Archive for suffragette

The Book Booth: Nobel Prize Edition


From BookRiot

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Nobel Prize Edition

Yes, it is the week for the Nobel Prizes and on Thursday the prize in Literature was announced. This years winner is Svetlana Alexievich, a writer of non-fiction from Belarus. Her two best known works, Voices from Chernobyl and Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War, will both be reprinted and released soon. Publishers Weekly has the details here.
Who is Svetlana Alexievich?

And as NPR notes, this is the first non-fiction award in a very long time, when back in the day, both Bertrand Russell and Winston Churchill won the literature award.
NPR on Svetlana Alexievich

It is my birthday weekend, and the family and I are off to the movies to see Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andrew Weir's novel, The Martian. I haven't read the book, but I'm looking forward to the movie. When I was a young boy, I thoroughly enjoyed a movie called Robinson Crusoe on Mars, which I think shares some of the same plot features as The Martian. Incidentally, Angela Watercutter at Wired believes The Martian proves that movies are better than books now. I'm not buying that, but her article has some interesting things to say.
Are Movies Now Better than Books?

Another movie that should spark some reading interest is Suffragette, which stars Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan, due later this month. BookRiot has some books to suggest about that struggle to obtain the vote for women.
Women's Struggle to Get the Vote

There is a new historical novel that I'm going to check out soon. It's titled Mrs. Engels, and tells the story of Lizzie Burns, who was the mistress of Friedrich Engels, the political partner of Karl Marx. This work is the debut novel of Gavin McCrea who offered up these thoughts on becoming the character one is writing about here.
Becoming the Character You Write About

I don't think the ancient Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh has ever been filmed. But it gets a revision of sorts as twenty new lines have recently been discovered, adding some dimension to our hero.
New Gilgamesh Text Discovered

The next installment of the memoirs of Patti Smith, M Train, has been released. Here she speaks with David Remnick of The New Yorker about the book and some of her works in progress.
Patti Smith Discusses M Train in The New Yorker.

The Fall is truly here in my little town now. The rain has returned and the leaves are spectacular. For those of you who, like me, love this season, may enjoy these literary quotes celebrating the season, from Sarah Seltzer at Flavorwire.
Literary Quotes to Welcome Fall

For some reason I cannot fathom, other than the fact that he never existed, Franklin W. Dixon has never received Nobel Prize consideration. The master writer of the Hardy Boys series certainly was prolific enough. But Frank and Joe Hardy never seemed to have grown up. John Ortved at The New Yorker has these suggested titles for when the boys finally achieve adulthood here. I can't wait to read What Happens at 9:00 PM.
Mysteries theHardy Boys Faced as they Became the Hardy Men

Here's hoping everyone has a fine weekend, filled with pumpkin spiced drinks and lots and lots of books. Please do let us know what titles are charming you


Great American Heroes



Alan Grayson at Sexy Liberal 12-10-11 copy

Nicole Sandler with Congressman Alan Grayson at the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour in Ft. Lauderdale, December 2011

Our first Great American Hero today is Congressman Alan Grayson. Although he represents Florida's 9th District, he really represents us all! Even in the time of the greatest gridlock in DC, Congressman Grayson - a member of the minority party in the House - has written more legislation and had more amendments passed than any other member, for two years running!

He joined me on the show this morning to talk about some of the work he's done since we last spoke. A sampling of his accomplishments follows:

On the NSA/surveillance/privacy front:

  • He’s passed legislation to protect encryption standards from the NSA 
  • He passed an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 4870) to prohibit NSA from interfering or weakening encryption standards promulgated by NIST. Grayson called NSA’s subversion of NIST’s standards “extremely dangerous and noted that NSA’s efforts rendered everyone’s security vulnerable to exploitation. “It’s naïve to imagine that if you introduce a weakness into a system you will be the only one to use it. My amendment would address this issue by prohibiting the intelligence community [which includes NSA] from subverting or interfering with the integrity of any cryptographic standard,” he explained. The amendment passed unanimously and earned support from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Sunlight Foundation, and others.
  • In a Science, Space, and Technology Committee markup he passed an amendment removing the statutory requirement for NIST to consult with NSA in developing encryption standards. The amendment allows NIST to continue to consult NSA when necessary. The Huffington Post called Grayson’s effort a “landmark amendment,” while ProPublica wrote that it“puts NSA on notice over encryption standards.” Access said the amendment would “help support data integrity by ensuring that the standards used to protect all internet users are not artificially weakened.” The Center for Democracy & Technology hailed it as a “positive step that will help to restore the credibility and scientific objectivity of NIST.”
  •   He’s pushing the FCC to protect the privacy of Americans’ phone calls, following a Newsweek report claiming that IMSI catchers, a relatively cheap device that impersonates cell phone towers, can intercept phone calls and text messages.
  • He’s been going after former NSA Director Keith Alexander, who stands to make millions off of his work in the cybersecurity sector. Read one of Grayson’s letters here. There’s been a good deal of coverage on this – for example here, here and here.

And in other areas:

Yes, I'd say "hero" is a perfect description. Find out more about Congressman Grayson and donate to help keep him working for us at


Stephanie Kelton on The Nicole Sandler Show at Netroots Nation Detroit, July 2014

Our second hero today followed Congressman Grayson immediately on the show. Stephanie Kelton, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the top-ranked blog New Economic Perspectives .  

Today we spoke about the new buzz-term and heinous practice known as Corporate Inversion Taxes, as well as a bit about Modern Monetary Theory, why the US should carry debt and how to fix the economic mess we're in.

After hearing what she had to say, I asked her to run for office. Stephanie Kelton is, indeed, a hero who would serve us well in public office!

In the second hour of the show, I spoke with our regular Thursday morning heroes:

Amy Simon of She's History told us about Lily Ledbetter and her fight for paycheck fairness.

And Stephen Goldstein, author of The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit returned with another "No More Bullshit Minute." Today, we exposed the bullshit phrase, "According to a Recent Poll."

Tomorrow, we'll wrap the week with Florida's Judge David Young, discussing the recent rulings in favor of marriage equality and how to figure out who to vote for in judicial races. And for Flashback Friday, my 1996 interview with -and performance by- Sting! Talk to you then, Radio or Not!