Atlantic Free Press Book Reviews
Book Reviews from Atlantic Free Press Writers and Bloggers
Barry C. Lynn's "Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and Economics of Destruction" Book Review by Stephen Lendman
Sunday, 07 March 2010 12:39
by Stephen Lendman
Lynn is director of the Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, and author of "Too Big to Fail" about the dangers of monopoly capitalism.
He expands on the threat in his newest book titled, "Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction," explaining today's peril given the power of predatory giants.
They control governments, the courts, war and peace, dominant information sources, and essential services, including health care, air and water, what we eat and drink, where we live, what we wear, and school curricula to the highest levels. They own genetic code patents, basic human life elements to be commodified the same as toothpaste, tomatoes or toilet paper.
Omnipotent, they plunder recklessly, ruthlessly at our expense. They're private tryannies, endangering humanity, basic freedoms, environmental sustainability, and planetary survival. Without exaggeration, they're unaccountable, unchecked "weapons of mass destruction."
In "Cornered," Lynn explains the danger and urgency to address it. Our lives and futures depend on it.
It might have been different had Thomas Jefferson and James Madison prevailed over John Adams and Alexander Hamilton in crafting America's Bill of Rights. They wanted 12, not 10, including "freedom from a permanent military (and) monopolies in commerce."
Imagine the possibilities had they prevailed, or if early leaders agreed with Jefferson in 1816, seven years after his presidency, saying in a letter to a friend:
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
The Israel-Palestine Conflict - Contested Histories - Book Review by Jim Miles
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 06:38
There are obviously multiple stories concerning any act or incident, and any
series of acts or incidents, until the overall view becomes large enough that
they are distilled into a national or international narrative. These national
narratives often serve as rationalizations of not so much the particular
occurrence of any given event, but the reasons behind the event, with the
reasons stretching from a basic cause and effect (he hit me back first) to the
more irrational rationalizations of cosmic mythology.
The Israel-Palestine Conflict attempts to work history within a
discussion of how the two narratives of Israel and Palestine conflict with each
other. As such, it serves more as a university level text with some history,
some philosophy of history, some discussion of different perspectives taken by
writers without satisfying any of these. For himself, Neil Caplan says he has
worked generally from English language “accounts of what happened from people
who were actually present when it happened.” He sees himself in the genre of the
“sometimes criticized…ivory tower intellectuals…content to provide useful and
credible raw material, leaving it to other academics and commentators to explore
and exploit. They prefer to keep a low profile and not venture into public
debates or take stands on controversial issues.”
For those of you who have read my work, you can see that is not the tack that
I would advocate - and advocacy for me is the very essence of scholarly work, an
advocacy that may change positions from time to time as new material is
presented, but always advocating for basic humanitarian and common sense
positions. Yes, we all have “fallible perceptions” but that should not stop us
from advocating as long as we are willing and able to change when presented with
new information and insights. At times it should lead us into a position of
challenging, ‘going fishing’, to see what kind of results arise from a certain
turn of phrase or juxtaposition of ideas in order that some kind of feedback
creates further understanding. Caplan recognizes the need to “revise frequently
with sensitivity to subtleties of wording and tone,” not to challenge and
advocate, however, but to not affront anyone.
As Caplan recognizes, no account is neutral, no account truly allows “letting
the facts speak for themselves” as the very choice of facts in itself limits
perceptions of what is happening. Tangle that up with ongoing national biases
and the fallibility of human memory and the task becomes very difficult. This
accounting succeeds to a certain degree in its goal of following the two
contrasting ideologies between the Israeli perspective and the Palestinian
perspective, but it does have some difficulties.
Israel and Palestine - Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations - Book Review by Jim Miles
Sunday, 24 January 2010 07:42
by Jim Miles
Israel and Palestine - Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations. Avi Shlaim. Verso, London, 2009.
