Category Archives: Books

Jan. 9, 2017 The New Yorker

On Jan. 9, 2017 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Shop Till They Drop” about fake news purveyors using social media to drive boycotts. Companies need to think twice about becoming involved with or being identifying with divisive politics. “Trump’s victory has created a political realm in which tens of millions of people feel that if you’re not with them you are against them. That’s a curse for companies that aim for a mass market, America’s traditional strength.”

Kelefa Sanneh wrote “Secret Admirers” about Trump doing what many traditional conservatives want and ignoring the people who voted for him.

Ian Frazier wrote “High-Rise Greens” about new hydroponic technologies to grow more food in cities.

Copyright 2017 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 19, 2016 The New Yorker

On Dec. 19, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Doctor’s Orders” about American Medical Association hundred year battle against health care reform, including repealing Obamacare.

Elizabeth Kolbert wrote “Rage Against The Machine” about robots replacing humans in the workplace. We will be replaced. We will be unemployed. The technological solution will need political, economic and social solutions.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 12, 2016 The New Yorker

On Dec. 12, 2016 The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin wrote “The Fight To Vote” about conservatives efforts to suppress the vote. “In the words of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which, before the election, struck down some of the changes instituted by North Carolina “Although the New provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assurtedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that do not exist.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 5, 2016 The New Yorker

On Dec. 5, 2016 The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson wrote “Transitions” about the president elect’s cabinet and staff appointments and conflicts of interest. “Trump has a shot at being the country’s worst President but Americans are not in the worst position they have ever been in from which to confront him.”

James Surowiecki wrote “Trump Sets Private Prisons Free” about the Correction Corporation Of America and other private prisons new lease on life with the new administration. Chris Patella of Bates College and others find private prisons to be less cost effective than government ones despite cutting corners. “Worse, private prisons have an obvious incentive to keep people inside as long as possible. America has more people in prison than any other and private prisons are part of this system of mass incarceration.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Nov. 28, 2016 The New Yorker

On Nov. 28, 2016 The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb wrote “States Vs. Trump” about liberals using states rights to defy the new administration. On November 10, 2016 Kevin de Leon of the California Senate and Anthony Rendon of the California Assembly stated “Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land.” “Thirty-nine million people live in California – twelve percent of the population of the United States. The state is home to the economic and cultural axes of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Last year its economy became the sixth largest in the world, a spot formerly held by France.”

James Surowiecki wrote “Trump’s Infrastructure Promises”  about the new administration’s strategy to increase debt, put money in the hands of the wealthy, create no jobs for the poor and won’t build new infrastructure.

Nicola Tilley wrote “Cold Remedy” about doctors lowering a gunshot victim’s body temperature to the low fifties (Fahrenheit) with ice cold saline. The patient can be in a state of suspended animation for an hour and slowly brought back to life.

Daniel Zalewski wrote “The Factory of Fakes” about archaeologists using digital technology to create copies of threatened antiquities for future generations.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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November 14, 2016 The New Yorker

On November 14, 2016 The New Yorker’s Nicholas Schmidle wrote “About Face Bad Guys” about conservative pundit Glenn Beck’s regretting everything he has said over the years. “So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham. There is nothing deep.””These people scare the hell out of me.”

James Surowiecki wrote “What’s In A Name” about the lengths corporations go to find the right name and still fail.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 31, 2016 The New Yorker

Oct. 31, 2016 The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz wrote “Trolls For Trump” about conservative extremist online supporters attacking anyone they do not like  with fake news. Meme expert Richard Dawkins said “Now, however ridiculous what you are saying is, if you make it mimetically successful, something really bad can spread through culture.”

