Stop the Insanity: Review and Kindle Fire Giveaway

Book Title:  Stop the Insanity Target 2014

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Author:  David L.Welch

Synopsis:

The premise of Stop the Insanity by David Welch puts forth the idea that the government is as insane as the voters who send the same representatives back time and time again. And as long as those voters continue to re-elect the same worthless politicians, the insanity in Washington will continue.

There is one other possible explanation: voters lack a reasonable alternative. This suggests the voters are not actually insane, though Washington politics are. Our two political parties are either unable or unwilling to offer reasonable candidates. I suspect—and hope—that is the case.

And from that hope springs this book. I truly believe it is possible to offer the voters an alternative: independent candidates for Congress who will truly act in the best interest of our country and its citizens.

Purchase link: Amazon

David Welch, Stop the Insanity, review

THE REVIEW

This book is different from the books I have read before. I love reading, but couldn’t stand autobiographies and self-help publications. So imagine my shock when I started reading this book. I thought I was seeing introduction and author’s notes, but when I realized that they are part of the “story” I suddenly felt bored. I was stupid. But since I want to finish the book and hopefully write a review (which I am doing now), I decided to pick it up. And got another surprise.

It was an amazing book. I know it might sound phony, but it really is that good. For those who don’t know, I have a degree in International Relations though I am not practicing. I am still saving for my MA and when I’m done, I will brave the challenging Foreign Service Exam. So when I eventually learned what this book is about, I was grinning.

Let’s go to the objective kind of book reviewing first. As in the summary, the book is about reforming America by changing ways of the government, making the institution more efficient, effective, and appropriate. It was written in a simple way, with chapters clearly assigned for various issues for discussion and suggestion. There were even graphs for better understanding, and a lot of citations and examples to prove the author’s premises.

It is easily understandable, though I cannot say for all. There were political and economic jargons included which should be easy to understand by a concern and active citizen of the state. However, we know that when people started reading something about politics and economics, they tend to go away. They shut it down believing that when they do, it will simply go away and won’t bother them. I think this is the main challenge in the book. I greatly appreciate the writing and the author’s ideas though I can’t speak for others. They might find it boring and unimportant, thus not reading it. And the author’s suggestions will be left unnoticed.

PERSONAL COMMENTS

I am from the Philippines and cannot claim that I am expert of American issues. However, I can argue that whatever happens in a big power just like America can/is also happening in any other state. In the beginning, the author is smart enough to capture my attention with this line: “Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result.” He then connected this with elections. It is true that people expect “change” to happen even if they vote the very same candidate or party in an election. Yes, we can hope that these people might improve over a few years, but can they really change the situation?

After the introduction of the insanity going on in his country, the author gave issues which politicians must pay attention to. These issues are more important than others, albeit unpopular with the masses. That is why I also agree with the author when he mentioned that during campaigns, candidates only request the people to vote for them to do this and that – those simple things which have little effect on the society and won’t give the desire change that a lot of people are asking for.

There are some issues given which I also agreed, mostly because I also felt the need for it to be tackled in my country. An example would be better education, increasing quality of vocational and technical schools, and supporting independent candidates. There are also some which I don’t understand, especially deep economics. I like numbers, true, but putting them in incomprehensible jungle makes me dizzy. Not the author’s fault. 🙂 Anyway, there are also some issues which I disagree and would like to point here.

1. The author wanted to pull the troops back to US. The main argument is to cut military costs. I partially agree with this. There are some locations why I also wonder the existence of American forces. However, I disagree with the author when he pointed out that America must not be always there helping other states in times of turmoil. Why does US army need to be in Iraq? Afghanistan? Syria? I might not be in the position to disagree since I am not one of those who pay taxes just so these forces can help extinguish rebel groups in foreign lands, but let me state my case. America, albeit the economic crises, is the current hegemon, a global leader in the international system. One of its responsibilities is to keep peace and order by maintaining the balance of power in the international order. It is only necessary for the US to aid countries, such as “status-quo states”.

2. This is not a disagreement, but I would like to point something to the author. American troops are sent to various locations for many reasons. For the public, the government can say that it is for the protection of the American citizens in that foreign state, as well as the diplomats and embassies there. However, I agree with the argument of the author that this “protection” can be done by a hundred or two soldiers, not thousands, which are often the case. Now, I would like to introduce the term “national interest”. States behave like humans and they do not act on something when they do not have anything to gain. May it be a new trade agreement or environmental understanding, states act for their raison d’État, where they pursue their economic, military, and political goals by connecting with the other international players.

