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Books/Literature (General/Chat)

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  • Why ‘Game Of Thrones’ Is The Most Frustrating Show On TV

    04/15/2014 7:09:01 PM PDT · by Perdogg · 77 replies
    Don’t think this is a burial of Game of Thrones; it really is one of the best shows on TV right now. But “the best” and “frustrating” aren’t mutually exclusive, and there’s a lot Game of Thrones does that it could stand to stop doing. Like, for example…
  • Harry Chapman Pincher: Ex-Daily Express journalist turns 100

    04/15/2014 3:19:39 AM PDT · by iowamark
    BBC News ^ | March 28 2014 | Nick Higham
    Harry Chapman Pincher looks back on his extraordinary career as Daily Express defence correspondent, as he marks his 100th birthday. His employers called him "the lone wolf of Fleet Street", the man who got the stories other journalists seemed to miss. For over 30 years, until his retirement in 1979, Harry Chapman Pincher was the defence and science correspondent for the Daily Express, then Britain's biggest-selling daily newspaper. Few military or atomic secrets in the 1950s and 60s were safe from Pincher. His contacts in the scientific and military establishment brought him one exclusive after another. In retirement he turned...
  • The Real History of Science Fiction | BBC America (TV docuseries)

    04/13/2014 2:09:15 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 14 replies
    BBC America Series Premiere: Saturday, April 19th at 10/9c From Star Wars to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and from Jurassic Park to Doctor Who, each program is packed with contributors behind these creations and traces the developments of Robots, Space, Invasion and Time. Narrated by Mark Gatiss, Doctor Who writer, actor, and co-creator of the BBC’s Sherlock, the series determines why science fiction is not merely a genre… for its audience it’s a portal to a multi-verse – one that is all too easy to get lost in... Home | About the show | Episode Guide | Photos | Videos
  • The Red Line and the Rat Line (Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels)

    04/13/2014 1:03:03 PM PDT · by Abiotic · 3 replies
    London Review of Books ^ | 17 April 2014 | Seymour M. Hersh
    In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.​* Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s...
  • ‘The lord of all horses’: Much-loved Lord of the Rings horse Shadowfax dies

    04/11/2014 8:42:40 AM PDT · by 1rudeboy · 10 replies
    METRO (UK) ^ | April 11, 2014
    Gandalf’s horse Shadowfax from the Lord of the Rings films has died.The famous horse, called Blanco, had been ill for some time and owner Cynthia Royal made the decision to have him put down.In a statement posted to theonering.net, Royal explains that Blanco had suffered from ‘serious issues with his intestinal tract and liver.’She was present when he was euthanized in his stable.‘Although my heart was breaking,’ she explains, ‘as my final gift to him, I stayed strong, balanced and focused, gently repeating “Relax Blanco. Let go. Walk into the light. Relax and let go” as the Blanco I’ve known...
  • Why Are Politicians’ Books So Terrible?

    04/11/2014 4:59:46 AM PDT · by C19fan · 11 replies
    Politico ^ | April 9, 2014 | Casey N. Cep
    It was the best of hugs; it was the worst of hugs. Or so the description might have gone had Charlie Crist labored a bit longer on his new memoir, in which the erstwhile governor of Florida—who is now campaigning for the job again—relives the fateful embrace with President Obama that he claims sunk his political fortunes in 2009. Rather than try for style, Crist renders the moment with the racy, staccato gusto that one might expect from a pulpy romance. ................................................. But fiction is yours to write if you’re an aspiring politician with a book deal. Crist’s The Party’s...
  • Garcia Marquez Leaves Hospital, in 'Delicate' State

    04/08/2014 5:24:23 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 3 replies
    Straits Times ^ | Apr 9, 2014
    Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez returned to his Mexico City home on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, after a week-long hospitalisation for a lung infection, but officials said he remains in "delicate" condition.
  • Farewell, Archie: Beloved comic book character to die

