There are many excellent resources in video/documentary/podcast formats. Here is a list of posts that contain commentary and links to such materials.

Briefly Noted, Empire, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

US Regime Change – the Empire in action

February 16, 2024

Americans, especially American politicians love to bask in our alleged role in the post-WWII era as the global force for good spreading Democracy and progress around the world. We bring stability and justice wherever we go. We spend a lot to maintain our presence in virtually every nook and cranny, all to promote our universal values. The real history and present are quite different. Here are some data points gathered from: American-Backed Coups, Mapped by —>> read more –>>


  1. Jeffery Sachs, “Opinion | How the CIA Destabilizes the World | Common Dreams,” Common Dreams, February 12, 2024, – Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University – author of A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism (2020)
Capitalism, Justice/Jails, Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Neoliberalism in action: The Scheme 26: The Myth of the Unelected Bureaucrat – Senator Whitehouse video

January 26, 2024

As I have argued regularly, we are in an era of neoliberal wealth supremacy. This is the most successful social movement of the last hundred years. For an introduction to neoliberalism, read my About Neoliberalism. If you are wondering why it is the most successful social movement of the last 100 years, read my post $47 Trillion – the ripoff by the rich and corporations – in two charts – maybe a few more….. Here —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Capitalism, Economy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Briefly Noted – The Deficit Myth: The Biggest Lie In Politics | 1Dime

December 28, 2023

This video from 1Dime is a very good introduction to the actual workings of money in the economy. Though for my tastes, the video is burdened with way too many gratuitous visual gimmicks and fluffery, it is very well researched and presented. You will get a solid introduction to most of the important concepts in Modern Money Theory (aka neo-Keynesianism). Much to my satisfaction the description field on YouTube provides a serious list of sources —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Economy, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

The Glory of Our Food – on the back of farm workers – more from John Oliver

April 19, 2023

Only the oldest amongst my readers will remember Edward R. Murrow’s 1960 CBS TV report Harvest of Shame (opens CBS channel on YouTube) that reported on migrant farm workers, including scenes from upstate NY and Long Island. Unfortunately, not a lot has changed for the better in the lives of migrant farm workers over the last 63 years. For instance, here in New York State “The phased-in, gradual reduction in the overtime pay threshold will begin —>> read more –>>


Empire, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

The Empire and Capitalism – Expansion of Railroads Across the North American Continent

March 19, 2023

Recently I listened to the first episode of the podcast City of the Rails.1 About 30 minutes in, the author Danelle Morton interviews the historian Richard White about what actually happened when railroads were built across the North American continent in the 1860′ and ’70s. 2(opens the podcast at the interview) White briefly describes that the US government gave away land that was occupied by Indian tribes for thousands of years. The US gave away lands —>> read more –>>


  1. from the podcast series description: When journalist Danelle Morton’s daughter skips town to hop trains, she follows her into the train yard, and across America. Join Danelle as she travels the country to understand what drew her daughter into the hidden world of the railroads.
  2. Richard White (historian). (2022, October 18). In Wikipedia.
  3. the podcast inaccurately describes this as the Transcontinental Railway Act
  4. for a global view of a quintessential capitalist industry, cotton, see Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History, First Edition (New York: Knopf, 2014)
Briefly Noted, Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Lewis Black on capitalism from 2009

March 16, 2023

I can’t seem to forgo comedians. Sometimes a laugh brings brief relief. Stumbled on this typical brief rant (3 minutes) from Lewis Black. A bit of context. This is shortly after the election of Obama. He had run against John McCain in 2008. These are the politicians he is referring to at the opening. (apologies for the ads) Lewis Black on Capitalism (Stark Raving Black)

Briefly Noted, Technology, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Artificial Intelligence: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – recently noted

March 12, 2023

Just when I thought I could put this topic away for a while, I came across this video by John Oliver. As I have noted earlier, it continues to amaze me that some of the best commentaries come from comedians. The little note, nearly at the end, of EU efforts to establish regulations to control AI developers is worth a note. We definitely cannot trust AI companies to exercise adequate controls and there appears to —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

“Liar, Liar Network On Fire: The Legal Case Against Fox News” – Jon Stewart and RonNell Anderson Jones

February 27, 2023

The recent release of a pile of emails, text messages, and memos from within Fox News has raised the Dominion Voting System’s defamation lawsuit to large public view. Here is a 52-minute discussion between Stewart and Anderson Jones that explores the facts revealed in the data dump, the boundaries and conditions that must be met to win a defamation suit and much more about the state of our politics, free speech, collusion to undermine the —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Economy, Education, Inequality, Justice/Jails, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