I believe that American soldiers are there for a reason. In my country, the Philippines, they are here not only to train Filipino soldiers and grant them second-hand weapons and artilleries. The Philippines, which is located in Southeast Asia, can be a good candidate when America realized to gain a stronghold in Asia. With the rise of China and its threats, American presence in the region is expected. This is the same in South Korea, where thousands of American G.I’s where deployed to protect the country from the aggressive attacks of the communist North and its big brother.

3. Lastly, though I agree in supporting the independent candidates, I do not like the list provided by the author in the end of the book. Independent candidates are ordinary people who have seen enough in the country and would like to rise and change the current system. However, with a lack of political backing and financial resources, they often ended up losing the elections. Thus, the author suggested those who are self-made billionaires who will not be tempted to corrupt. But including Jerry Yang, Laurene Jobs, Paul Allen, and Oprah Winfrey? Seriously?

Despite of my disagreements, I do believe that this book is well-written and well-thought of, though I also got disappointed to see none about strengthening foreign relations in other countries. It cannot be doubted that this was created by someone who is concern with what happens to his country. And that constitutes being a citizen, right? So let’s all be good, responsible citizen of our state and take time to think of what we can do to contribute. Change is such a big word and a single voice cannot be heard. But with collective effort, who knows? Change can be within our grasp.

David Welch, Stop the Insanity

*This review is also available in Goodreads and Amazon.

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe’ and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe’, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book’s publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use ofEndorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.**

About the author:

David Welch, Stop the InsanityDavid Welch’s life has been divided between school (studied economics as an undergraduate at Stanford, an MBA in Finance at the University of Chicago, an MS degree in Tax Law at Golden Gate University), Army (two years in Korea during the Vietnam era), politics (ran for Congress and won the Republican primary in California), business (Treasurer of Dowell Schlumberger, Asia Tax Manager for Schlumberger Wireline, CEO of his own educational software company), and teaching (taught English in Poland, taught International Finance at a Chinese University). Recently, David has been assisting his brother in a small Mortgage Modification business. The brothers have helped save the homes of approximately one hundred families facing foreclosure.

THE GIVEAWAY

I promise this is not a bribe, but an award for those of you want to be a good citizen. A lucky winner will get, hear this, a KINDLE FIRE! Click the link below and try your luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

44 thoughts on “Stop the Insanity: Review and Kindle Fire Giveaway

      1. Oh wow!.. It’s international :).. Thanks Nica.. Well it’s not about us being modern now or anything like that. Politics kind of bore me while suspense thrillers (which are my favorite), keep me wanting more…

  1. Thanks for the review. I am not a huge political reader either. I find my blood boiling too much, as a reader I tend to go toward more relaxing subjects. I did find your review spot on and very thorough. Thank you for sharing with all of us!! 🙂

  2. I liked your post. I disagree with many areas, but hey we already knew that right? One point I would make, you spoke about how the author says the “same results can be accompished with less troops” for various missions or reasons. That is sort of like saying “hey I can make this bed with half the screws then you can.” Who’s bed is going to last longer? My point is that even if a mission or a war can be accomplished with half the amounf of troops it is easy for an author/historian, or even you and I to say that now but in real life situations these things can sometimes only be recognized in hindsight. I am sure the Russians thought they had “more then enough troops” to take Afghanistan the first time, but they failed horribly.
    One more point, change can be a great thing. What is the worse feeling is when you actually believe change will happen and it does not. Many in America believed in Obama’s change, even me and I am a Republican, but he failed us miserably and still is. The only reason he is getting re-elected is because Mitt Roney was ignorant and forgot to check his mic… and actually said what he believed which is always a mistake. So you see, America is not being dumb by repeating themselves over and over… we just don’t have a better solution yet is all. Cheers~

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I was meaning to send you the link of this review so I can hear your opinion on this. As to answer your comment, I’ll begin with the author’s idea of limiting the number of troops deployed in a foreign land. I understand your point and agree that in some cases, having a smaller group can have a grave effect on the mission or purpose of their existence in the first place. However, your example of Russian military in Afghanistan is different to my premise. The author and I are in similar agreement that peacekeeping troops (whatever you call them) should be the ones to be limited. Take your home country, Republic of Korea, for example. Since the armistice, UN’s presence must be there in the peninsula, thus explaining the existence of American soldiers. However, don’t you think 28,500 Americans are too much? There is already a growing anti-US sentiment in ROK which was strengthened by the increasing crimes committed by the same American soldiers deployed there. In 2002, for example, two Korean girls were “accidentally” hit by armored vehicle. A large number of military men in the area can be translated to a greater threat to the host citizens. I don’t think it will be healthy to think that an ally is slowly turning to be an enemy just by this.

