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Forum > General Discussion

Books and Audio Books that may interest you 🧐

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If you want to get a lot of good laughs, don't miss this 42 minute audiobook about Sam, Rosie and the time talker that made Sam's fortune (the rocket ship graphic has nothing to do with this 1950's time period, Midwestern USA location laugh a minute Sci Fi story).

Sam, this is YOU


Between the far away past history of the world, and that which lies near to us; in the time when the wisdom of the ancient times was dead and had passed away, and our own days of light had not yet come, there lay a great black gulf in human history, a gulf of ignorance, of superstition, of cruelty, and of wickedness.

That time we call the dark or middle ages.

Few records remain to us of that dreadful period in our world’s history, and we only know of it through broken and disjointed fragments that have been handed down to us through the generations.

Yet, though the world’s life then was so wicked and black, there yet remained a few good men and women here and there (mostly in peaceful and quiet monasteries, far from the thunder and the glare of the worlds bloody battle), who knew the right and the truth and lived according to what they knew; who preserved and tenderly cared for the truths that the dear Christ taught, and lived and died for in Palestine so long ago.

This tale that I am about to tell is of a little boy who lived and suffered in those dark middle ages; of how he saw both the good and the bad of men, and of how, by gentleness and love and not by strife and hatred, he came at last to stand above other men and to be looked up to by all. And should you follow the story to the end, I hope you may find it a pleasure, as I have done, to ramble through those dark ancient castles, to lie with little Otto and Brother John in the high belfry-tower, or to sit with them in the peaceful quiet of the sunny old monastery garden, for, of all the story, I love best those early peaceful years that little Otto spent in the dear old White Cross on the Hill.

Poor little Otto’s life was a stony and a thorny pathway, and it is well for all of us nowadays that we walk it in fancy and not in truth.

Full book:


A description of a book hat I'll bet few of us have ever read, let alone heard of. For those of us who virulently distrust corporate media, it's good to know that one of the pillars of the muckraking era exposed out all a century ago and despite being on elf the literary lions of the era, had his book constructively buried and erased from history.

The Brass Check

The Brass Check is a muckraking exposé of American journalism by Upton Sinclair published in 1919. It focuses mainly on newspapers and the Associated Press wire service, along with a few magazines. Other critiques of the press had appeared, but Sinclair reached a wider audience with his personal fame and lively, provocative writing style.[1] Among those critiqued was William Randolph Hearst, who made routine use of yellow journalism in his widespread newspaper and magazine business. Sinclair called The Brass Check "the most important and most dangerous book I have ever written."[2] The University of Illinois Press released a new edition of the book in 2003, which contains a preface by Robert W. McChesney and Ben Scott. The text is also freely available on the Internet, as Sinclair opted not to copyright the text in an effort to maximize its readership. For much of Sinclair's career he was known as a "two book author": for writing The Jungle and The Brass Check.[3] Sinclair organized ten printings of The Brass Check in its first decade and sold over 150,000 copies. Contents 1Overview 2Detailed synopsis 3Remedies proposed 4Political reception 5Critical reception 6Editions 7References 8External links The book is one of the "Dead Hand" series: six books Sinclair wrote on American institutions. The series also includes The Profits of Religion, The Goose-step (higher education), The Goslings (elementary and high school education), Mammonart (great literature, art and music) and Money Writes! (literature). The term "Dead Hand" criticizes Adam Smith’s concept that allowing an "invisible hand" of capitalist greed to shape economic relations provides the best result for society as a whole. A brass check was the token purchased by a customer in a brothel and given to the woman of his choice. Sinclair implies that, in a similar fashion, the owners of the mass media purchase journalists' services in supporting the owners' political and financial interests. The Brass Check has three sections: documented cases of newspapers' refusal to publicize Socialist causes and Sinclair's investigations of business corruption, cases where he was not personally involved, and proposed remedies. Sinclair incorporates other people's reactions to his cause into his nonfiction works, fostering objectivity. Sinclair criticizes newspapers as ultra-conservative and supporting the political and economic powers that be, or as sensational tabloids practicing yellow journalism, such as newspapers run by William Randolph Hearst. In both cases, their purpose is to promote the business interests of the paper's owners, the owner's bankers, and/or the paper's advertisers. This is accomplished in several ways; among them: The publishers tell the editors what can and cannot be printed. Journalists routinely invent stories. To stimulate circulation, newspapers sensationalize trivial stories and destroy lives and reputations. Errors and slanders are never retracted, or the retraction is buried in the paper months later. The editors and journalists of the Associated Press (AP) wire service fail to serve the public interest in the same way as employees of the individual papers. Controlled by 41 large newspaper corporations, the AP acts in their interests.[4] Sinclair quotes a letter from the editor of the weekly San Francisco Star, James H. Barry:

