We’re Ready When You Are

Walk into any library or book store and you are surrounded by books, right? Well, on one level this is true, but it’s not the complete answer. Aside from bound volumes filled with letters and images, what you are really surrounded by are messages, often from the past; thoughts, ideas, wisdom, stories, and accounts of history as experienced by someone else.

So, let me ask you: what would you like to say to your great, great, great grandchildren? What wisdom would like to share with your kids—and their kids? What stories; what thoughts and ideas, are you passing down to future generations?

In our fast–paced, high-tech world, we sometimes overlook the power of the written word. But as far as we have come, it is still true that printed words are the most enduring and impactful form of communication. Sure, there are classic films; there are recordings, sculpture, paintings and other art forms that endure, but none of these compare with books in terms of volume and detail. It is why all organized methods of education are built around books.

Some, like me, believe there is a foundational, spiritual basis to the power of words—it’s why the Bible is often referred to as, “The Word of God.” Books are the keepers of dreams and aspirations; the conduits of time transcendence through generations.

Perhaps you’ve never seriously considered your impact on the future. What will be your legacy? What would you like to contribute to the world that will be after you are no longer here? What would you like to say now that will reach forward and touch your future family and friends? One of my greatest joys with ALIVE Book Publishing is being able to help people do this every day.

Are you ready to record something for posterity? Isn’t it time to stop just thinking about your legacy?

We’re ready when you are.

Meet Our Nation’s Wounded Veterans

Over these past few months, I have shared with you the stories of some of our nation’s veterans who have so bravely defended our freedoms. While I absolutely love retelling their milestones, accomplishments, and lessons learned, and try to do so with as much authenticity and emotion as possible, nothing beats hearing these truths in person, directly from the individuals who have experienced them. Meeting and getting to know these men and women and their inspiring stories is, without doubt, one of the most rewarding parts about the work that I am fortunate to be able to do, and now, you too can meet and be inspired by these incredible veterans at our yearly Sentinels gala.

Every year, we hold this gala to honor and recognize the achievements of our Sentinels and our supporters’ – that’s your – part in their success. Simply put, the event provides a unique opportunity for you to meet the inspiring, driven individuals whose lives are forever changed because of your support. It is a chance for you to put faces to the names and stories of the men and women who you have read about on these pages, to greet them, to talk to them, to thank them. 

We have some incredible speakers lined up this year, including Sentinel Chris Judge, US Navy, who has thrived despite his injury sustained in Iraq. Now a husband and father to two young children, Chris has completed his master’s degree and works for the US Department of Homeland Security, proudly continuing to help keep our nation safe long after his time in the military has come to an end. An inspired speaker and extraordinary person, Chris will take you on a journey that is sure to leave a lasting impression. His story is moving, courageous, and real—and I cannot wait for you to hear it.

While all our Sentinels’ stories are different, they all have something very powerful in common: utmost perseverance. Even in the face of extreme difficulty, they have not only pushed through but thrived. And they were able to do so because of your – our community’s – help.
I strongly encourage and invite you to join us for this special event and see firsthand the impact of your support. It will be an experience like no other.

The Sentinels of Freedom Annual Sentinels Gala will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California. To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit www.sentinelsoffreedom.org/2018-gala.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Crossover vehicles flood every parking lot, freeway, school drop off line, and city streets. Why? Because they fill the need to transport our family, purchases, gear and pets in a manner that delivers comfort, space, and ease of use. As the famous late George Carlin once said, “I need a place to put my stuff!”

The crossover has conquered the people-mover crown once held by the sedan, then minivan, and finally the SUV. To that point in the Mazda lineup their best-selling vehicle in the United States is the CX-5. The industry accolades held by the 2018 Mazda CX-5 that help lead this charge includes Institute for Highway Safety’s recognition of “Top Safety Pick” and WardsAuto “10 Best UX” for its intuitively-designed cabin.

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is available in three models as noted below. My test model was the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. This is the second generation of the CX-5 and according to Mazda its sales are off to a record pace. The CX-5 is a compact crossover perfect for a small family.
Pricing and Trims

For 2018 Mazda CX-5is available in the following trim levels: Sport FWD ($24,150), Sport i-ACTIV AWD ($25,450), Touring ($26,215), Touring i-ACTIV AWD ($27,515), Grand Touring ($29,645), Touring i-ACTIV AWD ($30,945).

The 2018 CX-5 introduces new cylinder-deactivation technology that further improves on fuel-efficiency by shutting down the two outside cylinders at cruising speeds between 25 and 50 mph. Mazda is the only automaker to offer this technology on a four-cylinder engine in North America. Also new is the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, now standard on all models and the following features are now standard on the Touring models: Automatic on/off headlights, Rain-sensing windshield wipers, Full i-ACTIVSENSE suite including High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning,Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go function and Smart Brake Support. New standard features on the Grand Touring models are 2-position memory driver’s seat and 6-way power adjustable passenger seat.

