Collected News Links

American news squareFrom Betsy’s Page:

“If Obama was so concerned about getting Americans held by the Taliban, how about this American woman and her baby along with her Canadian husband? Stupidly naive Americans who thought Afghanistan would be a neat place through which to travel should have as much care as a suspected deserter.

David French lists other Americans that Obama has been willing to leave behind.”

I didn’t know about the civilian hostages.  Sad story.  More about them here.

So why weren’t they included in the deal?  Because the deal wasn’t about who got rescued, it was about Gitmo (and taking focus off the VA scandal).

If you believe the White House assertion tht they couldn’t obey the law and let Congress know about the swap because the Taliban wanted this deal kept a deep, dark, secret…. you probably don’t want your comfy little echo tunnel compromised by learning that the Taliban openly suggested this deal a year ago on the phone with the AP, or that the Administration itself leaked information about it a few weeks ago….

INstapundit:

The Hill: Acting VA chief: 18 vets died on Phoenix wait list. (and 100,000 vets nationwide were kept off the official waiting lists)

New York Post: Schumer’s IRS. “Did Chuck Schumer try to use the IRS to sidestep the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling — and stick a dagger in the heart of conservative groups?”

OBAMA IN 2008: It’s offensive that John McCain is saying I’ll negotiate with Hamas.

Obama in 2014: Negotiating with Hamas.

Drudge Report:

GOP Lawmaker: House amnesty push gaining steam, predicts votes by August…

PHOTOS: Children warehoused on border…

SURGE: Kids crossing alone expected to triple…

Border Patrol can’t cope, predicts new wave of drugs, weapons, illegal immigrants…

White House welcomes more…

Local News: ‘Go to America with child, you won’t be turned away’…

Look at the photos.  Ellis Island was a picnic.

What happened to Zuckerberg’s $100 Mill donation to Newark public schools? We got cold, hard proof that more money not the answer, because money is not the reason why public schools fail. It’s the culture of government institutions to put themselves ahead of their mission- well, that’s not quite true, because they see the mission as perpetuation of power.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/05/19/140519fa_fact_russakoff?currentPage=all

Richard Dawkins: We Shouldn’t Read Fairy Tales to Children, As That Encourages Them to Believe in the Supernatural and Therefore God.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10875912/Reading-fairy-stories-to-children-is-harmful-says-Richard-Dawkins.html

 

Now that it’s been implemented, the CBO can no longer assess the fiscal impact of ObamaCare:

When Congress passed the health care law in 2010, the CBO estimated it would reduce the deficit by more than $120 billion over a decade, compared to the agency’s current-law baseline projection of spending, revenue and the deficit. That meant the health care law would, in effect, pay for itself and deliver an additional fiscal bonus.

The CBO based its estimate on the assumption that the law, which included hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Medicare cuts and tax increases to pay for health care subsidies, would be implemented as written. Now, after a chaotic start and a series of delays or adjustments in various provisions of the act, including an employer mandate that was expected to bring in new tax revenue, it’s unclear to what extent those promised savings are being realized.

 

I’m only surprised that anybody would be surprised about this.

More government spying on citizens- secret cables tap phones

LAPD moves closer to testing drones for manhunts.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/06/05/lapd-moves-closer-to-testing-aerial-drones-for-tactical-events

US Marshalls, too

The no-knock raid where the police set a baby on fire- they found no drugs or weapons on the premises. The drug dealer they were after didn’t live there.  They say they didn’t know there were children. The father and his four kids were out in the yard almost daily for the last two months. The police walked passed the family’s mini-van with the four carseats in it (in the driveway).

Charity Guy Drives Cancer Patients for Free, NYC Taxi Commission Tries to Seize His Car (Reason.com)

From Real Clear Politics, D-Day links:
70 Years Later, a Story of Survival Endures - Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe
5 Ways D-Day Could Have Been a Disaster - Michael Peck, National Interest

The Boys of Pointe du Hoc - President Ronald Reagan, June 6, 1984

The Longest Day - Richmond Times-Dispatch
Homage to Heroes: The Men Who Saved the World - New York Daily News

The Operational Miracle That Was D-Day - Victor Davis Hanson, IBD

 

Also, get up to speed on the newest EPA regulations and the devastating effect they will have on our every day lives and expenses.

 

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The Aftermath of Abuse

There is an excellent read from one homeschooling mom to another here. This is an excerpt:

“I propose that anyone who is truly repentant and reformed of sexually abusing a child should have no problem being under accountability, limits, and supervision. They would acknowledge their own risk for relapse, and not put themselves in a position where they could be even falsely accused.

Just as wise leaders would never send a former alcoholic into bars to do ministry, former abusers should never be entrusted with children alone. (This applies to families, as well as ministries.)”

This Amazon interview with an author was interesting and a little surprising:

Q. What causes PTSD?

A. PTSD can be caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, tornadoes and floods or human-made events such as war, acts of terrorism, accidents and abuse of any kind.

Q. What’s the number one cause of PTSD?

A. We know that combat and exposure to war may cause PTSD for our active duty and military personnel, but in the civilian population, the number one cause of PTSD is automobile accidents. For women, the number one cause is sexual trauma.

Q. Do men and women suffer from PTSD equally?

A. At this point, it appears that women are more likely to suffer from PTSD than men. In a recent article published by the National Center for PTSD, women are also more likely to be neglected or abused in childhood, to experience domestic violence, or to have a loved one suddenly die…and are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD as men after a trauma.

From the interview with the authors of this book: The Time Cure: Overcoming PTSD with the New Psychology of Time Perspective Therapy

And this was informative:

“When people with PTSD think the world is dangerous and feel a profound sense of threat and danger, it’s not just “in their mind.” It’s the brain operating in survival mode, and the solution is to shift the brain back to learning mode.

Which is much easier said than done.

By one of the authors of the book Hijacked by Your Brain: How to Free Yourself When Stress Takes Over

 

Not everybody who endures trauma will end up with PTSD or other issues, so don’t assume the ‘worst’ .  Conversely, sometimes people who seem to have come through unscathed will be thrown off kilter later for reasons neither you nor they may understand.

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Amazon Bargain Book

These are Bargain Books. Quantities are limited

3.13 for Last Exit to Utopia: The Survival of Socialism in a Post-Soviet Era

Free shipping if you make it part of an order over $35.

Reader Review:First published in French in 1999, Last Exit to Utopia examines the Left’s refusal to take responsibility for the atrocities of communism, and the route of denial that leftists took after the implosion of the Soviet Empire. Although mainly dealing with the first decade after the collapse of communism, the work is prophetic in highlighting the continued support of genocidal movements by segments of Western intelligentsia. A note on semantics: Revel’s use of the words “liberal” and “liberalism” refer to classical liberalism as practiced by politicians like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher or promoted by political philosophers like Friedrich Hayek; in other words, the polar opposite of what “liberalism” means in 21st century America.

Classical liberalism was revived a decade before the collapse of communism with Thatcher’s election victory in 1979 followed by that of Reagan the next year. Even under conservative governments the United Kingdom had remained the same stagnant, union-dominated, state-smothered bureaucracy that led to serious economic decline throughout the 1970s. The effects of the Reagan/Thatcher revolution swept the globe in the 1980s when deregulation and privatization became popular policies worldwide. In France, Mitterrand made a U-turn away from his disastrous statist programs as support for the Socialist & Communist Parties plummeted. A landmark was reached in 1984 when he jettisoned his government education plan.

