Living Room Talks is my video blog, focusing mostly, but not entirely, on current events. I do several of them a month posted live on Facebook and then re-posted to other social media venues.. All of them are archived below, Tune in to watch me live or watch them later. Text versions are at www.johngraham.org/blog
Could Putin’s Invasion Go Nuclear? A Former NATO War Planner Assesses the Odds
Events in Ukraine have moved us closer to Armageddon than anything since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Anything is possible in the days ahead. If the Ukrainians refuse to quit and Russia’s losses continue to mount, Putin could well use small tactical nukes in Ukraine, forcing a terribly difficult NATO decision. Watch this video
Putin Has Already Lost This War
He has grossly misjudged the consequences of his actions, both inside Ukraine and out. Watch this report and analysis by former NATO war planner John Graham
Putin is Bluffing on Ukraine: He thinks he can get what he wants without fighting
125,000 Russian troops are poised on the border with Ukraine. The US has put 8,500 soldiers on “high alert.” NATO is sending jets and ships to the region as well as shipments of arms to Ukrainian forces. One miscalculation could mean a face-off between nuclear-armed opponents.
But this is no Cuban missile crisis—at least not yet. Putin is too smart to deliberately launch a full-scale invasion of the Ukraine, with all its risks and costs. His aims are political—and he intends to achieve them through a clever playing of his cards, with military threats his ace.
Here’s how I think this will play out. See video here
Trust THEM? Are You Kidding?
It wasn’t politics that almost killed Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill—it was the breakdown in fundamental levels of trust. Watching the House almost turn this slamdunk into a disaster demonstrated to the entire country just how dysfunctional this nation’s politics have become.
Here’s what can be done to fix it. See video here
Facebook, the Company You Love to Hate
A Facebook whistleblower has leaked thousands of pages of internal company documents showing that Facebook, in order to increase its profits, has continually operated against the public interest.
Will we let social media giants with no concern except for their profits destroy our democracy by spreading disinformation and sowing division? We need tough, binding national legislation—a new set of rules for a new threat. See video
Tax the Rich! It’s Time
If wealth and income inequality in this country continue to grow at a rapid pace, we’re inviting the destruction of our democracy. Rage will rule more than it already does. The January 6 assault on the Capitol demonstrated that we are becoming scarcely better than a Banana Republic. As tensions continue to rise, we could come apart like one. It’s vital to see the huge gap between the rich and poor for the threat it is—and do something about it. Watch the video.
How the Rich/Poor Divide is Killing This Country
Too many Americans are stuck now in a no-way-to-move-up economic trap, looking for someone to blame, somewhere to vent their frustration and rage. There are a few outspoken politicians who talk about the gap between rich and poor in this country, but for most of them, it seems to have become the new third rail.
But that imbalance fuels so many other problems that threaten the well-being and stability of the republic. We need to talk about it. Let’s begin. Watch the video.
In Memoriam: The Grand Old Party
You have to give Trump and his acolytes credit. In the most powerful and one of the best educated countries on earth, he’s managed to create an alternative universe in which, for many people, truth and facts are no better than any individual’s opinion, no matter how completely uninformed that opinion might be.
How is this happening? See the video
How to Fight Our Homegrown Nazis and Win
Two small towns in Montana are important examples of how citizens can beat back the resurgence of white supremacist violence in America. But brave, tough, creative patriots are more than a match for our home-grown Nazis. This is still the United States of America, and the principles on which it was founded are worth defending. Here’s how you can do your part. See the video
Afghanistan—Maybe Not the Disaster It Now Seems
When the snap judgments and finger-pointing over Afghanistan die down, I think history’s judgement will be that the long-term damage to American interests was less than we now think it is. There’s no excuse for the failure of the Biden administration to start the evacuation earlier, with more urgency and less red tape. But American failures in Afghanistan start with the beginning of our campaign there, not its end. See the video.
Why Not the Shot? Why Not Knowing, or Refusing to Know, Can Kill You
Unvaccinated America is a vast petri dish inviting the Covid-19 virus to propagate and mutate—and threaten all of us, whether we are vaxxed, masked or not..
What can we do to convince more Americans to get the jab? Facts have only a limited impact. Resistance is not so much intellectual as it is emotional and ideological—made far more significant because the Covid response in America has become completely politicized.
Grass-roots campaigns may have a bigger effect than any public-service ads. But there are times, like now, when voluntary compliance is no longer enough. Vaccination mandates make a lot of sense. But how and when does that happen? See video here
January 6: A Far Closer Call Than We Thought
January 6 was not just mob violence. This was treason, using mob violence as a battering ram and as a cover for overturning an election, handing the presidency to Donald Trump as a de facto dictator. Had the plan succeeded. America would have ceased to be a democracy.
