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Reviews Written by "sonshi" RSS Feed (Atlanta, GA USA)

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Powerful Peace: A Navy SEAL's Lessons on Peace from a Lifetime at War
Powerful Peace: A Navy SEAL's Lessons on Peace from a Lifetime at War
by J. Robert DuBois
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.34
57 used & new from $6.06

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical of a Navy SEAL, DuBois promised and then delivered, December 25, 2013
In the first couple of chapters of Powerful Peace, J. Robert DuBois, a retired US Navy SEAL, promised a great deal, which I must admit had me deeply concerned since he had fewer than 200 pages to accomplish the daunting task ahead: present a convincing solution to war and conflict. To my delight and surprise, DuBois did just that.

Here are some highlights from the book:

(1) "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

And so Robert DuBois shows the plausibility of peace by reminding us to take that first step.

(2) "Anyone who casually declares that there will never be peace in the Iraqi or Afghan societies is simply not exercising his vision muscles hard enough."

As Americans, how could we possibly forget the growing pains of the Revolutionary War and the Wild West. We took those steps and should dare to assist other nations "down the path we've blazed."

(3) "An Iraqi man is fundamentally the same as an American man -- is the same as a Somali man -- is the same as a Japanese man -- is the same as an Uzbek man ... I know! I've lived and worked among them in almost three dozen nations."

This is why DuBois has gravitas. He provides numerous stories of his direct experiences in war and in life. His words have weight and substance. He's been there, seen it, and lived it. Woe to the casual commentator with an opinion who gets his information mostly from CNN or Fox News.

(4) DuBois described how in the middle of killings, assaults, and kidnappings, the Baghdad Zoo opened to Iraqi parents and children so they can have some normalcy and semblance of safety. Any warm-blooded American can relate to a sunny afternoon at the zoo with the family. This sort of human perspective often gets lost in the news covered by talking heads and their recycled statistics from government officials.

(5) "When I fast-sideways farther from my base, out beyond these 34 families, I see strangers for whom I have even less affection. I may coo at the baby in the passing carriage, but forget him a minute later. This general apathy demonstrates that I could be more attentive to people, even in my own community. I have room to grow in recognizing how precious each human is."

It is this kind of honesty and self reflection that I find remarkable about DuBois. All too often writers are blind to their own egos yet keen on other people's shortcomings. As a Navy SEAL, he had plenty to brag about but his stories lay bare his humbleness.

(6) The arguments are balanced as are the solutions. For instance, the quotes he provided were from both the political left and right (and in between). You won't find slanted and conforming perspectives here. Even when he gives you his position on a particular heated topic, I thought he made tremendous sense and thus the position stood on its own unique logic.

(7) "We read that the Titanic tragedy was another example of the finer qualities of humanity shining forth, when men of all classes unanimously assisted women and children onto a limited number of rafts with the sure knowledge that they themselves would perish. (Well, unanimously except for that one rich jerk who was trying to get Leonardo's girlfriend -- but we all saw that coming!)"

I laughed out loud when I read that.

(8) "Wouldn't it be nice to rise above our perpetual squabbling over crusts and focus instead on making truckloads of fresh pies?"

Yes! To the sentence and the pies.

(9) "When I hear such thoughtless obscenities as, 'We should just bomb the Middle East into a glass parking lot,' I sometimes ask if the speaker would be willing to travel back there with me so he can pick out the first little girl to die under the first bomb."
(9a) "They told us who they are: al Qaeda. And AQ said it speaks for all of Islam."

I want to highlight this seemingly simple point since how often have you heard viewpoints that blame Islam as the source of terrorism? How often do we link Muslims to al Qaeda members? These viewpoints make as much sense as linking Christianity and Christians to the Westboro Baptist Church and its members.

(10) "With a few more weeks or days at war, my advice might have still inspired a commander to take a slightly different course; that change might have resulted in one American life saved or one Iraqi child unharmed by a terrorist attack ... To bring just one more young husband home would be worth the cost of my entire career."

I can go on and on with more highlights, but I hope this last poignant thought should give you the gist of the book if you haven't gotten the gist already.

In summary, Robert DuBois wrote a masterpiece because Powerful Peace is a thoroughly insightful, honest, compassionate, and funny read. I enjoyed it tremendously. I can easily imagine this book to be the template and reference for leaders and students alike to make a watertight argument for reason and compassion in a world that is too often unreasonable and uncompassionate.

