Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Conversation with Psychiatrist Mark Goulston about Maintaining Our Emotional Health and Being Better Communicators in Troubled Times

Mark Goulston is the guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a psychiatrist and author of several best-selling self-help books including Just Listen, Get Out of Your Own Way, and Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life.

Dr. Goulston has either been a guest on or his work featured by the CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC News, Oprah, Today, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily and the Los Angeles Times. He also hosts the podcast Prison Letters with Dr. Mark Goulston.

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Dr. Goulston and Chauncey discuss how to overcome self-sabotage, becoming better communicators, managing negative influences in our lives, and fighting back against depression and other mental health challenges. Dr. Goulston also reflects on the 2016 presidential race and offers some suggestions as to how the Democratic Party can better fight back against Donald Trump's alpha male bullying behavior.

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega honors brother Malcolm X's birthday by sharing a New York Times editorial about his assassination. Unfortunately, Chauncey is also forced in the aftermath of the Sante Fe massacre by gun, to again, discuss how ammosexuals and other conservative gun fetishists are feeding America's children to the Gun God Moloch. On this week's show, Chauncey also peers into the right-wing hate sewer and its pit of defective women-hating "incels" who are debating if the Sante Fe mass murderer Dimitrios Pagourtzis was "too handsome" to be counted among their breed.

Of course, Trump University is always is session. This week's topic? The newest revelations about how Trump's cabal was willing to take assistance from Saudi Arabia and the UAE as coordinated by a child molester to steal the 2016 presidential election and by doing so to undermine American democracy.

This episode with Mark Goulston can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show
 is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A Conversation with Timothy Snyder About "Sadopopulism" and How Donald Trump and the Republican Party are Hurting White Voters in Order to Stay in Power

There are two guests on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. 

Yale University historian and New York Times-bestselling author Timothy Snyder returns to The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is the author of "On Tyranny" and the new book "The Road to Unfreedom". This is Professor Snyder's fourth appearance on The Chauncey DeVega Show.

Professor Snyder and Chauncey discuss how America's democratic institutions are under siege by Donald Trump and the Republican Party's fascist campaign, the ways that Trump and his allies are hurting white voters in order to stay in power by redirecting their rage at nonwhites and other groups, and the concept known as "sadopopulism". Professor Snyder also explains how both liberals and conservatives are weakening America's democratic project.

Jared Yates Sexton is the second guest on this week's example of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is the author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage. On this week's show, Jared and Chauncey discuss on the American news media continues to fail the public by not telling the truth about the threat posed by Donald Trump and how comedienne Michelle Wolff dared to expose the too cozy relationship between the so-called liberal news media and their right-wing propagandist "frenemies".

Jared also explains how Donald Trump is a political mafia boss who is running the White House like a criminal enterprise and personal protection racket.

Of course, as is their habit, Jared and Chauncey have to talk about the former's trip to this year's Wrestlemania, booking Roman Reigns, the Andre the Giant documentary on HBO, and how logical storytelling can help to salvage so many of the problems plaguing the WWE.

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega explains the hidden history of Mother's Day and its radical progressive roots in the women's rights and pacifist movements. Chauncey also offers an update in the Republican Party's continual effort to punish and hurt the most weak and vulnerable members of American society. This week's target? The elderly, differently-abled, and other people who will be thrown out of nursing homes and into the streets because of cuts to Medicare. Chauncey also gives a "You Big Dummy Award" to one of Trump's human deplorables whose business is going bankrupt because of the Great Leader's "soft ethnic cleansing" campaign against nonwhite immigrants.

