Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Review of And the Good News Is...

Over the years that I worked for him he became much more to me than my boss or even the President of the United States.  He became like a second father, a friend, and a confidant.--Dana Perino 
-I ended up loving this book and Dana Perino much more than I expected too.  She followed Tony Snow as the White House Press Secretary and those were big shoes to fill.

What I loved about her and the book:
-Her optimism-she has this in common with her former boss, George W. Bush.  Optimism endears me to people and was one of the things I loved about W.
-Her love and loyalty for George W. Bush
-Her patriotism
-Her unashamed defense of being a conservative
-She too was upset by Scott McClellan's book unfairly attacking the Bush Administration
-She reaffirmed my respect for Bush as a man and a president
-She reaffirmed my love and respect for Tony Snow
-I appreciated the advice she gave, and it was helpful to me
-She was able to say nice things about Obama and Biden as men, even though she disagrees with them.
-I enjoyed hearing about how she met and fell in love with her husband.

-What was incredible to me as I read the book, was how emotional I still get about the loss of Tony Snow

-I can't recommend this book highly enough.  If you want to be inspired by a strong woman, Dana is your gal.  She represents conservative women well.  I'll be watching The Five much more often.

Monday, November 09, 2015

First Lady Profile #9~Abigail Adams

Abigail was the support and 'dearest friend' who helped John reach the greatest heights. She will be remembered for this and also for her own strengths. Self-reliant, she raised her family and managed the farm for the many years that John was away during and after the war. Brave and caring, she inspired her family and friends to stand up for their beliefs, and found time to comfort them in time of need. Spirited and witty, she brought cheer to all around her.--Kem Knapp Sawyer
-Fortunately, there is a wealth of knowledge about Abigail Adams.  She and John wrote many letters during their frequent absences from each other.  These letters were saved (unlike the letters between George and Martha Washington, which were destroyed), thus giving us a wonderful picture of history:
Abigail started writing at a young age, and she never stopped.  She used her pen to reflect on-and influence-the course of history.--Kem Knapp Sawyer
-Abigail was born in November of 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  Her father was a minister and a farmer.
-She wanted to go to school but was sick a lot as a child and girls didn't have the same schooling opportunities as boys.  Her mom taught her the basics and she educated herself by reading many of the books from her father's library.
-She married John Adams on October 25th, 1764.  She was 19 and John was 28.
-Abigail had 6 children: Abigail (Nabby), John Quincy, Susanna (who only lived 13 months), Charles, Thomas and a baby that was born stillborn.
If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.~Abigail Adams
-She was a strong woman who took care of her children and managed the farm during John's many absences in service to their country.
-Abigail actually watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from their farm and wrote about it to her husband.
-She was her husband's confidant and principal adviser as he helped shape the country by being a part of the Constitutional Conventions, being a foreign minister, the vice president and finally the 2nd President of the United States.
-She was a fierce advocate for the rights of women and African Americans.  Both she and John were against slavery and never owned slaves.
-She died on October 28, 1818 and sadly never got to see her oldest son become the 6th President of the United States.

First Lady Links:
-National First Ladies Library
-C-Span Series on First Ladies

My Abigail Adams Books:
-First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women--Susan Swain C-Span
-America's First Ladies--Diana Dixon Healy
-First Ladies--Betty Boyd Caroli
-First Ladies of the White House--Nancy J. Skarmeas
-John Adams--David McCullough

Reference Material that I checked out from the library:
-Abigail Adams--Kem Knapp Sawyer
-Abigail Adams--Alexandra Wallner
-John and Abigail Adams (PBS Video)
-Abigail Adams: a Revolutionary Woman--Jacqueline Ching

Previous Profiles:
-Martha Washington
-Dolley Madison
-Louisa Adams
-Julia Grant
-Lucretia Garfield
-Frances Cleveland
-Edith Roosevelt
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, November 02, 2015

KC Royals #TakeTheCrown and win the World Series Against the Mets!

The Royals took the crown and beat the Mets 7-2 on Sunday to win their first World Series since Ronald Reagan was President. Not having had a championship season since 1985, the KC team were in last year’s World Series but came up short against the San Francisco Giants.~Dominic Patten
-I'm not a big baseball fan, but when your whole city gets excited about something, it is hard not to get excited too.

-I bought my Royals' shirts to wear at work, and started watching the games.

-So many of the postseason games were exciting as I watched them be down by runs and then come back to win in the end.

-It was electrifying tonight to see the game go into extra innings, and then for them to pull it off and become World Series champs.

-Congrats KC Royals!!! Congrats Salvador on winning MVP!!

-And the above photo makes the win even sweeter!!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

2015 Book List

There were some great movies at the end of last year, based on amazing books.  American Sniper and Unbroken were both so good, I knew I needed to read the books.  I finished Unbroken, and I plan on reading American Sniper.

Here are the books I've read so far:

