Episode 681: February 4th, 2012 Shows


This is Hell! aired a live and completely uninterrupted and unedited four hour show, Saturday, February 4, 2012, beginning at 9 AM (US central) on Chicago’s Sound Experiment WNUR 89.3 FM, which streamed live and is now podcast here.

Your bitter blind broke gap-toothed radio show host Chuck Mertz interviewed …

  • Ali Soufan is a former FBI special agent who served on the frontlines against Al Qaeda and gained an international reputation as a top counterterrorism operative and interrogator. Ali is the author of, “Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda” (W.W. Norton & Company).
  • Carroll Smith-Rosenberg is the Mary Frances Berry Collegiate Professor, Emeritus, at the University of Michigan and author of numerous books including, “Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America”. We’ll be speaking with Carroll about her more recent book, “This Violent Empire: The Birth of an American National Identity” (University of North Carolina Press).
  • Gar Alperovitz is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Gar served as a legislative director in both houses of Congress and as a special assistant in the State Department. He is the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a founding principal of the University of Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth. He was the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership. His 2005 book, “America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty and Our Democracy” (Democracy Collaborative Press) has just been re-released with a new forward and introduction.
  • Farideh Farhi is an Independent Scholar and Affiliate Graduate Faculty at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Farideh’s writing includes, “States and Urban-Based Revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua” (University of Illinois Press). She has been a recipient of grants from the United States Institute of Peace and the Rockefeller Foundation and was most recently a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the International Crisis Group. She is currently on the advisory Board of the National Iranian American Coalition. You can read her blog here. In December, she also wrote a piece for Middle East Report Online entitled, “Narrowing the Options on the Table.”

Our irregular correspondents were:

  • live in-studio, Spencer ‘Thunderball’ Thayer will be taking calls around 9:50 AM (US central) from our listening audience regarding the issues surrounding Occupy Oakland’s latest action which resulted in property destruction. Specifically your opinion about the non-violence vs. diversity-of-tactics and if the actions last Saturday resulted in a feeling of isolation from the movement.
    Call Spencer live tomorrow morning on (847) 866-9687 or leave us a voice message that we may play on air at the This is Hell! hotline, (773) 828-9682.
  • live from the hermetically sealed clean rooms at URL Labs, LaddieO.com will give us his latest web, tech and science report.
  • live from Los Angeles, Jeff Dorchen delivers another amazing Moment of Truth.



  • Billrose1

    Hello Chuck, I am a faithful listener to your show.  Are you aware that it is almost impossible to contact you?  Is your “girlie” aware of this?  Are you being sabotaged?  Your website it absolute SHIT.  It is very frustrating to believe that you are “blind” to all the bullshit that is beint perpetrated upon you.  Someone is very determined that you not be heard.  It’s a shame, you are talented.

  • davidskalinder

    Lol, not quite sure what in particular you’re griping about, but if you’re just looking for shows without all the rest, you might find this link helpful: http://thisishell.net/feed/podcast/

    Also, in case something goes wrong, you can try my backup site: http://davidskalinder.com/hell/

    Hope that helps ease your frustration a little at least!

  • Sarah

    Yes this is the website from hell.  But the show is GREAT.  Is there a techie wonderboy or wondergirl who would volunteer to clean up the website?

  • Chuck

     Please specify your problems with the site!

  • Chuck Mertz

     How have you tried to contact us? What’s your critique of the site? We want your input!

  • Billrose1

    Hi, Sorry for the earlier rant, next time I’ll try the hangover cure before I type away.  I clicked the “contact” button at the top right of your home page and got frustrated trying to find an email to you.  Great show, as always.

  • http://spencerthayer.tumblr.com Spencer “Thunderball” Thayer

    Right. We cannot really fix what we do not know about.

  • http://spencerthayer.tumblr.com Spencer “Thunderball” Thayer

    What exactly about the site is “shit?” The contact page is VERY clearly worded. “If you have a book to send us, please email chuck [at] thisishell.net first to get a direct mailing address.”

    Not sure how much more explicit it has to be. Granted reading is required.

  • http://spencerthayer.tumblr.com Spencer “Thunderball” Thayer

    Haters gonna hate.