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: The Accidental Admiral – A Sailor Takes Command at NATO

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James Stavridis

5.0 out of 5 stars In Ike’s mold — a future Secretary of Defense or State or both if we are lucky…, December 11, 2014

This is three books in one, and none of them do justice to the author, who is easily considered by my naval officer colleagues to be a person of most extraordinary intellect and absolute integrity — he is considered a “five star” flag in every possible respect, and there are many of us whom he has mentored or who run with those he has mentored, who hope he will one day be Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State or both. I discussed this book with CAPT Scott Philpott, USN (Ret), among those selected by the author as an innovator, and this point cannot be overstated: to the extent the Services have toxic leadership that must be retired, those mentored by Admiral Stavridis and a few other leaders (General Tony Zinni, for example) are the vanguard for a new generation of leaders who are agile, clear, daring, frugal, and above all, able to bring to bear intelligence with integrity.

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Dec 11

Review: EMERGE! The Rise of Functional Democracy and the Future of the Middle East

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Elza S. Maalouf, Foreword by Don Beck

5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary — Empowering, World-Changing, Rich in Substance, December 6, 2014

This book was recommended to me by Michael Ostrolenk, whom I consider one of the most inspiring transpartisan figures in America today, and endorsed by Elisabet Sahtouris, evolution biologist and “Yoda” to many of us. Given those two recommendations, my own review is pro forma, summary notes for smart people.

This is a most extraordinary book that I found deeply absorbing, inspiring, and practical. It is an original work in every possible sense of the word, and brings to the public insights, concepts, and methods that are essential to creating peace and prosperity among vastly diverse groups whose cultures, mind-sets, life conditions, and existing forms of governance and economics are not just in conflict, but downright pathologically dysfunctional.

Within this rich offering are a few things that are simply not found elsewhere, that could and should redefine and mature Western and Eastern understanding and practice:

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Dec 6