Urban Planning [part of The Reference Shel series] edited by Andrew I. Cavin (2003)
This book provides multiple points of view by many authors on various aspects of managing and visualizing what would be best for cities to implement to meet contemporary needs. I have lived all over the country and in all kinds of sizes of cities and geology and weather and with all kinds of transportation options or lack of options. I visited many more cities, here and I have been to multiple countries in Europe always using public transportation and once in a tour bus. I took the most terrifying taxi ride of my life in Boston during The Big Dig. Another Boston experience that didn’t work out like I thought it would involved taking the T with a roller suitcase and finding the streets piled with several feet of snow and still snowing while I tried to get from the T stop to the hotel. Roller suitcases do not slide on snow, they become snow shovels.
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Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan (2 of 2)
Carrying on from part 1 of my commentary about this book, he starts chapter 4 off with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike of 2012. The author mentions that in his youth he was a “lawyer for the United Mine Workers” so he knew that strikes were risky but “it’s still hard to imagine a labor movement without them.”
I remember reading about the strike but was not aware of any details. I just assumed that they were getting screwed over somehow, because strikes are risky things! And for some reason, Republicans hate teachers, and especially hate tenured teachers. Whenever I hear someone bitch about the luxury lifestyle of “three months vacation” and “high pay” I know I am listening to a Republican.
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Horsemen of the Trumpacoplypse: A field guide to the most dangerous people in America by John Nichols (2017)
Dangerous people are controlling and embellishing the wickedness of authoritarian zealots in the United States alternate reality government of 2017 and onward so far in 2018.
I best post this soon, while I have been writing this the people in the administration are leaving the White House by the dozens. The Horsemen mentioned include women and men, outsiders as well as political operatives.
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Labor has lost all power in the face of the onslaught of “free market” lies put forth by Republicans and Neoliberals alike. No, the “invisible hand of the market” will not save us. It will strangle us, that much is certain. That’s why slavery was invented: rich people didn’t want to have to pay for necessary labor and didn’t want to do shitty jobs themselves.
Similarly, apart from the nonexistence of a truly “free” market out there (buy the little competitors up and kill their business or co-opt for their de facto monopolies) PROFIT MOTIVE will always seek to take from labor. Capitalists do not respect any labor right to the value of labor’s own production; only the “money men” deserve reward for the fact that they had money in the first place (inherited wealth in particular) or earned through exploitation of other people and the environment.
Continue reading Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement by Thomas Geoghegan (1 of 2)
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks (2016)
Considering the United States seemingly has been at war somewhere, declared or not, for my entire life, despite protests in the Sixties to the contrary, this book provides multiple perspectives on the business of perpetual war.
The author worked in prominent Pentagon capacities and provides real intimate details of what it was like to live in that particular bubble.
Those two years were strange, almost surreal in their intensity. For me — a law professor and journalist brought up in a family of left-wing anti-war activists — working for the Pentagon was like conducting anthropological fieldwork in some exotic and unpredictable foreign tribe. (p. 6)
I saw her on Book TV talking about this book and knew that it was going to be special because, as it is described on the cover flap, “it is by turns a memoir, a work of journalism, and a scholarly exploration of history, anthropology, and law.”
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