    04/08/2014 8:37:01 AM PDT · by MissTed · 79 replies
    CNN ^ | 4/8/14 | Henry Hanks
    Since 1941, comic book fans have followed the exploits of teenaged Archie Andrews and his friends. This July, they'll find out how he dies. "Life With Archie" #36 hits stores on July 16, and CNN can reveal exclusively that it tells the story of how Archie sacrifices himself to save a friend. Few details are known, but it seems fitting that Archie would go out a hero. The 37th issue one week later will end the series. The "Life With Archie" series has been telling the stories of possible future Archie scenarios for the past few years, and so Archie...
  • During Cold War, CIA used ‘Doctor Zhivago’ as a tool to undermine Soviet Union

    04/07/2014 5:39:12 AM PDT · by C19fan · 12 replies
    Washington Post ^ | April 5, 2014 | Peter Finn and Petra Couvée
    A secret package arrived at CIA headquarters in January 1958. Inside were two rolls of film from British intelligence — pictures of the pages of a Russian-language novel titled “Doctor Zhivago.” The book, by poet Boris Pasternak, had been banned from publication in the Soviet Union. The British were suggesting that the CIA get copies of the novel behind the Iron Curtain. The idea immediately gained traction in Washington.
  • Peter Matthiessen, Author and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86

    04/05/2014 7:15:13 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 12 replies
    The New York Times ^ | April 5, 2014 | Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
    Peter Matthiessen, a roving author and naturalist whose impassioned nonfiction explored the remote endangered wilds of the world and whose prize-winning fiction often placed his mysterious protagonists in the heart of them, died on Saturday at his home in Sagaponack, N.Y. He was 86... Mr. Matthiessen was one of the last survivors of a generation of American writers who came of age after World War II and who all seemed to know one another, socializing in New York and on Long Island’s East End as a kind of movable literary salon peopled by the likes of William Styron, James Jones,...
  • Blood and Soil: Making the World Greener for National Socialism

    04/05/2014 9:30:07 AM PDT · by Olympiad Fisherman · 10 replies
    St. Karnick's American Culture ^ | 4/4/2014 | Mike Gray
    For the past 200 years in both North America and Europe, the Judeo-Christian worldview has been specifically targeted by modern environmental thinkers for being anti-natural. Much of this green opposition originally came forth from the dark and chilly northern forests of Germany and New England ...
  • Warner Brothers brings The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug to Blu-ray and DVD

    04/03/2014 3:52:29 PM PDT · by Perdogg · 21 replies
    The original Lord of the Rings trilogy delivered an epic series that took the world by storm creating legions of fans and movie history. With their success and the love fans have for them it comes as no surprise that Peter Jackson decided to travel back to Middle-Earth to take on the prequel book The Hobbit. Instead of making one film, he has opted to spread it out into an all-new trilogy featuring a more expanded edition of the original book. The latest installment The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the new trilogy with word that it may be...
  • So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent

    04/02/2014 9:55:23 PM PDT · by Theoria · 58 replies
    NPR ^ | 02 April 2014 | Alix Spiegel
    The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig."I'm just a pharmacist," she said. "Nobody cares about me, nobody knows my name, I don't have a...
  • Is the U.S. stock market rigged?

    03/31/2014 8:56:49 PM PDT · by Ray76 · 48 replies
    CBSNews ^ | Mar 30, 2014 | Steve Kroft
    This month marks the fifth anniversary of the current bull market on Wall Street, making it one of the longest and strongest in history. Yet U.S. stock ownership is at a record low and less than half of Americans trust banks and financial services. And in the last two weeks, the New York attorney general and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in Washington have both launched investigations into high-frequency computerized stock trading that now controls more than half the market. The probes were announced just ahead of a much anticipated book on the subject by best-selling author Michael Lewis called...
  • A Teacher's Take on Common Core (Vanity)

    03/31/2014 8:27:20 AM PDT · by A_perfect_lady · 216 replies
    My seething mind | 31MAR14 | Moi
    I have been a Freeper for 12 years and a teacher for 10. I work in Los Angeles, in a public school, and I teach English. I want to say something about Common Core, although my observations will be strictly limited to my particular domain: English. I cannot comment on the Math portion. I will begin bluntly: I do not understand the conservative outcry about Common Core. Perhaps it’s only because I teach in California, but to me it is an improvement, at least in some ways. If you aren’t a teacher (and most conservatives aren’t, which is a pity)...
  • Common Core: Anatomy of a Failure

