Issue 4 – April 2005

Current Affairs Essay
Americans Trapped in Fantasy of Bush Reality by J. F. Miglio
Books of the Year (Nonfiction)
The Assassination of Julius Caesar  By Michael Parenti
The War on Freedom  By Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed
Crossing the Rubicon  By Michael Ruppert
Books of the Year (Fiction)
Candle in a Dark Time  By Virginia Stuart
My Life: A Story By Jesus Christ  By Christopher Miller
The Others at Monticello  By Esther Franklin
Recommended Reads
Ultimate WMD  By Ray Emerson
24/7  By Susan DiPlacido
The Rebirth of Cold Fusion: Real Science, Real Hope, Real Energy  By Steven B. and Nadine Winocur, Psy.D
Clearing Customs  By Martha Egan
Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When It Makes No Sense  By Jean-Claude Koven
The Contradiction  By Julian Hampton
We'll Cry Tomorrow  By Raven Beam
H  By Natalie O. Baez
Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom  By Teresa Saari
Dager of the Tasman Empire  By Teresa Saari
Slumach: The Lost Mine  By Edgar Ramsey
The Pest Maiden: A Story of Lobotomy  By Penelope Scambly Schott


Recommended Reads

If you are an independent or small press publisher and would like to submit your books for consideration to” Recommended Reads,” click here.</>

Ultimate WMD
By Ray Emerson
Imaginative and exciting sci-fi story about a strange gravitational anomaly over Egypt and a text that indicates that the forces of the Devil, known as Cthulhu, are trapped on the planet R’lyeh and are intent on returning to reoccupy the earth.

By Susan DiPlacido
Hip, fast-paced tale about a female Vegas card counter who falls for a casino dealer, but when the dealer’s past surfaces to haunt him, and threaten her, she’s forced to make a dangerous decision.…Read Reviews

The Rebirth of Cold Fusion:
Real Science, Real Hope,
Real Energy

By Steven B. Krivit and
Nadine Winocur, Psy.D
An illuminating history and examination of cold fusion technology, including the politics of bringing it to the market and the potential impact it would have on energy systems worldwide.…Read Reviews

Clearing Customs
By Martha Egan
A sinister, yet amusing tale of an ex-hippie owner of a small, struggling Latin American imports store who joins with her friends to fight corrupt custom officials whose harassment threatens to put her out of business.…Read Reviews

Going Deeper: How to Make
Sense of Your Life When It
Makes No Sense

By Jean-Claude Koven
A compelling, Carlos Castaneda-style odyssey in which a successful Los Angeles lawyer and his dog embark on a life-changing journey that leads them to Joshua Tree National Park where they encounter talking trees, white buffaloes, and a rap-spouting raccoon.…Read Reviews

The Contradiction
By Julian Hampton
Engaging crime drama about two best friends– one white, the other black– who fight for their lives and spiritual salvation in their hometown.

We’ll Cry Tomorrow
By Raven Beam
A provocative story set in the 1800s about how a white settler and a beautiful Cherokee Indian woman fall in love and endure the racism and cruelty of the time.

By Natalie O. Baez
Emotionally charged confessional written by a tenth grade girl who undergoes rejection, her mother’s abandonment, and the loss of three toes.

Imogene of the Pacific Kingdom
By Teresa Saari
Light-hearted and imaginative children’s story about a young girl’s adventures in a magic kingdom filled with memorable characters. …Read Reviews

Dager of the Tasman Empire
By Teresa Saari
Enchanting children’s story about a young boy’s magical journey into a world under the sea where people can communicate without words, see into the future, and cure the ill and dying.  …Read Reviews

Slumach: The Lost Mine
By Edgar Ramsey
Action-packed adventure about a college professor, his graduate assistant, and his colorful guide who defy a death curse and go in search of a lost gold mine in British Columbia.

The Pest Maiden:
A Story of Lobotomy

By Penelope Scambly Schott
(Narrative Poem)
Deeply personal and harrowing series of connected poems about a woman’s experience with mental illness and its treatment through lobotomy.  …Read Reviews


If you are an independent or small press publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to” Recommended Reads,”

click here.


Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.


Links For Independent Writers & Publishers

• Publishers Marketing Association (PMA): Largest non-profit trade association helping independent publishers
• Small Press Center: Non-profit organization designed to help small independent book publishers
• Complete list of book publishers & publishing info
• Acqweb: Book acquisition site for librarians
• Registry of electronic publications
• Major book and publishing data
• E-commerce site for global bookselling
• Informative and helpful site for independent writers and self-publishers.
• The Center for the Book: Book fairs & literary events
• American Booksellers Association: Organization for independently owned bookstores
• Site listing book distributors and wholesalers
• Dowse: A list of e-book publishers
• Internet Publishing: Tips about online publishing from Piers Anthony
• Online Books Page: Listings of books online, news, & features
• Independent Publishers Bestsellers Hall of Fame: Title says it all
• Book Family of bookseller Web sites
• Independent authors from around the world
• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory
• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing
• Global book club & reading group
• Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

Living the Kafka Nightmare
Americans Trapped in
Fantasy of Bush Reality

One morning, as Gregor Samsa awoke from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been transformed into a giant insect.
— Franz Kafka

By J. F. Miglio

A strong case can be made– perhaps more real than rhetorical– that America has become like Gregor Samsa, the pathetically absurd character in Franz Kafka’s short story, “The Metamorphosis.” But unlike the Kafka character who recognizes immediately upon waking that he has become transformed, most Americans can’t tell the difference because their own metamorphosis didn’t happen overnight.

But make no mistake, it happened. One night America went to sleep as a free and democratic society, and then one morning it woke up transformed into something else, something foreign and macabre, something as repugnant as a giant insect.

When did the nightmare first begin? Michael Moore suggested it was when George W. Bush stole the 2000 presidential election. That was the beginning of our current nightmare, all right; a stunning turning point in American history that legitimized corruption; normalized absurdity; and celebrated fantasy over reality. But it wasn’t the beginning of the nightmare itself; that happened decades before, when Ronald Reagan became president.

The Reagan presidency was the brainchild of a radical group of rich, right-wing businessmen, conservative academics (the forerunners of the neocons), and fundamentalist Christians who hated FDR and JFK, were solidly against the civil rights movement, and were ardent supporters of Barry Goldwater. At the time, this group was considered a bit loony and their extreme views were not shared by a majority of Americans. Their economic gods were Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. Their intellectual champion was William F. Buckley Jr. And their quintessential salesman was Ronald Reagan.

And when Lyndon Johnson trounced Goldwater in the presidential election of 1964, this group made a pact to unite and take back America from the liberals, their sworn enemies. But it was no conspiracy. It was quite out in the open, in fact. Richard Viguerie, the pioneer of right-wing ideology packaged as direct mail, was one of its architects, and as he told Bill Moyers in an interview, it took their movement over 15 years to succeed, but their hard work and propaganda finally paid off. By 1980, they succeeded in making “liberal” a dirty word, and they got their boy Reagan into office.

In subsequent years, they used wedge issues like abortion, gun control, and affirmative action to convince blue-collar workers and religious fundamentalists that the Republican Party was their friend and that liberals and progressives were their enemy. As a result, millions of average Americans who traditionally voted for Democrats converted to the Republican Party– and have voted against their own economic interests ever since, even though they are currently losing their jobs, their health care, their standard of living, and their sons and daughters to an unnecessary war in Iraq.

Shall we call these individuals uninformed, brainwashed, or just too stupid for words? Whatever the case, because of them, our country has crossed the line and gone from a democracy– albeit a corrupt democracy heavily influenced by special interest groups and the military-industrial complex– to a corporate fascist state run by ruthless white-collar criminals and ultra-conservative religious fanatics. Am I being too hyperbolic? Judge for yourself. Take a look at how America has changed since George W. Bush slithered into office.

