Category Archives: Politics

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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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

debate

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

1775

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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Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like: The Life and Writings of Will Rogers by Will Rogers & Joseph H. Carter

never-met-a-man

Will Rogers was America. Part Cherokee Indian and former cowboy, he captivated audiences around the world with sparkling gems of wisdom cloaked in gentle and uproarious country wit and astonishing rope tricks. His colorful life recently inspired a commercially successful and critically acclaimed Broadway musical — winner of 6 Tony Awards. His words are as entertaining, inspiring and revelant today as they ever were.

A simple, plain-spoken man, he was the voice of a nation during the ’20s and ’30s. Movie star, vaudeville headliner, radio commentator, his views and observations were syndicated daily and weekly in over 600 newspapers across the country.

Here is the essential Will Rogers — the story of his remarkable career, from Oklahoma “cowpuncher” to international star . . . and the warm, knowing and hilarious philosophies of the man embodied the heart and soul of the nation.

While I disagree with his politics (overall), it is without doubt difficult, at best, to not laugh at his commentary and his genuine witticism.  He was a generous man with a zeal for living life and helping his fellow man who was down and out.  He made fortunes and he lost them, and he made them back again. Never afraid of a challenge, he always sought to go head on. He was but 56 when he died, but lived a life fuller than most who lived until twice that.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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EVERYTHING WE HAD By Santoli, Al

In spite of its shortcomings, ”Everything We Had” – like ”Nam” – accomplishes what oral history is meant to do: It relates an event in the words of those who lived it. Books such as these, Mr. Baker writes, may be filled with ”generalizations, exaggerations, braggadocio and – very likely – outright lies.” But as he also notes, the ”human imperfections simply authenticate the sincerity of the whole.” By illuminating the horror that was the Vietnam war, both books may well help to break down some of the barriers between the Vietnam veteran and the American public.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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New World Order by A. Ralph Epperson

NWO

This book by A. Ralph Epperson purports to uncover hidden and sinister meanings behind all the symbols found on the Great Seal of the United States, committing America to “A Secret Destiny.

I found it rather interesting that so many things, as well as groups, came into play. Call it conspiracy theory, if you choose, but keep in mind that this is what is spelled out, to some degree, within the book of Revelation of the Bible. The only time people use the term “Conspiracy Theory,” or “Conspiracy Theorist” is when they (the speaker) desires to denigrate and assassinate the character of the person who is speaking of an alternate theory of any given situation! Be ever-so vigilant! Be leery of those forcing a thought down your throat that YOU know in your heart to be untrue. As the Bible tells us,

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~1 John 4:1

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Select Committee on Benghazi Releases Proposed Report

File Location

While it is not my intention to turn this blog into any political platform, how can anyone in the Christian community ever believe that they can ever make a difference without ever harnessing the facts. While I believe the Benghazi attack is a pivotal point with respect to the Democratic presumptive nominee, you must choose carefully with both of your eyes open! As an American citizen, you should desire these kinds of reports. I disagree with the Democratic committee members  by not participating more openly & candidly; there are also certain aspects that I disagree with on the part of the Republican committee members, as well. Read this with an open mind and heart.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

——————-

81 New Witnesses, 75,000 New Pages of Documents Reveal Significant New Information,

Fundamentally Changes the Public’s Understanding of the 2012 Terrorist Attacks that Killed Four Americans

Washington, D.C. – Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) released the following statement after the committee’s Majority released a mark of its investigative report:

“Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were heroes who gave their lives in service to our country. Their bravery and the courageous actions of so many others on the ground that night should be honored.

“When the Select Committee was formed, I promised to conduct this investigation in a manner worthy of the American people’s respect, and worthy of the memory of those who died. That is exactly what my colleagues and I have done.

“Now, I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions. You can read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.”

The committee’s proposed report is just over 800 pages long and is comprised of five primary sections and 12 appendices. It details relevant events in 2011 and 2012.

The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I:

  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]
  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]

Report of the Select Committee on
the Events Surrounding the 2012
Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

 

Illustrations

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi

Internal and Public Government Communications about the Terrorist

Attacks in Benghazi

III. Events Leading to the Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi

Compliance with Congressional Investigations

Recommendations

Appendix A: Resolution Establishing the Select Committee on the

Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

Appendix B: Significant Persons and Organizations

Appendix C: Questions for the President

Appendix D: Significant Events in Libya Prior to the Attacks

Appendix E: Security Incidents in Libya

Appendix F: Deterioration of Benghazi Mission Compound Security

Appendix G: Timelines of the Attacks

Appendix H: The September 12 Situation Report and the President’s

Daily Brief

Appendix I: Witness Interview Summaries

Appendix J: Requests and Subpoenas for Documents

Appendix K: Analysis of Accountability Review Board, House Armed

Services Committee and House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee

Reports

Appendix L: Glen A. Doherty, Sean P. Smith, J. Christopher Stevens,

and Tyrone S. Woods

Additional Views by Rep. Jordan and Rep. Pompeo

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