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Earl Hazell (New York)

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Mad Hot Ballroom [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Mad Hot Ballroom [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Heather Berman
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 5.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 28 Jan 2006
There is a scene about one third of the way into this brilliant documentary about the more than sixty New York City elementary and middle schools that have organized programs and competitions for salsa, merengue and other ballroom dancing where a young female teacher can no longer hold back her emotions. She speaks directly into the camera while students talk amongst themselves in her classroom. She puts her best, most professional foot forward for the camera, to best express the importance of what she is doing in an honest but demure and educated fashion. But when she thinks about what she is witnessing, more than what she is doing for these children, her heart becomes full and overflows before our eyes. She knows what she has to say is the most important thing for people to get about what she is doing and the entire movie--and maybe her life's work--but she tries to say it without crying, until she realizes she cannot.
She finally loses her polite smile as her lips begin to tremble and says something to the effect of "I'm watching them become ladies and gentlemen..." and the tears begin rolling down her cheeks.
Not to mention mine.
If you ever find a movie that can make you believe in the redemptive power of art, the joyful majesty of dance, the culturally kaleidescopic beauty of New York City and the fact that "the children" really are "the future" simultaneously better or moreso than this film, please e-mail me and tell me the title so I can go and buy it. I had an apatrment in Manhattan about a twenty minute walk uptown from the first school showcased in this documentary MAD HOT BALLROOM, but I can tell you, a person in Des Moine or Chicago--or Beijing, for that matter--will be as deeply touched by this movie as any native New Yorker. Other reviewers have wisely revealed that part of the magic exists in the documentarists making you care about the lives of specific children involved in this. You really have to see the film to see how true that is. But that serves as the vehicle through which we are led to discover how incredible the dance competition is, and how important it is as a cultural phenomenon.
I walked away from this movie feeling this: if the Constitution were set to music, the music would be jazz. But the dance would be merengue!
It is impossible not to see this movie and feel good about life afterwards.


The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception
The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception
by David Corn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.93

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Corn's moral compass to those lost in the Bush wilderness, 28 Jan 2006
"We live in a relativistic culture where television 'reality shows' are staged or stage-managed, where spin sessions and spin doctors are an accepted part of politics…where an aide to President Bush, dismissing reporters who live in the 'reality-based community,' can assert that 'we're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality'...members of the current Bush administration, as Franklin Foer has written in The New Republic, have promoted 'the radically postmodern' view that 'science,' 'objectivity' and 'truth' 'are guises for an ulterior, leftist agenda,' arguing that experts (be they experts on the environment, Medicare or postwar Iraq) 'are so incapable of dispassionate and disinterested analysis that their work doesn't even merit a hearing'...As Deborah Lipstadt, author of DENYING THE HOLOCAUST: THE GROWING ASSAULT ON TRUTH AND MEMORY has argued, the suggestion that no event or fact has a fixed meaning leads to the premise that 'any truth can be retold.' And when people assert that there is no ultimate historical reality, an environment is created in which the testimony of a witness to the Holocaust - like Mr. Wiesel, the author of NIGHT - can actually be questioned..."
Michiko Kakutani
New York Times
"Bending the Truth in a Million Little Ways"
January 17, 2006
"This [neoconservative] focus on reintegrating Iraq into the regional framework of order under US hegemony was no doubt heightened by the fact that Iraq challenged the US monopoly over the oil trade, maintained through the fact that oil transactions occur in US dollars. Since 1971...the dollar has...become the de facto world reserve currency... Overall, since the world economy is fundamentally oil-dependent, this...lends the US a dominant trading advantage...In November 2000, Iraq began trading its oil in euros, and profited handsomely in the process. Iran, Venezuela and Russia--all key oil producers--have also considered and/or moved towards switching to the euro..."
"The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq--or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network conglomerate wants a puppet government in Iraq--is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard and stay that way..."
Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed
and
William Clark
BEHIND THE WAR ON TERROR
From Part Two, Chapter Seven: "False Pretexts"
And quote from
"The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War
with Iraq: a Macroeconomic and
Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth"
Independent Media Center, January, 2003
"[A] very selective history [as compiled here of 19th and 20th century presidents] demonstrates there are many varieties of presidential lies. Some concern grand policy matters, some concern secret government activity...Sissela Bok, the author of LYING: MORAL CHOICE IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE, defines [a lie] simply as "an intentionally deceptive message in the form of a STATEMENT (emphasis his)"...I would propose a slightly different standard for White House occupants. If a President issues a statement, he or she has an obligation to ensure the remark is truthful... It is not enough for a president or White House contender to BELIEVE what he is saying is true; he/she [like scientists, doctors, journalists and other professionals whose careers are built on a basic understanding of honesty, research, integrity and the public trust] should KNOW it to be true--within reasonable standards...Lying in office not only poses a potential risk for [a sitting president], a president who lies is a risk to the nation. He might steer the country into a war under false pretenses. Or, if he comes to be regarded as untruthful by a significant portion of the public, he might fail to rouse the country for military action that is indeed warranted. A liar in the White House is a national security threat."
