Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Publication of “Jawbreaker” Excites Trolls !

A former “CIA Commander” – (that’s what Newsweek calls him ) – named Gary Berntsen has finally managed to secure CIA clearance for the publication of what looks to be an interesting book , entitled “Jawbreaker”.

According to Newsweek ,Mr. Berntsen says Osama bin Laden was able to escape from the siege of Tora Bora in December,2001 because US Central Command would not allow more American troops to be deployed.

He adds he was sure bin Laden was there,because sources he trusted had told him so ; and he disagrees with former CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks – because “ I was there and he wasn’t.”

With all due respect to Mr. Berntsen , he may be wrong about bin Laden: a close friend of the missing terrorist leader claims he left Tora Bora 10 days before the siege began – and his account is replete with small details that suggest high credibility.

This does not faze the Neo-Copperhead Trolls in the least.

They are,in fact suggesting President Bush let Osama bin Laden escape ,because :
(a) They were former business partners ;
(b) Bush didn’t want the war to end;
(c) Neo-Cons are stupid;
(d) It was all a Zionist / Theocratic /Homophobic plot.

At the risk of venturing over into Troll Territory myself, may I suggest that some of the Neo-Copperheads wanted large numbers of American troops on the ground in Afghanistan because it would increase friction between the Afghanis and the Americans, because it would increase the likelihood of American casualties, and because it would increase tension between the US and Pakistan to have so many of our troops milling about right next to the Pakistani border.

Any or all of these things would help make their original predictions about the Afghanistan campaign – (that we would become bogged down in the same sort of mess the Soviets encountered ) -come true:thus proving that they were “ right again”.

It didn’t work out that way. As a matter of fact, the Afghan campaign was a model of how unconventional special forces can be used to overthrow a regime.

If some of the Afghani troops were not up to snuff, what of it ? It was Afghani troops who fought and died to take back their nation from the Taliban – with American assistance ; rather than the usual routine of Americans doing the dying while ineffectual “allies” skulk and pose in the background, criticizing their every move.

The Afghanistan campaign was a world class victory – whether Osama bin Laden escaped or not – and that’s something the hissing, writhing Neo-Copperheads cannot abide !

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

There’s No Business Like Troll Business !

If you post on any “message boards” , you’re probably well aware of Internet Trolls.

These are people with a “MESSAGE “ – usually a hateful one - and they insist on plastering it all over the message boards – regardless of what topic is being discussed.

One of the message boards I read has become clogged with Neo-Nazi/ Aryan Identity / New Klux Klan posters : all of whom flood the board with “ The Jews Are Out To Get You “ crap. They express solidarity with their Arab counterparts ,and distress over Muslim casualties in the War on Terror.( Oh, yes ! They hate President Bush. Doesn’t everybody ? )

There are some Radical Leftists – who , one would think , would be at loggerheads with the Nazis . Not so. The Nazis hate President Bush,and are treated as allies. (Shades of the Hitler/Stalin Pact ! )

There are also the Copperheads – quite often from the most radical part of the Libertarian movement. Everything is un-constitutional to them: including the Consitution. They are anti-tax,anti-government,anti-military, anti-violence …and violently opposed to President Bush.

Last – but not least – are the Gay Crusaders . They urge the world to “get with it” and start cracking down on those awful people who oppose that most sacred of institutions : Gay Marriage. Their list of villains includes the Pope -who persists in preaching that –(I’m quoting here)-“dago mafia” doctrine ; the dreaded Religious Right , the Republican Party in general, and (You guessed it !) George W. Bush in particular.

Here’s how a typical message board exchange looks on a troll-infested board.

Poster 1: It’s been raining awfully hard the last few days. Do you think the rain will hurt the rutabagas ?

Poster 2: :) Not if they’re in cans. :)

Nazi : Damn Jews ! Always bitching about the Holocaust, and how you were starving . I have it on good authority there were plenty of rutabagas to eat ! (Comment is followed by two pages cut and pasted from “Urban Warfare Now !” – a White supremacy site , dedicated to -Victory or Valhalla ! )

Leftist: Why shouldn’t the people in Cannes have rutabagas ? What else are they going to throw through shop windows ? The (censored) Bushbots have jacked up the price of rutabagas to fund their vicious and illegal war …and where is Osama bin Laden ? Can you answer that simple question, you stupid neo-cons ?

Gay Crusader: Why are you worrying about people’s cans ? What you puritan busybodies should be worrying about is the way our right to true happiness is being interfered with !

Copperhead : Frog march the arch-criminal Bush out of the White House before he can tax our rutabagas !

Leftist : Still ducking and dodging my question, you stupid neo-cons ?
You can’t tell me where Osama is, and yet you want to interfere with the natural lifestyle of other-oriented people – and increase taxes on rutabagas !

And there you have it : TROLL TIME !!

( Makes you wish for The Three Billy Goats Gruff ,doesn’t it ?)

Monday, December 26, 2005

After the “Ho-ho-ho” Ends

We keep a little ceramic Christmas tree on a table near the living room window. It’s one my wife made –with my daughter’s help – when they were “doing ceramics” ,and when its tiny bulbs are lit, we can share the spirit of Christmas with anyone who passes by.

We haven’t put up outdoor decorations for a number of years. For one thing, we’re both a bit long in tooth to be climbing ladders, and stringing lights outdoors . For another thing, we tired, some years ago, of having the neighborhood delinquents steal them !

So the little tree is “it” ; and, every morning , I make it a point to turn it on as soon as I come downstairs at “dark o’clock of the morning” : not for me, but for anyone who is on the way to work – and who could use a tiny reminder of Christmas in those cold gray hours of morning.

Lord knows, I could use a bit myself !

A quick glance at the Internet tells me there was chemical warfare (a poison gas attack) this morning in St. Petersburg, Russia . The Russian news agencies are trying to squelch the story – probably on orders of the FSB (Russia’s successor to the KGB) – but 70 people were hospitalized,and chemical bombs with timers were found and neutralized in at least two large market areas of the city.

Let’s see: on one website , a story about the Pope celebrating Christmas mass inspired at least one poster to denounce the Roman Catholic Church as a “dago mafia conspiracy” . Another attacked Jews in general, and Zionists in particular – when not attacking Blacks and Mexicans. (He’s fond of folks with white,pointy hoods, I do believe.)

Somebody “kidnapped” ( Is that the right word ?) a baby penguin ,and there is great angst about what may have become of the poor creature-but no interest whatsoever in the fact that over 200,000 human beings perished in the tsunami a year ago.

What else ? Oh. Justin Raimondo ( a leading spokesman for the Neo-Copperheads) is still angry that we unseated that manly hero, Saddam Hussein; that the Iraqis managed to form some sort of government after over 30 years of total repression ; and that they had the guts to turn out and vote –in spite of a torrent of death threats. Justin, who is nothing if not predictable,wants the Ba’athist thugs, who murdered so many thousands of Iraqis, returned to office,so they can pick up where they left off. (Justin is still carrying the torch for another manly brute-Slobodan Milosevic as well. He just adores strong men !)

In short, a quick look around suggests it’s still the same nasty world we set aside on Christmas Eve – only a day later.

All the more reason to light up our little tree this morning : it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

America at the BRIDGE

John Kerry , fallen Candidate
By the DNC he swore
That the Left Wing of his Party
Would suffer scorn no more.

By the DNC he swore an oath
That Bush would rue the day
When “Ted's Annointed” faced defeat
And power ebbed away.

“I’ll call upon my privileged friends
Within the CIA :
Get them to leak some secrets-
And in general, pave the way.”

“Their tales will hint at dreadful deeds;
And Presidential Crimes-
Once embellished by the Editors
Of the friendly New York Times.”

“ Once this bloody work is done,
With movements swift and deft
We’ll pack the Halls of Congress
With the Minions of the Left.”

