Had the Israelites not crafted their idol so quickly Moses wouldn't have come down Mt. Sinai with only Ten Commandments. In a Biblical trivia fact GodHad the Israelites not crafted their idol so quickly Moses wouldn't have come down Mt. Sinai with only Ten Commandments. In a Biblical trivia fact God was in mid sentence of Commandment 11: "Mind thine own damn business" when Moses held up a hand and asked for a rain check to go melt down the Golden Calf. God being a busy deity was unable to reschedule. And that's the only religious viewpoint I'm going to entertain on the topic of abortion. This pamphlet makes a quick case for abortion because nothing else needs to be said. It doesn't seek any advice from Biblical precedent, or hallowed texts and for that it ought to be admired. It exposes how controls over abortion don't protect anyone- but they do coerce and control everyone. This pamphlet shows that well. Now for my own opinions on the matter. I have no time for scientific funding on the timeline at which insemination and ovulation produce an individual. I think that sort of thing has been dealt with better by philosophers. But there was a really great post on Facebook positing a scenario whereby a Petri dish with a fertilized embryo and an infant were thrown up in the air and you could only catch one that anyone would rightly catch the baby. I'd argue further that one would almost instinctually catch the baby because your brain recognizes that a Petri dish's contents regardless of what they are is not a child regardless of what your local Christian fundamentalist says. It's been said that men contribute 50% of their genetic material which is true. But men don't contribute 50% of their body and there is no law requiring men to spend 50% of their time raising the child either. Women however have to hold a child for nine months and are for all intents and purposes legally required to care for a child or at least see to it that the child is passed off to someone who will. Therefore any argument that justifies men having a say into whether a woman chooses abortion or not purely based on the genetic is illogical. It's even more illogical when you have say the late Antonin Scalia: pseudo-voyeurist and Porky the Pig reenactor salivating at the opportunity to put Original Intent into the bedroom of every sexually active woman in the country whether or not he himself ever meets, much less sleeps with them. Having then Scalia plus every garden variety dumbass or intellectual man pose their claims to a fifty-fifty share of every woman in the country's reproductive decisions is just absurd. "No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition!" indeed. Remember, I say all this as a man. That doesn't make me enlightened or a feminist (though don't misinterpret I support feminism I hope that I could be considered an ally since I don't think that I could rightly claim to be a feminist as a man, but that's a different story), it's just logical. I don't have a womb, and I don't have any say about someone else's womb. My recommendation for those who don't like abortions is: don't have an abortion, and mind thine own damn business. ...more
Libertarianism is bullshit not to mention it's all bunk. There. That's something that needs to be said rather plainly before I go into specifics. Now,Libertarianism is bullshit not to mention it's all bunk. There. That's something that needs to be said rather plainly before I go into specifics. Now, don't think that I'm just getting my angries out over 'not seeing the mystic truth' of some particular cult-and libertarianism is a cult- I rate this book one star because libertarianism and Brennan's book is just a collection of bad ideas. So, there are some fundamental assumptions that libertarianism makes that need to be addressed: 1.) Humans are NOT inherently selfish. Indeed it's quite remarkable how inherently UNselfish people truly are. The easiest example of this is how if someone gets lost in the woods there are ALWAYS scores of volunteers to assist even though such volunteers themselves are often injured or killed in the process. Same thing where people go to rescue people trapped in burning buildings or cars for no other reason than someone is in jeopardy. Libertarians have never really succeeded in answering 'why?' these things occur with any convincing explanation. Science however has identified "empathy." Great concept-totally exists- brain scans have proved it. At best I'll warrant that libertarians have identified how people sometimes behave under capitalism-which goes to assumption... 2.) Capitalism is not a "natural..." anything. Markets are old- true. People have traded, and bought and sold things for millennia. Capitalism however is completely a man made, state created entity no more "real" than childhood "floor is made of lava" games. Indeed as children "believe" the floor is real lava is about the same as how anyone "believes" that the market is somehow any kind of already existing eddy or current. Money for instance-fiat or metal backed-pick your poison-is inherently worthless. You can't eat gold, you can eat paper although you'll not gain much from it. The presence of a state and debt behind it is all that makes it worth anything. 