Category Archives: Issues

Five Years to Freedom: The True Story of a Vietnam POW by James N. Rowe

In 1963, Nick Rowe is with a group of Vietnamese soldiers on a routine mission when they encounter Vietcong soldiers. In the fight, Rowe and a fellow soldier are captured. Rowe realizes the seriousness of his situation but is unable to do anything about it immediately. As time passes, Rowe is often weakened and is constantly pushed to declare that the Vietcong are justified in all aspects of the war and that his own countrymen are wrong. Failure to do so continually prompts varying degrees of punishment. For five years his captors work to instill a series of propaganda statements into Rowe’s mind and Rowe continues to disbelieve his captors.
Rowe is a military man, having decided to attend West Point because his older brother was killed prior to his own graduation. Rowe is deployed to Vietnam without really knowing all the politics involved. Rowe comes to like many of the Vietnamese people and sometimes helps with distribution of medicine and other activities. After his capture, he becomes bombarded with information that the Vietnamese people as a whole support the Vietcong and that the American prisoners are in danger of being attacked by the general populace. After several years as a prisoner, he is taken on a tour of the region – ostensibly to see the true state of the people. He encounters some people who remember him from his days as a soldier so many years earlier. One risks punishment to touch Rowe on the shoulder and an elderly woman speaks up and questions the reason Rowe appears to be undernourished. Rowe leaves that situation and finds his resolve to remain strong against the pressure to admit to “crimes” against the Vietcong.

Rowe encounters several other prisoners during his time as a POW. Some of those survive and are released. Others die while Rowe watches, helpless to do anything to prevent it. He is held alone during his final months as a prisoner and he finds the situation initially frightening but then finds a new freedom in that he is no longer responsible for anyone else. When Rowe and his captors are fleeing American bombers, he arranges the opportunity to be alone with a single captor then hits the man over the hand to get away so that he can flag down a passing helicopter. His mother’s words, when she knows that he is safe, are, “What took you so long?”

Rowe is a strong person and remains so in the face of near-starvation and psychological torment. One of the most serious moments of torment for him comes when American bombers are striking the camp and he comes to fear that he’ll die at the hands of his own people.

This was a true eye opening and thought provoking book where you had to sense, see and feel what was happening around you. A mindfully written book that challenged you to feel for the POWs, what they were going through, how they were treated, etc. Was a person to die by sickness?..at the hands of the NVA?..or at the hands of his own people? A riveting book filled with questions, in some cases still not answered. War is hell, war sucks, and if more people understood the ramifications of war…there would be a movement by all people to stop war.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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30 Days to Understanding the Bible in 15 Minutes a Day: Expanded Edition Paperback by Max Anders

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30 Days to Understanding the Bible, the innovative teach-yourself guide that’s helped so many readers get more out of the Bible, just got even better! Now Max Anders’ remarkable resource for Bible learning is available in a new, expanded edition, with all the features that made the original so popular – plus much more.

Proven effective by over 200,000 readers, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible helps you learn to position key Bible characters, places, and events in chronological order so that you can “think your way through” the entire Word of God. Through interesting, memory-enhancing exercises, 30 Days to Understanding the Bible acquaints readers with the core teachings of Scripture in just 15 minutes a day!

Bible study leaders and Sunday school teachers will appreciate the new Teaching Plan with activities and directions for a 12-week group study, complete with overhead transparency masters for class or home group use.

This is an excellent resource for bible studying and understanding. Worthy of opening time-and-again. It will help with increased understanding and comprehension of the content within the two covers of your Holy Bible. It, could be, a great study, in itself, for the bible.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Monstering: Inside America’s Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War by Tara McKelvey

In April 2004, the Abu Ghraib photographs set off an international scandal. Yet until now, the full story has never been told. Tara McKelvey — the first U.S. journalist to speak with female prisoners from Abu Ghraib — traveled to the Middle East and across the United States to seek out victims and perpetrators. McKelvey tells how soldiers, acting in an atmosphere that encouraged abuse and sadism, were unleashed on a prison population of which the vast majority, according to army documents, were innocent civilians. Drawing upon critical sources, she discloses a series of explosive revelations: an exclusive jailhouse interview with Lynndie England connects the Abu Ghraib pictures to lewd vacation photos taken by England’s boyfriend Charles Graner; formerly undisclosed videotapes show soldiers “Robotripping” on cocktails of over-the-counter drugs while pretending to stab detainees; new material sheds light on accusations against an American suspected of raping an Iraqi child; and first-hand accounts suggest the use of high-voltage devices, sexual humiliation and pharmaceutical drugs on Iraqi prisoners. She also provides an inside look at Justice Department theories of presidential power to show how the many abuses were licensed by the government.

