Top 10 Books for Selfish Citizens, 2nd Quarter 2013

July 6, 2013

The following are the top 10 books for April – June 2013 as identified by the readers of Selfish Citizenship.

  1. A Turn for DeWurst by Sydney Kendall | Related post: A Turn for DeWurst, an alternative to the state of education in America
  2. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 – 1964 by William MacArthur | Related post: President Truman vs. General MacArthur: Six Lessons for Today
  3. The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope by John A. Allison | Related post: John Allison, Capitalist of the Year 2012
  4. The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out by Leonard Peikoff | Related post: Understanding Terrorist Organizations and The DIM Hypothesis
  5. The Aristotle Adventure: A Guide to the Greek, Arabic, & Latin Scholars Who Transmitted Aristotle’s Logic to the Renaissance by Burgess Laughlin
  6. Black & White World III by Cox & Forkum
  7. The Head of Athena (The Cyrus Skeen Series) by Edward Cline
  8. Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, edited by Walter Reich | Related post: Plato’s Laws – Tradition vs. Innovation
  9. Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson | Related post: Thank LBJ and Altruism for Our Federal Deficit and Debt
  10. Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821. Vol. 1 by Robert V. Remini | Related post: How to Learn American History

What are you reading? Tell us in a comment.

The top 10 posts on Selfish Citizenship for that period were:

  1. Obama Attacks Free Speech Again
  2. Thanks for the cheap train ride…Suckers!
  3. Obama Using Accounting Cheat to Hide $761.5 Billion in Deficit Spending
  4. Obama Recording Oval Office Conversations, Presidential Taping Continues
  5. Question 9: Why be a selfish citizen?
  6. Question #7: Should we modify the Bill of Rights by repealing the 2nd Amendment?
  7. President Truman vs. General MacArthur: Unprincipled Policies Lead to Serial SNAFUs
  8. Understanding Terrorist Organizations and The DIM Hypothesis
  9. IRS’ 401k Early Withdrawal Penalties vs. Americans in Reality
  10. When a cop gives you a traffic ticket, is that money in his pocket? In Georgia, yes.

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A Turn for DeWurst, an alternative to the state of education in America

June 16, 2013

One of the personally most important books that I have read is Sydney Kendall’s novel A Turn for DeWurst. I read it with my youngest daughter; its theme, plot, and character helped establish a solid foundation for real fact based dialogue between my daughter and I on the value and methods of education.

The drama of the novel brings uncomfortable facts about public education to the forefront in a way that they can neither be evaded nor accepted as in the best interest of the child. Unfortunately, these facts are well known to parents from their own experience in public schools and the experience of current students, but for the most part parents and children are not openly and honestly talking to each other about them.

In addition, as a work of romantic fiction, the novel through its characters and their choices demonstrate a correction, not a reform, to the cause underlying the problems in today’s public schools. Yet, throughout, the book is full of benevolent passion and love for education and the developing lives of children.

In general, the novel is a wonderful story of many rich characters confronted with challenges and making choices. The young reader will see dramatized how some of the choices foster life and others corrupt it. The novel includes both children and adults who act as heroes in normal real life circumstances of school, but also both children and adults who choose to act as villains.

While I have purchased more copies of this book than any other and given them as gifts, the best testimonial for this book comes from my youngest daughter now grown. Many years after we had read the book together, my daughter told me that she wanted to name a future daughter Astrid specifically after the main character of A Turn for DeWurst ; what a wonderful legacy of a heroine to give to the next generation.

Extra Point

Fifteen books that I have read that will always stick with me

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Top 10 Books for Selfish Citizens, 1st Quarter 2013

April 3, 2013

The following are the top 10 books for January – March 2013 as identified by the readers of Selfish Citizenship.

  1. The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope by John A. Allison
  2. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 – 1964 by William Manchester
  3. The Head of Athena (The Cyrus Skeen Series) by Edward Cline
  4. Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821. Vol. 1 by Robert V. Remini
  5. Truman and MacArthur: Policy, Politics, and the Hunger for Honor and Renown by Michael D. Pearlman
  6. Jefferson the Virginian (Jefferson & His Time) by Dumas Malone
  7. Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson
  8. Black & White World III by Cox & Forkum
  9. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H. W. Brands
  10. The Aristotle Adventure: A Guide to the Greek, Arabic, & Latin Scholars Who Transmitted Aristotle’s Logic to the Renaissance by Burgess Laughlin

What are you reading? Tell us in a comment.

