Friday, November 9, 2018

One Person, No Vote: Book Review

One Person, No Vote
By Carol Anderson
Complimentary copy
from Bloombury Publishing

One Person, No Vote is a must read if  you care about American democracy.  Most of us don't know what voting suppression, and gerrymandering is. Or didn't pay attention to it. Most likely, like me if you are White. You wouldn't pay attention. But, if you are a minority. You most likely know what it is. If you love this country, and care about democracy. You should read, and understand what is going on under our noses.

Before 1965 they used the excuse of literacy that you had to pass to vote. Which was ridiculous because many Whites didn't pass it either. The other was paying a toll tax to vote. Then  harassment, and scare tactics to prevent Blacks from voting.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was written by a democratic president, Johnson.The voting act allowed for Afro-Americans to finally have the right to vote.  Many Southern Democrats called, Dixiecrat didn't want to give blacks the right to vote.  The Southern Democrats flipped to Republicans. Hence the reason why the Southerners became Republican. They couldn't handle minorities having the right to vote.

 The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was rolled back from the Supreme Court in 2013. There has been voter suppression before 2013. After 2013, voter suppression, and gerrymandering became more extreme than before. For example, look at the 2016 election. Think about the the popular vote vs. Electorate. Doesn't make sense of the turnout.

You know the census that we did 10 years ago. That most of us didn't take seriously. Who cares about the census. Well that is how the GOP changed the district lines. I didn't realize, the GOP changed the district lines for their benefit. Then they also find ways to purge the rolls in several states.

 If your name, or address had a missing letter, or something easily fixable by notifying person, or a hyphen or, no hyphen. Or you didn't vote in the last election.

Does it make sense? It makes it easier to apply for a gun license than to register to vote. It's despicable! Making it harder to get to the polls. Many minorities don't have cars. Or there may only be one place to vote 100 miles away in your district. Or, some minorities can't afford to get a state ID.

While reading, One  Person, No Vote it made me sick reading this. Who would think this would happen in 2018. It opened my eyes in pure disgust. I couldn't believe this, United States of America. What has happened to our country??!  Never thought we are like Russia, Turkey, etc. We are a democracy? What has happened to our country? Where each of us has our voice heard by our vote. The Republicans have become outright cheaters.

The book is broken down to five chapters. The history of the Afro-American vote, Voter ID, Voter Roll Purge, Rigging the the Rules, and Resistance.

I am glad I read the book. But, sad, and angry that I didn't realize how serious this was. I am hoping very soon something can be done about this I have heard that President Obama, and his Attorney General Holder are trying to change the law. I hope so. Everyone has a right for their vote to count. The book is short, but it does get tedious, and at times does get bogged down. I still recommend reading.

I recommend One Person, No Vote if you care about democracy, and equality in our country. It is a short, and concise book. Thank you Bloomsbury for the review copy.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Dear America: Book Review

Dear America
By Jose Antonio Vargas
Purchased Copy


I have been recently interested in non-fiction. Mainly books dealing with social justice. I wanted to read a book on the problem with immigration. The book, Dear America gives me a little taste what it feels like to be undocumented.  Dear America, is a memoir. For Jose,he learns when he wants to get his driving permit that he's papers are forged. We get a inside look at the fear of living in hiding. But, later on he becomes a journalist for the Washington Post. Interesting, I thought any one that lives undocumented wants be hidden, and less obvious. He is wide open. He has many friends he rely' s on to help him in his daily life.

He feels he's entire life is a lie. You see he's name appears Hispanic. But, he actually is Filipino.  I think that has something to do with colonization of Spain. He comes to the United States alone when he is little without his Mother. He lives with his grandmother in California.

 What I found interesting is, some of the undocumented were angry at Jose. They felt he wasn't representing the true undocumented person. Like minimum wage earner, He was always checking his back. As he was working. Which I found interesting is the government does take money out of a person's pay. Whether he is documented or non-documented. What a farce, a tale of lies we have been told.  He doesn't get close to any of his friends. The real truth. He is finally arrested and then released. I'm not sure how that happened. He still lives in this country. But doesn't have a permanent address.

