Wed. 9/20: Iraq for Sale

Iraq for Sale: The War ProfiteersLISTEN TO THIS SHOW ONLINE
“IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS” is the powerful new documentary about what happens to ordinary Americans when corporations go to war. In the film, by Robert Greenwald, soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children talk about how their lives have been shattered by profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. RICK JACOBS will talk about the film – he’s co-executive producer. He’s also Chair of the Courage Campaign, and he chaired the presidential campaign of Howard Dean in California. He writes for The Huffington Post.
Watch the trailer for “Iraq for Sale” — Order the DVD

Also: THE POLITICS OF TORTURE: George Bush wants to torture – but some key Republican senators don’t: HAROLD MEYERSON talks about the Senate Armed Services Committee rejecting the President’s military detainee bill. One key issue: the accountability of high government officials for war crimes. Harold writes for the Washington Post op-ed page, the LA Weekly, and the American Prospect.

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of GarbagePlus: THE HIDDEN LIFE OF GARBAGE: Heather Rogers explores the underworld of garbage and the meaning of what we throw away. The U.S. is the planet’s number one producer of trash; the average American throws out 4.5 pounds daily. Heather Rogers is a filmmaker and journalist who has written for The Nation, Utne Reader, and Punk Planet. Her book is Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage.

More Stuff to Read: “‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon: Politics and Music, Then and Now,” my new piece at — the film is playing now in LA and NYC.

Wed. 9/13: The U.S. vs. John Lennon

The new documentary, “THE U.S. VS. JOHN LENNON,” which opens in L.A. Friday, tells the story of Lennon’s transformation from loveable moptop to anti-war activist, and recounts the facts about Nixon’s campaign to deport him in 1972. With Walter Cronkite, Gore Vidal, George McGovern, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, and G. Gordon Liddy –and archival footage of Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover. (I’m in it for about 5 seconds.) The film begins at the 1971 “Free John Sinclair” concert. We’ll speak with John Sinclair about Lennon’s place in the politics of the sixties. (originally broadcast 3-16-05)
View the trailer for “The U.S. vs. John Lennon”.
Read reviews and more info about “The US vs. John Lennon.”

The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned CitizensPlus: ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN calls for THE IMPEACHMENT OF GEORGE W. BUSH. She’s a former member of Congress who was a vital member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment hearings.
Elizabeth Holtzman will be in conversation with John Dean, talking about “Crimes of the Oval Office: Bush and the Potential for Impeachment Wed. Sept. 13, 8pm, UCLA Royce Hall. Tickets: $15 & $10 (students). Available at or 213-365-3500. More info: or

Also: “THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED”: Kirby Dick’s documentary about the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings board is “merry and bright and loads of fun” – that’s what ELLA TAYLOR says – she wrote about the film for the LA Weekly.
View the Trailer for “This Film is Not Yet Rated.”

More stuff to read:John Lennon: Still a Security Threat,” my new piece in the Sunday L.A. Times.

Wed. 9/6: The Next 9/11: Are We Ready?

Are We Ready?: Public Health since 9/11 (California/Milbank Books on Health and the Public)LISTEN TO THIS SHOW ONLINE
The fifth anniversary of 9-11 is coming up, which makes us wonder how safe we are: David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz ask ARE WE READY? They’ll talk about how 9-11 permanently altered the political, cultural, and organizational life of the country, and consider whether we are now better prepared to withstand another potentially devastating attack.
Their new book is Are We Ready? Public Health since 9/11.

Plus: WHAT IS HEZBOLLAH? JUAN COLE explains that it’s not a terrorist network like Al Qaeda – he writes the key blog on the Mideast, “Informed Comment,” teaches history at the U. of Michigan, and is past president of the Middle East Studies Association.

I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen: Coming to California in the Age of SchwarzeneggerPlus: AMY WILENTZ talks about what it’s like for a Jersey Girl who moves to L.A. – she analyzes the Schwarzenegger thing, and she ridicules the rich in her new book I Feel Earthquakes More Often than they Happen. Amy was Jerusalem corresponent for The New Yorker and is a contributing editor of The Nation. She will be reading and signing at Vromans Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, Thurs 9/7, 7pm.

Web extra: Your Minnesota Moment: “Once a Progressive State, Minnesota Is Now a Fief of the N.R.A.,” a great piece by Verlyn Klinkenborg in Tuesday’s New York Times.

Wed. 8-30: Andrei Codrescu on New Orleans

New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City LISTEN TO THIS SHOW ONLINE
On the one-year anniversary of Katrina, we turn to ANDREI CODRESCU for comment. For two decades he’s been living in and writing about his adopted city. “Katrina was only a storm,” he said recently, “but what followed was so hideous that, one year later, we can only shake our heads — and vomit.” Andrei’s book New Orleans, Mon Amour is an epic love song, a clear-eyed elegy, a cultural celebration, and a thank-you note to New Orleans in its Golden Age.