1) Top Secret Twenty-one--Janet Evanovich
2) America's Suicide--Michael H Davison
3) The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation--Gene Roberts
4) Selma and the Voting Rights Act--David Aretha
5) The Murder of Emmett Till--David Aretha
6) A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--Clayborne Carson
7) Unbroken: A World War II Book of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption--Laura Hillenbrand
8) Churchill--Paul Johnson
9) Freedom Summer--David Aretha
10) Marching in Birmingham--William J. Boerst
11) The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement--Taylor Branch
12) James Madison--Jeremy Roberts
13) The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden--Mark Bowden
14) John Quincy Adams--Debbie Levy
15) The Conscience of a Conservative--Barry Goldwater
16) Gandhi: A Pictorial Biography--Gerald Gold
17) No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden--Mark Owen
18) Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life--Sarah Jakes
19) True Love--Jennifer Lopez
20) I am Malala: The Girl who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban--Malala Yousafzai
21) Martha Dandridge Custis Washington--Charnan Simon
22) Skinnygirl Solutions--Bethenny Frankel
23) I Suck at Relationships So you don't Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up for Your Happily Ever After--Bethenny Frankel
24) The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus--John Glatt
25) The Attack on the USS Cole in Yemen on October 12, 2000--Betty Burnett
26) Lady Washington--Dorothy Clarke Wilson
27) Lost and Found: The True Story of Jaycee Lee Dugard and the Abduction that Shocked the World--John Glatt
28) Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland--Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
29) 41: A Portrait of My Father--George W. Bush
30) Practice to Deceive--Ann Rule
31) Slavery of Faith: The Untold Story of the Peoples Temple from the Eyes of a Thirteen Year Old, Her Escape from Jonestown at 20 and Life 30 Years Later--Leslie Wagner-Wilson
32) Praying God's Word: Devotional Journal--Beth Moore
33) The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln--Kate Clifford Larson
34) Martha Washington: An American Life--Patricia Brady
35) Yes Please--Amy Poehler
36) Abigail Adams--Kem Knapp Sawyer
37) Abigail Adams--Alexandra Wallner
38) Abigail Adams: A Revolutionary Woman--Jacqueline Ching
39) Dolley Madison: First Lady--Barbara Witteman
40) Dolley Madison: Her Life, Letters and Legacy--Holly Shulman
41) Dolley Madison: America's First Lady--Myra Weatherly
42) George Washington--Michael Burgan
43) George Washington--Heather Lehr Wagner
44) George Washington: An American Life--Laurie Calkhoven
45) John Adams: Patriot, Diplomat and Statesman--Miriam Gross
46) Thomas Jefferson--Jacqueline Ching
47) A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation--Catherine Allgor
48) Faith of the First Ladies--Jerry MacGregor
49) Women of the American Revolution--Mary Rodd Furbee
50) And the Good News Is: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side--Dana Perino
51) Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People--Tim Reiterman
2014 Book List
2013 Book List
2012 Book List
2011 Book List
2010 Book List
2008 Book List

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Review of 41: A Portrait of my Father

1st--I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. I wasn't paying attention to current events when George Bush Sr. was president. As a result, my view of him was tainted by the few facts that I heard about him from various sources.

2nd--I was impressed with Bush Sr. once I saw him as a whole man--the way he lived his life, his character, the jobs he took and his principles. The Bush family was admirable as well.

3rd--I loved getting the unique perspective of a presidential son of his presidential father. It was neat to have him compare different events in both of their presidencies, and how they affected him and his father. As George W. Bush brings up, historian David McCullough said he would've loved to have read a book written by John Quincy Adams about his father, John Adams.

4th--I love George W. Bush and think he was an amazing president. I enjoyed hearing him read this audio book himself.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Paul Ryan Becomes the 54th Speaker of the House!

So after all the meshugas on the right over the past few years, the Republicans could wind up with two new leaders going into this election, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. That’s a pretty excellent outcome for a party that has shown an amazing tendency to inflict self-harm.

Ryan is the new House speaker and right now Rubio is the most likely presidential nominee. The shape of the presidential campaign is coming into focus. It’s still wise to expect (pray) that the celebrity candidates will fade as the shopping phase ends and the buying phase begins.~David Brooks
-I've been a huge Paul Ryan fan for a long time.  I used to live in Wisconsin, and was so impressed to see such a strong conservative get elected there.

-I was excited when Romney put him on the ticket in 2012.  If only the VP picks could've saved the actual candidates in both 2008 and 2012.

-So, when it looked like Ryan was going to get the speaker job, I was happy.  It sounds like a grueling job to have, but I think Ryan could actually make a positive difference.
My friends, you have done me a great honor. The people of this country, they have done all of us a great honor. Now let’s prove ourselves worthy of it.~Paul Ryan

-The above video gives a small glimpse of his character.

Ryan's plans:
Before Ryan embarks on some of his legislative goals — tax and welfare reform, for example — he'll face the task of following through on his promises to the rank and file. To prove he’s serious about reforming the institution, Ryan is embarking on an overhaul of internal House procedures, restructuring a powerful committee that selects committee assignments. Ryan has told his colleagues that he plans to rewrite internal institutional rules by the end of the year, with the help of the entire House Republican Conference.
-I look forward to the future with Ryan as speaker of the House and hopefully, with Rubio as the Republican nominee for president.

Friday, October 23, 2015

First Lady Profile #8--Martha Washington!

Painstaking research reveals a delightful, intelligent, and passionate woman who shared a life of mutual love and support with the country's foremost founding father.--Patricia Brady
-I am a big history buff when it comes to the presidents and first ladies.  I embarked on this first ladies series awhile ago, and since then I've discovered C-Span's series on the First Ladies.  This has given me a renewed desire to dig even deeper and read numerous books on each first lady.

-I am watching the C-Span profile on each first lady, and then reading books on each of them.  I also bought the book on the first ladies which is a companion piece for the C-Span series.

-I have always known a lot about George Washington and very little about Martha.  I have been impressed by what I have learned about her and it has greatly increased my respect for her.

-As I read about her, I was struck by how much she loved both of her husbands, and her children, and not just her biological children, but the many children she took on as her own throughout her life.

-She also was very smart and was considered a "great catch" when George married her.  She was the perfect woman to be the first "first lady".

