Book 1 of 2013 is a book that I picked up at Dollar Tree, Reset: Iran, Turkey and America’s Future by Stephen Kinzer. I knew little about Mr Kinzer when I purchased the book, but I found the premise that the best path for the US to follow to lead to a stable Middle East runs not through Israel and traditional Arab allies but through Turkey and Iran. The foundation of the premise is that these are the only two countries in the Arab world that have a strong democratic tradition. I realy enjoyed the history Kinzer presents in the book. I knew little about Kemal Ataturk. I knew the name but not the impact that he had on the formation of a democratic Turkey. Kinzer also discusses the democratic foundations of Iran that were derailed by the US as we supported the 1953 coup that replaced democracy in Iran with the despotic Shah, a move that ultimately lead to the theocratic government that now is in power in Iran. Other highlights included an analysis of the US’ support of and partnerships with both Saudi Arabia and Israel, which really my not be the best in the ;llong run for the US!
Book No. 33 of 2012 is Rebuild the Dream by Van Jones. You may remember Van from his stint in the Obama administration as, Special Adviser for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality , before he was driven from the White House because of his beliefs and actions in his early years. Since then the Yale Law graduate has been busy building his grassroots organization – Rebuild the Dream. In addition he has authored this fine book. The aim of this book is to provide a framework for building a coalition that can Rebuild the Dream for ALL Americans! Here’s the preamble of A Contract for the American Dream.
So I finished book 4 for 2012 The Big Con: Crackpot Economics and the Fleecing of America by one of the senior editors of the New Republic Jonathan Chait. Oh wait that’s Book 4 what about Book 3 I forgot to write about it! What was it oh yeah, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer. Guess I learned a lot, huh! Anyway that book was really good and did have some great ideas for remembering things. Joshua Foer became intrigued by the National Memory Championship and interviewed some of the participants trying to find out what made these people so adept at remembering. What he found out is that they are just like everyone else but they know the tricks of how to remember. From there Foer enters the world of the memory experts and trains to compete. The book follows his journey as he uncovers the secrets that date back to early Greek and Roman times, discuss folks with great memories like S, and some that can’t remember at all and through his journey he discover that a big part of being human is remembering! It amazes me that the world record for memorizing a deck of cards is around 37 seconds! But the tricks of the trade are interesting and some of them are useful for remembering things other than PI to a gazillion digits!
Mother Jones: Kevin Drum: Republicans Don’t Care About the Deficit
As Drum and Krugman point out the Republicans don’t care squat about the deficit and why should they they created most of it and since it makes government look bad and they hate government why is it a bad thing!
Book 36 for the year was Thomas Frank’s The Wrecking Crew: How Conservative Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves and Beggered the Nation kinda sum it all up doesn’t it!!The book does sum it all up and tells the tale of how the Republicans have destroyed our functioning government. It’s quotes like these that caught my eyes over the last few chapters: