Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bloggers and Books...

It's Sunday, early evening now. I've just finished reading the latest posts on my favorite site...The Indy Weblogs. Find them at:

They're one hellava good group of very knowledgeable people, with a few exceptions. Very few, actually. "drlaniac" is actually a guy named Lane, who lives in northern California, and he runs all the tech stuff. Founder is another guy named Ralph, who lives in New Jersey. I'm amazed at the day jobs of some of the Indys. They're everywhere, doing everything...scientists, journalists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, gay and straight, male and female, people in DC and all parts of the nation, actually. And they know what they're talking about.

For instance: Firedoglake. Remember the Scooter Libby trial? Well, Marcy of Firedoglake blogged it, was interviewed on TV, etc. They're part of the Indy Weblogs. As is DDay and Calitics...and so many more really top bloggers.

It's a pleasure to read them. Any time I want to know what's going on in the world, I can cruise thru the Indys and sure as hell, someone will have posted on it. You want to know about what's happening in Iran after these probably fraudulent elections? Brian Ulrich knows all about the mideast. At least half a dozen Indys will have posts and many have videos.

Anything happening in Minnesota re. the Franken-Coleman battle over who won the election for Senator several months ago? Well, both claim they won, went to court, and they're still in court. It's been a battle royal. Since this latest court won't be coming to a decision any time soon, it will probably be at least a couple of weeks more before they make their decision known. At the moment, things don't look good for Repub Coleman. And of course the GOP is backing him with cash. Court has decided that Coleman also has to cover Franken's court costs. Now that pleases me mightily.

In any case, I read the Indys regularly. They're a Dem group, almost all political. Really diverse.

Other than the Indys, I'm reading Ken Follet's huge novel, "World Without End". Over a thousand pages. Set in medieval times...and let me tell you, bad as times are now, you wouldn't want to have lived then, though I have ancestors that were very much a part of that world. Glad some of them reached the USA in 1630, for sure, and helped found Boston.

Follet wrote an earlier book set about 200 years before this one and as lengthy: "The Pillars of the Earth". Pillars told the story of the construction of one of the great cathedrals in England. In detail. World is set in the same town and revolves around the same cathedral. And again...200 years later, the cathedral needs some repairs. Enter the architects and builders, the monks, priests, knights, Lords and Ladies, criminals...all the characters and then some of that long ago world.

Those books cause me to have nightmares, but they're both absolutely and totally fascinating. Nothing glamorous about being a Knight, though they did have status. And the Catholic Church is a monster, infected with greed and power. Nothing much has changed there, even now.

Both books are an education in themselves of historical times and peoples, the research impeccable. I absolutely recommend them.

Also, just received an announcement in the mail from one Victor Villapando, who has a second book just published: "The Illicit American". This one deals with the true story of human smuggling in San Diego. There's no way in hell that I'm not gonna read his new book since San Diego is my home town.

Vic, like Follet, knows the territory and is a fine writer and researcher. I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. Will probably order thru Amazon.

And, if you have interest in the Green Berets, Edward Fitzgerald wrote "Bank's Bandits", the true story of the guys who were the original Green Berets. I mesn, the very first ones. So picture this: here they are, training out in the mountains in, I think, North Carolina, and the 32nd Airborne is sweeping those mountains, trying to capture them. They have to make their way to various points just to pick up the air drops of food or they go hungry. And then they discover that every Sunday, the 82nd gets a truck load of live chickens for their Sunday dinner...and these chickens arrive in a truck.

And the truck stops just short of the river crossing so the drivers can park and take a quick swim and cool off in the summer heat. The Green Berets sneak down there and grab a couple cages of chickens and turn the rest loose. I swear, those three chicken chapters are the most hilarious chapters I've ever read in my life. There the guys are, running down the hill with the two cages to cross the stream and run uphill to their camp. But chicken FLOCK and the ones they turned loose are squawking and flapping thru the bushes and staying right with them.... And yes, Bank's Bandits is also available at Amazon.



No comments: