“Please don’t let this case get to the death-penalty phase. Do that for me, will you?”

Antagonist to her Protagonist attorney

I evaluate books on the basis of our worldviews; clearly we select our reading material on that basis. The following are ten worldview factors considered relevant to an objective review of The Rose Conspiracy:

Moral Offense/Personal factor: very low
Agenda/Worldview factor: high/religious
Readability factor: high
Interest/Attention factor: high – slow to start but ultimately high
Fog/Confusion factor: low
Historical factor (if applicable): strong
Educational factor (if applicable): medium to strong
Novelty factor: high
Finish factor: medium
Overall Rating: On a scale of one to ten – an eight point five; if you’re not a history fan, or you’re an anti-religion zealot, you may not see it my way … but, then, I don’t really care!

See below for the key to these factors.

OVERVIEW

According to Harvest House, the publisher …

Parshall takes his readers to the nation’s capital, where a hitherto unknown [John Wilkes Booth] document has turned up…and turned into murder.

As the Smithsonian’s president examines a newly discovered account of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, an intruder steals in, kills him, and disappears into the night with the document.

Vinnie Archmont, an accomplished and stunningly beautiful artist, is implicated. She hires the brilliant but secretly guilt–burdened criminal law professor J.D. Blackstone.

Blackstone finds himself uncovering the Mystic Freemasons’ most guarded secret. He reluctantly turns to his uncle, a Bible–quoting Anglican priest and occult–religions expert. Enemies like a sorcery–obsessed billionaire English lord, a powerful U.S. Senator, and a ruthless prosecutor force Blackstone to employ all his cunning.

In the process, he is compelled to choose between

[the] spiritual counterfeit and [what is presented as] Gospel truth, [between] guilt and forgiveness … [as well as between] destruction and a new beginning.

Parenthetical inserts are Spacious Skies’ clarifications.

Overall I enjoyed the read; though not as engrossing as I prefer, it was a pleasant read and not a waste of time as so many are after you’ve read a couple thousand books in your lifetime; by that I mean the author overcame my overread prejudices.

Those prejudices tended to make the characters and plot somewhat predictable and, in many ways, poorly developed. However, after finishing the book and looking back, I see this criticism as relatively undeserved.

The intent of the author and the publisher was to present a Judeo-Christian worldview in the context of an historical setting. Did they accomplish that? I would answer that with a qualified yes. Simply put “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” and so I would have preferred a frontal assault on the subject.

By chapter 46 a subtle Judeo-Christian witness picks up and becomes quite well conceived and presented.

At at least one point (about Ch. 28) the reading slowed to a crawl and at another point (about Ch. 37) I began to feel like there were too many cliches being thrown in … however, in both cases the distraction was brief.

As a big fan of historical fiction, I would have enjoyed a greater development of the Lincoln assassination and the plethora of Civil War connections. But on the whole the work did not suffer from their absence.

I would recommend this book to any reader; especially those who enjoy criminal or historical fiction, specifically those with a Judeo-Christian worldview.

AUTHOR

Craig Parshall is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Religious Broadcasters Association, and the author of six legal–suspense novels: the five books in the Chambers of Justice series, and the stand–alone Trial by Ordeal.

Parshall speaks nationally on legal and Christian worldview issues and is a magazine columnist. He has coauthored five books with his wife, Janet, including the historical novels Crown of Fire and Captives and Kings.

DISCLAIMER

I am not an employee of Harvest House Publishers, nor am I associated with them or the author; additionally, I’ve received no compensation for this review; the book was provided to me at no cost for the purpose of review by Active Christian Media.

FACTOR KEY

Moral Offense/Personal: did the author include material I found personally or morally offensive?
Agenda/Worldview: did the author use his work to push an agenda or personal worldview?
Readability: how did the text flow; did I have to stop and go back? A little or lots?
Interest/Attention: Was I grabbed early on and held there to the end?
Fog/Confusion: did the author write more than needed? was his style or plot line confusing? did I feel uncertain about where the author was going at any time?
Historical: Since I read lots of historical stuff, were there a lots of historical goodies for me to munch on as I read? (Note: full coarse meals earn “very high” ratings)
Educational: did I learn anything I did not already know or had forgotten?
Novelty: did the author present novel approaches in his plot and people?
Finish: did the author leave me hanging? did I feel cheated after sacrificing my valuable time to read his stupid book? In other words, did he finish his effort in a valiant way?
Overall Rating: the author’s final grade; a one is an “F”, a five is a “C”, and a ten is an “A.”

