Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and a local elected official. Follow him @BillHumphreyMA on twitter.

[Unlocked] Jan 20, 2021 – Let’s talk about cans, baby – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 343

Unlocked bonus episode: US history textbooks often mention that one of the most recognizable features of the Second Industrial Revolution was the rise of consumer canned food goods. Why is that and why didn’t it happen earlier? Bill and Rachel. Subscribe on Patreon.

Links and notes for Ep. 343 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Bonus-AFD-Ep-343-Links-and-Notes-Lets-Talk-About-Cans-Baby-The-Invention-of-Double-Seam-Canning.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Jan 17, 2021 – The West Coast Ports Lockout of 2002 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 342

Description: It’s October 2002. Congress is debating the Iraq War Resolution. George W. Bush invokes the Taft-Hartley Act for the first time in decades to halt a lockout of West Coast longshoremen in a contract dispute over future automation. Bill, Rachel, Kelley.

Links and notes for Ep. 342 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/AFD-Ep-342-Links-and-Notes-The-West-Coast-Ports-Lockout-of-2002.pdf

[Unlocked] Jan 13, 2021 – Charles Joseph Bonaparte (feat. Age of Napoleon) – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 341

Description: The host of the “Age of Napoleon” podcast joins Bill to talk about fascinating Progressive Era reformer and US Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte, the Baltimore-based grandson of Napoleon’s youngest brother. Subscribe to our Patreon.

Links and notes for Ep. 341 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Bonus-AFD-Ep-341-Links-and-Notes-Charles-Joseph-Bonaparte-feat-Age-of-Napoleon.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Jan 10, 2021 – Taft-Hartley – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 340

Description: Rachel, Kelley, and Bill discuss the passage of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act and its effects against US labor unions, as well as the potential role of white-collar workers in organized labor’s future.

Links and notes for Ep. 340 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/AFD-Ep-340-Links-and-Notes-Taft-Hartley.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

[Unlocked] Jan 6, 2021 – The Future of Planned Obsolescence (feat Patrick from CYCBI) – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 339

Unlocked bonus episode: Patrick from “Conspiracy You Can Believe In” joins Bill and Nate to talk about planned obsolescence, the interwar Phoebus Cartel, the “right to repair” movement, and the ecological peril of a wasteful economy. Subscribe at Patreon for more bonus episodes.

Links for Ep. 339 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Bonus-AFD-Ep-339-Links-and-Notes-The-Future-of-Planned-Obsolescence-feat-Patrick.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Dec 20, 2020 – Toledo Auto-Lite Strike of 1934 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 338

Description: In 1934, an army of the unemployed rallied to the defense of a new labor union in one of the hardest-hit cities of the Great Depression, facing down the Ohio National Guard. Bill and Rachel discuss.

Links and notes for Ep. 338 (PDF): http://arsenalfordemocracy.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/AFD-Ep-338-Links-and-Notes-The-Toledo-Auto-Lite-Strike-of-1934.pdf

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

WVUD Sign Off Statement

This week is our final episode on WVUD, where I have been a broadcaster for 10 years now and which has hosted this show for 9 years. We will be continuing the show in podcast-only format at arsenalfordemocracy.com and the usual podcast subscription sites.

We will be on break for the rest of December and possibly the first week of January before resuming our podcast episodes. Notes for each week’s shows, like with today’s, will be posted on the website.

Without getting too specific today: Our approximate intention is to continue our typical episodes in a slightly more flexible format and just a bit longer, likely released on Sunday evenings, and to begin doing paid subscription bonus episodes each week likely for release on Wednesdays, featuring more guests and more book reviews. Both episodes each week will tend to include a third panelist or guest, and more back-and-forth discussion than many of our episodes this year, once we are under the less restrictive time constraints of the podcast format.

I cannot thank WVUD enough for hosting me all this time and being so flexible with my political schedule over the years. 10 years ago when I began doing a news of the week opinion talk show on WVUD, I was new to radio broadcasting and still a student at the University of Delaware. At least five of my co-hosts over the years, including Kelley who rejoined us this summer and who will be rejoining us in January much more regularly, started as fellow University of Delaware students. 

Life has taken us all in various directions, some more or less predictable, but the biggest change for me was my election to City Council back home in Massachusetts just over a year ago. Around that time, formulating and recording hot takes on news of the week – always a frantic scramble, but also an ever-more relentlessly grim one – became untenable and undesirable for me and for Rachel, and we had started sprinkling in more episodes on American history topics that we felt were either under-discussed or rarely analyzed from a leftist, materialist perspective. As an elected official, I have to deal with crises as they arise and I have to have opinions on many political questions as they arise, but there’s no need to add to that with a hobby radio show … and history – while very relevant to our present, as we have tried to demonstrate each week – does not change so quickly and render our opinions already out of date and regretted instantly. 

We also experienced early this year, the double-hit of the collapse of the apparent mirage position of an ascendant American left and the arrival of a pandemic that made each week either the same or so different each day as to make it impossible to record a relevant show two days ahead. Rachel and I, without even really deciding it formally for many months, took the show in the direction of those scattered history episodes from last year. We began to dedicate the show each week to researching (and presenting from our leftist political viewpoint) some piece of American history that we believed deserved a closer look and might help us better understand how the United States got to the situation it finds itself in today. 

We found we enjoyed it more, learned more, and developed a better understanding of our history and our own beliefs. That project is what we and our rotating additional hosts and guests will be continuing to take on over the course of 2021, as we depart WVUD for a podcast-only format with episodes twice a week. We have already identified more than 40 episode topics and interviews for the coming year, and many of them we have already outlined in full. We hope you will continue to listen to and even subscribe each month to Arsenal For Democracy as we leave WVUD. And thank you again to the station for its decade of support.