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Post Similarities
I've got a lot to read at the moment so I haven't got hold of this one. I've read "Stupid White Men," and "Dude, Wheres My Country" by Micheal Moore. If anyone has read them, can they tell me if this is as good?



Fri Nov 21, 2003 2:46 pm


Post Re: Similarities
I am reading "Dude" right now, and I can tell you they are different. They each focus on different but related problems, and Moore's book doesn't have that humorous sensibility that Al's does, although he does inject a bit of satire---
I recommend Al's book highly, it is revealing about a lot of things that happen in the media and in our gov't that in some cases I had sensed something was very wrong, but didn't have the hard info. It actually gave me a sense of relief to read his book. I could begin to make sense of the crazy stuff happening.
Hopefully his very loud voice will give strength to the liberal cause to fight for all the good that has been decimated by the current media and neo-cons. Hopefully his voice will be amplified by a radio program early next year!:p




Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:56 am


Post Re: Similarities
It's a little different for me as I don't live in America - to me it's the big scary superpower run by a very scary man, and reading Michael Moore's books and watching the standard of the american news on satellite T.V has only served to make it even more scary.




Sun Nov 23, 2003 4:19 pm


Post Re: Similarities
Franken is a little better researched than Moore (Spinsanity ran a few items about Moore stretching the truth for effect). Moore is generally right but I find Franken more professional even though he's still very funny.




Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:37 pm


Post Michael Moore
Like Sean, I'm only really aquainted with Michael Moorse - largely as Channel 4 here show his shows on and off for the past 5 years or more, & I think they helped fund some of his documentaries.
Prior to this, I had never even heard of Al Franken, and given the review from Michaelangelo Ill have to give this book a shot :)




Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:30 am
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Post Re: Michael Moore
Sean

This quote worries me tremendously...

Quote:
It's a little different for me as I don't live in America - to me it's the big scary superpower run by a very scary man...


Bullies suck :rolleyes

...and it bothers me to think that educated people in other nations consider the US to be somewhat of a bully. While I happen to be the only BookTalk member that seems to support the move to topple Saddam, I cannot help but feel bad when I hear people refer to the US and our leader as scary. We are supposed to stand for so many great things... :(

Thanks for being honest and sharing your feelings. The US must address the image we have throughout the world pronto. Empires fall and it is only a matter of time before those that we push around join forces and oust this bully.

I think we should have clearly stated that the reason we were going into Iraq was for humanitarian purposes. But it wasn't. Damn that sucks to know. If I had been in charge thats what I would have done. I would do everything possible to dissociate with nations that abuse their people and when possible I would do something about it with force.

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:56 pm
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Post Re: Similarities
Originally posted by seanf2003:
Quote:
It's a little different for me as I don't live in America - to me it's the big scary superpower run by a very scary man, and reading Michael Moore's books and watching the standard of the american news on satellite T.V has only served to make it even more scary.


I've seen this sentiment expressed a lot, particularly by Europeans. I have to say that I don't understand it, not one little bit. There is a whole lot of rhetoric flying around about how America is so dangerous, such a loose cannon, such an empire, but I don't see one shred of evidence to support any of it.

First of all, look at our history. America has repeatedly won wars in Europe and in Asia - we were the first and only nation to bring the military theocracy of Japan to it's knees - and yet has not ever, not once, remained to rule the territory won. In fact, quite the opposite: When Americans vanquish an enemy, we rebuild their country, give them democracy and capitalism, and then go home! Let these words sink in real good: There has never, in the history of the human race, been a power so dominant yet so benign as the United States of America. History shows quite plainly that America liberates other nations, it does not conquer them; the only territory we ask to keep is a bit of ground on which to bury the Americans who gave their lives so that others might be free.

Secondly, look at our power. For the last five decades America has lived with the knowledge that it could, if it so desired, utterly destroy every last enemy it has. If the enemy happened to be one of the other big boys (Russia or China) the price would be high, but to anyone else we could pretty much dictate whatever terms we liked and simply vaporize those who refused to comply. And yet we never have - never even thought about using our power in such a way, in fact. The vast majority of Americans see our nuclear arsenal as having but one purpose: To deter other nuclear powers from ever considering a first strike. If America was really so callous, so unconcerned, if we really were such big bullies, then every last major Muslim city would have been a glowing cloud of radioactive vapor by September 15th, 2001. No nation in the history of the human race has had so much power yet used it with such restraint.

Lastly, I ask you to picture the ideal world government. I'll name some of the characteristics for you, just to start off: Free. Democratic. Pluralistic. Strong. Pragmatic. Courageous. Charitable. Okay, now think of different nations and how many of those characteristics they can claim as their own: China? 2 or 3. Iran? 1 (maybe). Russia? 3. Brazil? 4. Britain and Australia? Much better at 5 or 6 each. But all 7 belong to one nation alone, and that nation is America. If you wash away all of the jealousy-driven, fear-addled rhetoric you realize that America is, simply and plainly, the closest mankind has ever come to creating a utopia.

Is America perfect? No, of course not. We have our problems and we've made horrible mistakes in the past. So what? Who hasn't? The thing that matters is that our system works, and works well, and that when we go to war we go to liberate people and bring a larger, more lasting peace. I shouldn't have to argue such a point very far because history bears it out (as it does every other point I've made in this post).