This is a thought provoking if not fully developed work on the ongoing
situation in Palestine/Israel. Avi Shlaim has compiled a set of his writings
from previous publications that in a broad way cover the events of the region,
with a brief look at the Balfour Declaration before jumping forward to look at
the UN Partition Plan of 1947 and its resulting sequence of events.
Avi Shlaim self professes to be of the school of revisionist historians and
his writing fully supports that claim. Throughout the writing one of the themes
is the Israeli use of military power to solve its problems, a solution much
preferred to negotiations and compromise. A corollary of this is that when
negotiations were used, they were mainly as a mask to delay a solution while the
ongoing status quo built more settlements and evicted more Palestinians from
their homes and farms, especially after the 1967 war.
Another thematic reminder that reiterates throughout the work is that of the
asymmetric power - mainly military - that reinforces the previous idea, but also
adds the knowledge that there is no balance in the situation, that Israel holds
all the power, to the point that “a voluntary agreement between the parties is
simply unattainable;” and as seen within the Oslo agreement the Palestinians
would have been “subject to the provisions of Israeli law…and military orders…
rather than international law.”
Film Review: Avatar, A Humanist Call From Mt. Hollywood By Gilad Atzmon
Friday, 08 January 2010 14:23
by Gilad Atzmon
well be the biggest anti War film of all time. It stands against
everything the West is identified with. It is against greed and
capitalism, it is against interventionalism, it is against colonialism
and imperialism, it is against technological orientation, it is against
America and Britain. It puts Wolfowitz, Blair and Bush on trial without
even mentioning their names. It enlightens the true meaning of ethics
as a dynamic judgmental process rather than fixed
moral guidelines (such as the Ten Commandments or the 1948 Human Right
Declaration). It throws a very dark light on our murderous tendencies
towards other people, their belief and rituals. But it doesn’t just
stop there. In the same breath, very much like German Leben philosophers (1),
it praises the power of nature and the attempt to bond in harmony with
soil, the forest and the wildlife. It advises us all to integrate with
our surrounding reality rather than impose ourselves on it. Very much
like German Idealists and early Romanticists, it raises questions to do
with essence, existence and the absolute. It celebrates the true
meaning of life and livelihood.
It is pretty
astonishing and cheering to discover Hollywood paving the way to the
victorious return of German philosophical thought.
To view trailer:
The year is 2154 and the RDA corporation is mining planet Pandora digging for Unobtanium,
a unique mineral that defies gravity and sells for top cash. Pandora is
a remote planet inhabited by the Na’vi, a species that shares some
human features. Like humans the Na’vi have their own developed language
and high culture. Yet unlike westerners they integrate with their
surrounding reality searching for harmony in nature rather than looking
for a means to exploit it. The Na’vi are a few feet taller than humans,
they are extremely strong, they also possess a long impressive tail and
a long plait with a unique bond at its end that operate as an organic
USB connection. The bond allows the Na’vi to form a mental and
spiritual union with their surrounding organic reality. The Na’vi
cherish their planet, they look after it. They also worship a mother
goddess called Eywa, who encompasses the integrated spiritual and
physical centre of their universe and it’s past.
In order to
penetrate into the Na’vi, human scientists genetically engineered
human-na’vi hybrid bodies called Avatars. Like in all Western
interventionalist and colonial wars, the foreign invader insists on
convincing itself that it can create some false needs amongst the
indigenous population. The RDA corporation takes pride in its attempt
‘to bring culture to Pandora’. The Avatars are there to communicate
with the Na’vi. They are there to teach them English and Western
values. They are there to maintain order so that the Na’vi fail to
notice that their soil is raped and robbed by the Humans. But as we
soon learn, such an attempt is in vein. The Humans have nothing to
offer which the Na’vi are willing to take.
