27 September 2011

61. The Ten Things You Can't Say In America

The Ten Things You Can't Say In America - Larry Elder

Larry Elder wrote this book over ten years ago. He was (and may still be, I don't know) a Libertarian radio talk show host in southern California at the time. The things he says you can't say, well, some of them have and are being said since that time. So, this book is a little dated, but the arguments he made are still valid and very well executed in the text.

What are the ten things that you could not say in America?

Blacks are more racist than whites.
White condescension is more damaging than white racism.
There is no health-care crisis.
We are losing the war on drugs.
Republicans and Democrats are the same beast with different rhetoric.
Gun control advocates have blood on their hands.
Illegitimacy is America's greatest problem.
The welfare state is our national narcotic.
There is no glass ceiling.
There is a real, widespread and destructive left wing media bias.

He made good arguments for each of his points. Granted, they are Libertarian arguments and therefore will blame a lot on government. I don't disagree with him in a lot of those areas.

This was an interesting book that would have been far more interesting ten years ago. Although, at that time I may have looked at it as more of a fringe wacko type book than something more mainstream that it has become today. Libertarians have come a long way since then.

60. Why The Left Hates America

Why The Left Hates America: Exposing The Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation's Greatness - Daniel J. Flynn

I read the following description of this book and was intrigued. Is the left wing of American politics that jacked? Why? I must know! I must read this book and learn something about the the Left's opposing political beliefs.

""The American flag stands for hatred, warmongering, and imperialism." — "Our free-market system is responsible for killing and oppressing millions of people." — "This country breeds racists and sexists." — Is America really that bad? It is if you accept the lies and propaganda from the anti-American Left in our own country. This dismal, distorted view of the greatest, freest nation in history comes from a Left who would rather idolize Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro than honor George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who burn down businesses and destroy property to protest free markets, and who fight alongside radical terrorists rather than against them. They trample the Constitution while hiding behind the First Amendment, and their idea of displaying the American flag is setting it on fire and parading it through the streets. Yes, this is a Left comprised of people who truly hate their country, and they will stop at nothing to tear her down—smashing our liberty in the process.

Why the Left Hates America punches a hole right through the thin veneer of political correctness that has long protected these anti-Americans—exposing their rotting, vacuous core. Author and commentator Daniel J. Flynn digs deep into the American Left and reveals why they blame every bad deed in the world on the United States, while ignoring her myriad contributions.

This book cogently points out that, of course, all Americans have the right to speak their minds. But, all too often, the actions by the anti-American Left become destructive and anarchistic. You need not look any further than the explosive 1999 World Trade Organization "protests" in Seattle, campus book burnings, or even John Walker Lindh to see that factions on the Left are the worst perpetrators of anti-Americanism. And what may be most shocking is that many of these anti-Americans are at the same time teachers, professors, journalists, news reporters, and even judges and politicians.
Probing and controversial—without devolving into jingoism—this book proves once and for all that what you see in the news and learn in school is often tainted by the anti-American Left, and it shows you what you can do to keep them at bay."

What I learned is that the left this guy is talking about is not the main stream liberal Democrat politician. He is talking about an extreme fringe element. This book is written to have the reader believe that ALL liberals are what he is describing here.

I found this book to be more like pouring gasoline on a fire than teaching. I did not like what he had to say. It was interesting, but not for the reasons that I had wanted to read it in the first place. Disappointing, yet interesting.

23 September 2011

59. Understanding The Constitution

Understanding The Constitution - David Gibbs


58. The Lords Of Flatbush

The Lords Of Flatbush - Leonore Fleischer

Remind me not to read novels that were adapted from the screenplay for a movie. Novels make good movies. I have not read a book yet that was a movie first and was any good.

It is a coming of age story about four friends in the 1950's who live in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. What is it really? It was a way for Sylvester Stallone to capitalize on the popularity of Henry Winkler in the mid to late 1970s and to get his own career jump started. It worked, but not as a novel.

14 September 2011

57. Blackbox

Blackbox: A Novel In 840 Chapters - Nick Walker

"Cross a road, take a train, or get on an airplane and you put your life in the hands of a stranger -- every bit as screwed up, every bit as fallible and as human as you are. Then the person turns out not to be a stranger at all, and suddenly it's much worse. In America and Britain and the sky in between, an apparently disparate group of people is connected, whether intimately or by chance, to the tragic death of a stowaway on board flight AF266. As the action veers across countries and time zones, the stowaway's real identity is revealed through stolen black box recordings, answering machine messages, sitcom outtakes, and court transcripts. Told in a shifting, circular narrative, the interwoven lives make up a jolting and layered puzzle that builds to a heart-stopping, chilling climax. An intelligent and invigorating novel with a bizarre menu of dysfunctional characters, Blackbox is the story of an attempt to erase a life on tape."

It was just OK. No big thrill. Not worth searching for. Not a bad book either. It had some interesting characters and a different way of telling the story, but was hard to follow at times as it jumped here and there and everywhere very quickly.

08 September 2011

56. America By Heart

America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag - Sarah Palin

I agree with her. I agree with her about family. I agree with her about faith. I agree with her about American exceptionalism. I agree with her on feminism. I agree with her on the Constitution. I agree with her on liberalism. I agree with her on the role of government in our personal lives. I agree with her on environmentalism. I agree with her on Reagan. I agree with her on Kennedy. I agree with her on many topics she discussed in this book.

I recall disagreeing once when she half-heartedly said something about Bush. I think Bush was far from conservative and think that is indefensible no matter what the circumstances were during his presidency.

The book itself? Well, despite agreeing, it felt like a non-stop cheerleading competition.

I forgot one thing. She said something about how the folks that want to "fundamentally transform" America are trying to take it in a direction that is not where I want to go. I agree with that. I also like the way she put it. To want "fundamental transformation" you must believe there is something seriously wrong with the fundamentals, the basis, on which our country was founded. Why else would someone want to transform it at a fundamental level? I am in 100% agreement with her that this country is totally awesome and does not need to be transformed.

55. View With A Grain Of Sand

View With A Grain Of Sand - Wislawa Szymborska

Normally poetry is not a big thrill. I find it laborious. I tend to wonder "what did I miss?" because if it is just these words then it is nothing special.

This woman was different. I enjoyed reading these poems despite being totally lost at times.

54. The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day - Kazou Ishiguro

I enjoy Ishiguro's novels a little. I never thought they were fantastic, but they never suck. This one goes right along with the others. No big thrill, but it was not horrible either.

This book took a long time to read. I started and then stopped probably five times. It was good enough to know I wanted to finish, but not good enough to delay beginning something else. This last few weeks I made it a goal to finish a number of "those" books. :-)

53. John's Story

John's Story: The Last Eyewitness - Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

A novelization of the life of John. The John who authored the Gospel of John and Revelation. It was interesting, but I find it unneeded. The author's made another dollar. That is good, I guess.

52. Your First Year In Network Marketing

Your First Year In Network Marketing: Overcome Your Fears, Experience Success, and Achieve Your Dreams - Mark Yarnell and Rene Reid Yarnell

Rah Rah! Sell some stuff!  Be a millionaire! You can do it!