“ With Congress firmly in control
Our goal at last we’ll reach:
We’ll bring that upstart Bush to heel
With a Motion to Impeach ! “

The challenge has been issued :
Will Americans awake –
Or yawn and watch their football games -
Not caring what’s at stake ?

Horatius battled on the bridge-
And invaders turned away :
We all must rise and do the same
This next Election Day !

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What Should Society Do With Its “Tookie Monsters” ?

The “ Tookie Williams Saga “ has finally ended.

After decades of appeals and delays , and more appeals and more delays; after vast agitation by a wide variety of people : ranging from sincere opponents of the death penalty, to shameless self-advocates looking for more media “face time”, Tookie Williams – the convicted murderer of four people finally got the justice a jury of his peers had decreed.

There are many who say the death penalty is “barbaric” ; or that it serves no useful purpose.

I tend to agree – when the penalty is exacted 20 years after the crime !

Justice delayed is – all things considered – justice denied ; and thus, serves no useful purpose.

I find myself nodding in agreement with the proposal by an Ocean County ,NJ official ; who says-with considerable accuracy- New Jersey should abandon the death penalty ,because decades of experience have shown the NJ Supreme Court simply will not permit a death sentence to be carried out : no matter how hideous the crime.

The official points out the insanity of a financially-stressed state paying out millions and millions of dollars in death sentence appeal costs , when it is obvious what the outcome will be.

I think most people would agree with this pragmatic assessment – though I am sure there are some cynics who would say we need a death penalty - in case a NJ Supreme Court Justice is ever murdered.

(Anyone care to bet on the outcome of THAT appeal ?)

So, without a death penalty , what DO we do with our “Tookie Monsters”?

I use the term “monsters” advisedly. By the time a homicide case has passed through the court system , the “lesser” homicides have been dealt with. Commonly, these lesser cases do not involve the monsters who plan and premeditate murder,and who are as willing to kill to secure their goals as we are to sip a beverage or scratch or yawn.

I’ve met a lot of them ,and can say ,when you see one of them do or say something which seems to have redeeming qualities –like Tookie Williams and his “famous” (303 copies sold) anti-gang books – it is done for one reason only: to secure a temporary advantage for the criminal.

Every SERIOUS criminal I’ve ever met is lacking in what we might call “moral vitamins” , or “conscience” , or genuine empathy towards for his fellow humans. “Right” is what helps him; “Wrong” is what hinders or delays his satisfaction. If we were to express it in wilderness terms, career criminals are predators,and we are their chosen prey.

Unfortunately, there is a small-but-influential segment of our society that has never been able to grasp this simple truth – even when it springs up like a stepped-on rake to hit them in the teeth.

Their first thought (Lord help us !) seems to be : “ What did WE do wrong ? Was there some sort of program which could have prevented this ? How much will it cost ?”

This small segment of our society also thinks the obvious answer as to what to do about “Tookie Monsters” is just …wrong-headed.

“We can’t lock people up without hope of release !”, they shout. “ It’s –it’s – just WRONG !”

Did I mention the fact this small segment of influential people gets to sit on parole boards,or judicial and legislative committeees that govern our parole policies ? That they are people nobody elected ? That some see it as their function to achieve ethnic or racial quotas in granting parole ? That some believe it is their plain duty to frustrate the will of the electorate ?

If we’re not going to execute monsters who would kill us in a heartbeat, let’s at least make sure they are locked up - as securely as human ingenuity will permit – for the rest of their natural lives: no parole, no release on “intensive supervision”, no “max –outs”.

Tookie Monsters need to be in the jar-with the lid on securely !

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Christmas of 1947

The Christmas of 1947 started out on a not-too-promising note:
It was “green”.

Despite the renditions of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas “ on our radios – renditions so continuous they were like the Monks’ spinning prayer wheels in Tibet – there was no snow on the ground , and not even a flurry in the air.