The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global.. Book Review by Jim Miles
Friday, 08 January 2010 14:04
by Jim Miles
First published in 2005, this text still stands the test of time for the
theses that it presented then. In this new edition, Fawaz Gerges writes
hopefully and expectantly that the new U.S. President, Barak Obama, can overcome
the mistakes he sees that the U.S. has made in its “war on terror.” His hopes
will obviously have dimmed somewhat if not greatly in consideration of Obama’s
actions in the Middle East, but Gerges’ essential thematic message remains
The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global. Fawaz A. Gerges. Cambridge University
Press. N.Y. 2009.
Two main themes underlie the ideas in the book. The first tells of the
relationship between bin Laden and Zawahiri and how their ideas interacted and
reacted to turn the jihadis from the ‘near’ enemy - the local regional
governments - to the ‘far’ enemy - the United States. The second theme is the
poor manner in which the U.S. has understood essential differences between
‘near’ and ‘far’ jihadis, the history of their development, and the major
divisions within the jihadi proponents. Following from the latter theme, a
missing context of Gerges arguments concerning U.S. actions in the Middle East
is readily discerned.
bin Laden and Zawahiri
Osama bin Laden is the iconic anti-hero of the al-Queda movement, shooting to
prominence in the western media with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World
Trade Center. Still at large presumably somewhere in the Afghanistan/Pakistan
border region, bin Laden remains the iconic reviled evil of the Muslim world.
Although active before 9/11 it was this singular act that brought him to global
media attention. Considered to be the mastermind behind the attacks and all
other atrocities designated to be by al-Queda, Gerges’ arguments present the
al-Queda top echelon to be structured as much by Ayman al- Zawahiri, a prominent
Egyptian jihadi gone global.
Sacred Activism: An Unprecedented Marriage, Book Review by Carolyn Baker
Friday, 06 November 2009 06:36
by Carolyn Baker
When I was a young activist in the
late 1960s and early 70s, simultaneously finding myself engaged in a
burgeoning metaphysical quest, I sometimes felt nearly schizophrenic as
I encountered other activists who disparaged the metaphysical, even as
I engaged with other students of the metaphysical who had no interest
in social or political issues. For years, it was challenging and
frustrating to integrate these two poles of reality in my own life, and
I noticed that I was not alone in my frustration. Increasingly,
however, I saw activists pursuing spiritual quests and spiritual
practitioners becoming more engaged in championing social justice
causes. Nevertheless, it was not until 2009 that the exquisite union of
activist passion and spiritual ardor was articulated by the brilliant
author, activist, spiritual teacher, and Rumi scholar, Andrew Harvey,
in his extraordinary book, The Hope: A Guide To Sacred Activism.
is above all, a vision of a marriage-a union of radical action on
behalf of social justice and human dignity complemented by a spiritual
quest for meaning and purpose in a world that all too often feels
excruciatingly absurd. More specifically according to Harvey:
When the inner joy Mother Teresa
spoke of, the joy of compassionate service, is married to a practical
and pragmatic drive to transform all existing economic, social, and
political institutions, a radical and potentially all-transforming holy
force is born
A Sacred Activist is someone who is
starting to experience the inner joy and outer effectiveness of this
force, who knows that the profound crisis in the world is in is
challenging everyone to act from our deepest compassion and wisdom, and
who is committed to being, in the face of growing chaos, suffering, and
violence, what Robert Kennedy call "a
tiny ripple of hope" and a
"center of energy and daring."
In The Jaws of the Dragon - America’s Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Dominance - Book Review by Jim Miles
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 06:02
by Jim Miles
In the Jaws of the Dragon
- America’s Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese
Dominance. Eamonn Fingleton. Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s Press), New York,
A book about the future published in 2008, with information preceding the
publishing date, could well be considered out of date - or at worst in error -
after a couple of years of passing current events. Eamonn Fingleton’s ‘old’ work
- In the Jaws of the Dragon - defies this, and is just as important a
read as it should have been when first published. Perhaps even more so because
of its accuracy and depth of research fully supporting his thesis that the U.S.
is now in the maw of the Dragon - if not more accurately on the slippery slope
into the belly of the beast.
