A simple compilation of information on the problems inherent in certain examples and experiments used to claim human origin by evolution, followed byA simple compilation of information on the problems inherent in certain examples and experiments used to claim human origin by evolution, followed by some discussion on who promulgates those flawed stories and why. Highly recommended....more
This book is not exactly what you will expect, but it's good. Almost the entire book is actually author Richard Viguerie's history of the conservativeThis book is not exactly what you will expect, but it's good. Almost the entire book is actually author Richard Viguerie's history of the conservative movement from the time Viguerie became a contributing force (which was during and immediately after Barry Goldwater's unsuccessful 1964 presidential run) up to exactly the time this book was published (just before the 2014 Congressional elections). Only the last fifty pages, if that much, concerns what conservatives can do to take over the Republican party. (Because Viguerie emphasizes repeatedly that conservative Republicans' true opponents are the establishment Republicans who control the party, not Democrats.)
Basically, Viguerie explains that conservatives have two strategies available:
The obvious strategy: "identifying, recruiting, and, through effective grasroots campaign techniques, nominating and electing limited-government constitutional conservatives to office--particularly to the House and Senate." Basically, what we're always trying to do.
The less obvious, and neglected strategy: elect conservative Republicans to local voting precinct committees where they can work their way up the ladder, always influencing local and state politics, to possibly becoming one of their state's RNC representatives. Viguerie explains that this strategy is ripe for use, as a huge number of precinct committee positions are constantly vacant because almost nobody is interested in electing one, much less being one. Apparently Phyllis Schlafly (the "First Lady of the Conservative Movement," as Viguerie calls her) has been urging this strategy for decades, but not enough people have heard.
Other takeaways from the book:
Being one of the key figures in the development and rise to power of the "New Right" with Ronald Reagan, Viguerie very much projects Reagan's cheerfulness and optimism; whereas many conservatives spend their time complaining about America's cultural and political degradation during the last six years, Viguerie's tone and attitude are sunny. He has very little to say about Obama's presidency, and doesn't try to predict the results of his proposals. Also, more than obviously considering establishment Republicans a bigger impedance to conservative ascendance than Democrats, Viguerie even suggests that voting the establishment out of office is so important that voting for Democrats in general elections against those Republicans may be entirely acceptable.
Also like Reagan, Viguerie clearly is highly sympathetic to conservative Christian voters but is also sanguine about libertarians and considers them allies in the political struggle against socialism (as I do). His only criticism of libertarians is that they're too ready to play spoiler in elections even if the results are unconstructive.
This was the most disappointing book I've read this year.
It's not that I disagree with any of what it has to say; it's that what I read, I already kneThis was the most disappointing book I've read this year.
It's not that I disagree with any of what it has to say; it's that what I read, I already knew 99 percent of. As a libertarian primer, its material is too obvious to be very interesting to someone has read political nonfiction for years. Such a reader can scan the entire book and say "duh" or "captain obvious."
But if it's a packaging of libertarianism that hopes to appeal to the curious and perhaps to disaffected former Obama-supporting moderates or independents, it is potentially a lot more useful than the conspiracy theories and "one Ron to rule them all" cries of hardcore libertarians.
If you already have the most basic familiarity with libertarian political theories, or conservative political theories, or both, you can skip this book if your reading list isn't empty....more
This was unquestionably the worst Star Dreck book I ever read during my time as a Star Dreck fan. It's sleazy, tasteless and extremely violent. One moThis was unquestionably the worst Star Dreck book I ever read during my time as a Star Dreck fan. It's sleazy, tasteless and extremely violent. One more reason to consider Peter David a highly overrated writer.
On top of everything else, David obnoxiously inserts a brief and completely pointless cameo by the Borg: a cube tries to travel through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant, but the wormhole destroys it and only its debris makes it through. It serves no purpose but to make readers more interested....more
What I Saw In America was a delight, certainly the best and most interesting book I've read this year so far. Highly recommended--if you read any ChesWhat I Saw In America was a delight, certainly the best and most interesting book I've read this year so far. Highly recommended--if you read any Chesterton, you must read this book.
It's full of penetrating insight into both American psychology and British psychology. It's dated, having been published in 1922, but Chesterton's observations of the American character seem mostly still valid and, in any case, fascinating even if referring to an American character that existed ninety-three years ago. I haven't read Democracy in America yet, but clearly, What I Saw In America is an English counterpart to it. Chsterton probably isn't completely right in all is observations: for instance, he strongly suggests that Prohibition was a scheme cooked up by the rich to reserve alcohol to themselves, and completely ignores the huge and probably driving role played by temperance organizations. But even the opinions that are wrong are still fascinating for their outside perspective and for what they suggest about the English character.