So by the mid-1980s France’s leftist parties had failed while in Britain the Labour Party and in (then) West Germany the Social Democrats had entered a lengthy phase of exclusion from power. To top it off, the “model” welfare state of Sweden experienced spluttering growth and eventual stagnation. Yet for the most part the French intelligentsia blindly clung to socialism and leftist ideologues everywhere resisted the resurgence of classical liberalism. They resorted to crude propaganda using words like “unbridled” or “savage” capitalism and demonization at which they’ve always excelled. Due to the French mainstream media buying into this narrative, the French Right was afraid to propose bold reform with the result that the status quo continued as it did in most of Europe where only hesitant reform took place. By 1996, the average state share of (western) European national product was almost 46%.

Eastern Europe threw off the shackles of serfdom in a series of “velvet revolutions” during 1989 as the Soviet Union started crumbling. For a while, even the leftist media acknowledged reality by rejecting collectivism. A consensus emerged that the Marxist catastrophe had proved the classical liberal formula as the only viable solution despite its flaws. But soon after the 1991 demise of the USSR, leftist politicians and intellectuals launched a vigorous counteroffensive with the aim of erasing the clear conclusions of the collapse and the evidence of Marxist evil. Revel dissects their motives, arguments, strategy, tactics and success in pulling off this con game.

Their project grew in intensity and range as the decade progressed. Instead of choosing intellectual honesty and admitting their complicity in perpetuating the misery of millions of people, these leftists took refuge in obscurantist utopianism. Of course, they said, communism had not been implemented ‘properly’ in the Soviet Empire. And despite its manifest failure, it was a ‘noble ideal’, they insisted. Released from reality by events, the true believers returned to the roots of their obsession by restoring socialism to the realm of fantasy. Without the evidence of the Berlin Wall and the slave societies of Eastern Europe, utopianism could be embraced and the self-righteous fury of its devotees could be unleashed on the imperfections of the free society, the USA being the scapegoat and globalization the major crime.

Revel considers the reception of the 1997 publication The Black Book of Communism by many of the French intelligentsia as a significant turning point. This thoroughly researched exhibition of communist atrocities around the globe was greeted with rage, especially by the apologists of dictators like Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin. They avoided honest debate by stressing the “good intentions” of these mass murderers. Revel observes that Utopia is exempt from any obligation to produce results, that its only function is to permit its champions to condemn that which exists in the name of that which does not. He sees two sources for this utopian lust: Rousseau’s doctrine that man was inherently good and society bad. Thus reforming society would reveal mankind’s essential goodness. The other source, he argues, is the Catholic doctrine of good intentions.

By exposing the far left’s protectionism and xenophobia, Revel shows how closely it resembles the far right, with reference to National Socialism and Karl Marx’s antisemitism and racism. He subjects to scrutiny the practice, intellectual dishonesty and deception of the ideology as well as the psychological needs of its followers. Years ago he had already concluded that the totalitarian temptation is incomprehensible without considering the possibility that some influential groups in all societies contain people who desire tyranny – some yearn to exercise it themselves and some long to submit to it. Revel explains the strange attraction between radical Leftists and Islamists as a shared “excommunication of modernity,” a characteristic of the Left rooted in the primitivist writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Revel who passed away in 2006 will in time be recognized as one of the greatest political philosophers of the later 20th century. His countryman Alain Besançon was another giant amongst French defenders of freedom; I highly recommend his classic work A Century of Horrors. And as soul mates of Revel we are fortunate to have André Glucksmann, Bernard-Henri Levy and Chantal Delsol, all of whom are making major contributions to the philosophy of liberty. Delsol’s Icarus Fallen and Levy’s Left in Dark Times are essential texts for those concerned about the challenges facing Western civilization.

Amazon Blurb: Here is a tasty paradox: How did the Leftist legions regroup after history delivered its fatal blow to the Soviet system? Simple, argues Jean-Francois Revel: the Left retreated to the impregnable fortress of the Utopian ideal. After all, socialism incarnate was always vulnerable to criticism. Utopia, on the other hand, lies by definition beyond reproach. With the demise of the Soviet system, there is no longer a vast and flailing embodiment of their vision, and Utopia’s haughty champions can again rage boundlessly.

In Last Exit to Utopia, the latest English language translation of one of Europe’s most controversial intellectuals, Jean-Francois Revel takes aim at socialist apologists who have attempted to erase or invert the manifest failures of socialist ideology. As the tide of Big Government rises in America, Revel’s forewarnings here are as prescient as they are frightening.

Another good deal: Throw Them All Out
for only 2.19 for a hardback.

Amazon Blurb: One of the biggest scandals in American politics is waiting to explode: the full story of the inside game in Washington shows how the permanent political class enriches itself at the expense of the rest of us. Insider trading is illegal on Wall Street, yet it is routine among members of Congress. Normal individuals cannot get in on IPOs at the asking price, but politicians do so routinely. The Obama administration has been able to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to its supporters, ensuring yet more campaign donations. An entire class of investors now makes all of its profits based on influence and access in Washington. Peter Schweizer has doggedly researched through mountains of financial records, tracking complicated deals and stock trades back to the timing of briefings, votes on bills, and every other point of leverage for politicians in Washington. The result is a manifesto for revolution: the Permanent Political Class must go.

3.75
The Constitution: Understanding America’s Founding Document (Values and Capitalism)

For well over two centuries, the United States Constitution has served as a charter for a free, democratic government and for a country that has risen from a dicey political experiment to an economic and political superpower. In the history of the world, there is nothing like it.

In The Constitution: Understanding America’s Founding Document, Michael S. Greve explains how to think seriously about the United States Constitution and constitutions in general. What are constitutions supposed to do, and what can they accomplish? Why was the specific form of the Constitution—including both its structure and its rights catalogue—so important? Why is the Constitution so difficult to amend? Greve provides a fresh perspective on the Constitution’s structure and our enduring constitutional controversies, from federalism and the separation of powers to slavery, civil rights, and the administrative state.

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My son introduced me to a new activity

I showed him a couple dance videos I’d seen and liked at youtube:

There were a few more of the guy on the latter two videos doing more one armed handstand dance moves and some flips off a wall and running up a telephone poll and backflipping.

The Boy said, “Hey, if you like that, you should watch some Parkour.”
“Huh?” I said.
“This:”

Five minutes he noticed that I was chewing a hole in my my knuckles and he said, “you know, I’m not pointing a gun at your head to force you to watch. You can stop any time.”

That’s when I realized I’d been holding my breath for I don’t know how long, and we shut it off.

I see the appeal. It’s awfully pretty. I didn’t mind the running up buildings and walls. It was the leaping off of them that gave me unpleasant surges of adrenalin.

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Asian Immigrant Shares Tips On What To Expect In America

3. Depending on where you are in the country, don’t be surprised if random people smile at you or ask you how your day is going. Just smile. Americans are very friendly. None of this will happen if you come to NYC though. From the countries I have visited in Asia/Europe, Americans are the friendliest. This is not Europe – in general, people are warm and nice. Don’t be surprised if people strike up a conversation in public transportation and restaurants.

[...]

5. Food: everything is so artificial and bad unless you go to a higher end market. Even Coke is made with high fructose corn syrup, not real sugar unlike the rest of the world. The chicken that you get in supermarkets is laden with chemicals, you can literally taste the chemicals. American chocolate (i.e Hersheys) to put it very kindly, is bad. Too much sugar in everything – and that is most probably HFCS.

6. No matter what you have heard about America in popular culture, Americans are very well mannered compared with the rest of the world. Don’t cut lines in this country, seriously! American drivers are also very well mannered and people follow the lanes etc. (Again you might find exceptions in places like NYC, but I feel like NYC isn’t a very good representation of this country) People will hold doors for you, and you are expected to do so as well.

 

Read the rest.

I always enjoy articles like this.  I had fun reading the comments, too.  One of the most interesting to me is one from a recent immigrant from Asia who says one of the most surprising things to him about food was combining chocolate with peanut butter. He says they just do not mix well together.