George Packer wrote “The Unconnected” about how Democratic leadership is disconnected from poor voters who may not vote in the numbers they used to. They feel neglected. They may vote for people that do not represent their own best interest. “The fact that so many informed, sophisticated Americans failed to see Donald Trump coming, and the kept writing him off, is itself a sign of a democracy in which no center holds.” “Trump represents  the whole country’s failure.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 17, 2016 The New Yorker

Oct. 17, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Trump’s Other Tax Ploy” about his proposed tax break which is similar to every other Republican tax plan. Low taxes for the rich and big deficits and less help for the poor. “And his plan will only reinforce the image of the Republican party as the home of rich people something that has already started to worry a few Republicans.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Oct. 10, 2016 The New Yorker

On Oct. 10, 2016 The New Yorker’s Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote “Higher Mathematics Algorithm Blues” about Cathy O’Neil, author of “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy”. Apparently “…algorithms are being used to oppress people.. I saw … individuals just getting screwed by unfair automated decisions.” “Certain categories of people were being given ‘scores’ by computer programs which led to their being charged more for car insurance, paying higher interest rates on credit cards, getting disqualified from jobs or receiving longer prison terms.”

James Surowiecki wrote “The Hidden Cost of Race” about how discrimination is built into the financial system with most of the benefit going to the richest twenty percent of Americans.

Nathan Heller wrote “Cashing Out” about the end of printed currency in the digital age.

Larissa MacFarquahar about how unpopular Hillary Clinton is in West Virginia.

Louis Menand wrote “He’s Back” about the return of Karl Marx.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sep. 26, 2016 The New Yorker

On Sep. 26, 2016 The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos wrote “President Trump” about what he may after he is elected. Anthony Karydakis of Miller Tabac said, “If he ever even alludes renegotiating the debt, we will have a downgrade of U.S. debt, and that event will cause a massive exodus of foreign investors from the U.S. Treasury market.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sep. 19, 2016 The New Yorker

On Sep. 19, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “The Thick Blue Line” about how police unions protect their members. It is an example for other workers.

Nick Paumgarten wrote “Wild Man” about Patagonia co-founder Yvon Chouinard’s efforts to build a sustainable company and planet. He said “Trump is the perfect person to take us to the Apocalypse.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Sep. 5, 2016 The New Yorker

On Sep. 5, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “Sick Business” about Obamacare (originally Romneycare) and insurance companies. “Since managing risk is typically key to how insurance companies make money it would have made sense to leave them out and just enroll everyone in a government-run program like Medicare.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Aug. 8, 2016 The New Yorker

On Aug. 8, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “The Perils Of Executive Action” about President Obama’s getting around Republican obstructionism using executive action. The problem is that it can be overturned by whoever is elected after him. “the power of the President is greater than ever. The choice of a President matters more than ever, too.”

Jill Lepore wrote “The War And The Roses” about the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Jon Lee Anderson wrote “The Distant Shore” about protecting isolated Amazon tribes in Peru.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Aug. 1, 2016 The New Yorker

On Aug. 1, 2016 The New Yorker’s Hector Tobar wrote “Letter From Maricopa County” about Latinos trying to vote in Arizona.

Amy Davison wrote “Parental Controls” about parents using Game Theory to raise children. It does not work. Stephanie Koontz thinks that government programs like the Homestead Act, the GI Bill and federal mortgages helped more families.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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May 30, 2016 The New Yorker

On May 30, 2016 The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb wrote “Opening Doors” about the parallels between the civil rights movement in the 1960s to the current LGBT struggles down south.

Nicholas Schmidle wrote “Dirty Wars” about former commando Paul Burton training journalists to safely cover the Republican convention in Cleveland.

Michael Schulman wrote “Her Majesty” about the contested fortune of millionaire Leona Helmsey, who supposedly said “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”

Jane Meyer wrote “Sting Of Myself” about conservative ex-con James O’Keefe III and his dubious film projects to disrupt the election.

