Category Archives: news

Top Baby Names for 2009 courtesy of Twilight craze

The top girl’s baby name for 2009 is “Isabella”, because of the character “Bella” from the Twilight book series.

The top boy’s name for 2009 was “Jacob”, (another Twilight character), and “Cullen” (the surname of Twilight vampire, Edward Cullen), also saw a major surge.




Filed under books, news

United Through Reading program

I just saw this on CNN today and thought it was super cool.

This program lets soldiers in the military pick a children’s book, read it on camera and then (absolutely for free), they send the DVD recording and the book to their child.

At home, the children have story time with their parent almost as if they were right there. I think this is fantastic and I’m definitely adding it to my list of charities I’d like to contribute to.

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The Coming China Wars

“People say China is a sleeping giant, but it’s wide awake. It’s the elephant creeping up behind us. Only, it’s so big we can scarcely see it moving.” – Zainab Bangura, Sierra Leone political activist

I’m reading a non-fiction book called The Coming China Wars by Peter Navarro. I have to say that I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that has made my jaw drop open every few pages the way this one does. Some of the information is just shocking. Here is a small sample:

Unsafe Food Supply:

Most people quite rightly think of China as a manufacturing powerhouse and the world’s “factory floor.” Increasingly, China is also becoming the world’s fish farm, fruit orchard, and vegetable garden.

Today China is the third largest exporter of food to the United States. China accounts for more than 50% of the garlic, 45% of the apple juice, roughly 20% of the honey and about 15% of the seafood imported into the United States. Incredibly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests less than 1% of all food imports into the U.S.

China is the leading exporter of catfish, eel, and tilapia to the United States and the second biggest shrimp supplier. China is also the world’s leading exporter of toxic seafood.

The surprising Darfur connection:

Much of the blood shed to date in Darfur is on the hands of the Chinese government. For the first four years of conflict, China steadfastly refused to allow the United Nations either to impose sanctions against the Sudan or to land a substantial peacekeeping force. In exchange for China’s diplomatic shield, the Sudan has responded by making China its biggest oil customer. To pay for that oil, China has also emerged as the Sudan’s largest supplier of weapons. Indeed, it has been Chinese-made tanks, fighter planes, bombers, machine guns, helicopters, and rocket-propelled grenades that have often been used in the campaign of genocide in Darfur.

More Corrupt dealings in Africa (and this is just the tip of the iceberg):

Zimbabwe doesn’t have oil, but it is the world’s second-largest exporter of platinum, a key import for China’s auto industry. Chinese radio-jamming devices block Zimbabwe’s dissident broadcasts, and Chinese workers built [President Robert] Mugabe’s new $9 million home, featuring a blue-tiled roof donated by the Chinese government. While Western politicians railed against Mugabe last year for flattening entire shantytowns, China was supplying him with fighter jets and troop carriers worth about $240 million in exchange for imports of gold and tobacco. – Fortune

China in Latin America:

Perhaps most troublesome of all of China’s Latin America tangos is its increasingly close relations with Fidel Castro’s Cuba… China has taken over the Cuban military, port, and electronic and satellite spying facilities once used by the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.”

Environmental Fallout:

Much of the acid rain now falling on the forests, farmland, and rice fields of Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan originates in China. “Chinese made” acid rain is so bad that it approaches levels of acidity equal to that of vinegar.

…Chinese smog…is sucked up into the jet stream and then travels as far away as Canada and the United States…At times, as much as 25% of the air pollution in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco originates in China.


China has ten million slaves. The definition of a slave is someone who is given work and food but no wages. That’s what these people are. – Professor Zhou Ziaozheng, People’s University of China

So why can’t the U.S. do something about all this? (Currency manipulation)

…China has accumulated over one trillion dollars worth of U.S. government bonds. Now, anytime that U.S. politicians threaten to penalize China for its unfair trading practices, China routinely retaliates with threats of its “financial nuclear option.” Specifically, China threatens to destabilize the U.S. economy by dumping U.S. government bonds and dollars on world markets.

This is no idle threat. If China were to dump U.S. government bonds and dollars on the world markets, it would cause the value of the dollar to plummet, interest and mortgage rates to soar, inflation to spike, the housing market to collapse, and world financial markets to plunge into chaos. That’s precisely why even Chinese officials describe this dark side of currency manipulation as the “nuclear” equivalent of an attack on the U.S. financial system.

I could type excerpts from this book all day and not even begin to cover the scope of the problem. This book is a must read for every American. Know what’s out there, and know what’s coming.


Filed under books, news, politics

In An Instant (Book Review)

In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing is a touching and inspirational story written by Bob Woodruff, the ABC News Anchor, and his wife Lee.

Like many American families, the Woodruff family seemed to have it all. Healthy children, great careers, and a happy marriage. The day Bob embedded with the military in Iraq, their lives changed forever.

An IED went off near the tank that he was traveling in, and he and his cameraman were badly injured. Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him.

The book takes us through the stories of what life was like before the accident, as well as the heart wrenching events that followed, from both Bob and Lee’s unique points of view. There is not one emotion, from bliss, hope and happiness to fear, guilt, and heartache that is left unexamined in this memoir that will be sure to give you renewed perspective and appreciation for your loved ones, your health, your everyday blessings and your life in general.

A percentage of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury.


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