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Books

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

Books
How 20 Years of Stop and Search Has Widened America's Racial Divide
James Forman Jr: This is an extract from Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America Pretext stops are responsible for most of the racial disparity in traffic stops in the US. Analysing the results of a survey of black and white drivers in the Kansas City area, political scientist Charles Epp found that when the police are actually enforcing traffic safety laws, they tend to do so without regard to race. But when they are carrying out investigatory or pretext stops, they are much more likely to stop black and other minority drivers: black people are about two-and-a-half times more likely to be pulled over for pretext stops... Visit Website ]
Oct 9, 2018, 12:06pm

Books
The History of US For-Profit Prisons From Slavery to Today
Democracy Now: "American Prison.” That’s the name of the new book by award-winning journalist Shane Bauer, who dives deep into the profit-earning motives of U.S. prisons, from convict labor in colonial-era settlements all the way to present-day mass incarceration, including Bauer’s own stint as an undercover prison guard at the privately owned Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana. ... And I learned that throughout American history, prisons have been run at a profit. Our earliest prisons in the 19th century were for-profit prisons where labor was being contracted out to private companies. After slavery, the entire Southern system was privatized. Prisoners were essentially fulfilling the role that slaves had filled, working in cotton fields, in coal mines for companies like the U.S. Steel company, the world’s first billion-dollar company.... Visit Website ]
Sep 22, 2018, 2:18pm

Books
The Fakest Fake News: The U.S. Government’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
A Review of 9/11 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth by Edward Curtin: ... despite the establishment’s disinformation and deceptions, very many people have come to suspect that the official story of the September 11, 2001 attacks is not true. ... The book is based on the establishment in 2011 of a scientific review project comprising 23 experts with a broad spectrum of expertise ... Their job was to apply systematic and disciplined analyses to the verifiable evidence about the 9/11 attacks. ... Example: ... it is documented by the fastidious researcher Graeme MacQueen, a member of The 9/11 Consensus Panel, that over 100 firefighters who were at the scene reported hearing explosions in the towers... Visit Website ]
Sep 11, 2018, 1:25pm

Books
American Apartheid: The Native Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion by Stephanie Woodard
In Indian Country, you can expect to be frequently surprised by facts or ideas that lie around the next corner. Officials of Menominee Tribal Enterprises told me that the tribe had logged its 235,000-acre forest intensively for 150 years, extracting 2.5 billion board feet of lumber according to principles laid down by 19th-century chiefs. The tribe had, in essence, removed the forest three times over during that period. Yet the tract looked untouched, said the engineers who had toured it. They raved about its biodiversity and beauty. I saw striking satellite photographs, in which the tribe’s forest was a darker green than the surrounding areas. The Menominees had managed this by making harvesting decisions with all the forest’s inhabitants in mind... Visit Website ]
Sep 7, 2018, 2:47pm

Books
To Build These Homes, We Chose an All-Women Crew
Excerpted from Mudgirls Manifesto: Handbuilt Homes, Handcrafted Lives by the Mudgirls Natural Building Collective. .... The Mudgirls collective redefines expectations about what a construction site is supposed to look like—child care, breastfeeding breaks, and all. ... Guiding Principle: We are a women’s collective and seek to empower ourselves with employment and the skills to build
 homes. ... Our decision to be a collective of women is intimately bound up in the materials we use. Cob, apart from being breathable, strong, beautiful, and light on the Earth, is incredibly accessible and requires no special tools. The materials themselves have not been commodified and co-opted by the consumer economy ... Building with earth while contemplating how to be lighter on the planet imparts a feeling of direct connection with the primal forces that feed our lives... Visit Website ]
Jul 27, 2018, 2:42pm

Books
The right to bear arms disarmed
Jessie Muldoon: In her book Loaded, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz goes back to colonialism to reveal the history behind the NRA’s hallowed Second Amendment ... Taking land by force was not an accidental or spontaneous project or the work of a few rogue characters. The violent appropriation of Native land by white settlers was seen as an individual right in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, second only to freedom of speech. ... ALONGSIDE THE rise of militias to massacre and displace Native populations were the patrols to capture and police enslaved populations, and to repress slave uprisings. ... Armed slave patrols comprise half the story in the Second Amendment; the whole story implicates more than the slave states. While the “savage wars” against the Native Nations instituted brutal modes of violence for the U.S. military, and slave patrols seamlessly evolved into modern police forces, both have normalized racialized violence and affinity for firearms in U.S. society... Visit Website ]
Jul 24, 2018, 3:04pm

