Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Ellicott City

August 23, 2022 Peace and Good, I have been in the area of Ellicott City for the past 10 days. Almost every day has involved a visit to some doctor or dentist. It is hard to get them in when I am on the road almost all the time. I have been having a bit of trouble with my legs, and so I had a few MRI's to see if the doctors could figure things out. They have not found anything serious, but they arestill looking. In the meantime, I have caught up with my daily reflections and have worked on a translation of a document for the Order (a bit over 60 pages) on formation. I finished it this afternoon, and will edit it when I return to Rome. Given that the due date was November, I am happy to have it almost finished. I will be heading back to Rome tomorrow, and then on to London on the 31st. I finished some books: The Ancient Spartan Army by Charles River Editors This is a short account of the birth of Sparta and its army. Unlike most societies which have an army, this, like Prussia, was an army that happened to have a society. The book speaks of how successful the army was in its many wars, but also of the negative dimensions (lack of respect for the individual, the horrible treatment of the Helots, etc. 8 Books That Changed the World by Joseph Luzzi This is a short course on literature that made a significant contribution to society, including the Bible, the Odyssey, the Divine Comedy, The Invisible Man (James Baldwin), etc. The professor is insightful without being esoteric. It was part of a series of short courses (an hour or two), but this gave much more detail and things upon which one could reflect for quite some time. Hitler’s Secret Army by Tim Tate This is the story of those British men and women who supported the Nazi’s during World War II, either by promoting their cause and supporting a peace with Germany, or who actually tried to spy for and assist in other ways the German war effort. The author points out the difficulties of balancing the need to control security but at the same time protect civil rights. He also points out how prejudiced the authorities were in terms of class distinctions, protecting the nobility and punishing severely the lower classes. Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz This is the first of series of books about a man who was trained to be an assassin from his youth (for he was an orphan). The program started as a government agency, but Orphan X broke off and sought to help people in disastrous situations. In this volume, he is attacked by others who were part of the program and it is not clear whether this is a government attempt to clean up the mess or a power grab by one of the former members. How 1954 Changed History by Michael Flamm This is a Teaching Company course sponsored by Audible which speaks of the important events in politics, science, sports, civil rights, etc. which occurred in 1954. The presentation is well done and entertaining. Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobsen This is the story of the US effort to use Nazi scientists in order to work upon jet airplanes, biological weapons, atomic work, and other projects. There was a sense of urgency after the war because of the dawning of the Cold War, and the fear that if we did not use their expertise, then the Communists would. Yet, this project white washed the highly criminal background of many of the scientists shipped to the States. Probably the most famous of them was Werner Von Braun, who worked upon the space program. Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch This is another contribution to the Rivers of London series which deal with a couple of detectives who work in a semi-secret department which investigates offenses that involve the misuse of magic. The author is brilliant in his presentation, making his hero, Peter Grant, a half white and half African, has a great sense of humor as he slowly learns to use magic in his work. Hitler, God and the Bible by Ray Comfort This is a short book that deals with how Hitler twisted the idea of religion to serve his notorious plans. The first half of the book is a short historic outline of the Third Reich, while the second half deals more specifically with Hitler’s attitude toward the faith, including setting up a false national church in Nazi Germany that would be at his bidding. Unfortunately, because the author is evangelical, he cannot stop himself at taking aim at Catholicism. The Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri This is part of a very clever series on a Sicilian detective who has to solve crime in the face of a bureaucratic government that not only does not help his work, but at times actually fights against him. In this volume, the hero has to solve the murder of a woman who is found nude in a house which she was having built. The entire series is entertaining. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


Post a Comment