No Picture
books

Tightrope – Americans reaching for hope by Kristof and WuDunn – book review

Kristof and WuDunn’s book, Tightrope – Americans Reaching for Hope, spent some weeks on bestseller lists. Kristof is a well known reporter and writer for the NYTimes. It centers around the town of Yamhill OR and the people that Kristof grew up among. The stories of industrial decline, increasing inequality, --->> read more -->>
economy

Recently Noted – “Across America, working-class people are dying of despair”

“Who Killed the Knapp Family?” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn appeared in the Sunday 1/12/2020 NYTimes. This essay which is adapted from a newly published book by the same authors, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, explores the grim reality of life in one small corner of America, Yamhill, OR --->> read more -->>
empire

Thanksgiving – a bit of a corrective history telling and turkey adaptation

Corrective History The NYTimes posted a bit of Turkey Day corrective history: “Most Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong” By MAYA SALAM Adaptive Turkeys The Trump pardoned two turkeys yesterday at the White House. But, no surprise for us here in Columbia County, wild turkeys are doing just fine. Once again --->> read more -->>
politics

Recently Noted – “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer”

The NY Times published an interesting article by Max Fisher and Josh Keller, “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” on 11/7/2017. The analysis shows that there is a strong correlation between the high level of gun ownership and mass killings. No other factors are well correlated. --->> read more -->>
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racism

Recently Noted – “Making Affirmative Action White Again”

Ira Katznelson (see my earlier post “Affirmative Action for Whites – began in the 1930s“) wrote a brief opinion piece in the 8/13/2017 NYTimes, “Making Affirmative Action White Again” (“Who Really Got Hand Outs” in the paper edition) that encapsulates the real history of affirmative action for whites. It reminds --->> read more -->>
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justice/jails

Justice in America – Not

A central dogma of American politics and culture is the rule of law. The ever present blind scales of justice are trotted out with such regularity that the briefest glimpse serves to remind us that we live in a country with a uniquely fair and just system of law. Of --->> read more -->>
LAURA POITRAS credit: Ruby Washington/New York Times photographer - borrowed w/o permission
security state

Dangers of the US Security State

There are those, in response to the recent revelations of the US government vacuum cleaning our lives through the NSA and other secret programs, who take the line that the innocent have nothing to fear from the government. Here is an example of why no one should take such a --->> read more -->>
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inequality

Economic Inequality – Does It Matter?

It is fairly widely known that income and wealth inequality in the US is as high or higher than at any time except perhaps the Robber Baron period at the end of the 19th century. Lots of articles and books explain how this has come about over the last 30 --->> read more -->>
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justice/jails

America’s Longest War – a socio-political-military disaster – indicted by Global Commission on Drug Policy

Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy Last week this commission released its report,  “War on Drugs“. This once again brings into focus our longest war, Nixon’s War on Drugs. Here are the first two paragraphs from the executive summary: The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating --->> read more -->>
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economy

Corporations as Persons – Freedom of Speech, now Right to Privacy – Bring on Three Strikes!

The case of the Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T now being heard before the US Supreme Court raises anew the craziness of the thinking that has position corporations to be “persons” in the first place. Noun vs Adjective! First we have several of the justices focusing argument around the difference --->> read more -->>
Money floating around
economy

Religious Doubt Spreads – Free Flows of Capital Seen as Dangerous to Some

There is more evidence that the current run of religious mania about “free markets” is finally giving way to a more fact-based approach to this important human invention, many countries are now applying capital controls on the flow of monies into  their economies. The world flood of money seeking higher --->> read more -->>
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empire

A New Thought on Terrorism

An article in today’s NYTimes about cyber crime, malware, etc. suggests to me that another line of attack may be through the Internet against our utilities, telecoms, or financial institutions. There have already been massive attacks against whole countries with successful breakdowns that lasted for hours and days. Ukraine, Lithuania, --->> read more -->>