Category Archives: teledon

February 9, 2010, 9:42 am

Blueprint America.

Blueprint America is a massive new PBS undertaking to document the past, present, and future of America’s infrastructure.

Blueprint America is a precedent-setting multi-platform initiative — developed and produced by Thirteen/WNET, and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation — that will harness the power of public broadcasting’s most prestigious programs, primetime documentaries, community and educational outreach, and the web to shine an unyielding spotlight on one of the most critical issues facing our country, yet one that has been under-reported by the traditional news media: America’s decaying and neglected infrastructure. We hear about infrastructure only when it results in a catastrophic bridge collapse or levee failure, but in fact, it is placing our quality of life and our ability to compete in a global economy at risk.

Please don’t think the less of it because parts…

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October 5, 2009, 8:00 pm

Who still cares for the American Civil War?

I like Mary Beard’s TLS blog. But this time I fear she has Gone Too Far. Or, perhaps more likely, she’s pulling our collective leg — though I don’t remember her pulling it in quite this manner before. Even out here at the veriest Edge, the cityscape is clotted with victors’ memories of the War of Eastern Aggression. Just yesterday I was out picknicking with fellow parents of future yuppies at the Black Point Battery; and of course the map is full of streets named for Vicksburg, Grant, Lincoln and the Union. (Not to speak of the Confederate general from Big Sur.)

Need we quote Faulkner again?

Image by Flickr user maduarte used under a Creative Commons license.

April 6, 2009, 7:21 pm

It’s about you.

That’s the program title. If you’re really, really interested in listening to me talk about the New Deal at some length, with France Kassing on our local one and only KDVS, it’s here.

February 16, 2009, 10:04 am


For those of you who really, really enjoy this sort of thing, here’s a whole hour of me on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal talking about the New Deal. But certainly the highlight is the part when they show our blog!

February 2, 2009, 6:25 pm

But, the moon landing!

EotAW’s own Kathy Olmsted does an excellent job discussing her new book Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy from World War I to 9/11 on Capital Public Radio’s program Insight for today (start listening at about 19:55). (And everyone knows why you don’t discuss the moon landing conspiracy.1)

So, please listen to Kathy. And buy her book. (Again. Because you bought it once already, right?)


January 21, 2009, 10:03 am

Now to work.

Some notes on the first hundred days, in the San Francisco Chronicle and on NPR.

January 5, 2009, 10:16 pm

In person.

On Friday, when I was in New York for the AHA, I also got to go around to the NPR studios and talk with some of my favorite radio hosts.

Doing a radio interview by phone is weird; there’s none of the normal intimacy you get in a telephone conversation. Doing a radio interview in studio is more natural, because you can see the hosts and get all the normal cues you get in conversation—but it’s still weird; you’re being timed, and monitored, and there’s a big microphone in your face.

Still, after we’d been talking for some time, it got to seem more natural. Which was probably about when I stopped making sense—if you’re jet-lagged from the redeye, and also sitting comfortably in pleasant company, you start to lose coherence I fear.

Anyway, here it is: what if there’d been no New Deal?

December 23, 2008, 8:22 am

Who can doubt it now.

Below (or by download here) you can hear me on Virginia’s Only Statewide Public Radio Program, “With Good Reason”, discussing—what else?—the Great Depression and the New Deal. This time by studio ISDN line rather than telephone, so I just have to live with the notion that that’s what I sound like.

Also, if you missed it, I criticize the New Deal here. I discover belatedly I was slightly scooped by Samuel Brittan, who made a similar argument here.

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December 2, 2008, 1:00 pm

Big gonif, redux.

Jonathan Dresner kindly puts us in his “History Carnival.” Then, for “the other side,” he links to this post about the “fascist NRA” and how the Roosevelt “Administration targeted Jewish merchants/middlemen for the dual sins of being good capitalists and observant Jews”.

We had the privilege of the excellent Andrew Cohen post on this a while back.

In Shlaes’ portrayal, the Schechter brothers were small immigrant businessmen crushed by a tyrannical federal government exceeding its traditional jurisdiction.

The real story is much more interesting. A.L.A. Schechter & Co. was actually the largest firm in Brooklyn’s $60 million kosher poultry market, grossing over $1 million per year. The corporation had grown by undercutting their five hundred or so rival slaughterhouses, represented by three groups: the Greater New York Live Poultry Chamber of Commerce, the Official Orthodox…

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November 24, 2008, 8:37 pm


I’d already decided on “teledon” as a replacement for “doofus” for this kind of thing, and then lo and behold, I am opening act for a real-live teledon, my erstwhile colleague Niall. Those who like this sort of thing will enjoy listening here as I crack wise based on Keynes’s wit.

Also, jftr, the thing that sticks out to me about Geithner is his Bretton Woods/international economics experience.

November 20, 2008, 5:33 pm

I am also an AM talk radio doofus.

Partway through I get asked about Amity Shlaes. No, I do not know when. You don’t think I’m going to listen to me, do you?

I guess I need another category. Like, Je suis un doofus.

November 20, 2008, 11:16 am

Public radio doofus.

UPDATED to add, people know that the doofus in question is me, right?

Can’t get enough New Deal? Here’s me on WILL, UIUC’s public radio. I like how the podcast begins in the middle of a report on the BNP: “a bunch of skinhead morons.” Sweet.

Oh, and if you missed the Sacramento public radio program, it’s here.

October 17, 2008, 7:55 pm

Coming up, weekend traffic. But first, more doofus.

You’d think they’d get tired of this sort of thing.

Dave was very kind to mention my book.1

Previously on doofus tv.

1I’m sure he would have mentioned the index if there were more time.

September 8, 2008, 12:01 pm

Coming up, weather. But first, some doofus.

KCRA, our local NBC affiliate, had a pretty well researched and thoughtful report on the history of (mainly) GOP complaints about the press hating on (mainly) Republicans. Too bad they ruined it by interviewing some random goofball live at the end.

SPOILERS below the fold.