David Corn
THE LIES OF GEORGE BUSH
From the Introduction
(Published in 2003, before
the start of the Iraq war)
With the recent excruciating interview of James Frey, author of A MILLION LITTLE PIECES on Oprah regarding the dishonesty of selling his truth-based novel as a memoir, and the conversations about the nature of truth & honesty in our society (and its relevance), there has never been, nor will there ever be in my opinion, a better time for the American public to take a courageous look at the total absence of honesty and honor in the Bush Administration: that from which the American culture's current will to equate any statement successfully serving a political agenda or lucrative business endeavor with truth flows.
Many people remember the degree to which Ms. Winfrey openly criticized President Clinton for his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky and the resultant impeachment proceedings on her program. However, her silence regarding the litany of lies coming from the Bush Administration...the appalling absence of critique regarding everything from the issues surrounding his first election (see Greg Palast, THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY) to the WMD/Downing Street Memo scandals...and now the unapologetic illegal wiretapping of American citizens.... Ms. Winfrey's comparative or total silence over the lies, the cost of them to the American economy, American culture and American lives (what is the current body count of our soldiers in Iraq?) and more do more than make the James Freys of the world comfortable with their convenient melding of myth and reality at people's expense. Her ability to create public debate and bring cultural truths to light, combined with her refusal to engage in a substantive public conversation or debate on these all-important topics make her complicit in the eroding of our Constitutional rights and the very nature of not just truth but our democracy as a whole; something billionaires don't often have to worry about but regular people, even in the suburbs, must. Her quiet regarding our President's character and the catastrophic effect it is having on the nation is a greater threat to her integrity than anything James Frey has ever conceived of being.
Like this book or not, agree with it or not, America needs it. Badly. Oprah: the time is now to fulfill your destiny, and protect the soul of your country.


True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor
True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor
by David Mamet
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Sep 2005
"You readers are of a generation that would like to stay in school...You will encounter in your travels folks of your own age who chose the institutional path, who became the arts administrators rather than the writers. These folks chose to serve an institutional authority in exchange for a paycheck, and these folks are going to be with you for the rest of your life, and you actors and writers and people who come up off the street, who live without certainty day to day and year to year are going to have to bear with being called children by these institutional types...It is not childish to live with uncertainty, to devote oneself to a craft rather than a career, to an idea rather than an institution. It's courageous and requres a courage of the order that the institutionally co-opted are ill equipped to perceive. They are so unequipped to perceive it that they can only call it childish, and so excuse their exploitation of you.
"...Any system built on belief functions through the operations of guilt and hypocrisy. Such a system, whether of acting training, meditation, self-improvement, etc., functions as a psuedo-religion, and is predicated on the individual's knowledge of his or her own worthlessness. The system holds itself out as the alleviator, cleanser, and redeemer of the guilty individual."
"...The Stanislavsky 'Method,' and the techniques of the schools derived from it, is nonsense. It is not a technique out of the practice of which one develops a skill--it is a cult.
"Concetration cannot be forced. It is a survival mechanism and an adaptive mechanism, and it will not stand down and stop making its own connections simply because we'd like it to. Acting, finally, has nothing whatever to do with the ability to concentrate. The ability to concentrate flows naturally from the ability to do something interetsing. Choose something interesting, legitimately intesreting to do, and concentration is not a problem. Choose something less interesting and concetration is impossible.
"...If you decide to become an actor, stick to your decision. The folks you meet in supposed positions of authority--critics, teachers, casting directors--will, in the main, be your intellectual and moral inferiors. They will lack your imagination, which is why they became bureaucrats rather than artists; and they will lack your fortitude, having elected institutional support over a life of self-reliance. They spend their lives learning lessons very different from the ones you learn, and many or most of them will envy you and this envy will express itself as contempt. It's a cheap trick of unhappy people, and if you understand it for what it is, you need not adopt or be overly saddened by their view of you. It is the view of the folks on the verandah talking about the lazy slaves."