--- End quote ---
Among the recent events whose media coverage he discusses are the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912 in West Virginia, the Ludlow massacre in Colorado in 1914, Industrial Workers of the World meetings, and the Red Scarewhipped up by the newspapers. As a tireless investigative reporter, Sinclair offered the results of his investigations to the newspapers for publication, but was almost entirely ignored. The propaganda tactics practiced by U.S. government and corporations during World War I were continued after the war against political dissenters. Sinclair writes, "[T]oday all the energies which were directed against the Kaiser have been turned against the radicals."[5] Sinclair recognized that a grass-roots response (mass meetings, demonstrations, circulating pamphlets, etc.) was not adequate when the mass media spread misinformation or ignored the truth. His main proposed remedies were:
* a law that any newspaper which prints a false statement shall be required to give equal prominence to a correction, on penalty of a substantial fine.
* the AP's monopoly, which he saw as a "public utility", should be challenged by other wire services.
* a law forbidding any newspaper to fake telegraph or cable dispatches.
* reporters must unionize so they have the power to fix their wage-scale and their ethical code.
* an endowed weekly chronicle of news, without advertisements or editorials, cheaply printed and widely available. The first code of ethics for journalists was created in 1923.[6] By 1923, the FBI had a report on The Brass Check in its files, and a memorandum in the file noted that the directing manager of the Associated Press "has in his possession a confidential report on the book, The Brass Check."[7] Sinclair challenged those who charged him with inaccuracy to review his published facts and to sue him for libel if they found he had been wrong. None did. But because Sinclair was denied access to the mainstream media to refute those charges, they assumed the aura of truth and gave the book a reputation for inaccuracy that caused it to be almost forgotten by midcentury.[3] Press watchdogs at the time of publication and recently find The Brass Check's analysis of the media accurate and valuable. It is "muckraking at its best"[8] and "astonishingly prescient in its critique of the coziness of big media and other corporate interests."[9] However, on its publication "[m]ost newspapers refused to review the book, and those very few that did were almost always unsympathetic. Many newspapers, like the New York Times, even refused to run paid advertisements for the book."[3] And "those historians who bother to mention The Brass Check dismiss it as ephemeral, explaining that the problems it depicts have been solved."[3]


--- Quote from: Surly1 on September 20, 2019, 11:32:01 am ---A description of a book that I'll bet few of us have ever read, let alone heard of. For those of us who virulently distrust corporate media, it's good to know that one of the pillars of the muckraking era exposed out all a century ago and despite being on elf the literary lions of the era, had his book constructively buried and erased from history.

The Brass Check

A brass check was the token purchased by a customer in a and given to the woman of his choice. Sinclair implies that, in a similar fashion, the owners of the mass media purchase journalists' services in supporting the owners' political and financial interests.
--- End quote ---

Excellent book suggestion! 👍👍👍

I didn't know what a Brass Check was, but I now see the connection to bought and paid for legerdemain.

As a student of American History, I feel sorrow over all the great men and women who have pointed to corruption in our society and ways to correct it, only to have those fostering said malice aforethought corruption double down on the corruption.

It is no secret that the CIA has, since its inception (and to this day), with the aid of Henry Luce (🦍 American Century proponent) and other American NAZIs, recruited talented journalists right out of college. These co-opted mouthpieces were (and still ARE) steered to mainstream media (propaganda) outlet well paying jobs with lots of invented out of whole cloth "recommendations", along the way, to cement their names as "reputable journalists" in the minds of the American public. These unethical wordsmith evil bastards get TWO regular paychecks (the CIA paycheck HAS TO BE TAX FREE  because of "national security" concerns that the said journalist would be exposed as a government 🐵 TOOL.) throughout their USA corrupting lives.

And now a word from the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc., you get the idea:

Agelbert NOTE: This is a fictional narrative. It describes the reaction of those in the civil and religious power structure to Jesus Christ being incarnated in the late 19th century, instead of 2,000 years ago. It is every bit as applicable today, if not more so, as it was in the late 19th century. The description of Herod fits our current excuse for a POTUS to a "🦀 T".

The author's narration of religious leaders' rationale, even after they did all they could to get Christ removed from the planet because of His interference with their business model, provides wry, subtle humor.

There is a lesson for all of us in this excellent, truth filled audiobook.

Download free 💐 and listen, chapter by chapter, on your computer's media player at the link below:

🔊 Rejected Of Men; A Story Of Today by Howard Pyle ✨ (1853 - 1911)


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