The Second Amendment was NOT written to enshrine every American with the right to own a gun for hunting, sport or self-defense from violent crime. These un-enumerated rights are merely incidental benefits of what the framers of the constitution originally meant. Pure and simple, the Second Amendment was intended for one thing and one thing only: power. The framers wanted citizens to have the literal firepower to rein-in their politicians and unelected bureaucrats. Our founding fathers were revolutionaries. Extremists. Radicals. Insurgents. Guerrillas . . .
This is a tale of four Georges. The first George, George Santayana (aka Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás) famously penned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Our second George is Gorge Zimmerman, the erstwhile Latino neighborhood watchman who tragically killed Trayvon Martin, a seventeen year-old African-American. And the third and fourth Georges are George White and George Black. Ironically, White was black and Black was white. Those involved with the George Zimmerman case would do well to remember the tragic history of George White and George Black or, as George Santayana wrote, they will be condemned to repeat it . . .
After my book review of Stephen Hunter’s 2010 release, Dead Zero, I didn’t think that the good folks at Simon & Schuster would be offering me an advance review copy of another book, especially something written by Stephen Hunter. I guess I underestimated the publisher’s tolerance for pain. So it was with mild bemusement that I opened the package bearing the imprint of The Sower that arrived on my doorstep a couple days before Thanksgiving and extracted Soft Target, the latest thriller by Stephen Hunter. I’m glad they did.
After the release of Daniel Silva’s book The Rembrandt Affair last year, I speculated that it might be the last book we see from Silva featuring his tragic hero, Israeli Mossad assassin Gabriel Allon. Silva played coy when I asked him if it was the end of the line for Allon. We now have his unequivocal answer. Portrait of a Spy, released this month, features a wiser and less tragic Allon. Silva now says that he never had any intention of retiring Allon. Of course, that’s easy for him to say now that he has a fat new contract with publisher HarperCollins and a multi-movie deal with Universal Studios in the works. There are literally tens of millions of greenback reasons for Silva to keep writing about Gabriel Allon. But that’s all shop talk. Is the book any good? Read on.
I sought out my contact at Putnam’s Penguin Group to request a copy of Daniel Silva’s upcoming book for review. No dice. Silva has taken his talents to HarperCollins. But, offered the marketing maven at the imprint of the flightless water fowl, would I be interested in reviewing Silent Enemy by Thomas W. Young? Young is a veteran flight engineer with nearly 4000 hours logged on C-130 and C-5 aircraft for the Air National Guard and he has flown combat missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. Exploiting his unique background, Young made a big splash in the thriller novel genre last year with his first novel, The Mullah’s Storm. Would I like to review his new book? Don’t mind if I do.
While preparing to write my fictional account of the voyage of the Neko II around Africa, which Mr. Farago has been good enough to publish in serial on this site, I spent countless hours researching and reading the accounts of people fortunate enough to sail the globe in private yachts. One of the blogs I stumbled across and drew inspiration from was that of Scott and Jean Adam and their Davidson 58 pilot house sloop, s/v Quest. One of my story’s plot points involved a brush with Somali pirates. No metaphor about art, life, imitation, or the strangeness of fiction is adequate to describe the tragedy that befell this couple and their death at the hands of real Somali pirates.
I have met gun owners from all walks of life: rich and poor; conservative and liberal; libertarians and libertines. I know of one who even likes to wear pink hats. While we may differ on issues like abortion or healthcare reform, I find that there is a common life outlook that we all share. Gun owners love to breathe the air of freedom. So as we watch the Arab street rise up and seek to throw off the chains of oppressive monarchies and dictatorships, there is a lot for us to think about.
WARNING: this book review of Dead Zero by Stephen Hunter contains strong opinions, spoilers, and psychological nudity. If you are a die-hard Hunter fan and are looking forward to reading Dead Zero, do NOT read beyond the break.
Is gun control a religious issue? More pointedly, it is a tenant of Christianity? Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence president Paul Helmke, Republican former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, says that for him it is. Since the interview took place on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, a program that that I’m sure nobody in America actually watches, click here for the transcript. “[Gun control] does fit into my religious tradition,” Helmke says. “I went to a Lutheran grade school growing up. We talked about nonviolence. The story of the garden of Gethsemane is put down that sword…
Wooly Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen weighed in on the Tucson shooting that resulted in the death of U.S. District Judge John Roll and five others during a botched assassination attempt of Rep. Gabby Giffords. In a stunning feat of logical contortion, Cohen, who looks like the spawn of an unholy union between David Letterman and Wolf Blitzer, equates the tragedy to the discovery of America. America, he says, was not discovered by Columbus. It was discovered by the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. Really. I’m not kidding…
While a student many, many moons ago I worked as the secretary of a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Although my responsibilities were strictly clerical, I observed a thing or two about what happens behind the ivory walls of academia’s most sacred towers. While we prefer to think of all scientists as infallible servants of humanity, as indeed some are, many are corrupted by the same vices that plague, say, auto journalism: money, power, pride, and politics. Others are simply blinded by emotion. And yet many anti-gun advocates are quick to tout any study—no matter how flawed—as long as it agrees with their core beliefs. A recent post on Mikeb302000 featured this golden oldie: Gun Ownership As A Risk Factor For Homicide In The Home by Dr. Arthur L Kellermann, et al, circa 1993. Let’s take a look…
Perhaps no other American president was a better embodiment of the people he represented than Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a tough self-made man who ran a Dakota cattle ranch during the days of the Wild West. He was bellicose speaker and notorious hunter. But there was more to the man than a cartoon persona of burly weight-lifter’s physique, walrus mustache, and snapping choppers. He was an intellect without equal among his fellow office holders, with the possible exception of Thomas Jefferson. He is the only sitting president to have earned a Nobel Peace Prize. His public policies were nuanced and he was a tender-hearted husband and father. In Colonel Roosevelt, biographer Edmund Morris explores the final, often violent, years of the former president’s life.