Wednesday, March 30, 2011

James Baldwin * Collected Essays

This book is a collection of essays by one of the greatest African-American writers of this century.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Case for Abolishing the Death Penalty

Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of murdering a Georga police officer in 1991. Nearly two decades later, Davis remains on death row, even though the case against him has fallen apart. On March 28, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal by Mr. Davis. This case makes the case for abolishing the death penalty. The injustice of possible allowing an innocent man to be executed, under the guise of justice, is appalling. For more information, see Democracy Now and Wikipedia, Troy Davis case.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Voices of a People's History of the United States * Howard Zinn

"Voices" is a revelatory look at American history as seen through the voices of dissenters and the disenfranchised, presented through powerful speeches, letters, poetry and song...that, at its best, help change the course of history, and at worst, went unheard because the message ran counter to powerful interests. The book presents the views of unheard-of non-conformests, such as escaped slaves, extploited factory workers, subjugated women, and peace activits. The thoughts and words of conscientious objectors from Thomas Paine, Frederick Douglass, Susan B Anthoney to Malcome X, Woodie Guthrie and Patti Smith are presented. This book is a testimoney to those who have been suppressed throughout our history but also a wake-up call that we are not powerless. It is a lesson that it is possible for people to defend, secure and maintain their human rights and civil liberties.

Review by Catalytic Converter

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Republicans Assault on Democracy

The events of the last few days in Wisconsin, Michigan and Idaho have left no doubt the R are staging an assault on democracy. Every American should be alarmed as workers rights are subverted under the guise of a so called economic crises. These are rights workers fought for to bring dignity and fairness to the market place. To remove the right to collectively bargain is morally corrupt and dishonest.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Convictions are Infectious

There are always people telling us what we want, how they will provide it, and what we should believe. Convictions are infectious, and people can make others convinced of almost anything. We are typically ready to believe that our ways, our beliefs, our religion, our politics are better than theirs, or that our God-given rights trump theirs or that our interests require defensive or pre-empitive strikes against them. In the end, it is ideas for which people kill each other. It is because of ideas about what the others are like, or who we are, or what our intersts require, that we go to war, or oppress others with a good conscience, or even sometimes acquiesce in our oppression by others. When these beliefs involve the sleep of reason, critical awakening is the antidote. Reflection enables us to step back, to see our perspective on a situation as perhaps distorted or blind, at the very least to see if there is argument for preferring our ways, or whether it is just subjective.

from the book Think * Simon Blackburn