It’s good to see the massive effort now underway to round up and convict the Capitol attackers, from leaders to foot soldiers. But we need a more permanent solution that addresses a broken politics in America that still leads so many people—in anger, despair and ignorance—to follow a Donald Trump all the way down to his vile fascist roots.
After the Pandemic, What?
As the pandemic ends in this country, I think it’s crucial not to rush onwards, without looking at these last, devastating months. There are huge lessons to be learned from what we’ve been through—about inequality, about race, about work, about ourselves—and we’d be monumentally stupid not to learn them. See video here.
Are We Headed for a New Cold War?
Don't expect to see breakthroughs at the meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin in Geneva this week. There’s simply too much contention now on too many issues for that to be a realistic outcome. But the stakes, of course, are high. As to form, I've no doubt that Biden will convince Putin that there’s a new sheriff in town. What happens now? See the video
Is Liz Cheney a Hero?
After the Capitol insurrection, up pops Liz Cheney, a far-right congresswoman from Wyoming, calling out Trump and his false narrative about the election, condemning him for his role in fomenting the January 6 Capital insurrection, voting for his impeachment, and expressing a passionate allegiance to the rule of law and to democracy.
She did all this knowing full well that her boot-licking colleagues in Congress would strip her of her powerful leadership post in the House and that they, and Trump, would do everything they could to end her political career.
If Liz Cheney is crazy to charge this windmill, then she’s crazy like a fox. The Republican leadership in Congress is playing right into her hands. See the video
The address Biden gave to Congress Wednesday night was a broad, passionate endorsement of thoughtful, visionary, effective and compassionate government as a tool for good, a complete repudiation of Ronald Reagan’s anti-government stand. And his bottom up strategy for change, focused on families and working people, is the direct opposite of Reagan’s naïve belief that benefits showered on the rich will somehow trickle down to the poor. See this video
Rethinking the Police in America
After the verdict in Minneapolis, the national conversation that needs to happen, and is beginning to happen, is about a system of policing in this country that permits and even encourages police officers to use violence—too often lethal violence and too often against Blacks—to respond to situations that could be effectively and peacefully handled by other means, including by unarmed professional civilians.
The system that hires, trains and equips police, and sets the rules for their conduct, needs to be re-thought and re-purposed. The outline of what needs to be done is becoming clear. LRT..Watch this video talk.
I'm Tired of Politics
Many people are exhausted with politics. First there were the never ending screwups over coping with the pandemic, then the election, then Trump’ attempts to overturn the election, now the headlong pace of the Biden presidency and, and…
All right, I’m tired too. Can’t we just let the world do its thing for a while so we can get on with getting our shots and hugging our kids and grandkids and working in our gardens and just taking a few long deep breaths? See video here
What’s So Great about Being White?
Interviews reveal that the one unifying motivation among the rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6 was their fury at seeing white people in this country displaced by people of color in so many sectors of daily life.
What’s behind this fervor? Why are so many whites so scared of people of color achieving parity—economically, politically culturally? LRT #25
What can we do about it? Watch the video
Who Gets to Vote?
The phony fraud allegations used in Georgia and other states to restrict voting are cynical efforts to diminish the turnout of minority citizens who consistently and heavily vote Democratic. Democrats see Federal action as the only possible brake on these measures. The battle is on. Are we a representative democracy or are we not? Watch the video talk
Atlanta and the Lethal Problem of Male Rage
The young white man who killed six Asian women in Atlanta last week was afraid of losing his power to women. He’s an extreme example of many men frightened and furious over losing status and power as others gain it. We need more and better examples of older men who care deeply about the people in their lives and who build respectful, loving relationships with women. Watch the video
Is Biden Our FDR?
Is Joe Biden Our FDR? You may think, Well by God he is! Or you may see him as a socialist demon. But the man has just signed into law the American Rescue Plan, the largest expansion of the social safety net since the Great Society initiatives of the 1960s, and it changes everything, from pandemic response to the economy to the country ‘s political future. Watch this video
Joe Biden’s Values: Fact or Fiction?
