Daily Archives: July 13, 2008

Guest post – The Revolution: A Manifesto

Since I try to stay away from politics as much as possible, I’m not one to read all the millions of books being published about today’s political landscape. My good friend over at the The Cynical Universe, has graciously offered to a review a book written by Republican Ron Paul.

The Revolution: A Manifesto
Ron Paul

“If freedom is what we want, it is ours for the taking. Let the revolution begin.”
– Dr. Ron Paul

Let me start out by saying, for the sake of openness, that I would currently identify myself as a Democrat. I am pointing that out because it would probably surprise some people that I was reading a book written by a Republican Congressman from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul. Contradictory as this may seem to some, if you take the time to read the book, you’ll understand why in fact this is neither surprising nor contradictory.

The Revolution: A Manifesto is not a book about mere politics or positions. The book transcends political party and enters a realm rarely talked about or discussed in the mainstream media: freedom, our constitution, and more importantly, the lack of respect for both which have crept into our lives over the years. Dr. Paul’s book is dedicated to the message of freedom and the importance of our Constitution.

As a result, the book is a concise 173 pages packed full of examples and anecdotes about how so many of our Constitutional rights have been slimmed down, shaved away, and in some cases, removed altogether, and Dr. Paul points out the ways that government- which should assist the people- is failing many people in many ways. Some of the examples Dr. Paul cites include America’s foreign policy and her global military presence, economic woes ranging from inflation to increased taxation, and an encroachment on civil liberties by means of domestic spying, extraordinary rendition and torture. In some ways, this book is not for the faint of heart, though I would recommend that any American who is concerned with the state of the country as a whole pick up this book and give it a read.

Dr. Paul makes an honest effort to open up a genuine dialogue about the issues facing America today and goes one step further by offering his ideas on how to fix these problems. The book concludes with a blueprint, if you will, for the next President- whoever that may be- to help the citizens restore the republic to its Constitutional roots. Maybe you’ll agree with some of Dr. Paul’s ideas, and maybe you won’t, but if you go cover to cover I am confident that if read with an open mind, readers will come away with a renewed sense of responsibility- as a citizen- to protect the freedoms that may be slipping through out fingertips.

The Cynical Universe

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A Manifesto

The Revolution: A Manifesto
By Ron Paul
Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 978-0446537513
192 pages
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Castaway Kid – Review

Castaway Kid is an emotionally charged and beautifully written autobiography of Rob Mitchell’s life in Chicago from his youth to his adult years. Abandoned at a the Covenant Children’s Home when he was just 3 years old, Rob was one of the few kids that spent their entire lives in the home without going into foster care.

Although too young to understand what was really happening, Rob had plenty of hope that his mother would one day return for him, or that his beloved grandmother Gigi, who would visit Rob every Saturday, would take him in. As Rob grew older, he grew more disillusioned and less trustful of those around him. Nola, the houseparent for the Little Boys became a mother-figure for Rob during his early life. Rob’s mother would make periodic visits, but they were chaotic at best and only severed the gap between herself and her son.

Dealing with bullies in the home, and family did not, or could not, take him in, Rob built a lot of rage. He lashed out at other students, “Townies”, who had real parents to go home to. He rebelled against his own family in Atlanta by growing his hair long, and wearing a beard, two things considered taboo in the 1950’s and early 60’s. Rob became a womanizer, and also avoided all the religious influence the group home tried to instill in the boys. It wasn’t until he went to a summer camp, where he met one girl that seemed to turn his life around. Full of peace and patience, she did not judge Rob and she tried to guide him towards giving faith another try. The second half of the book focuses mostly on Rob’s struggle to build a connection to God and find a purpose for himself. His inner struggle with building this relationship with God starts out just as difficult as Rob’s attempt to build a relationship with his estranged family members. His faith and transformation from a rebel child, to a moral man happened when he went on a year long missions trip to Africa.

Rob Mitchell’s story is heartbreaking, but his endurance and determination to make a better life for himself is honorable and inspiring to read. Rob finally found happiness and love, and now has a family of his own.

FINAL GRADE: A

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One Man's Search for Hope and Home (Focus on the Family Books)

Castaway Kid
(Focus on the Family Series)
R.B. Mitchell
Tyndale House Publishers, 2007
ISBN 9781589974340
249 pages