This meticulously researched debut treatise explains where and how the United States has gone wrong and posits a new vision of the government to help fix it.
Harrington is convinced that America is going down the wrong path. Should the pattern hold, he says, the United States will default on its debt by 2021, which will be disastrous. But he also firmly believes that there are answers and that they’re achievable. What he proposes, however, is both radical and fairly shocking: to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. His book is huge in scope, covering the mindsets of the framers of the Constitution; the philosophies of Immanuel Kant and John Locke; and ideas on how health care ought to work, among other things. But no particular piece seems out of place, and overall, the book avoids an overly alarmist tone. Harrington’s legal training allows him to expediently unpack the intricacies of government language. However, his former career as a businessman shines, both in his proposed structure for the executive branch, which imagines the president as a CEO with four COOs and no veto power, and in his unmistakable hubris in singlehandedly conceiving a plan to save the nation. He does a good job of explicating jargon and terminology, but he introduces so many abbreviations—such as GDP, CBO, OMB and XXX—that a list of definitions would have been useful. The text is thoroughly annotated, and the endnotes include complete citations for all references, although there’s no separate bibliography nor are there access dates for online sources. Although the book is successfully nonpartisan, Harrington can’t quite keep himself out of the story, as evidenced by sentences such as “I would prefer to avoid such a difficult transition.” He also troublingly lapses into historical fiction when setting the scene for the signing of the Constitution.
A wide-ranging, ultimately hopeful book that has much to offer readers interested in government and politics, whether they agree with its conclusions or not.
A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.
In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.
A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.
Walkley pits CIA agents against a maniacal Saudi prince intent on starting World War III in this debut thriller.
Delta Force operative Lee McCloud, aka Mac, finds himself in Mexico, trying to rescue two teenage girls kidnapped by a drug cartel. But things go from bad to worse when the villains don’t play by the rules. Framed for two murders he didn’t commit, Mac has two options: go to prison or go to work for a CIA black-op group run by the devious Wisebaum, who hacks into terrorists’ bank accounts and confiscates millions of dollars. However, there’s more going on than meets the eye; Saudi Prince Khalid is in possession of nuclear canisters, with which he hopes to alter world history. Khalid also dabbles in trafficking young women, and harvesting and selling human organs. When Wisebaum’s black-op team targets Khalid’s father, the action becomes even more intense. With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded. Mac is portrayed as a rough and ready action-hero, yet his vulnerabilities will evoke empathy in readers. He finds a love interest in Tally, a hacker whose personality is just quirky enough to complement his own. All Walkley’s primary characters are fleshed out and realistic, with the exception of Wisebaum—a malicious, double-dealing, back-stabber of the worst ilk; the reader is left wondering about Wisebaum’s motivations behind such blatant treachery.
Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.