Book Review – The Second Civil War, How Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America

Ronald Brownstein in this short, concise 2009 book has produced a complete and accurate account of the recent ugly, partisan side of politics. He provides a backdrop and history of some of the contributing factors and events which have led to this unfortunate era of United States political intrigue and competition – some of the most divisive since the Civil War.

Having been a high school teacher of Current World Problems and Political Science during the 1980s-2000, I can attest to the accuracy of the events of the time period. This book starts with the highly partisan retirement speech of Tom Delay, House of Representatives Speaker, Republican, and it continues with the on-line ultra-leftists like The Daily Kos and MoveOn.org, as well as the stance of Brownstein’s description as extreme Democrat leaders – those like Harry Reid and Howard Dean… those blamed for the escalation of the “scorched earth”, highly … Read More

Jean Roussea’s Social Contract Review

In Jean Rousseau’s The Social Contract, there are a lot of guidelines set as basic principles to keep an organized government. One of the key parts of government is for it to understand its ultimate purpose, which is to defend and protect the public. There are too many things that get in the way of human preservation for the individual to persevere, Rousseau argues. For the interests of mankind, it is necessary for there to be a governing force with a set of laws. This is not only for protection but also for prosperity.

What is important for governing bodies to realize though is that these laws have got to be in the common interest of the public. While some people and governments through the years have confused the governing body as the sovereign power over people, Rousseau cites the government as nothing but an intermediary between the public and … Read More

A Review of "Disturbing The Peace" By Vaclav Havel

It’s been nearly 20 years since the first publication of “Disturbing the Peace”, Karel Hvizdala’s transcription of written correspondence with Vaclav Havel from 1985-86. With Havel recently announcing that he has commenced work on an autobiography, it’s an interesting exercise to view how Havel represents himself, his work and his politics before the tumultuous events of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Quite a lot of political water has passed under the Charles Bridge in Prague during this time and in his new book Havel will hopefully examine his legacy and impact as the first President of the Czech Republic in some detail. One interesting outcome of this will be how his views and opinions have changed or solidified since the mid 1980’s.

His interview with Hvizdala was carried out at a time when the U.S.S.R was still intact (albeit with the budding prospects of ‘Glasnost’ and ‘Perestroika’) and Czechoslovakia was … Read More

A Review of "The Octopus- Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro"

The book that is the subject of this review is The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro, written by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith, and revised and updated by Kenn Thomas in 2004. The subject matter dealt with is the various conspiracies and secret government dealings that journalist and writer Danny Casolaro was researching before is his untimely death in 1991, supposedly just as he was about to complete his own lines of investigation. A few of these topics Casolaro and the writers of The Octopus examined are worth mentioning to give the casual observer a general overview of what this book examines.

Obviously, the strange circumstances surrounding Danny Casolaro’s death are examined at length. Ostensibly ruled a suicide, there were enough odd events that point in the direction that Casolaro was murdered and made to look as if he committed suicide. Some of these aspects … Read More

Movie Review: Raajneeti – Power, Politics And Entertainment

Raajneeti Plot

A political party’s chief gets a heart attack on the eve of state elections. His son Veerendra (Manoj Bajpai) is all set to take over the mantle when senior leader Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar) convinces the chief to name Veerendra’s uncle as the successor. This throws Veerendra’s plan into a tailspin as his cousin Prithvi (Arjun Rampal), now the secretary of the party would eventually inherit the legacy. Veerendra befriends Suraj (Ajay Devgan), an upstart who got off on the wrong foot with Prithvi. The son of Prithvi’s driver, Suraj in fact, happens to be Prithvi’s elder brother who was discarded at birth for he was born out of wedlock. Suraj orders a hit on Veerndra’s Uncle and also gets Prithvi arrested in a sex scandal.

Seeing his family’s plight Samar (Ranbir Kapoor), Prithvi’s younger brother plots his revenge. An outsider who isn’t interested in politics, Samar chooses … Read More

Book Review of ‘Risk – The Science and Politics of Fear’ By Dan Gardner

According to Gardner, our misjudgments originally stem from the fact that our brains have evolved to deal, very effectively, with the sort of immediate risks that we have historically encountered as a species, say as hunter-gatherers in the African savannah. But it is this same evolution that makes our brains singularly ill-adapted to the complexities of the modern 21st Century urban jungle and causes us to make egregious mistakes.

At the heart of Gardner’s explanation lies the idea that we have two different internal systems to react to events: roughly summarised as ‘head’ and ‘gut’. ‘Head’, a rational, reflective, but also slow-acting system, is often overridden by ‘gut’, a more intuitive, fast-acting system, which bases its recommendations on factors such as precedent and recency. For example, in the case of stressful situations, ‘head’ barely gets a say, and if so, then often too late.

Historically, ‘gut’ has served us very … Read More

God and Government: A Review of Rev. Barry Lynn’s Career Protecting Church/State Separation

Introduction: Barry Lynn

Barry Lynn once confessed, though not, I suspect, with heavy heart, that “the Reverend Jerry Falwell does not like me.” That was about as caustic and mean-spirited as Barry can manage but, oh my, how incisive, informative and entertaining he can be defending and advancing church/state separation. Make no mistake – this book is timely, for such a defensive is vital at this time in the nation’s history. “God and Government” demonstrates as well as any of the landmark books by Dawkins, Harris, Dennett and Hitchens, if in a nice and velver glove way, that secularists are in a serious battle against a home grown Right Wing ISIS of the mind religionists whose passions extend well beyond denying evolution, science, climate change, women/gay and unbeliever liberties and the human right to be free from religion. They want what they have longer and falsely claimed we were created … Read More

Review Of Jewelry As A Sacred Object In Thailand

Ever since the organisastion of societies in several types happened, conflicts within the method of assuming, conferring or exercising of authority and rights and contingent duties for the accepted beliefs have been thought of in nice element by eminent thinkers. Weeks later, at a meeting in Cordoba on 9 January, Uribe discovered himself audience to a really heated dialogue between two senatorial candidates in the paramilitary-managed department. With the participation of so many citizens in public matters, Kleisthenis’ political system was for the primary time extra well-liked than that of Solon.

The opposite colonies that had come beneath the Dominion of New England rapidly reinstalled their earlier governments. The salute was a part of a protest to call attention to the injustices black People have been dealing with. Paramilitary management of politics is a actuality that some can abdomen and others can’t.

If the Colombian government were left without the … Read More