Monday, August 15, 2005

And, I'm back.

Well, it appears that a lot has happened while I sunned myself on beautiful Trinity Bay in Newfoundland. DazzlinDino can now rest easy - we'll debating again soon!

;)


Anyway, for those who are interested, I was able to complete the following while I was away:

Hells Angels by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson - His first foray into gonzo journalism and its a fantastic read. Of course, Thompson could write a cook book and I'd read it. He's a fantastic writer.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown - The actual writing in this book was terrible and sophmoric. But it has one hell of a plot that is, despite what the Catholic Church says, is based on historical facts (I have read much of his shocking facts before, elswhere). Brown can take these facts and sew them together into a great story. Now, if he could learn to write like Thompson, he'd be one of the greats.

Ghost Wars by Steven Coll - This is a fantastic historical examination of the CIA and its involvement in Afghanistan from 1979 to September 10, 2001. If you want to know the context of Al Queda and terrorism today, you need to read this book. Coll lays it out there, bare for all to see, how the cottling of Islamic fundenmentalist by the CIA under Reagan and their funding by Pakistani and Saudi intelligence comunities created the problem we all face today. It is also a stinging indictment of both the Clinton and Bush administration's lack of action on Al Queda, placing more importance on business relationships than on fighting terror and the misssteps of various intelligence organizations when they did try to do something. If you claim to talk about Al Queda "hating us for our freedoms" but haven't read this, you don't know what you are talking about. Coll also provides close to 200 pages in footnotes, citing personal interviews and other primary sources, in case you think he's a liberal shill.

Anyway, once I get caught up reading the happenings in other blogs and getting settled into work, I'm sure I'll have a post to share.

And for those that care, I'm still reading Secrets and Lies by Bruce Schneier. I intend to pick up and read his other book Beyond Fear, about security in general and The Coming Dark Age, by Jane Jacobs.

11 Comments:

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Gretchen Ross said...

Good to see you back, Mike! :)

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Brad said...

Welcome back, Mike. As soon as I'm done the Castro bio I'm working on I'm going to be giving The Da Vinci Code a whirl. My girlfriend just finished it and liked it a lot. I've heard the same review from most of the people I know who've read it; not a great writer, but what a great story.

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Princess Monkey said...

Welcome back Mike. Hope you and yours had an awesome vacation. My husband and I read the Davinci Code to each other when we were away in the spring. Hopefully the movie does the story justice...

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger John Murney said...

Welcome back, Mike!

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Timmy the G said...

Hope your trip to the Rock was a great one, Mike. Welcome back. We missed your relentless rationality.

 
At 11:47 PM, Blogger DazzlinDino said...

Welcome back Mike, was looking at that De Vincy Code the other day but never picked it up, think I will this weekend.

I'm all ready for your fouled logic Mike bring it on....lol....I've been practicing with a potatoe......:P

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger DazzlinDino said...

Princess, you read it too each other, nice.....

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger Cyrano said...

Welcome back, Mike.

I'd be interested to know what 'facts' Brown has regurgitated. I read the Code a few months ago, and found it full of errors.

 
At 1:21 AM, Blogger Canadian Perasma said...

wb Mike! *I'm posing in your blog this time!*

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Cyano,

None of that "Priory of Sion" stuff, that was made up in the 60's. I'm talking about Constantine accepting Christianity for political not spiritual reasons then changing it to conform to Mithianism, the religion of the Roman Legions (Christmas being December 25, worshiping on Sunday rather than Saturday, the Cross, making Jesus the Son of God rather than a human prophet and so forth were all taken from Mithranism and other Mystery religions prevelant at the time).

I'm also talking about the entire idea of the removal of Mary Magdelan as an important figure in Christianity for reasons of power and sexism. The Dead Sea scrolls and the scrolls of Nag Hammadi back this up, as Brown said. The Church of today is not the original Christian Church. That died out in about 90 A.D with the Essenes.

A lot of this stuff has been covered in the "The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur and in other earlier books.

I had read all of the more controversial allegations before in many other places, with a lot more supporting evidence.

All I indicated was that he took these conveniently ignored facts (and yes, they are historical and in some cases archeologically supported facts) and strung them together, with some fictional stuff, into a very good story.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Mark Francis said...

I recently a book on Roman life, concentrating on pre-Christian Rome, and you can see how their philosophies were impressed upon Christianity. Despiute all we've heard about how immoral ormans were, the truth is that they were obssessed with proper conduct and the premise that how you conducted yourself in private affected yourself in public, thus to regulate the public, one must regulate the private. Sound familiar?

 

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