-She was born on June 2, 1731 on a plantation near Williamsburg, Virginia.  She was the oldest of 9 children and went by Patsy.
-She was 18 when she married Daniel Parke Custis on May 15, 1750.  She had 4 children with him: Daniel, Frances, John, and Martha.
-Daniel and Frances died in childhood, and her husband Daniel died in 1757.  Martha was a rich widow at age 25 with 2 children.
From the time Martha first gave birth at eighteen or nineteen, she was a really wonderful mother.  She doted on her children, her grandchildren, her nieces and nephews.  During the war with the young officers, young aides-de-camp, she was more or less like a housemother at a fraternity; she looked after these young men...Forever afterword, the young men of those days remembered her as their foster mother.--Patricia Brady  
-She married George Washington when they were both 27, and George helped raise her children.
-Her daughter Martha (who also was known as Patsy), had epilepsy and died during a seizure while she was a teenager.
-Her son John (known as Jacky) married and had 4 children.  He died during the Revolutionary War from typhus.  George and Martha raised 2 of his children after his death, Eleanor and George.
George Washington was the indispensable man to the success of the American Revolution, and Martha Washington was the indispensable woman to him. He could bear all those years away from home, creating a national army, because she spent part of every year with him, no matter how awful the conditions in camp might be. 
Their mutual love, confidence, and support helped keep him going in the face of every disappointment, setback, and defeat.  Every year she made a home for him, where he could rest and refresh his spirits until it was time to go back in the field another time, for however long it took to win the war.  Out of those eight and a half years he spent in command of thMe army, she was with him for nearly five, more than half the war, in stays ranging from three to ten months.  Martha was truly the secret weapon of the American Revolution.--Patricia Brady
-During the Revolutionary War, George and Martha could not bear to be apart, so Martha always traveled to be with him for several months out of the year.
-During George's two terms as president, Martha was a great example of what a first lady should be like.  Abigail Adams was in awe of her.
She talked about how the experience of her life had taught her that 'our happiness or misery depends upon our disposition and not our circumstances.'  That is a remarkably wise observation, but it's an observation distilled from a life full of tragedy.  She'd lost a husband, she lost all four of her children, she lost countless nieces and nephews, and then she found herself repeatedly uprooted from the life she expected, to follow George either on the battlefield, or on a different kind of battlefield.--Richard Norton Smith
-She died on May 22, 1802 at the age of 70.

My Martha Washington Books:
-Martha Dandridge Custis Washington--Charnan Simon
-Lady Washington--Dorothy Clarke Wilson
-Martha Washington--Patricia Brady
-First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women--Susan Swain & C-Span
-Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George & Martha Washington--Mary Higgins Clark
-America's First Ladies--Diana Dixon Healy
-First Ladies--Betty Boyd Caroli
-First Ladies of the White House--Nancy J. Skarmeas

Previous Profiles:
-Eleanor Roosevelt
-Julia Grant
-Louisa Adams
-Frances Cleveland 
-Lucretia Garfield 
-Edith Roosevelt
-Dolley Madison

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future--October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015--Back to the Future Day

-30 years ago I went to the movie theater to see Back to the Future.  I was 15 years old and a huge Michael J. Fox fan.

-Tonight, I went with 3 of my kids to see the movie, and my youngest son is 15, it was kind of cool.

-The significance of today's date, October 21, 2015, is because in the 2nd movie, they go to the future on October 21, 2015.

-It is hard to believe, when I was watching it, 2015 seemed like a long time away.

-I still love Huey Lewis and the News and I embarrassed my daughter by expressing my love for his music during the movie.

-While watching the 2nd movie tonight, I reflected on how history is skewed by Biff Tannen and his wealth.  As I saw the world descend into hell, I was struck by the similarities between Biff Tannen and Donald Trump.  I couldn't help but think we might be thrust into a similar hell if Trump is elected.
It turns out the character was actually based on Donald Trump, too funny!!

Some articles about the 30 year anniversary of the movies:
--10 Predictions that 'Back to the Future Part II' got right
--Huey Lewis Shares the Inspiration behind the Back to the Future anthem 'The Power of Love'
--Huey Lewis almost passed on going 'Back to the Future'
--'Back to the Future' cast reunites, flashes back to their monumental time together

October 21, 2015-Back to the Future Day


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Making the Case for Marco Rubio--Part 2

The more I learn about Marco Rubio, the more I get excited about him and his chances to not only win the Republican primary, but to win the presidency in 2016.

Some articles that I have found recently that help make the case:
-Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio Solidify Front-Runner Status

-Marco Rubio Lights It Up
Have you seen Marco Rubio?  Marco Rubio is lighting it up, and there are two things that have happened here.  The first thing that happened is that Larry Ellison of Oracle, worth something like $57 billion, is throwing a huge fundraiser for Rubio out in California where he lives.

And then Rubio shows up on the Council on Foreign Relations and literally ran rings around everybody, including Jeb Bush.  I read that Jeb Bush's speech and performance, the Q&A at the Council on Foreign Relations was not inspiring. He appeared unprepared, a little halting and unsure of himself, whereas Rubio was conversant on anything that was brought up.  He was able to answer any question that anybody asked him.  His speech was all-inclusive.
-Why Marco Rubio Could Upend 2016
The headline polls may understate Rubio’s advantage. Alone among candidates on either side, he has positive favourability among Republican and Democratic voters. At 57 per cent among Republican primary voters, he is way ahead of Jeb (37 per cent). Although Jeb leads marginally in voters’ first preference, Rubio tops the second-choice rankings. In a fragmented field, that could count for a lot. Finally, Rubio is neck-and-neck with Jeb in the key swing states, including Ohio and Florida, and comes closest of any Republican to defeating Hillary in a head-to-head match-up.
-The story behind a Rubio campaign video that the campaign didn't make

Pic Credit: @MarcoRubio_2016

Some factors that help make the case:
-Twitter is exploding with accounts supporting him.  I have been shocked at the sheer number.  The other candidates probably have some major support too, but there is GENUINE enthusiasm for Rubio that I think is missing for a lot of the other candidates.

