Kate Holbrook et al
This is the book that forced me to realize I was a radical, not a moderate. As Howard Zinn defines it, a radical is someone of any political persuasion who realizes that government is the problem, not the solution. I've always been a small government fiscal conservative with socially liberal tendencies, but as I watch Obama emulate Bush, I realize that it does not matter who is President–the existing two-party crime system and the existing bureaucracy married to entrenched special interests have no interest at all in “the public interest.”
The best thing I can say about this book is that it forced me to think, it gave me several “aha” experiences, and it gave me hope at the same time that if affirmed the roots of my anger at how badly we are governed….because we have failed to self-govern and abdicated to those who would profit from the public rather than help the public profit.
Among my many flyleaf notes:
1) Voices not heard; need to reinvent the wheel of stakeholders
2) 40 million at the bottom in the USA–make it possible for them to vote without losing work time and the pendulum with swing.
3) Education of the young must begin now. We must break the paradigm of rote education (indoctrination) in which we beat the creativity out of our kids by the fourth grade.
4) RETURN women to the executive ranks with appreciation for their skills and mindsets (among which I count smaller egos and more insight)
5) CREATE the online national ballot and use it whether or not the two criminal parties now dominated by their extremists accept it or not. It will achieve a public momentum of its own.
6) CONSIDER a tax revolt (this was written long before tea parties today, and I am still waiting for Grover Norquist to actually ask for a tax revolt, but we are getting there).
7) DEMAND line item votes by the public, at the DISTRICT level.
8) Robert Reich calls for a return to grass roots democracy, I think of a Sunshine Cabinet and Jim Rough's Citizen Wisdom Councils.
9) Juliet Schor of the Center for the New American Dream is especially inspiring, focusing on quality of life that is full of connections (leaps in connectivity are what power leaps in civizilational advances).
10) Consumer culture reduces health of society and the mental health of individuals.
11) Need to restore local manufacturing bases and regional approaches [to the twelve core polices that we define at Earth Intelligence Network.]
12) CAMPAIGN for bringing your money home, NOT spending $1 trillion a year to wage war “over there” and “in our name”
13) Focus on making government corruption and corporate crime NOT pay.
14) Lani Guinier for Attorney General!
15) Create Artists Network [for each of the twelve policy domains]. This book finally persuaded me that art is an absolutely essential part of cultural communications of substance.
16) Follow the money, illuminate the money. [I believe we need to get to “true costs” being available at any cell phone by looking at the bar code.]
17) Prisons down, schools up. [There is growing demand for the legalization of marijuana, and I personally believe all those serving sentences on marijuana should have their terms commuted).
18) Need a Minister for Families and Gender. Swanee Hunt is memorable; I see the need to mandate the presence of women in all negotiations and strategic forums. The men are not doing well.
19) Martha Minow on truth and reconciliation grabs me. I have notes on contrition and forgiveness training, on transcending boundaries.
20) Jennifer Leaning for Surgeon General.
21) Paul Farmer is gripping as well, 21st Century is a whole new ballgame, our children will shape the future, we are the last of the destroyers.
22) Peter Singer is great on ethics. Amy Goodman inspires (as do all the authors, these are the ones that made it into my notes), Democracy Now. I have a note; we need a Truth News Network (TNN). I actually offered that idea to Ted Turner years ago, never head back. CNN is no where near reality or coherence, nor are any of the other networks.
I have a lot of other notes to myself; I will end with some other book recommendations that accentuate the positive, and the observation that this book is fundamental to our future. We all need to absorb the wisdom of the authors that came together under the four editors.
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World
Imagine: What America Could be in the 21st century
On the Meaning of Life
The Lessons of History
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
The Radical Center: The Future of American Politics
Radical Middle: The Politics We Need Now