Reading List: Failed States

“Failed States”:http://www.amazon.com/Failed-States-Noam-Chomsky/dp/0141023031/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196590947&sr=1-3 by Noam Chomsky.

If you are familiar withChomsky’s work, it is another good work. If you are not familiar with him, this is a very good introduction about what Chomsky opinions about US policy. Even if you don’t agree with his opinions, you can hardly deny the fact-based analysis in the book which I personally think if you follow that method, you will come up with similar conclusions.

If you read Chomsky and agree with him, it could not be helped to be pessimistic, and Chomsky does not suggest any solutions or alternatives. To be fair, I has only read his “analytical” work, and I am still wondering if we can have a practically better world.

Reading List: Perfect Spy

“Perfect Spy”:http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Spy-Incredible-Vietnamese-Communist/dp/0060888385 by Larry Berman.

A really good book about the life of Pham Xuan An, arguably one of the best spy in modern history. The book gave some good inside about his life and Saigon social atmosphere during the war. The Author tried to project An as a nationalist supported the Communist movement for his love of an independent Vietnam not for the ideology, which is probably true.

However, to understand the politic dynamic of the war, this is not a good book to read. This book, regardless of many opinions in Amazon saying it is anti-American, follows quite closely with the mainstream Western media framework. A better treatment of the war on media and political aspects is “Manufacturing Consent”:http://www.amazon.com/Manufacturing-Consent-Edward-S-Herman/dp/0099533111/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196582985&sr=1-1, to have a good view about military aspect of the war, you can check out “Bright Shining Lie”:http://www.amazon.com/Bright-Shining-Lie-America-Vietnam/dp/0679724141/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196583169&sr=1-2.

Overall, this a very good book about life of a “perfect” spy.

BBC

“Media Moments”:http://www.michaelparenti.org/mediamoments.htm
I personally think BBC is better than CNN (the two mainstream media normal people can get access easily). Still for years I don’t think they are much different. Parenti got this damn right.

Obama: quick reaction

I do follow American politics a bit even though I am not an American. It is just important topic. I admire Ron Paul a lot because of his Constitutional principle and his no nonsense view about the foreign policy , plus a couple of  other things like  sound  money policy, minimal government.

Obama is pretty mainstream which means he won’t do anything much different from the rest, and he is not addressing problems at their roots. However, he is very humorous at answering joke questions:

Watch his answer at 7:25.

My placement on the political compass

According to the “politicalcompass.com”:http://www.politicalcompass.org, my placement is

Economic Left/Right: -5.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.38

“The visual position on the graph”:http://www.politicalcompass.org/printablegraph?ec=-5.38&soc=-1.38

What is yours?

P/S: This is a repost, I tried various blogging tools before. About the political compass placement, I tend to move more toward Libertarian recently.

Quote of the day

“If the mafia attacks someone in this country, we don’t bomb Italy.”

~ Ron Paul on the Steve Gill Show

“http://www.news2wkrn.com/vv/2007/10/04/ron-paul-on-steve-gill/”:http://www.news2wkrn.com/vv/2007/10/04/ron-paul-on-steve-gill/

Failed States

From Noam Chomsky’s new book “Failed States”:http://www.amazon.com/Failed-States-Abuse-Assault-Democracy/dp/0805079122

bq. The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

INTERVENTIONS

From “Noam Chomsky’s new book INTERVENTIONS”:http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=13383

bq. The real reason for the invasion, surely, is that Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, very cheap to exploit, and is at the heart of the world’s major hydrocarbon resources. The issue is not access to those resources but control of them (and for the energy corporations, profit). As Vice President Dick Cheney observed last May (2006), control over energy resources provides “tools of intimidation or blackmail”—in the hands of others, that is.