David Mamet
Excerpts from
TRUE AND FALSE
Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor
This book was written for actors.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2013 3:41 PM BST


Big Oil Bush and the Destruction of the Planet
Big Oil Bush and the Destruction of the Planet
by Linda McQuaig
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Wake-Up Call: real democracy vs. modern capitalism, 8 Aug 2005
"We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of the world's population...In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task...to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security...We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization...the less we are hampered by idealistic slogas, the better."
George Kennan
US State Department
Policy Planning Staff
Excerpts of de-Classified Memo, 1948
"The state-sponsored schools will never tell you this, but governments routinely rely on hoaxes to sell their agendas to an otherise reluctant public. The Romans accepted the Emperors and the Germans accepted Hitler not because they wanted to, but because their carefully crafted illusions of threat appeared to give them no other choice."
Michael Rivero
FAKE TERROR: THE ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP
"Naturally the common people don't want war...That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who detremine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along...All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
Herman Goering
Germany, Third Reich
During his trial at Nuremburg
before he was hanged
As someone who gets to travel a great deal as part of my career, the first thing I think people should know about this book is not the "opinions" regarding the "left-wing" leanings of the author or the "right-wing" leanings of those who are offended by it. As, like it or not, there are still things called evidence, fact and objective truth in the world, a person could easily be led astray as to what significance this book has by looking at it from an *opinion* perspective without the clarity of context. In fact, the three things people should know about this book by Linda McQuaig is the following, in order of importance:
3) The United States Freedom of Information Act of 1975 has made all kinds of otherwise classified documents of the Pentagon and earlier Presidential administrations available to any historians or investigative journalists with the actual interest of knowing just how the world has worked in the past and continues to work for those running it today. McQuaig's source material is not a collection of out of touch flower-child opinions gained from smoking too much pot and listening to too much Jimi Hendrix, nor a metaphoric use of a Freudian projection/transference regarding some undistinguished paternal child abuse. It is these Pentagon papers--political, economic and military in nature--combined with the truism of Iraq's oil fields being second in volume of product only to Saudi Arabia's in the world, and the agenda of the current American administration (which has been in the world news for several years now) that form the basis of her research and source material.
2) Dr. Noam Chomsky, head of linguistics and philosophy at MIT; considered one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th and 21st century since Einstein; a man whose books--the latest being HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL--routinely make the bestseller's list of papers around the world, despite his total censorship from American newspapers and television, has given this book the most impassioned review I have personally ever heard or read him give anything. This includes the work of some of his best friends, like Howard Zinn (A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES) and the late Edward Said (ORIENTALISM). Most authors of "the dissident literature," like Ahrundati Roy, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Tanya Reinhart and William Blum are happy with a kind blurb on their books from Chomsky, the Godfather of speaking truth to power. They are honored, in fact, by a blurb with ten percent of the passion with which he has reviewed this book by McQuaig.
And most importantly:
1) THIS BOOK IS NOT AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES. Not even the American Amazon.com, or the British Amazon.co.uk will sell it. It has been listed as "not yet published" for months on both sites, despite it selling strong and being nearly ready for a second printing in Canada where I found it. (I discovered IT'S THE CRUDE DUDE in a bookstore while on business in Toronto a couple of months ago; otherwise I would have never heard of it--and that's someone from New York City. Imagine the chance of Des Moines, Iowa or Lexington, Kentucky ever even hearing of this.) Not even Gore Vidal has experienced censorship in his homeland to this degree. Without the Information society's computers most Americans without frequent flyer miles out the wazoo wouldn't even know McQuaig exists. Acknowledge this: IT'S THE CRUDE DUDE, much like debate on its subject matter in even the most trivial of ways during this Iraq war, is effectively censored from the one population of voters (Americans) who, in an actual democracy, could effect change on the world policies she blisteringly analyses if they knew both its contents and the consequences of ignoring them.
Could it be possible that what we call democracy and globalization is really just window dressing and social control through docility, draping over the 15th century feudalism that really runs the world?
And could that be pushing us all toward an apocalyptic return to that violent age in every way, when the oil of the world runs out?
Buy this book. Read it. Be afraid. Then don't just stand there; do something.


We Can't Go Home Again: An Argument About Afrocentrism
We Can't Go Home Again: An Argument About Afrocentrism
by Clarence E. Walker
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Theology of the dominant class combined w/cultural criticism, 10 July 2005
"A SCIENTIFIC revolution, according to Kuhn [the scientist/linguist author of THE THEORY OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS], is not simply an addition to pre-existing knowledge. It is, within any field, 'a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals'; a complete demolition of an old theoretical and conceptual structure and its replacement by a new one based on entirely different aims and premises. The old paradigm...attacked from the outside...cannot be defeated on the basis of its own rules for, as we have seen...these rules are not only inadequate to solve new problems which have begun to arise--THEY ACTUALLY PRECLUDE ANY DISCUSSION OF THESE PROBLEMS AT ALL."
