Rapid Review After Slow Reading

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03/30/2014 by syrbal-labrys

Well, I violated my promise to post at both new and full moons….but not entirely.  I’ve read so damned little lately.  Since my last book post, I’ve only read two books.  This is because one of those two books had to be consumed in doses of less than five pages at a time so that my head would not blow up.

#8 – “The Cathars: Their History & Myths Revealed” by Sean Martin – a read from the remainder table.  Very nice photographs in this book, and it is not the first book I’ve read about the Albigensian Crusade in Southern France in the Middle Ages.  It is unusual in that it doesn’t muck about in kissing Catholic Church ass.  The author comes right out and angrily denounces the Church as the murderous bastards they were — including a shout out to soon-to-be-sainted John Paul II for apologizing for the Middle Eastern Crusades but never being sorry for the murder of “heretics” in Europe.  Imagine, Christians being un-Christly to other Christians — I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked. (turns off sarcasm font.)

#9 – “The Dark Side” by Jane Mayer – this damned book.  Gods, it had me wanting hard booze as a nightcap.  Perfect title, let me say.  While not a lot in the book was actually new information to me, since I’ve been keeping up reading since the Bush-Cheney reign began; it was intensely depressing and maddening because it so starkly reveals that everything my old analyst mind was telling me was happening AS everyone in the Administration LIED about it: the dubious legal grounds and inarguably IMmoral grounds for behaviors violating both Constitution and Geneva Conventions with regard to treatment of prisoners.

And the details of exactly how bad it got?  And knowing that every horrible thing done WAS approved at the highest levels — that made for sickening reading.  Things like interrogating a man while a woman he was led to believe was his own wife screamed in agony in the next room.  And if that and worse were not enough?  When some of the CIA/FBI/military brass started to complain about such actions?  Most of them based their complaints on their fears not for the interrogated, but worry for the interrogators and their resultant states of mind!  Oh, and the possibility of being brought to trial for war crimes. (Frankly, I hope everyone who participated IS haunted the rest of their natural lives.)

It is an EXCELLENT book and should be REQUIRED reading in every high school civics/government class, and in training for military and other government jobs as a how NOT to do it book. 

The only thing more gruelingly depressing than the book itself was the high hopes the author held for the Obama Administration undoing the work of the Bush/Cheney/Addington/Yoo cabal.  Because, well, even the UN thinks America has gone down a path to a very blighted garden now.


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The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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