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Books

Books
Can a New Counterculture Be the Elixir to Late Capitalism?
Keith A. Spencer: Curtis White’s just-released book, “Living in a World That Can’t Be Fixed: Reimagining Counterculture Today,” ... Interview:The idea that the counterculture of the ‘60s failed is the principle ideological conclusion of the corporate media. ... The progressive social issues of the present were to a great degree made possible by that most recent flowering of counterculture. ... Ecological consciousness, the rebirth of “nature,” ... self-sustaining, local, organic farming ... Whole grain, plant-based food ... Feminism ... The ‘60s forwarded a general skepticism of federal and state government because of the fact that those powers seemed only to lie and create victims. ... Co-opting is the primary way in which the dominant culture restrains resistant culture. ... The only crucial thing is that counterculture is a rejection of the reigning social order of corporate destructiveness and de-humanization.... Visit Website ]
Dec 27, 2019, 2:07pm

Books
Conciliation Requires More than Truth - It Requires Action
Kim Petersen: “You cannot discover lands already inhabited,” is a maxim that permeates the excellent book, Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery (InterVarsity Press, 2019), by Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah. ... It is a blatantly obvious statement of fact that eludes or has eluded so many people who accept Christopher Columbus as the discoverer of the New World. ... The church and its sinful theological interpretations of Scripture formulated the mindset that permitted racism, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and the arrogance of supremacism that undergird the USA. ... “Conciliation, does not happen without truth telling.” ... And, of course, that truth telling must be backed with meaningful, affirmative action... Visit Website ]
Dec 26, 2019, 11:24am

Books
The Radical James Baldwin
Laura Tanenbaum: Review of James Baldwin: Living in Fire, by Bill Mullen (Pluto, 2019). ... Despite the FBI’s constant surveillance — and despite feeling torn between political journalism and his novels, plays, and essays — Baldwin managed to write and publish prolifically throughout his life before his death in 1987. ... He was a visible figure who penned best sellers, saw his work adapted to the stage, reported on civil rights, and wrote political journalism ... His anti-imperial views also led him to advocate for Palestinian rights ... “I do not claim that everyone in prison here is innocent, but I do claim that the law, as it operates, is guilty, and that the prisoners, therefore, are all unjustly imprisoned.”... Visit Website ]
Dec 14, 2019, 3:39pm

Books
How We Win via NVDA (Nonviolent Direct Action) Campaigning
Ted Glick: Long-time peace, justice, democracy and lgbtq activist and trainer George Lakey has written a book, How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning, about the strategic centrality to movement-building of the approach of nonviolent direct action campaigning. ... Professional middle-class people, for example, are brought up to defer gratification and internalize rules, take an interest in process, use language fluently, set goals over time and plan to achieve them. . . Conflict is to be avoided or quickly resolved ... Much of working-class people’s behavior is managed by others, so many of us find inner freedom in breaking rules and not delaying gratification. Action for us is more important than language. . . Conflict is more acceptable... Visit Website ]
Dec 2, 2019, 12:10pm

Books
The Triumph of Injustice, by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman: How tax cuts for the rich fuel inequality
Andre Damon : ... documents how governments have systematically allowed the wealthy to dodge taxes, and then cut corporate tax rates in the name of “closing tax loopholes,” helping to fuel runaway inequality. ... the very rich in 2018 paid a lower percentage of their income in taxes than the average worker ... half of the US adult population lives on an annual income of $18,500 ... The explosive cocktail that is undermining America’s system of taxation is simple: capital income, in varying degrees, is becoming tax-free. ... Saez and Zucman document the extent to which US corporations dodge taxes by booking profits in offshore tax havens.... They argue for increasing taxes on the wealthy, including a tax on wealth, increasing the top income tax bracket, and raising the corporate tax rate.... Visit Website ]
Nov 30, 2019, 12:10pm

Books
Remember the Oath of the Elbe
Jeremy Kuzmarov: On April 25, 1945, American and Russian soldiers linked up at the Elbe River and made a pledge for peace that we should heed today. ... Every year on April 25, prior to his death from cancer in 1983, Chicago taxi driver Joseph Polowsky would stand on the Michigan Avenue bridge and pass out leaflets calling for a halt to the spread of nuclear weapons. ... As recounted in When Yanks Meet Reds, a toast was made to “the late President Roosevelt, President Truman, Prime Minister Churchill, Marshall Stalin, and everlasting friendship between us all.” Polowsky recalled that at the banquet “we drank and there were accordions and balalaikas and music and dancing. They played American songs [and] Russian girls were dancing. It was a strange sight, I was so captivated by the event that it took possession of me for the rest of my life.”... Visit Website ]
Nov 29, 2019, 12:47pm

Books
Freedom, Valor, Love: On Snowden’s Permanent Record
Michelle Renee Matisons: In the contemporary U.S. there’s nowhere to run and hide. Edward Snowden seeks to change this, and he reminds us of his mission again upon publication of his supposedly illegal memoir, Permanent Record. ... teaches if the U.S. government has its way, all telecommunications and cyberspace explorations would be accessible. As it stands, our lives are reduced to massive cash vaults for tandem agencies and corporations, exploiting us politically— for profit. ... According to Snowden, under mass surveillance, the U.S. has “ceased to be a democracy.” Current U.S. left rhetoric might criticize Snowden’s view that U.S. democracy ever existed. Another view is that due to its settler colonial status, founded on stolen land and free labor, American capitalism can not be a democracy by definition... Visit Website ]
Nov 20, 2019, 3:00pm

