Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week
Say her name 768x432

Imagine what the media would sound like if the reality of driving while black was the first frame readers read. “X was driving down the street, taking their daughter to school and was pulled over by police and ended up being killed,” rather than, “the suspect made a U turn.” These are ways in which the initial narrative that the police have to do this to protect “us” is constantly rehearsed by the media. What is erased is the underside of that reality: the cost of a permissive police culture…That's the way that the traditional stories are not interrupted. When we don't interrupt that long, long narrative, the influence of the past, the influence of the police being the protectors against the marauding others, whether they're men, women, or children continues uninterrupted.

Kimberlé Crenshaw joins This is Hell! to discuss her new book, #SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence (Haymarket Books).

Support This is Hell! at


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of the Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus, who had died seventy-three years earlier, were to be withdrawn from circulation and placed on the index of forbidden books.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]


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.