as #413.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How to Fight Back?

New World Notes #552, 28:28 (October 2)
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With the Kavanaugh hearings, American politics seems to have reached yet another new low; and the majority of Americans are sick the whole corrupt system. But the Progressive opposition is fragmented and without a unifying vision. What to do? KD briefly explores the problem.

Then Progressive Black activist and intellectual Glen Ford proposes a solution: unite the opposition in a crusade to nationalize the banks.

Could this work?

Ford spoke at the Left Forum in June 2018. I have slightly condensed his talk. For the original audio recording, thanks to Wilton Vought, of the YouTube channel and podcast, Other Voices, Other Choices.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sugar:The Bitter Truth

Part 1: New World Notes #550, 28:08 (September 18)
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Part 2: New World Notes #551, 28:22 (September 25)
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Robert Lustig is a physician (pediatric endocrinologist) and medical researcher. In this engaging and wide-ranging talk, he identifies the most important cause of America's epidemic of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary disease, liver disease, and metabolic disorder. The culprit is sugar, specifically fructose.

Industry is increasing the amount of fructose in packaged foods, including and especially soda. High fructose corn syrup is not the only villain: many forms are bad, including table sugar (which the body turns into fructose).

Lustig explores the politics, economics, and biochemistry behind this now-global problem.

With an introduction by K.D.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #438-439, in July and August 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #438 and 439.

Robin Upton, of Unwelcome Guests, adapted Lustig's lecture to radio. I have slightly condensed Robin's version. A video also is available, on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How the Government Spies on You

New World Notes #549, 27:52 (September 11)
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A spooky talk by technology expert and civil-liberties activist Chris Soghoian.

The government tried to prevent strong encryption of phone calls and text and email messages. Failing that, it now hacks and decrypts personal communications at will ... and worse. It's not just the NSA and FBI: with federal funds, local police forces also are acquiring and using the latest secret surveillance technology. Citizens have been fighting back--often successfully--through the courts and the media.

Soghoian spoke in Seattle on March 11, 2016.  The original audio recording (which I have edited and condensed a little) courtesy of Mike McCormick. Many thanks. 

Previously broadcast, as NWN #436, in July 2016. Files downloaded from the link, above, are identified as #436. No lower-fidelity, "Decent quality" MP3 appears to exist for this installment: only the high-fidelity "Broadcast quality."

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Power to Change

Part 1: New World Notes #546, 28:01 (August 21)
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Part 2: New World Notes #547, 28:06 (August 28)
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Part 3: New World Notes #548, (September 4)
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Howard Zinn

A very good talk by Progressive historian Howard Zinn (d. 2010)--delivered three days after the 2008 presidential election. It deals with key themes in Zinn's writing (and social activism): social justice, war, economic power, the anti-democratic behavior of governments (including ours), propaganda, and the power of the people to organize and compel justice.

Part 1 focuses on the inadequacy of politicians' programs (notably President-elect Obama's) to bring about social justice--especially when those programs are compared with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Two major impediments to social justice in the U.S. are entrenched economic interests and the government's staggering expenditures on war.

Part Two focuses on this country's extravagant military expenditures and "absurd" wars. Zinn explores the American "mindset" that supports wars and imperialism--for example, "American Exceptionalism"; denial of our imperialism; and false definitions of "national security," "terrorism," and "patriotism."

Zinn in earlier days

In Part Three, Zinn concludes his remarks on war by discussing how war corrupts everybody. He draws on both his study of history and his own combat eperiences in World War Two. (He was a bombardier in the Air Corps.) He then discusses the need to learn real history ... how "disobedience is essential to democracy" ... and how "the people" have the power to change their world by joining together in social movements. Selections from the Q&A finish out the program.

KD introduces Part Three with the story of the American bombing of the town of Royan, France, in the last days of World War Two--an important event in the development of Zinn's views on war. Zinn himself dropped some of the bombs that destroyed Royan.

Of note: In 2016, candidate Donald Trump said that having been imprisoned by enemy forces in war does not in itself make John McCain a "hero." Fot this, Trump was--and continues to be--loudly denounced from both left and right. (New World Notes happens to agree with Trump on this particular point.) In fact, Howard Zinn said the same thing of McCain in 2008 (in Part Two). For Zinn, the real heros of the Vietnam War are those who tried to stop it.

