Thoughts on the Election of 2012

With full confidence that next to no one will ever read these ramblings, I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts and observations on the recent election in the United States.  A little bit of “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” if you will.

  • I supposed that I am biased toward President Obama, but I couldn’t help be notice that while the Tea party folks used brain candy buzz words like “birth certificate,” “Kenya,” “Muslim,” and “Socialist,” there was no (or precious little) reciprocation from the left in kind.  No “Elitist,” “Facist,” or  “Corporate Whore” comments bombarded my ears – and I watched/listened to a lot of liberal media.
  • For as much as the right’s talking heads insisted that the polls are flawed and mean next to nothing, they were very, very close to the actual outcome. Continue reading

2012 Reading List: The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
October 24 – 28
  (2 stars)

Another book in the category of I-didn’t-like-it-but-many-did.  This books got a lot of rave reviews.  I missed the allure.

The story of a bookish girl who works in her father’s bookstore without much of a life otherwise.  She receives an offer to write a biographical piece on a famous author who she’s never read.  Upon doing research for her eventual meeting with the author, she realizes that one of the authors most famous works calls itself “Thirteen Tales” but the last one in the actual book is the Twelfth.  Our heroine gets involved with the cantankerous author and begins to work on her story while trying to ascertain just what the “Thirteenth Tale” really is.

To put it shortly and sweetly, this book is a yawner.  It moves about as slowly as any book I have ever read.  The main character is boring and blah – in fact, I found just about every character in the book to be rather hollow. This book is the miniseries version of a bad half-hour sitcom episode.

Skip it.

Two Analogies Regarding Taxes and the 1%

This was sent to me by a co-worker:

Before voting this year – please read this!!  Be careful how you vote…you may be the 10th person below someday…

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100 and if they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would
…pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.)
So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” So drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
Continue reading

2012 Reading List: Killing Kennedy

Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly
October 9 – 15
(3 stars)

Killing Kennedy was a bit of a disappointment to me based on my impressions of O’Reilly’s previous work, Killing Lincoln.  This book is much more a biography of Kennedy (and on with no surprises) than is it a thorough examination of his assassination.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about O’Reilly’s take on the murder is that not only does he seemingly give no credence to any theory other than Oswald as the lone gunman, O’Reilly bare touches on other theories.  Continue reading

2012 Reading List: The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
October 9 – 15
  (4 stars)

The Book Thief  is the story of a young girl in Nazi Germany during World War II.  She develops a love of reading and a vehement disdain for many of the Nazi practices, including but not limited to book burning ans antisemitism.

The story is moving and powerful, following the heroine as she begins to understand just what her countrymen are capable of – both the persecuted and the persecutors.

I highly recommend this book.

 

2012 Reading List: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
October 7 – 8
(5 stars)

I don’t throw comments like this around, so you know (assuming you read anything I post) that when I say this book was unlike anything I’d ever read before that I mean it.

Hanna has killed herself.  That is not a spoiler – it says this on the dust jacket.  Hanna had thirteen reasons why she opted to take her own life.  Each reason is associated wit ha person and she has decided to let them in on her reasoning by recording cassettes for each person.  Clay is one of those people and he finds out that he is to listen to the all the cassettes then pass them on to the next person.

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2012 Reading List: The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
October 3 – October 6
(4 stars)

Let me begin with the honest: I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because there were a lot of parts where it dragged.  I know that sounds crazy – this book is a revered classic and I agree with that premise.  I’m not here to further that status.  I’m doing this only to tell you what the book did for me.

That having been said, you have to understand that this is a daily dairy written by a girl between her 13th and 15th birthdays.  Daily journals, by their design, are tedious.  That is true even when the work is of superb quality for a young author.

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