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Books

Books
The Right Book at the Right Time: Ron Ridenour’s Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert
Randy Shields: Chronicling US crimes and obstructions against peace for over 100 years, this Tsar Bomba of a book ranges over the 1918 US invasion of Russia, US capitalism’s neverending collaborations with fascists and takfiris, the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK’s assassination, Soviet involvement in Afghanistan and the momentous year 2001 when Vladimir Putin offered to align Russia’s foreign policy with the US only to get repaid by the US serving notice that it would withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, setting off a new arms race. ... Russia and the US are contrasted in their foreign policies and dealings with each other. ... The chief takeaway is that Soviet and Russian leaders from Stalin to Khrushchev to Brezhnev to Gorbachev to Putin were/are a whole lot more cautious, practical and less ideological than their US counterparts... Visit Website ]
Mar 22, 2019, 11:41am

Books
The Hidden Billionaires
Meagan Day: Review of Billionaires and Stealth Politics (University of Chicago Press, 2018) by Benjamin I. Page, Jason Seawright, and Matthew J. Lacombe. ... Billionaires are aliens, financially speaking. They may breathe the same air as us, they may be mortal (though they’re working on that), but they have different faculties and powers than we do. Their money gives them access to dimensions that are not accessible or even perceptible to mere humans. ... They try hard to influence public policy. They make large financial contributions to political parties, candidates, and policy-focused causes. They hold political fundraisers and bundle others’ contributions. They establish, join, or lead policy-advocacy organizations. ... — “stealth politics.” ... The country’s richest individuals devote massive amounts of money to the cause of privatizing and cutting government programs and slashing taxes on corporations and the rich, against the wishes of the majority of Americans... Visit Website ]
Mar 15, 2019, 4:43pm

Books
A Lakota Historian on What Climate Organizers Can Learn From Two Centuries of Indigenous Resistance
Alleen Brown: Nick Estes - “Our History Is the Future,” traces Indigenous resistance from the Lakota people’s attempt to deny Lewis and Clark passage down the Missouri River in 1804, to the Red Power movement’s demands for treaty enforcement in the 1960s, to today’s Indigenous-led fights against fossil fuel projects. ... we’re Indigenous because of the land we sit atop, and the land we protect, and the territories we protect, and that means that we will always be in the way of development. There’s no neutral stance that Indigenous people can take. ... The interesting thing about the way the Green New Deal has been framed is that it’s a “pragmatic” environmental policy. There are elements that are missing from the Green New Deal that should be fought for. The deal omits a clear commitment to keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and it needs to reject carbon-pricing schemes... Visit Website ]
Mar 8, 2019, 12:16pm

Books
Guano Imperialism: Hidden Stories From The Greater United States
Bill Berkowitz: Even a cursory look at the history of United States Imperialism brings the realization that invasions, annexations, betrayal, initiating coups, and colonial usurpation built a U.S. empire. However, most of us are unfamiliar with the scope of this history. That’s the value of Daniel Immerwahr’s path-breaking new book, How To Hide An Empire: A History of the Greater United States (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019). ... “The history of the Greater United States … can be told in three acts. The first is westward expansion: the pushing west of national borders and the displacement of Native Americans. … The second act takes place off the continent ... [with] the United States annexing new territory overseas.” ... From 1989 to 1900, the U.S. “absorbed the bulk of Spain’s overseas empire,” including the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam, “and annexed the non-Spanish lands of Hawai’i, Wake Island, and American Samoa.” It followed this up by buying the U.S. Virgin Islands.... Visit Website ]
Mar 5, 2019, 10:32am

Books
Working Class Heroes
Eric Walberg: Review of Dan Kovalik’s book- The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World (2018) ... Yes, the US is the big interferer in others’ elections, as Kovalik documents. But as counsel of the Union of Steelworkers and lawyer for beleaguered workers in Colombia, Kovalik gave his listeners insight into the little known role the US trade union movement plays — its betrayal of trade unionists abroad. ... Kovalik recounted how the trade union movement has been working hand-in-glove with the CIA since the launching of the Cold War in the late 1940s. “People joke it’s really the AFL-CIA.”... Visit Website ]
Feb 23, 2019, 12:28pm

