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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #400 on: November 28, 2016, 08:16:38 PM »

Too bad there isn't feature like in Imdb boards where you can black the bits with story giveaways. If need be, smb. can see what's written there.
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« Reply #401 on: November 28, 2016, 08:46:59 PM »

That's okay. I have so many other Agatha Christie stories to read, and my old brain isn't what it used to be, so I'll probably forget by the time I get to this story.
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« Reply #402 on: December 30, 2016, 09:29:10 AM »

I'm reading "The Conscience of a Conservative," by Sen. Barry Goldwater.
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« Reply #403 on: December 30, 2016, 03:34:23 PM »

I'm reading "The Conscience of a Conservative," by Sen. Barry Goldwater.

And I finished it. A short read, certainly worth the time for anybody interested in what might be the most important inspiration to modern Republicans and/or conservatives (along with, if some politicians are to be taken at their word, Ayn Rand's fiction). I'll say this, at least Goldwater presents mostly what seem to be informed arguments, as well as uncomfortable honesty. For example, he rejects the arguments of Brown v. Board of Education, though he admits he favored the objective of the decision.

What's interesting is where he splits with modern conservatives--or rather, where modern conservatives split with him--about issues like supporting labor unions (which he did, in a limited sense) and rejecting corporations' financing of campaigns.

There are other points where I just can't agree with him based on his presuppositions or definitions. For example, his criticism that liberals "look only at the material side of man's nature," while conservatives believe man is "also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, these needs and desires reflect the superior side of man's nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of man's spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy." To be blunt, while I can't deny (or even weigh in on whether) that is a conservative's belief, it's incomprehensible to me. Wholly indefensible in a nation whose constitution--which the conservative staunchly defends--rejects state religion. (Perhaps his definitions of vague terms like "spiritual" could clear that up for me.)

Or in his segment on education, where he writes that "the proper function of the school is to transmit the cultural heritage of one generation to the next generation." It's somewhat ironic, considering in the same chapter he talks about how "we should look upon our schools--not as a place to train the 'whole character' of the child--a responsibility that properly belongs to his family and church--but to train his mind." It isn't clear to me how one would teach cultural heritage without going beyond the nuts-and-bolts education of math, science, etc., and into the "whole character."

The final, and longest, chapter is about "The Soviet Menace," and honestly it made me both sad and laugh. But it's not fair to judge in hindsight, when I can see that obviously there was no menace at all. But it's a myopic joke that is sadly similar to much of what we hear these days about ISIS and Iran.

All that said, there is plenty in the treatise I found perfectly rational, and with which I agreed. There was also plenty that, while I didn't immediately agree, I will think more about going forward.
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« Reply #404 on: January 01, 2017, 01:48:29 PM »

I'm interested in hearing what you agreed with.

It would be hard to underestimate the impact of The Conscious of a Conservative. Reagan became the most prominent acolyte. Trump uses much of the rhetoric of Goldwater without the attempt at a consistent philosophy:
http://mobile.nytimes.com/1964/03/23/goldwater-using-patriotic-theme.html

I think the essential problem with Goldwater Conservative economic theory and philosophy is that it assumes non-existent conditions. It draws on a history that was singular to a place and time that only briefly existed - the American frontier: a pre-industrial and pre-corporate society in which each individual can, Pa Ingalls-like, forge their way independent of ties to institutions (of course if you read the books, Pa and all his compatriots got a hell of a lot of assistance from each other and from the government.)  It pretends we each get our claim and can make what we will of it, when of course many people receive no claim and industrial, corporate economies leave little room for self-determination. Also, the anti-welfare, charities-should-do-it attitude disregards the anonymity of modern society. In a pre-industrial society, community barn-raising or other forms of community assistance are encouraged and reinforced by the lack of anonymity. One is compelled to assist because one knows the sufferer and because the community expects one to assist. In an anonymous modern society, these factors don't compel assistance.





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« Reply #405 on: January 02, 2017, 11:35:01 AM »

I'm interested in hearing what you agreed with.

To be honest, I'll have to go back and peruse to find specific examples, but I can generally answer by saying I have a certain respect for and identification with classical liberalism. Not wholly, by any means, but somewhat. While I realize a few of us here are lumped together to be of a single mind, the reality is my personal political beliefs are quite a jumble that blends aspects of (at least) classical liberalism and social democracy, maybe even with a shake of conservatism here and there.

There are also some arguments about what the federal government has jurisdiction over under the constitution, and I have to admit that (barring constitutional amendments, which as someone who gives the constitution no particular scriptural standing, I am fine with, though it's a burdensome process) I have to hear out. Now to be clear on that last point, I'm no lawyer and haven't spent all that much time investigating the justification for federal intervention in these supposedly states' issues. I just say that if there are legitimate questions about them, that's fair, even if I don't like the outcomes. The end doesn't justify the means.