Dr. Chris Knight, London
From BLOOD RELATIONS:
MENSTRUATION AND THE ORIGINS OF CULTURE
"Unable to detect any contradiction in the formal statements of the Ancients after an objective confrontation with total Egyptian reality, and consequently unable to disprove them, they either give them the silent treatment or reject them dogmatically and indignantly. They express regret that people as normal as the ancient Egyptians could have made so grievous an error and thus create so many difficulties and delicate problems for modern specialists. Next they try in vain to find a White origin for Egyptian civilization. They finally become mired down in their own contradictions...after performing intellectual acrobatics as learned as they are unwarranted. They then repeat the initial dogma...the White origin of Egyptian civilization.
"...Egyptians themselves--who should surely be better qualified than anyone to speak of their origin--recognize without ambiguity that their ancestors came from Nubia and the heart of Africa."
Chek Anta Diop
THE AFRICAN ORIGIN OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
From Chapter Three, "Modern Falsification of History"
and
Chapter Seven, "Arguments for a Negro Origin"
This seemingly balanced look at the psycho-cultural history of Afrocentricity still shares with its more latently racist precursors one undeniable fact, when looking at history through the lens of science: they are all eerily reminiscent of the Biblical scholars and human biology scientists who brutally attacked Darwin in the mid 19th century, and the Newtonian physicists who joyfully and artfully dismissed the work of the postal clerk Einstein in the beginning of the 20th.
Dare to compare...and see if I'm right.
Compare this book to Chek Anta Diop's THE AFRICAN ORIGIN OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, the archetypal lightning rod for Eurocentric criticism. Walker in HOME AGAIN clearly puts the underqualified "Amen" chorus of Afrocentricity on notice. However, this still does nothing to Diop, regarding the scientific basis of his work and the paradigmatic shift away from the corrupted integrity of Classicism it instigates.
Consider the following:
=Does Walker believe an "absence of evidence" (i.e. an absence of scholarly work on ancient African comparative linguistics that fortifies a preexisting Afrocentric theory about Egyptian/African cultures) "equals the evidence of absence" (i.e. equals proof that the post-Egyptian African cultures were not "racially" derivative of the more ancient African cultures of the Nile Valley [in the way the similarities of the ancient Greek, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French languages show their "Indo-European" origins])?
And does he believe secretly relying on THAT childish postulate to disprove an "African" influence on "Indo-European" cultures via Egypt is somehow good enough science, freeing him to talk about race relations and politics?
=How is it, really, that there are no comparative linguistics studies of the sub-Saharan African languages and Coptic, Demotic, or the most ancient Egyptian written in hieroglyphs for Walker to refer to (as Egypt is, geographically, a northeast African country)? Do they really not exist at all, or do they simply not support his point of view, therefore undermining the credibility of his thesis?
censorship
=Why are the startling similarities (to say the least) of the Greek mythological pantheon and the older Egyptian systematically ignored in both Biblical and ancient literature studies within the Classicist's paradigm? (Like, for example, the names Athena and Athens ["Athene"] proven to be derived from the Egyptian goddess Neith ["Nth"], the sophisticated worship of whom predates Greece as a culture by more than two thousand years?)
=What are Walker's credentials in archaeology, anthropology, linguistics or the applied physical sciences?
demagogue
And why is it that his fan base in predominantly sociological academia (and of course, reactionary American politics) sees no reason to even ASK this question?
Only Diop's work truly answers these questions, revealing their unavoidable implications.
Diop breaks AFRICAN ORIGIN into the following chapters:
I- Preface: The Meaning of our Work
1) What were the Egyptians?
2) Birth of the Negro Myth
3) Modern Falsification of History
4) Could Egyptian Civilization have originated in the Delta?
5) Could Egyptian Civilization Be of Asian Origin?
