Thursday, November 1, 2007

Torture & NPR

A couple of things about torture.

First, waterboarding is torture, no ifs, ands or buts. If my word isn’t good enough, consider former P.O.W. John McCain’s:

“All I can say is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today,” Mr. McCain, who spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, said in a telephone interview.

Of presidential candidates like Mr. Giuliani, who say that they are unsure whether waterboarding is torture, Mr. McCain said: “They should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture.”

Therefore, it’s distressing that a potential U.S. Attorney General won’t take a firm stand against waterboarding.

We must do better as a nation.

Second, NPR’s Steve Inskeep and Anne Garrels collaborated on a story that used sources who had been tortured. Instead of focusing on the torture, they focused on the resultant unsurprising confessions. It caused a firestorm of response, and FAIR issued an action alert. Garrels lamely defended herself, and it came off contrived.

We must do better as a nation.

Marshall Fannin Blog Gone Again

Here's what I know about it: bupkus.

Anyone know anything?

IT appears to me that Marshall changed his domain hosting. That means it might be back soon. Or it might not be. The domain wasn't set to expire until next year, so I don't think it's a claim jumper. This is just speculation.

Monday, October 29, 2007

War Criminal Escapes Justice

War Criminal Rummy

Dammit, he got away!

“Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of ‘ordering and authorizing’ torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.”

Friday, October 26, 2007

Philosophy Talk visits KSCL this weekend

Philosophy Talk, the radio show that questions everything except your intelligence, visits KSCL 91.3 FM and Centenary College this weekend.

Drs. Ken Taylor and John Perry

Saturday, Stanford philosophers Ken Taylor and John Perry will tape a show from 5:00 to 6:30 pm in Anderson Auditorium on the Centenary College campus. They'll be exploring the concept of work with their guest, Al Gini.

Why work? Some argue that work is an unfortunate necessity; others that our jobs add to our lives. Work can make us into better people, teaching discipline, creativity, resourcefulness and other good habits. Some jobs might be degrading, but some kind of meaningful work is necessary for a meaningful life. Do Americans work too much? Do we identify too strongly with work at the expense of family, friends and health? What role should work play in a well-lived life?

Sunday at noon, Taylor and Perry broadcast from the KSCL studios. Beforehand, they'll discuss philosophy, their effort to bring philosophy to the airwaves, and their take on work.

KSCL airs Philosophy Talk at 10:00 am Wednesdays and Sundays.

Missed an episode? You can listen to past shows here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Diminished Expectations Still Go Unmet at Red River Radio

Red River Radio

It’s fundraising time at Red River Radio. Here’s my two cents.

First, they’ve made their goal the lowest I’ve seen in years: $200,000. And they’re still not meeting it.

Let’s do the math. With $200,000 to be raised over a pledge drive of 14 days, Red River Radio needs to get $14,285.71 in donations each day. After nine days, they had only raised $114,210, according to their website. That’s $12,690 a day. At that rate, and barring any large donations being held back for a contrived big finish, Red River Radio’s drive will end with around $177,660, about $22,340 short.

The past several pledge drives have also fallen short -- distressing news for the network which is undergoing digital modernization yet still needs massive infrastructure redevelopment. They need lots of money and they aren’t getting it.

What’s the cause? Simply put, people don’t listen as much as they once did and the general focus is shifting from reliance on public donations to corporate contributions.

Consider these quotes from publications by David Giovannoni’s Audience Research Analysis organization:

Reinvigorating Public Radio’s Public Service & Public Support: INTERIM REPORT 1 APPROACH.

Americans are listening less to public radio today than two years ago. Not coincidentally, their financial support of our industry shows signs of softening.

Reinvigorating Public Radio’s Public Service & Public Support: INTERIM REPORT 6 LOSING OUR GRIP.

Public radio is losing its grip on its own listeners.

Stations that generate almost half of all public radio listening have lost loyalty in the last year. MORNING EDITION, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, and other programs generating 80 percent of all listening have lost their forward momentum or fallen back.

It doesn’t matter whether public radio has gotten weaker or commercial radio has gotten stronger. Either way, our listeners are listening less to us and more to them.

Reinvigorating Public Radio’s Public Service & Public Support: INTERIM REPORT 4 AN HISTORIC LOSS OF MOMENTUM.

After a 30 year run of virtually uninterrupted audience growth, public radio is no longer increasing its reach into American society or claiming larger shares of radio listening.

It’s not lost listening that portends ill for public radio. It’s the loss of upward momentum – the absence of growth on which we have traditionally relied – that threatens to ripple through our public service economy.

Public radio’s revenues have grown in lockstep with its audience for decades. Station managers could budget on the assumption of financial growth because their assumptions of audience growth typically proved true.

We can no longer assume we’ll have more resources tomorrow than we have today. At many stations, listener-sensitive revenues are poised to level or even decline; the projected gap between expectation and reality will approach or exceed the size of their Community Service Grants.

What’s the solution?

Red River Radio needs to change it’s programming to both increase ratings and boost audience loyalty. The program director should carefully analyze Arbitron data. Programs that perform well in similar markets should air here, replacing poorly performing ones here. That might mean grinding the sacred cows of opera, classical, Hearts Of Space and other programs into hamburger, but the network should find the courage to do it.

Christmas is the traditional time for “format change.” That gives them about two months to complete the analysis and make the changes, and it’s plenty of time. Bumped programming could go onto the digital channels.

Increasing productivity from the sales side would also help, but I can’t knowledgeably comment on how to do that. I do know about ratings and programming, though; I studied it for my degree and professionally.

Finally, I still think LSUS should pony up a sizable sum to rebuild the network. I’ve written about it before, so I won’t go over it again here. Dr. Vincent Marsala should personally champion the network in the legislature to secure increased funding, something he seems loathe to do.

Here’s an excerpt from email Dr. Marsala sent me:

“ ... we have been concerned about the needs of the radio station and for the past two years have included a radio station project in our capital outlay plans. However, it is unlikely that the state will fund such a project without substantial contributions from the public, if at all. Regardless, the project will stay on our capital outlay plan.”

As I said, the network needs a champion in the legislature to get that capital outlay funding. It might take a while, but trying is better than doing nothing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Rock Fight Update

Hello,

I figured I'd post saying why I haven't been updating ROCK FIGHT! playlists recently.

The KSCL studios have been renovated. The equipment is much more professional and works a whole lot better. As a result, I can do the show better by choosing CDs from the station's massive library. In the past, I burned my own CdS so I had one less worry about what could go wrong. That meant I knew what I was going to play beforehand and I could post the list. Now, the only accurate list is the one that's finished when the show is done.

However, the KSCL control board now has a decent MP3 player input, so in the future I will be playing a few songs from my iPod on ROCK FIGHT! I'll post those, but it will be a far shorter list than what I have been posting.

You really should see KSCL's library. It covers all the walls in two rooms including the studio. There's so much good stuff in it that it would make you weep with music-lover joy. The biggest challenge each week is choosing just 30 or so songs from among several hundred thousand.

ROCK FIGHT! is tonight from 6 to 8 on KSCL 91.3 FM. Tune in if you can! No word yet on streaming.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More pot smokers arrested than violent criminals

Some crazy bad news from NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, made Democracy Now! headlines:

29,000 Arrested in U.S. in 2006 for Marijuana Violations

New government statistics show police arrested a record 829,000 people for marijuana violations last year. According to the group NORML a pot-smoker is now arrested every 38 seconds in the country. The total number of marijuana arrests in the U.S. far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Do we really need to be filling our jails with pot smokers? It’s way past time to decriminalize cannabis.

US Marijuana Arrests 1965-2005

Friday, September 21, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! 09/21/2007 KSCL 91.3 FM 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again! A fine Fall Friday it is, so, time for ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 FM.

Lots of new music this week. You’ll hear the electronic ecstasy of Ernesto Gonzales, the freak pop of Travis Morrison Hellfighters and garage psych from Wooden Shjips. There’s also songs from Interpol’s and M.I.A.’s new albums. Plenty of other groovy shitake, too.

Here’s the playlist:

Song                                    Artist
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Same Old Drag                           The Apples In Stereo
China My China                          Brian Eno
Listen                                  The Clash
Cool As Kim Deal                        The Dandy Warhols
Shivering King                          Dead Meadow
I'm Sixteen                             Dengue Fever
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction           Devo
Reminisce                               Ernest Gonzales
Cheeseburger                            Gang Of Four
Last Living Souls                       Gorillaz
Purple Haze                             Groove Armada
Not Even Jail (Kessler Remix)           Interpol
No I In Threesome                       Interpol
Paper Planes                            M.I.A.
Hotel California                        The Moog Cookbook
The Needle Has Landed                   Neko Case
Brand New Colony                        The Postal Service
Store Bought Bones                      The Raconteurs
Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll           The Ramones
Nothing Means Nothing Anymore           River City Tanlines
No Feelings                             Sex Pistols
Giant Kitty                             Shonen Knife
Well Well Well                          Sondre Lerche
The World Looks Red                     Sonic Youth
I Wanna Be Your Dog                     The Stooges
Thank You For Sending Me An Angel       Talking Heads
You Make Me Feel Like A Freak           Travis Morrison Hellfighters
Kiss Off                                Violent Femmes
Always After You                        The Walkmen
We Ask You To Ride                      Wooden Shjips
The World's A Mess, It's In My Kiss     X
Speed Dial No. 2                        Zero 7

Friday, September 14, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! 09/14/2007 KSCL 91.3 FM 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, modern mangoes.

Friday is upon us! Time for another edition of ROCK FIGHT! from 6 to 8 on KSCL 91.3 FM.

Revolutionary exuberance awaits with tracks by M.I.A. and Actitud Maria Marta, along with a new song from Alec Holland’s latest project, Yamones. Who would have thought the boy who hates everything had a love song in him? Plenty of other chills and spills, too, so check it out!

Here’s the playlist:

Song                                Artist
-------------------------------------------------------------
La Base Milagrosa                   Actitud Maria Marta
Love Your Shotgun                   Be Your Own Pet
Luno                                Bloc Party
Dum Dum                             Butthole Surfers
Televised                           Calla
Let The Cool Goddess Rust Away      Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Smoke It                            The Dandy Warhols
Sex Me Up                           Datarock
Everything's Goin' On               Dead Meadow
Wrong Time Capsule                  Deerhoof
No Christmas For John Quays         The Fall
Pioneer To The Falls                Interpol
Fortune Of Fame                     The Jacobites
The Sky Is A Landfill               Jeff Buckley
Bamboo Banga                        M.I.A.
Lake Of Fire                        Meat Puppets
Shield Your Eyes....                Melt-Banana
Stranded In The Jungle              The New York Dolls
Mystereality                        OMD
Life & Illusion                     Phaser
Down With Moonlight                 The Rakes
I Can't Make It On Time             The Ramones
Twist Barbie                        Shonen Knife
Angst In My Pants                   Sparks
Nubile Days                         Swan Lake
Into Everything                     Télépopmusik
I Was A Lover                       TV On The Radio
Drive My Car                        Two Gallants
Wide Boys                           Ultravox
Promise                             Violent Femmes
We've Been Had                      The Walkmen
Motto Motto Motto!                  Yamones

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Petraeus Report

General David Petraeus testified to Congress today giving his much anticpated report on "progress" in Iraq. There were no surprises in what it contained.

Once again, John Andrew Prime of The Times asked me to comment on the Iraq issue, specifically Petraeus' testimony.

Move On ad

Here's what I said:

General Petraeus' recommendations are sneaky. His plan would only reduce current post-surge troop levels in Iraq to their pre-surge level within about a year. It's akin to the shameful business practice of raising prices to then have a sale. Further decisions on troop reductions would be deferred at least six months.

The American people don't want that. Poll after poll shows we have lost patience with the war, with the horrible suffering on both sides. Most Americans want out, and we want it to happen starting now. In one CBS/New York Times poll, a majority believe the surge has either had no impact or made matters worse.

I grant that Iraq withdrawal is a challenge. We must find a plan that will disengage us from the Iraq debacle while maximizing chances for an end to violence there and a stable government that can keep the strategically vital oil flowing. Long term, we need a better oil plan for the country that reduces our dependence substantially. And we need to change our focus in the War on Terror from large-scale military engagement of whole countries to smaller, more-focused attacks against only those who truly threaten the country.

We need principled representatives willing to take political risks to resolve this issue. Who will step up to lead? I am not confident in our current leadership to do so.

Ambassador Crocker also testified, but I consider his report the least reliable. While Petraeus I think, despite his slanted statistics, had some independence, Crocker was just carrying Bush's water. There was nothing from him that wasn't standard administration propaganda.

The whole affair is mostly portrayed as a partisan battle. But both parties are ignoring what most people want -- to get out of Iraq now. Instead, Democrats are trying to craft a position that will allow the U.S. to stay in Iraq permanently while somehow "ending the war." Of course, that can't be successful, so it's ridiculous to think of the Democrat party as any real help, despite the admirable positions of a few loners within the party.

Many comments I'm reading are savvy to that. Some urge voting Green or Libertarian to elect people who will end the war. Both of those parties oppose it on principle. It's looking good for alternative parties this year. I know I'll be voting Green.

Friday, September 7, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! 09/07/2007 KSCL 91.3 FM 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again!

Another fantastic Friday it is, so time for ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 FM tonight from 6 to 8. Tune in for all the thrills and spills of stunt radio!

Here’s the score:

Song                                Artist
---------------------------------------------------------------------
In The Flat Field                   Bauhaus
Manipulation                        The Black Angels
Dr. Strangeluv                      Blonde Redhead
Picture This                        Blondie
Astral                              Calla
Sleep Over It                       Controller.Controller
Fa-Fa-Fa                            Datarock
Twin Killers                        Deerhoof
Idealistic                          Digitalism
Lexicon Devil                       The Germs
We Need More Power                  Geza X
Rest My Chemistry                   Interpol
Communist China                     Japan
Time To Get Away                    LCD Soundsystem
Lucky Number                        Lene Lovich
Hussel (Feat. Afrikan Boy)          M.I.A.
Roosey Goosey                       Made Out Of Babies
Cat Brain Land                      Melt-Banana
Sell Or Be Sold                     Minutemen
Mental Hopscotch                    Missing Persons
Spider's Web                        Mission Of Burma
Hanging On The Telephone            The Nerves
Little Girls                        Oingo Boingo
Electricity                         Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Broken Boy Soldier                  The Raconteurs
1 Hour 1/2 Ago                      Rain Parade
Terror!                             The Rakes
Reggie                              The Sounds
No Fun                              The Stooges
300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues    The White Stripes

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Gerritsen Fallout

There’s an article in The Times today about Roy Gerritsen’s outcome: “Man avoids solicitation of minor conviction, pleads to lesser charge.”

Check out some of the comments:

  • “How in the hell can you people live with yourself knowing that you let him plead to a lesser charge. I hope and pray if he ever does it again, it isn't my kid because someone will answer for this.”
  • “Wow the LA Justice system let a perv walk free!”
  • “This is terrible. Why let the pervert get off with a slap on the wrist? Let's send the illegals in our jails back to their own countries and make room in our prisons for some of our homegrown scum...”
  • “Just what makes this perv so special that he faces reduced charges and does not have to register as a sex offender. He won't change but you can bet he will be much more careful in the future.”

I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking he was let off too easy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Gerritsen Gets Slap On Wrist

Gerritsen Gets Slap On Wrist

Roy Geritsen didn't get off entirely free in court today, but he's not been punished much.

Roy, the former GM of Red River Radio, was arrested last October in a sting operation accusing him of soliciting sex from a juvenile over the Internet. He faced charges of computer-aided solicitation of a minor and attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Bossier City police said Gerritsen arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex but who was actually a police officer posing as the girl. He was arrested when he arrived at a pre-determined location in Bossier City.

In court today, Gerritsen's computer-aided solicitation of a minor charge was lessened to criminal mischief, according to clerks. He pleaded guilty to that and was ordered to pay $1,000 plus court costs or to serve 30 days. The attempted carnal knowledge charge was dropped.

Gerritsen will not have to register as a sex offender, and he dodged the bullet of two years in jail. He is also now free to move out of the state.

Setting aside my dislike of the man, as a parent of a 14-year-old daughter, I am very disappointed in this outcome. Children today, my daughter included, rely on the internet for a variety of needs -- academic, social and personal. They deserve better protection from predators. I think a stiffer sentence was in order.

