Archive for July, 2012
Bud Feuer is a pretty prolific military historian, having written more than a dozenbooks. But what makes Feuer stand apart, in my opinion, is his histories of little known, unheralded, unusual military units. A case in point is the Australian coast watchers who performed heroic duty when the Japanese were advancing through the South Sea Islands during World War II.
In Feuer’s book, Coast Watching in WWII: Operations Against the Japanese on the1941-43, the author details the activities of up to 400 coast watchers scattered along the coastal areas of the . These units would hide away in the jungle/mountain areas, keep an eye on Japanese ship movements, and then radio reports to headquarters on what ships were moving into the area.
The Japanese most likely would never have been halted if they were able to maintain the element of surprise. But that was taken away, unknowingly to them, by the coast watchers. Feuer makes a good argument when he states that “coast watching alone was responsible for the success of the air war. During the early and uncertain days of the American struggle to wrest Guadalcanal from the Japanese, the reports and timely warnings from Stations JEF and STO on Bougainville were directly responsible for the enemy’s defeat.”
To perform their tasks, the coast watchers relied on “teleradios” which were relatively large, heavy and clunky radio communications equipment that had to be hauled from one hiding spot to another. The teleradio had a voice range of about 400 miles and had a range of an additional 200 miles if you used the telegraph key. Besides having to lug this heavy machine around, the men in the unit had to lug around the batteries, charging engine, and benzene fuel. It took several men to carry the teleradio from one site to another. Imagine what these guys could have accomplished today with micro-electronic technology?
Feuer points out why propaganda is so important in wartime, recording the successes of the coast watchers and failures of the Japanese who angered the natives by arresting men and women in the villages and using them as free laborers. The Japanese also knew little about mountains and were unskilled in tracking.
While I enjoy history, most of the time I am bored silly by voluminous military histories that fail to record the lives of the soldiers involved or capture the overall picture of what is taking place. Bud Feuer accomplishes what many military historians fail to do – Feuer writes a compelling, riveting history that grabs your attention early and keeps it. Bud Feuer is a great story teller and an accurate historian.
“Fatal Choice” is an excellent awakening of The United States as seen through the eyes of the author. It is frightening, alarming, eye awakening, thought provoking, and a look into your possible future life in The United States. Charles Rickard takes no prisoners nor does he hold back his punches. I read Fatal Choice with an open mind not knowing how bad, or good, things would get as the story unfolded in the near past, the present, and mostly the future. As you read from the first page on I guarantee you will shake your head as to how our nation is now playing into the hands of some of the actions Mr. Rickard described. Some of the authors thoughts might be stretched but how do we, the citizens of The United States, know what lies ahead seeing so many laws of our nation being, or attempting to be changed drastically? We don’t, which makes the authors descriptive actions so worrisome. Liberals and Conservatives and anyone in between need to read this book with an open mind and then make up your mind as to how possible the scenarios might be in Fatal Choice.
The prologue gives us a good read on what to expect when a bizarre incident in Dallas just after a wedding where many important officials attended. As the wedding party left the church there was killing galore until all were killed. This leads into what goes on in the book. President Madison was a president that acted like he was a dictator, not a president of the world’s largest republic. What he said or thought just had to be, and those that opposed would find themselves isolated from the government or possibly even six-feet under. He had been easing the nation into his ways over some time. He had those he considered close to him, those that he wasn’t sure of, and those that had to be eliminated who still wanted our nation as it was meant to be. I am not going to fill this review with names. I choose to give the story of what is going on instead of giving you more names to distinguish.
There were those that recognized what Madison was doing and they were attempting local, area, and national organizations to try to combat the government takeover that was taking freedom from citizens constantly, even from elected officials if they didn’t agree with Madison. Cabinet members meant nothing except for their rubber stamp of Madison’s orders. Madison also controlled Law enforcement or, in some cases they had no power. Madison hired private agencies to enforce his ways. News media was reduced to several newspapers and several radio and television networks and even these were reduced farther until only Madison’s word was placed out there for people to hear. No government was effective for freedom loving citizens, only Madison’s government rule. His goons were there to control everything and everyone. Eyes and ears were everywhere. Privacy was gone as were the actions of people.
Some who were fighting Madison were slowly getting organized with much secrecy and with some methods that were used in past years because all new communications were blocked. Some areas of the United States were better able to organize mainly because of the ability of people in that area to come up with ideas of how to organize safely or, as safely as possible. Several nations assisted those opposing Madison in every possible way. Canada and Mexico were of the utmost importance with their adjoining locations. This still didn’t mean the “underground” was safe. Many times they were discovered one way or another and were eliminated. One well known man, George Barnes, who had been so well known and liked with his news broadcasting, went to work broadcasting messages and news through a very secret communications setup. The network was almost impossible to stop due to its many areas in and out of the nation.
