A couple of summers ago, I think it was, we learned that the President was reading a 450-page history of salt, and then Tom Wolfe’s738-page I Am Charlotte Simmons.

I don’t know where he finds the time.

Here’s one he should read: Natural Selection, a first novel by one of his fellow Harvard Business School alums.

Publishers Weekly called the prose ‘pedestrian’ but acknowledged that it ‘might make an awesome beach read.’

An Amazon reviewer gave it five stars:

Reviewer: Anne (Chicago, IL)
This was such a fun, incredibly fast read! I heard about it in USA Today a month ago; they had named it one of their top-10 beach reads so I thought I’d give it a try. What a rocket!! The opening pages are very creepy, very mysterious. You read it and you want to know: What are these creatures? Where are they from? What are they doing? It just sucked me right in!!

[ . . . ]

All that aside, the science is what makes this truly special. Natural Selection’s depth and breadth of science is EXTRAORDINARY. Wow, did the author do his research!! I work in a related field – otalaryngology/ENT – and let me tell you, he knows his stuff: the commentary on the evolution of the brain, evolution of the lung, the fluid dynamics discourse and many, many other facets were just so well done. . .

Natural Selection would be a good way for your teenager, or the Republican leadership, to learn about evolution.


One must surely err on the side of caution – I have willingly emptied my carry-on bag of toothpaste – and one desperately wants to believe our government does not manipulate such things for political gain. So who knows what to make of this, from Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan?

. . . In all of this, the one thing of which I am certain is that the timing is deeply political. This is more propaganda than plot. Of the over one thousand British Muslims arrested under anti-terrorist legislation, only twelve per cent are ever charged with anything. That is simply harassment of Muslims on an appalling scale. Of those charged, 80% are acquitted. Most of the very few – just over two per cent of arrests – who are convicted, are not convicted of anything to do terrorism, but of some minor offence the Police happened upon while trawling through the wreck of the lives they had shattered.

Be sceptical. Be very, very sceptical.

☞ I don’t want to be skeptical of my government (or Tony Blair’s). But given the track record, it’s hard not to wonder.


Yaakov Har-Oz: ‘Your readers are right; I should have checked variant spellings. I apologize. I do note that Israel claims the boy was armed and on the wrong side of the border, in the Chebaa (also spelled Shebaa!) Farms area, which Lebanon says is Lebanese, and which Israel and the U.N. say is not. I know the Israeli claim carries no weight with Strindberg (indeed, he doesn’t even bother mentioning it), but since I know Israeli soldiers don’t go around killing kids for the fun of it, it carries a lot of weight with me.’


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