Since the cases did not go to trial, it will be problematic trying to get the chat transcripts. I'll see what I can do.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Katrina Crimes against "People of the Dome"

During this Katrina week, I’d like to share this essay I received from community activist Mitchel Cohen. I have followed his writing for a number of years, finding him always reliable and conscientious.

In this essay, he mentions Les Evenchick and Malik Rahim. You may have heard Malik on Democracy Now!, where he’s been a fixture of Katrina coverage. Amy Goodwin interviewed him a couple of weeks after the storm, and the two passed a body that had been left in the street to rot; the resulting radio moment was seared into my memory. I also personally know both Malik and Les and consider them reliable sources.

An online friend of mine often questions the government. The other day he asked me if the situation was so bad that it’s too late to start shooting the people in charge. I’m a pacifist, but I flippantly replied, “It’s never too late.”

The aftermath of Katrina was an unpardonable crime perpetrated on the people of New Orleans by various people at different governmental and civilian levels. I believe many should face criminal charges for what happened, and since so many people died, perhaps some of those charges could be considered capital crimes. Louisiana does have the death penalty, after all. (I would be in favor of commuting the sentences to life in prison.)

Enough from me. Here’s Mr. Cohen:

People of the Dome

by Mitchel Cohen
mitchelcohen@mindspring.com

"I'm sick to death of hearing things from uptight narrow-minded pigheaded politicians. All I want is the truth. Just give me some truth." - John Lennon.

As Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf states, many organizations kicked into high gear to send relief to local groups in Mississippi and Louisiana, with no help from the government or formal relief agencies. Among them was the Malcolm X Grassroots movement, with whom the No Spray Coalition shared an office. Tons of donated supplies poured into the office and were trucked to Jackson, MS, where they were distributed through community-based efforts.

Katrina Victims

I spoke daily with Les Evenchick, a Green who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I was also in touch with New Orleans residents Malik Rahim and Mike Howell; the areas in which they live were dry and they were holding out as long as they could. The story they tell is shocking: U.S. and local government officials ordered the local drinking water turned off and refused to allow water or food relief into New Orleans. Hundreds of people died unnecessarily as a result.

And yet, there was no shortage of water or food being sent -- it was just not allowed into the City! When Green Party activists tried to donate a large amount of water for the people in the SuperDome a few days after the levees broke, armed soldiers pointed rifles at them and prevented them from delivering supplies. Even three Wal-mart trucks loaded with drinking water were denied entry and turned away. No water was allowed into New Orleans. Evenchick says that "this was a brazen attempt to starve people out."

There was no health reason to turn off the drinking water at the time, as the water is drawn into a separate system from the Mississippi River, not the polluted lake, and filtered through self-powered purification plants separate from the main electric grid. If necessary, people could have boiled their water -- strangely, the municipal natural gas used in stoves was still functioning properly as of Thursday night of that first week! I emailed Governor Kathleen Blanco (a Democrat) asking, "Who ordered the turn-off of the drinking water?" I have not received a response from Gov. Blanco.

A commanding officer of a police squad complained that his 120 cops were provided with only 70 small bottles of water. Hospitals were supplied with nothing. Could FEMA, Homeland Security and local officials have forgotten to store bottles of drinking water in the Superdome, Convention Center and hospitals?

Convention Center during Katrina

The only FEMA official on the scene in the early stages, Marty Bahamonde, has testified to Congress that he begged FEMA director Michael Brown for water, food, toilet paper and oxygen, saying that "many will die within hours." Brown's press secretary, Sharon Worthy, responded that the FEMA director needed more time to eat dinner at a Baton Rouge restaurant that evening. "He needs much more that [sic] 20 or 30 minutes," Worthy wrote. "Restaurants are getting busy," she said. "We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise [sic], followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc." Let them eat gumbo.

Green activist and former Black Panther Malik Rahim, who lives in the Algiers section -- which, like the French Quarter and several other areas above sea-level, remained dry -- points out that the government could have and should have provided water and food to residents of New Orleans but did not do so intentionally, to force people to evacuate by starving them out. This is a crime of the gravest sort.

French Quarter resident Mike Howell adds that the capability had been there from the start to drive water and food right up to the convention center, as those roads were clear. "It's how the National Guard drove into the city," he said.

The evidence is overwhelming that the government intentionally did not allow food or water into New Orleans.

These were the people, after all, who had twice voted in huge numbers against the candidacy of George Bush, the only area in the state to have done so. In recent years they also

  • Fought off attempts to privatize the drinking water supply,
  • Battled Shell Oil's attempt to build a Liquified Natural Gas facility, and
  • Tried to prevent the teardown of public housing

These were all battles in which Mayor Ray Nagin sided with the oil companies and millionaire developers. Nagin had contributed funds to George W. Bush's presidential campaign and was a registered Republican until just prior to the Mayoral election in 2002.

Attempts to starve civilians into leaving an area is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Who gave the order to block water and food from entering New Orleans? Who ordered the drinking water inside the city to be turned off? No one has yet answered those questions.

On Thursday of that first week, volunteers who had rescued over 1,000 people in boats were ordered to stop, under the pretext that it was too dangerous. The volunteers wanted to continue rescue operations. They said there was little risk, that desperate people had been welcoming them with open arms. The military "convinced" the volunteer rescuers at gunpoint to "cease and desist." They did the same to a state senator who had led a flotilla of hundreds of boats and rafts all the way from Mississippi to rescue people.

Who gave the order to block the volunteer rescue teams in New Orleans? No one has yet answered that question.

Officials claimed that people were trying to shoot down the rescue helicopters. In actuality, there were a couple of people shooting into the air to signal helicopters to pick them up. Yet officials repeated the lies about people shooting at helicopters over and over, as justification for shutting down voluntary rescue operations and sending in thousands of fully armed military troops, along with private Blackwater mercenaries fresh from Iraq under orders to "shoot to kill."

(Blackwater, Inc. billed the federal government $950 per man, per day -- at one point raking in more than $240,000 a day. At its peak the company had about 600 contractors deployed from Texas to Mississippi, reports Jeremy Scahill in his pathbreaking book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," published by Nation Books.)

Two U.S. military helicopters spent a few days plucking 110 people from the roofs of their flooded houses. We saw them on T.V. and cheered. When they returned to base they were called into the commander's office. They thought they were going to be given medals. Instead, as reported in the NY Times, their commanding officers reprimanded them and removed them from helicopter duty for "violating orders."

Who gave the order not to rescue people? No one has answered that question.

For more than two weeks, hundreds of volunteer doctors and fire personnel -- including a squad from New York City -- were denied entry to New Orleans. They were dispatched, instead, to provide backdrop for Bush's photo-ops in other areas. The medical personnel were kept twiddling their thumbs as people were dying.

Who gave the order not to allow rescue workers into New Orleans? No one has answered that question.

In an interview with WWL-TV, Mayor Ray Nagin complained vociferously that Louisiana National Guard Blackhawk helicopters were being stopped from dropping sandbags to plug the levees soon after the breech. No repairs were allowed on the levees until long after the poor areas of New Orleans were totally flooded.

Who gave the order not to allow National Guard helicopters to drop sandbags to plug the levees soon after the breech? No one has answered that question.

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez and Cuba's President Fidel Castro offered millions of dollars and hundreds of doctors to help save lives in New Orleans. They were turned down.

Who gave the order to turn down the aid offered from Venezuela and Cuba? No one has answered that question.

Millions of concerned citizens wanted to send assistance as well. FEMA recommended that they send contributions to "Operation Blessing," a front group for rightwing evangelist Pat Robertson. Robertson had recently televised a speech calling for the assassination of Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez.

Who gave the order to divert tens of millions of dollars in contributions sent to help the people of New Orleans by outraged American citizens, to rightwing Christian zealots? No one has yet answered that question.

The Saudization of New Orleans

Les Evenchick is an independent Green activist who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans in a 3-story walkup. He points out that people were told to go to the bus depot to evacuate, but the bus station had closed down the night before. Unless you owned a car, Les told me, FEMA and state police would not let you leave.

Hundreds attempted to walk out of New Orleans; they were forced off the road and ordered back to the Coliseum or Superdome, where no water or food was available.

As a consequence the vast majority of the so-called looters were simply grabbing water, food, diapers and medicine. "It's only because of them that old people, sick people, and small children were able to survive," Les says. "The 'anti-looting' hype was just an excuse to militarize the area, place it under martial law and evict the population, mostly Black people, mostly the poor."

