|I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson||Reading Lists|
|In the world of politics, the degree to which scruples are exercised is in inverse proportion to the degree to which moral rectitude is claimed. -Thomas A. Wiebe||Quotes|
President Obama's Cuban plan started the process of normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba. President Obama's Cuban policy has components found in other of his administration's foreign policy efforts: To fix the present by symbolic attempts to mend the past. They are marked by a recognition that: incremental and indirect change can be just as important as more obviously interventionist moves can be; change in other parts of the world is usually shaped more by internal efforts and perceptions than external; dialog with other countries is a vital part of exerting influence on change outside our borders.
In the world of politics, the degree to which scruples are exercised is in inverse proportion to the degree to which moral rectitude is claimed.(1)
Political ideologies, or ideologies wielded in the service of politics, share the property that they can erase any reality that contradicts them.
(1). See also The Law of Political Scruples.
In a response to the recent furor over the Confederate flag and its removal from public grounds, Kevin Drum just nails it:
Are we still arguing about whether the Civil War was really fought over slavery? Seriously? What's next? The Holocaust was really about Jews overstaying their tourist visas? The Inquisition was a scientific exploration of the limits of the human body? The Romans were genuinely curious about whether a man could kill a hungry lion? The Bataan death march was a controlled trial of different brands of army boots?(Kevin Drum, Are We Still Yammering About Whether the Civil War Was About Slavery? Really?, Mother Jones)
The Sylmar Scribbler has a new name: ¬†The Oregon Scribbler. ¬†
Cindy and I are preparing to re-locate back to Oregon, in the Portland area, next year. ¬†We will be leaving Sylmar. ¬†We love living here. ¬†The weather is amazing. ¬†But changes are afoot. My thoughts are already turning to Oregon, where we have deep roots; I felt a name change for my website was in order, to celebrate¬†our impending return.
The new website address is oregonscribbler.com. ¬†If you use the old sylmarscribbler.com address, it will seemlessly¬†redirect your request to¬†the new address, so no worries, but please change your bookmarks, etc. to the new address when you can. ¬† Vielen Dank!
Book Pocket Review, Title The Last Kingdom Series, Author Bernard Cornwell, Rating 3.5,
The Last Kingdom Series
Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom series, ever growing, takes place around the reign of King Alfred the Great of England, and describes the forging of English, Saxon and Norse territories into the the fledgling nation of England. It is generally solid historical fiction, in that it fleshes out a historical era with care, and adds a somewhat plausible adventure story to liven up the slow turn of historical events. The main character, Uhtred of Babbenburg, like, say, Little Big Man of the Wild West, experiences and absorbs all of the main cultures of the time, providing a sturdy historical vehicle for Cornwell's tales.