I suppose nobody's perfect, and so even a genius such as Chesterton and a book such as this has some sort of flaw. Here it's something I began to notice in Chesterton's The Everlasting Man: Chesterton's rhetoric and possibly attitude toward racial minorities is embarrassingly ignorant by 2015 standards. It's not just that Chesterton uses the n-word once (clearly because he doesn't know any better), but that he spent a full year traveling through America, evaluating it from his outside perspective, but had absolutely nothing to say about the Jim Crow system or more generally the condition of blacks at the time. If you read the book closely enough and reflect on it enough to discern Chesterton's attitude toward the brotherhood of man, you can figure out that actual racism is unlikely, but...like I said, ignorance. Disappointing for such a brilliant man....more
I was a literature major, trained to read novels the average reader wouldn't read, so I've probably never called a novel exhausting before; but that'sI was a literature major, trained to read novels the average reader wouldn't read, so I've probably never called a novel exhausting before; but that's what reading All Hallows' Eve was--exhausting. It's only about 275 pages, but it took me months to read, mostly because it demanded all my concentration and I often didn't have the energy.
The issue isn't the story, it's Charles Williams' questionable writing style. It very frequently segues into a dense, meandering pseudo-poetry that makes the narration unfocused and unnecessarily complex, and sometimes even obfuscates whatever is actually happening. It shows and tells simultaneously. If the novel hadn't been so written, it might be half the length. Like most or all of his friends in the Inklings, Williams was a poet as well as a novelist; and the entire book can serve as a cautionary tale of what a novel looks like when such a writer goes too far in mingling poetry with prose. It's a mess. Descent Into Hell (the first Williams work I read) is similarly written but shorter, and more focused and disciplined, and is the better novel for it.
I don't even have that much to say about the plot because I was too distracted by the writing style. But it involves a villain using Kabbalistic magic to gain illicit access to the world of the dead, which he hopes to gain some sort of secrets or power from--his goals are explained very vaguely....more
The Dynamics of Spiritual Gifts is clearly one of the most useful and well-considered books available on Christian spiritual gifts (Holy Spirit gifts)The Dynamics of Spiritual Gifts is clearly one of the most useful and well-considered books available on Christian spiritual gifts (Holy Spirit gifts). Highly recommended. I had already read books by Dr. Billy Graham and Dr. Charles Stanley on the subject of the Holy Spirit, and both books cited The Dynamics of the Holy Spirit in their footnotes, so I decided to buy and read it.
It should not be the only book one reads on the spiritual gifts, though. The author is one of those Christian teachers who believes that many of the spiritual gifts were meant to serve only the early church, and are no longer in effect; his conclusions may be mistaken. For some of the gifts (such as the gift of apostleship), he is most likely correct than they have been withdrawn; but for other gifts (such as knowledge and discernment), it is not as clear that they have been withdrawn....more
I have generally found the Philosophers in 90 Minutes series very informative; this is the first volume in the series that failed for me. After readinI have generally found the Philosophers in 90 Minutes series very informative; this is the first volume in the series that failed for me. After reading this, I didn't "get" Kierkegaard's philosophy, and found my other source on theistic existentialism (The Universe Next Door, by James Sire) more illuminating.
The only thing I really learned from the book is that like many thinkers, Kierkegaard was tormented by psychological problems (stemming from a difficult relationship with his father, who was also troubled), and Kierkegaard's philosophy is heavily dependent on these psychological problems. Indeed, it appears to be an attempt, conscious or not, to work them out....more
Read My rating: 1 of 5 stars[ 2 of 5 stars ]3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Preview The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas by Read My rating: 1 of 5 stars[ 2 of 5 stars ]3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Preview The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas by Jonah Goldberg 4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 · rating details · 756 ratings · 131 reviews The bestselling author of Liberal Fascism dismantles the progressive myths that are passed-off as wisdom in our schools, media and politics.
According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they’re not ideological.
