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Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Book Review: Guts 'N Gunships: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam

March 20, 2020 Leave a comment
 
You just keep your damn mouth shut and suck down your PBRs as Mark Garrison tells you what it was like driving a Huey in Vietnam. The tales sometime seem a bit disconnected like, “Oh, yeah, remember when we…” But he covers it all from flight training to checkrides to combat to coming back home to the very worst of America. (4 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: The War of Art

March 13, 2020 Leave a comment
 
It seems pretty simple, but I’m kind of a simple guy:
 
  1. Acknowledge the “Resistance” and fight it: every day, all the time, without fail.
  2. Be a professional…and all that it means.
  3. Honor the sacred mystery of the creative process — whether it is a muse, an angel  or gravity.
And yet in all the writers groups in all the world, there are so, so, so many books that have yet to be written. I wonder why…
 
You can fight it if you want, but Pressfield has laid it all out pretty clearly. 
 
Like I said, I’m a simple guy. (5 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Field of Fire: A Novel

February 28, 2020 Leave a comment
Fields of Fire: A Novel by [Webb, James]
 
Of all the books I’ve read about the Vietnam War, only two have been novels: this one and Red Flags by Juris Jurvevics. Fields of Fire is definitely a Naked and the Dead/Thin Red Line foxhole kind of story. The home front and love interest stories seem like necessary dramatic distractions. But James Webb is dead-on with his battlefield reports. (4 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

February 21, 2020 Leave a comment
 
The best thing about this book is the title:  Feakonomics.  Beyond that it mostly seems pretty banal:
 
The small club of professional sumo wrestlers work the system to help each other keep their status. Isn’t that what professionals do…
 
Some number of teachers in Chicago cheated on state mandated test grades. I am shocked, shocked I tell you…
 
When the sales price is actually going into a realtor’s pocket, they definitely want more of it.  Your point being…
 
To the bizzare:
 
So all those aborted babies since Roe v. Wade are why the crime rates went down in the 1990s.  Hmmm, that seems harsh on those parents, not to mention the unborn kids, too…
 
But then later, whether a child’s family is intact or not doesn’t seem to matter. Huh?
 
rogue [ rohg ] (noun):  An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.
 
It does give one pause… (2 of 5 Stars)
 

Link to Freakonomics on Amazon (Paid Link)

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: License to Lie

February 14, 2020 Leave a comment

Man, I surely do not want to get on the bad side of those sleeze-ball government lawyers. (Is that redundant?) Granted, Enron has its own sacred pedestal in Dante’s Fourth Circle of Hell (Greed), but what the DOJ and the judge did to Sidney Powell’s client was level Eight and Nine Circle territory (Fraud and Treachery). And, yet, she lost the case. Ah, excuse me, General Flynn…  (4 of 5 Stars)

Link to License to Lie on Amazon (Paid Link)

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review — Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

January 31, 2020 Leave a comment

This one cut both ways for me. The Kentucky stuff was good. The Ohio stuff…not so much. I just didn’t buy into the straight-line connection between being born a Hillbilly and growing up in a dysfunctional family with an emotionally unstable, drug addicted mother. It’s a tough life no matter where you trace your roots. Glad he made it out, but not sure about the whole “Culture in Crisis—that of white working-class Americans.” (3 of 5 Stars)

Link to Hillbilly Elegy on Amazon (Paid Link)

Categories: What I've Read

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War

January 24, 2020 Leave a comment

The most famous American fighter pilot I never heard of–not Rickenbacker, Bong, Boyington, Yeager, McConnell, Olds–but the one who re-rewrote the book on tactics; developed the engineering models that led to the F-15, F-16, F-18 & the A-10; and he was the one who developed the OODA Loop (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act)–not some psychologist, but a damned fighter pilot. Probably not much of a surprise that he was hated by the guys with stars on their shoulders. Good. Ornery guys getting their way can be prickly–especially when they are right. (5 of 5 Stars)

Link to Boyd on Amazon (Paid Link)

Categories: What I've Read
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