Against Empire

Against Empire by Michael Parenti is a scathing review of US foreign policy. Over the last year I have become increasingly disillusioned with my birth country. This book only strengthened those feelings. Evidently, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Before you tell me to buy a plane ticket to another country let me enlighten you on some interesting facts outlined in the book.

  • In 1945 corporations paid 50% of the income taxes in America. Today they pay 7%. Take a guess as to who pays the rest (you).
  • The reason Iraq invaded Kuwait originally was because Kuwait was drilling sideways into Iraq’s oil reserves.
  • The US government sent hundreds of millions of dollars to Sadaam Hussein to fight a war with Iran. Along with that money we also sent him the very recipes for the gasses we are now trying to destroy.
  • Conoco leased it’s offices in Madagascar during the Somalia dabacle to the US government to use as its embassy. The funny part is there is strong evidence that the US was there protecting Conoco’s oil rights in Somalia. Essentially, Conoco was paid by the US so the US could protect “out interests” (aka Conoco’s oil rights).

Still not angry? How about these nuggets?

  • The US government sends more in aid to Isreal than all the countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • American spends more on its military than the next fifteen countries combined. That’s $230 billion compared to a mere $36 billion for second place.
  • The WTO, empowered by the GATT, is an unelected council that has the right to overrule ANY signing country in regards to teriffs, environmental legislation, business laws, etc. In other words the GATT could find a law putting a limit on Rainforest logging “illegal” because it “unfairly” penalizes ranchers who need the grazing land.

We *need* a big military because of foreign threats right? Do we need almost ten times the protection as the rest of the world? I’m not so sure, considering Mexico and Canada have much more to lose than to gain by invading our country. Next time you complain about a pot hole, or the cost of insurance, or how much college costs these days, think about how much we spend on the military. Think about the last time you seriously felt the US was crumbling around you because of “foreign threats.”

As a result of the current administration’s foreign policy, not to mention the foreign policy for the last 100 years, I’ve been seriously considering moving my sorry ass to another country. Possibly Australia or New Zealand. I’m tired of living with all this hypocritical bullshit.

In conclusion, I’d just like to say that everyone should read this book. It should be taught in every school. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What's that thing keeping the table level?

I received quite a few books for Christmas, which makes sense since that is mainly what I asked for. I’ve started reading Running with Scissors. It’s a book about a young boy growing up in a very unusual environment.

I’ll warn you that this book is not easy to read. If you are homophobic, do not like reading about feces, or just plain believe June and Ward Clever are the norm of family life, you should not read this book. You find yourself nervously laughing just to keep from getting too upset at the storyline. Basically, Augusten is left to grow up in his mother’s psychiatrists home. Needless to say, a household where “Bible Dips” are used instead of Magic 8 Balls can give a person a distorted view of life.

New Book

I’m reading Up in the Air a book by Walter Kirn. It’s about a guy who wants to amass 1,000,000 frequent flier miles before he quits his job. I’m only 2 chapters in and I’ve laughed out loud about 20 times – so far a great read. In other news my home network is shaping up – more to come.