By Joseph Perry
Strange SoundJan 10, 2022
Episode 80: The Three Crises Three
In this special episode I talk about the three major crises currently confronting us: the crisis of democracy, the COVID crisis, and the climate crisis, and how each fuels the other two.
2021 Virginia governor's race results vs. 2020 Virginia presidential vote
Learn more/talk back at https://anchor.fm/strangesound
Episode 79: Bannon's Dream Come True
This week I talk about (a) how far we've come over twenty years and (b) how screwed we are for not moving faster, as the Supreme Court seems poised to overrule Chevron deference and fulfill Bannon's dream of destroying what's left of the administrative state.
Episode 78: Twenty past 9/11
In this special episode I look back at the 9/11 attacks of twenty years ago, the decades of war and abuse that followed, and share my thoughts on what the fuck it all means.
Episode 77: Ending the Afghan Enterprise
This week I talk about Biden's follow through on his promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, with a brief overview of the conflict and the imperial context within which it persisted for two decades.
Episode 76: Defusing the Doomsday Machine
With a first-strike, first-use nuclear weapons policy in place for decades, it's a miracle we're still here. This week I talk about Dan Ellsberg's important book "The Doomsday Machine", what it tells us about this policy, and what we need to do to stop this madness.
Episode 75: Resuscitate the Administrative State
Our corporate-friendly government has always fallen short when it comes to helping poor and working people. This week I talk about how policies like postal banking can begin to turn that ship around.
Episode 74: COVID is the new Climate Change
This week I talk about the political football the right has made out of COVID vaccines, PPE, and other aspects of the pandemic, and how reminiscent this obsession is with their climate skepticism.
Episode 73: The Biden Doctrine
This week I talk about the Biden Administration's decision to tighten sanctions on Cuba and how that reflects their continuing support for the imperial project.
Episode 72: What to do about Wealth
Richard Branson's ridiculous sub-orbital flight last week was an illustration of how irritating billionaires can be. This week I talk about how the problem is not so much the billionaires themselves as the system that creates and nurtures them.
Episode 71: Workers Push Back
This week I talk about workers resisting a return to crappy jobs and the degree to which that resistance is scaring capital silly. Also, a quick take on New York's 22nd congressional district.
Episode 70: Rumsfeld dies, but the war lives on
On the same week notorious war criminal Donald Rumsfeld died, President Biden bombed Iraq and Syria for the second time while pulling troops out of Afghanistan. This week I talk about our endless imperial adventures and the role the mainstream media plays in perpetuating them.
Episode 69: Against Autocracy
This week I argue that, whatever else we do to build a more progressive and responsive society, we cannot afford to ignore the right's current efforts to make full-blown autocratic rule a reality in the United States.
Episode 68: Joe's Big Adventure
This week I talk about the back-and-forth between Biden and Putin at last week's summit, how it's discussed in the mainstream media, and how Putin could do better with his what-about-ism.
Ava DuVernay's 13th (on YouTube) - https://youtu.be/krfcq5pF8u8
Episode 67: The Enemy Without
This week I talk about America's obsession with foreign adversaries, the sickening sameness of our foreign policy from administration to administration, and the infuriating attack on Ilhan Omar this past week.
Episode 66: The Costs Of "Safety"
Hyper-aggressive policing and mass imprisonment, like militarist foreign policy, imposes unacceptable costs on society while failing to make anyone safe. I talk about the political economy of these failed models.
Episode 65: A Legacy Of Ashes
This week I talk about the disclosure of a planning document from the 1950s contemplating nuclear war, then discuss the terrifying history of our nuclear arsenal and what we can do to stop the madness.
Reuters Article on U.S. Nuclear Modernization
Bellingcat Article on Nuclear Security
Episode 64: Israel/Palestine: The Long Game
Revisiting the Israel/Palestine conflict, I take a kind of deep dive into its history and attempt to make the case (as a layman) that Israel's resort to force is their way of avoiding good faith negotiations. We should not underwrite this.