Zinn spoke on "The Power to Change" in Binghamton, NY, on November 8, 2008. Original 90-minute recording courtesy of Lyn Gerry and the Unwelcome Guests Collective ( I have shortened a few pauses and removed a few stumbles: Zinn's talk is otherwise uncut.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Norman Finkelstein on Palestine

New World Notes #545, 28:05 (August 14)
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Norman Finkelstein

Mideast expert Norman Finkelstein reviews the horrors of Israel's attacks on Gaza and then explores Palestine's three options for regaining its freedom. Two of them--diplomacy and armed struggle--have failed to work, Finkelstein argues.

That leaves nonviolent mass resistance--with an immediate focus on ending Israel's blockade of Gaza. The tactic has worked before, including in Gandhi's India, in apartheid South Africa, and in fact in Palestine's FIrst Intifada. It can work again--if Palestine can overcome the handicaps of a demoralized population and corrupt political leaders.

Introduction by KD. I have condensed and edited Finkelstein's talk.

Finkelstein and Tariq Ali discussed the Israel/Palestine situation at the 2016 Left Forum. Thanks to David Schonfeld, my colleague at WWUH-FM, in West Hartford, for technical assistance.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #454, in November 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identifies as #454.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tariq Ali on Palestine

New World Notes #544, 28:41 (August 7)
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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.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #446, in September 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identifies as #446.

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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


New World Notes #543, 27:51 (July 31)
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Jacquard loom

The Luddites were skilled workers in England (1811-1817)--weavers and other textile workers. They destroyed the new, automated factory machinery that threatened their lives.

KD discusses the Luddites' true history ,,, the pros and cons of their rebellion ... and the problems caused by globalized capitalism. He explores whether Luddism makes any sense in today's world ... and the possibility of nonviolent "soft-core" Luddism in our personal lives.

Included: a song by David Rovics and a clip from the documentary film Human Resources.

David Noble's documentary film Human Reseources is available, without charge, on the World Wide Web. See the site of its publisher ( or YouTube. David Rovics' "Everything Can Change" is from his album, If I Had a Hammer.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Vincent Emanuele on The Three Global Crises

Part 1: New World Notes #457, 28:31 (July 17)
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Part 2: New World Notes #458, 28:49 (July 24)
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Vincent Emanuele

An eye-opening and well-researched talk by activist Vincent Emanuele. He explores the three crises that are making the world--at best--highly unstable. Then he suggests some steps that the people can take to make our uncertain future as livable as possible.

Since neither government nor business is likely to do anything positive about these crises, useful responses will have to come from the grassroots.

All three crises are deeply rooted in the United States. Two of them are now global. The crises are
  • social collapse in the U.S.
  • militarization
  • ecological disaster

 In Part 1, Emanuele shows the dimensions of social collapse and militarization and begins his discussion of the ecology crisis.

In Part 2, Emanuel explores the ecology crisis in depth and then proposes some general actions that the organized grassroots can take to maintain (insofar as possible) a good,decent, and cooperative life for the people.

Emanuele spoke at the Open University of the Left, in Chicago, on September 24, 2016. Thanks to Dale Lehman/WZRD, for the original audio recording, which I have condensed and slightly edited.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #457-458, in December 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #457 and 458.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The System's War on its Critics

New World Notes #540, 27:24 (July 10)
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A powerful new talk by Progressive journalist/essayist Chris Hedges. Hedges argues that the ruling elite--anticipating another collapse of the financial system they control--is fighting to suppress all Progressive critiques of the system.

A major battlefield in that war is the Internet. The elite just destroyed Net Neutrality. Now they're reprogramming the search engines to ignore left-of-center viewpoints.

Hedges connects these ominous turns with other events, including the rise of the Religious Right. The overall goal is to control the populace by suppressing all good explanations of what is happening ... and who is responsible.

Introduction by KD.

Hedges spoke at the Left Forum, in New York City, on June 3, 2018. For the audio recording of Hedges, many thanks to Wilton Vought ( and a YouTube channel: Other Voices, Other Choices).

