Sunday, April 17, 2016

Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious ViolenceNot in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Jonathan Sacks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It's a pity the people who most need to read this won't.

“Just as it is necessary to rob your enemies of their humanity, so you have to find a way of relinquishing responsibility for the evil you are about to commit. You must define yourself as a victim. It follows that you, in committing murder, even genocide, are merely acting in self-defence. It is the victim who is responsible. This was Hitler’s constant and deeply paradoxical claim. As Jeffrey Herf points out, he and his propagandists had to maintain two completely contradictory ideas: ‘one rooted in the grandiose idea of a master race and world domination, the other in the self-pitying paranoia of the innocent, beleaguered victim’. In general, as Vamik Volkan notes, dualists tend to combine ‘paradoxical feelings of omnipotence and victimization’. On the one hand we are masters of the universe; on the other we are the devil’s slaves.”

“It was Machiavelli, not Moses or Mohammed, who said it is better to be feared than to be loved: the creed of the terrorist and the suicide bomber. It was Nietzsche, the man who first wrote the words ‘God is dead’, whose ethic was the will to power. To invoke God to justify violence against the innocent is not an act of sanctity but of sacrilege. It is a kind of blasphemy. It is to take God’s name in vain.”

“The Hebrew Bible is the supreme example of that rarest of phenomena, a national literature of self-criticism. Other ancient civilisations recorded their victories. The Israelites recorded their failures. It is what the Mosaic and prophetic books are about.”

“Only in fiction are the great evils committed by caricatures of malevolence: Darth Vader, Lord Voldemort, Sauron or the Joker. In real history the great evils are committed by people seeking to restore a romanticised golden age, willing to sacrifice their lives and the lives of others in what they regard as a great and even holy cause. In some cases they see themselves as ‘doing God’s work’. They ‘seem happy’. That is how dreams of utopia turn into nightmares of hell.”




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Sunday, July 06, 2014

I was at work today, watching a little sparrow or chickadee. I'd seen other small birds around the station over the last few years, doing what I saw this sparrow doing today. But today was the first time I realized what was going on, and if I'm right, it's really exciting. It's another proof that animals are capable of thought and planning. Not tool using, like chimps using twigs to get ants out of logs, but they are doing something very cool. I did a Google search and it doesn't look like anyone's mentioned this anywhere online.

We have rows of lights under the carports, that aren't flush with the carport, but come down with a cover over them. I should take a picture and repost this some day.

I've noticed the birds doing something because it looks so funny. They fly around the lights, wings going very fast. They're almost hovering in place, like hummingbirds. It's when I saw the bird today then fly down underneath it and start pecking at the ground that I realized.

It was using its wings to brush away the dead bugs that flew around and committed suicide the night before. The ones that stuck to the covers when they fried themselves. Then it flew down and ate the ones it brushed to the ground! Is that cool or what? They HAVE to be thinking to do this.

Now that my phone has a camera, I'm going to try to get a picture next time it happens.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jim Mullaney's Blog It Out Your Ears: New Review for Sea No Evil

Jim Mullaney's Blog It Out Your Ears: New Review for Sea No Evil: Thanks, Julia Hopkinson, for your review of Sea No Evil at Readers' Favorites . On Sale at Amazon , B&N , Smashwords

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sneak Peak

Jim Mullaney is working on his next Crag Banyon mystery.  He's posted the blurb on his forum and Facebook:
Bum Luck (A Crag Banyon Mystery) cover blurb:

BANYON INVESTIGATIONS, INC. CASES CRACKED. REASONABLE RATES.

When a desperate leprechaun needs to locate his lost pot of gold, there's only one P.I. in town dogged and sober enough to take the case. Unfortunately, his first choice is in Bimini dodging an IRS audit, so he calls on Crag Banyon instead.

That's just the start of a string of increasingly lousy luck that hounds Banyon from one emerald end of his latest crummy job to the other, where it turns out that a trip over the rainbow isn't the fun-and-booze-filled romp that all the brochures claim. Banyon finds that the whole leprechaun world is upside-down, while at the same time our own world is suffering through a mealtime catastrophe that's threatening side dishes from here to Thanksgiving and beyond.

Toss in a femme fatale more fatale than usual, along with a sexy dame reporter who's so untrustworthy even her curves are crooked, and Banyon finds that he's up to his pretty little eyeballs in more trouble than one plucky, partially plastered P.I can handle. Not without doubling his rates and/or tripling his booze consumption.

UNLUCKIEST P.I. IN THE GREATER METROPOLITAN YELLOW PAGES.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Congratulations, James Mullaney

I've been a fan of Jim's writing every since he took over ghosting The Destroyer series.  After twenty six Destroyers, and contributions to The Assassins Handbook 2, Jim began writing and self publishing not one but two series: The Red Menace and The Crag Banyon Mysteries.

The Private Eye Writers of America have just announced the nominees for their 2013 Shamus Awards and Jim's second Banyon, Devil May Care, has been nominated in the Best Indie P.I. Novel category.  It's an honor just to be nominated (but here's hoping Jim wins).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reading


Got these from the page 25 Signs You're Addicted to Books

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Crag Banyon is a two-fisted P.I. with a heart of gold and a liver of stainless steel."



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Red and Buried (the Red Menace #1)

The paperback of James Mullaney's first Red Menace book, Red and Buried, is now available for purchase at Amazon.  Jim also has a new interview up at Ralph's Rants.



Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Sea No Evil




Available Soon on Kindle and Smashwords


Friday, April 26, 2013

Available now:

James Mullaney's latest book,  The Red Menace #4: A Red Letter Day is now on Smashwords. Which means it's available for download for Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps.  And it's on Kindle also.