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Julia Stein's Blog

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Jan.02.2010
Margaret Mascarenha's novel The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos is a fascinating tale about two girls and thirty years of recent Venezuelan history. In the first chapter Lily tells her story which seems like a girl-growing-up-story and but is in reality a Dickens-like novel about all of Venezuela...
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Jan.01.2010
 A few days ago in the afternoon I was stumbled upon PBS and saw the marvelous documentary "The Civilian Conservation Corps"  (CCC) about this jobs program started by FDR in 1933 that had 3 million men and lasted until 1940. In the begining of the film FDR asks his radio audience, "...
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Dec.29.2009
These were the best films I saw in 2009 but not all were released in 2009:  1. Bright Star (2009)- Wonderful film about poet Keats and the young woman he loved directed by wonderful Australian director Jane Campion. Brings alive Keats, his circle, his brilliance, and his tragedy. 2. Julie and Julia...
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Dec.27.2009
The film Revolutionary Road based on Richard Yates novel is the only masterpiece of American cinema I saw in 2009. The film is about American men giving up their dreams in the 1950s and one woman's refusal to let go of those dreams. Most critics being men fail to look at gender roles in the film...
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Dec.26.2009
I just saw the movie Ghandi  directed by Richard Attenborough for the second and third time in the last couple nights. It's a beautiful movie. In this I saw the impact of the great Indian filmmaker Satijit Ray on the British director Attenborough in many of the scences, particularly the scenes of...
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Dec.23.2009
During the nomination  process I thought Obama rather vague, as if he was a blur. But he now reminds me of LBJ. I really disliked Bill Clinton because I thought NAFTA was a horrible treaty and also thought his welfare "reform" was a right-wing assault on women, and voted against Bill in...
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Dec.19.2009
 The film "I Saw the Sun," Turkey foreign language entry for the  2010 Oscar,  is a fascinating, moving film. The film opens with two young men fleeing the hills being tracked by army helicopters. Is this Iraq? Afghanistan? Palestine? Pakistan? None of the above. The film is about Kurdish...
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Dec.18.2009
Keith Olbermann argues that we must kill the current Senate Health Care Bill. He says it's not health, not care, and not reform. It's a monster that will destroy the middle class. In his video Olbermann promises if the bill passes he promises not to buy the insurance. He calls Senator Lieberman a...
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Dec.17.2009
I've been watching with fascination Amy Goodman's reports Democracy Now daily from the Copenhagen Climate Change conference. First of all, I'm learning what's left out in U.S. corporate news:  climate change has been harming people and communities all over the world. In the U.S. Biloxi Indians on...
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Dec.13.2009
Last night I just saw Errol Morris's flawed but fascinating documentary film about Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense for JFK and LBJ and major architect of the Vietnam War.  The film largely about the Vietnam War is helpful in understanding U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. The film is...
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Dec.12.2009
In Farmfelix December 6, 2009, tour of Los Angeles ecohomes the fourth and last home I visited was Julia Russell's ecohome, the most fascinating of all. In the early 1970s Russell was living in a 1911 craftsman bungalow--a modest home. For the last three decades she has retrofitted her home and...
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Dec.12.2009
 December 6, 2009, I went to Farmfelix's tour of eco homes in the Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Atwater districts of Los Angeles. Farmfelix, a small organization in which neighbors help to eco retrofit their homes and in which neighbors build gardens in the local schools, had a tour of 10 homes but I...
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Dec.11.2009
The latest two books I've read are both very good. Phillip K. Dick's science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner. Dick's novel deal with a polluted earth run by a demented dictatorship. The pollution from a nuclear war got so bad most of...
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Dec.10.2009
Amy Goodman's Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/ is doing absolutely amazing reporting from the Copenhagen climate conference starting December 7 for the next two weeks. Her reports are amazing. Anyone at all interested in the world should tune in. Goodman's reports are far and away the...
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Dec.01.2009
Sarah Chayes was a NPR reporer in Quetta, Pakistan, in 2001 trying to write about  the fall of the Taliban and then since 2001 she went to live in Kandahar, Afghanistan, working in non-profits aimed at developing Afghanistan. Her book The Punishment of Virtues:  Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban...
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