I very much wanted Joe Biden to be President and I’m happy with the strong, quick moves he’s made to advance his agenda. But I think he made a serious stumble last week and it could cause long-term problems for American interests in the Middle East as well as call into question his key personal and campaign strength—his integrity. See the video blog
Mars, Science and the Future of Reality
The Mars rover and the Covid vaccines show us the extraordinary power of the human mind and spirit, of science and of critical thinking. And then there was the collapse of the Texas power grid caused by a complete dismissal of science and fact-based analysis. What do these three events mean for the future of reality-based thinking in America? Which path will we follow? See the video blog
“America’s Back.” With those two words, the new US president repudiated the go-it-alone policies of his predecessor that have led to bitter disagreements, escalating trade wars, and rejection of the alliances that have benefited America and its allies since the end of the Second World War. But a slogan is not a policy. Let’s look at what’s back and what isn’t. See the video blog
Trump's Acquitted; Now What?
So what was this impeachment trial all for— just a fascinating bit of political theater? Trump and his base claim victory, of course, but that ignores the fact that the Trump brand has been irrevocably damaged, like a bull absorbing the first stab of the picadors’ lance in an event whose outcome is preordained. See the video blog
Where to Be, GOP?
Were you hoping, just for a couple of days following the assault on the Capitol, that Republicans had finally burst out of their Trump trance? Didn’t last long, did it? But even though the gutless wonders of the Senate GOP will not vote to convict Trump, that's just the first battle of a major internal war for the soul of the Republican Party, a war whose outcome is far from certain. See the video blog
Happy to be an American
As the Biden Administration begins, many of us are pivoting from dread and outrage to... happiness. And it's about a lot more than “Ding Dong, the wicked witch is dead!” isn’t it? See video
Living Room Talk #15: The Whole World Was Watching
Why the damage from the Capitol attack is global, and why that matters. See video
Living Room Talk #14; A Risk Too Damn Big to Take
After the attack on the Capitol incited by a deranged President, it's clear that Donald Trump is irrational and dangerous enough to start a nuclear war before January 20th. Call your legislators. Keep them alarmed. Tell them they must remove Trump from power NOW. See video
Living Room Talk #13: The Cowards in Congress.
How a small cabal of Trump loyalists in Congress is trying to overturn the November election results, subvert the Constitution, and end democracy. Watch the video
LIVING ROOM TALK 12: Pulling the Plug on the Spy in the House
Smart speakers. Sure they offer great conveniences. But at what price? My wife Ann and I found out. Watch the video
Living Room Talk #11: The Vaccine—Who Gets It and for What?
There’s another pandemic raging in this country that ultimately could cost us more than Covid 19. I’m calling it the Ostrich Plague—a relentless virus that’s caused millions of Americans to put their heads in the sand, refusing to acknowledge the danger of the colossal assault on American democracy and values we’ve seen over the last four years. See the video.
Living Room Talk #10 Talking to the Enemy
Talking to the Enemy: Political, racial and economic conflict are tearing this country apart and if we don’t get a handle on it, we're going to become the biggest banana republic ever. We need to talk to our enemies. Here's how to start.
Living Room Talk #8: Poor Loser
“Poor Loser:” How Trump’s attempts to subvert the electoral process can cost us big time, and for a long time. I've seen this before... View here
Living Room Talk #7: Who Voted for Trump, Why and What Does It Mean?
“Who Voted for Trump, Why, and What’s It Mean?" The answers to these questions are important to understanding how democracy in America can have a future, and how this grand experiment, begun 230 years ago, can be repaired for a new run. View here
Living Room Talk #6: Biden Wins;Now What?
The road from now until Inauguration Day will be rocky. Here’s what’s going to happen. Stay informed. Stay Calm. Stay patient. Watch this short video
Living Room Talk #5: Watch the Vote
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until this election is over. No more email or robo-call pleas for campaign contributions. No more ads and Facebook posts that remind me how divisive and polarized this nation has become, especially over the last four years. Watch this short video
Living Room Talk #4: Has Donald Trump Been Playing to Lose?Donald Trump was more disciplined in the final debate—but it comes after months of an inept campaign in which he's chosen to play to his base rather than make any real effort to broaden his appeal. Former Foreign Service Officer, adventurer and political activist John Graham analyzes what's going on.
Living Room Talk #3: The Barrett NominationAmy Coney Barrett: Who is she and what would her joining the Supreme Court mean?
Living Room Talk #2: RacismThis edition of Living Room Talk is focused on racism in the United States. John Graham gives an extremely honest and insightful personal account, and offers suggestions for the future.
Living Room Talk #1: Trump and the VirusPresident Donald Trump just spent four days at the Walter Reed medical center because he had contracted the coronavirus. This video blog briefly introduces the blog's creator, John Graham, and then takes a close look at the Presidents condition and what it means.