QUOTE (32): What has taken place over the last generation is a highly complicated merger of crime and policy, of stealing and government. Far from taking care of the rest of us, the financial leaders of America and their political servants have seemingly reached the cynical conclusion that our society is not work saving and have taken on a new mission that involved not creating wealth for us all, but simply absconding with whatever wealth remains in our hollowed out economy. They don’t feed us, we feed them.
I defer to the other reviewers on the substance of the book, but want to provide links here to several books that address the larger context of the soul of capitalism and the corruption of the two political parties that have undermined the US Government and US economy with malice aforethought.
I am blogging twice a week at Huffington Post on what a Virtual Cabinet doing sane evidence-driven policies in the context of a balanced responsible budget might look like, and would welcome visits there by those interested in getting back to honest government and responsible capitalism.
Dick Morris is part of the circus–Wall Street owns it and him,
July 14, 2009
Neophytes argue about facts, journeymen argue about models, and masters discuss the assumptions underlying the models.
This book assumes the President has power, which most of us who are students of America, from Buckminster Fuller on, have recognized is not the case. We’ve gone from a village idiot to a major domo, and the only constants are three:
1) Wall Street and Goldman Sachs specifically continues to run and manipulate the US Treasury against the public interest.
2) Congress continues to abdicate its responsibility to its constituencies and the Constitution
3) The bulk of the American people remain uninformed sheep.
The ten books below are intended for those of you that want to move beyond Dick Morris as the classic comic book version of the truth, and into the deeper truth that should inspire Constitutionally-valid actions to restore the sovereignty of We the People of the United STATES of America. You cannot fix what you do not understand. Obama is a tool, not the problem. If Obama were willing to break free of Wall Street and embrace the 70% of America that did not vote for him, he could actually become the George Washington of this century if not this millenium.
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by restoring the Constitution and the sovereignty of We the People. The Electoral Reform Act of 2009, blowing open the crooked two-party system to Independents, Greens, Reforms, and Libertarians, and all others, is the ONLY thing we need to understand and demand. Below I offer five books on each side of the future:
The latter book makes it crystal clear–and the same is true in Canada for Quebec and others–that secession is a legal, non-violent, absolute right of each of the United STATES of America. Wall Street is literally creating a “fire sale” in the USA while moving all of its assets into foreign currencies. Just how stupid do We the People have to be?
Dick Morris is a good man, but he is a clown in this circus, and if all do not focus right now on the misbehavior of the government at large, violating the Constitution every day, not acting in the public interest as We the People would define it, then the USA will break up as the Soviet Union did, within the decade.
Scambled Brains, Good Tid-Bits Served in a Trash Can, August 9, 2008
Dick Morris is without question one of the most gifted observers of the US scene. He is also one of the laziest.
I no longer pay for his books, having learned that he is the intellectual equivalent of a chef that serves his food in a trash can, but a friend had it, I borrowed it, and with the sense of discomfort that comes from eating out of a trash can, here are a few thoughts.
1) This is another formula book in which 1,000 news items are lined up, darts are thrown, and rhetorical diarrhea comes out. Individually, the items are both well-known to those that read a lot, and very fine for those that do not.
2) This is also a book that puts stuff out in an unbalanced manner, ranting and railing on one thing without noting that we are equally guilty of “the other thing” that is not mentioned. See my chapter notes below.
3) This is an online-source book, the equivalent of a comic book, drawing exclusively from online sources and using so many “ibids” in the notes (not that people who buy such a book would need or both with the notes) as to be irritating.
Here are the chapters with one line comments. I end with an outline of the book I would enjoy helping Dick Morris write–he is capable of it, he just needs structure, disciple, and a bit more seriousness in his life.
1 President Obama: What Would He Do? Extreme left scary story
* Misses the point: NEITHER of the two clowns have a strategy, a policy matrix (Agriculture, Energy, and Water need to be planned together) or a balanced budget to back up their lies.
2 How the Liberal Media Downplays Terrorism. Absolutely correct–Madeline Albright started the deal.
* Ignores the 25 high crimes by Dick Cheney and the 935 documented lies told to the public to falsely connect terrorism to elective war on Iraq
3 Liberal’s Secret Plan to Muzzle Talk Radio. Yawn
* Misses corruption of mainstream media, lobbying to close down Internet Radio, and breach between conservatives with a philosophical grounding and brains, and talk radio idiots that give all of us a bad name
4 The Do-Nothing Congress. Tars the Democrats.
* Ignores the reality that both parties are evil, corrupt, and lazy.
5 Foreign Companies, American Pensions, and Iranian Bomb. All true.
* Ignores fact that US sells 5 times more proliferation than Russia, 3 times more than UK, we provided Iraq with bio-chem, and “our” government loves 42 of the 44 dictators.
6 The New Lobbyists (for Foreign Interests). Duh.
* Ignores the vastly more corrosive effect of our own lobbyists.
7 The Du-baing of America. Money talks, but the authors exaggerate in their continuing anti-Clinton angst. Dick Cheney, not Bill Clinton, is the main man here.
8 The Plastic Fleece: Credit Card Company Abuse. Duh. 29.9%
* This is only possible because Congress got bought off and eliminated caps. The Bible calls it usury. Advanta, Citi-Bank, Chase, are all under investigation while smart people pay off the principal and tell them to go fish for the usurious interest.
9 Teachers. Duh. You get what you pay for, but this is much much worse–the extreme right is going for charter and church schools to create little me’s, the left is accepting substandard schools, and the smartest kids know that schools are so out of date as to be worthless.
