Chomsky is one of the greatest minds ignored. In this old book he detailed the changes in language and media and predicted the circus of lies, misinfoChomsky is one of the greatest minds ignored. In this old book he detailed the changes in language and media and predicted the circus of lies, misinformation, and manipulation our nation would endure.
It was such a depressing book. It also didn't help that it's big and deep and so much of it has to be read over and over again. Chomsky read like the harbinger of doom and it just seems like nobody listens....more
Rachel Maddow might be a cable news pundit, but she's also an intellectual powerhouse. Unlike her counterparts on the right she holds a doctorate fromRachel Maddow might be a cable news pundit, but she's also an intellectual powerhouse. Unlike her counterparts on the right she holds a doctorate from Oxford. Her research is rigorous and her analysis is strong.
How did the military become the behemoth of economic might that it's become? This book holds many of the answers. From Reagan's irrational love affair with more and bigger through the avalanche of funding and the self-perpetuating monster it's become.
Please read it and then follow that up with some action....more
I finished it. I think I deserve a certificate of completion. If I show up at a sci-fi convention with a certificate printed out, will Mr. Robinson siI finished it. I think I deserve a certificate of completion. If I show up at a sci-fi convention with a certificate printed out, will Mr. Robinson sign it for me?
It was so light on the science and action and so heavy on the angst of a mentally stunted washed up scientist in an advisory role that I got bored. It was an easy book to set down - all three of them. Basically what I'm saying is that everything that happened in this series could have been boiled down to a pamphlet. ...more
Sure it was simplistic and even childish to boil down complete economies into sustained book sections and given character, attitudes, and attributes.Sure it was simplistic and even childish to boil down complete economies into sustained book sections and given character, attitudes, and attributes. To make an entire country behave as an individual really does cheat the system. But the measure of a book is how much it makes you think about the topic and how much more you understand it after you've read it then you understood it before. Doesn't provoke conversation? Does it make you research? Do you spend time trying to find out more?
If he would have put everything there was to know about Iceland, Greece, Germany, and the United States financial systems into a single volume it would have been too big to pick up. So Michael Lewis is a commercial writer. So what?
Iceland is a very small country and those people who were in charge were naïve. Their naïveté was exploited by the big bankers from New York and London as they attempted, mostly successfully, to a great and pillage these descendents of the Vikings. Iceland turned it around, and eventually they punished some of the bankers and through the entire system out of the country and are quite well on the road to recovery. The national character is what Michael Lewis presents a and his presentation makes sense.
Greece is a country filled with corruption, incompetence and laziness. Is this true? Michael Lewis made it sound believable as he described both the before and after of the the financial meltdown. The kleptocracy is amazing. Even after everything that happened they have no interest in changing. I especially loved his time in the monastery. That whole story kept me enthralled.
Germany, as a nation to rigid to understand what was changing about the markets, kept thinking that everyone else was going to play by the rules. They kept buying up the debt and didn't see that the debt was going bad because that was what was in the manuals. It's funny to think about and very simplistic to assume that an entire country's culture can be boiled down to simple actions, but it does work as a metaphor for what happened and how Germany was left holding the bag.
The United States, of course in this tale of woe, comes off as the conmen – the swindlers of the world's money. I just wish I had some of it. It's not a flattering portrayal, but it again works for the metaphor.
That's what this book was. It was metaphors that worked to describe what happened in as simple terms as the general public understand....more
I've been meaning to read this book for years. Now I have and I am changed.
I know what it's like to be poor, but I don't know what it's like to be worI've been meaning to read this book for years. Now I have and I am changed.
I know what it's like to be poor, but I don't know what it's like to be working poor and although I thought I could imagine. I can't. I was wrong.
Ehrenreich was candid about her experiment - she could bail on it at any time, but she brought the realism of the plight of so many millions of Americans for whom housing, food and clothing are real, pressing concerns.
Imagining is half the challenge - imagine poverty. Fixing it is the other half. Fix the desperation of those who try to work to get ahead but never can because the system is rigged against them.
Please read this - please be changed by it....more
I sat in Barnes and Noble yesterday and read this book. I wouldn't buy - thank God I didn't.
David Barton isn't an historian. He's a preacher. It showI sat in Barnes and Noble yesterday and read this book. I wouldn't buy - thank God I didn't.
David Barton isn't an historian. He's a preacher. It shows.
It's obvious that his heroes in history didn't exist - but they are still his heroes nonetheless. He creates his heroes out of the past by picking great deeds and then assigning to those deeds men of character and resilience that he would admire in men of the present. Then he assigns those characters the names of those men in the past who accomplished those deeds. These men, were they alive today, wouldn't recognize Barton's vision of themselves.
What he did was pick the things about Jefferson that he wishes weren't true and then carefully extracted limited excerpts and out of context quotes - sometimes cut right in the middle of a sentence - to support the vision of what he would've wanted Jefferson to be. It's falsehood and reckless manipulation of the highest order.
