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104 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still an Important Alternative Voice That Needs to Be Heard, September 18, 2006
By 
Steve Koss (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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Unlike the proverbial lone voice in the wilderness, Amy Goodman's is sounded every day on Democracy Now! with a partner, Juan Gonzalez. Even in New York City, Ms. Goodman and Mr. Gonzalez are hardly able to raise their voices above the media trash heap filled by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, the increasingly sensationalist CNN (whose kidnapped baby can we bloviate about today?), the disappointingly ineffectual New York Times, the superficial Brian Williams, and everybody's oh-so-cute CBS newcomer, Sally Fields (You like me! You really like me!). Oops, make that last one was Katie Couric. Democracy Now! languishes in NYC, nearly invisible on public access cable every morning at 8:00.

As they did with their last book, THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULERS, Amy and her brother David have once again provided "the other side of the story" on numerous topics. Their basic premise in STATIC is that the mainstream media have failed miserably in their primary duty - to inform the public while serving as a check against government overreach. Important stories are missed because the media has too often parroted the official government line; in other instances, stories are underreported or simply ignored.

Do you know the story of the shameful rendition by the U.S. government of Canadian citizen Maher Arar to Syra for torturing? Or that of FBI spying on Sarah Bardwell of the American Friends Service Center in Denver? How about those of Karen Ryan, Jennifer Morrow, Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and James Guckert - all pseudo-independent journalists paid by Bush II to churn out propagandistic pseudo-news reports? Or Ken Tomlinson's shameless attempt under Bush II's behest at a right wing coup of PBS? Or the American government's appalling record of democracy subversion in Haiti? Or the witch hunts against supposed Chinese spy Wen Ho Lee and Chinese-American Captain James Yee? Or U.S. Army Specialist Tony Lagouranis (who served in Iraq and worked at Abu Ghraib), Craig Murray (former British ambassador to Uzbekistan), and Karen Bauer, Leslie Weise, Alex Young, Steven Gerner, and Sue Niederer (among the thousands who have in various ways been kept away or thrown out of Bush/Cheney scripted and stage-managed public appearances because they MIGHT object or disagree with the Party line)? If you've never heard of most or all of these people, you can thank NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and the NY Times and their ilk, or you can read Amy and David Goodman and learn what's really going on in what's left of the once-hallowed American democracy.

STATIC admittedly draws heavily from the "below the radar" public record and the transcript archives of Democracy Now! Yet while this book could certainly have used some original muckraking or revelations to freshen its content, it nevertheless provides a disturbing recap of government policy and American life during the last five years. In the Orwellian world of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove -- where spin is truth and reality is mocked as the last refuge of ideological losers, where the cynical, Nixonian notion of "truthiness" can enter the public domain as humor without outrage, where journalist icons like Bob Woodward and Judith Miller sell their souls for access and become irrelevant shills, and where our most reliable news sources have become comedians Jon Stewart and Bill Maher - Amy, David, and Juan remain among the small troupe (Greg Palast, Noam Chomsky, etc.) who, to paraphrase Lincoln, constitute "our last best hope." If you want to understand what is happening to your country -- how it is becoming a corporatized international pariah and theocratic police state -- read STATIC and THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULERS, and watch or listen to DEMOCRACY NOW! as often as possible.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energy, Passion for the Truth, Bravery, September 24, 2006
By 
I recently shared a day with fellow progressives at The Fighting Bob Fest in

Baraboo, Wisconsin and one of the speaker was Amy Goodman. I was delighted

to discover she and David had written this book. Sometimes I find it hard

to listen to "Democracy Now" daily because often the truth is hard to hear.

The beauty of this book is there are two sections. The first lays out the

lies and destructive policies of the government and the inbededness of most

of the media and the loss of truth telling. The second section tells the

stories of those who are standing up and saying no and are the "voices of

hope and reistance". It would be hard to read this book and not be

committed to join those voices.

Amy and David quote Alice Walker.

"I asked Alice Walker what good is the antiwar movement if it has

failed to stop war?"

"Sometimes you can't see tangible results," she explained.