Books
Of Stress and Inequality
Nick Licata: Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s “The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Well-Being” is a follow-up to their 2009 best-seller “The Spirit Level.” That book reviewed several hundred studies expounding on their book’s subtitle: “Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger,” and came to the breakthrough finding that “inequality affects the vast majority of the population, not only the poor minority.” ... The data also supported their contention that closing the wealth gap between the highest- and lowest-income citizens reduced the cost and impact of health and social problems, such as violence and drug abuse, for an entire society. ... “depression, psychotic symptoms, schizophrenia and narcissistic traits are all significantly more common in unequal societies.” ... Visit Website ]
Feb 19, 2019, 12:27pm

Books
Black History Month: Gloria Hayes Richardson led a movement
Denise Oliver Velez: “A first-class citizen does not beg for freedom. A first-class citizen does not plead to the white power structure to give him something the whites have no power to give or take away. Human rights are human rights, not white rights.” ...—Gloria Richardson, leader of the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee ... I have never forgotten the first time I saw a photograph of a black woman dismissively pushing a National Guard soldier’s bayonet out of her face ... Historian Joseph R. Fitzgerald is the author of her biography, titled The Struggle Is Eternal: Gloria Richardson and Black Liberation... Richardson led civil rights battles in her hometown of Cambridge, Maryland for years, pushing for desegregation but also for economic equality... Visit Website ]
Feb 10, 2019, 4:14pm

Books
“A Fundamentally Illegitimate Choice”: Shoshana Zuboff on the Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Sam Biddle: An unavoidable takeaway of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” is, essentially, that everything is even worse than you thought. ... You’re not technically the product, she explains over the course of several hundred tense pages, because you’re something even more degrading: an input for the real product, predictions about your future sold to the highest bidder so that this future can be altered. ... “At its core, surveillance capitalism is parasitic and self-referential. It revives Karl Marx’s old image of capitalism as a vampire that feeds on labor, but with an unexpected turn. Instead of labor, surveillance capitalism feeds on every aspect of every human’s experience.”... Visit Website ]
Feb 2, 2019, 11:46am

Books
Long Live the Armed Struggle!
Paul Haeder: Women Politicals in America: Jailed Dissenters from Mother Jones to Lynne Stewart. by Linda G. Ford. ... Jailers who willingly neglect the health of prisoners. Prison medical experts denying basic life saving treatment. Massive censorship of prisoners’ reading and writing. Male nurses ramming fingers up a political’s anus and vagina. Locked in High Security Units in what Silvia Baraldini called “a living tomb . . . a white sepulcher.” She was part of the May 19th Communist group and Black Liberation Army. She was charged with BLA robberies – however, she was in Zimbabwe when one of them took place. ... What happened to Standing Rock water protector Red Fawn Fallis is what has happened to many women political dissenters who go up against Big Government/Corporate power. After she was viciously tackled by several police officers (caught on video), she was brought up on serious charges of harming those who harmed her...
Jan 17, 2019, 4:09pm

Books
Top 10 Basic Income Articles of 2018 by Scott Santens
(8) "The Great Equalizer: What Dolly Parton and a Tennessee Wildfire Can Teach About Universal Basic Income" by Daniela Perdomo for In The Mesh ... In late 2016, a forest fire in Tennessee burned down about 1,000 homes, and in response Dolly Parton came to the rescue of the newly homeless victims with $1,000 per month for five months followed by an additional (and entirely unexpected) $5,000 check in the sixth month for a grand total of $10,000. ... Basically, basic income increased resiliency to disaster by helping everyone get back on their feet faster by providing people with what they needed most - cash to self-determine their own priorities. ... “It was very rare, I can almost get a tear. I just — to talk about it is one thing, but when it happens to you...,” ... the Gatlinburg community has changed: “People are helping people who weren’t helping before. You can’t buy that.” ... Visit Website ]
Jan 17, 2019, 10:32am