Books
Why War Deaths Increase After Wars
David Swanson: War and Health: The Medical Consequences of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, edited by Catherine Lutz and Andrea Mazzarino. Its focus is on “indirect” deaths caused, at least in large part, by wars. .... wars have caused illnesses, injuries, malnutrition, homelessness, poverty, lack of social support, lack of healthcare, trauma, depression, suicide, refugee crises, disease epidemics, the poisoning of the environment, and the spread of small-scale violence. ... Is a condition like PTSD a disease, or is it simply a normal human reaction to the violence of war, as both observed and perpetrated?” ... “[W]ars would be more difficult to prosecute if, from the outset, the thousands or even millions of dead or injured bodies were emphasized.... Visit Website ]
Nov 18, 2019, 3:08pm

Books
The Criminal Justice System Is Not Broken. It’s Doing What It Was Designed to Do.
Alice Speri: Alec Karakatsanis’s “Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System” ... ultimately an abolitionist book that calls on people to imagine a world with fewer laws and in which jails and prisons aren’t the default response to all social problems ... The American legal system has never been an institution of radical social change. To the contrary, it has been an instrument of ruling class oppression. The legal system, from its founding, was about preserving distributions of wealth and property and white supremacy. ... We need to build a movement that changes the power dynamics so that our society demands that our legal system create different rules... Because if you don’t attack the underlying systems of oppression that lead to a problem, a court ruling isn’t going to solve them.... Visit Website ]
Nov 9, 2019, 4:03pm

Books
How meritocracy harms everyone — even the winners
Sean Illing: A new book by Yale Law professor Daniel Markovits, The Meritocracy Trap, is a fascinating attempt to poke holes in our conventional understanding of meritocracy ... We typically think of meritocracy as a system that rewards the best and brightest. For Markovits, it is merely “a pretense, constructed to rationalize an unjust distribution of advantage.” ... Meritocracy is the idea that people get ahead based on their own accomplishments rather than, for example, on their parents’ social class. And the moral intuition behind meritocracy is that it creates an elite that is capable and effective and that it gives everybody a fair chance at success. ... The problem, of course, is that elites cheat and they game the system... Visit Website ]
Oct 21, 2019, 4:29pm

Books
Obama: the Greatest War President
Ron Ridenour: Jeremy Kuzmarov has written a seminal book, Obama’s Unending Wars: Fronting the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Clarity Press, August 2019), on the US Military Empire led for eight years by a black-faced president residing in the African slave-constructed White House. ... Kuzmarov’s impeccable and extensive research reveals the reality of Obama’s eight presidential years favoring the rich class’ economic and military-warring interests. ... Obama, the drone president, stood for seven aggressive wars at once, more than any other US president. ... Obama provided a liberal front for policies that exacerbated internal inequalities and setback movements for progressive change, keeping us locked in the Cold War, and setting the basis for a new Cold War.... Visit Website ]
Oct 10, 2019, 4:40pm

Books
My Indigenous Culture Is an Act of Resistance
Siku Allooloo - excerpt from “Caribou People”: Two generations saw our Inuit and Dine homelands in Northern Canada nearly destroyed. Now my way of life is one of cultural repair. ... The desire to dominate and exploit peoples and lands to create wealth—this is the driving force of colonialism and also the lifeblood of this country. ... It is no exaggeration to say that Canada is built on racism, genocide, violence, and theft. ... We are caribou people, and the widespread decline of this ancestral relation is a source of deepening loss across the North. .... There are many stories of the generosity and benevolence of caribou, how they offer themselves in times of need. Dene and Inuit peoples would not exist without the caribou... Visit Website ]
Sep 26, 2019, 4:15pm

Books
From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA’s darkest secrets
This is an edited extract from Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Contro ... Frank Olson died in 1953, but, because of clandestine US government experiments, it took decades for his family to get closer to the truth. ... Frank Olson had been one of the first scientists assigned to the secret US biological warfare laboratories at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland during the second world war. ... Olson’s speciality was “the airborne distribution of biological germs”, according to one study. “Dr Olson had developed a range of lethal aerosols in handy sized containers. They were disguised as shaving cream and insect repellants. They contained, among other agents, staph enteroxin, a crippling food poison; the even more deadly Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis; and most deadly of all, anthrax ... Five days after being dosed with LSD, Olson was still disoriented. ... (Suicide or murder?) ... He died because of concern that he would divulge information concerning a highly classified CIA interrogation program in the early 1950s, and concerning the use of biological weapons... Visit Website ]
Sep 8, 2019, 10:43am

Books
The Bold New Plan to Stop Wars: A Peace Advocate Makes Her Case
Scilla Elworthy: What drives this enormously expensive engine of destruction? Partly, profits. There is a vast global industry with a vested interest in promoting armed violence. ... As I discuss in my 2017 book The Business Plan for Peace, you start by scaling up 25 tried-and-trusted initiatives that can prevent local conflict from escalating into war. ... At national levels, when women are included in peace processes, there is a 20 percent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least two years, and a 35 percent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least 15 years. Why? Because male negotiators (often previous combatants) are primarily concerned with territory, resources and positions of power, while women bring to the table the concerns of orphans, the injured, the bereaved and the traumatized. The result is that the cycle of violence can be interrupted and turned around... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2019, 3:24pm

Books
The Flawed Food Dependency - A Book Review: Food or War by Julian Cribb
Robert Hunziker: Dr. Jane Goodall - "Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?" ... 2,000 and 4,000 different chemicals and pesticides are used in farming, and more than 2,500 chemicals are intentionally added to foods to modify flavor, color, stability, texture, and costs. ...(Many, if not most, of these chemicals over the decades have not been properly analyzed for toxicity to humans.) ... chemicals are implicated in a global pandemic of (1) cancers, (2) brain damage, (3) sexual dysfunction, (4) allergies, (5) hormonal and developmental disorders on a level of which humanity has never experienced... Visit Website ]
Jul 12, 2019, 4:14pm


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1969-70 FOL
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