Don’t get too connected with your heroes as you read. They might not be there in the next chapter. I think by now you have the gist of this powerful book. The irony of it is that much of the subject matter mentioned has been occurring or appears set up to happen. Our nation is a great place to grow up in and raise a family. We have freedoms that many people over the earth can only dream of having. They have never known what the word means. If we don’t fight for what we have people like President Madison could take over our nation and take our freedoms away before we realized it. Don’t let your government control you their way.
Thank you Charles Rickard for this book of warning. I look forward to the next book and can only hope this first book will awaken us all.
book titled is a with a complex plot that will keep you wanting to read more. The book is fairly short at only 244 pages with chapters of about ten to fifteen pages in length on average. The story is based on the lives of several aviators and mischievous insurance people who meet by chance and end up tangled in a ous plot.
Joe Martin is the main character in. He is a level-headed, tough pilot who gives charter flights to people visiting Greenland for business or pleasure. His daily duties include flying people to local fishing spots and flying supplies to various businesses in his vicinity. One of Joe’s best friends is named Arnie Fassberg, and he and Joe are the only two people on the island who have outfitted with skis and floats, allowing them to take passengers to desolate areas of the country.
While at a bar one night, Joe and Arnie meet a world-renowned movie star named Jack Desforge. Jack is a John Wayne type of man. He is rough, rugged, good-looking, and attracts females wherever he goes. The three men also happen to meet a group of men and a widow named Sarah Kelso who are in town on business. The leader of the group is a man named Vogel who claims to work in the insurance industry. He approaches Joe one night asking for him to fly the group to a local plane wreckage that is only accessible through the air.
From the start, Joe can sense something very strange about Vogel and his associates. Vogel tells Joe that the wreckage is very important for his business because he has to pay insurance claims to the widows of the men who died at the wreckage. However, Vogel’s story is not consistent, and one of the deceased men’s widows, Sarah Kelso, is not showing any type of sadness. Joe agrees to fly the mission regardless due to the large sum of money Vogel will pay and to do a favor for the supposedly grieving widow.
Joe soon flies over the wreckage and notices that it will be extremely hard to land on the icy surface surrounding the plane. Even if a landing occurred, it would take approximately three hours to ski to the wreckage. Martin still flies the group and skis with them to the wreckage only to find out that the story keeps getting more suspicious. Sarah Kelso’s widow is buried in a shallow ice grave wearing his wedding ring but with a false identity on him. Also, there is a fresh pair of snow tracks in the vicinity with oil stains on the snow. Obviously someone had been to the wreckage in the past day and Joe Martin was missing something important.
Vogel and Martin and company return to Martin’s hometown and all meet at a local establishment for drinks. Some drunken sailors enter the bar led by a man named DaGama, a dirty man with the strength of a giant. They quickly start a fight with Desforge and Arnie, only to be broken up by the local law enforcement just before someone gets killed. Everyone involved gets bruised and bloodied, but DaGama leaves extremely angry after having a chair broken over his head.
Soon, the real motivation for Vogel’s trip to Greenland becomes clear; there is a large fortune of emeralds located at the plane wreckage. Not only is there a large fortune, but Vogel, DaGama, and other hired hands are working together to obtain the jewels and destroy anyone who gets in their path. The jewels come into the wrong hands and end up going to Desforge, Arnie, and a woman named Gudrid who is trying to land a role in one of Jack Desforge’s upcoming movies. Vogel does not like having his emeralds with a stranger, so he has DaGama and his drunken sailor friends follow Joe, Jack, and Gurdrid and punish them in any way possible.
Several times in the story, Joe and his friends find themselves on the wrong end of violence and greed. For example, Joe is walking near the pier late one night and is struck on the back of the head by a lone assailant. He wakes up several hours later in the storage compartment of a smelly, rotten fishing boat. Joe soon realizes he is in DaGama’s ship and is facing certain death. However, fight his way overboard and swim to shore in the icy Greenland water. Joe is not the only person injured and tortured in the book, however. Arnie is also shot and killed late one night and everyone expects DaGama has struck again. Later in the book, we find out that is was actually Jack Desforge who killed Arnie with his own gun. Jack was not receiving any movie roles and decided that the easiest way for him to gain money and continue his easy way of life was to steal the jewels himself. However, Arnie resisted and Jack killed him with a shotgun fired at close range.
