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- M. L Lamendola - Common Sense Served Up HotI need to begin this review by pointing out the labels "liberal" and "conservative" are frequently misused. Two of my best friends calls themselves liberals, but they have the wrong definition. So, too, do many "conservatives." Nobody who wants more government is conservative. And one of Ann Coulter's best friends was John Kennedy, Jr. (not to be confused with his drunken, wife-abusing, philandering, anti-labor, criminal-loving uncle). So, keep that labeling problem in mind as we continue.
Ah, two more things to point out. In the mid-1980s, I received a questionnaire with the question, "What do you think is the greatest threat to America today?" I wrote in, "Teddy Kennedy." My mail was intercepted for 6 weeks following that. I'm not a knee-jerk Kennedy-hater, and neither is Ann--Ted Kennedy goes out of his way to shock the conscious of people who have any morals or sense whatsoever. I liked Ann's quip, "Ted, we'll drive off the side of that bridge when we come to it."
Now, about that book review....
Coulter uses facts and logic to back her assertions and analysis. She is a true critical thinker (because this is an area of great interest to me, I know a critical thinker when I see one). She takes apart one standard liberal lie after another, pointing out what most of us instinctively know. Those of us who have stopped watching television "news" and now boycott the "news"papers because of their obviously dishonest "reporting" already have reached most of the conclusions that Coulter provides in her book. What Coulter does is help us understand why we are right.
There is a style issue that tends to polarize her readers. Coulter's style is adversarial and laced with sarcasm. As readers of my eNL know, it is possible to use sarcasm well. Coulter does this, and she's often downright funny. People who have been brainwashed into believing that idiots should run things will find her offensive. My advice to you: set aside emotion and be open to the idea that your current views may not necessarily be in your own best interests.
I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow of this book, for these reasons:
1. I actually listened to it on audiotape (a first for one of my book reviews), so I don't (yet) have the text to refer to.
2. It's a long book, loaded with exposed farces--deciding which ones to include is a Solomonesque task.
3. I noticed there were already over 600 reviews listed on Amazon when I started to write this one. I'm not employed by the government, so the idea of wasting time and calling that work doesn't appeal to me (no offense to the minority of gov't workers who actually do something useful).
Ten things you should know about this book:
1. It was a best-seller.
2. The author had other best-sellers before it.
3. It's pretty much a compendium of her actual articles, e-mails, and other communications.
4. She names names.
5. The book doesn't "pander to the Republicans." It's just coincidental that the Republicans have been the party of civil rights, the party of labor, the party against crime, and the party for property rights. If you disagree with that description of that party, you either do not know your history or you have been brainwashed--this book addresses both problems. Note: I am not a Republican. So, no bias on my part. Just telling it like it is.
6. This book doesn't set out to attack prominent Democrats per se. Consider who the prominent Democrats are. These are people like Teddy Kennedy, John "Gigolo" Kerry, Bill "Worst President in history" Clinton, and Chuck "Help the violent criminals" Schumer. If they happened to call themselves "The Wingnut Party," then Coulter would seem to be attacking the Wingnuts rather than the Democrats.
7. Though it's long, it's entertaining. Contrast that to Bill Clinton's eye-closing monstrosity. I would call Coulter's latest book a page turner, but I listened to it on audiotape.
8. It's informative. Coulter is a Lexis-Nexus junkie. It's an expensive service to use (I once had access on a student license), which is why you don't hear folks glibly chatting about it everywhere you go. There's a reason why it's so expensive--you get what you pay for.
9. This book does contain opinion, as well as conclusion. As a reader (listener), I found it easy to know when Coulter was providing conclusions based on the evidence and opinions based on her world view and personal perceptions. As to her opinions, I came away feeling I could tell her, "I disagree" and she would say, "So, what?" She is able to "remove herself" from the writing--a mark of journalistic integrity (something we seldom see in today's journalists).
10. Coulter is merciless with those who disagree with her conclusions. But when you look at how she reaches them, her frustration is understandable. She starts with fact (in context, I might add), then uses sound principles of reasoning to reach the correct conclusion. There is no manipulation, fallacious reasoning, or use of false associations. It's straight up. To disagree, you require a "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with reality" attitude. And that drives her bonkers.
As a citizen of the USA, I am fed up with a Congress that gives itself a raise while giving people in the productive class a pay cut (tax increase--same thing). I'm tired of putting up with a tax collection agency that stole 4300 computers from its own offices in one year alone, treats taxpayers like pond scum, and is completely unnecessary anyhow. I'm fed up with the vast quantity of asinine regulations and dismayed that the index alone of the Code of Federal Regulations is over 10,000 pages long.
I'm fed up with the "no consequences" attitude of those who make the rules everyone else has to live under. I'm tired of the endless stupidity that passes for government. It annoys me that so many people (the ones Coulter calls liberals) don't understand that, hell-o-o-o-o, communism failed as a form of government. News flash: The Soviet Union collapsed. Why are some people still not getting this?
So, I find it refreshing when someone so intelligently debunks the myths that do so much harm. Those who take offense at Coulter's style may have a legitimate gripe. But those who take offense at her substance have some serious issues to work through. Taking a critical thinking class could help, but you could also try reading her other books as well--learn by osmosis, if nothing else.
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