3.) Libertarians automatically assume that they are worth something in their "productive based society." There's an undercurrent (definitely present with Brennan) that should the libertarian rapture happen they are gonna be among the "saved," productive Titans who'll prove their superiority through their hard work... blah blah blah. You think Howard Roark's ability to design buildings, mine stone (on occasion), and raping Dominique is going to do him one modicum of good when winter comes and his grain harvesting abilities don't match his handiness with a compass? I have my doubts. I also doubt that L. Ron Hubbard found his Thetan in the sky but alas skepticism will do that to you. 4.) I guess I am being a bit cruel "glorious free, free market" of no regulation and every man for himself has made Somalia into the economic powerhouse it is to- oh, wait, it seems no regulation has predictably led to a collapse of the fictitious free-market entity as well as the nation itself. Now on to the meat here. Brennan like Plato before him holds that mass democracy is a waste of otherwise perfectly good rulers. He cites some fairly unconvincing statistics that prove that the uncaring and rambunctious are screwing things up. Not particularly addressing that it is just as likely the uninterested may just be resigned to the fact that since either "microloans" (Clinton), or "Ameri-wallistan" (Trump) will be elected as will their clones and neither particularly puts bread on the table or fire in the hearts much less the hearth for the very poor. The rambunctious are to be expected both inside and outside of politics. The rambunctious are annoying, yes-and they propagandize but cutting them out of the political process for their illogical rambunctiousness is what every middle schooler has thought in gym class similarly without ever considering that they themselves may also be rambunctious at times for other reasons. Surprise! Back to empathy. But while we're here this is as good a time to disagree with the three categories: Hobbits (the uncaring), Hooligans (the rambunctious), and Vulcans (the logical, and rational). The problem is that when it comes to politics one can be be simultaneously very rational and yet rambunctious. One can be very rambunctious about non-participation and one can be very logical in non-participation. These are terrible categories that are so loose it makes the DSM look ironclad. Besides of course the rambunctious have their place too. Who inaugurates change but the rambunctious? Who often holds back change but the logical? Where Brennan merely swiped the name the Vulcans that I know (Spock) have used the illogical to achieve what could not be achieved simply via contemplation. Besides categorizing people and dishing out rights by behavior is a bit unsettling in the implications I'm thinking of. We're assured several times that Brenner really cares about inequality and racism. He does after all score lower on several biases scores than the average person which means Brenner will be one of the "saved" of course. But giving a damn is not the same as actually doing something and on top of that here's the dirty secret about capitalism: it was conceived, built, and made possible by the extermination of the Americas and the enslavement of Africans. Then to convince those poor Europeans who might empathize with slaves the lorded gentry created racial differences and mixed it in with some predestination-'Africans,' these rich men swore 'deserved to be treated like cattle and murdered and abused for profit.' For profit is the bottom line. Which reminds me of another historical event. These lorded gentry considered themselves the only competent rulers of the land. Accordingly come the Constitutional Convention only property owners could vote and while white labor was counted as a whole person to elect more rich men to office slaves were downgraded to 3/5ths. Reading Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia Jefferson entertained some ideals that Africans' reasoning was subpar and that they could not live or prosper in the American Republic. It's true that Jefferson entertained highly prejudicial views even for his time, and while he only talks about slaves it sounds similar to Brennan's views on the uncaring and rambunctious members of society he would like to exclude. Am I saying that Brennan harbors racist thoughts? No. For one he scores very low on biases! But Brennan omits or is sparse on his history and how his ideas have been applied in the past. Combined with his rather unconvincing statistics and assumptions on humanity I cannot see any real logic being applied here much less any effective way to benefit society....more