-The All-Star Panel on Special Report with Bret Baier considers him to be 1 of the 3 top tier candidates in the Republican race.  Charles Krauthammer is probably his biggest fan.
-Making the Case for Marco Rubio--Part 1
-2016 Republican Presidential Hopefuls

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History!--A Review (Part 5)

5-The Rising Road (1933-1939)
There have been 3 presidents who were larger than the office they inherited.  One was Washington, who fairly invented the office; there was Lincoln who preserved the country at the center of which sits that office; and then there was Roosevelt, who fundamentally changed the relationship of the citizen to the central government.--George Will
Franklin Roosevelt
-When FDR took office, 15 million were unemployed.  A sense of fear pervaded the country. It was the 3rd year of the crippling depression, and people wondered how long it would last.
-FDR connected with the American people over the radio in his fireside chats.
-He appointed the first woman to a cabinet position.  He appointed Frances Perkins to be Secretary of Labor.
-President Herbert Hoover's mail was handled by only one clerk.  The Roosevelts needed 50.  During the week following FDR's inauguration he received 450,000 letters.
-Most of the American people didn't know that FDR was in wheelchair.  The press wasn't allowed to to take pictures or video FDR in his wheelchair or getting assistance standing and/or getting in and out of vehicles.
The best of the New Deal programs was FDR's smile.  He was armored with Christian faith that the universe is well organized and with the American faith that history is a rising road and things are going to be all right.--George Will
-FDR's critics accused him of bringing socialism to the U.S. with his New Deal programs.
-He was re-elected in 1936 carrying 46 of 48 states and getting 60% of the popular vote.  Many think that the passage of the social security act was what ensured FDR's re-election.
-He became a type of "savior" to the American people.  Many families had his picture on their walls.
-FDR was upset about the conservative members on the supreme court.  They overturned several of his New Deal programs.
-He then arrogantly tried to find a way to change the make-up of the court by introducing legislation that would force justices to retire at age 70.  Even one of his own friends admitted that FDR was trying to pack the court.  The legislation never passed.
-Yet, he was eventually able to pack the court to his liking.  By the time he passed away, he had replaced 8 of the 9 justices.
-The American public was against the U.S. getting involved in World War II.  So, FDR moved very slowly towards what he realized was the inevitable.

Eleanor Roosevelt
-She starts having weekly press conferences of her own.  She only allowed female reporters because only men could attend her husband's.  No previous first lady had ever done anything remotely like this.
-She started writing a syndicated newspaper column called, My Day. She also had a network radio program of her own as well.
-The Roosevelts were more sympathetic to African Americans than their predecessors.  Eleanor even more than FDR fought for them.
-Eleanor had a total of 6 children with Franklin.  One son, Franklin Jr. died in infancy.  Later they had 4 more sons, one of them was also named Franklin Jr., and the others were Elliott (named after Eleanor's father), James and John.  They had one daughter named Anna.
-Even though the Roosevelt's marriage was troubled, they never divorced.  Yet, it seemed to have a big impact on their children.  Between the 5 children that survived, there was a total of 19 marriages.

Episode 1-Get Action (1858-1901)
Episode 2-In the Arena (1901-1910)  

Episode 3-The Fire of Life (1910-1919)
Episode 4-The Storm (1920-1933)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

A Review of I Am Malala

I was a girl in a land where rifles are fired in celebration of a son, while daughters are hidden away behind a curtain, their role in life simply to prepare food and give birth to children.

I was named after Malalai of Maiwand, the greatest heroine of Afghanistan.--Malala Yousafzai
-I have been impressed with Malala Yousafzai since I first heard about her.  She is an outspoken young woman who grew up in an area where women are supposed to be quiet. 

-Malala has a strong mother, and a father who always encouraged her to speak the truth and to stand up for girls getting an education.  Although her father didn't have much money, he took a lot of risks to start schools in Pakistan to provide an education for many.

-Malala and her father knew that by being outspoken about the rights of people to get an education, they were risking their lives.  The taliban was executing people on a regular basis if they didn't toe the line on women obeying every aspect of sharia law.

-If women in the middle east are ever going to be ushered into the 21st century, they need many more women who are willing to risk their lives like Malala did.  She was shot by the taliban in the head, and yet, survived to carry her message around the world.

-In reading her story, I learned a lot about what life is like in Pakistan & Afghanistan for girls.   I was inspired by her courage, and look forward to seeing what the future has in store for her.  She has already won the Nobel Peace Prize at 17 years old (the youngest ever to receive the award),  so the sky is the limit.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History!--A Review (Part 4)

4-The Storm (1920-1933)
Great suffering can change a person.--Eleanor Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt:
-1920 was the first election where women could vote.  James M. Cox was the Democrat nominee for president and he picked Franklin to run as his vice presidential running mate.  They lost to Warren G. Harding & Calvin Coolidge in a landslide.
-Harding appointed Teddy Roosevelt Jr. to be Assistant Secretary to the Navy.
-On August 10, 1921, Franklin felt funny, after this day he would never walk without help again.
-Eleanor and Louie Howe took care of him, and then also hired a nurse.
-He was 39 years old when he was finally diagnosed with polio.
-Eleanor and Sara (Franklin's mother) disagreed on what Franklin should do to get better.
-On October 9, 1922 Franklin went back to work.
-He spent a lot of time away from Eleanor trying to rebuild his legs.  He also ignored his children during this time.
-He thought he could improve his legs & walk again even though his doctors told him it was unlikely.
-During 1925-1928, he would spend 116 weeks away from home trying to fix his legs.
-He and Eleanor were living separate lives, and their children were being ignored and indulged.
-Teddy could outrun his depression demons, but FDR couldn't walk, so he was stuck with them.
-Franklin didn't want the public to know he was crippled.  Yet, it was the polio that gave him the gift of empathy.
-He bought Warm Springs, Georgia and used it as a place for polio patients to recover.
-On June 26, 1924 FDR gave the introduction for Al Smith who was running for president at Madison Square Garden.
-Al Smith persuaded Franklin to run for Governor of New York.  He did, and campaigned in all 62 counties, something no other candidate had ever done before.  Democrats lost big that year, but FDR won the governorship.
29 years earlier Teddy Roosevelt had promised the American people a "square deal".  Now, 11 years after polio seemed to have crushed his political hopes, FDR made a promise of his own, a "new deal".--The Roosevelts
-In 1932, FDR was the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president.  He won against 9 contenders.
-On election night, November 8, 1932 FDR won by 7 million votes.  He won 42 of 48 states, and the Democrats won a majority of seats in both houses of Congress.
The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.--FDR
Eleanor Roosevelt:
-After finding refuge in work during the war, she refused to give it up after the war, even though her Mother-in-law wanted her too.
-She would always crave action liker her husband and her Uncle.
-In June of 1922, Nancy Cook (from the Women's Division of the state Democrat party), called and asked Eleanor to speak at a fundraising luncheon.  Cook and Marion Dickerman became good friends of Eleanor's.
-Eleanor began organizing the Democratic women of Duchess county.
-Louie Howe not only coached FDR, but also Eleanor and helped her with public speaking.
-She began her own career after FDR was struck with polio.
It is always disagreeable to take a stand, it is always easier to compromise.--Eleanor Roosevelt
-Franklin was proud of Eleanor having her own career.
-After FDR was elected Governor of New York, she toured hospitals and prisons on her husband's behalf and attended political functions.
-When FDR was elected president, she was happy for him, but she was troubled for herself.  She knew this would be the end of any personal life of her own.

