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Book Review of:
The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Resistance, by Vin Suprinowicz|
Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, lifelong history buff and author of over 5,000 articles.
I'm not anti-government, and neither is this book or this author. In fact, quite the opposite. What we desperately need in America today is government. We need law enforcement. We need accountability. We need a civilized society. In reference to people who hide behind their government jobs while they blatantly violate human rights and steal both private and public property, we have none of these things. A real government is self-policing, has a reasonable degree of integrity, enforces its laws, and serves the people.
Anyone who doesn't think America is under siege--doesn't think. In this book, Vin Suprynowicz presents the reader with various accounts of egregious behavior that motivate an abused citizenry to rise up. Unfortunately, these accounts are not fiction--they are drawn from actual events. If you review the Bill of Rights, you see that of the ten, only the Third Amendment still applies in our courts and bureaucracies.
Just how much under siege are we? Just the confiscation aspect alone is alarming. For the average citizen, federal taxes add up to nearly 50% of income--15.3% flat tax (SS), 23% or so graduated tax, and various payroll taxes. Then you have all the excise taxes, license fees, and so on--there are 122 taxes on a single loaf of bread. Total total taxes amount to 70% to 85% of a citizen's earnings. Is being "allowed to" keep only 15% to 30% of your earnings confiscatory and punitive? You decide.
And this assumes a citizen isn't an American Taliban (also known as the Infernal teRrorism Service) target enduring tax rates well over 100%. In the Hoyt Fiasco, for example, many victims of a fraud in which AT employees participated lost their lifesavings, only to later be slapped with a made-up theft-loss tax (as opposed to an income tax) equal to several decades of earnings. The idea that "our" government isn't robbing us blind may be technically accurate--but employees of "our" government have no problem robbing individuals and diverting funds to their own pockets. They have a free pass to do as they please, whether silencing a victim permanently or simply stealing 4300 computers a year from their own offices. Even the government's own GAO documents these thefts, but nothing gets done about them.
The excesses, abuse, and psychopathic behavior that typify our bureaucrats and leave a wake of destruction are where the real issues lie. The theft, as extensive as it is, pales beside such documented agency abuses as shooting babies (Ruby Ridge) and burning children alive (Waco).
In this book, a heroic figure emerges to free a city run by a corrupt mayor. If you think mayoral corruption doesn't cost lives, think of New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina) and Chicago (disarmament). Both cities are legendary for graft, corruption, and body bags.
The book makes for great entertainment, but it also sends a message. The terrorists and parasites who have infiltrated--and now dominate--our government agencies will, of course, see the wrong message. They are, like alcoholics who refuse to see they have a drinking problem, in denial. They see their victims as deserving of the abuse heaped upon them. They care not one whit for their coworkers, who actually see "government service" as a personal mandate. Unfortunately, it takes only one terrorist or parasite to undo the hard labor and dedication of 100 decent people serving in government. The bad news is the terrorists and parasites are everywhere.
The right message is simply this: Tyranny is not acceptable. If that idea seems radical, just refer to the quotes that start each chapter of this book. Such "radicals" as former US Presidents and Supreme Court Justices have voiced that same message.
If you don't think we have tyranny, ask yourself why an employee of the State of California is in prison for--as a part of his job responsibilities--simply delivering medicinal marijuana. This was totally legal under the laws of California. But the feds hauled this man off to prison. That's just one example. How about the Michigan day care center, where agents of the American Taliban held toddlers at gunpoint in 1984 for taxes not even owed? The governor had to call in the National Guard to free the children, but the agents involved were protected from prosecution because they "didn't know" this kidnapping was illegal. Yes, that was 20+ years ago, but since then the abuses have only gotten worse.
Is it too much to ask of our elected representatives that they return this nation to a nation of laws rather than a nation of hijacked power, petty fiefdoms, and criminal enclaves? Why can't we have a nation that respects due process and the basic rights of human beings?
So, what will happen if our elected officials continue to abdicate their responsibilities? Suprynowicz has given us one vision of the future. Whether today's trends will produce a violent uprising or a peaceful return to a nation where civil rights and the law matter--well, nobody has a crystal ball.
This book doesn't advocate violence, but warns against it. And it does so in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The book is a thriller, a romance, an historical account, a futuristic tale, and a tutorial all rolled into one very readable, very exciting text. Let us hope those in power heed the warning and start using their powers of office for the right purposes.
About these reviews
You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?
I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?
And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.
This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.
My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.
A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.
About your reviewer
About reading style
No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.
Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.