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Click above, for other articles in the September 2004 issue.


All the following works, share implications and provide lessons for those of us who are currently experiencing the political climate in the United States. 





Good Stuff: a guide to the things we buy

by: The World Watch Institute

available free at


A refreshing guide, full of facts, and interesting ideas tailored to show how anyone can, by changing their habits, help improve the environment quite easily.  A must have for anyone who wants to practice what they preach.  Get a copy and distribute it widely to your family and friends.  You will be surprised, by what is in your power to do, if you so desire.






The Souls of Black Folk

by: W.E.B. DuBois

ISBN: 0486280411


First published in 1903, it has been heralded as setting the cornerstone for African-American protest literature.  These essays established W.E.B. DuBois as an intellectual who posited meritorious questions regarding the treatment of black Americans, the failings of post Civil War society and regarding the tragic betrayal of the freed slaves--by the Union. The unfulfilled promise of 40 acres and a mule, resound amid the racism, inequality, poverty and degradation of turn of the century America.  DuBois' passionate reason instills in me, a white man, with an unequivocal repugnance for the injustice that has been inflicted on men of a different color, simply because they were black. One cannot read this book without being left with a respect for DuBois' intellect and his humanity.






The Family: the real story of the Bush dynasty

by: Kitty Kelley

ISBN: 0385503245  hardcover edition


Hot off the presses, Sept. 2004. The story of the Bush family.  Bushes have been senators, congressmen, governors, presidents and financiers.  They have molded federal agencies like the CIA, have controlled the Republican party, and been involved in illegal financial deals with Nazis.  This book provides us with an unauthorized biographical screening of the Bushes, it gives us the dirt and airs the dirty laundry.  Some family secrets are unconfirmed, like the author's claim that George W. Bush did drugs while his father was president, but many other facts are solid. Worth reading, if for no other reason, than to at least, get a glimpse into the Bush "mind-set".






The New Nuclear Danger: G.W.Bush's military-industrial complex

by: Dr. Helen Caldicott

ISBN: 1565847407


First published in 2002, Dr. Caldicott's work explores the military industrial complex in the United States.  She identifies the corporations and the weapons of mass destruction that, have and, are being manufactured.  This highly detailed book provides the reader with hard facts and statistics so that we come to understand with clarity the horrible destructive power of weapons that have no sensible reason to exist, except to make massive profits for greedy corporations.  She provides the rationale for treaties, and describes the game of power politics that has been waged to avoid such agreements so that the 'merchants of death' can continue to manufacture  weaponry of mass death.  Dr. Caldicott is the founding member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a non profit organization.  She has been named as one of the Most Influential Women of the 20th Century, been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and has honorary degrees from 19 Universities.  She provides us with a clear vision why all nuclear weapons should, and must be destroyed.






Searching for Everado: a story of love, war & the CIA in Guatemala

by: Jennifer K. Harbury

ISBN: 0446520365


This is a true account of an American attorney who worked for refugee human rights in Guatemala during 1985-1986. It is the compelling, story of how she met and married Efrain Velasquez, known as Commander Everado, a resistance fighter battling against the brutal fascist government of Gen. Rios Montt.  Everado vanishes in the spring of 1992 after returning from peace talks convened in Mexico City.  Although Harbury is informed that he committed suicide during a skirmish with the Guatemalan army, she finds out one year later, from an escaped POW, that hundreds of resistance fighters are being tortured at a remote Guatemalan military base, and Everado is there. Thus begins Harbury's struggle, to obtain information from 'official' sources about her husband's whereabouts, and her unsuccessful struggle to free him, which will span years.  Lied to by successive Guatemalan governments and by agencies of the United States, she learns in 1995 from Sen. Torricelli (D-NJ) that Everado has been assassinated by the Guatemalan army.  This account is highly illustrative of the complicity, connection, of United States intelligence agencies and government bureaucrats at the State Department with human rights atrocities committed in Guatemala, by government death squads.   






