Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael
The Late Neil Sheehan, The New York Times, Vietnam, and Daniel Ellsberg Pt. 1 w/ Jim DiEugenio

The Late Neil Sheehan, The New York Times, Vietnam, and Daniel Ellsberg Pt. 1 w/ Jim DiEugenio

January 23, 2021

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On this edition of Parallax Views, the acclaimed New York Times journalist Neil Sheehan passed away on January 7th, 2021. Sheehan is particularly known for his reporting on the Vietnam War, his bestseller A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, and his involvement in the story of whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Although highly regarded by most, Jim DiEugenio of Kennedys and King offered criticisms of Sheehan's journalistic oeuvre in his piece "Neil Sheehan: In Retrospect". Jim joins us on this edition of the program to offer a parallax view on the work of Neil Sheehan and his contemporary David Halberstam, author of The Best and the Brightest, as it relates to their work on the Vietnam war. DiEugenio argues in his heavily footnoted piece that, contrary to recognizing the Vietnam War as a folly, Sheenan offers a "Lost Cause" theory of the conflict that has since been taken up by journalists today like Max Boot (author of The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the Tragedy in Vietnam) and others. Additionally, DiEugenio makes thoughtful critiques of Sheehan in relation to the story of the Pentagon Papers and Sheehan's spat with attorney Mark Lane over Vietnam atrocity. This is a fascinating conversation that also manages to delve into foreign policy during the administration of President John F. Kennedy and a rundown of the story behind the Pentagon Papers. Additionally, Jim offers his thoughts on the Capitol riots of January 6th, 2021. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views!

Reflecting on The Rural-Urban Divide w/ Ross Benes

Reflecting on The Rural-Urban Divide w/ Ross Benes

January 21, 2021

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On this edition of Parallax VIews, Ross Benes, author of Rural Rebellion: How Nebraska Became a Republican Stronghold, joins us for a probing, sincere conversation on America's much discussed "rural-urban divide" and his experiences moving from a small-town in Nebraska to the cosmopolitan world of New York. Although Ross's book has a great deal of hard journalism and statistics regarding how the Republican Party has taken hold of Nebraska, we use the conversation to delve into the autobiographical and inter-personal elements of Rural Rebellion in this rousing discussion. Why is there such a divide between the America mid-west and the country's big cities? And can the divide be overcame? This conversation doesn't necessarily provide all the answers but it does raise important points to consider in regards to how we relate to each other in an increasingly atomizing society that is fraught with friction. This particular discussion seems particularly relevant in light of the pro-Trump elements, such as QAnon and the Stop the Steal movement, that caused much chaos on Capitol Hill on January 6th, 2021.

The Acuity of the American Crisis w/ Conrad Hamilton

The Acuity of the American Crisis w/ Conrad Hamilton

January 19, 2021

On this edition of Parallax Views, Conrad Hamilton, co-author of Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson (w/ Ben Burgis, Matt McManus, and Marion Trejo), joins us to give his take on the political situation in the U.S. from the perspective of someone currently watching the American turmoil from Paris, France. Conrad and I delve into the realm of theory in an attempt to explain the current situation as well as touching on areas related to left-wing debates concerning class reduction vs. identity politics, U.S. saber-rattling at China, the Capitol Hill riots, Trumpism, and much, much more. Is America in crisis? Conrad makes the case and argues that the political Left needs to step up to the plate for that very reason. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views

QAnon Has Woke Up the Real Deep State w/ Nicholas Grossman, National Security Scholar

QAnon Has Woke Up the Real Deep State w/ Nicholas Grossman, National Security Scholar

January 15, 2021

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If you appreciate Parallax Views and the work of J.G. Michael please consider supporting the show through Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/parallaxviews

On this edition of Parallax Views, National Security scholar Nicholas Grossman recently penned an open letter to QAnon believers entitled "QAnon Woke Up the Real Deep State" warning them that the Capitol Hill riots is going to trigger a harsh reaction from the real National Security rather than the fevered conspiratorial fantasies they imagine in their minds. Nicholas joins us for a conversation about the piece and some of the points he raises in it as well as discussing the potential pitfalls of new domestic terrorist laws and elucidating what the real deep state is and how it works. Nicholas makes the case that QAnon, "Stope the Steal", and other fervent Trump supporters may have bitten off more than they can chew with the 1/6/21 incident on Capitol Hill. Is the National Security State's response going to be what QAnon and similar movements signed up for? Nicholas argues not and also discusses groups like The Oathkeepers and their relationship to the militia movements of the 1990s to help us better understand the situation involving domestic terrorism today and the National Security State's response to it. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views.

