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A Forgotten Man, The Book Review

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It seems my last few entries are more book-review’s then any talk of God, and for that I am truly sorry. I just really haven’t been in a good place personally, and maybe that’s something I can blog about too, but for now, here is another book review.

A Forgotten Man: A Life of Julia Story

The Review

As per FTC guidelines, I received a copy of this book in return for my unbiased review, no other compensation has been offered, asked for, or accepted. What follows is my opinion on the aforementioned book.

There are few books which I consider ‘page turners’ and this one – despite it being a well-deserved criticism of progressivist/liberal/socialist ideology – is definitely a page turner. I managed to read the entire book, in e-book format (I do not normally enjoy doing much reading on a computer screen in one sitting), in one day. Mr. Bryars has managed to take a campaign ad – admittedly one which I’m still ignorant of at the time of writing this review – from President Obama’s re-election campaign, and use it to paint an accurate picture of not just what life would be like under such policies but how they actually are because of those policies. It is really poignant in my own life as well due to my own circumstances.

The characters of Jack, Donita, and Julia Bosarge are believable. I could almost mistake them for my next door neighbors or even my best friend and his family. From having a good steady job to losing it all, this scene is really played out in America and – as in the book – most of the players do not care about who they hurt in the process.

Ultimately A Forgotten Man is a story not of a man and his family, but of the effects that the liberal agenda has on the very people they claim to be helping. From radical environmentalists who care more about animal welfare then human welfare to the government who just tries to shut up the squeaky wheels so they can remain in power. A government big enough to set aside wildlife refuges where there were none before is big enough to send whole communities of Bosarge’s into the poor house, unrecoverably so, by the very policies put in place that claim to try and help. This is a story of government excess, and why socialism/progressivism/liberalism cannot exist without a strong central government, something our Founding Fathers sought to avoid. They understood the problems associated with it, and such problems have played themselves out throughout history. The U.S.S.R., China, Cuba, North Korea. Anywhere socialism exists in its purist forms, there exists equally impoverished people and equally brutal governments. China succeeds not because of socialism, but in spite of it. With the loosening of governmental reigns over business, China’s economy is able to blossom. With the tightening of governmental reigns in the U.S. the economy is stagnating and slowly dying.

A Forgotten Man reminds us of the kind of men who managed to succeed. Not the ones who took the hand-outs, but the ones who took chances, worked hard, and never complained about how tough it was because they understood they were entitled to nothing they didn’t earn themselves. Jack Bosarge continues to want to work not out of stubborn pride, but because he knows that hard work is needed to succeed and pull oneself up out poverty, not government programs which tell you that you can’t work and actually incentivize not working.

In the end, the children whom progressives claim to want to help, are the ones ultimately harmed by the very policies they have implemented. A Forgotten Man should be read not just because it’s a good story, but also because it’s an excellent illustration of the realities of socialism, a reality which the current generation of ideologues on the left want to forget and have forgotten. It’s a harsh criticism wrapped up in a poignant example wrapped up in a beautifully written tale of one family’s struggle to make it when even the government has turned against them.

The Rating

As always, the rating is on a 5-point/star scale.

I give this novel a full 5-stars. Poignant, gut-wrenching, true. For a work of fiction it starkly illustrates the realities of life under progressive/liberal/socialist policies, and as if history isn’t a reminder enough, it is a reminder of what otherwise good people could feel forced into because of well-meaning but ultimately faulty policies when the government stretches beyond providing for the national defense, the enforcement of contracts, and enforcement of laws protecting life and property. I recommend this novel for all readers ages 15 and up. For the younger readers it will give them a broader perspective then what is currently being taught in schools, and for older readers it will hit home just exactly what happens when you keep asking the government to intervene.

The Worship Kenbook by Gangai Victor

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Let me start off by mentioning, as per FTC guidelines, I have received a copy of the e-book for my honest review, no other compensation has been offered or asked for in return for my honest review.

The Worship Kenbook

The Worship Kenbook is something outside my usual review material. I generally prefer something along the lines of The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom or Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill. A book about worship is not something you’d likely find on my dead-tree bookshelf or even in my digital book library. It’s not that I’m not interested in worship, it is that I am wary of books that claim to have a way to ‘turn on’ the Holy Spirit, and as many practicing Christians should know, God expects us to ‘worship in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:23-24 (KJV) 23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.) Seeing as how the author first contacted me on Twitter and I don’t know anything about him, and because this book is outside what I normally read, I didn’t know what to expect.