He asks the question, what makes a true American? I recommend Dear America. It gives a peek inside an undocumented person living in the United States.

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A Spark of Light: Book Review

A Spark of Light
By Jodi Picoult
Purchased copy

I love all of Jodi Picoult's novels. My favorite of all her books is, Small Great Things. Her novels are usually controversial. They are favorites of my book club. As, you can probably imagine. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one.

A Spark Of light, the title of the novel is interesting. I learned something new. I was a nurse years ago. I didn't know. I am sure the Christians who don't believe in abortion are going to use what I say, as ammunition. But, here goes. Scientifically, scientists have proof that at conception a spark of light bursts. Scientists just learned this recently.

In modern day Mississippi, in a women's reproductive clinic. It is a normal morning they all think. The protestors are out greeting the women that come through the door of the  clinic. The time frame is one day. It starts at 5 PM, and goes back each hour backward each chapter till 6 AM.

There are several characters, there is a protester, a woman coming for an abortion, a doctor, nurse, administrator, a daughter of a police officer getting contraceptive, and her aunt. To name a few of the characters. Then,  a gunman walks into the clinic and kills, and wounds, and takes hostages. Unbeknownst to the gunman a teenage girl, and her aunt, are related to the hostage negotiator. It is a show down for hours what is going to happen. What each person's view of women's health,abortions, pro-choice, etc.

My Review:  Of all the books I have read by the author. This one I didn't particular care for.  BTW, my favorite novel so far is Small Great Things. Which was published last year. Flash- backs would have worked. The chapter went back one hour. It was difficult to keep the characters straight in your head. But beside each time you wanted to become connected with the characters. You couldn't because it went to the hour before. There wasn't any intensity, or page turner. As you already knew what was going to happen in the first chapter. I really wanted to like the book because of the subject matter.  

I am not sure if our book club will want to read A Spark of Light. It is graphic, and  may be too controversial. I usually love books on social justice, equality, and women's health. So this tells you something. I was very surprised by the author's writing style. I have never read books like this before. I would think it doesn't work well with most people. I understand the author doesn't want to give it in small pieces to digest. But, it didn't work this way for me. Like I said, flash backs or different characters at each chapter. I think would have built the momentum, and the intensity. The book for me was disappointing, and a waste of $30 for me. 

Book Review: What Happened

What Happened
By Hillary Rodham Clinton
Simon &Schuester
Purchased copy

I will tell you right off. I am not a HC fan. But after reading this book. I have become to appreciate, and respect her. I didn't follow politics until 2016. I voted yes, I followed my father, and his beliefs. Knowing what I know now. I probably leaned democrat.

I am a retired nurse. Anyone that practices nursing and cares for clients in the city hospitals. You don't look at someone's skin color, or religion, or sexual orientation. But, also working in the city hospital of NYC. You learn not to pay attention to that. Also, it  took me 58 years to realize. I am a bleeding heart liberal. I believe in equality for everyone. I was mortified that our constitution has the double standard. It is written, these truths...... I have a difficult time understanding why there is a double standard for equality. Why even still are voting laws for Afro-American is still suppressed. Which flabbergasts me. Since 1964 the civil rights law was written into law by Johnson. Anyway, enough already about that.

In 2016 I wanted Bernie Sanders to win. Unfortunately, you realize of course that didn't happen. Instead it was a presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I thought from the beginning it was a joke. The media went crazy and made it into a media frenzy. The more I saw Donald Trump and he's reckless ideas. The more I didn't want him to win the presidency. He is reckless, doesn't have character, not presidential, impulsive, dangerous, and the list goes on.

Since Bernie didn't win. I felt the lesser of two evils was Hillary. I still think that in 2018. The only thing I realize now. She wouldn't have been able to get anything done as a democrat. Because the house and senate was Republican majority. We are so partisan now. I doubt anything would have gotten done.

