August 8, 2005

What's The Dope Reading?

The answer to that question (which nobody asked) is:

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves -- Lynne Truss
A very witty and interesting account of the history and correct usage of punctuation. (no guarantee I learned anything however.)

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man -- John Perkins
A chilling and rather alarming account of a person who was in the midst of the empire building apparatus of the corporatacracy and world financial institutions which dominates the world through their Mafia-like tactics.

Perkins details how the intersection between global banking, corporations, and government set out to create a global empire by the use of enormous loans to developing countries from the World Bank and others, in exchange for U.S. engineering and construction companies such as Brown & Root, Bechtel, and Haliburton getting literally billions of dollars of profit from building electrical grids, port facilities, roads and other infrastructure. The country can never repay these enormous loans, but no one cares, as the elite of the poor countries get enormously wealthy, as do the U.S. contractors. And when the countries default, the World Bank and others step in to dictate how they must run their economies.

It amounts to Mafia loan sharks lending money to a strapped business owner, and then taking the business from them when they can't pay back the loan. The result is that the indiginous people of these areas suffer incredibly and the destruction of the environment and the wholesale plunder of their resources is relentless and total.

A highly recommended read for an insight into how rampant greed by a handful of powerful figures is shaping the modern world and spreading intense hatred for the US around the globe.

Perkins explains the dealings behind propping up the Saudis, the root of Bush's obsession with invading Iraq, and the role of the Bush family in this empire building for decades, the completely illegal and immoral invasion of Panama, the CIA assasinations of Omar Trujillo in Panama and several other Latin and South American democratically elected leaders who threated to stand up to the oil, mining, and banking industries, and much more.

A cautionary plea for us to change this system of destruction and conquest before it's too late.

Bushworld -- Maureen Dowd
A collection of Dowd columns from the New York Times focusing on the bizzaro world of the Bush era.

How America Lost Iraq -- Aaron Glantz

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdock's War on Journalism -- Alexandra Kitty

The Bush Betrayal -- James Bovard

Larceny and Old Leather: The Mischievious Legacy of Major League Baseball -- Eldon Ham

Boss Tweed : The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York -- Kenneth D. Ackerman
A fascinating account of probably one of the most corrupt, yet effective, politicians of our time and his ultimate destruction.


At 8/08/2005 11:18 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Frankly Dope I'm so sick and tired of Bush being our President I would rather not pay that much attention until we get an elected President that is a real person.
Not a phony pretend cowboy./texan.

At 8/08/2005 8:02 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Hey Dope, I just saw "Roger and Me" on cable TV recently. It was a walk down memory lane with one of our best docudrama artists Michael Moore.

Of course he has his books too which are great but the films are so fun to watch. Sad, but yes, he does kind of put a light onto that which is evil and trying to hide.....

In this case, Roger Smith who spoke out of both sides of his mouth and during the Christmas holiday too -- wow. I had forgotten how badly Flint had been treated by GM and then how unprepared the UAW was for that whole scene.

I believe that the AFL-CIO needs to watch that little film as an educational assignment.

At 8/09/2005 12:00 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Moore also has a follow-up video to "Roger and Me" called "Pets or Meat", named after the memorable scene in "Roger and Me" where Moore interviews the woman who is trying to make ends meet by raising and selling rabbits. Her sign read "Rabbits for sale, pets or meat."

At 8/09/2005 6:48 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Yes Dope, that lady was sad in the clip we viewed-- as all she wanted to do was make a living.

She was doing exactly what the Republicans want all Americans to do except she did not have enough money to find a way around the system.

That is a true illustration of why the platform the Republicans stand on is weak. They have absolutely no idea what it's like to be poor and to want to just get through the day and feed your family.

Since money is plentiful to most Republicans, they have no concept of how to get along without it.

There's a social experiment in a conference I attended years ago where each participant is given a scenario something like this:

You just lost your job and are suddenly poor with no money and a family to feed. How do you find a way to live in public housing and get X$ in cash and food stamp assistance?

Each person is given a slightly different situation - some get unemployment, some don't - some have 1 child others 6 or so. Your packet is somewhat incomplete on purpose to force you to ask questions and then you are given little help whatsoever and told to go from "agency" to "agency" which are in the case of this seminar - persons at tables with a sign. The persons give you the application to fill out and are told not to help you out at all. IF you ask one table where to go next they don't help you - you must figure it out yourself - and wait in line to even do an application or ask a question. The excercise is timed and at exactly 45 minutes it ends whether you are finished getting the government paperwork done or not.

At the end of the seminar all the packets are reviewed by the presenters and discussed. In my case, not one of us was going to be able to feed our families or get a place to live. Most of us did it wrong or missed our appointments or did not make it through all the lines to apply everywhere we had to in order to get help. It was very scary. I went through this and let me tell you -- the Rich have little respect for what the poor have to deal with each day.

They should be made to go through this "fake" poverty excercise just to see just exactly what it is they are constantly critising in their quick soundbytes.

Perhaps it would give them a new perspective?

At 8/09/2005 7:02 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That's a great idea, and yes, all the pompous blow-hard rightists should be required to go through it.

I can barely stand it when I hear people trying to make out those on welfare as somehow having it easy. They're so ignorant of what it's really like.

At 8/09/2005 6:23 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Maybe the Chamber Leadership classes that are all the rage right now should include this as a segment to their training?

A way to understand the difference between their right and left perhaps??

At 8/11/2005 6:35 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Dope, this is quite scary but did you know that there is a book out there people actually purchase called "The O'Reilly Survival guide for Kids"??

Corrupting young minds..... sad


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