Failed State Update

Failed State Update

By Joseph L. Flatley
Stories and conversations from the end of America.

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Failed State Update

7: The Battle of Pittsburgh

Failed State Update

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#11: Boy's Bible Study
NOTE: I've fixed the wonky audio 30 minutes in and updated the file. I've always been fascinated by the weird, parallel Christian media universe, so for this episode, I figure we'd consult the experts. Boys Bible Study is a podcast known for its hilarious and insightful reviews of faith-based movies (a fair amount of which involve Kevin Sorbo somehow). In this episode of Failed State Update, I will be joined by the Bible boys: Ash, Julian, and Scott, as we discuss The Reliant (2019). This film ostensibly stars Kevin Sorbo and Eric Roberts, but in reality, it's just two hours of kids camping in the woods. Their time is spent cowering from a vague, Antifa-like threat that has taken over the cities and whining about God. It's a look into a parallel reality that's only becoming more prevalent in this country every day. Special thanks to J.G. Michael of the Parallax Views podcast for the film recommendation! Boy's Bible Study on the web: http://boysbiblestudy.com/ Boy's Bible Study on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/boysbiblestudy Boy's Bible Study on Twitter: https://twitter.com/boysbiblestudy Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Joseph L. Flatley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley
1:00:13
July 7, 2020
10½: Josh Lilly on living in (and being kicked out of) a destructive cult
From my other podcast, The So-Called Prophet From Pittsburgh about a UFO cult in Arizona and its leader, Gabriel. Joshua Lilly (spiritual name: VanMon) was brought into the Global Community Communications Alliance as a kid, kicked out as a teenager, and joined again as an adult. Practically his entire family is still in the group. In this in-depth conversation, Josh relates the path that drew him to Gabriel of Urantia (twice). We also discuss cult members' motivations, cult "mind control" techniques, how the group gets its money, and the spiritual elitism in our culture. At the beginning of the episode, I share a little bit about how the GCCA is handling the COVID-19 crisis. The So-Called Prophet From Pittsburgh: https://anchor.fm/pghprophet Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Joseph L. Flatley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley 
1:49:43
July 2, 2020
10: Police Cops! w/Stuart Schrader
Stuart Schrader is a Lecturer/Assistant Research Scientist in Sociology at Johns Hopkins University and the author of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing. In this episode of Failed State Update, we talk about the little-understood facts that the United States is an empire, and that what our police do at home has a striking resemblance to what our military does overseas. Of course, this has some very serious implications for the current resistance movement that's been so busy on the streets of America since the murder of George Floyd. Stuart Schrader's website: https://www.stuartschrader.com/  Stuart Schrader on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stschrader1 "Wanted: An End to Police Terror" by Stuart Schrader: https://www.viewpointmag.com/2020/06/09/wanted-an-end-to-police-terror/ Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net Joseph L. Flatley twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Failed State Update Newsletter: https://lennyflatley.substack.com MUSIC: "The News" and "The Network's Going Down" by Carbon/Silicon
1:02:29
June 24, 2020
9: The Fascists Are Telling Us Who They Are
For this episode, I spoke with two pretty smart dudes. First off, Jared Yates Sexton (a political analyst, associate professor, and author of the forthcoming book American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People) discussed authoritarianism, both in the Trump White House and in the hearts of too many of us. We also covered the role of conspiracy theories in... well, almost everything. After that, my interview with Shane Burley (author of Fascism Today: What It Is And How To End It) covers fascism, anti-fascism, and the George Floyd Protests. This is good content to consume if you want to pretend you've read the above books. Jared Yates Sexton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JYSexton Shane Burley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shane_burley1 Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net Joseph L. Flatley twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley FAILED STATE UPDATE (the newsletter): https://lennyflatley.substack.com Music: "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos," "Brothers Gonna Work It Out," "Lost At Birth," "Fight The Power," "Party For Your Right To Fight" by Public Enemy
1:00:45
June 18, 2020
8½: Busting R. Kelly with Jim DeRogatis
For fifteen years, Jim DeRogatis was the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. It was while there that Jim and his colleague Abdon Pallasch became the first reporters to expose R. Kelly's sex trafficking cult. His book Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly both exposes what rich people get away with in this country and gives the reader a first-hand account of the work that investigative journalists do. I think it's one of the most important books of 2019. Jim DeRogatis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly: amzn.to/32x1MOP Music: "City of Crime" by Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd
53:44
June 10, 2020
8: Protest in the Age of Magickal Thinking
