I really cannot blame you for skipping the U.S. presidential debates, but you left it for Amy Goodman to donate a few hours of her PBS “Democracy Now” program to allow Jill Stein of the Green party to air good views on vital issues that were overlooked by the moderators and debaters who connived to bar debating rights from smaller parties. But, Truth, you have been goofing off far too much when we need you desperately. And there is such a gnawing sense of urgency. The future beckons with so much promise while threatening with so much danger. You are forcing me to purchase the works of scores of honest dissidents, a few of whom I will list at the end of this blog.
The dangers, that have always been with us, seem to have become uncontrollable: over-population, global warming, water, war profiteers, prejudices, inequalities, gun proliferation, debt, penal systems, energy needs, mobility costs, environmental abuses, greed, widespread fraud, educational inadequacies - the list is endless.
The promises of human ingenuity are also endless, provided we use extreme care in choosing the paths we take as they can easily conceal unknown fatal traps. Truth, is your absence due to the fact you can not breath as you are engulfed in a tsunamis of lies?
Today, we have new human gods among us capable not only of building robots in our human image but of imparting to their individual, human-made, brains all the data we have collected since the invention of writing, 5,200 years ago. This could easily ensure our own extinction, as Stephen Hawking warns. Do we have adequate knowledge and ability to build in safeguards? Whatever gods, or forces, built us humans did an amazingly good, and an amazingly bad, job. Are we humans any better at being gods? We could be, but?
Since Homo sapiens evolved 200,000 years ago (ya) in Africa, spread to Asia 100,000 ya and Europe 60,000 ya, groups of humans have organized themselves into co-operative associations to survive in both beneficial and harsh environments. This has allowed biological and cultural evolution not to be too much out of step. Emerging from the hunting and gathering economy to sedentary farming is a mere 12,000 years old, so cultural changes have leaped well ahead of biological catch-ups. The rapid growth of villages, towns, cities, nations, and alliances have resulted in an ever-growing parasitic human element that had been well contained in tribal associations where the survival of the group demanded the contributions and empathy of each member. In the Americas, thousands of European settlers chose to flee their European cultures to be absorbed into tribes. Our current generation suffers from an alarming increase in fraud among governments, businesses, and individuals.
We, in what we call the West, or Free World, are fortunate in that investigative reporting and dissidents are allowed to exist and are relatively free of persecution. But our complicated world does demand a fair knowledge of history and current world affairs in order to sort out what the truth is and who reveals, and protects, it best. In spite of my 2,400 books and another hundred on my Kindle, all dealing with science or world affairs, I consider myself still a novice, welcoming free discussions and realizing I would learn nothing if everyone agreed with me. I get frequent Jehovah Witness callers and less-frequent Mormons. I invite them in, read their literature, and seek discussions, offering some of my own literature, hoping to encourage thinking. They are all pleasant people and some couples have made repeated visits, but only once did I get other than chapter and verse from the bibles they carried or contained on their i-pads. One day a middle-aged woman arrived with her mother. Well into their arguments I mentioned the larger, and more peaceful, period of history when we had female gods, explaining a few of them. As they were leaving the mother said to her daughter, “I like this guy.”
I live in a pleasant area of Colorado Springs inhabited mainly by military, business, and government retirees, quite content with their generous pensions and no need to worry about the less fortunate. During the lengthy run-up to the 2004 election, Republican signs dominated the area, so I installed two Obama signs on my large corner lot. In the morning I learned just how generous Republicans are. They gave me a free year’s supply of toilet paper. All I had to do was unwind it all from the numerous trees that grace the yard. I had to replace my uprooted Obama signs five times. Obama did win so, maybe, my persistence helped a little. But my desire for informative, peaceful discussions took a beating. I was frightened to discover that several of my likable neighbours do not believe in evolution or man-made global warming and have little in-depth knowledge of the outside world. Today, they admit their dislike of Donald Trump but will vote for him anyway, thus risking
endless wars and extinction. This city has a large military presence, so when I stayed after reaching the then-compulsory retirement age of 49 from a rich and varied RCAF career to accept a teaching career, I believed I would have a wealth of discussions because many of my students had accompanied their parents on world-wide assignments. While I did have many top-notch students who did elicit me donating much overtime work, I had far too many who benefited little from their overseas tours as they remained on base in US housing, learning nothing outside their U.S. school curriculum. So, here are 52 of the many books that have helped me:
Allawi, Ali: “The Crisis of Islamic Civilization”, 2009, 304 pages.
