Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The "Seven Sisters" and the Oil of the Middle East

Part 1: New World Notes #595, 28:49  (July 28)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #596, 28:59 (August 6)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

The "Seven Sisters" was Big Oil. It was the cartel of huge private oil corporations that ended up owning almost all the oil in the Middle East. They stole and kept this treasure by hook and by crook, in violation of many laws, with help from corrupt monarchs abroad and muscle from the U.S. government, armed forces, and CIA.

We adapt to radio a fine video documentary.  

Part 1 takes us from the founding of the cartel in 1928 (by Standard Oil, Shell, and BP) to the creation of OPEC in 1960.

Of note in Part 1: The story of how BP came to own all of the oil in Iran--and how, in 1953, Iran's parliament tried to regain control of the country's oil--and how the United States government responded by overthrowing Iran's democratic government and installing the Shah as dictator of Iran. (We then gave Iran's oil to US-based oil companies, not back to BP.)

Man of the Year: The last prime minister of democratic Iran, Mohammad Mossadeq (January 1952). In 1953, the Iranian parliament nationalized the country's oil, threatening BP's profits.  The United States overthrew Iran's government, installed the Shah as dictator, and handed Iran's oil back to the big Western oil companies. 

Part 2 takes us from the creation of OPEC in 1960 to the fate of Iraq today (its oil weath again taken away from the Iraqi people and again handed over to the big oil companies). Includes the Suez crisis, OPEC price hikes, Iraq's nationalizing of its oil in 1972 (succeeding where Iran in 1953 had failed), the Iranian revolution, and Gulf Wars I and II.

Introduction by K.D.

Previously broadcast. Files downloaded fro the links, above, are identified as NWN #273-274


Tuesday, July 23, 2019


New World Notes #594, 28:46 (July 23)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Book by Ted Nace

Our nation's Founders encouraged business but distrusted corporations--which they tightly regulated and restricted. Jefferson warned that corporations could end up running the country. (Yep!)

In a fine talk, environmental activist and business expert Ted Nace describes the history of corporations, ... their growing power, ... and their frequent battles with The People--some of which The People won.

Also reflections by K.D. on the branding of everything and 2 relevant songs.

Originally broadcast in 2008 and (with updated introduction) 2010. Files downloaded from the links, above, are identified as NWN #594.

Monday, July 15, 2019


New World Notes #593, 28:11 (July 16)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Eugenics is in the news again. We explore the sordid pseudo-science with a section from the film Human Resources (not previously broadcast on NWN), reflections by KD, and a song by David Rovics.

Thanks to Robin Upton (unwelcomeguests.net), who adapted all of Human Resources for radio broadcast. David Rovics' song "Denmark 1943" is from his album, The Other Side.

New World Notes broadcast the rest of Human Resources, in four installments, in October-November 2018.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Climate Change (Methane)

New World Notes #592, 28:35 (July 9)
Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

This week we'll hear another fine audiocollage by Chazk / Virtual Renderings. It's about climate change and ecological catastrophe. In several passages, veteran climate activist David Wasdell explains why global warming is getting worse at an increasingly faster rate. Disaster looms.

The prospect may be a real downer, but the program is a delight to listen to. Spun around Wasdell's spoken words are movie clips, songs, comedy routines, and whatnot from artists including Firesign Theater, George Carlin, Lee Camp, Al Gore (remember him?), Natalie Merchant, and several others.

Personal favorites in this installment:
  • at the beginning, Firesign Theater on How the West Was Won
  • the TV "weather girl" who goes ballistic (by the Canadian comedy group Deep Rogue Ram)
  • near the end, a haunting snippet of the song, "Frosty the Snowman," by Angela McCluskey
David Wasdell (2011)

Previously broadcast, as NWN #242, in October 2012. Fies downloaded from the links, above, may be identified as #212.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

American Oppression, American Resistance

New World Notes #591, 28:12 (July 2)
Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

A fine talk (technically an interview) by Noam Chomsky, recorded in his office on November 20, 2012. This is the talk's first broadcast on New World Notes.

Chomsky brilliantly explores three questions highly relevant to today:
  • In a free society such as the US, by what means do the rulers control the common people?
  • How do protest movements today compare with those of the 1960s?
  • What issues are most pressing for today's generation of activists?
Chomsky's long answer to question #2 is especially interesting and surprising: The 1960s were not the great age of popular protest, as legend has it. The 1980s were.

This audio is from the now-departed podcast series, Smells Like Human Spirit. The interviewer is series host Guy Evans. Many thanks. I have condensed the audio a bit to fit our timeslot.