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Vargas

Minneapolis, MN, United States | Member Since 2010

70
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 93 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Alan Dershowitz
    • Narrated By Knighton Bliss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In Blasphemy: How the Religious Right is Hijacking the Declaration of Independence, author Alan Dershowitz proves that no relation exists between the Declaration of Independences Creator and Natures God, on the one hand, and the Judeo-Christian God of the Old and New Testaments, on the other hand

    Vargas says: "Facing the Facts"
    "Facing the Facts"
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    This book was like candy for the ears (and the brain). I was curious, because I have only a rudamentary understanding of the Declaration itself, to hear the history and background of both the document and the men who wrote it. Upon being presented with this information it became painfully clear that the religious argument claiming the Declaration as proof of religious intent could not be substantiated.

    I particularly enjoyed the author's discussion of the perspectives off Jefferson and his contemporaries regarding religion. Such information is incredibly helpful in understanding their intentions when it came to founding a nation. Most Christians should take the time to read this book before thoughtlessly echoing the lines pervaded by those who intentionally misinform for the purposes of pushing a religious agenda.

    What I particularly enjoy about this book is that it does NOT go so far as to suggest that America is a non-religious nation. Indeed we ARE a nation of religious people. However, it rightly points out that we are a nation of many religions, and a nation founded on the idea that each of those religions should be free from interference by not only government, but by other religions. The modern Christian power-grab of the Religious Right should not only be an affront to Non-Religious Americans, but also Non-Christian Americans, who stand to lose their rights as well should the government secumb to Christian rule.

    Recommended reading for anyone who enjoys reading about the views of the founders, as well as those who are looking for a defense against the misinformation surounding the "Christan Nation" myth. Listen and be informed.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Michael Lux
    • Narrated By Richard Topol
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (6)

    This is an accessible book that delineates how progressives and the progressive movement have created the American idea and ideals, and forged the kind of country in which we want to live. It creates a platform from which to argue how progressives today are fighting to improve America, in contrast to how conservatives have always worked to defend the interests of elites.

    Vargas says: "An Interesting Perspective on Some Old Ideologies"
    "An Interesting Perspective on Some Old Ideologies"
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    I really enjoyed this book. I bought it thinking it would be the usual Liberal/Progressive manifesto, with the usual historical anicdotes, but I was somewhat surprised. Most political historians view Jefferson as the bad guy who didn't like the federal government (which we now take for granted) up until his election, at which point he becomes the loveable anti-federalist who got rid of the Sedition Laws. When I heard the author begin to demonize Adams and lionize Jefferson, I have to admit to feeling a twinge of cognitive dissonence kick in. I don't know that he made me a convert, but I found his arguments enlightening and persuasive. It was a new perspective and unfortunately, not one you'd find elsewhere. I recommend this book because it presents an interesting perspective worth considering.

    As for the other comment, I have to comment on the fact that s/he recommend "the Republic" as an explination for Progressive philosophy. If you haven't read anything better / more recent on the issue of liberal thought than that, then this book is definitely not a good start. In fact, I would recommend you read the declaration of independence or the Constitution. Those were pretty much the most liberal documents in the world until about 1945, and yes, liberals wrote those (*gasp*). As I have said in other comments. "If you are a sensative Conservative Reader, prone to tantrums and unjustified feelings of victimization, then this book is obviously not for you." And if you do decide to forgo your political leanings, please take a moment to digest the perspectives on a historical level, in combination with other historical perspectives, rather than becoming angry and deleting the book half way through.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Charles P. Pierce
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (157)

    The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States. The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units; anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; "fact" is that which enough people believe. And "truth" is determined by how fervently they believe it.

    Vargas says: "You Get What You Paid For"
    "You Get What You Paid For"
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    The title of this book makes it so obvious what you are buying that I can't believe people actually take the time to write reviews bashing it. When I bought this book, I knew I was buying a trashy book that was going to smear Conservatives. That's what I wanted, that's what I paid for, and that's exactly what I got. So, please, if you are a sensative conservative reader, prone to tantrums and an undeserved sense of victimization, then you really should NOT be buying this book (unless of course your only goal is to buy the book cheap so you can not read it, but still bash it in the comments section).

    The Book is a wonderful collection of silliness. Numerous examples of how the Right has attacked everything good and educated in this world, dumbed it down, twisted it into an unrecognizable mass of bitterness and hatred, and then sold it as their own product to Limbaugh's acolytes. From the Creation Museum (terrifying to be sure) to the Conservative take-over of Talk Radio, the book is an fountain of interesting factoids and historical perspective coupled with a very sarcastic wit. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was my traveling companion as I was traveling through Utah, and I would highly recommend this to any Liberal/Progressive reader looking for a giggle inbetween conservative-bashing.

    50 of 54 people found this review helpful
  • Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Rick Shenkman
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Americans of all political stripes are heading into the 2008 election with the sense that something has gone terribly wrong with American politics. But what exactly? The only thing everyone seems to agree on, in fact, is that the American people are entirely blameless. InJust How Stupid Are We?, best-selling historian and renowned myth-buster Rick Shenkman takes aim at our great national piety: the wisdom of the American people.

