Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Blood-Dimmed Tide: The Battle of the Bulge by the Men Who Fought It - A Book Review

by Gerald Astor

This book was created by weaving together the individual stories of the men who participated in The Battle of the Bulge near the end of World War ll. The German military offensive was a last ditch attempt by Adolph Hitler to recapture territory that had been lost to the Allied armies and the term “bulge” refers to the resultant break in the Allied front lines. Early on, the German operation had some success due to the operation’s surprise factor, and the strength of German force thrown behind it, not to mention the subterfuge.
Astor helps us to get to know the men of all ranks and from both sides of the conflict and then brings the stories from these men to us as they relate to the battle in chronological order for the six or eight weeks of the military engagement.

The first few hours and days especially come across as very tense and exciting moments. If you want to learn how grueling and terrible the battle was you will certainly learn that from this book. War can often be viewed with rose-colored glasses when looked at from many decades removed from the action. That is not the case here. It is gritty, cold, wet, and pain and hunger filled. You could almost sense that some of these men would have wished for a quick battlefield death compared to the ordeals that they ended up having to go through.
The book is the story of heroes and villains on both sides of the conflict and a portrait of the ugliness of war and of humanity. It is a story and a book that should be read in every history class because it makes the war more tangible.

We learn that the Battle of the Bulge ended up being the nail in NAZI Germany’s coffin, but it was a very costly battle to both the Allies and Germany in terms of lives lost and wounded.

Before reading A Blood-Dimmed Tide, I had known next to nothing about this battle of WWII, and thanks to this book I now know more about the battle, the war, and a little more about the good and bad of humanity.

Roar: The New Conservative Woman Speaks Out - A Book Review

by Scottie Nell Hughes

Scottie Nell Hughes is a smart, ambitious, successful, and caring conservative woman. She is a loving wife and mother as well as a daughter with a large amount of respect for her parents and her larger family who we are introduced to in the book to some extent. This book’s target audience is supposed to be conservative women, but the wisdom here is applicable to people in general, not just women, and not just conservatives. She talks about parenting issues, so parents will benefit. She talks about career and employment and what she says would benefit job hunters or people working their way up the career ladder. But books aren’t always about the benefits you can take away from them. There are some engaging and inspiring stories here.

Of course, the main point of the book is that she wants conservative women to find their “roar” – to speak out for their ideals and to become more active in bringing about their desires for a better community.

Ms. Hughes highlights the problems with the Obama administration including the incredible debt, the burgeoning welfare class, and the sub-par employment picture in the United States.

One area that she talks about with heartfelt conviction is a woman’s right to self-defense. She delves into the ever-present and ever-expanding efforts to control guns from a uniquely female point of view.
"For the woman walking to her car down a dark alleyway or the mother of two who keeps a .38 snub in her dresser drawer, a firearm can serve (and has served) as a last line of defense between her and a criminal who does not care about law and order. If we’re going to talk about a War on Women, we should address the real war on women: the disarming of women. Guns are tools. Firearms do not only help the nefarious; they help the law abiding. They serve as an equalizer."

Ms. Hughes also discusses women’s roles in society such as in front line combat (which she is against), the workplace, at home, and regarding “reproductive rights,” birth control, and abortion. She doesn’t mince words and takes a firm stand on all of the issues she presents, all to be expected in a book titled “Roar.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Stop the Ebola Free Trade Agreement

I sent out the tweet below to my followers on October 22 and it kind of went unnoticed, where I thought it would stir up some retweets or negative responses.
"There isn't much difference between not stopping terrorism & not stopping flights from Ebola countries. It's basically a way to ramp up fear"
It was the best I could do in 140 characters to express the thought, but in light of the latest imported Ebola case by a doctor in New York City, it needs expanding on.

Ebola is fatal in 25 to 60 percent of cases according to the charts at the link below from Dr. Ian Mackay. There are not too many diseases which spread person to person in which the outcome is as grim as this. And that's not to mention the incredible suffering the disease causes. The growth of this disease in the population where it takes hold is not linear but is exponential in the way that the flu blossoms in the fall and winter in cool climate countries. So while there are more deaths from HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer and even the flu, Ebola has the potential to be an efficient, worldwide spreader of death. That's the cause of the enhanced fear people have of this disease. It is not blown out of proportion, because if it gets out of control here as it did in West Africa it would be many times worse.

As an aside, imagine if ISIS or al Qaeda decided to weaponize the Ebola virus. All they'd have to do is get someone or somemany infected and fly them on airlines to any country in the world. Even if it weren't as effective a weapon as a bomb initially, as a weapon of fear it is right up there with beheading and suicide bombing.

Maybe the way the disease has progressed in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where it has killed thousands of people since April of 2014, would not be the model for its progression if it gains a foothold in a country like the United States, but who is to say it won't be worse? It's in New York City now and the doctor who brought it back went bowling and rode the subway. Our only hope is that it is as hard to get the disease as the CDC and others tell us. But the evidence isn't reassuring.

