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That’s why the Johnnie Savory case is so remarkable, because it goes on for 40 years and it implicates not only prosecutors and detectives but also implicates a series of judges in the federal and state courts who refused to do anything, refused to recognize the realities of this wrongful conviction.

Lawyer and activist Flint Taylor returns to the program to discuss his recent article in the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report "The Wrongful Conviction of Johnnie Lee Savory.

Taylor’s work in fighting against police torture in Chicago over the past 29 years has been instrumental in obtaining the conviction and imprisonment of police torture ringleader Jon Burge and the precedent setting decision that upheld the inclusion of former Mayor Richard M. Daley as a co-conspiring defendant in the Tillman civil rights case.


Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

On this day in 1687 – (329 years ago) – the French explorer Robert de La Salle was murdered by his own men. For more than twenty years, La Salle had led expeditions deep into parts of North America never before seen by Europeans — up the Saint Lawrence, through four of the five Great Lakes, and down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. After claiming the Mississippi watershed for France, and naming it “Louisiana” after King Louis XIV, La Salle finally led some two hundred colonists in a doomed attempt to establish a settlement on the Gulf of Mexico. The party was plagued by sickness, shipwrecks, pirates, and Indian attacks until only thirty-six men remained. Fed up with La Salle’s arrogance and never-ending demands, a group of the men lured him into an ambush and killed him. The street at the center of Chicago’s downtown financial district is named after him.

On this day in 1866 – (150 years ago) – A British sailing ship named the Monarch of the Seas departed from Liverpool, England, bound for New York with 738 passengers aboard. It was never seen again. Four months later, one of its lifeboats washed up on the west coast of Ireland, containing several decomposed and unidentifiable human bodies. Two weeks after that, a bottle was found on a beach in Cornwall, containing a handwritten message. Dated May 2, the note read in part: “Monarch of the Seas, left Liverpool 19th March . . . no wind, short of provisions and no water.”

On this day in 1958 – (58 years ago) – an oven explosion at a third-floor textile plant in downtown Manhattan caused a massive fire at the Monarch Underwear Company, located on the loft floor just above. Dozens of garment workers, mostly women, jumped from windows into fire rescue nets. In the panic, six of the workers missed the nets, hitting the sidewalk instead. When firefighters managed to get inside the building’s upper floors, they found charred bodies piled near doorways and windows, and under work benches. Twenty-four people were dead and another fifteen were seriously injured. One woman survived the blaze by hiding inside a metal storage cabinet. The building was located just three blocks from the former site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, where another fire had killed 145 people in 1911.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream at


9:10 - Policy researcher Paul Pillar explains why Americans misunderstand the rest of the world.

Paul is author of Why America Misunderstands the World: National Experience and Roots of Misperception from Columbia University Press.


10:05 - EPA whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo exposes regulatory failures in Flint and beyond.

Marsha is an EPA whistleblower, and wrote the recent pieces Water crises like Flint's will continue until the EPA is held accountable for the Guardian and McCarthy and Snyder to Testify before House Oversight Committee on the Poisoning of Flint’s Children for Black Agenda Report.


10:35 - Organizer Beverly Bell profiles the life and legacy of assassinated environmental activist Berta Cáceres.

Beverly wrote Why Was Berta Cáceres Assassinated? for Other Worlds.


11:05 - Writer Thomas Frank explores the continuing failures of liberal politics and the Democratic party.

Thomas is author of the new book Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? from Metropolitan Books.


12:05 - Journalist Andrew Cockburn dives into America's profitable/ineffectual election-industrial complex.

Andrew wrote Down the Tube: Television, turnout, and the election-industrial complex for Harper's magazine.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen punctures the bubble of middle-class self-satisfaction.

Fleece vest futures are falling fast!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Here's what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:

Why America Misunderstands the World National Experience and Roots of Misperception - Paul Pillar [Columbia University Press]

Water crises like Flint's will continue until the EPA is held accountable - Marsha Coleman-Adebayo [The Guardian]

Why Was Berta Cáceres Assassinated? - Beverly Bell [Other Worlds]

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? - Thomas Frank [Metropolitan Books]

Down the Tube Television, turnout, and the election-industrial complex - Andrew Cockburn [Harper's]

Episode 891

Free Money

Mar 12 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On this day in Rotten History...


On this day in 1928 – (88 years ago) – near Los Angeles, the two-year-old Saint Francis Dam collapsed, hurling massive chunks of concrete and releasing 12.4 billion gallons of water. A wave more than one hundred feet high rushed down the San Francisquito Canyon, destroying powerhouses, neighborhoods, and farm worker camps, and cutting off electric power to large parts of metropolitan Los Angeles. Within hours, some four to six hundred people were dead. The exact number is unknown, because many bodies were washed into the Pacific Ocean. Remains were still being found as recently as 1994. It was determined that the dam had failed not due to any earthquake, but because it had been built on inadequate bedrock. Chief engineer William Mulholland — who had also designed the far more successful Los Angeles Aqueduct — took full responsibility for the dam’s collapse. A jury found him not guilty of criminal negligence, but he immediately ended his career and lived the rest of his life a broken man. A famous street in Los Angeles is named after him.