The Problem of the Media: U.S. communication politics in the 21st century

by: Robert W. McChesney

ISBN: 1583671056 paperback


Recently published in 2004, McChesney exposes the reality of journalism in the United States of America.  He outlines how censorship is accomplished in the media, how advertising dollars, self-censorship, and media conglomerates are stifling journalistic freedom.  Publishing is characterized as increasingly elitist, with fewer academic journals or venues for debate accessible to the populace. The book summarizes the impact of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the 2003 uproar against the FCC 's move to further deregulate media ownership rules. You need to read this book, if you are to understand how mainstream journalists currently operate in America, and how the marketplace of ideas, is being oppressed by conservative politics and powerful interest groups.







Altered Evidence: how the justice dept. framed a journalist & his wife

by: James D. Sanders

published in 1999 without ISBN/ difficult to find


Altered Evidence is highly detailed, at times painfully so. It exposes facts, names government sources, provides pictures and NTSB computer printouts that were 'buried' by the FBI concerning the causes of the crash of TWA flight 800.  Sanders deluges us with proof that; the NTSB and FBI covered up a U.S. military presence off the coast of New York, at the time of the 'accident' by altering radar data; that they altered evidence at the reconstruction hangar in order to hide evidence of projectile damage; and hid evidence of explosive's residue on the plane. Eyewitness accounts that described a missile projectile that struck the aircraft just before it exploded in midair, were ignored by the investigators. After taking off from a NYC airport, on July 17, 1996, the plane explodes minutes later, all 230 people aboard the Boeing 747 die.   Sanders, a retired police officer, who became an investigative journalist dedicated to exposing government wrong doing, charged the Clinton administration and the justice department with complicity in a cover-up 'at the highest levels' of government. The government's investigation cost 40 million dollars, and never properly identified the cause of the crash. 


Sanders, his wife and many independent investigators, and eyewitnesses were harassed, intimidated and framed with 'crimes' by government investigators, in order to silence and discredit them. The book also details how several reputable and honest government employees were targets of smear campaigns because they would not 'go along' with the cover-up. The book provides a chilling glimpse into the power of the State.  







Walden / Civil Disobedience

by: Henry David Thoreau

ISBN: 0395051134


"I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life... I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude...  What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow... What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate... The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation...things do not change, we change...  However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names... it looks poorest when you are richest. The fault finder will find faults even in paradise.  Love your life, poor as it is."   from Walden


"The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right... a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience... Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once ?"

from Civil Disobedience


Walden reflects a two year period spent in the woods of Walden Pond in Concord Massachusetts, an area preserved in Thoreau's memory to this day.  Thoreau's writing is biographical.  A graduate of Harvard who communed with nature and in like manner came to discover his true self by exploring thoughts on topics related to the individual's role in society. Although Civil Disobedience is an important essay, his subsequent 'Resistance to Civil Government' warrants closer study.  This subsequent essay influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. by winning them over to a strategy of non-violent civil disobedience as the path to changing unjust laws. 







Rights of Man

by: Thomas Paine

ISBN: 1853264679


Paine participated in both the American and French Revolutions.  Remembered as a fiery pamphleteer, whose Common Cause did more for the American cause than many armed rebellions.  Born in England in extreme poverty he immigrated to America where he rose to literary prominence.  In the Rights of Man he argues that man has intrinsic rights independent of society, sovereignty resides in the individual rather than in a 'moneyed and propertied' class. He argues most eloquently for the individual's right to assert his freedom in the face of tyranny.  


A man well ahead of his times, he labored to enlighten people to his vision of a just society which included; universal suffrage, abolitionism, agrarian reform, equality, citizen rights to petition, Republican democratic government, and separation of Church and State. He was seen as too radical for his times.


"When it shall be said in any country in the world my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want; the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am the friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may that country boast its Constitution and its Government."  from The Rights of Man







Brave New World

by: Aldous Huxley

ISBN: 0060830956


Written in 1931, as a satirical vision of a future society, Utopia. Science  creates a socially engineered society, where everything is carefully controlled for the benefit of an elite ruling class. Drugs and sexual promiscuity are used as methods of social control producing a mindless, aimless populace.  In such a society, the concepts of truth and beauty are diminished of importance.  Huxley creates a vision that questions the modern world, a world so controlled that it decays the human spirit because it strips mankind of freedom, beauty and creativity.


Reviewed by V.S.


Posted  October  1, 2004

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