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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Thoughts on Ralph....., November 24, 2011
This review is from: Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win (Paperback)
I haven't read this yet, but I plan on doing so soon. I recently heard Ralph on an early morning radio program and he was promoting this book and ranting on associated topics--quite rationally and compellingly, I must say. As he was speaking I found myself feeling a little nostalgic and almost forgiving the man for spoiling one (or was it two?) presidential elections. I still can't believe he did that, but if you disregard those unfortunate events and look at his overall career and contribution to American society, we're talking about a true Saint here, a selfless martyr of the highest order. And, let's face it, he' right (as in CORRECT) on an entire array of subjects. I hear a lot of people praising other "revolutionaries," and investigators like Hunter S. Thompson, Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes, "Moon Beam" Jerry Brown, and other assorted high-profile journalists and eccentric lawyers, but Nader has been in the mud, muck, and mire for almost five decades now, fighting vast injustices and proven diabolical wrongs--and there's mostly contempt for him. A short reflection on his career, however, and you will realize that this austere, modest man is a true genius in the guise of a lunatic. His words are all "inconvenient truths," but they are TRUE. Just read the paragraph by Ralph at the top of this Amazon listing. It is an indictment against the Current Corrupt Corporate Aristrocracy. His words and ideas could be used as the basis for a sensible Unifying Charter for the "Occupy Movement(s)". (They really ought to consult with him for guidance and direction.)

As a Republican who voted for Obama, the one thing I can't get past is that all these Wall Street titans received taxpayer money to cure their self-created ills, and everyone else (the whole world, literally) was left to fend for themselves. Savings and pensions and dreams for our futures have been left to rot. Where were the arrests, where were the Grand Juries and their indictments? Was Madoff's prosecution supposed to be enough catharsis for us? It wasn't for me. I needed to see a couple hundred expensive suits being cuffed and doing their "perp walk" as they were escorted by Federal Marshalls to the Federal Pen. It never happened and there was an urgent moral mandate for that to happen.

Ralph Nader is basically telling us here that we need to fend for ourselves. If a liberal President, who was elected in on a mandate of Hope and Change, can't bring these filthy thieves to justice, then certainly none of the current crop of conservative candidates will do any better in the near future. Nader urges us (concerned Americans) to join togther and to "invest 3% of your discretionary time" (as he said in the interview I mentioned above) in fighting the corporate status quo--the lobbyists who have bought our Congress and the Investment Bankers who have high-jacked our financial system and our middle class. Indeed, never before has there been more of a motivation for us (the 99%) to get "mad as hell." America as we have known it has dissolved before our eyes in just the last decade, or perhaps two. And, of course, there's global warming and other environmental atrocities happening every day, all promoted by corporate interests and not penalized, restrained or otherwise mitigated by government.

Getting involved is indeed a hassle (and ultimately "inconvenient"), but we all have to roll up our sleeves and get with the program. I think Ralph will give us some good ideas in here on how to effectively use our time and how to fight back potently. The particular battle you choose may be different than mine. We all the know the stench of a rip-off when we smell it. And, it's easy to to be indifferent if you haven't been victimized recently. But the next time you get some type of felonious fee from your bank, or have some usurious interest rate imposed on you from a credit card company, or the next time we have a record-breaking hot day, or when we hear the latest update about how all the Houses on the Hill are being bought by .001% of society, or when you're denied coverage on an insurance claim of some sort, a little nagging voice in the back of your mind will remind you: I need to write some letters, I need to do something. But what can I do which best utlilizes my limited time?

Ralph will have some suggestions for you, and he will inspire your own creative impetus to independently develop, so you can wage your own unique battle in the collective war. When I was kid I remember my parents speaking of Ralph Nader in glowing terms: they'd had a friend die in a Corvair crash, and that was one of the cars which Nader implicated as marketed by the auto industry despite the known dangerous design. "Thank god someone is doing something," they said. That someone was Nader. Year after year this guy has toiled away sounding the same theme, which in part is: Don't you dare think our elected officials are sufficiently protecting us from Corporate Greed, and don't think that there are sufficient statutory checks-and-balances against cancer-like private sector domination over all of American life as we know it. There is a check and there is a balance: they are you and me. The corporations will try to demonize us by claiming that we are anti-capitalists, but it is they who have defiled the capitalistic system by exploiting complexities and vaguenesses and leaving fundamental morality at the door. Adam Smith would condemn them to hell.

