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Andreaballestero10042019

Water is tightly connected with all of the other things we take as separate - the economy, the law, the institutions we have in our society to allow us to live collectively, the idea that we should pay for some things and should not pay for other things, the idea that you should go to court if you have a problem with a neighbor rather than solving your problems in some other way - water is all of that.

Anthropologist Andrea Ballestero examines the future of water on planet Earth - as a human right to be sustained and protected for the common good, or as a commodity subject to the demands and crises of capitalism - and the social and political processes behind each process.

Andrea is author of the book A Future History of Water from Duke University Press.

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

"What have we become?" I keep seeing people post this, in reaction to the shootings at the Chicago hospital and the Colorado thing, whatever it was, and the bar in Sherman Oaks. A school again? A movie theater again? A concert? A picnic? A church? A fish fry? We have not become anything new. The only change is who does what brutal, sickening thing to which innocent people, I regret to opine. How often, and how near. Maybe we've become less lucky. I sincerely do regret to opine thus. And I'm open to dissuasion.

Steven Pinker, who is a popular author, and a few other things, believes we're less violent these days. He believes we've made progress as a species. It's an opinion, and he defends it well, although very often, according to historians I've heard comment on his work, he deceives himself.

I know I don't have to convince any imbibers of This Is Hell that all that's really happened is a reshuffling and a miscounting. People lived as victims of brutal violence back in the Hellenic days, and they do now. People were slaves back in the reign of Hammurabi, and they still are today. Women and children and subjugated men were raped in China and Samarkand, at either end of the Silk Road, from its opening onward, and conditions are only cosmetically different in our own time. And that's not even to mention the animals. But "better to be an uptown dog than a downtown Jew" was a saying back in the rich and colorful days of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Why would things be any different? What would have caused this putative ebb of human cruelty? The Enlightenment? The internet? "I Love Lucy"? The Magna Carta? The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights? The Geneva Conventions? "Imagine" by John Lennon? The Statue of Liberty? Star Trek? What do we have more of now than before? Technology? Detergent? High fructose corn syrup? Pollution?

We try. We try so hard. We have ideals. We exalt the best of human nature, and castigate what is base. And you know what? It was ever so. There has never been a time when kindness wasn't considered a virtue. There was never a time when hypocrisy, betrayal, and malicious behavior weren't frowned upon. Even back in ignorant times, ignorance was a human foible. We've always known the right and good thing to do.

But there has also never been a time when ignorance wasn't considered a virtue, a kind of pure state, blessed by the grace of heaven. There's never been a time when authorities... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
1032lineup

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

 

9:20 - Writer Natasha Lennard explains what the press misses between White supremacists and the police.

Natasha wrote the article Even the FBI Thinks Police Have Links to White Supremacists - but Don’t Tell the New York Times for the Intercept.

 

10:05 - Historian Pero Dagbovie surveys the contested, shifting grounds of Black history in the American present.

Pero is author of Reclaiming the Black Past: The Use and Misuse of African American History in the Twenty-First Century from Verso.

 

11:00 - Historian Sarah Churchwell examines the authoritarian ends of America First ideology.

Sarah is author of Behold, America: The Entangled History of "America First" and "the American Dream" from Basic Books.

 

12:00 - Writer Zoé Samudzi explores the Africas beyond the Western political imagination.

Zoe wrote the article Africa’s Place in the Radical Imagination for ROAR Magazine.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen answers the question, What Have We Become?

You might have been wondering about that lately.

Episode 1031

Staff Picks: Alex

Nov 24 2018
Episode 1030

Beyond Borders

Nov 17 2018
Posted by Alexander Jerri
1030lineup

Listen live from 9AM - 10AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:20 - Viewpoint Magazine's Magally Miranda Alcazar and Robert Cavooris trace the path of the migrant caravan, and the road to solidarity.

Maga and Robert are members of the editorial collective that wrote the essay The Border Crossing Us for Viewpoint Magazine.

Episode 1029

Ballotproof

Nov 11 2018
Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Among the trees swarm at least 122 distinctly different species of bat, each unique to the Red Forest on the Fat Island of Langostan, in the Middle Seasoning A Capellago. Hardly anyone ever goes there other than bat enthusiasts, professional and amateur, because of the great confusion. But no bat has yet been denied into one or another official taxonomic slot, so it's unclear what is so bewildering. Maybe it's the sheer number of species in so limited a space, no one knows how limited. In any case, the climate is both tropical and sub-tropical, and extremely humid.

Two main genera of bats comprise the numerous species, all but two (of those two exceptions later). These two grand groups are the bug-eaters, which echo-locate, and the fruit-eaters, which do not. The bug-eaters tend to be smaller than the fruit-eaters. Bug- eaters have been known to eat birds on occasion. Particularly vulnerable to predation is the typeface hummingbird, which is the size and shape of an 18-point Times New Roman comma, and the smallest hummingbird known. They only exist in the Red Forest. Happily, they are a prolific species, and swarm in their thousands among the apricot shrubs like minnows amidst seaweed.

