Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

One bright spot, if not an entire side, in my days has been the nationwide student walkouts to protest gun violence. In Bizarro World, where these walkouts are viewed darkly, the nationwide student walkouts were engineered by brainwashing communist teachers and bad parents. But at least, in Bizarro World, they've heard about the walkouts. That tells me that maybe our worlds aren't that different after all. Maybe it's how we interpret that world that puts us on opposite sides of the icosahedron.

In a Moment of Truth, trollish bard Jeff Dorchen makes a critical math error on the number of bright sides there are on a die, then adventures across intellectual properties to Bizarro world with James Woods, the commenting community of The Blaze, Bertolt Brecht and those school walkout kids, in search of a land not ruled by money.

Read the transcript here


Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

On this day in 1840 – (176 years ago) — the populated areas in and around Natchez, Mississippi, were struck by the second deadliest tornado in US history, a huge funnel cloud that formed southwest of Natchez and moved north along the Mississippi River. The twister flattened homes and businesses along the riverbanks, and destroyed hundreds of steamboats and flatboats. It was so powerful that a chunk of one riverboat was later found to have been blown thirty miles from the river. The tornado also devastated plantations for hundreds of miles in Mississippi and Louisiana. It ripped big trees out of the ground by their roots, and destroyed countless acres of crops. After the storm, the official death toll was given as 317. But the real number of people who died in the calamity was probably much higher, since it happened in a time and place when official death tolls issued by local governments normally did not count slaves.   

On this day in 1915 – (101 years ago) — as World War I raged in Europe, the British civilian luxury liner RMS Lusitania was sailing from New York to Liverpool with almost two thousand passengers and crew. New York newspapers had published German warnings about the state of war in the North Atlantic, but many of the Lusitania’s passengers had taken the risk lightly, and its captain had assured them that the ship was fast enough to evade any attacks. But, some twelve
miles off the coast of Ireland, the ship was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine. The torpedo was quickly followed by a second explosion that ripped open the Lusitania’s starboard side. The great ship sank beneath the waves in just eighteen minutes. It had forty-eight lifeboats, but in all the chaos and panic, the crew managed to lower only six of the boats successfully. Other lifeboats were ripped to pieces as they banged and scraped against the sides of the ship. Still others capsized as they hit the water, throwing their screaming occupants into the sea. Almost 1,200 people died, with 761 survivors. Most of the dead were either British or Canadian, while 114 were Americans. The German attack caused outrage not only internationally, but also among Germany’s own political left. And it was the first in a chain of events that led to the United States entry into World War I.

Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:10 - Historian Steve Fraser explains how the limousine liberal came to drive American political discourse.

Steve is author of the new book The Limousine Liberal: How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America from Basic Books.


10:00 - Attorney Flint Taylor searches for evidence of Chicago police reform post-Homan Square.

Flint's latest writing is Homan Square is Chicago's new 'House of Screams for The Guardian.


10:35 - Writer Sarah Jaffe explores the unfinished work of Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising.

Sarah wrote the recent articles Getting Your Irish Up and Unexecuted Ideas of an Irish Republic for The Baffler.


11:05 - Author Rebecca Gordon makes the case for the prosecution of officials for post-9/11 war crimes.

Rebecca is author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes from Hot Books.


12:05 - Syrian journalist Rami Jarrah reports on the Syrian resistance movement and battle for Aleppo.

Rami has been in and out of Syria (and a Turkish jail) reporting on the Syrian civil war.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen puts the self-appointed lords of the future over his knee.

So much for the chill vibes of last week's segment.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

The Limousine Liberal: How an Incendiary Image United the Right and Fractured America - Steve Fraser [Basic Books]

Getting Your Irish Up / Unexecuted Ideas of an Irish Republic - Sarah Jaffe [The Baffler]

American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes - Rebecca Gordon [Skyhorse Publishing]

Episode 898

Mob Connections

Apr 30 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

On this day in 1881 – (135 years ago) — the area in and around Moradabad, in northern India, experienced a terrifying storm that battered houses and farms with highly destructive winds and pelted the countryside with hailstones reportedly the size of oranges. Since no severe weather warning systems existed at the time, many farmers were working in their fields when the storm struck, and were instantly killed by the huge hailstones. Once the storm died down, the hail was piled two feet high on the ground in some places. Two hundred forty-six people were killed, along with thousands of farm animals.  

