April 14, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, the mighty Ken Silverstein of Washington Babylon, the website covering "Shocking True Stories and Political Sleaze", joins us to discuss a potpourri of topics. We begin by talking about the return of Washington Babylon after a period of dormancy and the death of the Royal Family's Prince Phillip, for whom Andrew Stewart wrote an "anti-obituary" on Washington Babylon.
From there we discuss the Iraq War, the 18th anniversary of which occurred this past March, and Ken's reflections on how the media reacted to the war. In particular Ken discusses working for the LA Times during the early days of the war and recalls the reaction to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit by the media of the day during that time. As a side-note to this portion of the conversation we discuss the story of Gary Webb and how he was treated by the media after his Dark Alliance series delving into the crack epidemic and Iran/Contra.
From there we delve into the recent sex scandal involving Matt Gaets, Venmo, and a 17 year old girl. Ken recently raised questions about Gaetz's dark money ties and how it may relate to this latest scandal. And finally we discuss the issue of evictions and the possibility of a coming economic crisis like the one we saw with the Lehmann Brothers. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views.
April 14, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, the always interesting and oft controversial Daniel Hopsicker joins us for an update on his investigations into the seedy underbelly of Sarasota County in Florida and how it relates, in his estimation, to right-wing grifters and transnational organized crime. Agree or disagree with his conclusions on transnational organized crime, the Russian mob (particularly the "Boss of Bosses" Semion Moglivech), and government malfeasance, Hopsicker has ferreted out infamous figures like Huffman Aviation's Rudi Dekkers and Steve Bannon partner Andrew Badolato before they allegations against them hit the mainstream. Although Parallax Views can't vouch for and doesn't necessarily agree with all of Hopsicker's conclusions, the fact that Hopsicker was on the trail Andrew Badolato before the alleged fraud of "Build the Wall" have proven of interest to the program. The bottom line for Hopsicker is that as long as the War on Drugs goes on so will transnational organized crime. Get ready for a whirlwind ride as Hopsicker and I delve into money laundering and financial crimes by "hyena packs", drug trafficking, cover-ups, international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, the curious case of Andrew Badolato's Sarasota beach house, Russiagate, Donald Trump, and a slew of other matters and characters.
April 12, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, multiple global crises currently appear to be at play in the opening decades of the 21st century. Fake news and disinformation. Terrorism and radicalization. Unregulated capitalism and the dark money-fueled corruption of politics. The COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility of future pandemics. And, of course, the looming threat of potentially catastrophic forms of climate change.
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, Special Investigations Reporter for Byline Times, author of A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, and co-producer/writer of the documentary The Crisis of Civilization, joins us on this edition of Parallax Views to unpack these various crises and how we may be better able to approach them through the lens of systems theory. We also discuss global disinformation networks, COVID-19, peak oil theory, Koch money, identity politics, woke vs. anti-woke culture wars, post-capitalism, 9/11 and the War on Terror, Syria and the material basis of revolutions, far-right radicalization, ISIS, and much, much, more.
April 11, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, Emil Draitser joins us to give a personal account of not only growing up Jewish in the Soviet Union but also working as a satirist in the Soviet Union. Emil has written about his Soviet adventures in books such as Shush! Growing Up Jewish Under Stalin: A Memoir, Farewell, Mama Odessa: A Novel, and, most recently, In the Jaws of the Crocodile: A Soviet Memoir. Emil discusses at length his experiences facing antisemitism in the Soviet Union, explain the history of antisemitism in Russia from the Protocols of Zion to the Doctor's Plot of the Stalin era, and the discrimination he faced from antisemitism. Additionally, Emil and I will delve into what it meant to write satire in the Soviet Union and his experiences working for the Soviet satirical magazine Krokodil. And Emil will describe what it was like growing up in Odessa specifically. One thing that is striking about Emil's experiences is how relatable they may feel despite cultural differences between the Soviet Union and countries like the United States.
April 9, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, a little bit of a change of pace. Mike IX Williams of the pioneering NOLA metal and sludge metal band Eyehategod (also: Corrections House and Arson Anthem) joins us for a chat about music, growing up punk, poetry, transgressive art, race relations, Black Lives Matter, empathy, his industrial-styled band Corrections House, live sets vs. studio recordings, the influence of bands like Black Flag and Swans on his music, Christian protests against Eyehategod, Charles Bukowski, and much, much more! Check out Eyehategod's new album A History of Nomadic Behavior!
