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Good morning, readers and book lovers! Unlike last week, when we enjoyed the great treat of an actual diary contributed by one of our members, this week no one has stepped up to contribute one. We will therefore have an open forum, and it's going to be short and sweet.

Short because I have a cold, and sweet because today we are having FloridaSNMOM's Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins for breakfast! She kindly provided the recipe a couple of weeks ago. Don't these look delicious? You may also munch these organic backyard apples and pears, picked by loving hands at home. Munch away, but mind you don't get crumbs on the carpet!

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Does activism come on gradually, like the 'flu, or does it happen all at once? From a perspective of thirty or forty years it's hard to pinpoint the exact moment that it happened to me. But reaching back into my memory it seems to me that the book that turned me from a passivist into an activist was Our Bodies, Ourselves.
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Like a lot of other people, I first read this book back in the heady days of the second phase of the women's liberation movement, that is, the 1970s. It was an absolute revelation to me. Here was a book written by women for women, and these women weren't meek and deferential--they were kicking ass!

Brought up as I had been in the 1950s, when our life ambition was to be beautiful and our most valued attribute was to be popular, I wasn't in the habit of talking back to men, especially men in authority. Before I read Our Bodies, Ourselves, it never occurred to me that a doctor--a real, medical school graduate god--could be questioned or disagreed with or dictated to. It just didn't happen in my world.

Yet here were women with no makeup and wildly curly hair like mine who told each other that we were the experts on our bodies, not some guy we saw twice a year for 15 minutes. Here were women handing each other mirrors and specula, inviting each other to look "down there" (that was what we called it in those pre-liberation days), and the world not only didn't end but continued to rock and roll--even though these women told their doctors exactly what the doctors were doing wrong. I was riveted by the testimonials from women, rendered in short, italic paragraphs, about their life experiences at the hands of the male-dominated medical establishment.

Women, especially shy women like me, had to engage in complete dissociation of mind and body when subjected to intimate, humiliating pelvic exams conducted by condescending male gynecologists before we were diagnosed and treated. Women were used to being infantilized, to never being told the reasons why one treatment was preferred over another. We were supposed to accept whatever the almighty god-doctor said without question or comment.

So when I read about these daring women who said that eating yogurt was a good way to get rid of a common affliction of women, who demanded explanations of treatments, who insisted on not being drugged during labor and childbirth, I felt like Hercules breaking free of his chains. I began to question other aspects of women's lives. Over the years, as my children needed me less and I had more spare time, I began to venture out of my little suburban housewife world and get involved. During the 1980s I marched more than once in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in Richmond (the capital of Virginia). The pivotal point came after working as a freelance editor in a company infested with Republicans. After the six-month assignment ended I went out and joined four pro-choice organizations in one week: Virginia NARAL, the Pro-Choice Alliance, the Democratic Committee, and the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force. And, as they say, thereby hangs a tale. (And now there is a post-abortion clinic movement, as described here.)

That's my story. What's YOURS? Which was the book that got you off your derriere and out into the streets? Tell us, we're all ears!

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm 15-20 years younger (11+ / 0-)

    but I still remember how powerful that book was.  It was so honest and direct, I had a copy of it near me for years.  In college I even took a class with a professor who was featured in the book.  For the life of me I can't remember her name but I remember her vividly - she was in her 70s by then, had been successful as a scientist and then having gained credibility focused on women's health.  She had very long grey hair and there was a picture of her in the book lifting weights.  I had never met someone so unapologetic and firm in who she was.  It was a seminar on women's health and just eye-opening to me.  Thank you for reminding me of her!

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them"

    by ItsJessMe on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 05:49:29 AM PDT

    •  I remember! Ruth Hubbard (11+ / 0-)

      Very impressive woman.  