So, read this book and get mad as hell and get mobilized. Or, if you prefer, don't get mad ("steamed") at all, just get motivated and serve your revenge cold with the strategies recommended in this book and as many letters as you can write. Speaking of which, I'm just now going to write my pathetic little "neo-Con" Representative David Dreir a terse letter reminding him that I will never again vote for him.
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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 9, 2011 6:43:42 AM PST
I find it amazing but not surprising, that the incompetent, bumbling failure we call the Democratic party and it's legion of blind, lemming followers, in their best analysis of why they failed in 2000, the best they could come up with was scapegoating the guy (Nader) that truly lives and represents progressive positions and has proven it, not with words but with deeds, his entire life. Nader is the only one who has never lied to us and only made our life better through his efforts, saving millions of lives. Who else can you say that about? Give me just one name. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!

Posted on Dec 18, 2011 10:59:54 AM PST
A. Friedman says:
Apparently none of us have read it yet . . . but we all know Ralph Nader, and he's truly a genius and a hero, so let's read up!

You can read his blog at

A totally EXCELLENT documentary is, Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man.

As for "spoiling" the 2000 election, the documentary covers both sides of that very even-handedly. When I disappointedly look back over Obama's extension of rich-man's tax cuts, toothless health care, failure to close Gitmo, enlarged war in Afghanistan, poor human rights record (holding "terrorism suspects" indefinitely without trial), renewal of the Patriot Act, failure to reinstate Glass Steagall or sufficiently reform Wall Street, failure to prosecute any of those Wall Street extortionary gamblers, and poor environmental record, I have to conclude that RALPH WAS RIGHT YET AGAIN, and we can't just vote Democratic as the "lesser evil."

Ralph works tirelessly on our behalf, doesn't worry about his image, and asks only that we join him in our own ways, working for our own collective benefit against a corrupt system. He is our FDR. He is the Mother Teresa of US politics. The way to demonstrate our praise & gratitude for him is to BECOME POLITICALLY LITERATE AND POLITICALLY ACTIVE.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 6:59:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2012 6:10:36 AM PST
Erroll says:
A. Friedman notes that "we can't just vote Democratic as the 'lesser evil.'" Absolutely correct which is why any rational and intelligent person should vote for a third party candidate like Rocky Anderson who is not beholden to the Democrats, the Republicans, or the vested interests.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 9:18:10 PM PST
A. Friedman says:
Rocky Anderson. Justice Party. High Road for Human Rights (organization). That's news to me. Thanks. He sounds good in the Wikipedia article. Go forth and spread the word. Who is endorsing him? If Ralph Nader endorsed him, that would cinch it for me. Is Ralph running in 2012? I think not. How about Dennis Kucinich (D)? Jesse Ventura? Bernie Sanders (he said no)? The media's just full of these Republican clowns who'd sell their mother on the "free market" and stash the proceeds in the Cayman Islands.

Ah, we digress from the book review, but Ralph's point (I bought it and have read most of it now) is for us to become active, even in a venue this small.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 8:26:40 AM PST
Leo says:
Is Rocky Anderson going to be on all the state ballots?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 12:02:47 PM PST
Erroll says:

It is too early to say. Since Anderson realizes that the corporate media in this country will ignore him just as it ignored Nader in 2000 when Nader was not allowed to participate in a debate between corporate candidates Bush and Gore despite the fact that Nader was in possession of a legitimate ticket which should have enabled him to get into that building in Boston, he [Anderson] then is going to attempt to attract people, and especially young people, to his cause through the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 8:16:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 10:17:54 AM PST
Tome Raider, how much do you really understand about Ralph Nader if you say he cost Al Gore the White House? If Al Gore did not appeal to enough people to get enough votes to overcome Bush's theft of Florida, that is Gore's fault. And if America's presidential electon system is so screwed up that the Electoral College means George W. Bush can lose the popular vote but still win the presidency, that is not Ralph Nader's fault.