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Chris Hedges Ad Lib

New World Notes #539, 28:47 (July 3)
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Unscripted, incisive discussion of a range of issues by the celebrated Progressive journalist, essayist, and activist, Chris Hedges.

Topics include the corruption of the judiciary ... the mass media as the propaganda organ of the Corporate State ... how the Democratic Party has betrayed its constituents ... the false promises of Barack Obama ... the growing public opposition to Israel's Palestine policies ... and (relatedly) the increasing attacks on free speech.

Taken from a question-and-answer session following Hedges' lecture, "The Algebra of Revolution" (Seattle, April 2016). The (edited) lecture was broadcast by New World Notes, installments 442 and 443 (August 2016). Thanks to Pirate TV Seattle for the original video recording. I have condensed and edited the audio.

"Chris Hedges Ad Lib" was previously broadcast, as NWN #448, in October 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #448.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Howard Zinn on Lies, War, and History

New World Notes #538, 28:10 (June 26)
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A classic talk by the late progressive historian Howard Zinn--never before broadcast on New World Notes.

Zinn spoke in Boston, at an antiwar "teach-in," on September 25, 2001. That was just after the attacks on 9/11 and just before the U.S. launched its war against Afghanistan.

Zinn spoke of governments that lie to their people--particularly the United States government. Governments especially lie as they launch unnecessary wars--for instance our past wars against Mexico, Spain, and Vietnam. Average citizens can empower themselves by learning and remembering real history.
Zinn notes that most of the alleged attackers on 9/11 were Saudi Arabians--yet the government was now beating the war drums aginst Afghanistan, not Saudi Arabia. Something fishy is going on here. . . .

Monday, June 18, 2018

Decade War

New World Notes #537, 28:31 (June 19)
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Selections from Skidmark Bob's fine 2011 audio collage on the horrors and futility of the US's recent wars--notably the war in Afghanistan. An engaging mix of Hollywood film clips, TV news clips, new and old music, and a good British documentary about soldiers, in a doomed outpost in Afghanistan, slowly being wiped out by the Taliban.

Musical highlights include a stunning update of Country Joe's "Feels Like I'm Fixin' to Die"--plus original (1965) and punk-rock versions of "Eve of Destruction."

This condensed version is suitably censored for radio broadcast.

Skidmark Bob produces the radio show & podcast, PoP dEFECT RADIO. More info. and download links at his blog, . The uncut, hour-long original version of "Decade War" is available on

Friday, June 8, 2018

Jean Shepherd: Elephant Feet

New World Notes #536, 28:49 (June 12)
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All new episode!--most of which is 56 years old. The third in our series of classic monologues by the great radio humorist / satirist / storyteller Jean Shepherd.

Shepherd pokes fun at American life--including our crazy junk, our unrealistic "realistic" TV shows; our love of doing things just to see if they can be done; the rationalizations we concoct to justify space flights and war; and our favorite rhetorical question, "Who's covering up?"

Condensed by--and with a brief introduction by--KD.

Shepherd's monologue was originally broadcast on September 19, 1962, on station WOR AM-FM, New York. Thanks to for the original 45-minute recording.

Note: The first installment of our Jean Shepherd series was "Radio Great Jean Shepherd"--rebroadcast last week. Scroll down to find the page.

The second installment was
"Jean Shepherd vs. 'Creeping Meatballism.'"

Monday, June 4, 2018

Radio Great Jean Shepherd

New World Notes #535, 29:09 (June 5)
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Jean Shepherd (1959)

A tribute to the ad-lib art of late-night radio storyteller Jean Shepherd. Includes a condensed version of one of his great monologues, from October 1965. It's a humorous tale of grenade-replica cigarette lighters, the real George Washington, crime in real life vs. on TV, and life among the rednecks in Covington, Kentucky, in the 1950s. Introduction by KD.

Claire's "roscoe"? Smith & Wesson "Military & Police"
model revolver in .38 Special (1953)

Originally broadcast by NWN in 2009. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #232.

