Podcast 547 – “A House Divided Against Itself”


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Guest speaker: Gore Vidal


Today’s podcast features a lecture by Gore Vidal about the true history of the U.S. presidency. Also included is a brief bit by George Carlin where he explains why America is always at war. And Lorenzo explains in detail why he believes that the USA is already a failed state.


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Posted in Culture, Education, Family, Future, Gore Vidal.


  1. Tommy…. you can go to any of those places via other countries. It’s not brain surgery, I mean… if you really wanted to. But.. I suspect like a lot of people, you do a lot of talking. Hope you’d fair better than Otto did (there is a reason for the ban, get a clue).
    You know what bugs me? People who don’t give a damn about other people & what happens to them. You couldn’t care less about what happened to Otto. Sorry Lorenzo, politics once again bringing out the very best in people. BTW Tomster, you might want to go take a look at what is happening to the people of N.Korea and the babies there (better have a very strong stomach for the truth). What has crossed my desk, would blow your mind.

    • https://theintercept.com/2017/05/03/why-do-north-koreans-hate-us-one-reason-they-remember-the-korean-war/

      Convenient, you’ll stop after you get your final say. On the contrary:

      Yes, the life of a single American student is what matters. Absolute silliness. People die under far worse circumstances every day at the hands of our oppressive institutions and lack of empathy in our society. Your precious Otto is of the same class of citizen you would be scoffing at and calling “the left” and whining about how they want handouts and free college tuition. His life means nothing against the millions of dead Koreans slaughtered in our Korean War. And for what? To fight the scourge of all things red (commie/socialist). Clearly a worthwhile endeavor (*SARCASM*).

      I think mindfulness exercises would be good for you. That and some lessons on sarcasm. Rather than evaluating my previous statement in a sarcastic manner aimed at pointing out your hypocrisy and “get in line” attitude with the American Imperial Military mindset that has infected our daily lives, you decided to take it completely literally and go run to your “millennial” friends and convey it as a literal statement in order to produce the exact reaction you desired so that you could run back here and report it for all to see. Any millennial would immediately see through the sarcastic nature of the statement if you gave them any context. The point being, you say “move to N. Korea or the middle east”, but the reality is, you can’t. But don’t tell your millennial friends any of this. That would prove you wrong, and that’s dangerous and unacceptable by American standards. Failure is not an option! (*SARCASM*)

      Never mind what “crossed your desk”. The facts are out there for us all to know. Nobody needs exclusive access to get their hands on real information, or even classified information nowadays. Don’t pretend like you know something that nobody else is onto yet. Of course North Korea is a horrible place, a cult of personality. We know about the poverty, the food shortages, the death camps, assassinations, etc. However, your glorious leader said it best. “We have a lot of killers in this country”. We cannot pretend we are that much better. The crimes of the empire are exposed and we are all witnesses. Some of you just choose to put the blinders on and stare at the glowing orange face of your walking embodiment of fast food, wall street, big money, daddy issues, strongman complexes, wheeling and dealing, slick hair, obesity, laziness, lying, cheating, stealing, subtle racism, and authoritarianism. Truly American. Your entire argument when this started was that you voted for Trump because Hillary was a liar. That is true, she was a liar. But Trump is also. Don’t prop up an argument on faulty logic. Say something substantive to argue a point effectively.

      Lorenzo, thanks for keeping it level-headed and inclusive. Whether they realize it or not, we want everyone on our side. Conversation can convince when people allow the facts and empathy into their minds. The fact is that it’s become more convenient to generate a narrative with the fragments of information generated in our headline culture, rather than taking the time and effort to evaluate issues and stances on those issues from critical perspectives. Yes, it hurts to face up the truth of the situation. But pain breeds understanding and it’s information like this that is crucial to reflect upon. Not necessarily to generate outrage. As Zinn himself explained in A People’s History, outrage pointed towards the past is essentially a waste of energy. The energy needs to be directed at progressive solutions and the distribution of real information, like we get here at the Salon. So, thank you. (This isn’t an open cry for more political content either, just to be clear.)

