linking & thinking

I haven’t been putting up many links in the last few posts, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been bookmarking articles I have read or intend to read. It just seemed that since I was indulging in such lengthy verbosity, albeit with “pictures,” it might be a bit much.

So today I am thinking more about links.

I’m reading Limits of Power for a second time. This morning I took note of a couple of articles in the footnotes I wanted to run down line and possible re-read:

The first is from October 2002: The Struggles of Democracy and Empire by Mark Danner Op-Ed –

Bacevich says that Danner

“… got it exactly right. The strategy devised by the Bush administration in response to 9/11 was ‘comprehensive, prophetic [and] evangelical.’ It derived from the assumption that , ‘for evils of terror to be defeated,’ most of the Islamic world needed to ‘be made new.’ The ultimate aim of that strategy was nothing less than ‘to remake the world’ or at least what the administration referred to as the Greater Middle East.”

Bacevich, Limits of Power p. 59-60

Bacevich is retired colonel from the U.S. army and speaks with expertise. It’s interesting the week we supposedly came home from Iraq to review the whole mess. Danner’s article is written on the eve of the invasion. He (rightly I think) says that the invasion of Iraq was a basic turning point in way the United States was beginning “a new imperial season,” shunting aside the words of John Quincy Adams . “That America, despite its great power, ”goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”

The second article also comes from a Bacevich footnote:

Is Freedom Just Another Word for Many Things to Buy? – New York Times

Written in 2006, this article is a good balance not only to the present holiday season of consumption but to our American life styles in general.

Finished reading Stephen King’s 11/232/63 this week. ┬áIt only took me 15 days. Ahem. I’m pretty sure I could have whipped it off quicker but I tend to spread myself thinner than just reading one book.

This book left me a bit like his The Stand, not a bad read, not a bad plot. Probably the most fun stuff is the recreation of America in 50s and 60s. King’s ear is calibrated well to this period. At least this boomer enjoyed reading the nostalgia the main character has as he spends time in the past.

I also ran across another alt-history title and have interlibrary loaned it for fun.

In his The Alteration, Kingley Amis re-imagined a world history in which Luther became Pope and there was no Reformation. I think that sounds like a fun read especially at the droll hands of the elder Amis.

The Burning Babe. Robert Southwell. 1909-14.

I always re-read this poem around Xmas. It’s a bit of a antidote for me personally to the way so many people see the Christ as a baby. I of course am not sure if there is God…. most of the time I’m pretty sure there isn’t. But I’m always sure that Jesus grew up and doesn’t exist as a baby. Despite the Infant of Prague that festooned a Catholic school I worked at in Detroit for a few years.

I remember Raymond Brown being good about this kind of misunderstanding.

I dont’ have this laying around since I got rid of a lot of my religious books in the last century. But from my training I remember Brown as that odd thing: the sane Roman Catholic liturgist/bible dude.


Looking for a Place to Die –

A nurse talks about the difficulties the law sometimes present to those of us who die…. that would be everyone, right?


North Korean Mourning Blends Emotion and Coercion –

I like the way the press that I read has identified the weird blend of realism and ritual in the public mourning in North Korea. It rings truer than the usual way Americans see the “other.”


Terrorism Suspects –

It’s only fair to link in Senator Levin’s defense of his horrible bill in this letter to the editor. I remain unconvinced. As I said in my email to him and the other Michigan Senator, I still wonder what in the world they were thinking?


A New Kim. A New Chance? –

Nicholas Kristof provides some further history and understanding about what’s happening in N. Korea. I especially was fascinated by the loudspeakers installed in every home with no off button or volume button. Wow. George Orwell, or what?

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