“The Third Bullet” (Simon & Schuster New York © 2013) by Stephen Hunter is a fictional account of an investigation by a former U. S. Marine Corps sniper named Bob Lee Swagger into the murder of President John F. Kennedy. Since this is the year of all gun chat all the time on talk radio and since this year will be the fiftieth anniversary of the tragedy in Dallas Texas on November 22, we were pleasantly surprised to learn of the existence of this new installment in a series of mystery-adventure novels about a fellow who is loosely based on the legendary Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock because it seemed that none of the trolls who dominate the national discussion on guns has mentioned this new book. We have read several of the preceding installments in the series and were aware that the book would contain some very detailed technical information about guns and bullets. Suffice it to say that this new book blends accurate details of known American history with some speculation in a manor that is both entertaining and thought provoking.
Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Agent,” which describes the anarchy caused by bomb throwing Bolsheviks and was published in 1907, is based on a true life incident that occurred in London in 1894 but it still has that “ripped from today’s headlines” aura of relevancy to it. We wonder if teachers will urge their students to read this example of American Literature. Conrad’s novel “Under Western Eyes,” is an almost century old look at the world of political fanatics in Russia. What’s old is new and these two old books may start selling again.
“Twilight at the World of Tomorrow,” (Ballantine Books New York © 2010) by James Mauro tells the story of the use of a bomb by terrorists at the Great Britain Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair on July 4, 1940. There had been other bomb incidents at that time in the New York City which were caused by a union dispute. This bit of New York City terrorism remains an unsolved mystery.
“Live Fast, Die Young (The Wild Ride of Making ‘Rebel without a Cause’)” by Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel (Touchstone © 2005) just happened to be the next book on our recreational “in” pile as pundits around the world faced the task of doing a weekend wrap-up for the week that included the Boston Marathon Bombing. In that book, we learned (on page 79) that on the G. E. Theater episode titled “The Dark, Dark Hour,” James Dean worked with Ronald Reagan.
In a world where folks can see hundreds of cops standing around (on OT?) doing nothing, while the air traffic controllers are taught the pragmatic reasoning behind the move that destroyed their union, some cynics think that it may just be the latest installment in the long history of the anarchy caused by bomb throwers.
Did the folks on all Gun Chat radio all the time notice that while the police searched for the bombers, Sen. Harry Reid was saying “gun control legislation is dead for this year.”
Will the capitalist business owners in Boston charge employees who missed work on the day of the lockdown with a vacation day or will they cry “sequester cuts!” and declare that it was a one day sequester event and they need not pay for it? How many will be magnanimous and pay regular salary for the missed work day?
Boston dominated the news but KPFA reported that something bad may have happened at Guantanamo the Saturday before Patriots’ Day. Naturally the mainstream media ignored that and other important stories.
A fellow who was arrested for sending poison to politicians was released and can resume his career as the most famous Elvis impersonator alive.
If the Butthead and Bevis duo used cell phone technology to detonate the backpacks, did they also learn how to do that from material they found on the Internets? If not who mentored them? If the two brothers were enrolled in Terrorism 101, will President Obama pull a Dubya and invade the campus and destroy the school? If the American military is spread too thin, then does it not follow that the investigation must conclude that the older brother, Lee Harvey Tsarnaev duped his younger brother into being part of the gang of two and that they acted alone?
Now that the story is out that Syria has used poison gas after President Obama warned them not to do that, he seems to be caught in a classic binary choice familiar to barroom brawlers: “Throw a punch or shut up and go away.” Will President Obama and the Syrian leader now do a political version of the “chickie run” sequence in “Rebel without a Cause”?
If Obama sends American troops to get involved in that country’s Civil War, will Kim Jung Un get bolder thinking that Obama has run out of troops to send abroad?
Will Obama back up former President Bush’s threat to deal severely with any country that provided a training ground for any terrorists who would subsequently attack the USA or will he find out that the military is stretch too thin to back up that old warning with the promised action?
After seeing the spectacle of Boston being brought to a complete halt for a day by two young bomb throwers, cynics are asking: “Will their quick apprehension serve as an effective deterrent or will it act as a catalyst inspiring copycats to make many more well publicized political statements with bombs?” Will historians say that the boys from Chechnya opened the flood gates for a hoard of Mongol copy cats?
Has one other news item, the slipped past most of the mainstream media? According to the Los Angeles Times, more charges have been filed against the County Assessor.
Since Dubya was notorious for not putting anything on paper we have always wondered what will be displayed at the Bush Presidential Library. Apparently all the e-mails from fans will be one of the major attractions.
In the recently published book, “Ayn Rand Explained,” (Open Court Chicago © 3013) readers are informed (on page 17): “Ideas, values, and behavior which we would reasonably think were wrong because they lead to the destruction of life are considered as acceptable as any others.” What will conservatives do if it turns out that Tamerlin Tsarnaev was an avid Ayn Rand fan? Could it be that he wore a WWJGD (What Would John Gault Do?) bracelet?
The guy, A. J. Clemente, who dropped the “F-bomb” on his debut as a news anchor in Bismarck, North Dakota, got invited onto the Letterman and Today TV shows, but our attempts to just find the name of his co-host, who remained composed and continued doing her job, were inconclusive. Did A. J. read “Atlas Shrugged”? Have American kids learned yet that “Incompetence Rules!” and that the old philosophy “Nothing is true, everything is permitted” would make a better motto for use on the money use by the USA.
Did the debate over “Miranda Rights” precipitate a situation where the prosecution’s case in the trial of the Boston Bomber is compromised before the opening statements are made?
Is an online pundit, who lives in Berkeley CA, being facetious and critical of the Democrat in the White House when he sports a 1940 Wendell Wilkie political button that proclaims: “No Third Term”?
Speaking of the New Deal, we are working on getting more details about an effort to establish a <a href =www.livingnewdeal.org>New Deal Museum</a>. With our luck the assignment editor for the features desk at the New York Times will read this column, scoop us, and save us a bunch of work.
According to “Live Fast, Die Young,” in early 1955, after being inured in a car wreck, actress Natalie Wood summoned movie director Nicolas Ray to her hospital room. A Hollywood legend was born (page 40) when she (allegedly) whispered in his ear: “They called me a goddamn juvenile delinquent. Now do I get the part?”
Now the disk jockey will play the new Boston anthem, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” a memorial playing of Ritchie Havens’ “Freedom,” and a memorial playing of George Jones’ “He stopped loving her today.” We have to go find a good Walpurgis Night Party to crash. Have a “Why do we do this, Buzz” type week.