  2. Can you please just stick to posting Psychedelic research and McKenna talks and leave the spreading of leftist political ideology to professional like SALON or CNN? I used to come to this podcast to educate myself and learn about interesting non-politically fired subjects, or if there were politics, people like McKenna would at least take an unbiased stance if anything. But now I should listen to your rapid leftist rants because somebody in the whitehouse doesn’t like sodomites, terorists and illegal criminals? Yeah we get it, trump is anti-gay because the mainstream news said so, and he hates those freedom-loving muslims too, like the one that killed 50 people in a seattle gay club, but that was somehow Trump’s fault too, since he’s a white male, and every time a minority kills someone it’s collectively the fault of all white heterosexual men. Considering you are the opressor according to the marxist dogma you are spoonfeeding to everyone here, why don’t you leave Trump alone, cut the middleman and just do a podcast blaming yourself?

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: And let me give a warm welcome to one of the professional online Trump Trolls. Everyone is welcome here. If you stick around you may learn something.]

    • I promise I’ll stop after this. Lorenzo, that is so not like you calling someone a “Trump Troll”. Come on now….surely you understand people have had just about enough of people bashing our flag, president or country. For heaven’s sake, it’s like someone coming as a visitor to your home and they complain about the food while they stuff their face. Lorenzo… you’ve always been understanding & loving even when faced with someone’s outrage (I think anyway). People are just tired of the hypocrisy). So many millennials are becoming our worst nightmare, “group think & pod people” who have no critical thinking skills. We should be more of an example. Today, I was talking with some millennials (23 -27) < think that is a "millennial". I actually told them about his post, they were disgusted. Not sure that actually captures the reaction.. more like a lot of scoffs and laughing about anyone who's argument was "they'd be happy to move to N. Korea". How insane is that? The final commment.. "yep, have fun there & be sure to send us a post-card". For heaven's sake, they have eaten all the dogs & cats there & have moved on to the rats. Time to be a little more thankful for what you have I think. Frankly, as for President Trump, man… I said if we EVER get somebody who wasn't shoved in there by lobbyist…. I'd vote for that guy. That's President Trump. I would vote for someone "perfect" you show me that person and you got my vote.

  3. Just came here to say, you did get me to read the People’s History back then. Thanks.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: :-), a couple of other saloners have also let me know as well. THANKS!]

  4. Interesting and provocative podcast. I do profoundly agree with the basic premise that America is a failed state, but only if you mean it has failed as a constitutional democratic republic dedicated to egalitarian self government and the rule of law.

    Furthermore we have failed to adapt to the ecological reality of life on earth in a multifaceted biosphere, which may be the more permanent and catastrophic failure.

    But we have in no way failed as a predatory empire modeled after Mussolini’s ideas for modern statehood as a balance of corporatism, and imperial military dominance. Fascism as outlined by Mussolini has been the dominant model for the great powers since before WW2. It has not yet failed, but like Hitler it has a dark self destructive madness at its core and the hubris, violence and ecological dangers of this model are becoming evident to independently thoughtful people throughout the world.
    Gore Vidal does a good job of tracing the flaws that eroded the wiser aspects of the the US constitution as well as the human atrocities that accompanied the avarice and violence of empire building that came to subsume democratic ideas.
    My main criticism is Vidal’s treatment of Kennedy. Kennedy did not initiate the bay of pigs invasion of Cuba. He reluctantly agreed to that adventure on the condition that no US military support would be given. He stuck by that despite military and CIA pressure and the venture failed within days. It created much tension with the CIA founded and run by Dulles. Kennedy fired Dulles and there is enormous evidence that Dulles orchestrated Kennedy’s murder. There is also much evidence that Kennedy was very reluctant to escalate the CIA’s war in Vietnam. He definitively opposed further intervention in Laos. Kennedy was no saint and came to the office with standard anti-communist rhetoric but he was changing( including taking psychedelics with one of his girlfriends who may have also been murdered) and that is why he was killed.
    Trump is not a new face in US politics, and was little different from Hillary or Obama in his militarism and support of corporate interests, big oil, banks etc.. BUT he is unique in recent history in the way he strips away all the facade of civility, the pretense of environmental concern, or fake championing of human rights and democracy. He is a successful con-man, hate monger, and egomaniac who ignores all rules and appeals to the worst of human nature. In the game show environment of modern media his strategy worked. One has to go back the mass murderer Andrew Jackson to find his like.
    It seems to me that what faces this generation is the terrifying success of global fascism, but offset by the socialist example of northern Europe and Japan, along with the outposts of creativity and cooperativeness in the Americas, Asia, Australia. The longer we cling to the idea that what we have is democracy and human rights for all, the longer we prolong the agony of endless war and eco madness.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: I agree with you. In particular, I agree about Kennedy AND the fact that certain elements of the CIA (especially Dulles) were behind his murder. I’ve read over 20 books about his assassination and have come to the conclusion that Oswald was exactly what he claimed to be, a patsy.]