The Metamorphosis
(Before Bush- BB; after Bush- AB)

  • BB: Presidential elections were considered imperfect but generally fair and honest.
  • AB: Despite the mainstream news media’s lack of interest in the story, there are reams of evidence to show that the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were rigged.
  • BB: The threat of a terrorist attack was a high priority for the Clinton administration, but not a major issue for most Americans.
  • AB: 9/11. If you are generous, you believe Bush and company were merely negligent about the impending attacks; if not, you believe they either allowed 9/11 to happen or had a hand in planning it.
  • BB: Americans laughed at Janet Reno.
  • AB: Americans hid from John Ashcroft.
  • BB: Right-wingers snooped into Bill Clinton’s personal life.
  • AB: Right-wingers used the Patriot Act to snoop into your personal life.
  • BB: America solidly backed the Geneva Convention.
  • AB: Decisions by Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzalez encouraged torture and murder at Abu Graibe and Guantanamo.
  • BB: Iraq was contained and no threat to any Western nation.
  • AB: An unnecessary war in Iraq has killed and wounded tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis and cost U.S. taxpayers over $200 billion (and counting).
  • BB: Huge government surplus.
  • AB: Largest deficit in history.
  • BB: Clinton administration created millions of new jobs.
  • AB: The most meager creation of jobs since Herbert Hoover.
  • BB: Most Americans could still afford medical coverage and the cost of prescription drugs.
  • AB: Fifty percent of all bankruptcies are related to exorbitant medical bills, and Americans are buying prescription drugs from Canada and Mexico.
  • BB: The mainstream news media still had some credibility.
  • AB: The end of the mainstream news media as a legitimate news source.
  • BB: Fox television meant “The Simpsons” and “Married with Children.”
  • AB: Fox News became the propaganda arm of the Bush administration featuring neo-fascists like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.
  • BB: Americans could count on social security for their old age.
  • AB: The social security system is at risk of being dismantled and privatized.
  • BB: Americans knew if they ever got in really bad financial trouble they could always file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • AB: Lots of luck, suckers!

…Read More

Books of the Year

OR Books of the 2004
The Assassination of
Julius Caesar

By Michael Parenti
Pulitzer-prize nominated author and scholar examines ancient Roman history from a populist viewpoint, arguing that Caesar was assassinated for being a champion of the people.

OR Books of the 2004
The War on Freedom
By Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed
Riveting and well-researched expose of how and why America was attacked on 9/11, including information about faked terrorism and mass media manipulation by the Bush administration.

OR Books of the 2004
Crossing the Rubicon
By Michael Ruppert
Hard-hitting, iconoclastic editor/publisher of “From the Wilderness” strips the power elite to the bone and takes a shocking look at the decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil.


Books of the Year

OR Books of the 2004
Candle in a Dark Time
By Virginia Stuart
Compelling, emotionally charged story of how a Danish woman risks her life to save Jews from Nazis during World War II.

OR Books of the 2004
My Life: A Story
By Jesus Christ

By Christopher Miller
Innovative and provocative story of the life of Jesus Christ told as a first person narrative.

OR Books of the 2004
The Others at Monticello
By Esther Franklin
Award-winning historical novel that explores the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slaves, especially Sally Hemings and her children.


If you are an independent or small press publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to” Recommended Reads,”

click here.


Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.


Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• Influential democracy in action group
• The “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”
• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”
• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays
• Headlines and stories from dozens of alternative publications
• Democracy Now!: Complete and comprehensive presentation of alternative news and analysis with Amy Goodman leading the charge.
• National listener supported news and information.
• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.
• Greg One-man army of investigative journalism.
• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays
• Tom Alternative news and essays
• Mother Alternative and environmental news
• Liberalism Resurgent: Wealth of information on liberalism & politics
• The Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights: Loads of information about social and consumer issues
• A compendium of TV news lies
• In the Spotlight: Unsettling information about the voting process in America
• The Rest of Story: Alternative news on the media
• Judicial Watch: Legal watchdog information
• The Center for Public Integrity: Public service journalism
• People for the American Way

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