10 Released from Guantanamo, They Kill Again. Please. Try looking at our own prison population, and then be serious about the role of morality in domestic and international standing and efficacy.
11 How Hedge Fund Billionaires Live Off Tax Breaks
*which they paid for because we let them
12 How the Teachers’ Union Rips off its Members
* All Unions are a disgrace and rip off their members.
13 Re-Building Luxury Second Homes in Flood Area at Our Expense. Right on.
* Now try to understand and explain why we continue t o legitimize paving over nature
14 The Subprime Loan Crisis: Why the Greedy are Going Free
* Please. We all know the Feds settle white collar crime at a penny on the dollar. This is news?
15 How Halliburton Rips Off the Pentagon
* Please. 9-11 missile allegedly destroyed the computers with the forensic evidence of the 2.3 trillion Rumsfeld could not account for; Dick Cheney ordered to sole source for Halliburton and sent Paul Bremer in to stop a “premature” withdrawal of US forces until Halliburton was done looting
16 Blocking Toys that Poison Children from China. Duh.
* What about fair trade versus free trade, end of Big Box Swindle stores like Wal-Mart, etcetera?
17 How Company Bill Clinton Works for Fleeces the Vulnerable Elderly. More angst, need therapy.
* Reality is that the federal government is ripping everybody off, to the point that Buffet, Bogle, and Soros are actually worried that Wall Street corruption has gone too far
18 From Movie Lights to Lighting Up: How Films Induce Teens to Smoke. So tired its dead.
* What about success of abstinence and safe sex, the actual REDUCTION of teen smoking, the new-found teen appreciation for body building?
Dick Morris is gifted, and he sells his gifts in ways that bring in money from the light weight minds. Here’s the book he could write before November:
Part I: Strategy for Restoring the Republic
Part II: How Wall Street and Government Profit from Each of the Ten High-Level Threats to Humanity
Part III: How We the People Can Restore Public Interest Across the Twelve Policy Domains
Part IV: How We the People Can Build and Play the EarthGame and Operate Spaceship Earth Without Government and Corporate Corruption
Learn more at Earth Intelligence Network. Dick, you know where to find me. Try being a grown-up.
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.
I read a lot. I think strategically and am in the process of developing a holistic approach to the ten high-level threats to humanity, the twelve policies needed to deal with them, and the eight challengers (all with huge populations). It is in that context that I see this book as a hysterical, incoherent, badly written kludge of hot button issues summarized from Internet searches and Op-Eds. I went through the footnotes and while I may have missed one or two, I could not find a single BOOK–not a single one. This is hyped out of context garbage.
This is incomplete, inauthentic, and incoherent. It does not propose solutions. This author cannot add and is incapable of putting together a balanced sustainable budget. See the list below for more thoughtful books.
On pharmaceuticals, the author rails against the industry’s successful lobbying that prevented the US Government from negotiating for reduced prices, but completely misses the larger context: that health care is a four-part solution of lifestyle, environment, alternative or natural cures, and–last and least–medical remediation. He is also evidently unaware that units that sell for $600 in the US and $60 in Canada sell for $6 everywhere else, and we can eliminate the forecasted unfunded future obligations for Medicare overnight.
He lists Cuba as a sponsor for terror. As I reviwed this book I thought to myself, “fired by the left, pandering to the right.” This is not a pretty piece of work, and it is almost pathetic in its ranting.
There is no mention in this book that I could find of the two issues that really matter: restoration of the Constitution, and electoral reform to restore We the People as sovereign.
The author(s) try to end on the cute note that Outrage is better than Cynicism, but I find nothing in this book that contributes to a more measured strategic executable program.
This book is second-hand hype, and largely worthless to any serious discussion. I have put it away, never to be looked at again, and washed my hands after doing so.
See my lists on democracy and on transpartisanship for more serious reading. A few books that are head and shoulders above this one:
After seening and reviewing Fahrenhyte 9/11, I chanced upon this film and watched it. It is deceiving and insubstantial. As the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, including most of the important books about national security, 9/11, oil, and terrorism, I have to state there are exactly TWO points of truth in this shallow stupid little film:
1) the photo of Bush reading a book upside down was a fabrication, Bush was actually listening.
2) Clinton blew it. Correct. Madeline Albright will go down in history for refusing to let her staff report terrorism honestly, and Tony Lake will go down in history for failing to get it right. It bears mention that then Commandant of the Marine Corps Al Gray did get it right, in his article “Global Intelligence Challenges of the 1990’s” published in the fall of 1988, but no one wanted to listen.
I am impressed by the teacher of color who was in charge of the classroom that day, recounting how she felt Bush was truly presidential, and wise not to add to the panic by rushing out of the room. Absolutely. Good point.
The rest of this extreme rightist propaganda tract is totally disconnected from reality and the truth. The movie claims that Gore lost because of Nader, and completely ignores the hard documented proof that the Florida leeadership acted to disenfranchise over 35,000 people of color, one reason that the Bush family was so confident, in advance, of victory in Florida. This trashy film fails to address the many angry Representatives and the inert Senate, including Gore, who failed to use the power of Congress to redress the impeachable wrong done to America in 2000 (and again, this time in Ohio, in 2004).
Anything that features snap-shots of Ann Coulter is very likely to be loosely related to the truth, reality, or the public interest.
I am glad I watched this film, because it reconfirms my gravest fears–the extreme right in America now has a propaganda machine more powerful that Hitler’s, and a brainwashed following more lethal than the Hilter Youth. This is seriously troubing stuff.
I gave Moore four stars, one star down for being too glib by half. That’s an honest assessment. This shallow little movie gets two stars, and both of those are for reflecting what is in the small minds of the nutty right.