Disgusting and shameful that people purchased this collection of lies and manipulated mythology....more
Unlocking the secret of our political communication. This is what every campaign and PR manager needs to read and understand - there are ways to commuUnlocking the secret of our political communication. This is what every campaign and PR manager needs to read and understand - there are ways to communicate to the public using their morality matrix.
So many people have gone in depth and I'm not going to rehash that.
This book changed my viewpoint. It takes a strong book to do that. It changed the way I talk to people. It changed the way I use reason to reinforce my viewpoints and it has changed the way I deal with the reason shot back at me. It's a major work. It's a revelation.
I can't say anything more important than I recommend this book to everyone....more
The author obviously struggled to give Hayek equal billing in this book, despite the vacancy of application, thought and proof in the Austrian's theorThe author obviously struggled to give Hayek equal billing in this book, despite the vacancy of application, thought and proof in the Austrian's theories. There wasn't actually a clash between the two - there was some letter exchanges and a bit of reaching out by Keynes to help a newcomer to the field. But Hayek was obviously deferential to the founder of modern economic theory. It was only later in Hayek's career, after Keynes was gone that the Austrian pretended to take Keynes to task by mischaracterizing his economic theories and tilting at strawmen like a knight practicing for a joust which would only happen in his own mind....more
In a world where corporations are people and money equals speech equals power the swath of destruction that the United States has created is unsurprisIn a world where corporations are people and money equals speech equals power the swath of destruction that the United States has created is unsurprising.
My favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one which Spike has been taken prisoner and is tied up while the magical Native Americans are attacking the gang with bows and arrows. In the midst of this encounter spike blasts political correctness by telling you the rest of them to just accept the fact that they killed all the Indians and it's time to move on.
What is it okay for a nation to do in the pursuit of its own defense what is it okay for a nation to do to promote its economic interests? See that's a much more difficult question. Is the same kind of response appropriate when marauding invaders are murdering civilians as when engaging his people are attempting to reappropriate lands that had been generating wealth for your nation's companies?
I say the line has to be drawn somewhere and America's history of invasion and conquest is not only immoral, it's blatantly illegal.
Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq is an amazing chronicle of what this nation has done to the freedom of choice other people have tried to employ. We have conquered, subverted, overthrown, bullied, and invalidated nations, leaders, and citizens around the world.
The common theme throughout our involvement across the globe has been corporate profit. We have engaged our military, our State Department, our CIA, and our international influence to enhance the profits of the very corporations that wreak havoc at home and worldwide.
In Hawaii it was sugar. In Cuba it was brothels and the Mafia and land. In Chile it was copper. In Nicaragua and Guatemala and Honduras It Was United Fruit. In Panama it was a canal. And so on and so on. What's good for the largest corporations is not necessarily what's good for us and for our country.
And when are these corporations going to pay the bill and absorb the repercussions for destabilizing the world. It seems that that bill always gets paid by US taxpayers and by the chaos, death, and destruction on the poor people of the world. These corporations are getting a free ride and not only are we footing the bill but we are carrying the moral burden of our hideous actions.
Billy Beane and Bill James revolutionized the game of baseball by actually looking at statistics and how they influence wins and losses, rather than lBilly Beane and Bill James revolutionized the game of baseball by actually looking at statistics and how they influence wins and losses, rather than looking for superstar players and flashy athletic plays. Michael Lewis examines the whole process and the success it garnered in an analytical business-minded approach that makes this book just as good a business management book as it is a baseball history. I can't recommend it highly enough....more
The first surprise for me was that this book is an anthology of articles previously published in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times,The first surprise for me was that this book is an anthology of articles previously published in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, etc. At first I was disappointed by this structure but then it became clear that Michael Lewis was setting up a clever foundation to lead the reader into the current financial crisis. People did see what was going on and there were warnings, it's just that the system has blinders on for two reasons - the first is that short-term gains are rewarded most highly, and the second is that it was always assumed that great risk would be backed by taxpayer dollars, which it was.
The whole system worked just as intended with changes in laws/regulation over the past 3 decades. What's been done is that the markets have turned into casinos where institutional investors can bet on the failure (or success I suppose) of any financial instrument with borrowed money and since the bettors are also optioning cash from the Federal Reserve, they have no risk and an unlimited supply of capital with which to make the bets. Bets that Greece (the nation) will fail can be made in amounts that exceed the GDP of that country because there is no regulation over how much money can be placed and there is no requirement that the bettor have assets on hand to cover the bets.
Lewis ties each new article together with commentary on how the crisis came to be and who was looking at it objectively at the time. That's what makes this book scary - they knew and it happened anyway. And, it'll happen again because the markets are designed for only short-term wins at the expense of everything else - liquidity, capital, business and national success, stability, and prosperity. People make money by destroying companies and resources, not by growing and nurturing our economic health. It's all ass-backwards and nothing's been done to fix it. ...more