Patrick Radden Keefe wrote “The Bank Robber” about whistleblower Herve Falciani and the Panama Papers. “An anonymous source released eleven and a half million documents relating to the practices of Mossack Fonseca, exposing the financial dealings of a dozen current and former heads of state and underscoring how extensively the global elite uses shell companies and tax havens to obscure its wealth.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Apr. 25, 2016 The New Yorker

On Apr. 25, 2016 The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb wrote “Working Class Heroes” about conservative attitudes toward poor communities. Conservative commentator Kevin Williamson said “The truth about these dysfunctional downscale communities is that they deserve to die.” I am surprised he did not ask if there were any prisons.

James Surowiecki wrote “Unlikely Alliances” about big corporations supporting LGBT issues. Civil rights are good for business.

Andrew Marantz wrote “Studio 360” about the latest in virtual reality.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Apr. 18 2016 The New Yorker

On Apr. 18, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote “System Overload” about America’s aging infrastructure. It affects every aspect of the country from the economy to public health and yet it is underfunded. Conservatives have been blocking building projects even though poor people will benefit. They want free trade agreements and federal dollars to invest and hide overseas. “infrastructure is the ultimate public good.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Mar. 14, 2016 The New Yorker

On Mar. 14, 2016 The New Yorker’s Alec MacGillis wrote “The Billionaires’ Loophole” about David Rubinstein and other wealthy philanthropists and the carried interest tax debate. “It’s great that he’s helping out with the Washington monument. But, if we had government that was better funded, it could probably fix its own monuments.”

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Feb. 29, 2016 The New Yorker

Feb. 29, 2016 The New Yorker’s Nick Paumgarten wrote “The Scold” about Peter Adeny and the joys of being cheap. Aden said “I’m really just trying to get rich people to stop destroying the planet.”

Jeanne Marie Laskas wrote “Helium Dreams” about the history and return of airships, dirigibles and blimps.

Dana Goodyear wrote “The Stress Test” about competition in stem cell research.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Feb. 22, 2016 The New Yorker

On Feb. 22, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Suroweiecki wrote “Economic Populism At The Primaries”  “American workers used to believe that a rising tide lifted all boats. But in the past thirty years it as sunk a whole lot of them.”

Jill Lepore wrote “The Party Crashers” about the history of political parties in America. Eventually the parties are seen as controlled by wealthy conservative elites and lose support. They then reinvent themselves to attract enough votes to be elected.

Jinyang Fan wrote “The Golden Generation” about the children of China’s wealthy. Worried about their own government seizing their fortunes, they move it offshore to places like the United States. Real estate speculation has driven up prices in San Francisco and other North American cities. The results are lots of poor people in China and America forced from their homes while the rich kids go shopping.

Nicholas Schmidle wrote “The Digital Dirt” about TMZ founder Harvey Levin’s attempts to build a tabloid empire and become respectable.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 25, 2016 The New Yorker

Jan. 25, 2016 The New Yorker’s James Suroweicki wrote “Bundynomics” pointing out that the Wild West benefitted from large amounts of federal funding subsidizing logging, mining and ranching.

Jane Mayer wrote “New Koch” about the Koch brothers attempts to change their negative image. A long time employee said “When you said ‘Koch’, you might as well have said you worked for the Devil.” Apparently they see things not going in their direction and are lobbying to keep they white collar criminals to going to jail. That is planning ahead.

Note: Somebody from the Koch brother’s hometown of Wichita actually read this.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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1177 B.C.: When Civilization Collapsed

By Eric Cline

An archaeologist named Cline wanted to go back in time and find out why several Bronze Age advanced societies collapsed almost simultaneously. While there were ways to store and retrieve information, most of that disappeared in the collapse. He traveled extensively and established a network of experts in a number of fields to examine his findings. He discovered that the wealthy elite of all the different societies had complex trade agreements so they could exchange luxury goods. They accumulated large stockpiles of weapons and standing armies to protect themselves from poor hungry peasants. The elite did not create resilient governments to deal with climate change, earthquakes, immigration and inequality. Several leaders proposed building walls, but their palaces were destroyed by angry mobs. A perfect storm of natural and man-made disasters destroyed civilization and the surviving illiterate poor people struggled to rebuild. He worried if it could happen again. He wrote about what he found, hoping that future archaeologists will learn from him.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

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Jan. 16, 2016 War Plan Red

The United States Secret Plan To Invade Canada And Canada’s Secret Plan To Invade The United States

By Kevin Lippert

A light-hearted look at American and Canadian relations over the past three hundred years. Global warming and melting polar ice caps open the area to new challenges. He cites a more serious book by Diane Francis titled “Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country.”

