Month: August 2023

Background Briefing: August 31, 2023


Proud Boys are Sentenced but Not Their Strategists Roger Stone and Alex Jones

We begin with the sentencing today of the lieutenant to the violent Proud Boys militia’s leader Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, who is now facing 17 years in jail. Joining us to assess the fate of Enrique Tarrio who is to be sentenced on Tuesday and Proud Boy deputy Ethan Nordean who will be sentenced on Friday is David Neiwert, an award-winning journalist, author and expert in American right-wing extremism. His books include Red Pill Blue Pill: How to Counteract the Conspiracy Theories That Are Killing Us and Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump. His latest book is The Age of Insurrection: The Radical Right’s Assault on American Democracy.


America’s Internal Colonies of Poverty

Then we examine America’s internal colonies of poverty that trace back to the feudal Confederacy but live on in the legacy of extractive capitalism and political corruption. Joining us is Kathryn Edin, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. The author of nine previous books, she is widely recognized for using both quantitative research and direct, in-depth observation to illuminate key mysteries about poverty. Her latest book, co-authored with H. Luke Shaefer and Timothy Nelson, is The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America.

The High-Tech Hype of a Revolution in Weaponry in Ukraine as WW I Trench Warfare Grinds On


Then finally we examine the hype that the Ukraine war is seeing a revolution in high-tech armaments, satellites, drones and AI when in fact on the ground it looks more like the grinding bloodletting of World War I trench warfare. Joining us is Stephen Biddle, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University and adjunct senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. His books include Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle and Nonstate Warfare: The Military Methods of Guerillas, Warlords, and Militias, and we will discuss his article at Foreign Affairs, “Back in the Trenches: Why New Technology Hasn’t Revolutionized Warfare in Ukraine.”