On August 30, Yahoo front-page news showed two pictures of people wading in water carrying supplies. The caption under the picture of the Black person read: "A young man walks through chest-deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans." The caption under the picture of a White couple wading through the water pulling supplies reads: "Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store." Got that? Whites "find," Blacks "loot."

MSNBC interviewed dozens of people who had managed to get out during the first few days. Every single one of them was white.

Some tourists trapped in the Monteleone Hotel pooled their funds and paid $25,000 for 10 buses to get them out. The buses were sent (there was no shortage of available buses -- why didn't the government use them?) but the military confiscated all ten of them for its own use. The tourists were not allowed to leave the city and were ordered to the Convention Center.

How simple it would have been for the government to have provided buses before the hurricane hit, and throughout the week. AMTRAK says it offered free rides out of town but that City officials never got back to them to finalize arrangements. Evacuating the 100,000 people trapped in the city should not have been that difficult. Even without AMTRAK or private cars, it would have taken at most 3,000 buses to get them out, fewer than come into Washington D.C. for some of the giant anti-war demonstrations. Even at $2,500 a pop -- highway robbery -- that would only be a total of $7.5 million for transporting out of harm's way all of those who did not have the means to leave.

The people who are poor (primarily Blacks but many poor Whites as well) who were trapped in the city as well as those thousands who were refusing to evacuate, not wanting to leave their pets or their homes and who had neither money nor places to go, were locked in the Superdome and not allowed to leave -- five days of hell. Those who survived the first dome were then -- finally! -- bussed out of the area to another stadium, the AstroDome in Houston. Call them "People of the Dome."

The Grassroots Organizes Itself

Gulf Coast resident Latosha Brown reports that the first group to send emergency supplies was TOPS, The Ordinary Peoples Society, a prison ministry in Dothan Alabama founded and staffed by ex-offenders. They organized food, pooled their money for additional goods and brought the supplies to a second organization of former prisoners in Mobile who distributed them, while they went back to Dothan for more. "That's why we tell everybody now that it was felons who were the first to feed, the first to respond to need, the first to get up and do something. They didn't wait for permission or for a contract. That's real leadership." ("Rescue Came from the Grassroots: The People, Not FEMA, Saved Themselves," by Bruce Dixon, in The Black Commentator.)

Volunteer medics established free clinics with the Common Ground Collective (www.commongroundrelief.org) in defiance of governmental edicts and machine guns. Common Ground has also mobilized thousands of young people from all over the country to come to New Orleans and help with the rebuilding, while using non-toxic alternative methods of mold removal and prevention in their efforts. Others, working in solidarity with tribal leaders, have created a dedicated relief effort for Native American communities (www.intuitivepath.org/relief.html). Food Not Bombs volunteers have been feeding people all over the region, with no help from the government or the Red Cross (www.foodnotbombs.net/dollar_for_peace.html).

On the other hand, from day one huge war profiteering corporations such as Halliburton, Bechtel and other private contractors began descending on the region, their pockets stuffed with billions of dollars in government handouts. Currently, thousands of poor homeowners and rental tenants -- including those unable to return to New Orleans just yet, having been evacuated to the far away domes -- are being evicted, says Mike Howell, who is organizing tenants to resist eviction. The phony "reconstruction" of New Orleans begins with the land grab, and with Mayor Nagin proposing gambling casinos, which he says would "rescue" the city, while destroying the remaining wetlands (Wetlands are nature's way of protecting large areas from floods; their destruction prior to Katrina contributed to the devastation of New Orleans and the Mississipi Delta.) and spraying massive amounts of cancer-causing pesticides over the entire flooded areas.

Many people are resisting this blatant confiscation of their lands and homes. As the resistance grows, New Orleans may soon become known as the first battle of the new American revolution.

Mitchel Cohen is co-editor of "G", the newspaper of the NY State Greens, and the coordinator of the No Spray Coalition (www.nospray.org). Write to Mitchel directly at mitchelcohen@mindspring.com. If you'd like to donate funds and be sure the money is going to a good purpose, donate to CommonGroundRelief.org.

ROCK FIGHT! 08/31/07 KSCL 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, inner space pioneers!

Friday starts a long Labor Day weekend. Kick it off right with ROCK FIGHT! tonight from 6 to 8 on KSCL 91.3 FM!

M.I.A. has a fantastic new album out called “Kala.” It’s even better than her first, “Arular.” Diplo still does some of the production, but Timbaland also shares that role. The result is awesome, and we’ll hear three (!) tracks from it.

There’s also two tracks from Interpol’s latest, “Our Love To Admire.” They’re my two current favorites, “Pioneer To The Falls” and “The Scale.”

Plenty of other great jams, too. Check it:

Song                                Artist
----------------------------------------------------------
Wicked Gil                          Band Of Horses
Hotwax                              Beck
Young Men Dead                      The Black Angels
Harmony In My Head                  Buzzcocks
Scream Team                         Deerhoof
Hit It And Quit It                  Funkadelic
We Need More Power                  Geza X
Standing By The Sea                 Husker Du
Pioneer To The Falls                Interpol
The Scale                           Interpol
North American Scum                 LCD Soundsystem
Birdflu                             M.I.A.
Boyz                                M.I.A.
Paper Planes                        M.I.A.
Out Of The Tunnel                   MX 80
Public Image                        Public Image Ltd.
The Tourist                         Radiohead
Gone West                           Rain Parade
T Bone                              The Rakes
I Want To Be Sedated                Shonen Knife
Wild Life                           Shonen Knife
Hallowed Be Thy Name                Sonic Youth
Tips For Teens                      Sparks
Pulled Up                           Talking Heads
Dirtywhirl                          Tv On The Radio
I Can't Stand It                    The Velvet Underground
No Guilt                            The Waitresses
The Rat                             The Walkmen
White Girl                          X

Thursday, August 23, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! 08/24/07 KSCL 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, scholastic prairie schooners!

Friday at freakin’ last. Tune in ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 fm from 6 to 8 this evening!

A tool once asked about me, “Does he play anything that anybody who knows most everything about music, ever heard of??”

Err, yeah!

Sometimes I feel guilty about playing something someone has heard of, but not this week. It’s all hand-picked, fresh from the Zen garden. Check it:

Song                                        Artist
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rock Lobster                                The B-52's
Because                                     The Bird And The Bee
Luno                                        Bloc Party
Spring And By Summer Fall                   Blonde Redhead
Everybody's Happy Nowadays                  Buzzcocks
Shake Break Bounce                          The Chemical Brothers
Watch                                       Controller.Controller
Drive My Car                                Cristina
Sex Me Up                                   Datarock
Everything's Goin' On                       Dead Meadow
Go Home, Get Down                           Death From Above 1979
Punch Buggy Valves                          Deerhoof
Wiggly World                                Devo
Almost Forgot Myself                        Doves
Stars Are Stars                             Echo & The Bunnymen
Epitaph For A Head                          The Fuzztones
Re-Hash                                     Gorillaz
Get Down                                    Groove Armada
Homewrecker                                 Hellogoodbye
PDA                                         Interpol
Rio Seco                                    Juana Molina
Texas                                       Machine And The Synergetic Nuts
Lost                                        Meat Puppets
The Stone Age                               OMD
Astronomy Domine                            Pink Floyd
Susan's Strange                             The Psychedelic Furs
Where I End And You Begin                   Radiohead
Strasbourg                                  The Rakes
Nothing Means Nothing Anymore               River City Tanlines
X-French Tee Shirt                          Shudder To Think
Who Is It?                                  Talking Heads
Two Days Short Tomorrow                     Two Gallants
36-24-36                                    Violent Femmes
Don't Lose Your Temper                      XTC
A Day                                       Xymox

Friday, August 17, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! 08/17/07 & Roy Gerritsen

ROCK FIGHT!

Hi again!

I sheepishly apologize for not blogging more. The heat has really sapped my motivation.

