Web Reading List #8 [9-20-2013]

Wolf Richter: Housing Bubble In Full Bloom, Zany Price Increases, And Now A Sudden Slowdown
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Wells Fargo announces layoffs in mortgage unit
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Workers’ rights ‘flouted’ at Apple iPhone factory in China
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Journalist & Filmmaker Saul Landau, 77, Dies; Chronicled Cuban Revolution For Decades
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Did you know John Roberts is also chief justice of the NSA’s surveillance state?
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Janet Yellen Urged Glass-Steagall Repeal And Social Security Cuts, Supported NAFTA
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No Child Left Untableted
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Bill Black: SEC Flacks Paint Lehman’s Looters as the Victims of a “Political” SEC

Four Horsemen (2012) – documentary

The general analysis in this film is sound and it is well worth watching if you aren’t familiar with the facts they present. Unfortunately, at the very end, they quote a couple of natural law and precious metal bugs who could probably be classified as libertarian. That really only takes up a minute or so of the film, so it is by no means a deal-breaker. Other than that, plenty of common sense recommendations at the end: debt forgiveness, workers owning the means of production, redistributing wealth, etc…The biggest problem of course is that the filmmakers conclude we can have a kinder gentler capitalism. Not possible. The logic of capital is the commodification of all things, exploitation for profit at any cost, consolidation of wealth and power. We’d be much better off with a kinder gentler socialism, but that would be a false choice. We don’t have to choose between the two. Humans invented capitalism and socialism, we can invent other ways to organize society. In fact many think capitalism is essentially over. So what’s next? Unless (or possibly even if) people organize politically for radical change (i.e., structural change at the root), all the facts and trends point to those in power instituting a kind of neo-feudalism with a strong helping of techno-fascism. This is not hyperbole or sci-fi. We are well on our way. It seems most people have accepted it in one way or another. That may be the biggest problem of all.

A Place at the Table – trailer and interview with the filmmakers

Looks like a good movie. This interview is a good example of liberals coming to understand that charity does not work, that systemic problems need systemic answers, that seemingly individual problems have national and global consequences – and have political causes, i.e., people in power are causing problems like poverty. Unfortunately simply clicking on something is not going to change anything and even voting will have little systemic effect. The next step for liberals like this is to realize our entire political system is corrupt and needs radical change through collective action. Unfortunately, not going to happen anytime soon.

Click here to go to the website

Les Dimanches de Ville d’avray / Sundays And Cybele

Click the “cc” button to turn on subtitles.

I don’t give a whit about industry awards, but for those of you who do: Sundays and Cybele won the 1962 academy award for best foreign language film – and was nominated for best music and best writing.

More consequentially, Morris Berman highly recommends this film – and I highly recommend you read all of his books:

Click here for a list of books

As an introduction to his thought, here is an interview he did with Thom Hartmann:

The Mindscape of Alan Moore

Great little piece (except for the voice-over guy) that will give you a tiny introduction to the man.

This is a fairly well-done doc. I have my quibbles with the actual film-making, but no real reason to go into it here. The film is an exploration of Moore’s autobiography and art, but it also becomes a fascinating presentation of his weltanschauung (worldview). Even if you have no interest in his art or story, the ideas he explores are worth listening to and thinking about.

Above is a great talk he gave in support of the library system in England. He talks about his history with books, comics – and the comics industry, the library, and many other topics.
His wit, intelligence, humor, integrity, and humanity – and of course his story telling abilities – are there for all to enjoy.