Episode 63: Palestinians in the Crosshairs
This week I talk about the latest chapter in Israel's war on the Palestinian people, offer my own perspective on the conflict's history, and suggest what we as Americans might do to address it.
Episode 62: The Redemption Myth
This week I rant against the corporate media's obsession with redeeming right-wing Republicans like Liz Cheney and their general love for a grisly thing called bipartisanship. Also, my apology for misstating Adam Toledo's age in Episode 60.
Episode 61: This Week in U.S. Hegemony
This week I talk about the Biden Administration's policy on Cuba and how it reflects their broader tendency to toe the imperial line that's been in place my whole life and longer, through Republican and Democratic administrations alike.
Episode 60: Bad To The Bone
This week I talk about the Minneapolis Police Department, its history of abuse against people of color, and how it is no exception in this regard, plus some thoughts about what we might do about this DNA-level sickness.
MPD Press Release on Floyd Killing
Episode 59: End to Endless War
This week I talk about Biden's plan to remove combat troops from Afghanistan by this September, what that might look like, and how we got there in the first place, plus some venting about the police murder of Adam Toledo.
Episode 58: The Reps We Deserve
This week I talk about the gradual progress we have made in sending left-leaning representatives to Congress and how the path forward will require (wait for it!) organizing, organizing, and more organizing.
Episode 57: Drawing The Line On Guns
This week I talk about the recent mass shootings and my thoughts on the semantic problems with the more expansive interpretations of the Second Amendment, plus a few words about the Chauvin trial.
Episode 56: Illegal and Essential
This week I jump into the corporate press's favorite topic, immigration at the southern border, and talk a little about the factors behind the current "crisis", its recent history, and what the fuck we can do about it.
Intercepted story on Immigration | DemocracyNow! reporting on Honduras
Episode 55: Crime and Punishment
This week I share my Furious Rant about the police response to the shootings in Georgia, then talk a bit about unequal justice in the United States and its consequences.
Episode 54: No More Billionaires
This week I briefly update my rant about the availability of vaccinations, read my Furious Rant on the American Rescue Plan, then talk about taxing the fertilizer out of the ultra rich as a way of saving democracy.
Episode 53: Blob Rules
This week I read my Furious Rant on Biden's blob-compliant foreign policy, then get into the weeds a little bit about how it reflects the typical imperial stance of Democratic party administrations over many decades.
Episode 52: Give us the shots!
This week I share my Furious Rant about how I and millions of my fellow Americans haven't received the COVID vaccine yet, and how we're not likely to for some time. Then I talk about why.
Episode 51: Organize, organize, repeat.
This week I read my Furious Rant about the political price we pay for not doing enough organizing, then I dive into the NY-22 Congressional Race and how we might have easily rescued that seat from the abyss of Trumpist Republicanism.
NY 22 Congressional Race Results
Episode 50: Accountability
This week I read my Furious Rant blog post on the Trump impeachment 2.0, entitled "Bad Side of Buchanan", then ramble on a bit after that. Give it a listen and tell me what you think.
Read this post at https://www.big-green.net/bg/2021/02/bad-side-of-buchanan/
Episode 49: Furious Rants (An Introduction)
This week I introduce my new project, tentatively entitled "Furious Rants": a reading of my political blog post for the current week, soon to be available on a separate feed. Please enjoy, like, share, etc.
Read this post at https://www.big-green.net/bg/2021/02/lying-in-state-2/
Episode 48: Voter Supression 2021
Since the start of 2021, more than 100 voter suppression measures have been introduced in 28 states, fueled by Trump and the GOP's voter fraud lies. I talk about this, the COVID vaccine mess, and some other stuff.
Episode 47: Biden's First Days
Glad as I am to see Trump off the premises, it's not too early to examine the Biden administration's initial positions on foreign policy and what they portend. I look at this and talk a bit about the broken vaccine distribution program.