The top 10 posts on Selfish Citizenship for that period were:

  1. Obama Attacks Free Speech Again
  2. A Tale of Two Homeless Men
  3. Obama Using Accounting Cheat to Hide $761.5 Billion in Deficit Spending
  4. Obama Plans More Rapes (a satire)
  5. Obama is the Wiz, a Pretender President
  6. Question #6: Why is altruism bad?
  7. IRS’ 401k Early Withdrawal Penalties vs. Americans in Reality
  8. Chewing an Echo of What Passes for Thought on ObamaCare
  9. George Washington’s First State of the Union Address
  10. Dakota Meyer (Medal of Honor Recipient, Afghanistan) and the State of Our Military

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Three Suicides

February 7, 2012

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7TPAPiCNEE"]

In my life, there are been three suicides that have been personally meaningful to me.  While each offered particular evidence and insights regarding life, in sum they communicated life lessons to be heeded.

First, when I was about 10, my close relative committed a suicide most heinous.  In the moment, and with the aid of reflection and hindsight, my first experience with another’s death reflected poorly upon the philosophy of Christianity, and religion in general.  By her own confession, a belief in a false alternate supernatural dimension caused her to destroy actual life in actual reality, because she held the erroneous premise of a better alternate reality on the other side of death.  The revealed truths of her faith denied this abandoned wife of an adulterous husband the divorce needed to restart her life, and effectively made her guilty and punished for his sin.  While she was destitute, indebted, and abandoned, the charitable institutions of her hypocritical congregation and faith turned their backs upon her and denied her aid, promised by their moral code, because of their contempt for her family’s prior good fortune.

This case sensitized me to the plight of abandoned, or otherwise abused, wives and children who require legal protections of their individual rights…which did not exist then as they do today.

In the second case, Argentine Dr. Rene Favaloro, who had performed the world’s first heart bypass operation in 1967, committed suicide during a collapse of the Argentine economy and the financial failure of his own clinic.  Incensed by the suicide of a once tremendous achiever, I translated articles from Spanish to learn more about the cause of his death.  For a full summary of my finding, see my YT video couplet on my autopsy of Dr. Favaloro, which has been surprisingly popular in Argentina.  Cutting to the conclusion, I found that Favaloro was complicit in the economic collapse that led to his suicide, which was caused by his own altruism—literally otherism, or the moral doctrine of putting the welfare of strangers before that of yourself and those that you love.   By Favaloro’s own confession, which was published in the American Heart Association’s cardiatric  journal Circulation, it was his college that taught him the false altruistic ethical principles that led to his suicide and the economic collapse of his country.

From Dr. Favaloro’s suicide, I committed myself for my our selfish satisfaction to going back to school to finish my degree, to being more of an intellectual activist as a requirement of my life, and eventually to abandon my substantial contribution to financing higher education in the United States prior to our recent economic free fall.

The third case, which was particularly jarring to me, was the suicide of historian Iris Chang.  Perhaps, you know her from her books The Thread of the Silkworm, The Rape of Nanking, and The Chinese in America.  The abuse and death threats that she suffered from Japanese ultranationalists, over her exposing Japan’s WWII atrocities in China, demonstrated that she was a woman of admirable courage and integrity.  Frankly, if you have not read The Rape of Nanking, you cannot appreciate this woman’s capacity for facing the brutal facts of reality, no matter how utterly horrific; but to suggest a small taste, I will point to her reporting the Japanese having organized and official competitions to determine which of their soldiers could chop off the most heads of defenseless Chinese civilians with a sword.  Frankly, compared to the Japanese atrocities that she reported, the current crop of Muslim terrorists are pikers.  Her last and unfinished project was interviewing the brutalized survivors of the Bataan death march.

