Left Eye on Books

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Outlaws of America

Outlaws of America is a new history of the Weather Underground. Another book along these lines is Bringing the War Home. These books usefully disrupt the standard version of what happened in the late sixties. On the other hand, there is a danger of romanticizing the Weather Underground.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Greg Palast on Democracy Now!

Greg Palast was on Democracy Now! Monday promoting his new book Armed Madhouse. I'm not that big a fan of Palast, to be honest, whose overelaborate networks of elites are symptomatic of the anti-intellectualism of the left these days (no theory of how the world works beyond mendacity). But he often has interesting things to say:

And so, what happened was is that they sent us a bunch of lists of literally tens of thousands of names of voters and addresses. We were wondering what the heck this was. It turns out these were almost all African American voters, who they were prepared to challenge in 2004, and they did, to say that these people shouldn't vote, because their addresses are suspect. And you'll see in the book that in the lists of thousands of black voters that they were challenging over their address were thousands of black soldiers who were sent to Iraq; go to Baghdad, and the Republican Party challenges your vote.

And that’s the beginning, and because there's been really no action taken, they're accelerating the system now. And the next thing that they’re going after is the Hispanic vote. So when we saw two million votes cast/not counted in 2000, nearly four million votes cast/not counted in 2004, you're going see that number massively increase in challenges to voters in 2008. And that's what's going back to this database story with the National Security Agency.

AMY GOODMAN: We have 30 seconds.

GREG PALAST: So, you have to say, “Why are they collecting this data?” The answer is 2008. It's ultimately all about the elections.

Palast also makes a reference to his 'capitalist pig publisher' (Dutton). Memo to Palast--there are a lot of non-capitalist pig publishers out there. If he accomplished nothing else, George Lakoff proved that at least some of them know how to market liberal books.