At first, while setting up the philosophy behind his thesis I needed to
suspend my thoughts on Confucianism until he had fully stated his case.
Similarly, I had to remember that events that occurred within the past year -
the huge economic downturn - had not yet occurred when this book was written,
but the more one reads the book, the more it seems prescient to the current
financial situation between the U.S. and not just China but the other Asian
tigers as well.
After reading just the first introductory chapter in which Fingleton out
lines his overall thesis, I noted that the arguments seemed reasonable, but had
not included the U.S. personal debt/credit levels vis a vis his arguments on the
“advanced manufacturing” loss to China and the bubble economies that have
replaced them. It becomes obvious later that while perhaps not central to his
thesis, it is certainly a given part of it that is recognized within the overall
structure of a “finance economy.”
Another note I made related to the corporations that are part and parcel of
the U.S. entry into the Dragon’s jaw. Fingleton continually reiterates that
China is not a democratic country and is quite intrusive and controlling within
its many societal functions. He argues the same for South Korea, Japan, Taiwan
and Singapore, all nominally democratic, but designed to heighten local
businesses, guarding them against foreign competition, and within that, having
the corporations and businesses having much more say in the political realm than
the average citizens do. As for the U.S. corporations, they are like all other
corporations, decidedly non-democratic, top down command structures that will
seek out wealth at the expense of democracy, human rights, and freedom.
In short, in China the U.S. corporations have made adaptations to the local
business/political climate that fits into their natural corporate ethos and that
have and are in process of destroying the U.S. economy. There is more than one
way to win a war: “To subdue the enemy without fighting
is the acme of skill,” wrote the Chinese military commander Sun Tzu, in the 6th
The big item in the argument is the loss of “advanced manufacturing” to the
Chinese (and the Japanese). This is not the manufacturing that receives parts
and then turns nuts and bolts and puts the pieces together, but the high end
technologically innovative manufacturing processes that are front and centre in
the aerospace, airline, computer, communications and other modern instruments of
business and war. In order to invest in China “American corporations are
generally expected to transfer their most advanced production technologies to
their Chinese factories….once they are transferred, American workers are
vulnerable to layoffs.” The essential argument is that the U.S. has lost most of
their production technologies to either the Japanese or Chinese.
Convergence towards democracy
An over riding political sentiment expressed in the U.S. and frequently
elsewhere says as China becomes increasingly wealthier, it will only naturally
become increasingly more democratic. Fingleton dissects Thomas Friedman on this
account, and defines Friedman’s pattern as “the more controversial or
implausible his conclusions, the less substantiation he feels is needed.” [At
this point, I began to appreciate Fingleton much more.] Within what Fingleton
labels the Confucian work ethic, this will not happen, as the workers remain
compliant to the authorities through many devices of blackmail, bribery,
threats, and a system of law that is complex and used mainly for control of the
That in itself should be no surprise to those who watch how China operates
within its domestic realm, but the U.S. corporations continue to foster the line
that China is opening up, that things are getting progressively better, that
more companies should operate in China - in essence becoming compliant
themselves to the political demands of the Chinese hierarchy.
Savings and Debt
Another feature of Fingleton’s thesis is the comparison of the forced savings
- or “suppressed consumption” - domestically in China, and the all too eager and
gross consumption of the U.S. The savings domestically are forced by trade
tariffs against cheap imports, the guarded lower evaluation of the currency, the
high cartel prices put on local sales, and a banking system that denies credit
for property and consumer goods. In other words, in order to buy something, the
Chinese have to save long and hard for it, thus providing large amounts of
capital for investment in local businesses as well as guaranteeing high profits
for businesses making them more competitive abroad.