There's an uprising goin' on. But while the oppressed are uprising, and the cops are knocking heads, right-wing thugs are waiting to take advantage of the chaos for their own fiendish ends. And these ain't your daddy's racists: they believe in meme magick and wear aloha shirts. In this episode of Failed State Update, I talk to two people who have devoted some serious time and effort to understanding Q Anon, the Boogaloo Bois, and other absurd modern manifestations of the radical right.  Mike Rains is the host of the Poker Politics podcast, for those who want to get into the weeds of Q Anon analysis.  CV Vitolo-Haddad is a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies the Alt-Right, Boogaloo Bois, and other fascist creeps. Poker Politics podcast by Mike Rains: https://soundcloud.com/user-961354561 "Make a Whole New Religion: QAnon and the Age of Trump" by Mike Rains: https://medium.com/@pokerpolitics/make-a-whole-new-religion-1a0f0eae3f43 Mike Rains on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PokerPolitics  CV Vitolo-Haddad on Twitter: https://twitter.com/notcolloquial Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net Joseph L. Flatley twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley FAILED STATE UPDATE (the newsletter): https://lennyflatley.substack.com Music: "United" by Throbbing Gristle "(Every Day Is) Halloween" by Ministry "Love Missile F1-11" by Sigue Sigue Sputnik
58:33
June 4, 2020
7: The Battle of Pittsburgh
I'm a veteran of the anti-globalization movement, but sadly these days COVID-19 and some seriously messed up lungs have turned my activism into slacktivism. When I wasn't busy yesterday Venmo-ing my donation to the Pittsburgh Freedom Fund (see "Pittsburgh Jailbreak," below), I spent about 12 hours monitoring Twitter feeds, live streams, and my handy police scanner to try to get an idea of what was going on during the Battle of Pittsburgh. On this episode of Failed State Update, I will ponder paranoia, provocateurs, the Phoenix Program, and the one weird thing that connects Vietnam to political activism. Special guests include Pittsburgh activist Vincent Scotti Eirene of Duncan and Porter House, and Douglas Valentine, author of The Phoenix Program: America's Use of Terror in Vietnam. The Black Political Empowerment Project: https://www.b-pep.net/ Pittsburgh Jailbreak: https://www.gofundme.com/f/aftercare-for Duncan and Porter House: http://www.notowar.com/ Music: "Back Off Boogaloo" by Ringo Starr "Children of the Revolution" by T. Rex "Panic In Detroit" by David Bowie "Urban Guerrilla" by Hawkwind
46:34
June 1, 2020
6: The Jakarta Method (w/Vincent Bevins)
Clearly, the American Empire is clocking out — it's anybody's guess whether it will go with a whimper or with a bang, but it seems likely that we'll know the answer to that question relatively soon. But what did it take to forge this empire in the first place, and how can it be that so many Americans are unaware that this imperium even exists? In the latest episode of Failed State Update, I will be speaking with Vincent Bevins, a journalist and the author of the recently released The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World. As it turns out, the bloodiest and most horrific acts of American imperialism are the ones we've never heard of. Also discussed: Covid-19 as a symptom of America's collective insanity, and Russiagate as psychological projection. Vincent Bevins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Vinncent Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net Joseph L. Flatley twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley FAILED STATE UPDATE (the newsletter): https://lennyflatley.substack.com Music: "Washington Bullets" and "Charlie Don't Surf" by The Clash
58:22
May 28, 2020
5½: The Opperman Report
UPDATE: The latest on the story of THE SO-CALLED PROPHET FROM PITTSBURGH is available now from Please Kill Me Online: https://pleasekillme.com/cosmopop/ Ed Opperman is like a character in a movie: Private investigator, native New Yorker, conspiracy researcher, and former Yippie. It was a pleasure to talk to him on his radio show recently about the UFO cult I'm investigating (including some new wrinkles in the story, available here for the first time). We also spoke at some length about this podcast and my new FAILED STATE UPDATE NEWSLETTER, available at: https://lennyflatley.substack.com/ The Opperman Report website: http://www.oppermanreport.com Ed Opperman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/oppermanreport
45:23
May 26, 2020
5: To Live and Die in L.A.
Yasha Levine is an investigative journalist and the author of Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet (PublicAffairs, 2018). We spoke recently about the response to COVID-19 in the city of Los Angeles, where he currently lives. Since it's Yasha, the conversation quickly turned to surveillance and empire and the fact that the systemic collapse of the USA (ca. 2020) is largely the result of the chickens coming home to roost — as web 2.0 influencer Ward Churchill might say. After taping that call I decided to expand the discussion a bit by bringing on Anne Orchier, an organizer with NOlympics LA, about why the Olympics is bad news and how Los Angeles is, much like the rest of the country, experiencing "disaster capitalism" run amok.  FAILED STATE UPDATE (the newsletter): https://lennyflatley.substack.com/ NOlympics LA on the web: https://nolympicsla.com/ NOlympics LA Twitter: https://twitter.com/NOlympicsLA NOlympics LA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nolympicsla/ Yasha Levine on the web: http://yashalevine.com/ Yasha Levine Twitter: https://twitter.com/yashalevine Yasha's newsletter, Immigrants as a Weapon: https://yasha.substack.com/  Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Joseph L. Flatley twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Music: "We Care A Lot" by Faith No More "Chariots of Fire" by Vangelis "Join the Chant" by Nitzer Ebb "To Live and Die in L.A." by Wang Chung
