Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am Banned from Talking Politics by the Lovely Sharon

The Lovely Sharon has banned me from talking politics in a social setting. She has informed me that I am becoming a pariah to our friends and am ruining social evenings. Most of my friends are right center or just completely right wing. I have a few left wing friends. I am definitely left center but would not consider myself left wing. I am a proponent of capital punishment in proper and egregious circumstances. I am a proponent of profiling at airport security points and I am opposed to high estate taxes believing that the decedent has by and large already paid taxes on the estate assets. I am opposed to availability of assault weapons for the general population and I think those disadvantaged among us should, in a reasonable manner, be provided with opportunities to overcome their disadvantages. I think we should be out of Afghanistan and Iraq immediately and believe that for the US to continue to spend billions if not trillions on these unwinnable wars while we suffer financial and job crisis at home is just plain crazy. So with that said, I will do my best to not discuss political and socially relevant matters in social settings. I will however discuss such matters on this blog from time to time.

Here are some thoughts and observations on a few issues.

Newly elected US Senator from Utah, Republican Michael Lee, who described himself as a constitutional scholar, has in the last week opined that the US Constitution does not permit the enactment of child labor laws or the use of federal funds in disaster relief situations, such as Hurricane Katrina, massive fires, devastating floods, oil spills, etc. His view is that it is unconstituional for the US Congress to adopt laws prohibiting children from working 60 hour weeks at a $1.00 per hour. Maybe the states in which natural disasters occur could reject federal funds and use children to work around the clock to clean up the mess. Yesterday, Senator Lee defended Utah’s request for federal emergency aid for flooding in St. George, Utah. He indicated that he sees no hypocrisy in his support for Utah federal disaster relief funds and his position that it is unconstitutional or the federal government to provide such funds. I will let you decide for yourself whether this guy is a nut, a liar or an opportunist.

Another Utah Congressman said he wants to carry a gun on the floor of the House of Representatives. I assume he would want to carry a glock with a 30 bullet magazine. Maybe if all of the Congressmen and Congresswomen carried weapons they would be nicer to each other. If John Boehner had a glock and Nancy Pelosi had a glock, maybe there would in fact be reasons to compromise.
A Democratic Congressman from Tennessee came out strong on being more civil in political debate. An admirable goal that I support. Within a few days, he referred to a large group of Republicans as Nazi’s. Doesn’t sound very civil does it.

Have you notice that people who are anti- abortion by and large are pro capital punishment and people who are pro- abortion are by and large to be anti- capital punishment. I know there are exceptions but I think the observation is generally correct.
I am constantly intrigued by upper middle class and wealthy people who are opposed to government healthcare reforms while contently accepting their social security checks and Medicare reimbursement.

I think Glenn Beck is deranged. I think Keith Obermann’s left wing hostility did more harm than good to help constructive dialogue. I acknowledge that both of them have first amendment rights to say the things they say, but I believe both of them are destructive to meaningful dialogue

Many people who want no restrictions of any kind on gun issues, citing their second amendment rights, are ok with restrictions on first amendment rights (some things should not be allowed such as burning the American flag as a political statement or pornography) or fourth amendment rights (it was ok for the Bush administration not to get search warrants for wiretaps and opening mail of potential or suspected terrorists and others). So restrictions on the second amendment are bad but restrictions on the first and fourth amendment are good? Why the difference? I think reasonable restrictions that evolve as society evolves do not violate these amendments. There should be reasonable restrictions on pornography and other items of speech or symbolic speech. There should be reasonable restrictions on fourth amendment protections and there should be reasonable restrictions on guns.

Ok that is enough for now. I had my daily fix of saying something about politics. In the future in social sessions I will try not to talk about politics. I will talk about how nice your shirt is or about golf or restaurants. Hopefully, this will be ok with the Lovely Sharon.


  1. You could always try talking about religion:)

  2. You know that the Pony Express only existed for 18 months, until the telegraph system became operational. This was all very interesting.