FDL Book Salon Welcomes Tom Engelhardt, The United States of Fear

By: Saturday January 14, 2012 1:59 pm

Everything changed on September 11, 2001. It’s become an American truism. And for many, it’s also absolutely true. It certainly was the case for Tom Engelhardt. He was roughly seven miles north of the World Trade Center that morning and that’s about the furthest he’s been from it since.


The Liberal Bias of Excessive Executive Pay, and the Fashionable Flaunting Thereof

By: Saturday October 1, 2011 9:00 am

Researchers compared actual productivity data with compensation rates and employee rank note that pay for executives is inflated and for low-level workers is depressed.

Another sign of reality’s well known liberal bias.

Meanwhile, the elites are coming out of their shells and beginning to flaunt their wealth again in their purchases of luxury goods. Ooops — my bad. I mean “hyper luxury” goods. Mere luxuries aren’t sufficient to be able to properly fashionably flaunt yourself any more.

Me, I’m slumming today in my faded jeans with a torn and paint-splattered t-shirt, as it’s painting day in my mansion and I’m really into fashionably flaunting my not-so-hyper non-luxury.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues

By: Saturday May 21, 2011 1:59 pm

Bill Moyers easily ranks as one of America’s greatest journalists. For decades, he has covered vital stories most others ignored, fearlessly defying orthodoxies and amplifying viewpoints that were excluded in most establishment venues. His coverage of the 2008 financial crisis provided the earliest look at how reckless and criminal was Wall Street’s conduct and how steadfast was the resolve of the subservient political class to shield it from accountability. His commentary on how the media suppresses dissenting views that fall outside of the bipartisan consensus — as exemplified by this recent interview with Tavis Smiley — makes him one of the most astute media critics in the nation. And his 2007 examination of the media’s role in selling the Iraq War — “Buying the War” — was the first and still-best examination of that largely ignored topic.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

By: Sunday November 22, 2009 2:00 pm

When I lived in Chicago in the Nineties, I used to listen for kicks to an AM radio station that broadcast nothing but recordings of motivational speakers all day long. The idea, as I understood it, was to provide a sort of service to the itinerant salesman, whom Barbara Ehrenreich describes as “lonely and wounded” but still required to “pick himself up and generate fresh enthusiasm for the next customer, the next city, the next rejection.” By listening to a string of these three or four minute pep talks, the city’s sales force would be able to psyche themselves up to face their next prospect. As for the station’s content, it was pretty much unrelenting sunshine, megadoses of motivation; the main feature distinguishing the various speakers was the homemade theory or idea with which they had souped up the great American idea of positive thinking: Not just positive thinking but positive envisioning. Happy Bible verses. Tricks to make yourself seem like an optimistic person. Words whose letters actually stood for other words that, taken together, were really, really awesome.

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