“How Structural Racism Works” – Tricia Rose and Samuel Rosen – recently noted

June 7, 2020

If you are struggling to get your head around how racism works you will probably find it helpful to have a general framework as a guide. This one hour lecture from 2017 features an overview by Brown University Professor Tricia Rose of the structure of racism and how it works in the US (approx. 29 minutes). Then follows a case study by Samuel Rosen, senior researcher, How Structural Racism Works Project at Brown, of how —>> read more –>>

Capitalism, Environment, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – the chemical industry, government, and personal connections to TCE

March 1, 2020

Back in the early and mid ‘70s both Karen and I worked in various machine shops and other industrial locations. Trichloroethylene (TCE) was used on a daily basis to clean metals parts and other materials. I remember a large tank of slowly roiling hot TCE at Stevens Arnold, Inc. in South Boston. I would use it several times a day to clean parts. Every week or so I would be detailed to drain the tank, —>> read more –>>


  1. accessed 3/1/2020
Briefly Noted, Environment, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

The Great Recycling Con video story – recently noted

December 9, 2019

Over 90% of plastic materials in consumer items and packaging end up in landfill dumps. Time for industry to take responsibility for their waste.

Briefly Noted, Empire, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – Overthrow: 100 Years of US Meddling & Regime Change, from Iran to Nicaragua to Hawaii to Cuba

August 22, 2019

We’ve written quite a bit about the US Empire. A key component of this US foreign policy is regime change. Here is a list of the posts here on this topic. Recently Democracy Now! ran a 22 minute discussion of the history of US regime change actions over the last 100 years plus. It features discussion with Stephen Kinzer the author of many books on the history of American foreign policy.

Justice/Jails, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – more John Oliver on American justice – or not

April 13, 2019

Once again we return to our comedians for information about what is going on in the world. This time more on the fraud that is our judicial system.

Briefly Noted, Capitalism, Economy, Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – Robert Reich: Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Rest – a new video presentation

April 8, 2019

Robert Reich provides us with an accessible, brief analysis of why the rich and corporations are feasting while the rest of us experience the rigors, oppression, and discipline of the capitalist marketplace. Only a bit over 4 minutes long.

Family, Inequality, Justice/Jails, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Evicted – the book and the exhibition

April 3, 2019

Eviction from home is a regular feature of life for the poor and working class, more so for black and brown people. The civil justice system works with the same imbalance of power as the criminal system. Based on the book Evicted by Matthew Desmond.

Capitalism, Economy, Healthcare, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – Sugar In Our Diet – the John Oliver Analysis

March 18, 2019

In our continuing effort to find varied sources to illustrate the power of marketing and the costs of unregulated capitalism we return to John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight for his segment on sugar in food. The food industry continues to put sugar in nearly every processed food and fights efforts to reveal how much of this dangerous additive is in each bite.

Capitalism, Economy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – Robert Reich video ”The Monopolization of America”

March 7, 2019

We have written earlier (for example our article The Monopolization of America) about the increasing concentration of market power    In the hands of just a few corporations. This is a phenomenon occurring  throughout the US economy (really more broadly across the globe). Here is an 11 minute review of the history and current state of monopolies in our economy.

Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Political Inequality – the other inequality

January 15, 2019

There has been focus on wealth and income inequality for years. It is a pressing problem for more than 80% of the US population. But there is an other inequality, political inequality, that is at the heart of the more talked about inequality. In 2013 Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig provided us with a delightful introduction to how political inequality works – We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim (length 18’14”) in which he —>> read more –>>


  1. Gilens, Martin, and Benjamin I Page. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.” Perspect. Polit. Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 03 (2014): 564–81.
Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and White Supremacy

January 1, 2019

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and White Supremacy Adam Driver stars as Flip Zimmerman and John David Washington as Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKLansman,Photo credit: David Lee / Focus Features Spike Lee’s latest movie focuses on the story of a black detective who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in 1978 and ’79. As a movie that is being widely seen and reviewed by white, probably mostly liberal, Americans it is frustrating that most viewers will feel —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Justice/Jails, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – Serial the Podcast – More Evidence of the Delusion of Justice –

November 4, 2018

We have written earlier about the fact that effective legal representation and trial by jury is a rarity making one of our cultural icons a complete sham. As Jed Rakoff has noted: In actuality, our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone. In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges —>> read more –>>


  1. Why Innocent People Plead Guilty" by Jed Rakoff in New York Review of Books 11/20/2014 accessed 6/24/2017
Empire, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

President Authorizes Coup in Iran

August 19, 2018

Intervention in Iran – 65th Anniversary Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh ca. 1951 On August 19, 1953 President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to support British efforts to launch a coup against the popularly elected government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in favor of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. At immediate issue were plans by Mossadegh to nationalize the British owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and allegations that Mossadegh was in bed with the Soviet Union.   Here —>> read more –>>

Capitalism, Economy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

John Oliver and Monopoly Capitalism

February 21, 2018

Corporate concentration of income and wealth are core features of capitalism. From its earliest cheerleaders like Adam Smith, the drive for corporations to get ever larger and in the doing drive their competitors out of the market was noted and warned against. John Oliver provides a thorough and amusing introduction.