Note: Elk Grove Village IL, Los Angeles CA?

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jan. 4, 2016 The New Yorker

On Jan. 4, 2016 The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz wrote “Ready For Prime Time” about Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones.

Dexter Filkins wrote “Swamped” about Jeb Bush’s disastrous environmental policies as Governor of Florida.

Larissa MacFarquhar wrote “What Money Can Buy” about Ford Foundation president Darren Walker’s new efforts to fight inequality around the world.

Laura Secor wrote “War Of Words” about Asieh Amini an exiled activist trying to end the stoning deaths of women in Iran.

Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Dec. 21, 2015 The New Yorker

On Dec. 21, 2015 The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert wrote “The Siege Of Miami” about rising sea levels from climate change. After reading this article. If you own property within two hundred miles of the ocean, you might want to sell it. Here are some excerpts:

“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sea levels could rise by more than three feet by the end of this century. The United States Army Corps of Engineers projects that they could rise by as much as five feet; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts up to six and a half feet.”

“In November, researchers reported that, owing to the loss of an ice shelf off northeastern Greenland, a new “floodgate” on the ice sheet had opened. All told, Greenland’s ice holds enough water to raise global sea levels by twenty feet.  At the opposite end of the earth, two groups of researchers—one from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and the other from the University of Washington—concluded last year that a segment of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into “irreversible decline.” The segment, known as the Amundsen Sea sector, contains enough water to raise global sea levels by four feet, and its melting could destabilize other parts of the ice sheet, which hold enough ice to add ten more feet. While the “decline” could take centuries, it’s also possible that it could be accomplished a lot sooner. NASA is already planning for the day when parts of the Kennedy Space Center, on Florida’s Cape Canaveral, will be underwater.”

“Many of the world’s largest cities sit along a coast, and all of them are, to one degree or another, threatened by rising seas. Entire countries are endangered—the Maldives, for instance, and the Marshall Islands. Globally, it’s estimated that a hundred million people live within three feet of mean high tide and another hundred million or so live within six feet of it. Hundreds of millions more live in areas likely to be affected by increasingly destructive storm surges.”

“Against this backdrop, South Florida still stands out. The region has been called “ground zero when it comes to sea-level rise.” It has also been described as “the poster child for the impacts of climate change,” the “epicenter for studying the effects of sea-level rise,” a “disaster scenario,” and “the New Atlantis.” Of all the world’s cities, Miami ranks second in terms of assets vulnerable to rising seas—No. 1 is Guangzhou—and in terms of population it ranks fourth, after Guangzhou, Mumbai, and Shanghai. A recent report on storm surges in the United States listed four Florida cities among the eight most at risk. (On that list, Tampa came in at No. 1.) For the past several years, the daily high-water mark in the Miami area has been racing up at the rate of almost an inch a year, nearly ten times the rate of average global sea-level rise. It’s unclear exactly why this is happening, but it’s been speculated that it has to do with changes in ocean currents which are causing water to pile up along the coast. Talking about climate change in the Everglades this past Earth Day, President Obama said, “Nowhere is it going to have a bigger impact than here in South Florida.”

Elizabeth Kolbert wrote “Some people told me that they thought the only realistic response for South Florida was retreat.”

“Philip Stoddard, the mayor of South Miami “What that means is, there’s no keeping the water out,” he went on. “So ultimately this area has to depopulate. What I want to work toward is a slow and graceful depopulation, rather than a sudden and catastrophic one.”

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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