Episode 46: Defending the Republic (for real)
After a lifetime of hearing claptrap about how all of our unnecessary wars have been about defending the republic, we finally have an example of people actually doing this in Washington D.C.
Episode 45: Trump's Fat Suit
This week's Trump-led insurrectionist attack against the U.S. Congress is good evidence that the POTUS fat suit needs some taking in. I talk about this and what should be done about it.
Episode 44: From Wounded Knee to Wardak
To mark the anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, I draw a straight line from this criminal act through My Lai, Nisour Square, and Trump's 2017 Yemen Raid to recent raids in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.
Episode 43: Biden's Foreign Policy Agenda
Joe Biden had little to say about foreign policy, at least in substantive terms, during the 2020 campaign, but his approach is now taking shape with the recent naming of his "national security" team. I talk about this briefly and give an even shorter update on the New York 22nd District race.
Episode 42: Trump's Electoral Avalanche
Trump's claim of winning the 2020 election by a landslide works if you only count the votes of white people ... which was the way it worked back in the "good old days" when America was "great". This week I talk about Trump's white landslide (or avalanche, if you will) plus some stuff about left strategy.
Episode 41: Our AWOL Federal Government
With more than 3,000 Americans dying of COVID every day and millions facing loss of unemployment benefits and possible eviction, the Federal Government can't seem to pull itself together enough to offer relief. I talk about this and other related frustrations, many of which I'm sure you share.
Episode 40: The End Game
The Trump Administration is working overtime to lock-in key policies before they leave Washington. This week I look at some of the foreign policy implications of this effort and how even the stuff that doesn't seem too bad is, well, kind of bad.
Episode 39: First Rule of Fight Club
Democratic in-fighting in the wake of disappointing down-ballot results have focused largely on ideological differences. I try to make the argument that it may be more about a candidate's willingness to fight for his/her constituents.
Episode 38: What's Next
The only chance we have of getting any relief from the federal government is by flipping those two Georgia Senate seats blue. I talk about this issue, as well as the ongoing standoff over New York's 22nd Congressional district and why that race demonstrates that every vote counts.
Help people vote in Georgia"GASenate.com NewGeorgiaProject.org BlackVotersMatterFund.org VoteRiders.org ACLUGA.org
Episode 37: Back to Plan A
It's no secret that Donald Trump's original plan in running for president was to lose, cry fraud, then build a media empire on the resulting aggrievement. He appears now to be returning to that plan as the end of his accidental presidency looms.
Episode 36: Where credit is due
Biden's apparent electoral victory is due in large measure to the efforts of activists in the progressive movements on the ground to secure his majority. I talk about this and how pundits have the wrong end of the stick regarding Black and Latinx voters.
Episode 35: The White Power Preservation Project
The Republican Party has been playing a long game to hedge against the erosion of white power as America's demographics shift. I talk in broad strokes about the various pieces of this toxic enterprise and how it has become more overt in recent years.
Episode 34: Visions of Empire
This week I look at the second and final presidential debate with a focus on foreign policy issues in general and Korea in particular. Not clear what to expect, but it's not looking good, folks.
Episode 33: Anatomy of a Lie
This past week's dueling town halls offered little to cheer about. In this episode I look at Trump's Rolling COVID Review tour and dissect one of his most repeated lies about health coverage.
Episode 32: Toxic Consensus
Our presidential and vice-presidential debates are contested on very narrow ideological ground, reflecting a consensus that significantly favors the right. I talk about this phenomenon in light of the recent Pence-Harris debate, and touch on Trump's recent Hulk-like posing.
Episode 31: The Two Dragons
With the president in Walter Reed battling COVID-19, I talk about how this health crisis affects all of us, how insane that first debate was, and how we need to battle the two dragons Nina Turner warned us about - neo-fascism and neo-liberalism - in the right order.
Episode 30: What won't they do?
Justice Ginsburg's hope that her successor would be chosen by the next president seems doomed to predictable failure. I talk about the fulfillment of the right's judicial project in the Trump era and why we should organize and vote on this issue.
