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A native Vermonter, my ancestors include both Daniel Webster, and a Hessian, other roots go to the original French who explored and settled Canada in her infancy. Growing up in Montpelier Vermont, during the 1970's gave me an interesting perspective. I have watched the town grow up with me. When I was a kid. My sister and I would walk to school. Many times in below zero weather. On our way we would stop in Saroni's Country store ogling his candy. (He had the largest candy shelf of any store in Montpelier back then). After taking 5 or 10 minutes we would drop .05 cents. Off we would go, candy in hand, face, and clothes, walking through the cold, to school. Then Old man Saroni, hair sticking out, would call my Dad at his store and pick on him over it. My family was clothed from Nates apparel. Saroni's and Nates are gone, the town has changed and I have moved away, but change is the nature of life.
I grew up on stories of family exploits and tragedies. Vermont life back in the day was hard, and the rugged people who lived here told stories to pass the cold winter nights, as they fed the wood stove. My grandfather would often say on those below zero nights, “Can't heat this sheep shed.” Uncle Rolly would tell me tales of Vermont's past, like the time the governor was caught in a storm and sought shelter in a cave with a hobo, or the abandoned town of Kingsbury or maybe Kingston, I forget... next to his hunting camp. Apparently I had an ancestor/relation who was hanged an innocent man. Ace Magoon was his name. His story became a Vermont legend and was largely responsible for outlawing capital punishment in Vermont.
I have worked for the same company for 29 years. For 10 of those 29 I have been a Journeyman. It has been rewarding in many ways and stifling in others. The duality of existence. Labor conditions the mind to be placid and focused while, as saint Aquinas said, “Routine is a gift from God.” It frees our minds to follow ideas to their logical end and explore possibilities in thought, while being productive. In working at a job for so long I have had the benefits of routine.
I regularly use Learning Company courses. They range from Math to Philosophy and everything in between. I particularly enjoy the economics, history and philosophy. I have always been a reader. When I was a kid my passion was Science Fiction. I read every sci-fi book in my school's library. After graduating High School I turned to philosophy and history. World War II fascinated me for awhile. If I had to say what my favorite epoch to read about now is, I would have to say, the Ancient World.
I hope you enjoy The Fourth Branch and find it thought provoking.
on Aug. 08, 2014 :
"The Fourth Branch" could be seen as manifesto to the rebirth of the Framers kind of thinking. Not only are the points made well thought out, Mr. Pepin articulates and validates his points citing germane historical and political facts.
This book, to me, is an amalgam of history/politics/philosophy and could easily be put into the curriculum of a college course.
Unlike so many people in the political theater shoe thumping and yelling about what the problems are, few offer solutions to the corruption and abuse of power rampant in today's political theater. Mr. Pepin offers a solution. Not only a solution, but a solution backed by history and the NUMA would dovetail well into the current Three Branch system.
I highly recommend this book. It's all substance and no fluff. Mr. Pepin cuts to the chase and is very respectful of your time. Brilliant points articulately and efficiently made. More authors could take a lesson from Mr. Pepin.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 30, 2014 :
I read "The Fourth Branch" on a plane ride from Boston to L.A. It is not a long read nor does it need to be. It is concise and to the point. The historical references, that support the conclusions within, are well delivered and easy to understand for all readers whether they are well versed in the political realities of today or not. The need to restrain the nature of the corrupt elite who populate the highest echelons of our Government is clear. The method of this restraint can, and is, being debated today. This book helps the lay person and the politically astute, alike, to understand the problem as well as a solution. I found the arguments for a fourth branch, the NUMA, compelling and easy to comprehend. I finished the book wishing the Author and his ideas were available to the Founders of our great nation, so that they might have availed themselves of its wisdom, and in so doing, help us to retain our rights in the face of a tyrannical onslaught by man's imperfect nature.
This is not a political book. There are few, if any, popular references to the left/ right paradigm of today's troubled world. It is, in this reader's opinion, a blueprint for another generation's work and the tools they will need to restore man's Liberty. An eternal struggle that this book helps to understand.
I can not begin to say how many times and on how many things I have wasted three bucks. This was not one of those times.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
(reviewed long after purchase)