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Susan E Ross RSS Feed (Claremont, California)

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The Best Congress Money Can Buy
The Best Congress Money Can Buy
by Philip M. Stern
Edition: Hardcover
85 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Insight Into Congress and Politicians, May 15, 2001
Philip Stern has written a wonderfully insightful book about our political system that would be an eye-opener for any American. This fine, articulate journalist speaks from the politicians' point of view and, as you can glean from the title, reveals the misery and constant stress politicians are under to raise funds for their campaigns. We complain about politicans being greedy and preoccupied with fundraising, but after reading this account of the political process you realize the politicians don't like it any more than we do. We learn that they simply have no choice.
The highlights of this book are the details and documentation. Though written twenty years ago, the essence of this book is timeless. The politicians quoted most surely speak for our current lawmakers. We hear remarks from the likes of the late Barry Goldwater, William Proxmire, Bob Dole and other notable politicans who reveal things we would never know had we not read Stern's book.
Stern also lets us hear the other side, the viewpoint of the unions and the Political Action Committee's who wield such power over our system with the almighty dollar, and hence, make up "the best Congress money can buy."
I urge every American to read this book. You will be surprised by the humanity, compassion and also the frustration expressed by the politicians interviewed. They are not our enemies; they are trying to be our allies while expected to raise huge amounts of money to finance their campaigns, leaving far too few hours for their constituents.
This book is out of print, but it is well worth your while to find a used copy.

Andrea Bocelli: Sacred Arias
Andrea Bocelli: Sacred Arias
Price: $11.88
268 used & new from $0.01

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always an Inspiration, March 11, 2001
This CD, which caught my eye in a Catholic catalogue at my church, really isn't just for Catholics, though most of the songs are sung in Latin. Andrea Bocelli sings for everyone, and this is a truly precious and uplifting CD. As a former music student with a degree in music who had to study opera as well, I can tell you he can compete with the best. Having great power in the voice doesn't necessarily make you better. In other words, you don't have to be another Pavarotti to be good. And thank goodness someone has come along and sung several of the many "Ave Maria"s, not just the famous Schubert version.
I say this CD is always an inspiration because it is something I listen to when I'm down, spiritually depleted or just plain worn out. And it always uplifts me; that's how powerful Bocelli's voice is, the selections chosen, and the masterful orchestra that accompanies him.
There is so little great music produced today, and far too few exceptional performers. Andrea Bocelli is a blessing. Buy this CD. You will not be able to listen to it just once.

Cool Hand Luke [VHS]
Cool Hand Luke [VHS]
Offered by goodwillnyonline
Price: $4.89
41 used & new from $0.72

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "He's a Natural Born World Shaker", January 31, 2001
This review is from: Cool Hand Luke [VHS] (VHS Tape)
It is difficult to find a movie that has all the elements of "Cool Hand Luke," i.e., great screenplay, superb acting, great directing, and a wonderful musical score. The movie is very typical of the 60's genre where rebellion was in, and what we have in Luke is the consummate rebel. But a very lovable rebel at that. We learn of the various psychological complexities of Luke and of the very grim conditions of living on a southern chain gang. There are so many aspects of this movie that make it great that it is hard to isolate just a couple. The friendship that develops between the character "Dragline", beautifully played by George Kennedy, and Luke is wonderful to experience, as is Luke's constant search for God.
The movie is full of humor, for example the famous egg-eating contest, tenderness, sadness and just about any emotion you can think of. I think that is what has made it so appealing over the years.
I greatly appreciate the efforts of Director Stuart Rosenberg, Actor Paul Newman who gave, what I consider to be, the finest performance of his career, George Kennedy for his Academy Award winning performance, and composer Lalo Schifrin who wrote the beautiful musical score. All who worked on this movie deserve great credit, because they created, what I consider to be, the greatest movie ever made.

Cool Hand Luke: A Novel
Cool Hand Luke: A Novel
by Donn Pearce
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.53
79 used & new from $0.01

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool as Cool Gets, January 27, 2001
I started off being a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the movie, and have been for years, and didn't read the book until this year. I am very glad I did, because in some ways it is better than the movie. There are things about Luke's background and his personality that are easier to understand in the book. Also, I love the way it's told, from the character Sailor's perspective. The book gives us a better idea of how truly brutal the conditions were for chain-gang convicts, which we didn't really get a true picture of in the movie. I felt that was an important aspect of the book, the living conditions of the convicts, and one the author, Donn Pearce, wanted us to have an understanding of, since he was in a chain-gang himself. Life was miserable for Luke and all the convicts.
For those of us who love the movie so, we have to remember that Donn Pearce was the Creator of this CoolHand Luke character and without him there would be no movie. We are grateful to him for creating all the characters and the whole story, and also writing the screenplay for the movie. Pearce suffered the life of a chain-gang convict himself only to go on to write a bestseller that was made into one of the greatest films of all time. Not bad for a one-time prisoner.
Note: Pearce wrote his character Luke to be 28 years old in the book. Paul newman was 42 when he played the role. But who would notice?

Cool Hand Luke
Cool Hand Luke
23 used & new from $20.21

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories of Luke Linger On..., January 16, 2001
This review is from: Cool Hand Luke (Audio CD)
The pieces on this CD are beautifully orchestrated by Lalo Schifrin, the most moving for me being Luke's theme itself, the first and last tracks. For those that want to hear the live banjo music and singing by Paul Newman and some of the other inmates, this is not for you. This music was obviously made in a recording studio. Still, there is a lot of music on this CD that evokes a lot of memories of Luke, and if you're a dyed-in-the-wool "Cool Hand Luke" fan, as I am, I would think you would want to own this. It is an import, so the price is high, but worth it.

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