I was truly ecstatic as I moved past the table of contents and read the introduction and first several chapters. Here is what seems to be a true transformation through revelation of this man, a worship leader at his church, about the nature of true worship and what it truly means to God. I fully expected the remaining chapters to be more about his experience and how it has changed not only his ministry but everyone involved. Instead, with the occasional reference back to his initial revelation and the realization of what true worship is, we have a set of what the author has termed ‘general guidelines’. Call it what you will, but what we have here is a testimony that has been ‘lost in translation’ and instead of a great book on worshipping in spirit, what we actually have is “Yet Another Book of Formulas”™ from about the third or fourth chapter on out.

If you skim past the first few chapters and scan through the rest of the book, it’s studded with tons of bullets, tables, and technical how-to’s on making the musical experience as emotionally pleasing as possible, which is okay if you’re just providing entertainment. If you’re a worship (or even secular) band leader looking to improve your technical execution then this is possibly the book for you. However, as someone who loves to read about people’s personal testimonies, and sermons disguised as books, you’ll probably be very, very disappointed. You see, there is no magic formula – as much as Western (and especially American) Christianity wants to sell you on the latest formulas, guidelines, and principles – for getting the Holy Spirit to move. I can’t describe to you exactly what a move of the Holy Spirit is, but I can tell you I’ve never had one at a concert. Truthful, spiritual worship doesn’t come from external stimulus. It comes from inside. It is an undeniable and unshakable desire to show God your gratitude, your love for Him, and your obedience to His will. While using the right tempos, keys, and beats might be able to stir up an emotional response, we need to beware of emotions. They are deceiving masking as the real thing even when the real thing never really happened.

A lot of the tips – especially those geared toward musicians – are true of any profession, practice does make perfect – if you have any skill to begin with. While we are to hone the skills God has given us, we should not be deceived that just because we played an instrument well God was worshiped ‘in spirit and truth’ and that is the only way to worship Him. I – as an electrician and handyman – preform acts of worship all the time when I leave a job completed, done to the best of my ability. Torquing down screws, wiring up devices correctly, and putting up banisters at the correct height and angle is as much worship – when done for God’s glory alone – as is blowing a horn or strumming a harp in a manner that produces notes that come together to produce music.

I was so inspired upon reading of Gangai’s revelation from God on worship, impressed with his time being shut away with God to discover how important true worship of Him is, yet I left the book feeling disappointed. As if some piece of the puzzle has been left out or some stone left unturned and instead of waiting to put all those pieces together properly, the space remaining was filled with worldly how-to’s, guidelines, and bulleted lists on how to make worship an emotional experience. Somehow the author has lost in translation his revelation of true worship as a spiritual experience and has equated it with an emotional one.

My Rating

2 1/2 stars

Attack of the 50ft Democrats, A Book Review

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Disclaimer

I received a copy of the book in return for an honest review, no other remuneration has been received.

Some Thoughts

For political satire, this book hits strongly down partisan lines. Conservative American’s will love it, liberal Americans will want to burn it, and that’s good. Pithy, witty, and hard-hitting this fictional account of one conservative Republican’s, a lone patriot in a sea of true traitors, fight to see his country restored to the ideals of the Founding Fathers but in the way are the machinations of an elite few whose only desire is to remake this nation into his vision of perfection.

While very much a fictional account, Attack of the 50ft Democrats by R.K. Delka is a work of pure political satirical genius. Both humorous and poignant, through the medium of fiction the author attempts to highlight the problem facing the United States today: A wave of liberal progressivism which is sweeping not just through our country but really the entire world and the staunch, if few in number, resistance of those who think that individuality (and individual responsibility), a truly free-market economy, and a small, limited government are things worth having, and not just having but keeping and dying to keep them if need be.

The main characters in the book are all believable, and many of them probably have real-life counterparts whom they were based off of. From Scourge Joros to Merv Nutley to Bart Brightman each character managed to represent someone or some ideal without being too ludicrously off-base or overdone. Scourge is the dark, shadowy figure pulling the socialist strings in the background. Merv Nutley is the biased reporter whose man-crush with the liberal agenda is so enormous it manifests itself by numbing his entire leg. Bart Brightman is the hero, with a military background and a patriotism so ingrained it never comes off as fake. An assortment of some over-caricatured stereotypes on both sides of the aisle makes sure all the serious action centers on the characters while still pointing out some of the worst traits of liberal ideology. From a biased media to puppet mastered politicians there is enough in this book to fill up an entire semester with discourse on the political, moral, social, and spiritual issues this nation is facing today. I plan on keeping this book in my book shelf for a long time. Even if you burn this book after reading it, my recommendation is that every politically savvy American needs to read it. This book has nailed the problem we face today, and even if you aren’t overtly political, it is still a good work of fiction with all the right elements present to keep you reading it cover-to-cover.

