Review: The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

6 Star Special, 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”

Review: The Grand Self-Deception – A Libertarian Manifesto Against the Deep State – The Failed Welfare-Taxation Model of Norway

5 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Civil Society, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Intelligence (Government/Secret), Justice (Failure, Reform), Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Public Administration, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

5 Stars — Destroys the Deep State in 479 Pages

I met the author of this book in Norway, when he interviewed me for Ny Tid (Modern Times) in relation to my nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, an interview that is on YouTube in multiple channels. I absolutely respect his combination of intelligence and integrity, and in any hearing that pits him against the Deep State, I would absolutely believe him and challenge the Deep State. This is his manifesto.

At 479 pages, with a fourteen page table of contents (Kindle users will love this, it is the deepest most specific table of contents I have ever seen in a business, economics, ethics, libertarian, or political book), this book is both a bargain at cost per page and a brilliant provocation with brain-bombs left and right.

God Bless Donald Trump — for all of Trump’s failings as he rolls over and plays dead for the Deep State (with a reported promise of no less than $20B for playing his role) — we are indebted to Donald Trump for doing in 120 days what so many of us, including the Libertarian Party of which I am a member, have failed to do in a quarter century: made the Deep State a topic of common conversation. The mainstream “fake news” media can no longer repress this topic, it is mainstream.

Continue reading “Review: The Grand Self-Deception – A Libertarian Manifesto Against the Deep State – The Failed Welfare-Taxation Model of Norway”

Worth a Look: Tragedy & Hope 101

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Crime (Organized, Transnational), Democracy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason, Information Society, Insurgency & Revolution, Justice (Failure, Reform), Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity, Worth A Look
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

The information contained in this book contradicts nearly everything you’ve been led to believe about democracy and “representative government.”

Based on the groundbreaking research of respected historian Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope 101 reveals an unimaginably devious political system, skillfully manipulated by a handful of elite, which is undermining freedom and democracy as we know it. The goal of those who control the system, in Quigley’s own words, is to dominate “all habitable portions of the world.” Using deception, theft, and violence, they have achieved more toward this goal than any rulers in human history.

However, the Information Age is quickly derailing their plans. The immorality of their system, and those who serve it, has become nearly impossible to hide. Awareness and resistance are growing…Tragedy is yielding to hope.

Review (Fiction): Twilight’s Last Gleaming

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Civil Society, Complexity & Catastrophe, Democracy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Impeachment & Treason, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

John Michael Greer

5.0 out of 5 stars Goosebumps — very very real — the playbook for taking down the USA, July 9, 2015

I first read Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America, that was the serious book, and then this book and I have to say that the both go very well together.

This book is the playbook for how a hollow US military over-reliant on satellites for location and communications, over-reliant on carriers that are too easily killed by supersonic wave-hopping missiles, over-reliant on a very mediocre US air force that cannot maintain air superiority or long air-based supply lines, is smashed by the Chinese when an amoral thoughtless US presidency goes one regime change oil field hijacking too far.

Continue reading “Review (Fiction): Twilight’s Last Gleaming”

Review: Decline and Fall – The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Complexity & Catastrophe, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Politics, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

John Michael Greer

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Primer, July 8, 2015

I come at this book with something most readers do not have, over 2,000 non-fiction book reviews here at Amazon, and I mention it only because there are some negative reviews that I think are lacking in the larger context one gets from very broad reading. From my perspective, this book is an extraordinary primer and the author is gifted — truly gifted as a teacher and an explainer of complex ideas in simpler captivating terms.

There are many other books that go into greater detail on specifics, and I will begin by listing just four of them:

Continue reading “Review: Decline and Fall – The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America”

Review (Guest): The Utopia of Rules – on Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Civil Society, Complexity & Catastrophe, Corruption, Culture, Research, Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Information Society, Misinformation & Propaganda, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), True Cost & Toxicity, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

David Gaeber

A Fresh Take on Bureaucracy

By Peter Richardson on March 19, 2015

What intense pleasure this book gave me, despite the dull topic: bureaucracy. Anthropologist David Graeber is perhaps best known for Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011), which became required reading for the Occupy Wall Street movement. In that book, Graeber showed that the standard explanation for the origins of money, rehearsed in dozens of economics textbooks, was a fairy tale.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): The Utopia of Rules – on Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy”

Review (Guest): The American Deep State – Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on US Democracy

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Atrocities & Genocide, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Censorship & Denial of Access, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Democracy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Environment (Problems), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Public Administration, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Peter Dale Scott

5 Star  Connecting the Dots

By The Peripatetic Reader on December 13, 2014

Peter Dale Scott has written many books about the Deep State at work in the U.S. government. Scott depicts American society as structurally and inherently schizophrenic. Just as there is the public government and the deep government, and ordinary events and deep events, there are two dominant forces permeating United States history: One egalitarian, believing in fairness, inclusion, and free expression, and the other militaristic and exclusionary, which is only interested in social control.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): The American Deep State – Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on US Democracy”

Review (Guest): Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Atlases & State of the World, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Complexity & Catastrophe, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Crime (Organized, Transnational), Culture, Research, Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Future, Misinformation & Propaganda, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Threats (Emerging & Perennial), True Cost & Toxicity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Pepe Escobar

5 out of 5 stars Tour de Force!

