In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen pours himself a big bowl of cereal and reads all about different types of milk, the half a century of anti-colonial resistance in Vietnam, the violence within social upheaval, the complications of Rich White Christian Men, and the promise of universal rights for everybody else at the table.
On this day in 1811 – (205 years ago) – Father Miguel Hidalgo, leader of the first great struggle for Mexican independence, was executed in Chihuahua, Mexico, by a Spanish firing squad. According to some accounts, his body was then decapitated for good measure. While Hidalgo had violated his Catholic priestly vows by fathering at least two children, and had made serious tactical blunders as an inexperienced military leader, he was nonetheless widely admired for his courage, political leadership, and dedication to the freedom and economic security of Mexico’s poorest people. With his partner Ignacio Allende, Hidalgo raised a peasant’s army that tormented the colonial rulers in several Mexican cities before he was finally captured by a traitor and turned over to the Spanish.
On this day in 1865 – (151 years ago) – The paddle steamboat Brother Jonathan, en route from San Francisco to Portland with 244 passengers and crew and a large shipment of gold, was several miles off the coast of northern California when it got caught in a violent storm and hit a rock that tore a big gash in its hull. As the ship began sinking, the crew tried to deploy lifeboats, but most of them capsized in the heavy waves, rain, and wind. Only one lifeboat, carrying nineteen survivors, made it safely to land. The other 225 people aboard the Brother Jonathan died as the steamboat sank in 275 feet of water just a few miles from shore. Before it hit bottom, the boat was apparently carried several miles by underwater currents, so that the wreck was not located until 1993. It contains a hoard of gold coins and bars now valued at an estimated fifty million dollars, most of which still lies on the sea floor.
On this day in 1975 – (41 years ago) – Jimmy Hoffa, former president of the powerful and corrupt Teamsters union, had an appointment to meet with two Mafia caporegimes outside a suburban Detroit restaurant. Several witnesses saw him waiting in the parking lot, and then leaving in a car with three other men. Hoffa was never seen or heard from again. He had recently been sprung from prison by President Richard Nixon, who had commuted his sentence for a conviction on bribery, fraud, and jury tampering. It’s now believed that Hoffa was trying to regain his former job as Teamsters president, but that the mob had other ideas. After he disappeared, federal... read more
Kristen is author of Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project from Stanford University Press.
Dave's already had Zika, but the conspiracy interest is new.
Nazmul wrote the Jacobin article Terror and Politics in Bangladesh.
Matt is co-author of the investigation Inside the Corporate Utopias Where Capitalism Rules and Labor Laws Don’t Apply for In These Times.
Anjali wrote the chapter "The Baltimore Uprising" in the Verso Books collection Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter.
Here's what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:
Breaking the WTO: How Emerging Powers Disrupted the Neoliberal Project - Kristen Hopewell [Stanford University Press]
Terror and Politics in Bangladesh - Nazmul Sultan [Jacobin]
Inside the Corporate Utopias Where Capitalism Rules and Labor Laws Don’t Apply - Matt Kennard & Claire Provost [In These Times]
"The Baltimore Uprising" from Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter - Anjali Kamat [Verso Books]
On this day in 1942 – (74 years ago) – the Bulgarian poet Nikola Vaptsarov, who wrote in his spare time while working as an industrial and railroad mechanic, was executed by firing squad for his role in organizing supplies of weapons and documents for the underground communist resistance against the rule of the Bulgarian Tsar Boris III, who allowed Nazi forces to pass through Bulgaria on their way to invading the Soviet Union. Aside from publishing his work in newspapers and writing several plays, Vaptsaraov only produced one actual book of poetry, entitled Motoring Songs, published in 1940. In spite of his small output, he’s remembered today in Bulgaria and Macedonia as an important revolutionary voice, and as a peer and counterpart to Bertolt Brecht and Federico García Lorca. His poetry draws on Bulgarian folk traditions to critique dominant versions of history and emphasize the unsung labors of common people in shaping the achievements of society. He was 34 years old when he was arrested by the fascists and shot.
