Podcast for Saturday, August 6 2011 Shows


Today, Saturday, August 6, 2011, This is Hell! aired a live four hour broadcast beginning at 9AM (US central) on Chicago’s Sound Experiment WNUR 89.3 FM streaming live and podcast here.

This weekend, your bitter blind broke gap-toothed radio show host Chuck Mertz intervieed:

  • Richard Wolff is professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is currently a visiting professor in the graduate program in international affairs of the New School University in New York. Richard’s most recent book is, “Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It.” He wrote the Thursday truthout column, “A Tale of Two Lootings.” Richard’s writing can be read regularly at the Guardian‘s web site. His most recent writing there includes, “A new dawn for the US left,” “After the crash: the pauperisation of middle-class America,” “The great corporate tax swindle” and “S&P’s judgment on US debt is substandard and poor.” Richard is also the host of his own radio show, which is broadcast Saturday mornings at Noon on New York’s WBAI.
  • Patrick Cockburn is Iraq correspondent for the Independent in London. Patrick has received the Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting, the James Cameron Award, and the Orwell Prize for Journalism. He is the author of “Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Battle for the Future of Iraq” (Simon & Schuster). His book, “The Occupation: War, resistance and daily life in Iraq” (Verso Books) was a 2006 finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for best nonfiction book. His recent reporting includes, “NATO in Libya: The Limits of Air Power,” “Follow the Oil and the Money: Why the West is Committed to the Murderous Rebels in Libya” and “Getting It Wrong, Again and Again: Why Does Britain Insist on Punching Above Her Weight?”
  • Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, DC. Mark’s recent writing includes, “The Struggle Against Stupidity: European and U.S. Governments Continue Wrecking Their Economies,” and “What Everyone Should Know About the “Debt Crisis” in the U.S.” Mark is co-writer with past This is Hell! guest Tariq Ali on the Oliver Stone movie, “South of the Border.”

Our irregular correspondents were:

  • live from Hungary, ‘Our Man in Budapest’ Todd Williams
  • live from San Francisco, Kate O’Donnell said, ‘Thank You, Science’
  • live in-studio, Michael Roper of Chicago’s Hopleaf, 5148 North Clark, talked beer
  • live from Los Angeles, Jeff Dorchen gave a Moment of Truth.



  • Shane Menken


    Here is a question I would ask Richard Wolff.

    Another facet of the looting of America is the reduction of available retirement funds as the 401k system takes hit after hit with the stock markets’ poor performance.  It seems that the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing in to the stock markets at a regular and predictable rate from payroll deductions would prevent shocks, but the markets fail to rise  on this flood of cash.  My Savings Bonds are looking good compared to my friends market-based retirement schemes.  A cynic might look at Wall Street and declare that the workers retirement money has been used to increase the financial executives lavish cash surplus, thru massive bonus payments, and not reinvested to provide returns to the shareholders.

    Furthermore, 401ks are instruments that add to the deficit of the US as they are tax-deffered, and that defferal acts as a revenue reduction, giving the Government less money to work with, leading to more borrowing.  Although  Savings Bonds can be used to defer income tax, by lending that money to the Government it is much closer to a revenue neutral option.  How deeply have the tax-deferred plans for private investing cost the US and added to the deficit, as opposed to a savings bond based plan;  and would Baby Boomers be better off if 401ks were never created?

    stay pretty,

    Shane Menken

  • jimmy jack

    cool website updates.. very nice.

  • just someone

    Kate O’Donnell’s commentaries always seem to be potentially interesting and worthy. Unfortunately, she seems compelled to deliver them all in a sing-songy voice, reading too fast, swallowing words, mumbling, choosing odd words to emphasize — all in an apparent attempt to be “funny” when, as far as I can tell, the subject of her commentary isn’t funny at all (and doesn’t need to be).

    I say “as far as I can tell” because, by the time she’s halfway finished, she has completely lost me — I’m totally confused and have no idea what she’s talking about. Which is a shame, because I’m interested in science and I suspect she has some important things to say.

    By the way, Dave Buchen, your man in Puerto Rico, seems to have a similar problem. I often can’t follow what he’s talking about as he giggles and sing-songs his way through one of his pieces.

    Perhaps your correspondents feel some pressure to be “funny” on your show, but it would be nice if instead they’d just concentrate on delivering their commentaries clearly and comprehensibly. Am I’m the only listener who has trouble understanding them? Somehow I doubt it.

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

    I also have a hard time understanding Kate but I just rewind the part I have a hard time understanding. Someday I’ll figure out how to get the gain to adjust automatically and that may help.

    On a side note. Do you have a hard time understanding my segments?

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

    Thanks. It has been a long time coming.

  • just someone

    Can’t rewind when I’m listening to live radio. And I don’t think it’s a technical problem. It’s just the way O’Donnell and Buchen read their copy. Too contrived, too mannered, so self-consciously silly. They’d probably both be fine if they’d just relax, speak clearly, and stop trying so hard to be funny. (They’re not funny, but they don’t have to be.) Just my opinion. And I have no trouble understanding your segments.  

  • http://twitter.com/YYSyd Yoshino

    Good to see Podcast working now.   Chuck, you were going on about skewered eggs and chicken which reminds me of a Japanese menu item.  It is called “Oya-Ko-Donburi”, ” Oya” is parent, “Ko” is child, and “Donburi” is a bowl.   It is chicken cooked with eggs (the translations provided by the web says egg soup which is not quite what 卵とじ is) usually also with onions,  poured over a bowl of rice.  While it is a family massacre, it makes for a tasty lunch.

  • jsgc

    The singer-songwriter Paul Simon once said that he got the title of his song “Mother and Child Reunion” from the name of a chicken-and-egg dish on the menu of a Japanese restaurant in New York.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Chuck, absolutely awesome interview with economist Richard Wolff.
    Folks can snag the MP3 of that interview here:
    (24:11; 16.7 MB)