Thorne Dreyer :
RAG RADIO PODCASTS | Interviews with Bill Minutaglio, Alice Embree, James Cole & Nicole Stasek, Harry Targ, Bruce Melton, Roy Casagranda & Glenn Smith, Alex Coke, Spencer Perskin & Shawn Siegel, and Lee Carter

Our guests include the author of a cool new book about Timothy Leary, health justice and climate change activists, a Virginia Democratic Socialist, an acclaimed jazz musician, and classic Austin rockers.

Rag Radio host Thorne Dreyer, left, and author Bill Minutaglio in the KOOP studios, Feb. 2, 2018. Photo by Roger Baker / The Rag Blog.

Interviews by Thorne Dreyer | The Rag Blog | February 7, 2018

The following podcasts are from recent Rag Radio shows with host Thorne Dreyer. The syndicated Rag Radio program, produced in the studios of Austin’s cooperatively-run KOOP-FM, has an international audience and has become an influential platform for interviews with leading figures in politics, current events, literature, and cutting-edge culture.

The show first airs Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (CT) on KOOP, 91.7-FM in Austin, and streams here:, and here:

Bill Minutaglio: ‘Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD’

Thorne Dreyer’s guest on Rag Radio in a wild ‘n wooly interview is Bill Minutaglio who, with Steven L. Davis, wrote the acclaimed new book, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD. Minutaglio is a prize-winning author, journalist, and educator who taught journalism at UT-Austin. “Based on freshly uncovered primary sources and new firsthand interviews, The Most Dangerous Man in America is an American thriller that takes readers along for the gonzo ride of a lifetime.”

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our February 2, 2018 Rag Radio interview with author Bill Minutaglio, here — or listen to it here:

Alice Embree with Health Justice Advocates James Cole & Nicole Stasek

Guest host Alice Embree, sitting in for Thorne Dreyer, interviews Austin-based health justice advocates, James Cole and Nicole Stasek. They talk about their advocacy for a single payer, Medicare for All, national health care system, and for a local Paid Sick Days Ordinance to be voted on in Austin in February 2018. James, a union member working in television production, is secretary of Austin’s 800-member chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Nicole is a union electrician, and member of Young Activist Labor Leaders (YALL) and the Work Strong Austin coalition

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our January 26, 2018 Rag Radio show with Alice Embree, James Cole and Nicole Stasek, here — or listen to it here:

Political Scientist Harry Targ: Poverty, Racism & Militarism

Thorne Dreyer’s guest is author and political scientist Harry Targ. Taking from MLK’s “Three Evils”: Poverty, Racism, and Militarism, Harry talks about new social movements and the need to organize around social and economic justice at home and against war overseas. Targ discusses the convergence of Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Rev. William Barber in an upcoming “public conversation” — and their respective movements: Our Revolution and the New Poor People’s Campaign (growing out of Moral Mondays). We also discuss the U.S. as a declining empire and the added danger of nuclear weapons in the mix.

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our January 19, 2018 Rag Radio show with political scientist Harry Targ, here — or listen to it here:

Environmental Activist Bruce Melton: ‘Climate Change 2017: Not So Good!’

Engineer, environmental researcher, and activist Bruce Melton is Thorne Dreyer’s guest and he provides a fascinating if sobering overview of global warming over the last year. Melton says: “It’s obvious; all the climate extremes we have been experiencing lately are indeed caused by climate change. Our climate is already far too dangerous.” Melton begins the show by listing in rapid order 28 actions, most of them administrative, that Donald Trump has taken over the last year, that are “literally creating a climate change holocaust.”

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our January 12, 2018 Rag Radio show with environmental activist Bruce Melton, here — or listen to it here:

Roy Casagranda & Glenn Smith: Survey Our Surrealistic Political Landscape

Thorne Dreyer’s guests are Rag Radio political analysts Roy Casagranda and Glenn Smith. It’s a high-energy, highly-informative, and quite rambunctious gallop through our ever-weirder political landscape. Of course we look at Donald Trump (who could miss him!) and the Bannon contretemps. Other topics include Michael Wolff’s blockbuster book on Donald Trump, the reactions to it, and its likely effect on Trump’s future

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our January 5, 2018 Rag Radio show with news analysts Roy Casagranda & Glenn Smith, here — or listen to it here:

Acclaimed Jazz Saxophonist & Flutist Alex Coke

Thorne Dreyer’s guest is award-winning jazz saxophonist and flutist Alex Coke, and the show includes live performance. Dallas native Coke was an original member of the Austin-based Creative Opportunity Orchestra and performed with famed jazz vocalist and composer Tina Marsh in various formations for over 25 years. Coke toured with the internationally-renowned Dutch jazz group, the Willem Breuker Kollektief.