There are a good number of blurbs from famous people endorsing Powerful Peace. But I'll pick what I thought was the best endorsement and it wasn't even a blurb. It was from a bright, young yet mature Iraqi man who said to DuBois, "If more Americans thought like you, there'd be less wars in the world." Since the principles presented are universal and so inspiring I applied them to my own life. It was book money well spent, the value immeasurable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2013 7:45 PM PST

Molten BGL7 Leather Basketball, Official Basketball of FIBA - Size 7
Molten BGL7 Leather Basketball, Official Basketball of FIBA - Size 7
Price: $80.71
5 used & new from $79.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ball speaks for itself, August 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The purpose of this review is to clarify some things about this Molten GL7 basketball. The recent reviews on it are simply unhelpful and in fact misleading because very few details were given; they seemed more upset about the price than about the ball itself. I've owned some great composite balls as well as the official NBA leather ball from Spalding so I may have a better perspective than some. So here it is. If you want a nice box and hype literature, don't get this ball. (It came in a plastic bag tied by a rubber band with a short note inside about how you need to break in the ball. Nothing else.) However, if you just want one of the very best basketballs the world has to offer, buy it now. Today was the third straight day (three hours each day) I've played with this basketball exclusively and it gets better each time. It's great fun and I've been loving every minute of it. Lots of net swishes from behind the three point line today. Unlike the Spalding ball which in my experience is pretty much ready to play right out of the box (the leather has little to no gloss), you will definitely need to break in this ball because the leather has a hard gloss to it you'll need to soften up to give it more grip and sweat absorption. I've already had several compliments about how nice the ball is -- the first within five minutes! The orange and cream color contrast is easily noticeable and recognizable from the Olympics I suppose. I've not have one comment about my Spalding official NBA ball which is fine with me because I'm more interested in the ball performance than the looks. But the Molten GL7 will turn heads that's for sure and I can see why it's good enough for the very best basketball players in the world, not just the USA. Again if you really like your NBA ball or professional basketballs in general, get this basketball. Simple as that. Your collection definitely isn't complete without it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2014 7:19 AM PDT

Spalding Harlem Globetrotters Official Game Basketball
Spalding Harlem Globetrotters Official Game Basketball

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A red, white, and blue beauty!, August 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been a HUGE fan of the Harlem Globetrotters ever since I was a kid and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to buy this amazing basketball made by Spalding. What a thing of beauty! Red, white, blue, and gold stars and lettering. Wow oh wow! Unlike what a previous review stated, this is definitely the official gameball, not a replica. You can double check by looking at the bottom of the box for the numbers 74-312. The ball will feel soft and sticky because of the material. Most important, you would be holding in your hands the very ball that our glorious Harlem Globetrotters are using in their games, and to me, that's reason enough to get one. Your game will improve by 100 percent just from that fact. Pretty soon you'll be whistling Sweet Georgia Brown and dropping three pointers with nothing but net.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2014 3:23 PM PDT

Spalding NBA Official Game Indoor Leather Basketball
Spalding NBA Official Game Indoor Leather Basketball
Price: $139.99
15 used & new from $134.21

5.0 out of 5 stars I agree with the consensus except for one important point, August 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm not going to repeat what most of the reviews have mentioned but there is one thing I must say for those wondering. Honestly I don't see why you need to break this ball in. Perhaps they were talking about an earlier version but this ball is very playable right out of the box. The grip is tremendous. Perhaps the leather'll get softer with more use but any hardness you feel won't affect how you play. Before this ball I used the Wilson Wave and it is just as lively, and in fact, lighter and quicker off the floor.

Hayabusa Tokushu Gloves, Black/Slate Grey, 16-Ounce
Hayabusa Tokushu Gloves, Black/Slate Grey, 16-Ounce
Price: $117.43
9 used & new from $87.21

5.0 out of 5 stars This review is done after 3 months using gloves, August 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hayabusa Tokushu Gloves (Sports)
I've decided to wait until after 3 months of using these gloves regularly before I review them. 5 stars. At first I used it a few times a week but lately I've been using it almost every day. (Be sure to keep the gloves dry after every use.) The gloves still look brand new even against a punching bag that has rough cotton fabric, not the smooth vinyl of some. More importantly when you punch -- and I punch hard sometimes -- your hands feel well-protected. I also love how the wrists feel due to the adjustable double velcro design. I'm very satisfied with my purchase and I believe you will be too.

Sun Tzu's Art of War Unveiled: A Fourth-Dimensional Interpretation to Master Your Mind
Sun Tzu's Art of War Unveiled: A Fourth-Dimensional Interpretation to Master Your Mind
by Genevieve Tan Shu Thung
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.35
25 used & new from $8.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb explanations worthy of a great Chinese classic, February 3, 2013
Genevieve Tan's recently published Art of War book titled "Sun Tzu's Art of War Unveiled: A Fourth-Dimensional Interpretation to Master Your Mind" is a superior Art of War book and a must-have edition for your library.

Much like Dr Thomas Cleary, Ms Tan has the rare gift of presenting complicated ideas and making them understandable. This is a mark of someone who truly grasped the material and, thus, teaches with great clarity.

For example, "Sun Tzu's Art of War Unveiled" explains so well the central yet intricate theme of our Chinese classic -- that the source of problems and opportunities in conflicts and competition is in the mind -- that even I wished we could have included some of her insightful concepts in the official Sonshi Art of War.