Except for the blood of one doctor who received an experimental cure, there is no cure right now, and he can only give so much blood.

If health care workers who are generally careful and suited up against the disease can get the disease then it is only stating the obvious to say that it is easily transmitted.

Why does the Obama administration not do what common sense dictates vis-à-vis the Ebola crisis? That is, why are he and his administration resisting the banning of flights from West Africa when 27 some other nations have already done so and when it is apparent that our only reason for having these cases thus far is because we have imported them from West Africa. Every person that comes here, potentially harboring the virus, goes around interacting with hundreds of people, some of whom won't even know it. The stupidity of the administration's course of action here is staggering. The safety of the American people is the job of the president of the U.S., and Obama is apparently not fulfilling that function, rather he is endangering the citizens of this country, not to mention the world - that is until the world starts banning flights from the United States.

There should be a cordon around Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and every country in the world should ban free flights in and out of West Africa, with only tightly controlled charter flights in and out. At the same time every effort should be made to help the people suffering there and to end the disease there where it "started". I don't know if President Obama wants the disease to terrorize America, but it sure seems like he wants America to participate in a coming epidemic - or at least not be separate from the problem. Nothing else makes sense. Any rational leader would have implemented the ban by now (and many have). And if Barack Obama is rational (as the Left likes to say he is), then he does not have the U.S.'s interest at heart with this policy and indeed the world's because his policy will cause the disease's spread around the world and not just here.

Additionally, I hope that the FBI, CIA and others are on watch for what radical Islamist affiliated nut-jobs may be planning regarding this virus, because they may turn away from axes, knives, guns and bombs and achieve their objectives through infection as well.

See the website for some detailed charts on the Ebola numbers as they stand now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

America: Imagine the World Without Her - Film Review

America: Imagine the World Without Her

This documentary film by Dinesh D'Souza and Gerald Molen features, firstly, excellent cinematography. You'll see historical scenes and battles, grand American landscapes, monuments, and impressive (and stark) cityscapes. The musical soundtrack of the documentary is wonderful and adds to the majestic feel of the film. So America looks beautiful and it sounds beautiful - a good start.

But the content here is important as well since it's a documentary and it is the meat that the people are coming for. The producers spend the first part of the film presenting some of the left's most radical and die hard critics' distorted arguments which have been working their way into the mainstream consciousness due to distortions of truth taught by liberal historians and college professors since the 1960s. After the left's "Indictments" against the U.S. are presented, the producers go on to respond to all of these indictments on many levels and from different angles. What you end up with is a regrasping of American history and a cogent and well-argued case for the fact that the United States, overall, has been a force for Good in the world and not for Evil. It is a positive message, not delivered through rose-colored glasses, but with realism and fact.

The film also highlights the fact that great and successful Americans can be of any race or creed and that as a land populated by immigrants, legal immigrants have just as much chance at success as people who have been here for generations.

Unfortunately, the indoctrination of students practiced by the liberal left into America hating, capitalist hating, sometimes race bating, government expansionist, wealth redistributionists is begun in kindergarten and carried through to the last year of college and then beyond by a compliant mainstream media. Films like America are like buckets of sand thrown against a tide of lies, but the efforts are certainly appreciated by patriots and freedom lovers everywhere. Hopefully the tide can be turned in some small way by films like this and by people like Dinesh D'Souza.

I also want to give a big shoutout to AMC Theaters in Brick New Jersey for the choppy playback of this film as if it were playing on an underpowered 300 dollar HDTV with insufficient screen refresh. Hopefully you don't present all your movies this way.

Go see this film and get the DVD when it comes out. There is much to learn here and you may not be able to absorb it all in one viewing. D'Souza has a book which this film is based on which you can see here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

What Are You Crying About? - New Book

What Are You Crying About? Defeating Grief for Christians (and Other Believers)
Grief sabotages happy, productive lives. Some grievers waste months or years of their lives in crippling grief which sidetracks them from school, career, positive and healthy parenting, or other fruitful endeavors. People mired in extreme grief may become sick, angry, vengeful and may even take their own lives. It doesn't have to be this way.

Sadness when someone leaves our lives is normal. Overpowering grief need not be.

Grief can be controlled, even defeated and conquered. You just need the right tools, and you don’t need to go anywhere but within you to find relief. Defeating grief takes a change of perspective, a change that everyone can make.

What Are You Crying About? gives you the tools to help you take control of your grief and help you to get on with and enjoy your life.

What's Inside the Book...
  • Death and Dying - The Common View
  • Grieving - The Common View
  • Anger with God
  • Religious and Philosophical Views on Death
  • Suicide
  • Got Faith?
  • Ten Faith Enhancers
  • What Is a Human?   
  • The Afterlife, the Spirit World, Heaven and Hell   
  • Where the Hell Is Heaven?   
  • Our Family Among Us - Spirits Present   
  • What to Say to the Bereaved (and Dying)
 You can get more information and purchase the book at this link.