On this day in 1900 – (116 years ago) — Casey Jones, an engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad, was killed when his passenger train, the Cannonball Express, plowed into the rear end of a stalled freight train near Vaughan, Mississippi. It was a foggy night and Jones had been running his train at top speed, trying to make up for lost time, when he rounded a curve and saw the stalled freight ahead of him on the main line. Shouting to his fireman to jump from the train, Jones blew his whistle, reversed the throttle, and slammed on his air brake. It was just enough to slow the Cannonball Express from seventy-five to thirty-five miles an hour before it slammed into the freight train’s caboose. Both trains were heavily damaged, the fireman who jumped from the train was knocked unconscious, and a few other people were slightly injured. But most passengers on the Cannonball Express felt only a sudden bump that awoke them in their sleeping cars. The only person killed in the accident was Casey Jones himself. Folk singers would go on to celebrate him as a hero for having given his life to save his passengers. The IWW activist Joe Hill, however, would write and sing a very different tune that denounced Jones as a scab for having refused to join a strike against the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:10 - Journalist Seymour Hersh investigates the truth and lies around Osama bin Laden's death.

Seymour is author of the new book The Killing of Osama Bin Laden from Verso.


10:00 - Writer Simone Weichselbaum explains what stalled the Chicago model of police reform.

Simone wrote the Marshall Project feature The ‘Chicago Model’ of Policing Hasn’t Saved Chicago


10:35 - Policy analyst Laura Carlsen follows a call to end the drug war across Latin America.

Laura covered the protest in her piece The Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Demands End to Drug War in New York City.


11:05 - Occupy Wall Street co-founder Micah White looks beyond protest, to the future of activism.

Micah is author of The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution from Penguin Random House.


12:05 - Writer Marina Sitrin explores the new democracy blooming on the streets of Paris.

Marina wrote the ROAR Magazine essay ‘Soon we will be millions’: from Paris with love and lessons.


12:45 - Jeff Dorchen grasps at the meaning of life, and comes up empty-handed. Again.

One of these 8 minute monologues, he's gonna get it though. Just not this one.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden - Seymour Hersh [Verso]

The ‘Chicago Model’ of Policing Hasn’t Saved Chicago - Simone Weichselbaum [The Marshall Project]

The Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Demands End to Drug War in New York City - Laura Carlsen [CIP Americas]

The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution - Micah White [Penguin Random House]

‘Soon we will be millions’: from Paris with love and lessons - Marina Sitrin [ROAR Magazine]

Episode 897

Lender's Game

Apr 23 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

On this day in the year 599 – (1417 years ago) — in what is now Chiapas, Mexico, near the Guatemalan border, Uneh Chan, also known as “Scroll Serpent” — the king of Calakmul, one of the largest and most powerful city-states of ancient Mayan civilization — led his troops across the Usumacinta River to attack the rival city-state of Palenque, which at the time was ruled by queen Yohl Ik’nal, the first female ruler recorded in Mayan history. In the ensuing battle, Palenque suffered a massive and probably bloody defeat. Though the city-state retained its political identity and its queen survived for five more years, historians believe that for at least the next decade Palenque was a client state of Calakmul, which in turn was locked in a long-term power struggle with the rival city-state of Tikal, in what is now Guatemala. Calakmul and Tikal are often described as the two major superpowers of the classic Mayan era, and historians liken their political maneuvering to a modern cold war. 

On this day in 1940 – (76 years ago) — Walter Barnes and his Royal Creolians, a highly regarded swing orchestra from Chicago, were in the middle of their set at the Rhythm Club dance hall in Natchez, Mississippi, when a fire started near the building entrance. The flames moved through the club quickly because the rafters were heavily festooned with Spanish moss that had been sprayed with a petroleum-based insecticide to prevent bugs. A few people managed to escape through the building’s front entrance, but the other doors and windows were boarded shut, trapping most of the patrons inside. As flames spread and smoke grew thick,  Walter Barnes directed his band to keep playing, in an attempt to calm the increasingly hysterical crowd. In the end, 209 people were killed and many more were seriously burned. Among the dead were Barnes and most of his band. The town’s morticians were so overwhelmed that they had to bury the dead in mass graves. The Rhythm Club fire was later the subject of songs by Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. 

On this day in 1967 – (49 years ago) — Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was launched into orbit aboard Soyuz 1, a brand-new spacecraft that — as he and his colleagues knew very well — was not ready for spaceflight. Members of the Soviet Politburo, anxious to score... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:10 - Social justice scholar Monique Morris examines the injustices pushing Black girls out of school.

Monique is author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools from The New Press.


10:00 - Our Man in San Juan, Dave Buchen reports on the debt crisis pulling Puerto Rico underwater.

Dave previously reported on the story for This is Hell! back in June 2015.


10:35 - Live from São Paulo, Brian Mier exposes the forces behind the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.

Brian recommends reading the Intercept article After Vote to Remove Brazil’s President, Key Opposition Figure Holds Meetings in Washington.


11:05 - Political scientist Kathy Cramer explores the ways resentment is driving American politics.

Kathy wrote the new book The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.


12:05 - Economist Yanis Varoufakis challenges the bankrupt ideology of Europe's debt/austerity regime.

Yanis is author of And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future from PublicAffairs.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen disgorges a political philosophy like a mother pelican.

I guess you the radio listener play the role of the pelican chick in this scenario, eating regurgitated fish.