One of our girls agrees. She prefers peanut butter in sandwiches or Asian dishes, never with chocolate (she does like almonds with chocolate, though).

It’s been a while, but here are a couple of things that surprised us the most about our visits to Japan and Korea.  There were lots of differences between countries of course, but to our very American eyes, these things stood out:

Asians adults really love cute.  Kitchen decorations often looked like they were intended for the baby’s room as far as colors and images went.

We were astonished at how friendly and interested everybody was in our babies and little girls- waitresses wanted to carry them around the restaurant and take them out to the kitchen to show the cooks, and high school baseball teams of boys stopped to chuck our kids under the chin and tell us how cute they were.   Many, many Americans assume that’s because our kids were blonde (there was a myth that rubbing a blonde kids’ head was supposed to be good luck).  But I don’t think so.  We were in places where there had been an American presence since WW2, whatever might have once been exotic about blonde hair is surely gone now.   I think that both countries have a genuinely warm culture towards small children.

High heels.  The women wore high heels even to historical sites on rocky, unpaved terrain.

The litter.  I was surprised at how often people just threw their trash on the ground (this may have changed by now)

The smoking- mostly men (actually, maybe only men, I don’t remember if I ever saw a woman smoke)- so much, so often, everywhere, on television, in public- it was surprising.

The food was amazing.  This did not really surprise me, I expected to like it, but I was surprised at how much I loved most of it- except…. rice for breakfast.  That was hard for me to get used to, and, in fact, I didn’t.  Toast and eggs, please.

 

 

 

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…but rather, EXPOSE them…

child abuse casts a shadowI know that we don’t want to hear about this stuff.  But we need to listen, to act, to speak up.

Eight common myths about child sexual abuse:  http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/csa_myths.html

Self-deception is part of the child molester’s sickness.Those who don’t get this enable child molesters to continue.  http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/05/protecting-our-young-ones.php

“…pedophiles cannot flee from temptation while being exposed to children. We are dealing with a profoundly sick disease; a disease for which the Gospel has the answer, but the answer is not to re-incorporate those who have sexually abused the least of these
into a community of faith where children play a large part. There are other opportunities for worship where this individual can worship.”
http://uribrito.com/pedophiles-church/

This is an older post,but I have never forgotten it. “Severely abused children do not plan for the future. The future has been wiped as a potential space. Thus, they often function well below what would have been their potential. Underneath it all is the shame and humiliation which drive a desire for surcease from the emotional blankness or pain. Suicide rates are higher, but more importantly, such children feel they do not deserve a future so they don’t make plans for one. They simply drift.” More excellent information on what abuse does to permanently alter the brain:

http://neighborhoodofgod.blogspot.com/2006/01/cast-adrift-by-judge-cashman.html

“to live in denial is the best way to ensure that the church’s trafficking of children continues. I can’t emphasize enough how prevalent abuse is in the church” Jimmy Hinton, a minister who learned that his dad, another minister, had been molesting children at church for decades.

http://jimmyhinton.org/2014/06/04/child-sex-trafficking-in-the-church/

Also from the above link:

” It is our job as Christians to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible” (Ephesians 5:11-14 NIV). Folks, it’s time we get out the spotlights! Tell your church leaders that this problem is real, that it happens all the time, and that we won’t stand for the church being silent on the sex trafficking of our young children.”

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard a nice Christian advocating that we not talk too much about those nasty things like rape, child molestation, and similar crimes because those sorts of things are ‘shameful even too mention.’  But that’s a serious twisting and wrenching out of context- the command is to EXPOSE them, because the light makes them visible, and we are on the side of the light, are we not?

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Bergdahl and a little bit of other news

 

Okay, this is ridiculously funny, but it’s also sad: Woman who voted for every Austin, TX tax increase discovers that now she can’t afford to live there. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”

While the VA was letting soldiers die on secret waiting lists, Iglesias held VA up as model for gov’t health care. http://thefederalist.com/2014/05/30/does-matthew-yglesias-ever-tire-of-being-embarrassingly-wrong-about-everything/

Expect an increase in your electricity bills. Thanks, Obama.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/01/obamas-big-epa-announcement-tomorrow-translates-directly-to-higher-electricity-prices/

No words. Except Obama apparently supports terrorists. “Behold Canada and America. One country supports the efforts of a U.S. special forces soldier’s widow to hold accountable the jihadist who killed her husband and the father of her two young children. The other country helped free that jihadist from Guantanamo Bay in a shady deal that appeased his far-left allies.
Guess which side President Obama’s on.”

http://weaponsman.com/?p=15910

The Bergdahl Chronicles:

From one of the soldiers tasked to find deserter Bergdahl: ” Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period. On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed. On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later. On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine. He died the next day.

It is important to name all these names. For the veterans of the units that lost these men, Bergdahl’s capture and the subsequent hunt for him will forever tie to their memories, and to a time in their lives that will define them as people. He has finally returned. Those men will never have the opportunity.”http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/we-lost-soldiers-in-the-hunt-for-bergdahl-a-guy-who-walked-off-in-the-dead-of-night.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_morning&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_morning&utm_term=Cheat+Sheet

 

“Was this man worth my son’s life?” asks mother of man who died looking for Bergdahl.

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140602/NEWS/306020055/Gold-Star-mom-guy-worth-my-son-s-life-

You know, a couple days ago the best defense of this fiasco that the left had was “He was a soldier, it’s not nice to diss a man who served.”

Today?  Not so much.  Now the WH attacking soldiers speaking out about the deserter, calling them Republican plants and tools and accusing them of ‘Swift Boating.’  Of course, the swift boating of John Kerry was based on factual evidence that he was a liar, so maybe that is the correct term after all. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/04/its-come-to-this-white-house-now-accusing-bergdahls-squad-of-swift-boating-him/

More on that here: Predictable White House Official Says Bergdahl Is Being “Swift Boated”http://ace.mu.nu/archives/349586.php

Worse and worse- did Bergdahl leave behind a note renouncing citizenship when he left his base?https://twitter.com/Jennafnc/status/473852493286633472

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/349563.php

Ranking Senate intel committee member says that Bergdahl’s note indicating he left voluntarily as well as all the reports and complaints from fellow soldiers about Bergdahl being a deserter, were kept out of the Bergdahl file.  He was shocked. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/04/wow-saxby-chambliss-ranking-member-on-the-senate-intel-committee-didnt-know-bergdahl-had-left-a-note-until-now/

Soldier: Army told us to lie about Bergdahl’s capturehttp://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/04/soldier-army-told-us-to-lie-about-bergdahls-capture/

So far the White House hasn’t found anybody who served with Bergdahl who wants to defend him, and you know they are looking.

Bergdahl’s hometown cancels homecoming celebration. Good call.http://news.yahoo.com/idaho-hometown-newly-freed-soldier-cancels-planned-celebration-202815856.html;_ylt=AwrBEiKcg49T4QYAFcDQtDMD

And yes, we should question the timing of the Bergdahl release.  We’ve known where is he is for years. The WH hoped this release would distract attention from Obama’s VA scandal. http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=53920

I think Obama knew Bergdahl deserted.He just didn’t think it mattered because he has no clue about what it means to serve with honor..http://m.nationalreview.com/article/379481/why-team-obama-was-blindsided-bergdahl-backlash-ralph-peters

“Exhibit A: Ms. Rice. In one of the most tone-deaf statements in White House history (we’re making a lot of history here), the national-security advisor, on a Sunday talk show, described Bergdahl as having served “with honor and distinction.” Those serving in uniform and those of us who served previously were already stirred up, but that jaw-dropper drove us into jihad mode.

