The River Is Wide

Series produced by Susan J. Cook

Caption: ...wide River as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Image by: Susan Cook 
...wide River as ever... 

The River Is Wide is one listener's complement to public radio as media that has always made room for thoughtful discourse about human decency and prevention of harm. Written by a psychologist and political activist, The River Is Wide presents Citizen's Guides, The Indifference Diaries, sonnets when no other format seems appropriate, an ode here and there In the Department of Poetic Justice, Sixty-second Moral Inquiries and brief commentaries. Public radio can be a muse and PRX has become the pen and paper, yes, for many letter-to-the-editor writers, including this one.The series began after a local editor refused to publish a letter he called "uncivil" which criticized a political candidate for a failure to acknowledge human rights violations by the Chinese in his appeal to bring Chinese business to Maine. At a public forum, the Candidate for Governor was asked why he ignored this Chinese indifference to human rights. He replied, "What? Bring it on," he sneered. The censorship of "The humble Farmer" by Maine Public broadcasting for speaking against the Iraq War also influenced the creation of this series. We hope there will never come a day when the public conscience (and mine) ignore a flagrant omission of concern for human rights. Speaking truth to power about those omissions is the task of The River Is Wide series.

The series began rowing when a local editor refused to publish a letter criticizing a political candidate for a failure to acknowledge human rights violations by the Chinese government calling it "uncivil". When the former Candidate for Governor at a public forum was asked why he ignored the human rights violations, he replied, "What? Bring it on," he sneered. Another inspiration has been the censorship of "The humble Farmer" by Maine Public broadcasting for speaking against the Iraq War. Citizen's Guides, The Indifference Diaries, sonnets and odes In the Department of Poetic Justice, and Sixty Second Moral Inquiries speak to issues that the public conscience (and mine) won't let us ignore and speak truth to power (everyone else's) especially surrounding freedom of speech in the media, injustice and harm.

330 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Even the subtle exhalations of rabbits heard.., Credit: Susan Cook
Turning once again to the extensive value of nursery rhyme to bring us deep understanding, which brilliant skilled public servants did Donald Tr...

  • Added: Oct 07, 2017
  • Length: 03:05

  • Added: Nov 04, 2017
  • Length: 04:27
Caption: The falcon may be the new symbol for our National Character..., Credit: Susan Cook
The falcon, not the eagle, is a model for how Democracies Should Intervene in Ukraine. "An American Sonnet for the Falcon."

  • Added: Dec 25, 2021
  • Length: 01:15
Caption: By ignoring Moore, Alabama's GOP now gives others a  license to sexually accost ..., Credit: Susan Cook
In the Department of Poetic Justice, and the Great American Wrongbook, "If You Had a License Like Alabama's Natives Give.." sung to the tune from "...

  • Added: Nov 18, 2017
  • Length: 02:46
Caption: Why now?, Credit: Susan Cook
The Bardo is the Transitional state according to Buddhist teachings where radical transformation of consciousness takes place. With revelation aft...

  • Added: Nov 21, 2017
  • Length: 05:12
Caption: ...wide River as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
The Sixty Second Moral Inquiry "Will the real problem of sexual predators using positions of power to target women be ignored if false equivalenci...

  • Added: Nov 30, 2017
  • Length: 01:24
Caption: No Increased ChildCare Credit or ChildHealthcare $ from US Senate Tax Overmaul, Credit: Susan Cook
The recently passed Tax Overhaul bill declined to increase the child care credit while leaving no money for the Children's Health Insurance Program...

  • Added: Dec 05, 2017
  • Length: 05:20
Caption: "I don't hate the press, none of them. As a matter of fact, I feel sorry for them.", Credit: cartoon by Paul Szep, Boston Globe, 7/18/1974
Drawing from The Great American Wrongbook, in the Department of Poetic Justice, which could be sung to "I want a Girl Just Like the Girl..."

  • Added: Dec 11, 2017
  • Length: 02:13
Caption: it has been..., Credit: Susan Cook
Horses at the Santa Ana Race track were set free in an effort to save them from the Southern California wildfires. Their freedom, like that of the ...

  • Added: Dec 11, 2017
  • Length: 05:35
Caption: ...would they leave a child with their colleague..., Credit: Susan Cook
There has been a sudden shift in the hopeful tides that the Christmas season brings- toward hope that the majority in the US Senate will change. T...

  • Added: Dec 13, 2017
  • Length: 03:39
Caption: Gorilla does Hokey-Pokey as Sign Language.Squirrel helps., Credit: Susan Cook
Not too long ago, I watched a program about a 500 pound gorilla whose owner taught him to sign.   That gorilla, all grown up, would move his fing...

  • Added: Dec 26, 2017
  • Length: 04:35
Caption: Seeing consequence before it happens..., Credit: Susan Cook
We know the consequence of indifference.In late 2017, Maine witnessed 3 murders of children: 2 by foster care-takers, one at the hands of the no...

  • Added: Jan 08, 2018
  • Length: 05:20
Caption:  Switching gears, Scarramouchi-style, Credit: Susan Cook
Turning to the Department of Poetic Justice and the tune from "I'll Be Seeing You", a poetic tribute to Scarramouchi's recent observation about why...

  • Added: Jan 14, 2018
  • Length: 02:29
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This American Life recently reminded us that the Democratic Party doesn't seem to get who it is anymore. Is it the Political Gamesmanship that's do...

  • Added: Jan 24, 2018
  • Length: 05:54
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From The Great American Wrongbook and In Today's Department of Poetic Justice, a poetic tribute to the question: what's wrong with violating the ci...

  • Added: Jan 26, 2018
  • Length: 04:43
Caption: "The old gray mare...", Credit: Susan Cook
Reconciling one man's self-defined Free Trade Agreements (Eeew) is hard to do. A Poetic Tribute to the lyrical dilemma of paying $130000 for somet...

  • Added: Jan 28, 2018
  • Length: 02:45
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The World Health Organization, a United Nations affiliated committee almost succeeded in passing a resolution affirming breastfeeding as the best,...

  • Added: Feb 01, 2018
  • Length: 05:58
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Elected representatives have taken a new approach to legislating. Only their own district or cell or voting area can receive information from there...

  • Added: Feb 03, 2018
  • Length: 01:25
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As Bath Iron Works ships become more sophisticated in their use of sonar devices, we recall the 40 million dollar Maine Legislature approved tax br...

  • Added: Feb 11, 2018
  • Length: 09:56
Caption: HCFA-1500 in section 10D record why an abortion was performed
We cannot expect care providers to intervene with individuals who intend to use a gun to harm others or themselves unless we do everything we can t...

  • Added: Mar 01, 2018
  • Length: 03:55