I don't find Hoster's extended essay very convincing. If "Shake-scene" refers solely to an actor it's odd that it is never used again. The evidence thI don't find Hoster's extended essay very convincing. If "Shake-scene" refers solely to an actor it's odd that it is never used again. The evidence though to connect it to Shakespeare: reference to 3 Henry VI, a later allusion to it in Hamlet: "beautified is a vile phrase" (spoken by Polonius), Shakespeare was both actor and playwright and of course the "Shake" prefix make a much stronger case overall. ...more
It's one of those fascinating coincidences that this book was published just prior to the crash of 2007-2008 when the very policies that would-have-coIt's one of those fascinating coincidences that this book was published just prior to the crash of 2007-2008 when the very policies that would-have-could-have-no-joke-trust-us allegedly fixed the Depression imploded thereby repeating the Depression this time as farce when Alan Greenspan could be simultaneously both expert and mystified about how rapacious capitalism could be so...well... rapacious. Amity Shlaes' book accordingly can't help feel a little misguided. But, I know that opinion was surely based upon the times. Today as I review The Forgotten Man (a phrase tritely taking from Roosevelt's own speech) though I feel no different. Let's not beat around the bush: Shlaes is fast and loose with her statistics and uses them to create such a poor view of the New Deal and its legacy that it is my belief she simply worked backwards from the starting point that 'the New Deal was bad' and found what she could to support that. This involved Shlaes using statistics that counted people who did have employment through the WPA, or the CCC as 'unemployed' when they should have been listed as 'employed.' If you ACTUALLY bother to look at real statistics you'll find contrary to Shlaes' central argument that with a short break for the recession of 1936-1937 that unemployment consistently fell during the New Deal and that the New Deal was responsible for this fall in unemployment. It is true that the New Deal alone did not solve the Depression but its contribution towards ending the Depression is apparent. Furthermore the legislation enacted during the time period was completely responsible for preventing any similar crash until it was eroded in the '90s. Amity Shaeles poor reading of the New Deal is a justification for the same bad policy that created the Great Depression in the first place.
Every now and then I indulge myself in a kind of guilty pleasure: I read UFO books. Not because I believe them, or buy any of their arguments (if youEvery now and then I indulge myself in a kind of guilty pleasure: I read UFO books. Not because I believe them, or buy any of their arguments (if you follow the sources in them back to their origins more often than not they lead to one man Richard Doty who has admitted to being a source of disinformation for UFOlogists), but because they're kind of fun to read. Ghost stories are too tame: breathing, scratching- any old house has enough rust and poor ventilation to account for those things. The world is too small these days for Bigfoot, Yetis, and other monsters. But aliens combine a good mix of the supernatural with hidden beasts AND (as H.P. Lovecraft rightly pointed out as one the basis of fear in supernatural literature) there is a cosmic mastery behind the Grey that makes one really feel one's powerlessness over whatever small plot of dirt you claim. So while I enjoyed this book on one level the rational bits of my brain know that most of the sources that are used have come down five or six iterations worth- were debunked at their second, forgotten and brought back again. The Angels of Mons were not reported until well after the First World War ended, and my favorite Phil Schneider actually had all of his fingers at least according to a video made a year or two before he died! A lot of the writing was also atrocious and could have used a better editor. ...more
This is a jumbled mess of a book. Eleanor Brewster has modernized the spelling sometimes and not others, the endnotes basically announce the book is pThis is a jumbled mess of a book. Eleanor Brewster has modernized the spelling sometimes and not others, the endnotes basically announce the book is purely derivative of the Ogburns' book, the Shakespearean passages are pretty awkwardly placed in the text and she misquotes The Art of English Poesie incorrectly as only saying:
"And in Her Majesty's time that now is are sprung up another crew of Courtly Makers, Noblemen and Gentlemen of Her Majesty's own servants, who have written excellent well as it would appear if their doings could be found out and made public with the rest, of which number is first that noble gentleman Edward, Earl of Oxford." (xx)
What she omits are the names following Oxford's:
"Thomas Lord of Bukhurst, when he was young, Henry Lord Paget, Sir Philip Sydney, Sir Walter Rawleigh, Master Edward Dyar, Maister Fulke Grevell, Gascon, Britton, Turberville and a great many other learned Gentlemen, whose names I do not omit for envie, but to avoyde tediousnesse, and who have deserved no little commendation."