While I cannot say that this does not surprise me, I can say that I truly did not expect it to be this bad! It seems to me that man has a propensity to give in to his darker side when someone with authority, real or perceived, gives the nod of approval. I found this book to be not much different than any historical account of war-time scenarios where the conqueror enters & overtakes another country and then let the abuses begin. This should be a warning to all mankind as “enhanced interrogation techniques” has been found to not yield the information or the desired results overall. While this was a well written and laid out account of the atrocities, the problem lies squarely in the heart of man!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument Kindle Edition by Ben Shapiro

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The problem, as Ben Shapiro puts it in this must-read, is that “because conservatives don’t think about how to win that they constantly lose” in confrontations with leftists. The solution is to stop taking the bullying and learning to argue for victory.
Among Shapiro’s rules for beating the left in confrontations are:
Be willing to take a punch. (conservatives tend to shy away from confrontations because the left is rhetorically violent; but it is important “to walk toward the fire.” )
Hit hard, hit first. (leftists stage muggings; instead of fighting by Marquis of Queensberry rules, conservatives need to accept the strategy Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”)
Immediately frame the debate. (“When you’re discussing global warming , for example, the proper question is not whether man is causing global warming but whether man can fix global warming—a question to which the universally acknowledged answer is no unless we are willing to revert to the pre industrial age.”)
There are eight more rules that will allow a conservative to debate a leftist and destroy him. How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them is not just a “how to” book. It is a survival manual.

By far one of the most succinct and to the point discussions on debating someone from the opposite side of the isle (i.e., a leftest minded liberal.) Just as discussed in his book that the left has one play to knock you down and get you off your game. But a debate with a liberal minded individual is, in fact, a war. And you must be willing to strike first and strike hard! And keep striking until they are finished. This is one of the greatest failing of the conservative movement because they believe that they can overcome all these hits with something substantive…but people only see and understand when you have been knocked out…we all have this failing because we were brought up, overall with a sense of fair play. But in a war, all stops must be pulled and you must be willing to win the war, not just the argument.

Without a doubt, a very good read and worthwhile information! It is a short book and would & could very easily be put to memory and to the test!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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1775: A Good Year for Revolution by Kevin Phillips & Arthur Morey

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What if the year we have long commemorated as America’s defining moment was in fact misleading? What if the real events that signaled the historic shift from colony to country took place earlier, and that the true story of our nation’s emergence reveals a more complicated―and divisive―birth process?

In this major new work, iconoclastic historian and political chronicler Kevin Phillips upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution by puncturing the myth that 1776 was the struggle’s watershed year. Mythology and omission have elevated 1776, but the most important year, rarely recognized, was 1775: the critical launching point of the war and Britain’s imperial outrage and counterattack and the year during which America’s commitment to revolution took bloody and irreversible shape.

Phillips focuses on the great battlefields and events of 1775―Congress’s warlike economic ultimatums to king and parliament, New England’s rage militaire, the panicked concentration of British troops in militant but untenable Boston, the stunning expulsion of royal governors up and down the seaboard, and the new provincial congresses and many hundreds of local committees that quickly reconstituted local authority in Patriot hands. These onrushing events delivered a sweeping control of territory and local government to the Patriots, one that Britain was never able to overcome. 1775 was the year in which Patriots captured British forts and fought battles from the Canadian frontier to the Carolinas, obtained the needed gunpowder in machinations that reached from the Baltic to West Africa and the Caribbean, and orchestrated the critical months of nation building in the backrooms of a secrecy-shrouded Congress. As Phillips writes, “The political realignment achieved amid revolution was unique―no other has come with simultaneous ballots and bullets.”

Surveying the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations, as well as the roles of ethnicity, religion, and class, Phillips tackles the eighteenth century with the same skill and perception he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. He mines rich material as he surveys different regions and different colonies and probes how the varying agendas and expectations at the grassroots level had a huge effect on how the country shaped itself. He details often overlooked facts about the global munitions trade; about the roles of Indians, slaves, and mercenaries; and about the ideological and religious factors that played into the revolutionary fervor.

The result is a dramatic account brimming with original insights about the country we eventually became. Kevin Phillips’s 1775 revolutionizes our understanding of America’s origins.

This book, in my opinion, is perhaps the greatest historical account from numerous sources (American, British, Spanish, and French archives) which details the not just the infancy of the Revolutionary War, but also to it’s maturity. A great resource, though it may be a tough read at times it is without a doubt a great worthwhile read for those interested in the Revolutionary War time period.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Red Star Rogue by Kenneth Sewell


One of the great secrets of the Cold War, hidden for decades, is revealed at last.

