Review: Unvaccinated, Homeschooled, and TV-Free–It’s Not Just for Fanatics and Zealots

6 Star Top 10%, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Communications, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Disease & Health, Education (General), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Six Stars–a Game Changer, Pure Public Intelligence

March 15, 2010

Julie Cook

This book will join the Six Stars and Beyond group at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, where I can group my reviews in the 98 categories in which I read and you can do a whole lot of other things such as search all my reviews for specific terms.

This book is deeper than most will give it credit. The author has done a great deal of research, presents verifiable notes, and offers up 27 short section with adequate but not excessive white space. I especially like the quotes, several from Albert Einstein, used throughout the book to highlight a point. I also especially respect the reality that the author speaks to directly: when Western commerce and medicine have been so corrupted by the profit motive, it is very difficult to find research that upholds the truth of natural and alternative cures, or that presents the truth about the dangers of our peverted health system that ignores all but the “profitable” quarter of health, surgical and pharmaceutical remediation.

See for example:
Prescription for Natural Cures
Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink

This is a revolutionary book, and it joins others that make the case for rejecting the big government – big banks – big business triumverate that commoditizes people, loots the treasury, and rapes the Earth for short-term gain by the few against the public interest.

Continue reading “Review: Unvaccinated, Homeschooled, and TV-Free–It’s Not Just for Fanatics and Zealots”

Review: Business Stripped Bare–Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur

5 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Best Practices in Management, Biography & Memoirs, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Disease & Health, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Leadership, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Priorities, Survival & Sustainment, Technology (Bio-Mimicry, Clean), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and Practical as Well
October 31, 2009
Richard Branson
I picked this up half-price at Copenhagen airport, and I liked it so much I have ordered Screw It, Let’s Do It (Expanded Edition): 14 Lessons on Making It to the Top While Having Fun & Staying Green.

I must note that normally I would reduce one star–Virgin Books evidently has no clue–or no interest–in using the many Amazon tools provided to publishers (I am one) and therefore we are not seeing so little as a Table of Contents and the Index (always huge for me in evaluating a non-fiction book for possible purchase) or even better, “Look Inside the Book,” which is no harder than uploading the book pdf via Amazon Advantage. Bad dog.

Here are my fly-leaf notes.

Continue reading “Review: Business Stripped Bare–Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur”

Review: Global Crises, Global Solutions

4 Star, Disease & Health, Economics, Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars NOT for the General Reader, Get Cool It Instead

October 8, 2009
Bjorn Lomborg (Editor)
I was among those who considered Lomborg discredited when he produced The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World, and I now retract two thirds of my rejection in light of The Resilient Earth: Science, Global Warming and the Fate of Humanity and Lomberg’s work in creating the Copenhagen Consensus as reported on in this book–37 serious people considering alternative perspectives and ranking remediation options in relation to real cost-benefit analysis, something Al Gore and other hysterics do not do.

This book is NOT recommended for the general reader–it is way too heavy, too many charts, not enough of a flow, a lot of this stuff has to be taken on faith. Instead, I recommend Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming (Vintage) for the general reader, and probably How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place which I may order in a few minutes.

Continue reading “Review: Global Crises, Global Solutions”

Review: The Challenge for Africa

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Country/Regional, Culture, Research, Disease & Health, Education (General), Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Humanitarian Assistance, Information Operations, Information Society, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Stabilization & Reconstruction, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

A Gift–Properly Priced, Presented, and MOST Rewarding,

July 18, 2009
Wangari Maathai
Of the three of four books I have consumed so far for an introduction to Africa’s current condition, this one is by far the best, and if you buy only one, this is the one. The other two, each valuable in its own way, are:
The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working
Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa

Tomorrow I will plow through Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa’s Future and post a review.

The author, a Nobel Peace laureate for the Green Belt Movement, delivers a very straight-forward, practical “woman’s voice” account of both the past troubles, present tribulations, and future potential of Africa. This book is replete with “street-level” common sense as well as a real sense of nobility.

Early on the author addresses the reality that uninformed subsistence farming, what 65% of all Africans do, is destroying the commons. I find that ignorance–and the need to educate and inform in their own local language (no easy task when speaking of thousands of local languages)–is a recurring theme in this book. I see *enormous* potential for the application of what the Swedish military calls M4IS2 (multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information-sharing and sense-making).