The U.S. domestic market operates conversely to this, allowing huge - and
obviously unmanageable or at best barely manageable - credit in order to keep
the consumptive bubble going. The saving rate is zero or negative (depending on
sources), the consumers continue to buy huge quantities of imported goods and
the trade deficit balloons. Written before the current debt crisis, the trade
deficit and the budget deficit have placed the U.S. in a position in which “The
reality is that every dollar America spends in projecting power abroad - indeed
every dollar it spend on defense - has to be borrowed abroad.”
We now have this amazing intersection of events in which China (and Japan)
‘own’ the U.S. and have ever increasing power to control it through its
financial channels, its “foreign policy will be subject increasingly to a veto
in Beijing.” While Beijing will not flaunt this, they are certain to use it.
Japan (and Taiwan and Korea)
Fingleton examines the myth of Japanese “Americanization” at the end of World
War II, and argues that while Japan superficially ordered its house similar to
the U.S., they made sure that political and economic power remained in the hands
of the keiretsu, the large business conglomerates and that the population at
large, while able to vote, had little to say about the direction of the economy
and society in general (which reminds of a saying I heard from several groups of
Japanese ESL students that the “nail that stands out gets pounded back down.”)
Fingleton argues that the Japanese were leaders in exploiting U.S. ignorance and
gullibility during the post war years.
He makes several critical points:
Contrary to stereotyping the Japanese character is hardly militaristic.
The ultimate goal of their empire “was to eject the Western powers from East
Japan would “Be granted specially privileged access to the American
Democracy revival was “largely cosmetic” and “Japan’s elite bureaucrats
quietly arrogated to themselves sweeping powers to set the rules for Japan’s
electoral system” creating a “fatally divided” and “utterly ineffectual” one
Free speech is “highly attenuated….guided by Confucian ethics, they [the
media] glory in a role as the Japanese system’s propaganda department.”
“the reality of postwar Japan has been of an authoritarian society with a
strongly nationalised agenda.”
This system follows from their adventurism into Manchuria and the Koreas,
and, after the war, is imitated in South Korea and Taiwan, two avowedly free
market economies competing with the west. The latter is true, but even more
importantly they are cooperating with China, and more importantly economically,
hold significant amounts of U.S. debt, have a good balance of payments between
themselves, and are controlling U.S. corporations for their own benefit.
Having recognized the extent of Chinese influence on U.S. corporations, or
more correctly western corporations, Fingleton extends that in the surprising
statement, “It is a reasonable inference that China’s agenda is being supported
at very high levels almost right across the board in corporate America.” Several
examples are explored demonstrating the control China has over U.S. corporations
setting up business in China. From their the case is presented on how China has
increasing influence within U.S. politics via various think tanks and lobbying
groups, academia, university research, and the media.
The speed and ease with which this has happened returns back to Japan, which
has “pursued trade policies deeply damaging to American interests but has
consistently lied about these policies,” and “have been equally well informed on
China’s strategy.” Japan and China are working together and “in almost every
area of policy, Japan has consistently helped China.”
In closing - U.S. loses
The book ends on many disparaging notes for the U.S.
“there is no solution in sight to the American trade problem.”
At its root “is an implosion in America’s once world dominating manufacturing
In the last twenty years, total manufacturing jobs “have fallen by about
two-thirds” remembering this was before the recent employment crash.
The trade problem “is being exacerbated by the increased outsourcing of
Economic leadership is passing to non-democratic governments. [while the U.S.
is becoming less and less democratic itself.]
“the pattern for the United States to depend on Beijing for credit is already
beginning to resemble the relationship between a colony and the imperial
The case argued by Fingleton is well presented even to his footnote on the
efforts made by other sources to discredit his work, much in the manner in which
China handles its own dissent. This is a rich, well referenced work, highly
thought provoking with a solid basis in current events as the wars in Central
Asia continue to unfold, and as the U.S. economy continues to shed jobs and
wealth, while the corporations supported with much government printed wealth
start to rise even more above the masses. Only time will tell the true course of
events globally, but the influence of China on the U.S. will certainly alter
many of the thought processes - and thus the actions - within the U.S.
political/business/ military sphere.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles' work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.
