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"The ultimate determinate in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas - a trial of spiritual resolve; the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideas to which we are dedicated."― Ronald Reagan

Friday, July 25, 2014

Brad is back

So, my summer fiction rolled on with this long-awaited book.  Although I do love Brad Thor, as I have previously noted, I kinda felt he was getting into a bit of a rut.

Fortunately, his characters are excellent, his pacing is perfect, and whatever he writes becomes a page turner pretty darn quick...and he is becoming maddeningly excellent at the multi-volume plot and backstory that left me saying..."Wait, I remember this from an earlier book!" 

This book brings him back to what I feel is his origin and area of excellence, the "save the U.S." thriller that he is known for. 

I really enjoyed this book, and have to say even though you are reading the action and conspiracy unfold, it isn't until about halfway through the book, that I started to get an inkling of exactly what the dastardly plot was...which even though it isn't new in terms of evil plans, was nonetheless done fairly well. 

Mr. Thor doesn't waste time or energy on secondary plots or even secondary characters...everyone is merely a supporting actor to Scot Harvath and that's fine. 

It's good to see Mr. Thor moving past his conspiracy stage to his thriller roots.  I am still hoping for a full Athena Project sequel or crossover with his Harvath character...maybe next year.

Nonetheless a fine summer read that was quick and satisfying.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Excellent Summer Read

Ahh, after patiently waiting for almost six months...I at last dove into the latest Monster Hunter book. Needless to say, it was like fiction crack. Yup, hated having to eat, sleep and take care of biddness, but I did at some point.

If you are a fan of the series, this book does a marvelous job of telling the story of Agent Franks, my favorite denizen of death, destruction, and snark.

It goes so far that we learn the theology of monsters...which is totally awesome. Mr Correia really enjoys his monsters...who knew they had such a spiritual side....so to speak.

I was personally a little disappointed that there was not more involvement from my favorite Monster Hunter International characters, but Agent Franks more than takes up the pages with his awesomeness.

These books continue to improve and I was really happy to see that Mr. Correia has now published his second hardcover book, which I know is a BFD for an author, especially a sci-fi author. He has managed to find an excellent niche that he can clearly dominate and build a fan following....including yours truly.

Certainly these book will never be considered "serious fiction, " like say The Audacity of Hope or Hard Choices or...my personal favorite Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters, but they are solidly written, show some above average character development, have sharp dialogue, and achieve any author's primary goal...to get the reader to like the characters and want to turn the page to see what happens, which I can safely say would not be true for the above noted volumes.

For these metrics, Mr. Correia succeeds and has consistently done so for this entire series.

If you love a good story, read these books...you won't be disappointed.

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4, 1776


So today America celebrates its independence from Great Britain, encapsulated in that brilliant document written by old slave-holding heterosexual (as far as we know) white guys.  Yes, the snark is out early today....my PC meter is set to low.

The Declaration of Independence is rightly studied or was until Common Core came along, as one of the basic documents of our country's philosophy and system of government...at least until January 20, 2009 (the beginning of American history for most progressive libs) when we seemed to have elected a powdered-wig toting, lederhosen wearing monarch.  You know...this guy....who seems to think that he has the 21st century equivalent of a quill pen, town cryer and guillotine and don't need no stinkin' input from the peasants on what's good for them...HE will tell you what's good for you.  But our Founders, wise old white guys that they were, anticipated this sort of Chicago city politics type of gangsterism when they wrote this prophetic document:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, (that's us, by the way...not the enviro-whackos, abortion jihadis, or redistributionist commies) --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security (wow, does this sort of sound like the last six years of the Obama Administration?  abuses from the IRS, EPA, etc....usurpations like recess appointments, executive actions, and stroke of the pen/law of the land type of thing)
 But it gets better.  Our Founding Fathers included many lawyers (yea, we'll over look that) and they figured that there should be a good and logical reason to leave the British Empire, which had, after all, done pretty well for the colonies until about 1765 or so.  See how many of these apply to our current Monarch and his minions.

The history of the present King of Great Britain (Chicago Monarch) is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.---BAMMO...I have a phone and a pen, anyone?  I mean seriously, how whinny can you be...Congress won't do what I WANT, never mind your totally inability to craft and pass legislation..something even Bill Clinton could do with a Republican Congress....hmmmm.....
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.  (Can anyone say contraception mandate in Obamacare?)
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. (This is the most often quoted and oh so applicable clause from the Declaration...where to begin...the IRS, EPA, OSHA, the general growth of the Federal bureaucracy and its powers over average Americans.)
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.  (Can anyone explain the over militarization of Federal agencies with armed SWAT teams>???)
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. (Substitute unbridled invasion of our southern border by Latin American "refugees" seeking not freedom, but free stuff from the progressive liberal Democratic party...what's the difference?  Who knows how many gang-bangers, terrorists, human traffickers, or plan old disease bearing "undocumented" people are soon going to clog our emergency rooms, schools, and streets.)

So what are Americans to do? Well, much like our colonial brethren, we have tried to use the legal system, which amazingly really pisses off the progressive libs, who spent the last 50 years using the courts to gain their agenda which couldn't pass through legislation...(can anyone say Roe vs Wade?)

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
As many pundits have noted, Obama the First has been repeatedly rebuffed by the Supreme Court for executive overreach, but it makes no difference to him, as his recent comments on immigration showed. (useless as they are, but they DO make good political theater and Democratic fund-raising emails)

Hopefully Americans will regain their spirit and put an end to this nonsense.  One would hope that the career politicians among the Democratic party will realize that, unless Obama is truly ready to incite civil war through some extreme overreach of power, he is GONE on January 20, 2017 and they will be left to pick up the pieces.  

As lawyers they should know the power of precedence, and once a Republican with some balls takes over the Oval Office, the power of the Executive pen could pass into hands less willing to support their weird liberal agenda.  Imagine a Republican President using executive order to open ALL federal land to energy production, institute offshore drilling, and begin constructing new refineries.  (AHHHHH....it would be glorious no?)  

Think the loony enviro-whackos might have a problem with that?  But hey, a phone and a pen is a phone and a pen.  Now, sadly, I don't know many Republican politicians with the cajones to defy the spluttering, mouth foaming fury of the legacy Democratic media...but IF it did happen, what logical excuse would the surviving Democrats have?  I know, they don't need no stinkin' logic, but the accumulation of Executive Power is tough to give back...and the amount of power that Obama the First has accumulated would, as many pundits point out, make Nixon blush. 

So, as you enjoy your Independence Day...remember what Ronald Reagan said:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.