The names are listed in order of rank and it's apparent that either Brewster did not actually locate the source in its entirety or deliberately omitted information she did not wish to address as it would be detrimental to her case. You'll note that the unexpurgated Art of English Poesie acknowledges Oxford as a poet under his own name which paradoxically Brewster also quotes.
Just as pets come to resemble their owners, and spouses over decades come to resemble each other, Harold [Leopold?] Bloom has metamorphosed into Don QJust as pets come to resemble their owners, and spouses over decades come to resemble each other, Harold [Leopold?] Bloom has metamorphosed into Don Quixote surfing on Moby Dick, with Hamlet as an antsy squire. Not a one of them knows precisely their direction save where they DON'T want to go-and that is (perhaps an Oedipal fantasy) out of the womb they were begat in. If you read this book by first reading the introduction and then random chapter by random chapter one at a time with some breaks twixt them all you'll think Harold Bloom is probably the greatest literary-cricket since the anthropomorphic one that taught Pinocchio the Spirit of Capitalism. If you read it cover to cover Harold Bloom is actually the Joseph McCarthy of contemporary letters- well no-Harold Bloom is a lesser McCarthyite. He's more a Walter Winchell occasionally witty, occasionally insightful although determined to tell you the right way and the wrong way to read a text and by God is there! He first draws offense at Marxists, feminists, and other critics who insert the political into the Canon and try to make him feel bad for enjoying the Dead, the White, the Male author for what they are and he is convinced a la Quixote that they conspire further to extract the life from literature. Marxist I am. English major I am. Reader of the divine Shakespeare along with the apparently 'too multicultural Marquez' I am. Not once in my extended schooling was I ever barred from reading Flaubert, or Hamlet, or Milton in favor of lesser works or that which has been hastily reclaimed from deserving oblivion. I never was forced to read non-feminist books as feminist-cautionary-deconstructions and then burn the text with a canvas bag of bras and plaster busts of Aristotle chanting "Tika li-li! tika li-li!" to our secular and multicultural Buddhist Secretary General. This is Harold Bloom's Rivers of Blood speech that he gave before the mirror and where his audience loudly applauded him...I disagree. Literature has become very large as Harold Bloom acknowledges in the introduction and in spite of this the Canon has only and will only get larger for appreciation of texts politically, culturally, and yes especially aesthetically! Will the core of the Canon that Bloom fears will vanish survive? Oh yes survive and expand even. For instance (and I don't believe Harold Bloom ever discusses this) think of Moby Dick, Frankenstein, Gulliver's Travels, Alice in Wonderland, Robinson Crusoe, Faust, Hamlet, A Christmas Carol, The Odyssey... these texts are not only in no danger of disappearing from popular consciousness you don't even have to read them to appreciate they aesthetic attributes. You can ask just about anyone to state the plots of these books and most can do it. These texts have become so seamlessly embedded within society's natural narrative of itself that only the collapse of society will shed them and actually some of them have already survived even that. The biggest threat to this collection of literature is ironically people like Bloom himself. Tastes change- in fact literary tastes change oft times for the better sometimes in decades and sometimes in centuries. Changing tastes preserved Euripides from oblivion, and changing tastes saw Shakespeare become established at the center of literature. Homer has never declined in popularity. Cementing artistic culture to an assigned core of eternal authors is just not possible, and not desirable. Shakespeare can make room for newcomers and not lose out. Keep wandering Harold Quixote.
