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Geoff Puterbaugh RSS Feed (Chiang Mai, T. Suthep, A. Muang Thailand)

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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940
by William Manchester
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $35.84
235 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, & extremely relevant to our times, September 18, 2013
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There are three magnificent volumes to Manchester's life of Winston Churchill. The first covers his youth, and the third covers his tremendous courage in fighting (and winning) World War II. Although he had to do a deal with the Devil (Stalin) to crush the Nazis, he did indeed crush them.

So the second volume ("Alone") -- which deals with just eight years when Churchill was "disgraced" -- might look like the most boring of the three. I say "On the contrary!" This may well be the best of the three, if only because Manchester was at the top of his game. But, more than that, it offers the reader a full look into a time of moral insanity in Britain, when Britons refused to see what was happening in Nazi Germany.

Prime Minister (and Prime Fool) Neville Chamberlain pursued a policy of appeasement, and refused to see Nazi Germany re-arming itself. He brayed "Peace in our Time" and was pathetically proud of a piece of paper (!!) he obtained from Adolf Hitler.

And, all this time, Churchill stood alone, warning of the Nazi menace. He was ostracized, shut out, and condemned as a warmonger.

But he was right.

The relevance to our times is obvious. There are several countries, led by Iran, which have sworn "Death to America." And yet our government, followed by millions of Americans, is following a policy of appeasement.

"Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it" -- Santayana


The Qur'an: Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, and Misread. The Aramaic Language of the Qur'an
The Qur'an: Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, and Misread. The Aramaic Language of the Qur'an
by Gabriel Sawma
Edition: Paperback
Price: $70.00
12 used & new from $43.00

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The work of a genius, September 8, 2013
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Gabriel Sawma has written a book which has one main thesis: The Qur'an was NOT written in Arabic, but in Aramaic!

This thesis is not just "controversial" but inflammatory, since it directly implies one of the biggest blunders in the history of religions. You might look at it as The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran on steroids.

The author appears to be in control of his sources and his languages. His written English is a bit weak, and the book could use a good editor, but the ideas are explosive and cannot be contained.

As just one example, Sawma joins Luxenburg in demolishing the idea of the 72 virgins supposedly waiting for Muslim martyrs. Muslim "scholars" have misread this for centuries. What really is waiting for those suicide bombers? Delicious water and raisins.

If nothing else, the book is an excellent reference. We learn with fascination that the first biography of Muhammad appeared some 200 years after his death, while Jesus was the subject of four detailed biographies, beginning some 30 years after his death and resurrection.

For language fans, this is not a book to be missed!


Art: A New History
Art: A New History
by Paul Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
159 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A supremely enjoyable & educational book, September 6, 2013
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This review is from: Art: A New History (Hardcover)
It is very interesting to learn that the author, Paul Johnson, originally wanted to be an artist, but was warned off by his father, who saw the coming decades being full of frauds. (You may love Picasso, but what about "Piss Christ?")

So Paul decided to become a writer, and made a terrific success at it, from The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 through Modern Times Revised Edition: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties (Perennial Classics).

Yet I suspect that his original passion for art never left him, and he has written an enthralling book on the subject ("No one has surpassed the Egyptians for style").

This wonderful book will make a great companion to The Story of Art.


Runaway Slave
Runaway Slave
DVD ~ Rev. C.L. Bryant
Price: $9.00
26 used & new from $4.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent DVD, September 2, 2013
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This review is from: Runaway Slave (DVD)
This video documents in detail the many ways that Democrats have acted as the "friends" of black people, while actually trying to keep them on a vast welfare plantation where their votes are presumably "safe." Leading guilty Democrats include Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, and the loathsome liar Al Sharpton.

The commentary includes such luminaries as Herman Cain and Thomas Sowell.

For my taste (these are hardly new issues for me) the DVD was a bit long, but for those who have never encountered its ideas it is perfect.


Hating Breitbart PG-13
Hating Breitbart PG-13
DVD ~ Andrew Breitbart
Price: $14.99
11 used & new from $8.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb DVD, September 2, 2013
This review is from: Hating Breitbart PG-13 (DVD)
This DVD shows why the MSM hated Andrew Breitbart: they were afraid of him. He understood their game. With James O'Keefe, he destroyed that pestilent organization called ACORN (trying to come back today, like a true zombie). It also explores why the MSM refused to run his stories about ACORN.

This is a video everyone should watch.

RIP Andrew Breitbart.


Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design
Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design
by Stephen C. Meyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.30
67 used & new from $7.98

17 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, September 1, 2013
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I am not really qualified to review this book: I am not a paleontologist and my knowledge of biology is scant. But even I can tell when a shot has been fired across the bow of the great ship Darwin.

Evolution is coming under fire; there is no doubt about that. The main issues are "microevolution" (or "adaptation) and "macroevolution" (the transformation of species). Right now, it seems as though microevolution is trivially true, while the fossil record provides not one record of one species changing into another. Not one!

On top of this, you have to add in the Cambrian Explosion, where dozens of species suddenly appeared, with absolutely no predecessors in the fossil record.