Preview of Ramzy Baroud's 'My Father was a Freedom Fighter'
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 05:37
|by Stephen Lendman
Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Palestinian-American journalist and former Al-Jazeera producer. He also taught Mass Communication at Australia's Curtin University of Technology, is a frequent speaker, a regular media guest, and is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle, a leading resource for information on Israel/Palestine and much more.
He's also written numerous articles, commentaries, short stories, and authored several books, including "The Second Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle," and his latest and topic of this introductory review, "My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story."
Baroud knows his subject well, having been born and raised in a Gaza refugee camp where he saw Israeli soldiers regularly oppress, harass, humiliate, and attack young Palestinians like himself in an attempt to crush their spirit and break their will to resist, to no avail no matter how hard they tried.
What follows is a snapshot of Baroud's forthcoming book titled, "My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story." As distinguished Palestinian author, historian, activist and founder and president of the London-based Palestine Land Society, Salman Abu Sitta, explained in the forward:
Ramzy is Mohammed Baroud's son, a heroic "freedom fighter, (and himself) a gifted writer (who) eloquently unearthed the recent history of Beit Daras" village, chronicled his family's struggle in exile, and recounted their determination to survive and endure under siege and assaults that continue to this day.
Carolyn Baker Reviews Duane Elgin's "The Living Universe"
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:43
by Carolyn Baker
A critical step in this supercharged setting is to imagine together the world of our vision. All current signs point to a future of catastrophe and ruin, and it is easy to envision many such scenarios but much harder to visualize a future of opportunity and renewal. The latter is still a vague and unformed possibility in our collective imagination. The bigger the challenges, Elgin implies, the larger the vision required to transform conflict into cooperation and thereby facilitate a more promising future. Not only must we hold an expansive vision, but that vision must be informed by a commitment to a larger story of humanity than civilization has provided.
Article Reprinted from TRANSITION TIMES
In the current moment it is nearly impossible to trust many of the voices in our world that issue from the field of economics. It is safe to say that none of the most esteemed in the field has the slightest idea how to address the global economic crisis. So when I picked up Duane Elgin’s book The Living Universe: Where Are We? Who Are We? Where Are We Going?
, I was a bit wary when I read about his MBA from Wharton Business School—that is, until I realized that he is also the author of Voluntary Simplicity: Toward A Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich.
Even more reassuring is Elgin’s work as a social research scientist at SRI International and his work with Joseph Campbell alongside his lifelong commitment to integrate science, economics, and the world’s greatest wisdom traditions.
Elgin asserts that on the other side of our growing systems crisis, the world will be a decidedly different place depending on our actions now. We will either have an Earth ruined through conflict or an Earth restored through cooperation. Echoing the perspective of geologian and eco-scholar, Thomas Berry
, Elgin states that:
The universe is deeply alive as an evolving and learning system and we humans are on a journey of discovery within it. We are learning to live within a living universe. If we lose sight of where we are (living in a living universe) we profoundly diminish our understanding of who we are…and where we are going….
The book is divided into the three categories above, with a final section on “Actions For The Journey Ahead.” Realizing that many readers may not espouse the living universe perspective, Elgin goes to great lengths in the book to establish a rational foundation for his assertion, skillfully marrying the principles of modern science with ancient wisdom. Although I read the entire book, I found the first two sections onerous since I needed little persuasion regarding the scientific basis for arguing the case of a living universe. However, for those who do, Elgin’s arguments are intellectually sound and powerfully compelling.
