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Far from giving up a lot of the basic principles of Black nationalism - the idea that Black people have a destiny that cannot be accommodated by White America as it currently stands, that Black people should separate from White America, a firm belief in Black men as the salvation of the Black race - all of these things accompany Thomas on his migration to the right. It's not as if he gives up those principles. He certainly gives up left principles, but those are quite different and can't just be subsumed under the heading 'Black nationalism.'

Political scientist Corey Robin examines the politics of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas - from his early formative experiences with White supremacy, leftist defeatism and Black nationalism, to his formation of a deeply pessimistic, conservative realism that rejects the notion of politics as a path toward liberation.

Corey is author of the book The Enigma of Clarence Thomas from Metropolitan Books.


Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Back when slimy Richard Nixon was Eisenhower's vice president, he got together with the CIA and planned what became the Bay of Pigs invasion. This isn't conspiracy theory stuff, this is conspiracy fact. Nixon says so in his own memoirs. It was this weird crappy holdover plan from the past administration that was forced on JFK by the accumulated buildup of intelligence, foreign affairs and defense experts, anti-communist parties obsessively bent on making sure nothing like a remotely successful anti-capitalist revolution lingered in the historical imagination, let alone actually existed somewhere in our hemisphere. Such parties were built-up residue in the so-called national security apparatus, like plaque, impossible to dislodge by mere electoral means. And so they persisted.

They said, "Kennedy, man, we really don't like you, you're the new guy, you're Catholic, your dad was a rum-runner, you're slick, we're WASPs, we're the militaryindustrial complex, you really need to please us. So here's your chance to get on our good side, it's this plan we're kind of already committed to so you really have to do this. Trust us, once this little canoe full of Cubans starts the counter-revolution, all the Cubans will rise up to overthrow Castro because they're all itching to go back to quasi-slavery under a US puppet regime." And JFK was like, "Is this one of Nixon's leftover schemes? Cuz you know Nixon lost the election, right?" And they were like, "No matter who wins a US election, we're always in charge." And JFK said, "Look, you kind of sprung this on me in the middle of the night, but it's already in progress, so okay, fine."

So this handful of 1400 or so Cuban exile fascist doofuses sets out from Guatemala, which the very same US military-industrial complex had overthrown six or seven years earlier, and they get to the Bay of Pigs – JFK was like, "Really, 'Bay of Pigs,' you couldn't pick a bay with a better name, like the Bay of Condors or Tigers or something? If this fails it's gonna sound really slimy' – And these doofuses fight with the revolutionary army and they're losing and the Cuban people are like, "Um, hey, look over here, the USA is trying to overthrow Castro, everybody." And the world was like, "Yeah, what did you expect? Castro nationalized all the assets the US was stealing from you."

And then the CIA said to JFK, "Hey, buddy, our... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:20 - Journalist Amanda Sperber reports on the known unknowns of the US drone program in Somalia.

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


10:05 - Journalist Jesse Eisinger explains how a decaying, defunded IRS set its sights on poor people's money.

Jesse co-authored the report How the IRS Was Gutted with Paul Kiel for ProPublica.


11:05 - Filmmaker Astra Taylor explores what democracy has been, and what it might someday become.

Astra's new film is What Is Democracy?. The film is out now / soon depending on the city. Astra will be in Chicago Friday and Saturday screening and talking about the film.


12:05 - Historian Peter Cole examines the work of building labor solidarity and racial equality between dockworkers.

Peter is author of the book Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area from University of Illinois Press.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen whacks the big stick from the Bay of Pigs to Caracas.


Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

Things are going to change. We can try to influence those changes to raise our chances for a decent future, or we can wait for the changes to happen to us.

One change that is definitely going to happen is, we're going to stop using fossil fuels. And we're going to stop polluting the environment. Either we'll make these changes by choice, or by default. Either we will transform the way we produce and consume energy and other resources, or our present course will render us too dead to continue.

Fossil fuels, it's in the name. They are fossils. Old and petrified. Their time was up long ago. The oil-gas-and-coaligarchy has held onto its dominance over land, sea and air by overthrowing governments, displacing and massacring entire populations, buying the governments too white to destroy and replace, and everywhere distorting elections and laws with bribery and coercion. They're not nice. They've overstayed their welcome.

I think dinosaurs would be offended by our use of the term "dinosaur" to mean an entity whom time has passed by, who no longer understands current events and is itself, in word, deed and physical incarnation, an anachronism in the culture. Cartoon dinosaurs, Gary Larson "Far Side" dinosaurs, would be offended, not literal dinosaurs, they don't exist anymore. The Larson ones would consider it a derogatory term, not just as an insulting metaphor, but as an actual identifier for themselves. "I'm a stegosaur, I'm a triceratops, I'm a sauropod, don't call me the 'D- word.'"

Actual dinosaurs are fossils. Not in the pejorative sense. They're really fossils. Their flesh has been replaced by sedimentary minerals over tens of millions of years. Although some evolved into birds.

But Larson sauropods and their ilk, they'd be mad. So out of sensitivity to cartoon prehistoric bird ancestors, I'm going to say "D-word."

Ha! No I'm not.

In an effort to get ahead of the coming changes – to change our behavior before the consequences of our behavior change us into corpses – the new Democratic Congresspersons, voted in on a wave of hatred of Donald Dump, the cartoon duck with no pants, have introduced an introduction to legislation they propose to propose. Of course, because it's intended to solve actual problems rather than placate those who cause the problems, it's being pooped on by dinosaurs and their advocates. Dinosaurs like James Carville,... read more

Episode 1042

Labour Mire

Feb 9
Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:20 - Critical theorist Kanishka Goonewardena explores the roots of Sri Lanka's neoliberal / ethno-nationalist crisis.

