787: Extract Expressionism Shows


February 15th – There are makers and there are takers, according to a political ideology that puts precedence on things rhyming. What happens when the takers make a woman a prisoner in her own home, or the makers take over a slave ship? Your bitter, blind, broke, gap-toothed radio host Chuck Mertz takes 4 hours to figure it all out.





Vera Scroggins: “All of them are afraid to speak publicly against the industry. They will never say anything on the record. What is happening to us?”

Vera Scroggins can’t go to the bowling alley in her town for the same reason she often can’t drink the water from her pipes: Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. The anti-fracking activist was profiled by the Guardian after she was barred from 312.5 sq miles of Pennsylvania, in a sweeping, ludicrous restraining order. She talks with Chuck about life under fracking, Cabot’s environmental and political damage to her town, and a court order won’t restrain her from fighting a dirty business.

Vera Scroggins is an anti-fracking activist in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. She gives tours of fracking sites and documents the industry’s impact on her hometown through her YouTube channel. Vera’s Twitter.



Gareth Porter: “The national security bureaucracy always conflates the interest of the bureaucracy itself with the interest of the American people.  “

Iran operates under a religious ideology so dangerous, so destructive that the nation… barred itself from using chemical weapons during their war with Iraq? If that’s surprising to most Americans who perceive Iran as enduring existential threat #1, it’s because decades of cynical Israeli politicians and American lobbyists have done their job mostly unchallenged by the press. But not Gareth Porter.  He wrote the new book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare and takes us from America’s post-Cold War Iran alarmism to America’s post-Iraq war Iran alarmism.

Gareth Porter is an investigative journalist and historian. He’s published a number of books challenging conventionally held beliefs about American international policy, including 2005′s Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. Gareth’s Twitter.

See also: Kevan Harris from 01/04/2014


Andrew Kennis: “It seems that for a long time, the Sinaloa cartel was the favored drug cartel of both the Mexican and US governments.”

The biggest drug trial in maybe forever still hasn’t really started yet, and it may be because the government’s former ally is the one on trial. Andrew Kennis and Jason McGahan covered court proceedings against Vicente Zambada in Time Out Chicago’s 2012 article Behind the Chicago trial of a Mexican drug kingpin. He catches us up on the case that now includes ATF whistleblowers, Mexican Tom Hagens, pretty boys, double crosses, missing weapons, custom playing cards and a very drug-thirsty Chicago.

Andrew Kennis is an international journalist and assistant professor at the University of Texas – El Paso, where he teaches journalism and news media analysis. Andrew’s website and Twitter.

See also: Laura Carlsen from 01/18/2014


Greg Grandin: “Starting in the 1770s, there was a big push by Spanish-American merchants to institute what they called ‘free trade in blacks’ – they wanted more liberty, and by that they meant more liberty to buy and sell Africans as they would.”

Slavery is not a thing of the past, not as long as its legacy shapes everything about the modern world. In his latest book The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New WorldGreg Grandin covers global free trade’s first incarnation and explains how the slave trade influenced science, religion, politics – the structures of contemporary civilization. He talks with Chuck about the Atlantic slave trade established a new kind of economy in the Americas, influences Tea Party politics in 2014, and ironically shaped the very American notions of individuality and personal freedom.

Greg Grandin is a historian and history professor at New York University. His 2009 book Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History, as well as for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Greg’s website and Twitter.

Interview Transcript via AntiDote.


Laddie O: “ISPs could even regulate search results. If you were on one network, you might get different results from another. That’s not what I remember the internet being. That’s the sky falling.”

Stream this free interview while it’s free and streamable.That might change soon. After last month’s court ruling threatening net neutrality, Laddie O started digging around for the culprits. And he dug until he found… FDR? Add him to the list with Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Title 2, George W Bush (obviously), the threat of Republicans and the FCC.

Laddie O has covered web news for This is Hell! since 1998. When he’s not doing that, he’s acting like a big-time multimedia producer for Maryland’s university system and walking around the place in a most haughty fashion.

See also: Michael Copps on 01/18/2014


Jeff Dorchen: “Actually picking sides in this controversy is like picking sides between animatronic monkeys having a toxic excrement-throwing fight on the stage of an amphitheater in a cyborg zoo few people can afford admission to.”

If you are lucky, this is the first thinkpiece on the Woody Allen molestation allegations you will experience. If you are smart, it will be your last, because Jeff Dorchen pulls the roof down over the whole Ted Talk / Singularity Institute-style myopic commentary industry.

According to his contacts on LinkedIn, Jeff Dorchen can do just about anything. He’s a visual artist, songwriter/musician, actor, essayist, poet, playwright and screenwriter. He’s also an amateur scholar of Judaic, Hindu and Japanese spiritual lore. His many unfinished novels are still unfinished.



Producer Alexander Jerri looks into becoming an anarchist once it warms up outside.