Reportedly, she suffered from serious mental health issues at the time of her suicide; however, my takeaway from her experience was the need to break away from a continuous focus on evil so as to appreciate the good in life.  At that time, of her death, I was already low from focusing on my study of incentive system within terrorist organizations (the topic of my thesis for a more effective counterterrorism strategy) and dealing with what I euphemistically called a “domestic terrorism” situation.  Recognizing the danger of focusing too much on evil, the weekend after her death, I went to the Corcoran Gallery to see Daniel Chester French’s sculpture “Immortal Love” to get fuel for my soul; art as a selective representation of reality and experiencing one’s struggles successfully achieved before they have been actually realized in reality.

In total, what lessons do these three suicides contribute?  Most importantly, life is a choice, and an affirmative one that I recommend to those NOT painfully suffering from irreversible terminal, or totally debilitating, illnesses.  Secondarily, those that commit suicide have negative fallout on those at they care about that is less significant than the positive contributions made by their lives.  Third, by choice, including the correction of false ideas, individuals, who see life as helpless, can change their lives for the better over time without death.

I choose life.  If you are thinking about choosing your own death, please consider re-evaluation for your own selfish sake, including your selfish consideration for those whom you love.  You have resources: friends and family who want to help, and who value you.  This is the only life that you get and in this country even that which seems impossible in a dark moment may be resolved by your choice and conscious effort over time so that you can pursue your own purpose and achieve your values.

Finally, ideas and philosophy are critical in human life and adhering to false ones leads directly to death, so be introspective and conscious of the ideas/philosophies that you have chosen to guide your life.

Related Posts

Death by Altruism – An Autopsy of Dr. Rene Favaloro
Immortal Love – Photos by art historian Lee Sandstead

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Draft: Description for Discussion of The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest

January 2, 2012

Join us for a discussion of America’s interests in foreign policy. The book is The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America by Peter Schwartz; only 61 pages to chew and savor.

The content of this ARI publication will be supplemented and contrasted with two brief official government statements on America’s interest, which are found in: (1) A National Security Strategy for a Global Age (White House, December 2000; pp. 4-5), and (2) Leading Through Civilian Power: The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) (U.S. State Dept., 2010, pp. 9-10).

Objectivists, Democrats, and Republicans all agree that our foreign policy should be rooted in America’s interests, but we do not agree on what American interests and values are.

A recent example of different definitions for the same concepts subverting a public discussion on foreign policy would be the recent US involvement in Libya.  According the official articulation of America’s interests found in the QDDR, American intervention in Libya was consistent with American interests, even if President Obama failed to articulate why that was the case.

In the discussion, we will examine:

1) Schwartz’s articulation of self-interest as the basis for understanding America’s interests.

2) How does Schwartz’s position compare to the bipartisan understanding of America’s interest as found in the 2000 National Security Strategy with its hierarchy of vital, important, and other/humanitarian interests?

3) How does Schwartz’s position compare to the Obama Administration’s four fundamental American interests as found in the QDDR?

4) Does the Obama Administration’s four fundamental American interests represent a substantially different understanding of America interests when compared to the bipartisan hierarchy?

5) How could the Objectivist understanding of self-interest influence foreign policy discussions in the presidential election?

6) Is there an opportunity to influence future American foreign policy by correcting the official statement of America’s interests during the development of the 2nd QDDR, to be published in 2014?

DCOS member Jim Woods will be leading the discussion.

Previously savored copies of Schwartz’s The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest may be found on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0962533661/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&qid=1325380951&sr=8-1&condition=used

New copies of Schwarz are available at the Ayn Rand Bookstore:

http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HS25B

A National Security Strategy for a Global Age (see section entitled “Guiding Principles of Engagement”) is available for free on-line at:

http://osdhistory.defense.gov/docs/nss2000.pdf

The QDDR is available for free on-line at:

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/153142.pdf

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Good to Great, Draft Discussion Description

April 23, 2011

Join us for a discussion of a bestselling study about organizational greatness in business. The book is Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t by Jim Collins.

Challenged to identify how good companies become great, researcher Jim Collins identified three themes that differentiated organization that had made that transition: disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.

Through his examination, Collins introduces us to real world Ken Dannagers, Lawrence Hammnds, Dwight Sanderses, and Ed Neilsens. Although Collins recommends Atlas Shrugged , he was surprised to find that leadership matters. Yet, Collins is unable to reconcile a contradiction in what he calls Level 5 Leadership.

