Search results for: compassionate

Compassionate Conservatism by Marvin Olasky

compassion my assCompassionate Conservatism: what it is, What it does, and How it can Transform America  (2000) by The Free Press (I just hate the way they co-opt words and twist the meanings using free like it is not propaganda.)

This “book” (in the most expansive sense vs. lies, propaganda) with a foreword by Governor George W. Bush [so that pretty much gives you a clue about what I think of the content; note this was pre-debacle presidency]

There is a list of others Olasky wrote or co-wrote so if you want to read some propaganda, just check the titles at the end of this post. And I say propaganda having read CC which is full of religious babble:

p.101 [discussed the abhorrent aberration of Social Darwinism, embraced by government officials who complained that “idleness” and “other forms of vicious indulgence” are “frequently, if not universally, hereditary in character. . . .Vigorous efforts must be instituted to break the line of pauper descent.” He goes on to say that the biblical base opposed Social Darwinism. [things change I think].

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The American Way of Poverty by Sasha Abramsky

book jacket text on cardboard photoThe American Way of Poverty: How the other half still lives by Sasha Abramsky (2013)

The book is full of tales of woe, so much so that you would think that politicians could not ignore such a reality. I considered suggesting sending this book to legislators, but their collective entrenched delusions would not comprehend these stories as FACT. Neither would they see this situation as SYSTEMIC. The few unfortunate cited are exceptions, not the standard way of this great America life, contrasted with their own economically secure collective multimillion dollar personal life experience.

The tyranny of the majority now in government at state and federal levels is deliberately eliminating every possible aspect of the common good. Proudly dismantling the safety net. The stupid people that voted for the monsters remain deluded that they will be better off.

The American Way of Poverty is divided into two parts. Broadly speaking, the first part of the book tells the stories of the impoverished people I met around the country, whereas the second part of the book maps out a broad set of policy discussions and connections between issues that any meaningful national level attempt to tackle poverty will have to include. These include tax reform, the welfare system, wages, access to healthcare, changes that could be made in the criminal justice system, changes in how America deals with addiction and mental illness, reforms in the foster care system, and many other area that overlap with poverty. (p. 330)

Note the link in the paragraph above goes to the web site for the book and contains some of the interviews and oral histories.

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The Samaritan’s Dilemma by Deborah Stone


book jacket with life saving ringThe Samaritan’s Dilemma: Should Government Help Your Neighbor?
by Deborah Stone (c 2008)

The Republicans have spent decades undermining democracy, notably, explicitly stated by St. Ronnie Reagan in his 1981 Inaugural Address:

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem. It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

In this simple paragraph he begins the ruthless demonization of the government of the people that he swore to serve and damned the “liberals” for yes, despite the phrasing, being ignorant as well as being delusional. His views have proven long since to have been a disaster for the country by independent thinking Americans. This is a man who bragged about how little (if anything) he read and zeroed out library funding every year of his administration’s budget. Fortunately, Congress put funding back in, but the clear and present danger to democracy represented by defunding the single most powerful force for an informed citizenry, public libraries, represents who the truly ignorant person was when he made that statement.

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Money Driven Medicine by Maggie Mahar

book jacketMoney Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs so Much by Maggie Mahar (2006)

Obviously this book is out of date but it does discuss some of the continual issues that plague the US medical and insurance industries under the great invisible hand of the “free” market rules of supply and demand that result in our citizens paying more and more and having inflated medical prices and drug prices forcing people to choose between food and healthcare.

The fundamental reality is that it is NOT APPROPRIATE to apply the “laws” of supply and demand to healthcare.

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book jacket with romanticized cart and horse and driver

Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt

book jacket simple titleIll Fares the Land by Tony Judt (2010)

The title comes from a quote that also appears on the book jacket:

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.

— Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village, 1770

Please use the title link to Goodreads to see the jacket flap copy that offers a good summary of the book. Also note, the author has a PhD. in history from Cambridge (England).

This is an EXCELLENT book. A must read as you will probably be able to tell because I have felt compelled to quote from it so extensively. The author makes my beliefs and thoughts plain with his writing.

