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Good but Not What I was Expecting
on July 26, 2001
I picked up this book because I was interested in the Randy Weaver trial. Spence, the author of the book, was Randy Weaver�s defense counsel and was successful in getting his client acquitted on the basically made up charges leveled against him by the government who murdered his 10-year old son and his wife following a botched operation in Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992. I expected to get a ground-level view of this trial and the lengths to which the government will go to impose its will on the citizens it is supposed to serve and not rule.
The first two chapters of the book were indeed about the trail and how Spence systematically dismantled the government's ridiculous position despite the usual dirty tricks, lies and other blatantly illegal conduct that we have seen from our law enforcement agencies since in the Waco and Timothy McVeigh trials. Following this brief summary of the trail Spence then embarks on a lengthy and flowery dissertation on how we as humans have lost our freedoms to our lifestyles, corporate greed, time and other often existential concepts.
I do not disagree with any of his opinions; I think he is right on target with his evaluations but I found myself wondering as I read if he was trying to make a point or if he was just trying impress me with his ability to write in flowery, elegant prose. There is no doubt that he is capable of describing concepts in an elegant, dreamlike fashion but I was looking for more of a head on examination of the subject of the state of our freedoms and the tyranny of the government and the corporate mindset in this country.
Spence goes to great lengths to passionately describe the problems as he sees them but he offers few if any real solutions. The few solutions he offers are as ethereal and rhetorical as his prose and they left me completely unsatisfied. I was sincerely hoping that as a lawyer who has seen the evil of corruption up close he would have some sound advice, but he does not (or at least he does not share with the reader). This had the unsettling effect of getting the news from a specialist that yes, you do indeed have cancer, but then, instead of giving you some hope or advice on how to treat the disease, he just smiles sadly and nods his head.
If you are looking for a thought provoking look at the illusion and reality of freedom in life by all means read this book. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something less rhetorical and more practical then this book will undoubtedly leave you wanting as it did me.