Archive for April, 2012


Monday, April 30th, 2012

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DATE: MAY. 1st, 2012
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Review: Dark Room – Joshua Graham

Monday, April 30th, 2012
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1451654693
ISBN-13: 978-1451654691
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Ian Mortimer
Xandra Carrick
Peter Carrick


Xandra Carrick is a photographer following in the footsteps of her father. Peter Carrick is a Nobel Prize winning photo-journalist. His prize came for his photo essay on a massacre in a Vietnamese village during the war. The camera he’s used has been passed down to his daughter Xandra. It is this camera that is at the source of this surreal journey. It begins on a trip back to Vietnam that Xandra and her father take. The trip was to honor her late mother’s wishes and to release her ashes there. But strange things begin to happen when Xandra develops the film. What are those things? You’ll have to read Darkroom find out.

The story is a thriller and a vivid retelling of historic events. Each chapter is seen in first person point of view. Mr. Graham alternates between characters from Grace, to Ian, to Xandra. Grace’s story is achieved through her diary entries. These diary entries really bring the Vietnam War to life in alarming detail. In Particular, Mr. Graham covers the fall of Saigon in a very realistic manner. I’d seen the videos of it happening, and he captured it very well in the pages of this story.

If you like Thrillers, or the odd story you’d see on Twilight Zone, then grab this book when it’s released. You’ll enjoy every minute of it. Kudos to Mr. Graham on another job well done.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Joshua for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: From the Ashes – Jeremy Burns

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Paperback: 394 pages
Publisher: Fiction Std (January 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936558327
ISBN-13: 978-1936558322
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Wayne Wilkins – Agent in “The Division”
Jonathan Rickner – Graduate Student of History and Archaelogy
Mara Ellison – Michael Rickner’s Fiancee’
Enrique Ramirez – Agent in “The Division”
Dr. Richard Leinhart – Professor to Michael Rickner


Graduate students Jonathan and Michael Rickner, sons of eminent archeologist Sir William Rickner, are no strangers to historical secrets and archeological adventures. But when Michael is discovered dead in his Washington, D.C. apartment, Jon refuses to believe the official ruling of suicide. Digging deeper into his brother’s work, he discovers evidence that Michael was murdered to keep his dissertation research buried. Joined by Michael’s fiancée Mara Ellison, Jon travels to New York where he uncovers the threads of a deadly Depression-era conspiracy – one entangling the Hoover Administration, the Rockefellers, and the rise of Nazi Germany – and the elite cadre of assassins that still guard its unspeakable secret. Finding themselves in the crosshairs of the same men who killed Michael, Jon and Mara must navigate a complex web of historical cover-ups and modern-day subterfuge, outwitting and outrunning their all-powerful pursuers as they race through a labyrinthine treasure hunt through the monuments and museums of Manhattan to discover the last secret of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., before their enemies can bury the truth – and them – forever.


This book was quite the adventure from beginning to end. In the style of Dan Brown and other conspiracy fiction authors, Mr. Burns has weaved a tale going as far back as World War I.

The character development was well done. As a reader, I found I could believe the characters existed. The conspiracy itself as it played out was well described, and all fit logically together in the end. The author also included a brief history (through the characters) of events during World War I and World War II which I really enjoyed.

If there were one drawback, I’d say that some events seemed rather predictable. Whether it’s from me having read a lot of these types of novels, or the author telegraphing his scenes I don’t know. For me there wasn’t that sense of the unexpected that there should have been, except for one large twist which I didn’t see coming.

If given the chance, I would definitely read another of this authors books particularly in this series. It was a thrilling adventure, and kept me turning the page, which means the author accomplished his goal. I’d rate it for mid teens/adults due to the content, but overall a well told story, and if you get the chance to read it, grab a copy and do so.

About the Author

An avid reader since the age of three, Jeremy Burns was devouring novels by the time other children his age were still learning their ABCs. Blessed (and, at times, cursed) with a decidedly active imagination and an insatiable curiosity for nearly everything, Jeremy made learning and storytelling two of his chief passions. After earning his degree in History from Florida State University, Jeremy accepted a position teaching literature, creative writing, political science, and philosophy at an international school in Dubai.  Like the characters in his books, Jeremy is an intrepid explorer whose own adventures have taken him from Mayan ruins in the Yucatan to the pyramids of Egypt, from medieval castles across Europe to the jungles of Bangladesh, and beyond.  To date, Jeremy has traveled to more than twenty countries across four continents, seeking adventure, discovery, and ideas for future novels.  When not exploring a new corner of the globe, Jeremy lives in Florida, where he is working on his next thrilling novel.

