17 March 2007

So why the light postings as of late?

After taking some stock in my personal mental capabilities, and having it pointed out to me that I have shown some capability to better formulate ideas in the past year or so, I have decided to try getting some reading in! I did try that earlier with the last of the Belisarius series by David Drake and Eric Flint, but my mind was not working well on the integration or tracking side of things. While the gist of it did get through, and some very moving passages did ring solidly, it was not as good for me to read as I mentally thought it was. Yes, there was a disconnect somewhere deep inside between that area of surface cognition and the non-conscious part, with that latter ingesting more and reacting more than the surface area.

The other book was an ongoing part of the 1632 series, now fleshed out by numerous authors, scholars, and just plain folks who love the idea of a West Virginia town transported to Thuringia in 1631. What started as a small and cooperative community to look at events, has now become a deeper community of thought and writing to address stories large and small of how Americans would react to such a thing and adapt to it... and how the Europe of that era would likewise react and adapt to this whole new way of looking at things. The 1634: The Galileo Affair was, perhaps, not extremely well written, but the pointed look at how the Roman Catholic Church of that era was torn between power in the Earthly realm and giving Guidance in the spiritual had to come to the forefront. Galileo's trial was put off because of events in 1631-2 as who knew what the will of God had wrought? Was this a harbinger of the End Times or a Messenger or a trick of Evil forces?

Well, yes! Probably all of that as the small contingent that came, led by the Catholic Priest of the town of Grantsville, also brought other ecclesiastical documents with him, along with a few centuries of rulings by Popes. Much of that got to the Pontiff ahead of time, but the actual measure of the religion by the men and women involved is what makes things interesting. That said, most of that was, like the Belisarius novel, absorbed below conscious level during my reading. Structures are created there and often my conscious mind has been able to get some idea of that and do the conscious integration work, but only via some difficulty.

So to start things off I went for 1634: The Ram Rebellion, which for me, at least, is much easier to absorb as the high number of writers and relative shortness of each piece is perfectly tailored to someone who lives in Short Attention Span Theater. These are thematic stories all moving around a dispersed and centralized series of events in Franconia. After the slow build up to the United States of Europe and having Franconia handed over by Gustavus Adolphus for the USE to 'administer' one begins to suspect that the good King... Captain-General... was getting rid of a massive headache and willing it upon the overstretched capabilities of Grantville and now surrounding towns and Cities, which are finally getting to some stabilized economy. To say that Franconia of 1634 is complex is the equivalent of saying that The Balkans have a few divisions within them. By parceling out stories into much smaller and concentrated chunks to see how adaptations are made by town and region, the overall ability of a reader, like myself, who has problems following everyone in a longer work is diminished: spread out a greater cast of characters and make only one or two pivotal and let the rest tell vignettes.

That was actually enjoyable to read! First time since late 2004 that I can say that.

Next up is Power, Faith and Fantasy by Michael Oren, to examine the history of Islam, the Middle East and the United States. This is a necessary book, by all accounts, to get a better and firmer grasp of the historical antecedents to the modern era. The actual historical knowledge of most Americans, especially those not willing to address the present, is highly worrying. By putting forward a strange, economics driven and oriented vision of world affairs, the entire landscape of politics has been warped out of shape and the ability to interpret history and make economics one factor amongst many, has become difficult. And the over simplification of politics and economics to suit sloganeering has put the entire concept of Liberty at great risk, by trying to push economics *first* and liberty *second* we are finding that the disconnect on building a society is huge.

Also worrying is the amount of extreme historical revisionism that both 'sides' of the political dichotomous spectrum, of which you get two as a very strange idea to describe the number of possibilities in a 'spectrum', makes it nearly impossible to have a discussion in which partisanship does not over-ride factual accounting of history and its implications. By ignoring facts and blatantly saying that they aren't so or, even worse, unimportant, the actual force of history being a cross-weave between all things under the sun gets lost. Even trying to find themes that re-appear find those who absolutely discount the directivity of those themes by trying to put a modern, victim oriented light on them when, the people at the time, had entirely different views of what was going on.

That, of course, is part of the Transnational agenda, and the weakening of the education system to support a robust understanding of Nation States, the Nation State system, accountability of Nations to each other via diplomacy and the leeway within Nations to have separate identities, all leads to horrific end of ignorance, apathy, and the loss of the rights of the Individual.

And the astute reader will realize that the two topics of the 1632 series and the modern review of the US and the Middle East are *linked*.

With the end of the 30 Years War came the Peace of Westphalia which established the Nation State as Sovereign for itself and those within it. Outside religions could *not* dictate within Nations without the acquiescence of those Nations. That essential freedom from the dictatorial concept of religion by having Nation States able to have their own viewpoint *within* each Nation is a critical fulcrum in world affairs. It brought about the beginning of the end of religious wars in Europe, although there would still be religious strife and persecution for centuries to come. The winning idea of the Sovereign Nation State is the way to end domination of religion across Nations. Nations may adhere to any religion of their choosing, or, in fact, have no religion or give a nod to all religions, but that is entirely *within* the bounds of that Nation and cannot be dictated by outside forces.

When looking at parts of Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Southern Asia all the way out to the Island Basin area, one sees a raft of religious strife, differing ways of looking at religion and much conflict as those various religious groups seek domination for their particular religious ideal *above* that of Nation. Any similarities to the period of the 30 Year War with multiple large organizations seeking to impose religion upon each other and fight for it continuously and in a deadly manner for decades is purely coincidental....

Remember, this is just my pleasure reading!

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