      From Wikipedia:

      In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hubbard's interests shifted away from research science toward social and political issues. In her book The Politics of Women's Biology, she wrote that she had been a "devout scientist" from 1947 until the late 1960s, but the Vietnam War and the women's liberation movement led her to change her priorities. Also, after being promoted in 1973 from what she called the "typical women's ghetto" of "research associate and lecturer" positions to a tenured faculty position at Harvard, she felt increased freedom to pursue new interests.[6]

      She became known as a strong critic of sociobiology. Geneticist Richard Lewontin has said, "No one has been a more influential critic of the biological theory of women's inequality than Ruth Hubbard."[7] In a 2006 essay entitled "Race and Genes," she wrote:

          It is beyond comprehension, in this century which has witnessed holocausts of ethnic, racial, and religious extermination in many parts of our planet, perpetrated by peoples of widely different cultural and political affiliations and beliefs, that educated persons—scholars and popularizers alike—can come forward to argue, as though in complete innocence and ignorance of our recent history, that nothing could be more interesting and worthwhile than to sort out the “racial” or “ethnic” components of our thoroughly mongrelized species so as to ascertain the root identity of each and everyone of us. And where to look for that identity if not in our genes?[8]

      "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them"

      by ItsJessMe on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 05:52:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for your interesting and insightful (9+ / 0-)

    comments, ItsJessMe! Good to see you. I think that book made a profound difference in many people's lives.

    And the 70s were 40-odd years ago. Seems incredible that women have to defend their rights to abortion and contraception still.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 05:54:44 AM PDT

  •  Book lovers, I will be back periodically to (8+ / 0-)

    respond to comments when I have breaks from baby-minding. Right now it's time for his bottle, though, and his demands can be heard even upstairs here in my office!

    See you later. (Another pot of coffee is brewing, so please help yourselves.)

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 05:56:33 AM PDT

  •  autobiography of (12+ / 0-)

    Malcolm X, important one for me.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 06:14:35 AM PDT

  •  Knew that Malcolm X was an important figure (7+ / 0-)

    in the civl rights movement but never fully reaized how intelligent and charismatic he was until I saw "The Butler."

    Will have to put the autobiography on my reading list, Old Mule.  Thanks for mentioning it  I do wish Black History and Women's History were taught in school and not just history from the white male eurocentric point of view.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 06:36:21 AM PDT

    •  The "Autobiography" is powerful, but... (3+ / 0-)

      Please read it in conjunction with Manning Marable's wonderful critically appreciative biography, which shows how much fiction Malcolm and Alex Haley put into the autobiography.

      Every relationship of domination, exploitation, or oppression is by definition violent. Dominator and dominated alike are reduced to things - the former dehumanized by an excess of power, the latter by a lack of it. And things cannot love.-Paulo Freire

      by samdiener on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 10:48:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One of the problems with school (0+ / 0-)

      desegregation is that in all-Black schools Black history was taught, but not in integrated schools. That is not enough to say that we shouldn't have done it, but that we did it wrong.

      I went to a half-Black, half-White high school in the 1960s that was in no sense integrated. I talked to and played with my Black neighbors at home, but in school none of the other Black children would talk to a White person, and vice versa, unless told to by a teacher.

      We had an extra-curricular Swahili class, apparently the first in the nation, with no Black students in it.

      The school's further decline and then rebirth is told in the documentary Heart of Stone, named for Principal Ron Stone, who started the recovery.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 09:18:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Man's Fate (8+ / 0-)

    I think for me it was more of a gradual transition. Maybe I could point to the Abby Hoffman's Steal This Book, but I think that just gave me a 'stick it to the man' mentality without any real focus.

    My brother is six years older than me. By the time I reached 9th grade he had already been in college for three years. I was sitting bored in my room one day looking for something new to read. I had read all of the Arthur C. Clarke books, every Jules Vern novel, and biography of people like Roland Amundsen on the shelf. So, on a whim I picked up one of my older brother's college books. In this case Man's Fate by André Malraux. It starts out with a political assassination, and continues on to street battles. It was like nothing I had read before. The charactors in the book were actively trying to change an unjust world, and often betrayed by the treachery of outsiders. But they were true to their believes and were not waiting for somebody else to make the changes.

    If you see an injustice in the world, you can't wait for the future to address it. That is in a sense giving up your free will. It is up to you to actively do something.

    I guess that was the message I got from Man's Fate.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 06:38:02 AM PDT

  •  Aww you made my muffins, cool! (7+ / 0-)

    They are really good muffins :), which is why I shared the recipe!

