Framing the Dialogue

Archive for March, 2014

Political Theatre

hopelessI’m sitting in a hotel “free breakfast” area on this crappy Sunday morning four hours from my home.  The coffee is quite good, the food is okay, the news is frustrating. My online news triumvirate starts with Drudge then I Hate the Media (website and my feelings about mainstream media), and end with Breitbart And this headline;

WV governor vetoes abortion bill, sparking outrage from national pro-life group

The bill protects unborn babies after 20 weeks.  So you would presumably be able to kill the unborn up until that point so this is at best a start on reigning in abortions.   West Virginia’s governor Tomblin sited legal concerns as his reason to veto the legislation passed by the Democrat-controlled congress is the state;

House of Cards

house of cards 1This is the original book that was the inspiration for the hit Netflix series staring Kevin Spacey.  Set in England, House of Cards follows the political fortunes of the British Prime Minister as he faces his opposition after a winning (barely) election for his party.  Contrary to expectations, however, it’s his own party that he has to watch his back around.  Author Michael Dobbs gives us a glimpse in the dark underside of national politics.

“A politician should never spend too much time thinking.  It distracts attention from guarding his back.”

The General’s Daughter

generals daughter 1We are introduced to Army Criminal Investigation Division’s Paul Brenner.  The CID investigates crimes committed by military personnel to both protect the military and prosecute the offenders and sometimes there is some question about which comes first.  In The General’s Daughter author Nelson DeMille thrusts Brenner into the middle of a heinous murder of a soldier (if you consider the title you’ll consider who the victim was) on an Army base.  Brenner already on site conducting an undercover operation is enlisted to work on the case with a former “associate” with whom he has had a past, bad relationship.  Brenner not only not has to maneuver the crime scene, but military politics.  Because of the high profile victim he has a deadline before the FBI intervenes and the Army does not want that.

In The Lake Of The Woods

lake of the woods1I seem to have stumbled into quite a few books lately that feature characters who fought in Vietnam.  This one, In the Lake of the Woods, the second that I have read by Tim O’Brien and feature a politician who is haunted by his participation in that war.  The disappearance of his wife after a failed campaign puts him in the spotlight of the small, lake town where he and his wife went to get away from things.  It’s always the husband right?  Well O’Brien doesn’t let you get away with that and the story takes you back through the lives of the couple.

The Red Dahlia

red dahlia1The Red Dahlia is the second book by Lynda La Plante featuring Detective Inspector Anna Travis.  Travis is again thrust into working for volatile and acerbic Chief James Langton and her feelings for him are always on the back of her mind.  Travis and her fellow officers are faced with trying to solve one of the most brutal crimes to ever hit England.  The killer seems to be a copycat of a series of murders from the United States in the 1940s. 

My Brain Might Be Full

my brain hurtsThe brains of older people only appear to slow down because they have so much information to compute, much like a full-up hard drive, scientists believe.

By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent

5:16PM GMT 20 Jan 2014

Older people do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe.  Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full up, so to do humans take longer to access information, it has been suggested.  Researchers say this slowing down it is not the same as cognitive decline.  ´The human brain works slower in old age,¡ said Dr. Michael Ramscar, ´but only because we have stored more information over time.  ´The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.”

The Execution

execution 1NYPD Intelligence officer Jeremy Fisk returns in Dick Wolf’s new novel The Execution.  As perhaps the world’s most coveted target for terrorism New York City has its own intelligence division.  Detective Fisk is about a year removed from the foiled attack at the opening of the new World Trade Center and the murder of his girlfriend.  Guess what?  There is a new threat and the investigation is complicated by United Nations week in New York and the usual craziness of NYC is turned up a few notches.  While Fisk is assigned “desk” duties he is pulled into what becomes a serious situation involving a possible assassination.  Fisk deals with a former nemesis and meets a tough Mexican cop who is rather mistrustful.

Our Representative Republic

a republicI love when members of Congress passionately speak and defend our democracy.  I wonder how many actually know that the United States is not a democracy, but rather a representative republic.  They are elected to represent our wishes.  They campaign on that and seem serious until they are elected when they do what special interests bid.  The headline in my local paper for this article was somewhat different and the purpose of this post is not about the meat of the article which can be read at this link.

First the first sentence;

Low Inflation…Apparently Is A Bad Thing

influshionLow Inflation…Apparently Is A Bad Thing?  According to the headline in my local paper;

Low inflation’s ugly side? Weak economy

The headline is a link to the full article, but here are a few “precious” quotes from the article…Sorry to Adam Smith;

what the global economy could use right now is a dose of higher prices.” [perhaps the authors have not ridden to the gas pumps or shopped at the grocery store lately]