6) The Egyptian Race as Seen and Treated by Anthropologists
7) Arguments Supporting a Negro Origin
8) Arguments Opposing a Negro Origin
9) Peopling of Africa from the Nile Valley
10) Political and Social Evolution of Ancient Egypt
11) Contribution of Ethiopian-Nubia and Egypt
12) Reply to a Critic
13) Early History of Humanity: Evolution of the Black World
II- Conclusion
The paradigm-shifting, scientific foundation of Afrocentricity is, in part, instituting a Freudian projection/transference from the intellectual institutions of Euro-American, Imperialist/Plantation-era capitalism: that which is the economic foundation of the modern "globalized" world. This is for which almost the entirety of Classicism is but an apologetic (as it was essentially designed to be); much like *craniometry* also was for the American Slavery and Jim Crow centuries that accompanied it (a "science" often equally heralded by 19th and early 20th century racist intellectuals before being discredited in this oh so pure academic world of ours). The evidence of this dynamic is, partly, the irrational celebration of underanalysed books like this. Galileos of ancient history, like the 19th century pre-Jungian mythographer Gerald Massey (ANCIENT EGYPT, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD; BOOK OF BEGINNINGS) and the 20th century African physicist/linguist Diop are said to herald a paradoxical return to Nazism (?), where non-scientific political essays like Walker's book are celebrated as the Gospel. WE CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN is Aryan theology masquerading as African-American historiography, masquerading as science.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2014 11:34 AM GMT


Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
by Ned Hallowell
Edition: Paperback

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mind blower made for those who think they know ADD, 31 May 2005
Not since William Dufty's SUGAR BLUES have I ever read a book that has answered virtually every unanswered question I have had, and every painful mystery about the contradictory facts of life: regarding everything from the nature of modern society to stupid habits I cannot seem to let go of in my personal life; the actual non-emotional source of my brilliant son's troubles in school to the secret architect of my intimate relationships with women throughout my adulthood.
This book is not written for people who have never heard of Attention Deficit Disorder. This book is written--no, this book is a profound blessing--to people like me: people who have heard of it for quite some time, have children or family members or friends with it, and think because of such they actually know what it is, or what it does. People like me, who despite the facts above never consider, because they do not know what it really is, that they may have it themselves. My view of the stereotype of ADD and its stereotypically affected subculture (children with other neurological or educational differences in suburbia and the inner city) does not even begin to fully explain the most obvious and trivial of symptoms, let alone the actual racial and socioeconomic diversity of adults AND children who may be suffering with it, and for how long--in this generation and the many before us (like those of our parents and grandparents).
=For example, consider this enlightening and disturbing fact that could change one's entire view of the morality of the American criminal justice system: the brain of a person with ADD functions in an entirely different way than those without it, and as such is affected in an entirely different way by the use of illegal drugs. While "regular" people search for the high received by Marijuana, the relaxation of inhibitions by alcohol or the stimulus from Cocaine, those with ADD develop the ability not just to finally relax but also to CONCENTRATE; to FOCUS their minds and organize both their thoughts and their life--and subsequently their emotions--in a way the condition will not allow them to otherwise when they get high. In other words, as 10-15% of the population of major cities across America may have ADD (the busy lifestyle we tend to be attracted to), at the very least 25% of the prison population--people who got there because of their purchase and use of illegal drugs (like crack)--*were intuitively self-medicating for a disorder they did not and still do not know they have*. This is what the white kids with ADD in suburbia getting a slap on the wrist for what the black kids in the ghetto with ADD are going to prison for are BOTH doing, when they continuously experiment with illegal drugs.
Which means, the TREATMENT over INCARCERATION argument in the "war on drugs" has more scientific validity than anyone in the booming prison industry, with all its congressional lobbyists, would ever admit; particularly when our more dysfunctional and often morally repugnant laws are being enforced.
=Consider also that people with ADD also get addicted to simple sugars and carbohydrates for the same or similar reasons...and this could be partly behind the boom of obesity in America.
=Then consider how routinely ADD is diagnosed in pre-pubescent boys (particularly those of color) but not in women and girls. And then take another look at everything from the constant worry of girls falling behind boys in science and mathematics in school (and the sexist mythology often associated with the explanations for it), to the rising rate of obesity and eating disorders amongst women as opposed to men...
The implications of this disorder's effect on our modern world however will still be thunder to the lightning affect of seeing how ADD just might explain the Hyde side of every Dr. Jekyll in your personal life--including yourself--under the surface of drug addictions, antisocial personality quirks, narcissism, verbal abuse, scholastic and professional underachievement and emotionally codependent & adulterous intimate relationships. I have had the experience of talking to several therapists (psychologists) over my adult life; read dozens of self-help books from Eric Berne to Nathaniel Branden to Melodie Beattie to Marianne Williamson to Ilanya Vanzant; scoured through much of the work of Freud and Jung and those influenced by them, including Joseph Campbell...all of them, particularly the psychologists, opened my eyes to significant ideas, perspectives and literature (like the work of the incredible Alice Miller, for example). ALL of it, however, and all of psychologists, missed this fundamental medical/neurological perspective, which gets to the root of all my problems AND my gifts simultaneously unlike anything I have ever seen.
