Book Reviews From 2016

The American Patriot’s Almanac (book review)

The American Patriot’s AlmanacI feel so blessed to live in the United States of America! With the blessing of living in this great country comes the responsibility of knowing as much as I can about our country’s founding and guiding principles. A wonderful help on this journey of discovery is The American Patriot’s Almanac: Daily readings on America by William Bennett and John Cribb.

I am now on my second time through this book, and I’m still discovering how much there is to love about the USA. Each day Bennett and Cribb present a snapshot of a notable event in our nation’s history, that makes me so proud of our heritage all over again. There are cool stories about both the well-known and little-known folks who sacrificed and invested to make this country what it is.

At only a page a day, there’s no excuse for American patriots not to read this book through over the course of a year, and re-discover what a privilege it is to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We all owe it to our future generations to keep these memories alive, so that no one forgets our amazing heritage.

Book Reviews From 2015

Links & Quotes

link quote

“There is a sacred art in being able to handle the shield of faith. Let me explain to you how that can be. You will handle it well if you are able to quote the promises of God against the attacks of your enemy.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant are more learned than their ears.” —William Shakespeare

“It is vain to expect any advantage from our profession of the truth, if we be not sincerely just and honest in our actions.” —Archbishop Sharpe

John Stonestreet discusses the dangers of rushing to legalize marijuana. Also check out my book review of Going To Pot by William Bennett, and some quotes from that book here.

Max Lucado reminds us, “God’s grace is greater than your failures.” Read more about how God uses failures.

Detroit Tigers fans know this is obvious: Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker should be in the baseball Hall of Fame!

“Science is finally catching up with the truth and its findings are simple: porn is harmful. Did you know that porn can mess with your head, seriously rewiring the actual chemistry of your brain?” Read more in this Fight The New Drug’s post.

Look at the cold, hard data: strong marriages and families build a strong economy.

11 Quotes From “Going To Pot”

Going To PotWilliam Bennett and Robert White have given us an important book, especially during this time when so many are rushing to legalize marijuana in our country. You can read my full book review by clicking here, and below are some of the quotes and statistics I found quite interesting.

“Today’s marijuana THC levels are in the double digits―we’ve gone from about 3 to 5 percent THC in yesteryear’s marijuana to just above 13% THC―but common strains are available that go much higher, into the 20 percents and beyond. The difference between 3 to 5 percent THC and 13 to 30 percent THC is very significant. It is like comparing a 1twelve-ounce glass of beer with a 1twelve-ounce glass of 80 proof vodka.”

“No scientific studies documented the safety or efficacy of marijuana for patients with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, or glaucoma.”

“Marijuana stays in the brain for a long time so that the brain is still experiencing the effects from pot smoking days after the drug use as stopped, in contrast to alcohol use…. Unlike cocaine, which often brings users to their knees, marijuana claims its victims in a slower and more cruel fashion. It robs many of them of their desire to grow and improve, often making heavy users settle for what is left over in life…. Marijuana makes its users lose their purpose and their will, as well as their memory and motivation.” ―Robert Dupont, psychiatrist 

“Frequent marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers. … There are 33 cancer-causing chemicals contained in marijuana. … When equal amounts of marijuana and tobacco are smoked, marijuana deposits four times as much tar into the lungs.”

“Teenagers who use marijuana regularly are at greater risk for long-term brain damage and declines in both IQ and cognitive functioning years later.” ―Psychology Today

“Most drug users, over 90 percent of them, including marijuana users, started using drugs in their adolescent years. In fact, if one abstains from substance abuse up to the age of twenty-one, the chances one will ever have a substance abuse problem are next to zero.”

“Marijuana also raises heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.” 

“Nationwide, over 70 percent of teens admitted to a substance abuse treatment program claim marijuana as their primary drug of abuse. Neither alcohol, tobacco, nor prescription drugs are responsible for over 70 percent of teen substance abuse problems. It is marijuana that has that dubious distinction.”

