Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Caine Mutiny By: Herman Wouk

This was a book that I wanted to read for some time now.  I had it on my "to-read" list and never got around to it.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I was in the Navy and found the book taking me back to my Navy days.   The book takes place on a US Navy ship, the Caine.  Ensign Willie Keith is fresh out of school and gets order for the USS Caine.  Before shoving off, he meets May Wynn, a beautiful red-head

Upon arriving on the ship, and it having limited berthing for the offices and men, Willie gets assigned to the chip shack.  His first skipper is De Vriess.  When you start to read about De Vriess, you say, "what an A-hole" however you soon see what a real A-Hole is when Lieutenant Commander Philip Francis Queeg replaces the skipper.  Lt. Commander Queeg is a real work of art.  He begins to obsess over small things that should be insignificant for the time as well as being at war (e.g. Shirts tucked in).

Eventually, after many such incidents where the skipper has shown to be unstable at best, the XO relieves Lt. Commander Queeg under article 184.  This eventually causes a court martial for the XO, Keefer and Willie Keith.

*** SPOILER ***
I am going to be honest, I was a little let done with the ending.  I would have wanted May to be waiting for him and they live happily ever after.  The other thing that bothered me a bit, was that the mutiny is one chapter.

All-in-All it was a great book and it kept me engaged throughout.  The beginning is a little slow because Wouk is developing the characters, but it soon engages you and you are hooked.

I am curious about the movie now and plan to watch it.

This is what the USS Caine would have looked like, minus the rear stack(s).

Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (April 15, 1992)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316955108
ISBN-13: 978-0316955102

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Compromised: How Money and Politics Drive FBI Corruption By: Seamus Bruner

This was an interesting book.  It focusses mostly on the 2016 election although I initially thought it was more of a general book about how FBI corruption has compromised the agencies integrity.  While it does deliver on the latter, it mostly focusses on Trump.

Bruner, delves into the corruption of the players involved in the Trump/Russia probe.  I have said before that if Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia to manipulate the election to win, he should be impeached and subsequently arrested.  However, by that same token, if Obama, Clinton and others on the Democratic side have colluded with Russia to enrich themselves, and if the Obama administration  has used the FBI to go after a political opponent, he too and his minions should also be arrested.  If the non-partisan prosecution of these criminals is not delivered regardless of party affiliation, it will only fuel the repeated crimes against us.

Based on the facts presented in this book, if you plan on accusing Trump of partnering with the Russians to enrich himself, then you MUST find that Hillary and Obama equally if not benefitted more from Russia then Trump.  If not, then you are Bird Boxing your view on reality.  Years ago after Obama's re-election, I challenged a colleague to write down everything bad he said Bush was guilty of, then I told him to create a second list pointing out the Obama parallel (e.g. Patriot Act, NDAA, Rendition, Bombing countries, deporting illegal aliens, anti-LGBTQ stances (e.g. gay marriage), compromising our 4th Amendment rights, spending, fast and furious, etc) and he would HAVE to come to the realization that either Bush was not that bad, or that Obama is not so good.  I challenge all the readers of this post to do the same with Trump and Obama.  The parties want us dumb and numb to these things so they can continue to play us.  All the while, these people are fleecing us with impunity.

Bruner shows the connections between  Commies and Muller and how they financially enriched themselves to the tune of 4,000% in Commies case specifically,  Additionally, it shows the cozy relationships with Russian players and companies and how it has gone un-reported.

I recommend this book, although it is very right leaning.  I tend to want to read opposing views and do not allow myself to fall into the vacuum trap.

Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Bombardier Books (July 31, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 164293075X
ISBN-13: 978-1642930757

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause By: Tom Gjelten

This is a fantastic book.  Not only does it cover the rise, fall and rise again of a great company of which I used to partake in their product regularly, but also the dictator of Fidel Castro and his hold on Cuba.

Established by Facundo Bacardi on February of 1862 in Santiago De Cuba, Bacardi grew to epic proportion and today still enjoys the high quality name and reputation it worked to attain and keep.

It is strange to read about how the "younger" Barcadi families were in support of the Dictator and thug of Fidel Castro.  They bought his story hook, line and sinker only to see later on what Socialism was actually about.  The logical end to a Socialist country is Communism.  Later on you see how those that supported and even helped fund Fidel's rise to power lamented it and went to great lengths to attempt to "take out the beard".  I see these young people today enamored with the rhetoric around Socialism and none of them have apparently read anything about it.  Nowhere at no time has socialism thrived.  It is associated with poverty, assassinations, corruption, famine & lack of freedom.  The one thing to remember is "Socialism is for the people not the Socialists". Fidel Castro never lived in squalor like the people of Cuba.  He lived like a king.

The saddest thing about Fidel Castro is that Fulgencio Batista overthrew the existing government.  Fidel, an attorney at the time, railed against Batista saying he should be charged with war crimes and be ousted, yet he did the exact same thing Batista did, all the while criticizing Batista and the Cubans allowed it to happen.

Equally interesting is the stance the Cubans had in support of Castro only to find their organizations nationalized and the quality of their respective products diminish.  After the fact, it was too late to do anything.  The battle for Havana Club rum was epic and a second blow to Fidel Castro and that disgusting regime.  When I see these people in the US that have a myopic view on Socialism and want to bring it here, I really wish they would read this book and and do some reading.  Socialism has not worked anywhere at anytime.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (September 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 067001978X
ISBN-13: 978-0670019786