Al Aswany, Alaa: “On the State of Egypt”, 2011, 192 pages.
Bacevitch, Andrew: “The Limits of Power - End of American Exceptionalism”, 2008, 209 pages.
Baldwin & Heartson: “Ukraine -ZBIG’s Grand Chess Board - How the West Was Checkmated”.
Black, William: The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, 2005, 329 pages.
Blum, William: “America’s Deadliest Export - Democracy”, 2013, 284 pages.
Bobbit, Philip: “Terror and Consent - Wars for the 21st Century”, 2008, 674 pages
Carter, Jimmy: “Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid”, 2007, 264 pages, “We Can Have Peace in the Middle East”, 2009, 229 pages.
Chatterjee, Pratap: “Haliburton’s Army”, 2009, 284 pages
Chomsky, Noam: “Hegemony or Survival?”, 2003, “The Essential Chomsky”, 2008, 515 pages, “Gaza in Crisis”, 2010“, “Profit Over People”, 2011, “Was There an Alternative?”, 2011, 177 pages, “Western Terrorism”, 2013, “Who Rules the World?”, 2016.
Eland, Ivan: “The Empire Has No Clothes - US foreign policy”, 2008, 264 pages.
Erlich, Reese: “The Iran Agenda”, 2007, 222 pages.
Feinstein, Andrew: “Global arms trade”, 2011, 673 pages.
Ferguson, Charles: “Predator Nation - Corporate and Political Corruption”, 2012, 369 pages.
Franken, Al: “The Truth”, 2005, 336 pages.
Fry, Douglas: “Beyond War”, 2007, 331 pages.
Gerges, Fawaz: “Obama and the Middle East”, 2012, 291 pages.
Greenspan, Alan: “The Age of Turbulence”, 2007, 531 pages.
Harding, Luke: “The Snowden Files”, 2014,
Hiro, Dilip: “After Empire - Birth of a Multipolar World”, 2010, 348 pages.
Junger, Sebastian: “Tribe” 2016, 168 pages.
Khalidi, Rashid: “Brokers of Deceit”, 2013
Klein,: Naomi, “Shock Doctrine” “This Changes Everything”, 2014
Leamer, Laurence: “The Price of Justice - A True Story of Greed and Corruption”, 2013, 433 pages.
McQuaig, Linda: “It’s the Crude, Dude”, “Holding the Bully’s Coat”, 2007, 296 pages
Moore, Mike: “Twilight War - The Folly of US Space Dominance”, 2008, 390 pages.
Nasrallah, “Sayyed Hassan: “Voice of Hezbollah”, 2007, 420 pages.
Nikiforuk, Andrew: “Tar Sands - Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent”, 2010, 249 pages.
Parsi, Trita: “Single Role of the Dice - Iran”, 2012. 284 pages.
Perry, Mark: “Talking to Terrorists”, 2010, 251 pages.
Petras, James: “The Power of Israel in the United States”, 2007, 191 pages.
Rashid, Ahmed: Taliban, 2001, 274 pages, “Descent into Chaos”, 2008, 484 pages.
Rosen, Nir: “The Triumph of the Martrys - Occupied Iraq”, 2006, 272 pages.
Rosenberg, Elliott, “But, Were They Good For The Jews?”, 1997, 309 pages.
Scahill, Jeremy: “Blackwater”, 2007, 550 pages, “Dirty Wars”, 2013, 673 pages.
Stone, Merlin: “When God was a Woman”, 1976, 265 pages.
Suskind, Ron: “The Way of the World”, 2008, 415 pages.
Suzuki, David: “Everything Under The Sun”, 2012, 282 pages.
Vidal, Gore: “Imperial America”, 2004, 181 pages.
Wiss, Ray: “A Line in the Sand - Canadians in Kandahar”, 2010, 401 pages.
Woodward, Bob: “Bush at War”, 2002, 377 pages.