Joe does not know at this point that Jack is now a third party fighting for possession of the jewels. The two of them continue to run from Vogel and his hired hands and to simply stay alive. Eventually, Joe arrives at a home where there are guns firing repeatedly to find DaGama holding a young woman named Ilana hostage. Joe is now a hostage as well since he is unarmed and was shot in the wrist area before entering the home. DaGama demands Joe go outside and tell Jack to stop firing at DeGama and the house or Ilana will be killed. Joe obeys DaGama’s commands, realizing he has no other options, and convinces Jack to come into the open.
While the men are standing out in the open and trying to negotiate the best possible scenario where everyone can live, everyone stays out of jail, and Vogel can have his jewels, Jack comes up with a plan. Since the guilty men in the party were Vogel, DaGama, and Jack Desforge, the three of them would split the jewels evenly and leave the country together. Desforge and Vogel would split the jewels fifty-fifty while Joe and Ilana can live peacefully and out of harms way. Jack seems to have a strange look on his face however and when they take off on Joe’s plane to leave the country, Ilana and Joe realize just what Jack has done.
Jack knew he would be killed in the near future no matter what he did. Vogel and DeGama would never be fine with splitting the fortune and they would simply put a bullet in Jack to get rid of him. Therefore, he flew himself, Vogel, and DeGama into the air for only a minute before voluntarily crashing the plane into a mountain. This way, all three guilty parties would be taken care of and Joe and Ilana could truly live without concern. Before leaving, Jack gave Ilana his belt containing several pouches. No one realized it at the time, but this was supposed to be the bag of jewels. She opened the pouches to find pebbles; the jewels were missing. However, Joe returns to an area nearby where he was running from DaGama and Vogel earlier in the day to find his stash of jewels in a small pile. Joe smartly replaced the emeralds with pebbles earlier in the evening to make sure they were out of the wrong hands.
’ book East of Desolation is a thrilling, ous story with a happy ending. Although Joe Martin is shot in the arm, beaten, loses his friend to DeGama, and does not have much luck in business, he ends up with a fortune of emeralds. The author does not say what happens to Joe and his jewels, but the reader can assume that Joe and Ilana live happily ever after with their newfound fortune. Overall, this story is captivating and will keep you reading for hours. I rate this book a 4 out of 5.
Many folks enjoyed John Nesbitt’s book MegaTrends China, which was interesting, however many of the future predictions he made did not exactly pan out as he’d hoped or thought they would. Ten years later in hindsight we see he was close but off by a decade or more, but that’s okay “change is never as fast as we think it will be,” as he stated in his recent book “Mindset.”
But how would you like to read a book written by someone from within China, a bio-researcher with a European College Education, that has gone back to China and written many research papers in his field of science; an author who assesses what China needs as it grows into its World Power status?
Well, after discussing at length all the various issues that China faces and how they are working through their many problems and challenges, issues that every fast growing nation must deal with the actual author; I’d like to tell you about his book;
“China: Has thePassed by!?” by Guang Wu (a University Researcher), Nova Science Publishers, 2009. ISBN-10: 1607415380 or ISBN-13: 978-1607415381 (depending on paper back or hard back).
This book was very short, about 70 pages of text, but the author brings up many great points of contention, that are of course, open for debate, but more importantly, they come from someone that has lived both in China and studied abroad. Guang Wu has seen for instance how the Swiss run their nation and how the Chinese runs theirs.
He sees the value of each, and how China can learn from other nations, Wu, the writer explains how difficult it will be for the Chinese to cross the barriers and what they need to consider from a philosophical and organizational standpoint to reach their full potential; a Western reader of culture and history might be bothered by some of the conclusions and questions asked, but it is interesting for the sake of thought.
So, you might very much like this book. Personally, I enjoyed debating with the author myself and hope in his next book he addresses the following issues;
- Why is China selling advanced military weapons to enemy Nation States of the US?
- Why does China have 6000 plus industrial and military spies in the US?
- Why won’t China come clean on its currency policies for fair trade? Why is China not using her strength to end the N. Korea nuclear issue?
- Why is China trading with Venezuela and Iran, and selling them weapons?
- Why did the Chinese President condemn US Monetary Policy at Davos and the BRIC conference?
- Why does China engage in Human Right Violation in Burma, Tibet, and other disputed border areas?
- Why is China’s top military brass making threats to the US ?
- Why did China steal a US P-3 Orion Aircraft from the US ?
- Why is China playing hide and seek and challenging the US Navy?
- Why is China shipping poisonous dog food, baby food, tooth paste and lead paint toys to the US?
- Is or is China not testing Biological Weapons in their rural provinces?
- Did China sell radar guided missiles to Iran, which gave them to Hezbollah to fire against Israel?
These and other questions were not answered in the book and the author appears to be confused about Capitalism and how it works or Socialism and Communism and why it doesn’t work, still, the reader must understand the perceptions and educational challenges that meld the mind and have allowed this author to come to such conclusions. Why don’t you read this book and decide what you think?