Shepherd recording courtesy of Radio Veronica. This and a few other Shepherd monologues are archived at

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Abominable Ways of Biotech

Part 1: New World Notes #533, 28:46 (May 22)
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Part 2: New World Notes #534, 28:07 (May 29)
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Another fine audio collage
by Chazk / Virtual Renderings, Created in 2013--and just as timely and important now as then-- "Abominable Ways of Biotech" is now broadcast for the first time.

It's about the insanity and the dangers--and the demonstrable bad health effects--of biotech tinkering with the food we eat.

Part 1 focuses on the problem of transplanting genes from one species to another and the multiple health hazards of Monsanto's glyphosate ("Roundup") herbicide.

Part 2 has more on the bad effects of glyphosate. Then on to genetically modified plants that produce their own insecticide--specifically BT toxin.

The collage includes the voices of Vandana Shiva, Andrew Kimbrell, Davis Suzuki, and others--plus some relevant music.

To hear or download (free) any or all of Virtual Renderings' audio collages, click on the link on the right sidebar of this page, under the heading, Worth a Look.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ending the Many Wars in Syria

Part 1: New World Notes #531, 28:21 (May 8)
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Part 2: New World Notes #532, 28:39 (May 15)
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In a fine speech, Phyllis Bennis argues that several wars are now being fought in Syria. There is no military solution to the disaster--so let's try diplomacy instead.

She argues that Syria is suffering not from a war but from a half-dozen different wars now being fought there. Many of these are "proxy wars" between other countries (e.g., Saudi Arabia and Iran) being "fought to the last Syrian" There is no military solution to the Syrian disaster--and furthermore, every military adventure the U.S.has taken in this century has been a dismal failure.

But our record at diplomacy has been good. So let's try diplomacy instead of war in Syria.

Bennis offers fresh and interesting insights, not only about Syria but about America's role in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

Part 2 includes an afterword by KD and a little music.

Bennis Spoke at Emanuel College, Boston, on October 13, 2016. Many thanks to Dave Goodman, of I.B.I.S. Radio (, for the original recording. I have snipped out a few stumbles and pauses; the talk is otherwise uncut.

Previousy broadcast, as NWN #451, in October 2016. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #451.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Capitalism, Democracy, and Environmental Catastrophe

New World Notes #530, 28:22 (May 1)
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Bertrand Russell keeping an eye on Noam Chomsky

Invited to speak on "the future of capitalism," Noam Chomky first shows that the actual US economic system is very far from real "capitalism." It is essentially socialism-for-corporations. And the political system actually in place is far from "democracy."

To Chomsky, the future of the actual system--and of the planet--seem grim. For the sake of short-term profit, our business and political leaders are working hard to bring about environmental catastrophe as rapidly as possible.

A powerful, moving speech, with Chomsky's typical clarity, mastery of fact, and deadpan ironic wit.

Chuck U. Rosina recorded this speech in Boston on February 25, 2013. Many thanks.

Previously broadcast. Files downloaded from the lins, above, are identified as NWN #263.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Myth of Progress, the Necessity of Rebellion

Part 1: New World Notes #528, 28:07 (April 17)
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Part 2: New World Notes #529, 29:28 (April 24)
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In a brilliant speech, Chris Hedges argues that the class war is real ... that the ordinary people are losing ... that all of society's institutions have betrayed the people and "sold out" to Established Power ... that whatever political and economic justice there has been exists only because ordinary people struggled hard against the elite to create that justice... and that widespread nonviolent rebellion by the people is now essential to prevent disaster.

Part history lesson, part political science, part cultural analysis, and part sermon, Hedges' talk is an intellectual tour-de-force--and also a great listen.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #528-529, in December 2014/January 2015. MP3 files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #528-529.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

American Food

New World Notes #527, 28:16 (April 10)
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The season inspires thoughts of food--including the politics, economics, and ecology of American agriculture. Some personal reflections by KD are interwoven with eight short commentaries by Jim Hightower and a little music.

Topics include deceptive packaging, declining food-safety rules for corporate meatpackers, low wages at fast-food chains, huge "agricultural" subsidies for the rich, how drug-warriors destroyed an organic farm, and a Connecticut vegetable farmer decides to add a few pigs and sell a little pork.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #300, in December 2013. Files downloaded from the links, avove, are identified as #300.

