Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

What the more far right wing think tanks want is a more hegemonic discourse. They don't want academics getting on a radio program and saying 'let's really think about what's driving our foreign policy.' They want to dictate what's driving our foreign policy, how it's talked about, how it's reflected in the press, and they've been quite effective at doing this for two to three decades.

Historian Osamah F. Khalil explores decades of shifting US foreign policy in the Middle East through the battle within the US for control of Middle East expertise - from the Cold War rise of the national security establishment, to the contemporary militarization of knowledge as government-aligned think tanks challenge academia for the lens through which we view the region.

Osamah is author of America’s Dream Palace: Middle East Expertise and the Rise of the National Security State from Harvard University Press.


Episode 941


Feb 25
Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:15 - Art historian Harriet Senie explores America's maintenance of national myths through war memorials.

Harriet is author of Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11 from Oxford University Press.


10:00 - Historian David Broder explains what the Anti-Trump left must learn from the anti-Berlusconi left.

David wrote the recent article Being Anti-Trump Isn’t Enough for Jacobin.


10:35 - Economist Dean Baker accounts for the economics of global trade in the Trump era.

Dean wrote the recent op-eds More Republican Handouts to the Rich and The Trouble With Trade: People Understand It for Truthout.


11:05 - Historian Osamah Khalil examines the illusions America sees when it looks to the Middle East.

Osamah is author of America’s Dream Palace: Middle East Expertise and the Rise of the National Security State from Harvard University Press.


12:05 - Journalist Kevin Davis discusses the impact of neuroscience in the criminal justice system.

Kevin is author of The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America’s Courtrooms from Penguin.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen awakens to reality, or something like it.

Wonder of wonders, all beings are invited to Jeff's latest segment.

Episode 940

Locus on the Family

Feb 18
Posted by Alexander Jerri

500 Years of Lying to Ourselves: An Apologetic History.

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

Ladies and Gentlemen and all points in between and beyond, I have distilled my discontent down to two rules:

1. The goal is equality of opportunity and equality under the law, inclusive society big and small (freedom from persecution on any basis), basic guaranteed standard of living (including infrastructure upkeep), universal health care, imprisonment as an admission of social failure to be limited to only exceptional cases, the choice to live a meaningful life rather than one dominated by drudgery, and equal access to quality education at every level. In short: respect for human rights and needs from any organization with which an individual comes into contact. These are within our abilities and resources as a species to provide. Without providing these, any system is extorting submission and misappropriating and misusing fees, rather than deserving of civil behavior and agreeable payment from the public. I'm not going to discuss or argue this anymore. If your goals are different, justify them to someone who cares.

2. Anything bad for Trump is good for the world.

I do not argue these points anymore. I don't explain them. I don't teach idiots, and only an idiot would disagree with these two convictions of mine. I would advise you all to do the same. Unless you're an idiot and disagree with me. Then I would advise you to eat a lump of poison. Or do like the KKK families do, murder your husband the Imperial Wizard and dump his body in the Missouri River.

The ability of stupid humanity to accept social conditions which any child can see are appallingly foolish is mind-numbing to me. It's really the dumbness of other people that's holding back the entire species.

Or is it? How do I get through my day, if I'm so enlightened that I can see through the veneer of respectability and discern the misbegotten nature of our society? I'll own it: I fool myself into thinking this garbage is okay. It's the only way to live a remotely pleasant life. Imagine living under the yoke of the Spanish Inquisition in 1493. Imagine how wildly you'd have to fool yourself into thinking it was fine to get up in the morning and go about your daily routine, while people were having their flesh punctured and ripped and their bones smashed until they admitted to abrogating some ludicrous superstitious rule. It's no... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In 1873  – (144 years ago) – a thirty-five-year-old former monk named Vasil Levsky, who had led a movement to liberate Bulgaria from rule by the Ottoman Empire, was executed by hanging. Inspired by the French Revolution and by European efforts toward liberal democracy and human rights, Levsky had worked for several years to create a network of secret committees across Bulgaria to prepare for a coordinated armed uprising. But when a few of his rebel colleagues pulled a robbery without his approval and were arrested, they betrayed him to the Ottoman police. Learning of this, Levsky tried to escape to Romania, but he never made it to the border. Today he’s regarded as one of Bulgaria’s national heroes.   

In 1930 – (87 years ago) – at the International Air Exposition in Saint Louis, Nellie Jay, a two-year-old Guernsey cow from Bismarck, Missouri, became the first cow to fly in an airplane. As part of the stunt, she was milked during the flight, producing twenty-four quarts of milk that were sealed into cardboard cartons and parachuted to spectators on the ground below. To maintain their milk production, dairy cows are kept continuously pregnant and their calves are taken away from them soon after birth, often to be slaughtered for veal. When Nellie Jay reached middle age and her milk days were over, she, too, was sent to the slaughterhouse.        

