Music, Comics & Collecting Records

This week on American Routes we spin some shellac and wax nostalgic with the iconic cartoonist, musician and record collector Robert Crumb, who’ll share with us his love of musical times gone by. Then we talk to educator and vinyl aficionado Jerry Zolten about the story of Paramount Records, started by a furniture manufacturer, whose recorded legacy is now contained in two swank suitcases.

La La Brooks & Frankie Ford

We’re rocking and rolling with two icons of 60s pop. First, it’s the voice behind some of the most well-known songs from the girl group era: La La Brooks, of the Crystals. La La sang the lead on the classic hit “Da Doo Ron Ron” when she was just a teenager! She shares stories of her time singing for Phil Spector, and starring on Broadway. We’ll also visit with Gretna, Louisiana’s Frankie Ford, whose early 60’s hit “Sea Cruise” set the New Orleans R&B scene sailing on the charts.

Witness at Whiteman

Dozens of peace activists gathered at Whiteman Air Force Base on May 17th to bear witness against drones, two of whom had been arrested at that spot before – Brian Terrell & Ron Faust.  Hear what they had to say along with Jeff Stack, Vicke Kepling, Jane Stoever, Henry Stoever, Charles Carney and more.

Alice Slater on Nuclear Abolition, Tim Karr on

MP3 Link

This week on CounterSpin: Nuclear weapons generate a lot of media interest when it comes to the question of whether Iran is trying to get them, but when the topic is eliminating nuclear weapons altogether, as at the now concluding UN meetings on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, media could hardly care less. We’ll talk about the NPT with Alice Slater from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Abolition 2000.

Mark ZuckerbergAlso on the show: Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to “improve the lives of billions of people”; so why is, the Facebook mogul’s new application intended to provide limited free internet access in the developing world, meeting such strong resistance? That word “limited” is a clue; we’ll hear the rest of it from Tim Karr of the group Free Press.

Plus our regular look back at the week’s news, including the US assault in Syria.


Free Thought & Self-Censorship

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. The so-called War on Terror has unleashed a war on civil liberties. White House claims of national security justify massive abuses. We have to give up freedoms in order to preserve them we are told. But hey, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.


Robert Scheer is a veteran journalist and editor of He is the author of many books, including The Pornography of Power and The Great American Stickup.

The Character Of Thought: The Choice To Be In Process Or Flow with Laura Basha, Ph.D.

Dr. Laura Basha discusses how the power and quality of thought influences our ability to bring choice into process. She describes the three principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought and how they are connected: “The mind is formless but has energy…consciousness is the movement of the mind according to our level of understanding and is the gift that brings thought to life.” She goes on to say that thought has two attributes, personal thought and universal thought. Personal thought has such characteristics as worry and memory. We tend to get more attached to this mode of thinking and it is influenced by the culture in which we are raised or the culture in which we reside, including corporate culture. Basha encourages us to notice where we are placing our attention. Are we paying attention to worry or are we paying attention to peace? ”Like in a garden, if you water the lilies, the lilies will grow. If you water the weeds the weeds will grow.” She advises us to water the flowers of our thoughts. She also describes two different modes of thought, Flow and ProcessProcess Thinking Mode is necessary and very useful in allowing us to navigate much of the logistical necessities of everyday living. However, because it is a closed system, data oriented mode of thinking, it has a tendency to lead to worry. Basha characterizes Flow Thinking Mode as having access to “[I]nfinite intelligence, omniscient wisdom, omnipotent love. It’s compassion, it’s genius, it’s creativity. It’s where Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Einstein lived. They tapped into that…That realm of infinite intelligence is available to all of us.” She challenges us to listen to what we don’t know, rather than what we do know. Basha also talks about the concept of Transformational Humor, which she believes is the highest quality of thought. Finally, she reminds us how important silence is to transformation. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Laura Basha, Ph.D. holds a combined doctorate in clinical and organizational psychology. She’s an international consultant in leadership development and a personal coach. And she is a fine artist whose paintings reside in many private collections.

She is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Dr. Laura Basha go to

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • What is “The Three Principles Work”
  • How do the Principles define “Mind”, “Consciousness”, and “Thought”
  • Why can’t we comprehend “Mind”
  • What is “Process Thought” and  “Flow Thought”
  • How Basha worked successfully with schizophrenics and how this relates to flow
  • Why is our cultural context important to our thinking
  • What is “Transformational Humor”
  • Why is silence so important

Host: Justine Willis Toms               Interview Date: 4/9/2015                Program Number: 3541

Awe And Wonder: Keys To Living A Passionate Life with Gregg Levoy

This far-ranging dialogue is full of stories that will inspire and delight. Gregg Levoy speaks about a sense of wonder as being the active ingredient in a passionate life, and how even suffering and restlessness can be explored with curiosity. He tells us that wonder can offer us the adaptive benefit of free cognitive upgrades. You’ll be encouraged by his advice to approach the obstacles and unknowns in our lives with a sense of adventure. Even small movements will propel us toward a more passionate life. “The application of small amounts of energy with some consistency over time is what makes some of the big changes in our lives happen,” says Levoy. He reminds us that we are “nature deprived” and are not meant to be sitting in chairs in front of computers day and night. He encourages us to get out of our heads and more into our bodies. Included in this dialogue are his thoughts on intimate relationships and the need for a healthy distance between two people, telling us that a “spark requires a gap.” Levoy also discusses the unconscious tactic of blocking experiences by saying “no” or by making no decisions at all. Saying “yes” more often, he believes, can have the effect of bringing us back to our sense of aliveness and passion. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Gregg Levoy is a former adjunct professor of journalism at the University of New Mexico, and former columnist and reporter for USA Today and the Cincinnati Enquirer. He’s written for the New York Times MagazineWashington PostOmni, and Psychology Today. He has presented lectures and seminars for the Smithsonian Institution, Environmental Protection Agency, Microsoft, National Conference on Positive Aging, American Counseling Association, National Career Development Association, and others.

He’s the author of:

  • Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion (Penguin 2014)
  • Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life (Random House 1998)

To learn more about the work of Gregg Levoy go to

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • What is a cognitive upgrade
  • Why is it important to take risks
  • What is the trimtab factor
  • How can we make big changes with little effort
  • In what ways is curiosity ridiculed
  • What are some ways to explore suffering and restlessness creatively
  • Why is it important to connect with nature
  • Why is distance important for keeping passion alive in relationships
  • Can a relationship be both secure and passionate
  • How can saying “yes” more often make a difference

Host: Justine Willis Toms                    Interview Date: 4/16/2015                      Program Number: 3539