Reading list and special events

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I've been doing some traveling lately which has given me some time to read (and listen to on CDs) some recent best selling books.

"Confidence Men" by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind is subtitled "Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President."

Though the book includes interviews with President Obama and his key cabinet and staff people, I found the book devastating as to the lack of experience, management style and bickering that was revealed.

The following was printed on the flyleaf cover of the book:

"The new president surrounded himself with a team of seasoned players -- like Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, and Tim Geithner -- who had served a different president in a different time. As the nation's crises deepened, Obama's deputies often ignored the president's decisions -- ‘to protect him from himself' -- while they fought to seize control of a rudderless White House. Bitter disputes -- between men and women, policy and politics -- ruled the day. The result was an administration that found itself overtaken by events as, year to year, Obama struggled to grow into the world's toughest job and, in desperation, take control of his own administration."

It would be hard to read this book, as informative as the behind-the-scenes information intrigues, to bring yourself to vote for Obama's re-election.

Another of the five or six books I've read recently is "After America" (get ready for Armageddon) by Mark Steyn (radio and television commentator).

This is a pretty dark book about the future of this country, that is loaded with a lot of data supporting his premise. I recommend both of these books.

The flyleaf explains this book better than I could and reads as follows:

"Optimistic about America's future? Don't be. In his giant New York Times best-seller, "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It," Mark Steyn predicted collapse for the rest of the Western World. Now, he adds, America has caught up with Europe on the great rush to self-destruction.

"It's not just our looming financial collapse; it's not just a culture that seems on a fast track to perdition, full of hapless, indulgent, childish people who think government has the answer for every problem; it's not just America's potential eclipse as a world power because of the drunken sailor policymaking in Washington -- nor, it's all this and more that spells one word for America: Armageddon.

"What will a world without American leadership look like? It won't be pretty -- not for you and not for your children. America's decline won't be gradual, like an aging Europe sipping espresso at a cafe until extinction (and the odd Greek or Islamist riot). No, America's decline will be a wrenching affair marked by violence and possibly secession.

"With his trademark wit, Steyn delivers the depressing news with raw and unblinking honesty -- but also with the touch of vaudeville stand-up and soft shoe that makes him the most entertaining, yet profound, columnist on the planet. And as an immigrant with nowhere else to go, he offers his own prescription for winning America back from the feckless and arrogant liberal establishment that has done its level best to suffocate the world's last best hope in a miasma of debt, decay, and debility. You will not read a more important -- or more alarming, or even funnier -- book all year than ‘After America.'"

Save 7 p.m. Thursday to hear what I believe will be a highly informative free lecture, "The Faith of George Washington and Does It Matter?" by author Dr. Peter A. Lillback.

His interview by Glenn Beck was one of the best received ever and helped shoot his book to the best-selling list and numerous speaking requests.

The lecture is another in a history series sponsored by the Craders (Stan and Debbie and Don and Saundra), and the Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

The book will give you documented (heavily footnoted) and interesting information on the character and religious beliefs of what many believe is the No. 1 president and statesman in the history of the United States.

Note: Dr. Lillback will also be signing copies of his book from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Barnes & Noble.

We've reported on it, but the Vintage NOW Fashion Show two weeks ago was unanticipated fun and professional with over $31,000 in proceeds going to the Safe House for Women. A testimonial informed me of the need for the Safe House. Thirty-five adults and 27 children models carried out their runway walks with vim, vigor and vitality.

I understand they're already working on next year's show after doubling the attendance of last year's first show.

I believe that Cape Girardeau has become the antique and vintage fashion center of an 80 mile radius and is worth a check out shopping trip of locals, friends, tourists and destination shoppers.

For more than 25 years, since 1986, the Sports World Ministries (under the leadership of Bob Nations) has brought more than 30 speakers and reached more than 150,000 children with its message of discipline and hope in Southeast Missouri.

Recently over three days, 6,000 children heard the message of former pro football player Rich Garza.

I attended a luncheon and heard Rich give us excerpts from his remarks. His talk made me aware of the pressures many of our young students are living with and how they are searching for hope and inspiration.

Gary Rust is the chairman of Rust Communications.

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