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review 2021-01-20 01:44
THE TRUTHS WE HOLD: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY by Kamala Harris
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey - Kamala Harris

I wish I had read this before the 2020 primaries.  This gives a good idea of what her platform was.  She describes the problems facing us today and gives solutions to those problems.  Utilizing stories from her own life and others who have crossed her path, she gives faces to those problems and solutions.  Ms. Harris comes across as someone who listens and tries to help where she can and she'll go where she needs to to lend that helping hand.  She has a lot of empathy and compassion.  I am glad I read this.  I think she will help lead this country back into the light.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-12-20 10:34
Unter Wölfen: Der verborgene Feind von Alex Beer
Unter Wölfen: Der verborgene Feind - Alex Beer

Nürnberg, 1942. 3 Wochen nun posiert Isaak Rubinstein als der berühmte Adolf Weissmann, doch bald schon soll diese Farce zu Ende und er auf dem Weg zu seinen Lieben sein: Nur noch die Pläne eines neuen Panzers muss er ergattern während eines Abendessen, das ihn mit weiteren hohen Nazi-Funktionären zusammenbringt. Das Vorhaben gelingt, doch am nächsten Tag wird die Tochter eines der Funktionäre ermordet aufgefunden und Rubinstein erhält von Himmler persönlich den Auftrag, die Ermittlungen zu übernehmen.

Gewohnt routiniert malt Beer ein Bild der Gesellschaft in einem der Machtzentren des dritten Reichs. Rubinstein, der nur Abscheu empfindet, sich aber der Informationsgewinnung wegen einschleichen muss, balanciert wie bei einem Drahtseilakt - jederzeit kann seine Tarnung auffliegen, nicht zuletzt, weil seine Romanze mit Ursula von Rahn Nebenbuhler verärgert und dazu bringt, Nachforschungen anstellt.

Der eigentliche Fall kommt fast ein wenig zu kurz in all den persönlichen Wirren und Verstrickungen, als auch in der Polizei langsam Zweifel an Weissmanns Identität auftauchen. Und den wahren Täter zu schnappen, entpuppt sich als ein Katz und Maus-Spiel mit einem tragischen Hintergrund von Systemhörigkeit und Verrat.

Ich freue mich jedenfalls auf weitere Abenteuer mit Isaak Rubinstein - das Netz um ihn herum wird jedenfalls enger.

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review 2020-10-07 00:02
Political assassination thriller detailed and convincing.

 

 

When is having multiple personalities, or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), an asset? When one personality is a professional assassin and the others can cover for her. 

  

When former CIA assassination trainer Troy Greenbrier discovers Shinayne, a disoriented, young woman on the streets of Las Vegas, he selflessly decides to help her out. He gives her lodging; food and the following day buys her some new clothes.  He even takes her to a gun range where he is conducting training for his new government employer. 

  

Shinayne is a natural marksman as well as having some other personality traits Troy sees as making her a perfect candidate for a specialized career. Sensing her prospects, he makes some enquiries with his former employer, then puts her on military transit destined for a facility where she’ll begin psychological testing and training as a government assassin. 

  

A few years later Troy is working for the Federal Protective Service guarding Federal employees like judges and Congressmen, but he differs from others in the Service in that he does it proactively and not defensively.  He solves the problem before it shows up.  

  

So, when Misha Roberts, an American citizen, a known sympathizer to Iran, and a possible operative for other terrorist organizations enters the United States via Canada, Troy gets the call of duty to discover what she’s up to? But right from the start, they are bureaucratic irregularities that make him suspicious. Could someone high up in his own government be actually aiding and abetting this likely terrorist? 

  

So begins a game of high stakes intrigue with Troy trying to discover who or what Misha Roberts’ target is and prevent her from carrying out her deadly mission. But not only is his investigation being foiled by his own government, he’s up against a highly sophisticated opponent, and though he doesn’t know it, she’s the one he recommended for the job when he first recognized her potential. 