    03/31/2014 7:03:25 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 43 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | 3-30-14 | Bruce Deitrick Price
    When Bill and Melinda Gates go to Africa and see healthy people and sick people, they presumably have a single thought: what can we do to make everyone healthy? The problems are easily understood; goals can be clearly stated. Given a big commitment, there’s a high chance of success. ~snip~ What fascinates Bill Gates is something else entirely: namely, the variety and incoherence from school to school, city to city, and state to state. It looks so messy and inefficient. And he thinks: a guy with my money and management skills should be able to organize all this disorder, turn...
  • Book Critical of Scientology, Banned From America for 27 Years, Now Goes on Sale in US

    03/30/2014 4:49:27 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 17 replies
    Telegraph ^ | 30 Mar 2014 | Joanna Walters
    British writer Robert Miller's expose´of religion's founder L. Rob Hubbard finds US publisherA British book the Church of Scientology managed to block in America is finally on sale in the US 27 years after it was published elsewhere in the world. The book, Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, written by Russell Miller, a British journalist, and originally published in 1987, appeared in print and tablet editions in the US earlier this month. The book exposes many of the boasts of Mr Hubbard, the late founder of Scientology, about his early life and achievements as outright lies....
  • 60th Anniversary edition box set of "The Lord of the Rings" to be published in June

    03/30/2014 7:04:43 AM PDT · by Perdogg · 11 replies
    According to the Tolkien Society and confirmed by Amazon UK a 60th Anniversary hard copy edition box set of "The Lord of the Rings" to be published in the United Kingdom (probably in the US soon afterward) on June 18th, 2014. It is not cheap. Right now it is listed at £80 ($133). This year, new editions of other Tolkien novels will be released including a new illustrated copy of The Hobbit for children and adults of all ages and new edition of The Simarillion and Unfinished Tales.
  • Game of Thrones tells the story of Britain better than most histories

    03/30/2014 6:51:27 AM PDT · by NKP_Vet · 49 replies
    http://www.spectator.co.uk ^ | March 29, 2014 | Ed West
    A young pretender raises an army to take the throne. Having recently learnt of his father’s beheading, the adolescent — dashing and charismatic and descended from the old kings of the north — vows to avenge him. Despite his youth, he has already won in the field and commands the loyalty of many of the leading families of the realm; he is supported in this war by his mother, who has spirited away her two younger boys to safety. Pitted against them is the Queen, proud and strong-willed, and more of a man than anyone around her, battling for the...
  • ‘American Spartan’ by Ann Scott Tyson, about Maj. Jim Gant’s mission in Afghanistan

    03/29/2014 8:37:05 AM PDT · by Pan_Yan · 7 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 28,2014 | Bing West
    ... First, the sheer adventure. Gant is a mountain man, circa 1840. He is Jeremiah Johnson, living in the wrong century. Despite his heavy drinking, volcanic mood swings and numerous wounds, he survived more than 40 months of combat. In 2003 and again in 2011, he and a dozen Special Forces soldiers lived in a mountain village in eastern Afghanistan, adjacent to the Pakistan border. When I visited that village, both the elders and the soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the 32nd Infantry told tales about Gant’s exploits. He captured one insurgent after a two-day chase. Another time, he...
  • David A. Trampier, Iconic Artist of Early D&D, Passed Away This Week

    03/29/2014 4:47:02 AM PDT · by Timber Rattler · 11 replies
    Kotaku ^ | March 28, 2014 | Evan Narcisse
    Anyone who grew up playing the beloved editions of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons will remember the detailed medieval fantasy artwork that made the role-playing games creatures and characters come to life. Artist David A. Trampier was the man who drew those illustrations. An Illinois newspaper is reporting that he passed away this week at the age of 59. Trampier's renderings of wizards, giant spiders and lizardmen helped electrify the rules, storytelling and play experience of Dungeons & Dragons. But his whereabouts were a mystery for years because the artist faded into obscurity after D&D lodged itself into the consciousness of...
  • A history of the disastrous global warming hoax