Briefly Noted, Capitalism, Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – Robert Reich: how we got into this mess and how we get out of it

December 29, 2017

Reich’s latest cartoon does a good job of describing the changes in the US economy, weaker on the underlying political campaign by the rich and corporations to restructure the economy to their benefit. Worth the 6 minute viewing time.

Briefly Noted, Economy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Recently Noted – “Millions of professional drivers will be replaced…..” – NBC News

November 6, 2017

Otto Budweiser beer delivery The shape of jobs in the US and around the world it’s changing rapidly. On 11/5/2017 NBC News reported: Self-driving trucks One year ago this week a truck rolled into history as it traveled from a Colorado brewing plant to a warehouse 120 miles away carrying 45,000 cans of Budweiser beer. The early morning run was done using a truck developed by a start-up called Otto, now an Uber subsidiary. Though there —>> read more –>>

Environment, Videos-Movies-Podcasts


March 4, 2017

This 2015 movie by Chinese director Liang Zhao is filled with great cinematography and sounds. It trades back and forth between scenes of enormous horizon gulping coal mines, under ground mines, iron making, and ends with scenes of a ghost city filled with enormous apartment blocks in a newly developed but vacant city West of Beijing. But, the most arresting part of the movie is its focus on the workers, men and women, in this —>> read more –>>

Capitalism, Economy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Job (Business) Killing Regulations

March 2, 2017

Ever since Ronald Reagan told us in his 1981 Inaugural Address, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” government bashing by right-wingers, Republicans and many Democrats has been a constant drumbeat of political rhetoric. Now we have Trump with his “Kill 2 regulations for every new one” and a government dominated by Republicans for whom destroying government has been an objective for decades. We are faced with the probable destruction —>> read more –>>


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Economy, Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Park Avenue and How We Got There

January 22, 2017

Park Avenue puts faces to many of the wealthy and the corporations. Do not for a moment think that if we could just rid ourselves of these avaricious individuals that our problems would be solved.

Empire, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

US Imperialism Redux – Tom Lehrer

March 30, 2013

The other day I stumbled on this Tom Lehrer song, “Send in the Marines”. This is as good a summary of American foreign policy as there is, though to update the lyrics for the Obama version just substitute “drones” for “Marines”. Here is a YouTube video performance, perhaps from the That Was The Week That Was (the American version on NBC not the BBC original).

Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Big Money, Big Politics…the best government bought, not by you…..

May 4, 2012

Wonder about the Impact of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision? Government in the US, as everywhere, has always been tilted in favor of the wealthy. But, the Citizens United  decision in 2010 giving corporations the right spend unlimited money has made government, really at every level, into the sole playground of the rich and big corporations. A couple of weeks ago This American Life broadcast “TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN FOR OFFICE”. Listen to this program. It —>> read more –>>

Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Long Division in American Politics – the money trail

January 26, 2012

A recent John Stewart Daily Show that explored Mitt Romney’s recent release of income tax data got me to thinking about long division. Romney’s income of roughly $22 million per year is so large that it kind of disappears into the haze of too much information. But, get out your pencil and divide that by 365 days to discover that his income is $60,000 per day. That is slightly over $10,000 more than the median —>> read more –>>

Education, Politics, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Education – Miseducation – Human Creativity – TED Talk by Ken Robinson

November 5, 2010

We all have had, some now enduring, experiences in the educational system. Excepting the academic super stars for whom the educational system was designed, most have at best mixed feelings about it. Here is a TED Talk given in 2006 by Ken Robinson: “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity” It is a compelling critique and most humorous. You will not get through these nineteen minutes without a lot of laughs.

Empire, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

A Fog of War or a Fog of Ethics?

December 18, 2003

Through our friend Esther Hanig we attended a showing of Errol Morris’s new documentary, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara  at the Kennedy Library in Dorchester MA on December 14, 2003. This documentary is an extended adventure into the historico-biography of Robert S. McNamara, most famous as the Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The movie intersperses close up head shots of McNamara (always shown off —>> read more –>>

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