One of Britain ’s best journalists uses his own country for an in-depth case study of how industrial capitalism has invaded and mostly conquered every aspect of British life. It could be applied to Canada and many other countries.
The blurb on the back cover says that Mitchell is “restoring a radical, subversive voice to the public face of British poetry.” For that he is most welcome! Mitchell is a skilled and imaginative poet, creating humorous works about sacred cows and searing indictments of war, greed and violence. It was the mainstream media’s mania for royal hagiography that gave the magazine, Red Pepper, the idea to anoint a shadow poet laureate who could speak to and for the people. I’ll always remember Hilary Wainwright, editor of Red Pepper saying Read more [...]
Milosz, Czeslaw, editor. A book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry. 1997. Harcourt Brace & Company. USA & UK.
This is a wonderful collection of poetry that will never date from many lands and many centuries. I usually find anthologies disappointing, but I found this volume of 300 poems chosen by the Nobel Prize winner, Czeslaw Milosz, to be the best gathering of poetry in one volume that I have read. His choices are based on his criteria of, ‘…realist, that is loyal toward reality and attempting to describe it as concisely as possible.’ He selects poems that are universal in their timeless themes of love, transience, death. He quotes the philosopher, Read more [...]
“Many people are only dimly aware of the United States´ disastrous complicity with torturing regimes in El Salvador, Batista´s Cuba, Chile, Iran, South Vietnam, Guatemala, Argentina, Saddam Hussein´s Iraq, of Shah Reza Pahlavi´s Iran. Some people are so deeply estranged from the reality of torture that they simply denied that any torture could have occurred in Iraq, in Afghanistan or at Guantanamo Bay.” Denial that our citizens could be torturing others or abetting in torture is common in Canada as well as the USA. Medical involvement Read more [...]
Mies, Maria & Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen. The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalized Economy. ZED BOOKS, London, UK & New York, USA.
(Original German edition: Eine Kuh für Hillary: Die Subsistenzperspektive. München: Frauenoffensive, 1997.) “The third phase of global restructuring began with the recession around 1990. It is characterized by an unprecedented penetration of all regions of the globe and all areas of life by the logic and practice of capital accumulation.” p.35 “The rise of the global market has exacerbated the plight of women.” p. 225 Maria Mies has had a profound affect on research and activism in many countries in our globalized world. The distinguished Read more [...]
Mexican Solidarity Network. Femicides of Cuidad Juarez & Chichuahua. 2004. Mexican Solidarity Network.
This book is a devastating report on the deaths and disappearances of women, mainly of indigenous Mexican origin, who die and disappear from towns on the Mexican-USA border. These towns are full of designated tax-free zones where global factories, called maquiladoras, are a rich source of profit for the owners, mainly USA companies. The workers, most of whom are women from poor families, are over worked and under paid, have few legal or health benefits. The factories pour toxic waste into the community polluting land, water and air. 400 women Read more [...]
Mernissi, Fatema. Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems. 2001. Washington Square Press, USA.
Mernissi bases this book on a modern interpretation and evaluation of the famous fables spun by a woman to ensure her survival; stories considered so subversive because of her success in not only surviving, but empowering her to change the mind of her absolute ruler. Thus the author believes that, "dialogue-nurturing is considered magic, because it fuels power with beauty." A heady combination that has delighted listeners and readers in many cultures for years, so her comparison of the harem of spatial confinement, a place she returns to in much Read more [...]
Mernissi, Fatema. DREAMS OF TRESPASS: TALES OF A HAREM CHILDHOOD. 1994. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. USA, UK, Canada.
This is a memoir about life of women in Morocco living under the social and physical constraints of the harem. There are many happy moments as women live with joy and companionship within this framework. Mernissi is a wonderful writer – her descriptions of her relatives and family life are colourful and affectionate. Her carefree life ends with end of childhood; she learns of her powerlessness in this male dominated society. She is told by her female elders, “Childhood is when the difference does not matter. From now on, you won’t be Read more [...]
I recently read a comprehensive history of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and I was drawn to read a history of the Rwandan genocide by the experience of the current UN—sponsored occupation of Haiti. There are important lessons and parallels between the two experiences. In 1994, the United Nations Security Council stood by while more than one million Rwandans were killed in a planned genocide by a regime that received important backing from the U.S., France, Belgium and Egypt. The regime acted in the name of a fictional "Hutu" nationality against Read more [...]
Mehta, Vijay. The Economics of Killing: How the West Fuels War and Poverty in the Developing World. 2012. Pluto Press, UK.
“…the military–industrial model can be replaced by adopting equitable policies for Disarmament, Demilitarization and working for sustainable development thus ending the cycle of violence and poverty.” Mehta exposes the spiralling cycle of militarism that underlies the economic crisis that rocked the world in 2008. Mainstream economists ignore the burden and wastefulness of the military economy when they attempt to explain the economic crisis. Mehta makes it clear that we are trapped in a wasteful killing–based economy that deifies all Read more [...]
“Today many influential progressives insist that poverty, not inequality, should be the focus and that how well the rich are faring is irrelevant.” McQuaig, Canada´s leading political journalist, always witty and perceptive, and her co–author, an academic and tax expert, show us just how narrow is the focus on poverty. We really should be looking at wealth – massive wealth because this inequality is what creates poverty. The 1% is packing in the billions at the expense of the 99% – particularly the 20% at the bottom of heap. Yes, Read more [...]
McQuaig, Linda. HOLDING THE BULLY´S COAT: Canada and the U.S. Empire. 2007. Doubleday Canada, Toronto.
“... we are a player of some significance on the global stage, due to our reputation – partly deserved and partly undeserved – as a fair arbiter and promoter of just causes, as a decent sort of country. By lining ourselves up so uncritically with Washington, even as the Bush administration has become a renegade in the world and highly unpopular on its own home turf, the Canadian government has played a role in enabling a regime that is considered by many around the world to be the major obstacle to peace and security.” from the introduction McQuaig Read more [...]