Monthly Archives: April 2022

The Enemy of the People

Premise: A scientist discovers that the waters of the baths, which pull people to travel to a village, are polluted and cause illness. He wants the town to spread the news, acknowledge the problem and fix it. Naively, he expects to be hailed as hero, but instead he’s loathed as the “enemy of the people.”

My take: This play is extremely preachy and the characters seem wooden. Writers like Emile Zola, Upton Sinclair and Ernest Poole do a superior job writing about social causes. I started reading because it was chosen for a book club. Then I had to miss that meeting. I figured I’d finish it anyway. If it weren’t a play and was a novel, I wouldn’t have slogged through it.

Ibsen, add some satire to leaven the play. You can still make your point with some humor.

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Posted by on April 29, 2022 in play


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Book Club: Exodus

What a lively discussion! I learned a lot about Exodus from Dennis and Michael. I enjoyed that two people of different faiths can discuss Exodus and share their insights.
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Posted by on April 28, 2022 in Book club


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Peter Schweizer’s Red-Handed

Peter Schweizer’s Red-Handed, How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win explains how powerful government, business and academic leaders cash in with big pay offs from China. I already knew about many of the examples, like the NBA, the Bushes, Mitch McConnell and the Bidens. I also knew that American colleges will sweep problems under the rug to continue lucrative deals with China. (I could write a book on that.) 

However, I wasn’t aware of how Former Secretaries of State, Kissinger and Albright cashed in on their relationships formed when in office as they opened up consulting firms focused on China. They made fortunes bowing to China’s best interests.

Because I worked in higher education the bulk of my teaching career and spent more time teaching in China for an American college, I was most interested in the chapter on academics. I was saddened to learn that though Yale admitted Hong Kong dissident Nathan Law when he was in danger in China, they tried their best to keep him quiet on campus since their donors from China only wanted the party line discussed. Other colleges try to protect China and it’s propaganda by limited what speakers and guests come to campus. Many won’t invite the Dali Lama because China doesn’t want him to. (Hats off to my alma mater Loyola University Chicago who did have the Dali Lama speak on campus in 2012.)

Red-Handed is thoroughly researched with scores of citations. While it’s not exactly a quick read, it’s not a slog either. It’s a good book for anyone who wants to understand the somewhat sordid world of international business and foreign affairs. These folks are in it for themselves. “The system ain’t broken; it’s fixed” as the adage goes.

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Posted by on April 27, 2022 in contemporary, non-fiction


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