It’s a good show tonight. Tune in to KSCL 91.3 FM from 6 to 8. Check it:

Song                                                    Artist
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Double Dare                                             Bauhaus
Black Grease                                            The Black Angels
Shooting                                                Chicks On Speed
Ivo                                                     Cocteau Twins
Casper                                                  Daniel Johnston
Fa-Fa-Fa                                                Datarock
Spirit Ditties Of No Tone                               Deerhoof
Saran Wrap                                              Dengue Fever
Jocko Homo                                              Devo
Then She Remembers                                      Dream Syndicate
Karma Police                                            Easystar All Stars
Lotion                                                  Greenskeepers
Gimme Some Skin                                         Iggy & The Stooges
Leave Me Alone                                          Johnny Thunders
Bird Song                                               Lene Lovich
Neon Lights                                             Luna
Shield Your Eyes, A Beast In The Well Of Your Hand      Melt-Banana
Let's Impeach The President                             Neil Young
Holland, 1945                                           Neutral Milk Hotel
Boy Void                                                Weirdo Rippers
Heaven                                                  The Rapture
Drag U Down 2 My Level                                  River City Tanlines
Out Of The Blue                                         Roxy Music
The Road Leads Where It's Led                           Secret Machines
Behind The Wall Of Sleep                                The Smithereens
Big Bottom                                              Spinal Tap
Suspect Device                                          Stiff Little Fingers
Artists Only                                            Talking Heads
Bunkers                                                 The Vapors
Sex Beat                                                Gun Club
Mexican Radio                                           Wall Of Voodoo
Don't Lose Your Temper                                  XTC

Roy Gerritsen

Roy Gerritsen

Also, here’s a Roy Gerritsen update. At his last court appearance, Gerritsen’s attorney received the chat transcripts. If the case goes to trial, those transcripts will be public record. The D.A. is trying for a sentence of two years hard labor. Gerritsen’s next appearance concerns jury selection on Sept. 4.

Roy, the former GM of Red River Radio, was arrested last October in a sting operation accusing him of soliciting sex from a juvenile over the Internet. He faces charges of computer-aided solicitation of a minor and attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Bossier City police said Gerritsen arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex but who was actually a police officer posing as the girl. He was arrested when he arrived at a pre-determined location in Bossier City.

Gerritsen’s docket numbers are C149466, attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and C149467, computer aided solicitation of a minor.

Friday, July 27, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, July 27, 2007, 6 to 8

Hello again, plastic pantomime people!

Friday at last ... Time for another ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 fm, offical radio station of House Slytehrin. Tune in from 6 to 8 this evening for carefully chosen material from all living generations.

Here’s some of what I’ll be playing alongside plenty of new material, Top 30 fun hits and other crazy crap:

Song                                        Artist
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Wake Up                                     Arcade Fire
St. Vitus Dance                             Bauhaus
Bog                                         Be Your Own Pet
I Don't Know                                Big Audio Dynamite II
Like Eating Glass Ladytron Zapatista Mix    Bloc Party
Hanging On The Telephone                    Blondie
Strangler                                   Calla
Disco Blackout                              Controller.Controller
Bikini Girls With Machine Guns              The Cramps
08 Is That All There Is? (Long Version)*    Cristina
Cold War                                    Death From Above 1979
Scream Team                                 Deerhoof
Queen Of Languages                          Destroyer
Some Cities                                 Doves
Panda                                       Dungen
Cinderella                                  The Fuzztones
Watch The Tapes                             LCD Soundsystem
Punker Plus                                 Le Tigre
Split Myself In Two                         Meat Puppets
Radio Waves                                 OMD
Tattooed Love Boys                          Pretenders
How To Disappear Completely                 Radiohead
This Job Is Killing Me                      The Walkmen

Friday, July 20, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, July 20, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hi again, fevered Harry Potter purchasers!

Friday again .... time for ROCK FIGHT on KSCL 91.3 fm. Tune in from 6 to 8 tonight for some great music.

It’s a big mix this week with twofers from Elvis Costello, a cloying band called Lucky Soul, Schleuss’ favorite Of Montreal and Swedish rock tarts The Sounds. There’s also some classic punk and all the new and top 30 you can shake a stick at. Be there!

Here’s the shooting match:

Song                                        Artist
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Cake                                        The B-52's
Needles In The Camel's Eye                  Brian Eno
Mexican Caravan                             Butthole Surfers
Sort It Out                                 The Caesars
Free                                        Cat Power
Police & Thieves                            The Clash
Garlands                                    Cocteau Twins
Sleep Over It                               Controller.Controller
Neat Neat Neat                              The Damned
Heroes                                      David Bowie
Suburban Home                               Descendents
Definitely Clean                            Dream Syndicate
Crocodiles                                  Echo & The Bunnymen
Watching The Detectives                     Elvis Costello
Pump It Up                                  Elvis Costello
Rebellious Jukebox                          The Fall
She's Like Heroin To Me                     The Gun Club
Lips Are Unhappy                            Lucky Soul
Baby I'm Broke                              Lucky Soul
The Glory Of Man                            The Minutemen
Loosen This Job                             No Age
Disconnect The Dots                         Of Montreal
Forecast Fascist Future                     Of Montreal
My Iron Lung                                Radiohead
T Bone                                      The Rakes
Rock 'n Roll                                The Sounds
Reggie                                      The Sounds
I Want To Help You Ann                      The Lyres
Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone   Walkmen
Glittering Girl                             The Who
Can't Cheat Karma                           Zounds

Afterwards, this is the show to see:

A.J. LOWRING (Shreveport by way of Coushatta)

NATIVES OF THE NEW DAWN (Detroit, Michigan)

ASTRONAUTALIS (Jacksonville, Florida)

At Big D's BBQ (101 Common Street downtown)
FRIDAY, July 20th
8pm
$5.

Astronautalis and Natives of The New Dawn are both veterans of Warped Tour (Natives is on it this year), and Astronautalis played SXSW

www.myspace.com/astronautalis
www.myspace.com/nativesofthenewdawn
www.myspace.com/ajlowringmusic

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gerritsen Update

Roy Gerritsen

Still grinding along slowly in Roy Gerritsen’s sex crimes case.

The conference scheduled for July 17 was rescheduled for August 10. His trial date is a month later on September 10.

Roy, the former GM of Red River Radio, was arrested last October in a sting operation accusing him of soliciting sex from a juvenile over the Internet. He faces charges of computer-aided solicitation of a minor and attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Bossier City police said Gerritsen arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex but who was actually a police officer posing as the girl. He was arrested when he arrived at a pre-determined location in Bossier City.

Gerritsen’s docket numbers are C149466, attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and C149467, computer aided solicitation of a minor. If convicted, he faces a maximum 15-year sentence and $12,500 fine, according to reports.

Friday, July 13, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, July 13, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

ia! ia!Gleepings and salivations, minions of the Great Old Ones.

Friday is here again and that means it’s time for another ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 FM. Tune in tonight from 6 to 8 for lots of great tunes from four decades.

Highlights include a track from the forthcoming The New Pornographers album, one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite Meat Puppets songs, an insane manifesto from Squarepusher, Danny Elfman’s first “hit,” and the Kroger corporate anthem, “Lost In The Supermarket,” by The Clash.

Here’s the whole enchilada:

 

Song                                Artist
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Human Wreck (Radio Edit)            Adult
Because                             The Bird And The Bee
A Sure Shot                         Calla
Is This Love?                       Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Lost In The Supermarket             The Clash
Computer Camp Love                  Datarock
It's No Game (Part 1)               David Bowie
Megan & Magill                      Decibully
Watercolours Into The Ocean         Destroyer
Snowden                             Doves
Your Gold Dress                     Dukes Of Stratosphear
Down In The Park                    Gary Numan & Tubeway Army
Chinese Rocks                       Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers
International Dateline              Ladytron
Watch The Tapes                     LCD Soundsystem
The Faire Folk                      Lightning Bolt
Green Eyed Devil                    Melt-Banana
Dirty Knife                         Neko Case
Go Places                           The New Pornographers
Only A Lad                          Oingo Boingo
Red Frame-White Light               Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Let Down                            Radiohead
Suzy Is A Headbanger                Ramones
Angst In My Pants                   Sparks
Fat Controller                      Squarepusher
Warning Sign                        Talking Heads
Wolf Like Me                        TV On The Radio
Sleepwalk                           Ultravox
Poison Plant                        USA Is A Monster
Wardance                            Killing Joke
Lake Of Fire                        Meat Puppets
Ana Ng                              They Might Be Giants
What Goes On                        The Velvet Underground
Gone Daddy Gone                     Violent Femmes

Friday, July 6, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, July 6, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Achtung, das Lookenpeepers!

Time for another ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 fm. Be sure to tune in tonight from 6 to 8.