Leave a message, folks:
Song: "Can't Go Wrong", (c) 2020 by Big Green (M. Perry and J. Perry)
Episode 29: Truth and Consequences
This week I talk a bit about how death happens in nursing homes, COVID or no, then go on a tear about the late Justice Ginsberg (RIP) and lament her decision not to retire in 2013.
Episode 28: The Snyder Principle
The Biden campaign got all happy last week about an endorsement by serial child poisoner Rick Snyder, former governor of Michigan. I talk about this and about web-driven riot paranoia in my home town of New Hartford, NY.
Right-wing Nutjobs in Utica, NY
Window Shopping in New Hartford
Episode 27: A Case for In-Person Voting
The Trump administration is undermining confidence in the upcoming election, setting the predicate for challenging the results on the basis of false claims about mail-in ballots. This week, I suggest that the best way around this may be early voting.
Episode 26: Nice White Privilege
The New York Times Serial podcast "Nice White Parents" takes a close look at how white parents drive the agenda in school policy, but what they're describing is a reflection of what's happening in the broader society. This week, I talk about that a little.
Nice White Parents podcast
Episode 25: Holding Power To Account
As we're treated to the somewhat horrifying spectacle of major party conventions in the time of COVID, I look at the question of presidential accountability and when, if ever, we will see it.
Episode 24: Listen, (Old) Leftist.
At a time when we need to pull together like never before, some older leftists have seen fit to lecture their younger counterparts on what to do on election day. This week I express my disagreement, then give my reasons for what my sorry ass plans to do.
Episode 23: The Real Election Fraud
Donald Trump didn't invent the Republican party's obsession with mythical election fraud, but he has notched it up to a new level. In this episode I talk about the actual fraud he's attempting to foist on American voters.
Episode 22: Reality and Illusion
It has been observed many times that Donald Trump is the reality show president. This week I talk about his transition from cheesy-ass NBC star to political phenomenon and what we should do to prepare for what lies ahead.
Episode 21: Private v. Public
So many institutions in our society would make more sense if they were collectively owned and operated by the communities they serve. This week I talk about why private ownership of public goods is not such a good idea.
Episode 20: Crock Tears
Some of the people lamenting the loss of Rep. John Lewis are the same folks who played an instrumental role in rolling back the achievement he bled for more than fifty years ago. This week I talk briefly about how to truly honor this great and good man.
More:Voting Rights Act page at Brennan Center for Justice
Episode 19: The Corporate Worm-turn
When some of the biggest corporations on the planet start climbing onto the Black Lives Matter movement, it tells us something about what works in American politics. This week I talk about that and why these people are still total asshats.
More stuff:Adbusters Media Foundation
Episode 18: The White Boy Mulligan
In this episode of Strange Sound, I look at white privilege from a personal perspective as someone who grew up in a monochrome small town (a.k.a. Land of a Thousand Mulligans) and talk about how that bears on the current conversation about race.
More Stuff: Book suggestions for white peopleThe New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
Slavery by Another Name, by Douglas Blackmon
The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein
Episode 17: Empire Strikes Back
On a broad range of foreign policy issues, the opposition to Trump is as bad and in some cases even worse than Trump himself. This week I talk briefly about what progressives need to do to break with the broad front of #resistance imperialism and chart a new course.
Episode 16: Four-Legged Stool
From a strictly political standpoint, white supremacy in America is kind of a four-legged stool. I take a brief look at the four legs and offer some thoughts on how we might move forward towards a more diverse, progressive nation.
More:Jesse Wegman on WITHPOD
Ari Berman's Tweet about KY
Episode 15: Strike! Vote!
This week I consider the age old question of which strategy progressives should pursue - direct action or elections. Hint: we need to do both, and the last three weeks of street protests have shown us why.
