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“Friends of Zenpundit.com who Wrote Books” Post #2: Poetry, War & Business

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

As the holiday season is here, I thought it would be amusing between now and Christmas to do a series of posts on books by people who have, in some fashion, been friends of ZP by supporting us with links, guest-posts, friendly comments and other intuitive gestures of online association. One keyboard washes the other.

The second installment focuses on Poetry, War and Business:

Stanton Coerr

Rubicon: The Poetry of War 

Colonel Stan Coerr is a combat vet (USMC) of Iraq, a naval aviator, poet and a key organizer of the Boyd & Beyond Conference. He is also intent on becoming a historian, to which I give a hearty thumb’s up!

Terry Barnhart

Creating a Lean R&D System: Lean Principles and Approaches for Pharmaceutical and Research-Based Organizations

Scientist and organizational consultant, Dr. Terry Barnhart, is the originator of “fast learning” strategies for organizational excellence and problem solving. I personally use Terry’s “Critical Question Mapping” strategy with students and elicited amazing results each time.

James Frayne

Cover of Meet the People by James Frayne

Meet the People: Why businesses must engage with public opinion to manage and enhance their reputations

Across the pond, James Frayne is a leading British political and media strategy consultant and former government official. Some of you may remember James from his excellent ( now defunct) political strategy blog Campaign War Room and from his participation in the Reagan Roundtable at Chicago Boyz.

More to come…..

ADDENDUM:

The previous post in the series has been pulled temporarily due to emerging scripting execution errors – it will be restored in a few days

Ruminating…..

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]

Busy writing a book review for Pragati Magazine that should be published on Friday. In lieu of a post, I wanted to make a few completely disconnected observations.

First, Charles Cameron in his recent post on Pattern Recognition had a link to an interesting paper, “Outline of a Psychology of War”, that I did not want readers to miss.

Secondly, there is a bitterly apoplectic piece on The Tea Party and National Security by conservative defense intellectual Dov Zakheim that should stir some debate.

In a move that meshes the paranoid control-freakishness of some senior military leaders, penny-wise and pound-foolish military budget cutting, a political desire to outsource futurism to crony capitalists like Goldman Sachs, and the zealous intolerance of the administration’s “Chicago wing” for dissenting opinions or even informed advice – creeping apparatchiks in the Obama administration have their knives out for Andrew Marshall and the Office of Net Assessment.

This is the Joint Chiefs  intellectual equivalent of the longstanding USAF desire to kill the A-10. Seldom am I in complete agreement with The Lexington Institute but on this issue they are correct.

Readers can sound off on these or any issues they wish in the comments…….

 

In Praise of Charles Cameron

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]

I am not sure how many of the readers ever make it to the “About” page, but there are blurbs for all of the bloggers here, done in my usual ad hoc style. This is what it reads for Charles Cameron:

Charles Cameron,  has also posted at Small Wars Journal, All Things Counterterrorism, for the Chicago Boyz Afghanistan 2050 roundtable and elsewhere.  Charles read Theology at Christ Church, Oxford, under AE Harvey, and was at one time a Principal Researcher with Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies and the Senior Analyst with the Arlington Institute

All well and good, though that does not begin to scratch the surface of Charles who has a most interesting biography as a poet, bohemian adventurer and independent scholar. There’s a bit more available at his Sembl project page. If you ever have the chance to sit and talk with Charles F2F over coffee or a beer, you are in for a treat, if wide-ranging intellect and deep learning delivered with gentlemanly grace is your thing.

The reason for this post is that there is a new addition to Charles’ bio – he is now the Managing Editor of zenpundit.com.

Charles’s contributions here in terms of writing are invaluable, but he has also been an increasing factor behind the scenes. His ideas for potential round table projects, soliciting guest posts, recruiting new bloggers and raising the profile of ZP have been all to the good. I have come to realize that my own limitations in terms of schedule to execute some of these ideas Charles has brought may be preventing good things from happening that the readership would enjoy. It is time for me to step back a bit and give Charles the freedom to grow the blog and move zenpundit.com  forward.  I can’t think of anyone better suited for the role than Charles Cameron.

Yes, I will still be here, as will Scott Shipman and Lynn Rees, but it’s time for a new hand at the wheel.

“Truth is lived, not taught”

 – Herman Hesse

Brief Note and New Books

Monday, September 30th, 2013

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“]

Working on a number of things, top priority among which is a cross-post for Nuclear Diner about the Myhrvold Report that Cheryl Rofer decisively shredded here last week. Cheryl and I have done some point-counterpoint and blogging  round tables together in the past but, this time I have been handicapped in my response by being largely in agreement :)  I will try to hit the report from a somewhat different angle but like Cheryl I have some serious reservations.

Picked up a few new reads this weekend that should be interesting to the readership:

   

Confronting the Classics by Mary Beard

Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill 

Mary Beard is a British celebrity classicist from King’s College, an eminent figure in the field and extremely active in the social media realm where her blog, A Don’s Life and her twitter account are highly popular. She seems somewhat leftish anti-American in her politics, but does not appear to be under what Popper termed “the spell of Plato” and regards Socrates as a radical and subversive ( which he was, though not quite in the modern sense of those words).  Here is a sample of Beard’s prose:

Marcus Tullius Cicero was murdered on 7 December 43 BC: Rome’s most famous orator, off-and-on defender of Republican liberty and thundering critic of autocracy. He was finally hunted down by lackeys of Mark Antony, a member of Rome’s ruling junta and principal victim of Cicero’s dazzling swansong of invective: more than a dozen speeches called the Philippics, after Demosthenes almost equally nasty attacks on Philip of Macedon, three centuries earlier.

Cicero of course shared the fate of Demosthenes, dying less ignobly than Pompey but much less impressively to his fellow Romans than did the fanatical Cato. As a result, Cato has an equally uncompromising libertarian think tank named in his honor while America’s gift to Cicero’s posterity is only a mafia-infested Chicago suburb.

Scahill is much better known figure than Beard. I frankly disagree in principle with his take on drones and al Qaida targets – unless they are hors d’ combat or attempting to surrender, as combatants *all* AQ members are legitimate military targets under the laws of war, period – but I wanted to see what his argument was at it’s most expansive and fully documented. Should be an interesting read.

Zenpundit.com – One Million Strong

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Today zenpundit.com had it’s one millionth vistor.

Thank you the readership for your continued patronage allowing us to reach this milestone!


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