|I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson||Reading Lists|
|From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. -Charles Darwin||Quotes|
Confederate flag with assault rifle superimposed and the message 'Come and take it'. Attrib: Maureen, CC BY 2.0.
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 Book Review, Title The Saxon Chronicles, Author Bernard Cornwell, Rating 3.5,
Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles series, ever growing, takes place around the reign of King Alfred the Great of England and 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.
The old high school essay theme, "If I Ruled the World," endures long after the writing struggles of adolescents fade into adulthood. My current response is simple:
If I ruled the world,
I would step down;
one less autocrat,
one less crown.
The best argument for reading history is not that it will show us the right thing to do in one case or the other, but rather that it will show us why even doing the right thing rarely works out. The advantage of having a historical sense is not that it will lead you to some quarry of instructions, the way that Superman can regularly return to the Fortress of Solitude to get instructions from his dad, but that it will teach you that no such crystal cave exists. What history generally ‚Äúteaches‚ÄĚ is how hard it is for anyone to control it, including the people who think they‚Äôre making it.
The full essay can be found here.
My brother Peter showed me a comic from the witty Existential Comics that captured the Zeitgeist¬†of the world cup this year, or is it l'esprit du temps? ¬†Such questions are to be decided on the pitch.