Of the 12 essays here only five are new to this edition. The seven others vary from 95 to five years old. Two are excerpts from other books and sufferOf the 12 essays here only five are new to this edition. The seven others vary from 95 to five years old. Two are excerpts from other books and suffer from compression (not that their full size makes them any better). Stritmatter's introduction is a paean to Charleton Ogburn Jr. who was Stritmatter states to have been surprised that in 1987 the Supreme Court would state that the Oxfordians would have the burden of proof for presenting the case that Oxford wrote Shakespeare. To anyone else that seems only obvious. Since the plays were held to have been written by William Shakespeare of Stratford at least since 1623 when they were published that seems only fair. But Stritmatter complains about why William Shakespeare's supporters didn't have to prove he wrote the same plays. This complaint about "neutrality" is the central theme of the newly written essays. But there is an unspoken caveat to this desire for neutrality that Shelley Maycock touches on this briefly: "Few [mainstream scholars] can claim any specific or detailed knowledge of the most viable alternate candidate, the Earl of Oxford..., let alone discuss the claims of other candidates... Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe." (7) Perusing Shelley Maycock's endnotes she does little to demonstrate her insinuated authority on the Earl or at least those books that CLAIM an authority (the two are generally not compatible) much less similar works on Marlowe or Bacon. However, I know of many scholars who specialize in the Authorship Debate and are very well acquainted with the literature on the subject. David Kathman, Alan Nelson, Stanley Wells, David Shapiro are all "orthodox" scholars and are all very well familiar with the books that Shelley Maycock is familiar with-they just don't find them very convincing. Ultimately Shelley Maycock reveals in this essay is that she doesn't want there to be simply a question of Shakespeare's authorship but rather the question of authorship featured with certain candidates. More specifically the "most viable" candidate: Oxford. As the essay carries on in meanderings on the ALA Bill of Rights it becomes even more apparent that "neutrality" is not actually the desired result. Really, Maycock just wants the Folger library to endorse Oxford because Henry Folger collected Oxfordian books (although so do I-Stratfordian though I am). This warrants some clarification: by all respects Folger was interested in the debate of Shakespeare's authorship but remained unconvinced by any candidate. Also, it's a good reminder that even if Henry Folger had been an Oxfordian a public library is under no obligation to go through the motions of its founders' beliefs or eccentricities. William & Mary for instance no longer hosts Church of England services. John Rollett's essay on Shakespeare's doublet is insanity. There is no other way to describe the measurements of Shakespeare's shoulder wings with little diagrams and matching embroidery with a BBgBBgBB pattern... (34) I...just...no. Oxfordianism literally died here. Cause of death: counting the stripes on a woodcut printed doublet. Richard Whalen begins in the standard Oxfordian lamentation of picking an example of a scholar(s) and then having a one way conversation with them. Clint Eastwood borrowed this method for the 2012 GOP Convention and I assure you if you didn't buy Eastwood's assertion that Obama was really sitting invisibly before him you're not going to get much out of Whalen's essay. No one can tell ambiguity quite like Richard Whalen who is thankfully able to decipher it using nothing more than the OED, and his knowledge of Oxford's family tree while sometimes trusting what David Riggs says about Ben Jonson and other times dismissing what David Riggs says about Jonson. Talk about ambiguity. Greenwood represents the most "neutral" of all the authors here preferring no candidate but working with J.T. Looney to found the Shakespeare Fellowship. But that was almost a century ago and Greenwood's book is well out of date. He alleges that a "stigma of print" kept the true author of Shakespeare's works anonymous. The Stigma of Print was a myth popularized in the 1870s. This article: http://www.shakespeareauthorship.com/... dismisses it rather well. Chiljin's whole assumption of Jonson being the first doubter hinges on him having written Heminges and Condell's letters. She states there is "substantial evidence" for this...and cites two essays. One of these is 102 years old. The other is 64 years old. Substantial compared to all the criticism that alleges otherwise? Hardly. Blink and you'll miss William Boyle's forgettable essay that's more question than it is anything else: 'Was the First Folio published to save Oxford's son?' To answer this Boyle throws out: Othello, Marriage