Early in 1968 a nuclear-armed Soviet submarine sank in the waters off Hawaii, hundreds of miles closer to American shores than it should have been. Compelling evidence, assembled here for the first time, strongly suggests that the sub, K-129, sank while attempting to fire a nuclear missile, most likely at the naval base at Pearl Harbor.

We now know that the Soviets had lost track of the sub; it had become a rogue. While the Soviets searched in vain for the boat, U.S. intelligence was able to pinpoint the site of the disaster. The new Nixon administration launched a clandestine, half-billion-dollar project to recover the sunken K-129. Contrary to years of deliberately misleading reports, the recovery operation was a great success. With the recovery of the sub, it became clear that the rogue was attempting to mimic a Chinese submarine, almost certainly with the intention of provoking a war between the U.S. and China. This was a carefully planned operation that, had it succeeded, would have had devastating consequences. During the successful recovery effort, the U.S. forged new relationships with the USSR and China. Could the information gleaned from the sunken sub have been a decisive factor shaping the new policies of détente between the Americans and the Soviets, and opening China to the West? And who in the USSR could have planned such a bold and potentially catastrophic operation?

Red Star Rogue reads like something straight out of a Tom Clancy novel, but it is all true. Today our greatest fear is that terrorists may someday acquire a nuclear weapon and use it against us.In fact, they have already tried.

A very riveting, nail biting, drama of our time. The truth is far more scarier than fiction, they say…tis true! Well worth the time to read this book!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Pivot of Civilization [with Biographical Introduction] Kindle Edition by Margaret Sanger

pivotofcivilization

Whether I agree with her methods, or politics or not, this book is a good insight into the motivation of Sanger and what she was trying to achieve. I did find it humanizing, and although I don’t agree with all of her ideas (and many simply represented the thinking and science of the day) she was driven by compassion and the felt need to make the world a better place. So much of what is quoted of her is so taken out of context and used for various political stripes.

A worthy read for those who wish to know and learn from the mind of a pioneer, whether good or bad…you must decide!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Power of Unlimited Faith: Living in the Miraculous Everyday by Kynan Bridges

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Do you ever hear people talk about “getting more faith” or “increasing their faith?”  When we buy into this idea, we never have enough. Though we constantly seek after greater faith, it always feels just beyond our grasp…

The Truth is, you already possess all of the faith you will ever need—both to please God and to release His miraculous power in your everyday life. You simply need to know how to activate it!

You’ll learn how to:

  • See the invisible—and discover God’s supernatural solutions
  • Operate key principles of faith—and unleash God’s unlimited power within you
  • Activate the law of confession—and agree with God’s Word
  • Expect the miraculous—and watch impossibilities turn around

I found Mr. Bridges perspective on activating one’s faith into an unlimited potential as being interesting and simplistic. Sometimes that is just what we need…simplicity! I found his book to be very well written and quite an easy read. I read it in about tree days, unfortunately…I was sick, so I had nothing better to do and way too many books to read. It was a blessing to read his book along with his testimonies. I felt it well worth the time to read, we can always learn something new from another in Christ’s love, you just never know!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddhaby Ravi Zacharias

Eavesdrop on an imaginary conversation between Jesus and another great thinker whose quest for life’s meaning has influenced millions—Gautama Buddha! In the tradition of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, master apologist Zacharias creates a captivating scenario that sheds light on God’s true nature and Jesus’ impassioned concern for all people. 

Great for seekers! 

A very interesting imaginary discussion between the two heads of the largest religions in India. A great resource for those in the ministry, looking toward apologist leanings, or moving toward evangelism. A great, yet, quick and easy read.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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BOLD: 212 Charisma and Small Talk Tips to Engage, Charm and Leave a Lasting Impressionby Irvin Finau, Eli Stein

Learn how to be charismatic from a book with charisma. Being charismatic is the holy grail of personality skills. But charisma is also one of the most challenging traits to develop and hone. Unlike other books on charisma, BOLD doesn’t tell you who to be. It tells you what to do and shows you how to do it. BOLD features a comprehensive and actually habit-forming list of tips, tricks and techniques that will turn you into a social genius, a master of the conversation, and an expert in attracting other people’s praise. And with its visual format and use of cartoons, jokes, and quotes, you will enjoy coming back to it again and again as you become the very definition of charisma.

A number of ideas in order to embolden your life before others. One of the keys to being confident is boldness, not to be mistaken for arrogance!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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