“Accidents would increase, healthcare costs would rise and productivity would suffer. Legal alcohol serves as a good example: The $8 billion dollars in tax revenue generated from that widely used drug does little to offset the nearly $200 billion in social costs attributed to its use.” ―Kevin Sabet, a former adviser to President Barack Obama

“In constant dollars, the money spent by Americans on marijuana went up from $21.6 billion in 2000 to $40.8 billion in 2010. That is more than Americans spend each year on pornography, Halloween, and video games combined.”

“Sixty-two percent of the adults who first tried marijuana before they were 15 are likely to go on to use cocaine.” 

Going To Pot (book review)

Going To PotI have been concerned for some time about the pro-legalization (or de-criminalization) movement throughout our country. There seems to be haste to un-do the laws that have served our nation well for many, many years. One especially troubling aspect is expertly addressed in Going To Pot: Why the rush to legalize marijuana is harming America by William Bennett and Robert White.

One by one, Bennett and White dismantle each of the pro-legalization arguments that are being promoted. And these gentleman are truly in a position to speak authoritatively: William Bennett has served as the Drug Czar and as the Secretary of Education (both Cabinet-level positions), and Robert White served as an Assistant US Attorney. In short, these guys know what they’re talking about!

Bennett and White systematically lay out each argument, and then share the facts which completely destroy the arguments. They talk about drug policies that haven’t worked internationally, and they also show the failure of the legalization of marijuana within our own borders. In addition, they also lay out a very thoughtful plan for our country going forward.

This topic is going to continue to come up for a vote on the State-level, so concerned citizens should read Going To Pot to arm themselves with the facts that will contradict the hype and rhetoric of the pro-marijuana crowd.

I am a Center Street book reviewer.

Book Reviews From 2012

7 Quotes On The Spiritual Life From “The Book Of Man”

I really enjoyed reading The Book Of Man by William J. Bennett (you can read my book review here). The topics were very broad, so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite quotes on the different sections in this book over the next few days.

Here are seven quotes on man’s spiritual life…

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;

I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things;

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy;

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing I asked for but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among men, most richly blessed. —Anonymous

“The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America. …Our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal.” —Ronald Reagan

“What can be more excellent than prayer; what is more profitable to our life; what sweeter to our souls; what more sublime, in the course of our whole life, than the practice of prayer!” —Augustine

“Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.” —Augustine

“O gracious and Holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive Thee, intelligence to understand Thee, diligence to seek Thee, patience to wait for Thee, eyes to behold Thee, a heart to meditate upon Thee, and a life to proclaim Thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.” —Saint Benedict of Nursia

“No human creature can believe, how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but only those that have learned it by experience.” —Martin Luther

“There are some men, who know a thousand other people, but who do not know their own selves; the greatest stranger to them, in the whole world, is their own heart. They have never looked into it, never talked with it, never examined it, never questioned it. They follow its evil devices, but they scarcely know that they have a heart, they so seldom look into it.” —Charles Spurgeon

6 Quotes On Marriage & Family From “The Book Of Man”

I really enjoyed reading The Book Of Man by William J. Bennett (you can read my book review here). The topics were very broad, so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite quotes on the different sections in this book over the next few days.

Here are six quotes about marriage and family…

“The family is the association established by nature for the supply of men’s every day wants.” —Aristotle 

“All great change starts at the dinner table.” —Ronald Reagan

General Robert E. Lee was on his way to Richmond, and was seated in the extreme end of a railroad car, every seat of which was occupied. At one of the stations, an aged woman of humble appearance entered the car, carrying a large basket. She walked the length of the aisle and not a man offered her a seat. When she was opposite General Lee’s seat, he arose promptly and said, “Madam, take this seat.” Instantly a score of men were on their feet, and a chorus of voices said, “General, have my seat.” “No, gentlemen,” he replied, “if there was no seat for this old lady, there is no seat for me.” 

