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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:08 am 
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Have you heard of Greg Palast, investigative reporter with the BBC, contributing editor at Harpers and author of the books "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" and "Democracy and Regulation." His latest book is "Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf? China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal "08, No Child’s Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War."

While the NSA spy story continues to make headline news, Greg Palast says that the corporate media is missing the real story.

He writes "The snooping into your phone bill is just the snout of the pig of a strange, lucrative link-up between the Administration’s Homeland Security spy network and private companies operating beyond the reach of the laws meant to protect us from our government. You can call it the privatization of the FBI -- though it is better described as the creation of a private KGB.

"Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom? That ain’t nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting registration."

What I discovered that they’re very unhappy about is a 323-page plan, which was written by big oil, which is the secret but official plan of the United States for Iraq's oil, written by the big oil companies out of the James Baker Institute in coordination with a secret committee of the Council on Foreign Relations. I know it sounds very conspiratorial, but this is exactly how they do it. It's quite wild. And it's all about a plan to control Iraq's oil and make sure that Iraq has a system, which, quote, “enhances its relationship with OPEC.” In other words, the whole idea is to maintain the power of OPEC, which means maintain the power of Saudi Arabia.

Bush has successfully built up the price of oil from 18 bucks a barrel to over $70 a barrel. That's the “mission accomplished.” He didn't make a mistake here. That's the “mission accomplished.”



There's a section on 'Kenny Boy' Ley and price gouging as well as when and why FDR made it illegal for Political parties to accept contributions from power companies. He interviews really well and ARMED MADHOUSE is worth reading.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:44 am 
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I love Palast. Isn't it shame added to shame that the best reporting has to be from other countries? His new book has to be top notch--HE is top notch and does great research.

Heck, I love the title alone.

I just ran into this piece http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJRJ8OVF&b=99415. Old, but still interesting. Bush and oil.

Which brings me to 'House of Bush, House of Saud' by Craig Unger. Read about it from the page on Amazon, then see if your library has a copy. That is where my friend found it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BT3GFG/qid=1149494729/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-2972345-9576100?s=books&v=glance&n=283155


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:17 pm 
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I've had my granddaughter Alexis visiting for the last few days.

Yesterday, she and I went to a local bookstore. We headed back to the children's section, where Alexis proceeded to look at the latest offerings, especially those on pirates. She's gotten very interested in pirate lore since she saw the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

I love children's books. In fact, one of my hobbies is collecting rare and antique ones. That's one aspect of teaching that I really miss....not having a day to day contact with children's books and keeping up with the best ones.

Anyway, I found one entitled A is for Abigail and was immediately fascinated because the book was about strong women who had helped advance the cause of women's rights. All of the letters of the alphabet were represented. The illustrations were impressive, as were the details in each mini-biography. I was all set to take it to the counter to purchase it as a gift for my new granddaughter, who is arriving in mid-August.

Then I happened to look at who the author was....LYNNE CHENEY!

I was disgusted and very disappointed that such an awful person could be instrumental in developing such a lovely book...for kids! I did not buy the book, figuring I can find some other way to let my newest granddaughter know how important it is that she become like the strong women in our nation's history, and most definitely not like Lynn Cheney.

However, I did buy for Alexis Pirateology, a book chock-full of fun stuff and information about pirates, both male and female!

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Catherine

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 Post subject: 100 WAYS AMERICA IS SCREWING UP THE WORLD by John Tirman
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:30 am 
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Reflective Criticism


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In ‘100 Ways America Is Screwing Up the World,’ foreign-policy expert John Tirman tackles everything from terrorism to pop culture.




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American exports: McDonald's, Bush, Vegas and Gibson


WEB EXCLUSIVE
By Jessica Bennett
Newsweek


July 27, 2006 - It’s hard to picture genocide, gangsta rap and Las Vegas sharing the pages of the same foreign-policy book. What could they possibly have in common? But add a chapter on SUVs, Halliburton and George W. Bush and you’ve got six of 100 ways that one foreign-policy expert says the globe's most powerful country is “screwing up” the world around it.

From the present-day consequences of the cold war to more recent American trends—like “Seinfeld” or Wal-Mart—John Tirman lists what he calls American blunders in the context of its founding ideals, and hopes his commentary will serve as a call to arms. “It might seem cranky or clownish ... but there’s a serious point to this,” writes Tirman, head of the center for international studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of the new book “100 Ways America Is Screwing Up the World” (HarperCollins). NEWSWEEK’s Jessica Bennett spoke with Tirman about the inspiration behind his top 100. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: Where did your inspiration for this 100-chapter approach come from?

John Tirman: I take it as an opportunity to discuss serious issues in a short and sometimes humorous form that’s more accessible than most discussions of this kind. It’s not that [people] don’t have an interest in [learning about] these things, it’s just that there’s too much out there and it’s hard to sift through. But here, I could be tart and fun but also serious and engage issues that I think are quite important.