This episode with Timothy Snyder and Jared Yates Sexton can be 
downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Conversation with Reed Tucker About the Secret History of the Rivalry Between Marvel and DC Comics

There are two guests on this week's Avengers: Infinity War and the secret history of Marvel vs. DC comics themed episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

Writer and Hugo-award nominated podcaster Alasdair Stuart is the first guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. Alasdair and Chauncey discuss their thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War and what it reveals about the future of the Marvel film universe, the pathos and menace of Josh Brolin as Thanos, and all that Infinity War does so very right in terms of emotion and relationships. Alasdair also tries to convince Chauncey that Star Trek: Discovery is not that horrible and offers some positive energy about why the new Han Solo Star Wars movie may actually be much better than expected.

Reed Tucker is the second guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. His work has been featured in the New York Post, Esquire, Fortune, and USA Today. Reed is also the author of the new book Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle between Marvel and DC.

During this week's installment of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Reed explains the secret history of Marvel and DC comics, the bust and boom era of comic books in the late 1980s through to the 1990s, great forgotten and obscure characters, tales of espionage, the trials and tribulations of Superman, and if this great era of superhero movies will end well--or terribly.

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega tries to make sense of a Donald Trumpian dystopian moment that feels like it is torn out of the pages of a poorly written science fiction novel or comic book. To wit: During this wild and wacky last week Trump and Kanye West united, Alex Jones claimed that Trump is part of a secret alliance which is fighting a sentient computer program like in the Terminator movies, and The New York Times pondered if so-called "incel" terrorists should have access to sex robots, human sex workers, and other unfortunates who will be receptacles for male sexual rage. Chauncey connects the dots so that you can stay (relatively) sane.

This episode with Alasdair Stuart and Reed Tucker can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Conversation with Reza Aslan About How Donald Trump has Turned White Christian Evangelicals Into His Own Personal Cult

Reza Aslan is the guest on this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is the author of numerous books including the New York Times-bestseller "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" as well as "No god but God". Reza was also the host of the CNN documentary TV series "Believer".

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Reza and Chauncey discuss Donald Trump's hold over white right-wing evangelical Christians and how they are acting like a religious-political cult in the service of Trump and the Republican Party. Reza also explains the role of racism and greed in how white right-wing Christian evangelicals came to be so corrupt and hypocritical in their overwhelmingly loyalty to Donald Trump.

Ed Simon also stops by the virtual bar and salon this week. He is a contributing writer for such publications as Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Jacobin. Ed explains how white right-wing Christian evangelicals misread the Bible, warns about being dismissive of white right-wing evangelicals as just being "stupid" and "hypocrites" and sounds the alarm about the threat posed to America's secular democracy by Christian Nationalists.  

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega reflects on the passing of the great James Cone and how his amazing scholarship resonates as a warning against the culture of cruelty, racism, and hatred of the poor as manifest in how white right-wing Christians support Donald Trump and want to destroy the social safety net as well as any vestiges of a humane society. Chauncey also shares his thoughts on the new Avengers: Infinity War movie.

And at the end of this week podcast Chauncey channels the late great Art Bell and shares some new information about the United States government's secret "psycho-electric" mind control weapons.

This episode with Reza Aslan and Ed Simon can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show
 is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Heroic Black Man Stopped a Massacre by a Likely White Supremacist at a Nashville Waffle House and Donald Trump is Silent

During the early morning hours last Sunday, a 29-year-old white man named Travis Reinking allegedly used an AR-15 rifle to kill four people and injure two others at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville. Reinking is reportedly a member of the Sovereign Citizens, a right-wing extremist movement that is heavily influenced by white supremacist political ideology. It is likely not a coincidence that all of Reinking's victims were nonwhite.

A 29-year-old black man named James Shaw Jr. disarmed Reinking by grabbing the barrel of his AR-15. Shaw is the true definition of a hero. He acted selflessly, without training or compensation, and at great personal risk.

Like most real heroes, Shaw refused any special praise or honor. As Shaw explained at a press conference on Sunday, “I’m not a hero. ... I’m just a regular person. I think anybody could have did what I did if they’re pushed. You have to either react or fall. I chose to react because I didn’t see any other way to live.”

