Thursday, August 27, 2015

Army kicking out decorated Green Beret who stood up for Afghan rape victim

EXCLUSIVE: The U.S. Army is kicking out a decorated Green Beret after an 11-year Special Forces career, after he got in trouble for shoving an Afghan police commander accused of raping a boy and beating up his mother when she reported the incident. 
The case of Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland now has the attention of Congress, with Rep. Duncan Hunter writing to Defense Secretary Ash Carter challenging the decision. 
"I am once again dismayed by the Army's actions in this case," Hunter, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to Carter. 
Martland is described by many of his teammates as the finest soldier they have ever served alongside.
But his Army career changed course during his second deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. After learning an Afghan boy was raped and his mother beaten, Martland and his team leader confronted a local police commander they had trained, armed and paid with U.S. taxpayer dollars. When the man laughed off the incident, they physically confronted him. 
They were punished by the Army at the time -- but why exactly Martland is now being discharged is a matter of dispute. Army sources cited his accolades, including being named runner-up for 2014 Special Warfare Training Group Instructor of the Year from a pool of 400 senior leaders in Special Forces, in questioning the decision. 
As for the incident in 2011, Hunter told Carter: "To intervene was a moral decision, and SFC Martland and his Special Forces team felt they had no choice but to respond." 
Casey, a former Green Beret teammate who would only use his first name since he is now a member of a federal counterterrorism team, told Fox News, "If I was a commander, I would have given him an award. They saved that kid's life." 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sarah Sundin’s ‘Through Waters Deep’ and Anchors Aweigh Giveaway

Book info
About the book: 
Through Waters Deep
 (Revell, August 2015)

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war.

Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges---and dangers---await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.


Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1DkJmlO
About the author:
Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every LetterOn Distant Shores, In Perfect Time, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2014,On Distant Shores was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards from both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Find Sarah online: 
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Dive into Sarah Sundin's explosive new series, Waves of Freedom, with book one, Through Waters Deep
When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them in the midst of their budding romance.

Join Sarah in celebrating the release of Through Waters Deep by entering to win an Anchors Aweigh prize pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Through Waters Deep
  • A nautical tote bag
  • A set of compass rose notecards
  • A "Hope Anchors the Soul" journal
  • A Boston Tea Party earl grey tea set
  • Through Waters Deep apron
  • A set of nautical tea towels
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Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 24th. The winner will be announced August 25th on Sarah's blog.

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MY REVIEW:  Thank you Litfuse Publicity Group for providing me a free copy of this book to review.

I've been a huge fan of Sarah Sundin since her first book, "A Distant Melody." Her "Wings of Glory" series. Awesome!

Through Waters Deep is the first book in Sarah Sundin’s, Waves of Freedom series and it did not disappoint. I'm a sucker for WWII novels and the cover just drew me in.  These stories just come to life.  Although, let me clarify, there was some creative license taken by the author to make it more exciting and intriguing. At the end of her novel, she will explain about the fictitious, which are crucial in parts of the story.

Mary is quiet a secretary working the Boston Naval Yard, Jim Avery is a blast from the past, an old school chum that used to be in love with her best-friend, Quintessa. They begin a blooming friendship and maybe more?

What I loved about this story are the strong characters, they are very-well written, they truly come to life in the pages. You can feel their sadness, pain, fear and so much more. You are right there with them through it all.  I love that Mary is not described as some vivacious, beautiful woman that all men want to have. No, she's just an average young woman trying to make it in the world. Her quiet demeanor, helps her to observe without drawing too much attention to herself. She will use this to her advantage as she begins her quest in finding the saboteur on the Atwood.

There is a lot of mystery, throughout the book, tensions are high, people begin to suspect one another, and you think you know who it is, and then they turn out to be innocent. Loved it!  The story keeps you on your toes.  So much action and excitement on the high seas, as well as on land. There were times I was holding my breath in anticipation.
I truly loved how God was never put aside, but a constant companion. It's what moved and gave strength to our main characters.

Loved this book!!  I can't wait for the next installment.