Crisis, a letter from the Spanish archives and, future scholarship will never be the same. William Boyle seems so giddy that no doubt at least in his mind this neo-Dadaist piece of expressionism likely made perfect sense. No one else can say the same. The next piece is a book review by Roger Stritmatter. I didn't buy a book to read a review of a different book that Roger has a love/hate relationship with. Nor am I going to bother writing a review of a book review. The next essay is another Stritmatter piece that really should have been paired next to Boyle's essay if not in place of Boyle's essay. This is not a compliment since Stritmatter is equally vague surmising that Cymbeline and The Tempest are placed specifically to comment on The Marriage Crisis by a vague kind of textual reading that's more determined by what Stritmatter is looking for than any real similarity. He also alleges that the dates Henry de Vere (Oxford's son) was imprisoned matched almost perfectly the dates of production of the Folio which is not really true as Stritmatter himself shows that the Folio was begun BEFORE Henry's imprisonment and released one month BEFORE his release. Warren's essay on methodology of reading Shakespeare as biography of Oxford is not really anything new per se. He's just recycling the Oxfordian argument from Looney on down. His assertion that Cultural Studies has swallowed Literary Studies which rather shows the naïveté of Warren rather well. Having graduated from the UW Madison in English I can say that while English is classified under the General Humanities, the literature Department is very independent. Finally the collection closes with two more book reviews on Henry Folger that in true Oxfordian fashion have to cram Oxford somewhere within them so that the reviews are more about how Oxfordians should be given the due recognition they feel they deserve. In conclusion I can't recommend you stay away from this enough. Little of the collection is new, or readable for that matter while even less can be considered accurate. ...more
It's not often that I agree at least in part with a libertarian. Contrary to the perennial assertion of "reason" most are little better than cultistsIt's not often that I agree at least in part with a libertarian. Contrary to the perennial assertion of "reason" most are little better than cultists praying towards capitalism as if it were a deity that can be appeased by just the right amount of government cutbacks. But, I digress. In the three years since this book was published events have proven Balko's warnings well founded if his solutions are just "free-"market absurdities. Killings by police are the highest they have been in decades and directed overwhelmingly against minorities. Equipped with military training and surplus military armaments America's police forces are more powerful in numbers and technology than many nations' actual armed forces. They have come to resemble an army more than law enforcement. Balko's history of this is well laid out having emerged as a result of the Nixonian counterrevolution embracing law and order with an out of control military budget trickling down to Mayberry. Balko's biases, solutions and hagiography kill an otherwise great analysis. He becomes wrapped up in subjecting an Original Intent doctrine on America's police forces in the old libertarian delusion that the Founders were all saints to a man who had a libertarian utopia lined up and subsequent "big government" got in the way causing unnecessary misery accordingly. On the contrary keeping the lower orders in line and out of both politics and wealth was part and parcel of the Founders and their Constitution. There were property qualifications for voting, and holding office. Senators were not directly elected, the whole Electoral College, and slavery are all examples of this. But Balko picks and chooses at his leisure to prove his point when by all respects the hallowed fathers: Federalist and Anti-Federalist alike would have appreciated the rise of a force capable of preventing the mob from challenging their monopolies over institutionalized power and wealth. Another complaint is Balko's take on police unions which devolves into a complaint on union bureaucracy stubbornly protecting the guilty which felt too close of an attack on unions themselves rather than how to rectify the problem. Finally Balko doesn't tackle race very well. While he brings up the War on Drugs being a colossal failure (it has been), "Racial Issues" in this book as Balko calls them clear up rather nicely by 1968. There's little in the way of noting the disparity between incarceration rates and murder rates of minorities compared to whites. This is a particularly bad oversight. So while some occasional good history is written and some good analysis Balko's book is nonetheless inadequate to provide as good an account of the militarization of the police as is needed.