    03/28/2014 3:06:06 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 3 replies
    renewamerica.com ^ | March 28, 2014 | Alan Caruba
    "It is the greatest deception in history and the extent of the damage has yet to be exposed and measured," says Dr. Tim Ball in his new book, "The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science."
  • A New Breed of Breeder (Slouching Towards Gaytheism: Christianity and Queer Survival in America)

    03/28/2014 2:17:56 PM PDT · by mojito · 38 replies
    Taki's Magazine ^ | 3/28/14 | Christopher Hart
    W. C. Harris is a radical gay activist and Professor of Queer Studies and Early American Literature. He says that homosexuals are still cruelly oppressed in America, even though some of them may end up with very comfortable jobs as university professors.... He is particularly angry with the Christian right for oppressing him.... So he would like to abolish Christianity altogether....and replace it with that he wittily calls “Gaytheism,” i.e., homosexual atheism. Unlike beastly old Christianity, this new religion will meet our spiritual needs with “new forms of community that do not harass and malign gay and lesbian Americans or...
  • Everybody's Tolkien (Tolkien Reading Day)

    03/25/2014 3:56:13 AM PDT · by Perdogg · 35 replies
    Now this is precious. $6.2 billion and counting. That's how much films based on J. R. R. Tolkien's books have made in all at the box office so far. And there's still one part of The Hobbit trilogy to come. The Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) and The Hobbit are also on the list of Top 10 best selling books of all time - LOTR at No. 2 with 150 million copies sold. The Hobbit is No. 6 with 100 million copies sold.
  • ‘Lord of the Rings’ inspired by the Burren, County Clare's, rugged landscape

    03/24/2014 3:30:23 PM PDT · by Perdogg · 8 replies
    March 25 is officially Tolkien Reading Day. Yes you heard us! In 2002 a New York journalist inquired with the Tolkien Society if there was such a thing and low and behold they set it up. So why March 25? Well it's Tolkien’s birthday Jan 3 and Bilbo & Frodo’s birthday on Sept 22nd but March 25 is the perfect day as it's the date of the downfall of Sauron! To honor the Tolkien Reading Day we thought it apt to look at the fact that his world of Middle Earth is based on the Burren, in County Clare.
  • 10 Great Books on American Economic History

    03/23/2014 7:36:50 PM PDT · by iowamark · 9 replies
    Motley Fool ^ | 3/8/2014 | John Reeves
    The attempt to create a colony in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607 got off to a catastrophic start. After just the first year, only 38 of the original 108 colonists remained alive. And death rates over the first two decades continued to be staggeringly high. Despite this disastrous beginning, the United States is now a nation of more than 300 million people with a GDP of more than $16 trillion. How this happened is one of the most remarkable stories in human history.Below, I've selected 10 books that help us better understand this unlikely transformation. Each of them is highly readable...
  • Feminists Outraged Over New Book by ‘Princeton Mom’

    03/22/2014 8:48:53 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 61 replies
    thecollegefix.com ^ | 3-13-2014 | Nathan Harden
    Susan Patton, aka “The Princeton Mom” has finally released her book, Marry Smart, based on the controversial letter she published last year in The Daily Princetonian, which advised young women to focus on finding a husband while in college. Liberal feminists hate the book. I mean, they just hate it. Which makes me want to read it, actually. Anyway, Patton generates so much wrath because she points out one of the big lies behind modern feminism. The lie is this: that to be successful and happy you need to focus on your career and not marriage or children throughout your...
  • JRR Tolkien translation of Beowulf to be published after 90-year wait

    03/21/2014 4:28:36 PM PDT · by Perdogg · 27 replies
    Almost 90 years after JRR Tolkien translated the 11th-century poem Beowulf, The Lord of the Rings author's version of the epic story is to be published for the first time in an edition which his son Christopher Tolkien says sees his father "enter[ing] into the imagined past" of the heroes. Telling of how the Geatish prince Beowulf comes to the aid of Danish king Hroðgar, slaying the monster Grendel and his mother before - spoiler alert - being mortally wounded by a dragon years later, Beowulf is is the longest epic poem in Old English, and is dated to the...
  • Superman With a GoPro

