Name Your Best Films/Documentaries/Books of 2007?

(And yes, if you have WORSTies, you can cite those, too.)

While Time Magazine and CNN and all the usual suspects rush to TELL US what films, books, and yes, even scandals were the best and worst of 2007, we're all thinking people here who don't need to be told what we can reason for ourselves.

With this in mind, what films/documentaries and books did YOU find to be the best of 2007?

Some of my big favorite books (and they would go on a big favorites list that spans more than just this year, btw) also happened to find their way onto my Christmas wish list, and I've already devoured two. These are:

* "Touch and Go" - Studs Terkel's excellent memoirs (he's a national treasure!)
* "The Omnivore's Dilemma" - Michael Pollan, an excellent follow-up to his mind-opening botany book that discusses how Americans really ARE what we eat
* "Deep Economy" - a must-read by Bill McKibben, a Vermont neighbor, that gives us a real eye-opener of an understanding of how the economy, much of which escapes our attention, drives our lives and politics and the future of this planet

But I can't fail to note the late, forever great Kurt Vonnegut's last book that I literally inhaled, "A Man Without A Country".

As for films and documentaries, I would rank "An Unreasonable Man" (about Ralph Nader), Michael Moore's "Sicko", and "The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" among a slew of excellent works that I saw this year.

What about your favorites?


RIP: The American Dollar (Or Why You May Be Able to Use Your Paycheck to Wipe Your Butt RSN)

Well, the ruination of the economy and the labor market the Bush-Cheney Administration worked very hard to bring about in record time between the December day they stole the election from Al Gore in 2000 and the first 100 days of them "presuming" office in January 2001, and continued throughout their absolute monarchy is almost complete.

We've already seen - for the first time - economists in many other lands besides our own say the American dollar is increasingly useless and is shunned compared to many other emerging players like China and yes, even Iran and the Euro. Also a firstie: the Canadian dollar has become (significantly) more valuable than its U.S. counterpart, a phenomenon many said would never happen. We've seen the middle class grow poor and more home foreclosures in this country than at any time since the stock market crash and resulting economic phenom known as "The Great Depression" began in 1929. [As Bush would say, look at the good side: at least poverty is up and those we owe money TO are making huge additional money in obscene charges for debt).

Now, many are saying flat out that the dollar's days are numbered, which means ours as an economic superpower also are numbered. I can't help but think that it's all too apt to say that the buck stops with Bush and Cheney, because it quite literally may, even before they leave office on January 20th, 2009.

Here's one example of the dollar's funeral dirge submitted by Reader Sharon (whose typing is only slightly better than her marksmanship).


Benazir Bhutto's Assassination

Since Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf plunged his country of Pakistan into one of its maddest states ever in his efforts to control the results of voting a few months ago that threatened to unseat him, it became not a question of IF his major opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, twice elected and twice unseated as a Muslim country's first major woman leader, would be assassinated, but when.

I find much about the reaction to her death to be completely disingenuous. The first was the Bush Administration's reaction, acting like they were saddened when I doubt they were; my biggest questions with her death, in fact, center around just how much involvement Musharraf - who was to face Ms. Bhutto in elections in less than two weeks - and the Bushies may have had with her assassination earlier today.

While we've heard that the Bushies really wanted her there in a power sharing arrangement with Musharraf, there is far more evidence that neither Musharraf nor Bush actually did want her there, since the progressiveness she represented is hardly what the Bush Administration wants in trying to control that part of the world.

But I am just as suspicious concerning the rush by the Bushies and their ilk - including "I see 9/11 everywhere" Rudy Giuliani - to identify al Qaeda as responsible for Bhutto's death. Sure, Bhutto did not pose herself a good candidate for al Qaeda; she also wasn't who Musharraf and Bush want either.

In truth, there are any number of groups and individuals who could have put the hit on this woman. Sadly, the more the Bushies point to al Qaeda and boast "they know" Osama bin Laden is behind it, the more questions I feel arise as to their own culpability here. After all, the Bushies - and this is clear right from their administration HERE at home - are no champions of democracy; they like the "absolute monarchy" kind of arrangement. While Bush is hardly the first "monarch" to decide who lives and dies, a hell of a lot of destabilization and attempted coups around the world since 2000 (including the short ouster of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez) point right back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.