PLUS: The ex-gay movement: Every year, hundreds of gay men and lesbians join ex-gay ministries in an attempt to convert to non-homosexual Christian lives. Tanya Erzen has followed the New Hope Ministry in Northern California, a Christian Right organization that insists that “change is possible.” Tanya teaches at Ohio State; her book is Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement.

Modern TimesALSO: BOB DYLAN’s new CD Modern Times was released yesterday — “I am tryin’ to love my neighbor . . . but, oh mother, things ain’t going well.” SEAN WILENTZ will comment; he’s the official historian at, and was nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes to Bob Dylan Live 1966. PLAYLIST: “Thunder on the Mountain.” “Workingman’s Blues #2,” “Ain’t Talkin’,” “The Levee’s Gonna Break”

More stuff to read: Jon Wiener on the LA Times op-ed page: “Iraq isn’t the Philippines”

Wed. 8/23: Anger in the Arab World

The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for StatehoodLISTEN TO THIS SHOW ONLINE
Anger in the Arab World: RASHID KHALIDI
talks about the aftermath of Israel’s war in Lebanon. Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia; his new book, The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood, will be published in October. He wrote about “Anger in the Arab World” for The Nation.

ALSO: The Iraqi armed forces fiasco: President Bush often says, “As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.” DAVID J. MORRIS recently spent five days imbedded with an Iraqi armed forces unit and the American troops training them. He found US marines demoralized by bureaucratic mismanagement, inadequate training for the Iraqis, and an astonishing shortage of equipment and supplies. Dave is a former Marine officer and the author of Storm on the Horizon: Khafji — The Battle That Changed the Course of the Gulf War (Free Press). He teaches English at UC Irvine and wrote about “The Iraqi Forces Fiasco” for

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream PLUS: BARBARA EHRENREICH: her book Nickel and Dimed sold more than a million copies and was on the bestseller list for more than 100 weeks. Now her new book is out in paperback – Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. It’s an undercover exploration of the shadowy world of the white collar unemployed. The story is alternately grim and hilarious.
(originally broadcast September 21, 2005.)

MORE TO READ: Jon Wiener on Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bait and Switch.

Wed. 8/16: One Party Country

One Party Country: The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st CenturyLISTEN TO THIS SHOW ONLINE
Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten of the LA Times lay out “The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 2lst Century” – how right-wing strategists are neutralizing the Democrats’ traditional advantages with Latinos, women, African-Americans and Jews — and even union members. Tom and Peter will be speaking and signing One Party Country Friday at 700pm at Dutton’s Brentwood, 11975 San Vicente Blvd. in L.A.

Also: IAN WILLIAMS says the winner in Lebanon is Hezbollah: Israel succeeded in destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon and killing hundreds of Lebanese civilians, but “Hezbollah now enjoys immense prestige across the Arab and Muslim world for standing against Israeli arms longer than any of the national armies of the region.”
Ian is UN Correspondent for The Nation and the Deadline Pundit at

The Great Black Way: L.A. in the 1940s and the Lost African-American RenaissancePlus: The Great Black Way: L.A.’s Central Avenue in the 1940s and the Lost African-American Renaissance: R. J. SMITH explores the world of rhythm and blues, black comics with socially-tinged humor, and the start of the popular civil rights movement in Los Angeles. R.J. is a senior editor at Los Angeles Magazine. He’s written for the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Magazine.
PLAYLIST: Charles Brown, Joe Liggins, Big Jay McNeely

WEB EXTRA: What is George Bush reading on his summer vacation in Crawford? Press Secretary Tony Snow said he just finished “The Stranger” by Albert Camus. Maureen Dowd asked what Bush thought about the book. “He liked it,” Snow replied.
READ Maureen Dowd, “Camus Comes to Crawford”

KPFK Wed. 8/9: Fiasco in Iraq

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in IraqLISTEN TO THIS INTERVIEW ONLINE
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq: THOMAS RICKS of the Washington Post has written a devastating story about the incompetence and folly of the Bush administration’s war. Michiko Kakutani (NY Times) called it “staggeringly vivid and persuasive.”

Plus: Joe Lieberman is dead meat: HAROLD MEYERSON explains how Ned Lamont defeated the pro-war senator in the Connecticut Democratic primary on Tuesday – and what it means for American politics. Harold writes for the LA Weekly, the American Prospect, and the Washington Post op-ed page.

Also: the war in Lebanon: ROANE CAREY comments on Israel’s continuing bombing of Lebanese civilians, and Hezbollah’s continuing rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. Roane is senior editor at The Nation and editor of The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent.