Hillary Clinton wrote a memoir to explain her presidential race against Donald Trump. She explains her emails and the FBI was her down fall. She feels she was a scapegoat. I have no answer to that. She does state that there was no law that she couldn't use her husband's server. There was other Sec. of State that did exactly the same thing without repercussions. The only reason it was made an issue because she was a woman. She states she Whad the high rating as well. She says that it was a double standard because of her. Why was the emails brought up again, and again. But, never made an issue when there was suspicions of Trump and the Russians. It was known weeks before the FBI released info. Also, I think there was a problem with NSA, CIA, FBI, and etc. They were working against each other. There was a lot of blame going around. But, she doesn't agree. She went to the battle states she claims. She states her staff were wonderful and did everything she could do.

Also, I think everything the democratic party believed was opposite Trump and his base believed. They attacked her, no matter what. There was an incident where Trump kept raising the issue to keep fossil fuel. So, of course she had to say that the job market in coal, and industry is bleak. What is out there is sit down jobs in service, not manufacturing. She said something she shouldn't have said. She regrets it. But, she was damned if she did, and damned if she didn't.

Now, she has picked up the pieces and go on with her life. She has her husband( former Pres, Bill Clinton), her daughter( Chelsea), her grandchildren, and her faith that helps her go day to day. She is very thankful to her staff. She is hopeful that the grassroots will rise up, and continue to hold President Trump and the Republican party accountable. The only way you can become united is to unify all the groups. Don't let them divide us.

What Happened was an easy read. It was like I was sitting down for coffee with a friend. I would have liked to say, I'm sorry Hillary. You did your best! I recommend this to anyone that is interested in politics. Not just democrats but anyone that is interested to making USA unified again. It is" We", not "Me".

I give What Happened

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fear: Book Review

By Bob Woodward
purchased copy

I have bought several political books in the past years since President Trump has been elected. One of the books that stand out to me is, Fire and Fury. There is no comparison between the two. Fire and Fury was very simplistic prose. It was geared to anyone that doesn't like to read intense books. To me it was like reading a gossip column. On the opposite end is Fear.

First off the author is well known, he and Carl Bernstein are well known investigative Journalists from the Washington Post. They were responsible for opening the Watergate investigation wide open. Bob Woodward has a good reputation, and digs for the facts. He has sources to back them up. But, they are not named in the book. He does have several foot notes.

Where Fire and Fury was not an investigative book. It was geared to the gossip that was already reported in several newspapers. I am not sure why the publishers published the book. But, it did sell copies. Which is what the publishers were hoping for. They can say " thank you" to President Trump for the publicity.

Fear though is a totally different book. It is based on investigative reporting. Which have several different sources. The White House can deny all they want. But, the public knows the truth. Fear tells you the goings on in the White House by how the President picked his cabinet, how they were fired. What he thought of his staff. How the staff either tried to distract the president. Hoping he would forget to sign. Or they would take care of things by themselves.  The personalities of Cohn, Mattis, and McMaster was interesting to read. But, scary what the President was capable of doing. Thank g-d others were around him to stop him.  you wonder if he really thought this. Or just something that just came out of his mouth at the time. Did he just need to cool off.

What I liked about Fear was he delved into his policies. Which was not touched upon in Fire and Fury. Foreign policies, National Security, The military in Afghanistan, and the Middle East. What Trump thought about each one of these. How unaware and uneducated in several decisions that were made. Luckily there is staff there to protect him.

The problem with our president is. He runs the White House like a business. A president can run the government like a business but you should still have empathy, caring, civility, and competence. Which our president doesn't have. Instead he micro manages. Has cabinet members take on jobs that the senate usually does.Or he asks a low staffer to take on responsibility. That he or she doesn't have any knowledge.  After reading the book. You will then realize what was really going on in the background.

I recommend Fear, if you are a die hard political junkie. Who wants to know the truth about Trump, and the White House.

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