If you have any of the personality traits or life experiences the likes of which have been referred to in codependency theory, chemical addiction, underachievement (or just the strange, inexplicable feeling, as it goes against the evidence of your actual career/life successes, that you're still a failure in disguise), chronic depression, dyslexia associated reading & comprehension difficulties and the like (not to mention the wealth of racist, sexist and moralistic pseudo-scientific literature that speak in subtle but primitive terms of your innate criminality or inferiority; or just plain "sinful nature")...be prepared for the Galileo experience of your life. This book made me and the woman I love repeatedly burst into tears, as every chapter revealed a crucial but mysteriously painful aspect of our mutual childhoods, family and personal lives that we tried to forget, but now understand.
The funniest thing: I first heard of the book more than seven years ago, and never got around to picking it up.
Was too distracted!
This book may have saved my life.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2012 11:51 AM GMT


The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
by Paulo Coelho
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, simple and inspiring: a work of art, 31 May 2005
"Finally, a young woman approached who was not dressed in black... The boy approached her to ask about the alchemist. At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged with him. When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were posed between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke--the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert... It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing...when you know that language, it's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant...Without love, one's dreams would have no meaning...
"'I'm coming, Fatima,' he said."
Paulo Coelho
Excerpt from THE ALCHEMIST
In much the same way the greatest artists of all time need no introduction, this book would only be defiled by a detailed review. I read it while on a Greyhound bus going through the Midwest, and about twenty minutes after I finished it, gasping for breath as if I had both run a marathon and gotten the birthday surprise of my life, starting reading the entire book again. I read about three or four books a month and have been doing so for most of the past twenty years, and this is unequivocally one of the best books I have ever read, fiction or non-fiction.
In short, where the majestic gifts of my favorite writer Toni Morrison or her few equals make me want to write a poem after I complete their work (and I am a writer myself), this book by the genius Paulo Coehlo of Brazil, as soon as I put it down, made me want to BE one.
God bless him.


Plan of Attack: The Road to War
Plan of Attack: The Road to War
by Bob Woodward
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Woodward is now the Isaac Newton to Nafeez Ahmed's Einstein, 12 Nov 2004
The lionization of Robert Woodward since Watergate, while earned, has become woefully exaggerated in the 21st century. The new Bob Woodwards, practicing real life-altering investigative journalism, are now being ignored by him; just as he was in the early 70s by the reporters in Nixon's back pocket. Woodward's book PLAN OF ATTACK in that context, is, like all of his books, well-written. But, like ten percent real penicillin in a world where only full strength will cure a disease, the facts he leaves out--purposely--are frightening.Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed
BEHIND THE WAR ON TERROR
From P>Woodward gives an insider's look at the seemingly intimate struggles of the Bush, Jr. Administration over Iraq. But as he is definitively a political insider now, with clout to protect, Ahmed, an established outsider, forces us to question the very relevancy and legitimacy of Woodward's entire perspective in a way with which he could never be comfortable. Woodward essentially gives us investigative journalism-lite*. Ahmed gives us straight, no chaser, investigative scholarship, the likes of which can only demand a paradigm shift in one's perception of modern government, regardless of how you choose to reinterpret his fact-finding when you put the book down. If you've ever wondered what the Catholic bishops must have felt when reading the work of Galileo for the first time, or the Protestant community of the 19th century reading the work of Darwin, or what the Newtonian physics scientific community felt seeing Einstein prove his point about relativity, unlike Woodward (now the Newton to Ahmed's Einstein), the scholarship of Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed will let you know in perhaps the most politically frightening way possible.
In the end, whether or not you choose to follow Ahmed to the end of his theories, you will be left with a totally new understanding of the raison d'etre of both modern history and modern war. If you didn't know that FDR knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor because he set America up to be bombed in 1941, in order to get the isolationist-minded American populace to join World War Two--and how he did it--you will learn with Ahmed. If you didn't know that there were plans in the military of terrorizing and even killing American citizens in Miami and throughout Florida in such a way that it would look like Castro's military did it, to justify an American invasion of Cuba in 1962, you will learn with Ahmed. If you didn't know that the total absence of any military response to the hijacking of American planes before they hit the World Trade Center on September 11th is something that has NEVER happened before in FAA or military history, you will learn with Ahmed. If you had no idea of the unusual and otherwise inexplicably heavy trade on the stock market that took place days before September 11th regarding Airline and oil stocks, you will learn with Ahmed.