It's too late Baby, Time's UP! Book Review By Carolyn Baker
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 19:20
|by Carolyn Baker
“In short, we are prepared to die in order to live a life that is killing us.”I live in Boulder, Colorado where the buzz among eco-activists who attended a recent lecture by Vandana Shiva is her chilling statement that if the human species continues on its present destructive trajectory, it has no more than 100 years of life on this planet. At about the same time this bomb was dropped on Shiva’s audience, Keith Farnish’s amazing book Time’s Up: An Uncivilized Solution To A Global Crisisarrived in my mailbox for review which was about the same time that Keith reviewed my book, Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse. I visit my local movie theater and see trailers for the next series of post-apocalyptic movies such as “2012” and “The Road”. Five years ago the notion of “endings” was not reverberating in the collective unconscious with the fever pitch we’re witnessing today. What’s up? Quite simply: Time is up.
–Keith Farnish from Time’s Up: An Uncivilized Solution to A Global Crisis
I would say that the real crux of Time’s Up is the challenge of how to keep the human race from continuing to commit suicide. The first 82 pages of the book are devoted to a painstaking explanation of the inextricable connection between humans and all other life forms. The fundamental reality of the connection is that “nothing is so dependent upon other forms of life as humans, the ultimate consumers.” Likewise, “everything we do has the potential to disrupt something, knock if off balance as we negotiate the finest of lines; yet that line we are repeatedly stepping over.”
Anyone who argues that humans have nothing to do with climate change needs to read these 82 pages because they unequivocally silence that illusion.
Central to Farnish’s book is the premise that everything hinges on connection—the human species’ connection with everything else. Unfortunately, it is something we must be taught—something that must be explained in words, but something that indigenous peoples know instinctively and need not spend years thinking about.
A Choice of Enemies - America Confronts the Middle East. Book Review by Jim Miles.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 05:51
by Jim Miles
The subtitle to this text carries an interesting choice of active verb,
“confronts”. It signifies “coming face to face in hostility or defiance.” That
alone brings to question the U.S. perspective, generally expressed in most U.S.
media that U.S. intentions are generally positive or at best benign (“kind or
gracious to inferiors”) and are done to assist the others involved within U.S.
The preface and last chapter of Lawrence Freedman’s A
Choice of Enemies expresses this same
double standard of how the U.S. explains itself in
association with whatever action it takes on a given issue. Freedman’s
“amero-centric” viewpoint (with apologies to all the other citizens of the
Americas not living in the U.S.) is clearly expressed in the preface and last
chapter of the book. He writes that the wars, the confrontations are “not the
result of avarice…nor for a want of beneficence,” but “with genuine conviction,
commitments were made to work to improve the lives of ordinary people in the
The U.S. is “not the first external power to struggle in this part of the
world,” a part of the world that “contains multiple sources of tension.” The
obvious disconnect here is that some of the major “sources of tension” happen
be all the imperial forces that have invaded and occupied the lands over that
past couple of centuries. Yes, “the Middle East has lacked the economic and
political integration that has worked to encourage more cooperative
relationships in other parts of the world,” but again, that task becomes
difficult with external empires fighting for control over the area, for
resources, for guarding routes of transport, and for providing spheres of
influence to control other empire’s interests.
For all its problems, it is not possible for the U.S. to ignore the area
because “they get drawn back in” with oil listed as the first reason, its
anti-western militancy as the second reason, and trade routes coming third
much of that trade related to oil transportation). Once again, this only
highlights a great disconnect between stated intentions and the geo-strategic
reasons for being involved in the area. Freedman reflects on his subtitle and
says that the U.S. engagement in the Middle East has “appeared rather
confrontational” but that the “aspiration is for complete harmony.” It can
readily be argued that the confrontation is way beyond “appearances” and that
the “aspiration” for harmony can only be interpreted as harmony within total
dominance by the U.S. empire, an empire based on military control and resource
extraction. The will of the people has never been of prime concern for U.S.
political structures (inclusive of the government, corporations, and the
Danny Schechter's The Crime of Our Time Book Review by Stephen Lendman
Saturday, 17 October 2009 14:29
by Stephen Lendman
Danny Schechter is a media activist, critic, independent filmmaker, and TV producer as well as an author of 10 books and lecturer on media issues. Some call him "The News Dissector," and that's the name of his popular blog on media issues. He's also the co-founder of Media Channel.org that covers the "political, cultural and social impacts of the media," and provides information unavailable in the mainstream.
