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June 2014

May 2014

US POW Bowe Bergdahl freed

This is some excellent news and we can all  celebrate the return from five long damn years of captivity of Bowe Bergdahl.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The only American solider held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed from Taliban captivity in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Obama administration officials said Saturday.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban Saturday evening, local time, in an area of eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. Officials said the exchange was not violent and the 28-year-old Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

Today is a time to rejoice that an American servicemember is on his way home. Everyone who serves in uniform should have no doubt that we will move Heaven and Earth to bring them home. It is also fantastic news that he is in good health and walking. Given the barbaric nature of his captors, that was far from assured.  There are many back stories about his capture, captivity and release that we will be telling and talking about soon. But for now, welcome back Bowe!

Book Review - "Suspicion" By Joseph Finder

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category on the right sidebar.

9780525954606_p0_v1_s260x420Suspicion by Joseph Finder is an intriguing novel about family and being entrapped in a bad situation.  This stand-alone book explores the father/daughter relationship, how technology has changed the dynamics between people, the villainess of the drug cartels, and big government at its worst.  These issues are intertwined within the theme, how one small decision can change someone’s life.

The plot begins with a single dad, Danny, having financial troubles and unable to pay for his daughter’s tuition at an elite private school.  In a desperate situation, he makes a decision that anyone would make, and it turns out to have some terrifying consequences. Thomas Galvin, the father of his daughter’s new best friend, is also one of the wealthiest men in Boston. Galvin is aware of Danny’s situation and out of the blue offers a $50,000 loan to help Danny cover his daughter’s tuition. Uncomfortable but desperate, Danny takes the money, promising to pay Galvin back. Everything unravels from here because the DEA informs Danny he has accepted money from a drug cartel.  Danny has to make an impossible choice: an indictment for accepting drug money that he can’t afford to fight in court, or an unthinkably dangerous undercover assignment, helping the government get close to his new family friend.

Finder brilliantly shows how a single individual has no control over their life once a big conglomerate, such as the US government, the drug cartels, or even a large corporation, decides to go after them.  How can someone fight and win these powerful entities with unlimited resources? Danny is portrayed in the beginning of the book as a down on his luck ordinary guy, who behaves in a “wus-like manner.” However, as the story progresses so does Danny’s backbone. 

Finder commented to, “I ran these scenarios by lawyers and those in the DEA.  This is big government at its worst, where they force you to spend money on lawyers.  I know of people who have gone through the mill being sued by the government.  You are put in a terrible situation where some government lawyer wants to get you.  They just don’t care.  I showed how my character Danny was pinned down like a butterfly in a specimen kit.  Then there are the drug cartels that are one of the worst villains possible.  They are not constrained by laws, perception, and morals.  They are ruthless and an uncapped villain. I hoped I showed how Danny and Tom were both entrapped in a situation they could not get out of.  They both are victims and had to make necessary moral decisions that changed their lives.”

A powerful quote in the book, to “understand the intoxicating sensation of defying death, of facing down our hardwired instinct for self-preservation.”  Anyone from the thrill seeker to the average person can appreciate being in that kind of situation.  Even someone that avoided an accident can appreciate this quote, remembering that deep breath taken after realizing possible death was avoided. 

Parents will enjoy the other major theme, father/daughter relationships.  The way this generation uses technology with the use of Googling, tweeting, texting and other techno-marvels lend a modern flavor to the storyline. The teenage daughter, Abby, is seen as a typical adolescent.  She is at times self-centered, melodramatic, and puts more importance to her desires than concerns for her dad’s financial struggles.  For example, she never wants to bring her rich best friend Jenna to her house because of the embarrassment factor. 

Finder, a father himself, noted to, “I went through raising a teenage daughter.  I have a great relationship with my daughter who is now twenty.  But those teenage years were insane and difficult.  I wanted to show in Suspicion that being a parent of a teenager is the hardest job of all. The way a teenager disappears into their cell phones, their texting, and putting on earphones as they listen to their music.  This all partitions them off from their parent.  I remember as a teenager when I wanted to call a friend there was only one phone in our house. There was never ever any privacy since the phone would only go as far as the cord. Yet, now they have a world of communications including cell phones, Facebook and Twitter.  That is why I put the quote in, ‘just a phone call away.’”

Suspicion is an engrossing tale of relationships, being put in unthinkable situations, and losing complete control over one’s life.  It is a very believable, intriguing, fast paced and interesting story.

Uncle Jimbo for Press Secretary

Another one bites the dust, Carney runs for the hills blowing kisses to the media jackals on his way out. As usual good riddance is the proper sentiment, but it is followed by grim determination that his replacement be an America icon. That icon is me. Bold statement I know, but I can back it up. I have been honing my skills and auditioning for this role since the media was batting Scotty McClellan around like a cat toy back during W Days and continued through the reign of Barack the One. 

You may ask how I can serve as the designated liar and purveyor of propaganda for someone I disagree with on virtually every substantive issue. Fair question, but I actually despise the media more than Obama and the chance to beat them like wet dogs in a dry house trumps my distaste. Here is one of my more recent turns answering the jackals during Barry O's tenure the others are here. This is just a taste of the real campaign, which will kick off on Monday.

Shinseki throws himself under the bus

And rightfully so. Eric Shinseki failed as head of the VA and people died of neglect on his watch. Thankfully that led to his exit. It also seems that they have fired, and used the word fired, a bunch of folks in the Phoenix facility and elsewhere in the system. Thus far it looks like they are taking serious action and I commend them for doing so.

Reporters Mock State Department Spokeswoman About Giving the President Credit

Over at Real Clear Politics, this is just too sad but hilarious to miss.

JEN PSAKI: I would argue the president doesn't give himself enough credit for what he's done around the world. And that's how the secretary feels too. We would not be engaged in comprehensive negotiations with Iran, which is where the program is stalled, and is rolling back, if it were not for the role of the United States, along with the P-5 +1 partners certainly. In Ukraine, we've been engaged more or as much as any other country in the world in supporting the elections process, supporting the government, and supporting efforts moving forward. Yes, there's more work that needs to be done, the point is we need to continue to stay at it.

REPORTER: Is this a potential mission accomplished statement?

And it goes downhill from there.

Spread the Word - New episodes of "Enlisted" start this Sunday, June 1 at 7/6c on Fox.

You can go here to Foreign Policy and read why "Enlisted" is the best show on TV.  ENLISTED is the FIREFLY of comedy.


And while the show has been canceled, there are four new episodes that you absolutely will NOT WANT TO MISS.  They will be on every Sunday in June with the finale airing on June 22.  

These are the best four episodes for the show. The episode airing June 1 is supposed to be one of the funniest, and the finale should be incredible. It brings Sgt. Hill's PTS storyline full circle.


B5, Out.