36. “Take The Rich Off Welfare” by Mark Zepezauer (non fiction)
A blurb from the publisher follows:
Acclaimed author Mark Zepezauer exposes who’s who on the government dole, how much they’re raking in, and how they get away with their scams.
Take the Rich off Welfare shows how politicians and their bedfellows play Three Card Monte with our money and our future … how programs that were intended for broad public good have been warped to benefit only the rich … how politicians manipulate the tax code to hide their graft from oversight.
This greatly expanded edition of the popular 1996 original has all the details on skyrocketing taxpayers’ subsidies for corporations and the wealthy. Budget doubletalk fogs the reality of the people’s wealth being sucked into a black hole while privileged pockets bulge.
A prolific writer of humorous, incisive analyses of government policy and its fallout, Zepezauer teaches us how to expose this chicanery. To the rallying cry of so-called fiscal conservatives who claim that government must shrink, Zepezauer offers an easy answer. Shrink you!
37. “By Way Of Deception” by Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy (non fiction)
When I read this, I had no real information and thoughts about the subject covered. Since that time, I have done enough reading and following news (not corporate owned media) to be better able to form an opinion about the subject of the Iran-Iraq war. It seems that, contrary to the impression Ostrovsky and Hoy give in this book, the US, and therefore Israel, backed Iraq in their war. Ostrovsky and Hoy make it sound like Israel didn’t care one way or another and sold weapons, and training, to both sides.
nuggets: 1. Mossad encouraged opium export (pg 277) 2. Israeli government 70% Generals (pg 276) 3. Mossad is helping to destroy Israel (pgs 215, 216). 3. Israel moving disastrously rightward (pg 81) 4. Ostrovsky threatened by Mossad (pg 171) 5. Victor told by Zave Alan (liaison between Mossad and CIA) that “When I am sitting with my friend, he’s not sitting with his friend.” (pg 86) 6. Mossad regularly forges PM’s signature (pg 126) 7. Mossad trains Sinhalese ‘and’ Tamils at the same time in Israel! (pgs 129, 130)
38. “The Coup – 1953, The CIA, And The Roots Of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations” by Ervand Abrahamian
nuggets: 1. The Anglo-Iranian oil dispute pitted Western loss of control against Iranian sovereignty (pg 3). 2. The West used Cold War language and ideas – lies – to justify its position toward Mossadeq’s efforts. (pages 4 & 5). 3. In relation to information that the United States has about the 1953 Iranian coup, the American Historical Society has criticized the government for not following its own rules about declassifying documents. (pages 5 & 6). 4. Britain occupies southern Iran and charges Iran for the ‘privilege’. (pg 25). 5. “After World War I, [Lord George] Curzon – now foreign minister – not only barred Iran from Versailles but also persuaded, with the help of special subsidies, the Iranian prime minister, Vossuq al-Dawleh, to sign the notorious Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919. This turned Iran into a vassal state. Harold Nicolson, who at the time served in the British Legation in Tehran, wrote that Curzon wanted not only to create a “chain of vassal states from the Mediterranean all the way to India” but also believed that God had created British Imperialism and the British upper class as an instrument of his “Divine Will.”” (pg 25). 6. Muslims also used Islamic extremist to further their own goals. (pg 57). 7. Iranian historian lie. (pg 72) Stephen Kinzer: fail (pg 107). 8. The CIA sicked Nazis on Tudeh Party celebrants remembering the 1946 general strike. (pg 115)
39. “Canada In Haiti – Waging War On The Poor Majority” by Yves Engler and Anthony Fenton
From the back of the book: “In both their writings and activism, Yves Engler and Anthony Fenton have done some of the most important work in exposing Canada’s shameful role in Haiti.” – Naomi Klein
nugget: “While the UN resolution  sounds okay on paper it means something different on the ground. Harvard University Law Student Advocates for Human Rights investigators reported that “MINUSTAH’s most visible efforts have involved providing logistical support to police operations, which… are implicated in human rights abuses…” -authors (pg 67)
See Stephen Lendman’s article on the blue helmets in Haiti. It’s titled “UN Peacekeeping Paramilitarism [in Haiti]”
40. “The Social Animal” by Elliot Aronson (social psychology)
nuggets: 1. The American mind is conditioned to believe that doing well means beating someone (pg 166) 2. a simple definition of cognitive dissonance 3. Will it be dissonance reduction or humility? (pg 156) 3. social reality may not be objective reality (pg 25) 4. Cognitive distortion obtains when one seeks to “align their ideas with their actions” whether good or evil.
41. “United We Fall – In Search Of A New Canada” by Susan Delacourt (politics)
The book is all but invisible online. (I really don’t want to link to Amazon.) Here’s an article by Susan about the defeated (October 26, 1992) Charlottetown Accord: “Charlottetown accord’s demise marked end of Canadians’ faith in each other”
nuggets: 1. Preston Manning utterly unprincipled (pgs 81,82) 2. Bob Rae, alone in the NDP, supported the Meech Lake deal (pg 105) 3. three different NDP governments in ’92 held different positions on Senate Reform (pg 109) 4. Delacourt’s pathetic plea for citizens and politicians to trust each other (pg 120). She should read “On The Take” by Stevie Cameron. Then again, The Toronto Star is a fake friend of the people and tends to attract and nurture journos who are fake friends of the people. There’s still a few decent ones there but give it time. 5. English media interested in corruption in politics, unlike Quebec media (because Delacourt says so. pg 129).
