Author Topic: The Reading Corner.  (Read 62863 times)

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Offline E_T

Re: The Reading Corner.
« Reply #720 on: June 05, 2020, 05:51:37 PM »
they should be posting the first chapters soon...
Three time Hugo Award Winning
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Offline Bearu

The White Man's Burden
« Reply #721 on: June 06, 2020, 10:59:22 PM »
I read Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" last year out of interest on the attitudes of imperialists toward the non-white sections of the world around 1900.
This poem describes the "White Man's Burden for the enactment of imperialism and cultural oppression in Asian, South American, and African territories because of the supreme power of white culture over the "half devil and half child" ( 8 ) of the new territories. These people espoused a divine destiny of white power in the eventual domination of world culture and the divine importance of spreading Protestant and Catholic faith into the perceived heathen societies and uncultured inhabitants of the new colonies.

You can find the entire text of the poem here.
The capitalists exploit the workers without any desire beyond the reproduction of profits.
Truth Coming of Her Well, 1892, Jean Gerome.

Offline Unorthodox

Re: The Reading Corner.
« Reply #722 on: June 07, 2020, 04:32:26 PM »
they should be posting the first chapters soon...

Already out there.  I avoid that kind of thing though, I'll wait til I have the book. 

Offline Bearu
Elizabeth Barret Browning's "The Cry of the Children" discusses the plight of children in the industrial period of mid 19th century United Kingdom. Elizabeth Barrett Browning remains one of the first noble authors' to address the plight of the poor in the industrial cities of developing industrial capitalism in Europe. The morbid poem describes the early death of children from overwork and lack of sleep, lack of religious guidance, and tyranny.

The children wish for death instead of life. The narrator quotes the children saying:
"True," say the children, "it may happen."
That we die before our time!
Little Alice died last year her grave is shapen
Like a snowball, in the rime." (37-40)

Browning comments on the desire of children for the acceptance of death in Victorian United Kingdom. Children suffer emotional trauma to the extent of death instead of life. Browning continues the lament for the children when the narrator and children say:
"It is good when it happens," say the children,
"That we die before our time!"
Alas, the wretched children! they are seeking
Death in life, as best to have! (53-54)

The children seek death from the drudgery and overwork of the mines and factories. The children seek relief from the pain of living. The children's wish for death masks the emotional toll of exhaustive 12-14 hour days on the body and minds of the children.

The poem comments on the children lacking time for play. The narrator encourages the children to "Sing out . . .—/
Pluck you handfuls of the meadow-cowslips pretty/ Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let them through!" (58-60). The children respond with "Are your cowslips of the meadow/ Like our weeds anear the mine?" (61-62). The children cannot play because "We are weary, And we cannot run or leap" 65-66). The children want to sleep in the meadows instead of running and singing. (67-68). Play remains a luxury the impoverished children cannot handle for the deprivations of Victorian England. When the children die, the children experience relief. The lack of play indicates the children suffer from emotional deprivation and poor living conditions. The children suffer from physical  and mental exhaustion, and traditional thought says to seek solace in God during the plights of poverty.

Surely the children could seek the refuge of God? The children beseech the divine father for comfort and warmth, but the only response remains "He is speechless as a stone ; and they tell us, of His image is the master" (126-127). God ignores the pleas of the children in front of the endless mining and endless usage of industrial production in Victorian Era England. God allows the children to suffer at the hands of the masters who "command us to work on" (128). The children endure emotional and physical abuse under the supposed divine work of God, and the children doubt "For God's possible is taught by His world's loving -/ and the children doubt of each" (135-136). Without God's protection, the children endure the brutalities of modern capitalism without protection.
The abuse of the children raises the question of how long the Victorian world would have watched the children suffer for a profit. The narrator describes the children's faces as "pale and shrunken." (149-150) The narrator questions the divine protection of the children, so the only authority left remains a temporal authority. How long until the people say enough of the abuses? The imperial leaders ignore the plight of the workers and the children, so the plight of the children continues hidden from the eyes of the leadership until the enactment of legislation to limit child labor in England, yet other children around the world endure similar conditions to the present day. Does the children deserve the abuse for the functioning of an industrialized society? The answers remains a resounding no according to the narrator since the narrator says:
Our blood splashes upward, O our tyrants,
 And your purple shews your path;
But the child's sob curseth deeper in the silence
Than the strong man in his wrath! (157-160)

The capitalists exploit the workers without any desire beyond the reproduction of profits.
Truth Coming of Her Well, 1892, Jean Gerome.

Offline conmcb25

Re: The Reading Corner.
« Reply #724 on: June 15, 2020, 12:03:12 AM »
I have been on a Sci_Fi kick lately.

I have been reading some of the newer authors, but I have been reading a LOT of Asimov lately. Working on "Engines of the Gods" right now.

