Alternative Radio

Sunday 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

A weekly one-hour public affairs program, Alternative Radio provides information, analysis and views that are frequently ignored or distorted in other media.

Alternative Radio is a weekly one-hour public affairs program offered free to all public radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and on short-wave on Radio for Peace International.

Established in 1986, AR is dedicated to the founding principles of public broadcasting, which urge that programming serve as "a forum for controversy and debate," be diverse and "provide a voice for groups that may otherwise be unheard." The project is entirely independent, sustained solely by individuals who buy transcripts and tapes of programs.

Its "headquarters" is situated to correspond with its position in the mainstream mass media: down an alley, behind a house, on top of a garage in Boulder, Colorado. From this rarefied location, AR's programs manage to reach over 125 radio stations and millions of listeners. AR is part of the non-profit Institute for Social and Cultural Change.

09/29/2014 - States have their iconic heroes. Founding Fathers. Jinnah in Pakistan, Ataturk in Turkey, George Washington in the U.S., Gandhi in India. To criticize them is risky business as they have been elevated to god-like status. Gandhi is no exception. He is revered and honored. His portrait hangs in many buildings and homes. His statue graces many public squares. And he is on the rupee note. The adulation extends outside of India. The British government recently announced that his statue would be placed in Parliament Square. But all people have cracks in their armor.

09/22/2014 - The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a long history of spying on African Americans including Nobel Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The great writer Richard Wright, who was also snooped on, wrote the poem "The FB Eye Blues:" Woke up this morning/FB Eye under my bed/Said I woke up this morning /FB eye under my bed/Told me all I dreamed last night, every word I said. Racism and surveillance are closely intertwined. Today, state security agencies and police departments profile and target Muslims. Their organizations and mosques are infiltrated.

09/08/2014 - Large parts of the Middle East today are engulfed in violence. Why? What historical factors shape the current conflicts? Take Iraq for example, a country in chaos. The U.S. has been intervening in Iraq non-stop for decades. What has it produced? Sectarianism and strife. Death and destruction. Actual U.S. policy in the Middle East is buried in a blizzard of propaganda about democracy and human rights while in practice Washington backs feudal and repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Emirates as well as dictatorships like Egypt. Justification for U.S.

07/28/2014 - When it comes to climate change the operative word is “hot” with “record” and "unprecedented" closely following. UN conferences on climate do little beyond the powerful issuing grandiose proclamations about how green they are and then it’s back to their destructive policies. The Guardian, captures the hypocrisy,  “governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority.” Rome is burning.

07/21/2014 - Imagine a gigantic vacuum cleaner scooping up all electronic communications. That’s what the National Security Agency does. Think you are safe from NSA snooping? That you can hide behind clever passwords? Think again. The Agency has the capability to generate one billion password guesses per second. On top of that it can remotely activate your cell phone and computer and use them as eavesdropping and tracking devices. The NSA is at the center of a system of monitoring and control beyond the wildest dreams of the greatest tyrants in history.

07/14/2014 - Most citizens have political opinions. Many are involved in nonprofit community-based organizations. But the time-impaired average person remains politically disorganized and distracted. Collective political action nationally is often limited to mobilizing for wars and elections. Disengagement can seem the norm. Community organizers are bucking this trend. Local issues, be they environmental, fair wages, or municipalization of energy and Internet services, are getting more and more people off their couches.

07/07/2014 - Through its myriad booms and busts, capitalism manages to roll with the punches and emerge standing. We are constantly told: it's the only show in town. Do you want the old Soviet Union? No way. But can't we imagine an economic system that is responsive to the needs of people and our precious planet rather than Wall Street and the investor class? Idealistic, you say? Maybe. But the fiscal ship is headed for a huge crash and no amount of moving the deck chairs around will avert it.

06/30/2014 - Security, security. Can’t get enough of it. Paradoxically, the more we have of it the less secure we feel. The latest weapons and massive military spending are never enough. Since 9/11 the term is bandied about. There is the huge bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security. Within it is the TSA, with its 60,000-plus employees and a budget over $7 billion. We go through checks and searches. Then there’s the NSA surveillance. Could U.S. global policies from drone strikes to invasions actually be undermining our security?

06/23/2014 - When looking into the past, the great historian Howard Zinn said, "We never get 'just the facts.'" We often get glaring omissions and distortions. History is always a selection from an infinite number of facts. And what is selected is based not just on one's personal interest but on race, class, gender, and other factors. A true picture of the past is rarely achieved, and never by presenting "just the facts." Historians need the eyes of thousands of people, the ears of poets, a nose for secrets, the hands of a master painter.