Episode 1-Get Action (1858-1901)
Episode 2-In the Arena (1901-1910)  

Episode 3-The Fire of Life (1910-1919)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Making the Case for Marco Rubio--Part 1

Recently, I did a brief post on the Republicans who are likely to run for president in 2016.  I expressed how I really like Governor Scott Walker, but Marco Rubio is the guy that has me most excited. 

As I continue to follow the race, I let out a BIG groan when I saw that Huckabee is going to make his announcement about getting into the race on May 5th.  I thought he was smart enough not to run this time, so much for wishful thinking.  Yet, despite his high hopes, I think that Cruz, Paul and Huckabee will all be fighting for the fringe vote.

Meanwhile, I have discovered some articles that make the case for Rubio and thought I would do a rundown of them:
-Marco Rubio leads GOP field in new national poll

-The Talented Mr. Rubio
David Brooks makes the case for Rubio and has a lot of great points.  Below are just a few excerpts:
Along comes Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio, 43, doesn’t just speak in the ardent patriotic tones common to the children of immigrants like himself. His very life is the embodiment of the American dream: parents who tended bar and worked at Kmart with a son who rose to become a United States senator. His heritage demonstrates that the American dream is open to all who come here legally and work hard. He is what many Republicans want their country to be.

1-He is, for starters, the most talented politician in the race.  In most primary battles, the crown goes to the most talented plausible candidate.
2- Rubio gives a very good speech.
3- He has an upbeat and pleasant demeanor. 
4-He has a great personal story. 
5-His policy agenda is more detailed and creative than any of his rivals. 
6-He has an overarching argument — that it is time for a new generation to reform and replace archaic structures.

Can Rubio win a general election? Well, he believes more in expanding the party than in just mobilizing the base. In his past races, he’s done better than generic Republican candidates because of his success with Hispanics. Youth is America’s oldest tradition. Who’s to say that voters won’t side for the relative outsider over the know-what-you’re-getting Hillary Clinton?
-The GOP Racing Form: First Edition
Charles Krauthammer loves Rubio as much as I do, and puts him in the top tier of candidates.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Conscience of a Conservative (A Review)

Thus, for the American Conservative, there is no difficulty in identifying the day's overriding political challenge: it is to preserve and extend freedom.  As he surveys the various attitudes and institutions and laws that currently prevail in America, many questions will occur to him, but the Conservative's first concern will always be: Are we maximizing freedom?--Barry Goldwater
I've heard a lot about Barry Goldwater, but had never taken the time to read much about him.  During my study of the civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's, Goldwater's name came up.  Some accused him of voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and thus being against civil rights for African-Americans.

I did some research.  While researching, I came across his short book that I knew outlined the conservative movement.  I decided to read, Conscience of a Conservative and find out for myself his stance on civil rights.

While he did vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he wasn't a racist nor was he against African-Americans having civil rights.  Yet, I found his view on this lacking in compassion.

He argued in Chapter 4, that the Federal government shouldn't be involved in forcing states to abide by civil rights' laws.  But in the next chapter, he argues for federal legislation to "fix" the problem with farmers getting subsidies.

Why was it okay to push for new federal laws for farming, but not for the much more important issue of civil rights?  While studying the civil rights' movement, I was shocked at how racist some of the southern governors were.  There is no way African-Americans would've been treated equally in the south had they not be forced to by the federal government.

Yet, for the most part, I agreed with the rest of what he laid out in the book.  Below I will list the Chapters and a short description of them.  It is amazing how this book was written 55 years ago, and yet most of it still applies today.

Chapter 1--The Conscience of a Conservative
Chapter 2--The Perils of Power
Chapter 3--State's Rights
Chapter 4--And Civil Rights 
I've already addressed this issue.
Chapter 5--Freedom for the Farmer
Not much has changed on this issue in the past 55 years.  Most Republican Representatives are against subsidies for farmers (or anyone for that matter), but farmers make up a big percentage of conservative voters.  Thus, the representative continues to support farm subsidies to keep his constituents happy.
Chapter 6--Freedom for Labor
Goldwater was spot on in describing the problems with Unions, we are still having the same problems, although they have been weakened in some states like Wisconsin.
Chapter 7--Taxes and Spending
This too, of course, is the same today except the numbers have gotten drastically larger.
Chapter 8--The Welfare State
Again, the same today, except the number of people dependent has risen sharply.  We have implemented some reforms, but not even close to enough.
Chapter 9--Some Notes on Education
Chapter 10--The Soviet Menace
While the Soviet Union no longer exists, and the Cold War has been won, Goldwater's views on how to deal with them could be applied to today's War on Terror.