BONUS: Chip Berlet, Expert on the U.S. Far Right

BONUS: Chip Berlet, Expert on the U.S. Far Right

January 14, 2021
 
The following was initially a video interview published by the Romanian left media outlet The Barricade. It is an discussion with Chip Berlet, a long time researcher into the movement and machinations of the American far-right, conducted after the events on Capitol Hill on 1/6/21. It is reposted here as a bonus episode for my listeners.
Original description of the episode courtesy of The Barricade:
On January 6th, 2021 pro-Trump supporters, from QAnon conspiracy believers to the members of the militia-oriented Oathkeepers organization, stormed Capitol Hill in the belief that sitting President Donald J. Trump had a potential second term in office stolen from him vis-a-vis election fraud. J.G. Michael, host of the Parallax Views podcast, reached out to Chip Berlet, long-time researcher into the machinations of the American far right, for comment. For decades Berlet, a former analyst at Political Research Associates and at one time Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild, has honed his skills as a scholar to become an expert on the topics of right-wing populism, fascism, and the spread of conspiracy theories in society. His writings have been features in such outlets as The New York Times, CovertAction Quarterly, The Progressive, The Public Eye, Z Magazine, and The Des Moines Register. He is also the author of Trumping Democracy: From Reagan to the Alt Right and co-author, with Matthew Lyons, of “Right-Wing Populism: Too Close for Comfort”.
 
In this video interview, conducted exclusively for The Barricade, Berlet gives his thoughts on the Capitol Hill riots, the dangers of unleashing the National Security Apparatus in the aftermath of this event, and much more.
 
J.G. Michael is the producer and host of Parallax Views, a program covering an eclectic variety of topics ranging from politics and pop culture to history and philosophy as well as everything in between. Previously he worked for Zero Books as the co-host of the Alternatives podcast with C. Derrick Varn. He has interviewed such well-known public figures as Noam Chomsky, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Sayles, Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, and many, many others.
Victims and Perpetrators in America: A Post-Capitol Chaos Conversation w/ J.P. Sottile

Victims and Perpetrators in America: A Post-Capitol Chaos Conversation w/ J.P. Sottile

January 13, 2021

If you appreciate Parallax Views and the work of J.G. Michael please consider supporting the show through Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/parallaxviews

On this edition of Parallax Views, J.P. Sottile aka the Newsvandal joins us to unpack where America is at after the chaos on Capitol Hill last week in which angry, unruly Trump supporters, QAnon believers, Oath Keepers, and others stormed D.C. in the belief that Joe Biden's Presidential victory was the belief of election fraud and that a second term in the White House was stolen from Trump as a result. J.P., as someone who studied fascism during his years in academia and grew up in an evangelical Christian family, has an interesting take on these matters and believes that the Republican Party has unleashed a beast that has been caged since the McCarthy era. The discussion moves towards one of a philosophical nature as we delve into the idea of Victims and Perpetrators in society and politics with J.P. contending that we are all complicit in a deeply broken society. J.P. mentions the Iraq War in this regard and J.G. brings up Umberto Eco's "Ur-Fascism" essay, but the discussion goes down many different and varied rabbit holes. A deeply thoughtful conversation.

Cultural Revolutions and Farcical Insurrections w/ C. Derick Varn

Cultural Revolutions and Farcical Insurrections w/ C. Derick Varn

January 11, 2021

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If you appreciate Parallax Views and the work of J.G. Michael please consider supporting the show through Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/parallaxviews

On this edition of Parallax Views, C. Derick Varn of Zero Books makes his triumphant return to the program by providing a history lesson on the idea that "politics is downstream from culture" from the idea of cultural hegemony by the Italian Communist thinker Antonio Gramsci to its usage today. In addition, we delve into the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters last week and attempt to tie together all the threads that lead us back to the "politics is downstream from culture" end of our conversation. Needless to say, this is an in-depth discussion that's a tour-de-force of thoughtful historical information, political conversation, and current events that you won't want to miss

Gary Webb Revisited, the Importance of Journalism, & Reporting on the National Security State w/ Jefferson Morley

Gary Webb Revisited, the Importance of Journalism, & Reporting on the National Security State w/ Jefferson Morley

January 8, 2021

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If you appreciate Parallax Views and the work of J.G. Michael please consider supporting the show through Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/parallaxviews

On this edition of Parallax Views, recently I reached out to Jefferson Morley after Ishmael Reed mentioned that he was the reason his op-ed "The Word on the Vine", which dealt with the claims of the late journalsit Gary Webb and others that the CIA played a role in the LA crack epidemic vis-à-vis the Iran/Contra Affair, was published in The Washington Post. Morley, in addition to being the author of such books as The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton, Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA, and Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835, was a reporter and editor for The Washington Post. He now runs the Deep States blog and reports on issues related to government secrecy, transparency, and intelligence agencies like the CIA and FBI.

