Note: The first episode shown during the First Quarter 2013 was a rerun of #335 on December 24, 2012.
Episode #624: Keep Right On Going
First Broadcast: 12/31/12
This week, we close out 2012 by discussing the late Jack Klugman, who was possibly best known for playing the part of Oscar Madison in the television series The Odd Couple, and who also starred in the film version of 12 Angry Men, one of the best productions originating from the "Golden Age of television." It's a film that still holds up today, and--in the light of what's been going on at Guantanamo Bay for the past decade--it makes me wonder how far the U.S. has retreated from the Constitutional requirement to give everyone a fair trial. "Too far" would probably be an understatement.
Episode #625: Space-Faring Interns
First Broadcast: 1/7/13
In this first episode of the New Year, we cover some familiar ground by discussing my opposition to the privatization of the U.S. space program, the inevitable loss of institutional knowledge as those who participated in the Apollo program continue to pass away, and--on a much more local level--the news that the space that once housed the infamous Mars Bar will be turned into a branch of TD Bank in the not-too-distant-future. Maybe the rest of the year won't be quite as bad in comparison.
Episode #626: Get A Job
First Broadcast: 1/14/13
The book, Doing Nothing, raises some good questions. For instance, why are people who want more leisure time denigrated so much in this country, even when more research every year seems to prove that "happier workers are more productive workers"? Do people realize how ridiculous it is to tell members of Occupy Wall Street to "get a job," when one of the reasons why OWS formed in the first place is to protest high unemployment and economic injustice? If those companies who switched from five-day to four-day work weeks (without reducing pay) in this country can do so successfully, why can't we try out 35-hour work weeks (for 40-hour pay) like in France, or spreading out the work while subsidizing the pay like in Germany? If the idea of a guaranteed income for all Americans was good enough for Richard Nixon, isn't it still worth considering four decades later? Don't we all deserve the leisurely future envisioned by The Jetsons? Isn't the opening of an IHOP in the West Village the opposite of progress? These are all good questions--or at least, I think they are.
Episode #627: The Dead Past
First Broadcast: 1/28/13
For people turning 21 this year, the Gulf War might as well be Vietnam, or the Civil War, since all three events occurred before those people were born. Are we already suffering the consequences of not fully understanding the recent past, by repeating certain problems over and over again, and creating new ones in the process? Especially since in many ways, we're not doing a very good job of learning about the more distant past either. Perhaps that explains why so many right-wingers these days completely misunderstand the Second Amendment: they've never bothered to learn the awful reasons why it was adopted in the first place. Perhaps the sasha and the zamani are still more important than we think.
Episode #628: Chicken is a Vegetable
First Broadcast: 2/11/13
Unintended Repeat: 2/18/13 Episode #621 was submitted to MNN on 2/14/13, but MNN reran Episode #628 instead, probably due to construction going on near their Tape Library. I say "probably," because I was given no advance notice about the Tape Library being closed beforehand, so I don't know what, if anything, was actually preventing the Tape Library from being open that day.
Should a President have the power to kill anyone, anywhere, for whatever reason he decides? In other words, should a President have unlimited, unchecked power over life and death, like a King? It should be no surprise that we at Free New York say "No" to this idea, just as we opposed the idea that a President could spy on and torture anyone he wants for any reason he decides. I'm not a lawyer, but it appears to me that the drone memo violates Article I (sections 8 & 9), Article III (sections 1, 2, & 3), Article VI, and Amendments V, VI, VIII, & XIV of the US Constitution; Chapter 1 Article 2 Section 4 of the UN Charter; and Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 28, & 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It doesn't matter if it's a Republican President or a Democratic President breaking the law; none of them are allowed to be above it. It's a shame that some people are willing to look the other way when it's a President they like who's killing people. It's also a shame that some people favor censorship when it's people they don't like who are being censored. Why bother having a First Amendment, or a Constitution, if we're only going to disregard it at a moment's notice?
Episode #629: Sequester of Doom
First Broadcast: 3/4/13
Cop shows, farm subsidies, and alternatives to the sequester occupy our thoughts this week. Did we also mention how it's wrong to kill the US Postal Service? If we didn't, we should have.
Episode #630: Groucho Marxist Thought
First Broadcast: 3/11/13
There is a distinct difference between the films that the Marx Brothers did for Paramount, and the films that they did for MGM. Would Salvador Dali's idea for a Marx Brothers script have made a good film if it had been produced, featuring Groucho wielding many arms like Shiva (or Kali)? Why is it that Rand Paul was the Senator who decided to filibuster to raise awareness about President Obama's drone policy, and none of the Democrats in the Senate came up with that idea? Why do so many fans of Obama think it's OK for him to be able to order the killing of anyone in the world who's accused of being a terrorist, and not OK for the previous President Bush to have made orders that were equally heinous? Lots of questions! Few answers!
Episode #631: Headless Body in a Tapas Bar
First Broadcast: 3/18/13
This week, we discuss Francis--I mean, Pope Francis; how he's the first non-European Pope since Pope Gregory III over a thousand years ago; how it was a different Pope Gregory (XIII) responsible for the Gregorian calendar; how metric clocks have never really caught on in this country; how Pope Francis does not seem to be a friend to gay people; and how, back when he was still Jorge Bergoglio, Pope Francis apparently had a questionable past regarding his activity during Argentina's "Dirty War" a few decades ago. Oh, and for further background on our title, venture here. Isn't history fun!