Also check out Jeremy Burns on his Facebook page.  No Facebook account is required to access the page, but if you are a Facebook member, click “Like” to join in the adventure and show your support!

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Molly at Partners in Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: No Snowflake in an Avalanche – Mikey Weinstein

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Roundtree Press (January 16, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983925534
ISBN-13: 978-0983925538
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Mikey Weinstein is in a battle. His battle is to protect one of the constitutional freedoms that we as Americans hold dear. That freedom is the freedom to worship as we choose, or to not worship. In our constitution, we are told that congress shall make no laws respecting religion. In fact, Thomas Jefferson himself said that the constitution created a wall of separation between church and state. Now there are forces out there threatening to breach that wall. Mikey Weinstein through his efforts with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is standing guard over that wall.

In his book, No Snowflake in an Avalanche, Mr. Weinstein gives the reader a narrative on the struggles he and his family have gone through in their efforts. We start off seeing he and his daughter at home on fathers day, when they are interrupted. The interruption is that of someone painting a swastika and cross in their front yard. But that’s just the beginning.

Throughout the book there are various stories of our soldiers being forced into a specific ideology of “Christianity.” They are also attacked verbally and punished at times if they have a different religion particularly Judaism and Islam. The book includes sample letters from some of the soldiers seeking help or that they have helped. The letters are quite shocking in the tales they have to tell. In addition, there is some of the hate mail that his organization has received, and it is hateful. The tone of those letters varies between anti-islamic, anti-semitic to outright wishing death on him, his family and anyone connected to him.

I found the book very interesting, and very hard to put down. I also found the information it provided to be truly frightening. I’m certain there are those who will dismiss this book as just liberal propaganda or an attack on Christianity, but if you read it with an open mind, you’ll find the events to be truly terrifying. The threat is nothing short of an Americanized version of Al-Qaeda and to prepare against that, you need knowledge and proof. This book provides that proof and you’ll know what to look for.

Now I’m not here to speak on the truthfulness or accuracy of the information in this book the data he provides will do that. Only you can decide whether you believe it or not, and whether you want to further investigate the information provided, but I can recommend the book for its writing and for the information provided.

If you are concerned about the religious freedoms you have or don’t have being taken away. If you are concerned with living under a theocratic government, or just want to see some of the darker acts going on within our military and government, then pick up this book, read it, and get involved. Our freedoms need to be protected, or we lose them, and no one wants to live in the world shown possible in this book.

There is some strong language, and the subject matter is definitely not for young readers. I’d say it’s geared towards older teens and adults. Pick it up if you get the chance, give it a read, and drop back by here and let us know what you think about it.

About the Author

Mikey Weinstein is the undisputed leader of the national movement to restore the obliterated wall separating church and state in the most technologically lethal organization ever created by humankind: the United States armed forces. Described by Harper’s magazine as the constitutional conscience of the U.S. military, a man determined to force accountability, Mikey’s family has a long and distinguished U.S. military history spanning three consecutive generations of military academy graduates and over 130 years of combined active duty military service in every major combat engagement our country has been in from World War I to the current Global War on Terror.

Mikey is a 1977 Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Mikey has been married for over 35 years to his wife, Bonnie. He is the proud parent of two sons and one daughter. His oldest son and daughter-in-law are 2004 Graduates, and Mikey’s youngest son graduated in the Class of 2007 from the Air Force Academy and is the sixth member of Mikey’s family to attend the Academy. His father is a distinguished graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Mikey spent 10 years in the Air force as a “JAG” or military attorney serving as both a Federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

A registered Republican, he also spent over three years in the West Wing of the Reagan Administration as legal counsel in the White House. In his final position there, Mikey was named the Committee Management Officer of the much-publicized Iran-Contra Investigation in his capacity as Assistant General Counsel of The White House Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President of the United States. Mikey has held numerous positions in corporate America as a senior executive businessman and attorney.

After stints at prominent law firms in both New York City and Washington D.C., Mikey served as the first General Counsel to Texas billionaire and two-time Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. He left Mr. Perot’s employ in 2006 to focus his fulltime attention on the nonprofit charitable foundation he founded to directly battle the far-right militant radical evangelical religious fundamentalists: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation. (

Mikey has appeared innumerable times on all of the major cable and terrestrial TV news networks and is a frequent guest on national radio networks as well. His constitutional activism has been covered and profiled extensively in the print media including the Associated Press, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, the Denver Post, The Guardian and many other national and international newspapers and periodicals including Time magazine.

