Sunday, November 14, 2010

More Book Reviews

IN CASE THERE'S A FOX by Aya Katz, CreateSpace Publishing

As promised, here's the review on Aya's book. With "In Case There's A Fox" she joins the long and honorable list of parents -- including Rudyard Kipling, A. A. Milne and Dr. Seuss -- who made up bedtime stories for their children that later became children's books. Let's hope Aya's becomes equally successful.

This is a thin little trade-paperback with a glossy cover, illustrations by the author, and a short story in rhyme about a little girl -- who, of course, just happens to have the same name as the author's daughter -- that, when she "goes for walks, In the fields full of phlox, She is always concerned That she might meet a fox". Though the fox never does appear, the little girl goes through various adventures looking for one. The rhymes are smooth and easy, falling into a rhythm designed to lull a child to sleep; the illustrations are likewise softly Impressionistic in gentle, muted colors suggesting dreaminess. In short, this is an ideal bedtime story in solid form. Parents everywhere in the English-speaking world should be grateful for it.

SOUL SURVIVOR by Bruce and Andrea Leininger, from Grand Central Publishing, details one of the best-documented cases of reincarnation that I've ever seen: a World War Two fighter pilot reborn as a little boy in Louisiana in 1998. What makes it so effective is the wealth of confirming detail dug up by the boy's father, who started off as a Christian bigot -- actually saying "Not in my house! There will be no such thing as a past life! Never!" -- that set out to track down the rational source of his little son's nightmares, and ended by convincing himself.

In the father's hunt for the facts, the story turns into a historical mystery tale that reveals vivid details about WWII in the Pacific and the men who served there, not to mention their families, and as the last survivors of The Greatest Generation die off, it's important to collect their stories and remember their world. But beyond that, one of the most powerful scenes in the book comes when the father goes to a WWII veterans' reunion and finally reveals the real reasons for all his research and questions -- and the veterans, and their families, all have tales of their own to tell about their paranormal experiences during the war.

Anyone who insists on doubting that psychic phenomena or reincarnation exist should read this book.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Interesting Election Results

If find it interesting that I can't find a site on the Internet -- yet -- that simply lists all the races, all the votes and all the percentages. I had to hunt through a few dozen sites to get that information, which is intriguing by itself.

Okay, so the Republicans now have a majority of seats in the House and a knife's-edge balance in the Senate. Has anybody looked further? Did anyone noticed that a politically-naive newcomer, Rand Paul, won the seat in Kentucky? Note that Alaska is still counting votes because, if you please, the majority of votes went to a write-in candidate. When was the last time that happened? Rhode Island elected itself a governor on the Independent ticket, which is a real anomaly too.

More to the point, if you look at the returns and percentages in every race, in all but two of them the Rep/Dem votes do not add up to 100%. Some 1-9% of the voters did not stay home, but bothered to go to the polls and vote for anyone but a Republican or Democrat. Does this suggest something?

What I see building up here, like a slow volcano, is a growing distrust of both the Big Two political parties -- in fact, a distrust of political parties in general. After the Reps/Dems, the candidates who got the largest number of votes were those who listed themselves as Independent. If this trend continues, and I think it will, it'll mean a really radical change for American politics. Among other things, it means that spending millions on election advertising will no longer guarantee victory, and that right there will be an enormous change. It also means that the Old Boy network within political parties will go out the window.

Most of all, this means that the electorate is no longer sleeping -- and trusting. Any politicians with the sense to see what this means should be afraid, very afraid.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(