So in the end, I am always in a state of unease about where to draw the line between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome, especially considering it seems to me that outcomes are the most obvious and maybe only way to measure opportunities on a broad scale (while admitting that through individual cases it's obvious why there would be inequalities of outcome regardless of opportunity). I hope you'll grant me leeway as someone whose political ideology doesn't exist yet; it's morphing pretty consistently as I read, learn, converse, and think about it.

I think further discussion on this ought to be in the politics thread lest anyone post about Trump in the Beach Boys forum.
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« Reply #406 on: January 04, 2017, 05:16:34 PM »

Guess I would consider myself to be an "Eisenhower Conservative" - (sort of) conservative with economic problems, liberal with human problems. So I don't fit in with Goldwater, and most definitely not with modern day "conservatives".
I did have respect for Goldwater, however. And found it interesting that he was a neighbor of Alice Cooper.
Looked through the text quickly but plan to go back and read it more thoroughly, to see how things have or haven't changed over the past 50 plus years.
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« Reply #407 on: January 04, 2017, 05:55:57 PM »

Someone forwarded a post on FB, stating that 42 percent of US university graduates haven't read a book since graduation.
If true, how sad. And dangerous for the future of our country.
Can't imagine life without books!

Back in the late 60s I wasn't doing well in school. It was an attitude problem on my part, plus what could only be termed ADD - my mind was wandering all over the place. The only subject I was really able to excel in was History. During that time I read the Robert Massie classic, "Nicholas and Alexandra" which made me a fanatic about all things Russian. My seventh grade history teacher (I was 12-13 years old) encouraged me to write several term papers on Russian history, government etc. Then later on, music, literature.
I felt sorry for the Tsar's youngest children, Anastasia and Alexei. And with Alexei I also studied hereditary illnesses such as hemophilia.
Finally, like many others I've been fascinated by the figure of Rasputin, who perhaps saved Alexei's life, and had a big influence on the actions of the royal family.
BTW I'm no "romantic". The situation in Russia was terrible and something had to be done. But Communism, particularly under Stalin, certainly wasn't better.
Am saying all this because I found out that last December 30 was the 100th anniversary of Rasputin's murder. So I am now reading a biography that just came out - "Rasputin: Faith, Power and the Twilight of the  Romanovs." It's a fascinating read so far. Interesting fact : A number of people, including Rasputin's ancestors, moved to Siberia voluntarily. That far away there was a lot more freedom from the repressive policies of the Tsar.
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"No White Flags." - Team Gleason

"Someone...handed me a Leadbelly record with the song "Cottonfields" on it. And that record changed my life right then and there. Transported me into a world I'd never known." - Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize Speech.
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« Reply #408 on: January 09, 2017, 12:10:18 PM »

I'm back with Mike's book. I didn't stop because of the contents----it's a terrific read so far. It's just my reader's block. That's why I mainly do word and number puzzles. But now I'm back. I've just been reading about the cunning linguist. Fascinating.   
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« Reply #409 on: January 09, 2017, 01:33:04 PM »

Someone forwarded a post on FB, stating that 42 percent of US university graduates haven't read a book since graduation.
If true, how sad. And dangerous for the future of our country.
Can't imagine life without books!

If true, that is sad. And I know what you mean, it's hard to imagine life without books (or music). I'm always astounded by people who don't read and/or listen/play. How much tv or Facebook or instagram does a person need? (Obviously anyone working so much as to not have time to spare is more easily forgiven.) not my idea of a rewarding life, anyway.
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« Reply #410 on: January 09, 2017, 02:54:04 PM »

Someone forwarded a post on FB, stating that 42 percent of US university graduates haven't read a book since graduation.
If true, how sad. And dangerous for the future of our country.
Can't imagine life without books!

If true, that is sad. And I know what you mean, it's hard to imagine life without books (or music). I'm always astounded by people who don't read and/or listen/play. How much tv or Facebook or instagram does a person need? (Obviously anyone working so much as to not have time to spare is more easily forgiven.) not my idea of a rewarding life, anyway.

Well I dunno. I'm not a big reader either, but I'm big into music and cinema and other art forms. I don't see them as being necessarily inferior. I've tried authors over the years but none have grabbed me in the same way a musician's work or a director's work does. And I think Facebook can be a great source of information - I use it to to read news and articles from multiples sources more than anything else.
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« Reply #411 on: January 09, 2017, 04:54:23 PM »

As I said, not MY idea.

