Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

There's no statement from the administration or the Pentagon really saying 'This is our new policy.' Most of the information that you have is from reporting. We're hearing that there are changes, and it's clear that there have been changes and nobody's denying that there have been changes - but what exactly are they? We still don't have an answer for that, almost two years later.

Journalist Amanda Sperber reports on the US campaign of air and drone strikes in Somalia - escalating in the Trump era and floating above local sovereignty and public knowledge about casualties, civilian deaths, terms of engagement, definitions of targets or even which US agencies are engaged in the war itself.

Amanda wrote the article Inside the Secretive US Air Campaign In Somalia for The Nation.


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.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools - Monique W. Morris [The New Press]

After Vote to Remove Brazil’s President, Key Opposition Figure Holds Meetings in Washington - [The Intercept]

The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker - Kathy Cramer [University of Chicago Press]

And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future - Yanis Varoufakis [PublicAffairs Books]


Episode 896

Not Working

Apr 16 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day In Rotten History...

On this day in 1457 BC – (3,473 years ago) — in the earliest military battle that modern historians view as being reliably documented, Egyptian armies and a coalition of Canaanite forces faced off at the Canaanite city of Megiddo, in what is now northern Israel. Pharoah Thutmose III led some ten to twenty thousand chariots and infantry against a roughly equal-sized force led by the king of Kadesh. Thutmose outmaneuvered the Canaanites, and his forces entered the walled city and plundered it, laying siege to the city for seven months until the Canaanites surrendered. Thutmose’s armies later continued through Syria and Mesopotamia, pillaging towns, burning crops, and taking prisoners. The establishment of Egyptian dominance over Palestine was a key episode in Thutmose’s expansion of the Egyptian empire to its greatest geographical extent — stretching from what is now Syria all the way south to what is now Sudan.

On this day in 1847 – (169 years ago) — a junior British army officer shot a minor chief of the Wanganui people, of the indigenous Maori of New Zealand. The incident triggered a series of clashes between Maori warriors and British forces that became known as the Wanganui Campaign, and which hinged mainly on the disputed legality of sales of Maori land to British settlers. The fighting extended into July and resulted in several deaths on both sides. But the Wanganui Campaign would only be the beginning of the larger New Zealand Wars, which would drag on for another twenty-five years as Maori tribes across New Zealand tried to form a united government to defend their lands against European colonialists. The wars would claim the lives of more than two thousand Maori people and some eight hundred British and colonial troops. They would end with the colonial confiscation of more than six thousand square miles of Maori land.

On this day in 1943 – (73 years ago) — in Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a chemist employed in research and development for the pharmaceutical company Sandoz, accidentally touched his finger to his mouth or eye while working in the laboratory with the chemical lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD. Over the next few hours, he inadvertently became the first person to discover that chemical’s hallucinogenic effects. He later wrote: “In a dreamlike state . . . I perceived an... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:10 - Sociologist David Frayne explores the revolutionary potential of simply resisting work.

David is author of The Refusal of Work: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work from Zed Books.


10:00 - Writer Sarah Kendzior visits a dying Midwestern town with big hopes for Donald Trump.

Sarah recently wrote Metropolis, the hometown of Superman, has a new hero: Donald Trump for The Guardian. We'll also dig into her report on freedoms in Uzbekistan for Freedom House's Nations in Transit series.


10:35 - Correspondent Mikael Mikaelsson translates the Panama Papers leak into an Icelandic political scandal.

Iceland's Prime Minister recently resigned after a document leak exposed his hidden off-shore finances.


11:05 - Author Ashley Dawson explains how capitalism is the engine driving climate change and mass extinction.

Ashley is author of Extinction: A Radical History from OR Books.


12:05 - Environmental health researcher Laura Orlando finds poisoned drinking water way beyond Flint.

Laura wrote the In These Times piece Why Your Water Could Be Worse Than Flint’s.


12:45 - In a noncommittally previewed Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen does his usual schtick.

It will be a good segment, but that's all we know about it, if you couldn't tell from the above description.

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

 Refusal of Work: Post-Work Theory & Practice - David Frayne [Zed Books]

Metropolis, the hometown of Superman, has a new hero: Donald Trump - Sarah Kendzior [The Guardian]

Extinction: A Radical History - Ashley Dawson [OR Books]

Why Your Water Could Be Worse Than Flint’s - Laura Orlando [In These Times]

Apr 9 2016
Episode 894

Anti Up

Apr 2 2016
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On April 2nd in Rotten History...

On this day in 1863 – (153 years ago) — in Richmond, Virginia — capital of the Confederacy during the US Civil War — bread riots broke out in the center of town as thousands of people broke into shops and looted food, clothing, and other merchandise. The rioters, mostly women, were angered by the same shortages of bread and other staples that were making similar riots a common occurrence across the American South that spring. Hungry troops on both sides of the Civil War had been stripping local farms of their crops and livestock during their movements from one battle to the next. To make matters worse, runaway inflation was making Confederate currency increasingly worthless. In Richmond, the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, came out and pleaded with the rioters to disperse. He even threw them the money he had in his pockets. But the rioters ignored Davis until he finally called in the militia and threatened to have them open fire on the crowd.

On this day in 1982 – (34 years ago) — Argentina launched an amphibious invasion of a nearby South Atlantic archipelago known to the Argentines as the Islas Malvinas, and to the British as the Falklands. These cold, windswept islands — where less than three thousand people lived mostly by fishing and sheep farming — had been ruled by Britain for some 150 years, but Argentina had never given up its own claim to them. And now, Argentina’s ruling military junta had ordered an invasion in the hope of distracting that country’s increasingly discontented populace from their economic woes and lost civil liberties. The Argentine generals were gambling that the Brits would not use military force to keep the islands — and at first, it seemed that their bet would pay off, as the Argentine invaders met little resistance from the islands’ tiny self-defense force, bolstered by a few dozen British troops. But when British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sent a major naval task force to retake the islands, it led to a war that lasted more than two months, killed some nine hundred people, and ultimately caused the downfall of the Argentine junta. The Falklands remained firmly in British hands — and Port William, the territory’s busiest ship harbor, remains heavily mined to this day.

Rotten History is writtern by Renaldo Migaldi.