42. “Whose Trade Organization? Corporate Globalization And The Erosion Of Democracy” by Lori Wallach and Michell Sforza (politics)
an introduction to “Whose Trade Organization?”
43. “Wikileaks – Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding
This is an interesting, somewhat informative book. This is not a good book. The authors can’t contain their dislike of Julian, his leftwing thinking and his friends. And they don’t like alternative media and maybe that’s why the book is choppy, confusing and has a rushed feel. Those who share the authors’ views won’t mind. They will enjoy a book that validates their own pro establishment bias. Those who don’t share the authors’ views will notice that they were careless in their reportage.
From John Pilger’s excellent, thorough review of the saga of the persecution of Julian Assange, in his article titled “Assange: The Untold Story Of An Epic Struggle For Justice,” we get the following:
Books were published, movie deals struck and media careers launched or kick-started on the back of WikiLeaks and an assumption that attacking Assange was fair game and he was too poor to sue. People have made money, often big money, while WikiLeaks has struggled to survive. The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, called the WikiLeaks disclosures, which his newspaper published, “one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years.” It became part of his marketing plan to raise the newspaper’s cover price.
With not a penny going to Assange or to WikiLeaks, a hyped Guardian book led to a lucrative Hollywood movie. The book’s authors, Luke Harding and David Leigh, gratuitously described Assange as a “damaged personality” and “callous.” They also revealed the secret password he had given the paper in confidence, which was designed to protect a digital file containing the U.S. embassy cables. With Assange now trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, Harding, standing among the police outside, gloated on his blog that “Scotland Yard may get the last laugh.”
The injustice meted out to Assange is one of the reasons Parliament reformed the Extradition Act to prevent the misuse of the EAW. The draconian catch-all used against him could not happen now; charges would have to be brought and “questioning” would be insufficient grounds for extradition.
nuggets: 1. lawless CGHQ’s (British spy organization) setting up fake internet cafes where users’ keystrokes could be logged (pg 3) 2. Hillary Clinton’s hypocritical praise for hactivism (pgs 4,5) 3. Early on Julian invited the State Department to speak with him, but it refused (pg 9). 4. 26. Bradley Manning notes on Facebook that he “is not a piece of equipment” (pg 26). 5. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation helps introduce Julian Assange to the world (pg 47) 6. There is no ‘wiki’ in Wikileaks (pg 52) 7. NSA unhappy that it isn’t the sole organization using TOR (pg 53) 8. Wikileaks publishes an author’s unbanned, anywhere, book without her authorization (pg 59). 9. scammy Barclay’s Bank stung by Wikileaks (pg 63) 10. Generals lie about Wikileaks (pg 112) 11. Assange plays it badly sometimes. If you knowingly and willingly deal with the Devil – NYT – and he afterward proves to be a liar, that doesn’t give you license to do bad things (chapter 13). 12. Saudi Arabian elites and their sex parties (pg 180)
44. “Death Of The Liberal Class” by Chris Hedges
nuggets: 1. paycheques, which we all need – from the wild beast of corporatocracy – part of the reason liberals abandon their principles (pg 10) 2. Universities “have become breeding grounds for systems managers trained to serve the corporate state” (pg 11). 3. “Unions, organizations formerly steeped in the doctrine of class struggle… have been transformed into domesticated negotiators with the capitalist class (pg 11). 4. Attacks on communism, including attacks by the ignorant who don’t get it, are about discouraging those who would criticize capitalism and offer alternatives (pg 15). 5. Hedges quotes Irving Howe who said, essentially, that darkness is it’s own reward (17). 6. Both Karl Marx and Adam Smith grasped that corporations do not seek the common good (pg 17). 7. Hedges conveniently labels Jesus Christ a pacifist, but that’s not absolutely true (pg 22). 8. Self-serving specialists and their impenetrable jargon exemplify the problem with technocracy. Egotistical and inward looking specialists have a deadening effect on civilization, as opposed to the edifying effect of enlightened and outward looking – social and sociable and sharing – people. One of the things normal people share with their neighbors is knowledge (pg 124). 9. Martha Hennessy: “There are more elements of fascism in place than there were in the 1930s. We not only lack community, we lack information.” (pg 158)
45. “Behind Closed Doors – How The Rich Won Control Of Canada’s Tax System… And Ended Up Richer” by Linda McQuaig (non fiction)
nuggets: 1. “We don’t have a progressive tax system because the rich have indicated they don’t want one.” -L.M. (xxvii) 2. deferred taxes are often simply eliminated taxes (pg 86, 59-63) 3. no stigma attached to exploiting the tax system (which involves, essentially, lawbreaking, which law and order governments embrace – pg 90)