It was Christmas vacation , and we wanted to race our sleds down Zobel’s Hill with friends from school, but the Weatherman was not cooperating, and the steep slopes remained a disappointing brown.

We wanted to skate, but the weather had been unseasonably warm,and what little ice had formed was black and treacherous.

Christmas Eve was the usual : the adults rushing about frantically to get ready for midnight services ; the kids heading reluctantly to bed. We were too old to believe in Santa Claus, but just young enough for a little of the holiday magic to rub off on us.

We got through Christmas Day , with its mandatory big dinner in the dining room , and visitors and relatives a kid could live without – rather nicely if you want the truth : an aunt who couldn’t stop talking ; a stout,jolly priest who couldn’t say a short “grace” - or no to second helpings. After that, there were chores to be done. (Cows and horses,and pigs and chickens don’t take the day off – ever !)

The next evening, I got permission to “go uptown” – about a 20 minute walk . There wasn’t much going on – outside of the local gin mills, and the diner, but the Christmas lights looked pretty nice – especially with those big soft flakes of snow coming down.

“Yay ! Christmas vacation is saved !” , we shouted.

Little did we know we were looking at the beginning of the Blizzard of 1947: a storm that would cripple much of the Central Plains and the Northeast for weeks : leaving at least 80 dead in its wake.

Little did we know, that when our road was finally plowed, the plow drifts at the sides of the road would be at least 12 feet high; that in New York City, it took thousands of men, digging for weeks,at a cost in the millions to restore service to NY’s subway system.

Sometimes I wonder if all those impassioned wishes for a White Christmas did it . I do know I haven’t felt quite the same about that song since the Christmas of ’47 !

Friday, December 09, 2005

Three Nights Stumped

(Inspired by an article in New Scientist warning of a mini-ice age –that could – somehow - be attributed to man-made global warming.)

I come home on Monday night –
I was sober as could be !
Found an ice-skatin’ rink in the backyard
Whar the swimmin’ pool should be.

So I sez to my wife
My purty l’il wife,
“Explain this thang to me :
What’s an ice rink doin’ in our backyard
Where the swimmin’ pool should be ?”

An’ she said :

“Old fool, you stubborn fool –
Are you too blind to see ?
It’s an artifact of global warming :
They said so on TV.”

Well, now:

I’ve traveled this whole world round an’ round :
Ten thousand miles or more –
But an artifact in my swimmin’ pool ??
I never did see before ! !

I come home late on Tuesday night :
Two foot of snow was in the ground,
An’ every time I tapped the brakes
My pickup spun around .

So I sez to my wife
My purty l’il wife :
“Explain this thang to me :
How’d we get a blizzard in August ?
What could the reason be ?”

An’ she said :

“Old fool, you stubborn fool
Are you too blind to see ?
It’s an artifact of global warming-
They said so on TV .”

Well , now :

I’ve traveled this whole world round and round :
Ten thousand miles or more –
But a blizzard in the middle of August
I never did see before !

We was all snowed in by Wednesday night-
It was piled up to the trees !
The power was off, an’ there wasn’t any heat .
I was sure we was gonna freeze !

So I says to my wife
My shiverin’ l’il wife:
“Explain this thang to me :
Where in heck is that Global Warmin’ ?
Can they send a bit to you an’ me ? “

An’ she said:

“Old fool, stop yammering
An’ fetch a quilt for me –
If you snuggle here beside me
We’ll be toasty as can be !”


I’ve traveled this whole world round an’ round:
Ten thousand miles or more-
But a warmer like my purty l’il wife
I never did see before !

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

December 7,1941 – A Few Personal Memories

64 years ago today , I was “almost eight” : one of three brothers,living on a family farm in New York state.

The day started out like most : we were up at the crack of dawn,because there were cows to be milked ,a wood stove to be lit, and a hearty breakfast to be wolfed down before we changed clothes for church.

Like most kids my age, my thoughts were pre-occupied with Christmas-but it would be a long time before anyone felt really “merry” again.