St. Martins Press in New York released Mikey’s book, “With God On Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military” in October 2006. The paperback version was released in February 2008 with the Foreword being written by Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV. The book is an expose on the systemic problem of religious intolerance throughout the United States armed forces. Mikey recently made his international film debut in the Hollywood adaptation of James Carroll’s New York Times best selling book detailing the 2,000 year bloody history between the Church and the Jews, entitled “Constantine’s Sword”, and directed by Oscar nominee Oren Jacoby.

Mikey was named one of the 50 most influential Jews in America by the Forward, one of the nation’s preeminent Jewish publications. He also has received a nomination for the JFK’s Profile in Courage Award and received the Buzzflash Wings of Justice Award. In addition Mikey was honored by a distinguished civil rights organization Jews for Racial and Economic Justice with the Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk-Taker Award, for those who have taken extraordinary risks in the pursuit of justice.

Reviled by the militant radical evangelical fundamentalist Christian far-right, Mikey has been given many names by his enemies including Satan, Satan’s lawyer, the Antichrist, That Godless, Secular Leftist, The Antagonizer of All Christians, The Most Dangerous Man in America and, most recently and perhaps most colorfully, The Field General of the Godless Armies of Satan.

On October 11, 2011, for the third consecutive year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation was officially nominated again for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize (its fourth total nomination).

On November 7, 2011, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State presented Mikey Weinstein with AU’s first ever Person of the Year Award. In their press release, AU describes MRFF as “the leading voice protecting church-state separation in the military.”


Military Religious Freedom Foundation”

Seattle Community Media Interview.

Be sure and enter our Giveaway for Mr. Weinstein’s book by going here and see our interview with Mr. Weinstein here.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Cornell for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Interview: Mikey Weinstein – No Snowflake in an Avalanche

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Today we’re pleased to welcome with us, Mr. Mikey Weinstein, author off the book No Snowflake in an Avalanche.

Mikey Weinstein: We’re very greatful that you’re taking the time to take a look and give us your thoughts and want to thank you for making the effort.

Rhodes Review: A lot of people would say you and the book are anti-Christian, and that it’s just a liberal attack on religion. How would you address that?

Mikey Weinstein: Well, I would say they’re full of shit. Let me explain why. That is a canard. That’s like saying that if you fight back against bullying in schools, you know that new movie Is out bullies, that you’re against bullying. In our situation we have just between 80 and 90 people that work in our foundation around the country. Most of our folks are full time volunteers. The vast majority of our staff are Roman Catholic and Protestant. We had 27,385 clients as of a few hours ago. It is just like a universal constant. It stays right around 96% of our clients are Christians. About 3/4s are Protestants of pretty much every denomination alone. We have 21 different varieties of Baptists alone. The other ¼ of the 96% are Roman Catholic. Only 4% of our clients are non Christians. Ironically some of our best donors are very conservative Republicans but don’t want people to know what their names are.

Our largest organization supporter is none other then the California Council of Churches IMPACT Organization. They interviewed and followed us for many years then made the decision to endorse us. Get this, there are 5,500 individual protestant churches in the state of California, 21 Different protestant denominations, and it’s 1.5 Million California Protestants. So if we are anti-Christian, that’s news to our staff, our donors, our endorsers, our clients. If you saw the video (link) I tried to explain we are absolutely at war with the American Christian Fascistic Taliban and that’s what the book is focused on and those are Fundamentalist or Dominionist Christians, they follow the great Commission

Mark 16:15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Matthew 28:19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

They feel they have the right to scream Jesus in a crowded theater. They feel there is no time, and there is no place, and there is no manner that can restrict them from proselytizing. That’s why one of our largest growth areas is Evangelical Christians. We now have them on our advisory board, as clients and donors. Of the 368 Clients we have from the Air Force Academy, the only one that is out is a Conservative

Evangelical Christian Republican. Even the Evangelicals follow the great commission, but they refuse to proselytize in a manner that is constitutionally noxious. So to say that is like saying we’re against all of Islam because we’re also against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, etc. Of course we’re against Fundamentalist Islam. 10% of every Muslim American in the U.S. Military is our clients, and we never have any of them saying you’re anti-Muslim because we’re fighting the Fundamentalists in Islam. We don’t hate anybody’s God, we don’t favor or oppose anyone’s faith, we support our Constitution. It allows everyone to celebrate what faith they have or no faith. The rules are since we have a social contract in this country, you need to follow the rules of the law. And we have a Constitution that represents that social contract that there is a place, time and manner you can proselytize to your hearts content, but we also have the rules when you can’t do that, and if you want to violate it, then we’ll see you in that court.

