Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week
945rebeccareeve

Paid work doesn't actually challenge patriarchal relationships and systems of oppression that exist in a woman's life. The way I think about empowerment is as a process of the expansion of rights and freedoms and agency, and the woman's ability to make strategic decisions about her life. There's nothing about paid employment that will necessarily bring about any of those things.

Development researcher Rebecca Reeve examines the exploitation women workers in the global garment industry - as informal workers without legal protection or labor rights, and the site of production and exploitation at the bottom of the global value chain - and calls for NGOs and consumers to recognize that empowerment exists beyond income or participation in capitalism.

Rebecca wrote the article PR, profit and ‘empowering women’ in the garment industry for openDemocracy.

 

Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault
Mar 25
945elizabethgrimmarsenault

How torture became normal.


Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In 1911 – (106 years ago) – A total of 123 women and 23 men were killed in one of the deadliest industrial fires in US history. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, which manufactured women’s blouses, occupied the top three floors of a building in Greenwich Village, New York. Though smoking was not allowed, some workers snuck cigarettes on the job, and it’s believed that someone may have tossed a smouldering match or butt into a waste bin full of cotton scrap. Either that, or one of the sewing machines caused an electric spark. In rooms full of flammable cloth, the fire spread fast, but the workers soon found that some exits were blocked by flames, while others had been locked shut to keep anyone from stealing fabric or taking unauthorized work breaks. Fire trucks arrived quickly, but their ladders could not reach the building’s upper floors. After the elevators failed and a poorly maintained external fire escape collapsed, the desperate workers began jumping from the windows, to die as they hit the concrete sidewalks below.  In age they ranged from fourteen to forty-three, and most were recent Jewish or Italian immigrants.

In 1947 – (70 years ago) – in Centralia, Illinois, one hundred eleven people died in a coal mine explosion, caused by combustion of heavy coal dust buildup in the underground tunnels. This danger and others had been cited repeatedly by inspectors, and miners’ union reps had taken their protests as high as the office of the Illinois governor — but the problem was not properly addressed by the mine company management or by state regulators. One hundred forty-two miners were in the mine when it blew up. Of the thirty-one who came out alive, many immediately went back down to help rescue their colleagues. During those rescue operations, state mining director Robert Medill almost caused a violent uprising by ordering that electric power be turned back on, to speed up the work and get the mine back on line. But state inspectors quickly shut him down, with evidence that doing so could have caused another explosion. The governor fired Medill a week later. The mine disaster inspired a song by Woody Guthrie.

Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi

Episode 945

Torture Logic

Mar 25
Posted by Alexander Jerri
945lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 1:00PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:15 - Security analyst Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault traces the roots of America's new torture norms to pre-9/11 conservatism.

Elizabeth is author of How the Gloves Came Off: Lawyers, Policy Makers, and Norms in the Debate on Torture from Columbia University Press.

 

10:00 - Development researcher Rebecca Reeve explains how the garment industry packages exploitation as empowerment.

Rebecca wrote the article PR, profit and ‘empowering women’ in the garment industry for openDemocracy.

 

10:35 - Journalist Michelle Chen previews the impact of Trump policy plans on US childcare and public health.

Michelle wrote the articles Trump’s Childcare Plan Will Only Help the Rich and Trump’s Obsession With Cutting Regulations Will Make America Sick for The Nation.

 

11:05 - Writer Jessa Crispin explains why feminism has lost its radical promise - and how to recapture it.

Jessa wrote the book Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto from Melville House.

 

12:05 - Political scientist Maya Rockeymoore examines the coming labor impact of autonomous vehicles.

Maya is co-author of the report Stick Shift: Autonomous Vehicles, Driving Jobs, and the Future of Work from the Center for Global Policy Solutions.

 

12:45 - Dans un moment de vérité, Jeff Dorchen puts the "ris" in Paris.

Ris means laughters. I looked it up. I didn't just know that.