  

Author Clark Wilkins writes an impeccably researched account of how to plan, prepare, and execute the assassination of a High Value Target in America - all the while eluding the various agencies tasked with preventing it.  And he does by introducing a unique character, a young woman whose psychiatric disorder is an asset, allowing her to convincingly become different people, one of them a sociopathic murderer. 

  

With High Value Target, Wilkins’ provides the reader with a thrilling story, insight into Dissociative Identity Disorder, as well as a disturbing look at politics in America today. 

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review 2020-07-29 11:31
Uncomfortable truths written in easily understood language
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide - Carol Anderson

The thrust of this easy to read and highly informative book is that power structures in America and disenfranchised whites have one thing that bind them together, a determination to prevent African-American success. The chapters take us from the end of the civil war and the reconstruction through to the first black president in the US, Obama. It studies the gymnastics, sleight of hand, and frequently extremely violent terrorist acts involved in maintaining segregation after in was legally outlawed in the 1960s, and how a coup in Nicaragua was tied into criminalising black communities in the US. The more left-wing of us might wonder at the restraint of African-Americans at times, and this book delves into the history of that and how every act of resistance in the last 350 years has been met with disproportionate, murderous punishment in order to protect white communities against even the discomfort of black success. It's a great book if you're wondering how we arrived at the BLM movement today.

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review 2020-07-15 08:15
Identity politics, “lived experiences” and an end to moderation

 

By 2045, a majority of the US population will be people of color. This will change the electoral makeup and enable people of color to have a transformative political impact.

 

In Zerlina Maxwell’s, The End of White Politics - How to Heal Our Liberal Divide, the former staffer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign explains this is not a movement, it’s not a theory, it’s a demographic fact. To take advantage of this shift, the Democratic Party has to listen to the people of color and diverse groups, promote them to positions of power within the party, and let them lead the way.

 

According to Maxwell, when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression, and that applies to all white males including those in the Democratic Party. Maxwell takes aim at the Bernie Bros, calling them “a manifestation of white male privilege”, and the “same as Trump supporters responding to the same perceived loss of privileges.” She claims whitelash increased racial solidarity among white people with the shared perception that they were losing status, rights, and privileges they had traditionally enjoyed was the reason for the Trump win.

 

She endorses identity-based politics explaining, in reality, it is politics saying there is more than one experience to consider. That means embracing identities other than those that are white, male, and heteronormative and accordingly running political campaigns based on the needs and experiences of those African Americans, Latinx, and the LGBTQ+ communities and women. Though women currently are a majority of the US population, their numbers don’t reflect that in elected officials.

 

Critical of Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, she suggests he has a “long history of telling the black constituency he can be trusted, while simultaneously authoring and implementing policies that would hurt them.” This includes supporting Bill Clinton’s 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that has resulted in the current crisis of mass incarceration.

 

Maxwell identifies with The Squad, four young women of color recently elected to Congress saying, “there is no group more representative of how the next generation of leadership will look than The Squad.” She’s a supporter of their outspoken candor on public policy saying that lived experiences make better-informed policymaking. To Maxwell, the impulse of most Democrats to be moderate “feels like a manifestation of the white privilege that has plagued us for so long. Being a moderate is not a virtue. Moderation does not pull us toward progress.”

 

The book is dense with facts and then some since Maxwell has a tendency to repeat the same arguments in different context. She’s also fond of political jargon and memes, ostensibly to enhance her insider credibility, but which frequently sent me on an internet search to understand.

 

As an analysis of the current state of America’s political system, The End of White Politics reads like the future, like an awakening, like common sense.

 

Written with passion and commitment, Zerlina Maxwell presents her argument persuasively and unapologetically, and with enough anecdotes to lift it above the political thesis. She reminds us when she quotes feminist Laura Duca, “At any given moment, you’re either actively fighting for equality, or you’re complicit in the system of oppression that prevents it.”

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