Kanishka wrote the article The Crisis in Sri Lanka for Jacobin.


10:00 - Geographer Lavinia Steinfort examines the potential of creating new, public money in the people’s interest.

Lavinia wrote the essay The Power of Public Finance for the Future we Want for the Transnational Institute's State of Power 2019 report.


10:35 - Anthropologist Jason Hickel explains what Bill Gates and Steven Pinker don't understand about global poverty.

Jason wrote the post A letter to Steven Pinker (and Bill Gates, for that matter) about global poverty at his site. We talked with Jason in June 2018 about his book The Divide.


11:05 - Writer Richard Seymour surveys what remains of Labour under Brexit's combustible, nationalist unity project.

Richard is author of the essay Brexit and the "white working class" posted at his Patreon page. 


12:05 - Writer DaMaris Hill traces a history - and present - of Black women imprisoned in America.

DaMaris is author of the book A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland from Bloomsbury.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen handles the dinosaur problem.

Finally, thanks Jeffy.

Episode 1041

Flesh Drive

Feb 2
Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

I've been thinking about farmers and what Donald Dump, that cartoon duck with no pants on, has been doing to our partners in agriculture from the Latin lands to our south. Apparently it's been made more difficult to come from southern countries to farms here in the US, and I've heard that there are US farmers who can't pay enough to the workers who are here to maintain a sufficient labor force to do all the picking and such. And it's always puzzled me that growers of food crops always seem to be in need of subsidies, always worried about overhead, always on the verge of ruin, sometimes even when their crops come in abundantly. I know commodity prices can go up and down for a variety of reasons, but that's not what puzzles me.

Eating never goes out of style. All organisms must consume something to live, and humans eat just about everything, all the time. Being a farmer should be like being a mortician during a plague, a really going concern. And the world's farmers are really good at what they do! They produce more than enough food for all the people alive today, though that food somehow has a hard time getting to a lot of those people.

There's a recent ad from IBM saying that the world's population is going to top 10 million soon, and that food production will have to increase 70% to accommodate them all. 10 million is less than a 50% increase, closer to 25%, in the number of people that exist now, and we could feed all the people living now, so I guess IBM's artificial intelligence has decided that the new bunch of people are going to be genetically engineered gluttons or something. What's up your sleeve, IBM?

What we really need is not a system that produces more food, but a system that distributes the current amount produced to all currently existing people who would like to eat it. And we don't have that system. Growing more food or more nutritious food isn't going to feed the hungry people, if we can't even give them the food that we already have. Food we throw away.

Or maybe we don't have enough food. Maybe that is why people go hungry, because we don't have enough food. Is that why people go hungry in the USA? Because there isn't enough food here? I don't recall a run on the supermarkets where people with twenty-dollar bills burning holes in their pockets showed up demanding hams or cucumbers or microwave burritos and were turned away because... read more

Posted by Alexander Jerri

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


9:20 - Writer Jacob Hamburger traces New Atheism's shifting relationship with liberal ideology.

Jacob wrote the article What Was New Atheism for The Point.


10:05 - Our Man in San Juan, Dave Buchen reports on Hamilton coming to Puerto Rico, and the junta staying there.

Listen to Dave's reports from Puerto Rico here. Oh and his 2019 calendar is here and very good.


10:35 - Live from Paris, Cole Stangler explains how the Yellow Vests took their own 'national debate' to the streets.

Cole wrote the article Back on the Offensive for Jacobin.


11:05 - Writer Ben Ehrenreich explores the magical thinking behind the myths of progress and Western Civilization.

Ben wrote the article After the Storm for The Baffler.


12:05 - Computer scientist Kate Devlin explores the human questions raised by sex with robots.

Kate is author of the book Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots from Bloomsbury.


12:45 - In a Moment of Truth, Jeff Dorchen shares his Ode to the Farmer.


Episode 1040

Warm Feelings

Jan 26
Posted by Alexander Jerri

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

The object of any capitalist enterprise seems to be to contrive, through law or violence, to control the greatest amount of resources possible, and to increase such control even beyond time and the possible. There is no point at which the capitalist enterprise is programmed to decide enough is enough. The resources it seeks to command include what we normally think of as wealth or capital, such as raw materials, space, time, and money, as well as physical human beings, where they are in space and how they exert their energy at any given time, but also including their ineffable attributes: loyalty, passion, purpose, wishes, sexual feelings, determination, perseverance, language, ignorance, knowledge, imagination, anxiety, pettiness, preference, and any number of other intangible energies, to which a name may or may not be attached.

Does capitalism succeed in its quest for control? Yes it does. What can put the breaks on its quest? Unions, the power of which has been waning since and partially because of the Reagan administration; government, which has been known to vacillate between bowing to the influence of the people and to that of capital, with capital in the excessively ascendant currently; and natural forces, although any limit imposed by so-called "nature" is often turned by capital into yet another opportunity or public excuse to exert other kinds of control.

All limits are just more business opportunities. Is the world crumbling due to fossil fuel emissions? Here's a battery! The concerned consumer never sees the emissions produced during lithium extraction, battery manufacture, and generating the electricity used to charge the batteries, all of which activities occur "off-camera."

Are unions forcing you to raise wages? There's a company you can hire to undermine labor solidarity. There are all kinds of lobbyists hired to convince governments to hire the capitalist to remove obstacles to capitalism, and think tanks to advise governments to listen to those lobbyists. It's big business, removing obstacles to business, and everyone wants in on that gravy train. It's a viciously circular feeding frenzy, and the great masses of us outside of uber-wealth are the bait ball.

The ability to profit from our emotions, both petty and grand, and the ability to turn catastrophe and human misery into investment opportunities, seem to be the two aspects of... read more