"You cannot see the changes that you're dreaming about, because

they're internal. And a lot of it has to do with the ability

to express yourself, your own individual dream and your own

individual road in life. And so we may never stop war. It

isn't likely that we will, actually. But what we're doing as

we try to stop war externally, what we're trying to do is stop

it in ourselves. That's where war has to end. And until we

can control our own violence, our own anger, our own hostility,

our own meanness, our own greed, it's going to be so, so so

hard to do anything out there.

So I think of any movement for peace and justice as something

that is about stabilizing our inner spriit so that we can go on

and bring into the world a vision that is much more humane than

the one that we have dominant today."
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing & Forceful!, March 15, 2007
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I happened to find this book while searching for another title here at Amazon ~~ it came as a suggested buy and I ditched the first title in favor of this one ~~ and I haven't regretted the decision since. Once I picked up this book, I wasn't able to put it down. It is disturbing and equally disquieting. I cannot believe there aren't more people talking about this book or Democracy Now!

This book covers the lack of media reportage of human rights violations across the world. That alone is disturbing. But what makes me even more nervous is that the violations are also being supported by the current administration that we have now. They are the most secretive administration ever in the US history and no wonder, after reading this book, are they so secretive. And the media goes right along with them in covering up their crimes. As a former news designer for a very tiny newspaper (remind you!), I have seen what happened when big corporations get in the way of decision-making of what goes in the newspaper on a daily basis, so it wasn't surprising to read of it here. What is more surprising are the news that just aren't being reported.

There's instances reported in here about innocent men being arrested just because they're Muslims or from the Middle East; torture chambers in different countries that are supported by the CIA; a Democratic leader from a small and impoverished nation being exiled because he wasn't going along with the administration's goals; a British diplomat who was fired for speaking up for the country he's an envoy for; military soldiers fighting against the Iraq War and mothers who want answers for their children's death; the firing of the prosecutors were mentioned in this book, long before that became an issue in the news just recently; suppression of true journalists (Helen Thomas comes to mind) when they ask probing questions, and many more instances.

It is enough to make you sick and at the same time, you're questioning if this is really happening ~~ because the media didn't really report it. Fortunately for me, I remember hearing a lot of these instances simply because my husband reads the entire newspaper from front to back and finds a lot of these snippets buried in obscure corners of the paper and he'll point them out to me. There were instances that I was not familiar with ~~ and was appalled. This book is not for weak stomachs. This book is enlightening. This book will make you so mad that you'll want to throw it across the room.

If you want to read something that is compiled of disturbing instances that we don't see in the mainstream media, this is the book to get. It is honest, gut-wrenching, and forceful in just the facts being reported. It is also well-written and engrossing that you can't put it down. But at the same time, it leaves you with a question hanging over your head, just what are you going to do now? Keep burying your head in the sand or face the fact that there are serious problems facing our country and it's coming from within, not from the outside.

3-15-07
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must reading, September 28, 2006
By 
Steven P. Kanig (Albuquerque, New Mexico USA) - See all my reviews
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Who should read this book? Anyone with a conscience and a brain and a beating heart who cares about the United States and its place in the world. Anyone who is frightened about rapidly disappearing concepts like truth, justice and due process. Anyone who understands that our fragile democracy is vitally dependent not only on verifiable elections, but also on a voting public well informed by aggressive, independent, skeptical journalists rather than embedded reporters who regurgitate self-serving, manufactured reality and trade truth for access.

"Static" is not mere polemic. Everything is extensively documented. It's impossible to put down, yet it's equally difficult not to come up for air while you're reading it. It will make you very angry.

So, hooray for Amy and David Goodman! They provide hope that real journalism has not been completely extinguished and that we may one day again appreciate what patriotism truly means.

