Monday, December 9, 2013
The struggle for racial equality is a long one. Despite a recent declaration by the Republican Party that racism essentially ended in 1955 with Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, we know that racism is still very much with us today.
Massachusetts Observer Radio brings you a program from the past that sheds light on the present.
Our program is a Christmas Eve Service from December 24, 1944. It takes place in New York City and features Christmas carols as well as spoken words from some of the leading African American leaders of the time.
As we enter into this service from 69 years ago, we are reminded of a speech that The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave on the steps on the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. He asked the question, "How long?"
Massachusetts Observer Radio echoes that question today.
How Long? (Please click on the title to listen to the program)
Friday, December 6, 2013
|Off Tokyo Bay|
December 7, 1941, is, we have been told, a “date that will live in infamy.” Today Massachusetts Observer Radio pays homage to that declaration.
Pearl Harbor has just been bombed by Japan, and a submarine commander is sent to Tokyo Bay to retaliate. The mission is to hit any target possible but "flat tops" (aircraft carriers) are the primary targets.
Most of us will never know what it is like to be trapped 100 feet below sea level in a disabled submarine. However, the awesome power of the radio and our own imaginations, along with a good script and good acting, can "take us there."
This episode of Author's Playhouse titled "Off Tokyo Bay" is a riveting story. It is a powerful period piece first broadcast on January 6, 1943. We believe you will find this to be top-notch radio!
"Off Tokyo Bay" (Please click on the title)
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Massachusetts Observer Radio brings you programs from the past that shine a light on the present.
This week ends on December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, commemorating the entrance of The United States into World War 2. The program that follows is The March of Time as it was originally broadcast on December 11, 1941, four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
This is contemporaneous source material and Massachusetts Observer Radio presents for your reflection The First Week of War. (Please click on the title).
Friday, November 29, 2013
Massachusetts Observer Radio presents programs from the past that shine light on the present.
Radio programs were not traditionally saved for posterity, and sometimes we must be satisfied with any recordings or even snippets that have survived. The episode of "America's Town Meeting of the Air" centering around the question "Who are the Troublemakers in our Democracy?" which was broadcast in May of 1952 is a good example. We have only part of that program available.
Its import, however, makes it worthy of our attention. The discussion was taking place during what many have seen as a Communist witch hunt in the United States at the time. Senator Joseph McCarthy, who zeal to ferret out Communist and/or sympathizers left us with a name for the practice: McCarthyism.
Three speakers from different points of view are heard in this order: Arnold Forster, Merle Miller, and Victor Riesel. Who they are and what they believe will be heard. The moderator is Marquis Childs.
For Massachusetts Observer Radio listeners, who believe in making up their own minds on the issues, here is the program. To listen, please click here.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Massachusetts Observer Radio presents programs from the past to shed light on the present.
The Date: December 12, 1940
The Location: New York City
The Discussion: What are we preparing to defend?
The Event: Broadcast of America's Town Meeting of the Air
The Participants: Harry Overstreet, author, writer, and president of The American Association for Adult Education /Colby Chester, Chairman of General Foods
Two speakers with very different views attempt to answer the question which we re-state as "Whose Democracy is It?"
Technical Points: Many of the early recordings were not intended to be saved and were not always carefully handled. In this broadcast, there are a few skips at the beginning during Mr. Denny's introduction; they can be easily understood, however. Additionally, our program ends abruptly with a question about corporate inquiries into public education directed toward Colby Chester. After he answers the question, the program finishes.
Final Point: Despite any technical glitches, the discussion is an important one that echoes much that we hear in our present time. Serious seekers of historical precedence to current events will find it worthy of their time.
Please click here to listen to the program.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Massachusetts Observer Radio brings you programs from the past that shine light on the present.
The Constitution of the United States places the nomination of judges to our federal courts in the hands of The President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate.
In our time, the Republican Party has used the filibuster to block these nominations without cause. The aim is to prevent the President from carrying out his Constitutional prerogative, thus using Senate rules to upset the balance of power carefully and prudently provided for by the founding fathers.
If Republicans had put ideology ahead of Constitutional authority in a previous generation, one of the most respected judges from right here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would never have become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of The United States.
Here from 1944 is a dramatized account of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., titled "Yankee from Olympus" or as we call it "The People's Judge from Massachusetts." (Please click on the title to hear the program).
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Massachusetts Observer Radio presents programs from the past that shine a light on the present.
Today we bring you an excerpt from the series, "America's Town Meeting of the Air." The topic is "Personal Liberty and the Modern Government." The full program is a panel discussion. The excerpt that we bring you is the opening words from the discussion leader, Howard Lee McBain, Dean of the Graduate Faculties of Columbia University and Ruggles Professor of Constitutional Law.
The date is December 12, 1935. The Franklin Roosevelt Administration is carrying out its New Deal in response to The Great Depression. There is criticism from all sides and many ideas about the direction in which the country ought to be heading. A Presidential election is coming up in 1936.
People are being fired up by agitators claiming that Americans are losing their freedoms, their personal liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
In his address, Professor McBain draws the distinction between personal liberty and corporate liberty, two very different things. McBain argues that there is intentional confusion.