Rhodes Review: I liked where you mentioned you even had a few Jedi clients.
Mikey Weinstein: I’d never heard of the Jedi Faith before, I think it’s a lot like Bahai. It’s not our position to sit there and say “What a ridiculous faith”, that is more than a slippery slope, one of our most well known clients, a highly decorated combat Medic, told us when he was told he had to stand in formation and bow his head to a Jesus prayer, mandatory, military, U.S. Army Formation, he told his first sergeant he didn’t want to do it. The sergeant told him he could follow his own religion when he wanted to, but when the Army tells you you’re going to do this. He told the first sergeant “My religion requires me to absent myself from people attempting telepathic contact with imaginary beings.”

Rhodes Review: You and your family face a lot of hatred and hostility as well as anti-semitism. How do you cope with that on a day to day basis?

Mikey Weinstein: That’s a tough question. I’ve told people that we’re not activists. We’re actually civil rights fighters. It’s like I’m talking to you with a gun stuck in my face. This is not like riding a unicorn through a cotton candy forest handing out lollipops to little forest animals who are singing in English in unison. This is a bloodsport. This is very, very hard. It’s dangerous, lonely, and expensive. The book was to try to make people understand. It’s like what Gandhi said was right: There are four phases of fighting, the first stage they ignore you. In stage two, they ridicule you. In stage 3, they fight you. In stage 4, you win. We’re well beyond ignore, we’re well beyond ignoring and ridiculing, we’re into fighting and winning. This comes at a cost. You know the quote from Voltaire where the title of the book comes from “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible”. Here’s another that explains this “It is very dangerous to be right in manners, upon which the established authorities are wrong.” . He also said “Courage cannot see around a corner but goes around it anyway. “ It’s something we realize we have to do. We’re not going to stop. We’re not going to be cowed. We do our best to protect ourselves with our weapons, our security, our firearms, whatever we’ve got. We’re trained to drive home in different ways, sit in restaurants in certain ways. I’m not asking everybody to be fighting this everyday, I’m just asking for one day of the lion. Give me just one day. Help us fight. It’s not like I don’t care about the starvation and violence in Darfur, or the HIV Crisis in Subsahara Africa, or global warming, or how to save the whales. I do. But the people we’re fighting want to use nuclear weapons to bring Jesus back. Dealing with this type of oppression and marginalizaton, we’ve had our windows shot out of our house, animals slaughtered, swastikas and crucifixes painted on our house, and we get it, you don’t like us being here. We also understand it’s important. The bill of rights which includes the first amendment where the Separation of Church and State exists, even though the Christian right says we don’t see those words there, they were put in to protect the minority. Frederick Douglas said “Power concedes nothing with a demand” so me, my family, and my foundation are the demanders of the commanders. The others out there are afraid to speak, to deal with the tyranny of the majority. The book is intended to be a primal scream to get people to understand, to make a call to action.

Rhodes Review: Tell us about the Chaplaincy of full Gospel and the Imprecatory Prayer. I remember similar prayers for the President?

Mikey Weinstein: About 12 days ago, the judge granted a summary judgement motion. He couldn’t see causation. We thought the judge was going to let it go to a jury, and let the jury decide. Yet the judge did not grant summary judgement.. The judge said how can you see a correlation between someone praying for someone to die and anything that happens to you.

[For the Readers: An Imprecatory prayer is a prayer wishing harm on others. In Obama’s case, it was for his days in office to be few and his children to be left orphans. In Mr. Weinstein’s case, it tends to be prayers for violence and death upon his family.]

Mikey Weinstein: Where are you going to post this review?

Rhodes Review: My own website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Mikey Weinstein: How many of these have you done in the past, you ask good questions.

Rhodes Review: Probably about 30 or 40.

Mikey Weinstein: Wow, I don’t’ want to take up your whole night, please continue with your excellent questions.

Rhodes Review: Is this just a problem in the airforce, or is it all branches?

Mikey Weinstein: Do you have a pen. Hold your pen up six inches over your desk. What made the pen drop?

Rhodes Review: Gravity.

Mikey Weinstein: Correct. That is exactly how systemic and ubiquitous and out of control Fundamentalist Dominionist Christianity is, in the technologically most lethal organization ever created by human kind which is our U.S. Military. We have roughly 1,000 military installations scattered around the world, in 150 countrys, as we garrison the globe. This is a national security threat to our Country. It’s inextricably entwined into the very DNA of the Pentagon or as we call it the Pentecostalgon. One of President Eisenhower’s most famous speeches was where he warned about the rise of the Military Industrial Complex. We’re facing this enormous Fundamentalist Christian Parachurch Military Corporate Congressional Complex. It is the very particulate of the department of Defense.

