Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael
Scorpion’s Dance: The President, the Spymaster, and Watergate w/ Jefferson Morley

Scorpion’s Dance: The President, the Spymaster, and Watergate w/ Jefferson Morley

June 4, 2022

scorpionsdance.jpg

On this edition of Parallax Views, journalist Jefferson Morley returns to the show to discuss his new book Scorpion's Dance: The President, the Spymaster, and Watergate, which details the dual lives and "clandestine collaborative relationship" between CIA director Richard Helms and President Richard Nixon culminating in the Watergate break-in. Among the topics discussed:

- The contrasting backgrounds of Richard Nixon, a man from a humble background who hated the Eastern Establishment, and Richard Helms, an Ivy League-educated man who came to head the CIA during the Cold War

- The role of secrecy and power in the lives of Nixon and Helms

- Cuba, AMLASH, covert assassination programs, organized crime, the military dictatorship of General Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar, Fidel Castro, the Bay of Pigs, and America's Cold War ideology

- Examples of the Central Intelligence agency finding ways to set policy and go over the head of President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Baines Johnson

- The CIA and the press

- Nixon's national security policy, the Vietnam War, the antiwar movement, and CIA spying on antiwar activists

- CIA officer and infamous Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, his relationship with Helms, and Hunt's James Bond-like pulp spy fiction

- Watergate, Daniel Ellsberg, and dirty tricks like blackmail operations

- Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's All the President's Men

- National security legislation and Presidential abuse of unchecked power

- The cultural revolution of the 60s/70s and Watergate as a crisis of the national security state

- The assassination of JFK, the CIA, pre-assassination knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald, Richard Helms and the Warren Commission, and James Jesus Angleton

- President Harry Truman's "abolish the CIA" op ed

Mitch McConnell, Republican Senators, & the Betrayal of America w/ Ira Shapiro/Robert Hanssen, America’s Most Damaging Spy w/ Lis Wiehl

Mitch McConnell, Republican Senators, & the Betrayal of America w/ Ira Shapiro/Robert Hanssen, America’s Most Damaging Spy w/ Lis Wiehl

June 1, 2022

irashapbook.jpg

On this edition of Parallax Views, Ira Shapiro, former Ambassador and author of such books as The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis and Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?, joins the show to discuss his book The Betrayal: How Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans Abandoned America. We begin by discussing Newt Gingrinch and his "politics of destruction", the declining faith in the Senate as an instituinon, and the polarization of the United States of America. We then turn our attention to Mitch McConnell and how he went from a "moderate Republican" to moving, alongside the GOP, further to the Right. McConnell, Shapiro argues, has broke from his responsibility to serve the national interest in favor of partisanship that serves the interest of the GOP. In this regard we delve into McConnell's "Bitter Harvest" in the Obama years and the broken politics and government dysfunction that plagued America even before the Presidency of Donald J. Trump. From there we move onto the relationship between Donald Trump and McConnell; the Supreme Court, tax cuts for the rich, and anti-Affordable Care Act priorities of McConnell; McConnell and the donor base of the Republican Party; the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; beating the Democratic Party at all costs; the 2020 Presidential Election and the Jan. 6th Insurrection; Under Secretary of State George Ball's quote from the Vietnam War era "He who rides the tiger cannot chose where he dismounts"; the Senate going forward; thoughts on diplomacy; and much, much more!