This week, there’s a track from the new New Pornographers album written by Dan Bejar - “Myriad Harbour.” And some other stuff ...

Well, here’s the score:

Song                                        Artist
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Simplesmente (Tom Middleton Remix)          Bebel Gilberto
Better Off Alone                            The Black Angels
Price Of Gasoline Automato Remix            Bloc Party
Ever Fallen In Love                         The Buzzcocks
Battle Scars (Feat. Willy Mason)            The Chemical Brothers
Anaesthesia                                 The Church
Heavy Metal                                 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Fa-Fa-Fa                                    Datarock
Siriustar                                   Deerhoof
Anything New                                Digitalism
Jugband Blues                               Eden
My Moon My Man                              Feist
Decent Days And Nights                      The Futureheads
Lightsonic                                  Groove Armada
Boy From School                             Hot Chip
Something I Learned Today                   Husker Du
Say Hello To The Angels                     Interpol
North American Scum                         LCD Soundsystem
Roadrunner                                  The Modern Lovers
Song Against Sex                            Neutral Milk Hotel
Myriad Harbour                              The New Pornographers
A Peculiar Noise Called "Train Director"    The Olivia Tremor Control
Down With Moonlight                         The Rakes
Suspect Device                              Stiff Little Fingers
Seen And Not Seen                           Talking Heads
Nursery Rhyme Breather                      U.N.K.L.E.
Little Cream Soda                           The White Stripes

Thursday, July 5, 2007

WBUR's On Point Features Right Wing Radio Report

WBUR had an excellent discussion of the study I wrote about from the Center For American Progress. It was on their NPR show On Point hosted by Tom Ashbrook.

The show’s blurb:

“Last week in the firestorm debate on immigration reform, even conservative stalwarts finally blinked at the full-blast power of rightwing talk radio. ‘Talk radio,’ said Mississippi's Senator Trent Lott, ‘is running America. We have to deal with that problem.’

“Problem? Not the way fans of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Michael Savage see it. This, they say, is democracy in action. And hallelujah their guys have the biggest megaphones. Maybe too big says a new report. But who's to say?”

Guests were Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; Horace Cooper, Senior Fellow at the American Civil Responsibility Union; and Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.

There was very good discussion and debate about the state of commercial political talk radio, examples of many conservative host’s hate-filled diatribes, listener call-ins and contemplation about a new Fairness Doctrine.

One point made was that NPR and public radio programming is the balance to right-wing speech on commercial radio. However, no one really took that seriously. It’s just not true for a variety of reasons explained in the show.

Go listen. It’s good!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New Studios for Red River Radio

There was an interesting article in The Times the other day, “Public radio network outgrowing facilities.” Read it quick before you have to pay to see it.

Essentially, it boils down to, as the article states, “KDAQ has outgrown its current location at LSUS, and needs to move into a new facility in the next three years, according to station manager Kermit Poling.”

This is completely true and accurate. KDAQ, the flagship of Red River Radio, is consigned to hovels on the LSUS campus. It’s disgraceful and shameful. In fact, the university is just plain lucky no one has gotten seriously ill from working there or that the buildings haven’t been blown away by a bad storm.

Kermit goes on to mention that the station has plans for a new studio that will cost about $3 million, which he is trying to raise through federal and matching grants.

This plan was bandied about before I left Red River Radio, and I saw the artist’s conception of the new studio. It was very nice but not extravagant, and it would serve Red River Radio well for many decades.

It seems, though, that little progress has been made towards fruition since I left. So I’m going to say this yet again: LSUS should pay the lion’s share in funding the new studio.

Every time you tune in to Red River Radio, you hear that KDAQ is a community-supported service of LSUS. They are very proud to provide public radio to such a large area. For decades, Red River Radio has helped LSUS achieve a positive image throughout the region.

Yet the university has kept the network based in tin shacks all this time.

It’s time for some reciprocation. After all the benefit Red River Radio has provided LSUS, coming up with at least half the construction cost can easily be viewed as both a reward for that service and as an investment in continued service. It just seems fair to me.

What can you do? Write the chancellor and tell him your thoughts! Surprisingly, he has yet to make a public comment on the situation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Right Wing Programming Stifles Shreveport Airwaves

A new study is out from the Center for American Progress called “The Structural Imbalance Of Political Talk Radio.” It’s a quantitative analysis of conservative and progressive viewpoints on political talk radio programming in the United States.

report cover

And it’s bleak if you are a progressive.

First, though, here’s some background form the report:

“Despite the dramatic expansion of viewing and listening options for consumers today, traditional radio remains one of the most widely used media formats in America. Arbitron, the national radio ratings company, reports that more than 90 percent of Americans ages 12 or older listen to radio each week, ‘a higher penetration than television, magazines, newspapers, or the Internet....’ Among radio formats, the combined news/talk format (which includes news/talk/information and talk/personality) leads all others in terms of the total number of stations per format and trails only country music in terms of national audience share. Through more than 1,700 stations across the nation, the combined news/talk format is estimated to reach more than 50 million listeners each week.”

That’s the raw size of the issue, and then there’s these frightening conclusions:

  • Our analysis in the spring of 2007 of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.
  • Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk -- 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.
  • A separate analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio markets reveals that 76 percent of the programming in these markets is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago.

As with everything else, Shreveport is worse. The study references KEEL and KRMD. It found that KEEL airs 11 hours of conservative talk radio every day with 0 hours of “progressive” programming. KRMD airs 7 hours of conservative programming balanced by 0 progressive hours. So, all told, Shreveport talk radio listeners get 18 hours of conservative opinions per day balanced by nothing.

It seems to me that this is a chance for public radio to bridge the gap locally. Both Red River Radio and KSCL could easily provide such progressive programming as Democracy Now!, Counterspin, or selections from Air America hosts. As well, the Public Radio Exchange is a treasure trove of progressive content.

Balancing the ubiquitous and often violent, hate-filled conservative diatribe served daily here with progressive viewpoints would be a great public service. And isn’t that what all radio, but especially public radio, should be about?

Friday, June 22, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, June 22, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, joke and/or trivia Pringles pals!

Friday is here at last, so it’s time for another ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 fm. Thanks in advance for tuning in.

This week is a polygamous mix of old and new punk and electronica. Just look at the lineup! So tune in from 6:00 to 8:00 and get your sicko kicks along with the news and weather.

Here’s what makes Mr. Bojangles boogie:

Song                                    Artist
-------------------------------------------------------------
Blank Eyed, Nose Bleed                  Adult
Preparedness                            The Bird And The Bee
Helicopter Whitey Version               Bloc Party
Baby's On Fire                          Brian Eno
Tornadoes                               Butthole Surfers
What Do I Get                           The Buzzcocks
Crackin' Up                             Caesars
Monument                                Calla
Take The Skinheads Bowling              Camper Van Beethoven
Life Is Sweet                           The Chemical Brothers
The Pills Won't Help You Now            The Chemical Brothers
Wordy Rappinghood                       Chicks On Speed
Career Opportunities                    The Clash
Silent Seven                            Controller.Controller
Rebel Rebel                             David Bowie
Radio Waves                             OMD
Dead And Alive                          Dead Boys
3000 Flowers                            Destroyer
Ha Ha Ha                                Flipper
Dare                                    Gorillaz
PDA                                     Interpol
All My Friends                          LCD Soundsystem
Plateau                                 Meat Puppets
Shield Your Eyes....                    Melt-Banana
Lexicon Devil                           The Melvins
Ghost                                   Neutral Milk Hotel
Exit Music (For A Film)                 Radiohead
Suspicious Eyes                         The Rakes
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker                 The Ramones
Do You Believe Her                      The Raveonettes
Satellite                               TV On The Radio
We've Been Had                          The Walkmen

Friday, June 15, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, June 15, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, loud louts!

Friday, time for another ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 fm from 6 to 8.

First, a brief interlude:

Come out to the best show around tonight. The Noids and Astronautilus perform at Big D's BBQ, 101 Common Street in Shreveport. Show starts at 8:00, right after ROCK FIGHT! In the event of rain, it moves to 941 Captain Shreve in Shreveport. It’s gonna be great!

Back to the show:

This week, there’s lots of old-school punk and new wave along with modern hipster stank. The emphasis is on humor, with songs like “Computer Camp Love” from the new Datarock album, a Dickies cover of a moldy Moody Blues tune and Blur’s ode to transgendered confusion.