Read this superb and courageous book today, and buy copies for your friends and especially for those who might not read it otherwise. Before it's too late.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCR. RELEVANCE BY THE DAY, November 9, 2006
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We now stand at a zero point of possibilities for continuing the momentum that has been stimulated by people like Amy and DAvid Goodman through books like this. The book represents tireless and countless hours of work by the Amy, David, and the staff of DemocracyNow! in New York City. I pay tribute to all that it takes behind the scenes to bring forth information with the depth in this book. It is passionate, piercing, and poignant, calling each of us to a courage and compassion for the process of evolving life on this planet. Bravo to all of us on this path, who have had our eyes opened by people like Amy and David Goodman.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis, November 10, 2006
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This is an excellent analysis. It proves the enormous value to the public of an independent media. Amy Goodman is intelligent and insightful; the anti-Couric.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want the truth . . ., November 9, 2006
By 
Excellent collection of facts of the scandalous Bush administration. By now, we know that America has figured it out, but reading it is a shocking detailing of just how arrogant our government can be when it feels it has to answer to no one.
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40 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a necessary political advocacy book but....., September 6, 2006
This book provides a good summary of most of the major governmental, CIA and media mischief, corruptions and/or shortcomings. Much of the material has been published before, but the Goodmans bring it together in a readable, non-scholarly fashion for a wider audience.

The authors are passionate, sincere and advocating political engagement to curtail what they perceive to be an "Outlaw Nation" beset with "liars and cheerleaders." Their sources are not drawn that much from scholarly books such as Stefan Halper's "America Alone" or Chalmers Johnson's "Sorrows of Empire" or the recent book by Ken Osgood "Total Cold War" (which may not yet have been available for them) but mostly from newspapers, internet, radio, and other media sources such as "Mother Jones" and "Democracy Now!" which co-author Amy Goodman founded. There is no bibliography, though acceptable endnotes and an index, but some books by serious scholars such as the historian Alfred McCoy are extensively used and cited in the text.

The historical events recounted are important and interspersed with human anecdotes to illustrate the consequences of torture, censorship, media manipulation, etc. We are given a summary of the historical evolution of the infamous COINTELPRO policy (the domestic spying by the FBI), the origins of the torture policies that emerged from the massive CIA research program extending from 1950 to 1962--a veritable Manhattan Project costing l billion dollars--to find out the most effective torture. Its conclusions that sensory deprivation and self-inflicted pain are most effective were codified in the 1963 "KUBARK Counterintelligence Manual" and applied by the Bush administration in Iraq and around the globe.

Furthermore, the book gives a good account, though somewhat haphazard and disjointed, of foreign policy maltreatments of the Aristide government in Haiti, of witch hunts and oil profiteers, etc.

In a shorter second section the book deals with those who are "fighting back" starting with the actions of Cindy Sheehan and ending, somewhat disconnectedly, with Pakistani, Uruguayan and Indian writers and crusaders for human rights.

The book deserves to be read by a wide audience, and it is meant for such. But its passionate advocacy for democratic political engagement, while necessary to expose and counteract media manipulation and, especially, Bush's severe deceptions and war mongering, does raise the crucial question whether or not overpoliticization will ultimately be beneficial or result in more problems. Any scholar who has studied, taught, researched and published political history must come to the conclusion that ethics tends to be impaired, too often overwhelmingly, through overpoliticization that almost always, in the final analysis, by necessity tends to be corrosive to ethics in spite of the fact that ethics should always remain primary, guiding politics instead of being victimized by overpoliticized democratic actions that result in both Osama bin Laden's and Bush's policies. A wise observer would recognize the potential dangerous connection between the overpoliticized supporters of bin Laden and Bush and this book's subtitle "the People Who Fight Back." It causes democratic politics to succumb to what should be called demofascism, i.e. people oppressing people, though Cindy Sheehan and others deserve admiration in part precisely because they are non-violent in their efforts, which should not be called "fighting back."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this, November 11, 2007
By 
Timothy Murray (Queens, New York) - See all my reviews
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This is an excellent well research description of the failure of the media to stand up for themselves let allow inform the public. The authors provide point by point details with strong source to back up everything they say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amy Goodman-Static Great book!, October 24, 2007
The author Amy Goodman,and the book Static,make for a great product experience.The book is nice,well written,ideas presented well.The item was delivered in two days time and is a testament to the fine service from Amazon.com thanks..
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Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back
Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back by David Goodman (Paperback - September 18, 2007)
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