    I haven't read a lot of activist books, most of my activism comes from r/l situations, having an autistic child started it off really. It's hard not to be an activist when you're arguing for reasonable accommodations with schools, etc.  The books came after that started.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 07:14:03 AM PDT

  •  Being a teenage NSA agent (7+ / 0-)

    the thing I read that reshaped my world and understanding was my "daily paper", the National Intelligence Summary Cable.  There's a place that the government has to tell itself the truth, no matter how unpalatable, inconvenient or impolitic.  The NISC is it.

    The book that made me a much better activist was Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.  I can't help but be amused by the current rightist rhetoric that flames up into righteous denunciation  of Alinsky, and then moves promptly into total application of his tactics.  If only there were still a left that did so, maybe we could compete, rather than slinking moderately from one defeat to the next.

    “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” —Aldous Huxley

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 07:33:26 AM PDT

    •  An interesting comment, and I like your kosname, (5+ / 0-)


      Yes, it would be nice if the left could countermand all the sneaky tactics of the right, such as putting up posters naming the wrong date and place for elections, notifying the Board of Elections that faithful Democrats have moved out of their district and therefore are disenfranchised (that happened to me once but I got wind of it in time), and so on.

      Guess our brains aren't as devious as theirs. Pity.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 07:42:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (7+ / 0-)

    And, you know what, not much has changed.  If you haven't read it please do so.  

    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri

    by Persiflage on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 07:42:28 AM PDT

  •  Is It Possible That the Oz Books (6+ / 0-)

    made me a rather fierce, assertive, and independent young adult?

    I began getting in trouble with authority figures in high school when I resisted silly rules: 1) Refused to take required home ec courses, wanting to take more science electives; 2) Refused to accept psychology teacher's "because I said so" explanation for my persistent questions and was sent to principal's office for it; 3) Refused to pay for optional diploma cover even though everyone else had and was summoned to principal's office, reprimanded, and pressured to "fall in line."  (I never did, and they still managed to graduate me, threats to the contrary.) The list goes on.

    But I blame Dorothy Gale for my propensity to lift the curtain and see for myself on what basis authority claimed its right and to challenge it when that basis proved to be an empty suit. And I credit her and her circle of friends for my affection for diversity and my resistance to stereotyping.

    Come to think of it, the story, "The Emperor's New Clothes" made a HUGE impression on me as a post-toddler.  So, maybe the root of evil from which I grew embedded itself in resistance earth even earlier than Oz books did.

    Certainly, All the President's Men focused my attention on the corruption that devolves from authority, especially when authority is concentrated in the hands of the Nixons and Roves of this world -- and the imperative of maintaining a healthy skepticism of government and insisting on "government in the sunshine."

    Anyway, it's safe to say that literature heavily influenced the development of my sensitivity to injustice, mindless authority, and the need to combat cruelty in this life.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 07:58:52 AM PDT

    •  Love your comment, Limelite, and my goodness, (5+ / 0-)

      this is the first time I've ever heard that the Oz books turned someone on to activism! But I'm glad they did.

      It's impressive that the lesson you drew from them was to lift the curtain and to question authority. And "The Emperor's New Clothes" still makes me laugh when I read something the RWNJs have said.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 08:32:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dorothy went to confront the Wicked Witch (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of the West having less than no idea how to go about it. She did the Witch in by accident by getting into a fury and throwing a bucket of water at her. Then Dorothy freed all of the witch's slaves, including the Flying Monkeys and an entire quarter of Oz.

        She made friends with a lion with a massive inferiority complex, a radically disabled woodman who had chopped himself to bits due to a witch's spell and been rebuilt in tin plate prosthetics (including a prosthetic head) who also had a massive inferiority complex, and a scarecrow with a massive inferiority complex. They all got over their issues by being friends, coping with adversity, and getting a psychological boost from an admitted con man and a Good Witch. Each member of the party contributes a solution to a life-threatening problem along the way.

        And in the second book we get a doubly trans character who is retransformed into the rightful ruler of Oz. The con man pretending to be a wizard turns himself into a real wizard starting in the third book. And so on, with Dorothy and others overcoming multitudes of murderous magical marauders and becoming friends with the most diverse cast of accidental heroes ever. Every kind of person, talking animal, and animated thing within the realm is accepted as equal citizens of Oz, except those who are attempting to overthrow Ozma and install themselves as tyrants.

