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Reviews and Ratings
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reviewed Karl Marx. January 31
Karl Marx
Readers will no doubt appreciate that I am using a good/bad/conclusion format to this review as perhaps there is no thinker other than Hegel for whom it is so fitting.  I will preface this by stating …
reviewed Tra. August 09, 2011
posted in Music Matters
  Ok, I didn't like all the songs on this album at first. However, even at first, I was entranced by a must of them. What a band!       Hedningarna brings together ancient …
reviewed The Servile State. August 07, 2011
The Servile State
The Servile State was written a hundred years ago as a criticism and analysis of the sort of plutocratic capitalism which had evolved in England and a description of where it was leading.  In this …
reviewed Norwegian Troll Tales. July 16, 2011
Norwegian Troll Tales
  This book appears to me to be an attempt to portray the popular image of trolls to America. The book includes stories, descriptions of how they were told in a family setting, discussions of folklore …
reviewed The Civil Wars (Penguin Classics). June 24, 2011
The Civil Wars (Penguin Classics)
  This work is the largest surviving piece of Appian's Roman History, and it covers the time from the fall of Gracci through the defeat of Antonius at the hands of Octavian. The book is also …
The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion
  First, I should stress that I do not entirely agree with all of Eliade's ideas. His ideas about the nature of religion strike me as interesting and probably correct in some of their outlines …
Heaven, Heroes, and Happiness: The Indo-European Roots of Western Ideology
  In this work, Shan Winn summarizes up the generally accepted views of Indo-European comparative mythology, archaeology, and so forth. Summarizing the theories of Georges Dumezil, Marija Gimbutas …
The Ritual Process: Structure and Antistructure
  Victor Turner is one of the main anthropological thinkers, along with the likes of Claude Levy-Strauss and Mircea Eliade. Unlike other such figures though he speaks deeply on a single culture, …
Bending the Boyne: A Novel of Ancient Ireland
  To be honest I had a hard time getting into this book because of how different the author's view of prehistoric/megalithic Ireland was and my own. I recognize however that the point of historical …
reviewed So Close. June 05, 2011
So Close
So I bought this movie because I am a bit of a fan of Shu Qi. I didn't know what to expect. What I found was a deeply fascinating movie, and while I didn't find it as emotionally powerful as some …
reviewed Cuy con papas. May 06, 2011
Cuy con papas
Most people don't know this but the guinea pig was originally domesticated for food.   In countries like Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia, they eat fairly large numbers of guinea pigs.  They …
reviewed End of an Era (Bonus CD) (Arg). May 02, 2011
End of an Era (Bonus CD) (Arg)
This is a truly emotional concert on many levels. It was the last time that Tarja Turunen performed as lead singer with Nightwish. The band fired her after that concert.... She had previously asked to …
reviewed 2011 Military Intervention in Libya. April 09, 2011
2011 Military Intervention in Libya
Qadafi (or Khadhdhaffi, or any of the 30 other accepted ways to spell his name) has a problem:  he has alienated the West through his endorsement of the Lockerbie bombing, and he has alienated most …
reviewed Potential Government Shutdown of 2011. April 09, 2011
Potential Government Shutdown of 2011
For the first time in 15 years it looks like our government may partially shut down while everyone figures out how to allocate money.  The blame here is allotted to the political parties who have …
Sixty years after the war, Doenitz is one of those figures who remains controversial within mainstream circles. Some see him as a Nazi war criminal who got off too easy while others see him as a brilliant …
reviewed Same-Sex Marriage. February 10, 2011
Same-Sex Marriage
Rather than express an opinion, I want to discuss some of the problems inherent in this discussion, especially where the courts are involved.      In the interest of full disclosure …
reviewed Laura Schlessinger. February 09, 2011
Laura Schlessinger
   First, let me say this.  As a nation we need to have a conversation about the word "nigger."  We need to look at the historical use of the word, how it has been used to …
reviewed Assurance Wireless. January 24, 2011
posted in Big Government
Assurance Wireless
Unlike the previous reviewer, I'm going to start out with the legitimate problems that I think this program is designed to address.      First, we live in a society where most …
reviewed Sarah Palin. January 19, 2011
posted in Big Government
Sarah Palin Headshot
I suppose the good news is that Palin is eminently forgettable. Folks will be quoting Ronald Reagan and William Buckley long after Palin is gone, but are very unlikely to find her much of an inspiration …
Deeply Into the Bone: Re-Inventing Rites of Passage
   In this book, Ronald Grimes attempts to put forth a set of frameworks for approaching ritual in our own lives. The book is exceedingly thought-provoking and very well done. The book is divided …
reviewed No More Wacos. December 29, 2010
posted in Big Government
