Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week
986rebeccaburns

In the course of reporting, the EPA gave me a statistic that it came up with in its recent review - something like one third of its current Superfund sites are within a mile of public housing complexes. And that didn't happen by accident. There have been all sorts of decisions like those in East Chicago that resulted in low income housing, primarily for Black and Brown folks, being in the most dangerous areas, where people are at the most risk of contamination.

Investigative reporter Rebecca Burns surveys the toxic legacy environmental racism and housing discrimination in East Chicago, Indiana - as a public housing complex built over the site of a former lead smelter poisoned generations of people, far beyond the concern of developers and politicians responsible for the site's location.

Rebecca wrote the article On Poisoned Ground: East Chicago’s legacy of lead pollution for The Baffler.

 


Posted by Alexander Jerri

 

Yikes, Dykes: Kikes!

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

After an incident at the Chicago Dyke March in which pro-Palestinians and pro-Israelis ruffled each other's feathers, I weighed in by Jewsplaining, or perhaps "circumsplaining," to the benighted lesbians on both sides of the controversy. Though I tried to be evenhanded in my criticism of the pathetic display of juvenile behavior, I definitely went at non-Jews more aggressively. Non-Jews on the left seem complacent about their ill- repressed anti-Semitism, even willfully ignorant of it, so I felt it would require a lot more work to get it through their thick skulls exactly how hypocritical they are. I was right. I don't know if it's a thing with doctrinaire lesbians, or doctrinaire lefties in general, but they do appear to be more intransigently stupid than, say, your average first-grader.

Possessing, as I do, a penis, albeit a reasonably queer penis, I'm an outsider in this case. I don't apologize for having a penis, which is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Not mine, but the archetypal organ in general. As a penis-appended outsider, I should, according to some, abstain from commenting on this dyke-versus-kike buffoonery. And I considered that. I often abstain from commenting on the stupidity of women and people of color. It's much more fun to criticize white people, especially white men, and they do offer so much material. When women and people of color provide material for mockery, it's often even more satisfying not to comment. What could be more patronizing than deeming someone too oppressed and delicate to make fun of?

I didn't want to engage in that type of condescension this time. First, it would've been too easy. Second, the offenses to civil discourse were too blatant. And, third, the potential for snark was too tempting.

For example, as pointed out by my friend, the great shamanistic poet and mystic Rachel Kann, some of the march organizers, or "survivors of the trauma," have set up an online crowd-funding page to send themselves and their allies against Zionism on a retreat to recover from the argument. So pitiful is their plaint that even some of those who support the other side have given money. I'll quote two of them. Anonymous says, "You should be ashamed of the way you treated your fellow (Jewish) dykes!" Anonymous gave an undisclosed amount. Perhaps it was too insulting to disclose, in... read more

Episode 960

RAT PAC

Jul 8 2017
Posted by Alexander Jerri
960lineup

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

 

9:15 - Journalist David Daley explores the GOP plan to ratfuck the vote and rule from the minority, forever.

David returns to This Is Hell! to talk about his book Ratfucked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, now in paperback with a new afterward, from Norton.

 

10:00 - Live from San Salvador, Hilary Goodfriend follows USAID money to corporate ends in El Salvador.

Hilary wrote the article USAID's Trojan Horse that appeared originally at Solidarity, and now at Jacobin.

 

10:35 - Journalist Michelle Chen examines neoliberalism's assault on public housing, at Grenfell and beyond.

Michelle wrote the The Economic System That Made the Grenfell Tragedy Possible and No, Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Is Not Hurting Workers for The Nation.

 

11:05 - Middle East scholar Wendy Pearlman discusses the Syrian war, from the testimonies of Syrian refugees.

Wendy is author of the new book We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria from HarperCollins.

 

12:05 - Writer Julian Brave NoiseCat explains how pipeline politics threaten not only native lands, but indigenous sovereignty.

Julian wrote the commentary Law Enforcement is Still Used as a Colonial Tool In Indian Country for the Marshall Project and the Guardian opinion piece Indigenous sovereignty is on the rise. Can it shape the course of history?

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen post-mortems last week's Dykes [HIS WORDS] v Kikes [HIS WORDS] piece.

Two of those words are HIS WORDS just to repeat. Not Alex's words. Not Chuck's words. Jeff's words.