Alas, the podcast is dead and gone. No one listened.

So you’ll just have to use your radio.

Here’s the dirty lowdown:

Song                                    Artist
-----------------------------------------------------------------
I'm Alive                               999
Sexy Boy                                Air
Girls And Boys                          Blur
Spit It Out                             Brendan Benson
Warm Leatherette                        Chicks On Speed
Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood     Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Long Time Jerk                          The Clash
Bruised Broken Beaten                   Controller.Controller
Computer Camp Love                      Datarock
Sonic Reducer                           Dead Boys
Sick Priest Learns To Last Forever      Destroyer
Nights In White Satin                   The Dickies
Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time    Gang Of Four
Me! I Disconnect From You               Gary Numan & Tubeway Army
Last Living Souls                       Gorillaz
Trot Out The Dead                       Hammers Of Misfortune
I'll Never Forget You                   Husker Du
Love Will Tear Us Apart                 Joy Division
High Rise                               Ladytron
After Dark                              Le Tigre
Lucky Number                            Lene Lovich
Split Myself In Two                     Meat Puppets
Spider Snipe                            Melt-Banana
Quiet Please                            Negativland
Pulse                                   The Psychedelic Furs
Annalisa                                Public Image Limited
Down With Moonlight                     The Rakes
I'm Affected                            The Ramones
Sister Savior                           The Rapture
Where's Captain Kirk                    Spizzenergi
Another Song                            Swell Maps
Don't Worry About The Government        Talking Heads
Dreams                                  TV On The Radio
Sex Beat                                Gun Club
Institutionalized                       Suicidal Tendencies
Just Drums                              Tapes 'n Tapes
Soul Kitchen                            X

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gerritsen's Trial Date Moved Again

Roy Gerritsen

The wheels of justice move slowly.

Roy Gerritsen’s sex crimes trials have been moved to July 17, 2007, at 9:00 in Bossier Parish District Court.

Roy, the former GM of Red River Radio, was arrested last October in a sting operation accusing him of soliciting sex from a juvenile over the Internet. He faces charges of computer-aided solicitation of a minor and attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Bossier City police said Gerritsen arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex but who was actually a police officer posing as the girl. He was arrested when he arrived at a pre-determined location in Bossier City.

Gerritsen’s docket numbers are C149466, attempted carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and C149467, computer aided solicitation of a minor. If convicted, he faces a maximum 15-year sentence and $12,500 fine, according to reports.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! June 8 podcast

Here’s the ROCK FIGHT! podcast for the show that aired June 8, 2007:

Friday, June 8, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, June 8, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, sweet savers of condiment packets!

Friday! Time for another ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 fm from 6 to 8.

Interpol has a much-anticipated new album out called “Our Love To Admire,” so there’s an Interpol retrospective on this week’s show. We’ll hear the new single, “The Heinrich Manoeuver,” along with a remix from an older album, a song from an earlier pre-release this year and a Peel session of my favorite Interpol song, “NYC.”

There’s also a pair of old Cure tunes, a classic from Bowie, and two re-made classics by by Luna and The Moog Cookbook. And I’ll play tunes from the college Top 30 and new underground artists. All the old school punk and new wave you can eat, too.

So tune in!

Here’s why they call it dope:

Song                                    Artist
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Devils Haircut                          Beck
Pink Love                               Blonde Redhead
Rapture Riders (Full Version)           Blondie Vs The Doors
Under                                   Brian Eno
Astral                                  Calla
I Want More                             Can
All Cats Are Grey                       The Cure
A Forest                                The Cure
Neat Neat Neat                          The Damned
Heroes                                  David Bowie
Not Even Jail (Daniel Kessler Remix)    Interpol
The Heimlich Manoeuvre                  Interpol
Anticipation                            Interpol
NYC                                     Interpol
Liquid Coffee                           Jennifer Gentle
Waiting On A Friend                     Luna
Inertia Creeps                          Massive Attack
Rockin' In The Free World               The Moog Cookbook
Maybe Sparrow                           Neko Case
Know                                    Nick Drake
Myxomatosis                             Radiohead
Carbona Not Glue                        Ramones
Catapult                                REM
Blank Generation                        Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Infinity Girl                           Stereolab
No Compassion                           Talking Heads
The North Pole                          The Walkmen

Friday, June 1, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, June 1, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, headbanging harbingers of heat!

Friday is here with another ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 FM. Because I missed last week, it’s a special four-hour edition this week from 6 to 10. A double dose of gnosis!

Plenty of new stuff this week -- UNKLE, Groove Armada, Dungen, The Chemical Brothers. Datarock, Feist and others. And plenty of old stuff, too. It’s all mixed in a gumbo for your hipster delight.

Also, a worker from Smithfield Foods’ Tar Heel, NC, plant will join me to talk about her experiences there and what she plans for the Paula Deen show in Bossier City tomorrow. For more info, check out my blog entry or visit the Justice at Smithfield website.

So tune in! It’ll be swank.

An abbreviated podcast comes later, but for now here’s the tunes:

Song                                Artist
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gimme Sopor                         Angry Samoans
Dark Entries                        Bauhaus
The Passion Of Lovers               Bauhaus
Electric Shake                      Be Your Own Pet
Simplesmente (Tom Middleton Remix)  Bebel Gilberto
Dark Star                           Beck
The First Vietnamese War            The Black Angels
23                                  Blonde Redhead
Spring And By Summer Fall           Blonde Redhead
Everybody's Happy Nowadays          Buzzcocks
Luckey Dime                         Calexico
The Pills Won't Help You Now        The Chemical Brothers
Some Loud Thunder                   Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Boys Better                         The Dandy Warhols
Fa-Fa-Fa                            Datarock
Hang On To Yourself                 David Bowie
Do It!                              Death From Above 1979
You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)  The Dickies
Gör Det Nu                          Dungen
Bad Dream Mama                      Eagles Of Death Metal
Seven Seas                          Echo & The Bunnymen
My Moon My Man                      Feist
Inductive Resonance                 The League Of Gentlemen
T'aint What You Do                  The Fun Boy Three
Lightsonic                          Groove Armada
Fortune Of Fame                     The Jacobites
Cut Dead                            The Jesus And Mary Chain
Antenna                             Kraftwerk
Sugar                               Ladytron
Bird Song                           Lene Lovich
Laminated Cats                      Loose Fur
Carnival Knowledge                  Loose Fur
Sugar                               Made Out Of Babies
We're Here                          Meat Puppets
Cat Brain Land                      Melt-Banana
Flashback                           Ministry
The Setup                           Mission Of Burma
Car Bomb                            Negativland
Hanging On The Telephone            The Nerves
My Way                              Nina Hagen
Dictatorsaurus                      Probot
Lucky                               Radiohead
Skttrbrain (Four Tet Remix)         Radiohead
Paranoid Android                    Radiohead
Suspicious Eyes                     The Rakes
Spellbound                          Siouxsie & The Banshees
Face The Blood                      Sondre Lerche
Born Under Punches                  Talking Heads
Genius Of Love                      Tom Tom Club
Satellite                           TV On The Radio
Wolf Like Me                        TV On The Radio
Distant Smile                       Ultravox
Nursery Rhyme Breather              Unkle
The Knock (Drums Of Death Part 2)   Unkle
Universal Corner                    X
We're Desperate                     X
Life Begins At The Hop              XTC

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Deen to face Justice at Smithfield

Smithfield Justice

Heres a good chance to help workers achieve humane working conditions.

  Event: Justice at Smithfield Paula Deen Informational Demonstration
  Date: Saturday, June 2, 2007
  Where: CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, LA
  Time: Meet at 2:30 p.m.
  

Celebrity chef Paula Deen appears at CenturyTel Center Saturday with a show to promote her books, cooking show and other financial interests.

Deen endorses Smithfield Foods. She said she partnered with Smithfield because “it shared my family values and traditions.”

The truth about Smithfield is a little different.

Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world, the fourth largest turkey processor and the fifth largest beef processor in the U.S. It is headquartered in the town of Smithfield, VA, but its operations stretch across the United States, Mexico, and much of Europe.

In the early 1990s, Smithfield opened its 975,000 square-foot pork slaughter plant in the town of Tar Heel, in Bladen County, North Carolina. This facility is now the single largest pork processing plant in the world.

Smithfield treats its Tar Heel plant workers worse than dogs.