    • Excellent post. Some errors… you understand organized crime (also known as the “mob”) was well underway in Cuba. The only way Kennedy could give a death blow to organized crime was to not show up for the “Bay of Pigs”. Castro took the casinos. That according to people I talked to on the ground back in the day. I’m sure you understand that organized crime… washes its money into legitimate businesses. Now, it is in our government.

      What this generation lacks are critical thinking skills.

  5. Bottom line: And yet, half the world wants to move here. Thank you Lorenzo for your program, I had heard Gore Vidal’s POV a long time ago. When I first started listening to this I thought, “ah hell no, not you too Lorenzo” Smile But, of course, eventually you would, because you feel passionate about this. I suspect because you were fooled in the past & wanted to prevent others from falling down that rabbit hole.

    I might as well get this party started with, “I voted for President Trump”. Why? Because, we only had 2 choices, the 3rd not voting in itself is a choice. Sure there is a 4th but, you know that would never fly. There was no way I was going to vote for that freak Hillary. No way in hell. I can disagree with you & you can disagree with me…. but, I don’t tolerate liars well. She’s a first class liar, like nothing I’ve ever seen. Her party a bunch of liars as well. President Trump might be an “odd ball” but he’s our “odd ball”. The democrats want to lead us into war with Russia and I’m not having it.

    Since I’m talking “bottom lines”, we all have choices in our government. You can move to N. Korea (starve there & wow, what is coming out of that country, what is going on…. terrible). You can go to the middle east, but for myself, I don’t do well in the heat w/a table cloth over my head w/ eye slots cut out; plus, I like to drive around & see what is up. The islands… yeah.. not looking too good right now with no infrastructure. I tend to go with what works myself.

    As to the new “left”. Horrid little people. Those ANTIFA ,BLM or any of those destructive groups, who have taken over our old “left”. So, I can’t be a leftist, independent w/liberal leanings anymore. Those people are nuts. They tear up their own neighborhoods… they are a destructive force. Besides they are doomed to fail. It’s a total waste of time & energy. I prefer to plant flowers & educate my family with truth.

    Yes, we are a divided country… but, not as bad as you might see it. I suspect you are in California (or the N.E. of our country)? If so… then I would understand your worry about the nation being divided. We’re not divided over where I am.

    I am saddened watching people….. I kind of was looking forward to us all being hooked up with the neural lace. But, after watching crazy people on the news… yeah… ah hell no. I can’t imagine a truer hell than being hooked up mentally with very unhappy people. Love you Lorenzo and love your shows. Thank you again.

    • Virginia,

      Representing the “horrid” left here.

      I actually would move to North Korea, Jordan, or Syria, but I can’t because Trump issued a travel ban. I guess I’ll have to settle on Saudi Arabia. That’s the good Middle-eastern country, right?


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