Cradle to Cradle

Also published in a less critical version on Alternet at www.alternet.org and in Catalyst, an alternative monthly in Salt Lake City.

William McDonough’s and Michael Braungart’s new book “Cradle to Cradle” doesn’t feel like a book – literally. It’s a different size and shape, the pages are thick, the thing feels significantly heavier than it looks, and it’s waterproof.

The design of the book is making a point also made in the text of the book: the read more

Roots to Power: A Manual for Grassroots Organizing

Roots to Power: A Manual for Grassroots Organizing by Lee Staples

In recent decades, community organizing has become an increasingly powerful force mobilizing low- and moderate-income Americans to improve their neighborhoods. When those most shut out of power and benefits create an organization that is able to strategize, negotiate, promote legislation, demonstrate, engage in civil disobedience, work the media, and turn out voters, the result is that banks and corporations, school boards and lawmakers, read more

Greed and Good

Why Aren’t Americans Happy
July 26, 2004

The past 30 years have seen tremendous growth in the United States in productivity and wealth, and yet we don’t all seem very appreciative. In fact, as Yale political scientist Robert Lane has documented, surveys have found Americans’ assessment of their level of happiness declining significantly. The same is not the case in other developed countries.

The United States contains less than 5 percent of the world’s population and spends read more

Day of Reckoning

Day of Reckoning: A Review
By David Swanson, ILCA

Just before Albert Parsons was hanged by the state of Illinois on November 11, 1887, for a crime that evidence suggests he had nothing to do with (setting off a bomb in Haymarket Square, Chicago) and a crime that he certainly did do (campaigning for an 8-hour day with decent pay), he wrote a note to his two young children that concluded:

“My children, my precious ones, I request you to read this parting message on each recurring anniversary read more

Rumsfeld's Fog of War

Also published on Alternet.org

“Oh, hey, wait a minute, I tried that and it was a major disaster. I still can barely even begin to face what I did it’s so awful looking back on it.” This is the message that the recent film “Fog of War” sends from Robert McNamara to Donald Rumsfeld, from one Secretary of “Defense” to another.

“There is no alternative in this age of terror,” might be the response we could expect from Rumsfeld, who continues to read more

The Emperors Club

New Clothes for the Emperors Club

Nietzsche pointed out that Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” was misnamed, that it was a play about Brutus. The movie currently in theaters called “The Emperors Club” is not misnamed, but it is not about the teacher that critics claim it is about. Nor does the title refer to some sort of secret prep-school society, as “Dead Poets Society” did. The Emperors Club is the plutocracy into which George W. Bush was born, and its sins read more

Dead Run; the untold story of Dennis Stockton and America's only mass escape from death row

“Dead Run; the untold story of Dennis Stockton and America’s only mass escape from death row.”

“Dead Run; the untold story of Dennis Stockton and America’s only mass escape from death row” tells the story of an innocent man killed by the state of Virginia for political reasons, an event made easy and in all probability common by a law banning the reopening of a case to hear new evidence later than 21 days after a conviction. This applies even to evidence illegally read more

Secrets

“Secrets,” by Sissela Bok.

I recently read SECRETS, by Sissela Bok. She writes with the skill of a
philosopher and with the concern to actually do some good that is common to
most everyone except many philosophers. She distinguishes secrecy from
privacy. She distinguishes good secrets from bad ones. She defends the need
for privacy and secrets in several convincing ways, including some surprising
ones such as the need for surprise, but in an unconvincing read more

Here, The People Rule: A Constitutional Populist Manifesto

We Need Majority Rule

What we need now is majority rule. If that sounds frightening or risky, probably the best thing you can do is read “Here, The People Rule: A Constitutional Populist Manifesto,” by Richard D. Parker (1994).

This brilliant little book will convince you that our culture is full of anti-populist sentiment, and that it shouldn’t be. In my own work I have run into this problem. After the organization I work for campaigned to block the privatization of five New read more

Deconstruction in a Nutshell

Deconstruction in a Nutshell
Summer 1998

DECONSTRUCTION IN A NUTSHELL contains a series of questions to and answers by Jacques Derrida at the inauguration of Villanova’s doctoral program in philosophy a few years ago. Why it is for the most part Catholic schools that are willing to teach any sort of innovative philosophy in the Anglo world I’m not entirely sure. Anyway, Derrida talks about justice, comparing it with the giving of a gift. Before quoting what he says, I’d like to bear read more