Jim Hightower's recorded commentaries are from his Web site.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How 'The System' Causes Addiction

New World Notes #526, 29:03 (March 27)
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Dr. Gabor Mate

A good introduction to Dr. Gabor Mate's insights into addiction. Mate (mah-TAY) shows that addiction is caused not by chemical substances themselves but by the complex interaction of brain, experience, the environment (including society and the economy), and chemical substances. Our stressful, exploitative economic system is a major factor causing addiction.

And since The System's "War on Drugs" does little good and much harm, could its real goals be more sinister than its professed goals?

This program replays parts of an interview with Mate (January 2010) by Mike McCormick, on Mind Over Matters, and parts of a speech Mate gave in Berkeley in November 2011 (courtesy of the National Radio Project and Making Contact). The links connect to these original sources, for which many thanks.

Previously broadcast, as NWN #211, in March 2012. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as #211.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Second Coming

New World Notes #525, 29:03 (March 27)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Artists and social critics have used the idea of the Second Coming of Christ as a metaphor to highlight social ills. (Bumper sticker: Christ has come ... and boy, is He p***ed!) We hear and look at four works of art that do this: Lenny Bruce's "Christ and Moses" routine, a Langston Hughes short story featuring the Harlem character "Simple," W.B. Yeats's poem "The Second Coming," and The Police's song "Synchronicity II"--which is pretty much Yeats's poem, updated & set to music.

Previously broadcast in March 2010.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

No Nostalgia for Obama, Please

New World Notes #524, 28:56 (March 20)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Yes, (KD argues,) Trump is unfit to be President. But so were two recent predecessors: W. Bush and Saint Ronald Reagan. The difference is that Reagan and Bush had the full support of America's oligarchs and corporate elite. Trump does not have their full support. So Trump gets the bad press.

But let not Republican malfeasance blind us to the sins of the Democrats, specifically Barack Obama. He served the oligarchs and the elite--and damaged "the 99%"--just as thoroughly as the Republicans.

A brief introduction by KD is followed by a prescient talk that Noam Chomsky delivered in November 2008--after Obama's election but before his inauguration. Chomsky explains why our election was far less democratic than recent elections in Haiti and Bolivia--and why the Obama administration would likely serve the financial elite at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Unfortunately, Chomsky proved right on every count.

Note: In his talk, Chomsky names the democratically elected president of Haiti (Bertrand Aristide) but not of Bolivia. He is Evo Morales.

Chomsky was recorded at Arlington Street Church, Boston, on November 19, 2008 . Thanks to the anonymous recordist (I have my suspicions) for the excellent recording.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Destroying the American Dream

New World Notes #523, 28:06 (March 13)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Noam Chomsky discusses (with Ralph Nader) more of the key ideas of his recent book and film, Requiem for the American Dream: The Ten Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power.

In this final installment, Nader discusses three more ways in which the rich and powerful are destroying democracy and establishing plutocracy in the U.S. These are: (1) "Keep the rabble in line," (2) "Manufacture consent," and (3) "Marginalize the population."

A brilliant, cogent, and very true-sounding talk.

Audio (slightly condensed by me) courtesy of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (originally broadcast May 27, 2017). Many thanks.

Two earlier installments of New World Notes carried other portions of Chomsky's long talk: #499 ("Potpourri 5"), September 26, 2017; and #510 ("Potpourri 6"), December 12, 2017.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Other America

New World Notes #522, 29:15 (March 6)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Martin Luther King, Jr. (left), and Malcolm X (right),
March 26, 1964

A very good but little-known late speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. "The Other America," was delivered at Stanford University (California) on April 14,1967--10 days after King's great (and somewhat better-known) speech, "Beyond Vietnam."

Here King goes beyond mere "civil rights" and speaks forcefully on the larger issues of growing economic inequality and an out-of-control Military-Industrial Complex.

The sonewhat condensed audio recording was produced in 2008 for the radio program, "DC37 Radio"--apparently the predecessor of the "Building Bridges" show. Thanks to producer Ken Nash.