I am an avid eclectic reader.
I just finished this book and I see in today's newspaper some of the people that are in the book have a grant from the government to build a new firewall. They are to start from the beginning to create a new way of protecting computers instead of patches. Mark Bowden's well written book allowed me to understand the problem and the importance to the new firewall. The conficker worm is the largest most frighting malware I have heard of. This book reads like a sci-fi book only it is all real. The conficker has created the largest bot-net ever seen and no one yet knows what this worm is going to do or when never mind how to stop it. Just imagine what would happen if some one shut down all the Internet traffic and crashed all the computers. This is a great book and Christopher Lane did a good job narrating the story.
Sandra Day O'Connor reads her own book which in a way adds more to the book. The books chapter are dividend into topic relating to the court. O'Connor chose items that had a major effect on the future course of the court. Such as how the appointment of John Jay as the first Chief Justice effected the court and without him the court may become insignificant. She also told stories about key justices that had major effects good or bad on the court as well as court cases that add to the role or power of the court such as Marbury vs Madison. She told about the justices that were the first like her being the first women, Thurgood Marshall, the first black and L. Brandeis, the first Jewish justice and so. She also pointed out that not all justice were good such as McReynolds who was of the old fashion white southern gentelman. She said he led the court in the most descents and was a races and anti semite and was against every bill FDR put up for the new deal. I found the last section on what the justices did after retirement interesting. They service on the circuit courts and O'Connor rotates around the country serving on the various circuit courts. I also found it interesting what she pointed out about, that at times the dissenting opinion eventually became the law. Great to learn about the court from someone who was on the inside and could provide that little extra insight.
I thought this book was written by Antonin Scalia but in fact only the inserted section of the dissent is written by Scalia the story is actually written by Kevin A Ring. The book is his narrative about Scalia’s witty words in his dissents. The book provides a brief summary of Scalia’s life. He was born in Trenton New Jersey. Graduated from Georgetown University obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School. He worked for six years in private practice in Cleveland then was a professor of law at University of Chicago. He was appointed Assistant Attorney General under Nixon and Ford. In 1982 President Reagan appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC circuit. In 1986 President Ronald Reagan appointed Scalia to the Supreme Court. Scalia was the first Italian-American Justice and is a devote Catholic. The book was promoted to be about Scalia’s witty and scathing writing but I feel I learned more about Scalia the Justice. In the book Scalia explains his advocacy of textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in Constitutional interpretation. He says he uses these rules of interpretation in every case as a guide to his decisions. He says he is a strong defender of the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. Ring stated that Scalia gets more laughs during oral arguments and any other justice. Scalia states he has obtained dictionaries from the 1770 so he can better understand what the words meant to the people who ratified the Bill or Rights and the Constitution. He also obtains dictionaries from the time constitutional amendments were made as he stated the interpretation must be based on the mean of the words at the time of ratification. Scalia opposes the idea of a living constitution or the powers of the judiciary to modify the meaning to adapt to changing times. Scalia has voted to strike down laws on abortion, environmental protection, civil rights, affirmative action, race and gender discrimination. He vigorously defends the first amendment and the fourth amendment and the death penalty. After reading this book I feel I understand Scalia better and how he interprets the Constitution. Wyntner Woody did a good job narrating the book.
So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.
Plato said that opinion is just the medium between ignorance and knowledge. For a while, I was almost singularly passionate about educating myself regarding politics - gaining knowledge - then I plum ran out of mental energy, and returned to the easy comfort of just having an opinion. Familiar with Truthdig, and having read War Is A Force...so many yrs. ago I've forgotten most of the content, I thought maybe Death of the Liberal Class might get me back into the quest. While I'll never be truly politically savvy, reading Death of the Liberal Class was my own little "intellectual effort" to move my opinion towards knowledge.
Call Hedges cynical, pessimistic, a bleak alarmist, whatever...but reasonably, you'd better add honest, passionate, globally intelligent, and a patriot. Yes, you can be "disobedient" and be a patriot. Howard Zinn wrote, "Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery- have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience."
Admittedly, this is a blood-boiling and sobering book, not fun to hear (quoting Hamilton's too-little-too-late Requiem for a Species...that's depressing stuff. At one point in "Camelot," Merlin says to King Arthur, "The uglier the truth, the truer the friend that tells it." a good reference point.) I don't agree with all of Hedges statements (perhaps I should, he is much more knowledgeable than I'll ever be), some of the long pieces of history are already well known therefore not as interesting as the rest of the book, and the structure was sometimes tangled, (and I wish I would have known enough to have read Empire of Illusion first) but Hedges tells it like it is and backs up his words with the facts in a way that any level of pilgrim can understand. Far far and beyond any person's criticisms and political alignments, this is important information that is crucial for our future; fantastic research, brave thesis, and impossible to ignore.