Morley was at the center of the storm so to speak when Gary Webb's Dark Alliance series, which connected to the CIA's involvement with the Iran/Contra scandal to the the LA crack epidemic, and the controversy it created. Many outlets, like The Post, pushed back hard on Webb. Morley lobbied for a closer examination of what Webb may have gotten right or been on the trail of getting correct rather than simply pointing out his errors.

In this conversation we begin by revisiting Gary Webb's reporting and then begin delving into other areas of interest such as how Morley began reporting on the cloak and dagger world of intelligence agencies and how they have often been unaccountable for their actions over the decades. We also discuss the origins of the term "Deep State" and how it has been transformed into a snarl word Donald Trump uses against his critics, the pros and cons of news media today and the importance of journalism to a functioning democracy, the problems of a society which deeply distrusts its media, Steven Spielberg's movie The Post, the Amazon series The Last Narc about the death of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, classified documents related to the JFK assassination, op-eds vs. hard reporting, government secrecy and why greater transparency is needed in regards to federal agencies, Morley's lawsuit against the CIA, and much, much more.

A note that this was recorded before the January 6th, 2021 pro-Trump mob breach of the Capitol. The conversation, and some of the areas we delve into, seem particularly relevant in regards to this event. I hope you as a listener will find the conversation fascinating.

BONUS: Chaos on Capitol Hill w/ Dr. Jack Rasmus

BONUS: Chaos on Capitol Hill w/ Dr. Jack Rasmus

January 7, 2021

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If you appreciate Parallax Views and the work of J.G. Michael please consider supporting the show through Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/parallaxviews

On this bonus edition of Parallax Views, economist Dr. Jack Rasmus, host of the Alternative Visions radio show and author of The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump, joins us to put the January 6th 2021 pro-Trump mob breach of Capitol Hill. On January 4th, 2021, Dr. Rasmus published an article entitled "What Happens January 6th, 20th & After? America’s Declining Democracy" (also available on Counterpunch as "America’s Continuing Crisis of Democracy" in which he offered his thoughts on Trump and his cohorts like Ted Cruz's game plan for January 6th and January 20th when he is slated to leave the White House. In said op-ed Dr. Rasmus commented on how the Proud Boys and other pro-Trump elements would be on-hand at Washington, D.C. on the 6th in droves. What, though, is the end game? Dr. Rasmus offers that it is not about keeping Trump in office past January 20th, but instead part of a longer term strategy on the Trump loyalists within the GOP to keep control of the Republican Party and further mobilize and radicalize its base going into 2022 and eventually 2024. In this conversation Dr. Rasmus lay out his thoughts from this article as well giving his comment on the events of January 6th, 2021.

From Here to Equality: The 21st Century Case for Reparations w/ William A. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen

From Here to Equality: The 21st Century Case for Reparations w/ William A. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen

January 6, 2021

If you appreciate Parallax Views and the work of J.G. Michael please consider supporting the show through Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/parallaxviews

On this edition of Parallax Views, Prof. William A. Darity, Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen join us to discuss their book From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. What does reparations mean, who are the people fighting for it, and how can those fighting for it win in their efforts? Are there any issues with reparations? What of the controversial ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery) movement and its argument that reparations should only be afforded to the descendants of slavery in the United States? What does the term "40 acres and a mule" mean and what is it's relevance to the discussion of reparations for black Americans? Sandy Darity and Kirsten Mullen provide answers to all these questions and many more in the course of this fascinating discussion that deals with the history of slavery, the Civil War, the fight for freedom by black Americans, the racial wealth gap and the wealth differential between blacks and whites, the issue of general wealth vs personal savings and income as the key to wealth accumulation, black criticisms of reparations, the narrative that black Americans would not use reparations responsibly, savings and spending among black and white Americans, and other important subjects related to their book.

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