Framing the Dialogue

Archive for January, 2010

A P.C. War

Whether you want to call it a “war on terror” as George W. Bush would or an “overseas contingency operation” as our current president prefers, we are at war.  At least those who are waging battle against us are at war.  I am not sure that politicians in Washington are at war or that the general public quite feels the war.  This war almost came home to us again on Christmas Day with a Nigerian terrorist.

Panties To Be Exposed

redacted documentThere has been a lot of discussion about what went wrong when an islamist terrorist was allowed on a plane flying into Detroit wearing a pantie bomb and was on a terrorist watch list and was given a visa by the State Department and bought his one-way ticket with cash, and was able to get his desired seat to maximize impact.  

Some have suggested that the fact that the pantie bomber failed is a testament to the ineptitude of the terrorists.  I believe that the pantie bomber was inept, but the network that got him to almost succeed seems pretty effective. 

Executive Power

Executive PowerMitch is back and that means another great book for me to read.  Author Vince Flynndoes it again with CIA operative Mitch Rapp.  I am going to be very disappointed when I finish reading these books.  In the fourth novel, Executive Power, Rapp continues to battle global terrorism.  Though supposedly “retired” from the field he keeps his hand in the battles to protect our country. 

In this novel, America is not directly threatened, but Rapp and the CIA travel the world to combat extremists.  I am obviously reading the Rapp novels years after they were first published (Executive Power was published in 2003) and it is interesting to think about what was happening in American back then.  I found these two excerpts particularly interesting:

National Lamepoon’s Vacation

Obama vacationI had thought about the framework for this posting for a little while, but only recently found the hook that I wanted to use.  I was checking in on Facebook and noticed a posting from a friend of a friend “liking” a photograph [that actually makes sense if you use facebook] of President Obama and his family returning from their Hawaiian vacation.  Many of the friends posted comments and since I surmise from the photograph that most of these folks are young I was not too surprised at the comments.

“Great picture. What a beautiful family. I’m so glad they got a chance to escape the maddness for a short vacation.”

The DaVinci Cod

davinci codThat is not a typo on the book name; it is author Don Brine’s attempt at a parody of the more famous book by Dan Brown.  My guess is that Brine (AKA Adam Roberts) wants not only to parody Brown’s best seller, but trivialize the theories in The daVinci Code.

“a man had a very cunning theory which he wrote down in a book, and it proved to be very popular indeed…But then it turned out that this very cunning theory was not so cunning after all because it wasn’t true.  Not even remotely.  Not even a tiny bit likely.”

Hold Tight

Hold TightImagine that your a well-off suburban father and you find yourself deep in the inner city as you search for your troubled teenager.  Or imagine that you are a mother who recently went back to work as a lawyer only to be pulled away because your son has disappeared.

In Hold Tight you are thrust into worlds of murder, drugs, cyber-spying, infidelity, a chauvinistic cop, a smart cop, cell phones, and of all things an elementary school.  Somehow author Harlan Coben links these together in a riveting novel.  One of the things that I enjoyed is that I could sort of figure out what might happen as the story progressed, even though I was not always right, yet this did not detract from the story.  I was pulled along because of the pace of the story.

Wish List For Our Second 21st Century Decade

ChosenOneI guess that it is tradition to end the previous year and start a new year with some wishes or resolutions for the future.  As we move into the second decade of the 21st century I have a few of my own…hopefully for your enjoyment:

  • My first wish is for the lame stream media to start to enjoy the fact that they were successful in getting their man elected to the White House.  It has been almost a year so it is time for them to give up the ghost of the George W. Bush presidency and myths that they like to promote such as the 2000 election was stolen, Cheney was really in charge, and that Bush was both stupid and fiendishly cunning.

What The Dog Saw

What the dog sawIt slices, it dices, it does the work of many other home utensils.  We have all seen the commercials and while we often turn the channel, a lot of times we watch…and even buy.  In the first chapter of What the Dog Saw I was treated to the fascinating background and life of world famous pitchman, Ron Popeil. 

Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite authors and Blink is on my top ten list.  When I first saw his new book in the store I naturally picked it up to buy it, but was not enthused by the description and actually put it back down.  The description that this was “the best of his writing from The New Yorker” did not interest me.