    03/20/2014 10:40:06 PM PDT · by South40 · 7 replies
    YouTube ^ | March 2014 | CorridorDigital
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Ib9SwC7EI
  • The Perestroika Deception

    03/20/2014 6:50:32 PM PDT · by RushIsMyTeddyBear · 8 replies
    You Tube ^ | 3/20/2014 | me
    In light of what is going on in Ukraine, I ran across these vids. Beck mentioned the author, today. Pretty interesting stuff (and chilling). Anyone read the books mentioned? Thinking about buying.
  • General George S. Patton was assassinated to silence his criticism of allied war leaders..

    03/20/2014 6:53:00 AM PDT · by KeyLargo · 33 replies
    UK Telegraph ^ | 20 Dec 2008 | Tim Shipman
    General George S. Patton was assassinated to silence his criticism of allied war leaders claims new book George S. Patton, America's greatest combat general of the Second World War, was assassinated after the conflict with the connivance of US leaders, according to a new book. By Tim Shipman in Washington 20 Dec 2008 The newly unearthed diaries of a colourful assassin for the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, reveal that American spy chiefs wanted Patton dead because he was threatening to expose allied collusion with the Russians that cost American lives. The death of...
  • 'Game of Thrones' and 'Lord of the Rings' Connection: Is Gandalf's Sword on the Iron Throne?

    03/19/2014 3:19:16 PM PDT · by Perdogg · 20 replies
    (HBO/Amazon.com) If you're a fantasy geek, here's a dream come true: There may be a connection between HBO's "Game of Thrones" and the "Lord of the Rings" movies. A Reddit user just pointed out a possible link between the two epic fantasy series. NoMoreHodoring posted a photo of King Joffrey sitting on the Iron Throne, with a particular sword circled. As we know, the Iron Throne was forged by Aegon I Targaryen out of the swords of his enemies.
  • Tales of Futures Past: Soviet Science Fiction of the Cold War

    03/16/2014 7:35:17 AM PDT · by lbryce · 12 replies
    Space.com ^ | March 14, 2014 | Jill Scharr,
    In 1898, British writer H. G. Wells wrote "The War of the Worlds," a science-fiction novel in which Martians invade the Earth and nearly decimate humanity. A decade later, in what was then the Russian Empire, writer and Marxist revolutionary Alexander Bogdanov wrote his novel "Red Star," also about Martians landing on Earth. But in Bogdanov's novel, the Martians are not violent or monstrous. Instead, they invite the main character, a young Russian student named Leonid, back to the Red Planet to see the Martians' civilization: a thriving, peaceful — and communist — utopia. The optimism of "Red Star" was...
  • Dan Hill Memoir Published - ''A LIFE OF BLOOD AND DANGER''

    From his early childhood, Dan Hill wanted to be a soldier. At the age of 15, he forged his birth certificate and enlisted in the United States Army. By the time he was 22 he had seen action as a covert sniper in the Hungarian Revolution, a paratrooper during the Lebanon invasion, an infiltrator during the Algerian Revolt, a gunrunner to Cuba, an undercover mercenary in the Congo– and he had killed more than 200 men. That's when he stopped counting. That was before two tours in Vietnam, before fighting with the Mujahedin in Afghanistan, before going undercover to spy...
  • Longtime Hollywood reporter Bob Thomas dead at 92

    03/14/2014 10:24:30 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 6 replies
    AP via the Houston Chronicle ^ | March 14, 2014 | John Rogers
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bob Thomas, the longtime Associated Press writer and dean of Hollywood reporters who covered a record 66 Oscar ceremonies, reported on the biggest stars, from Clark Gable to Tom Cruise, and filed AP's bulletin that Robert F. Kennedy had been shot, died Friday. He was 92. Thomas, a last link to Hollywood's studio age who retired in 2010, died of age-related illnesses at his longtime Encino, Calif., home, his daughter Janet Thomas said. A room filled with his interview subjects would have made for the most glittering of ceremonies: Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn...
  • ***THE OFFICIAL FRIDAY SILLINESS THREAD***