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” The title of this book, and the preceding quote on the front cover, led me to believe that this was going to be a true story similar to “The Amityville Horror” and other “true stories” of demons and possession. I was shocked as I proceeded to read it that it IS a true story. You will have a hard time believing all the things that went on in a small town and how a minister and his family were terrorized in America in the 1970′s. That is right – the 1970′s…
The author, Rebecca Nichols Alonzo, relates the story of her childhood growing up in the town of Sellerstown, North Carolina. Her father, Robert Nichols, was a minister and he and his wife had moved to the community as he was to be the new pastor of The Free Welcome Holiness Church. Rebecca had not yet arrived on the scene as her mother was pregnant when they moved, and a brother Daniel would also join them later. A young family starting a new life in rural America would not normally provide any reason for a book to be written, however a Mr. H. J. Watts would make sure that their lives were anything but peaceful.
The anonymous phone calls to her parents started when Rebecca was only eighteen months old. The caller would threaten Mr. Nichols and then hang up. This was in 1971 when there was no such thing as caller ID, and even traces on phone calls were unusual and only used in extreme cases. Unfortunately it would get to that point, however much too late to help the Nichols’ family. These phone calls continued for years, at all hours of the day and night, making it impossible for the family to relax and enjoy their home and community. There were also unsigned, anonymous letters sent to them, threatening harm if they did not leave theand get out of town. The stress imposed by these phone calls and letters alone must have been enormous, however it went much, much farther than that.
Mr. H. J. Watts was a wealthy resident who had his hands in most people’s business, and was also practically in total control of The Free Welcome Holiness Church. When Mr. Nichols arrived as the new pastor, he started to change how things were done. As the membership in thegrew mainly due to Mr. Nichols’ popularity, Mr. Watts lost much of his influence and judging by his reaction he must have seethed inside. He would attend every Sunday and sit at the back in pew number seven. He would make faces at Mr. Nichols during the sermon, look at his watch and do all he could to disturb the service. Often he would leave before the service was over and loudly slam the door on his way out to be certain others knew of his displeasure. In spite of his antics, the vast majority of the community was pleased with how the church was prospering, although they did literally nothing to stop Mr. Watts from his brutal harassment.
Rather than chronicle all of the unthinkable things that were done by Mr. Watts and his accomplices, I will relate one instance that will astound you. On the night of July 1, 1975 DYNAMITE was ignited outside the Nichols’ home, causing the windows to shatter (that is how close it was) and very nearly killed Daniel who was just an infant. Shattered glass littered his crib where he slept and the room he was in, however he was not even scratched and slept through the incident. This was not the first time dynamite had been used at their home or at the church but it was the first time it came very close to injuring or killing someone. The public harassment at church, threatening phone calls and letters, home invasions, gunshots fired at the home while they slept and yet another bombing should have caused the Nichols to pack up and leave, but they chose to stay based on their firm belief in. This decision would later cost Rebecca and Daniel their parents when they were still young children.
At the beginning of thisI quoted “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” This was what Mr. Nichols preached to his daughter, and this was the reason that he did not leave. He also could have taken matters into his own hands and delivered his own justice. Robert Nichols was 6’3″ tall, muscular and an ex-Navy fighter and could easily have beaten the elderly Mr. Watts physically if he chose to. Instead, he stayed and prayed that the Lord would take care of them and that eventually Mr. Watts would see the error of his ways. As this decision would cost him his life, it would be up to Rebecca to forgive Mr. Watts when he did finally repent and ask for .
The events related in this book are unbelievable, and it amazes me that this could have happened anywhere, let alone in a small town in America in the 1970′s. Mr. Watts was eventually prosecuted and sent to prison, however the damage that he inflicted on a young family could never be repaired by a jail sentence. Rebecca and Daniel have to be two of the strongest, most resilient, forgiving people I have ever heard or read about. Their story will bring you joy at times and make you cry at other times. It will also give you hope that anything can be overcome throughand . That is the message that Rebecca has passed on from her father – in and forgiveness of others (and yourself) will allow you to lead a blessed, spiritual life. Had Rebecca carried the bitterness toward Mr. Watts that she must have felt, or even blamed her father for not leaving when they had every reason and plenty of opportunity to move on, her life could have been vastly different.
I would definitely recommend this book. Whenever you are upset with someone for some perceived slight they have caused you, try to remember Rebecca and her family. Life is not always smooth sailing and others will never do exactly what we wish and hope that they would do. Also remember what Jesus said when he was being crucified “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
Laughter and love,
“The Devil in Pew Number Seven” Rebecca Nichols Alonzo Tyndale House Publishers Inc.