Books

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Summer Pleasure Reading

Cindy, in her June 15 post, muses about the pleasures of summer reading, which makes me want to post about a book that I'm devouring right now: From Housewife to Heretic by Sonia Johnson. It's Johnson's autobiography--she went from a devout Mormon wife and mother of four to a radical feminist lesbian separatist. She was excommunicated from the Mormon church for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment. Johnson became a lesbian separatist after the 1981 publication of From Housewife to Heretic, but I'm still getting to read her compelling story of feminist awakening. I highly recommend it.

As for my summer reading in general, mine isn't as well planned out as Cindy's. I don't have Dickens summers or Faulkner summers; instead, I go through the books on my shelves that I bought with the intention to read one of these days (don't we all have those? :-). I read the first page or two of these books until I find one that grabs me, then I just go with it.

Molly Ivins reads blogs!

I love her even more now. Ivins responds to this Talking Points Memo post in her latest column. Josh Marshall argues that William Safire's writing about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction and the rewriting of recent history is the most Orwellian of the hawk rhetoric. Ivins comes up with several more shining examples:

That's good, but not as good as my old favorites at the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Their June 1 editorial "Weapons of Mass Distortion" is a masterpiece. In this version, those who ask the WMD question are attempting "to damage the credibility of Mr. Blair, President Bush and other war supporters."

"But who's trying to deceive whom here?" thunders the Journal. "That Saddam had biological or chemical weapons was a probability that everyone assumed to be true, even those who were against the war." So there! And why did everyone assume it? Either because we were lied to or because there was a massive intelligence failure. To get off Orwell and back to the facts here, we were told we were going to war because Iraq had 5,000 gallons of anthrax, several tons of VX nerve gas, between 100 tons and 500 tons of other toxins, including botulinin, mustard gas, ricin and Sarin, 15 to 20 Scud missiles, drones fitted with poison sprays and mobile chemical laboratories.

[...]

Also contending for the Orwell award is White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. In response to questions about
that rather expensive photo-op aboard the USS Lincoln (between $800,000 and $1 million just for delaying the
aircraft carrier a day), Fleischer said, "It does a disservice to the men and women in our military" to suggest that the president "or the manner in which the president visited the military would be anything other than the exact appropriate thing to do." Everything the president does is the exact appropriate thing to do, and anyone who says otherwise is doing a disservice to the troops. Amazing.

Molly Ivins=National Treasure.

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