Saturday, December 4, 2021

Breaking the News

Breaking the News by Alex Marlow
5/18/21; 368 pages
Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster

Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media's Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption by Alex Marlow is a very highly recommended examination of the weaponized fake news.

As the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart News, Marlow is well acquainted with the tactics used by establishment media publications and their content creators who may insist they are neutral, but their reporting reveals obvious agendas and biases that favor the political left. The sheer volume of fake news generated coupled with new censorship tactics by the social media giants, or Masters of the Universe, during 2016-2020 is horrendous and continues on today. Numerous documented examples are given in Breaking the News to highlight the facts as Marlow presents them in a well organized fashion.

Marlo focuses on Bloomberg, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times as well as the tech elite in Silicon Valley. He covers some of the numerous connections that exist between individuals in the journalism and media establishment and the government. They all form an elite group that will say what it wants to and spin stories to serve their agenda or that of their owners. You can clearly see the collusion between them when every content creator (they are not journalists) is repeating the exact same phase across all the mainstream media outlets. Their censorship tactics and strategies clearly emerged as they are telling people what to think rather than reporting the news.

The handling and coverage of the pandemic is also covered. The power these people have taken is overwhelming. It is still absurd that during all the riots, looting, and burning of cities that they wanted to spin it as peaceful. It is a well known and documented fact that social media has suppressed and controlled content and stories that do not follow the agenda the left wants to push. Their censorship and manipulation of the news, especially before the election, is frightening but keep in mind it is still ongoing today.

As Marlow points out, the time to be silent is over. Now is the time to start calling for holding Big Tech accountable for their anti-conservative bias, favoritism toward major corporations, and monopolistic tendencies. It’s time to speak out for your values and your country. The Left do not want compromise, they want compliance. Become one of them or they will come for you. It’s only a matter of time.

 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

When Christmas Comes

When Christmas Comes by Andrew Klavan
11/2/21; 244 pages
Penzler Publishers

When Christmas Comes by Andrew Klavan is a very highly recommended mystery.

In the town of Sweet Haven ex-Army Ranger Travis Blake has murdered his girlfriend, elementary school librarian Jennifer Dean. He has confessed. Public defender Victoria Grossburger recruits English professor Cameron Winter to look into the case. Winter has a gift of sorts. His self-described "strange habit of mind" allows him to acquaint himself with a situation, observe it, think about the facts, and come to a sudden realization about what really happened. Grossburger wants him to put his gift to use on Blake's situation. As the story unfolds, sessions between Winter and his therapist Margaret Whitaker are slowly revealed and provide insight into Winter.

The writing is excellent in this short mystery that takes place before Christmas and has a tie in to the holiday. Keep in mind that this is not a cozy mystery. It can be a rather dark, bleak story with a horrific crime at its center. Winter is a fully realized character and displays an inner strength of character and intelligence. As he looks into the murder, he also examines his troubled childhood. The plot seems simple and straightforward, after all Blake confess so what additional information could Winter possibly uncover, but the ending surprised me. I wasn't able to predict it at all. In spite of his inner turmoil and the bleakness of the days, the novel ends on a surprising, but hopeful note.

Pandemia

Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives by Alex Berenson
11/30/21; 464 pages
Regnery Publishing

Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives by Alex Berenson is a very highly recommended, excellent, documented, detailed, and substantiated report exposing the hysteria and manipulation behind the coronavirus pandemic and the overreaction to it in the name of safety and science. This is the true story of the pandemia: one part pandemic, five parts hysteria.

Berenson follows along the timeline of developments and social/political reactions related to the pandemic and details information and facts from each new development. He acknowledges that at the very beginning the lockdowns seemed to make sense, before we had more information. Once information started being compiled and collected, however, it was clear that this reaction was causing more harm than good, but at this point those welding the power and control didn't want to let go. It is made clear that our response to the coronavirus is the worst public policy mistake worldwide in at least a century.

Finally someone has written a book full of facts documenting and exposing the truth behind the lockdowns and everything that has followed rather than simply repeating political ideology. Reading the facts and presenting them without an agenda stands in sharp contrast to the current content creators who used to be journalists but currently are beholden to writing what the corporations who own and finance them. Berenson points out the facts, based on collected data, and concludes that we need to put the dangers of the coronavirus in to a reasonable perspective by treating it as a medical problem, not a societal crisis. We need to demand the truth, the facts, and the data rather than forcing new biotechnology on everyone based on vague scare tactics and incomplete data.

This is a well researched and detailed overview and perfect for those of us who have been collecting facts and documents for two years now. Berenson has compiled these facts plus more into one volume. This is a book I very highly recommend that everyone read.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Speechless

Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds by Michael Knowles
6/22/21; 256 pages
Regnery Publishing

Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds by Michael Knowles is a very highly recommended, intelligent, thoughtful, and engrossing examination of how political correctness has distorted our use of language resulting in a change in our culture and how we view the world. This change in language and meaning did not come about through natural linguistic development. It has been a cultural assault planned and carried out by liberal academic and bureaucratic extremists who created the new words, there meaning, and how we should react. Then the new acceptable term and our expected reactions have been repeated verbatim by almost all journalists. Watching this and noticing the repetition of the same exact wording by so called journalists has been eye-opening and frightening. Decades of incompetence on both sides has permitted political correctness to invert our culture. The Culture War is over, and we have all lost.