Because these same arguments about the loss of freedom, liberty, and Constitutional rights are being heard in The United States in the present time, Massachusetts Observer Radio presents this broadcast for your consideration.
Please view this on the Massachusetts Observer Radio YouTube Channel. Please consider subscribing also. Thank you.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Massachusetts Observer Radio is dedicated to providing political/historical programs from the past that shine light on the present.
Currently there is great concern about the TPP, The Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is a complex trade agreement being conducted mostly in secret. Here is an overview of some of the job-related issues as presented by the AFL-CIO:
Do You Know What TPP Is? You Should. It's Going to Affect You
Corporations are trying to hijack a trade agreement that is currently being negotiated in secret. It's called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and if they're successful, they'll have a say in everything from your rights at work to the prices of your prescriptions and safety of your child’s toys. Working families around the world are going to be affected by the outcome of this legislation.
The powerful video shows workers from around the world as they express their fears of the impact TPP could have on their lives, including:
Here is Massachusetts Observer Radio's Historical Program:
The year is 2009, and Business Editor Robert Peston of the BBC is interviewing Jeffrey Immelt. From the Wikipedia entry on Jeffrey Immelt:
In February 2009, Immelt was appointed as a member to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide the president and his administration with advice and counsel in fixing America's economic downturn. When President Obama chose to put Jeffrey Immelt at the head of the Economic Advisory Board, he felt that Immelt had attributions in knowing what would help the global economy. Obama has reported that Immelt has emerged as one of his top economic advisors in regards to trying to rebuild America's economy.
On January 21, 2011, President Obama announced Immelt's appointment as chairman of his outside panel of economic advisers, succeeding former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. The New York Times reported that Obama's appointment of Immelt was "another strong signal that he intends to make the White House more business-friendly." Immelt will retain his post at GE while becoming "chairman of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a newly named panel that President Obama is creating by executive order." Despite this, in July 2011 Immelt's General Electric announced that it is in the process of relocating its X-ray division from Wisconsin to China. Immelt had previously referred to China as GE's "second home market".
In the interview, a discussion is taking place about the effects of globalization. Here is an exchange between the interviewer and Mr. Immelt during the opening minutes:
Mr. Peston: But is there any way of Britain and America fighting back without an extended period of millions and millions of British and Americans effectively being poorer as we make this adjustment [to a global economy]?
Mr. Immelt: I really believe that that could be the outcome. But can a Chinese and Indian consumer’s standard of living grow exponentially without having a negative standard of living in the rest of the developed world? We’re going to find that out in the next 10, 20, 30 years.
Drawing Your Own Conclusions
Please decide for yourself. It is the opinion of Massachusetts Observer Radio that the standard of living for many in The United States is being intentionally lowered to a point where other developing countries can compete. This has everything to do with Corporatism and nothing to do with Democracy.
Massachusetts Observer Radio presents the discussion.
Who: Frances Perkins, United States Secretary of Labor in the Franklin Roosevelt Administration vs. George E. Sokolsky, Author and Consultant in Industrial Relations
What: Discussion on the topic "Should We Plan for Social Security?"
Where: On the radio program "America's Town Meeting of the Air" in front of a live audience in New York City
When: December 19, 1935
Why: A new law, the Social Security Act, is in the process of being rolled out. Secretary Perkins speaks in favor of the law, and Mr. Sokolsky speaks in opposition.
The stated purpose of Massachusetts Observer Radio is to present historical/political programs from the past that shine a light on the present. The arguments used in 1935 are very familiar to astute observers of today's politics. Can we draw similarities between the roll-out of Social Security and the roll-out of the current Affordable Care Act?
Could some of the arguments made in 1935 be used today by those who want to repeal Social Security?
Listen. Consider. Discuss. Decide.
Click on the link to be taken to the discussion. Should We Plan for Social Security?
Friday, November 15, 2013
Massachusetts Observer Radio presents programs from the past that shine light on the present.
Our program today is from the series called "The Free Company." In 1941, a group of American actors, writers, musicians - a whole production company volunteered their services and talents to produce a program about America and Democracy. The Columbia Broadcasting System, CBS, joined with them.
Today's episode is titled "The People with Light Coming Out of Them." It's the story of an American neighborhood - perhaps best summed up by the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum - "out of many, one." Out of many states, a great nation, a single nation is formed; and out of many backgrounds (races, religions, ethnicities) what it means to be an American is defined.
For your consideration and, we hope, inspiration, Massachusetts Observer Radio presents "The First Company" and the episode titled, "The People with Light Coming Out of Them." (Please click on the title).
Thursday, November 14, 2013
In 1949 the "Destination Freedom" series broadcast an episode titled "Segregation Incorporated." The program departed from its usual dramatization format to a straight documentary about segregation in our nation's capital, Washington, the District of Columbia.
Anyone wanting to know the feelings and attitudes toward segregation in Washington, D.C. in 1949 must include this program as a primary, contemporaneous source.
Massachusetts Observer Radio proudly provides this forum for "Destination Freedom's" "Segregation Incorporated."
Access this program via Massachusetts Observer Radio's YouTube Channel.