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EMT 09/20/15 [krakatoa] | Main | The Russian Bear Isn't So Cuddly Anymore [CBD]
September 20, 2015

Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-20-2015: Subsistence Level [OregonMuse]

Tavik Frantisek Simon, "Paris Bookstore" (1904)

(graphic stolen from rdbrewer's photobucket album)

Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Also, assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.

For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.
-Louis L'Amour

MULTIPLE TRIGGER WARNINGS this week for extolling the virtues of technological advancement and mental health, and not really being all that impressed with Chelsea Clinton.

"No Fair, Mom, He Hit Me Back!"

You know you've arrived when your book gets trashed by a celebrity. In one of Maet's overnight threads of a few days ago, he mentioned that Mark Steyn's book "A Disgrace to the Profession" had been reviewed on Amazon by one "P Erlich", and it went like this:

It is sad that with humanity facing catastrophic climate disruption as part of an existential threat that there are still people willing to attack Mike Mann, one of the real heroes of climate science, outrageous lies. But one must admire the well-funded denier campaign, carried forward by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and his "False News" network, for the campaign's persistence in the face of massive evidence, its success in confusing much of the public, and creating a propioganda (sic) triumph equivalent to that of creationism in keeping Medieval nonsense embedded in the brains of many Americans. Unhappily the "triumph" may prove doom for many of our descendents. Mike Mann is admired by all real climate scientists, even those who may have same disagreements with him (there is no certainty in science, unlike in the world of denial propogandists (sic)) -- and I know many of the leading players and follow the field closely. The best one can say of this silly collection of comments from hacks and has-beens, mixed with quotes-out-of-context, is that it is NOT a disgrace to the profession of its perpetrators, nor to their pimps.

Yes, "P Ehrlich" is Paul "Population Bomb" Ehrlich, the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Junk Science himself, who apparently does not like Steyn's book. Oh dear. I'm sure Steyn is lying awake nights, sobbing into his bedsheets over this. And it's amazing to me how much Ehrlich's review is just standard-issue progtard boilerplate insults. Hacks and has-beens, march of science, medievalism, blah, blah, blah. There's not an ounce of creativity anywhere in it. It's like signs held up at a left-wing protest. Ehrlich is not so much reviewing a book as he is chanting slogans. All that's missing is a giant, papier mâché Mark Steyn puppet head.

Steyn wrote his book "A Disgrace to the Profession" (subtitled "The world's scientists -in their own words- on Michael E. Mann, his hockey stick, and their damage to science) because Mann had sued him previously over some sort of "defamation" nonsense when Steyn agreed with Rand Simberg, who referred to prof. Mann, who is employed by Penn State as "the Jerry Sandusky of climate science", and Mann got offended. When things like this happens, the left expects you to fold up and make a grovelling apology, but Steyn, who does not operate out of the GOPe playbook, is countersuing, whereupon Mann has disappeared into the tall grass.

And what is the solution to global warming that "P Ehrlich'" proposes? Why, the same one that he proposed to defuse the "population bomb", of course: MOAR SOCIALISM! As one Amazon reviewer notes:

His solution was de-industrialization, capital de-accumulation, lowering of productivity and hence lowering of real wages. A back to nature lifestyle of 'dawn to dusk' subsistence poverty.

I would have a better opinion of Ehrlich if he gave up his cushy job at Stanford and took up subsistence level farming, which he apparently wants for everyone else. You know, think globally, act locally, and all that.

There Will Be War, Volume Ten Is Coming

...and all of you authors, aspiring authors, wannabe authors, has-been authors, and Methodists are invited to submit material for it. So says the editor of the TWBW science fiction series, Jerry Pournelle:

Accepting submissions for a new volume of the There Will Be War series. Send with cover note to submission@therewillbewar.net. Stories should preferably be 20,000 words or less. Poetry encouraged, but see the previous series; it needs to make sense. Hard science fiction mainly; urban fantasy with a military theme possibly acceptable, but mostly we want hard, realistic stories. They need not be action adventure; good command decision stories encouraged. Space opera always considered. Again see the previous nine volumes.

More at the link. This reminds me of when Deep Purple lost their lead vocalist Ian Gillam in 1972 and ran an ad in the British music magazine Melody Maker announcing open auditions for a replacement. Of course they got a ton of audition tapes, some good, many bad, and some of them laughably so. The sheer novelty of it was refreshing. Nobody expected a big name band like Deep Purple to pull a stunt like that.

I'll bet Dr. Pournelle is going to get the same sort of response, i.e. an avalanche of submissions, most of them crappy, but some real gems buried in the poo pile. I wonder if he's willing to pay someone to help him sift through all of the material?

Blackmore and the boys eventually picked David Coverdale out of the heap to be the new Deep Purple vocalist.

I actually remember hearing about Purple's open auditions while they were going on.

Get off my lawn.

Thanks to Anna Puma for tipping me about this.

Even Liberal MSM Tools Are Trashing Chelsea Clinton's New Book

First of all, did any of you morons even know that the privately educated, married-to-a-Goldman-Sachs-hedge-fund-trader-daughter-of-two-of-the-most-powerful-and-influential-people-in-America Chelsea Clinton has written a book? For kids? I'll bet you didn't. I hadn't either, until a short time ago. But she wrote a kid's book. It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! The blurb says:

In a book that tackles the biggest challenges facing us today, Chelsea Clinton combines facts, charts, photographs and stories to give readers a deep understanding of the world around them—and how anyone can make a difference.