The simple fact of the matter is that the political left in this country (which, on social issues, I'm usually quite sympathetic towards) is angry, weak, and leaderless. They're angry that Republicans are winning elections, angry that a Republican president is so popular, and angry that conservative military doctrine has proven to be so effective. The real reason that Al Franken and (gag - I can barely bring myself to type The Repulsive One's name) Michael Moore are having such success is that they're simply tapping into the anger and humiliation of liberal America. Rush Limbaugh (another sneering jerk I despise, BTW) did the exact same thing during the Clinton presidency. Limbaugh, Moore, and Franken are all the same; they thrive on the resentment and bitterness of the party that's out of power.

Well, I'm sure all of that is going to get some of the lefties around here frothing pretty good. I'm prepared to defend the points made above (and a whole heap of others I'm sure most BT denizens are going to hate as well). I would only urge any respondents to read my member introduction before charging in with a bunch of "You fascist jerk!" nonsense.


S




Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:42 pm


Post Hmmm
Err... Its exactly that sort of self-righteous preaching that raises the hackles of everyone else. Along with most of Europe we got most of this powermongering out of our system by the start of the century, and mostly wander around being vaguely apologetic for once 'owning' a vaste empire, with the constant reminders of the vaste battlefields (Flanders anyone) that this leads to.

You cannot see the wood for the trees.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

- Dom




Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:14 pm


Post Re: Hmmm
Originally posted by Dom:

Quote:
Err... Its exactly that sort of self-righteous preaching that raises the hackles of everyone else. Along with most of Europe we got most of this powermongering out of our system by the start of the century, and mostly wander around being vaguely apologetic for once 'owning' a vaste empire, with the constant reminders of the vaste battlefields (Flanders anyone) that this leads to.


Well, I thought my post was pretty clear on at least one point: America is not an empire. We administer no foreign nations, colonize no other continents, and we do not plunder the wealth of other civilizations to fill the coffers of Washington. Every single time we have conquered and occupied another country we've turned around and rebuilt it better than it was before we came, and then we go away. Perhaps "that kind of self-righteous preaching" does raise hackles in Europe, but the preaching only comes as a response the accusations flying our way from across the Atlantic. When you guys knock off the "America the Horrible Empire" crap I guarantee we'll stop reminding you of how much you owe us in money and blood.

As for not being able to see the forest for the trees, I don't quite take your meaning; the metaphor seems inappropriate. It's usually meant to mean "You can't see the big picture because you're too close to the situation". The picture I'm seeing and talking about - American war victories and our ability to avoid the dubious pleasures of Imperialism - is pretty darn big. I don't see how it gets much bigger (unless we start talking about world governments, which we can if you'd like).

And lastly,

Quote:
There are none so blind as those who will not see.


Indeed. And you're absolutely certain it's me who's refusing to do the seeing, are you?


S

Edited by: sandor at the zoo at: 12/3/03 6:53 pm



Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:48 pm


Post Re: Hmmm
I can understand why non-americans see america as scary. Stories about Bush believing God put him in office do scare Europeans, who are more skeptical about such rhetoric. America has excused itself from a number of treaties (setting the precedent for Russia to abandon Kyoto, which leaves global warming unaddressed for a while, pushing the consequences on later generations yet again) and we've had double standards for years, supported Middle East dictators against democracy movements simply because those democratic movements wanted to nationalize the oil supply or institute other socialist economic measures. The US excused Israel from its UN obligations while claiming the invasion of Iraq was necessary to uphold the credibility of the UN. We have been a bit of a bully, and although most Americans are decent people, we've been too uninformed and uninvolved to realize what our government has done (not condeming one party here, but a string of leaders from both parties) in our name.

To quote Michael Moore, "They hate us because we don't know why they hate us."




Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:06 pm
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Post Michael Moore's "We're Number One!"
We're number one!!
from the book
Stupid White Men
by Michael Moore


Among the top twenty industrialized nations,
we're number one!

We're number one in millionaires.

We're number one in billionaires.

We're number one in military spending.

We're number one in firearm deaths.

We're number one in beef production.

We're number one in per capita energy use.

We're number one in carbon dioxide emissions (more than Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the United Kingdom combined).

We're number one in total and per capita municipal waste (720 kilograms per person per year).

We're number one in hazardous waste produced (by a factor of more than twenty times our nearest competitor, Germany).

We're number one in oil consumption.

We're number one in natural gas consumption.

We're number one in the least amount of tax revenue generated (as a percentage of gross domestic product).

We're number one in the least amount of federal and state government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP).

We're number one in budget deficit (as a percentage of GDP).

We're number one in daily per capita consumption of calories.

We're number one in lowest voter turnout.

We're number one in number of political parties represented in the lower or single house.

We're number one in recorded rapes (by a factor of almost three times our nearest competitor-Canada).

We're number one in injuries and deaths from road accidents (almost twice as many as runner-up Canada).

We're number one in births to mothers under the age of twenty (again, more than twice as many as Canada, and nearly twice as many as number two New Zealand).

We're number one in the number of international human rights treaties not signed.

We're number one among countries in the United Nations with a legally constituted government to not ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We're number one in number of known executions of child offenders.

We're number one in likelihood of children under the age of fifteen to die from gunfire.

We're number one in likelihood of children under the age of fifteen to commit suicide with a gun.

We're number one in lowest eighth-grade math scores.

We're number one in becoming the first society in history in which the poorest group in the population are children.




Fri Dec 05, 2003 5:33 pm
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