Episode 944

Street Level

Mar 19
Posted by Alexander Jerri

The Meat Of The Matter

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Let's talk about something nice for a change. After all, here we are, broadcasting out of Chicagoland, the land of the City that Works, where the big shoulders are, and all that nice meat. Chicago is the home of Meat Club, a few friends of mine who, with me, back in the day, made a few successful forays into the wide world of meat consumption that is one of the tender pastimes of that jungle of cities. Nothing dystopian about that, eh? Or maybe I'm being ironic. After all, you can't spell meat without "meta."

We in Meat Club had some of the best carnitas available from the Michoacan transplants in Pilsen, and a variety of game meats from Casa Samuel in Little Village. The delicious carne en su jugo could not hide from us in its deep beef broth on the southwest side, long before it became trendy and was then forgotten again. On my own I'd been to all the known Jalisco-style birrierias for their sole product, goat, but we never quite made it to such an establishment as the Club. I'd call that "unfinished business."

Meat. Where there is meat, there is hope. Why do I say that? Why do I risk offending so many vegans, vegetarians, and simply sensible people who know meat is killing our planet, particularly industrial meat-raising? Well, I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to claim to purchase only sustainable, kosher, organic, or heritage meats. In fact I actively despise organic meats, and only eat kosher when it's appropriate to the cuisine. I look for bargains. I'm a man of the people, because I have to work for a living, and I can't be paying quadruple the price for a chicken thigh that doesn't taste any better than one from Frank Purdue.

That is, I'm not in favor of fashionable sustainability. It oppresses poor people. And by "poor people" I mean anyone who's one extra expense away from not being able to pay for their housing, and everyone even worse off from there.

I love that there are organic farmers, and I support them when I can, and even if you're growing boutique mushrooms, I say more power to you. But I don't have the means to support much of that monetarily. There are farmers' markets, and organic farms themselves, intended to supply poor people, the demographic who have the hardest time eating healthily let alone sustainably. There are some right here in Los Angeles selling organic produce grown by poor people in urban... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
944lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 1:00PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:15 - Historian Marjorie Spruill traces the ongoing, 40+ year battle between feminism and Christian conservatism.

Marjorie is author of Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics from Bloomsbury.

 

10:05 - Policy analyst Alyssa Aquino reports on the experience of undocumented Filipino immigrants in Trump's America.

Alyssa wrote the article Undocumented Filipinos Are Living a Special Nightmare in Trump’s America at Foreign Policy in Focus.

 

10:35 - Writer Judith Levine discusses radicalism, liberalism and things worse than fear in the Trump era.

Judith wrote the essay Descent into Liberalism at n+1.

 

11:05 - Writer Lauren Elkin explores the liberatory power of simply wandering around the city, on foot, as a woman.

Lauren is author of the book Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

 

12:05 - Kabul-based journalist Kate Clark examines the future of drone killings - in Afghanistan and beyond.

Kate wrote the articles Afghanistan, birthplace of the armed drone and Targeted Killings – a future model for Afghanistan? for Afghanistan Analysts Network.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen spills his guts about meat eating.

Probably going to be a not at all controversial MOT, this one.

 

Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In the year 222 – (1,795 years ago) – the eighteen-year-old Roman emperor Elagabalus was ambushed and beheaded in a plot instigated by his own grandmother. Some historians portray him as an eccentric who alienated Romans by appointing unqualified people to high positions, forcing changes to public religion and rituals, and violating sexual taboos. For example, he married a Vestal Virgin while keeping a stable of male lovers. In some accounts, Elagabalus was not only fond of cross-dressing, but actually turned tricks as a prostitute, selling himself in taverns and in the imperial palace. The ancient Roman historian Cassius Dio claims that the emperor also offered huge sums of money, in vain, to any surgeon who could give him a sex change — and some recent authors have theorized that he may well have been transsexual or transgender. But other modern writers suspect that Elagabalus’s reputation was mostly fabricated after his death by the political rivals who killed him. After his headless body was dragged around Rome and dumped into the Tiber River, his name was removed from the official public record, and many of his political allies were also killed.

