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The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston Book Review

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

I recently finished The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston. Another fine example of narrative journalism, Preston uses exclusive interviews and a storytelling to talk about the issues of biological threats of Anthrax and Smallpox. The smallpox part is really frightening, how a group of heroic scientists eradicated smallpox, but how there are still stores of it in Russia and the CDC. While the CDC used it to try to find a new possible vaccine, Russia has not divulged how much it has and is often very secretive. It may be found in other places in the world as well–we just don’t know.

Smallpox is a horrifying disease and anyone who would release or manufacture such a biological agent as a form of a weapon is pure evil. God forbid that ever to happen.

The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson Book Review

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

I finished The Men Who Stare at Goats by journalist and documentarian Jon Ronson the other day. What a good book, nice narrative journalism. There’s some very disturbing information in there as well. It’s basically about how a few people in the military believed and some still believe in New Age phenomena. It does take a swipe at believing in God in one or two sentences, but besides that it’s a great book that mocks the strange and odd beliefs of some in the military who think that it’s possible to walk through walls and kill goats by just staring at them. There’s a lot of disturbing info, from the torture of Abu Graib detainees to even a martial arts instructor in Florida who trained one of the Sept. 11 hijackers. That instructor still considers that murdering hijacker “like a son.” Sick. He trained the hijackers combat to take over the plane, but I assume he didn’t know the plan then, otherwise he’d be in jail.

I saw on Google Video a documentary by Ronson on Ruby Ridge, and how the media including Bill Maher spinned the story. Maher even compared the kid who was murdered by the federal agent as he ran away, to a dog. What an evil person. If you don’t recall, Maher also mocked the death of Steve Irwin when he died.

If you’re not familiar with the Ruby Ridge story, while I am no fan of white supremacists (the family was NOT white supremacists, they just knew some and lived by some), or fan of any racist no matter what color they are, the man was entrapped with selling a sawed off shotgun to an undercover agent. An FBI sniper later killed his wife when she was unarmed and just opening the front door. Sick and evil. I support law enforcement, both local and federal, but when those same law enforcement murders a kid as he runs away, murdered in the back by an automatic weapon, or when a sniper murders a woman as she holds her baby, then that’s murder and those agents should be in jail. Those in authority should be held to a HIGHER standard instead of a lower standard.

It’s a great book. Check it out.

Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

buy the book from amazon.comI read Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden, it’s a pretty interesting book but not as well-written as Black Hawk Down in my opinion, also my Mark Bowden. It successfully illustrates how out of control Columbia was when drug kingpin Pablo Escobar was running the country by way of threats against the media, politicians and judges, turning the country into an all-out guerilla war zone. Sadly hundreds of people lost their lives; this book recreates the chaos of that war-torn country during that period.

Hunting Al Qaeda

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

hunting al qaeda

I just finished a book titled “Hunting Al Qaeda: A Take-No-Prisoners Account of Terror, Adventure, and Disillusionment” about Special Forces Team 2085 of the Virginia National Guard and their missions (or lack thereof) in Afghanistan.? While there is some interesting information about the missions after 9/11, the book mostly deals with the bureaucracy and foot-dragging of some of the higher-ups.

While you certainly can’t have soldiers doing as they please and not getting approved from the higher-ups, this book points out how many Al Qaeda and Taliban were often missed because of red tape or foot dragging, and some were even released after they were captured, only to go back and start fighting American soldiers again. While this book is not as action-packed or written as well as Black Hawk Down, it is an informational read about the frustrations of some of the Virginia National Guard during this time.