April 12th, 2009


Disappointing ...

This was one of my "dollar store" acquisitions, so wasn't something that I specifically went looking for, but I guess I was hoping for more attitude in G. Gordon Liddy's Fight Back: Tackling Terrorism, Liddy Style. Perhaps because this is a "team effort" (it's co-authored with his ex-seal son, an emergency medicine MD, and a defense department terrorism expert) it mutes what I was expecting from the "Liddy Style" ... as this reads a lot more like a government manual than his seminal book Will!

The book is in three sections, "Know Your Enemy", "Secure Yourself", and an "Emergency/Terrorism Response Handbook" (it's the former in the index, the latter in the page headings). While there are fascinating bits of data in each of these sections (such as an analysis of various bio weapons in the third part), the most interesting elements are in the beginning where (I'm assuming) G.G.L. is providing his "take" on the various threats out there.

The problem I had with the book is that there isn't very much in here to "help" a standard family with a standard budget. I don't think in our apartment that I'd be able to build in a "safe room" (especially with the dimensions suggested), and unless one's a Mormon, it would involve a substantial re-working of priorities to simply stock the supplies recommended. Much of the "take-away" here is that the main target of this are corporations and their CEO's, as substantial parts of the book are dealing with how to set up the exteriors of office and factory buildings and how to avoid getting kidnapped (including such useful information as the optimal angle and speed to take a curb in order to drive off on the sidewalk).

Again, I suppose that I had hoped to have been exposed to more of the acerbic Liddy wit here, but that is in very short supply, and is largely limited to a re-print of a "fictionalized" White House memo, originally published in Omni magazine, detailing a disastrous series of attacks on the US.

Speaking of re-prints, I was somewhat surprised at how much the book uses out-takes from assorted state and federal government publications. Given the team assembled to work on this book, one would think they'd have been able to come up with more focused material than quoting the Rhode Island Department of Health.

If one's not in a position to free up a large amount of money for "preparedness", I'm afraid that Fight Back is a pretty grim read, as it's basically outlining "how you're screwed" rather than how one might "fight back" or "tackle terrorism". As I noted, this "like new" (it has one small black marker dot on one edge) hardcover came from the dollar store, even though it's still "in print" (Amazon is offering it at a 42% discount). The new/used guys have this for as low as a penny (plus shipping, of course), so if you're interested in reading it, and can't run across it for $1, that is likely your best bet for getting this.

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I must be getting OLD ...

OK, so I was listening to Pandora the other day and a live Black Sabbath cut came up, and I opened up the info page for the album, which was 1998's Reunion when the classic Black Sabbath line-up got together for a tour, and a series of concerts in their home town of Birmingham (where this was recorded). The thing on Pandora was extremely complimentary on this 2-disc set, saying it was one of the best ever live albums. So, I wandered off to Amazon's new/used vendors an found a "like new" copy of this $24.95 list album for $3.79 ($6.77 with shipping). It came in this weekend, and I've been playing it over and over, as it IS an awesome recording of Black Sabbath at their best.

However ...

Ozzy, in his between-the-tracks banter, keeps dropping "the F-bomb" over and over and over "You Fuckers!", "C'mon, you can be fucking LOUDER!", F-this, F-that, F-the other thing. And here's the point that has me feeling like some crotchety old guy ... it was bothering me!

What's next? Getting a place with a lawn so I can yell at kids to get off of it?

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Conspiracies etc.

Let me preface this by saying that I firmly believe that there are whole areas of "physics" that have only been glancingly dealt with by the scientific mainstream. Unfortunately, because there is no visible "big science" work being done in these areas, the news that comes out about what work is being done is almost by definition from "the fringe" ... but this material is fascinating and tends to provide "answers" about various things that are very enticing. I've read a lot of this in various places on the web, usually starting with Richard C. Hoagland's

In following links around I had frequently run into citations from Joseph P. Farrell's books, and when I encountered his Secrets of the Unified Field: The Philadelphia Experiment, The Nazi Bell, and the Discarded Theory, I was hoping that it was going to be looking at the science behind the effects that he refers to as "torsion" and Hoagland labels "hyperdimensional".

Unfortunately, with the exception of looking at some of the developments of Einstein's thought (the "Discarded Theory" of the sub-title was the Unified Field Theory), this book is very little about the science and was all about the "conspiracies", especially those that various researchers have "found" around "The Philadelphia Experiment". I wonder why the author didn't just write a book on that, as this book only runs about 1/8th of its length looking at the work of Einstein and related theorists at the start, then goes on and on about the Philadelphia Experiment, and finally gives a brief "conspiracy" over-view of the "Nazi Bell" project, a subject the author has written extensively on elsewhere, but barely gives enough info on here to provide the reader a clue to what it was or was supposed to do, let alone how it was supposed to do it!

Now, I don't want to specifically say that I wasn't particularly interested in the Philadelphia Experiment, but it's one of those things that has rumors WAY out of control around it, and is one of those military projects that one is not likely to ever get a straight answer on one way or the other. I was, however, very interested in the possibility of delving into the science behind these various "secret projects". Regrettably, this was not much in evidence here, making the whole story another web of suggestive paper trails and fantastic stories of accidentally time-traveling bystanders.

Obviously, if the more extreme effects reported about the "Philadelphia Experiment" and the "Nazi Bell" could be proven true, the science made repeatable, and the whole process harnessed to some functional goal, this would be reality-changing, but sixty years later there's no sign of any technology that would seem to be rooted in these systems, which makes me think that it's all chasing rumors and creating conspiracies to explain why there's no straight answers.

Of course, if one approached this sort of material looking for an emotional charge from the "woo woo" conspiracy stuff, this book would be right up your alley ... but if you're looking for a cogent walk-through of the science related to these subjects, like I was, you're likely to be sorely disappointed.

What's almost as irritating is that I actually paid "retail" (well, Amazon's 32%-off price) for this, and I can't give you an alternative (the cheapest used copy there is almost the same price). Again, if you're looking for "oooh, big military/government conspiracy!" twaddle, you'll love this, otherwise save your money.

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