The author provides an ample tour of the horizon of aid, trade, and debt imbalances, of the dangers of culture and confidence of decline, of the need to restore cultural and environmental diversity, and of the need to reprioritize agricultural, education, and environmental services instead of bleeding each country to pay for the military and internal security (and of course corruption).

CORE POINT: The *individual* African is the center of gravity, and only Africans can save Africa–blaming colonialism is *over*. The author’s vision for a revolution in leadership calls for integrity at the top, and activism at the bottom, along with a resurgence of civil society and a demand that governments embrace civil society as a full partner.

CORE POINT: The environment must be central to all development decisions, both for foster preservation and permit exploitation without degradation. Later in the book the author returns to this theme in speaking of the Congo forests, pointing out that only equity for all those who are local will allow all those who are foreign to exploit AND preserve.

I am fascinated by the author’s expected discussion of the ills of colonialism including the Berlin division, the elevation of elites, arbitrary confiscations of lands, and proxy wars, what I was NOT expecting was a profound yet practical discussion of how the church in combination with colonialism was a double-whammy on the collective community culture of Africa.

The author observes that any move away from aid, which has been an enabler of massive corruption at the top, and toward capitalization and bonds [as the author of Dead Aid proposes in part] will be just as likely to lead to corruption absent a regional awakening of integrity.

The author discusses China, observing that China has used its Security Council veto to protect African interests, and the author observes that the West continues to destroy Africa with arms sales, France and Russia especially, followed by China, with the US a low fourth.

I learn that patronage and the need for protection are the other side of corruption as a deep-seated rationalization for keeping power, and I learn that pensions in Africa are so fragile that retirement is fraught with risk, another reason to seek long-term power holding. I am inspired to think of a regional pension fund guaranteed by Brotherly Leader Muuamar Al-Gathafi.

On a hopeful note the author praises the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as leader of Liberia, and sees real promise in the AU leadership summits that she attends.

CORE IDEA: Leadership training at all levels must keep pace with the changes in technology and the complexity of Africa’s engagements. Civil Society in particular must be understood and embraced by government leaders at all levels.

The author spends time around page 134 discussing her pilot project to create local empowerment, devolving decision-making to create a multi-layered structure that establishes priorities while also providing accountability and transparency, minimizing corruption. Using a trained facilitator, the author brought together around 40 fifteen-person committees to create a strategic plan, and that is now useful as a map regardless of turn-over.

On page 158 the author briefly discusses ECOSOC (Economic, Social, and Cultural Council of the African Union) founded in 2005 to bring the voices of the people into the AU deliberations; to educate the peoples of Africa on all aspects of African affairs; and to encourage civil society throughout Africa.

My reaction: ECOSOCC is a center of gravity and could be the lever needed to create a regional M4IS2 network that substitutes information for violence, capital, time, and space. A harmonization of investments to address regional cell phone access (Nokia ambient energy devices), regional radio stations using solar power; and a regional public information program on the basics of mosquito control and other key public health topics, all call out for action in partnership with ECOSOCC.

Later in the book the author equates misinformation with alcohol and drugs. Ignorance is a recurring theme.

The conclusion of the book is full of deep wisdom on re-imagining community, restoring family by returning the men, stopping the brain drain, and making it easier for remittances to return; of the need to create micro-nation forums within each macro-nation; of the need to create local radio stations in each of the local languages and dialects; of the need to address energy shortfalls while stopping the march of the desert; and finally, of the need to address the pressing twin issues of land ownership and tourism management so as to restore the primacy of African interests.

The book ends on a hugely positive note calling for Africans to reclaim their land; reclaim their culture; and reclaim themselves.

Other books I consider relevant to respecting Africa:
Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025
Deliver Us from Evil: Peacekeepers, Warlords and a World of Endless Conflict
A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
The leadership of civilization building: Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
Infinite Wealth: A New World of Collaboration and Abundance in the Knowledge Era

Vote on Review
Vote on Review

Click Here to Vote on Review at Amazon,

on Cover Above to Buy or Read Other Reviews,

I Respond to Comments Here or There

Review: The Blue Death–Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink

5 Star, Disease & Health, Priorities, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Blue Death
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!! Be Very Afraid, Your Drinking Water is NOT Safe

August 21, 2007

Robert D. Morris

I get hit on a lot by authors and publishers, and one out of a hundred “leads” is actually worthwhile. This is such a lead. The author called me (the dumb ones send their stuff to create landfill) and I was absolutely interested in this topic. I list some other books below.