But pity Ms. Rice. Like the president she serves, she’s a victim of her class. Nobody in the inner circle of Team Obama has served in uniform. It shows. That bit about serving with “honor and distinction” is the sort of perfunctory catch-phrase politicians briefly don as electoral armor. (“At this point in your speech, ma’am, devote one sentence to how much you honor the troops.”)”

“Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class. They have no idea of how great a sin desertion in the face of the enemy is to those in our military. The only worse sin is to side actively with the enemy and kill your brothers in arms. This is not sleeping in on Monday morning and ducking Gender Studies 101.

But compassion, please! The president and all the president’s men and women are not alone. Our media elite — where it’s a rare bird who bothered to serve in uniform — instantly became experts on military justice. Of earnest mien and blithe assumption, one talking head after another announced that “we always try to rescue our troops, even deserters.”

Uh, no. “Save the deserter” is a recent battle cry of the politically indoctrinated brass. For much of our history, we did make some efforts to track down deserters in wartime. Then we shot or hanged them. Or, if we were in good spirits, we merely used a branding iron to burn a large D into their cheeks or foreheads. Even as we grew more enlightened, desertion brought serious time in a military prison. At hard labor.”

I’m glad he’s home.  I am sympathetic to the idea that perhaps he’s suffered enough for his horrible decision, and so I don’t want to send him to jail or put him in front of a firing squad. I do want any pay the military held for him, any automatic promotions- withdrawn.  He should be dishonorably discharged.

And he and his parents should send thank-you notes to the families of the six men who died looking for their son instead of posting social media messages about emptying Gitmo and retribution for Afghani children who have died.

Well.  That’s what I thought five minutes ago.  According to this reporter, there are many in the intelligence community who are concerned that he was not merely a deserter, he was a collaborator who actively worked with the Taliban to ambush Americans.   If that turns out to be true. send him to Gitmo.

No, Obama might release him.  Send him to a military prison to spend many, many years turning big rocks into little rocks.

 

Updated to fix the missing link above, and add this:

Cornelison was questioned several times by Army authorities. Since Cornelison was the platoon’s medic, investigators wanted to know if Bergdahl had any mental or physical health problems that might explain his actions. “I ended up being questioned thoroughly by people at brigade level, questioned pretty in-depth about what Bergdahl’s medical condition was,” Cornelison said. “The three or four times we went back to FOB Sharana, every single time I was questioned.” (Cornelison said he did not see any health issues that might have caused Bergdahl to leave.)

Other soldiers who knew Bergdahl well came in for even more frequent questioning. “There were a couple of other people who were closer to Bergdahl and had more specific information,” Cornelison remembered. “In one case, they sent a helicopter to pick up [a soldier who knew Bergdahl]. We were in the middle of a mission, and they sent a helicopter to pick him up and bring him back to FOB Sharana to be questioned.”

That suggests just how seriously top Army officers and criminal investigators took the case, and how thoroughly it has been investigated. But now, with even more investigations ahead, the circumstances of Bergdahl’s reappearance have made the soldiers’ promises of silence impossible to keep. After first hearing that Bergdahl was back, Cornelison then saw President Obama at the White House with Bergdahl’s parents. Cornelison and several of his former colleagues sensed that some sort of heroic narrative might be forming — and they knew it wasn’t true.

“When the president was there with Bergdahl’s parents, we got this feeling that the American people needed to be told the truth,” Cornelison, who believes Bergdahl deserted his post, explained. “We were there, this is not hearsay, we were on the ground, the first ones to go looking for him. The American public needs to know the truth about Bergdahl before treating him like any kind of war hero, because that is completely false.”

 I’m telling you, it’s only a matter of time before Obama gives Bergdahl a medal and courtmartials fellow members of his platoon for telling the truth about him.

According to Tapper 2009 military investigation concluded that Bergdahl did indeed desert.

“An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after Bergdahl’s 2009 disappearance concluded that he left his outpost deliberately and on his own free will, according to a U.S. military official briefed on the report. The official spoke to CNN on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.”

And Harry Reid wonders what difference it makes if he lied about when he was informed of the swap.

Rich Lowry:

About half a dozen of Bergdahl’s former comrades have said he deliberately walked off his base in 2009 after becoming disillusioned with the war and that soldiers were killed looking for him. Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard reports that the military investigated and considered Bergdahl absent without leave.

Let’s stipulate that — given the fog of war — these accounts might exaggerate the harm done by Bergdahl’s disappearance. But there is no doubt that they are sincere and heartfelt. And what are the odds that Bergdahl happened to get assigned to a platoon full of highly politicized soldiers who waited years for the opportunity to use the circumstances of his capture as a cudgel against President Obama?

As the pseudonymous blogger Allahpundit points out, if there are comrades who will vouch for Bergdahl’s character, or were witnesses to him being snatched while lagging on patrol (as Bergdahl maintained in a video after his capture), we would presumably have heard from them by now.

The conspiracy against Bergdahl is so vast that it encompasses Afghan villagers, who no doubt are speaking out at the behest of Sean Spicer of the Republican National Committee or some other nefarious GOP operative. The villagers told The Washington Post that they saw Bergdahl after he walked away from his base, heading for Taliban strongholds and ignoring their warnings that he was in danger.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Interview with Syrian Orthodox Nun

Fascinating interview on Armenian genocide and Syrian Orthodox Christianity, Aramaic, persecution, more:

http://gatesofvienna.net/2014/06/an-interview-with-sister-hatune-dogan/

Excerpt:
A. Yes, I was born in 1970 in Zaz, a village in southeast Turkey. I grew up as a Syrian-Orthodox Christian, I am a Syrian-Orthodox-Christian.
With me, we are ten children, and my mother tongue, for this location in Tur Abdin, Mount Hermite, there is still — thank God — the Aramaic language as a mother tongue, reading and writing. Even the Turkish government forced us to speak and to use only Turkish, but they could not change the culture in the village. Only in school it was totally forbidden.

I tell you the truth, I am proud that we still have this language, because there is no other area in which Aramaic is the mother tongue. They say somewhere in Syria there are villages [with Aramaic], but this is not really Aramaic.

Q: What is so special about Aramaic?

A: Aramaic. Because it is Jesus’ language.

Q: Jesus spoke Aramaic?

A: Yes, it is the oldest language in history, and if someone knows Aramaic, the phonetic of this language covers all other pronunciation. If someone [knows Aramaic], it is easy to also use other languages.

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College Teaching, 1908 Part Two

art deco torch sketchPart one is here.

Journalist Harold Bolce spent two years visiting the nations most prestigious colleges and universities. He sat in classrooms, read syllabuses, took notes, interviewed professors, and read textbooks.  He was deeply disturbed by his findings, and believed that most Americans would be, too.  He wrote a series of articles about it for the family magazine The Cosmopolitan and published them in 1908.

Here’s the second part:

“The preacher to Harvard University, a clergyman of the Unitarian faith… calls the college despot a veritable Tamerlane, who, if he rears no pyramid of skulls, leaves behind him a multitude of muddled brains.”

“Contemporary college teaching, as I find it, may be likened to an exploring expedition over a sea that has not been charted or across unknown continents. Everything encountered is new. The lectures take you along a course lined with none of the immemorial landmarks. The church does not count. To accept the teachings of any hierarchy is like looking for life and light in the grave. And conscience cannot show the way: in one age it approved burnings at the stake. Democracy has been the mirage of modern nations. It is a theme for suave declamatory statesmanship but in reality does not exist. And the home, once the cradle of the race, has become the breedingplace of woe, ignorance, inefficiency, and debt. The professors even suggest and outline a substitute for the modern home!