During those few minutes last Sunday morning in a Waffle House, a mini-drama of American life in the age of Trump took place.

A young black man protected the public from a white man hell-bent on committing mass murder. In America, black men are all too often subjected to harassment, state-sponsored violence and racial profiling. By comparison, white men -- even when they are mass murderers or domestic terrorists -- are described by default as "nice" and "normal" people who are "lone wolves" or suffer from mental illness. Their crimes come as a surprise and not indicative of a broader "cultural problem" among the "white community."

The patrons at the Nashville Waffle House were lucky that James Shaw Jr. was not arrested and kicked out for trespassing like the two black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks store last week. If the manager in Nashville had a case of "negrophobia" like his peer in Philadelphia, more people might have died.

On the same day that Shaw saved lives in a Nashville, a black woman was arrested, stripped almost naked, and brutalized by police at a different Waffle House, a few hundred miles away in Alabama. Her crime? She complained to the manager about why her party had been charged for plastic utensils, when on a previous visit they had not been.

America's police routinely claim that they were in fear for their lives and "had no choice" after they kill unarmed or otherwise vulnerable black and brown people. James Shaw Jr., who had neither weapons nor police training, disarmed a killer with his bare hands.

And once again a white man who commits mass murder is captured alive, while black and brown people who are unarmed, talking on telephones, sitting in their cars, sleeping or generally minding their own business are killed by America's police nearly as a matter of routine. Reinking, who is accused of four murders, was even offered bond by a judge -- although in the face of public outrage this has since been revoked. Do you believe that a black or brown person credibly accused of mass murder would be given the opportunity to go free while awaiting trial?

Then there is Donald Trump. A president who finds countless hours to watch Fox News, play golf, and rage via Twitter about such important matters as the cartoon character Mr. Magoo has not made any public statement about the massacre in Nashville. (During a press briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered a routine statement of condolences for the victims and praise for Shaw on the president's behalf.)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Conversation with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist David Cay Johnston on Why Donald Trump's Presidency is Far Worse Than You Think

David Cay Johnston is the guest on this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who has followed Donald Trump's life and career for 30 years. Johnston shared those insights in the New York Times bestselling book The Making of Donald Trump.

Johnston's new book is It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, David and Chauncey discuss how Trump's family and upbringing created a man who is so comfortable with lying and being involved in illegal and other morally questionable activities, the failures in Hillary Clinton's and the Democratic Party's strategy and messaging, and how Robert Mueller will show that Donald Trump is a traitor who conspired with Russia to steal the White House, has likely committed financial crimes and obstructed justice. David Cay Johnston also offers a chilling warning--there will be violence from Trump's supporters if their Great Leader is impeached or otherwise removed from office.

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega offers his thoughts on culture of cruelty and the Republican Party's and Donald Trump's war on the "useless eaters" through a cruel effort to take away food stamps from children, healthcare from the sick, and aid for the disabled. Chauncey also has fun discussing the self-hating Afrocentric conman Fox News favorite who is giving out African-American "slavery reparations" coupons for Starbucks. 

And at the end of this week's podcast Chauncey shares some hate mail and deconstructs a very dangerous example of some new age white supremacist propaganda.

This episode with David Cay Johnston can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show
is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

New Research (Again) Shows That It was Racism and Sexism--and Not "Working Class Anxiety"--That Elected Donald Trump

America appears caught in a maelstrom of what I have described as "malignant reality," sustained by lies, half-truths, misunderstandings, willful ignorance and confusion about many things. Most notably, how Donald Trump became president. There will be no return to normalcy until there is a full and proper accounting of how this crisis came into existence.

Here are some examples of those falsehoods and evasions.

Trump is a populist who represents a mass movement of "forgotten" Americans. In reality, he is an elitist whose policies serve the rich and hurt the vast majority of Americans. Donald Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes; the aggregate turnout in the 2016 election was not that dissimilar from the last three presidential elections.

