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Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans-Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild Paperback – April 24, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Palast (The Best Democracy Money can Buy) is a refreshing, fearless witness to the American political landscape-and he doesn't really care whether or not you like him for it: "I am not a nice man. You want something heartwarming ... buy a puppy." Though Palast comes right out and calls George Bush II un-American ("'Greg, you have no respect for the office of the President.' No, I don't. Not one iota."), the author is not another TV or radio personality with an axe to grind. A former corporate fraud and racketeering investigator, Palast is an economist and investigative journalist, and his arguments are based on research and fact. At once scary, infuriating, fascinating and frustrating, this book covers almost all the controversial political territory of the new century (see the subtitle), including Hurricane Katrina. Palast believes that this crucial period has put every working citizen's rights at stake-"from the Wage and Hour Law's 40-hour week to the Clayton Antitrust Law"-and his well-reasoned outrage makes a convincing case. Unfortunately, Palast is short on solutions; the only actions he advocates are signing up at his web site and voting the bums out-even though, as Palast points out, Bush already "lost the election. TWICE."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Upsets all the right people. (Noam Chomsky)
Courageous reporting. (Michael Moore)
Gripping, provocative, inspiring. (John Perkins, the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man)
The type of investigative reporter you donÆt see anymoreùa cross between Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes. (Jim Hightower)
I urge you: read PalastÆs latest book, Armed Madhouse. The story is like a spy thriller. (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on Air America Radio)
A Truth Hound . . . . PalastÆs stories bite. TheyÆre so relevant they threaten to alter history. (Chicago Tribune)
Palast, a tough-talking, fedora-wearing corporate fraud investigator turned intrepid journalist, has a habit for finding actual documents and then using them in edgy exposTs. (Los Angeles Times)
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Let me explain I am a ex-member of the Democrat Party, but NOT a republican. I am a JFK democrat at heart with no party to turn too and a lot of that reason is the likes of Palast and other extreme fringe leftists that abducted the once great Democratic Party and have pulled it so far to the left it is an embarrassment to the likes of JFK.
When you become so isolated like Palast you fell that you do not have any reason to investigate ALL of the facts, instead he simply cherry-picks and in some cases embellishes just a few of the multitude of facts and then presents them to the reader as the whole story.
I cannot really call his writing propaganda because true propaganda gets 95% of the facts correct and then tweaks the last 5% to sway you to their position. In Palast's case he only mentions 3% facts 2% factoids and then opines the 95%.
The book is great for the choir or the highly uniformed or unintelligent but those of us who take interest into politics and world events and have just a general grasp of the facts will continually be saying while you read the book:
What about this?
what about that?
What about the rest of the story?
That's not true?
Please just once report something truthfully then opine on it?
You left out 95% of the facts that go against your conclusion.
A book that does that is of no use to anyone except the choir.
It will be frustrating to read this book if you have even a modicum of intelligence and fairness in your blood, the amount of facts and data left out will infuriate and you will know immediately you are being duped. However, for the extremist left, those who have that visceral hatred of Bush, this book will be like red meat is to a pack of starving hyenas, they will swallow it whole.
I've got a friend or two who have actually left the good old US of A for places like Panama and Canada, not so much out of fear of a neo-fascist takeover, but out of pure disgust, the kind of disgust that can only be bought with stolen elections and massive redistributions of the nation's wealth from the poor and the middle classes to the conspicuously rich.
Before reading this I couldn't believe that the Democrats were so incompetent and so stupid as to allow the Republicans to steal two national elections. Now I wonder if it matters whether they can prevent a third. Probably Hillary will win, but after four years of her, the power structure will have had enough and it'll be the reincarnation of some cardboard flunky like Reagan or some idiot like the present occupant who will be installed in power and who will again rob the treasury, sell off the public lands and start a war for ExxonMobil and kill a gook for God.
People like Cheney and Rumsfeld will probably be dead or deathlike, writing their mendacious memoirs, but there'll be others from the think tanks and the corporate world to look out for the interests of the ruling class. And, yes, the rich will get richer and the poor poorer and there's nothing new under the sun--although this "nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" once seemed so.
Goodbye yellow brick road. Welcome to the armed madhouse!
The problem with America, with this democracy by capitalism, is that it isn't what it once was. We used to be the greatest country on earth. But sometime around the time that Kennedy got shot we began to change. We won the Cold War but it ruined us morally. With our idealism and sense of fair play compromised by our need to stem the tide of the red menace, we became, step by step, like every other country in the history of the world, hopelessly corrupt.
Clearly, if Palast is to be believed, we are corrupt, right down to the very core of our being. When elections are stolen in a democracy, it is no longer a democracy. When a powerful nation invades another country to control the supply of oil (as Palast charges) under false pretexts, it is no different than Iraq invading Kuwait or Germany invading Poland.
When a country allows profiteers to poison and despoil the land and the people (as Palast charges) that country is no better than the robber barons of old or the dictators of South America and Africa. When the president steals from the middle class to feed the gluttonous, the middle class will eventually dry up and die and we will have the wealth distribution pyramid of a banana republic.
Obviously this book will delight and entertain those on the left. Palast is a gifted writer as well as a tenacious researcher who serves well as a pied piper to those about to be disenfranchised. (People on the right will send him death threats.) I suggest you read this book regardless of how you feel about what is happening in America today and who's responsible. If nothing else, reading Palast's prose is an education in how to express yourself with verve, gumption, and the employment of le mot juste. Here's an example from pages 262-263. Noting that 59 million Americans actually cast votes for George W. Bush in 2004 (regardless of whether he really won or not), Palast writes:
What we witnessed on November 2, 2004, was a 59 million strong army of pinheads on parade ready to gamble away their pensions so long as George Bush makes sure that boys kill each other, not kiss; who feel right proud that our uniformed services can kick some scrawny brown people in the ass in some far-off place when we're mad and can't find Osama; who can't bring themselves to vote for a guy with a snooty Boston accent who's never been to a NASCAR tractor pull and who certainly thinks anyone who does [sic] is a low-Q [sic] beer-burping blockhead.
Palast adds, "Nitwits who think Ollie North's a hero not a conman, who can't name their congressman, who believe that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were going steady, who can't tell Afghanistan from a souvlaki stand and, bloated with lies and super size fries, clomped to the polls 59 million strong to vent their small-minded hatreds on us all."
He sums that up with, "I fear the election was an intelligence test that America failed."
It is said that domesticated animals are not as smart as the wild kind. It is put forward that humans were smarter in, say, 30,000 BCE than we are now. Some call it "devolution." We are domesticated animals: we and the massage of TV and fast foods and soft couches, and the pounding rhythms of the ads relentlessly aimed at us, have domesticated ourselves. Nowhere in the world is this truer than in America. Alas.