      True, change is a nice thing though sometimes I am not sure if it is real. I didn’t say that Americans are dumb. If so, then what do I call other countries, mine in particular? What is happening in your country is the same in the Philippines – people are hoping to make the country better and more developed, yet there are still a lot of factors to consider before we can achieve this. A lot of Filipinos, especially those marginalized, are blaming the government and politicians for their poverty, but what do these people actually do to alleviate their problem? Almost none! I pity those who blame the politicians elected for their dissatisfaction with their lives. For one, they may have voted for the same politicians during election or they did not participate to make them win. Second, a government is an agency consists of a lot of people and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a mishap can be caused by a single person.

      There are a lot of problems in our society, but if we really want to be better, then we must not be part of the problem in the first place.

      1. It really is all debatable. As far as “peace keeping” if you were part of the military you would feel differently. Our “peace keeping” troops in afghanistan are being slaughtered by the people they are protecting. There is NO number large enough to feel safe in these situatuons. I would have wanted 100,000 troops around my brother instead of 28,000, so to answer your quesiton NO I do not think that is enough but again it depends on if you are actually there and in danger or if you are reading about it on the web. I hope that makes sense. Many things that this author says makes sense and in different contexts can be true, but nothing is every black and white.

        1. I think I can understand where you are coming from, though I’d like to reiterate that my idea was taken from the author himself, a former soldier who served in ROK, too. The main idea of limiting the number of troops being deployed outside is to cut military costs which, as I believe, are overly spent. It doesn’t really matter years ago, but with the decline of American economy, people are becoming aware of what happens to their taxes, and seeing them being much in army doesn’t make them happy. I am not an American, but I can sympathize with them.

          Of course, we also want the soldiers safe. We won’t save in expense of the lives of our brave men. Anyway, I guess that the number of troops in an area must depend on the situation. If it is a war, of course 25,000 men won’t be enough.

          1. It is hard to know I guess and also hard to lay blame when we disagree. Koreans hate that there are so many American troops there. Americans hate that there are so many troops there. The officers of those troops think there are not enough troops there. I am Korean born, but American, and I hate that there are so many troops there. But that is in Korea, as you said, and situations are different according to what country you are talking about. I don’t know how the Philippines feel about the troops there, I know that I was almost stationed in Guam, that is where our Air Force goes over there. I hear they are “ok” about us in Guam, but it would not surprise me to hear that they really hate us. It is hard to wear a uniform that is despised in your own country, for the most part, but it also takes a strong character to know why you are wearing it and why you are there.

            1. I think I can imagine how it feels. I don’t know if “you” are welcomed in Guam. When asked if the troops are welcomed in my country, The Philippines? I think it will warrant a post if I am to answer that. I have hinted about my opinion about it on the VFA post I have in this blog.

              1. But I will remind you that it has been proven that even though people don’t want us there when there is peace… they can’t scream loud enough at us for taking too long to get there when there is trouble. Syria did the same thing to us, is still doing the same thing, because we won’t directly help. Is it fair to have two standards? To be damned if you do and damned if you don’t? I don’t think it is fair personally.

                1. Well, it isn’t fair. What is? That is one of the reasons why we don’t have an international government. Everyone will be dependent on another’s aid. But well, a lot of politicians are echoing liberalism in their campaigns.
                  Late response. I just finished my work for today. I am to attend a Toastmasters’ meeting next and a pizza party with colleagues after. I have enjoyed our debate. 🙂

                    1. If genocide is not a crime and if I am a leader of this country, I might do something to end this instantly. Unfortunately, killing a mass of people is not allowed and I am far to be an elected politician. I am not even a diplomat, just an aspiring one. 🙁

                      If I am in the mood, I might write a post about this though I am not sure if it will be popular with my current readers. I don’t know if they like this side of me.