He begins on a dismal note, and the terror of the U.S. presidential election of 2016 was not yet known. Is not yet known to me, but I have lost all hope with the cheating of Hillary Clinton and her minions that stole the primary from a better man all for her own ambition.

Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: is it good? Is it fair? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.

The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears “natural” today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation, the cult of privatization and the private sector, the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all, the rhetoric which accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets, disdain for the public sector, the delusion of endless growth.

We cannot go on living like this. The little crash of 2008 was a reminder that unregulated capitalism is its own worst enemy: sooner or later it must fall prey to its own excesses and turn again to the state for rescue. But if we do no more than pick up the pieces and carry on as before, we can look forward to greater upheavals in years to come. (pp. 1-2)

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Turning Texas Blue by Mary Beth Rogers

 

book jacket with cowboy boot like flag colorsTurning Texas Blue: What will it take to break the GOP grip on America’s reddest state? by Mary Beth Rogers (2016)

Highly recommend reading this book

I was shocked and appalled when much admired Governor of Texas Ann Richards lost to George W. Bush. Reading Bush’s Brain (aka Karl Rove), I learned how his pernicious manipulations and lies accomplished W’s win. It turns out that Mary Beth Rogers ran the campaign that put Ann Richards in office for her first term as governor, so she knows Texan politics. This book is well written and really gives an inside view of the in the trenches kind of political action that goes on that we never hear about on the news — and that’s a real loss to creating an informed citizenry. I’m going to have to return to this book for my mega opus on Know Thy Enemy post I will eventually write because of the details of the connections of the people and lies and realities. Quick quote from pp. 164-165:

Republican congressman Louie Gohmert of East Texas, who can always be counted on to say something outrageous and often UNTRUE, reflects the tone too often used by public officials here. He claimed that President Obama’s immigration policies were “luring millions of diseased immigrant children” to the United States. And he urged Texas officials to “use whatever means’ possible, like TROOPS, SHIPS OF WAR, OR TAXES to ‘stop the invasion.’ “

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Kingdom Coming by Michelle Goldberg

book jact with upraised hand and a crossKingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg, (2006)

To start, I begin with the quote from the conclusion titled Exiles in Jesusland:

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a FREE CIVIL GOVERNMENT. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. –Thomas Jefferson

This is a really excellent book. Well worth buying and reading and rereading because the depth of her discussion and naming names is so complete. Well written so it is easy to follow the arguments she makes and an appreciation for the connections between people and events.

Page 180 at the end of the book,  sets out the reason for anxiety:

It’s one thing to have a government that shows contempt for civil liberties; America has survived such men before. It’s quite another to HAVE A MASS MOVEMENT — the largest and most powerful mass movement in the nation — rise up in OPPOSITION to the RIGHTS of its fellow citizens. The Constitution protects minorities, but that protection is not absolute, with a sufficiently sympathetic or apathetic majority, a tightly organized faction can get around it.

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book jacket freethings a history of american secularism

The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby

book jacket with title and authorThe Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby, (2008 Large Type has a different cover image). Cover also says it was a New York Times Bestseller.

Well written and argued. Many people I know are mystified at the seriously problem of willful ignorance that has developed in this country. I thought W. had personified ignorance with his sanctimonious smirk and refusal to read newspapers because he didn’t want to be influenced by thinkers other than his staff who absolutely would not tell him anything he did not want to hear. And I had forgotten the case of decorum by the real president, Dick Cheney, who shouted at Senator Patrick Leahy to  “Go fuck yourself!” on the Senate floor.  (p. 40, 44) This provides the great contrast between the Founding Fathers, and especially the insults penned by Shakespeare. She cites an example of a better insult from the 1890s,

. . . Speaker of the House Thomas Reed took care of one opponent by observing that with ‘with a few more brains he could be  a halfwit.’ Of another politician Reed remarked, ‘He never opens his mouth without subtracting from the sum of human intelligence.’ Americans once heard (or rather read) such genuinely witty remarks and tried to emulate that wit. Today we parrot the witless and halfwitted [sic] language used by politicians and radio shock jocks alike.” (p. 41)

Alas we have slumped even further into the abyss with Trump, Cruz, Walker, et al on the Republican side. And the anointed corporate puppet pick, Hillary, of the Bankruptcy Act treason of the people, and the Iraq war of the military industrial complex. She who cannot claim any bill or legislation passed that helped women or people of color.