Books
How Misdemeanors Turn Innocent People Into Criminals
Jordan Smith: “Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal,” Alexandra Natapoff, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, brings the misdemeanor system into clear focus ... The misdemeanor system represents 80 percent of the state criminal dockets in this country ... serious misdemeanors — like domestic assault, driving under the influence, crimes that we have come to a consensus that pose real harms, real threats, and that represent conduct that can fairly be called wrongful ... At the other end of the spectrum, we see crimes or offenses that don’t seem culpable or blameworthy or harmful at all. ... can include jaywalking, spitting, littering, all kinds of minor, so-called order offenses ... We sweep people of color into the criminal system with that first order-maintenance arrest... Visit Website ]
Jan 13, 2019, 4:29pm

Books
Women Politicals of the American Empire
Linda Ford: There have been many women dissenters who have been jailed by the American government as political prisoners. There are women in jail now who are undergoing punishment as perceived enemies of the American Empire. ... The Empire applies its “humane” treatment to more than its accused Muslim “terrorists.” ... The US considers those who object to its global empire with its drones, bombs, universal surveillance and support for fellow oppressive nations—whether in the Middle East or Latin America—as potential terrorists. So women who protest against the School of the Americas or unmanned drone attacks from US bases are arrested and jailed. ... Since the 80s, women protesters have been jailed from six to 15 months for speaking out against the SOA, an American institution which has trained Latin American death squads... Visit Website ]
Jan 8, 2019, 11:32am

Books
How Standing Rock Changed the Course of a Doctor’s Life
Elisa Camahort PageCarolyn GerinJamia Wilson: The camp was “one of the most soulfully powerful places I’ve ever been,” says a volunteer medic. ... In November 2016, emergency physician Dr. Tara Sood rushed to volunteer with the Indigenous-led protest against the construction of an oil pipeline across the water supply for the Standing Rock reservation. ... At the Oceti camp, there was a medic/healer council and section. There was an herbalist, midwives, mental health practitioners, EMTs, paramedics, social workers, body workers, nurses, and another new doctor. ... The typical story was that the police would arrest people, strip them, and put them in buses with no heat, hence the hypothermia. There were reportedly beatings, and I saw lacerations and one woman who lost an eye to a rubber bullet. Many Americans can’t imagine the level of mistreatment that happened at Standing Rock... Visit Website ]
Dec 10, 2018, 5:23pm

Books
The Books That Keep Me Alive on Death Row
Kevin Cooper: Someone once told me that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. That someone was another death row inmate, an older black man, who had seen enough in me as a person when I first came to this prison in 1985 to steer me away from gangs, drugs, gambling and all the other negativity in which a new inmate can get trapped and not escape. ... So I have spent a great deal of time reading books, magazines, newspapers and damn near any other thing that I can get my hands on while living in this often unlivable place, trying to stay sane in what often appears to be an insane asylum, learning the truth about this world and its history and the many different types and kinds of people who make up both... Visit Website ]
Nov 9, 2018, 2:13pm

Books
(Still) Manufacturing Consent - An interview with Matt Taibbi
Jacob Hamburger: When it came out in 1988, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s Manufacturing Consent rattled the accepted view in post-Vietnam, post-Watergate America that journalists’ relationship to power was essentially adversarial. Instead, they argued, the institutional structure of American media — its dependence on corporate advertising and sources in the upper ranks of government and business — created a role for the press as creators of propaganda. ... Taibbi’s new book, The Fairway ... is an update. ... The concept of “manufacturing consent” is that the conflicts we see in the media — between Democrats and Republicans, for example — are not really conflicts. The conflict is all for show. What we see is the strip of acceptable thought to those up top.... Visit Website ]
Oct 15, 2018, 12:17pm


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