Just as Dagney Taggert found as she lost her best employees, a successful organization requires the right people. Collins found that selecting the people with the right characteristics had to come before deciding what they were to do, or as he described it: “First who…then what.”

Collins book expresses issues particularly suited for discussion by Objectivists, such as: evaluating the strengths and limits of Collins’ methodology, comparing the role of values and virtue to Ed Locke’s discussion in The Prime Movers, the role of the primacy of existence as a differentiating factor for the great companies, and differentiating the Fannie Mae in the book from the one that went broke.

More than a business book, Good to Great examines how an organization can bring individuals together to achieve shared values.

Jim Collins has a resource website with articles, videos, and audio; including, questions that you can consider in your reading .

Update: DCOS will hold this discussion on July 31.

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Happy Emancipation Day!!

April 16, 2011

Many Americans were not informed why their tax returns are due Monday, instead of yesterday.

On Friday, the IRS was observing a DC holiday: Emancipation Day, which commemorates President Lincoln signing legislation to free the slaves in the District of Columbia.

A little over a year after the Democrats attacked Fort Sumter in their effort to continue slavery, the Republican Congress and President acted to peacefully rollback slavery through compensation, as had been done in most other places where slavery was ended.

Today, Democrats through arbitrary punitive taxation and regulation seek to impose slavery on all with bureaucratic overseers.  Unfortunately, current Republicans lack the integrity and courage to actually oppose democratic tyranny.

So today, let us celebrate and remember that Americans had acted upon our devotion to individual rights and respected the principle that no one could make a unilateral claim upon another man’s labor and life.

Also, if you have not already, see the Atlas Shrugged movie this weekend to identify the symptoms of today’s political problems; after that, and if you had not already, read the book to emancipate yourself from irrationality, duty, and collectivist lies.

Atlas Shrugged Audience Reactions,  Interviews by Ari Armstrong

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWNn_y8z9zU"]

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My Recent Book Purchases

November 27, 2010

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9r-zz7KgrQ]

>> List of Books <<

Presence of Mind by Edward Cline

Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins by Joshua M. Dunn

Educational Wastelands: The Retreat from Learning in Our Public Schools by Author Bestor

also see:  Van Damme Academy’s YouTube channel

The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics by David Harriman

also see: TheLogicalLeap.com

Cultural Literacy:  What Every American Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch Jr

Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works by Newt Gingrich

To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine by Newt Gingrich

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and John Cox

The Clue Train Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual by Rick Levine, et al

The Path to Power by Robert A. Caro

The Objective Standard

also see, “The Curious Life of Richard Feynman” by Daniel Wahl & “Herman Boerhaave: The Nearly Forgotten Father of Modern Medicine” by Richard G. Parker

Disclosure:  Many of these links use the Amazon Associate program to possibly put pennies in my pocket.

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Return of the C Podcasts

August 18, 2010

I must be in a rut as I’m not sure why all the sources for these podcasts from Friday again begin exclusively with the letter ‘C’, but they do.

As before, the following is a list of podcasts that I consumed the other day.  In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast.  Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment.  In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.

1) The Trader Principle (2010-06-04 Cultivating the Virtues)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Kelly): Helping a child manage her frustrations, Topic: The Trader Principle (begins at 5:51), and Q&A: Toothbrushing Tactics (begins at 17:07).

Related to the Trader Principle, the Ayn Rand Lexicon identified the following passage from her novel Atlas Shrugged:

The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread—a man of justice.

2) After Words: Mia Bay, “To Tell the Truth Freely” (2009-08-01 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy B, Quality B+ – Mia Bay, associate history professor at Rutgers University, recounts the life of 19th century suffragist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells in her book, To Tell the Truth Freely.  Ms. Bay recalls Ida B. Wells appeal to the Supreme Court after being removed from a seat on a train due to her race, her assistance in founding the NAACP in 1910, and her international campaign against lynching.  Mia Bay discusses her book with Elsa Barkley Brown, associate history and women’s studies professor at the University of Maryland.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUpWpOnDUqs]

3) Organized Crime and Transnational Threats (2009-11-18 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?, undertaken in collaboration with the Latin American Program and Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and made possible by the generous support of the Hauser Foundation, Tinker Foundation,  and a grant from the Robina Foundation for CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program.  This panel featured: David Holiday (Program Officer, Latin America Program, Open Society Institute),  William F. Wechsler (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, U.S. Department of Defense), and Lee S. Wolosky (Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; Former Director, Transnational Threats, National Security Council).