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The Violence of Organized Forgetting by Henry A. Giroux

book jacket with blurry crowd of peopleThe Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine by Henry A. Giroux, (2014)

Wow! What a book! Gripped me immediately and I could not think of a single way to write clips and just annotate. I thought I was going to have to do a few jpgs to save massive typing. But some of the “blurbs” are included at the GoodReads site in a link in the title above. And I will simply quote a few passages.

Just the Introduction title is compelling: America’s Descent into Madness. Other chapter titles include: The New Authoritarianism, Hurricane Sandy and the Politics of Disposability, The Vanishincontemporary book jacket for 1984 featuring a blue iris and black pupilg point of U.S Democracy, and the concluding chapter gives a nod to George Orwell’s 1984 with the title of Hope in the Time of Permanent War.

Unfortunately, the last chapter begins with a litany of reasons to NOT be hopeful, so after all the dismal commentary of the book, I did not end up feeling particularly hopeful, despite his plea that we should not, must not, give up societal hope.

His words are like reading machine gun fire, each word a bullet to the heart.

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A Choice not an Echo by Phyllis Schlafly

book jacketA choice not an Echo (updated and expanded 50th anniversary edition) with forward by Ron Paul by Phyllis Schlafly (original  edition 1964, this edition 2014)

This woman proves the point that a single person can change the world. Alas, the implication is generally that the world can be changed for the better. Not so with Phyllis Schlafly who fucked a generation and more of women while living a life she wanted to denied the rest of us. And her big bogeymen, mixed sex bathrooms and women in combat and subject to the draft arrived anyway! Meanwhile we are still underpaid, undervalued, and fighting for personal autonomy and against forced birth. And she’s still alive (91), dammit. And still self-righteous. And still an evil horrible human being. But that doesn’t maker her wrong about everything. And I was shocked and a little horrified that this book contains many facts that everyone should know, although perhaps interpret them somewhat differently.

Yet it is funny because, unlike the deep and resounding hatred I hold for Henry Hyde (deceased 2007), Jesse Helms (deceased 2008), and the blessedly dead (2016) Antonin Scalia, somehow I seem to be acting in a sex discriminatory manner for not hating this woman as much as these men. Don’t get me wrong, I do hate her and what she did to stop the simple ERA and her absurd belief that women should stay home and have babies and be good Christian Madonnas serving and servicing their husbands regardless of abuse, adultery, or financial withholding. She is a smart Harvard-educated woman, a lawyer, and a mother of six. She remains a plague upon our nation continuing her involvement with Republicans “usually as a delegate, at every Republican National Convention since 1952” (back jacket copy).

Her heir apparent is the revolting Ann Coulter who did a back jacket blurb that will give me nightmares:

A Choice Not an Echo “changed the Republican Party forever. . . Without Schlafly, without that book, without Goldwater’s candidacy [and Hillary Clinton as a supporter], it is unlikely that RONALD REAGAN would ever have been elected president.”

Oh for a time machine! Of course the problem with that is you cannot tell if you would make matters worse (such as killing Hitler alternative histories, though with him never born, pretty sure the world would have been better off under any scenario). I try to picture a world without her effect, without Reagan, without Hyde and Helms, and especially without the legacy of Scalia (and Thomas and Alito and Mitch McConnell and all the other slime we are living with that are killing democracy and the rights of women. Toss in the rise of the un-Christian theocrats, the American caused rise of radical Islam (that is, the rise of murderous bullies and thugs in the name of religion, oh wait, that applies to the forced-birther Christians too!), and the state of perpetual war, the rule of the few, the theft of economic security and rise of the debtor slaves, oh the dominoes go everywhere and reach everyone. To my sorrow. The damage she has done really needs an in-depth historical review.

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