Posted by Alexander Jerri
Hbdusaplaylist

 

Happy Birthday, USA. Here's a look back at your first 241 years!

 

Andrés Resendéz - Uncovering the other slavery: A history of Indian enslavement in America.

 

 

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

 

 

Alan Taylor - A new understanding of America's unruly, divided and limited revolution.


 

 

David Sehat - Fundamentally flawed: Dispelling modern myths of America's founders.

 
 
 

Paul Pillar - Why American exceptionalism survives its own failures.

 

 

Andrew Bacevich - Imperial mire: A new history of the American century at war.

 

 
 

Kevan Harris - Immigration, integration and the myth of the European bootstrap.

 

 

 

Marjorie Spruill - How Christian conservative women built a movement outside feminism - and inside the GOP.

 

 

 

Kevin Kruse - One notion under God: The corporate roots of modern American Christianity.

 

 

 

Carol Anderson - A history (and present) of White rage in the face of Black advancement.

 

 

Episode 959

Troll Phase

Jul 2 2017
Posted by Alexander Jerri

On This Day in Rotten History...

In 1523 – (494 years ago) — Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes, two monks from a monastery in Antwerp, were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for the crime of adopting religious positions of the German theologian Martin Luther, who had kickstarted the Protestant Reformation six years earlier. Luther had denounced the Catholic authorities for the practice of selling indulgences — basically, taking people’s money for the promise of getting them into heaven after their death. He maintained that the authority of the Bible took precedence over that of the Catholic pope, cardinals, and bishops. Those were dangerous beliefs in medieval Europe, and the Roman Church was so intent on stopping their spread that, contrary to usual practice, the charges against Esch and Voes were not read aloud before their public execution in the main marketplace of Brussels. As the flames rose around them, the two unfortunate monks sang Latin hymns until they fell unconscious. Their monastery was declared to have been defiled, and was demolished.

In 1766 – (251 years ago) — a twenty-year-old French nobleman named François-Jean de la Barre was awakened early in the morning and physically tortured by having his hands cut off and his tongue torn from his mouth. Later that day he was beheaded for crimes against Roman Catholicism, the state religion of France. La Barre been found guilty of failing to remove his hat when a religious procession passed, and also for mocking Catholic hymns by changing the words to include obscenities. Police had searched his bedroom and found prohibited books, including the works of the atheistic philosopher Voltaire. After le Barre was beheaded, his body was burned; his copy of Voltaire’s Philosphical Dictionary was also tossed into the flames. After the fire died, the ashes were swept up and unceremoniously dumped into the nearby Somme River.

In 1916 – (101 years ago) — eighteen British and French divisions attacked the German Second Army in positions along the Somme River, kicking off a major battle of World War I. In some areas, according to some accounts, the British and French soldiers simply marched shoulder-to-shoulder into a barrage of German machine gunfire that mowed them down, filling the battlefield with bloody corpses. In other areas, it was the British and French who had the upper hand, and the... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Jewsplaining the Dyke March

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

If you don't know about the kerfuffle at the Chicago Dyke March between organizers, pro-Palestinians, and three members of the pro-Israel group A Wider Bridge, please Google it. But be warned, very few details are clear. I've read statements and accounts from people at the march and from representative groups, and none of them agree. Even the Chicago Dyke March's own official statement conflicts on several points with that of core Dyke March Collective member and organizer Alexis Martinez in a Windy City Times interview. Were the Wider Bridge women asked not to display their flags, which resembled the flag of Israel? Were the Wider Bridge women abusive and disruptive? Were they asked to leave? Did they leave? Were pro-Palestinian marchers abusive to the A Wider Bridge women? Was anti-Semitism involved? Who started it?

These questions have no easy answers... except for the one about anti-Semitism, but we'll get to that later.

There had already been friction between A Wider Bridge and the anti-Israel wing of the pro-Palestinian faction. Laurel Grauer, one of the A Wider Bridge marchers who may or may not have been asked to leave the march for flag-waving and/or harassing speech or chanting or behavior, had had a text conversation with a Dyke March organizer before the march asking if they would be protested there. The organizer said no, but made clear the position of the organizers in support of the Palestinian struggle.