April 6, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, the long-time, sometimes controversial, and always fascinating geopolitical commentator Pepe Escobar joins Parallax Views to discuss some of the events the lead up to his the current decade we face, which he calls "The Raging Twenties". Although this conversation was initially intended to cover Pepe's new book Raging Twenties: Great Power Politics Meets Techno-Feudalism, Pepe and I ultimately went in a different direction. Our conversation became less focused on the details of the book and more an overview of the events, geopolitically, that lead to our current moment where tensions are rising between the U.S. and it allies against China, Russia, and Iran. As Pepe put it in the course of our conversation, our conversation serves as a preamble to many of the topics discussed in his new book (which is basically Pepe's coverage of the year 2020 from the death of General Soleimani to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Among the many topics we discuss:
- The Russia/Ukraine situation
- The Nordstream II pipeline, Germany, and Russia,
- The Iraq War and neoconservatives
- Pepe's interest in the ideas of Felix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze; Deleuze's concept of the rhizome
- Zbigniew Brzezinski and The Grand Chessboard of Geopolitics
- The Quad, India and Modi
- Euranianism, Putin, and China
- COVID-19, Giorgio Agamben, and the surveillance society
- The decline of the American Empire; Pax Americana and the Mongolian Empire
- Why Pepe references and uses imagery from David Lynch's Twin Peaks in his work
- The Belt and Road Initiative; the New Silk Road
- The multipolar world and what it means; the failures of the War on Terror; the corrosion of the Empire
April 2, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, what is happening in Russia? Who is Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny? What are the protests in Russia against Putin about? Should discussion of the protests be centered on Navalny or do these protests transcend even him?
Joining us to explore these questions are Ilya Mateev and Ilya Budtraitskis, who penned the February 2021 article "Putin's Majorty" for the New Left Review. Mateev and Budraitskis joins us directly from Russia to offer a perspective outisde of the one's found in both the American mainstream press and the American Left. Mateev and Budtraitskis discuss state repression in Russia, skepticism of Navalny and his neoliberal programs, the Russian Left critique of Putin, the two major opposing views amongst the Russian Left of the protests, the role of youths in the protests, Vladimir Putin and Capitalism, street politics in Russia, inequality and elite privilege in Russia, the role of the internet in political engagement and exploration of ideology in Russia, the Kremlin, and much, much more.
March 31, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, Amazon has come under scrutiny lately for its working conditions and also due to effort of Amazon workers to unionize in Bessemer, Alabama where 1 in 4 residents live in poverty. Jacobin staff writer Alex Press is a journalist who has been on the labor movement beat for some time, and joins us on this edition of the program to discuss her reporting on struggles between Amazon and its workers. Among the topics we cover in this conversation:
- How Alex became involved in covering the labor movement as her beat
- Amazon worker Jennifer Bates testimony about Amazon warehouse working conditions given at the Senate Budget Committee presided by Bernie Sanders
- The grotesque story of Amazon workers having to urinate in bottles and Amazon PR's denialist response to it
- Misconceptions and stereotypes about union organizing; the stereotypes of unions as being all about Jimmy Hoffa characters or something out of the popular TV show The Sopranos; black union organizing
- Sara Nelson, the Flight Attentdant labor leader whom Alex recently interviewed
- The vote for a workers union at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama
March 29, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, historian Dr. Richard Drake of the University of Montana returns to the program to discuss the new 2nd edition of his book The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy. In this conversation we discuss the terrorism, from both the radical left and the radical right, that rocked Italy in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in what has become known as the Years of Lead. Among the topics of discussion are the hyper-fascist Traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola, the Red Brigades, the kidnapping of Aldo Moro, the deeper reasons for the Years of Lead, what the relevance of the Italian Years of Lead may be to Americans in light of the January 6th Capitol riots, the questions arising about murky subjects like Operation Gladio and Licio Gelli's P2 Masonic lodge, the failures of the Italian government in dealing with terrorism during the Years of Lead, and much, much more.
March 27, 2021
On this edition of Parallax Views, returning guest Brian McGlinchey, formerly of 28Pages.Org, joins us to discuss his new project Stark Realities on Substack. We begin by delving into Brian's initial work shedding light on the formerly classified 28 pages of Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 that related to Saudi Arabia, Saudi officials, and 9/11. From there we dive into why Brian McGlinchey started Substack and his problems with the new algorithmic regime of Silicon Valley and it's effect on independent journalism. Then we discuss his recent piece on the brutal consequences of sanction policies, especially as they pertain to Iran.