Entries Tagged 'Reviews' ↓

Postscript to Review of Rachel Maddow’s Blowout

This book would be much improved by adding more to its index. Its sixteen page index is way too skimpy for a 406-page book; the index has a paucity of See or See also cross-references; omissions of significant events and inclusion of insignificant mentions, and no double-posting of topics where that is called for.

For example – Ukraine is under Putin, but under Ukraine there is no reference to Putin. Likewise, Carter-Page is listed under Page, not Carter-Page. And there’s no See reference to the name he is usually called.

There are noticeable omissions and commissions of page number mistakes too. Joe Biden is listed on pages 237-239, but there is nothing about him on pages 237 or 238, only page 239.

However, a significant thing about Pussy Riot is listed on page 239 but it’s not in the index, while an insignificant thing is listed on page 226.

On the other hand there is a significant discussion about Pussy Riot on pages 218-219, but the indexer left out Joe Biden’s reaction to that group’s fate at the hands of Putin (on page 219).

However, the biggest omission of all lies in not indexing Rachel’s NOTES ON SOURCES SECTION (pp. 371-390).

These twenty pages contain interesting narratives about each of the twenty-nine chapters in the book. There are names of people, places, and events galore in this section that are not in the index. But readers are very likely to overlook that section in the back of this book.

Truly, the publisher, Crown, an imprint of Random House, should be ashamed!

Review of Rachel Maddow’s Blowout

One of the things that annoys me about corrupt people is their use of the English language to confuse and hoodwink the rest of us.

I know this might sound like a petty complaint by an English major in college, but it isn’t really. 

We have seen these terms for decades: “protective strikes” (protective of whom or what?) “weapons of mass destruction,” or “natural” food, gas, and water (what part of Nature? Do our own bodies benefit from these things?)

Rachel Maddow’s new book Blowout is a New York Times bestseller. Rightly so! 

Especially because Rachel didn’t get the Democratic party to pony up to spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy hundreds of copies of her book to put it on the New York Times bestseller list. She earned her rating the honest way.

Yes, corruption is not always illegal as some people these days like to point out. But corruption always has negative consequences, often against innocent people who had nothing to do with it.

In particular, misuse of the English language fools a lot of us into complacency by omitting the full story or even through perverting the real story.  Continue reading →

Fault Lines – Part Three – They’re At It Again!

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram G. Rajan (Princeton University Press, 2010)

 
Authors’ Note: Recently several people have told me this series is depressing. That certainly wasn’t my intention. We are in a time of rising hopes in this country. That is great. But rising hopes don’t always come to fruition.

Raj’s chapters point out specific dangers that may impede our progress in this century.

We prepare for natural disasters, especially out here in California. So why not for man-made disasters? It’s just common sense.

Chapter Six “When Money is the Measure of All Worth”

Those of us who worry about derivatives will find this chapter useful.

We live in turbulent times, and the upcoming U.S. Presidential election is overshadowing financial changes that are going on here and abroad.

We’re in a time of high financial volatility that keeps dropping and then creeping upward. Our economy is good—for now. But we know that danger could lurk ahead in our future. Past history teaches us that.

Raj notes that Securitization goes back centuries – in the 1800s to the French monarchy sold annuities to wealthy men. Swiss bankers purchased these French government annuities and took out life insurance on “suitable girls” in Geneva.

Those annuities were then bundled and and resold at a higher price to investors. What happenened next ? The bubble burst. Sound familiar? Continue reading →