In an influenza-soaked Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen peers through the shirthole of history at the long line of (mostly same-y) con-men that got themselves elected in this country, and asks himself 'is this the best we can do?' and asks himself 'is this even the worst we can do?' before the fever takes him away to a better place.
This is Hell! Monday nights at 11PM Eastern on Public Reality Radio!
Starting tonight, This is Hell! will be airing Monday nights at 11PM Eastern on WPRR Public Reality Radio. We're sending them a one hour version of the show each week (the first hit is always free) with the reminder that there's four hours of interview Hell each week at www.thisishell.com
If you know a radical / lefty with a radio in Grand Rapids or West Michigan, let em know that we're coming to their town / subdivision / squat. And if you want to hear This is Hell! in your community, get in touch with us and we'll bug that station together.
This day in rancid, ugly, horrible, putrid, rotten history...
On this day in 1780 – [235 years ago] – an enormous hurricane swept through the Caribbean with winds of up to two hundred miles per hour, devastating colonial towns and sinking scores of British and French ships. The storm later zigagged northeast, up the Eastern Seaboard, wreaking havoc as far as Newfoundland and Bermuda, and killing more than twenty thousand people. It remains the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, worse even then Hurricane Mitch of 1998.
On this day in 1871 – [144 years ago] – the Great Chicago Fire burned itself out after having raged through the city center for three days. It killed some three hundred people, destroyed a third of the city’s real estate, and left more than one hundred thousand people homeless. To this day, the fire’s original cause remains unknown, despite many theories advanced by historians. The popular myth of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over the lantern was debunked long ago. One of the more sketchy but intriguing conjectures is that the fire in Chicago -- along with others occurring on the same day in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and in Holland, Michigan -- may have been ignited by red-hot meteorite fragments fallen through earth’s atmosphere from an exploding comet.
On this day in 1957 – [58 years ago] – the world’s first major nuclear accident occurred when a fire broke out at the Windscale facility in Cumbria on the northwest coast of England, releasing streams of airborne radioactive particles across the UK and Europe. Operators worked frantically all night and into the following day before finding a way to extinguish the reactor’s burning uranium cores. Once they did so, they were able to seal the reactor tank -- which remains sealed today, with fifteen tons of uranium fuel still inside. The Windscale reactor is now being decommissioned, a process expected to be complete in the year 2038.
On this day in 1973 – [42 years ago] – Spiro T. Agnew, vice president of the United States under President Richard Nixon, was forced to resign from office as a condition of a plea deal on an income tax evasion charge. Agnew had also been charged by a federal district attorney with extortion, conspiracy, and accepting more than one hundred thousand dollars in bribes while holding political office. His resignation came amid... read more
Listen live tomorrow 9AM - 1PM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream here at thisishell.com
Morten's latest book is Africa: Why Economists Get it Wrong from Zed Books.
Brian wrote the Brasil Wire article Against Austerity: World Habitat Day.
According to Dave, "UK politics has just become properly interesting for the first time in maybe fifteen years."
Greg is author of the new book Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial Statesman from Macmillan.
Rick wrote the There Goes the Neighborhood:The Obama Library Lands on Chicago for The Baffler.
Jeff will be delivering his first Moment of Truth via an actual microphone we just bought him. No more audio fudge!
Here is what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:
Morten Jerven - Africa: Why Economists Get it Wrong [Zed Books]
Brian Mier - Against Austerity: World Habitat Day [Brasil Wire]
John Cassidy - Five Things Jeremy Corbyn Has Right [New Yorker]
Greg Grandin - Kissinger's Shadow [Macmillan]
Rick Perlstein - There Goes the Neighborhood [The Baffler]
On this day in rancid, ugly, horrible, putrid, rotten history . . .
On this day in 1935 – [80 years ago today] Ethiopia was invaded by the armed forces of Benito Mussolini’s Italian Fascist regime, which numbered more than a million and included fighters from Libya, Eritrea, and other client states. The invaders were equipped with the latest in modern aircraft, tanks, artillery, and poison gas. Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie, meanwhile, having foreseen the approach of war, had only managed to raise a defense force of some half-million soldiers, most of whom received little or no training. Some of the Ethiopians had vehicles and weapons that, though outmoded, were still functional -- but others had only bows, spears, and swords. They were quickly overrun, and within a few months Mussolini was acclaimed by enthusiastic crowds in Rome, having declared a new Italian empire in East Africa. The occupation lasted several years, but began losing its grip in the late 1930s as Mussolini joined forces with Nazi Germany and diverted his attention and esources toward wider wars elsewhere. Later, after regaining its independence in 1947, Ethiopia would cite a death toll of more than seven hundred thousand people.
On this day in 1963 – [52 years ago today] Military forces in Honduras staged a violent coup d’etat just ten days before scheduled national elections. The ousted president, Ramon Villeda Morales, had pushed for democratic reforms, new labor laws, and improvements in public health, education, and infrastructure. But his agrarian measures, which included expropriation of foreign-owned agricultural land, had been criticized by business interests in the United States. Powerful right-wing elements in Honduras had not only accused him of communist sympathies, but also opposed the like-minded candidate who was widely expected to be elected to succeed him. After Villeda Morales was overthrown and exiled to Costa Rica, US president John Kennedy condemned the coup and recalled the US ambassador. But fourteen months later, Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, established new ties with the Honduran military government, which would remain in power until 1982.
Listen live tomorrow 9AM - 10AM Central on WNUR 89.3FM or stream here at thisishell.com
John is author of the new book Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance from Public Affairs.