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Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times Hardcover – April 8, 2008
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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About the Author
Amy Goodman is an internationally acclaimed journalist. She has won many of the most prestigious awards in journalism, including the George Polk Award, the Alfred I duPont-Columbia University Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting. Democracy Now! airs on more than 200 radio and TV stations around the world.
David Goodman is an award-winning independent journalist whose articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Mother Jones, Outside, The Nation, and numerous other publications. He is the author most recently of the critically acclaimed Fault Lines: Journeys into the New South Africa. He lives with his wife and two children in Vermont.
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Montgomery Bus Boycott - 1955 (Rosa Parks) - lasted over a year. A resulting case went to the Supreme Court which overturned bus segregation.
Malik Rahim protesting the failure to rebuild much of New Orleans post Katrina. The group "Common Ground" resulted - a group of volunteers. Meanwhile, the disaster was transformed into a windfall for Bush cronies' companies. Public schools became privatized, and much public housing eliminated.
George Christian, executive director, along with four other mild-mannered librarians forming the board of Connecticut libraries sharing a computer system, stood up toe FBI agents demanding information on library users to "protect against terrorism." There were 143,000 such requests in 2007 - no judge approval required. Only one led to a terrorism conviction, while 1,000 requests admittedly broke the law or regulations. The American Library Association encouraged libraries to use software that automatically erases records of book use - provided the book is returned and fines paid. The Connecticut libraries obtained ACLU legal support, and the government eventually dropped the case.
The Pentagon Papers (1971) exposed how the government secretly expanded the Vietnam War in the 1960s and then lied to cover it up. Nixon then ordered a break-in to Ellsberg's psychiatrist to get evidence to discredit him.
A survey of 1,600 government scientists in 2007 revealed nearly half perceived/experienced pressure on climate change information released. Dr. James Hansen, America's preeminent expert on climate change was required to have all site postings, papers, and interview requests reviewed by NASA P.R. staff - specifically a 24-year-old George Deutsch who was a political appointee lacking even his claimed B.A. degree and wanting to prove "intelligent design." The Executive Branch also slashed Hansen's budget 20% retroactively (40% effective), and brought in sci-fi author and global warming denier Michael Crichton for White House advice in 2005. This section also cites considerable Congressional testimony and review showing blatantly biased editing. Industry is now making large grants to university research centers.
The Goodmans also report the contradiction between U.S. prosecution of German "enhanced interrogation" (sleep deprivation, hypothermia, stress positions) of non-uniformed Norwegian resistors, vs. our logic for doing the same at Guantanamo Bay.
The authors overreached, however, writing about Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi emigre, who became upset that his wearing a T-shirt with an angry slogan in Arabic and English while trying to board a plane caused a negative reaction among passengers and federal agents. The Goodmans and Jarrar should have had more sense to try to make this an example of courage, instead of the reality of being "tone-deaf."
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the American flag" - authorship uncertain, but describes the U.S. post 9/11 with the Bush administration's abrogation of limitations while ramming through its agenda, deceptions, and secrecy.
My favorite section is the one about the students at Wilton High School who were putting on a play, "Voices in Conflict" featuring the words of Iraq War Veterans. They had previously done plays that dealt with graphic sex, homosexuality, and violence, but this play was banned from being performed at the school. The subject of this play was war and that would not be tolerated.
The banning backfired because the story spread and the students were asked to do nine performances of the play at the National Theater in New York City and other theaters in Connecticut. After the last performance, the actors stated their feelings as they stood on the stage.
"Why is talking about the war 'sensational and inappropriate'?
Since when has war not been graphic and violent?
If they consider the words of the soldiers biased, why do they allow an army recruiter into the school cafeteria?
Why has the school been silent on these issues?
Why did it take a New York Times article to start discussion?"
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