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review 2020-02-22 22:05
Read it
Fight of the Century - Michael Chabon,Ayelet Waldman

Is it too early in the year to say that if you buy one book this year, it should be this one? Yes, I know Mantel’s conclusion is coming out next month, but you should really consider this one.

I first read about in the NYT Book Review. That day, I went out and brought it, mostly because of Marlon James and Victor LaValle (the reviewer really liked those essays). Then I pulled the book down from the shelf and so who else is it in. Jacqueline Woodson. Geraldine Brooks. Neil Gaiman. Salman Rushdie. George Saunders. Jesmyn Ward.

The book is a collection of essays celebrating the ACLU and famous cases. And there really isn’t a bad essay in the bunch. Each author takes a case and the essay is mediation on it. Perhaps the most touching is Woodson’s essay on the Scottsboro Boys. The cases go up to the present day, and the essays are, understandably political. The politics run from the border wall to free speech to the taking of Native American children.

The best essay in the collection is the one by Morgan Parker, which strangely was not mentioned in the NYT Review. I haven’t read Parker before. His essay is the one you want everyone to read. You want to make copies and hand them out on the street. Honesty, read it. It’s just so bloody powerful.

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url 2020-02-05 16:03
Podcast #173 is up!
Workers, Unions and Payment in Kind: The Fight for Real Wages in Britain, 1820–1914 - Christopher Frank

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Christopher Frank about his history of the fight for wages in 19th century Britain. Enjoy!

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review 2019-11-02 13:04
Review of Churchill and Orwell by Thomas Ricks
Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom - Thomas E. Ricks

This was a dual-biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell. I learned nothing new of Churchill in this book, but I learned quite a bit about Orwell as I had never read any biographical works on him. I found his life to be interesting but felt that there was not enough of him in this book. The two men had no connections other than being British at the same time during the World War II era, so the connection between them was loose at best. Worth the read as it was short, but not the engrossing read I was hoping for.

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text 2019-06-15 11:57
Big move by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: 12 top tax officers dismissed from service
Right after taking up the job of Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman have asked 12 top tax officers to take up compulsory retirement. The list had some of the big names like Ashok Agarwal – Joint Commissioner of I-T and former Deputy Director of Enforcement Directorate, SK Srivastava – Commissioner (Appeal, Noida) and Homi Rajvansh – an official of the Revenue Service. Ashok Agarwal faced allegations of corruption and extortion. The CBI had accused him of owning assets worth more than 12 crore disproportionate to his income. Homi Rajvansh was a corrupt Revenue Service official and was arrested for acquiring movable and immovable assets worth Rs. 3.17 crore. On the other side, SK Srivastava, a Revenue Service official of the 1989 batch was accused of serious allegations for sexually harassing two women officials. Mr. Srivastava was held in civil imprisonment of 15 days for his false remarks against former chairman and members of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The remaining nine officials were also under scanner for severe allegations ranging from extortion to bribery and sexual harassment. Of the total 12 officials, eight of them are currently being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation on serious corruption charges. As per reports, this is the first time that a government has taken such a drastic step against top officials accused of corruption and malpractice. All these officers were subjected to forceful retirement under Rule 56 by the Finance Ministry. Many people called this move a part of clean-up drive of the Modi Sarkar 2.0. Original Source - https://fighttojustice.weebly.com/blog/big-move-by-finance-minister-nirmala-sitharaman-12-top-tax-officers-dismissed-from-service
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text 2019-06-15 09:18
The Reason Behind Showing Exit Door To SK Srivastava

Within a few days of taking charge as the first full-time Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman took the ground-breaking administrative step and forced 12 senior income tax officers on the basis of corruption and professional misbehavior. The 56-year-old officer — SK Srivastava who made “unsubstantiated and malicious” allegations against NDTV and Ex-Finance Minister P Chidambaram is among these people who were made to retire.


Previously, the 1989-batch IAS officer has been served with a charge sheet comprised of seven charges and an official inquiry was also ordered. The list of charges that filed on May 23, included sexual harassment allegations against 2 women colleagues from the Department of Revenue Service and putting allegations against the top officials of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).


As per the reliable sources, he has filed a petition in the court through Jai Narayan Nishad — a former Member of Parliament and claimed that the two women officers were involved in corruption and prostitution. Moreover, he used his official position to pressurize the senior officials to initiate investigation against them as well as to defer the proceedings against him.


A couple of years ago, he approached the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) with the request of delaying the promotion of his batchmates as well as his juniors, as a consequence, the promotion of 3 batches has been held up. Along with these allegations, the officer also holds around 75 petitions against him in the Central Administrative Tribunal, the High Court and Supreme Court. Apart from Srivastava, the list also includes Ashok Agarwal, Homi Rajvansh, and BB Rajendra Prasad.


Original Source - https://medium.com/@meyermwfactor/the-reason-behind-showing-exit-door-to-sk-srivastava-6ec70cbcc64c

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