I should have listened to the reviewers, but at least it is a decent rehash about what ails the USA. What the author proposes to solve the problems are warmed over, better yet, tepid discussions of Reagan era, totally progressive mainstream Republican solutions: Good budgeting, privatization and taking on the unions.
In her analysis, the reason the coming prosperity stems from her growth corridor not doing the stupid things (debt: present and future) that happened in the housing boom states. She seems to be oblivious to the reality that the housing bubble really did happen in an easy money bubble caused by the Federal Reserve and people in her line of work, lined their pocket with this lucre.
Booms and busts happen, and just because politicians and investors in search of yields do stupid things in good times, doesn't address the structural problem that lingering consumer debt is a more serious drag on present growth (260% of GDP) than wishing and hoping those slothful politicians can or will do a better job next time.
Whether you are a gun-nut, have a gun-phobia or somewhere in between, this book should be a required listen in your library. Kyle's book looks at how guns brought the United States into existence and how they continue to provide the necessary basis for securing our freedoms.
From the Revolution, the frontier, the Civil War, through the twentieth century unto today, Kyle's choices of ten guns that made this all possible is superb. As a military sniper and Navy Seal, Kyle story was true to his history.
Like everything else in the nation's current dysfunctional behavior, the real problems are that current gun laws are not enforced and legal uses of guns, as in the verdict in a recent trial, are promoted by demigods with personal and way to often political and financial agendas.
This book will give anyone with an open mind, a historical perspective of the role of guns in keeping us safe from one another and enemies of the nation foreign and domestic.
With reservations this is one of the best short listens you can make. Those limits relate to Ferguson's history and his place therein. In short, his model of the future means an extension of the past, by better management of the present. For example he believes that the world will become more urbanized because cities are essentially more culturally diverse and therefore better places to live. Except—he assumes we will have no problem feeding 9 billion souls, in whatever urban utopia we may choose.
Outside his bubble, in the present future, usable water and agriculture to feed the masses, are areas where Ferguson has a significant blind spot.
That being said, the collapse of historic local community structures is an awesome addition to the discussion, but again Niall seems to miss the connection with a rural economy in the good old days; for they don't really fit within the present urban culture, which perhaps fits a violent jungle mentality, rather than a cohesive human community.
Really just three bullets (salt sugar fat) in a war on the process foods industry. Duh! The solution is just don't eat process foods. The book majors on the bullets and really contributes little if anything about the process foods industry, except virtually all the foods are bad for your health and are built to be cheap and personally additive. If that is something new to you—get the book.
The real solution is stay out of fast food restaurants, convenience stores and the center isles of the supermarket. More importantly take charge of your life, learn how to cook and save some money in the process. In the current state of world financial affairs, most consumers of process foods can't afford to hire a "cheap cook" at the fast food joint, or a hot food case, in a box, can or freezer. This "cheap cook" is the real niche of the process foods industry, nothing more.
The first criticism I heard about the book was it "nothing more than just a cookbook. The sage of better farming and other such wisdom about changes needed to our agricultural world should do better." Of course this profound analysis came from looking at the book and thumbing through the pages when it first arrived at Costco.
In reality this really is the transformation of Pollan's writing from science and engineering to why art is more the reason for our humanity; more than our technology. Cooking is the basis for and history of our culture. Could it be the reason our culture is sick and dying, is because our cooking is a metaphysical manifestation of the sick and dying industrial age?
It could be argued that specialization created our industrial consumer culture, but yet it is specialization that is making too big to fail, the cause and effect of future failure. Cooked is but a minor analysis of what truly makes us human and puts the focus back to where it belongs, on the transformation of ingredients into transformational food, rather than fast food junkies, less human, and less healthy
Not being a libertarian, but more an independent conservative, I found Napolitano's book the most enlightening listen in a very long time. Get it; progressive history they didn't teach you through our progressive educational establishment-bureaucracy.
As an old-school Roman Catholic, Napolitano brings up both Roosevelt's and Wilson's Protestantism. However their Preterism is really a bigger and bolder attempt to create America's historic religious narrative and that is, mankind should attempt to create God's eternal "Shining City on a Hill," on this continent. It doesn't seem that is working out too well at the present time.
Perhaps, contrary to our wishful thinking, maybe we really are not God, nor gods!
This essentially is a series of stories about how people learn to kill other human beings. The conclusion is truly relevant on how media violence and video game killing simulators are the practice fields for young murders and terrorists. One would think an Army Special Forces officer would have better organizational skills. Way too many parts, or sections, and way too many chapters, with way too many repeated stories, or whatever! The only way to sort it out would be buy the book, but then with the third or fourth repeat you would shelve the book and never understand the bigger important story. Listen to the audio, and deal with the organization, it might save your life or someone you know and love.
Peter is strongly libertarian, but I found myself agreeing with much of what he had to say. As such, much of what he discusses has about as much chance of becoming real as an ice storm in July. There are some points however than can provide some food for discussion and at the present time neither of the major political parties seem to be able to do much more than yell at one another, and walk or chew gum. Maximum of two of the three.
Wheat is the cause of most of our dietary ills! That pretty much sums up this book. It supports this thesis with quantities of biochemicals that is way too complex to follow in the audio, so you will probably need a hard copy to seriously followup, but there is some information on the Wheat Belly website.
I am now going to reduce my consumption of wheat significantly without becoming an anti-wheat zealot, but I eat little processed food, only eat fast food for an occasional treat. I have really no health problems. My blood pressure this morning was 110/58 and need to lose about 20 pounds, another 10 would be nice chunk of cheese.
The major problem with the book is that the author does become a zealot when he tells you what to eat. While his gig is different that most health books, and his recommendations are state of the nutrition art/science, which you probably won't find elsewhere; to eat how he suggests, you basically need to be a white collar urban professional with the financial and time resources to be able to pull it off.
Unless of course you have some serious health issues and then, you should have begun the wheat belly losing lifestyle long ago.
I was somewhat hesitant about this book, both the audio and print version, essentially because of all the spin the associated with the founders, especially Jefferson, and their religion -- Christianity of some ilk. Surprisingly, at least to me, Barton handled extremely well all the my objections and even more than I had anticipated. The power of the book, as opposed to most current "source speculation," is that it uses Jefferson' actual writings for sources and context.
Furthermore I was introduced to "Scottish Common Sense Philosophy," which I had never heard of before, much different from the continental Enlightenment, and its influence on not just Jefferson but all the founders.
After completing the audio, I will be purchasing a print copy, so I can look discuss Jefferson in a more common sense fashion
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