And if you can find a way to digest all of that, plus
1) hundreds of other provable historical/foreign policy facts of the European/American 20th Century from a plethora of credible sources--in and out of America--he brings to light, revealing a unified and unchanged philosophy of government and power,
2) the political/economic agendas behind the secret psychological architecture of modern day war explained with amazing clarity,
3) the revealing of our current Administration's relationship with International Oil cartels for the past three generations, and
4) the seemingly infinite number of both otherwise inexplicable anamolies AND
examples of unprecedented ineptitude regarding both the intelligence community
and the military's failure to prevent 9/11 from happening,
WITHOUT coming to the same conclusions Ahmed does...than God bless you.
I cannot.
Iraq is just a little bit bigger than Saddam Hussein. And the refusal of the American media to reveal the nature of the global, humanitarian/genocidal scandals of this administration makes it a corrupt institution beyond salvaging. Woodward's PLAN OF ATTACK is essentially an apologia to the Bush II administration, to true investigative journalism he once iconically symbolized, and to modern "courtier" journalism (as Cornel West so politely called the new American whorehouse of the far Right) that is now called the news, simultaneously. As such, the divided loyalties inherent in the book's construction definitively obscure and cheapen the content's intrinsic relevance.
WAR ON FREEDOM (which explains why exactly 9/11 happened, and how) and BEHIND THE WAR ON TERROR (which explains exactly why we really invaded Iraq years later) by Ahmed are the real books every American needs to read, in order to save our Nation's soul--the soul Woodward seems to have sold with PLAN OF ATTACK for the benefit of controlling his now tenuous reputation in journalistic history.
Read all three books, and come to your own conclusions.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2012 11:55 AM BST


Behind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy and the Struggle for Iraq
Behind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy and the Struggle for Iraq
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.78

14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Summa Theologica of Satanic Imperialism: Ahmed is a hero, 12 Nov 2004
"A SCIENTIFIC revolution, according to Kuhn [the scientist/linguist author of THE THEORY OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS], is not simply an addition to pre-existing knowledge. It is, within any field, 'a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals'; a complete demolition of an old theoretical and conceptual structure and its replacement by a new one based on entirely different aims and premises. The old paradigm...attacked from the outside...cannot be defeated on the basis of its own rules for, as we have seen...these rules are not only inadequate to solve new problems which have begun to arise--THEY ACTUALLY PRECLUDE ANY DISCUSSION OF THESE PROBLEMS AT ALL."
Dr. Chris Knight, London
From BLOOD RELATIONS:
MENSTRUATION AND THE ORIGINS OF CULTURE
"[A] very selective history [as compiled here of 19th and 20th century presidents] demonstrates there are many varieties of presidential lies. Some concern grand policy matters, some concern secret government activity...Sissela Bok, the author of LYING: MORAL CHOICE IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LIFE, defines [a lie] simply as "an intentionally deceptive message in the form of a STATEMENT (emphasis his)"...I would propose a slightly different standard for White House occupants. If a President issues a statement, he or she has an obligation to ensure the remark is truthful... It is not enough for a president or White House contender to BELIEVE what he is saying is true; he/she [like scientists, doctors, journalists and other professionals whose careers are built on a basic understanding of honesty, research, integrity and the public trust] should KNOW it to be true--within reasonable standards...Lying in office not only poses a potential risk for [a sitting president], a president who lies is a risk to the nation. He might steer the country into a war under false pretenses. Or, if he comes to be regarded as untruthful by a significant portion of the public, he might fail to rouse the country for military action that is indeed warranted. A liar in the White House is a national security threat."
David Corn
THE LIES OF GEORGE BUSH
From the Introduction
(Published in 2003, before
the start of the Iraq war)
"This [neoconservative] focus on reintergrating Iraq into the regional framework of order under US hegemony was no doubt heightened by the fact that Iraq challenged the US monopoly over the oil trade, maintained through the fact that oil transactions occur in US dollars. Since 1971...the dollar has...become the de facto world reserve currency... Overall, since the world economy is fundamentally oil-dependent, this...lends the US a dominant trading advantage...In November 2000, Iraq began trading its oil in euros, and profited handsomely in the process. Iran, Venezuela and Russia--all key oil producers--have also considered and/or moved towards switching to the euro..."
"The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq--or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network conglomerate wants a puppet government in Iraq--is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard and stay that way..."
Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed
BEHIND THE WAR ON TERROR
From Part Two, Chapter Seven: "False Pretexts"
and
Quote by
Wiliam Clark
"The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War
with Iraq: a Macroeconomic and
Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth"
Independent Media Center, January, 2003
"An objective assessment of the 2003 war in Iraq...shows clearly that it was nothing less than a...colonial enterprise, fundamentally opposed to elementary humanitarian principles and motviated by longstanding imperial values."
Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed
BEHIND THE WAR ON TERROR
From the Postscript
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, the Mozart-like prodigy of modern of political analysis, has done it again. Rivalling some of the best of Noam Chomsky, Michel Chussodovsky and Arundhati Roy... definitively making all non-scientific, non-factually based analysis of American foreign policy irrelevant at best, heinously (though ironically) unpatriotic and inhumane at worst... with almost six hundred footnotes rivalling the nearly seven hundred that helped prove his case in THE WAR ON FREEDOM, Ahmed lays the inhumanity of American foreign policy in Iraq bare for any American with the courage to read it, and discover the true nature of its leaders. And, for a world that must prepare its very lives for the worst in us.
COVERT ECONOMIC WARFARE AS INSTIGATOR OF MILITARY ACTION
Of the many painful and unquestionable facts revealed in this monumental book, the most important is the paradigm shift in American foreign policy perception waiting for people; a paradigm shift in perception that happens inevitably with the understanding of this one concept: economic warfare. In much the same way the concept of "emotional incest" dismantles the entire bedrock philosophy of Freudian psychology (where the children are supposedly asking for it), Ahmed shows how the United States, at the end of the Cold War, all but forced Kuwait to manipulate the oil prices in 1990 by dumping oil into the market at half its cost value, effectively bankrupting the Iran-war damaged, oil-based Iraqi economy. This form of overt economic warfare declared by Kuwait--and covertly supported by the US--demanded a response from Saddam Hussein that actually started with his protests in the United Nations (unliek his normally brutal methods)--but led inexorably to military invasion when Kuwait refused to stop as his people were starving, and the UN did nothing. And Hussein's 1991 invasion of Kuwait, as Bush, Sr. knew it would, rationalized a) the invasion of Iraq in 1991, b) the continuance of the military build-up in America after the end of the Cold War, and c) virtually all foreign policy in the Middle East to the present day. The culture killing sanctions--economic warfare part II--came next, and lasted until the present military war. Human life in the Middle East means less than nothing to most of our administration--and not really much here as well, considering the current body count of our soldiers.
I will say no more about this book except this: do not pretend to believe in democracy until you find the moral courage to read it.


Terrorism Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror
Terrorism Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror
by Edward Herman
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The paradigm shift to a rational, moral world perspective, 5 July 2004
"We have wondered why it was that Dr. Savimbi's UNITA in Angola and the Contras in Nicaragua were 'freedom fighters', lionized by...Reagan...whereas our liberation movements such as the African National Congress...were invariably castigated as 'terrorist movements'... We had our suspicions that there was a coherent, well-thought-out policy by the West to exercise a selective morality...This book confirms our suspicions...the 'terrorism industry has been very much needed in the West as a cover for its own activities and crimes'..."
Archibishop Desmond Tutu
Praise for THE TERRORISM INDUSTRY
In the wake of the Madrid bombings of 2004, coming exactly three years and six months after the World Trade Center 9/11 incident, all people, particularly Americans, must develop the stomach to look at the root causes of the terrorism that threatens us all: THE TERRORISM WE SUPPORT and INITIATE. Edward Herman and Gary O'Sullivan have written a diagnosis of the ills of the modern world with this book THE TERRORISM INDUSTRY that becomes a moral issue of dangerous proportions for any rational person to ignore. In this, they uncover the actual definition of terrorism, in contradistinction to the definition that is used by the government and the media, is part of the reason why it continues to exist.
In THE TERRORISM INDUSTRY, you will discover that that which we call the terrorism that justifies the waging of foreign wars and the shredding of the American Bill of Rights makes up little more than ten percent of the actual terrorism that has killed literally millions of (mostly non-White) people around the world. And much of it has been supported by our government, for any number of reasons--making much of the terorism that is inflicted upon ordinary people in the Western world actually blind and frightened acts of revenge, though the American Media will never show it to be such. Building on the analysis of bias and marketable propaganda that is at the core of the Media empires' definition of both news and history in the classic MANUFACTURING CONSENT with Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman develops exactly what his subtitle promises: a complete explication of the experts and institutions that shape our view of terror in the today's world. Long before the avalanche of frightening alternative scholasrhip that is in their bibliography shows you the relationship of Nazism and the British, Australian and American Far Right to the politics of definition of what "terrorism" actually is, it will be all but impossible to see the very way in which we are taught to perceive terror as a conintuation of the colonialist/imperialist policies designed to insure Western hegemony in the world, at the expense of the very democracy we (sometimes) defend at home.
Read this at your own risk. But remember, living in the world as we know it in ignorance is a lot riskier.


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