Wrong and Dangerous by Garrett Epps

book jacket with scrap of Constitution showingWrong and Dangerous: Ten Right-Wing Myths about Our Constitution by Garrett Epps (2012)

This slim volume is a fun read (the touches of sarcasm are a delight) about what the Constitution actually says and directly refutes right-wing claims to the contrary. Excellent notes and list of books for further reading by categories like “the Bill of Rights” and an appendix that provides the actual text of the Constitution plus the first version that failed to meet the needs of the nation due to lack of sufficient federal authority over states’ rights. Personally, I long for the day that the entire concept of “states’ rights” is abolished. My rights as a citizen should not depend on geography. States’ rights is a vestigial concept leftover from the fear of a central “kingdom” type of government.

I may write the author and suggest he dedicate another volume to the Fourteenth Amendment, and social justice issues related to it that have had Supreme Court (bad or good) rulings, especially in the area of racism and sexism.

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The War on Science by Shawn Otto

book jacket
The War on Science:
Who’s waging it, Why it matters, What we can do about it by Shawn Otto (2016). Some of the people who wrote blurbs for the book are listed below and links to books where appropriate are included. Fabulous book, and if I hadn’t got Tuesday and wednesday mixed up on my phone calendar, I could have heard in speak. I was so very disappointed in myself for that. Buy the book; 500 pages is a long library read.

The following books are posted just to illustrate how big of a deal this book is showing writers who wrote the foreword and blurbs. Keep going past this for the actual blog content.

the-physics-of-star-trekforeword by Lawrence M. Krauss (he’s the guy that wrote the great The Physics of Star Trek)

book jacket photo of Bill NyeWriters of blurbs for the book include:Bill Nye (The Science Guy)

 

deep-economyBill McKibben, Michael E. Mann, Walter Mondale

mastermind

 

Maria Konnikova (author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes)

Ben Bova — award-winning author of the Grand Tour sethe-transparent-societyries and former editorial director of Omni

David Byrne, scientist and award-winning author of The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose between Privacy and Freedom?
[I don’t think we’ll be getting a vote.]

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From Eve to Dawn: A History of Women in the World by Marilyn French

 

book jacket abstract image of womanFrom Eve to Dawn: A History of Women in the World by Marilyn French (2008) Volume 1: Origins. Foreword by Margaret Atwood.

Marilyn French has a smooth writing style that is easy to read but still packs a punch by her coherence and context for absorbing new information.

The bbook jacket illustration of wall and women in red with white hatsook is divided into 3 basic parts: 1. Parents, 2. The Rise of the State, 3. Gods, Glory, and Delusions of Grandeur. Under the States part it is a treat to go back all the way to Peru, Egypt, and Sumner. Other nations include a chapter on China, India, Mexico and a concluding analysis on the State in the abstract. She adds descriptors to identify the nature of the respective states: Secular=China, Religious = India, Militaristic = Mexico.

Under the Gods portion she covers Judaism, Greece, Rome, Christianity, Islam. There are number of supplemental notes, a glossary, a bibliography, and and index as well as some maps.

Here’s a bit from Margaret Atwood’s foreword:

Women who read this book will do so with horror and growing anger: From Eve to Dawn is to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex as won is to poodle. Men who read it might be put off by the depiction of the collective male as brutal book jacket photo of author Simone de Beauvoirpsychopath, or puzzled by French’s idea that men should “take responsibility for what their sex has done.” . . . However, no one will be able to avoid the relentless piling up of detail and event — the bizarre customs, the woman-hating legal structure, the gynecological absurdities, the child abuse, the sanctioned violence, the sexual outrageous — millennium after millennium. How to explain them? Are all men twisted? Are all women doomed? Is there hope? French is ambivalent about the twisted part, but, being a peculiarly American kind of activist, she insists on hope. (p.x)

Her intention was to put together a narrative answer to a question that had bothered her for a long time: how had men under up with ALL THE POWER — specifically, with all the power over women? Had it always been like that? If not, how was such power grasped and then enforced? Nothing she had read had addressed this issue directly. In most conventional histories, women simply aren’t there. Or they’re there as footnotes. (p.xi)

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Stealing America by Dinesh D’Souza

book jacket with weird photo of Obama and HillaryStealing America: What my experience with criminal gangs taught me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party by Dinesh D’Souza (2015)

Creative nonfiction with an emphasis on the creative part is how I would categorize this book.

Arrogance oozes from so many of the commentaries he makes that it is almost embarrassing. Although I do agree that his conviction and length of incarceration in a day half-way house was ridiculous and does smack of a targeted prosecution, the fact that he sees himself as so manly that nobody tried to steal his freaking Rolex even though he was surrounded by “murderers” and “gangbangers” is just one instance of his pridefulness. He seems to take pride in the apparent acceptance and even admiration of himself by this normally threatening group of people.

I learned of a new thing to me: Christian apologetics.  Still not entirely clear on this, but it doesn’t seem to bode well for an atheist to be safe in a country of them. He also takes great pride in his many debates against prominent atheists based on his Wikipedia page (one presumes he edits it).

The book is not worth the time to read.

Overdue and Out of Renewals for Darn Good Books

I have completely gotten bogged down due to issues with my eyes. There may be a need for me to get a reading machine at this rate. I am going to have to give a bunch up and then come back to this page to re-reserve when I get down to a handful, 90 is simply too many to juggle! I need to stop hitting the reserve every time I see something on BookTV and just do a future to read page so I don’t forget them. A few have already slipped by but a few more I did remember to make a note of them to read later.

book jacket with graphic of ear of cornBetting on Famine: why the World STILL Goes Hungry by Jean Ziegler (2013) is a compelling read, and I want to do it justice. The pages I did read are terrifying and mortifying. There is considerable discussion about the fact that the Nazi’s deliberately starved people in the concentration camps before they killed them. Since I have seen horrible images of the survivors, I know this to be true. Unbelievably wicked but everywhere everyday children and adults are dying from hunger. Fewer people would be a good start to avoiding the problem in the first place, but that is never going to happen since the various religions believe having children is the whole point of women’s lives.

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