However, the Washington Post is not so enthusiastic:

The former first daughter’s book is not just long, it is also dense, with at least 51 charts, maps and graphs, including one illustrating the global elimination of the Guinea worm and another titled “Common Types of Cancer in the U.S., 2015.” Despite the peppy title (and that exclamation mark!), Clinton’s first book (surely there will be more, given her parents’ prodigious bibliographies) is packed with data, tiny black-and-white pictures and dire warnings.

Think of it as the literary version of a sad trombone.

But even in a review that basically says the book is duller than ditchwater, the reviewer (Emily Heil) can't help gushing over the author and her parents. Like in the above quote where she refers to Bill and Hillary Clinton's "prodigious bibliographies". Which immediately raises the question, is she high? The word "prodigious" means "remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree", and what exactly have the Clintons written to earn this description? Hillary! has written two books, one of which is a fluffy autobiography, and Bill has written but one (his own fluffy autobiography). This is "prodigious"?

And then Ms. Heil says this:

No one has ever accused the multiple-degreed daughter of former president Bill Clinton and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of being a lightweight

Really? Maybe she should get out more. That's something I've heard many times about Miss Clinton. Considering that her only accomplishments in her life thus far, other than writing this book, have been (a) being born into one of most privileged families in America, (b) graduating from an Ivy League college, and (c) being employed at puff jobs where she probably only got hired for her name, I would think that that pretty much confirms her 'lightweight' status.

But, apparently, not for Ms. Heil.

Sometimes I envy the Clintons. It must be nice to do whatever you want, and have the confidence that a compliant, supine media has your back, and that they will ignore your mistakes, excuse your failures, and trumpet every accomplishment, however meager, as praiseworthy.

God Save The Queen

Unfortunately, by the time you read this, the $1.99 BookBub deal on this book will have ended and the price will have gone back up to whatever it was before. But I have to tell you about Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy because it sounds quite interesting:

During Queen Victoria's 64 years on the British throne, no fewer than eight attempts were made on her life. Murphy follows each would-be assassin and the repercussions of their actions, illuminating daily life in Victorian England, the development of the monarchy under Queen Victoria, and the evolution of the attacks in light of changing social issues and technology.

Am I the only person who did not know that Victoria survived not one, not two, but eight assassination attempts? To give you a taste, you can read descriptions of a couple of her would-be killers in the Amazon blurb I quoted from. And you'll learn a new word, "dynamitard". Yeah, that's right, some Irish guys plotted to blow up Queen Victoria during the Golden Jubilee celebration in a modern-style, publicity-seeking terrorist attack.

They ought to do a movie about all of these failed attempts. Heck, they could make her an action hero with a bunch of narrow escapes. It wouldn't be all that far-fetched.

Books By Morons

Lurking moron TS Millheim e-mailed me this week to tell me that he has just published his first novel, Night Breaks Into Day. Here is what he says about it:

“Night Breaks Into Day” is the story of Becky Silverberg, a blogger for a celebrity style guru, who meets a charming multi-billionaire business leader and gets far more than just a career-making story.

When Silverberg has a chance encounter with Darrell Beals at an airport bar, she thinks she’s landed a groundbreaking interview that will catapult her into journalism’s elite ranks. Instead, she learns a dark secret that puts her career, her husband and her life in peril.

Trigger warnings for snarky female narration, a mysterious man, and "kinetic" sequences, which I assume would include things such as car chases, weapons discharges and stuff getting blowed up.

Oh, and spirituality. There's some of that in here, too, so best hide your kids.

Night Breaks Into Day by TS Millheim is available on Kindle for $4.99.


Long-time moron commenter (and author) Christopher Taylor's new novel, Life Unworthy, first mentioned on the book thread a couple of weeks ago, will be released tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 21st.

What I'm Reading

The Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo, mentioned by various morons here. lately The good news is that a pdf of this book is readily available. I started reading it a couple of days ago and not only is the subject matter interesting (Dutch psychologist studied the 'brainwashing' techniques used by totalitarian regimes such as the USSR, China, North Korea and Nazi Germany), but it's a very conservative book. Not explicity, but in all of its underlying assumptions. For example, commenting on the incessant barrrage of media saturating our culture, he says:

The modern means of mass communication bring the entire world daily into each man's home; the techniques of propaganda and salesmanship have been refined and systematized; there is scarcely any hiding place from the constant visual and verbal assault on the mind. The pressures of daily life impel more and more people to seek an easy escape from responsibility and maturity. Indeed, it is difficult to withstand these pressures; to many the offer of a political panacea is very tempting, to others the offer of escape through alcohol, drugs, or other artificial pleasures is irresistible.

This is very refreshing. Nowadays, if I read a book by a European psychologist, I'd expect to be treated to a lecture on the evils of colonialism, how gender is a social construct, and perhaps something about boycotting Israel.

Free men in a free society must learn not only to recognize this stealthy attack on mental integrity and fight it, but must learn also what there is in side man's mind that makes him vulnerable to this attack, what it is that makes him, in many cases, actually long for a way out of the responsibilities that republican democracy and maturity place on him.

Good: free men, free society, maturity and republican democracy. Bad: avoiding responsibility and not fighting attacks on mental health. If Mssr. Meerloo were still alive, I'd subscribe to his newsletter.

And surprisingly enough, I actually found RotM listed as a book of interest on a progressive site.

According to his wiki page, Merloo wrote other books, but I think RotM is the only one still in print.


So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

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