I highly recommend this book for all conservatives.  Goldwater is said to be The Most Consequential Loser in American Politics.  I think that is true.  Goldwater influenced Reagan (who had a lot more charisma), and Reagan ended up being able to apply a lot of Goldwater's principles and make the Republican party more conservative.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Marco Rubio Enters the 2016 Presidential Race!

It is an understatement to say that we had no exciting candidates running on the Republican side in 2008 & 2012.  There was no candidate who was actually a conservative, likeable and who had a chance at winning.

I'm pretty stoked that we have some great options this year.  There are plenty of candidates on our side that make me groan, but we have 2 exceptional ones, IMHO.  I am excited about both Marco Rubio and Scott Walker.  If push came to shove, though, I'd have to say Marco Rubio is my guy.

So, color me delighted when he entered the presidential race tonight with a great speech at the Freedom Tower in Miami.  I find him to be a solid conservative, articulate about his views, a good sense of humor, optimistic, good looking, likeable and charming.

I watched tonight's speech and then watched his speech that he made at CPAC (see above).  I went to his website and signed up to be on his email list.  I also gave a small donation, my first ever in a primary.

Tomorrow, I will do a post on all the Republican candidates for 2016 and my quick take on each of them.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

A Review of The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

I have been a big fan of Mark Bowden's since I saw him on the documentary, The True Story of Black Hawk Down.  I have his book, Black Hawk Down, which is what the movie with the same name was based on, but haven't had a chance to read it yet.

After I saw the two-night special last year entitled, The Man Who Killed Usama bin Laden, I wanted to learn more and started looking for books about it.  When I saw that Mark Bowden had written one, I knew I had to read it.

Bowden did some brief biographies on some of the key players including President Obama.

He also pointed out some interesting factors that liberals have tried to deny:
--The fact that there was more evidence that Iraq had WMD's, than the evidence they had for where they thought Osama bin Laden was hiding.
--The torture of terrorists did play a part in being able to find Osama.
I thought Bowden, for the most part gave a well rounded picture of all the players involved and the piecing together of the story.

Yet, I did find myself taking issue with Bowden's assessments of President Bush and Obama.  I felt he gave way too much credit to Obama and not enough to Bush.
--He interviewed Obama extensively, and quoted him often.  Whereas, he didn't take the time to interview Bush.
--He was critical of Bush, and blatantly accused him of things that I thought were unfair and not true.
--He gave Obama a lot of credit for finding Osama bin Laden, yet, Bowden admitted that a lot of what enabled Osama to be found was advances made in technology that weren't there when Bush was president.
 All that said, I did think the book provided a good, overall picture of what lead up to and what happened when Osama bin Laden was killed. 

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Historic and Powerful Speech to Congress

I'm standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America's founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.--Benjamin Netanyahu
I have always respected and admired Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, but after watching his speech to Congress today, I am in awe.  He did an incredible job of explaining the history of Iran and the threat they pose to Israel, the Middle East, the U.S. and the entire world.
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire. In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone. So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
Netanyahu went on to explain exactly why the "potential deal" that Obama and Kerry are trying to negotiate with Iran would be so destructive.
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves Iran's path to the bomb. So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?

Well, I disagree. I don't believe that Iran's radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite -- would only wet Iran's appetite for more. Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it's under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism? Why should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
 Netanyahu is a gifted speaker who did a better job of educating the world on the threat of Iran, than anyone else has.  He also gave alternatives on what the world should demand of Iran before lifting any restrictions.
Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second... Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world. And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state. Thank you.
He then eloquently gave a Robert Frost analogy.
My friends, for over a year, we've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it.

Now we're being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That's just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal. A better deal that doesn't leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short break-out time. A better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in place until Iran's aggression ends.

A better deal that won't give Iran an easy path to the bomb. A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country... ... no country has a greater stake -- no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.

Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.

The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.
You don't have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire.
He then pointed out Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.  An important reminder that the world can never forget the horrors of the Holocaust.

I loved how he concluded his speech.
Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us in this chamber is the image of Moses. Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land. And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today, "Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.'' My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope. May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America.
Unfortunately, President Obama and House Democrats seem unlikely to listen to this brave man.  It may turn out that the safety of the world will be left up to Israel until we can elect a better man to the White House.

I can only pray and hope that the U.S. may some day elect a man as eloquent, and as strong and courageous as Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Review of Unbroken

I saw Unbroken, the movie at the theaters twice and reviewed it here on my blog. After seeing it, I knew I had to read the book that it was based on.  The movie was good, but the book was so much better.

Laura Hillenbrand did an amazing amount of research and then told the story in a captivating way.  Louie Zamperini's real life story is compelling, and Hillenbrand did a great job of bringing it to life.

What is even more amazing, is that Hillenbrand suffers from CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).  She isn't able to leave her house for days at a time, yet, she has written two books that have won numerous awards.

I was not only inspired as I read about Louie's life, but I learned A LOT of history as well.  I've realized that most of us know much more about World War II history that took place in Europe, than we do about what took place in the Pacific.

When I saw The Great Raid back in 2005, I learned about the Bataan Death March.  My friend and I couldn't believe that we were just now learning about it.

So, that said, if you want to be inspired and learn history at the same time, take the time to read, Unbroken.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Review of Selma

The film “Selma,” portraying the historic march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, AL in 1965, is a gut-wrenching experience that brings the viewer into the vehemence of the prejudice and the stunning courage of its resistors in this intense critical moment in the history of racism in America – and of nonviolence in the world.  The acting ranges from very good to superb (more on that in a moment).--
I've been dying to see Selma ever since I saw the previews.  I finally had the chance to see it tonight, and it surpassed my expectations, which were high.  I am torn now on whether I want American Sniper, or Selma to win the Academy Award on Sunday for best picture.

While watching the film, I took 10 pages of notes.  I have been studying the Civil Rights Movement lately, so I was familiar with a lot of the events that took place in the movie.

