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.
Posted at Buzzflash on Feb. 23, 2008

The 11th Hour (DVD)

How bad are things? Worse than you ever could have imagined.How good can they become? Better than you ever could have imagined.Al Gore's film is about global warming and the life of Al Gore. Leonardo DiCaprio's new movie, "The 11th Hour," is about Everything.
Posted at Buzzflash on Dec. 5, 2007

The Trial' By Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka is one of the most complex writers of the past two centuries. Chronically disabled by health problems that may have arisen from his partnership in an asbestos company (or simply may have been TB and a weak constitution), he died just a month before his 41st birthday, leaving behind a large collection of unpublished and often-fragmentary works. Most of his fame as an author came after his death, when, against his wishes, his friend Max Brod -- to whom he'd entrusted his manuscripts before his death -- cleaned up a few, reassembled others, and published several, including "The Trial."
Posted at Buzzflash on Dec. 4, 2007

Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side By Clive Stafford Smith

If you were to ask the average American where the people currently being held in the US-run Guantanamo Bay concentration camps came from, most would tell you that they were Al Qaeda "fighters" who had been "captured on the battlefield." This myth has been repeated over and over again during the past six years -- and it's just that, a myth.
Posted at Buzzflash on Oct. 20, 2007

Edward J. Larson's 'A Magnificent Catastrophe': Thom Hartmann's Independent Thinker Book of the Month Review

One of the most startling things we learn from history is how little we've learned -- and how often that failure to learn causes history to repeat itself. The election of 2008 may well -- depending on who is the Democratic nominee -- end up being a startling replay of the election of 1800. In that election, Thomas Jefferson, who along with James Madison founded what is today's modern Democratic Party (known then as the Republican Party), challenged sitting president and ardent conservative Federalist (what today would be called "Republican") John Adams.
Posted at Buzzflash on Sep. 30, 2007

A Brief History of Neoliberalism By David Harvey.

Here's the bad news - most Americans don't know what "neoliberalism" is.But the good news is that David Harvey has written the most brilliant, concise, and clear history of neoliberalism I've ever found. It should be required reading in every civics class in high-school and college in America, and everybody who votes or considers themselves informed about politics and economics (and the intersection of the two) should have a dog-eared copy next to their bed or favorite chair for regular re-reading.
Posted at Buzzflash on Aug. 24, 2007

The Tin Roof Blowdown By James Lee Burke.

James Lee Burke is, in my humble opinion, the best living writer in America. He's the Hemingway of our generation. One of my most valued possessions is a first edition of Purple Cane Road, one of his Dave Robicheaux novels. My son-in-law's father walked down the street to his friend Burke's house and asked him to autograph it to me as a Christmas gift.