Dick Cheney’s memoir, “In My Time,” is out today. As Daniel Henninger at the WSJ says
No one should have expected that Dick Cheney’s memoir would be anything but frank. Make that brutally frank. Such as this characterization of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s description to President George W. Bush of her proposed nuclear-weapons agreement with North Korea. It’s on page 487:
“Looking for a way to explain this situation, Rice said, ‘Mr. President, this is just the way diplomacy works sometimes. You don’t always get a written agreement.’ The statement was utterly misleading, totally divorced from what the secretary was doing, which was urging the president, in the absence of an agreement, to pretend to have one. . . . “
Would anyone expect anything less from the man the Left compared to Darth Vader?
Also, from Henninger’s piece, and perhaps the most telling about Cheney’s character as a public servant:
After two event-filled terms as George W. Bush’s No. 2, I asked Mr. Cheney to sum it up. Characteristically, the answer had nothing to do with anyone’s approval rating:
“I think we did a pretty good job after 9/11 for those seven and a half years. I think the record reflects that. I think the president gets a lot of credit for that. Partly it’s a question of political leadership. It’s important to have people at the helm who are prepared to be unpopular, to take the criticism and the hits that go with implementing policies.”
In any case, will you read it?
Word. Got a couple good looking books from the library tonight. It’s within walking distance, so if I put the kids in the stroller and take them with, I get new books to peruse and read, the kids pick out some new books, and I get at least a modicum of exercise….if just.
The books? I’ll spare you the fun ones and just share the more interesting of the titles.
How about you? What have you started reading this week?
(And, yes, I admit it: I also picked up sundry novels of low brow sci-fi and fantasy…but who’s keeping track?)
I wandered through the Barnes and Noble during my lunch hour, today. I felt like a child in a candy store…
Among the many books that caught my eye, one resonated more than the others: “The Sorcerers and their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives.”
Check this, from a review in the WSJ that I found when I got back to the office:
Part of the Media Lab mystique is that no one owns the intellectual property that its sorcerers and apprentices generate. Rather, the inventions and innovations that come of its “antidisciplinary” approach to problem-solving are put into the public domain for anyone to take up and run with. Lately the Media Lab teams have turned their attention to health-care delivery systems, personal-finance tools, robots that will provide help and companionship for the elderly, and a wearable device that can turn any surface—a tabletop or a human hand—into a computer touch-screen.
Forget iPads and tablets–how about a watch that turns my desk into a computer touch-screen?
That, my friends, is cool stuff. And it’s another reason why we should be focusing more of our educational energies on beefing up on math and the sciences, not what demographic group most contributed to history.
Posted in Books and Reading, Tech and IP
Tagged Barnes & Noble, Books, E-book, Education, Frank Moss, Good Ideas, intellectual property, iPad, MIT Media Lab, The Wall Street Journal
If you’re interested in becoming an “expert” in a flash, or at least boning up on a topic, then nothing beats reading a few well written books. The only trouble is finding the time and finding the right books.
Find the time and the books, though, and it is one of the cheapest, and most accessible, ways to an education. A true leveler. Suddenly, you can pontificate with the loudest out there, yell at the T.V. with impunity, and tell Chris Matthews where he’s wrong (a clue: on just about everything that involves a thrill up his leg). Continue reading
Posted in Books and Reading
Tagged Books, Chinese poetry, Chris Matthews, deliberative democracy, Education, informed, Looming Tower, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan, Peter Bergen, Peter Lance, poetry, pontificators, Qiu Xiaolong, Reading lists, Tobias Hecht
I have a friend who won’t read fiction. He doesn’t eschew just the fun stuff that I enjoy and use to escape, but even the more difficult (though just as enjoyable) classics and serious fiction. He just doesn’t see the point. He’s not the only one. I run into a lot of people like that.
Now, granted, there are a lot of demands on our time. We’ve got jobs and careers (not necessarily the same thing), families, civic involvement, American Idol, and Facebook to worry about. The bills have to be paid, and the kids have to be fed.
But reading, and reading fiction, too, should never be neglected. There are few experiences like reading fiction to help access the inner man, use our imagination to learn empathy, view other perspectives, and expand our world view. I’m not saying that there aren’t other ways; just that reading fiction is a great way to do it.
Today, I ran across this simple statement from Isaac Asimov, and while it is just that: a simple statement, it is right to the point.
PS: I have not verified its authenticity.