I enjoyed Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them. It encouraged me to think that perhaps a new breed of Democrats and leftists was developing who disliked the Bush regime based on the fact they’re anti-freedom, not just the fact they’re Republicans. I was, therefore, anxious to get into Michael Moore’s Dude, Where’s My Country?
Not knowing much about Moore except that he is rabidly anti-gun (as evidenced in his movie “Bowling for Columbine“) I approached the book gingerly. I, of course, think that the main problem with the Second Amendment is that it doesn’t go nearly far enough. If you’re going to have any laws at all regarding guns (which you shouldn’t) they ought to require everyone have one.
Notwithstanding Moore’s nutty views on guns, the book started out strongly, with Moore phrasing Seven Questions he wants to ask Bush. They’re questions worthy of answers because they address the Bush family’s questionable relationships with the Saudi royals, the Taliban, the bin Laden family and others. Few Americans question these things post-9-11 for fear of being deemed unpatriotic, not to mention a potential enemy combatant.
Chapter 2 is even better. Moore accuses Bush of being a chronic and pathological liar, and cites 10 of my favorite Bush Whoppers to make the case, including lies about Iraq having nuclear weapons and biochemical weapons, Iraq having ties with Osama and al-Qaida, and the conveniently forgotten fact that Saddam was recently a U.S. ally. Moore literally cites hundreds of references proving that — at least when Bush is talking about the War on Terror, or the War on Iraq, or the vote count in Florida, and lots of other things — that the best way to tell whether he is lying is to see if his lips are moving.
Chapter 4 — titled “The United States of Boo!” — is my favorite, though. In the current environment of anti-terror hysteria, mostly generated by the Homeland Security Department, few are willing to say it’s 99.9 percent a ridiculous charade. Despite the deaths of 9-11, and the hysteria encouraged by terror alerts vacillating pointlessly from mauve to chartreuse to magenta to whatever, the chances of any American being hurt in a terrorist incident are simply too small to calculate. Your chances are probably better of being hit by a meteorite.
Although Bush didn’t directly cause the 9-11 disaster the way Hitler caused the Reichstag fire, he’s using it in exactly the same way — to get Boobus americanus all worked up, supportive of any law the government passes, and any actions they take. Moore understands that there actually wouldn’t be any terrorist threat if the U.S. government didn’t have troops in over 100 countries around the world, and reflexively align itself with a Jewish theocracy in what amounts to a religious war against Muslims.
We’re likely to be engaged in The Forever War until the U.S. government is too bankrupt to go on. And with technology being what it is, it’s just a matter of time before a nuclear weapon is lit off in one or more American cities by some angry people with real or imagined grievances. Notwithstanding that point, Moore shows how the basically non-existent terror threat is turning the U.S. into a paranoid police state.
It’s surprising, and gratifying, to see something that makes a strong anti-war, pro personal-freedom case sit atop the best-seller list. And not just in the U.S. — I bought my copy last week in London. So I really liked the first half of the book. Then Mike has a psychotic break of sorts in the second half, starting with a chapter called “Horatio Alger Must Die,” where he debunks, as myth, the notion anybody in America can get rich.
Of course, he’s right when he says the average guy is buried in debt, and will never dig out, etc., etc. Hell, it’s worse than that. Once the economy descends into The Greater Depression, I fully expect the normally complacent booboisie to do pretty much what Mike advocates: Demand a socialist revolution (by whatever name) in the United States.
The second half of the book is a rant, where Moore advocates we eat the rich and use their assets to provide bread and circuses for the decent folks on welfare being held in bondage by anybody with a positive net worth.
Although Mike would prefer to see a Green elected president this year, he realizes that’s just a pipe dream. So he suggests Oprah as a candidate that could beat Bush. He’s probably right — name recognition and a winning smile is all you really need. I just didn’t realize she was a socialist.
The first half of the book is very worthwhile, and will reaffirm your faith in the fact America is going to hell in a handbasket under the Republicans. The second half will reaffirm your faith in the fact America will go to hell in an even larger-sized container, maybe a stolen shopping cart, should the Democrats get in.
The investment implications of what Moore says? Pretty much what I’ve been saying here, and in my newsletter for several years. The national debt will continue to grow, and investments in areas such as gold and silver shares –canaries in the coal mine for what’s coming — will continue to be very profitable whether we have a Republican police state under Bush, or a Democratic socialist people’s republic under Kerry, Dean, Sharpton, Oprah or whomever.
February 9, 2004