They teach young men and women, plainly, that an immoral act is merely one contrary to the prevailing conceptions of society; and that the daring who defy the code do not offend any Deity, but simply arouse the venom of the majority-the majority that has not yet grasped the new idea. Out of Harvard comes the teaching that “there are no absolute evils” and that “the highest ethical life consists at all times in the breaking of rules which have grown too narrow for the actual case.”

[...]

And out of Yale comes an almost cynical devotion to science that would eliminate God from the commandments. Prof. William Graham Sumner teaches that there have been all kinds of forces in history except ethical forces. “Let us recognize this fact,” he contends, “and its consequences. “Ethics,” he explains, “grow out of customs and are not antecedent to them.”  He regards ethical notions as “mere figments of speculation” and as “unrealities that ought to be discarded altogether.”

One of the things I find most fascinating about his criticisms (you can read more at Google.books.com) is how much of what he found “a profound surprise” and absolutely ‘sensational’ (in the sense of uncovering something shocking) is accepted as right and good even by believers today.

“There is scholarly repudiation of all solemn authority.”
“The decalogue is no more sacred than a syllabus.”
“Everything is subjected to searching analysis.”
“The past has lost its grip on the professor.”
“The ancient prophet is less potent than the new political economy.”
“From the college standpoint there are no God-established covenants.”
” What happens at the primaries is more to the point than what took place at Palestine.” “The professors believe that they are in the forefront of progress.”
“Whether the subject be a god or a gasm a matter of morals or volcanic mud, a syllogism or a star, the professor approaches it impersonally, critically determined to know the truth.”
“A government is great, but so is a gnat, either may afflict the land.”
“There is nothing ex cathedra in the professor’s curriculum save as he expresses it himself.”

If you’re like me, a handful of these things you agree are a problem, but you are not surprised, and some of them your response is a blank, “but isn’t that what college is for?”

I guess that means that right or wrong, Bolce and company lost, and those college profesors won the debate. The problem is,  it wasn’t a debate. Most people didn’t even know what was happening.

Keep in mind as well, that this use of the schools to change our thinking and our values is ongoing. It’s not history.

The following quotes come from the Michigan Governor’s Advisory Council Subcommittee on overpopulation, 1971:

“There are three classes of social institutions which can be utilized to obtain population control. These are the political, economic and education systems. Each of these represent powerful control systems which help to regulate the behavior of our society.
… Some policies can seek to change man’s basic values and attitudes…”

“To change such a basic set of attitudes and values requires cooperation from the full range of opinion leaders in the society. A program of education for leaders in all sectors of society, such as religious, economic, political, educational, technical, etc., is therefore called for.

“The idea that family size is a collective, social responsibility rather than just an individual responsibility can be fostered both directly by exhortations by opinion leaders and in the schools…”

The committee admitted that in order to reach their goals, it “will require vigorous action to remove the topic of sex from the closets of obscurity in which conservative elements in our society have placed it….”

Emphasis added.

And you thought sex ed was about biology and was simply because parents were not doing their job.

We have been successfully indoctrinated. Congratulations on joining the collective group think.

More here.

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Free4Kindle: Motley Miscellany of Titles

books black and whiteIn Defense of Liberty

Blurb: “In Defense of Liberty” by KrisAnn Hall is a collection of powerful essays on gun control, healthcare, education, abortion, the tea party, executive orders, morality and liberty. They are essays that serve no party or special political interest and are guaranteed to be 100% “Spin Free”.

If you really believe in the maxim: “We’re the Government and we’re here to help” then you should leave this page immediately because you will find no quarter, or comfort in these writings.

These writings are for the political truth seeker who feels the need to wake up from the contemporary myopia of party driven dribble, aspire to and find home in the only set of ideals that serve people of all races, colors, creeds and persuasions.

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The Power of Authority: And the Way to Achieve it.

How and why to become an authority on any topic of your choosing.

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Natural Remedies!: Natural Herbal Remedies and Beyond for Your Health and Natural Beauty! (Coconut Oil, Herbal Remedies, Homemade Beauty, Natural Beauty, … Healing Herbs, Apple Cider Vinegar)

7 five star reviews and one 3 star. The 3 star review’s concern is that the book is too short, and it is only about 26 pages.

You might also find this free title useful: Natural Herbal Remedies: Long Forgotten Old World Treatments and Natural Ancient Cures that Magically Heal Your Mind and Body (Herbal Remedies – Holistic … Cures – Homeopathy – Natural Remedies)

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Square Foot Gardening Guide: A simple guide on everything you need to know for successful square foot gardening

Similar titles:
Organic Gardening Book Package: Organic Gardening: Your Guide to Growing Healthy Organic Produce & Seed Saving for the Organic Gardener

Indoor Gardening Guide: How to successfully grow plants and vegetables inside your home, apartment, or office!

Organic Pest Control: All-Natural Pest Solutions To Protect Your Garden! (100% Safe For Your Garden)

Companion Planting: The Beginner’s Guide to Companion Gardening (The Organic Gardening Series)

Survival Seeds: The Heirloom Seed Saving Handbook

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From Here to Eternity: The Restored Edition (The World War II Trilogy, 1)
Restored means that previously censored scenes and dialogue restored, which could make this very rough reading for many of our readers.  (Not free, but a daily deal)

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WHEN THE EAGLE SCREAMS – America’s Vulnerability to Terrorism

Written before 9/11.
Amazon blurb:
Bowman is the author of “Morning Ran Red” and “Operation Monarch”, historical mystery thrillers based on fact.
When The Eagle Screams is Bowman’s non-fiction work, written to warn America that the age of terrorism is upon us. Written in 1993 and published in 1994, today it is notable as the first work by an American writer to recognize the threat of terrorism, having predicted both the domestic and foreign terrorist attacks, our response and the resultant economic and religious war.

And in a now obviously tone deaf review from 1994: From Library Journal
Bowman sets out to prove that a single terrorist could bring the United States’s oil supplies to a halt, incinerate an entire city, and perhaps even destroy the country’s electrical grids or stop the world’s money supply-all to challenge cherished democratic and economic principles. In sometimes thrilling prose, he describes many incidents that may have been the work of terrorists operating in the United States. Unfortunately, little solid evidence is given to support his assertions. There is some truth, however dificult to surmise, in Bowman’s overall conclusions regarding the difficult relationships that Westerners may have with the rest of humanity, but these difficulties can be remedied only when acts of violence are desensationalized. As public opinion is mobilized further to enlarge the gulf separating us from the rest of the world, basic issues become more difficult to address, especially those concerning right vs. wrong. Unfortunately, this volume does not contribute to any kind of entente between peoples and, seemingly in an effort to scare the reader, reaches doubtful conclusions.
Joseph A. Kechich- ian, Rand Corp., Santa Monica, Cal.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 1, March 1906

Fascinating look in the early days of socialism, anarchy, and the feminist movement.

Excerpt:
The American Brutus is, of course, a business man and has no time to overthrow Cæsar. Recently, however, the imperialistic stew became hot and too much for him. The marriage of Miss Alice Roosevelt produced such a bad odor of court gossip, as to make the poor American Brutus ill with nausea. He grew indignant, draped his sleeve in mourning, and with gloomy mien and clenched fists, went about prophesying the downfall of the Republic.

Between ourselves, the number of those who still believe in the American Republic can be counted on one’s fingers. One has either pierced through the lie, all for the people and by the people—in that case one must become a Revolutionist; or, one has succeeded[7] in putting one’s bounty in safety—then he is a conservative. “No disturbances, please. We are about to close a profitable contract.” Modern bourgeoisie is absolutely indifferent as to who is to be their political boss, just so they are given opportunity to store their profits, and accumulate great wealth. Besides, the cry about the decline of the great Republic is really meaningless. As far as it ever stood for liberty and well-being of the people, it has long ceased to be. Therefore lamentations come too late. True, the American Republic has not given birth to an aristocracy. It has produced the power of the parvenu, not less brutal than European aristocracy, only narrower in vision and not less vulgar in taste.