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Friday, August 14, 2015

The 80's was the best decade EVER! Here's why.........

In My Opinion:

We had the best metal bands, such as: Ozzy and Randy Rhoads, oh yeah! Metallica, Dio, Anthrax, Yngwie Malmsteen (darn he was hot!) Anyhoo...Megadeth, Queensr├┐che, Iron Maiden, Flotsom & Jetsam, The Crue, Metal Church, Skid Row.. You get the picture... loved metal, the louder the better.

Movies: John Hughes... need I say more? First Blood, Terminator, Aliens, Batman, Diehard, Predator, Lethal Weapon, Commando, Conan the Barbarian, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Princess Bride, Star Wars Episode V, Blood Sport, The Road Warrior... too many!

The scariest movies that gave me nightmares for weeks: and to this day will never watch them again.. Poltergeist and Nightmare on Elm Street... Egads! I never looked at a clown the same again, evil! Then there was Hellraiser, Gremlins (not scary but funny) An American Werewolf in London, THE LOST BOYS! Killer Clowns from Outer Space (hilarious), Night of the Creeps, Fright Night, The Shining,

And then....We were the first generatio to watch MTV, when they actually played videos, Remember "Headbangers Ball" on every Friday til Midnight.

Concert tickets only cost about $15 to $20. Concert t-shirts $15. Yup!

We went to arcades to play video games: Donkey Kong, Defender, Galaga, Centipede, Pac Man, Super Mario Bros. I remember being in a lock-in at my favorite arcade for EIGHT straight hours! Tron, hmm...

Now, the clothes...Granted, most of the time I wore rock t-shirts, torn jeans and my most very favorite shoes, my high tops, BRITISH NIGHTS! That's all I wore, other than my pink converse. Hee...hee... short, short jean skirts, half shirts, and my black boots. I was a rocker, what can I say? As for the Valley Girl look, tried it, didn't like it, even tried the "Madonna" look. Bleh..

First love...ahhh

Nuff said.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

People Who Talk To Themselves Aren’t Crazy, They’re Actually Geniuses

Found this interesting.  I'll fess up, I talk a lot to myself.

“If I were my peach smoothie body butter, where would I be?” I say to no one while I search for my favorite lotion. Then: “Aha! Here you are. You rolled under my bed.”
I talk to myself a lot. And I don’t mean only in the privacy of my own home. I talk to myself while I’m walking down the street, when I’m in my office or when I’m shopping.
Thinking out loud helps me materialize what I’m thinking about. It helps me make sense of things.
It also makes me look insane. Crazy people talk to themselves, right? They’re conversing with the voices inside their heads. If you’re yammering on to nobody, everyone thinks you’re a mental patient.
I’m sure many people have seen me wandering down the streets of NYC and thought, “The crack addiction is strong with that one.”
I’m positive I look disturbingly similar to Gollum in “Lord Of The Rings” when he dotes over his “precious.”
Well, the joke is on the judgmental assh*les who give me a side-eye on the train. (By the way, I SEE YOU!).
Talking to yourself, it turns out, is a sign of genius.
The smartest people on earth talk to themselves. Look at the inner monologues of the greatest thinkers. Look at poetry! Look at history!
Albert Einstein talked to himself. He wasn’t an avid social butterfly when he was growing up, and he preferred to keep to himself.
Einstein.org reports that he “used to repeat his sentences to himself softly.”
So, you see? I’m not alone, and I’m not completely bonkers. I’m just really smart. Ha!

Talking to yourself makes your brain work more efficiently.

In a study printed in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, psychologists Daniel Swigley and Gary Lupya hypothesized that talking to yourself was actually beneficial.
We’re all guilty of it, right? We might as well celebrate it and study the benefits.
In one experiment, Swigley and Lupya gave 20 people the name of an object (like a loaf of bread or an apple), which they were told to find in the supermarket.
During the first set of trials, the participants were bound to silence. In the second set, they repeated the object’s name out loud as they looked for it in the store.
According to Live Science, test subjects found the object with greater ease when they spoke to themselves while searching. Saying things out loud sparks memory. It solidifies the end game and makes it tangible.

