In the President’s Secret Service by Ronald Kessler


Now that I drive plenty on a daily basis, I have a lot of time to listen to audio books.  I don’t have the routine or taste worked out yet, so my picks are rather random.  One of the first things that got onto my radar was “Inside the President’s Secret Service” by Ronald Kessler.

I do have a fascination with all kinds of special forces and units, so that was a quick pick.  Unfortunately, the book doesn’t go into too much detail of the Secret Service training (maybe because it is a Secret Service), but it does cover a bit of history and provides a bit of insight into what kind of a job a Secret Service agent has.  The rest of the book is dedicated to the different presidents and their families – how are they in real life, when the cameras aren’t rolling.  I don’t know how much of these are actually true, but it was still interesting to listen to and “compare notes”.  There were also some funny anecdotes in there.

As far as recommendations go, I wouldn’t suggest this book, unless you are completely out of ideas for anything else.  There are better ones.

On Barack Obama win

I haven’t been following the US presidential race closely.  I remember watching a few speeches by Ron Paul, and thinking that he is a really nice guy.  But somehow I doubted that he could win.  Barack Obama’s speeches were the next best thing, even though I saw just a few of them.  Here is a quote from Slashdot discussion on the subject, that I particularly enjoyed:

The thing that absolutely amazes me is the international reaction to Obama’s win. I knew that the reputation of America and Americans had been battered over the past few years, but I never suspected that it was as bad as it was. I watched the results last night, said a little “huzzah!” when Obama was declared, listened as McCain gave a warm, dignified, and gentlemanly concession speech, and then went to bed thinking I’d seen it all. I woke up at about 4:45 this morning and I’ve been flipping between news stations ever since. I got a little emotional last night during the speeches, but I’m absolutely devastated by the number of non-Americans who are dancing in the streets over Obama’s win. I never thought I’d see video of a few hundred Chinese people jumping around and chanting “Obama! Obama!” A reporter in France walked up to a woman and simply said “Obama?” Her face lit up and she simply said “C’est formidable!” Kenyans are throwing feasts in his honor. Arab and Persian states are happy. Israel is happy. Pakistan is happy. Australians are losing their damned minds over it. Russia is… well, they’re kinda grumpy, but they’re not having a good year.

(read the rest of the comment)

Well, I guess I am in the happy and joyful crowd.  It feels like something big happened.  But we are yet to see if this feeling has any substance.