Episode for August 12, 2022
Author and Journalist Kirk Wallace Johnson and Comedian JL Cauvin Episode 664
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Kirk Wallace Johnson is an author and screenwriter. His books include The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, To Be a Friend is Fatal: the Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind. He is also the creator of Drug Spies, a scripted series about pharmaceutical espionage. He is the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies.
His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy, among others.
Prior to founding the List Project, Johnson served in Iraq with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Baghdad and then Fallujah as the Agency’s first coordinator for reconstruction in the war-torn city.
He is a a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and the recipient of fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin, Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Wurlitzer Foundation. Prior to his work in Iraq, he conducted research on political Islamism as a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt. He received his BA from the University of Chicago in 2002.
Born in West Chicago, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, son, and daughter.
In the late 1970s, the fishermen of the Texas Gulf Coast were struggling. The bays that had sustained generations of shrimpers and crabbers were being poisoned by nearby petrochemical plants, oil spills, pesticides, and concrete. The White fishermen, though, could only see one culprit: the small but growing number of newly resettled Vietnamese refugees who had recently started fishing.
Tensions climbed as White fishermen called for refugee bans and threatened violence in the name of protecting what they claimed was their turf. After a young Vietnamese man killed a White crabber in self-defense, a posse responded by torching Vietnamese boats and a home, leading the Grand Dragon of the Texas Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to sense an opportunity. Over the next two years, amid a garish campaign of violence, death threats, and arson, with terrifying Klan rallies and boat patrols, many Vietnamese were ready to flee – until a charismatic South Vietnamese colonel convinced them to stand their ground and put their trust in the Constitution. Throughout the dizzying clash, which culminated in a tense courtroom showdown, one woman could see clearly enough to recognize the true threat to the bays—and her determination to take on the real villains became the fishermen’s last hope.
Kirk Wallace Johnson’s gripping book depicts a community set on fire by hatred, xenophobia, and ecological disaster. Drawing upon a trove of never-before-published material, case files, and interviews with Klansmen, shrimpers, law enforcement, environmental activists, lawyers, perpetrators, and victims, Johnson uncovers secrets and secures confessions to crimes that went unsolved for more than forty years. It’s a story that braids corporate malfeasance with a battle over shrinking natural resources, at a turning point in the modern white supremacist movement, and highlights one woman’s relentless battle for environmental justice.
JL Cauvin is the best Trump impersonator in the world. He is also a very talented Stand Up Comic with who I have known for a long time. JL has recorded 6 stand up albums! J-L’s act is incredibly diverse and has led to six stand up albums: 2006′s Racial Chameleon, 2008′s Diamond Maker, 2012′s Too Big To Fail and 2013′s Keep My Enemies Closer, 2016’s Israeli Tortoise, which hit #1 on the iTunes comedy chart and his 2018 double album Thots & Prayers. He has also released two albums as Donald Trump: 2017’s Fireside Craps, an entire album as Donald Trump which hit #1 on the iTunes comedy chart and 2020’s Fireside Craps: The Deuce which went #1 on both Amazon and iTunes’ comedy charts and broke into the Top 40 on iTunes’ overall album charts. JL is the host of 2 podcasts “Righteous Prick” and “Making Podcasts Great Again”
Check out this episode!