Interior Highpoints
The 2018 Mazda CX-5’s interior is clean, comfortable and stylish. The dash is straight forward and not too busy. The Infotainment screen sits at the top of the dashboard and is easy to read. You navigate through the screen options via a spindle and buttons by the center armrest. The seating is for five and is very comfortable. In my CX-5 Grand Touring AWD test vehicle we had white seats with white trim on the doors and center console that delivers a rich look. The rear cargo capacity with the seats up delivers 30.9 cubic feet for your “stuff.”

Exterior Highlights
The Mazda CX-5’s exterior stands out with its shield-shape grille and features a ring of chromed-plastic that merges into the narrow headlights. The CX-5 became the first production application of the next iteration KODO—Soul of Motion design ethos. Where the first CX-5 carried strong character lines that ran alongside its body, the second-generation ushered in “reflection-based surfacing,” distilling KODO to show volume through curves and subtlety.

Performance Specs
The 2018 CX-5 is powered by Mazda’s latest SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine that delivers 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft of torque, plus a new standard cylinder-deactivation system. This further improves on performance and efficiency by reducing fuel consumption by shutting down the two outside cylinders at light load cruising speeds. The engine is attached to a 6-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.

Cool Features:
• Infotainment system with voice recognition

• Rain sensing windshield wipers

• i-Activesense package adds full-speed automatic emergency braking ($625 option)

Safety Integrity
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 can be packaged with a wealth of safety features includingsome items that are optional features: Advanced dual front air bags, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Sport Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist, Front side-impact air bags, Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Front and rear side air curtains, Smart Brake Support (SBS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Smart City Brake Support, High Beam Control (HBC).

In Summary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover that is perfect for families and is reasonably affordable. The styling is sharp and fresh, the handling is tight, and the performance is pretty descent. The CX-5 can be equipped with a variety of tech features without breaking the bank…Time to take a ride.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Base price: $30,945
Engine: 2.5-liter 4-Cylinder
Horsepower: 187 hp
Torque: 186 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: All-Wheel Drive
Seating: 5-passenger
Cargo space: 30.9 cubic feet
Curb weight: 3,693pounds
EPA mileage: City 24/Hwy 30/Comb 26 MPG
Fuel Capacity: 15.3 gallons
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft.
Wheel Base: 106.2 inches
Warranty: 3 years/36,000-miles
Also consider: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4

We Love Valentine Trivia

Don’t kid yourself. Old guys like me know what love is. I have three generations of people to love. That is a wife, three beautiful daughters and seven adorable grandchildren. No great grandkids yet, but there is still time, I think. In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about love, hearts and Valentines.

1. She has been on the music scene for a few decades and was the wife of Kurt Cobain. Who is she?

2. He was the right fielder with the great arm in the same outfield with Andre Dawson. Who was he?

3. Who was the female star of the 1955 movie “Love is a Many Splendored Thing?”

4. He was the front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination until word of his affair with Donna Rice aboard his boat Monkey Business. Cannot make this stuff up! Who was he?

5. Fred Astaire played Robert Wagner’s father on this TV spy thriller of the 70s. They were reformed thieves. What was the name of the show?

6. The Giants had a third baseman from 1963 to 1973 with a potent bat and some difficulty in controlling throws to first. His name included three names. Who was he?

Spring-in to a Bright New Style

We all crave change. We love the thought of starting something new, but it is so hard to take those first few steps, which is why The Rouge Cosmetics offers Mini Make-0vers. You can try something new as part of a self-love enhancement while following some simple changes in cosmetic colors that are uplifting, updated, and fun.

I realize that when it comes to cosmetics and suggestions on how to improve one’s self, our troublesome tendencies or habits can get in the way of our progress. It can seem like just one more rock to push up the hill, which is why we try to keep the make “over” part to a minimum while pushing the make “better” with the hope that you’ll take it in the spirit intended.

With this being the beginning of Spring and time to reinvent ourselves, think about how good the change is; it is positive and it’s time to refresh our psyche. That said, get ready for a Mini Make-Over, designed to renovate your look into a modern, updated version of a more youthful, beautiful you.

Spring Looks 2018

Spring Eyes

Think cool, fresh, pale-nude colors because that’s what you will be seeing a lot of this season. Put aside the bold eyeliner and indulge in some beautiful, modern colors. Try a soft gray crease color rather than a brown. Own your style by using a soft, pale, peachy-nude eye shadow on the eyelid rather than a cream colored one. Invite a new color in your wardrobe until you get used to the idea. That mysterious hipness just might delight your shift in attitude.

Spring Cheek Colors

Now we’re talking super-sheer fusion blush colors for cheeks—and in a big way. Beeline to your nearest cosmetic boutique to try on a cool pink shimmer blusher, while staying true to your urban coolness. Without uttering a word and spiking up your fashionista per se, you will add some spice to your trend-watching swagger. It’s nice to be in the know, and to wear it well you need to add just a hint of this enduring color to the cheeks to pull off this elite fashion re-shift with confidence.