Trump will at some point be restrained by the Republican Party and "mature" into the responsibilities of the office. Donald Trump is the leader of the Republican Party; his policy positions are supported by the vast majority of Republican voters, elected officials, media and interest groups. Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated hostility towards democracy and the basic standards of decency and dignity exemplified by his predecessors.

Donald Trump was elected because of "economic anxiety" among the "white working class."
In reality, those voters who were most concerned about the economy supported Clinton. Donald Trump won every category of white voters -- not just those who were poor or working-class.

At the center of these claims is a belief that racism was a peripheral variable which was not central to Trump's razor-thin victory over Clinton. This is one of the most egregious and toxic falsehoods to emerge from the 2016 election.

The new article "Understanding White Polarization in the 2016 Vote for President: The Sobering Role of Racism and Sexism," by political scientists Brian Schaffner, Matthew MacWilliams and Tatishe Nteta, demonstrates that racial animus and sexism were in fact the most powerful factors influencing Trump's voters.

Writing in the Spring 2018 edition of Political Science Quarterly, the authors explain that the 2016 election "witnessed the largest gap between the presidential vote preferences of college-educated and non-college-educated whites" since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980:
While Donald Trump enjoyed just a four-point margin over Hillary Clinton among whites with a college degree (10 points less than Mitt Romney’s margin over Barack Obama among that group in 2012), his advantage among non-college-educated whites was nearly 40 points. . . . While many election postmortems were quick to make note of the education gap among whites in terms of presidential vote choice in 2016 explanations for the origins of this gap were a subject of significant debate. . . . 
We find that while economic considerations were an important part of the story, racial attitudes and sexism were much more strongly related to support for Trump; these attitudes explain at least two-thirds of the education gap among white voters in the 2016 presidential election.
Schaffner and his fellow researchers conclude that the 2016 campaign "witnessed a dramatic polarization in the vote choices of whites based on education," and argue that "very little of this gap can be explained by the economic difficulties faced by less educated whites." Had college-educated and non-college-educated white voters split between the two candidates in roughly the same manner, Hillary Clinton would almost certainly be president today.

In a political environment where racism and conservative politics almost fully overlap, where authoritarianism intersects with racism and sexism and where political polarization is driven in anxiety about changing racial demographics, Donald Trump may be a prototype for a more refined, and even more dangerous, right-wing successor.

I recently spoke with Brian Schaffner, co-author of this paper, about the dangers to American civic life posed by the Republican Party's increasing reliance on sexism and racism to win elections, and about how these pernicious attitudes and values influenced Trump's voters.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Conversation with historian Ed Ayers on why Americans are still fighting about the Civil War

Historian Ed Ayers is the guest on this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show. Ed Ayers has written and edited twelve books, including In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Beveridge Prize; and The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His new book is The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America.

Ayers has been named National Professor of the Year, received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and been elected President of the Organization of American Historians. 

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Professor Ayers and Chauncey discuss popular myths about the American civil war and slavery, the Charlottesville white supremacist riot, public memory and monuments to the Confederacy, and why Donald Trump's presidency may ironically have helped to renew American democracy by spurring on a new progressive movement.  

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega tries to make sense of an especially tumultuous week where Donald Trump raged, his "pee pee" sex video seems more likely to exist, and the Trump monster basically admitted that he obstructed justice to stop any investigation into his collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election.  And in this week's episode of the podcast Chauncey shares some letters written by African-American soldiers during the Civil War as well as newspaper ads where formerly enslaved black Americans desperately search for their families and friends after Emancipation.

Chauncey also offers a reflection upon and honors Art Bell, the radio legend and pioneer who passed away on Friday.

This episode with Ed Ayers can be 
downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on 
Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Donald Trump Again Shows That He is The Very Definition of a Fascist

Does any real doubt remain that Donald Trump is a fascist cut from an American mold?