No More Wacos
   David Kopel sets out to demonstrate what the federal government did wrong regarding the Waco raid, siege, and final assault. He is clearly not altogether interested in what David Koresh did …
reviewed Homebrew Beer. December 28, 2010
posted in The Beer Snob
Homebrew Beer
So you like good beer.  Maybe you like the same kind of beer as me.  Maybe you don't.  The point is you have your tastes.      The best beer IMO is always the beer …
reviewed Babylon 5. December 28, 2010
posted in Awesomeness
Babylon 5
   I am in the middle of watching B5 for the fourth of fifth time, this time with my seven year old son, and having recently read much in the way of early epics all at once (Beowulf: A Verse …
reviewed Food Safety Act of 2010. December 27, 2010
posted in Big Government
Food Safety Act of 2010
Everyone is for food safety. Who could be opposed?  Yet for all the efforts, I think the government is going about things entirely the wrong way.      The first thing that folks …
   This is an amazing book in breadth and depth. Nearly 300 pages of photos and analysis. And while it is not comprehensive, it is worth getting. The authors point out the social function of …
reviewed Mahabharata. December 26, 2010
   First a few notes about the construction of the book. The binding seems sturdy and well done. The book is well typeset and easy to read. Unfortunately there are three problems here. The first …
reviewed Healthcare Reform. December 20, 2010
posted in Big Government
Healthcare Reform
Our health care system suffers from a number of severe problems.  We currently essentially have a mixed system where some people qualify for a public option (Medicaid, Medicare, federal government …
Birth as an American Rite of Passage (2nd Ed)
   Ok, I'm feeling a little self-conscious being the first male reviewer of this book on Amazon, but here it is.  Everyone should read this book, male or female, American or not, whatever.  …
reviewed Gorgeous (1999 movie). December 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Gorgeous (1999 movie)
   his is somewhat different from the other Jackie Chan movies that I have seen. For starters it's basically a romantic comedy with martial arts added. The humor is pretty foreign to us …
reviewed Firefly - The Complete Series. December 16, 2010
Firefly Complete Series
   I very much enjoyed this series.  The basic premise is that of a dystopian Western in Space, where a totalitarian government has an iron grip on the most developed planets, and the less …
reviewed Corporations are citizens?. December 14, 2010
posted in Big Government
Corporations are citizens?
I actually read the Supreme Court's opinions here (the opinion of the court, the concurrences, and the partial dissents).  I also read most of the Amicus briefs.  There is a lot of misinformation …
reviewed 2010 Health Care Reform Bill. December 13, 2010
posted in Big Government
2010 Health Care Reform Bill
There has been a lot of false advertising about this bill.  This is an attempt to cut through a lot of this and give to the best of my ability a fair review of the changes of law.      …
The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays
   Most of this book is spent discussing literature-- Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, fairy tales, etc. These are not hard-core philology lectures but rather discussions about the …
reviewed Serenity. December 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   The movie, "Serenity" begins before the Firefly - The Complete Series really gets going, with the rescue of Willow from Alliance scientists. The movie then picks up after the series …
The Kurgan Culture and the Indo-Europeanization of Europe: Selected Articles Form 1952 to 1993 (Journal of Indo-European Studies Monograph Series No. 18)
   One might say that Marija Gimbutas is the intellectual giant who all scholars that would trace the archaeological origins of the Indo-European speakers in Europe must confront. Her Kurgan …
reviewed The Key to Solomon's Key: Secrets of .... December 09, 2010
The Key to Solomon's Key: Secrets of Magic and Masonry
   In this book, Lon Milo Duquette discusses his reasons for being a Mason, as well as his views on religion generally. The book is somewhat thought provoking if read right, but it's tempting …
reviewed Asvamedha. December 08, 2010
   First, there is a great deal to disagree with in this work. Personally I think actual vs metaphorical sacrifices were probably equivalent in the beginning, and that attempts to place one …
reviewed The Act of Will. December 06, 2010
The Act of Will
The author, Roberto Assagioli, is mostly known for his school of psychotherapy called "Psychosynthesis" which is inspired by a wide range of sources, from Dante through Freud and Jung.  …
Icelandic Folktales and Legends
     This is a collection largely of material collected by Jon Arnason in the 19th century. The book focuses on four a few basic areas of folk stories generally believed to be true. These …
reviewed Marijuana Legalization. December 02, 2010
posted in Big Government
Legalizing Marijuana!
Our drug laws are messed up.  There is no sense of proportionality of threat in what is regulated or how heavily.  Strangely marijuana plants are the only plants subject to an outright ban in …
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