The ultra-Left continues to see him as a transformative figure that will remake America. His critics agree that President Barack Obama wants to change America, but not for the better. I decided to find out by reading half a dozen books and taking notes over the past few months.
Has America grown too large? Is she too divided? Has increasing centralization pulled her so far away from the vision of the Founding Fathers that they would be looking in the wrong direction to even see her? And what was their plan for preventing all this from happening in the first place?
All of these questions and more are considered in Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century. This book is a collection of seven essays that cover the idea that America has grown too large, too indebted and too divided to maintain a republican form of government, and that it is time to separate the Nation into a group of independent federations. It covers the issue from the historical aspect of the Nation’s founding and how the Founders felt about secession, to the legal ramifications of secession, to the practical aspect of how a divided Nation might work.
The attacks on 9/11 that brought down three New York skyscrapers and knocked a hole in the Pentagon were more than just attacks on Americans. This was an attack on democracy — or, as author David Ray Griffin calls it, a state crime against democracy (SCAD) — carried out by and with the assistance of various government officials, operatives and entities.
If you really want to understand how the United States became the way it is today (with its bloated bureaucracy, strange tax system, labyrinth of regulatory agencies and intrusive attitude toward its citizens), you have to read Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson and other books like it. This book — an exhaustive (and I do mean exhaustive!) look at how Lyndon Johnson came to power, what his goals were once he was in power and how he achieved his aims in his first term — provides an impressively complete description how our politics began to change into what they have become.
The Library of Congress is currently celebrating books that it deems have been instrumental in shaping the American mystique with a list of 88 titles and an exhibit in Washington, D.C. Surprisingly, given that the list was compiled by an entity of the Federal government, there are also a few titles that all liberty-loving Americans should have in their libraries.
Just days after the 9/11 attacks, the FBI contacted Sibel Edmonds, who had applied for a part-time position with the agency in 1997 but had heard little from it since, about a job with the agency.
The bureau needed translators, she was told, in Middle Eastern and Asian languages like Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, Pashtun, Urdu, Uzbek, etc. There were tens of thousands of leads and pieces of evidence awaiting translation before the FBI could act on them. Thousands of pieces of raw intelligence were pouring in daily, but it was all in foreign languages; a dearth of translators was hindering the FBI’s investigation into the attacks.
“[N]either major American political party adheres to [the] Constitution; many of our elected representatives are ignorant of its text and original meaning. The only hope lies in a better educated public. Americans don’t need judges, lawyers, politicians, or ivory tower academics descending to provide answers to our constitutional questions. The Founding Fathers have already done that for us. We just need to read what they said and hold politicians in Washington accountable,” writes Brion McClanahan as he closes his book The Founding Fathers Guide To The Constitution. And McClanahan has taken an important step in making obtaining that education simpler with his book.
For those without the time or inclination to read the thoughts of those who participated in the process of debating, drafting and ratifying the Constitution — the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers and the text of the ratification debates — this book is an excellent place to begin obtaining a greater understanding of the Nation’s founding document.
Over the years, Americans have heard that people in other countries do not like America, but Americans can’t figure out why that is so. After all, America represents all that is good and right in the world. America just wants to give other countries the gift of its democratic ideals and spread freedom, right?
That’s what politicians and the corporate media would have you believe. But the truth is quite different. John Perkins, who spent years as an economic hit man, tells what is really involved in U.S. foreign policy. Once you read this book, you’ll understand why people around the world hate America, and you’ll realize that said hatred is often justified. It will also shed new light on what is involved in the American empire.
Established by the Catholic church in 1231, the Inquisition was designed to make people adhere to the teachings of the church and make them toe the official church-approved version of Catholicism. And if Cullen Murphy’s book God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World stuck to describing the 700-year history of the Inquisition, it might only hold interest for historians who wish to explore how the church functioned as a medieval political power.
Instead, Murphy’s larger purpose is to show how large organizations filled with small-minded bureaucrats can terrorize a population when they have willing foot soldiers to do their bidding. The Inquisition, as Murphy sees it, was just a taste of what big governments would later accomplish when they set their minds to trying control both how people behave and how they think.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is a riverboat gambler who has embarked on the greatest economic gamble in the history of world finance. But unlike the gambler who can squander only his own fortune, Bernanke’s gamble has created a worldwide crisis. Through quantitative easing, the Fed has declared currency war on the world.
In Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis, Rickards discusses how nations have purposely debased their currencies both to benefit themselves and hurt others. He posits that there have been three currency wars just since 1900, and we are currently engaged in the third one. The first, Rickards writes, lasted from 1921 to 1936. The second was from 1967 to 1987. The one happening now began in 2010.