Talking out loud to yourself helps you only when you know what you need.

If you want to find something, speaking the object’s name out loud is helpful only when you’re familiar with its appearance.
You have to know what it is you’re looking for; otherwise, you’ll just confuse yourself. According to Lupyan:
Speaking to yourself isn’t always helpful — if you don’t really know what an object looks like, saying its name can have no effect or actually slow you down. If, on the other hand, you know that bananas are yellow and have a particular shape, by saying banana, you’re activating these visual properties in the brain to help you find them.
In other words, you can’t make sense of something without knowing what you’re dealing with. If you know what you need and verbalize its name, you will better your chances of finding it.

You learn as a child by talking to yourself.

Babies learn to speak by listening to grownups and mimicking what they say. Talking is all about practice.
We need to hear our voices to learn how to use them.
According to Live Science, “self-directed speech can help guide children’s behavior, with kids often taking themselves step-by-step through tasks such as tying their shoelaces, as if reminding themselves to focus on the job at hand.”
Think about all the munchkins you know. Haven’t you seen them talking to themselves while they play with a toy car or favorite stuffed animal?
A toddler can remain focused by talking through his problems.
If a small boy is playing with his toy cars, he might say, “The small car can fit through this garage door, but the big truck is too big.” At the same time, he’ll test which of the cars fit inside the toy garage.
A child learns by talking through his actions. By doing so, he remembers for the future how he solved the problem. Talking through it helps him or her make sense of the world.

Talking to yourself helps you organize your thoughts.

What helps me the most when I talk to myself is that I’m able to organize the countless wild thoughts running rampant through my brain.
Hearing my issues vocalized calms my nerves. I’m being my own therapist: Outer-voice me is helping inner-brain me through my problems.
According to psychologist Linda Sapadin, talking out loud to yourself helps you validate important and difficult decisions. “It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you’re contemplating.”
Everyone knows the best way to solve a problem is to talk it out. Since it’s your problem, why not do it with yourself?

Talking to yourself helps you achieve your goals.

Making a list of goals and setting out to achieve them can be hard to do. It can be overwhelming.
Talking yourself through those goals is a much steadier way to achieve them. If you walk yourself through the process, each step will seem less difficult and more concise.
Things will suddenly seem doable, and you’ll be less apprehensive about diving into the problem.
As Sapadin puts it, “Saying [your goals] out loud focuses your attention, reinforces the message, controls your runaway emotions and screens out distractions.”
It puts things in perspective and grounds you.
Talking to yourself means that you are self-reliant. Like Albert Einstein, who “was highly gifted and acquired early in his life the ability to exploit his talents,” people who talk to themselves are highly proficient and count on only themselves to figure out what they need.
We “crazies” are the most efficient and intelligent of the bunch. We take the time to listen to our inner voices, out loud and proud!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Republican Debate....

First of all, the first debate, I believe Carly Friorina was fantastic and Bobby Lindal was a surprise!  Carly was precise, clear and spoke with perfect clarity.  Totally composed. Very impressive. Will be keeping my eye on her.

The Moderators did an excellent job and gave fair time to each candidate.

Second Debate: Wow!  It was enlightening, but I feel that Carson, Cruz and Huckabee were virtually ignored, and I would have liked to see them answer many of the questions asked, but it seemed that the moderators were concentrating on attacking Trump, and focused more on Bush, Christie and Rand.

Huckabee, LOVED what he said about our military, that it is not a social club. He did a great job, spoke from the heart and meant every word.  Proud of my former Governor.

Cruz.. not given many opportunities to speak, but when he did  well thought out and eloquent, nicely done.

Carson was virtually ignored, however, when he was given the opportunity to respond his answers were precise, concise and quite intelligent in his responses. Well done!  And has a cool sense of humor.

Trump... lost a lot of points with me.

As for the Moderators, they were a HUGE disappointment and quite frankly shameful.

Megyn Kelly was absolutely disgraceful. I lost a lot of respect for her tonight.  I'm not sure what to think.

Thoughts... comments?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015