Archive for January, 2008

So many books

Wow. No book report posts since August. Ouch. Well, the good news is that I have a bunch to report on. Or the bad news. Your call. In any case, time is precious so I’ll keep them short.

  • Conservatives Without Conscience by John W. Dean – super good book. “Authoritarian followers” who are ready and willing to submit to the extreme right-wing leadership of the current Republican party and religious leaders. Very prescient. Very scary. 5/5 stars.
  • The Paris Option by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds – Good clean fun, like most Ludlum books. But gone in an instant; no real long-term impact. 3/5 stars.
  • Conservatize me by John Moe – John tells us about his attempt to understand the conservative philosophy and lifestyle. Lightweight fun. Good Seattle references and makes very reasonable points. 4/5 stars.
  • One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind – I found this one hard to get into. Never got traction; finally aborted after 2 hours. First time I’ve ever done this. 1/5 stars.
  • Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman – Good. Very good. A particularly interesting and engaging discussion of how the Christian bible has “evolved” over the ages, both due to intentional manipulation and unintentional translation and scribe errors. 5/5 stars.
  • The Sigma Protocol by Robert Ludlum. This one was quite long, but definitely one of the better Ludlum books I’ve “read” lately. The Progeria connection was tenuous at best, and a number of the plot “twists” were appallingly obvious. But it was still fun. 4/5 stars.
  • American Fascists by Chris Hedges and Eunice Wong – I never quite got figured out “the voice” of the book since there was no introduction and it seemed more like an academic reference book than a readable non-fiction at times. That said, it made interesting points, and I finished it right as the Jonah Goldberg book was hitting the media circuit, so it made for some interesting perspective on those interviews. 3/5 stars.

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Another coincidence

I found this quite an interesting coincidence: On my drive home Monday night, I finished up “reading” (yes, listening to) “American Fascists“, a fairly interesting book.

But in particular, near the end of this book were quotes from “The Danger of American Fascism” — a article written by (then Vice President) Henry Wallace in the NYTimes in 1944. This caught my attention because the article was very prescient (sadly, both for the 1940s-50s, and perhaps even more so for today). I had actually intended to post some comment/link about this article as part of my (eventual) write-up of the book review.

So what’s the coincidence? Well, the VERY NEXT MORNING, Thom Hartmann opened up his show reading some of this very same article. I immediately recognized it. And I got quite a good chuckle at the coincidence of hearing this same text from two, completely separate sources within 24 hours.

Of course, the cynic in me might argue that this is just proof that I operate in an inbred intellectual space — where all (or at least many) of my sources have the same reaction to events of the day. The cynic in me is partially right, I suppose… we all generally surround ourselves with things we like and agree with. But, even with that acknowledgement, it’s still amazing that “the book I had just finished” happened to overlap so specifically in topic with “the lead-in to a specific guest Thom had on his show the following morning“.

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I’m here — sort of!

Contrary to my sister’s assertion and (coincidentally, I expect) my father’s admonition over the telephone just hours before C’s post went live, I do still blog. And even more importantly, I read other people’s blogs!

Yes, I realize it’s been since November that I’ve last posted. In fact, when I realized after Christmas that it’d been nearly 2 months, I actively decided to wait until it had actually been 2 full months before posting again (giving myself a bit of a breather). Well, today is the 16th of January, making it 2 months since my Barcelona post. So, with that break, I’ll try to post at least a bit more often. I’ve built up quite a queue of things to post about, and now it’s just about finding time.

So, what have we (or, at least I) been up to since November 16th? Tons!

  • G’s 4 month checkup in November
  • BG (MIL) and Tim visit for Thanksgiving
  • Went to an informational thing about the new penguin exhibit to be built at the zoo
  • Lots of holiday parties (MS-Exchange, Neurology, 37Dems, probably others I’m forgetting)
  • We had Neuro applicants (and a bunch of residents) over for an applicant dinner in December
  • Spent Xmas week in Texas: some in Houston, some in Austin — G got to meet lots of family
  • Went to “Caucus Training” to learn how to run my precinct caucus on Feb 9th
  • Filed our state and city Excise/B&O taxes for Rockhopper Papers
  • Prepared the W2/W3 year-end stuff for our nanny, Rachel
  • Spent just about every waking (and some non-waking) minute with G and J

So, as you can I’ve had lots of time for blogging and I’m just a lazy slacker. Catherine. Sheesh! 🙂

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