Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Because most adults have jobs, and most jobs make free time just as scarce in the summer as it is in other seasons, I have always found it silly that newspapers and magazines publish “summer reading lists” for adults. But with our
A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
You don’t need to have spent a lot of time in the outdoors to enjoy this one, in which Bryson chronicles his attempt to hike the
The Afghan, by Frederick Forsyth
Forsyth published The Day of the Jackal the year I was born, and for my money he has been the world’s greatest espionage novelist ever since. Having been a pilot in the RAF and a diplomatic correspondent for BBC, he has a wealth of knowledge about the way things get done “in the shadows,” and he uses it to strengthen his yarns. The Afghan tells the story of a covert operation orchestrated by the
The epics written by this late author are historical fiction at its finest. In each of them, he takes a piece of land and spins a story about the things that happen on that land from prehistory to the year the book was written. After describing how the Hawaiian islands were created, this novel begins with ancient people from Bora Bora sailing canoes across thousands of miles of ocean and arriving in what would later be called
The Source, by James Michener
One good Michener epic deserves another, and in days like these, when
The Vision of the Anointed, by Thomas Sowell
I have written before about the immense respect I have for Sowell’s American genius. This book is perhaps his greatest, explaining how the respective opinions of conservatives and liberals derive from the starkly different ways each of these groups view the world; and how those ways of viewing the world mean that even if a brand new issue were to arise, which no one had ever heard of before, conservatives and liberals would still have opposite opinions about how it should be handled. The Vision of the Anointed was written 15 years ago and the points it makes have only gotten stronger. Sowell is best described as a libertarian with conservative sympathies, and therefore his opinions may not sit well with liberals...but I dare anyone to read this book and say he is wrong.
Monday, June 21, 2010
In my post at the beginning of winter, I suggested that those who curse the cold should learn to appreciate everything that is beautiful about winter.
Now it’s my turn. Because I do not like hot weather, summer is my least favorite season. But there are still things I enjoy about it, and surprisingly, some of them are specific to this sweat-soaked state in which I live. So here are some thoughts on summer’s first day:
I love opening the season with our annual Beach Weekend.
I love Independence Day.
I love that there is one time of year when I am able to prefer chilled white wine over room temperature red wine.
I love when evening breezes carry the sweet scent of orange blossoms across
I love watching swallow-tailed kites, one of my favorite birds of prey, as they soar in the air and seem to stay up there forever without flapping their wings.
I love watching fireflies illuminate the woods at dusk.
I love the dramatic pulse of
And finally, though this would be true any time of year, I love
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
66 years ago this morning, human beings from the naval forces of eight Allied nations laid their lives on the line in ways most of us can hardly fathom. Two-thirds of them were from the
Traveling in ships and amphibious vessels, they set sail from
Slogging first through waves and then through sand, they were sitting ducks for the Nazi gunners positioned on shore. Bullets rained down on them amidst a cacophony of explosive reverberations. The men at the fronts of the landing crafts were the first ones to step on the beach, and they stepped onto it knowing they were likely to get shot. Each of them was acutely aware he might be entering the final seconds of his life.
Approximately 10,000 Allied men were killed or wounded that day. However, in bearing that brunt of brutality, those who were first on the scene helped clear the way for 100,000 of their fellow soldiers to reach shore and advance against the enemy, freeing occupied towns as they went. By the end of the month more than 800,000 men had done so, and the war’s momentum had swung in the Allies’ favor. Within a year the Nazis surrendered unconditionally.
In military parlance, the phrase “D-Day” refers to the first day of any operation, but in the public’s mind, it will always refer to the events on the beaches of
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
If your only source of news is the front page of your local paper, or the updates played during commercial breaks on the radio, you might be under the impression that charitable do-gooders from
But that is not what happened this past weekend. Not even by a longshot.
At least as far back as 2008, the Palestinian terror organization Hamas has been launching missiles into
When the organizers of the Turkish flotilla announced that they intended it to deliver aid to
Subsequently, the flotilla sailed toward
Yet the MSM depicted
Then the United Nations and European Union condemned
At what point are people going to start asking if the world today is just as anti-Semitic as it was during the Third Reich?
Update, 6/2/10: In an update that should not surprise anybody, it has been learned that many of the people on the "aid flotilla" have ties to Islamist terrorist groups (including Al-Qaeda) and many of them were traveling without identification.
Update, 6/4/10: Above, I wrote that Hamas has been launching missiles from Gaza into Israel since "at least as far back as 2008." That was based solely on memory, but I have since researched exact dates and feel it is important to mention that the missile attacks started all the way back in 2001.
Update, 6/4/10: And in case you haven't heard, pro-Palestinian activists are currently sailing from Ireland to Israel and have declared that their intention is to breach the blockade. Hopefully somebody will stand beside the Jewish state this time.