Posted by: John Gillmartin | March 11, 2009

WIKIPEDIA: The late once great online encyclopedia!

If the report is true, Wikipedia has a team of administrators/censors scrubbing the site of all negative insertions on Barrack Obama.

Wikipedia going partisan

Wikipedia going partisan

Wikipedia, the online “free encyclopedia” mega-site written and edited entirely by its users, has been deleting within minutes any mention of eligibility issues surrounding Barack Obama’s presidency, with administrators kicking off anyone who writes about the subject, WND [World Net Daily] has learned.

The scrubbing is not limited to the eligibility question but rather all entries deemed negative by the site’s censors.

This renders the once great and easily accessible reference source unusable and a politically partisan media option; it can no longer be trusted as a legitimate research reference source.

Much of what is seen as politics in America is actually a war between amoral (secular relativism/humanism) and moral worldviews.

To most informed observers it appears to be a battle between those who lack much in the way of conscience and those who manifest behavior consistent with a conscience. I realize there is an abundance of subjectivity there but the data and simple observation suggests a majority would agree when qualified by the term apparent.

The persistent and general behavior of the former is described by some as psychopathic; lacking in social, moral and ethical limits. On the other hand the latter is described in polar opposite terms.

“A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do,” he says. “A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation’s citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do.” [Dr. Lyle Rossiter, “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.”]

With the takeover of academia (read down in this article) by the radical left in the 70s, America lost its ability to nurture and succor its young. Perceiving abandonment by their elders our youth flocked to radical, left-leaning professors and mentors. Two generations of young people are  now well on their way to being virtual psychopaths, manifesting anti-American and anti-social behavior – collectively.

One of the mentors of our young was Saul D. Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals

Saul D. Alinskys Rules for Radicals

Saul D. Alinsky's Rules for Radicals

Known as the “father of modern American radicalism,” … Alinsky (1909-1972) developed strategies and tactics that take the enormous, unfocused emotional energy of grassroots groups and transform[s] it into effective anti-government and anti-corporate activism.

Activist organizations [including our colleges  and universities] teach his ideas widely … as a set of model behaviors, and they use these principles to create an emotional commitment to victory – no matter what. [Craig Miyamoto, Dr. Bulldog & Ronin]

In this end of life manual for troublemaking, Alinsky posits his unspoken claim that everyone, I repeat, everyone is manipulatable to any, repeat, any end, friend or foe.

Radicals cannot be accused of thinking small – they think big indeed – the overthrow of our capitalistic foundations, especially those in America, has been a long held dream. Miyamoto says, “[Radical] grassroots pressure on large organizations is reality, and there is every indication that it will grow.” What could be a larger organization than the non-radical American public – over half of Lady Liberty’s children.

It is telling to remember no critical analysis of Alinsky’s views has concluded his rules, once applied, are irreversible … they are indeed reversible. Apart from reason, which likewise convinces me, my belief in The Living God sustains that belief.

The principal problem is that the left’s “enemies” (I suggest these are the moral or ethical among us) are neither a) as dedicated to success nor b) as willing to sacrifice for their cause as Alinskyites. However, as one expert observer pointed out “Rules for Radicals are reversible and can be used against the Left.”

Saul D. Alinsky - Commie

Saul D. Alinsky - Commie

In the first chapter, opening paragraph Alinsky writes, “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away”. [The Purpose, Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals, Saul D. Alinsky]

Thus, this war (that’s what they call it) is about power, the power to control the lives of others.

At all times we must remember that a) alliances for Alinskyites (such as with Stalinists or organized crime) have no moral limits, means are immaterial – only ends (victory at all costs) matter and b) perception, not reality,  is everything. If these are properly grasped, the Left can be reversed.

Thus a weakness of the conservative right is exposed because: a) alliances have moral limits (ends do not justify the means) and b) reality is everything since objective ethics and morality are core elements of our worldview.

At it’s core the Rules are amoral relativism – James Lewis wrote in the American Thinker

The single most important point about Alinsky’s “community organizing” strategy is that normal people can be trained to act like psychopaths: To become convinced that a “higher morality” allows them to act without conscience. As Alinsky wrote admiringly about V.I. Lenin, well known as a large-scale murder leader:

“Lenin was a pragmatist; … he said that the Bolsheviks stood for getting power through the ballot box but would reconsider after they got the guns!”

