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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 1854 – (162 years ago) – in Dusseldorf, Germany, the music composer Robert Schumann reached his breaking point. For years he had experienced irrational fears and mysterious moodswings, but now he was hearing voices, and seeing visions of angels and demons. Under cover of darkness, he left his home, hurried to a bridge over the Rhine River, and jumped. It was his second attempt at suicide, and he was foiled by a boatman who pulled him out of the water. Upon his own request, Schumann was then taken to a mental asylum in nearby Bonn. His music composing days were over, and he died there two years later at the age of forty-six.

On this day in 1861 – (154 years ago) – in Warsaw, Russian troops confronted unarmed street demonstrators who for weeks had been protesting Russian imperial domination of Poland. The Russians ordered the demonstrators to disperse. When the demonstrators refused to do so, the troops opened fire. Five protesters were killed, and many more were injured.

On this day in 1933 – (83 years ago) – in Berlin, the Reichstag building, meeting place of the German parliament, was set on fire by an arson attack. A mentally disturbed twenty-four-year-old Dutch communist naned Marinus van der Lubbe was caught red-handed, arrested, and later executed by beheading. Many historians now believe that van der Lubbe did not act alone, but had been set up and assisted by Nazi storm troopers in a false flag operation. At the time, however, Germany’s new chancellor, Adolf Hitler, publicly blamed the arson on a plot by  communists, who were challenging his attempt to make himself the undisputed German dictator. The day after the fire, Hitler persuaded the elderly German president, Paul von Hindeburg, to sign an emergency decree, suspending constitutional civil liberties and authorizing the Nazis to begin the first major roundup of their political opposition. As the Reichstag smouldered in ruins, thousands of communists, social democrats, and liberals across Germany were arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. The Reichstag building would remain in ruins throughout World War II and the Cold War; it was restored and modernized only after German reunification  in 1990.

Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi

Episode 889

Raison Debt

Feb 29 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:10 - Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman present a plan to separate personal wealth from political influence.

Wendell and Nick are authors of the new book Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It from Bloomsbury.


10:05 - Criminal justice scholar Erica Meiners makes the case for sex offender registry reform.

Erica wrote the In These Times article We’re Rethinking Prisons. Is It Time to Rethink Sex Offender Registries?


10:35 - Intercept journalist Jenna McLaughlin reports on the surveillance stakes of the Apple / FBI privacy battle.

Jenna's most recent story on the Apple / FBI legal battle is FBI Director Admits Apple Case Could Be a Game Changer at The Intercept.


11:05 - Sarah Leonard and Bhaskar Sunkara chart out the path for reclaiming a radical future.

Sarah and Bhaskar both edited and contributed to the Metropolitan books essay collection The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century.


12:05 - Dierdra Reber explains how feeling replaced reason as the driving force of global culture.

Dierdra is author of the book Coming to Our Senses: Affect and an Order of Things for Global Culture from Columbia University Press.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It - Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman [Bloomsbury]

We’re Rethinking Prisons. Is It Time to Rethink Sex Offender Registries? - Erica Meiners [In These Times]

FBI Director Admits Apple Case Could Be a Game Changer - Jenna McLaughlin [The Intercept]

The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century - Edited by Sarah Leonard and Bhaskar Sunkara [Metropolitan Books]

Coming to Our Senses: Affect and an Order of Things for Global Culture - Dierdra Reber [Columbia University Press]

Episode 888

Dead Air

Feb 20 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On this day in 1810 -- (206 years ago) – Andreas Hofer, an Austrian innkeeper and leader of a rebellion against French and Bavarian armies loyal to Napoleon, was executed by firing squad. For more than a year, Hofer had traveled through mountain villages in the Austrian and Italian Tyrol, urging insurrection and organizing armed resistance. After several months of fighting, he and his troops had briefly taken the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck, only to be routed by French and Bavarian forces after the Austrian emperor backed off his promise of protection. Abandoned by his men, Hofer went into hiding, but a neighbor revealed his location to Napoleon’s troops in order to collect a cash reward. Facing the firing squad, Hofer refused to kneel or wear a blindfold, and insisted on giving the order to fire himself.