    John says: "Cynical but accurate"
    "Excellent Description of a Real Problem"
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    I have to begin by saying I'm not sure why conservatives feel so victimized by this book. This book is NOT an attack on either party. On the contrary it is an attack on ignorant voters who don't know enough to justify being on one side or the other. The author is not arguing that everyone should vote for the Liberal/Progressive candidate, he is arguing that most people don't know enough about the issues or where each party stands to make an informed decision one way or the other. So, I have to shake my head at the rampent percieved victimization of Conservatives who couldn't even make it "through the first two chapters" without feeling slighted. Perhaps if they had, they would have learned something.

    As for the book generally, I think anyone who is interested in the political process should consider getting this book. It's the best way to be so disgusted with the average voter that you will feel obligated to get out there and cast a knowledgeable vote. Whether you are Republican or Democrat you shouldn't be offended by this book, you should be offended that there are millions of people out there influencing elections based on innacurate information without bothering to educate themselves. THAT should be offensive to you. We live in a democracy and one of the most important function every citizen plays is to cast an informed ballot on Nov 4th every two years. With that in mind, this book should be a kick in the pants for the average voter, and if it motivates even one person to do a little homework before they vote then its a 5-star book as far as I'm concerned.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Farhad Manjoo
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Why has punditry overtaken news, with so many media outlets pushing partisan agendas instead of information? Comedian Stephen Colbert's catchword "truthiness" has captured something essential about our age: that people are more comfortable with ideas that feel true, even if the evidence for those beliefs is thin.

    Saud says: "Check Your Perspective"
    "Truer Words Were Never Written!"
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    An excellent analysis of the current media culture in the United States, and truly it is a sad reality. This book is for everyone who reads the newspaper, watches TV, or listens to the radio and thinks "what happened to the news?" Sensationalism, celebrity, and ratings are all thats left of what was once a proud profession. Listen to this book and learn about our culture's abandonment of difficult truths in favor of the easy road to willful ignorance. listen and get informed!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Why We're Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Eric Alterman
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Thanks to the machinations of the right, there is no dirtier word in American politics today than "liberal". Yet public-opinion polls consistently show that the majority of Americans hold liberal views on everything from health care to foreign policy.

    Vargas says: "A Must-Read for all Liberals"
    "A Must-Read for all Liberals"
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    This is one of those books that I recommend without hesitation. Every Liberal and "progressive" should have a copy of this book (or audiobook). Not only does the author provide an incredibly detailed history of Liberal philosophy, but he uses the opportunity to debunk many conservative attacks in the later chapters.

    However, this is a mixed blessing. I wish there was a 4.5 rating, because I really enjoyed this book, but I think the author may have slipped off his message a little in the last chapters. The author uses the later chapters of the book to debunk a number of myths about liberalism, such as "Liberals only want to tax and spend" and "liberals are elitist." Normally I think this is a great practice, however, I would have prefered if the author has used the opportunity to continue to explain and detail liberal philosophy. Instead the author falls back on pointing out how Conservatives are hypocrites in these various areas. I wish he would have continued to sing the praises of liberalism as opposed to pointing out the failings of conservatism.

    Aside from that, great book. Like I said before, all liberals and "progressives" should have a copy of this book, if for no other reason than to help them understand the roots of liberal philosophy and the truth about the philisophy that has defined America for 200 years.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Matthew Latimer
    • Narrated By Lincoln Hoppe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    As a young political geek, Matt Latimer dreamed of one day heading to Washington to work for a conservative president and usher in another Reagan Revolution. With the support of his slightly mortified liberal parents, he tried to do just that - but his youthful exuberance began to cool as he moved up the rungs of power.

    Vargas says: "Informative and Engaging"
    "Informative and Engaging"
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    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even though I clearly do not share Mr. Latimer's political views, I thought his insights were very elightening. As you might expect there are times where the author is clearly trying to defend both his philosophy and those who have been political allies, but on the whole the author is extremely honest and candid, which merits considerable respect.

    One of the part of this book that I found most distressing was how Mr. Latimer was consistantly hired for jobs for which even he admits he was grossly underqualified. He then rails on the very same practice when Mr. Rove applies it to hiring for the Pentagon. An interesting bit of selective memory.

    I recommend this book to conservatives, and especially to liberals, not because you will agree with him, but because it is a very interesting historical look at the inside workings of the Republican party and a presidency plagued by self-destructive tendencies.

    I would warn prospective readers that the author speaks fondly (and consistantly defends) such unlta-conservatives as Ann Coulter, Don Rumsfeld, and the most conservative members of congress. If you strongly disagree with this approving view, you will find some views of the author to be frustrating. I would urge you to look past those views to fully appreciate the historical significance of the story and the observations.

    On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed his perspective on the 2008 election, and specifically his views on one Sarah Palin. I wont give away the specifics, but I felt quite vindicated that I could find common ground with such a conservative individual as Mr. Latimer.

    Summery: An excellent and candid perspective on a career in politics as a Republican. Very little "liberal bashing," so Liberals should feel safe reading and appreciating this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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