The right are criticized because they allowed this to happen. All cultures cancel some ideas and things over time. The current problem is with what is canceled and why, along with who establishes the standards. The problem is a very small percentage of the population is radically trying to changing the culture without any sort of cultural agreement on these changes or set agreed upon standards. Conservatives need to summon the courage to speak up for the enforcement of their own standards of speech minus the politically correct standards set by the liberals. 

There is so much more to Knowles discussion which will be appreciated by anyone who is an intellectual, appreciates a dense discussion with a plethora of quotes, footnotes, and sources, and can think for themselves about current cultural changes. Knowles provides in the appendix a glossary of jargon, a list of works cited, a copious section of notes, and a helpful index. This would make a great gift.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Word Wars

Word Wars: How Attack on Meaning Robs You of Free Speech by Morgan Moore
11/3/21: 85 pages
Part of the Life and Liberty Series

Word Wars: How Attack on Meaning Robs You of Free Speech by Morgan Moore is a very highly recommended short booklet on the freedom of speech.

Moore makes the clear and compelling case that freedom of speech and thought is essential for democracy and ensures a life of liberty. It is up to all of us to protect speak up and protect our rights. A very small segment of our society is currently challenging the freedom of speech for everyone. It is obvious at work and in everyday life. We need to lose the idea that a small elite group can be the thought police for everyone believing their moral stance is superior, while the majority of people are simply working, caring for their families and getting through the day.

I appreciated the fact that Moore pointed out negotiating meaning is our human thing and it is what we have always done together as a society until now. The current postmodern fear-infatuated culture, prone to safetyism and emotional reasoning, has taken control. This culture doesn't like debate or discussion, displays bureaucratic controlism, and equates emotional discomfort with actual danger. Also covered is the loss of integrity and honesty in the mainstream media, and he brings up the question I continually ask, which is why my intrinsic biological identity now has to be erased.


The Seventh Disease

The Seventh Disease by David Shobin
12/7/21; 260 pages
Crossroad Press

The Seventh Disease by David Shobin is a recommended thriller.

Opening with two men coming to an agreement on how to proceed in a plan covering a generation to start a new pandemic, but be the ones who have the cure available, The Seventh Disease then slows down to a slow crawl for the first half of the novel where the focus is on Dr. Sean Arrington, a Long Island physician and family man. From the beginning Arrington has been unknowingly used by a biochemist in the development of the virus. As his genetic material is needed again before the virus is unleashed on the world, Arrington is suddenly able to piece together that something isn't right. In this case, though, his knowledge could lead to his death.

It must be said again that after an imagination-catching start, the novel then s-l-o-w-s down. This might have been acceptable if Arrington was a complex, personable, likable character, but he just isn't that appealing even though he thinks he is, which was part of the problem. Almost all the women are caricatures and not real people. Let me just say you can tell a man wrote the book and all the descriptions of women were annoying and based on their appearance. The bad guys are also archetypal characters, which I'll accept in their case.

The novel does jump between the present day and back in time, but it is easy to follow what timeline the chapter is in. Once the plague is unleashed, the action picks up, which redeems some of the first half of the book. At this point in the novel you can easily set all disbelief aside as all you're looking for is the race to stop the outbreak. Recommended just for the thrills.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crossroad Press.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Bright Burning Things

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding
12/7/21; 336 pages
HarperCollins

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding is a highly recommended and emotional literary fiction about addiction and rehabilitation.

Sonya lives for her son Tommy, rescue dog Herbie, and drinking. Her previous career as a London stage actress is over, as is her relationship with Tommy's father, but she knows her love is all Tommy needs. What she doesn't recognize is her love of alcohol is resulting in blackouts, and she is grossly neglecting her son. After a neighbor informs him about her neglect and a terrifying incident, her father, whom she hasn't seen in years, comes to her home with the choice of going to rehab or risk losing Tommy forever. Sonya enters a 12 week program and Tommy is put into care. Now she faces finishing rehab and staying sober, so she get her son back. 

This is a difficult novel to read, especially at the beginning because Sonya is a mess and completely unlikable, unpredictable, and obviously neglecting Tommy. Even though you know she loves him and is trying to make life fun and magical for Tommy, it is also clear that with her drinking and blackouts, he would be better off with someone who could take care of him. Her thoughts are manic, scattered, and disorganized; she doesn't remember when or if she fed Tommy and Herbie. She relies on Herbie to watch Tommy. It is horrifying. Once Sonya enters rehab and starts detox you hope she sticks with the program for Tommy's sake.

The characters are all complex and flawed, many of them deeply flawed. The narrative is heartbreaking throughout. This is one of those novels that it might be best to prepare yourself for reading because it is so emotionally disturbing and tragic. Even when it seems that there may be hope, it is clear that Sonya will always be struggling and, perhaps, is not a good judge of character. You will hope there is redemption in the end but it is clear that nothing is guaranteed and her current choices might be due to deeper issues from her past. The ending is sudden and resolves nothing. 3.5 rounded up

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.