Today, “objective” journ ...more Hardcover, 320 pages Published May 1st 2012 by Sentinel (first published January 1st 2012) ISBN 1595230866 (ISBN13: 9781595230867) edition language English other editions (9)
The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas
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edit My Review Feb 25, 2015 rating 2 of 5 stars bookshelves read edit shelves status Read from February 25 to 28, 2015 format Hardcover (edit) notes Things I learned in chapter Social Justice:
Father Coughlin was left-wing, not right-wing. The reason the Bill of Rights contains negative rights is because it's meant to list only the rights we were born with. review add a review
1 comment 1526509 Don Incognito I like Jonah Goldberg's National Review articles; but as I began to read this book, I was skeptical, relatively bored, and annoyed as I always have been by Goldberg's frequent pop-culture references. But I now find the book much more interesting than I initially thought. Discourses on the lies, sophistry or pseudoreasoning of the left interest me only so much. But then Goldberg discusses the early history of the left and emphasises the centrality of Pragmatist philosophy and of John Dewey. I deeply appreciate revelations that the truth on some issue is actually the opposite of what I've been taught, and Goldberg offers exactly such a revelation. "[Friedrich] Hayek explained...that knowledge is communal and collective. ... Hayek understood that markets are collective, cooperative endeavors precisely because individuals are empowered to make their own decisions. ... Hence, the great irony: Hayek, one of the greatest champions of individual liberty and economic freedom...believed that knowledge was communal. Dewey, the great champion of socialism and collectivism, believed that knowledge was individual. Hayek's is a philosophy that treats individuals as the best judges of their own self-interests, which in turn yield staggering communal cooperation." This idea fascinates me in its newness and complexity and is frankly much more interesting than complaining about the perfidies of the left. It also shows that reviewers' (including Goodreads reviewers') claims that Goldberg is a pseudo-intellectual are false and just a nuanced way of calling him stupid or ignorant, and I learned from Ann Coulter (whom I don't particularly like but have learned some things from) that that is frequently how leftists and liberals respond to opposing arguments --"you're stupid."...more
This book, published circa 2004, is probably the best source of information available on Arizona television legend The Wallace and Ladmo Show, other tThis book, published circa 2004, is probably the best source of information available on Arizona television legend The Wallace and Ladmo Show, other than talking to Pat McMahon (since Bill Thompson, aka Wallace, and Ladimir Kwiatkowski, aka Ladmo, have both passed on). It gives Bill Thompson's biography, which is not particularly interesting, and then explains Thompson's creation of the show; the show's antecedents; and probably every significant incident or circumstance that ever happened during Wallace and Ladmo's 35 years on the air....more
I found this book annoying and not funny--until I got the joke. Its subtitle is "If Famous Authors Wrote Advertising," so I thought it would be a spooI found this book annoying and not funny--until I got the joke. Its subtitle is "If Famous Authors Wrote Advertising," so I thought it would be a spoof of advertising. But the commercials made by writers and philosophers actually have very little to do with advertising, so eventually I realized the point of the book is actually to mock the writers and philosophers. The author's foreword actually gives this away, by talking only about literature and how most people don't know anything about it (e.g., claiming most Americans think Oscar Wilde makes bologna).
It's still not particularly funny, with some exceptions. "Catcher in the American Express," which a literary reader can easily guess is a parody of Catcher in the Rye, is funny just because it adds Holden Caulfield's gratuitous swearing to the American Express slogan "don't leave home without it." Nietzche doing "Where's the Beef?" is also funny. So is "Mmmm Mmmm Good," a Campbell's Soup-themed parody of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle--but that one is disgusting and will probably offend older and more genteel sensibilities. That's about it--the other parodies didn't make me laugh. I think I'll dump it in my library's donation bin.
Unless you're broadly familiar with literary classics, the jokes will be lost on you....more
This is a very helpful book on major philosophers and philosophies up through post-structuralism. It explains philosophies lucidly while simultaneouslThis is a very helpful book on major philosophers and philosophies up through post-structuralism. It explains philosophies lucidly while simultaneously mocking them. Highly recommended....more
A tasteless bit of trash involving a female Starfleet officer mating with Spock while trapped with him on a planet of hostile giant ants. We get theseA tasteless bit of trash involving a female Starfleet officer mating with Spock while trapped with him on a planet of hostile giant ants. We get these from time to time in novels based on television series: fan fantasies written to work out the authors' crushes on popular characters, sometimes using idealized versions of themselves (possibly the case in this book). There's at least one other example in Star Trek fiction: Vonda McIntyre displaying her crush on George Takei through her character Mandala Flynn becoming Sulu's lover; and I'm told it was allowed to occur in a Doctor Who novel, with a companion of the Eighth Doctor trying to seduce him (which later figured in a television episode). Anyway, I had no idea what I was getting when I read it in eighth grade. The only part I liked was a character (McCoy, I think) visiting a zoologist whose pet cat is named "Fuzzybutt."...more