There are two bottom lines to this book:

1) Chlorine cannot kill all threats and causes its own damage. It specifically cannot kill cryptosporidium, which can quickly sicken tens of thousands and kill hundreds.

2) Your drinking water is not safe to drink, there are some things you can do, but on balance, the Nation needs a *major* campaign to salvage its entire drinking water and sewage treatment system.

I really, really, like this book. The author is gifted at presenting important information in an easy to understand and almost poetic manner. He really puts life into history, and urgency into current concerns.

I have a note: 5 stars. Truly EXCITING, gripping at every point.

He taught me the value of meta-analysis, and I am going to migrate that to the EarthGame that we are building with Medard Gabel, the brilliant cohort to Buckminster Fuller, whose forthcoming book, Seven Billion Billionaires, I strongly recommend.

Although I have read and strongly recommend Pandora’s Poison: Chlorine, Health, and a New Environmental Strategy, the author does an excellent “snapshot” job of alerting us to the dangers of chlorine by pointing out that Chlorine Gas killed tens of thousands, and that as late as 1974 there was no real understanding of its pathologies, and as recently as 1996, there was no real program to address the many deficiencies of our drinking water supplyl.

I draw from this book early on the importance of NOT privatizing water services. Corporations seeking profit cut corners and are most definitely not interested in reducing the risk of death if it impacts on their bottom line. Throughout the book, one finds that BOTH the corporate sector AND the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are in a sympiotic relationship intended to increase profits, lower costs, and kill Americans lightly.

The book provides a number of eye-opening facts, a few of which I list here:

1) Cholera is unique to humans and so tests on animals yield nothing.
2) Safe water is not an end but a constant process.
3) Chicago “yards” are the ultimate poisoneer–manure into water is our death bell.
4) As of 1992, USA water distribution is a disaster waiting to happen.
5) Usefully documents how denial and incompetence increased the death tolls time and again, around the world. Hamburg took 33 years to finally realize that it MUST filter its water.
6) I now understand the value of Environemtnal Epidemiology and will try to factor that into the EarthGame. This author does a superb job of making statistics exciting and meaningful.
7) He tars the EPA and other US Government elements for consistently lying to the public for reasons of money and politics. He makes the case for HONEST SCIENCE. See The Republican War on Science
8) He documents the need for real-time data. I am a proponent of 114 and 119 numbers, and believe that all citizens should be able to call in medical symptoms to a central database, e.g. dial 114-D for diahrea, 114-V for vomit.
9) The author is utterly compelling in describing how very hard it is to track down waterborne diseases, this is literally the needle in the haystack problem, where one might find 10 oocysts in a litter of water–ten *transparent* oocysts.
10) Katrina shut down 1200 water treatment plants and 269 sewage treatment plants.
11) Drinking water distribution is every city’s weak link; Al Qaeda has studied US water distribution systems (remember, Bin Laden was an engineer), and they KNOW that enough bags of manure into the system post-filtration will do a great deal of damage.
12) Home filtration systems are ESSENTIAL to guarding against contamination, and boiling water is ESSENTIAL at the first sign of a bio-chemical attack through the water distribution system.
13) The author provides a heart-rending account of how cholera killed 60,000 in Zaire in one week, with corpses piled up 2-3 deep along the road, and the feces from the weak survivors running down the hill into the lake to contaminate that water so that many more might die.
14) The USA has up to TEN MILLION cases of waterborne disease each year.
15) The inter-state and inter-agency process related to water (and I surmise, to every other topic) is completely broken.
16) Washington “action” is “a glacier on steroids.”
17) 861 BILLIOIN gallons of SEWAGE go into US rivers in any given year.
18) Bottled water is not only NOT safer or cleaner than tap water, but it costs one thousand times as much, and the water needed to create the throw-away plastic bottle is GREATER than the water contained in the bottle.

The author ends rather quietly, suggesting that dialog, no secrets, and research are needed, and he provides several meritorious recommendations at the end, but I put the book down feeling that my best defense is localized resilience. Neither the federal nor the state not the local governments can be trusted. They have all been corrupted. Until the public realizes that it is drinking poisoned water, one is best off not drinking the water at all.

SUPERB BOOK!!!!! Bravo. See also:
The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and Their Effects on National Security and Development
Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
Diet for a Small Planet

Vote on Review
Vote on Review