To this point in the story that is the decline of American democracy under Donald Trump and the Republican Party, we have seen many things. Among them are threats of violence against political rivals, an upsurge in racism and nativism, militant nationalism and careless warmongering, efforts to limit the freedom of the press, assaults on the rule of law, blatant disregard for democratic traditions and norms, shameless apparent corruption and abuse of the public trust, idol worship of despots and dictators, and the creation of a malignant reality in which Trump's followers are wedded to him in a political cult based upon collective narcissism and shared authoritarian values.

On Monday, a new chapter in what feels like a never-ending American tragedy began.

Acting on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, FBI agents under the direction of the U.S. attorney in New York raided the offices, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, President Trump's personal attorney, confidant and fixer. It has since been reported that agents seized electronic and other records connected to payments made by Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels, apparently on Trump's behalf. Given Cohen's long history as a Trump associate and employee, documents related to Russian real estate and other transactions were likely also among the targets.

In response to Monday's events, Trump lashed out with claims that the FBI's Cohen raid was a "disgraceful situation" and "an attack on our country." He lambasted both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for failing to stop the Russia investigation.

Trump also spoke openly about the possibility that he might fire Mueller -- an action that might well require firing Rosenstein first, and perhaps others in the Justice Department. Reportedly, Trump nearly did so last summer and was talked out of it by White House Counsel Don McGahn. He is clearly close to that fateful decision once again.

On Tuesday, Trump continued his temper tantrum via Twitter, claiming that "Attorney-client privilege is dead!" and that he is a victim of "A Total Witch Hunt," one of his favorite terms of art.

As they should be, the president's threats against an independent legal system -- one of the bedrocks of a democracy -- have (again) been met with much public criticism and concern.

But Trump also signaled toward something even more ominous and worrisome in his tirades this week.

When the president claimed that Mueller and the FBI's investigation into his affairs was "an attack on our country," he christened himself a fascist leader in all but name.

Trump believes that he is the state, as did the absolute monarchs of earlier centuries, and as did totalitarian despots like Hitler and Stalin. He believes that he is above the law and that all legal power and authority flows from him. For Trump, instead of being embraced as the hallmarks of a healthy and functioning democracy, checks and balances are a threat to his authoritarian agenda.

Trump's claims are dangerous in another way as well.

If Donald Trump was an ordinary citizen who happened to have a great deal of money, his anti-democratic impulses and pronouncements would be "merely" troublesome. But Trump is not just the drunk at the bar who happens to be rich. He is president of the United States and official leader of one of the country's two main political parties. He has his own propaganda machine and leads a movement comprised of tens of millions of desperate, angry people.

As such, Trump's followers and enablers perceive any attack on him as an attack on themselves. Trump knows this all too well. Late on Tuesday afternoon, his re-election campaign sent the following email to his supporters:

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Conversation with Tim Wise about White Privilege,Toxic White Masculinity and the Parkland High School Massacre

Anti-racism activist, author, and scholar Tim Wise is the guest on this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show. Tim Wise is the author of numerous books including his most recent Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America.

During this episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show, Tim and Chauncey discuss toxic white masculinity and mass shootings in the context of the Parkland high school massacre, white racial fragility, and how white privilege and white racism continue to hurt white people in Donald Trump's America. And in a first for the podcast, Chauncey and Tim respond to a listener's email who is seeking advice for how best to deal with their racist Donald Trump Tea Party supporting father and what strategies that white folks who want to fight for justice along the color line can implement in their own lives and communities.

In this week's episode Chauncey DeVega continues to document how Trump's presidency is an exercise in corporate corruption and theft and also highlights the continued violence by Trump's human deplorables against the American people. And in this week's episode of the podcast Chauncey shares what may be an unpopular opinion about the NYPD's horrific and tragic killing of a mentally ill black man named Saheed Vassell.

This episode with Tim Wise can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

The Chauncey DeVega Show is available on Itunes, Spotify and at Stitcher.