The new book by John Bolton called the Room Where it Happened; A Whitehouse Memoir is not worth buying for patriotic Americans. Bolton should have testified in the impeachment hearings of Donald Trump if he thought something was wrong. He cannot appear now to tell us amazing tales of treachery and corruption after he did not do anything when it counted. Trump attempted to sell pieces of America to China, Turkey, and Ukraine in exchange for help with his reelection according to John Bolton. This is not a surprise. We all watched him ask Russia for help and get it in 2016; we still don’t know what they got for the help. Trump represents the worst of white privilege; the spectacle he is today exists because he constantly got away with crime and corruption. He rose to power by lying about a black man, he stays there by selling racism, lies, and fear. Research and vote in 2020 if you care about justice in the world, or America!
The book Stress Test (Reflections on Financial Crisis) by Timothy F. Geithner (former Secretary of Treasury) is a great source of information about the global financial system. I can say that I learned a lot by listening to the audiobook version. Mr. Geithner refers several times to the movie “Its a Wonderful Life” when people rush to pull money out of the Bailey savings and loan. That movie moment has always resonated to me as a way to understand the financial system. The system is based on trust and as Geithner says; “when trust disappears no one is safe” and that means especially the little guy. I have heard many people say that the bankers got away with murder, and the bailouts were unfair because only poor and working people were hurt. Geithner makes it clear that what he calls “Old Testament solutions” of punishment cause panic in financial systems(with lots more pain for the little guy). I would recommend anyone wanting to learn more about the financial system, the crisis of 2007-08 to read this book and “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis.
The book Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg talks about being aware of our 1. cues (things that trigger behaviors), 2. routines (common behavior patterns we don’t think much about), and 3. rewards (the feeling, event, or praise we receive that reinforces the behavior). All of us fall into loops of behavior and activities that lead us to what we want in life, or further away from it. Duhigg talks about how powerful habits are in our lives and that we should try to control them. I agree with his conclusion. Lets make our journey through life one that is more of what we want by weighing our habits and whether they add or subtract from what we want to be.
I have started listening to the audiobook version of 12 Rules for Life by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, and I am impressed by what I have heard so far. Dr. Peterson speaks to his rules from the aspects of his personal experience, literature, Psychology, and the Bible. I find the book fascinating and stimulating on life’s key issues. I recommend this book based on what I have heard up to the third rule. I recommend this book to people who have library access and enjoy reflecting on ways to improve in life. I will follow up when I finish the book, but I wanted to share my thoughts of this provocative book/
If you are trying to make sense of all the crazy events involving the 45th president you may need to read “The Plot to Destroy Democracy” by Malcolm Nance. Mr. Nance is a career military and intelligence official with a great deal of background and he uses it to make sense of a wide range of trends and events that lead to our current circumstance. If we have any chance of building a better world we have to understand how the bad actors are trying to take us all in a different direction. Malcolm Nance connects the dots on everything from; Putin’s takeover of Russia, the rise of right-wing parties in Europe, Brexit, the oligarch system spreading from Russia, to American conservatives falling in love with Vladimir Putin. The lies that we see coming from entire political parties are not being told for just for fun; there is much more to the story. If you want to know the facts then get the book.
We live in strange times where climate scientists and forecasters are under threat of being fired for disagreeing with a President who made a mistake. Other scientist who work on climate related agriculture issues are being forced to move from Washington DC to Kansas City within a three month time frame. In an audiobook by Michael Lewis called “The Coming Storm” tells the stories of government scientist and their research being monetized by outside companies while they are told to remain silent. American tax dollars pay for access to the truth of science to protect lives and livelihoods, but not everyone wants to see the jewel that is our civil service science and research succeed. Some want tax funded research dismantled, or muzzled to hide the truth so that a few can make money, or seem like they know what they are talking about. Every American should be made aware of what our government does well, and not just problems.
I just finished Dave Ramsey’s book “The Total Money Makeover”. This is a great short read for anyone who wants to improve their financial circumstance and/or lifestyle. Dave has clear steps and practices that anyone can understand and put into practice; the only thing you need to add is determination and you will change your life. This book has a lot to offer, but I know how easy it is to substitute or create a hybrid of Dave’s formula. The book spells out that you can; have a disciplined budget, a clear focus (the debt snowball), and a goal to live like no one else so that you can live and give like no one else (retire debt free with a million plus in assets).
The book Born to Win (by Zig Ziglar and Tom Ziglar) is a great one for anyone looking to make changes in their life. The book provides tools and insight to help you figure out who you are, what you want, and how to get there. Zig Ziglar ( who has passed on) and his Tom Ziglar provide both great life stories along with concrete tools to both motivate and support the change process. The book has 3 main focus areas; plan for success, prepare for success, and expect success, with a fourth area of tools for success. This book pairs nicely with understanding how to develop and change habits (previous review).
Charles Duhigg wrote a powerful book (The Power of Habit) that gives us tools to impact a central area of our lives – habits. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their life. Here is a brief summary of the central question key points of the book. What’s the best way to release yourself from negative habits? You need to understand the habit loop; which is made up of three stages:
1.Cue – something that triggers your habit
2.Routine – the behavior that follows after you’ve triggered your habit
3.Reward – the positive reinforcement your brain identifies with the routine you use.
The key to breaking out of habit loops is to understand these three stages and little changes you can make in any one, or all of them to change your behavior. With time and discipline you can make small substitutions or choices consistently and change whatever you desire about your habits!
I recently completed the audiobook version of Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. The book is excellent and very helpful in a variety of ways. I was a believer in the idea that you cannot fix a problem if you don’t own it before I listened to the book. Listening to this book and it’s concise lessons and strategies pushes the listener to take responsibility and do more in life. This is a great book by warriors who know what they are talking about.