Bill Moyers announced his retirement from weekly journalism last week, and as part of a rather melancholy journey through what we'll be missing when he does retire, I found this archived show from this last October 30th. I had missed it when it aired, but I'm incredibly grateful that I have the chance to see it on the web. It's a tour de force of news variety; a great interview with James Galbraith, an interesting retrospective on William F. Buckley with Richard Brookheiser, and a great essay from Moyers himself about President Obama's (still upcoming) decision on whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan. All three are well worth watching, but this quote about the sanitization of war and the way to make politicians and the public at large grasp the real costs of fighting struck me as Moyers at his best.
"Bring back the draft, and then watch them dive for cover on Capitol
Hill, in the watering holes and think tanks of the Beltway, and in the
quiet little offices where editorial writers spin clever phrases
justifying other people's sacrifice. Let's insist our governing class
show the courage to make this long and dirty war our war, or the guts
to end it."
Last Friday, Bill Moyers Journal aired a remarkable program of clips from LBJ's conversations about reluctantly getting deeper and deeper into Vietnam. The most startling thing about these tapes is the extent to which they make clear that LBJ new from the beginning that he was sinking into an unwinnable quagmire, but did it anyway.
The parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan have certainly been much discussed, but this program adds perspective that is gripping, both because the tapes are moving in themselves, and because Moyers was one of Johnson's aides at the time, and knows exactly whereof he speaks. The comparison is jaw-dropping in its accuracy - if you missed it, take the time.
No, it's not an economic forecast. It's a music magazine that covers the roots music/blues/country/folk scene, and it's just gone online only. For the folks who work there, it's probably bad news, but it does make something possible that would not be in a print magazine...
No Depressions picks (of the month?) Some great tunes in here - have a listen:
It's Bonnie Raitt's sixtieth birthday today. There are an endless supply of "pop tart" female vocalists in rock & roll, but this woman is the real thing. Incredible blues growl of a voice, and slide guitar skills that made BB King call her "hands down the best slide guitar player alive":