Instead of mourning one ought to rejoice that the latest display of disgusting servility has completely thrown off the mantle of liberty and independence of Dame Columbia, now exposed before the civilized world in all her slavish submissiveness.

The storm in Russia has frightened many out of their warm bed-clothes.

A real Revolution in these police-regulated times. More than one voice was raised against the possibility of a Revolution, and they who dared to predict it were considered fit for the lunatic asylum.

The workingmen, peasants and students of Russia, however, have proven that the calculations of the “wise” contained a hitch somewhere. A Revolution swept across the country and did not even stop to ask permission of those in authority.

Authority and Power are now taking revenge on their daring sons and daughters. The Cossacks, at the command of the “good Czar” are celebrating a bloody feast—knouting, shooting, clubbing people to death, dragging great masses to prisons and into exile, and it is not the fault of that vicious idiot on the throne, nor that of his advisors, Witte and the others, if the Revolution still marches on, head erect. Were it in their[8] power, they would break her proud neck with one stroke, but they cannot put the heads of a hundred million people on the block, they cannot deport eighty millions of Peasants to Siberia, nor can they order all the workingmen in the industrial districts shot. Were the working bees to be killed, the drones would perish of starvation—that is why the Czar of the Peace Treaty still suffers some of his people to live?——

Mother Earth, Vol. 1 No. 2, April 1906 Monthly Magazine Devoted to Social Science and Literature

“It was a great effort for most of those brave ones to overcome their disgust at the dirt and dense ignorance they met among the peasants, who absolutely lacked comprehension of new ideas; therefore, there could be no understanding between the intellectuals,[3] who wanted to help, and the sufferers, who needed help. These two elements were brought in closer touch through industrialism. The Russian peasant, robbed of the means to remain on his soil, was driven into the large industrial centres, and there he learned to know those brave and heroic men and women who gave up their comfort and career in their efforts for the liberation of their people.

These ideas that have undergone such great changes in Russia within the last decade should serve as good material for study for those who claim the Russian Revolution is dead.

Nicholas Tchaykovsky, one of Russia’s foremost workers in the revolutionary movement, and one who, through beauty of character, simplicity of soul and great strategical ability, has been the idol of the Russian revolutionary youth for many years, is here as the delegate of the Russian Revolutionary Socialist party, to raise funds for a new uprising. He was right when he said, at the meeting in Grand Central Palace, “The Russian Revolution will live until the decayed and cowardly regime of tyranny in Russia is rooted out of existence.”"

“Can it be that marriage, as an institution, has indeed proved itself in experience such a terrible failure?

We worship many fetishes, we of the superior civilization, and the institution of marriage is the chief of them. Few of us but bow before that; before that and the home of which it is the foundation. And I know what scorn and obloquy and denunciation await that man who stands unawed before it, seeing in it but an ugly little idol. And I guess what will be dealt out to him who not only refuses to bow the head, but openly scoffs. And yet I am going to scoff and say ugly words about this fetish of ours. I am going to say that it represents ignorance, hides and causes hypocrisy, stands in the way of progress, drags low the standard of individual excellence, perpetuates many foul practices.

Let me admit at the outset that I recognize in the institution of marriage a perfectly legitimate result of the working of the law of evolution. Of course it is; and the same may be said of everything that exists whether good or evil. Every vile and filthy thing, crime, disease, misery, are all equally legitimate products of the working of this law.”

“In truth, marriage is the most artificial of the relations which exist in the social body. It is a device of man at his worst—a mixture of slavery, savage egotism and priestcraft. ”

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Social Psychology: Essentials and Fundamentals: A Practical Guide to Social Psychology and Sociology (Applied Psychology)

Reader Review:

As I have come to expect from this author, this is another well structured introductory guide to a big science. What this book does well is to bring sociology to life, by using real-life examples and exercises which anyone can understand, and even try for themselves. All the major branches are covered, and provided with well-organized jumping-off points from where you can choose the aspects you would like to study further. A useful quick read, and an excellent contribution.

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Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide to Mastering Emotions: Emotions Handbook and Journal (Emotions and Feelings)

Understanding emotions is one of the most important aspects of personal development and growth

Without truly mastering our emotions we run a high risk in behaving without awareness.

Throughout years society has come to believe that our level of IQ will determine the success of a person’s life. However, in recent years psychologist have found new insight by studying successful people. The results have been surprising because what determines a person’s life success is not IQ but rather EI.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the foundation of living a successful and meaningful life. People who succeed in life have a tremendous awareness of their emotions.

Inside this book, you will be on the path of living a life that includes the following

Emotional Mastery

Awareness of your own emotions and others

Effortlessly redirecting your emotions

A deeper connection with the people you love

Do not allow your emotions to take over your life and instead master the art of your emotions today!

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George Müller of Bristol And His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God

Reader Review: Most reviewers talk about faith and prayer in George Müller’s life, but this biography is full-orbed, including his life of service, the simplicity of his fellowship, and his devotion to the Bible—the last of which affected me just as much as the many answered prayers of this story.

This biography will grow your faith. We all depend on God for our daily bread, whether we are in “full-time ministry” or not, so this book will demonstrate to you Jesus’ promise that God cannot forget his own, he knows the number of hairs on our head, and “I have never seen the righteous begging bread.”

One misconception that I guard against as a missionary is the idea that people were mysteriously spiritually led to bring money or food to an orphanage they knew nothing about. Although he did not actively ask for funds, his orphanage was on the main street of town, so the need presented itself to many publicly.

I am an avid reader of Christian biographies and this is one of the best, along with Bruchko (Bruchko: The Astonishing True Story of a 19-Year-Old American, His Capture by the Motilone Indians and His Adventures in Christianizing the Stone Age Tribe) and God’s Smuggler.

See also: A Narrative of some of the Lord’s Dealings with George Müller Written by Himself. Second Part

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In God’s Underground

Imprisoned by the Romanian Communists for his work in the Christian Underground, and subjected to medieval torture, Wurmbrand kept his faith—and strengthened it. For fourteen years, he shared that faith with suffering cellmates and gave them solace. In solitary confinement, he tapped out his message of hope and Christian love. In Room Four, the “death room”, he helped dying patients even though his lungs were riddled with tuberculosis and his body lacerated and bloody from whips and kicks. Anguished over the fate of his wife and son, he could still tell jokes and stories to make despairing prisoners laugh. Sorely tempted by the promise of release and reprieve, he refused to become a Communist collaborator.

And the miracle is that he survived.

With humble gratitude to God and Christ, he tells his personal story. It’s an inspiring drama of triumphant faith.

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He Used A Stone

Around 30 five star reviews.
Blurb: At the heart of one of the most well known (even clichéd) stories of all time lies a subtle and life changing truth. God used a stone in the hand of a boy. That God used a stone means He can use us too.

If we have to be honest we are losing to life. Sure, we pretend that things are fine, but we know there is more. The lack of life in so many churches confirms this unspoken truth. To make matters worse, we are in bound by the giants that surround us. While we sing songs of victory on Sunday, Monday brings bondage.

The story of David is the story of each of us. For too long church as we know it has created a structure that undermines our identity in God. We have abdicated who we are as priests of the living God and have often forfeited a victorious life. As we learn what made David different, we too will be made different. We’ll become a stone in the hand of a victorious God.
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Church is More than Bodies, Bucks, and Bricks

Blurb: Many people define church as a place and time where people gather, a way for ministry money to be given and spent, and a building in which people regularly meet on Sunday mornings.

In this book, author and blogger Jeremy Myers shows that church is more than bodies, bucks, and bricks.

