Posted at Buzzflash on Mar. 19, 2009

In the Jaws of the Dragon: America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony By Eamonn Fingleton

What if the Japanese never really did “surrender” to us, inasmuch as we think they “adopted” our culture and values after World War II, but instead have been playing us for suckers, angry about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ever since? What if they’re collaborating with the Chinese in creating an Asian sphere of influence – decidedly un-democratic – to rule the world over the next century?
Posted at Buzzflash on Feb. 22, 2009

The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be By Michael Lux

There’s no shortage of excellent histories of the progressive movement, from the beginning of this nation to today. One of the very best of the early Progressive/Revolutionary Era is Harvey Kaye’s “Thomas Paine and the Promise of America,” an earlier one of my BuzzFlash Book of the Month reviews. Others are large and fairly substantial tomes, rich with information, such as several of the writings of Chomsky and Zinn, or Charles and Mary Beard's brilliant (and encyclopedic) 1928 "History of America."
Posted at Buzzflash on Jan. 7, 2009

The Great Crash of 1929 By John Kenneth Galbraith

The Republican Great Depression of 1929-1939 has been an unending source of mystery, fascination, and disinformation for the past four generations. As you’re reading these words, there’s a huge push on by conservative think-tanks and wealthy political activists to reinvent the history, suggesting that Roosevelt prolonged the Depression or that New Deal programs were ineffective. At the same time, folks like David Sirota are valiantly pushing back with actual facts and statistics, showing that Roosevelt’s New Deal was startlingly effective, particularly when compared with the Republican policies of 1920-1929 that formed the bubble that crashed in 1929, and the Republican failures to deal with its consequences during the last three years of the Herbert Hoover administration (1929-1933).
Posted at Buzzflash on Nov. 25, 2008

Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects By Dmitry Orlov

I read two books yesterday. The first was Joseph Tainter’s “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” a dense, profound, and insightful academic/archeological discussion of why civilizations have a stubborn habit of crashing. Following that, I read Dmitry Orlov’s “Reinventing Collapse,” about how the USSR collapsed and how the US is on the verge of doing the same – for many of the same reasons – any day now. What Tainter did for academics and archeology wonks (I confess I’m one), Orlov did for you, me, and Joe The Plumber.
Posted at Buzzflash on Oct. 11, 2008

Blood and Oil (DVD) By Michael Klare

If you want to understand what’s really behind the current goings-on in the former Soviet state of Georgia, immediately buy Michael Klare’s DVD, produced by the Media Education Foundation, “Blood and Oil.”
Posted at Buzzflash on Jul. 14, 2008

"The Bridge at the Edge of the World" -- The Thom Hartmann July "Independent Thinker" Review of the Month

The world’s population, CO2 emissions, and pollution rates are in an almost vertical climb. Half of the world’s tropical and temperate forests are gone. Eighty percent of the world’s fisheries have been decimated. Since the Industrial Revolution over 20,000 species have gone extinct at rates not seen in 65 million years (since the dinosaurs disappeared). Half the wetlands and a third of the world’s mangroves are gone. Twenty percent of the corals are gone and another 20 percent are severely threatened. And the list goes on... These are the current trends and figures concerning our global environmental health. If our culture leaves our environmental policies and practices at the current rate and status, there will be no habitable planet for our grandchildren… period.
Posted at Buzzflash on May. 18, 2008

Darfur Now: Six Stories, One Hope (DVD)

As the title would imply, "Darfur Now" is a movie about the situation in Darfur.Since I returned from the region only a few weeks ago, much of the footage was of tragically familiar scenes - refugees, burned villages, disease, starvation, and the haunting echoes of mass rape and murder. I walked through camps that looked identical to what is in the movie, heard stories from mostly women (the men were either murdered or the few survivors fled) of how their husbands and children were murdered in front of them, and felt the helplessness, anger, and, frankly, fear that the Janjaweed or the Sudanese Army may show up at any moment and begin the killing anew.