They are forced to work under harsh circumstances. Fast line speeds, inadequate training, and improper safety procedures in the plant all lead to a dangerous workplace. As workers try to stand up to Smithfield and organize a union to fight for basic rights and dignities on the job, they are met with brutal force and harassment at the hands of Smithfield.

Smithfield has even been cited by Human Rights Watch for violating international human rights standards. Smithfield Packing has created an environment of intimidation, racial tension, and sometimes violence for workers who want a voice on the job.

But workers are fighting back.

When Deen comes to town, the UFCW, the union that represents many Smithfield workers, will be there, too.

UFCW organizer Nazey Gulech is here working with my union, SEIU Local 100, other unions and local religious and community organizations to organize an informational demonstration in front of CenturyTel the day of the show. We'll hand out flyers and hold up signs telling Deens fans the truth about the company she supports so whole-heartedly.

A worker from the Tar Heel plant will also be on hand to share her story. She and another person will enter the event and seek to ask Deen to accept a letter from the plants workers. The letter asks her to withdraw her endorsement of Smithfield.

Youll be able to hear Nazey on KSCL 91.3 at around 6:30 p.m. Shes also speaking at 7:00 Thursday evening at the West Edge Artists Co-Op. She may be featured on Red River Radio during Morning Edition Friday. And theres an article about the campaign in this week’s Shreveport Sun.

We need warm bodies at CenturyTel! It will be a peaceful event that supports justice for the workers at the Spring Heel plant. Please attend.

At the very least, dont buy products from the Tar Heel plant. Products from the Smithfield Tar Heel plant are coded 18079. Bacon is usually 79-C.

Here are some websites for more in-depth information:

http://www.smithfieldjustice.com/

http://www.ufcw.org/

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! KSCL 91.3 FM Friday, May 18, 2007, 6 to 8

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello, arbitrary anglers!

FRIDAY! Time for ROCK FIGHT! on KSCL 91.3 fm from 6 to 8.

People don’t live by loud rock alone. Everyone needs some downtime, a chance to reflect with soothing music designed to explore inner space. So, ROCK FIGHT! goes ambient this week.

There’s lots of mellow good stuff: Brian Eno, Steve Roach, Tetsu Inoue and more. It’s guaranteed to refresh your psyche or TRIPLE your money back!

Podcast to come later.

Here’s the cheat sheet:

Song                                            Artist
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Surreptitious Ritual                            Between Interval
People Are Friends                              Biosphere
1/1                                             Brian Eno
Six Marimbas                                    Steve Reich
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Mother    Pete Namlook/Klaus Schulze
Cloudscape                                      Philip Glass
In Form Of A Birdie I Meet My Creator           Ruxpin
The Other Side                                  Steve Roach
Inter Link                                      Tetsu Inoue
Later                                           Woob

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thoughts on Iraq for a Gannett Newspaper

Iraq Car Bomb

John Andrew Prime of The Times is working on a story about the Iraq War and asked me a few questions. The opportunity made me cohere my thoughts into something short and sweet.

Here’s what John asked:

  • Do you think the public’s opinion on the War on Terror and the War in Iraq have changed over the course of the past year or so, and why?
  • Have your views changed? Why or why not?
  • What do you think this nation should do with regard to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?
  • Will anything change under a new administration after the ‘08 election?

And here’s my response:

Over the past year, measured public opinion about the war has remained relatively constant. Only about 35 percent “approve” of the war. The rest express various degrees of “disapproval.” Locally, more people support the President’s policies than that, but his support is rapidly waning.

Essentially, what’s left is a hard core of supporters pitted against growing opposition. The rhetoric from both sides will get worse.

Regardless of our Iraq War opinions, we can all agree the war merits civil discussion. We can treat each other respectfully in disagreement, and rhetoric of the right-wing-talk-show or leftist-rant ilk only puts us further from a solution.

My personal opinion about Iraq has remained constant since it started. We should withdraw all of our forces, abandon plans for permanent bases, turn control over to the Iraqis assisted by a regionally-based coalition and begin reparations payments.

I don’t think a massive conflagration will erupt if we withdraw. The same prediction was made of Vietnam and proved to be gross exaggeration. Iraqis can manage their own country better than we can manage it for them.

Profiteering corporations should be booted from Iraq, particularly oil companies and mercenary armies like the Blackwater forces. The growing trend to use these mercenary armies is troubling.

In Afghanistan, we have a better prospect. Our conduct there, while not exemplary, has generated some goodwill to build on. The people there are ready for peace. There is ample opportunity for coalition building if we respect all interests. I think we can manage with our special forces aiding indigenous forces. We must settle the Osama Bin Laden problem finally and unequivocally.

The Democrats are just as much a war party as Republicans. Regardless of who wins the White House, the next president won’t withdraw from Iraq entirely. A Democrat might withdraw some forces, but the plan of opening permanent bases will continue, the oil companies will still get their due and mercenaries will still operate without oversight.

The main problems in ending the war comes from two areas. First, we spend so much money on the military that the war industry dominates our polity. And we've built a propaganda machine that constantly trumpets how great our nation is because of that military spending.

Anyone who challenges the war machine is either ignored or ridiculed. But I think soon we'll be discussing these issues seriously. I hope that’s the big change this election -- getting the nation to really look at industries supporting and profiting from war and what that means for our way of life.

I don’t know what of that, if anything, will make it to the final article, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to comment. We’ll see what happens.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Inside Chinese Gold Farming

Here’s a look inside the world of Chinese gold farming.

Chinese laborers play many popular video games like World of Warcraft collecting gold and items or creating characters and leveling them up. They then sell the gold or characters to gamers in more affluent countries, especially the U.S. Typically, they make about $200.00 a month, though food and housing are provided.

Is it exploitation? I’m not so sure, because they say they have fun playing. But it is a tedious job with intense pressure to produce. It’s also explicitly against World of Warcraft’s terms of service, and thus it’s cheating.

Anyway, here’s the video:

Friday, May 11, 2007

ROCK FIGHT! May 11, 2007

ROCK FIGHT!

Hello again, yammering young yobs!

Friday -- time to get your ROCK FIGHT! on. Be sure to listen to KSCL 91.3 FM from 6 to 8.

This week, there’s a pair of tunes from the new Melt Banana album, “Bambi’s Dilemma.” I can’t say enough good things about this album. If you love Melt Banana, you won’t be disappointed, yet they still manage to branch off into new stylistic territory. There’s plenty of shred-it-up mania, but also more contemplative songs. This would also make a good intro to the band if you haven’t heard them yet, and it should definitely intrigue you into exploring their substantial back catalog.

Also, there’s a pair of songs from The Sugarcubes, the band that launched the superstar singer whose name sounds like a cat hurling up a hairball -- Bjork. I stayed away from the hit “Happy Birthday,” choosing instead two songs I like way more from their first album, “Life’s Too Good.” By the way, I hate Bjork’s new album, “Volta.”

There’s also two of my favorite Echo and the Bunnymen tunes, a classic from David Bowie, The Edge in a side project with some artsy types, a song about bouncing boobies, a little bit of country and a lot of rock and roll.

So tune in! It’ll be a gas!

Podcast to come later.

Here’s the FIGHT! card:

Song                            Artist
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Shake Your Head                 Adult
Spill                           Be Your Own Pet
Preparedness                    The Bird And The Bee
Italian Leather Sofa            Cake
Strangler                       Calla
Blackout                        David Bowie
Thing That Only Eats Hippies    The Dead Milkmen
Darker                          Doves
Climbing Up The Walls           Easystar All Stars
Heaven Up Here                  Echo & The Bunnymen
Porcupine                       Echo & The Bunnymen
Caught In My Eye                The Germs
Whatever                        Husker Du
Obstacle 1                      Interpol
All The Dark Rags               The Jacobites
Sleazy                          Jah Wobble/The Edge/Holger Czukay
La Verdad                       Juana Molina
Three                           Massive Attack
Cat Brain Land                  Melt Banana
Last Target On The Last Day     Melt Banana
Messages                        Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Minor Detail                    Sondre Lerche
Circuit Love                    Soviet
Split Endz-I Got You            Split Enz
I'm Still In Love With You      Steve Earle And The Del Mccoury Band
Motorcrash                      Sugarcubes
Coldsweat                       Sugarcubes
Listening Wind                  Talking Heads
Poison Plant                    USA Is A Monster
Animal Day                      Wall Of Voodoo