Tag Archives: Books

The faces of neo-liberalism, Part I: Robert Gibbs, Andrew Cuomo, and Rahm Emanuel

By Rima Regas

The rise of corporate Democrats has gone from a quiet but steady pace since 2010, to a very visible and in-your-face spectacle of late. The face of the party has changed, with some of the old guard gone, but many Democrats who were always at the right-most edge of the party playing more central roles in our parliamentary politics.

In Congress, especially over the past year, we’ve seen deals quietly made by certain Senate Democrats with the GOP, on the backs of the poor and unemployed. The economic agenda of the Democratic party, as a whole, has vanished, as has its vocal support for its blue collar constituencies.  While there are still a few progressives who stump for jobs, the unemployed, our safety net, education, and infrastructure, that talk isn’t backed by any particular legislative effort on the part of the leadership to, at the very least, give the appearance that it is trying to bring these issues back to the fore. Continue reading The faces of neo-liberalism, Part I: Robert Gibbs, Andrew Cuomo, and Rahm Emanuel

Dizzy Gillespie – A Tribute

 I was four or five years old and living in France when I first saw Dizzy. Back then, taking a child to a club wasn’t quite the social faux-pas it is now and, to be honest, I am glad. That first meeting started me on a life-long love of jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, Be-Bop and, of course, all things Dizzy Gillespie.

This page contains links I’ve gathered over time, including interviews, playlists, articles and various items related to Dizzy’s career. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Continue reading Dizzy Gillespie – A Tribute

Book Review: Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment by Robert Ferguson

By Richard A. Posner, The New Republic

Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment by Robert A. Ferguson (Harvard)

Robert Ferguson is a distinguished professor of law at Columbia University, with a deep interest in literature and in American culture. (He has a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization.) He has written an eloquent and learned book about the American criminal justice system today, with emphasis on imprisonment. He argues that prison sentences are too long and that prison conditions are abominable. And that is just the beginning.

Statistics confirm that a much higher fraction of Americans are prison inmates than was the case historically or is the case now in other civilized countries. As Ferguson notes, the per capita imprisonment rate is seven times greater in the United States than in Europe. Our inmates also are inmates for a longer period, because American prison sentences are longer than they used to be and longer than the sentences meted out in those other countries, although it is misleading to say as Ferguson does that “the United States imprisons more people than any other country in the world.” The United States is the third-most populous country in the world, and many countries do not publish accurate prison statistics (does anyone know the size of China’s prison population?). Many countries are unable or unwilling to punish most criminals, and in some countries crime is dealt with largely by extra-legal killing of criminals. Continue reading Book Review: Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment by Robert Ferguson