Church is the people of God who follow Jesus into the world, and we can be the church no matter how many people we are with, no matter the size of our church budget, and regardless of whether we have a church building or not.

By abandoning our emphasis on more people, bigger budgets, and newer buildings, we may actually liberate the church to better follow Jesus into the world.

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Gravity True For You But Not For Me

Moral relativism and other follies.

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70 Extraordinary Object Lessons for Home School and Sunday School

Honestly, for the most part I personally am not a huge fan of object lessons. I find them gimmicky, BUT, I also think it’s not a bad idea to have 3-5 of them at your fingertips just in case you need a spur of the moment way to entertain, amuse, instruct, and distract a child or two. For the same reason, it’s good to learn to draw a handful of simple objects, even if you cannot draw, to make one or two origami or other paperfolding tricks, and to have a ready recollection of a few stories to retell.

Here’s the Amazon Blurb:
Patricia Meyers (Miss Pat) has been keeping kids’ attention for over 30 years — in Children’s Church, in schools, in a Sidewalk Sunday School format, and at home. She can help you keep their attention, too! And teach a lesson at the same time.

We all learn best when visuals are involved – kids especially. What if we used something familiar, something fun, or something unusual to teach Bible truths? What can you teach using a kite? A bug? A Christmas tree? A rope? Here’s the stuff! You’ll feel successful from the first lesson. And you’ll use all 70!

Jesus taught His parables using things the people could not only relate to, but things that helped them latch onto the truth being presented. Let’s do the same. The kids you teach are going to LOVE these lessons. You will, too.

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The Presidents On The Presidency : in their own words

Quips and quotes. Possibly useful for copywork, definitely an interesting read that you can pick up and set down anywhere (the sort of book that makes great bathroom reading).

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Training for War: An Essay

An essay and manual on training for war by retired Army lieutenant colonel Tom Kratman, creator of the popular Carrera military science fiction series, including novels A Desert Called Peace, Carnifex, Come and Take Them, and The Rods and the Axe. Kratman’s contention: an army is for winning wars. And to win wars, you have to train men (and some women) to be warriors, not police or social workers. Herein Kratman gives guidance and a practical plan of action to officers tasked with training troops—advice than might be equally applied to other crucial training situations, as well.

At the publisher’s request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Tom Kratman is a former infantry colonel who served in the U.S. Army for many years before becoming a lawyer in Virginia. He’s now a full-time writer.

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Understanding American Exceptionalism

Reader Review: I love reading what is so great about the U.S.A. It is particularly enjoyable reading about America’s greatness or exceptionalism when it is written from the point of view of a non-American residing in another country. One almost notes a hint of jealousy along with the awe and respect.

Mr. Nordmark, a Canadian, does a remarkable job exploring the concept of American Exceptionalism and what caused it. He goes into a brief description of 2 basic formations of societies – English Stle or “Bottom Up” and French Style or “Top Down.” The author then goes on to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two styles.

Although I am an American and know first hand from living in foreign countries most of my formative years, it was enlightening reading Nordmark’s book as he broke down the various aspects of American society and history which have contributed to America’s greatness. Aspects such as family life, religion, the U.S. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, U.S. community life and occupation during its founding years, are discussed and illustrated giving one a perspective of what made American great and why that greatness continues to modern times.

Sadly, as the axiom that whatever goes up must come down, Nordmark illustrates the fading of American Exceptionalism and what is causing its decline. However, his discussion of the fading greatness is not written in a gloating tone but one of a longing for better times. The author understands that as America declines, so do the fortunes of many ancillary countries with close ties. People in countries throughout the free world and even in those ruled by tyrants continue to view the U.S. as a beacon of freedom and liberty.

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The Great Society at Fifty: The Triumph and the Tragedy
Blurb: May 22, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “Great Society” address, delivered at the spring commencement for the University of Michigan. That speech remains the most ambitious call to date by any American president to use the awesome powers of the American state to affect a far-reaching transformation for the society that state was established to serve. It also stands as the high-water mark for Washington’s confidence in the broad meliorative properties of government social policy, scientifically applied. Half a century later, how should we assess the Great Society? What has been its legacy—both for good and for ill—for those alive today, who have inherited a world so decisively shaped by it? Demographer and scholar Nicholas Eberstadt considers post-1964 America’s record on two ostensibly separate but actually tightly related fronts: civil rights and poverty alleviation.

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American Institutions and Their Influence

reader review: Tocqueville came to America to expose himself to something new, a representative democracy. The words he penned while he toured the world is both epic and everlasting. Many people overlook this author because they assume it will be heavy and outdated, but they would be wrong. Here is a person who saw something fabulous and terrifying in how we ran our country. Concepts such as the American Dream seemed to go against everything European scholars spoke up, yet it works. Take a chance and enjoy a little Tocqueville!!!

Excerpt:
I have lived a great deal with the people in the United States, and I cannot express how much I admire their experience and their good sense. An American should never be allowed to speak of Europe; for he will then probably display a vast deal of presumption and very foolish pride. He will take up with those crude and vague notions which are so useful to the ignorant all over the world. But if you question him respecting his own country, the cloud which dimmed his intelligence will immediately disperse; his language will become as clear and as precise as his thoughts. He will inform you what his rights are, and by what means he exercises them; he will be able to point out the customs which obtain in the political world. You will find that he is well acquainted with the rules of the administration, and that he is familiar with the mechanism of the laws. The citizen of the United States does not acquire his practical science and his positive notions from books; the instruction he has acquired may have prepared him for receiving those ideas, but it did not furnish them. The American learns to know the laws by participating in the act of legislation; and he takes a lesson in the forms of government, from governing. The great work of society is ever going on beneath his eyes, and, as it were, under his hands.
In the United States politics are the end and aim of education; in Europe its principal object is to fit men for private life. The interference of the citizens in public affairs is too rare an occurrence for it to be anticipated beforehand. Upon casting a glance over society in the two hemispheres, these differences are indicated even by its external aspect.
In Europe, we frequently introduce the ideas and the habits of private life into public affairs; and as we pass at once from the domestic circle to the government of the state, we may frequently be heard to discuss the great interests of society in the same manner in which we converse with our friends. The Americans, on the other hand, transfuse the habits of public life into their manners in private; and in their country the jury is introduced into the games of school-boys, and parliamentary forms are observed in the order of a feast.

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Southern Horrors Lynch Law in All Its Phases

Short, but not easy reading.

Reader Review: Interesting read and snapshot of what was going on during the period. Well written plea for African Americans to start using the tools at their disposal to stand up against the lynching laws.

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Twenty Years at Hull House; with autobiographical notes

Partial Reader Review:

Just over one hundred years ago when she wrote this memoir, Jane Addams was an internationally famous social reformer, speaker, and writer. At at time known as “The Gilded Age,” when wealth was celebrated by so many as a sign of God’s favor, and you couldn’t be too rich or powerful—the days of the Carnegies, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and their ilk—Jane Addams dedicated her life to improving the lot of the people who actually made all that wealth and power possible: working people and their families at the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum from the oligarchs and the plutocrats. For Jane Addams, a native of northern Illinois, that would mean living among the European immigrants and their families who lived in one of the largest and most diverse cities in the United States, Chicago. But she did it in a new and different way. Based on a then new model of social improvement created in England and known as the settlement house movement, in 1890 she and a few like-minded souls established Hull-House.

Hull-House started out literally as an old if large residence, and would grow into quite a complex of adjacent and nearby buildings covering parts of several blocks. Settlement residents were largely, like Jane Addams, educated professionals who where either independently wealthy (like Addams herself, though modestly so) or who supported themselves in their professions—law, education, medicine, business, etc.—and did their “settlement work” in their off-duty hours. And that settlement work was varied, to say the least. The residents and volunteers engaged in a dizzying array of activities.

