Saturday, August 27, 2011

Are You Ready for Hurricane Irene?

 HuricaneThe Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do To Ready Your Home For A Disaster

With the 24 hour news channels and the Weather Channel bombarding us with non-stop coverage of the run up the East coast by Hurricane Irene and Mayors and Governors universally calling on residents to abandon ship and get out of their homes, it raises the question for a lot of people following the story, “What would I do in that situation?”

Author Bernie Carr has the answer, or actually 101 answers on how to prepare before disaster strikes in her new book The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do To Ready Your Home For A Disaster. Carr offers a wide array of tips ranging from the basics; decluttering your home, what to include in a 3 day survival kit and creating a family emergency plan, to addressing fresh water and food needs, financial planning, prepping your home, safety needs and when to get out in an emergency.

Many folks may view Carr as a nutty survivalist-type, but those are the people who would be the first to cry for help, likely from the government, when disaster actually strikes. The Prepper’s Pocket Guide offers common sense advice that anyone can follow and could save lives when professional help may not be available.

No Carr won’t make you the neighborhood MacGyvor, but he will help you to be better prepared for the challenges of weather related issues, acts of God and even some manmade disasters, as the Obama administration as dubbed terrorist acts, that could strike anyone, anywhere.

The Prepper’s Pocket Guide is laid out in an easy to use format that allows you to pick and choose the sections you want to use, you may not need them all, but you’ll be ahead of the game if you use this book to plan.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brad Thor – Full Black

When it comes to recommending authors who never disappoint, two names come to mind; Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. I have often, wholeheartedly, endorsed the works of these to guys to friends and co-workers.

I always find it interesting and often entertaining to gauge the reactions of those I pass the recommendations onto, when they make their first foray in the scary world of Flynn and Thor. They tend to range from enthusiastic fist pumping agreement to tight-assed, butt puckering comments like, “well I don’t know about the politics.”

If you are among the mind-numbed who think we need to “try to understand our enemies” or think that “we must have done something wrong for them to hate us” then don’t waste your time or hard earned money buying Flynn and Thor’s books. Oh and do me a favor, keep your opinions to yourself, I really don’t want to engage in the empty debate. If you are like me and think that there are evil people in the world who hate this country simply because we exist, then what are you waiting for?

Thor’s new book, his eleventh, Full Black features the latest installment in the ongoing Scot Harvath series. Full Black picks up the story thread where Foreign Influence left off. Thor once again exercises his ability to quickly grab you by the throat and set you off to the races. Think 24 on steroids without the short guy hero.

Full Black has a ripped from today’s headlines quality with characters that parallel many of today’s newsmakers; most notably the character James Standing, who seems similar to another famous, evil billionaire who seems bent on the destruction of the U.S. economic system and way of life. Sound familiar?

The thing that makes Thor’s wild storylines more believable is the “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” authenticity to his writing. He clearly has spent some time around and learning from the special operators of the U.S. Military. Stack the adventures and actions of Harvath up against the non-fiction accounts of Special Forces types and you’ll see a lot of similarities.

Here’s hoping that Thor continues to crank out engaging thrillers not only for my entertainment, but also for the butt puckering they cause for those folks who live in the land of the shades of gray.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dr. Tim Groseclose – Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind

You have to love the Liberals “do as I say, not as I do” approach to life.

When it comes to global warming, the “science is settled”; man made global warming exists and if you don’t believe it, then you are at best a denier, but more likely you are a flat-Earther, or have a room temperature IQ. We are talking science here!

If you don’t buy into Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, then clearly you are a mind-numbed dolt or worse some sort of Bible-thumping moron! We are talking science here!

Clearly you are George W. Bush stupid if you don’t think that stem cell research will help solve all of the world’s medical issues; Michael J. Fox will be cured of Parkinson’s, Christopher Reeve would have walked and heck we might have even been able to thaw out Walt Disney. We are talking science here!

Liberals wrap themselves in the cloak of science; adopting a look down my nose, I’m smarter than you world view, if you are too stupid to grasp the importance of what only they can understand.
That is until now. Dr. Tim Groseclose, an economics and political science guru at UCLA, has developed a methodology for measuring the political quotient (PQ) of news outlets and the impact it has on voters and even politicians. Methodology…yes we’re talking SCIENCE here!

Naturally Professor Groseclose’s book, Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts The American Mind, has liberals sputtering mad. They denigrate Groseclose and his research making the usual claims that Groseclose has been bought and paid for by the right, that clearly he is a conservative wing nut and his research/book is biased and yada yada on the personal attack front. When it comes to Liberal, if you can’t respond with a valid argument, then a personal attack will do.

Groseclose based Left Turn on a journal article the he co-authored, and in the book he offers a snapshot of the reactions he encountered to the article from his colleagues in another liberal bastion, academia. The reaction was predictable, ranging from outrage to calls for him to be fired! Surprisingly, Groseclose actually earned a bump up to a full professorship and received offers for endowment positions along the way.

He also managed to at least convince a few of his academic skeptics that the science he used to develop the results; which show a strong left lean to much of the media and a more even handed fairness on the part of outlets like Fox News which are accused of a conservative bias, was scientifically sound.

While I didn’t find Left Turn to be as entertaining a read as say Freakanomics, fans of that book, and those who thought the media was liberally biased will enjoy this book. Liberals will likely hate it, attack it, and label it pseudo-science!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: Ryan Blair - Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain

There are boat loads of business books, that espouse about an equal number of theories and ideas on how you should go about starting, running or growing your business.

I have read armfuls of these things and had my Linkedin connections suggest that many more. Along the way I have picked up tidbits about breaking all the rules with the right people on the bus, while I explored strategies in the blue ocean.

Don't get me wrong, I have liked alot of these books and have successfully used a number of the ideas/theories that I picked up along the way, but I haven't found one book where I found myself noding in agreement with what these business gurus had put forth.

That is until now. I didn't start out reading Ryan Blair's Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain as a business book as much as in interesting tale of a young guy who moved from the mean streets to the board room. What I ended up with was a book that not only endorsed a number of my business views, but also confirmed a number of suspicions.

One of the things that has always driven me crazy obout business is that it never moves a quickly as I'd like; thing take far too long to get done. Blair's books moves at a quick pace and instead flowery theories from some Harvard professor, you get actionable steps that you can get rolling with today.

Preparation. Planning. Heck yeah! Foot dragging. Panels and commitees...hell no!

Chapter 12 of Nothing To Lose... -  Million Dollar Mistakes, shows that Blair has earned a PhD in real world experience. This chapeter should be required reading at Wharton or any other bastion of business thinking...or by anyone who wants to get things done. Anyone who's been subjected to ass kissers not only hang around but get promoted will be able to relate to Blair's thoughts on employees selling you and not firing fast enough.

If your looking for a traditional business book, there are plenty around to choose from. Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain is a solid business book, wrapped in an interesting story.