Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

Look, if all progressives cared about was how big a percentage of women and minorities corporations hired, sweatshops and slave labor wouldn't be much of a concern of theirs, would they? "Hey, we're Apple, look at all the Asian women we employ in China." Yes, many of them try to leap to their deaths out the windows, but now we have suicide prevention nets in which to catch them. I wonder if the authors are counting the suicide nets as among the many benefits big corporations provide.

In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen reads an Atlantic article so dumb that his brain enters survival mode and can only engage with it by imagining Gary Oldman as Mrs. Doubtfire as Winston Churchill as Barack Obama, and finds the fight still the same, the enemy pretty consistent, and really just the mustaches are different.

Read the transcript here


Elizabeth Bruenig
Mar 10

Americans are ready for socialism.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

On this day in the year 410 – (1,606 years ago) – the city of Rome was occupied and sacked by a foreign army for the first time in almost eight hundred years. Alaric, king of the invading Visigoths, had previously fought alongside the Romans, losing thousands of his men in battle, but then had grown disenchanted with Roman rule. After leading raids and blockades through Greece and Italy, he and his troops laid seige to Rome and sacked the city. Then they moved southward down the Italian peninsula, reaching the town of Cosentia, now known as Cosenza, where Alaric suddenly died of a fever. Legend has it that his troops built a dam to divert the Busento River, buried their dead commander in the river bed with a pile of his Roman loot, then removed the dam, returning the river to its original course. Sixteen centuries later, Italian archaeologists armed with ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech gear are still searching the river for Alaric and his buried treasure.

On this date in 1883 – (133 years ago) – after a long series of increasingly severe tremors and eruptions, the volcanic island of Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies (now known as Indonesia) finally collapsed in the most powerful explosion in recorded history. Four times as powerful as the biggest nuclear bomb ever detonated, the blast was clearly heard by people three thousand miles away, and the global shock wave was detected as far away as the English Channel. Two- thirds of the main island, along with several smaller islands nearby, simply disappeared. The explosion and its associated tsunamis killed at least 36,000 people, and some estimates go as high as a 100,000. The thick, soupy cloud of volcanic ash, four miles high, spread into the atmosphere, causing brilliant red sunsets and strangely altered weather patterns around the world for the next five years.

On this day in 1896 – (120 years ago) – the sudden death of the sultan of Zanzibar precipitated the Anglo-Zanzibar War, now known as the shortest war in history. The dead sultan had been supported by the British, who preferred that he be succeeded by Hamid bin Muhammad. When the sultans’ nephew, Khalid bin Bargash, seized power instead, the Brits assembled five warships in the nearby harbor and issued an ultimatum, ordering him and his troops to stand down. When the deadline passed with no response, the Brits... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at / subscribe to the podcast


9:10 - Author Arun Kundnani previews Hillary Clinton's neoconservative agenda in the Middle East.

Arun wrote the Alternet article Why Hillary's Neoconservative Foreign Policy Will Make The Problem of Islamophobia Worse, and is featured in the collection Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter from Verso Books.


10:05 - Writer Sarah Jaffe profiles the new radicalism rising up from modern American protest movements.

Sarah's first book, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, is available now from Nation Books.


11:05 - The Radical Pessimist, Kevan Harris reports on a summer vacation spent watching social unrest abroad.

Kevan will be reporting on political and social upheaval in Armenia, Greece, Lebanon and Ukraine.


11:35 - Journalist Julianne Tveten explains how Silicon Valley is erasing the gap between work and life.

Julianne wrote the article HR Comes Last at Startups, and Women Pay the Price for Vice's Motherboard.


12:05 - Cultural critic Henry Giroux examines the new authoritarianism permeating everyday life in America.

Henry's new book is America at War with Itself from City Lights Books.


12:40 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen rehashes some leftover hash from the 1960s.

