Saturday, May 20, 2006

RadioNation with Laura Flanders, Guns and Butter and more

Saturday. Means what? RadioNation with Laura Flanders, for one thing. Hopefully, it means many things for you but, no matter how bad things get, you can always look forward to the ray of light called Laura.

Is a weak Congress, crumbling White House and ever-stronger Pentagon the current state of the nation? We talk to JAMES CAROLL, author of "House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power." Then CHARLES WILSON, co-author of "Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want To Know About Fast Food," on the food industry attack on the new movie "Fast Food Nation" based on the book wrote with Eric Schlosser. And Canada’s First Lady of Folk Music, PENNY LANG, who skipped a Phil Ochs tribute to be with us and her latest album Stone+Sand+Sea+Sky.

Phil Ochs makes me remember to say heads up to Polly's Brew tomorrow. Polly was at one of the two concerts Donovan gave in London and will be reviewing it, so check your inboxes for that tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, on Laura's show:

What does it mean to be a friend of America and citizen these days? Do good fences make good neighbors? Our Media Roundtable includes Nation contributor BRUCE SHAPIRO and blogger CHRISTY HARDIN SMITH of Firedoglake. And GREG PALAST on why Bush loves $3 a gallon gas, war-mongering with oil-producing nations and other sordid tales from his new book, "Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf? China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left, and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War."

A female blogger! Gasp. Well, unlike some shows on that radio network, Laura's not suffering from "You mean a woman can do that? And does?" Greg Palast is always a wonderful guest and he was very funny yesterday on KPFA's The Morning Show -- even if he did forget what station he was on. I felt like Philip Maldari (co-host) had a point to make that he never got to, Palast was riffing all over the place. Andrea Lewis wisely decided to sit back and enjoy the ride.
(For news on Ruth check out Rebecca's "the ruth & elijah report" -- and I'm glad Ruth's taking another week off. She's more than earned it and it's a great sign that, unlike the trip she and Treva took after Ruth's husband passed away, she's able to enjoy this one.)

Wednesday on KPFA's Guns and Butter, Bonnie Faulkner broadcast a speech by Dr. William Pepper about the questions that still surround the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. This was pretty amazing and I hope you'll find time to listen to it if you missed it.

Pepper represented James Earl Ray (starting in the mid-seventies). Ray went to prison for the murder of MLK but Ray was never given a trial. He was still attempting to get a trial when he died (1998, I believe). Sam Donaldson had an interview, in the early 90s, with a man who stated he was part of the conspiracy to kill MLK. And the interview played on Prime Time Live and wasn't noted anywhere. The King family took civil action against the man, Pepper represented the family, and won. But the press wasn't interested in covering the story. (Why not?)

The court transcripts and other documents, which I believe establish the conspiracy to assassinate MLK, are at the King Center. I started thinking, as KPFA's Guns and Butter will make you think, and begun to wonder if that wasn't the reason why the government wants to purchase the King Center?

Other things to check out: "THIS JUST IN! NO BULLY BOY LEFT BEHIND! "
"And the war drags on (Indymedia Roundup)"
"Surprise interview"
"Democracy Now: Eduardo Galeano"
"rebecca winters has a warning"
"Dry Drunk Bully Boy"
"Hayden Defends Domestic Spy Program At Confirmation Hearing"
"The (Other) Story Judith Miller Didn't Write"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Helen Reddy, Burger King, Music

I just walked in the door, booted up the computer, ran to the radio to turn on KPFA and hopefully note something on it.

Okay, La Raza Chronicles is playing a documentary, Abandoned: The Betrayal of American Immigrants. "There beds would not be filled were it not for the INS, these are serious moneymakers for them." That really is true. They're making quite a bit of bucks off scapegoating immigrants. It's not just about xenophobia and the "other," it's also about a huge profit motive going on.

Susan e-mailed about two things. 1) She wondered about the next review? The earliest CD review would go up tomorrow night. I'll also do one Saturday. (These will go up at The Common Ills.) After that? It'll depend on what grabs me. (I am reading the suggestions.) I may not post a review again until June. I really never intended to do more than one or two a month. This month, I've done five and we'll do at least two more this week for a total of seven. 2) She wanted to know what the reaction to "Shame of the Week (Musical)" was? I asked Ty because he usually follows most of the e-mail at The Third Estate Sunday Review and he told me it had been very favorable but that it was actually being noted more this week. A lot of people are writing, this week, "I just saw the commercial!"

Susan can't get over that Helen Reddy, who for years refused to prostitute the song, has now done so in such a humilitating way. I was shocked (my jaw did drop) and I was angry. I'm not excusing what she did now. But now, my attitude is one of she's no one to me. I am cold towards Helen Reddy. I was not a huge fan of her music but that song did mean something. I even saw her in concert about ten years ago just for that song. A group of friends and I went just for that one song. She's a little too easy listening for my tastes but I could support her for that song.

I still support that song but, as the Mafia would say, now she's dead to me.

In fact, I think I still support the song but she's turned her back on it.

If she really, really needed the money, I'm not sure even that would excuse it. Couldn't she sell it to something else? Something that wouldn't use the song in a commercial mocking the women's movement?

Lucy said she was assuming I only blogged once last week due to the reviews. That's correct. I did four reviews and helped out with The Third Estate Sunday Review on both Sundays. I didn't have anything else in me to give. Lucy also noted that she watched Loose Change and keeps meaning to check out KPFA's Guns and Butter but always forgets the time. She's on the East Coast so it's four p.m. Wednesdays for her. I'm not sure whether it will air tomorrow or not because KPFA's doing fundraising but I'll listen just in case.

Guns and Butter is really a great show. Ted wrote that he's listened to three shows now. He's not sure what he believes, he wrote, but he likes that Bonnie Faulkner's not afraid to ask questions. She's not either. She's not going to stand in line with everyone else just because veering from the accepted might lead to slams or criticism.

Ted wondered which review I liked best of the five I've done so far? I think "Kat's Korner: Pink's not dead or silent." I'm not sure about "Kat's Korner: Pearl Jam does Pearl Jam." I knew some would be bothered by it. That's why I asked C.I. to read over it (after reading a huge portion of it to C.I. over the phone). I like Pearl Jam's Pearl Jam. I even listened to it yesterday. (Too busy to hear anything today -- very, very busy. I've been taking care of errands and lining up a new art project.) But a) I'm a Nirvana fan/freak (or was when Kurt Cobain was alive) and I'm not going to pretend like Pearl Jam was the great alternative band (they're a rock band -- often sounding like Soundgarden's farewell album) and b) Eddie Vedder's voice is frequently amazingly moving but those lyrics need to be worked on and that was always true. If you like Pearl Jam, I do, then you'll like the album, some amazing singing and vocals. But I'm not sure if you've avoided Pearl Jam all this time that this will be the CD for you. In fact, I doubt it will be.

Okay, we're all supposed to be on the phone in like two minutes so let me post this. I'll steal from Wally and grab some of his recommended links:

"NYT: Bell-South says, "No, we didn't!" and the Times runs with it"
"We hold the Iraqi government and the occupiers responsible for this brutal atrocity"
"things that make you go 'what the f---!'"
"Rally in DC, Professor Steve Almond stands up, and more"
"Other Items"
"Freedom of the Press Under Attack: Government Begins Tracking Phone Calls of Journalists"
"The joke is always Thomas Friedman. Always"
"Popcorn in the Kitchen"