Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court by Bob Woodward, Scott Armstrong

When I started this book, I thought it would be a partisan hack job.  Seems that these days, Anti-Trump books are all the rage.  This book was different since it dealt with a subject that I vaguely knew details about.  Obviously this book was originally published 1979.  Of course I had read about the Supreme Court and the justices, but this book gave some good insight into the minds of these enigmatic people who have, what appears to be, unbridled power.

I will be honest, maybe my naiveté shows here, but I wanted to think that the Supreme Court was bound by the "blindfold of justice" and would decide based on constitutionality and not partisan or personal beliefs.  This book opened my eyes.  This book covers some of the landmark cases that came before the Supreme Court that even still today, in some cases are the third rail for some such as desperation of schools, abortion, death penalty, Vietnam war, and pornography.  

Hardcover: 467 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (December 10, 1979)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780671241100
ISBN-13: 978-0671241100
ASIN: 0671241109

The Right Side of History By: Ben Shapiro

Certainly not what I expected.  Love him, hate him or love to hate him, Ben is certainly a figure that regardless where you stand, you have to give him credit, one of the most
nimble people to debate.  His quick witted and thoughtful responses are interesting to watch weather you agree or not.  This is the Spairo I was expecting to read.  Instead I got a decent book about Judeo-Christian society and its norms.  Again not what I expected.

I applaud Shapiro on his faith and the decisions he makes regarding said faith.  I can certainly appreciate them.  I disagree with some of his beliefs but that does not take away from his execution
of his faith.  For all of you anti-Trumpers, that love to hate him, I will have you know that he is NOT a shil for Trump.  He slams him consistently when it makes sense.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Broadside Books (March 19, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062857908
ISBN-13: 978-0062857903
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service By: Gary Sinise

An amazing "A-Political" book by an, unbeknownst to me until now, amazing person. It was not what I expected.

Sinise opens up and shares intimate details of his life; past, present and future. I obviously knew who he was and had seen his work, but I had never actually put it all together in the aggregate. After reading the book, I realized that not only was he an amazing actor, business man (Steppingwolf ), humanitarian, community advocate, Christian, but an amazing person in general.

The book starts, as expected with his youth and how he discovered acting which eventually saved his life. He was not a criminal as a youth, but he recognized he was heading in the wrong direction. He started a theatre company that today continues to thrive and is recognized internationally with John Malcavich and others, including his future wife. Sinise covers his exploding acting and directing career on and off broadway as well as movies and TV. The later chapters cover his amazing work for the servicemen and women and children of the same, not to mention foreign children the same.

The chapters on his wife's alcoholism were especially moving and emotional for me. His never ending support and love for his wife during her darkest time was fuel for me and made me analyze my love and support for my wife. Luckily for me, it is my wife that has been there for me during my darkest times and for that I am forever grateful.

Sinise and his various organizations do an incredible job with our military personnel. At many times during the book, I actually had tears in my eyes. Being a former Navy member brought back a lot of my memories of my time serving during the Gulf War. Although I have done a lot of events to support the Wounded Warriors, I see that I have not done as much as I want or should.

Buy this book. Buy a few and give them out. I ordered five for my local Veteran's home. Support the various organizations as liberally as you can. These orgs are non-partisan and help the troops that protect us regardless of the party in power. Calling what Sinise does with vets "amazing" is an colossal understatement.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly. Sinise, although not a vet, is a true hero. When you are around and about and see a military person, pick up their check. This was done to me while I was in the airport coming back on leave. It stays with me today and I remember exactly where I was and how it made me feel over 28 years ago.

God bless you Gary Sinise (Lt. Dan).

Sinise and his daughter

First scene of Lt. Dan

Gary and Moira Sinise

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 12, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400208122
ISBN-13: 978-1400208128

Thursday, March 7, 2019

1984 By: George Orwell

I originally read 1984 almost 22 years ago. At the time I thought it was farfetched and a little off the wall.  However comparing it to today, it is a very scary scenario that is very true today.

For instance the Thought Police.  This is very much like what we have today. With the Introduction of today's "hate crime" laws, even though your ACTUAL crime is the same (e.g. murder) if your thoughts are a particular way before committing the crime, your penalties are harsher.

The "Telliscreen" is a TV like screen with monitor and microphones that watch your every move.  Fast forward to 2019, we have the cellphone. NSA monitors calls, locations, searches and have even been known to enable the microphone to listen to your surrounding even when you are not on the phone.

The wiping of history, the quote of "The Who control the past, control the future" is exactly what you are seeing today with anything associated or named after ANYONE from the "civil war" is not only removed but books such as The Adventure of Tom Sawyer are being banned a la Fahrenheit 451.

The "party" and the requirement to be In full compliance with it. The way it [the party] has become the central and focal point for the people. It has become a religion.  If one strays away from the 100% support and adherence to the party precepts, you are deemed an enemy of the party. Sadly we are seeing that today.

Newspeak is very much alive and kicking. Gone are the days when words (pronouns) like he and she are frowned upon and can cost you your job and/or life as you know it. Where a flag or a hat represent hatred to some. Words, names, and anything that does not meet the agenda of a particular party, are banned in society and is some cases removed from dictionaries.

Sadly this book is very apropos regarding how our country and its citizens are behaving today.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library; First Edition edition (November 3, 1992)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0679417397
ISBN-13: 978-0679417392