soup for syria

soup nourishes body & soul / it comforts & provides solace \ it provides community & an outstretched helping hand / as in the folktale “stone soup” & the ubiquity of soup kitchens in both good & bad times

“soup for syria” is a fundraising effort / here’s hoping that a peaceful, diplomatic solution is reached & ends the suffering of the Syrian people

poetry for young people

delightful series of books of poems for young people / got these for a book drive in the office \ gives a background about each work such as the author’s intent and in what context it was written / this makes great gifts by adult fans of shakespeare & lewis carroll for their favorite young people

happy national library week!  apr 9-15


ethnic america

“ethnic america” / thomas sowell <1981> \ a concise history of 9 immigrant groups: irish, german, italian, jews, chinese, japanese, mexicans, blacks and puerto ricans / describes how their culture and their experiences in their homeland impacted their experiences as u.s. immigrants in terms of their coping mechanisms, length of time of acculturation & socioeconomic progress, as well as the dynamics within and between ethnic groups \ an enlightening read for these times as immigration policies are being re-written

dictator’s handbook

“the dictator’s handbook: why bad behavior is almost always good politics” <2011> bruce bueno de mesquita & alastair smith / cynical & thoughtful framework for explaining the business of politics, & how and why a politician  <autocrat or democrat> behaves the way s|he does \ autocrats privately reward small coalitions (i.e., those who bring them to power) while democrats work with large coalitions whom s|he rewards with public goods

eyeopening – & i could not help but agree – is that foreign aid is the way rich nations buy policy concessions abroad \ how else explain the non-progress of countries who have been receiving aid for decades from the world bank & imf? / reading the book made me reflect about the marcos years  in the philippines which the u.s. supported & aided until, as the framework predicted, marcos was on his way out – he was terminally ill & consequently losing the support of his cronies & the military