Jeff told me this won't be like that episode where Dan and Roseanne smoke their old weed, in case you had your hopes up.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Why Hillary's Neoconservative Foreign Policy Will Make The Problem of Islamophobia Worse - Arun Kundnani [Alternet]

Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt - Sarah Jaffe [Nation Books]

HR Comes Last at Startups, and Women Pay the Price - Julianne Tveten [Motherboard]

America at War with Itself - Henry Giroux [City Lights Books]

Episode 914

The People's Rerun

Aug 19 2016
Aug 13 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Interviews we played on the Black Liberation Playlist 'best of' episode of This is Hell!:

On the origins, and persistence, of racist thought in America. - Ibram X. Kendi

How the Clintons built their political power over the top of Black lives. - Donna Murch

Extremely disruptive and extremely loud: The new power of Black activism. - Ashley Williams

Ferguson forever: Liberals won't solve racial injustice as long as they are part of the problem. - Bruce Dixon 

On Black politicians, White opinion and other roadblocks on the march to racial justice. - Glen Ford 

Bright years of resurgence: The revolutionary potential of #BlackLivesMatter. - Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Black futures are built on the fight for economic and racial justice. - Janae Bonsu


Similar interviews we recommend listening to:

Why the practice of racism itself produces and prolongs the illusion of race. -  Barbara and Karen Fields

The pushout: How racism and sexism collide to criminalize Black girls. - Monique Morris

#SayHerName gives a voice, and power, to Black women brutalized by police violence. - Kimberlé Crenshaw


Episode 912


Aug 6 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

On this day in 1890– (126 years ago) – William Kemmler, convicted of killing his wife with a hatchet, became the first person to die in the electric chair. This new form of execution had been developed by a dentist named Alfred P. Southwick, who adapted a dental chair for the purpose and tried it out on hundreds of unfortunate stray dogs, experimenting with various voltages and placements of electrodes before arriving at a hardware configuration that he believed would kill a human efficiently. The new device was promoted as a more humane alternative to hanging, and it found favor with state governments after a recent series of bungled hangings that had made national news. On the day of his execution, Kemmler was strapped into the chair and given a seventeen-second burst of electricity that failed to kill him. As he lay in agony, the doctors in attendance ordered that more current be applied immediately — but several minutes had to pass before the generator was sufficiently recharged for the second big shock that finally finished the job. The famous electrical engineer George Westinghouse, who witnessed the whole grisly event, later remarked: “They would have done better using an axe.”

On this day in 1945 – (71 years ago) – some 80,000 people were killed instantly when an American B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb called “Little Boy” on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, population 350,000. Many thousands more people died in the following years from burns and radiation poisoning, as the result of a decision taken by US President Harry S. Truman to use the bomb, which destroyed 90 percent of the city. Three days later, another American plane would drop an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, killing another 80,000 people. The overwhelming majority of dead in both cities were civilians. Truman argued that it was the lesser of two evils — the alternative to a US ground invasion that, according to American generals, could have cost the lives of 400,000 to 800,000 Americans and some five to ten million Japanese. But the atomic bombs were targeted less at military installations than at areas with high civilian populations—and the Japanese government was already in surrender negotiations with the United States, which some historians believe were progressing so well that the use of atomic bombs may have only hastened... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at / subscribe to the podcast


9:10 - Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston dives deep into the business history of Donald Trump.

David is author of the new book The Making of Donald Trump from Melville House Books.


10:05 - Jacobin's Nicole Aschoff explores the long, managed decline of American auto worker unions.

Nicole wrote the article The Long Road to Crisis in the latest issue of Jacobin.


10:35 - Live from São Paulo, Brian Mier reports on the state of dissent and democracy in Brazil.

Brian has been writing about Rio and the Olympics for Brasilwire for months now.


11:05 - Political economist Amr Adly examines the authoritarian Catch-22 facing Egypt's regime.

Amr is author of the paper Egypt’s Regime Faces an Authoritarian Catch-22 for the Carnegie Middle East Center.


12:05 - The Hopleaf's Michael Roper explains how investor turmoil is dethroning craft beer founders.

Michael will also be exploring the SAB/Miller/Coors/AB/Inbev consolidation that will soon cover 71% of the beer market.


12:40 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen examines the jobs available in Hollywood, large and small.

You may remember Jeff from painting Ozzy Osbourne's house, or maybe writing the soon to be released, Brie Larson-starring Basmati Blues.


Episode 911

Zone Strikes

Jul 30 2016