This brings up the left’s assault on our Second Amendment right to bear arms. How will we loose our guns? According to the Rules, by any means possible. But in reality the near term solution will be by its slow and subtle overthrow through a series of crisis distortions and the marginalization of, demoralization of, and fragmentation of our military.

Because the conflicts manifest in high-profile public debate and often-panicked decision-making, studying Alinsky’s rules will help organizations develop counteractive strategies that can level the playing field. [Craig Miyamoto, Dr. Bulldog & Ronin]

Still, the Left can be reversed.

And remember, Rules for Radicals was dedicated to

“… the very first radical … who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”

This Alinsky icon is already defeated yet the evil he personifies is constantly at work on the Left.

At the time of this writing there is an orchestrated attack by the President of the United States upon a private citizen. Not all appreciate or even tolerate this private citizen but that is not the point. He is a citizen; his antagonist is the President.

Here we have the leader of the free world conducting an undenied smear campaign through surrogates against a private, law-abiding citizen in the midst of one of the greatest economic and geopolitical crisis periods of world history. Many on both sides of the battle are becoming concerned about Mr. Obama’s ability to recognize priorities.

Is it possible to reverse the advances of the left? Even defeat them? Yes it is (see comments section here): by being better at their  game, all the while maintaining our integrity, our ethics, and our moral core!

The following series is an exposition and critical analysis of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, followed by a concluding wrap-up on the whole series with recommendations.

Posted by: John Gillmartin | March 4, 2009

IF I WERE AN IMMIGRANT: Why minorities vote …

I’ve been thinking on this subject for about 30 years; ever since I first started voting seriously and noticing the phenomena. I am assuming it was the influence of Ronald Wilson Reagan, during the days of César Chávez.

The question I’ve asked myself during those three decades is one of life’s great mysteries: why do minorities (especially immigrants from Mexico, Central, and South America) predominantly vote for the one party which factually, historically, and sociologically oppresses them?

I believe the answer is found in ignorance* grounded in misinformation; ignorance being the absence of knowledge; misinformation, as I mean it, being false knowledge.

Rush Limbaugh and others are right when they say ignorance is the most serious disease in America today; they are also right when the say ever since the war on poverty started forty years ago (previous periods of this exist as well), the democrats have fought to keep and grow their base with a politics of ignorance (separating their base from the marketplace of ideas and nanny-state dependence) and the propaganda of misinformation (defeatism, cultural confusion, class envy, stereotyping the opposition and, of course, the Big Lie).

My point is not directed at the schemes or duplicity of the Democrat/Liberal but rather at the cultural and familial preconditioning of the ignorant and misinformed immigrant.

Think about it! Our worldviews are preconditioned by our families and our heritage, then aggravated or enhanced by whatever life experiences we acquire during our journey.

Most of these (those I’m addressing) come from nations where the elite and rich are oppressive and powerful, they dominate the politics of life in their former homelands. Unless privileged, they are conditioned by lack and by real grievances against the rich and powerful.

Immigrants tend to self-segregate according to the traditions and culture of their acquired worldviews; so, immediately upon (even before) arriving here, these new Americans are energized by the knowledge and information baggage brought with them and then polluted by the prejudices of those who preceded them to their new home.

My Latino, Mexicano, and missionary friends inform me that most immigrants believe the rich and the elite in America are all Republicans  or Conservatives (or that all Republicans/Conservatives are elite and rich). However, they are also told in America they have the vote, and have the collective strength to keep the rich and the elite (read Republican or Conservative) of their new home from power.

Now, since they are conditioned to accept what they are told by families and by the trusted of their cultures, they are kept in ignorance; this ignorance is nurtured by misinformation. And this is generationally contagious.

My thesis is this – when ignorance and misinformation prevail in a given culture, the resulting fruit manifests itself as irrational or illogical behavior. In this case, voting for those who can do them the most harm but against those who have been shown historically their most ardent benefactors – sort of an immigrant’s  Stockholm Syndrome.

I am convinced immigrant minorities vote Democrat/liberal not because Republicans/Conservatives are what they are accused of being but rather because of a misinformed stereotype of them which perpetuates a sad ignorance an unawareness among them. From what I know of this phenomena, among my minority acquaintances, it is a preconditioned fear of oppression and a resentment of the privileged.

Republicans and Conservatives must learn the lessons of Saul D. Alinsky ‘s Rules for Radicals and marginalize the Liberals/Democrats, isolate their target (immigrant minorities) – freeze them, personalize them, and polarize them. Just like the Dems and Libs have been doing for 4 decades.

