The Littlest Soapbox

April 29, 2010

Internet Down Through The Weekend

Filed under: General Interest — mikecgannon @ 2:27 PM

The Internet troubles from earlier this week were not due to thunderstorms, unfortunately, they were symptomatic of a larger problem that has yet to be fixed, and which is still rendering me without web access from home. This is a quick bulletin to let you know that regular posting will therefore be suspended at least until next week. I’ll still try to blog when I can, and hope to be back up ASAP.


April 27, 2010

The Littlest Soapbox New Releases of Note Report: April 27, 2010 Edition

Filed under: Books,New Releases of Note — mikecgannon @ 5:17 PM

This week’s top pick: William F. Buckley Jr: The Maker of a Movement, by Lee Edwards.

Other titles of note:

Winston’s War, by Max Hastings
Hellhound On His Trail, by Hampton Sides

Getting The Pretty Back, by Molly Ringwald

There’s A Word For It,, by Sol Steinmetz

Science Fiction
Star Wars Fate of the Jedi: Outcast, by Aaron Allston (Mass Market Paperback Release)

Relentless, by Dean Koontz

Young Adult
Kiss of Death, by Rachel Caine
Burned, by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Mistwood, by Leah Cypess
The Vampire Diaries: The Fury, by L.J. Smith (Mass Market Paperback Media Tie-in Release)

Still having Internet trouble; hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with full content, otherwise look for new postings on Thursday. Happy reading!

Daily Gospel April 27, 2010

Filed under: Religion — mikecgannon @ 2:34 PM

John 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”


April 26, 2010

Internet Down

Filed under: Books,General Interest,News & Politics — mikecgannon @ 2:25 PM

The thunderstorms moving through my area are playing merry havoc with my Internet connection (it’s via satellite), making posting today kind of difficult. So here is a condensed version of today’s content!

George W. Bush has announced the title and release date of his memoirs covering his two terms as President of the United States. The book will be called Decision Points, and it will release on November 9, 2010. Personally, I would be more in the memoirs of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, but Decision Points is bound to be the most significant political book of 2010. I’ll be watching carefully for advance content and reviews, and will be sure to link to any that does come.

James Patterson released his latest book today, The 9th Judgment, from his Women’s Murder Club series. True, Patterson releases a lot of books, but this is one of his core series, so it deserves looking into by mystery fans.

Daily Gospel April 26, 2010

Filed under: Religion — mikecgannon @ 2:08 PM

John 10:1-10

Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”


April 24, 2010

The Daily Fix 4/24/10

Filed under: Books — mikecgannon @ 10:46 AM

Shop Class As Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford is out in paperback, and there is no longer any excuse not to go buy it. This is the best non-fiction book that I read last year. A political philosopher connected with the University of Virginia who owns and operates a motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, VA, Crawford weaves personal narrative, social history, and philosophy into a lucid and uplifting reflection on the value of work and the nature of the “good life”. What really makes this book work is that it neither romanticists the life of manual labor nor polemicizes against the office; instead, it walks a fine line between the two, while still managing to take to task a lot of modern pop economics about “knowledge workers”, and demonstrating the great value that the often-unheralded trades provide for society. In the end, Shop Class As Soulcraft is a thought-provoking, entertaining read that will leave you restlessly looking around for some power tools.

The Morning Bulletin 4/24/10

Filed under: News & Politics — mikecgannon @ 10:27 AM

On the topic of free speech, liberals tend to be sanctimonious hypocrites. Example, via Mark Steyn: South Park and Comedy Central.

Faced with this explicit threat of violence, what did Comedy Central do? Why, it folded like a Bedouin tent. It censored “South Park,” not only cutting all the references to Muhammad but, in an exquisitely postmodern touch, also removing the final speech about the need to stand up to intimidation. Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker get what was at stake in the Danish cartoons crisis, and many other ostensibly footling concessions: Imperceptibly, incrementally, remorselessly, the Free World is sending the message that it is happy to trade core liberties for the transitory security of a quiet life. That is a dangerous signal to give freedom’s enemies. So the “South Park” episode is an important cultural pushback.

Yet in the end, in a craven culture, even big Hollywood A-listers can’t get their message through. So the brave, transgressive comedy network was intimidated into caving in and censoring a speech about not being intimidated into caving in. That’s what I call “hip,” “edgy,” “cutting-edge” comedy: They’re so edgy they’re curled up in the fetal position whimpering at the guy with the cutting edge, “Please. Behead me last. And don’t use the rusty scimitar where you have to saw away for 20 minutes to find the spinal column.”

Daily Gospel April 24, 2010

Filed under: Religion — mikecgannon @ 10:20 AM

John 6:60-69

Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”


April 23, 2010

The Daily Fix 4/23/10

Filed under: Books,Film,Music — mikecgannon @ 11:26 AM

Carolyn See over at the Washington Post beautifully demonstrates the high art of sarcasm in her piece, which is less of a review and more of a subtle demolition, on Paolo Giordano’s The Solitude Of Prime Numbers. She closes with this:

There’s no arguing with this depressive emotional position, besides growing up. We all have to die, and that means in the end that the depressives are right. I’m just wondering about the thousands upon thousands of Europeans who (presumably) subscribe to this position, and have turned, by their adulation, this whimpering cub into a literary lion.

Fans of Young Adult Fantasy will be interested in Melissa Marr’s new book, Radiant Shadows.

Crazy Heart, the film starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Robert Duvall (who won Best Supporting Actor this year for his role as a bartender in this film), is out on DVD this week. I haven’t seen it, but the soundtrack is phenomenal. Anyone who likes old school country and bluegrass would be justified picking up a copy.

The Morning Bulletin 4/23/10

Filed under: News & Politics — mikecgannon @ 9:31 AM

Mona Charen praises Justice Samuel Alito for standing on his own in the 8-1 decision United States vs. Stevens, in which the court overturned an animal cruelty law banning ” the creation, sale, or possession of certain types of animal-cruelty videos” (warning: the link contains some disturbing written material), which Charen characterizes (accurately, IMHO), as appealing to “a level of depravity that makes some of us want to resign from the human race”. Kudos to Justice Alito for making the right decision in voting to uphold the law, and not getting drawn into an overly theoretical view of the First Amendment.

Michelle Malkin asks John McCain to fulfill on of my more deeply-held desires: that he would just go away. Also, that he would stop pretending to be a conservative when he clearly isn’t.

I need a Dramamine to cover Sen. John McCain’s reelection bid. With his desperate lurch to the right, he’s inducing more motion sickness than a Disneyland teacup. McCain’s campaign represents the same self-serving political cynicism that American voters have grown tired of stomaching from the current White House. We need choices, not carbon copies.

Rush Limbaugh calls out liberals (and Bill Clinton specifically) for exploiting the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing to smear conservatives and tea party activists.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at