Sorry I'm being short btw: on the move on a phone, not trying to be curt. I was thinking in my original post of saying something about elitism, changing artistic pastimes etc. So I hope you don't take offense.
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« Reply #412 on: February 12, 2017, 03:53:52 PM »

Mafia hits: 100 murders that changed the mob



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« Reply #413 on: March 11, 2017, 05:03:45 AM »

"Yellow Submarine" cartoon script. 3D
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At Christmas dinner, turkey will roll around & fly away. Host & guests will try to catch it to eat it but turkey will attack people instead. & get the whole house. What to do to prevent it - DON'T BUY TURKEY. (Christmas Wisdom No. 0)
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« Reply #414 on: April 19, 2017, 04:53:27 AM »

"Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe.
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At Christmas dinner, turkey will roll around & fly away. Host & guests will try to catch it to eat it but turkey will attack people instead. & get the whole house. What to do to prevent it - DON'T BUY TURKEY. (Christmas Wisdom No. 0)
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« Reply #415 on: April 27, 2017, 08:37:06 PM »

Just finished reading Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann.
Concerns a particularly unsavory time in US history.

The Osage, a Native American tribe, were moved about and were finally told that they could live on some worthless land. Well, it turned out to not be worthless; oil was found there and the Osage became millionaires. However, the white folks thought it unseemly that Indians, of all people, could have fancy cars and homes. Thus the Osage were forced to have white people be assigned to them as "guardians", who controlled the money and took more than a little of it for themselves.

Then in the early 1920s the Osage started to be murdered. And those investigating the murders were themselves murdered. Why? And by whom?
And could there be a fair trial if white people were involved?
A chilling quote, on p 215, by one of the Osage: "The question for them to decide is whether a white man killing an Osage is murder- or merely cruelty to animals."  Undecided

A great book, detailing one of the early FBI cases, with a bittersweet ending.
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« Reply #416 on: April 27, 2017, 09:13:40 PM »

Is Flower Moon Indian tribe's nickname? What does this strange phrase mean?
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« Reply #417 on: April 27, 2017, 09:28:25 PM »


In April tiny flowers form.
In May, the moon appears to be larger. taller flowers appear, keeping the smaller flowers from getting enough sunlight, and they die.
So the Osage call May the time of the flower killing moon.

The murders of the Osage started in May, 1921
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"Someone...handed me a Leadbelly record with the song "Cottonfields" on it. And that record changed my life right then and there. Transported me into a world I'd never known." - Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize Speech.
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« Reply #418 on: April 29, 2017, 01:42:17 PM »

I recently finished the lauded memoir "Hillbilly Elegy," by JD Vance, about which I have mixed feelings, and the novel "The Devil and Webster," by Jean Hanff Korelitz, which I loved. I've got a few things in various states of completion: "Christian Beginnings," by Geza Vermes; "Dark Money," by Jane Mayer; the short story compilation "Memories of the Future" by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky; and "On the Edge of Reason," by Mirslav Krleza.
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« Reply #419 on: May 29, 2017, 07:22:57 PM »

Robert Stine "Creature Teacher" - 2/5. Tom B. Stone "Boo Year's Eve" - 3/5.
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At Christmas dinner, turkey will roll around & fly away. Host & guests will try to catch it to eat it but turkey will attack people instead. & get the whole house. What to do to prevent it - DON'T BUY TURKEY. (Christmas Wisdom No. 0)
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« Reply #420 on: May 30, 2017, 11:42:22 PM »

I started Galápagos a couple of weeks ago, although I keep forgetting to bring it to work to read during my much-savored 30-minute break.



These covers are fun. Unfortunately, I have a used copy that's pretty tattered already, and I made it worse the other day when I stuffed my work binder on top of it. I'm a fool—both for smashing my book and for not reading it more.
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« Reply #421 on: June 12, 2017, 11:58:16 AM »

I might be the only one on SS who didn't know this, but found out that Agatha Christie was an avid surfer. Saw a picture of her with a surfboard.
She surfed in South Africa and Hawaii.
So decided to check out her autobiography. It's great reading so far.
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« Reply #422 on: June 22, 2017, 12:43:04 AM »



Bought this book about the Lithuanian painter--composer M.K. Čiurlionis at the shop in the Thomas Mann Museum in Nida, Lithuania, originally the German author's summer residence...
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« Reply #423 on: July 03, 2017, 02:56:03 PM »

Punk Rock Blitzkrieg by Marky Ramone
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« Reply #424 on: July 04, 2017, 02:09:34 AM »

I'm back with Mike's book. I didn't stop because of the contents----it's a terrific read so far. It's just my reader's block. That's why I mainly do word and number puzzles. But now I'm back.

Well, I got so far and no further. Reader's block again. Six months later I'm trying a new tack. I opened it at the end and read the credits, the index (fascinating!) and the acknowledgements. So far, so good----although I noticed that the index omits Frank Zappa. Then I took the plunge and opened it again (at random) at a chapter called "The Unraveling". And now I'm really getting stuck in. Things are looking good.
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