Archive for the ‘Patriot Challenge #1: Read A Book’ Category

Atlas Shrugged, Ch. 4

September 22, 2017

I finished reading Chapter 4 a few days ago.

In this chapter, we learn about the Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule, where Jim Taggart and his cronies have effectively killed off the Phoenix-Durango railroad, and prevent any newcomer from entering the market.  We see the end of Dan Conway, as he refuses to fight the Rule.

We also learn that Mexico has nationalized the railroad and San Sebastian Mines.  Taggart Transcontinental lost some old equipment and only one wood-burning locomotive, thanks to Dagny’s preparations.  James Taggart took credit for saving the railroad money to the Board of Directors.

Francisco D’Anconia lost 15 million dollars of his own money.  We don’t know much about him yet, but we know that he typically makes money, and this seems out of character.

We meet a wild character, Ellis Wyatt, who comes into Dagny’s office like a hurricane.  He storms in, curses Taggart Transcontinental for ruining the Phoenix-Durango line, then demands trains.  He says that if Wyatt Oil sinks because of the lack of trains, he was going to take Taggart Transcontinental with him.

Finally, we see that, in spite of it all, Dagny Taggart and Hank Reardon are still planning to go through with using Reardon metal for rail in Colorado.

Thank you for reading my post.

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Killing the Rising Sun

March 17, 2017

I finished reading Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.  I will preface this article by stating that I never liked Bill’s TV show, but this book was excellent.

This book was well-researched and entertaining.  The authors were able to tell some of the stories of World War II in a way they have never been told before.

One of the things that struck me was seeing the numbers of people that were lost in some of these battles.  It was really a terrible war.

I strongly recommend this book.  If you haven’t read it and you are interested in war history, this book is a necessity.

Thank you for reading my post.

Lone Survivor

February 3, 2017

I just finished reading Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson.  This is a first person account of Operation Redwing, the deadliest of Navy SEAL operations, where 19 SEALs were killed.

Luttrell tells of trying to stay alive in a hostile country, while wounded, with no hope of rescue.  When you think you are having a bad day, read about his time in Afganistan.

The book is very well written; you feel alone as you read about his struggles.  There is no where to go, but staying where he was was not safe, either.

He also comments about his philosophy on war and what problems there are with the way we fight wars today.  He says we don’t fight them anymore.  He says that we are in a place where SEALs are afraid, not of the enemy, but of being tried as war criminals for doing their jobs.  In a confusing place, such as a war zone, is the teenager running towards you a threat or not?   You don’t have long to decide.

I highly recommend this book.

Thank you for reading my post.

From Freedom to Slavery, by Gerry Spence

January 22, 2016

This book was most disappointing.  The title sounded promising, and Gerry Spence was the defense attorney for Randy Weaver.  For those of you who do not know, Randy Weaver was the separatist involved in the Ruby Ridge incident, which left his son, wife, and at least one federal officer dead, all over a shotgun barrel that was 1/4″ too short and a rescheduled trial.  During this trial, the FBI admitted to manufacturing evidence, withholding evidence, and shooting an unarmed woman while she held a baby.

There was plenty of abuses of power to write about during this trial.  However, only two chapters dealt with the trial.  The rest of the book was a long political rant about “Freedom from” which, by the way, is not really freedom.  He speaks of the “Tyranny of the Media” and the “Tyranny of Maleness” and several other topics where the end result is that capitalism is an evil religion.

Throughout the book he refers to corporations as “the New King” and says how man is enslaved to them, even though corporations are not real.  He proposes,instead that “the people” run everything; the media should be controlled by “the people.”  Which people?  Anyone claiming to be the people, I guess.  He gives examples such as “Black people” and “the teachers’ unions.”  Anyone claiming to speak for more than themselves.

He also has one chapter (“Tyranny of Viewpoint”) where he argues that trees and animals get to have a say in the way government is run, just like corporations do.

He claims that the free-market is a religion, one that enslaves everyone and convinces them that they are free.  What anti-technology, anti-capitalists have in common is their need-based standard of values.  Rather than swapping value for value, they believe that need IS the standard of value, and that by simply needing something, it should appear.

An infant can do this; a baby has no choice, and lives by the graces of his or her parents.  In this case, the value that is swapped is love and care from the parents for the happiness that the child brings, and will continue to bring in the future.  Those who believe in a need-based system of values expect to be cared for like infants for the rest of their lives.  However, as an infant swaps some value for value, a crackhead may not.  A thief, a drunkard, a bum, they may not.  We are expected to care for them anyway, and give them whatever they need.

Their claim is that they deserve freedom; freedoms that do not exist.  “Freedom from hunger” or “freedom from cold.”  At whose expense?  Food must come from somewhere.  Somewhere, someone has to labor for that food.  If this person is not willing to give it freely, how does it get distributed such that everyone is “free from hunger?”  I’ll tell you how- force.

Overall, this book was terrible.  I finished it out of determination for completion, and for no other reason.

Thank you for reading my post, and don’t bother with reading this book.  I give it two middle fingers up.

Reading – From Freedom to Slavery

January 15, 2016

I started reading Gerry Spence’s book, “From Freedom to Slavery.”  This book looks to be interesting, as Spence was the lawyer who defended Randy Weaver when he went on trial for murdering a federal officer during the Ruby Ridge standoff in Idaho in the 1990’s.

This event was a big deal to me, as I was a boy when this happened. A boy, growing up in the People’s Republic of Maryland, where we weren’t allowed to talk about guns.  Meanwhile, guns were my favorite thing in the world, and I went shooting whenever I could.

There were a lot of misconceptions and half-truths around this standoff, and it will be interesting to read what was presented at the trial, versus what we saw on the news a long ways away.

My understanding was that Randy Weaver had sold a shotgun with a barrel that was too short for Federal Law.  Due to a snow storm, his trial was moved and he was not notified.  When he didn’t show up for trial, FBI/ATF agents began staking out his place.  At some point, Randy’s son (14) was hunting with a dog and the dog was going to give away the federal officer’s positions, so they shot the dog.  Randy Weaver’s son shot back, and then was shot and killed. Over the course of a few more days, Randy’s wife was shot and killed while holding a baby, Randy was wounded, and a family friend was wounded as well.

It’s a big mess, and we’ll never know the full truth, but perhaps this will shed a little light on the subject.

Thank you for reading this post, and I’ll let you know what I learn.