Despite my traditional mindset, I was convinced by Ms Tan's sound logic expounding Sun Tzu's Art of War. What most people would consider New Age or mysticism, the profound ideas presented were actually reasonable and practical.

I would be the last to tell you I know all the inner workings of the universe. So I remain open-minded to new ideas. Genevieve Tan's Art of War book is innovative and educational. You will learn many valuable lessons even if you're an experienced Art of War student. I know I did.

Conclusion: Highly recommended

The Art of War: A Graphic Novel
The Art of War: A Graphic Novel
by Kelly Roman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.22
50 used & new from $8.69

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives new meaning to the ART of war, August 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As founder of Sonshi, the largest resource on Sun Tzu's Art of War, I fully endorse Kelly and Michael's Art of War graphic novel. The Art of War is a respected ancient classic that is still in use today around the world and across all levels of the military, government, business, and even sports. To have Sun Tzu's principles appropriately weaved into a cool, futuristic graphic novel is not only commendable but also spellbinding. I won't spoil it for you. I will let you savor the book yourself. Just know that, like the original Art of War, this book's artwork and storyline are smart and innovative, and demand the reader's full attention, never letting his or her mind slack. And, like the original, Kelly and Michael's graphic novel will become a classic in its own right.

Unleash the Warrior Within: Develop the Focus, Discipline, Confidence, and Courage You Need to Achieve Unlimited Goals
Unleash the Warrior Within: Develop the Focus, Discipline, Confidence, and Courage You Need to Achieve Unlimited Goals
by Richard Mack Machowicz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.03
63 used & new from $5.96

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filled with practical wisdom for life, September 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Having read hundreds of self-improvement books in my lifetime, I feel lucky to run across Richard (Mack) Machowicz's book. It is an instant classic and a must for bookshelves of any worth. It's just that good. There are two factors that make this book stand out among almost all books in its category: it is honest and real backed by someone who's honest and real. Mack was honest about the challenges he faced and the problems he endured. Even when he didn't explicitly say it in the book, you get a sense of someone who has grown much over the years. He wasn't and isn't perfect. We can all relate. Yet he accomplished so much -- Navy SEAL, host of two popular shows, husband, father, Navy SEAL (worth repeating). There's a saying: "It ain't where you come from; it's where you've been." So we can admire what Mack has done and the life concepts he's uncovered, down to even the simple yet effective tricks he's learned to motivate himself. We'd be foolish not to listen. That's also why he's an excellent teacher and author. Often the best doer isn't the best instructor. Mack is both. He understands the struggles of fear and insecurities, the negative things we inadvertently tell ourselves, that the biggest hurdle is often ourselves. I started reading the book drawn to his Navy SEAL stories but came away with valuing more the lessons he extracted from them than the stories themselves. This book is filled with refreshing truths, and even with plenty of books under my belt, it continues to amaze me from start to finish. Add Mack's book to your Amazon cart and get it Prime shipped. You haven't a moment to waste. Thomas Huynh, author and founder of Sonshi.

Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor
Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor
by Susan Sparks
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.61
73 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A healing experience, March 13, 2011
"Laugh Your Way to Grace" gives you ample logical reasons to embrace humor in your spiritual journey. God is everywhere, especially in the laughter of children and in the many events of our lives, not only at church. This book is blessed and you cannot go wrong in ordering several copies for yourself and your closest family members and friends in their time of need. They will thank you. Highly recommended.

Thomas Huynh, founder

The Art of War
The Art of War
by Thomas Cleary
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.45
62 used & new from $3.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Cleary's indispensable translation and more, September 27, 2010
This review is from: The Art of War (Hardcover)
When we received Dr. Thomas Cleary's new Art of War edition, we were pleasantly surprised. Not only is it rugged hardcover but the book is nearly square and seems to fit perfectly in the hand. Of course you get the must-have Cleary translation and crisp color photos of Chinese artwork inside (all different from another illustrated edition published about 10 years ago by Shambhala). If that wasn't enough, here's something that would make it a no-brainer purchase: the book also has two audio CDs read by Lloyd James for whenever you're commuting in your car. For $14 on Amazon, it's a bargain.

For those who don't know our history, Thomas Cleary's book is the genesis of Sonshi. Over 20 years ago in Seattle, I had the good fortune to come across his translation and was instantly enamored with Sun Tzu's Art of War. About 10 years later, Sonshi was born. I consider Dr. Cleary not only the consummate scholar but also my teacher. For if it wasn't for his clear translation and correct interpretation of Sun Tzu's humanism in 1988, the application of The Art of War in the world would be very different today.

I personally encourage readers (especially those starting out) to read the Cleary translation. In my opinion, it is by far the most understandable rendering of all the major translations, but don't assume however that it is simplistic -- it is extremely accurate as the English words he chose were made with care, depth, and relevance, paralleling the Ping Fa text as close as possible.

Thomas Huynh

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