September 27, 2007

Book Review: Tubular Tykes

Radical Parenting: Seven Steps to a Functional Family in a Dysfunctional World by Brad Blanton, Ph.D. (Sparrowhawk Publications, 2002, ISBN 978-0970693822)

This book was written by: Brad Blanton, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and CEO of Radical Honesty Enterprises, which offers workshops to help apply the principles put forth in this book. Dr. Blanton has been "biological father of six children in the last five decades and the responsible parent of five,"(p.11) which only took him four marriages to accomplish. The fact that he gave them names like Elijah, Carsie, Shanti, and Amos should in no way be held against him. This also doesn't count the son that Dr. Blanton didn't know about until after the child's fourteenth birthday, when the mother sued him for child support.
Dr. Blanton has an extensive career in conflict resolution, possibly dating back as far as when he fractured his stepfather's skull, "breaking three of his ribs, before leaving home."(p.8) He writes that "After that therapeutic event, and a few more like it with my stepfather-and sixteen years of psychotherapy-I'm almost over having my reactions to how I was parented completely run my life." (p.8)

What is in this book: An indictment of our environment as "A sick society, in which control and money are the primary considerations of value,"(p.11-12) and one of "culturally-endorsed child abuse."(p.12)
Dr. Blanton feels that to properly raise children, one must create a new community of more nurturing principles, which he does in his book by drawing heavily on the work of others, discussing the experiments of Stanley Milgram, spending the balance of chapter 12 quoting Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon's A General Theory of Love, having his ex-wife Amy Sliver write chapter 18 ("The Alternative to Preparing and Repairing"), and accepting help from his daughter Carson.

What is not in this book: Advice on the best way to ollie with toddlers, do kickturns with newborns, or thrash with grade schoolers. Also missing are instructions on grinding with children, which is just as well since it sounds like it should be illegal.

Would you recommend this book to Tony Hawk? maybe. He's a pretty radical dude, and I hear he's also a parent.

Would you recommend this book to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Absolutely not. Partly because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are in no way ready for the responsibilities of parenthood, but mostly because all they ever seem to eat is pizza, and a child left in their care would end up dangerously malnourished.

What was interesting about this book? The views expressed in the chapter "The Family Bed - A Limbic Service Station." (p.131). In this chapter, Dr. Blanton advocates sharing a bed with your newborn, and on page 132 he states that although "one objection to the family bed is the lost opportunity for sex," the solution he proposes is for parents to "have another place in the house to go in order to make love, after the children are asleep in the family bed. Do it on the altar of your meditation room. Do it in the room you have set up for the child to move into when he leaves the family bed." Alternatively, you can "put a pillow between you two and the baby and go to it," even though "we don't actually know what effect the parents' making love nearby has on the baby's consciousness."

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September 25, 2007

Book Review: The Two Towers

Inside Job: Unmasking the 9/11 Conspiracies by Jim Marrs (Origin Press, 2004, ISBN 1-57983-013-7)

This book was written by: Jim Marrs, who, within two months of 9/11, "had gathered much of the material in this book and presented it as a proposal [...] under the title The War on Freedom"(p. xviii). It was not published immediately because "some force existed that did not want this information available to the general public"(p. xviii).
Jim’s professional accomplishments, according to the back of the book, include owning “several newspapers before becoming an independent writer”.

What is in this book: Lots of questions. Was the Pentagon hit by a missile? “Could there have been multiple conspiracies wrapped together, involving both domestic and foreign players, each perpetrating portions of the crime with an eye to their own special agenda?”(p.135) Is the U.S. Government unwilling to discuss training exercises scheduled for September 11 because “someone in high authority must have passed this information and its timing to the terrorists?”(p.12)
Occasionally, he puts forth facts rather than questions, such as when he discusses “the seemingly outlandish suggestion that remote-controlled planes were crashed into American targets [that] is backed by several intriguing facts”(p.110). Said facts include a news release that mentions the type of technology he describes, and “after all, as all experienced aviation and military persons well know, if a technology [that allows remote control of passenger airplanes] such as Global Hawk is publicly revealed, it most probably has been in secret use for many years”(p.111).

What is not in this book: Answers. Not necessarily because Jim can't find them, but because he wants his readers to find them for themselves. The information in his book “points to the possibility that the 9/11 attacks may indeed have been a conspiracy wrapped inside another conspiracy,”(p.13) and that “planning for the 9/11 reaction was indeed set into motion long before September 11”(p.9). This is evident because “the suspicious stock market trading indicating foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks only added to the ever-growing proof that people in high positions knew what was coming in September 2001”(p.93).
Jim's hope is that by asking these questions, he can urge "persons of good heart and conscience to stand up and regain the country handed down to them by men and women who fought for a free and democratic republic by risking their very lives and fortunes"(p.141).

Would you recommend this book to George W. Bush? No, I would recommend that he read his Daily Briefing Memo titled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States.” You know, back on August 6, 2001, when it was originally issued.

Would you recommend this book to journalists? Yes, as an inspirational example. If your life is anything like Jim's, that reporter job could be just a foot in the door to greater things like owning your own newspaper. If you are inclined to think bigger, you could end up teaching college courses about the assassination of JFK as well as publishing books about UFOs, psychic powers, and the hidden conspiracies that really shape world events. You might even wind up as a guest on The Montel Williams Show.

What was interesting about this book? The fact that Jim’s theories don’t really get rolling until the last chapter of his book, “What do we know now?”(p.134) For example, he doesn’t conspicuously mention the New World Order until page 137, when discussing an aspect of the attacks that “seemed to indicate a schism within the ranks of the New World Order proponents”. Once he starts, though, he points out that “it is also well worth noting that in many ways, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks fits the same template as the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963”(p.139), and goes on to note that “today’s big-time criminals no longer worry about what the government might do to them because, in too many cases, they are the government. It therefore becomes essential to identify and connect the inner core elite of the world’s secret societies, to demonstrate their ownership and interlocking control over the multinational corporations, and the shadow-government cabals that dominate our national life”(p.140).
True to form, his book ends with more questions, including “Will the American people [....] finally take a look behind the green curtain of media spin to identify the globalist elites and secret societies who own and control the mass media as well as the government and, hence, the military?”(p.143)

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