The movie showed many important events leading up to the Selma march, although not necessarily in order of when they occurred:
--King accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14th, 1964
--The 16th Street Baptist church bombing where 4 girls were killed on September 15th, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama
--Annie Lee Cooper attempting to register to vote in Alabama in 1963
--The murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson on February 18th, 1965 during a peaceful protest by a state trooper
--The murder of a white minister, Reverend Reeb on March 11, 1965 who had answered King's call for clergy to join the non-violent movement.
I thought the actors that were picked for this movie all did an amazing job of portraying the men and women who were involved in the civil rights movement one way or another.

While there is some criticism of how President Johnson was portrayed, I thought he came across the way I would've imagined, from what I know of Johnson.  That said, I will be doing more research on how accurate the portrayal was.
I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Selma is not a documentary, but as a whole, you can learn a lot about history from watching it.  It was so well done, and gives you a snapshot into the civil rights movement as a whole.

I teared up at the end when they showed footage of the actual Selma march.  It is a dark part of our history that it took so many deaths in order to bring about equality for all men and women.  Race relations are far from perfect today, but for the most part, as Martin Luther King, Jr. foresaw, we have overcome. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sons of Liberty!

SONS OF LIBERTY is a dramatic interpretation of events that sparked a revolution. It is historical fiction, not a documentary. The goal of our miniseries is to capture the spirit of the time, convey the personalities of the main characters, and focus on real events that have shaped our past.--History Channel
I'm watching Sons of Liberty on the History Channel.  I am a big history buff, especially when it is about the founding fathers and the Revolutionary War.

As always, when watching something that is historical fiction, I love finding out more about the real story.  The History channel has some great links that help in doing just that.
-The Real-Life Haunts of the Sons of Liberty
-10 Things You May Not Know About John Adams
-10 Things You Should Know About Joseph Warren
-11 Things You May Not Know About Paul Revere
-Boston Tea Party: 10 Fast Facts
-9 Things You May Not Know About The Declaration of Independence
I personally knew very little about Joseph Warren, so I found that link particularly helpful.  There are even more history links, take the time to check them out here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

America's Suicide (A Review)

-The Cadence Group sent me a free copy of America's Suicide, if I would review it on my blog.

-I confess that I generally do not read books when I suspect I will disagree with the premise.  I decided to make an exception with this book, to sharpen my reasoning skills.

-I was surprised to find that I agreed with more of Michael H. Davison's points than I thought I would.

-I have a lot of quotes I would like to include in this review, but I'll have to limit myself, because there were a lot that resonated.  I'll include them throughout this review.
Liberalism cites compassion and fairness to justify its policies.  In practice this has meant taking from one group and giving to another minus handling charges; it neither cultivates compassion in the "giver" nor gratitude in the receiver.--pgs. 41-42 
The Parts of the book that I liked and/or agreed with:
1) The book as a whole helped me to think about and evaluate my personal belief system.  It woke me up and enabled me to see some of the decay I had allowed in my thinking.  The past couple of years have been extremely difficult for me.  I went through a divorce and was catapulted from being a homeschooling Mom to having to provide for myself and my kids all on my own after being out of the work force for 20 years.  I realized that in some ways I had adopted a victim mentality that society somehow owed me, because things were difficult.
With confidence in one's own effectiveness, an individual can persevere through life's trials and setbacks with courage and resourcefulness.  The senses of security and self value that form the foundation on which that confidence later rests are laid down in the first few years of life in a loving and nurturing home.  If adverse circumstances close that crucial window of time, but not impossible individual undertaking.  Government cannot compensate for that loss but in practice has only succeeded in furnishing rationalizations for those who shun the effort.--pgs. 102-103
-I realized that my current job as a waitress has shown me the realities of life.  As a waitress you don't have the luxury of calling in sick.  You could be on your death bed, but you still have to find a way to come in or find someone to take your shift.  You can't leave before your tables are clean and your side work is done, because if you don't do it, someone else has to.  This is exactly what "real world" living is all about.  If you don't do your job (whatever that may be), someone else has to pick up the slack.
Socialists cannot easily evade the reality that the three most virulent cultures to have ever infected the Earth, Soviet Russia, Communist China and Nazi Germany, rose and flourished under socialist banners.  More blood splashed horror and grief has been wrought, torture inflicted and terror perpetrated in the name of socialism than could have been by ten thousand Genghis Khans at their extremities of sadism.  Chinese currency still bears the portrait of Mao, among the worst butchers of history and a committed advocate of socialism.--pg. 72
2) The book gave me a clearer view of socialism.  Davison is able to articulate what should be said when explaining why socialism is so destructive.

The Parts of the book I didn't like and/or disagreed with:
1) Davison admits that he doesn't have any "deeply reassuring and effective political solutions to offer".  He does give some suggestions on what might make things better, but I found them lacking.  This is my exact problem with people like Davison, examples being men like Ron Paul and Michael Savage.  They are always ready to be pessimistic and point out how horrible Republicans and Democrats are, but don't have a good alternative.

-The only real solution he gives is that the world would be better off if we all had more knowledge.  He gives a list entitled, "Principles of The Rational and Responsible American Party."  The problem is he advocates getting back to the principles of our Founding Fathers but wants to divorce our country from any remnant of faith in God, which is the foundation that the Founding Fathers built our country on, which leads me to my next point.

2) Davison wants to create a perfect country by completely eliminating all religions.  He touts wisdom, honesty and courage, but where would we get the morality to exhibit these qualities without a belief in God?  He seems to have a lot of disdain for any belief system, and claims that religion causes as much destruction as socialism.  While I will admit that a lot of horrors have been committed in the name of religion, it isn't God's fault that some people twist and distort His message.

-He says that "religion will sink into irrelevance only when we find a better alternative for facing the pain and brevity of life."  Again my question is, what is the alternative??  As I pointed out earlier, if you are going to trash something, you need to have a solution or an alternative.