Wechsler and Wolosky are coauthors of Terrorist Financing.

4) Local and National Policy Responses (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?  This panel featured:  Ramon Garza Barrios ( Mayor, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico) and Rodrigo Pardo García-Peña (Director, Cambio; Former Foreign Minister, Republic of Colombia).

5) After Words: Harry Stein, author, “I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican,” interviewed by Stefan Kanfer, City Journal (2009-07-25 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy C, Quality B – In I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican, Harry Stein uses humor to describe being a conservative locked in a community of liberals, both in his neighborhood and in his professional life.  He details the difficulties he’s had with family members since crossing the political spectrum from left wing to right, and he talks about being misrepresented as a racist by the Dallas Morning News.  The interview was conducted by author and journalist Stefan Kanfer.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LQ_4bhOzGY]

6) Academic Conference Call: Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality C – Paul Stares is coauthor of CFR’s special report “Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action.”  Few would dispute that preventing conflict, instability, and humanitarian disaster is preferable to confronting these problems after they arise. Preventive measures are generally less expensive than remedial ones. They also allow policymakers to address potential crises before they threaten international stability, U.S. interests, and human lives. Building an effective U.S. government capacity to take preventive action, however, has proved an elusive goal. And the challenges to achieving it have perhaps never been greater.

7) After Words: Joe Scarborough. “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise” (2009-07-11 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy C, Quality C – From BookExpo America in New York City, Joe Scarborough on his book, The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise.  The former Republican congressman and current host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe presents his thoughts on the Bush administration, the current state of the Republican party, and the Obama presidency.  Joe Scarborough discusses his book with Peggy Noonan, columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHDBxznrbuw]

8 ) Foreign Aid, Civilian Capacity, and U.S. National Security (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy C, Quality C – U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (Chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs) discusses how if only more money was spent on diplomacy and development through the subcommittee that she leds, then there would be less conflict for the military to resolve.  Isn’t it always the case with the cardinals of the Appropriations Committee: the key to a better world is more money under their domain.

I could not find a book by her as evidently ideas and words make her head hurt.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXaC6ubCxww]

9) How Should Governments Drive Industry Change? Lessons Learned from the Global Automotive Sector (2009-11-19 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy C, Quality D – Carlos Ghosn (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Renault-Nissan Alliance) and Steven L. Rattner (Former Head, U.S. Treasury Department’s Auto Task Force) discuss government led industrial policy in the auto industry.

Ghosn is author of Shift: Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival.  Rattner is author of Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry.

10) After Words: Edward Humes interviewed by Matthew Kahn, UCLA (2009-07-18 C-SPAN Book TV)

Relevancy F, Quality F – The Pulitzer Prize winning author profiles the multi-millionaires and high-profile people who are trying to take the planet green.  The episode was filmed on the C-SPAN bus at the L.A. Times Festival of Books about his latest book Eco Barons:  The Dreamers, Schemers and Millionaires Who are Saving Our Planet.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p11P-f782zw]

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A Very C Collection of Podcasts

August 14, 2010

I’m not sure why all the sources for these podcasts from Thursday begin with the letter ‘C’, but they do.

As before, the following is a list of podcasts that I consumed the other day.  In addition to the title, link, and descriptions copied or adapted from the source, I have provided a grade for the relevancy of the topic and the quality of the ideas in the podcast.  Of course, these grades are objectively based upon my own individual values and judgment.  In this variety, you might find something to tickle your fancy.

1) Free Range Parenting (2010-05-27 Cultivating the Virtues)

Relevancy A, Quality A – Situation of the Week (Jenn): Dealing with pointless bickering, Topic: Free Range Parenting (begins 4:26), and Q&A: Childhood Fears (begins 18:45).

This discussion references Lenore Skenazy’s book Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry).