Rhodes Review: Can you tell us about the 68 Nuclear Missile Launch officers? The Jesus Rifles?

Mikey Weinstein:  The 68 Nuclear Missile Launch Officers were part of the Jesus Loves Nukes situation, I believe that’s chapter 14 of my book. The Jesus Nukes occurred late July/August last year, the Jesus Rifles were around January 2010.

We’ve had a lot of our stories go viral. The Nazi SS flag being used by the Marine Scout Snipers had over 16 Million News Hits alone. Nature Abhors a vacuum. If you’re being persecuted in the military because of your religious faith, you can’t go to the EO people, you can’t go to the inspect general, you can’t go to the Chaplain, You can’t go to the Lawyers, you can’t go to your chain of command, they’re the biggest perpetrators.

We think somewhere between 28 and 32 percent of the senior enlisted and officers are Fundamentalist Christians. People say what’s the big deal, but here’s the problem. The problem is they’ll come out and outrank 80% of the military. These other organizations such as the ACLU doesn’t speak military, we do. In every conceivable way, this is a template ofFundamentalist Christian Facism. We’re our own worst enemies in regards to Afghanistan, etc.

Rhodes Review: Are there any political leaders that we can depend on who are unaffected by this? It seems we’re in trouble either way sometimes.

Mikey Weinstein: No. In an election year they won’t touch us. I spent a lot of money with a very well appointed lobbying interest in Washington D.C. until they came and told us to stop paying them. I’m a registered Republican myself. Under Republicans it’s man exploits man. Under Democrats it’s just the opposite. It’s not a left or right issue, it’s a right or wrong issue. Martin Luther King Jr. said “In the end we remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” And there comes a time where silence becomes betrayal.

We live in an America where most people don’t speak truth to power. They don’t have the guts to do it, especially If it’s a spouse, teacher, particularly a boss, they’re too terrified. Most Americans are too docile to tell others to “shut the fuck up” if they’re talking in a movie theater, so how do you expect them to stand up and fight if they’re being told there is one approved solution for religion. It’s not a small matter. It’s well beyond racial, gender, sexual orientation. None of those have an ideological book telling you what to do. Of course the people we’re fighting, the Fundamentalists, have that stench, they are anti-semitic, islamophobic, misogynyistic, and homophobic.  They also have a virulent hatred of the constitution.

Rhodes Review: There are those who might think this was just another conspiracy theory such as birtherism. What would you say to such critics?

Mikey Weinstein:  Well I would tell people there were 300 spartans at the battle of Themopoly. In honor of those 300 brave men, give me two seconds of your time, give me six hundred seconds, that’s 10 minutes and go to Military Religious and look at the video, listen to the audio, read the text particularly the part that says you ought to read the book. Read the Book. There’s a reason Harper’s Magazine referred to me as the Constitutional Conscience of the Military, and I’m proud of that.

This isn’t about self-grandizement. I’m 57 years old, I don’t care if anyone likes me. Trust the message whether you like the message or not. I wrote the book because I knew I wouldn’t be happy until people were unhappy. Until people face some level of discomfiture, they won’t do anything.

Have you ever gone on a picnic? You and your wife go on a picnic and are surrounded by flies, no big deal, but if there’s suddenly hornets and wasps, that’s going to scare the shit out of you, you’re going to do something about that. So we had to make ourselves into hornets and wasps, because people won’t pay attention to anything else. Remember power pays attention only to demands.

The Department of Defense’s only weaknesss is bad press or being hauled to the federal or state court. There’s two things I want to say here. When you tell somebody they lack integrity, character, courage, intelligence, trustworthiness, honorability, and honor, because of their chosen religious faith, or lack thereof, there’s no difference between that and telling them they’re stupid because of the color of their skin or because they were born with a vagina.

What we’re dealing with here is a Fanatical religiosity. Not the enemy we’re fighting, not jihadist Islam, but Fundamentalist or Dominionist Christianity. You have one of it’s biggest leaders, Rob Parsley of World’s Harvest Church. He’s very fond on Sunday, and I’ve seen him on the videos, he’ll sit there and promise them a 200 mile long river, 4 ½ feet deep filled with nothing but human blood. Then he’ll say “Therefore my brothers and sisters, rejoice, rejoice because the worst is yet to come.”