On this day in 1938 – (78 years ago)Austria was invaded by the forces of Nazi Germany. It was one of the Hitler regime’s first moves toward the creation of a greater German Reich. While the Nazis’ annexation of Austria was forbidden by international treaties, it met with relatively little protest from neighboring countries. It would soon lead to the dismantling of Czechoslovakia, the invasion of Poland, and the many other horrors of World War II.

On this day in 1955 – (61 years ago) – the saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker, one of the greatest figures in the history of jazz, died while watching television at the hotel suite of the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, who acted as friend and patron to many avant-garde jazz musicians in New York City. Parker, also known to jazz fans as “Bird,” had revolutionized the music with his harmonic innovations, inspiring colleagues like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and many others in the development of bebop — a new musical language that reached only limited commercial success in its original form, but whose echoes spread throughout serious and popular music, and remain potent to this day. When he died, Parker had suffered from heroin addiction, alcohol abuse, cirrhosis, obesity, pneumonia,... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream at


9:10 - Economist Mary Mellor explains how to reclaim power from banks and redemocratize the economy.

Mary is author of the book Debt or Democracy: Public Money for Sustainability and Social Justice from Pluto Press.


10:05 - Civic educator Tom Tresser shows why the city of Chicago is not broke, just poor in leadership.

Tom is raising funds to publish the book We Are Not Broke: Funding the City We Deserve.


10:35 - Laddie O examines personal cybersecurity in the wake of the Apple / FBI court case.

Laddie will be talking about the RSA Conference covered in this Fortune piece.


11:05 - Activist Ashley Williams talks about a new generation of Black protest and confronting Hillary with her own words.

Ashley recently disrupted a Clinton fundraiser in probably the most inspiring event of this campaign process.


11:35 - Geography scholar Meleiza Figueroa surveys NAFTA's damage to lives and livelihoods across Latin America.

Meleiza wrote the recent article Hillary Clinton Cries Crocodile Tears for Latin American Immigrants for Truthdig.


12:05 - Investigative reporter Greg Palast explores finance vulture Paul Singer's big bet on the Republican party.

Greg wrote about Singer's influence in the piece Who hatched Rubio? at his own site.

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen produces noises regarding anti-productivity.

Mouth noises are one of the things Jeff Dorchen does best!

Episode 890

Math Incarceration

Mar 5 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On this day in Rotten History


On this day in 1616 – (400 years ago) – the Roman Catholic Church solemnly declared that the works of the Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus, who had died seventy-three years earlier, were to be withdrawn from circulation and placed on the index of forbidden books. Expecting this kind of trouble, Copernicus had put off publishing his great work On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres until he was on his deathbed. The book not only argued that Aristotle and the Bible were wrong in claiming that the sun revolved around the earth—but showed that actually, the reverse was true. Copernicus had been denounced as a “fool” by Martin Luther and other theologians, but in the years since his death, support for his work had steadily grown among astronomers all across Europe. By banning it, the Catholic Church managed to push it underground for more than a century, but its overwhelming acceptance by scientists finally forced Pope Benedict XV to reverse the ban in 1758.  

On this day in 1770 – (246 years ago) – amid growing colonial unrest in Boston, Massachusetts, an argument in the street between a wigmaker’s apprentice and a uniformed British guard quickly escalated into a mob scene in which eight British soldiers were surrounded by more than three hundred angry colonists yelling, spitting, and throwing things at them. In the confusion, the British soldiers opened fire on the crowd, killing five people and injuring a half-dozen others. News of the incident, which became known as the Boston Massacre, quickly spread throughout the American colonies and was a significant factor leading to the Revolutionary War five years later.

On this day in 1940 – (76 years ago) – during World War II, six members of the Soviet Politburo, including Joseph Stalin himself, signed a secret order for the execution of 25,700 members of the Polish military, police, and technical elite, taken prisoner during the recent Soviet invasion of Poland, who were now being held at prison camps in Ukraine and Belarus. Fearing that so many talented people in any future Polish state might create a major threat on the Soviet Union’s western border, Stalin wanted them dead. The methodical executions, known collectively as the Katyn Forest Massacre, took place throughout April and May, sending some 22,000 people into mass graves... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream at


9:10 - Sociologist Matthew Desmond examines the mass eviction crisis gutting an American city.

Matthew is author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City from Penguin Random House.


10:05 - Our Man in Budapest, Todd Williams sees the refugee crisis splitting Europe along old lines.

Todd will explain why it's a good time to be a fence builder in the EU.


10:35 - Journalist Matthieu Aikins explains how to make millions under US military occupation.

Matthieu wrote the New Yorker piece The Bidding War: How a young Afghan military contractor became spectacularly rich.


11:05 - Educator Andrew Hacker makes the case for less math for less students in American schools.

Andrew is author of The Math Myth And Other STEM Delusions from The New Press.


12:05 - Journalist Liza Featherstone explains why the only woman Hillary Clinton is helping is Hillary Clinton.

Liza wrote Why This Socialist Feminist Is Not Voting for Hillary for The Nation.


12:45 - Jeff Dorchen tries to answer the question - Is responding to racism a racist act?

I hope not for Jeff's sake. Or I hope so. I don't know much about this segment yet.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Here is what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond [Penguin Random House]

The Bidding War How a young Afghan military contractor became spectacularly rich - Matthieu Aikins [New Yorker]

The Math Myth And Other STEM Delusions - Andrew Hacker [The New Press]

Why This Socialist Feminist Is Not Voting for Hillary - Liza Featherstone [The Nation]