lisewiehlcover.jpg

In the second segment of the show, true crime author Lis Wiehl, whose previous books include Hunting the Unabomber and The Hunting Charles Manson, joins the show for a conversation about her new book A Spy in Plain Sight: The Inside Story of the FBI and Robert Hanssen—America's Most Damaging Russian Spy. Rober Hanssen is perhaps one of the most notorious spies in modern American history. While working for the FBI he decided to start working with the Soviet Union and the Russians. After all was said and done, he became the most damaging spy in American history whose actions had massive ramifications for national security. We discuss who Hanssen was; Hanssen's association with the conservative Catholic organization known as Opus Dei; Hanssen as a disgruntled employee of the FBI; his nickname at the FBI: "The Mortician"; Hanssen's anti-communism; how Robert's wife Bonnie Hanssen and a priest found out about Hanssen spying for the Russians; Hanssen's psychiatrist David Charney and Hanssen's penchant for compartmentalization and warped thinking; how the intelligence community became aware of a spy in their midst and the wrongful finger pointed at CIA agent Brian Kelley being the spy; the Webster Commission Report and why it took so long for suspicion to fall on Hanssen; the contradictions of Robert Hanssen; intel figures' belief that there will be another Robert Hanssen and that there's likely already one today; cybersecurity today; Wiehl's thoughts on the dangers of politicization of intelligence; and much, much more!

The Inslaw Affair, PROMIS, and Robert Maxwell w/ Albert Lanier

The Inslaw Affair, PROMIS, and Robert Maxwell w/ Albert Lanier

May 30, 2022

nytoctopus.jpeg

On this edition of Parallax Views, freelance journalist Albert Lanier makes his long-awaited return to Parallax Views to discuss a scandal known as the Inslaw Affair involving the Department of Justice, a software known as PROMIS, a conspiracy dubbed "The Octopus by the late journalist Danny Casolaro, spying and espionage, and media mogul Robert Maxwell (yes, the father of Jeffrey Epstein's partner-in-crime Ghislaine Maxwell). It takes us into the world of the "Catacombs", as Lanier refers to it, where politics meets sub rosa activities.

Among the topics discussed:

- What the PROMIS software was, Bill Hamilton Vs. the Department of Justice, claims of the PROMIS software's modification, and the potential use of the software for spycraft

- The strange, sketchy characters around the Inslaw/PROMIS scandal such as Michael Riconsciuto and alleged Israeli spy/arms dealer Ari Ben-Menashe

- "The Octopus", the death of journalist Danny Casolaro, and the triple murders related to the Cabazon Indian Reservation

- Robert Maxwell's alleged ties to Israeli intelligence like Mossad

- And much, much more

A NOTE FROM BILL HAMILTON:

I had never even heard of Albert Lanier prior to his recent reporting on the INSLAW Affair. He never contacted me prior to publishing his report which incorrectly states that I had worked on developing PROMIS while an NSA employee. I worked at NSA HQ as an intelligence analyst and Vietnamese linguist for seven years in the 1960s after graduating from the University of Notre Dame as an English Major. I left NSA because I had become interested in working on urban problems and joined the management consulting component of Peat Marwick & Mitchell, a major public accounting firm. While there, I responded to a Request for Proposals to develop a case management software system for the local street crime prosecution component of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, won the competitive procurement, and served as the project manager on what I named PROMIS.

On the Line: A Story of Class, Solidarity, and Two Women’s Epic Fight to Build a Union w/ Daisy Pitkin/The Ruling Class, Abortion, and Roe V. Wade w/ Jenny Brown

On the Line: A Story of Class, Solidarity, and Two Women’s Epic Fight to Build a Union w/ Daisy Pitkin/The Ruling Class, Abortion, and Roe V. Wade w/ Jenny Brown

May 26, 2022

ontheline.jpg

On this edition of Parallax Views, longtime community and union organizer Daisy Pitkin, who is now playing a role Starbucks Union wave as part an offshoot of the union UNITE, joins the program to discuss her new memoir On the Line: A Story of Class, Solidarity, and Two Women's Epic Fight to Build a Union. She tells the story of her attempts to help organize for workers at industrial laundry factories with dangerous working conditions in Phoenix, Arizona. In doing so she shows that labor organizing requires not only righteous anger but solidarity between workers and touches upon the ways in which labor organizing must democratize knowledge of organizing. Organizers, in other words, must share their knowledge with workers themselves so that the workers can organize themselves. We cover these topics as well as the role of metaphorical role of moths in her memoir, getting to know workers on a personal, the rise of a youth that is calling itself "Generation U" o "Generation Union", the history of labor law in the U.S. and how workers face an uphill battle legally, how the the labor struggle cannot simply be one through hoping for legislation but creating an organic movement that will apply external pressure to those in power, and much, much more!

