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Bill of Wrongs: The Executive Branch's Assault on America's Fundamental Rights Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 23, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
Lou Dubose has written about Texas and national politics for thirty years. He was editor of The Texas Observer and politics editor for The Austin Chronicle, and he currently edits The Washington Spectator. He was co-author (with Molly Ivins) of Shrub and Bushwhacked. In 2003 he wrote (with Texas Monthly writer Jan Reid) The Hammer: Tom DeLay, God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress. In 2006 he wrote (with Texas Observer editor Jake Bernstein) Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a book of episodes, stories about instances of where the Bill of Rights comes under assault. Many of the basic tales are familiar, but many are not, and putting these stories together helps give a better picture of the whole: we've been seeing a piecemeal erosion of freedoms done in the name of freedom. There has been no sudden assault on the tree of liberty by a dozen men with chainsaws, but rather more subtle attacks--slashes with hatchets done in the night. But Molly was never willing to accept any kind of assault. When you read the stories you realize that many of the instances didn't seem like such a big deal at the time--but they were to Molly. She quotes Niemoller's comment about Hitler: Hitler went after the communists, then the Jews, then the Catholics, and each time he didn't speak up because he wasn't one of them. Then when they came for him there was no one left to speak up for him. The same thing, of course, occurred under Stalin, and Molly reminds us that when we watch others having freedoms eroded and do nothing, we are in danger ourselves--that was her passionate concern, and it's one of her primary concerns in this book.
Molly is outraged by a lot of the things that are happening, but she has always been a writer of charm and humor.Read more ›
Here, she and Lou Dubose write the conclusion to their trilogy of sorts on George W. Bush, the policies of his administration, and the effect they have had upon the lives of everyday Americans.
At worst, American citizens have been imprisoned without just cause, at the least, privacy has been violated. The Supreme Court has been packed with judges who evidentially care little about the rights, or even the opinions, of those who disagree with them.
I knew most if not all of this before I read this last book on which Molly Ivins worked, but it was good of her to remind me.
If "Shrub" was incredulous and "Bushwhacked" was dismayed-and that is how I remember them-then "Bill Of Wrongs" is righteous, angry...and hopeful.
These are stories of stupid, destructive things that placed politics and expediency over and above, really, the freedoms upon which this country was founded. And that's where the righteous anger comes from.
But "Bill Of Wrongs" is also a story of men and women who stand up to bullies. And that's where the hope comes from.
This book is the equivalent of lighting candles rather than cursing the darkness.
We'll miss Ms. Ivins. She and DuBose cover in fairly great detail the Bush regime's disregard for the US Constitution, and various other laws based on the law of the land! They start with one who had the audacity to wear an anti-Bush t-shirt, for which he and his spouse were arrested, and she lost her job with FEMA. (They took it to court and won).
It covers other elements of that disregard, some rationalized by the US Patriot Act, one of the more repressive bits of "legislation" since the birth of the Republic. There are elements of religious bias that almost make one laugh. For instance, reputable attorneys who, because they're Muslim converts are relentlessly pursued by the FBI. In the case of one of them, the bureau sends an agent who doesn't speak Spanish, to Madrid to follow up on a lead which the Spanish federal police have already discounted!
You know, now that I think of it, that's the worst thing about a recorded book. I do wish I had a paper copy to refer to some of the other federal blunders. Many are actually beyond comical. The authors refer to them as "Keystone Cop" blunders, and, in one case, the behavior of an agent is referred to as like that of Mel Brooks' "Maxwell Smart."
The portion on torture is devesating. We Americans should hang our collective heads in shame at the way we've treated some people--MANY OF WHOM WERE NEVER EVEN CHARGED WITH ANYTHING!Read more ›
The stories making up this book are frightening to freedom loving peoples of this country. It's easy to sit back and believe nothing like them will ever happen to the average citizen. But that is exactly what has happened. Under the current administration, our liberties are under greater threat than at almost any time in our history. It is easy to believe we can do nothing about these abuses of power, making action seem nearly impossible. Even if individuals take no action, knowing the threats exist must be a step in the right direction of prevention and protection.
As pointed out in these cases, an element of truth, no matter how small, can give many people all the cause they need to abuse people's rights. Exposing the attacks and lies included in these events takes a lot of courage given the current political atmosphere, where anyone who disagrees with the administration's policies can be accused of lacking patriotism. Attempts are constantly made to prevent exposure to the light and silence those who want to tell the rest of the country what is going on behind the curtain of claims of protection from terrorist activities.
Seeing librarians as heroes is probably near to being a fantasy to most people. But those whose actions are documented here behaved as heroically as we can hope we could do ourselves. As Benjamin Franklin said: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Molly Sims is funny, brilliant & sees right through political BS with clarity.Published 10 months ago by Taylor
Molly, where are you when we need you? You were the best humorous critic of politicians.Published 14 months ago by V. W. House
This was a bit rough to plow through, probably because it wasn't totally Molly's writing. But It was a great read for those who need a reminder about Texas history.Published 17 months ago by mcmrx
Happy with the prompt eservice! Very pleased with my kindle purchase! Good enough to share with a friend, if I buy a hard copy!Published 22 months ago by Judy Comer
The late Molly Ivins at her best - witty, humorous, always containing a sound element of truth coupled with her special brand of writing.