DIGGING DEEPER meets every Monday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.[1] ...


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July 5, 2010: DIGGING DEEPER CXXVII: Robots at war

P.W. Singer, http://www.amazon.com/Wired-War-Robotics-Revolution-Conflict/dp/B002HOQ916/ (Penguin, 2009). — “Blending historic evidence with interviews from the field, Singer vividly shows that as these technologies multiply, they will have profound effects on the front lines as well as on the politics back home. . . . Replacing men with machines may save some lives, but will lower the morale and psychological barriers to killing.  The ‘warrior ethos,’ which has long defined soldiers’ identity, will erode, as will the laws of war that have governed military conflict for generations. . . . In Singer’s hands, the future of war is as fascinating as it is frightening.”  —Book description.


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July 12, 2010: DIGGING DEEPER CXXVIII: American cities

Mike Davis, Dead Cities and Other Tales (New Press, 2002; paperback 2003). — An "astute, compelling and often shocking tour of U.S. cities over the past decade (many of these pieces date from the early 1990s) . . . Davis argues that 'ecocide'—the degradation of the planet via air pollution, water pollution, nuclear waste and other industrial plagues, as well as by war—is integral to urban decay. . . . Davis finds 'an existential Earth . . . that only 'geomorphology,' an emerging science [that] treats the effects of urban, rural, natural, and man-made urban disasters as part of the same continuum, might hope to explain.  It's a grim reality, but, in the face of torrid summers, calving ice shelves, and beaching whales, one that is increasingly difficult to ignore."  —Publishers Weekly.

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July 19, 2010: DIGGING DEEPER CXXIX: Ecopragmatism

Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto (Viking, 2009). — "Brand, co-author of the seminal 1969 Whole Earth Catalog, compiles reflections and lessons learned from more than 40 years as an environmentalist in this clumsy yet compelling attempt to inspire practicable solutions to climate change. . . . Rejecting the inflexible message so common in the Green movement, he describes a process of reasonable debate and experimentation.  Brand's fresh perspective, approachable writing style and manifest wisdom ultimately convince the reader that the future is not an abyss to be feared but an opportunity for innovative problem solvers to embrace enthusiastically."  —Publishers Weekly.

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July 26, 2010: DIGGING DEEPER CXXX: White supremacy as political system

Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Race Course: Against White Supremacy (Vintage, 2008; paperback 2009). — "Arguing that white supremacy has been the dominant political system in the United States since its earliest days and that it is still very much with us, the discussion points to unexamined bigotry in the criminal justice system, election processes, war policy, and education.  The book draws upon the authors' own confrontations with authorities during the Vietnam era, reasserts their belief that racism and war are interwoven issues, and offers personal stories about their lives today as parents, teachers, and reformers."  —Book description.


Since July 2004, United for Peace of Pierce County’s “Digging Deeper,” a Monday-evening book discussion group, has examined more than 300 books. (Summaries of many of them have been posted online on the website Scribd.) Topics discussed have included the Iraq war, Peak Oil, climate change, torture, the corporation, Islam, Iran, U.S.-Iran relations, Barack Obama and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the writings of Robert Baer, parallels between the U.S. and ancient Rome, Israel/Palestine, sustainability, war and human nature, the nature of money, September 11, energy geopolitics, the debt crisis, American immigration policy, the 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential elections, financial crisis, the politics of assassination, and Saul Alinsky’s life and writings, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, and social change. Occasionally the group has spent several weeks reading longer works, like Daniel Yergin’s The Prize or Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation — Participation is free and open; anyone interested is welcome. Try King’s Books (218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma) or other local bookstores for copies of books. More information: contact Mark Jensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see www.ufppc.org.