Weekend Reading: October 28, 2017

Well, its a cold, wet day here in Columbus Ohio. It seems as though our good weather fantasy bubble has finally popped!  So, if your weather is like mine, today is a great day to catch up on reading.  Here is just a small selection of articles and books I enjoyed this week…

Reformation Day is coming up, and Stephen Nichols has a blog explaining what it’s all about here. 

Martin Luther, a scholar, took quill in hand, dipped it in his inkwell and penned his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517. These were intended to spark a debate, to stir some soul-searching among his fellow brothers in the church. The 95 Theses sparked far more than a debate. The 95 Theses also revealed the church was far beyond rehabilitation. It needed a reformation. The church, and the world, would never be the same.

No doubt many of you saw the gigantic leap that tech stocks took Friday, and the subsequent wealth that was added to the majority owners and CEO’s of these companies.  It’s fascinating stuff. Here’s a story specifically how men like Jeff Bezos and Larry Page were billions of dollars richer by 10am Friday.   If you’ve ever read about Russia in the 90’s then you’ll know about the rise of economic Oligarchs, and how they controlled a great deal in Russian society and media and politics. They overplayed their hands and eventually were put down by the dictator Putin, but during their run the control they exerted was substantial. I wonder aloud here if we’re entering such a time in America. In the past there have been waves where a very small group of rich men have controlled and steered the economy and even other aspects of our lives (think Rockafeller, Vanderbilt etc.).

In a similar vein: The Real Reason CVS Wants to Buy Aetna? Amazon

The weekly hypocrisy alert: Why doesn’t Hillary’s ‘dossier’ trick count as treason?

For all of you who might have been fascinated by the possibility of scumbag Kid Rock running for Senate, he has a message for you, “Of course I’m not running for Senate” (the sanitized version). 

Speaking of scum bags, conservative radio host and columnist Erick Erickson has a thought: Maybe Bill O’Reilly Should Repent Instead of Being Mad at God.

Two good deep dives for you this weekend…

First: China’s Entrepreneurs Squirm Under Xi Jinping’s Tightening Grip

Second: Responding to the Transgender Revolution

Something I could have written: Tell Me What You Read, And I’ll Tell You Who You Are

Spies, spies and more spies: North Korean hackers stole U.S. and South Korean wartime plans, Seoul lawmaker says AND How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets.

I can’t recall if I posted this, but I’m a little skeptical still: Why 4 a.m. Is the Most Productive Hour.

Books…This week I finished a book on Eisenhower by Paul Johnson, which was just okay. Two things were wrong with it, first it was too short and that made it a fact-cramming exercise, and second, it was too positive. That is to say that it didn’t seem very critical of any decisions Eisenhower made, and the mistakes he made were quickly defended by Johnson.

I also read ‘Destine for War’ by Graham Allison and found it helpful.  It is a book dedicated to the exploration of this question: Is war between China and the U.S. inevitable?  Allison explores the mind of the Chinese and explains how it differs from the American mind and how this thinking strategically interacts etc. He also explores past wars and potential wars (at least 12 of them I believe) to see what lead to war, and what lead to the escape from war.  Allison has a unique perspective because even though he is a professor, he has interacted with Kissinger (he was taught by HK), and others on the world scene, and obviously seems to have done his homework.

This week also saw me wrapping up ‘The Man in the High Castle’ by Philip K. Dick. A very interesting book that I found different from the Amazon Orginal Series of the same name – not different in all good ways though. In many ways, the Amazon series made the book’s story more cogent, clear, and understandable. Of course in other ways, the book supersedes the series – mainly in the uniqueness of the writing style.  Dick employed an introspective writing style that had you listening in to main character’s thoughts, and exploring their world and their dilemmas with them.

Here’s where I stand on my reading goals for the year (170/200). Unfortunately, I had to adjust them downward (to 200 from 250) to reflect, well, reality.

That’s it!  I hope you have an enjoyable (and warm) weekend!

PJ

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