Other Stuff:Mild antidote for racist rant videos on Twitter
Episode 14: Elite theory
For decades conservatives have tried to paint the left as wine-sipping elitists out of touch with the common man (and yes, I mean man). I look at the present-day manifestation of that familiar trope and attempt to trace its Nixonian provenance.
More:Tom Cotton's crackpot op-ed in the NY Times; Insurrection Act of 1807
Episode 13: Can't do that
More than most of his predecessors, this president appears to have a very expansive notion of the powers of his office. In this episode I encourage my dear listeners not to feed the troll, so to speak, by suggesting that he can do shit that he ... well ... can't do. Like cancel election day. Or outstay his term.
Learn More:1845 Law Setting Election Day 20th Amendment
Episode 12: What foreign policy?
Unimpressed by Joe Biden's "bold ideas" on foreign policy? Hard question to answer, since he hasn't offered any. In this installment of Strange Sound, I ponder Biden's reluctance to go on the record about key issues of war and diplomacy and suggest some possible reasons for it.
Go to https://joebiden.com/joes-vision to see how little Biden has to say on foreign policy. (Fair warning: If you follow this link, you will be asked to donate to the campaign multiple times. THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT.)
Episode 11: Second Trauma
America's health care dance is a kind of morbid two-step: step one is the trauma of the illness itself; step two is paying the bill for step one. In this episode I talk about the second trauma, my own experience with it, and what that suggests about the bankruptcy of our public health system.
Episode 10: Lies daddy told us
Everybody knows our president is a liar. This time I talk about two particularly toxic lies he continues to tell - lies that bear on our current crisis and what we can expect in the weeks and months to come.
Episode 9: The Biden Problem
With an accusation of sexual violence lodged against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, this seems like a good time to consider his relative merits as a candidate and where this crazy campaign is taking us. I try to apply some recent historical perspective to the phenomenon of Biden as well as our successes and failures as a mass progressive movement.
More about this issue:March 31, 2020 Tara Reade interview on Democracy Now!
Episode 8: How to save the states
If the federal government is inclined towards helping state and local governments survive the current crisis, there's something they could easily do that would make a big difference. I talk about that, as well as my recent trip to the hospital.
Episode 7: Elections
In this episode I talk about where progressives might go from here, and recommend that any path we choose leads through a voting booth. Note: this is not a boomer lecture, just some thoughts on where we've been and where we're headed.
Episode 6: Socialism!
In this episode of Strange Sound I talk about the s-word. No, not THAT s-word ... the other one. Socialism! You know, the thing that keeps saving capitalism every ten years or so. That one.
Learn more: Hear some truly smart people talk about this topic at https://www.democracyatwork.info/
Episode 5: Cuba
Why did Chris Matthews, Whoopi Goldberg and others freak out over comments Bernie Sanders made about Cuba? I take a close look at this sore spot and offer my humble opinion on what's behind it all.
Episode 4: Forever wars
What puts the "forever" in our forever wars? In this episode of Strange Sound, I offer my perspective on two key factors that keep these conflicts going and going and .... going.
Episode 3: The Ground Game
How much of a difference can a good ground game make in an election? This episode of Strange Sound offers my personal perspective on this question, starting with the McGovern campaign and the strangest introductory speech ever made.
Here's the David Dayen interview on Majority Report that I referenced in the show: Majority Report Feb 10, 2020.
Episode 2: The Wealth Tax
As presidential candidates, both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have put forward wealth tax proposals. In this episode of Strange Sound I share some thoughts on this issue and discuss the current wealth tax that almost everyone pays but no one talks about.
Check out the fun, fun wealth tax tool posted by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman at https://taxjusticenow.org
Episode 1: Employer-based Health Insurance
In this first episode of Strange Sound, I take a brief stab at examining some of the claims made by presidential candidates about the virtues of employer-based health insurance.
Coming Soon: Strange Sound!
What is this strange sound? Here's a brief intro to a new podcast that will focus on salient issues in politics, foreign policy, and other stuff, one slice at a time. First full episode will be dropping soon.