      2. As much as I don’t like the American presence in South Korea, the facts are they have the right to be there for saving the Koreans from being overrun in the Korean War. One thing people don’t know is that General MacArthur allowed the Chinese and North Koreans all the way down to the parrallel because we “tried” to tell them to leave after the World War II was over. This is the whole reason there is two seperate Koreas. That alone is reason for many Koreans to hate America, but how can you hate the hand that protects you? As you mentioned in another post, America has become the police of the World because no one else will step up and do it. We have the resources to do it as well. Do I think we should worry about the whole world while we have so many problems within? No, I don’t, but it is important to note that America does this as an offering to the world, regardless of the reasons that our actual politicians have.

        1. Yes, thank you for taking notice of the role of American hegemony. However, there is a matter of being wanted in a host country. True, Americans are needed after the War when the peninsula was divided in 38 parallel and ended up in armistice. It is also true that US protected ROK after that time. However, what were true years ago may no longer be said as of today. The character of warfare has considerably changed. Not to mention that ROK has been building a stronger military. I am sure you are also aware of the reserved officers – men by the age of 20 are required to render two years of military service. ROK also have sophisticated equipment just like the US. And more importantly, the troops are no longer “welcomed” by its citizens and the government. So why push it? Don’t you think it is possible that DPRK’s actions are influenced by the fact that American troops are there?

          1. And here enters the other side of the coin, the one I didn’t want to admit. After the welcome has worn out… why stay? Well, we stay to protect our interests there. America invests into the countries that it helps, this is only fair. Many countries may say we have no right to what is in a country that we help. I agree, we have no right to things for free, but if we pay or barter than we can accept what is given. We have interests in the Middle East and in Asian countries. We have a lot of interests and investments in South Korea, and lets not forget that the war there was never officially over. This is why the troops never left, there was never a peace treaty signed between the Koreas. It is also worth mentioning that there are lots of countries that look down on us, Russia, countries in South America, and some European countries that seem to forget their own history. The history of conquests and how many countries, societies, and civilizations were raped and pillaged by the Europeans and Middle Easterners, both in their own continents and when they took their banners across the sea.

            1. And that’s exactly what I’ve been waiting for you to say I think I have mentioned this in my review, if you could find it in that lengthy post. I believe in realism – a state is driven by its self-interest. I also agree that US invests to countries with their national interests in mind. Yes, Uncle Sam helps, but in what cost? We won’t forget Vietnam. And isn’t it believed that Afghanistan is similar to that? And what about my country? What kind of help did Americans do when they occupied the archipelago in more than three decades? I’m not sure if you can find it in your American history books; there are a lot of real history deleted to cover the tracks.

              Why is US still in Korea? I know that the Okinawa base is now gone, but there are still some in Japan, right? Not to mention my country that, I’m afraid, will be forever an underdog of yours. Why not pull the troops out? Maybe by doing so DPRK can relax and appear less intimidated. A small retreat may do wonders we never imagined.

              1. I agree a pull back might be needed. I do not think the North Koreans will care one way or another, they have their own agenda (most of which consists of making more weapons and killing their own people). Vietnam, mistake, we pretty much admit that now. Afghanistan was unavoidable really, due to our own short sightedness. We are now stuck with that bad apple, and it is yet to be seen how many lives it will claim. I will say that no amount of money can compensate the amount of lives we have lost there. There is a lot that has been done wrong or poorly, but remember that this country is like watching two people drive a car at the same time. That is what we created with our “democracy” a political system that works on working against eachother. Maybe I’ll move to another country. 🙂

                1. I agree with you on this one. It is hard to second-guess what DPRK, especially its baby leader will do. Hey, is he still following Uncle’s advises? I hope you could let your letter be read there. LOL.
                  Ah, democracy, the ideology of being free. I am in a democratic state and I admit I enjoy the rights I have, but I don’t think that this political thought is right for everyone. It isn’t right to insistently push it down to other countries that practice different beliefs. I don’t believe democracy is good for Myanmar, for one. And I guess for Middle East, too. It just so happens that they have crazy leaders who kill everyone including themselves, but still. You get my point.

                  Pray tell, where will you move? Mysterious Island?

  3. One more thing, I know you did not say Americans are dumb. We ARE dumb sometimes, but in some things we are just overly careful. In regards to troop movement, I would rather be overly careful than overly aggressive.

  4. Thanks for the review. This is a book I’m interested in reading and I applaud you for tackling a thorough review on such a difficult subject. The blog you wrote that originally brought me to your site was the one you did on American troops in the Philippines. Nice job!

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