2) Cold War Reflections and Today’s Realities (2009-11-16 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, at cfr.org, leads a discussion about “Cold War Reflections and Today’s Realities” with Bob Kimmitt, who’s now with WilmerHale, but in those times was undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, and later became, probably, our first ambassador to the unified Germany; and Jim Goldgeier, who is the senior fellow for transatlantic relations at the council, and also is a professor at George Washington University.

Goldgeier is author of Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy Toward Russian After the Cold War.

3) After Words: Schmidle interviewed by Peters (2009-05-29 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Nicholas Schmidle went to Pakistan in 2006 to learn about the country and the people who live there.  He stayed for two years and wrote about his experiences in his book “To Live or to Perish Forever.”  Mr. Schmidle talks about his book with Ralph Peters, columnist for the New York Post and strategic analyst for Fox News.

4) State and Local Officials Conference Call: U.S. Immigration Policy (2009-11-18 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality B – Edward Alden discusses the results for a bi-partisan task force on immigration.  The task force’s report examines immigration into the United States in a foreign policy context. It broadens the debate by analyzing issues of economic competitiveness, terrorism and national security, human rights, and public diplomacy in the context of globalization. The report then offers recommendations for a twentyfirst-century immigration policy that serves U.S. economic, diplomatic, and national security interests.

Alden is the coauthor of U.S. Immigration Policy: Independent Task Force Report No. 63.

5) Trial of Accused 9/11 Terrorists (2009-11-08 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality C+ – The decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the accused mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, in federal court in New York has elicited strong reactions from across the political spectrum. CFR Adjunct Senior Fellows John B. Bellinger and Steven Simon  support the Obama administration’s decision, arguing that it gives the United States the opportunity to demonstrate globally the administration’s commitment to fair trials for detainees.

Simon is coauthor of The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam’s War Against America and The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting it Right.

6) Update on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2009-11-12 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality C – CFR’s Steven A. Cook discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict in light of the release of the Goldstone Report, which was recently completed by the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, as part of CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

Cook is author of Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey.

7) After Words: Wangari Maathai, author of “The Challenge for Africa” interviewed by Nicole Lee (2009-05-26 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy C, Quality C – 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai talks about her latest book, “The Challenge for Africa.”  In the book, Ms. Maathai looks at the problems facing the continent and provides advice on how to improve things there.  She discusses her book with Nicole Lee, executive director of TransAfrica Forum.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEpcQ-3oJas]

8 ) After Words: Eduardo Galeano, author of “Mirrors” interviewed by John Dinges (2009-06-20 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy B, Quality D – Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano talks about his latest book, “Mirrors,” a history of the world told through 600 brief stories.  Mr. Galeano is interviewed by Columbia University journalism professor John Dinges, author of “The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents.”  The two men also discussed Mr. Galeano’s 1971 book, “The Open Veins of Latin America,” which Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave to President Obama during the Fifth Summit of the Americas.

This would have a more interesting interview if Dinges had not been such a smitten fanboy, and had engaged and exposed Galeano’s premises.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMFMbIky_8c]

9) After Words: Tierney Cahill, author, Ms. Cahill for Congress, Interviewed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC (2009-05-28 C-SPAN BookTV)

Relevancy C, Quality D – The story of how an elementary school teacher told her class that anyone can run for Congress and was challenged by them to prove it.  With a $7,000 initial campaign chest and her students as her campaign staff, she won the 2000 Democratic nomination in Nevada’s 2nd district, which includes Reno.

Cahill is coauthor of Ms. Cahill for Congress: One Fearless Teacher, Her Sixth-Grade Class, and the Election That Changed Their Lives Forever.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33BPJiKUWnk]

10) The Challenge of Somalia (2009-11-05 Council on Foreign Relations)

Relevancy B, Quality F – Bronwyn E. Bruton proposes a strategy of “constructive disengagement” to combat terrorism and promote development and stability in Somalia. Instead of supporting Somalia’s unpopular Transitional Federal Government, Bruton argues that the United States should accept an Islamist authority as long as it does not impede international humanitarian activities or support international jihad. Bruton also advocates for a decentralized approach to U.S. foreign aid distribution by working with existing local authorities. And she counsels against an aggressive military response to piracy, making the case instead for initiatives to mobilize Somalis themselves against pirates.

Burton’s book is Somalia: A New Approach.

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