Review: Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror

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Paul Vallely and Thomas McInerney

1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to Morons in Power, June 19, 2013

This is the single best book for understanding what morons in power think when they pretend to think but are actually pursuing ideological and financial objectives far removed from the public interest.

The authors, who demonstrate how far one could get in the Cold War military without reading or thinking, call this a military assessment. It is not. It is a one-track discourse on why we need to use our heavy metal military to wipe out Syria and Iran and intimidate Libya and Pakistan. It avoids discussing Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Central Asia, Muslim Africa, and Muslim Pacifica. This is not analysis, this is flim-flam.

By way of context in my specific criticism of this book, let me just note that the bibliography does not reflect any appreciation for strategy, e.g. Colin Gray’s “Modern Strategy”, or Col Dr. Max Manwaring and Ambassadors Corr and Dorff’s “The Search for Security”, or Willard Matthias “America’s Strategic Blunders” or Adda Bozeman’s “Strategic Intelligence & Statecraft” or Jonathan Schell’s “Unconquerable World.” I looked in vain for any sign the authors might comprehend the strategic context in which their specific beliefs and recommendations can only be seen as ill-advised. For example, a reference to Shultz, Godson, and Quester (at least one of whom is a neo-conservative), “Security Studies for the 21st Century”, or Robert McNamara and James Blight “Wilson’s Ghost”, or Dean Jeffrey Garten’s “The Politics of Fortune”, or Republican and conservative Clyde Prestowitz’s “Rogue Nation”, or Ambassador Mark Palmer’s “Breaking the Real Axis of Evil”. No cognizance of Kissinger, even.

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Jun 19

Review: Food Politics – What Everyone Needs to Know

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Robert Paarlberg

1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing at Three Levels, January 25, 2012

This book is disappointing at three levels:

1) The publisher has been completely dishonest in failing to illuminate the fact that this is a book Of, By, and For Monsanto, the greatest force of evil to ever hit farming.

2) The author (naturally) does not address the total corruption of the US Government and most other governments with respect to all issues, not just food. Corn as fuel, corn as fake sugar, corn as inedible cattle feed that puts cattle feces into spinach, the poisoning of our children and our environment by pesticides and other toxins that substitute poison for intelligence, are not covered.

3) Finally, the author is completely lacking in a systemic approach to all of these matters. Here are the twelve core policies that must be harmonized if they are to be effective: Agriculture, Diplomacy, Economy, Education, Energy, Family, Health, Immigration, Justice, Security, Society, Water. This book is abysmally oblivious–no doubt for the convenience of Monsanto–to the fact that agriculture that is based on fossil fuel consumption, inter-continental transport, poisoning for both growth and packaging; that destroys small farmers and community-related farming; that destroys the health of entire nations; that destroys the chain of life in seed that gives birth to new seed (instead substituting suicidal seeds); and finally, the cost-benefit ratio of water use in relation to all that is grown or raised–none of this is to be found in this book, ergo this is a dishonest, incomplete, rather ignorant book.

From where I sit, the publisher, the publisher has disgraced their brand. Here are ten links to books I recommend instead of this book.

Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It
How Everyday Products Make People Sick: Toxins at Home and in the Workplace, Updated and Expanded
Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense
Diet for a Small Planet
Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate (New in Paper) (Princeton Science Library)
Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy
The Republican War on Science
Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion
Pandora’s Poison: Chlorine, Health, and a New Environmental Strategy
Debt and Death in Rural India: The Punjab Story

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Jan 28

Review: Intelligence, Political Inequality, and Public Policy

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Intelligence PolicyImportant Topic, Grotesque Pricing, April 3, 2008

Elliott White

This book joins my list of books I will never buy, read, nor recommend, because the publisher is charging three times what the book is worth. As a publisher myself, I am happy to inform prospective buyers that this book cost a penny a page to print. You do the math. Authors get 15%, Amazon gets 40%, the rest after actual cost deducation is pure profit.

This publisher is part of the problem, not part of the solution. This book should not cost more than $35. I would buy it at that price and probably find it quite valuable.

Authors are encouraged to demand in advance, in writing, a commitment on affordable pricing. The alternative is to post your book on the Internet as a PDF with a Creative Commons non-commercial license, which is what I do for all the books that I publish (at the same time that they are offered on Amazon at affordable prices to cover costs.

Better values:
Intelligence Power in Peace and War
Seven Sins of American Foreign Policy
Informing Statecraft
Best Truth: Intelligence in the Information Age
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam
Who the Hell Are We Fighting?: The Story of Sam Adams and the Vietnam Intelligence Wars
On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

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Jul 4