__________

* By using the term’s historical meaning I am trying to avoid the accusation of the poliitcally correct that I’m calling minorities “stupid.”

Posted by: John Gillmartin | February 28, 2009

TEA PARTY PROTEST – Springfield, Missouri

Chilly Tea Party Protesters

Chilly Tea Party Protesters

On a cold (1 degree above freezing), gray, overcast knob of a hill in a city park, hundreds of Missourians gathered next to a lake to protest the recent fiscal policies and actions of their government under the Obama administration.

By doing this they corporately exercised three of the most fundamental rights of American citizens: freedom of speech, peaceable assembly, and petition for redress.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In fact, all across the country, everyday Jane and Joe Americans got together in over 40 cities to make their point (here are a few state links – Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, Washington, Kansas, Florida Tea Party updates).

America is great because of its people; its people are great because the Constitution of the United States of America provides them with the freedom and protection needed to be great. Mess with the Constitution and you mess with Lady Liberty’s kids.

In the minds and hearts of most of these people their government is messing with its rule of law and can no longer be trusted to govern.

Posted by: John Gillmartin | February 28, 2009

FIRST AMENDMENT: The Petition Clause

Does the First Amendment’s “petition” clause protect the people of the USA from a “fairness doctrine”?

Bill of Rights of the United States of America

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The phrase “no law” is explicit; but what of the “petition” clause?

In today’s hubbub world, where people have difficulty reaching their government in realistic and personal ways, are the airwaves a constitutional means of redressing the Government “of grievances”? Are the people thus protected by than “freedom of speech” in the amendment?

Posted by: John Gillmartin | February 21, 2009

STIMULUS PROTEST – The anger over the Obama Stimulus Bill grows

The anger over the Obama Administration’s excessive “take it or leave it” approach to an economic stimulus plan continues to grow.

And now this –

Michael Patrick Leahy (#tcot) announces online conservative activists have rallied to CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s call yesterday, backed by mortgage traders, for a “Chicago Tea Party” to protest the Obama Administration’s bailout plan.

Moving quickly, Top Conservatives on Twitter, Smart Girl Politics, the #Dontgo movement, and American Spectator magazine joined forces to announce a nationwide “Chicago Tea Party”, to be held on Friday, February 27. {Go here to get Missouri details; here for national announcement details; here for California, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, or Tennessee details)

Everyone is invited to attend their local event; organizers and planners are working now to coordinate the location of the hundreds of home town “Tea Parties.”

I love this country and its people, for the sake of your kids and grandkids I challenge you to join one of these protests.

Posted by: John Gillmartin | February 20, 2009

TRADERS’ OUTRAGE – Santelli’s Chicago Tea Party

UPDATE: Chicago Tea Party goes International

Rick Santelli proves not all that is in Chicago is windy and/or crooked — it is being called Santelli’s Tea Party.

The CNBC video of the live report on the floor of the Chicago  Mercantile reveals how deeply trader outrage at the Democrats’ Stimulus Bill runs … you must see it to really appreciate it.

What were they upset over? The notion they may have to pay their neighbor’s mortgage, particularly if the neighbor bought more house than he could afford.

Not everyone is happy with Rick; pools are forming on how long it takes NBC to bring a sledge down on his career.

Some consider him a truth hero; seeing he cited the Founders, Franklin, and Jefferson.

In a related piece, “NRO Talks to CNBC’s Rick Santelli,” by Stephen Spruiell …

Earlier today, Kathryn posted a link to the video of CNBC’s Rick Santelli giving voice to what he described as a groundswell of discontent over the president’s new mortgage plan. I (Spruiell) caught up with Santelli just moments ago and talked to him about what he says has been “kind of a crazy day.”

The article has Santelli saying …

At the end of the day, it’s simple. A lot of the president’s advisers are saying that there’s a multiplier effect to the government money, and it’s over one. Now if that’s true, then the government should spend non-stop for the rest of our lives, because we’ll get a positive return. And it makes no sense.

But Santelli makes sense.

Posted by: John Gillmartin | February 18, 2009

A Tale of Two Thumbs …

Yesterday (17 February 2009), newly elected President Barack Obama declared war on half the citizens of the United States of America. With the scratch of his ex, our first (and I hope our last) leftist President signed into law what is commonly known as the 2009 Economic Stimulus Bill, the largest grab of federal excess in the two centuries old history of this nation.

