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Books

Books
West Point Prof Pens Blistering Takedown of U.S. Military Academies
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos: Tim Bakken’s The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris and Failure in the U.S. Military is set for release tomorrow, and it should land like a grenade. ... “the military’s loyalty to itself and determined separation from society have produced an authoritarian institution that is contributing to the erosion of American democracy” ... “The hubris, arrogance, and self-righteousness of officers have isolated the military from modern thinking and mores. ... Bakken blames the civilian society for enabling the military to become everything the founders didn’t want at the birth of the country. If we do not take control back, he warned, the corruption, the self-destructiveness will only get worse. The wars will never end... Visit Website ]
Feb 21, 2020, 1:56pm

Books
Homewreckers and Nationwreckers United
Philip A. Faruggio: Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream ... Aaron Glantz covers the beginnings and the rash aftermath of the 2008 Subprime Housing bubble... Vulture Capitalists, like present Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, to name but a few of the scoundrels currently surrounding Mr. Trump, made fortunes on the taxpayers’ dime. ... What Homewreckers also focused on was the newest economic pandemic hitting our nation: The corporate Absentee Landlords ... Steve Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group, and his partner Pete Peterson, bought up foreclosed homes by the tens of thousands and turned them into rental properties. ... Many times the folks who once owned a home were now tenants in the same house, now under the auspices of their landlord... Visit Website ]
Feb 15, 2020, 10:42am

Books
A New War on the Vote
Reprinted from The Hidden History of the War on Voting: Who Stole Your Vote—And How to Get It Back by Thom Hartmann... While preventing people from voting has a long and sordid history in the United States (and, frankly, around the world), the modern-day Republican Party’s reliance on voter suppression as a primary tool to win elections kicked off in a big way in 1993. ... That was the year when twenty-seven Democrats and one Republican introduced HR2, the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), sometimes called the Motor Voter Act. ... William Rehnquist, for example, was a forty-year-old Arizona lawyer and Republican activist in 1964 ... helped organize a program titled Operation Eagle Eye in his state to aggressively challenge the vote of every Hispanic and black voter and to dramatically slow down the voting lines in communities of color to discourage people who had to get back to work... Visit Website ]
Feb 12, 2020, 2:54pm

Books
Our Racist Presidents: New Book Pulls Back the Veil
Kiki Monifa: Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents by Margaret Kimberley - examines all forty-five U.S. Presidents and their attitudes toward black folk, and separates the myths from the truths. ... Twelve Presidents owned slaves, including George Washington and the other founding fathers. The book notes that Washington’s wooden teeth are a myth; they came literally from the mouths of his slaves, whom he moved out of Philadelphia when it was the U.S. capital to prevent their emancipation ... The book notes Harry Truman’s membership in the KKK, and Donald Trump’s known use of the N-word... Visit Website ]
Feb 4, 2020, 2:12pm

Books
Livestock Ranchers, Miners, Loggers and Oilmen–Welfare Queens All–Have Been Raping and Plundering the American West
Evaggelos Vallianatos: Christopher Ketcham brings his experience and thoughts about the American West together in his first book: This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West (Viking, 2019). ... Ketcham urges you to enter the public lands and find out the truth about them. ... You will find desert and steppe full of oil and gas fields; mines of coal, copper, silver, and gold “stabbed into cliffs and mountains”; loggers clearcutting forests; livestock ranchers overgrazing grasslands and slaughtering wildlife; and the government carving roads for all business, domestic and foreign, to keep exploiting our public lands for private profit... Visit Website ]
Jan 30, 2020, 1:20pm

Books
Anatomy of a Washington Post Editorial
Bill Willers: Martin Luther King Jr. Day has morphed into an annual reminder of the truth in Vladimir Lenin’s observation that great revolutionaries, while alive, are hounded by the powerful, and later, after they’ve been terminated, are lauded by their oppressors and transformed into harmless icons to placate the masses. ... Among the MLK-related articles to appear recently is a reposting of Edward Curtin’s 2017 review of Willam Pepper’s book The Plot to Kill King. ... King was murdered by elements of the U.S. government, a fact unsurprising for people who read history ... Following the trial (1999 Trial in Memphis, The King Family vs Loyd Jowers et al.) , the Washington Post published an editorial on Sunday, December 12, 1999, “The King Verdict,” that could serve as a classic study of techniques of persuasion for a class on rhetoric... Visit Website ]
Jan 26, 2020, 3:43pm

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


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