46. “The Quick And The Dead – Brian Mulroney, Big Business And The Seduction Of Canada” by Linda McQuaig (non fiction)
nuggets: 1. debt not always bad (pg 15) 2. Dr. Michael Rachlis predicts that Mulroney’s actions would lead to medicare’s demise 3. Trudeau removes, in 1972, the federal inheritance tax, thereby promoting inequality 4. “The Clyne Report was unabashedly nationalist in its stance, and had little patience for the market-oriented solutions being advanced south of the border.” -from B.C. judge J.V. Clyne. The 1979 report is hard to find online. re informatics, telecommunications (pg 81) 5. FTA regarded by North American business community as being about redesigning government in Canada, as much as anything (pg 8) 6. the stillborn original WTO, which had socialist elements (pgs 52, 53) 7. Harry Freeman’s “services mafia” (pg 59) 8. intellectual property issue has nothing to do with trade, but everything to do with evil protectionism (pgs 62, 63) 9. Reducing the deficit means cutting social programs, when the Right does it, but they don’t dare talk specifically about cutting social programs (pg 119) 10. 1991 – Revenue Canada estimates that business entertainment deductions bleed about one billion $ a year from the treasury (pg 129) 11. Bank of Nova Scotia economics dept. reports that ‘free trade’ would be bad for Canada 12. breakdown of free trade election vote: Conservatives with 43% of popular vote and 51% for combined Liberal and NDP vote (pg 194) 13. the Economic Council of Canada reports that ‘free trade’ would hurt Canadians (pg 197)
47. “A Woman Among Warlords” by Malalai Joya, with Derrick O’Keefe
A blurb from the publisher follows:
*** Malalai Joya was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010. An extraordinary young woman raised in the refugee camps of Iran and Pakistan, Joya became a teacher in secret girls’ schools, hiding her books under her burqa so the Taliban couldn’t find them; she helped establish a free medical clinic and orphanage in her impoverished home province of Farah; and at a constitutional assembly in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2003, she stood up and denounced her country’s powerful NATO-backed warlords. She was twenty-five years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to Afghanistan’s new Parliament. In 2007, she was suspended from Parliament for her persistent criticism of the warlords and drug barons and their cronies. She has survived four assassination attempts to date, is accompanied at all times by armed guards, and sleeps only in safe houses. ***
nuggets: 1. rapist tyrants who are trapped in their own tyranny (pgs 3, 27-29, 53, 59, 65, 72, 73, 74, 179, 192) 2. burqa regarded by Joya as a symbol of repression (2) 3. ‘Joya’ not her real name (pg 2) 4. Afghanistan became hell for women after US invasion (pgs 2,3) 5. arranged marriages common in rural areas of Afghanistan (pg 8) 6. over a million Afghans killed between ’79 and ’89 during Soviet Occupation (pg 15) 7. Neither Pakistan nor Iran care about democracy for Afghans (pgs 15, 16) 8. RAWA (Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan) begun in late 70s (pgs 19, 20) 9. intolerance and brutality didn’t begin with the Taliban (pg 27) 10. Nelson Mandela one of many who inspired Malalai (pg 33) 11. Taliban, who are so different than Americans, shaved beards in fear of US invasion (pg 50) 12. Karzai’s boys identical to Taliban (pg 65) 13. To please uncle Sam, the collective Afghan ‘strong man’ government blathers about evil communism (pgs 72, 74) 14. the corporatocracy’s secret weapon in it’s war on Afghanistan: Islam (pg 82) 15. many regular Afghans support equality of the sexes (pg 119) 16. There’s a documentary about Malalai called “Enemies Of Happiness” (pg 120) 17. illegally, 60% of Afghan parliamentarians warlords or allies of warlords (pg 124) 18. one warlord parliamentarian ‘reads’ his paper, upside down, in front of others (pg 132) 19. the 2007 Reconciliation Draft Law “called for impunity for all war crimes committed during the past three decades of fighting.” (pg 139) 20. “The use of DU [depleted uranium] weapons has not only harmed children but also has contaminated plant and animal life in my war-ravaged and impoverished country.” -MJ (pg 198)
48. “The Cult Of Impotence – Selling The Myth Of Powerlessness In The Global Economy” by Linda McQuaig
nuggets: 1. With Gerald Bouey’s appointment as Bank of Canada governor in 1973, the central bank veered sharply away from Keynesianism and into Friedmanism and monetarism (pgs 76, 77). 2. Linda is not impressed with “Double Vision – The Inside Story Of The Liberals In Power” by Edward Greenspon and Anthony Wilson-Smith (pgs 4, 5). 3. the evil Dr. Ian Angell, who thinks that people should serve markets and not be served by them (pgs 11, 12) 4. John Maynard Keynes, like Linda, feels that humankind needs to be free from religion (and presumably, a real God who isn’t mankind – pg 204) 5. bankers try to get government to allow mergers, but Paul Martin reacts to public mood and says no (pg xvii) 6. The same technology that allows 24/7 global banking ‘can’ allow 24/7 ‘tracking’ of that activity. The Tobin tax is doable (pgs 266,267). 7. rich nations hold majority of votes in IMF (pg 252)