Among the bug-eaters are the orchid-nosed bat, the bee bat, the tissue bat, and the glass- eared bat. Each species echo-locates at a unique frequency, in one of the musical modes, frequently Mixolydian.

The fruit-eating bats, or dog-faced bats, seem to be descended from the early wild gliding foxes of Pan-Asia, however they are no relation, except in the very distant sense that all mammals are. As stated above, these bats are neither able nor inclined to echo-locate. They just look around with their eyes. As they are nocturnal, they often bump into things.

While the bug-eaters range in size from that of a bumble-bee to that of a robin, the fruit- eaters are much larger, the largest, the schnauzer dragon, known to possess a wingspan of upwards of eight feet.

The indigo umbrella monkey is of more manageable proportions, meaning it can be fit conveniently into an overnight train case, although one should expect it to be displeased with the experience. The indigo umbrella is one of the above-mentioned species falling neither into one major genera nor the other. It eats both insects and fruit, as well as birds, roots, tree bark, fungi, cheese, small prey animals, snakes,... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

In 1940 – (78 years ago) – an earthquake in the Vrancea region of eastern Romania wreaked havoc from the capital city of Bucharest well into neighboring Moldavia (now known as Moldova). In Bucharest, some 185 buildings were destroyed, including a fourteen-story reinforced concrete structure that was the city’s tallest building. From across the country came reports of fire, landslides, burst pipelines, leveled neighborhoods, and collapsed factories. The death toll was placed at almost 600, with another 1,271 people injured in Romania’s worst earthquake of the twentieth century.

 

In 1944 – (74 years ago) – at Port Seeadler in the Admiralty Islands of Papua New Guinea, the US Navy cargo ship Mount Hood exploded without warning, with almost four thousand tons of explosives and ammunition aboard. The ship had been delivering munitions to Navy vessels in the South Pacific theater of World War II. Eyewitnesses reported a sudden blast and mushroom cloud, followed by chunks of mud, metal debris, and body parts raining from the sky. The explosion completely destroyed the Mount Hood and killed all 350 of its crewmembers, of whom no physical remains were ever positively identified. It also damaged some twenty-two smaller craft nearby in the harbor, many of whose crewmembers were also killed. Years later, the blast would be assessed as equivalent to that of a small tactical nuclear weapon. It was so powerful that it blew a hole in the ocean floor directly below the ship, measuring a hundred yards long, fifty feet wide, and forty feet deep. Altogether at least 432 people died, with 371 wounded. A naval inquiry later attributed the accident to poor handling of ammunition.

 

In 1975 – (43 years ago) the iron ore freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald, largest ship on the Great Lakes, ran into violent weather on Lake Superior, some seventeen miles north of Whitefish Point in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The ship was buffeted by hundred-mile-an-hour winds, with waves up to thirty-five feet high. Its captain, Ernest McSorley, was on his last voyage before retirement. Just after 7 p.m. he radioed to another freighter nearby, the SS Arthur M. Anderson, that although his vessel was taking on water, he and the crew were holding their own in the storm. It was the last communication from the Edmund Fitzgerald. Without even sending out a distress signal, the ship went to the bottom of... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
1029

Listen live from 9AM - 1:30PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at www.thisishell.com / subscribe to the podcast

 

9:20 - Activist Andrew Dobbs explains why workers and the poor lose every election - including this one.

Andrew wrote the article No, Voting Democrat is Not “Harm Reduction” at Medium.

 

10:05 - Writer Pavlos Roufos reviews eight years of disaster for Greece under Europe's austerity regime.

Pavlos is author of the book A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past: The Greek Crisis and Other Disasters from Reaktion Books [UK] / University of Chicago Press [US]

 

11:05 - Organizer Tom Hansen explores the future of socialism and the state under Cuba's new constitution.

Tom wrote the article Challenges for Cuba's New Constitution for the Mexico Solidarity Network's website.

 

12:00 - Researcher Anna Pigott exposes the engine powering the Anthropocene - it's capitalism, not us.

Anna Pigott wrote the article Capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’ for The Conversation.

 

12:40 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen goes - and possibly stays - bats.

Jeff told me he's gonna do a cuss towards the end of this one, so hopefully the dump button works or no one is listening.

 

1:00 - Political scientist Leah Stokes examines the wide ideological gap between Congress and US citizens

Leah is co-author of the paper Legislative Staff and Representation in Congress in the American Political Science Review.

 

Episode 1028

Purge Pricing

Nov 3 2018