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Showing posts from 2011

Saving Liberals from Chris Hedges

Death of the Liberal Class, Chris Hedges (2010) Reviewed by Patrick McEvoy-Halston - - - - -
Saving Liberals from Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges, in Death of the Liberal Class, ostensibly isn’t wishing the liberal class to die – he’s simply demarcating it as deceased, or so he argues – but he certainly doesn’t have much good to say about it either, and as a DeMausian psychohistorian, I’m probably normally not much in mind to defend it myself.He describes it, the liberal class – a composite of left-leaning artists, journalists, and academics:lefty intellectuals – as if it entrance to it now requires abdicating anything that meaningfully defined liberals as liberal in the first place.You have to agree to no longer serve, to betray, the people, their best interests, and effectively end up sycophants to the mandarin corporate ruling class.And to see my sort of psychohistory at all accepted within academia right now, I would likely have to see it especially emphasize the destructive aspects of patr…
Wanting War, Jeffrey Record  Reviewed by Patrick McEvoy-Halston - - - - -
Jeffrey Record, in “Wanting War,” would have you know that the Iraq war was/is a war of hubris, that Iraq presented no pressing threat but an enticing prize, neo-cons and George W. Bush made use of a nation’s powerful need tosimply trust to empower their intent to go after.  I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, and possibly long, long ago accepted it in full, thinking what we most needed to know about the war has been repeatedly revealed; and perhaps for this reason, principally, we should go into why Record’s account does us all little good.
Record wants to leave no doubt that Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq after 9/11 had nothing to do with the new realities of the world revealed by the attack, and as such, left us all of course in a much worse fix (with such like Iran’s influence on Iraq now even being greater).  Afghanistan was the more likely suspect, not Iraq; regional history was ignored…

I'm a vegetarian, but I'm not so foolish to think Michael Pollan trumps Julia Child

Following my recent column about vegetarianism, I received a wave of hate mail from meat eaters. This came as no surprise -- as food has finally become a political issue in America (as it should), some carnivores have become increasingly aggressive toward anyone or any fact that even vaguely prompts them to critically consider their culinary habit. Although the stereotype imagines vegetarians sententiously screaming at any meat eater they see at the lunch counter or dinner table, I've found quite the opposite to be true. In my personal life, I go out of my way to avoid talking about my vegetarianism while I'm eating with friends, family or work colleagues, but nonetheless regularly find myself being interrogated by carnivores when they happen to notice that I'm not wolfing down a plate of meat.Having been a vegetarian for more than a decade now, and having been raised in a family of proud meat eaters, I'm going to use this space to publish a brief primer for both veget…

Reading lists, and all they entail

While there's no way to know whether Hillary Clinton would have hung tougher than President Obama with those recalcitrant Republicans, here's a safe bet -- her summer reading list would have included a few more women authors than his.
Obama opened his Martha's Vineyard vacation by purchasing Daniel Woodrell's "The Bayou Trilogy" and Ward Just's "Rodin's Debutante." He'd already packed novels by David Grossman and Abraham Verghese, along with Isabel Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Suns," a nonfiction account of black migration from the American South. (Some reports also had Obama carrying Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and Emma Donoghue's novel "Room.")That would make Obama's reading 70 percent male -- which is actually a better male-female ratio than the past.
[. . .]
Now the fact that the president of the United States apparently doesn't read women writers is not the greatest crisis fa…