With the duplicity and complicity of a Democratically controlled Congress, Obama violated the U. S. Constitution in so many places and in so many ways no one man can enumerate them. Not one official in the entire US government can explain to the American public what the bill includes, no one knows because no one read it.

Thousands of mini-bills were ripped wholesale from their resting places in Democratic desk drawers and file cabinets, quickly rushed to a plethora of congressional trolls who blended the swill into a single gargantuan omnibus bill, which was then sped to the great mass of taxpayer supported non-readers to sign. It was.

And yet even if it were read, the number of legislative slights of hand were so numerous no man or group could sort out the duplication, overlap, and abuse of the pantheon’s progeny for decades to come – if we survive the debacle.

The duly elected Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate (plus three Judas RINOs) threw out the rule of law (the US Constitution) and two centuries of government of the people, by the people, and for the people without a twinge of regret. Like school children hiding behind the bleachers, having smoked their first cigarette, they giggled and smirked at what they had just done … the oaths of office and fiduciary responsibilities gone like the flatulence of pastured bovine.

Today, with all the flair of a solemn Greek tragedy, Obama spoke to the nation in a public appearance in Arizona, telling the nation (in so many words) “I am now in charge and I will tell you how you will live and there is nothing you can do about it!” Truthfully, if I closed my eyes I could clearly see Hugo Chavez or was it Fidel Castro? This man is one step away from a charismatic Ahmadinejad.

This has now culminated in what can only be described as an “enemies list” … at the head of which are conservatives of every size, shape, and stripe.

Oh, the two thumbs? Well, there are two basic groups in the USA right now; one group is sucking their thumb, the other is sitting on theirs. As soon as I figure out which is which, I’ll let you know.

May the God of heaven forgive us our transgressions and restore our great land to health and liberty.

Posted by: John Gillmartin | February 15, 2009

HALF-MOON RISIN’ – A Nation Divided

There is a perfect half-moon in the late night Missouri sky, wisps of white drift south across a gray background. It is a perfect metaphor of where America finds herself this morning … only, like me, she is unaware whether it’s a waxing or waning moon.

Thoughts of rebellion (a new War of Independence or a Second Civil War) are stalking the conversational highways and byways of this land; but unlike the coming morning, the sun may not rise and the gray may not evaporate … sadly the unwanted and undesirable end of the United States of America may well be on our horizon. We may well be a people irreparably divided.

Half of Liberty’s people have a worldview which insists on big government, entitlements and dependence; control of the people, by the government, and for the government; a de facto government press, a suppressed religious community, education by leftist fiat, observed and limited assembly (a police state via redaction of the Second Amendment); and, most distressful, taxation by a non-representative government at both the Federal level and State levels.


The other half professes a worldview in support of the nation’s founding principles: limited government, states rights, a free, unbiased, and independent press, a free and public religious community, education by the family or at least at the lowest level of government possible, personal responsibility; a free people – a government of the people, by the people, and for the people – who hold the power over their political representatives; an and independent press, a free and unrestrained assembly, the peoples’ right to own and bear arms, limited taxation with maximum representation – a truly federalist republic.



Apparently half of Liberty’s children don’t care about the other half – which is ironic – in that this has been their mantra against the other for almost 100 years, and is most egregiously evidenced by the secret, duplicitous and sinister inclusion of political projects (e.g., gun control, national health, pet environmental protections, union bribery) in a so-called “stimulus” bill on Friday the 13th of February, 2009. Unfortunately, at this time, no one can identify the individuals or groups of individuals who did this. (NOTE: call or write your representatives and demand to know their names)

To make matters worse the bill – the largest spending bill in the history of this country – was passed in both houses without a single congressman or senator having read it, let alone understand the bill.

King George III is once again on his throne and his subjects grovel under his oppressive slipper! For many Americans (I believe a true majority) the following could just as well be written to the Congress of the United States of America today …

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliment propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.
–Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775 [Hazelton – Wiki note 3]



Care must be taken on this conversational journey; we will be watched – the Patriot Act and other federal laws, so despised by the left are now in their unfaithful hands – and people without principle will not hesitate to use them.

In my opinion, and prior to open rebellion, the best way to bring an end to this leftist oligarchy is to test our numbers with the elections in 2010 and 2012. As one person wrote recently on Twitter: “The stimulus will increase unemployment by 400 some in Congress, 100 in the Senate, and one in the White House in 2010 and 2012.”

Join with us and/or other patriotic traditionalist and conservative Americans to end this embarrassing debacle.

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