The event we've all been waiting for has occurred. Al Gore has released his new book "The Assault on Reason" which gives us all a chance to reasonably tear it to shreds. Yippee.
This review is on Amazon.com and was written by the author of The Complete Guide to Walt Disney World. How apt.
I can't post this on Amazon cause I would need to buy a book, which I ain't about to do.
Here's a radical idea: Americans can govern themselves best by having clear-headed, reasoned public discussions on the important topics of the day. A thought from Thomas Paine? Your high school civics teacher? No, Al Gore. That's the theme of this clear-headed, reasoned, and yes, even passionate argument on what's wrong with our country and how we can fix it.
-- I'd rather trust in a high school civics teacher than that ballooned blowhard. But maybe that's just me.
Yes, it bashes Bush, but how can it not? It's impossible to argue against the chatterbox shrillness of today's public debate without mentioning the subjects being debated. And if you're going to seriously examine Iraq, Katrina and the other issues of the last six years, how can our current President come out looking good?
-- By fighting the good fight for the right reasons against Gore and tens of thousands of other self-loathing, America hating Democratic Americans spewing nonsense about the mission in Iraq and what's going on. As far as Katrina, how about the greatest humanitarian relief mission in American history, while dealing with an attention grabbing Democratic Louisianna Governor and a dolt of a NOLA mayor?
Gore doesn't mince his words. He calls Bush a liar and an irresponsible leader. But he backs up these assertions with a 90-minute Powerpoint presentation worth of clear-headed, reasoned and well-documented argument -- complete with hundreds of footnotes.
-- Gore knows all about lying. Check out my profile of him on the new blog I'm working on. His environmental book and movie contains more bullshit than the world's largest cattle farm. Not to mention his claim to have "created the internet" and "been the model couple for Love Story".
Divided into three parts, the book's simple structure makes it easy to follow. The opening identifies what Gore contends are the five enemies of reason -- fear, superstition, ideology, deception and intolerance.
-- How about hypocrisy, deception, intolerance, fear and superstition, Gore style?
Middle chapters examine the damage those things have caused, and the last 30 pages offer a few solutions.
And just what is that damage? Gore breaks it down into five areas:
* The squandering of international goodwill over Iraq has caused a threat to our national security, as the world now fears us instead of respects us.
-- Meanwhile, Gore is trying to scare the bejeezus out of children in the USA. I could write a whole piece on Iraq, but why bother when thousands of others have.
* Ignoring the rational arguments of scientists has weakened our environmental security, as shown by the failure to be ready for the known problems Katrina and global warming would cause.
-- No scientist without his face in the AGW trough blames Katrina on Global Warming. This was just one of dozens of lies in his other book and movie.
* Our excessive dependence on imported oil continues to weaken our energy security.
-- I guess this means that he wants to somehow find more in the Hollywood Hills and plough it up.
* Our liberty is threatened when our government uses fear and raw power -- instead of reasoned argument -- to get what it wants domestically.
-- Gore is the Fear Meister. I guess Gore would have reasoned with the Islamoloonies who flew planes into their targets on 911. And would have reasoned with Sadaam (that worked great), and with Usama.
* And finally, Gore says our general welfare is threatened when our government stops serving the interests of all its people, and instead skews its policies toward the wealthy and privileged.
-- It is to laugh. Gore IS WEALTHY AND PRIVILEGED. He hangs out with wealthy and famous people. His patron and his father's was Armand Hammer (Oxy Petro Owner - to whom the Gore's sold their soul)
As for solutions, the book offers only one: Gore in '08! OK, not really. Just wanted to see if you were still with me.
-- Darlin, I was never with ya on this. Anyone who thinks that a gigantic theme park based around a happy rat is worth a book got a problem. And doesn't know anything about anything serious.
Actually, the book closes by arguing that, now more than ever, our citizens must be well informed and must feel like they are part of the political process. It holds out hope that the internet is the key, and that television could play a part by doing things like scheduling Congressional debates in prime time. Gore also claims that we need additional campaign reform, including making contributions more transparent.
-- Stop. Think for a moment. Congressional Debates in Prime Time. Up against American Idol. Will draw big. Yup. Big. As far as transparency on campaign finance, how about Fat Albert's own brush with the law on this one.
My favorite part of the book is early on, when Gore argues that the main cause of the decline of reasoned political thought is television. He contends that when more Americans started getting their news from TV instead of newspapers, the emphasis changed from reading, an activity that by its nature activates the parts of the brain involved with reasoning, to watching, which elicits emotion but not thought. Recalling the words of Thomas Jefferson, Gore writes: "The 'well-informed citizenry' is in danger of becoming the 'well-amused audience.'"
-- I wish Gore only amused me. I can't disagree with the problems with TV - I produced a program called "The Death of Television". But maybe he doesn't have time to watch the good TV that's out there. And I suspect the first books he would put on anyone's list would be... his.
In my work, I spend many evenings at Walt Disney World, which concludes each day with a gigantic fireworks show. Called Wishes, it closes with children singing "If you keep on believing, a wish that you make will come true." I know it sounds trite, but perhaps those prerecorded kids have a point. Reading this book, I felt like I was back in my 1970s high school civics class, a time when the present had its problems, but the future seemed so bright. Maybe it can still be. If not for me, at least for my daughter.
-- If Gore keeps on believing, does that mean that he'll keep on running for President. Even after he wouldn't be able to fit through the doors of the White House.