Review: The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

6 Star Top 10%, Best Practices in Management, Budget Process & Politics, Complexity & Catastrophe, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Information Operations, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page

Michael Lewis

6 Stars Presidential Transitions Matter and President Trump Blew It — With Follow-on Consequences

Although I am a huge fan of President Trump — I wrote the first article on how he could win (“Counter-Coup: How Trump Can Win,” CounterPunch, 14 August 2018) and went on to write the 30 piece Trump Revolution Series, I also believe in learning from the mistakes of others — this book has a great deal to offer the next President.

Early on in the book we learn that then candidate Trump did not want a presidential transition team and refused to assign campaign funds for it. When he was persuaded by Chris Christie that he needed one and Christie offered to raise funds separately, Trump assented, only to blow a fuse when he learned Christie had raised $9 million.

QUOTE (21): “Trump was apoplectic, actually yelling, You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my fucking money! What the fuck is this?

The book offers one capstone understanding and five insights that every presidential candidate should take deeply to heart:

Continue reading “Review: The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis”

KINDLE: Reflections on The People’s Army, The Constitution, & Grand Strategy – What Nobody – Least of All Clinton or Trump – Wants to Talk About…

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Budget Process & Politics, Civil Society, Congress (Failure, Reform), Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Force Structure (Military), Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Justice (Failure, Reform), Leadership, Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Strategy, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

The People’s Army – the Continental Army rooted in home-spun militias – was formed and fought and won a war before the U.S. Constitution was written and signed in 1787. The Constitution – and the Republic – exist because the People’s Army, the Continental Army led by George Washington – leveraged the twin advantages of a righteous cause and home court to eject what was then the greatest imperial power on the planet. Of the 55 men attending the Constitutional Convention, at least 29 served in the Continental Army, most of them in positions of command. Understanding the relationship between the people from whom the early militias were drawn, the Army, and the Constitution, is essential to evaluating where we fall short today.

Continue reading “KINDLE: Reflections on The People’s Army, The Constitution, & Grand Strategy – What Nobody – Least of All Clinton or Trump – Wants to Talk About…”

Review: The Art of Shaping the Metropolis

6 Star Top 10%, Atlases & State of the World, Best Practices in Management, Budget Process & Politics, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Country/Regional, Future, Leadership, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Public Administration, Stabilization & Reconstruction, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Pedro B. Ortiz

6-Star Guide to Saving Every City in Every Country — a World-Changing Book

This is an extraordinary book, easily five stars but I am elevating it to 6 stars (my top ten percent across over 2000 reviews, all but a handful non-fiction) because the author is not just a genius, but he explains his deep multi-level knowledge brilliantly. I have never seen a collection of complicated nuanced topics presented in such a compelling, easy to understand, well-illustrated manner. The case studies abound. The publisher is to be complemented for the purity of the presentation — a stunning book with perfectly laid out pages, glossy color on every page, and a superb index, which is where most publishers fail their authors.

Continue reading “Review: The Art of Shaping the Metropolis”

Review (Guest): Pay Any Price – Greed, Power, and Endless War

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Force Structure (Military), Impeachment & Treason, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Iraq, Justice (Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Public Administration, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Terrorism & Jihad, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

James Risen

5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than His Last One – Imagine What He’ll Write From Prison, October 14, 2014

By David Swanson

When New York Times report James Risen published his previous book, State of War, the Times ended its delay of over a year and published his article on warrantless spying rather than be scooped by the book. The Times claimed it hadn’t wanted to influence the 2004 presidential election by informing the public of what the President was doing. But this week a Times editor said on 60 Minutes that the White House had warned him that a terrorist attack on the United States would be blamed on the Times if one followed publication — so it may be that the Times’ claim of contempt for democracy was a cover story for fear and patriotism. The Times never did report various other important stories in Risen’s book.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): Pay Any Price – Greed, Power, and Endless War”

Review: Who Rules America (2013)

6 Star Top 10%, America (Founders, Current Situation), Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason, Justice (Failure, Reform), Leadership, Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Public Administration, Science & Politics of Science, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

G. William Domhoff

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Stars for Early Warning on 1%, Holistic Analytics, and Clear Attention to Weakness of the 99%, April 19, 2014

This book was central to my education in Political Science (more political than science, more passive aggressive than normative). In light of all that we know now, the book MUST be considered both a 6 Star classic (in my top 10%, I read non-fiction in 98 categories), and highly relevant today.

It distresses me that there are no good reviews visible right now, this is partly because Amazon has destroyed really great reviews from past editions in order to make way for new generations of young reviewers, most of whom do not get pointed toward this book by their college professors, if they are lucky enough to even go to college.

Here is the 6th edition of the book where useful reviews are to be found:

Who Rules America? Challenges to Corporate and Class Dominance

Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

I am posting an image from the author that shows how the social, corporate, and “hired hand” elite (for the latter, think tanks and politicians) intersect, with the 1% shown in the center (I added that bit).

Democracy is hard. Responsibility in democracy cannot be delegated or integrity is lost. When I and the author speak of integrity we are talking about accountability, the assurance of diversity in all councils, feedback loops, and the recognition of true costs of any decision. When the public delegates its responsibility for self-government, democracy is quickly lost. For other books that support this one, which can be considered “the original” in modern history (Toqueville’s Democracy in America (Penguin Classics) is THE original), see my easily found list of my Amazon reviews on this topic and its anti-thesis corruption, by searching for:

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Democracy Lost & Found

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Corruption 2.0

For anyone wanting more than is available from Inside the Book, or seeking a summary of the book, there is no better summary available than that provided by the author himself on a very powerful web site of his own, search online for:

The Class-Domination Theory of Power by G. William Domhoff

For myself, this book is both a celebration of what Politica Science can offer (see also the books listed below within my ten link limit), and also an indictment of the discipline of Political Science. I am in the process of thinking about how to change the discipline to answer these three WHAT IF questions:

Continue reading “Review: Who Rules America (2013)”