“You must not encourage, but rather give yourself to what is kind and pure, chaste, true, loving, elevating, ennobling, and by all means learn to distinguish between love and lust. This is the switch at which so many are side-tracked to ruin. …Lust will degrade you; love will elevate you. Lust will make you vile, selfish, sordid, low; love will make you pure, chaste; lovable, manly. Lust will make you earthly, sensual, devilish; love will make you godlike, continent, noble.” —Rev. Lewis Johnson

“Fatherhood can sometimes be walking the floor at midnight with a baby that can’t sleep. More likely, fatherhood is repairing a bicycle wheel for the umpteenth time, knowing that it won’t last the afternoon. Fatherhood is guiding a youth through the wilderness of adolescence toward adulthood. Fatherhood is holding tight when all seems to be falling apart; and it’s letting go when it is time to part. Fatherhood is long hours at the blast furnace or in the fields, behind the wheel or in front of a computer screen, working a 12-hour shift or doing a 6-month tour of duty. It’s giving one’s all, from the break of day to its end, on the job, in the house, but most of all in the heart.” —Ronald Reagan

“And yet there is no relation on this side of the grave, more sacred, more dignified, or more elevated, than that of husband and wife. The parties might be, and should be, to each other, perpetual sources of consolation and pleasure. There should be no distrust, no suspicion, no equivocation between beings so circumstanced. They should live as much as possible as if animated by one soul and aiming at one destiny. Neither should look for perfection in the other, and yet each should endeavor to excel the other in generous efforts of gentleness, kindness, and affection.” —Robert Morris

9 Quotes On Political Activity From “The Book Of Man”

I really enjoyed reading The Book Of Man by William J. Bennett (you can read my book review here). The topics were very broad, so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite quotes on the different sections in this book over the next few days.

Here are nine quotes about political activity…

“Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” —John D. Rockefeller

Not gold but only men can make

A people great and strong;

Men who for truth and honor’s sake

Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,

Who dare while others fly . . .

They build a nation’s pillars deep

And lift them to the sky. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“This nation—where the people rule—is governed by the people, for the people, and so long as it is, then the office-holder is but the servant of the people, and the Bible says the servant cannot be greater than the master. The Bible says, ‘He that is sent cannot be greater than Him who sent Him.’ …Greatness consists not in the holding of some future office, but in doing great deeds with little means and the accomplishment of vast purposes from the private ranks of life. To be great at all one must be great here, now….” —Russell Conwell

“Nothing worth gaining is ever gained without effort. You can no more have freedom without striving and suffering for it than you can win success as a banker or a lawyer without labor and effort, without self-denial in youth and the display of a ready and alert intelligence in middle age. The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community. …In facing the future and in striving, each according to the measure of his individual capacity, to work out the salvation of our land, we should be neither timid pessimists nor foolish optimists. We should recognize the dangers that exist and that threaten us: we should neither overestimate them nor shrink from them, but steadily fronting them should set to work to overcome and beat them down.” —Theodore Roosevelt

“There can be no government, or nothing worthy of the name, where there is no religion. …What is the value of a well-worded law if there be not virtue enough in the community to enforce it? It is not worth the paper upon which it is written. …Then let us not be afraid, my brethren, to mix a little more religion with politics. …Let us earnestly exhort and entreat them to respect the law of God; and let us try their actions by that law, as revealed in His holy word. And, as in the presence of Jehovah, let us solemnly ‘protest’ against all their wrong doings. …We are profoundly interested in the prosperity and permanency of this government, and all her virtuous institutions; but we know that any government, and especially a Republic, must stand on virtue, if it stands at all.” —Rev. J.S. Smart

“Our government was made by patriotic, unselfish, sober-minded men for the control or protection of a patriotic, unselfish and sober-minded people. It is suited to such a people; but for those who are selfish, corrupt and unpatriotic it is the worst government on earth. It is so constructed that it needs for its successful operation the constant care and guiding hand of the people’s abiding faith and love, and not only is this unremitting guidance necessary to keep our national mechanism true to its work, but the faith and love which prompt it are the best safeguards against selfish citizenship.” —Grover Cleveland

“What then are the qualities in men which can make them able and willing to achieve greatness by way of citizenship? I name first, without the slightest hesitancy, imagination, the power to see beyond, or even through, wickedness into righteousness. No great cause ever moved far until it had taken possession of the imagination of men.” —William Jewett Tucker

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” —Noah Webster

“And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” —John F. Kennedy

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