Archive for the 'History' Category

The Iran Threat. President Ahmadinejad and the coming nuclear crisis. Alireza Jafarzadeh.

English: THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. With President o...

The Iran Threat. President Ahmadinejad and the coming nuclear crisis. Alireza Jafarzadeh.2007. ISBN 9781403976642.  This book will not let you rest easy at night. Its from a one time insider in Iran who is now a respected Iran watcher in the US.  He lays out how the early lectures by Khomeni forecast what would happen after the fall of the Shah.  The “pious old man” hijacked a country that was on its way to a more democratic state and over the years created this fanatical fundamentalist religious oil fueled infrastructure that has no compunction at sending nuclear bombs to Israel. the US and other non Islamic countries. The president si just another crazy radical under the thumb of the mullahs and their pursuits.  The goals have always been to upset the Middle East structure – building Hezbollah to disrupt Lebanon,  sweep into Iraq after the US removed Saddam, support Al Qa’ eda where ever, disrupt Afghanistan and Pakistan wit IEDs and suicide bombers,  assassinate foes/leaders  anywhere in these states and elsewhere, rig elections, restrict all rights,  the list goes on.  Various Western govts have tried to appease the mullahs – which is taken as a sign of weakness. They relentlessly press on to have weapons to unleash on any and all. There is no western logic, humanity or really much Islam in their thinking. So today we are in a world that has fewer dollars to wage wars, weak Western leaders and another rogue state, Iran which treats its population as badly as North Korea does. All bets are off and the sooner the west has a way to harness the Iranian peoples opposition to their yoke, the better. The author gives solid examples of what to do. However in vain attempts to appease the Iranian leaders, the West usually does the opposite of what is needed. This is a country that lies about everything.

The End of Growth. But is that all bad? Jeff Rubin.

Cover of "Why Your World Is About to Get ...

The End of Growth. But is that all bad? Jeff Rubin.2012. ISBN 9780307360892.  Rubin writes very clear, well researched, easy to read and compelling books. (This one will take you two cross country flights to finish – but you will like it.)  This is an update to his thesis  ( Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller) that energy prices will continue to rise taking  the financial crisis, political stupidity, carbon offsets (likely will die), death of big Oil, big coal and European troubles into account . He holds that oil and food could be Zero sum games . If China/India increase their consumption, these is less for others and the prices will rise.  Third world countries will not have the funds to afford the oil for growth nor for the food (Not a good looking future). (The Arab Spring was founded on people going hungry).

He believes that high oil prices will continue, forcing the West to conserve and look at the economic cost of getting to the much more expensive fuels locked away – perhaps we can not afford to get them (Tar sands & big pipeline projects, watch out).  Politicians will be in for a hard ride – he seems to call for insightful leaders to guide us through this.  This may not be all bad – as human ingenuity always seems to rise to meet the challenges.  There may be a big change to China’s ability to sell to the world – if transport costs increase enough to warrant manufacturing in Canada and the US again. This could also encourage local food growers again to fill more of our needs vs trucking it in from Mexico etc.. We may adopt a less consumer lifestyle – back to smaller homes, cars and more and more transit.  Lots of great stuff here to make you think..

At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson
Cover of Bill Bryson

At Home: A Short History of Private LifeBill Bryson.  2010. ISBN 978-0767919388.  I am a Bryson fan. This book porportes to be about this old country house in England that he lives.  Well it becomes a story of English ( and American) homes and how they became they way they are . You also find out the genesis of  room and board and all kinds of English phrases. Along the way you find out why mens’ suit-coats have useless buttons at the bottom of the sleeves.  And a whole lot else. Just a delightful book.

The Family. The real story of the Bush dynasty. Kitty Kelley

The Family. The real story of the Bush dynasty. Kitty Kelley. 2005. ISBN 0385503245.  Continuing with my US history lessons I picked up this book. The author, who had serious legal issues with her story on Frank Sinatra, has been very thorough in her research and notes on this one.  So one can be fairly certain that what she says was said and was done is well backed up. Which makes this such a depressing book. George Senior (41)  comes across as a rich boy dilettante, more willing to be liked than anything with no vision, no curiosity of the world coupled to an intellectually lazy person.  George W. (43), compounding his fathers weaknesses  is easily called the worst president ever in the US history and his behaviour proves it. How can an educational and political  system based on the ideals of people like Washington, Lincoln, Adams  become so polarized  and focused on winning to ignore the impact of  the  opinionated, arrogant dullard who becomes the leader?  (Well we did have Mulroney,  and Chretien – but still  pretty smart boys after all ) On top of that add the pigs to the trough approach of the entire Bush family when their “boys” become top of the pile?  The fill your pockets approach was very typical in Lincolns time, but he labored to educate the country out of it.   I had to finish this book as it is a good read, well written with hard hitting points. But it greatly saddened me at the same time. Next Kitty has  a book on Oprah!

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