That evening was spent, huddled around the radio: listening to the broadcasts of an attack on some place I had never heard of- Pearl Harbor-by people I had never thought of : the Japanese.

The adults talked after a while,with quiet intensity that went on long after the hour we kids should have been in bed.

There was talk about war and the draft ,and what these things would mean. Our hired man-Lou-was angry enough to give notice that he would be enlisting as soon as possible. I think Mom tried to talk him into waiting until he was drafted , but he would have no part of that !

We didn’t know then about rationing, or war bonds, or scrap drives,or air raid drills,or Gold Star Mothers …but we would learn.

Darkness had fallen on our world, and our Age of Innocence was forever over.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Did the CIA Build a “Bridge to Nowhere” ?

We’ve heard the mantra: “Bush lied-people died !” – so many times and in so many ways, a high percentage of the American people have actually come to believe it.

One of the key issues was whether Iraq was seeking uranium to resume its nuclear weapons program. ( A previous attempt , which had progressed rather far, had been interrupted by an Israeli bombing raid on Saddam’s nuclear facilities,and by Gulf War 1.)

It is my considered belief a small ,politically partisan “cabal” in the CIA furnished misleading intelligence to the White House and the Congress: in effect, building a “bridge to nowhere” that could be yanked out from under the feet of the Administration , just in time to affect the 2004 Presidential election.

The CIA did make just such an attempt , via document leaks to The NY Times, the Washington Post, and anyone else willing to quote the “unnamed sources” they supplied. These “document leaks” contain information that was never previously furnished to the White House or to Congress : information that might have made all the difference in the world prior to the launch of Iraqi Freedom.

When we look at the casualty figures from Iraq, it might be well to reflect they are (at least in part) a direct result of a cynical attempt to bring about the political defeat – or , failing that , the actual impeachment of the President.

The Senate Intelligence Committee investigated the CIA’s performance prior to the opening of Operation Freedom in Iraq. This is a partial report of the bi-partisan committee’s findings.

(U) Conclusion 12. Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents9 on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence.
(U) Conclusion 13. The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.
(U) Conclusion 14. The Central Intelligence Agency should have told the Vice President and other senior policymakers that it had sent someone to Niger to look into the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal and should have briefed the Vice President on the former ambassador's findings.
(U) Conclusion 15. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Directorate of Operations should have taken precautions not to discuss the credibility of reporting with a potential source when it arranged a meeting with the former ambassador and Intelligence Community analysts.
(U) Conclusion 16. The language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that "Iraq also began vigorously trying to procure uranium ore and yellowcake" overstated what the Intelligence Community knew about Iraq's possible procurement attempts.
(U) Conclusion 17. The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) dissent on the uranium reporting was accidentally included in the aluminum tube section of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), due in part to the speed with which the NIE was drafted and coordinated.
(U) Conclusion 18. When documents regarding the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting became available to the Intelligence Community in October 2002, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts and operations officers should have made an effort to obtain copies. As a result of not obtaining the documents, CIA Iraq nuclear analysts continued to report on Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from Africa and continued to approve the use of such language in Administration publications and speeches.
<(U) Conclusion 19. Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by.a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa. In addition, CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union.
(U) Conclusion 20. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) comments and assessments about the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting were inconsistent and, at times contradictory. These inconsistencies were based in part on a misunderstanding of a CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) Iraq analyst's assessment of the reporting. The CIA should have had a mechanism in place to ensure that agency assessments and information passed to policymakers were consistent.
(U) Conclusion 21. When coordinating the State of the Union, no Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts or officials told the National Security Council (NSC) to remove the "16 words" or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting. A CIA official's original testimony to the Committee that he told an NSC official to remove the words "Niger" and "500 tons" from the speech, is incorrect.
(U) Conclusion 22. The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) should have taken the time to read the State of the Union speech and fact check it himself. Had he done so, he would have been able to alert the National Security Council (NSC) if he still had concerns about the use of the Iraq-Niger uranium reporting in a Presidential speech.
(U) Conclusion 23. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Humint Service (DHS), or the Navy should have followed up with a West African businessman, mentioned in a Navy report, who indicated he was willing to provide information about an alleged uranium transaction between Niger and Iraq in November 2002.
( ) Conclusion 24. In responding to a letter from Senator Carl Levin on behalf of the Intelligence Community in February 2003, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should not have said that "DELETED of reporting suggest Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger," without indicating that State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) believed the reporting was based on forged documents, or that the CIA was reviewing the Niger reporting.
(U) Conclusion 25. The Niger reporting was never in any of the drafts of Secretary Powell's United Nations (UN) speech and the Committee has not uncovered any information that showed anyone tried to insert the information into the speech.
(U) Conclusion 26. To date, the Intelligence Community has not published an assessment to clarify or correct its position on whether or not Iraq was trying to purchase uranium from Africa as stated in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). Likewise, neither the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) nor the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which both published assessments on possible Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium, have ever published assessments outside of their agencies which correct their previous positions.