This is surely a controversial book. A review in "National Review" was somewhat peevish and hostile, while George Gilder has acclaimed this as one of the best books ever written.

Read it yourself and form your own opinion. I just warn you that the book is highly technical.
Comment Comments (28) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2014 6:32 PM PDT


Please Enroll Responsibly: Avoiding Indoctrination at College
Please Enroll Responsibly: Avoiding Indoctrination at College
Price: $0.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking of college, READ THIS FIRST, August 25, 2013
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I would hate to see you wind up, unemployable, with a worthless degree in Gender Studies and an albatross of student debt of $40,000 hanging around your neck.

Take my advice and spend 99 cents on this book before taking step one. At that price you can hardly go wrong, and Lee Doren is a smart guy.


Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World
Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World
by George Gilder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.38
81 used & new from $1.28

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of economics, August 19, 2013
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George Gilder is a genius and a bit of a polymath: whatever he writes is usually worth reading. In this book, he does his best to stand conventional economics on its head.

What is wealth? Some people imagine that wealth is money. Admittedly, if you have $50 billion in the bank, you're very rich, but is that WEALTH? Some people see a bit further, and realize that dollars are just a medium of exchange: wealth lies in those assets which produce an income stream. (As Shakespeare noted, "Who steals my purse steals trash." HIS real wealth lay in his plays and his playhouse.)

But is that it? Does wealth consist of THINGS? Gilder says not. Real wealth consists in knowledge, the knowledge of "How to Make an iPhone," for example. If we imagine a malign government nationalizing Apple to get at their wealth, everyone knows what would happen next. The people with the real knowledge would quit (maybe go to work for Samsung or a startup), and within a surprisingly few months, Apple would lose the knowledge of how to make an iPhone -- and, more important, of how to make next year's products, iPhones and all.

Within a year, it would be time to begin selling off assets, and Apple would die a horrible death.

At the beginning of this review, I considered the idea that "money was wealth." Noting the flaws in that idea, I moved on to the idea that assets were wealth. The truth of the matter is that entrepreneurial knowledge (very rare) can produce enormous amount of wealth on its lucky days. Consider Qualcomm, with a market cap of $110 billion. What would become of Qualcomm if its top entrepreneurs went elsewhere?

And it's not just high-tech. Henry Ford was as visionary, hard-working, and successful as any of our modern entrepreneurs.

George Gilder combines all this with a moral appeal to our better qualities. He observes (accurately) that sending out checks of "dumb money" to welfare recipients accomplishes nothing, and that the real trick (hard to do!) is to transfer wealth to the indigent in a way that actually helps them.

Read this book with an open mind, and you may be very surprised!


The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Ala Notable Books for Adults)
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Ala Notable Books for Adults)
by Daniel James Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.25
82 used & new from $8.73

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, very well-written, August 1, 2013
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My older brother recommended this book to me, so I downloaded a sample to my Kindle.

It wasn't long before I bought the book.

You might think that the adventures of Washington crew teams during the 1930's would be a great story to overlook, and you might be right. But you don't want to overlook "The Boys in the Boat." It is a story of many things, but for me it was above all a description of male bonding which rose (I think) almost to the spiritual level. As the dying hero said, "Don't make the book about me. Make it about the boat." That is, write the tale of 8-9 young men who learned to function as a team. I should say "super-team," because everything depended on everyone.

"Joe, when you really start trusting those other boys, you will feel a power at work within you that is far beyond anything you've ever imagined. Sometimes, you will feel as if you have rowed right off the planet and are rowing among the stars."

This is one of the best books I have ever read, and it is splendidly written to boot.


Chinese Girl in the Ghetto
Chinese Girl in the Ghetto
Price: $5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad but inspiring story, July 27, 2013
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Among other things, this book surely demonstrates the extent of black racism against Asians. Throughout elementary school and high school, the author witnesses horrific behavior and is a victim of it herself. She grows accustomed (?) to being taunted as "Ching Chong" and "Chinaman," and witnesses other incidents which turn into beatings. Outside of school, in the ghetto, these beatings become robberies and sometimes murder.

I am quite sure this tale is not a fantasy. I used to live in San Francisco with a friend from S.E. Asia. He had a wonderful Taiwanese friend. They were attacked by four black gangstas, who stole the Taiwanese boy's umbrella, beat him with it, and then ran off laughing.

Black racism does not end there. Black hatred of whites has been documented in "White Girl Bleed a Lot" (5th Edition): The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it.

Yet the "current wisdom" says that the word "racist" may only be used against white people, and we have seen a general orgy of that over the recent Trayvon Martin case.

Perhaps the "current wisdom" should consider the words of another man:

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
--Matthew 7:1-5 KJV

In any case, the book is finally inspiring. Due to talent and plenty of hard work, the author makes it to Cornell, and then Stanford Law School, and is now pursuing a successful career as a lawyer. She was able to buy a home for her parents, far from the ghetto, and they now live and garden in peace.

This is a short, sad, but inspiring read.


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