        I read all 44 of the Oz books, by a number of different authors, existing at the time. More have been written since.

        But it was Dr. Seuss and Ferdinand, the bull who wouldn't fight, that got me started, in third grade. Then there were some of the more exalted bits of the Bible, Plato's account of the trial and death of Socrates (The Apology and Crito), and The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha, at age 12 and 13.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 10:10:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Re: books that inspired my activism (4+ / 0-)

    for atheism.

    Hawaii by James Michener

    Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels

    End of Faith by Sam Harris

    God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens

    The Holy Bible by "whoreallyknows?"

  •  Holy Terror, by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman (4+ / 0-)

    It's about the influence, and the ruthlessness, of what we now know is the Dominionist movement in American religion and politics.  Scared me half to death thirty years ago, still scares me now.

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 08:30:02 AM PDT

  •  In an odd way, None Dare Call It Treason (8+ / 0-)

    by John A. Stormer.  I came across it when I was a young teenager.  In those days, before the odd vagaries of life intervened, I had time to read a lot.  And I pretty much read everything I could lay my hands on.

    For those who don't know, None.. is a rightwing screed basically accusing those who don't agree with its politics to be Commies, which was first published in 1964.

    I was appalled by the book, even though, in those days, I felt myself to be a strong Republican.  But the hate and paranoia felt toxic.  The million copies which were sold back in 1964 were mostly bankrolled by the folks who owned Knott's Berry Farm.  That led me to my first participation in a boycott.  To this day, I don't buy Knott's products.

    Over time, as I saw the party of my family drift further into an appeal to the worst in us, I became disenchanted and, ultimately, left the party.

    It all began with None Dare Call It Treason.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 08:53:09 AM PDT

    •  Goodness, I had no idea, aravir! (3+ / 0-)

      Knott's Berry Farm, eh? Glad I don't buy their products.

      Thanks for sharing your experience about that book. Ridiculous title, don't you think? The RWNJs call everything treason.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 09:34:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Treason never doth prosper. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      What's the reason?
      Why, if it prosper
      None dare call it treason.
      This is the practice of every dynasty that usurped the throne from some previous dynasty in every country on Earth from England to China. See Sir Thomas More's hatchet job History of King Richard III, written to please Henry VIII of the usurping Tudor dynasty. Similarly, the first Han emperor, having taken part in overthrowing the previous Qin dynasty and defeated all of his rivals, had a history written making him out to be the true heir of the ancient Yellow Emperor.

      It is also the theory of government of Dick Cheney, among others on the Right, who have a lot of gall accusing American Communists of prospering. So far it is still working for Cheney.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 10:43:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No contest.... (5+ / 0-)

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    Turned my save, suburban, white bread world upside down. Terrified my parents, too. ;-)

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 09:07:38 AM PDT

  •  A book that I came to later in life, but I should (4+ / 0-)

    mention because it certainly changed my life even as an adult: And the Band Played on, by Randy Shilts.  A must read, seriously.

    •  Well said, P Carey (4+ / 0-)

      Read that when it was published. It was shameful the way Ray-gun's administration ignored the problem. One can only suppose they were terrified of helping gays because people would think they themselves were gay. So stupid.

      Still feel sad that we lost Shilts to that terrible disease. Who knows what other people he might have inspired to become activists?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 09:41:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Diana in NoVa

      I didn't become an activist in this cause but it clarified my submarine opinion of the Reagan administration, leaving me disgusted with its attitude that certain diseases were no longer manifestations of illness but of moral judgment.

      Disgusting, especially when you consider that tens of thousands of American hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients were literally wiped out due to Reagan's inaction and personal values.

      '10s Ebola pales before '80s AIDS.

      Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

      by Limelite on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 05:16:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And millions in Africa (0+ / 0-)

        Reagan's attitude is a major reason why so many Africans see HIV/AIDS as a CIA plot against them. Also Reagan taking on Bush, a former CIA Director, as VP.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 10:46:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Was an Activist, Turned me Into a Feminist (5+ / 0-)

    Changed my life.

    Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence, by Pam McCallister. Amazingly wonderful and powerful collection.

    Every relationship of domination, exploitation, or oppression is by definition violent. Dominator and dominated alike are reduced to things - the former dehumanized by an excess of power, the latter by a lack of it. And things cannot love.-Paulo Freire

    by samdiener on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 11:02:15 AM PDT

  •  Well, these might sound weird, but... (4+ / 0-)

    It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. I stumbled across this during the summer of 1964, which some of you older folks might remember as the Johnson-Goldwater election. It would be my first time voting (21 in those days). This book scared the bejesus out of me. If I were reading it for the first time now, it would scare me worse!

    Diet for a Small Planet Made me rethink my whole diet and eating habits. I won't say it changed them overnight, but it started a slow change.

    The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Positive reinforcement in the 70s, much needed.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 12:22:56 PM PDT

    •  Good books, all, Jilly W! (3+ / 0-)

      Especially that last one. Can you believe that some people are still screeching about women who breastfeed in public? What a perverted idea of human reproduction and sexuality those people have.

      When I was breastfeeding, I got to where I didn't think of my breast as a sexual symbol at all--it was simply a convenient means of feeding my baby. Always the perfect temperature, too! :)

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 12:26:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Silent Spring should be on that list (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My family lived through an actual silent spring in Palo Alto CA after the malathion spraying for medflies. No pill bugs, no wasps, no insects of any kind, hence no songbirds until the year after.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 10:49:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't know if any book did it for me. (3+ / 0-)

    I think Richard Nixon turned me into an activist.  Perhaps the existence of The Pentagon Papers was an influence, but I've never read them.

    The Alice Miller books on authoritarian child-rearing practices turned me into an advocate for children's rights.

  •  Mountains Beyond Mountains (3+ / 0-)

    By Tracy Kidder

    It chronicles the life of medical anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer. A true servant to the human race.

    •  intelink, that sounds like a most worthwhile book (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Tracy Kidder is an excellent writer. Haven't heard of Paul Farmer before, but he sounds worth Googling!

      Thanks for mentioning this book.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 06:53:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He has written on the barbaric (3+ / 0-)

        treatment of Haiti in the last two centuries, particularly by France, which gave it the worst slave laws ever, and then put it under embargo after it rebelled, and the US starting with Thomas Jefferson, whose fear of its successful slave rebellion completely overrode his humanity on the issues and led him to join the French embargo. It went downhill from there. See The Uses of Haiti, with Noam Chomsky (Introduction) and Jonathan Kozol (Foreword).

        The barbarism continues today. I Diaried the problem four years ago, when the unspeakable Pat Robertson accused Haiti of making a deal with the Devil.

        Translating Code: The Punishment of Haiti

        Everything I thought I knew about Haiti was wrong. Everything you think you know about Haiti is wrong. The reality is much, much worse.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 11:07:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As much as I am one is because of a small book (3+ / 0-)

    I own.  I believe the title is 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Hate Taxes.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 02:35:56 PM PDT

    •  Ha, ha, loggersbrat! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      loggersbrat, RiveroftheWest

      We should probably all read that one!

      Seriously, though, I don't mind paying taxes either. I'd hate to build my own roads, bridges, lob a missile at Iraq or wherever before breakfast, and use a nasty outhouse instead of a device hooked up to a municipal sewage plant.

      Life on a remote island with no taxes and no amenities does not appeal to me at ALL.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 06:55:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can recommend a delightful little book (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You Can't Say You Can't Play, by Vivian Gussin Paley. If we could establish that rule, that anybody who wants to join your game may, in all of our kindergartens, we could make some serious progress. But Republicans and others like them around the world are having none of it.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 11:09:45 PM PDT

  •  I would say the book that changed my opinion (0+ / 0-)

    the most about political matters(specifically, the War On Drugs) is David Simon's "The Corner". I can't say it "made me an activist" but I think I was more of a safe, suburban Democrat before I read it.
    I also should list "No Pity" by Joseph P. Shapiro about the civil rights struggles for people with disabilities.

    "People are more than the worst things that they do,"--Chris Hayes

    by chicating on Sat Sep 06, 2014 at 01:56:17 PM PDT

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