    03/14/2014 5:57:50 AM PDT · by Lucky9teen · 99 replies
    Today's lesson, from Common (Commie) Core Let's start out with English and Language Arts Reading Time! Church Ladies Typewriters. They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services: -------------------------- The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals. -------------------------- The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on the Water. The sermon tonight: Searching for Jesus. -------------------------- Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands. --------------------------...
  • 8 reasons why New York women can’t get a husband

    03/13/2014 10:30:55 AM PDT · by george76 · 104 replies
    New York Post ^ | March 12, 2014 | Jane Ridley
    Last year, Susan Patton, a Princeton grad and the mother of two sons at the elite college, outraged feminists when she wrote an open letter to the Daily Princetonian telling female students to find a husband on campus before they graduate. The red alert — which argued that these Ivy League college girls “would never again be surrounded by this concentration of men who would be worthy of you” — went viral with more than 100 million hits. ... even in the dog-eat-dog dating jungle that is New York, there is hope for single career women between the ages of...
  • The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters

    03/12/2014 5:24:12 PM PDT · by Hojczyk · 5 replies
    Amazon ^ | March12 , 2013 | Hojczyk
    This is one great book…Should send it to OBAMA.. Everyone knew it was crazy to try to extract oil and natural gas buried in shale rock deep below the ground. Everyone, that is, except a few reckless wildcatters - who risked their careers to prove the world wrong. Things looked grim for American energy in 2006. Oil production was in steep decline and natural gas was hard to find. The Iraq War threatened the nation’s already tenuous relations with the Middle East. China was rapidly industrializing and competing for resources. Major oil companies had just about given up on new...
  • For Merle Haggard, a Boxcar Was Home. Now It Needs Work.

    03/10/2014 3:22:28 PM PDT · by dennisw · 30 replies
    nytimes ^ | FEB. 26, 2014 | By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN
    OILDALE, Calif. — The tanker trains loaded with crude oil still rattle down the tracks at the end of the alleyway where Merle Haggard, a living legend of country music, grew up in a boxcar that his father transformed into the family home. “The walls were thick: cool in the summer and warm in winter,” Lillian Haggard Rea, the musician’s 93-year-old sister, recalled of the boxcar that their father, James Haggard, a carpenter with the Santa Fe railroad, converted by hand during the Depression. It was, she said, “just a wonderful home to live in.” Like much of the music...
  • Lenin and Religion

    03/10/2014 8:52:21 AM PDT · by No One Special · 7 replies
    Modern Times Revised Edition: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties | 1992 | Paul Johnson
    From Chapter 2, The First Despotic Utopias Men who carry through political revolutions seem to be of two main types, the clerical and the romantic. Lenin (he adopted the pen-name in 1901) was from the first category. Both his parents were Christians. Religion was important to him, in the sense that he hated it. Unlike Marx, who despised it and treated it as marginal, Lenin saw it as a powerful and ubiquitous enemy. He made clear in many writings (his letter to Gorky of 13 January 1913 is a striking example) that he had an intense personal dislike for anything...
  • Martin Gottfried, Theater Critic and Author, Dies at 80

    03/08/2014 7:57:23 PM PST · by EveningStar · 7 replies
    The New York Times ^ | March 7, 2014 | Daniel E. Slotnik
    Martin Gottfried, a drama critic and the author of several biographies of entertainers and playwrights as well as two influential studies of the Broadway musical, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 80.
  • High school reading: Classics or contemporary?