On this day in 1967 – (49 years ago) – in Detroit, citizens’ spontaneous resistance to a police raid of an unlicensed after-hours bar quickly escalated into one of the deadliest and most destructive urban riots in US history. Though Detroit had been cited positively for a degree of progress in education and employment for African Americans that looked better than the situation in some other American cities, its population still harbored resentment over poverty, housing discrimination, poor policing, and other large-scale manifestations of racism. These long-simmering grievances erupted in a wave of violence, arson, and looting that spread across the city’s West Side and continued for almost a week. Not only did Michigan Governor George Romney (father of Mitt) call in the National Guard, but President Lyndon Johnson decided to mobilize the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions into the inner city to restore order. By the time the rioting died down, 43 people were dead, almost 350 were seriously injured, and some 1,400 buildings had gone up in flames. Coleman Young, who was elected Detroit’s mayor in 1974, would later write of the ’67 riots that they “put Detroit on the fast track to economic desolation.”
On this day in 1983 – (33 years ago) – Air Canada Flight 143, a Boeing 767 jetliner... read more
Max is co-author of the Jacobin article What Happened in Turkey.
Julia was interviewed in the piece Venezuela After Chávez at New Left Review.
Jacquelin wrote the article Fed up and not afraid! for Africa is a Country.
Douglas is co-author of the 100 Reporters investigation Training the Planet: America’s Vast Global Network to Instruct Foreign Security Forces Gets Scant Oversight.
Alex and Brian wrote the chapter "The Emergence of Command and Control Policing in Neoliberal New York" for the Verso collection Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter.
He won't tell me whether it's Chapo Trap House but I think it's probably not.
Here's what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:
What Happened in Turkey - Guney Işıkara, Alp Kayserilioğlu and Max Zirngast [Jacobin]
Venezuela After Chávez - Julia Buxton [New Left Review]
Fed up and not afraid! - Jacquelin Kataneksza [Africa is a Country]
Training the Planet: America’s Vast Global Network to Instruct Foreign Security Forces Gets Scant Oversight - Douglas Gillison, Nick Turse and Moiz Syed [100 Reporters]
The Emergence of Command and Control Policing in Neoliberal New York from Policing the Planet chapter from Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter - Alex S. Vitale and Brian Jordan Jefferson [Verso Books]
On this day in 1683 – (333 years ago) – on the southern coast of what is now Taiwan, the Chinese admiral Shi Lang arrived with a fleet of 600 warships and 100,000 men to invade the kingdom of Tungning, which ruled the southwestern part of the island, and claim it for the Qing dynasty. The Tungning defense forces fought hard, but they were fatally outnumbered and outgunned by the Chinese, who used Dutch-manufactured cannons to bombard the shore while 60,000 Chinese soldiers disembarked, made their way to the Tungning capital, burned it down, and forced its leaders to surrender. Some 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers and sailors on both sides died in the battle, which marked the permanent demise of the Tungning kingdom.
On this day in 1942 – (74 years ago) – in a large coordinated operation, police in Paris, acting under the direction of Nazi Germany and France’s collaborationist Vichy government, spread out over the city and quickly rounded up and arrested more than 13,000 Jewish people, including more than 4,000 children, and herded them into a bicycle racing arena without adequate food, water, or sanitary facilities. The prisoners were soon loaded onto trains and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. It was just one of many operations in the Nazis’ larger plan to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe in the 1940s.
On this day in 1945 – (71 years ago) – in the deserts of New Mexico, US Army scientists of the Manhattan Project, led by J. Robert Oppenheimer, conducted the world’s first detonation of a nuclear weapon. The atomic bomb test, codenamed “Trinity,” produced an explosion equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT, which was two to three times more powerful than the scientists had expected. The mushroom cloud rose more than seven miles high, and the shock wave could be heard 100 miles away. In spite of the remote desert location, the bright flash and enormous explosion of the top secret weapon were seen and heard by unsuspecting civilians. The Air Force issued its cover story in a press release, stating that it had been an accidental explosion in a remotely located ammunition magazine. A few weeks later, two more bombs of roughly similar explosive force were detonated over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, together killing an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 people.
Rotten History is written by Renaldo... read more