On this day in 1933 – (83 years ago) – three weeks after taking office as the new German chancellor, Adolf Hitler convened a secret meeting with about two dozen of Germany’s top business leaders to seek funding for the Nazi Party’s political campaign in the upcoming national elections. Hitler’s guests included xecutives and board members from Siemens, Allianz, Opel, and other important companies. In an atmosphere of national political turmoil, some of these industrialists had already helped persuade Germany’s president, Paul von Hindenburg, to make Hitler the head of a fragile coalition government. Upon taking office, Hitler had immediately pushed for elections, and now he was anxious for his Nazi Party to win enough parliamentary seats to pass the Enabling Act and make him Germany’s de facto dictator. At this meeting he told his guests that to silence democracy and crush communism, his party would need a total of three million German marks. Before leaving, the businessmen signed commitments to provide him with more than two million.  

On this day in 2003 -- (13 years ago) -- the rock band Great White was in the middle of their set at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, when a pyrotechnic display onstage behind the band caused flammable foam insulation on the ceiling and walls to catch on fire. Within minutes, the entire nightclub was engulfed in flames. One hundred people died and another 230 were injured.

Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 12:45PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream at


9:10 - Writer Janet Biehl reports back from an attempt to speak with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Janet was part of a delegation to Turkey attempting to speak with Öcalan. She also spoke with ROAR Magazine for the piece Thoughts on Rojava: an interview with Janet Biehl.


10:05 - Municipal finance analyst Saqib Bhatti explores the origins of Illinois's toxic debt crisis.

Saqib studied the state's interest rate swap disaster in the ReFund America report Turned Around.


10:35 - Lawpagandist Brian Foley cross-examines Scalia's suddenly glowing posthumous reputation.

Thankfully This is Hell! correspondents are immune for whatever causes establishment media types to forgive evil once a person has died.


11:05 - Veteran Joseph Hickman investigates the poisoning of soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Joseph is author of the new book The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America's Soldiers from Skyhorse Publishing.


12:00 - Investigative journalist Chuck Lewis explains how our next president has already been bought and sold.

Chuck wrote the Cairo Review of Global Affairs commentary The Buying of the President.


12:30 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen ponders the faith of a dead Supreme Court justice.

Jeff tried to act like this isn't going to be about Scalia, like he has material about Wiley Blount Rutledge just ready to go.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Thoughts on Rojava: an interview with Janet Biehl - Zanyar Omrani [ROAR Magazine]

Turned Around: How the Swaps that Were Supposed to Save Illinois Millions Became Toxic - Saqib Bhatti + Carrie Sloan [ReFund America]

The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America's Soldiers - Joseph Hickman [Skyhorse Publishing]

Commentary: What it takes to buy the president - Chuck Lewis [Center for Pubic Integrity]


Episode 887

Zeit Heist

Feb 13 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:10 - Pension expert Nancy Altman explains why the problem with Social Security isn't Social Security.

Nancy is author of Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All from the New Press.


10:05 - Our Man in London, David Skalinder views the alien US election from his spot on Mars.

David counts the focus on inequality as a victory for the left "though it remains to be seen how far that victory will take us..."


10:35 - Live from Sao Paulo, Brian Mier reports on the sudden intersection of abortion rights and the Zika virus.

Brian just returned from Recife where he covered the story with a major European TV network we can't name yet. NDA!


11:05 - Writer Tom Slee explores the harsh new frontiers on the edges of the sharing economy.

Tom wrote the book What's Mine is Yours: Against the Sharing Economy from OR Books.


12:05 - Historian Lily Geismer explains how the upper-middle class seized control of the Democratic Party.

Lily is author of the article Atari Democrats in the newest Jacobin.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen's head can't figure out why we need figureheads.

One week after sort of endorsing Bernie Sanders too!