In 1864 – (153 years ago) – a tiny crack was noticed in a newly constructed earthen dam at Bradfield Reservoir in central England. In late afternoon, the crack was barely wide enough to accomodate a knife blade. But throughout the evening it steadily grew, provoking alarm among workers who finally resorted to using gunpowder in a desperate attempt to open an emergency spillway and relieve the water pressure. Their efforts failed, and just before midnight the dam collapsed, dumping almost seven hundred million gallons of water in a raging torrent that surged into the nearby industrial town of Sheffield. The flood killed some 250 people, and destroyed more than 400 houses, 20 bridges, and 100 factories and shops. The dam was one of only two designed by the civil engineer Sir Robert Rawlinson. His other dam lasted just twenty-nine years, requiring constant expensive repairs the whole time. In contrast, nine other dams built by Rawlinson’s rivals around the same time, and in the same area, are still in service today.

In 1918 – (99 years ago) – at Fort Riley, Kansas, Private Albert Gitchell, a US Army mess cook, was diagnosed with a new and unknown strain of the flu. He was the first... read more

Episode 943

Poorer By Degrees

Mar 13
Posted by Alexander Jerri

 Constant Dystopia

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

When Alfonso Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men came out back in 2006, I hailed the return of the dystopian sci-fi movie. I loved those things back in the late 60s and 70s. Soylent Green, Rollerball, Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Omega Man, A Clockwork Orange, A Boy and His Dog, from Kubrick to schlock, they were a seductive outlet for adolescent fears of pollution, governmental and corporate control, and nuclear war. So in Christmas of 2006, in the midst of the Bush/Cheney fiasco, I thought to myself, "Man, this is just what we need!"

Little did I know how hot the apocalyptic fantasy rush was going to be. I love lists, but even Rabelais would be daunted by the myriad. The Young Adult dystopian novels, movies and TV series alone multiply each season. Action, horror, comedies, psychological thrillers – every commercial genre has been colonized by camps of bleak futurologies.

I saw Logan, the final installment of the Hugh Jackman as Wolverine series, the other night. Didn't see any of the first however-many. The story is set in 2029. And this is not an anti-utopia per se. This is a Marvel Comics movie. Not that Marvel would be or has been incapable of weaving anti-utopian tales, and the X-men do exist in a world of allegorical ethnic cleansing, but even given that, there were a few almost unnoticeable but nonetheless remarkable passing notes on the way to telling the story. One, I don't even remember what it was – something about pollution, and the audience collectively, unconsciously, went, of course, it's the future, pollution got so bad it did that awful thing, whatever it was.

Okay, but this is twelve years in the future. The story takes place twelve years from now. My point is simply that it's all by-the-way now. You could set a story in next year, have most of the population dead of flesh-eating virus, and an audience would go, Yeah, that's plausible. Nuclear war has wiped out all humans except a handful of cannibal children by June? Could happen. John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor had to save a handful of humans from the Mayan-prophesied end of days? Five years ago? Well, we all had to go sometime.

This trend is not recent enough to blame on the ascension to office of the Creamsicle Raccoon, although a rewatch of any dystopia is most certainly enhanced by it. Reality itself... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
943lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 1:00PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:15 - Journalist Kate Aronoff explains why the climate movement needs a new politics, beyond the Democratic establishment.

Kate is author of the cover story The Climate Movement Goes to War with Trump at In These Times.

 

10:00 - Political scientist Susan Kang pokes holes in the flawed gospel of political polling.

Susan wrote the article What Nate Missed in the latest issue of Jacobin.

 

10:35 - Journalist Marcy Wheeler unpacks the scope of the Vault 7 Wikileaks / CIA hacking dump.

Marcy wrote the articles Wikileaks Dumps CIA's Hacking Tools and No More Secrets: Vault 7 at her site emptywheel.

 

11:05 - Sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom traces the for-profit college boom to our busted economy.

Tressie is author of the book Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy from The New Press.

 

12:05 - Journalist Victoria Law examines the legal labyrinth facing parents post-incarceration.

Victoria wrote the recent article Double Punishment: After Prison, Moms Face Legal Battles to Reunite With Kids for Truthout.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen monitors our current dystopia.

Would have never thought it would be in such crisp, high-definition.