withoutapology.jpg

Then, in the latter half of the program, women's liberation movement organizer Jenny Brown joins the program to discuss the issue of abortion rights and Roe V. Wade with a focus on how these matters relate to class struggle. In particular, Jenny explains how the ruling class has thought about abortion from the past to the present and addresses the powerful, monied forces that are in favor of restricting abortions and overturning Roe V. Wade. All that and more in this fascinating discussion that touches upon a number of of seemingly disparate but related topics such as economic growth in capitalism, immigration, labor, the overpopulation theory popularized in the late 1960s by Paul Erlich's The Population Bomb, declining birthrates, and more!

Newly Declassified FBI Report on Saudi Arabia & 9/11 w/ Dan Christensen/Biden, Israel, and U.S. Foreign Policy w/ Mitchell Plitnick

Newly Declassified FBI Report on Saudi Arabia & 9/11 w/ Dan Christensen/Biden, Israel, and U.S. Foreign Policy w/ Mitchell Plitnick

May 25, 2022

saudiarabianineeleven.jpeg

On this edition of Parallax Views, Dan Christensen of the Florida Bulldog returns to the show to discuss the latest on the recently declassified FBI report on Saudi Arabia and the support networks for the perpetators of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Dan has been covering this issue alongside Anthony Summers and Robynn Swan, authors of The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden, for a number of years now and his latest Florida Bulldog piece on the subject is entitled "A ‘state secret’ no more: New FBI report says Saudi government officials provided support network for 9/11 hijackers". Among the subjects discussed in relation to the report are: Saudi charities; Prince Bandar Bin Salman (nicknamed Bandar Bush for his association with George W. Bush); the Muslim World League; Operation Encore; the figures of Fahad al Thumairy , Omar al Bayoumi, and the now unredacted Musaed al Jarrah; 9/11 hijackers al Hazmi and al Mihdhar; and much, much more!

bidengoestoisrael.jpg

In the second segment of the show, Mitchell Plitnick of ReThinking Foreign Policy joins me to discuss his Responsible Statecraft piece "Biden’s trip to Israel is getting trickier by the day". In June, President Joe Biden will visit Israel. The death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin, the police attacks during her funeral, and the upcoming Jerusalem Day "Flag March" of Israeli far-right nationalists which will go through Damascus Gate and the Old City's Muslim Quarter has already put tensions at an all time high. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is seeking to pivot U.S. foreign policy out of the Middle East to focus on Russia and China. Mitchell explains how he believes this has led to a circumstance where the Biden administration is not addressing issues like Abu Akleh's death or the large expansion of settlements in the West Bank. In addition to this we discuss Israel's current Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, the figure of Knesset member and far-right provocateur Itamar Ben-Gvir, Secretary of State Antony Blinken's encounter with a pro-Palestinian activist, and much, much more.

The IDF, Shireen Abu Akleh, Israel’s Far-Right, & the Coming Jerusalem Day ”Flag March” w/ Yossi Gurvitz

The IDF, Shireen Abu Akleh, Israel’s Far-Right, & the Coming Jerusalem Day ”Flag March” w/ Yossi Gurvitz

May 23, 2022

shireenabuaklehfuneral.jpeg

On this edition of Parallax Views, returning guest and occassional Mondoweiss contributor Yossi Gurvitz joins us from Israel to discuss the latest events around Israel/Palestine with a focus on events in East Jerusalem and the West Bank (particularly the Jenin refugee camp), the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the violence that erupted at her funeral, and the news that Hamas has announced it will retaliated if the Israeli nationalist far-right holds it's "Flag March" in East Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day (May 28-29th). Additionally we discuss the prominence of Itamar Ben-Gvir (a "follower" of Rabbi Meier Kahane who made some rather interesting remarks in the lead-up to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzshak Rabin) in Israeli political, the Israeli left's impotence, the fragility of the Israeli coalition government, the upcoming "Flag March" as a provocation, the gamification of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), the IDF's announcement that it will not investigate the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, and much, much more!