By Donald L. Conover

Tour de Force! That’s the only way to describe Pepe Escobar’s remarkable achievement with Globalistan: How the Globalized World Is Dissolving into Liquid War. In page after page, Mr. Escobar demonstrates his remarkable erudition gained in a peripatetic career, spanning the caves of Tora Bora to the slums of Sao Paolo and Mumbai; from the halls of venality to the palaces of the gluttonously wealthy; from conversations with forgotten Pentagon warlords to raps with Brazilian gang lords.

Our Neocon leaders seem to think the rest of the World is frozen in situ, waiting for them to hatch their nefarious schemes. Globalistan shows us the consequences of such a blindered [or should I say “blundered”] attitude.

Producers for the talking heads of “mainstream” media will have to have this book. It is the one volume necessary to make sense of our churning humanity in the 21st Century. A quick scan can provide the background on every crisis from Iran to “Chindia”; from Shiiteistan to the Gazprom Nation; from PetroEurostan to the Bush White House.

Escobar demonstrates why it is true that if we don’t find ways to spread our prosperity around the World, the have-nots will come and take it away from us with guns and bombs and box cutters. All of the walls and fences cannot protect the United States, Europe, and Saudi Arabia from overwhelming illegal immigration. Weapons and fences doom us, like the Texans at the Alamo. Eventually they will be overrun by 3 billion human beings living in abject poverty, but with access to the latest episodes of “24” and “Sleeper Cell,” unless we help the Mexicans achieve their dreams of Texas in Mexico.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War”

Review: Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Civil Society, Complexity & Catastrophe, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Insurgency & Revolution, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Lars-Erik Cederman, Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, Halvard Buhaug

5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY – a modern version of the causes of revolution literature from the 1970’s, January 12, 2014

I am absolutely delighted to see this book published, and to also see it win awards. In the 1970’s there was a strong political science literature on the causes of revolution (see a few examples below) as well as on governance alternatives intended to achieve dignity and equality such that revolutions do not occur. A few examples:

Harry Eckstein, Internal War: Problems and Approaches
Ted Gurr, Why Men Rebel: Fortieth Anniversary Edition
Chalmers Johnson, Revolution and the Social System

The book earns five stars but could reasonably be reduced to four stars for failing to have a holistic analytic model and any substantive reference to true cost economics.

Continue reading “Review: Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War”

Review (Guest): Global Catastrophes and Trends – The Next Fifty Years

5 Star, Complexity & Catastrophe, Complexity & Resilience
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Vaclav Smil

5.0 out of 5 stars Very balanced and insightful thinking on the topic, September 3, 2010

Gaetan Lion

Contrary to what the title suggests, this is not about over-hyping any apocalyptic scenarios. To the contrary, Smil thinks through issues in an insightful and detached way. From the book, you develop critical thinking skills to vaccinate your mind against Media hype. You also develop a healthy skepticism towards any forecasts as they always miss the boat.

Smil classifies changes that could affect our civilization into two categories. First, the abrupt ones are unpredictable and potentially devastating. They include natural phenomena such as asteroids, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, and influenza pandemics. They also include man-caused wars, genocides, and terrorism. The second type of changes occur over half a century or more. Those include the energy transition away from fossil fuel, and the slow changes in balance of geopolitical powers.

Smil states we are notoriously bad at forecasting risks or anything else. He mentions numerous Peak Oil forecasts that were invariably wrong. Smil mentions how in the 1970s, we were concerned a next ice age was upon us. Geopolitic, economic, and demographic forecasts have been wrong too. The rapid economic ascent of China and rapid retreat of Japan since 1990 were unforeseen by everyone. The sudden break up of the USSR was also unexpected.

Smil states we are even bad at explaining what already happened. As an example, Diamond in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed mentioned only deforestation as a cause of the devastation of the Easter Island community. But, he missed out on rats infestation, infectious diseases, and enslavement. We invariably miss out on tons of variables when explaining past events.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): Global Catastrophes and Trends – The Next Fifty Years”