You have some fairly unconventional chapters in there—McDonaldization, Mel Gibson, Las Vegas. Was it strange to compare those to, say, genocide?

[Laughs.] Well, of course I didn’t set out to compare them in some significant way—I wrote them separately and they happen to be juxtaposed in the book. And I guess that could be jarring for some people, but I think at the same time it’s somewhat refreshing that you can read something about nuclear energy and then read something about fast food. And I hope that [throughout the book] a certain consistency of voice and principles and outlook come through.

Were you at all concerned that your title might drive away some readers, or automatically label you as anti-American?

This is really meant to kind of start an argument, in a constructive way—not to trash America. I do hope people give it a hearing, [because] most of the things I describe in this book have a long lineage. I'm hard on Bush for the Iraq war and some other things, but the destruction of the environment and our long, sad history in the Middle East goes back several presidencies.

And you see this as an opportunity for citizens to reflect on their country's failures?

Citizenship involves being very engaged. [It’s] not just being a cheerleader for a country, but taking the ideals and goals and position of the country very seriously, and asking, “Are we living up to the ideals that we feel America should be represented by?” This [book] is clearly a criticism of where we’ve fallen short, but I’d also point out that at the end I am very clear about the areas [where] I think America has succeeded.

Some of your chapters deal with issues that go back a number of years, like the cold war or Vietnam. Why include those?

Tirman: You can’t always see the effects of what we do in the world instantly. You can only really see them over a period of 20 to 30 years, so it’s really necessary to go back that far on a lot of these things. For example, Reagan’s policy in Afghanistan, in Cambodia, in Angola and so on—it really took a while to see what the results of that policy have been. While this may strike some people as ancient, I think it’s important to say, “Look, worldwide trends take a long time to sort out.

You said the order of your top 100 is arbitrary, for the most part. Which would you choose as the worst way America has screwed up?

Tirman: I think the major issue in the long term is environmental destruction. The United States is actually no worse than most countries, [but because] we’re the biggest economy and the most global in reach, we’ve done the most damage. One could say that [because we] haven’t taken full responsibility for this—for consumption, for oil dependency, for greenhouse gases, timbering and other kinds of mining and so on—we haven’t been as good of global citizens as we should be.

There’s no question that given that we have 5 percent of the world’s population but we use 25 percent of the resources, we’re dumping many more greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere than any other country—by far. Our level of consumption, the amount of plastic we use in our packaging, the amount of water we use, the affect on our oceans—all of this adds up to a lot of environmental destruction
.


Story continues at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14048523/si ... ek/page/3/

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:01 pm 
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Marisha Pessl

Marisha Pessl is a native of Asheville, N.C. Her acclaimed first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, has just been published by Viking.
8/18/2006

Blindness by José Saramago (Harvest, $14). I could not be pried away from this book when I first picked it up two years ago. A mysterious outbreak of “white blindness” strikes a man sitting in traffic and quickly spreads throughout a panicked community. The book is a parable, a thriller, a dissection of human nature, but whether he’s detailing human kindness or cruelty, Saramago displays a compassion that is devastating.


The Dead Fish Museum by Charles D’Ambrosio (Vintage, $14). In these tales, which range from a screenwriter in a psychiatric ward to weary grifters wandering the American West, D’Ambrosio displays a talent and versatility of language that is jaw-dropping. I’m crossing my fingers he’s working on an 800-page novel so I can spend weeks with his work, rather than a cherished afternoon.


The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $14). Biblical in scale but nimble in execution. Not since Toni Morrison’s Beloved have stories about the effects of slavery been so heartbreaking, or powerfully rendered. Jones’ prose is deceitfully plain, pitch-perfect, fascinating. I’m awaiting his upcoming book of stories, All Aunt Hagar’s Children.


The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (Warner, $13). This book got under my skin when it first appeared in 1993, and it’s stayed there. Eugenides’ first novel, detailing the bizarre suicides of five beautiful sisters and the resulting reverberations throughout the community, is eerie and addictive.


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Oxford, $6). This underestimated work of Austen demands a second look. The story follows Catherine Morland during her visit to Bath, England, with family friends. Part parody of gothic fiction, part social satire, the book probes how the books we read shape our reality, help us fabricate illusions—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Austen so delicately, and humorously, points out.


The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (Picador, $15). This masterpiece—about family, adulthood, suburbia, the American middle class—is everything a great social novel should be: big, human, sincere, moving. I keep it close to my desk and whenever I page through it, I think of that Woody Allen line from Manhattan, when he’s talking about God’s answer to Job: “I do a lot of terrible things, but I can also make one of these.” Happy reading.

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Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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