I have the new book by General Mattis. -   "Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead"

Ill probably start on that when I need a break from Asimov.

Offline Geo

Re: The Reading Corner.
« Reply #725 on: June 15, 2020, 04:45:07 PM »
Talking about 'classics', I've been occupied with Poul Anderson's novels lately. Mostly his older work about the Polesotechnic League and the Terran Empire (Van Rijn, Falkayn, and Flandry stories).

Offline E_T

Re: The Reading Corner.
« Reply #726 on: June 20, 2020, 01:18:15 AM »
I pre-ordered the eBook version of 'The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir', by John Bolton.  The back of the book (or inside cover, depending... )
As President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton spent many of his 453 days in the room where it happened, and the facts speak for themselves.

The result is a White House memoir that is the most comprehensive and substantial account of the Trump Administration, and one of the few to date by a top-level official. With almost daily access to the President, John Bolton has produced a precise rendering of his days in and around the Oval Office. What Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes. In fact, he argues that the House committed impeachment malpractice by keeping their prosecution focused narrowly on Ukraine when Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy—and Bolton documents exactly what those were, and attempts by him and others in the Administration to raise alarms about them.

He shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government. In Bolton’s telling, all this helped put Trump on the bizarre road to impeachment. “The differences between this presidency and previous ones I had served were stunning,” writes Bolton, who worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He discovered a President who thought foreign policy is like closing a real estate deal—about personal relationships, made-for-TV showmanship, and advancing his own interests. As a result, the US lost an opportunity to confront its deepening threats, and in cases like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea ended up in a more vulnerable place.

Bolton’s account starts with his long march to the West Wing as Trump and others woo him for the National Security job. The minute he lands, he has to deal with Syria’s chemical attack on the city of Douma, and the crises after that never stop. As he writes in the opening pages, “If you don’t like turmoil, uncertainty, and risk—all the while being constantly overwhelmed with information, decisions to be made, and sheer amount of work—and enlivened by international and domestic personality and ego conflicts beyond description, try something else.”

The turmoil, conflicts, and egos are all there—from the upheaval in Venezuela, to the erratic and manipulative moves of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, to the showdowns at the G7 summits, the calculated warmongering by Iran, the crazy plan to bring the Taliban to Camp David, and the placating of an authoritarian China that ultimately exposed the world to its lethal lies. But this seasoned public servant also has a great eye for the Washington inside game, and his story is full of wit and wry humor about how he saw it played.
It will be an interesting E-read
Three time Hugo Award Winning
Worship the Comic here
Get your schlock mercenary fix here

Offline Bearu

The Prince
« Reply #727 on: June 27, 2020, 07:59:41 PM »
I sometimes apply some of these principles and every strong leader should apply these principles over their subjects. A strong and authoritarian leader should follow the following rules according to Machiavelli in The Prince:
1. The leader should miserliness over generosity to avoid financial ruin. The leader's generosity in the government of the civilians leads to the waste of government resources and the destruction of public trust in the competence of the leader. The personal characteristic of miserliness prevents the hatred of decadence in the leadership.
2. The leader should choose fear over love in the populace. The majority of the populace desires only removal from arbitrary and will tolerate short periods of cruelty, so the leader must avoid the eventual problems from prolonged cruelty in the population. The leader must avoid hatred from the subjects.
3. If the leader lacks hereditary or financial origins in conquered territory , then the leader should send loyal colonizers into the territory and maintain direct control over the territory. The leader should avoid the employment of mercenaries and auxiliaries from the population and employ the loyal subjects of the leader only.
4. If the Prince needs additional reinforcements for the occupation of an enemy territory, then the surefire way for the destruction of the enemy resistance includes the utter and complete destruction of the civilian and military population in the territory. The only guarantee against resistance enemy resistance remains the complete annihilation through cruelty against the enemy in a swift manner to avoid hatred from the population. The leaders should follow the example of Roman destruction of Carthage after the third Punic War.
5. The prince must avoid vices and present the appearance of virtues relevant to the society. The prince may not necessarily possess those qualities, but the populace must believe the leader possesses those values.
6. The leader must combine the values of a fox and a lion. The fox contains cunning and avoids the traps of the population but cannot protect against a lion. The lion contains the values of strength and resilience against a strong foe, but the lion lacks the insight into the traps of the enemy. The wise manager and prince combines these virtues.
7. The leader must possess the ability to lie without remorse towards the populace because the majority of the populace lacks the skills and insights into the nature of power acquisition. The leader supposes other leaders lie in a similar manner and the majority of the population requires the guidance from the strong and competent leader for the function of society. Without this leadership, the majority of the populace wanders in ignorance and anarchy with warlords. This rule remains the most important because a good leader deceives the followers.
The capitalists exploit the workers without any desire beyond the reproduction of profits.
Truth Coming of Her Well, 1892, Jean Gerome.


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