Books
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
Russell Mokhiber: Formerly Known As Food: How the Industrial Food System is Changing Our Minds, Bodies and Culture. ... Lawless challenges the modern food movement for focusing on individual choice – made famous by Michael Pollan’s prescription – eat food, not too much, mostly plants. ... ten companies control nearly every large food and beverage brand in the world – Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Associated British Foods and Mondelez. ... We need to regulate these companies. And that is not going to come from individual choices we make in the store. We have to demand from our politicians that the regulatory agencies – the FDA and the EPA – that they actually regulate these companies. What I uncovered in my research is that in many cases, they are not regulating these companies carefully enough and protecting the public.”... Visit Website ]
Jul 22, 2018, 11:20am

Books
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Bruce E. Levine: In Noël Hunter’s recently published Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), she asks, “Are we continuing to funnel money into a fundamentally broken system?” ... Both objective and subjective sources make clear to Hunter that the essential cause for what is called serious mental illness is not some kind of biochemical or genetic defect but some kind of trauma, and that the essential remedy is healing from trauma. ... Despite what the general public repeatedly hears from the mass media, there is no actual science behind proclamations that “schizophrenia” or other “serious mental illnesses” are caused by a biochemical imbalance, a genetic flaw, or any other innate defect... Visit Website ]
Jul 18, 2018, 3:00pm

Books
Going Native: The Trouble with Treaties, Past and Present
Mark Anthony Rolo: Chances are good that the land deed you hold rests on the treaty system. ... In his new book, The Relentless Business of Treaties (Minnesota Historical Society Press), Martin Case argues that, contrary to the American myth of the intrepid pioneer moving on to indigenous territory to raise cattle and grow wheat, it was corporate land speculators who were the driving force behind western expansion. These were men holding political and military positions, with a specific interest in securing access to Indian land and natural resources. They were often present at treaty signings. ... “From soldiers to settlers, from townsite development to land office agents, men involved in land speculation dreamed of making fortunes by being the first buyer when indigenous land went on the American market”... Visit Website ]
Jul 10, 2018, 12:44pm

Books
The Rise of Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber
Interview by Suzi Weissman: A bullshit job is a job which is so pointless, or even pernicious, that even the person doing the job secretly believes that it shouldn’t exist. Of course, you have to pretend — that’s the bullshit element, that you kind of have to pretend there’s a reason for this job to be here. But secretly, you think if this job didn’t exist, either it would make no difference whatsoever, or the world would actually be a slightly better place. ... You divide your chapters into the different kinds of bullshit jobs. There’s flunkies, goons, duct-tapers, box-tickers, task-makers, and what I think of as bean-counters. ... You realize that even a lot of these classic working-class jobs are really caring labor, they’re about taking care of people. But you don’t think of it as that, you don’t realize it... Visit Website ]
Jun 30, 2018, 4:33pm

Books
‘Stranger than Fiction:’ Spy Chiefs From Feuding India & Pakistan Co-Author a Book for Peace
Amitabh Pal: The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace is co-authored by A.S. Dulat, former head of the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) in India, and retired General Asad Durrani, who led Pakistan’s spy outfit, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). ... The authors wrote the book in the hope of ending the interminable discord between India and Pakistan. “The general and I put our heads together in a hope for peace,” says Dulat. He quotes a question posed to Durrani by Hamid Ansari, formerly India’s vice president: “Yeh deewangi kab khatam hogi?” When will this obsessiveness end? ... The book has a number of concrete recommendations for the two countries, ranging from parleys on the disputed region of Kashmir and relaxed visa rules, to the resumption of cricket matches... Visit Website ]
Jun 21, 2018, 3:25pm

Books
Missing in Action: The Poor in America
Beverly Gologorsky - Every Body Has a Story I remain haunted by my own working-class childhood, my deep experience of poverty, of want, of worry. I wondered: How were working class families surviving the never-ending disasters in what was quickly becoming a new gilded age in which poverty is again on the rise? ... What does poverty actually feel like, especially to a child? I can attest to the fact that it sinks deep into your bones, into the very sinews of your life and never leaves you. ... Dreams were seen as a waste of the mental energy needed to seek out and acquire the basics: food, rent, clothing, whatever was essential to get through a day, a week, or at most a month ... The result of such suppression was anger, depression, and dissatisfaction... Visit Website ]
Jun 18, 2018, 10:23am

Books
How Fascist Loot Funded US Anti-Communism - Review of Gold Warriors by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave
Hugo Turner: In Gold Warriors, by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, the authors reveal one of the most shocking secrets of the 20th century. It is the story of the vast treasure Japan managed to loot across Asia, today worth billions or even trillions of dollars, the concealment of it in hundreds of sites, and the secret recovery of much of it by what would become America’s Central intelligence Agency. ... Most of Japan’s vast stolen fortune would remain in the hands of imperialist war criminals ... the CIA and the Yakuza pulling the strings behind the scenes. ... It would be controlled by men like Allen Dulles and John J. McCloy through their Black Eagle Trust, which managed both Japanese and Nazi War loot... Visit Website ]
Jun 12, 2018, 5:00pm


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