Criminology on Trump w/ Gregg Barak

Criminology on Trump w/ Gregg Barak

May 21, 2022

criminologyontrump.jpg

On this edition of Parallax Views, former President Donald Trump has had an image, sometimes leaned into by the man himself, as being akin to a mob boss. The image of Trump-as-mob-boss is even evoked, arguably, in the way that Trump is sometimes referred to as "The Donald". But beyond the image of pop culture image of Trump-as-mobster lies a portal to understanding white-collar crime and the corruption of democracy, argues Gregg Barak, author of Chronicles of a Radical Criminologist: Working the Margins of Law, Power, and Justice and Criminology on Trump. Barak joins us on this edition of the program to discuss not just Trump but rather the bigger picture of how America faces democracy deficits due to white collar criminals and crooks racketeering and using shell companies to enrich themselves. In this conversation we discuss:

- The politics of antagonism as enjoyment and how Trump played the media

- Trump as both outlaw and a product of profound wealth and privilege

- Comparing mob figures like John Gotti and Bugsey Siegel with Donald Trump

- The Trump family; Trump's father Fred Trump; the Trump children; Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

- Trump and social Darwinism

- The Trump Presidency and pay-to-play pardons

- Trump, Deutsche Bank, and money laundering

- The Trump Presidency and the dismantling and/or impeding of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health and Human Services, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; anti-science, anti-regulation, and anti-environmentalist interests and the Trump Presidency

- Shell companies and the corruption of democracy

- Structural concerns that are bigger than Donald Trump; Trump as not opening a Pandora's Box but rather exploiting structural inefficiencies

- Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Jared Kushner as the three most significant players around Trump

- Addressing corporate crime; why we use RICO more when it comes to tackling corporate crime; corporate personhood; Citizens United; the electoral system

- And much, much more!

BrexLit: The Problem of Englishness in Pre- and Post-Brexit Referendum Literature w/ Dulcie Everitt

BrexLit: The Problem of Englishness in Pre- and Post-Brexit Referendum Literature w/ Dulcie Everitt

May 19, 2022

brexlitdulcie.jpg

On this edition of Parallax Views, Dulcie Everitt joins us to discuss her new book BrexLit: The Problem of Englishness in Pre- and Post-Brexit Referendum Literature (Zer0 Books; 2022). Dulcie's book delves into the idea of the sub-nationalist English identity (as opposed to British identity; English identity would be different from Welsh, Scottish, or Irish identity) in literature before and after the Brexit referendum that saw the UK leave the EU. It is important to note in this regard that England had a greater "Leave" vote than either "Scotland" or "Ireland", both of which voted "Remain", on the referendum.

In this conversation we delve into the issue of what English identity is and how it is amorphous, slippery, or difficult to easily define. We delve into Englishness as an identity as it relates to both empire and post-Empire Britain. This, of course, brings us to the topic of Brexit, what it was, how it was spearheaded by figures like the Tory Party's Boris Johnson and UKIP's Nigel Farage, the formation of English nationalism as a retaliation to insurgent sub-nationalisms, the role of nostalgia in the Leave campaign and Boris Johnson's famous "Take Back Control!" line, the history of Euroscepticism on both the Right and the Left, why a second referendum is unfeasible now, xenophobia and racism in relation to Brexit, Ian McEwan's Kafka inspired take on Brexit in the form of the novel The Cockroach, as well as the more hope Autumn by Scottish author Ali Smith, Jonathan Coe's The Rotters' Club and its Brexit-influenced sequel Middle England, the dystopian Perfidious Albion by Sam Byers, the question of cosmopolitanism, and much, much more!

The Universe is On Our Side: Restoring Faith in American Public Life w/ Bruce Ledewitz/Russia (& Ukraine) Lobbying & Influence-Peddling in D.C. w/ Ben Freeman & Nick Cleveland-Stout

The Universe is On Our Side: Restoring Faith in American Public Life w/ Bruce Ledewitz/Russia (& Ukraine) Lobbying & Influence-Peddling in D.C. w/ Ben Freeman & Nick Cleveland-Stout

May 17, 2022

theuniverseisonourside.jpg

On this edition of Parallax Views, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously declared "God is Dead". In doing so Nietzsche not necessarily celebrating the triumph of atheism, but rather raising the question of what comes next for society once religion is replaced by secularism. How do we make sense of things and find meaning in a secular world? In his new book The Universe Is On Our Side: Restoring Faith in American Public Life, Bruce Ledewitz, Professor of Law at Duquesne University Law School, attempts to tackle that question. He joins us on the first segment of the show to discuss the decline in trust of public institutions; the process theology of Alfred North Whitehead (and process theology popularizer Dr. David Ray Griffin); Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan's question "Is the universe on our side?"; the British philosopher John Gray and the idea that "no, the universe is not on our side", postmodernism; science as a social activity; the secularism of American Christianity; New Atheism and the failings of it; Nietzsche and the death of God as a catastrophe (even if it is true); the incompatibility of a wonder-working God in a secular world; making clear that Bruce's book is not an attack on those who have religious faith; the post-truth age; a lack of belief in the future; Martin Luther King's "the arc of the universe bends towards justice" quote; the Enlightenment and the mechanistic, materialistic worldview; David Hume and the idea that we can only gain knowledge through the senses; Carl Sagan and the Pale Blue Dot; and much, much more!

influencepeddling.png

In the second segment of the show, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft's Ben Freeman & Nick Cleveland-Stout join us to discuss their recent piece at The Intercept entitled "Until Ukraine, Russia Lobbyists Successfully Blunted Sanctions After Foreign Adventurism". We also discuss their upcoming report on Ukraine lobbying in Washington, D.C., the Foreign Agent Registration Act, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the public relations firm known as Ketchum, the need for transparency when it comes to foreign lobbying efforts, and much, much more!

The Stock Market, Inflation & the Crypto Crash w/ Mike Swanson/The Trouble With Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality w/ Eric Cech

The Stock Market, Inflation & the Crypto Crash w/ Mike Swanson/The Trouble With Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality w/ Eric Cech

May 12, 2022

cryptocrash.jpeg

On this edition of Parallax Views, Michael Swanson of Wall Street Window returns to the program for a segment covering the bear market (declining market), the crypto currency crash, and inflation. We also tackle the RobinHood app, cult-like hucksters in the stock market world, crazy speculation and risky behavior in the stock market, the impact on both regular people engaging in small-trading and professional investors, the potentially explosive violent social phenomena that can arise from crashes, the dot com bubble of the 90s, Facebook's rebranding as Meta after getting negative publicity, bitcoin maximalism, and much, much more.

troublewithpassion.jpg

In the second segment of the show, sociologist Eric A. Cech joins us to discuss her thoughtful, provocative book The Trouble With Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality. We are often told to "follow our passions" when it comes to seeking out a career. Cech, however, argues that the "Passion Principle" has a dark side in which people are willing to suffer injustices and inequities as a price for following their passion. We discuss the reproduction of inequality and how it reproduces in ways we may not often consider at first, the Meritocratic ideology, Erin's story of being a former "passion evangelist" and how she came to question her beliefs, defining ourselves based on our work rather than any other areas of life, her interviews with college students for the book, Erin's analysis of career-advice books, self-expression in the language of the "Passion Principle"; the growth of precarity in the white-collar work force; neoliberalism; Choicewashing and how the "Passion Principle" structures the way we think about the world by explaining social phenomena not structurally but through the lens of individual choice and personal responsibility; meaning-making and how the "Passion Principle" shapes our sense of identity; Anthony Giddens and the Self-Reflexive Project; what asking children the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" says about our society; blaming individuals in the labor force at the expense of examining inequities in labor, gender, and race; the pernicious expectation of performative passion in jobs like the barista Starbucks; emotional labor; how class inequality is reproduced by the "Passion Principle"; and much, much more.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App