In 1943 – (74 years ago) – two students at the University of Munich, the siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, were arrested by the Gestapo for advocating resistance to Germany’s Nazi regime. They were founding members of the White Rose, a mostly student group that passed pamphlets and other materials hand-to-hand throughout southern Germany. Other White Rose activists were also arrested that day, and more were caught in the days thereafter. Hans and Sophie were among those found guilty of treason and executed by guillotine. Others went to prison until the end of World War II. Hans and Sophie Scholl had hoped that the Nazis’ recent defeat at Stalingrad would turn German public sentiment against the war. But on the very day of their arrest, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made a live radio speech in which he cited the Stalingrad debacle to argue for an escalation into what he called “total war.” He made... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:15 - Sociologist Melinda Cooper explains how neoliberalism transformed the politics of the family.

Melinda is author of Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the new Social Conservatism from Zone Books.


10:00 - Live from Stockholm, Mikael Mikaelsson outlines the government-industry path to green energy.

Mikael is a government adviser on science and innovation policy and international collaboration across Europe.


10:35 - Live from Bucharest, Florin Poenaru examines Romania's massive, contradictory protest movement.

Florin wrote the recent article What is at Stake in the Romanian Protests? for LeftEast.


11:10 - Artist Raoul Martinez looks beyond the limits of freedom to a future of equality and liberation.

Raoul is author of Creating Freedom: The Lottery of Birth, the Illusion of Consent, and the Fight for Our Future from Pantheon.


12:05 - Writer Joseph Daher explores the contemporary political-economy of Hezbollah.

Joseph is author of Hezbollah: The Political Economy of Lebanon's Party of God from Pluto Press.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, The current international trade situation pushes Jeff Dorchen over the borderline.

Did not have "international trade" in the pool for what would do that but OK.


Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the new Social Conservatism - Melinda Cooper [Zone Books]

What is at Stake in the Romanian Protests? - Florin Poenaru [LeftEast]

Creating Freedom: The Lottery of Birth, the Illusion of Consent, and the Fight for Our Future - Raoul Martinez [Pantheon]

Hezbollah: The Political Economy of Lebanon's Party of God - Joseph Daher [Pluto Press]

And further recommended reading:

How a Russian Steel Oligarch and Putin Ally Is Profiting from the Keystone XL Pipeline - Steve Horn [DeSmog Blog]

The Paranoid Style in American Politics - Richard Hofstadter [Harper's]

With Executive Order on Policing, Trump Declares Racialized War on Dissent  - Flint Taylor [Truthout]

Making COIN The modern history of an unstoppable bad idea - Tim Shorrock [The Baffler]

Episode 939

You Mad?

Feb 11
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In 244 – (1,773 years ago) – the nineteen-year-old Roman emperor Gordian III was killed by his own troops after being defeated by the Persians at the ancient city of Circesium in what is now Syria. The Roman Empire was in a period of bloody civil war, border insecurity, and economic collapse. Young Gordian had been made emperor six years earlier, in what is known as the Year of the Six Emperors. In that year (238), a revolt against the tyrant Maximius had resulted in a frail, elderly provincial governor being proclaimed Emperor Gordian I, and the old man had insisted that his son share power with him as Gordian II. The father-and-son co-emperors were popular with the Senate, but only lasted a month before being attacked at Carthage by an army led by a rival governor loyal to Maximius. When Gordian II was killed in the battle, his father, Gordian I, promptly committed suicide. The Senate quickly responded by installing two new co-emperors, Pupienus and Balbius, who not only mistrusted and feared each other but were hated by the Praetorian Guard. After just three months in power, they too, were killed. So it was in desperation that the Senate then turned to the terrified thirteen-year-old grandson of the first Gordian and nephew of the second, declaring him Emperor Gordian III. The young man struggled to grow into his role, but he died at Circesium, probably in a mutiny led by the general known as Philip the Arab. Philip then succeeded Gordian III as Roman emperor — and he, too, would be killed a few years later.

In 1823 – (194 years ago) – in Valletta, the capital of Malta, it was the last day of the public celebration of Carnival before the Catholic religious period of Lent. A church convent was observing its annual tradition of handing out free bread and fruit to poor children from the area, partly in order to keep them away from the bawdy confusion of the outdoor festival. Since Malta was experiencing a famine that year, the crowd of children was especially large, with some adults sneaking in as well. In a corridor of the old convent, the crowd got out of control and began pushing and shoving against a locked door. Soon a lamp went out, leaving the corridor in darkness, and the shoving got worse. Screams were heard as children were trampled, crushed, and suffocated. By the time people outside managed to pry the door open, more than a hundred... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Listen live from 9AM - 10:45AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM / stream at / subscribe to the podcast


9:15 - Author Pankaj Mishra examines the hidden history of anger across the modern world.

Pankaj is author of Age of Anger: A History of the Present from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


10:00 - Author Nato Thompson explains how art became a weapon aimed at the public.

Nato is author of Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life from Melville House.