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About James Bovard
The Wall Street Journal called Bovard 'the roving inspector general of the modern state,' and Washington Post columnist George Will called him a 'one-man truth squad.' His 1994 book Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty received the Free Press Association's Mencken Award as Book of the Year. His book Terrorism and Tyranny won the Lysander Spooner Award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. He received the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association.
His writings have been been publicly denounced by the chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Postmaster General, and the chiefs of the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. International Trade Commission, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as by many congressmen and other malcontents.
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"A lively attack on politicians, voters and government. Bovard's indictment of an ineffective but ever-expanding federal government would make any libertarian proud." --New York Post
Does the people's need to believe in the president trump their duty to understand, to think critically, and demand truth? Have Americans been conditioned to ignore political frauds and believe the lies perpetuated by campaign ads? James Bovard diagnoses a national malady called "Attention Deficit Democracy," characterized by a citizenry that seems to be paying less attention to facts, and is less capable of judging when their rights and liberties are under attack.
Bovard's careful research combined with his characteristically caustic style will give "ADD" a whole new meaning that pundits, politicians, and we the people will find hard to ignore.
"The war on terrorism is the first political growth industry of the new Millennium." So begins Jim Bovard's newest and, in some ways, most provocative book as he casts yet another jaundiced eye on Washington and the motives behind protecting "the homeland" and prosecuting a wildly unpopular war with Iraq. For James Bovard, as always, it all comes down to a trampling of personal liberty and an end to privacy as we know it. From airport security follies that protect no one to increased surveillance of individuals and skyrocketing numbers of detainees, the war on terrorism is taking a toll on individual liberty and no one tells the whole grisly story better than Bovard.
From Justice Department officials seizing people's homes based on mere rumors to the IRS and its master plan to prohibit the nation's self-employed from working for themselves to the perpetrators of the Waco siege, government officials are tearing the Bill of Rights to pieces. Today's citizen is now more likely than ever to violate some unknown law or regulation and be placed at the mercy of an administrator or politician hungering for publicity. Unfortunately, the only way many government agencies can measure their "public service" is by the number of citizens they harass, hinder, restrain, or jail.
James Bovard's Lost Rights provides a highly entertaining analysis of the bloated excess of government and the plight of contemporary Americans beaten into submission by a horrible parody of the Founding Fathers' dream.
The trouble really began when he decided to become a writer. After he moved to Washington, his articles were publicly denounced by the director of the FBI, the Postmaster General, the Secretary of HUD, and the heads of the DEA, FEMA, and EEOC - and even the Washington Post. Public Policy Hooligan reveals how Bovard heisted damning documents from World Bank headquarters, raced around East Bloc regimes one step ahead of the secret police, and was ejected from the Supreme Court for an alleged apparel atrocity. Readers may enjoy the collisions between Bovard’s rustic ways and the Beltway’s kowtowing protocols.
This book is also the chronicle of one person striving to better understand liberty and Leviathan. His rabble-rousing in Playboy, New York Times, and elsewhere exposed how cherished constitutional rights were depreciating into mere bureaucratic asterisks and how the nation was turning into an Attention Deficit Democracy. The Wall Street Journal labeled him “the roving inspector general of the modern state,” and Hooligan divulges some of the capers behind his most controversial exposes.
Two vignettes from the book (the Santa Claus confessions and the shiftless highway department worker story) have been excerpted by the Wall Street Journal.
Like Bovard’s earlier books, Hooligan is chockful of epigrams. Here are a few samples:
* Expecting uplift from politicians is like expecting burglars to leave Gideon’s Bibles in every house they plunder.
* Truth delayed is truth defused.
* I had always heard that “you can’t fight City Hall.” But maybe it was possible to intellectually demolish it.
* The more good deeds people supposedly commit, the more deluded they sometimes become.
* I have spent decades trying to turn political dirt into philosophic gold. I have yet to discover the alchemist’s trick, but I still have fun with the dirt.
* It was nuts to permit politicians to control prices when there was no way to control politicians.
* I did not recognize the FBI’s prerogative to re-write the facts on its killings.
* Regardless of how many crimes a government commits, it will have legions of apologists among intellectuals, pundits, bankers, and politicians.
* The less scrutiny federal agencies receive, the more absurd their rulings become.
* I smelled a policy rat.
* Economic common sense never had a chance inside the Beltway.
* Washington editors claim a droit du seigneur to screw any prose they published.
* I had no faith in shaming the perpetrators. I preferred to awaken the victims.
There’s the story of how James Bovard got nailed by the police while searching for donuts, revelations from his long bus ride with a down-and-out-Vietnam War vet, how he learned not to shovel working for the Virginia Highway Department, his ancient transgressions against Boy Scout neckerchief edicts, and the true facts of why he was evicted from the Supreme Court for laughing.
Freedom Frauds also exposes how politicians and the media have hollowed out our liberty over the past century. The Founding Fathers created a Bill of Rights to restrain government coercion of the American people. But succeeding generations of presidents and congressmen scorned the Constitution and sanctified one precedent after another to subjugate citizens to Washington.
After 9/11, President George W. Bush accelerated the hollowing out of freedom, epitomized by his embrace of torture methods pioneered by the Soviet Union. President Barack Obama, despite his pious rhetoric, piled on new pretexts to unleash bureaucrats and penalize anyone who failed to kowtow to the latest health care and other decrees. As a result, Americans have scant protection against the depredations of the Internal Revenue Service, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and an array of other alphabet agencies whose existence would have mortified our forefathers. Police forces have been militarized and unleashed across the land by both Republicans and Democrats, and it is only recently that accurate body counts of police victims have been even been tabulated. Similarly, both parties have embraced foreign wars on the flimsiest pretexts, usually championed by media coverage that ignores the carnage inflicted on foreign civilians. But the U.S. government remains far more adept at killing foreigners than protecting Americans.
Many of the worst federal abuses have long since become hallowed. The names and parties of the predators change, but many of the anti-freedom scams are the same. Attorney Generals Jeff Session, Eric Holder, and John Ashcroft have far more in common with each other than any resemblance to James Madison. Presidents Trump, Obama, and Bush are peas in a pod
compared to Thomas Jefferson.
Despite the anti-Washington backlash in the 2016 election, it remains “business as usual” for the vast majority of federal agencies and policies. And, as comedian Lily Tomlin declared, “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” But as long as there is a cadre of Americans who continue to supremely value their own freedom and
independence, there is hope for reversing the onslaught of Leviathan.
The Fair Trade Fraud is a direct attack on US trade policies and on the principle of political control of trade. James Bovard exposed the political and moral core of protectionism, demonstrating that politicians cannot make trade more fair by making it less free.