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Michael Parenti on Bewildering Biography of Lee Harvey Oswald

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Thanks for that brief video from Michael Parenti, under 7 minutes. MP always has good humor. The laughter in the audience sounds like an old Mort Sahl show. That old timey Italian Harlem incredulity.

I credit Parenti with giving me a sort of Rosetta Stone to the assassinations of the 1960s. Five or six years ago, I saw him on C-Span talking about his book The Assassination of Julius Caesar. My degree is in Classical Greek(how's that for practical?) and I wanted a break from JFKA (which bug bit me hard summer of 2005), so I ran out and got it. Manna from heaven. Turns out that Caesar was for the people to an incredible degree, which is dangerous for such a leader AND such a people. It may be a flaw in the entire human species since the formation of states that the wealthy of the right-wing never has any problem finding desperate toadies who are capable of any deed, in transliterated Greek, panourgoi.

Before Julius there was the much-neglected Ephialtes in Athens. After the Persian Wars, when the common man was more than key and he knew it, they elected more and more progressive archons. Mid 5th century BCE and they had the greatest of them all, Ephialtes, heir to the best heritage of the likes of Solon a century earlier. So of course he was assassinated in a fog-of-crime type confusion where no one was ever tried. I say it was the followers of Pericles, much like LBJ. Athens went downhill immediately. Perpetual wars (the Peloponnesian), rampant disease (The Plague, much like our America being alone in the developed world without universal health care), and back-breaking debt.

I don't think Parenti ever says it explicitly, but Julius Caesar, for his time, was a carbon-copy of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. They both evolved their whole lives, always for the better. That's why both were so hated by the oligarchs, who could make claims that they were betrayed because their chief "changed" on them (boo-hoo), hence "betrayed" them. Caesar's policies toward debt especially earned him hatred from the fortunate. So he had to go the way of the Gracchi brothers.

There are a ton of Michael Parenti lectures on video. I'm rediscovering him. Thanks, Doug.

Edited by Roy Wieselquist
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I also want to thank Doug for this M. Parenti link.

I had never even heard of Parenti before this.

Yes, Mort Sahl like.

Interesting comparison regards Julius Cesar and JFK.

I had to check out more Parenti videos. I found one of him debating Christopher Hitchens over the justifications regarding our invasion of Iraq.

Hitchens was always a well spoken speaker. Dramatically interesting. Reminded me of Richard Burton. He could have done well in theater.

However, time has proven Parenti was so right in that debate and Hitchens so wrong.

The Iraq war we started fractured and destabilized that country to a devastating degree. Millions forced to flee as refugees in great poverty and stress.

It is so common now to hear of serious PTSD afflictions of thousands of our combat troops who were sent to Iraq.

But can you imagine the PTSD affliction levels of those millions of Iraqi's? They will be affected for generations. And it is likely they do not have access to decent treatments for their PTSD.

Back to JFK and Oswald and Parenti's take here.

The Mort Sahl / old New York City incredulity analogy is right on.

You just cannot pull one over on those guys.

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I love him. I used to read him in a mag called Prevailing Winds. I have seen many of his online lectures. He is up there with PDS. A major treasure. I saw this and reposted it on fb. Thanks for posting it here Doug. My tech skills are sorely lacking so I don't know how to post youtube vids on forums.


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Since 1985, David Barsmian has produced a one-hour radio show, called Alternative Radio, which airs on many NPR affiliates. Frequent guest speakers include the likes of, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and, Michael Parenti. Many hundreds of hours of interviews and speeches are archived at the Alternative Radio website, but unfortunately there is a charge for downloading programs. Below is a link to Michael Parenti’s content.


Edited by Tom Hume
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