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our December 27, 2017 Rag Radio show jazz musician Alex Coke, here — or listen to it here:

Spencer Perskin & Shawn Siegel: Shiva’s Headband turns 50!

Spencer Perskin and Shawn Siegel were founding members of Shiva’s Headband, a pioneering Austin psychedelic-blues band that just celebrated its 50th anniversary. They perform live on this show. Shiva’s was house band at Austin’s original Sixties music hall, the Vulcan Gas Co., and was the first group to perform at the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, which was founded and funded by Spencer Perskin. “Take Me to the Mountains,” produced by Perskin for Capitol Records, was the first record released nationally by an Austin band. Shiva’s had deep roots in the community and played benefits for progressive groups, including Austin’s underground newspaper, The Rag.

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our December 1, 2017 Rag Radio show with Spencer Perskin & Shawn Siegel of Shiva’s, here — or listen to it here:

Democratic Socialist Lee Carter, Virginia House of Delegates

Thorne Dreyer’s guest is Lee Carter, a red-headed ex-Marine and a democratic socialist, who was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates on Nov. 7, 2017. Carter beat House Majority Whip Jackson Miller, a deep-pocketed honcho of the state Republican Party, by an astounding nine points. We discuss his winning campaign strategy and the effect of running openly as a socialist in the era of Trump; the inspirational role of Bernie Sanders; the meaning of the November 7, 2017 Democratic surge and what the electoral strategy should be moving forward; his plan to focus on working class issues, getting money out of politics, single-payer health care, and Net Neutrality.

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our November 24, 2017 Rag Radio show with Virginia Delegate Lee Carter, here — or listen to it here:

Glenn Smith & Thorne Dreyer Check Out the Political Scene

Rag Radio political analyst Glenn Smith once more joins host Thorne Dreyer as they try to make some sense out of the cascading events on the U.S. political scene. They discuss the Democratic grassroots momentum following the November 7, 2017 victories in Virginia and throughout the country. They talk about the prospects for a Democratic sweep in the 2018 mid-term elections and the possibility of Texas becoming “purplish blue” like Virginia. They also discuss the Republican tax bill, the sexual harassment charges against Roy Moore, Al Franken, and Trump himself, and much more.

Read the full show description and download the podcast of our November 17, 2017 Rag Radio show with news commentators Glenn Smith & Thorne Dreyer, here — or listen to it here:

Rag Radio logoRag Radio, a weekly hour-long syndicated radio program that has aired close to 400 original shows since September 2009, is produced and hosted by Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer. Tracey Schulz is engineer and co-producer.

koop logoRag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, a solar-powered cooperatively-run all-volunteer community radio station in Austin, Texas, and is first broadcast live on KOOP every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CDT) and streamed live on the web. All Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Internet Archive.

Rag Radio can also be heard on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA., on KPFT-HD3 90.1, Pacifica radio in Houston, on KKRN 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA, and as a featured podcast at Veterans Today. Find details here.

After broadcast, all Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Internet Archive.

Rag Radio is produced in association with The Rag Blog, a progressive Internet newsmagazine, and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Please contact us at

[Thorne Dreyer is an Austin-based writer, editor, broadcaster, and activist. A pioneering alternative journalist, Dreyer was a founding editor of the original Rag in 1966 Austin and Space City! in Houston, and managed KPFT-FM, Houston’s Pacifica radio station. Dreyer now edits The Rag Blog, hosts Rag Radio, is a director of the New Journalism Project, and is an editor of the critically-acclaimed new book, Celebrating The Rag: Austin’s Iconic Underground Newspaper. Contact Dreyer at]

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