    03/07/2014 8:10:06 AM PST · by Borges · 67 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 3/7/2014 | Duaa Eldeib
    Love it or loathe it, Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" has served as a rite of passage for high school students for generations. In addition to the Bard, teachers have long relied on Socrates, Kafka, Steinbeck and a host of other authors whose works earned the distinction of being a classic — albeit rarely landed on teens' top 10 lists. While few dare challenge the texts as exceptional literature, high school teachers throughout the Chicago area and beyond are swapping out the canon for the contemporary, arguing that their selections impart the same themes and skills, with one important caveat: Students...
  • Ayn Rand’s Tragic Trajectory

    03/06/2014 8:38:51 AM PST · by jonno · 32 replies
    www.desiringgod.org ^ | 3-6-2014 | John Piper
    On the 32nd anniversary of her death, Pastor John Piper discusses the life and influence of Ayn Rand (~11 min interview). https://dwynrhh6bluza.cloudfront.net/website_uploads/audio_files/interviews/292_Ayn_Rand_s_Tragic_Trajectory.mp3
  • Calling the Global Warming Charlatans Nazis

    03/05/2014 9:54:29 AM PST · by Olympiad Fisherman · 15 replies
    Warning Signs ^ | 3/4/14 | Alan Caruba
    When the Greens speak of "deniers" as they so often do, they are using holocaustal language to describe their opponents metaphorically, but seem to be completely unaware that historically speaking, there was a strong undercurrent of environmentalism swirling under the banner of National Socialism ...
  • Tolkien Reading Day draws near – come out and read

    03/04/2014 7:02:17 PM PST · by Perdogg · 5 replies
    Since 2003, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work have gathered each March to celebrate and share his writing with each other and the public. Set by the Tolkien Society on March 25 to commemorate the downfall of Sauron in “The Lord of the Rings,” the idea of Tolkien Reading Day was inspired by the annual bloomsday celebration of the works of James Joyce.
  • In Kuwait... "Outside Coverage Area"… Means Drunk

    03/03/2014 11:50:41 AM PST · by nickcarraway · 8 replies
    Emirates 24/7 ^ | Monday, March 03, 2014
    Newspaper uses news expression to describe inebriatedA Kuwaiti newspaper has come out with a new expression to describe a drunk man —‘outside the coverage area’ —terminology often used by mobile phone operators. The Arabic language daily ‘Al Watan’ made the description in a brief report about a 42-year-old local man who was caught by police driving his car while drunk. A police patrol stopped the man, a bedoun (without identity), after noticing that the vehicle was moving in a zigzag way on the Gulf emirate’s seaside road. “When police men came close to him, they could smell alcohol. It turned...
  • A Fascist Hero in Democratic Kiev (Feb 24, 2010)

    03/02/2014 9:12:40 AM PST · by jimbo123 · 17 replies
    New York Review of Books ^ | 2/24/10 | Timothy Snyder
    The incoming Ukrainian president will have to turn some attention to history, because the outgoing one has just made a hero of a long-dead Ukrainian fascist. By conferring the highest state honor of “Hero of Ukraine” upon Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) on January 22, Viktor Yushchenko provoked protests from the chief rabbi of Ukraine, the president of Poland, and many of his own citizens. It is no wonder. Bandera aimed to make of Ukraine a one-party fascist dictatorship without national minorities. During World War II, his followers killed many Poles and Jews. Why would President Yushchenko, the leader of the democratic...
  • (Obama-Nation) Economic Study Suggests We're Heading For A Blade Runner Future

    03/01/2014 10:01:37 AM PST · by DogByte6RER · 15 replies
    io9 ^ | February 19, 2014 | Annalee Newitz
    Economic study suggests we're heading for a Blade Runner future Earlier this month, a group of economists released the results of a massive study looking at the economic prospects of people from across the United States. What they found was that the U.S. is like a patchwork quilt of different countries, where some regions offer people the economic prospects of a typical developed nation — and other regions are more like a developing country. This study debunks a few myths about the United States, including the idea that wealthy nations have wealthy citizens. It's a powerful reminder that nations are...
  • A book to read before Election Season 2014 REALLY heats up...

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983723818/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-5&pf_rd_r=1MSMEA0V0ARW9PEA6TCZ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1741301142&pf_rd_i=507846
  • Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings battle scenes were inspired by WW1 experiences

    02/28/2014 4:23:30 AM PST · by Perdogg · 20 replies
    The harrowing battle scenes and heartache in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy masterpiece The Lord Of The Rings were inspired by the author’s own First World War nightmare and the death of close friends from Birmingham.