So we’re dealing with a fundamentalist, fanatical religiosity tied in with a putrescent disgusting version of patriotism, and an unfettered access due to this draconian specter of vertically entrusted military command influence. What you have is a metastasizing cancer, a fundamentalist Christian, unconstitutional cancer that is of such magnitude that it’s almost impossible to believe unless you are complicit.

If you have a little tickle in your throat, your wife gives you hot tea. If that doesn’t work you see the doctor. The doctor gives you antibiotics. That doesn’t work they give you a shot. But ultimately at some point you need those adenoids and tonsils to come out. And we’re way beyond the stage of hot tea. It’s in our public schools, it’s in our sanitation departments, it’s in our cops. But they don’t have laser guided and nuclear weapons. If I can increase the level of trust and communication 1000 fold between the dark forces of Christianity then and only then can I fairly describe the relationship between them and us as two ships passing in the night.

Someone asked my wife how much do you owe? What did you have to give up, probably a lot huh? She was crying when she made the statement, “No, we didn’t have to give up a lot, we had to give up everything.” There is no retirement fund. There is no retirement home. There is no sense of security. But we’ve made the decision that someone has to do something. If you rescue a child who crawled into the street are you called a hero. No you are doing the right thing. I know the people we fight consider me at best to be an asshole, but to the people who we represent most of whom are protestants and catholics, and all of whom wear the uniform of this country, or have worn it, we are badasses, and we work hard to be hornets and wasps and bees.

Sorry if that’s too long winded.

That’s why this review is so important. We’re hope merchants. We’re supposed to give our clients AARP. Anonymity, Action, Results, and Protection. We have to give people hope. At any one time, we have a dozen clients on the cusp of suicide. It’s a horrible feeling of marginalization and people can only take it so long. I’ve had clients who were Muslim whose commanders told them the only good Muslims were dead Muslims, and they fantasized about killing themselves with a note saying “Am I a good Muslim now.”

There’s a saying “One often finds their destiny on the road one takes to avoid it.” I didn’t ask for this to happen. I was at point A in my life in 2004 when I was faced with anti-semitism and I didn’t care if I lived or died, someone was going to get a beating, and I was going to do it. Now I’m at point B, whenever I see unconstitutional religious tyranny of any type from any client, I don’t care if I live or die, someone is going to get a fucking beating, and I’m going to be the one to do it.

For those on the religious right, those fundamentalist Christians who say separation of church and state isn’t in the constitution. I’ll ask them if they were arrested and taken to jail, would they have the right to a fair trial? They’ll always say yes, but it’s not. You have the constitutional right to a speedy trial and a public trial, but not a fair trial. That right is given by something called legal precedent case law just like Miranda rights.

Remember we’re dealing with an American populace more focused on Dancing with the Stars, and the book is intended to be a wakeup call.

Rhodes Review: What advice would you give to those wanting to get involved?
Well, I would say read the book, buy the book, get the book to as many people as you can. Donate to us. We’re the tip of the spear. It is a way to reach out to politicians, they will not touch us. And finally give me that one day as a lion.

We’d like to thank Mr. Weinstein for joining us here at Rhodes Review and for taking the time to talk to you about this issue, and about his book.  As part of this, We’ve been given permission to offer two signed and personalized copies of his book, “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” to our readers.  To Enter the contest go here.  And be sure and read our review of No Snowflake in an Avalanche here.

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Giveaway – No Snowflake in an Avalanche – Mikey Weinstein

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Thanks to Mr. Weinstein I”m able to offer my readers 2 copies of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 05/01/2012.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

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Article: April 19th, Redemption Day – Steve O’Brien

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

April 19 has become a date marking horrific violence in this country’s history.

The date is not well known like September 11 or December 7, the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Unlike dates that commemorate great military victories or the end of World Wars, April 19 is about a different kind of violence.

Violence between citizens of this nation and the government itself.

Like most traditions it began as a coincidence, but later transitioned into a date of significance for members of sovereign citizen groups like the Posse Comitatus.

It began in 1985. Jim Ellison was the leader of a sovereign group called CSA (The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord. On April 19, 1985, three hundred federal officers surrounded his compound in northern Arkansas. Ellison surrendered and was later convicted of conspiracy and weapons charges. Aside from traditional firearms, the federal officers rounded up hand grenades, plastic explosives, blasting caps, land mines and even a US Army anti-tank rocket. One of Ellison’s men, Richard Wayne Snell was charged with murder and his execution took place ten years later as fate would have it, on April 19.