Finally: MIKE DAVIS pays tribute to DOROTHY HEALEY – the lifelong activist died Sunday. She was 91. “The Left’s ‘greatest generation’ – those tough-as-nails children of Ellis Island who built the CIO, fought Jim Crow in Manhattan and Alabama, and buried their friends in the Spanish earth – have now almost entirely passed from the American scene. It is an inestimable, heart-wrenching loss, and it is now symbolized by the death of Dorothy Ray Healey.”  (Photo by Darrow Montgomery)
READ Marc Cooper on Dorothy; Harold Meyerson on Dorothy

More stuff to read:
Jon Wiener, “Israeli Doves Challenge the War” at

Jon Wiener, “Beyond My Lai: New Revealations of Vietnam Atrocities” at

KPFK Wed. 8-3: Israel’s war on civilians

Prophets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing About Zionism and IsraelLISTEN TO THIS SHOW ONLINE
Over the weekend Israel bombed Qana, killing 56 civilians, 37 of them children. Israel officially apologized but claims Hezbollah tactics are responsible for civilian deaths in Lebanon. ADAM SHATZ, literary editor of The Nation, comments. Adam wrote about Israel and Lebanon for the LA Times op-ed page Tuesday. He’s also editor of Prophets Outcast:
A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing About Zionism and Israel.

WEB EXTRA: Report from inside Israel, from Gideon Levy of Haaretz: “Israel is sinking into a strident, nationalistic atmosphere and darkness is beginning to cover everything.”

ALSO: Pro-war Sen. JOE LIEBERMAN may be defeated in the Connecticut primary next Tuesday by anti-war challenger Ned Lamont. Bill and Hillary have endorsed Lieberman; the New York Times has endorsed Ned Lamont. JOHN NICHOLS explains: he’s Washington correspondent for The Nation and writes “The Online Beat” blog at
UPDATE: New poll Thurs 8/3 has Lamont ahead 54-41.

Stranger in a Strange Land: Encounters in the Disunited StatesPLUS: Stranger in a Strange Land: “Before I came to America from England, I asked an American journalist in London what kind of reactions to expect. “Well, when they hear an English accent Americans usually add twenty points to your IQ,” he replied. Recalling that the authors of The Bell Curve had claimed that black people have an IQ fifteen points lower than whites, I was heartened to think that even in the eyes of the most hardened racist I would still come out five points ahead.”” GARY YOUNGE is a correspondent for The Guardian.

KPFK Wed. 7/26: Israel in Lebanon: A Way Out?

Israel in Lebanon: is there a way out? IAN WILLIAMS, UN Correspondent for The Nation, says the UN could help – but first George Bush has to tell Israel to stop. An analogy: imagine if, when the IRA engaged in terrorists attacks on the British, the Brits shelled and strafed Dublin, bombed Dublin’s airport, and knocked out roads, power stations, and cell phone transmissions across Ireland.

Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in SmokeAlso: On a mission to build a peaceful, pot-friendly Shangri-La in rural Michigan, Tom Crosslin and his lover Rollie Rohm founded Rainbow Farm, a campground and concert venue. The farm quickly became the center of marijuana activism in Michigan, drawing thousands of hippies, blue-collar libertarians and militiamen to its annual hemp festivals. Eventually local authorities began an all-out campaign to shut the place down. Faced with mandatory jail terms and the loss of the farm, Tom and Rollie burned Rainbow Farm to the ground in 2001 – and the next day the FBI and the state police shot and killed them. DEAN KUIPERS of LA CityBeat tells that story – his terrific new book is Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in Smoke.

Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the CrossroadsPLUS: Once upon a time you dressed so fine: on the 40th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” — GREIL MARCUS talks about the “explosion of vision and humor that forever changed pop music.” His book Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads is out now in paperback.
Playlist: Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone” — Highway 61 Revisited
Jimi Hendrix, “Like a Rolling Stone” — Jimi Plays Monterey
Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone” — Live 1966
(originally broadcast 4/13/05)

KPFK Wed. 7/19: Israel Goes to War

Israel has killed
over 300 Lebanese, most of them civilians, while Hezbollah rockets have killed 30 Israelis, 15 of them civilians. In Gaza, one Israeli soldier has died from his own army’s fire, while Israel has killed 103 Palestinians. Israel claims this disproportionate violence will destroy Hezbollah and Hamas, but in the past popular outrage over Israeli attacks on civilians has strengthened Israel’s enemies. (photo credit: LA Times: Beirut on 7/16)
We’ll have analysis from three angles:

AMY WILENTZ on the Israelis — she was Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker, and she’s a contributing editor of The Nation. She wrote a prize-winning novel about Palestinians and Israelis, Martyr’s Crossing.

HAROLD MEYERSON on Bush’s response: “The world’s sole remaining superpower has been super-absent from any role in mediating and mitigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — partly because until recently the president didn’t believe in diplomacy, partly because he believed that the key to regional stability was deposing Saddam Hussein.” Harold writes for The Guardian in London, the LA Weekly, the American Prospect, and the Washington Post, where his piece “The Guns of July” appears today.

ADAM SHATZ on Hezbollah: Adam interviewed the head of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, at his headquarters in Beirut in 2003. Adam is literary editor of The Nation; his article “In Search of Hezbollah” appeared in the New York Review. He’s also editor of the book Prophets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing about Israel and Zionism.