In addition to its LGBTQ advocacy on the part of queer Israeli Jews, Arabs and others, A Wider Bridge is an emphatically Zionist organization, if uncritical enthusiasm for Israel is Zionism. A perusal of its website makes this clear. If an anti-Israel stance were part of a stated position of my march, one I didn't want challenged, I would ask an organization that announces, "We see the independent state of Israel as the most important project of Jewish people," not to represent that view at my march. Not that one can't be pro-Israel and anti-Zionist at the same time, or pro-Israel but anti-Occupation, but those positions rarely divide or interweave in any simple way, either on the Palestinian or the Jewish side, and representing ideas of such complexity in a march would require real, concentrated effort on the part of all parties.

Does the complexity of the subject mean it should have been avoided?... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri
959lineup

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

 

9:15 - Writer Angela Nagle explores the intersection of online extremism and IRL politics.

Angela is author of Kill All Normies: Online culture wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the alt-right from Zero Books.

 

10:00 - Azeezah Kanji and S. K. Hussan explain why liberal opposition to Islamophobia backfires.

Azeezah and S.K. wrote the article The Problem with Liberal Opposition to Islamophobia for ROAR Magazine.

 

10:35 - Journalist Steve Horn reports on carbon's political footprint in the Trump era.

Steve wrote the recent articles Fracked Gas LNG Exports Were Centerpiece In Promotion of Panama Canal Expansion, Documents Reveal and Tillerson Present as Exxon Signed Major Deal with Saudi Arabia During Trump Visit for DeSmog Blog.

 

11:05 - Laura Erickson-Schroth and Laura A. Jacobs explore the origin and persistence of gender myths.

Laura and Laura wrote the book “You're in the Wrong Bathroom!” And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions About Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People for Beacon Press.

 

12:05 - Journalist Will Parrish reports on government-corporate surveillance of pipeline protests.

Will co-wrote the giant, 5-part series on DAPL surveillance and policing, TigerSwan Tactics for The Intercept.

 

12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen Jewsplains the Dyke March fiasco in a radically inclusive way.

Almost all of those words in that tease are Jeffy's and I just copy/pasted them, please don't @ me.

Episode 958

Via la Commune

Jun 24 2017
Posted by Alexander Jerri

 

How Green Was My Tally

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

Starting about three thousand years ago, in old, old China, there was a tradition called the Tiger Tallies. Every general in charge of an army had a jade tiger figurine. It was pretty cute. The emperor had duplicate figurines, one for each general. When the emperor wanted to go to war, he had to meet with his generals and match up their figurines.

For 800 years this ritual went on. Then, in the mid-Second Century BCE, during the reign of the fifth Han Emperor, something changed. Han Wu Di wanted to go to war, but his paternal grandmother, The Grand Dowager Empress Dou, had the Tiger Tallies. And she didn't want Han to go to war. She was a Taoist and something of an isolationist and anti-imperialist, at least as much an anti- imperialist as someone calling herself Grand Dowager Empress could be.

Han Wu Di woke up one day and said, "Screw this. What's with this Tiger Tallies crap? I'm the Emperor, for Confucius' sakes. I'm going to order my generals to go to war, and no controlling old dowager with an egg-carton full of jade tiger figurines is going to stop me."

Thus ended the 800-year tradition of the Tiger Tallies. Not through trickery, not by coup, not by reasoned argument, not by ethical appeal, not by plebiscite. The guy in charge just decided not to honor it anymore, because it obstructed his desires.

And that's also how our democracy ended. One day the Republican party decided that the quaint tradition of pretending to consider the public good wasn't worth the hassle. It involved too much deception, and they realized the people they needed to deceive weren't such sharp tacks. The Constitutional rituals for the formation, consideration and passing of laws could remain in place, since it was a very useful way to coerce the aristocracy to share its money with the lawmakers. And the Democrats themselves weren't that enthusiastic about forcing the GOP to honor the quaint tradition. The legislative branch became like a repurposed shuffleboard court, one no longer used by people to play shuffleboard, but rather now completely monopolized by two gluttons sliding cheesecakes to each other, bargaining with the various aristocratic cheesecake bakeries for more and better cheesecake.

The GOP had witnessed what a pain in the ass it had been for Obama and the Democratic Congress of 2009/2010 to appease the people while... read more