April 19, 1993 the FBI stormed the Branch Davidian complex outside Waco Texas, killing seventy six members, including seventeen children. David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidian group was sought for illegal weapons charges, something sovereign groups adamantly believed was not a crime, but a right. This came on the heels of the Ruby Ridge shootings which had enraged members like Tim McVeigh. Terry Nichols and McVeigh saw Waco as yet another illegal intrusion by a corrupt

Following Waco, April 19 became a date of significance for sovereign groups. They would use the date as a symbol and cause to retaliate against the government.

On April 19, 1994 militia leader Linda Thompson issued a call for sovereign citizen groups  to assemble in Washington DC, armed and in uniform. The purpose of the assembly was the forced repeal of the Brady Bill and the arrest of Congressmen and Senators for treason.  She identified herself as the acting adjutant general of the Unorganized Militia of the United States. Although later rescinded, her call to arms became known as the Thompson Ultimatum.

At nine pm April 19, 1995, CSA member, Richard Wayne Snell, was put to death by lethal injection in Arkansas.  Twelve hours earlier, Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols had ignited a truck bomb outside the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killing 168 people.

For McVeigh and Nichols the date was not a coincidence.


Between now and April 19th, you can get Redemption Day free for Kindle Reading Devices or the Kindle for PC/Ipad App.

Review: Running From the Night – Ramon Terrell

Friday, April 13th, 2012
File Size: 448 KB
Publisher: Tal Publishing (April 5, 2012)
Language: English
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Jelani – A young Software/Game tester
Daniel – His best Friend


I don’t typically do Vampires. For that fact, neither does this author, but Running From the Night represents R.J. Terrells foray into the vampire realm. Following on the heels of his fantasy Trilogy Legend of Takashaniel, Mr. Terrell has once again brought us into a different world while leaving us simultaneously in the same world.

The characters were well developed, and as a reader I found myself concerned with their fates. The characters not only have to worry about vampires trying to kill them, but deal with real world issues such as girlfriends and spurned lovers. I found the character of Saaya’s background to be very interesting as well and look forward to finding out more about her.

There were some technical issues such as characters mirroring movements that at times were a bit distractive. It seemed to work in some scenes for example combat, and when they were involved in tai chi, but didn’t seem to carry over strongly into more mundane actions.

Overall though, I was really pulled into it and wanted to see more. I have a feeling that all hell is going to be unleashed, and I want ringside seats. For his first journey into Vampire stories, I’d say Mr. Terrell did very well indeed and I will definitely be waiting for the next installment.

About the Author

R. J. Terrell was instantly a lover of fantasy the day he opened R. A. Salvatore’s: The Crystal Shard. Years (and many devoured books) later he decided to put pen to paper for his first novel. After a bout with aching carpals, he decided to try the keyboard instead, and the words began to flow. When not writing, he enjoys reading, videogames, and long walks with his wife around Stanley Park in Vancouver BC.

Connect with me at:

R J Terrell on Facebook

RJTerrell on Twitter

R. J. Terrell on Goodreads

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Mr. Terrell who provided a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Redemption Day – Steve O’Brien

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Paperback: 313 pages
Publisher: A & N Publishing (March 22, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982073526
ISBN-13: 978-0982073520
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Order E-book here:


Steve O’Brien’s Redemption Day brings Terrorism home. In this book, we aren’t faced with the “evil foreigners” but with homegrrown domestric terrorists. This time around it’s the Posse Comitatus. Their belief is that the government itself is unconstitutional. To garner attention, they kidnap a Supreme Court Judge. Nick James has just been fired as a Terrorism Analyst for a government contractor. He suddenly finds himself implicated not only in the murder of a Sheriff, but with the khis group as well. He must avoid not only the law, but the terrorists as he tries to prove his innocence.

I thought the characters were very tight and well written. The character of the main terrorist is similar to many others who in their own minds thought they were doing the patriotic thing. He brings to mind people such as Timothy McVeigh. The plot and storyline of the book are very topical as the number of militant extremist groups have been on the rise over the last few years.

The action scenes lead you at a breakneck speed through D.C. as Nick tries to absolve himself. A very exciting book, and I’d highly recommend it for those political thriller afficionados out there. I think you’d really like it. There is some strong situations etc. so I’d recommend it for older teens and adults. Grab a copy, give it a read, and don’t forget to come back by and tell us what you thought.

About the Author

Steve O’Brien is the author of Elijah’s Coin and Bullet Work. Both works have been the recipient of multiple literary awards.

Since its release, Elijah’s Coin has been added to the reading curriculum in multiple secondary schools throughout the US and has been incorporated in a university ethics course.