My conclusion:
-I think this book is well worth reading, if nothing else to enable you to think and evaluate what you believe and why.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More on American Sniper!

"American Sniper" had a record-breaking weekend at the box office.

The Chris Kyle biopic, directed by Clint Eastwood, brought in more than $90 million during its nationwide opening.

"This is staggering. It's blockbuster numbers in January, the sort of numbers usually reserved for summer films and superhero movies," Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for Rentrak, told USA Today. "No one saw this coming. The film has been building an audience and blasting any projections all weekend."--ABC News
-American Sniper is now the top-grossing film to premiere in January. I'm excited that the movie is doing well. I liked it so much that I may see it again.
My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse.--Michael Moore
-As should've been suspected, the Hollywood elite isn't as excited about the movie as the American public is.  Michael Moore and Seth Rogen couldn't help themselves and tweeted disrespectful comments about the movie.  Of course, they are both now trying to back peddle out of the statements.

-Just when I think that Michael Moore can't stoop to a new low, he does.  It seems to me that he hates our country, and has no respect for the men and women that sacrifice their lives for the very freedom he enjoys when he speaks out (and reminds everyone that he's an idiot).
Clint shot bad guys in movies and I shot bad guys in real life, so let's go ahead and make a realistic movie, says former Navy SEAL Kevin Lacz about his first acting gig.--The Hollywood Reporter
 -Kevin Lacz is a former Navy SEAL who started out as the SEAL technical advisor for American Sniper but ended up starring in the movie.  Bradley Cooper persuaded Lacz to play himself in the movie and Clint Eastwood agreed.
In 2006, Lacz served for four years with the film’s hero Chris Kyle, played by Cooper on screen, and the two shared an unbreakable bond. The film ends with footage of Kevin at Kyle’s memorial service where each SEAL pinned their trident onto Chris’s casket. Lacz’s relationship to Kyle as well as his work as a platoon sniper and medic to the most highly decorated special operations task unit since Vietnam contributed to his skill set as the SEAL technical advisor for Eastwood’s film.
-There are just so many good things about this movie, the praise is endless.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Review of American Sniper

-I have been looking forward to seeing American Sniper since I first learned about it this past October

I was excited about the movie for several reasons:
-I've been a huge fan of Chris Kyle's for a long time
-I bought his book, and am looking forward to reading it also
-I'm a huge Bradley Cooper fan
-Clint Eastwood is a phenomenal director, and I knew with him directing it the movie would be done right.
-I'm a war movie buff
-I am inspired by seeing the sacrifices men and women have made for our country.
-I obviously had very high expectations going in, and yet the movie still far exceeded them.

-This is Bradley Cooper's finest role, by far, to date.  I almost didn't recognize that it was him because he carried himself in such a different way.  He was very much like I imagine that Chris Kyle was.  Cooper definitely deserves to win an academy award for his portrayal, whether the liberal elite in Hollywood will agree, is a different story.

-The movie enabled you to fall in love with Chris Kyle, and yet still see his struggles with adapting to life back in the U.S.  He was portrayed as a hero, but with all the grit and realness of his struggles and humanity.

-My favorite movie from last year was Lone Survivor, but American Sniper surpasses it.  The way they end the movie is especially touching.  Tears streamed down my face as they showed real footage from Kyle's memorial.

-American Sniper is an incredible movie about an amazing man, and the lessons his life can teach us all.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Unbroken (A Review)

-The movie, Unbroken is based on the book, Unbroken, written by Laura Hillenbrand, which is about the true life story of Louis Zamperini.  A troubled boy who turns his life around and makes it to the Olympics, and then survives the horrors of World War II.

-As you watch the movie, it is hard to believe that someone could survive everything that Zamperini did, and yet he was able to.

He survived:
-Being shot at during the war
-A plane crash into the Pacific Ocean
-Drifting on the Pacific for 47 days
-Numerous Japanese POW camps

-I'm not a big Angelina Jolie fan, but I will grudgingly admit that she did a good job directing this movie.

-It is an inspirational story, made more so by the fact that it is true.  And what the movie doesn't show is how Zamperini kept his promise to live his life for God after he survived the war.

-In 1949, he got saved at a Billy Graham crusade and then returned to Japan to forgive his captors.  The Billy Graham Evangelical Association has released their own movie about Zamperini's life and faith that tells the rest of the story entitled, Louis Zamperini: Captured by Grace

Additional Links:
The Rest of the Unbroken Story--Chuck Norris
The Rest of the Unbroken Story (Part 2)--Chuck Norris

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Not Afraid!

At least 15,000 gathered at the Place de la République for a vigil after the three gunmen, wearing hoods and armed with Kalashnikov automatic rifles, stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo shouting Islamic phrases and killing 12 people. The publication is a satirical newspaper that has caricatured the prophet Mohammed in the past.
"They wanted to put France down on its knees but we will show them solidarity and unity," Ilan Scialom, 30, vice president of "COEXISTER," an interfaith group in Paris that promotes tolerance, said at the Paris rally. Thousands turned out for similar vigils in Lyon and elsewhere across Europe. Some held signs saying, "Not afraid."
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the midday attack, the deadliest on French soil in more than 50 years.--USA Today
-I have to say that I am inspired by the courage of the French people in their response to the deadly terrorist attack on their soil today.

-Terrorists' main goal is to strike fear in the hearts of people to keep them from being free.  This response lets the terrorists know they haven't succeeded.

-The suspects:
Officials said late Wednesday that the suspects had been identified and that two were brothers. They were identified as Said and Cherif Kouachi, 32 and 34, and Hamyd Mourad, 18. French news reports said the brothers, known to intelligence services, had been born in Paris, raising the prospect that homegrown Muslim extremists were responsible.
Additional Links:
-Islamic Terrorists Attack French Magazine That Published Muhammad Cartoons
-Charlie Hebdo: Gun Attack on French Magazine Kills 12