Spring Lips

With all the new modern colors swirling around this season, lips take on a whole new natural wave with baby palette essentials. Think cool light pink nudes, soft peach nectars, and flawless angelic plums. Dabble in a world of beautifully-crafted change without sacrificing all the home-grown principles you still identify with. Instead of using just a clear gloss, use a lip shine with a hint of peach. Or check out a nude pink lipstick rather than a gloss. The possibilities are endless and so much fun.
Spring Forward this season and let yourself in on something fun! You never know until you try it and you may be delighted you tried something new!

The Rouge Cosmetics will be offering Mini Make-Overs for Spring starting February 12th through March 31, 2018. Come in to discover a newer and brighter fun you, while experimenting with all the new and exciting colors for Spring!

DOJ Supports BCR’s Lawsuit

In late January, the Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions, and his Department of Justice, filed a Statement of Interest into the Berkeley College Republicans lawsuit against the University of California. “To attend to the interests of the United States in a suit pending in a court of the United States,” the DOJ may, from time to time issue Statements of Interest. The DOJ argues the “Plaintiffs’ amended complaint adequately pleads that the University’s speech restrictions,” as outlined in the Major Event and High-Profile Speaker Policies, “violate the First Amendment, and therefore, at least to that extent, the Court should deny Defendants’ motion to dismiss.”

First, I strongly encourage the DOJ to shed light onto issues of campus free speech nationwide because my generation has a tendency to pervert reality, which leads to more self-reassuring professors and teaching practices within higher education. The result will be poorly educated, or a generally misinformed public that believes they are highly educated (we could even call them ‘woke’), and can lead to the further degradation of higher education. What’s more dangerous: the ideas propagated by an educated elite that is pacifist with regards to the ideals of justifiable political violence in the name of tolerance, perpetrated by ANTIFA, BAMN, and other violent, anarcho-communist groups. In the long run, this could lead to the breakdown of civility in our Republic.

In this Statement of Interest, the DOJ claims, “The United States has a significant interest in the vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms in institutions of higher learning. As the Supreme Court has noted, ‘[t]eachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die.’ Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U.S. 234, 250 (1957). In recent years, however, many institutions of higher education have failed to answer this call, and free speech has come under attack on campuses across the country. Such failure is of grave concern because freedom of expression is ‘vital’ on campuses. Shelton v. Tucker, 364 U.S. 479, 487 (1960). Indeed, ‘our history says that it is this sort of hazardous freedom—this kind of openness—that is the basis of our national strength and of the independence and vigor of Americans who grow up and live in this relatively permissive, often disputatious, society.’ Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 508–509 (1969).”

The DOJ rightly claims “it is in the interest of the United States to ensure that State-run colleges and universities do not trample on individuals’ First Amendment rights” because this could undermine the Department of Education’s mission “to ensure that ‘institution[s] of higher education . . . facilitate the free and open exchange of ideas.’”
“Under the facts as alleged, it appears that the University repeatedly moved the goal posts for BCR, making it all but impossible for the event to take place,” due to discriminatory time, place, and manner restrictions.
“Plaintiffs contend that they are designated public fora, but the University claims that they are limited public fora. While this is a question properly left for later stages of the litigation, one thing is clear: the University’s High-Profile Speaker Policy and Major Events Policy would be unconstitutional in either type of forum,” the DOJ says, “if a regulation of speech discriminates on the basis of viewpoint or creates a high risk of viewpoint discrimination, it is immaterial whether the forum is a designated or limited public forum; under longstanding precedent, the regulation is unconstitutional… both Policies suffer from the same constitutional defect: they grant University administrators unbridled discretion to decide when, how, and against whom to apply the Policies. As the Interim Vice Chancellor admitted, the Policy applied only to ‘high-profile events featuring potentially controversial speakers.’”
Upon reading the Statement of Interest, Harmeet Dillon, lawyer of BCR and YAF, said, “Having pursued these core speech rights on behalf of our clients for nearly nine months against the University’s shifting positions and excuses, it is gratifying to see both the Department of Justice and General Counsel of the Department of Education agree with our position in court that strict scrutiny must apply to the University’s speech codes, which in turn constitute a prior restraint on fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

As I said to YAF.org on hearing the news, “The Berkeley College Republicans are grateful to the DOJ for filing a Statement of Interest into the lawsuit of discriminatory practices in stifling the guaranteed constitutional right of free speech brought against UC Berkeley. We are also grateful AG Sessions has called the success of the Ben Shapiro event hosted by YAF and BCR a ‘victory for free speech.’ We thank Harmeet Dillon and Dillon Law Group for their hard work on our case.”

YAF Spokesman Spencer Brown shared similar sentiments. “It’s incredible to see the United States government reinforcing in its SOI what YAF has said for months: Berkeley’s high-profile speaker policy and major events policy are ‘prior restraints on protected speech that invite viewpoint discrimination.’”