It’s worth noting a new CIA director, Porter Goss has been appointed, and that he has been “cleaning house” at the CIA. (We know this from the former CIA officials , who complain – bitterly and regularly – about the “poor effect” Director Goss’ housecleaning is having on CIA morale.)

Stay the course, Mr. Goss : that broom has been idle far too long !

( How and Why Communist China Helps
Our Enemies In the War on Terror )

( Book Review )

In the four-plus years since 9/11/01 ,Communist China has spent a great deal of time trying to convince us her sinister regime is an ally in the war against terror ; and has even used this war as an excuse to further victimize its captive population.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

China’s ties to terrorist organizations are (as the author points out)
“long,wide,and deep.” It paid as much as $ 10 million to the Taliban for unexploded US cruise missiles : providing that group with a badly needed cash infusion.

On 9/11/01 – while the United States reeled from the horror of al-Qaeda assaults, the Peoples’ Republic signed an economic agreement with the Taliban .

There is some suspicion the events of 9/11 were based on a plan of action devised by two colonels in the Peoples’ Liberation Army .It is known they designated the World Trade Center as the best place for such an attack, and that they identified Osama bin Laden as the Islamic leader best suited to carry out the attack.

China opposed UN sanctions against the Taliban , and , via a worldwide network of “friendly academics” called the 9/11 attacks a normal response to America’s “quasi-hegemonic policies”.

Adding insult to injury, China’s news/espionage network –Xinhua- aired a video “glorifying the attacks as a humbling blow against an arrogant nation” – something America’s own Left wing radicals were quick to pick up on . ( Ward Churchill comes to mind.)

After 9/11/01 , Huawei , a Chinese technology firm, began building a communications network in Kabul for the Taliban.

Large caches of recently manufactured weapons from Communist China were found in Afghanistan’s al-Qaeda hideouts. Weapons included surface-to-air missiles.

China pressured Pakistan ( its close ally for 50 years) to oppose American presence in Afghanistan,and, in September,2002,played gracious host to a three man delegation from the Taliban-led by Ustad Khalil –right hand man to Mullah Omar.

China has sold conventional weapons , missile technology, and bio-chemical technology to Iraq, Iran, Syria,Sudan, Angola, Cuba, and Venezuela –among others , and has gone out of its way to encourage and support “rogue” nations of all sorts.

Their reasons for doing so are pretty obvious: they plan to become the world’s leading superpower, and (though the author does not mention it) find new places to colonize with their exploding , impoverished,and restive population. This has been their style in Tibet and East Turkestan,where native populations have been murdered to make room for millions of Han Chinese immigrants. ( Cuba, which recently signed an agreement with China may find out – to its dismay – why the Chinese are so eager to teach Chinese to the Cuban population !)

I found a few places in the book where there was room for cordial dispute with the author , but my overall assessment is as follows:

Save out some of the money you would have spent buying goods made in China by slave labor , and BUY THIS BOOK !!

Purchase Link (hardcover or PDF available):