Steve is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and George Washington University Law School. He lives in Washington, DC.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Rebecca at Cadence Marketing for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Article: Larry D. Rosen – Author: iDisorder

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

It’s Not Only Beeps and Vibrations: Learn How to Focus From

By Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D,
Author of iDisorder: Understanding
Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us

Recently my research team observed nearly 300 middle school, high school and university students studying something important for a mere 15 minutes in their natural environments. We were interested in whether they could maintain focus and, if not, what might be distracting them. Every minute we noted exactly what they were doing, whether they were studying, if they were texting or listening to music or watching television in the background, and if they had a computer screen in front of them and what websites were being visited.

The results were startling. First, these students were only able to focus and stay on task for an average of three minutes at a time and nearly all of their distractions came from technology. [By the way, other researchers have found similar attention spans with computer programmers and medical students.] The major culprit: their smartphone and their laptop were providing constant interruptions. We also looked at whether these distractors might predict who was a better student. Not surprisingly those who stayed on task longer and had study strategies were better students. The worst students were those who consumed more media each day and had a preference for working on several tasks at the same time and switching back and forth between them. One additional result stunned us: If they checked Facebook just once during the 15-minute study period they were worse students. It didn’t matter how many times they looked at Facebook; once was enough.

So, what was going on with these students? We have asked thousands of students this exact question and what we hear is that when alerted by a beep, a vibration or a flashing image they feel compelled or drawn to attend to that distraction. However, they also tell us that even without the sensory reminder they are constantly thinking internally, “I wonder if anyone commented on my Facebook post” or “I wonder if anyone responded to my text message I sent 5 minutes ago” or even “I wonder what interesting new YouTube videos my friends have liked.”

Neuroscience is just now starting to emerge as a means of studying the impact of technology on the brain. Consider these recent study results:

  • Video game players show more volume in brain areas where risk and reward are processed but also less activity in areas dealing with emotional regulation and aggression PLUS more dopamine, which parallels what happens in an addict’s brain.
  • Distracted brains show specific regions that are activated in the brain and more distractions tends to parallel more activity.
  • Chinese youth who were addicted to the Internet showed more white matter in the areas of emotion, attention and control but also showed disrupted nerve cell connections in other areas of the brain.

I am convinced that learning to live with both internal and external distractions is all about teaching the concept of focus. In psychology we refer to the ability to understand when you need to focus and when it is not necessary to do so as “metacognition” or knowing how your brain functions. In one recent study we found a perfect demonstration of metacognition, albeit totally by accident. In this study we showed a video in several psychology courses, which was followed by a graded test. Students were told that we may be texting them during the videotape and to answer our text messages. In fact, one-third did not get a text message from us, one-third got four texts during the 30-minute video and the other third got eight texts, enough, we guessed, to make them not be able to concentrate on the video. Oh yes, one other wrinkle was that we timed the text messages to occur when important material was being shown on the videotape that was going to be tested later. We were right that the group who got eight texts did worse but the group with four texts did not. HOWEVER, here is where a mistake in our instructions told us more about what was going on inside the students’ heads when the text arrived. Those students who answered our texts immediately did worse than those who opted to wait a minute or two or even three or four to respond. Those students were using their metacognitive skills to decide when was a good time to be distracted.

How do we teach focus in a world that is constantly drawing our focus elsewhere? One idea is to use “technology breaks” where you check your phone, the web, whatever, for a minute or two and then turn the phone to silent, the computer screen off and “focus” on work or conversation or any non-technological activity for, say 15 minutes, and then take a 1-2 minute tech break followed by more focus times and more tech breaks. The trick is to gradually lengthen the focus time to teach yourself (and your kids) how to focus for longer periods of time without being distracted. I have teachers using this in classrooms, parents using it during dinner and bosses using tech breaks during meetings with great success. So far, though, the best we can get is about 30 minutes of focus. Thanks to Steve Jobs (and others) for making such alluring, distracting technologies.

© 2012 Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D, author of iDisorder: Understanding Our
Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us

Author Bio
Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D.,
author of iDisorder:
Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us
, is past Chair and Professor of Psychology at California State University,  Dominguez Hills. He is a research psychologist and computer educator, and is  recognized as an international expert in the “Psychology of Technology.” Over  the past 25 years, Dr. Rosen and his colleagues have examined reactions to  technology among more than 30,000 children, teens, college students, and adults  in the United States and in 23 other countries. He has been quoted in numerous  media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune,  CNN, and Good Morning America and writes a regular blog  for Psychology Today.

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