Review: Beyond the Fracking Wars – A Guide for Lawyers, Public Officials, Planners, and Citizens

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Erica Levine Powers and Beth E. Kinne (editors)

4 stars. Useful contribution badly marketed and badly priced

The authors, being from New York, know what the NYT and Mother Jones both missed in their stories on Governor Cuomo banning fracking in New York: that it was a legal couple Helen and David Slottje that went village by village educating townships that then passed anti-fracking ordnances. Search for this headline to get to the photo essay: Dryden: The Town That Changed The Fracking Game. To everyone’s delight, the Appeals Court upheld those local decisions instead of doing what they usually do, yield to federal and corporate corruption. Today fracking has been banned in Quebec, many US states at various levels of governance, and world-wide (search for List of Franking Bans Worldwide) for the simple reason that it uses clean water we cannot spare, contaminates what is left of the clean water in rapidly falling aquifers, and creates earthquakes — a new CRS Report is just out, free, Human-Induced Earthquakes from Deep-Well Injection: A Brief Overview, easily found online.

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Jan 11

Review (Guest): The American Deep State – Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on US Democracy

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Peter Dale Scott

5 Star  Connecting the Dots

By The Peripatetic Reader on December 13, 2014

Peter Dale Scott has written many books about the Deep State at work in the U.S. government. Scott depicts American society as structurally and inherently schizophrenic. Just as there is the public government and the deep government, and ordinary events and deep events, there are two dominant forces permeating United States history: One egalitarian, believing in fairness, inclusion, and free expression, and the other militaristic and exclusionary, which is only interested in social control.

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Jan 3

Review: Before the First Shots are Fired – How America Can Win or Lose Off the Battlefield

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cover zinni shots

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Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz

Foreign Politics Beyond the Beltway

By Andrew Lubin on September 6, 2014

Today’s foreign policy world seems like the bad old days of American indecision under Jimmy Carter; the Israel-Hamas war, Putin annexed the Crimea, President Obama’s red-lines in Syria are repeatedly ignored, and the Americans killed in Iraq seem to have been sacrificed for a country whose people wanted democracy far less than the “Neocon’s wanted it for them…clearly General Tony Zinni’s USMC (ret) latest book, Before the First Shot is Fired; How America can win or lose off the battlefield, is being published at a most opportune time.

Writing with an honesty rare in Washington, D.C, “Before the First Shot” is Zinni’s assessment of why America’s foreign and military policy-making is ineffective, if not harmful, to America’s national interests. In conjunction with co-author Tony Koltz, he discusses why the complex question “Are we warriors, peacekeepers, or liberators?” of Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond needs to be honestly discussed and answered when military actions are being considered.

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Dec 24

Review: Partnership for the Americas – Western Hemisphere Strategy and U.S. Southern Command

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James Stavridis

5.0 out of 5 stars Our Best Thinking to Date — We Can Go Much Further, December 24, 2014

This is the pre-cursor book to The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO which I have reviewed most favorably and strongly recommend. This book — while free online as are all NDU Press books, is a very high quality production with some complex graphics and color photographs. It is fairly priced and absolutely recommended in print if you favor books you can hold in your hands.

There have been other books by military commanders but to the best of my knowledge only General Tony Zinni, USMC (then commanding the US Central Command with two wars and 12 task forces) and General Wesley Clark, USA (then commanding NATO during the Kosovo mess) have risen to what this book strives to be, a gold standard for whole of government multinational engagement.

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Dec 24