New books that I have just read that I highly recommend: 

Fear by Bob Woodward. New Yorker Magazine said about the book, ‘The real crime is already in plain sight” Democracy is getting crushed and the ultimate outcome, unlike Nixon, will not be pretty. Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean explains in detail of how the Koch brothers and the Mercers are executing  a plan to divide the US through our fear of immigration, multiculturalism and racial differences.The Road to Unfreedom by Robert Snyder which explains how Putin is executing a plan to have us loose faith in our institutions ( the Presidency, the rule of law, NATO, NAFTA, the safety of our identity and our financial information) though cyber attacks. Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism by Robert Kuttner describes how Fascism is winning throughout the world and how the US oligarchy and corporations have captured the machinery of the government to promote it.  Yes we still Can by Dan Pheiffer, tells a story of Russia and Trump influencing the Republican Party for an upcoming constitutional crisis. War vs Peace by Ronan Farrow:that tells how diplomacy of the state department is being replaced by military policy; Us vs Them by Ian Bremmer: tells how we are being distracted from solutions of automation and globalization by political rhetoric.  Tailspin by Steven Brill tells how the aristocracy and oligarchy are perpetuating a take it all attitude, that will make our economic system dis-functional. A novel: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline that presents a virtual reality world of the future run by a Google type corporate conglomerate. Evicted:Poverty and Profit in the America City by Matthew Desmond;6,000 people are evicted every day! How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky; How we are headed for a economic and political disaster.The Common Good by Robert Reich, an attempt to see the value of a progressive political policy to solve inequality.

Three books that I have just read with a positive attitude:Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit;Talks about maintaining a positive mental attitude. Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker tells about how the macro world is a much better place than ever before and The Soul of America by Jon Meacham; While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times., “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail. I doubt it, but lets pray for solutions. I believe the world is now at a tipping point and is moving toward  destruction (nuclear or autocratic oligarchy)  or a new era of opportunity and enlightenment for the common good.

We are at the crossroads!

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Carl M Birkelkbach

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