Parallels in Reality

I had just received the book when this news-story broke on WorldNet Daily and I really found it a scarily similar story to what was being told in the book. For this reality to come out after the book was published really rocked me and cemented my interest in finishing Attack of the 50ft Democrats.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/purge-surge-obama-fires-another-commander/
“‘The truly sad story is that many of the brightest graduates of the three major service academies witnessing what the social experiment on diversity … is doing to the U.S. military, are leaving the service after five years,’ he said. ‘We are being left with an officer corps that can be made to be more compliant, that is, exactly what Obama needs to effect his long range goals for the U.S. military.'”

Rating (based on a 5-star system):
4 1/2 stars

I would give it 5, but there are a few glitches that, for me, caused my reading groove to be interrupted. They were nothing serious, but if I were R.K., I’d fire the copy-editors as there were a few grammatical issues that, when I ran across them, caused me to focus on them and not the story. Nothing serious enough to keep me distracted for long, but still enough to be noticeable. A thoroughly enjoyable must-read regardless of ideology.

Now For An Interlude

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An Interlude?

Yes, an interlude. As you may have noticed, I have occasionally been called upon to review books on Amazon.com which is pretty cool because it almost always nets me a free book. This time is no different. Now on to my 5-star review of Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure (affiliate link from Amazon, for full disclosure).

5 Stars

First and foremost, I have been asked – not only by good conscience but by Simon and Shuster – to disclose – per FTC guidelines – that I have received a copy of this book for my honest review. I have – and will – not received anything more in return for this review. That being said, on to the review.

First of all, for a non-fiction, insider-tells-all, political book it is extremely engaging. It is also well researched with nearly 10 pages of documented citations for a lot of the claims made. Some, such as a leak inside Komen, can never be documented. I read this book in about 10 hours over two days.

Second, I agreed to read it mostly because I was curious as to what happened. I was on FB the day it all went to pot, even going so far as to leave a word of encouragement – and later on disgust – on Komen’s FB page. From the time Mrs. Handel started working at Komen to the day Komen capitulated it was all i could do to not cry over what was going on. What was purely an economical, mission-based decision had turned political the moment it was decided to disengage from a grant recipient who was slowly taking down the organization as well as wasting dollars that would have been better spent elsewhere.

This book is an excellent dissemination of what was going on within Susan G. Komen for the Cure as they moved to elevate the usefuleness of their grants and is a must read for those who want to know exactly what went on inside the walls of Komen’s offices leading up to and during this very public fiasco.

Book Review: McGraw-Hill’s National Electrical Code 2011 Handbook Twenty-Seventh Edition

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The Disclaimer: While I am not affiliated with McGraw-Hill in any way, I did receive my copy of this book for free from said publisher in agreement for my review (favorable or otherwise) of said book. This disclaimer is done in accordance with this document put out by the Federal Trade Commission.

The Book

Book: McGraw-Hill’s National Electrical Code 2011 Handbook, Twenty-Seventh Edition
Author(s): Brian J. McPartland
Frederic P. Hartwell
Joseph F. McPartland
Pages: 1,642
Binding: Hard-cover
MSRP: $75 USD
Publisher: McGraw-Hill

The Review

This book is a great tool for any electrician looking to navigate his or her way through the myriad of rules presented in the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code as published by the National Fire Protection Association. From the very beginning it gets right down to business and begins with detailed explanations of every bullet point presented starting in Article 90.

While I won’t say this is a perfect book, it is extremely thorough and – as an added benefit for some of the more computer-savvy amongst electricians – there is a full PDF copy (which is fully searchable) of the book available for download (the code is under one of those scratch-off areas in the very beginning of the book).

If I had any complaint of the book at all, it would be it’s apparent lack of tables. The most glaring of these omissions – at least for me – was the motor tables that come after 430.245 (labeled XIV. Tables). The only reason I can think of for the tables not being included are that they are really pretty self-explanatory and need no further interpretation. There is, though, no where in the book that I have found that expounds on why the tables have been left out (or even that they have been left out).

Aside from that, I really enjoy McGraw-Hill’s book. I find it is going to be a valuable addition to mine – and many other people’s – library for as long as the 2011 NEC is enforced. I strongly recommend this book unless you feel that the tables in the NEC need further explanation. In that case, you may not find this book to be as useful as I have found it.

The Rating

The ratings are based upon a 5-star system with 5, of course, being the best, none being the worst.

Content: 3
Presentation: 5
Portability: 3
Access to additional resources: 5
Overall: 4

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