Schechter's books include The More You Watch The Less You Know, Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal, and his newest and subject of this review, The Crime of Our Time: Was the Economic Collapse "Indeed, Criminal?"
As a form of economic terrorism, indeed so says Schechter and many others. Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt, writes: Schechter "establishes the crime's elements, identifies the players, and exposes the weapons that have turned free markets into vehicles for mass manipulation and control."
More still, according to former high-level government and Wall Street insider Catherine Austin Fitts in describing a "financial coup d'etat" that includes inflating multiple market bubbles, pump and dump schemes, naked short selling, precious metals price suppression, and active market intervention by Washington and the Fed that lets powerful insiders game the system, commit massive fraud, and be able to transfer trillions of public wealth to themselves, then get open-ended bailouts when the inevitable crisis surfaces.
In his last book, Plunder, Schechter deconstructed one element of the economy's financialization - the outlandish amounts subprime lending, instrumental in inflating the housing bubble and the economic crisis that followed.
The Crime of Our Time is his latest attempt to explain "the financial collapse as a crime story (and) the high status white-collar crooks" who wreak havoc on "the lives of hundreds of millions worldwide." He quotes from author and labor activist Jonathan Tasini in his new book, The Audacity of Greed, saying:
"Over the past quarter century, we have lived through the greatest looting of wealth in human history." While an elite few profited hugely, "the vast majority of citizens have lived through a period of falling wages, disappearing pensions, and dwindling bank accounts, all of which led to the personal debt crisis that lies at the root of the current financial meltdown."
The fallout cost millions of Americans their jobs, homes, savings, and futures, the result of a Washington - Wall Street criminal cabal and their scandalous conspiracy against the US public. In the Crime of Our Time, Schechter, once again, does a superb job explaining it astutely, thoroughly, and clearly.
Introduction - Our Time and Financial Crime
(1) In Wall Street We Trust
Once again, the major media betrayed the public by cheerleading the inflating market bubbles, ignoring the cause and Wall Street/Washington's role, then downplaying the severity of the crisis that has a long way to run. Instead their reasoning goes: "we are all to blame, guilty of greed, over-spending and under-saving," so "when everyone's at fault, no one can be held responsible."
Project Humanbeingsfirst Ebook 2009
Saturday, 10 October 2009 06:30
Project Humanbeingsfirst Ebook 2009
ForewordProject Humanbeingsfirst Ebook 2009 contains all PHBF published reports and letters between 2007 and 2009 in a hyper-linked browsable PDF. This self-contained Ebook built directly from the website http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com on October 08, 2009, will be useful for both offline perusing, as well as for archiving in a single place the detailed analyses of the myriad global crises, global financial collapse, global warming, global pandemics, global war on terror, or by their real name, imperial mobilization and one-world government of the oligarchs, plaguing mankind today.
We are headed for far worse times... What can ordinary plebeian people realistically do about it? Apart from shutting one's eyes and leaving it all to fate, minimally, learn to survive the maelstrom which will likely outlive this generation, by informing oneself of the real agendas.
This Ebook teaches how to interpret tumultuous events that are rapidly putting ordinary people in servitude, without either getting fooled by the Mighty Wurlitzer's all encompassing propaganda machinery, or by one's own myopic worldview and prejudices.
While Project Humanbeingsfirst teaches one to think in self-defense when matters are cloaked in deception and social engineering, it does not dispense advice. As always, one is responsible for one's own decisions.
Download PDF (20 MB) here, here, or here
Please download and save a local copy. These things might not be available for very long with what's rapidly coming down the pipe. President Obama has already WON the Nobel Peace prize and Says He’s ‘Surprised and Humbled’! (NYT)
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>
Page 3 of 13