But what I don't get is how someone who voted for Ralph Nader would have chosen Gore had Nader not run. That's like saying, "I'm asking Michelle Pfeiffer out on a date but if she isn't free, I'll go out with Barbara Bush." I voted for Nader in 2000 but had he not run, there is no way on God's green Earth that I would have supported a corporate Democrat like Gore.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2012 9:39:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 27, 2012 10:01:45 AM PST
Leo says:
I agree that RN was not the sole cause of Gore losing the election. After all Gore lost his own state of TN which as I recall would have carried enough electoral votes to have won, despite a loss in FL.

It is equally futile to allege in the same breath whether or not and for whom those who did vote in FL for Nader would have done had he not been a choice, but with less than a 400 vote lead it is not unreasonable to suppose that Gore might very well have won. We'll just never know.

However, to say that Gore is a corporatist is pathetically ridiculous.

So too the cute Michelle Pfeiffer analogy, but hardly persuasive, because one cannot possibly know what is motivating the offer of a date. If the other choice was say, Michelle Bachman, I'd go out with Barbara Bush in a heartbeat. Same thing with the Gore/Bush alternatives.

I also take offense to the "God's green Earth" hyperbole. Which God is it that the Earth belongs? One of the Abrahamic triad? The Taoic? The New Atheist? The Native American? How about that green "and blue" Earth that Al Gore has been so keenly devoted to enhancing global awareness and preservation?

Perhaps in the long term, it was better that Al lost the election, his post election recovery being like that of Jimmy Carter's post re-election loss.

Today we find the ideological battle between Democrats and Republicans in the 2012 election cycle to have reached an unprecedented fever pitch. Nader who is a contemporary of my youth and whose early legal career prompted my own, would do well to accept that he is no more perfect than Obama and other progressive liberal Democratic warriors. Until the rules of the "game" are actually changed, then it would be foolish to disregard them.

Truly RN, although undoubtedly a great man whose progressivism has done much to improve life for the little man and generally for our country, has a signifigant character flaw - he is decidedly unreasonable.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2012 2:39:07 PM PDT
Lupus says:
I have to agree with Leo's comments. I have long been an admirer of Ralph Nader. I nearly voted for him in 2000, because he was saying the things that Al Gore should have said. And then Al's choice of a running mate in Joe Lieberman really turned me off. But at the last minute, I voted for Gore because he had a better chance of beating Bush than Ralph did...and yet he lost to the Supreme Court, already the people's enemy.

But though Ralph has been right about so many things, his "do it my way or screw it" attitude is not logical or reasonable. Sometimes progress comes in small steps. Obama is still preferable to Willard Mitt Romney, who will say anything or do anything just to get himself elected.

I haven't read this book, but I'm not sure I'll buy it, if its sole purpose is to get you riled up. I've been riled enough about the corruption in our system; I want to know what positive and realistic thing I can do to change it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2012 4:43:39 PM PDT
Erroll says:
Lupus believes that:

"Obama is still preferable to Willard Mitt Romney, who will say anything or do anything just to get himself elected."

I seriously doubt if that bit of nonsense will convince the Afghans or the Pakistanis or the people in Yemen and Somalia that Obama is the person that they would like to see in the White House given the fact that Obama is raining down 500 lb. bombs and drones and cruise missiles upon those wretched people. And no, this does not mean that I wish to see Willard "Mitt" Romney elected president. Despite what many people wish to believe Americans actually have a right to vote for a candidate who is neither a Democrat nor a Republican such as a Rocky Anderson or a Jill Stein or even a [gasp!] socialist candidate such as Stewart Alexander as all of those people actually have the interests of the American people at heart as opposed to the two corporate tools and warmongers who are running for president.
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