Just started "News" by Alain de Botton. The sensationalization of news, the media, biased networks and newspapers left and right, it's hard to even subject my nervous system to it. Botton looks at the news from the perspective of history as well as relating current events and individual foibles to plots and characters from literature. I like that it's illustrated with photos related to the subject without the feeling of a boring textbook. Botton's books always push a regular guy like me to think outside my box. On the lighter side I'm alternating with the latest in the series of coffee house mysteries, "Billionaire Blend" by Cleo Coyle. Love the series.... and each book includes great coffee and dessert recipes.
by Jeremy Scahill. "The World is a Battlefield"
This is the true story of drone warfare around the world. It is a big heavy book. Depressing to those who did not know the United States has been carrying out war crimes for years. Now a movie at the Sundance Film Festival. I found out about this book on FSTV, free speech TV. It is on satellite but not cable, because it is not corporate. It is on the net. freespeechtv.org. Check out "Democracy Now". It is non-corporate, non-profit TV.
by Brian Doyle. This is a beautifully written short essay in The Sun magazine about the two, true "first responders" at Sandy Hook Elementary almost one year ago to the day. Before the first call to the police had even happened and with all of the fear and adrenaline that one could imagine, these two incredibly brave women tried to stop Adam Lanza as he entered the school and they paid with their lives. It only takes a few minutes to read and I hope that you do.
Devised, written and illustrated by~
This book is a Parent's Choice approved
children's book. Looking for a gift that
will bring hours of enjoyment while
providing a mental work out; this book
is a gem! Adshead's art work is awesome
and the journey you'll take through his
book is excellent.
Had to sher this one, it's a good one.
ISBN 0-85953-402-2 (hard cover, I recommend it)
ISBN 0-85953-403-0 (soft cover)
Library of Congress Number 91-33416
Published by Child's Play (International) Limited
reading this right now, very hard read, lots of words, but basically it says "bend over", the only ones to get anything out of this is the insurance companies and the irs, oh yeah, and all the employers that will drop all of their full time workers and hire part time so they won't have to pay for their insurance. This is way scarier than any Stephen King novel I've ever read.
One option is to pay a fine if you don't have insurance, but if you don't make enough annually you won't have to pay a fine if you don't have insurance, the gov will pay it for you and supply you with health care. Am I reading this right?
So, you will get rewarded if you stop being a productive member of society.
Doesn't look too good for the average Joe who is healthy, looks like you will be paying for everybody else who is sick, or about to die, or who just figured out that if they don't work, make little to no income, none of this will pertain to them. This can't be right, better reread those last 100 or so pages.
of Jerry Pournelle, an irascible right-wing writer of what might be considered irascible right-wing science fiction, who I like a lot.
Back in the day, Pournelle being rather big in the computer world as well as the science fiction world, we scored a cover-story interview with him, which was pretty nice of him. And then, in one of those moments that give every editor screaming nightmares, it came out. With his name misspelled on the cover.
He was pretty nice about it, considering. The next time I saw him, I think it was at Worldcon in SF, he was signing copies of his latest book. When I got to the head of the line, he duly inscribed a book and handed it over.
Every word of the inscription was misspelled.
I cherish that book.
as with Stephen King, I don't love the genre and its trappings, but one has to give props to a master of the craft.
Famous author of fiction of the American hawk-like military machine perpetually engaged in wiping out the bad guys (Islamic terrorists, these days), is dead at 66. No word yet on the cause of death.
He would refer to the Muslim Brotherhood as the Mo-Bros. His sense of patriotic morality was that life's a bitch and the bitches have to die that oppose America.
He is probably most famous for coming up with the idea for a 9/11 style of attack in around 1996 and writing part of one of his books about it. Six years or so later somebody brought the plan to fruition...
I just finished reading everything he wrote this year and felt, while a good read at times, my time would have been more productively spent reading other things. He was a good writer though and could pull you in.
OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
MORROW JUNIOR BOOKS
ISBN 0-688-09993-9 (Library)
William Morrow and Co., Inc.
1350 Avenue of the Americas
New York, N.Y. 10019
All Rights Reserved
This book is great for all ages. It's filled with
facts and awesome pictures, including NASA pictures
too. The 64 pages in this hard cover book bring
a great deal of info to those still in school but
for anyone who loves to fathom the Universe.
By Howard Zinn.
Boy! How the history we learned in school differs from the actual history of our country.
A ruling elite in this country took over from a ruling elite in England. Those pictures of Andrew Jackson and Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln and US Grant on our money should be considered mug shots, not pictures of honor.
When I think of the whitewash of Lincoln in the latest movie it makes me wonder about how much else we have been misled by. It is estimated that there were 30,000 political prisoners in this country during the administration of Lincoln. Yes, many of them were those who opposed his freeing of the slaves but many of them were also opposed to fighting in the civil war for the North and were taken in during the draft riots of that era. If you were rich enough you could buy your way out of military service for $300.
Previous to the civil war the incessant assault on the native Americans is just heartbreaking. Time after time treaties were broken and Indians were driven ever further West, always being promised that they would have their land that no white man would be able to take from them. Time after time this proved to be just one pack of lies after another. The Trail Of Tears trod from Tennessee to Oaklahoma with many Cherokees dying along the way is described with the vultures circling and the wolf packs prowling to pick off the weak and the dead. It is a horribly grizzly description.
The insatiable appetite of the Anglos (White people)to connect this country from East to West was just one atrocity followed by another. The war against Mexico for Texas and New Mexico was just one horrific description of modernized conflict after another. Though many of the soldiers in that war were induced to fight with offers of money and land many of it was taken from them upon their return to their homes by profiteers offering pennies on the dollar.
I'm only up to Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish-American War at the turn of that century and finishing up the labor unrest that ran through the 1800s at the dawn of the industrial revolution. Time after time labor unrest ran amok and was not able to be brought under control by the local militias who often sided with their own people. Time after time Federal troops were brought in to crush local labor unrest. Countless times.
How is it we were never told that the sweat of the worker's brow in this country was often enough not a brute strength, but one that time and again wanted and agitated for decent wages and working conditions while the owners of the mills remained carelessly insulated in their rich splendor, comfortably separated from the suffering they had their management and foremen inflict mercilessly, even upon children?
As Zinn says in his foreword: (paraphrased) Those who won the battles wrote the history that you and I have come to accept as the truth.