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Mystery: Murder on The Mind (A Jeff Resnick Mystery)

Reader Review: L.L. Bartlett’s MURDER ON THE MIND is an exceptional debut mystery that adds a paranormal element to the enjoyment of unraveling traditional investigative techniques. Told in the first person through the eyes of a psychic sleuth, or perhaps brain damaged, MURDER ON THE MIND heightens the level of suspense as each new clue or vision arises.

A mugging in Manhattan, leaves former insurance investigator Jeff Resnick with broken bones and a fractured skull — and completely dependent on his rich estranged half brother Dr. Richard Alpert and his girlfriend Brenda Stanley. Visions of a hunt and and a hunter stalking his deer prey terrify Jeff. The doctors diagnose brain damage. Days later, a local banker is found dead, his murder eerily similar to the details of Jeff’s nightmares. Jeff believes the attack has left him with a sixth sense, a psychic ability to see murder before the event. Jeff uses his visions and his investigative skills to try to solve the crime but as he gets closer to the killer, danger arises from all corners. Will the police trust his revelations are due to psychic visions or attribute his knowledge to a more nefarious means? As Jeff becomes closer to his half brother, dangerous past secrets emerge touching his traumatic childhood. Somewhere danger lurks and Jeff must work hard and fast if he doesn’t want to become a victim to one of the dark secrets he uncovers.

L.L. Bartlett writes a magnificent mystery! MURDER ON THE MIND mixes an eerie, psychic paranormal element with an investigative hunt for clues and facts, never sacrificing the mystery to an easy resolution. Intriguing twists keep the reader poised at ever page…

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Historical fiction, romance, listed under religious fiction:

Treasures of the North (Yukon Quest Book #1)
Could They Fulfill Their Dreams in this Untamed Land?

Driven by desperation, Grace Hawkins must forsake the affluent comfort of her upbringing to save herself from an arranged marriage. Disillusioned by her father’s insistence, she forges a daring plan to escape the sinister hand of her intended.

Peter Colton sees the Alaskan gold rush as an opportunity to establish his family’s fledgling shipping business. An unexpected partnership enables him to pursue those dreams and opens the door to an aquaintance with Grace, who has purchased passage north.

Drawn together by need and circumstance, Grace and Peter form a faltering friendship. But when her deserted fiance continues to manipulate her loved ones, can she find peace in the wake of his wrath?

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Amish Neighbor Volume One: Becoming Amish

Rain is falling in Paradise, Pennsylvania and it threatens to flood the town, sweeping through the homes and businesses of the citizens there. Michael Goetz is a high school football star who yearns for the sense of home and place that he’s never had. Born to unhappy, abusive parents, Michael plays football to please his father and dreams of finding his true purpose in life.
The flood in Paradise gives Michael the chance to work hard with his neighbors to save their town, and he discovers that he has more in common with them than he ever expected.
Is it too late for Michael to escape his miserable family?
Will Michael create new ties with his Amish neighbors?
Can he learn to trust in a power that’s higher than any he’s ever known?

Curl up with the first book in Melanie Schmidt’s new trilogy about the strength of the ties between neighbors.

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Flesh and Blood (a John Jordan Mystery Book 3)

John Jordan is back—investigating eternal mysteries woven into the fabric of everyday life. Within the confines of seemingly ordinary cases, John explores the ineffable and inexplicable, the profoundly mysterious within the mundane.

In this diverse collection of cases, John investigates the Shroud of Turin, a pregnant virgin, a daring prison break, a Hurricane Katrina orphan who might just be the Second Coming, a desperate woman who sleeps with one too many men, a bloody body on the rec yard, a mystery that turns on a single observation, and a murder in which John himself is the prime suspect—all this as he deals with depression and battles alcoholism.

These stories are puzzles, whodunits, and enigmas, but they are much more. John Jordan doesn’t just solve crime, he investigates the hidden heart of humanity and the mysterious world in which we live. Here are temporal answers and eternal questions, and at the center of it all, a conflicted man of faith and doubt, flawed, but faithful, who ministers mercy even as he thirsts for justice.

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Once Upon a Summer (Seasons of the Heart Book #1)
by Janette Oke

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Mail Order Millie (Homespun)

Short story: George has a hard time dealing with his farm and his four children after the death of his wife. When the ladies at his church raise money for a mail order bride for him, he doesn’t argue with them. He needs a caretaker for his family. Millie has a short time to find her own way in the world before she is kicked out of the orphanage where she was raised. George’s letter about his requirements for a bride fit in all ways but one. Will her lie keep them apart even after they’re married?

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Coffee In Manila

Reader Review: As it may not be surprising to many, online dating has been incredibly increasing worldwide. Coffee in Manila (CIM) is a special novel. It is a story of an American in search of a true love and acceptance. The main character in the story joined an online dating and connected with several Filipina women there. After a few months of getting to know each of them online, he went to the Philippines to meet them individually as the story unfolds. CIM is a very nice story of finding true love, but also remorse, betrayal, self-control, forgiveness, respect and integrity among other things. If you are a woman of commendable values, you will surely at first, dislike the main character of the story before you’ll discover that he is a man of integrity. It is really a must-read book especially to men and women out there involved in online dating. It exposes the dangers of dating online and the exploitation of women arising today in many countries, including Philippines. Promise: If you read the book from the beginning to the end, you will never be the same again. That’s the hope. If you are concerned about your fellow Pinays (Filipina women), or one of your family members or friends getting involved in online dating or becoming a victim of sex slave trafficking, this book is for you. If you are a minister of God, this will be a good reference for you if members in your church are involved in online dating. The book offers suggestive approaches for “successful” online dating.

Blurb: Every now and then a book is written that has the potential to impact an entire country. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE BOOKS!

What began for Ryan Tipton as a journey into the heart of Maricel Arcamo, a woman he met online six months ago, deepens considerably after he travels halfway around the world just to meet her. After spending one perfect week together, marriage seems all but certain for the lovestruck couple…

Shock…

Everything quickly crumbles one week later after Ryan informs his new girlfriend that he never went back to the States. Maricel is completely shocked by this admission. How could she not be, after sharing a tearful embrace with her boyfriend at the airport, one week prior, before he boarded his plane supposedly headed back to the US?

Betrayal…

Even more heart-shattering was learning that Ryan was still in her country meeting with two other women he met on the same dating site in which they had met.

Anguish…

Full of utter remorse, Tipton returns to America a completely broken man. With the guidance of Ernesto and Gloria Angeles, owners of Agape Coffee and Pastry Shoppe in Manila, Ryan is challenged to take a complete inventory of himself, and make whatever changes necessary to become the type of man Maricel would want him to be.

Transformation…

A few months later, Tipton returns to the Philippines a new man. His goal: to win Maricel back at all costs. Camped out at the coffee shop for four straight days hoping and praying that the woman he loves would show up, she never does.

Desperation…

Finally, Maricel arrives at the close of business one evening, totally unannounced, to find Ryan seated with the Godly couple who had become mentors to them both the past few months. But in an establishment where love, forgiveness and redemption reign supreme, after what Ryan did, was it possible for Maricel to forgive him and reconcile what they once had, or were they already too far gone for that…

Not only does Coffee In Manila provide a wholesome portrayal of the warm Filipino culture and the values they hold so dear, it also exposes the numerous potential dangers connected to most online dating and social networking sites.

But in the end, this story proves that true love can happen online, but only for those who are willing to take the proper steps along the way; making this a must-read for anyone looking for a life partner on the Internet.

 

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Book-keeping, explanations, disclosures, blabbity blah, blah, blah:

Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.  Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week. Most of the blurbs and book descriptions below are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

Happy Reading!

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