56:15
May 23, 2020
4: I Am Seeing UFOs (w/Adam Gorightly)
This episode of Failed State Update is about the intersection of government spies and ETs. As far as I can tell (and who can really tell?) the UFO community has been encouraged to pursue and promote some wacko ideas over the years by the United States Air Force to distract them from the shitty things the government is doing (and the scary weapons their government is creating). The best evidence supporting this hypothesis is the story of a defense contractor named Paul Bennewitz who we will discuss here in some detail. But there is also the strange case of Tom DeLonge of Blink-182: can we really trust an overgrown pop-punker whose think tank fraternates with the CIA and Lockheed Martin? As usual, Failed State Update provides few answers, but asks plenty of questions. Adam Gorightly website: http://adamgorightly.com/ Adam Gorightly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdamGorightly Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Joseph L. Flatley twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Music: "I Am Seeing UFOs" by Dee Dee Ramone "The Happening" by The Pixies
54:08
May 19, 2020
3½: You're Donezo! (w/Chuck Ochelli)
I recently appeared on The Ochelli Effect to discuss this podcast and the sorry state of the world in general. I had a great time, so I thought I'd share some highlights of our conversation with you. If you like what you hear, make sure you check out Ochelli.com to listen to the whole two hour conversation. Topics include: rich people/disaster capitalism/Hurricane Katrina, The Day After (again!), my cursory understanding of Jung, the COVID-19 lockdown, and more. The Ochelli Effect website: http://ochelli.com/ Chuck Ochelli on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ochellieffect Joseph L. Flatley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Joseph L. Flatley's website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Music: "Beautiful Future" by Primal Scream "Blank Generation" (original version) by Richard Hell and the Voidoids "Countdown to Armageddon" by Public Enemy "Enola Gay" by OMD
47:08
May 15, 2020
3: Radical politics and the Peoples Temple
Laura Johnston Kohl grew up as an activist in Washington, D.C., and watched as many of her heroes were assassinated in the 1960s. She attended college in Connecticut and continued her commitment to work for change and to make a difference.  While exercising her civil rights to protest peacefully, she was tear-gassed while protesting the war in Vietnam.  After a brief marriage, a visit to Woodstock, and a stint working with the Black Panthers, she moved to California to join her sister. Soon after that, she was introduced to Peoples Temple and spent the next nine years in California and Guyana. In this episode of Failed State Update, Laura will tell us how Jim Jones used radical politics and religious faith to trap people in his apocalyptic cult. It's a riveting history and an important cautionary tale. Laura Johnston Kohl website: https://www.jonestownsurvivor.com/ Music by Forest Lawn: "Beyond the Gates," "A Sunny Day in the Graveyard," "Mausoleum Blues" Forest Lawn on Bandcamp: https://forestlawnpsych.bandcamp.com/ End music by Frank Zappa: "Jonestown" Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Joseph L. Flatley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Joseph L. Flatley on Instagram: https://instagram.com/lennysbookclub
51:29
May 10, 2020
2: Amazon.com and the crisis of meaning
In the second episode of Failed State Update, we check in on Christian Smalls, the ex-Amazon employee who lost his job fighting to protect his coworkers from Covid-19.  And then we'll have a wide-ranging conversation with J.P. Sottile, the journalist behind the influential Rundown newsletter, about the strange political and psychological times we've found ourselves in. Topics include the generation gap, fascism, nuclear war, and looking at the bright side of the system's collapse.  [CORRECTION: I'm pretty sure I referred to Christian Smalls as "Christopher" on the podcast. Apologies.] Christian Smalls on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shut_downamazon J.P. Sottile on Twitter: https://twitter.com/newsvandal J.P. Sottile's website: http://newsvandal.com/ Joseph L. Flatley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Joseph L. Flatley's website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Music: "Democracy" by Adolescents "Sixty Seconds to What?" by Ennio Morricone "The Bottom Line" by Big Audio Dynamite
1:06:21
May 3, 2020
1: Militia Dudes and Juggalos
In the premiere episode, Joseph "Lenny" Flatley talks to J.G. Michael of Parallax Views about the politics of the anti-quarantine movement and the tragic canceling of Insane Clown Posse's 2020 Gathering of the Juggalos music festival. He also speaks to Christian Yingling of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia and John "Wagz" Wagner of the PA Lightfoot Militia about the militia movement's response to Covid-19. Parallax Views: https://parallaxviews.podbean.com/ Joseph L. Flatley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Joseph L. Flatley's website: https://www.lennyflatley.net/ Music: "World Destruction" by Timezone "Thy Unveiling" by Insane Clown Posse  "Watch Out for Martial Law" by Carl Clang
56:41
May 2, 2020