The 2008 U.S. presidential election was an extreme example of the bias that exists in the mainstream media. Bernard (Bernie) Goldberg exposes the statistics in his book A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media
Goldberg has a very easy to read writing style. It almost reads as if he dictated his book and had it transcribed from a verbal analysis.
Many democrats and liberals deny the existence of the media bias but the numbers Goldberg presents are clear:
In 2008, a study by Investor’s Business Daily put the campaign donation ratio of journalists at more than 11 to 1 in favour to Democrats.
In 2007, the Pew Research Center found there were four self-identified liberal journalists for every one conservative.
But the bias is not limited to Americans. It exists on our side of the border as well. When addressing the subject of PDS, or Palin Derangement Syndrome, Goldberg points out this gem:
…PDS also turned up in Canada. Heather Mallick, a college profesor, summed up the feelings of millions of American liberals in one elegant sentence, which was part of a piece she wrote on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s website. Palin, said Ms. Mallick, “added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn’t already have sewn up, the white trash vote.”
For the style and the statistical content, I am giving this book 8 screws out of 10.
What I loved about this book is its’ title. Fleeced. Everywhere in the book where the word “fleeced” appears, you could swap in the words “officially screwed”.
The content is actually pretty good too. It addresses several topics and how the American governments (both Republican and Democrat) are fleecing the tax payers.
Morris covers several topics including the media, the do nothing Congress, pension funds, credit care companies, hedge fund billionaires, the Teachers Union and many others. Each chapter also includes a bit of information on what people can do to fight being fleeced.
What was very pleasing to see was a sentence in the conclusion that reminds me of this blog’s tagline “You either pay attention or pay through the nose. I would rather pay attention.”
The only way to avoid being fleeced by our own government is to pay attention to what our elected and appointed representatives are doing – or not doing – in Washington.
Although this book is geared towards the American system, the lesson to pay attention is important in all democratic nations.
When I first heard Mark Steyn speak I thought to myself “This man is going to get knocked off by a hit man!” If that wasn’t enough to get me hooked then perhaps it was the ease with which he lays out facts and cuts through the politically correct haze most other writers/speakers are surrounded with.
In America Alone-The End Of The World As We Know It, Steyn lays out the demographic facts that show how America (yes, Alone) is the only nation in the free world producing enough offspring to sustain its’ own existence. Italy and Russia sitting at 1.2 and Spain producing a paltry 1.1 children per two adults and even Canada producing only 1.5. When the requirement for sustained population is 2.1 (when mortality is taken into account) the only nation in the free world producing enough offspring to sustain itself without immigration is the United States.
But Steyn points out that when we look at other parts of the world the story is quite different. Niger – 7.46, Mali – 7.42, Somalia – 6.76, Afghanistan – 6.69, Yemen – 6.58. To quote Mr. Steyn:
Notice what those nations have in common? Starts with an I, and ends with a slam. As in: slam dunk.
But Steyn doesn’t just look at the demographics of declining western culture and skyrocketing Islamism. He addresses the demasculation of society and the culture of bleeding heartism that lead to statements by people like Osama bin Laden that say America is weak. She has no teeth. It isn’t the military he is talking about. It is the soft underbelly in our society that sees fit to give in to every whining small L liberal.
Whatever your political stripes, this book is an eye opener and a must read in my opinion. After you read it, make sure you give the book to a friend and make them read it too.
ADDENDUM: If you don’t have time to read the book, watch Mark Steyn’s speech to the Heritage Foundation by clicking here.
Now on to Paul Wells’ latest Right Side Up – The Fall Of Paul Martin And The Rise Of Stephen Harper’s New Conservatism.
I just finished Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada by William Johnson and I must say it was quite enlightening.
I was one of those right leaning Canadians who had misunderstood the politics around the formation of the Reform Party and the evolution to the Canadian Alliance. I was also one of those right leaning Canadians who stuck with the PC Party thinking the glory would return. I was also one of those right leaning Canadians who never paid very close attention to the nuances of Canadian politics. (Remember my motto…You can pay attention or pay through the nose. I would rather pay attention.)
This book gave me quite an education and an even greater amount of respect for our Prime Minister.
So I will say that this book is much less of a biography of Stephen Harper than it is a good recent history lesson on the political state of Canada. I found it incredibly educational and at the same time realized that our current Prime Minister was quite a visionary. And this isn’t just because a book says so.
William Johnson does a wonderful job of explaining what was going on and quotes various statements made by Harper before his rise to power. His predictions were right on the mark and the fact that the Liberal party implemented many ideas Harper had pushed for and claimed them as their own was a testament to his vision.
If you have not read this book, it is a must read. Not only for those who already see the light. But moreso for those who believed the Liberals painting him as a big bad wolf.
I give it a 9 out of 10.
As many know, you need to take Ann Coulter with a bit of salt, but not too much. She definately does her research and footnotes her information very well.
What I found really informative in Godless is Coulter’s view of the American education system and the mythconceptions many have about teachers. Considering there is now talk in Canada of setting up a Native School Board to help swell the numbers of leftist teachers, I was quite interested in this chapter. Even if you are not a Coulter fan, you really should read it. It is full of great information on how the education system is screwing up our kids.
I am in full agreement with Coulter on this fact. When I hear teachers say “I had to take a summer job to make ends meet.” I laughed. Because she responded the way I do. I say “most people work 49 to 50 weeks a year, why do you think you, as a teacher, deserve anything different?
The last 4 chapters were quite an in depth view of Darwinism. Having read The Origin of Species years ago and being one of those who tries to balance evolution with religion, I found her information on the lack of a fossil record to prove Darwin’s theory quite interesting.
I must also say that the bad rap Coulter gets for slamming the 911 Widows is way overblown. She does deal them a nasty hand of slams but backs up the slams quite well. Similarly, she tosses Cindy Sheehan to the sharks and, as Sheehan has done, Coulter uses Sheehan’s son to do it. Nice turnaround Ann!!
All in all, it was a good read and I give it a solid 8 screws out of 10.
For those who have enjoyed the trials and tribulations of M.E. Kay Scarpetta and her friends, this book will be a nice treat. This one is actually not the latest considering a new one was just released (but my book reading list has been long).
Predator takes you back and forth from the warm citrus growing Florida (where Lucy has set up shop with her special tactical investigation organization) to the North East where Benton Wesley is working on a program to analyze hardened killers brain patterns in an intricate mesh of relationships.
Who is playing who? You just have to read the book to figure out where all the bad guys are coming from.
This was an easy read for me as I was pretty much engrossed in it from about the third chapter on and I recommend it to anyone who has been reading the Scarpetta series. For those jumping in brand new, it may be a bit confusing picking up who is who, but the storyline does fit in the one book so knowing the history of the characters is not really necessary.
I give it 7 screws out of 10.
The Da Vinci Code By Dan Brown
By now, half the freaking world knows about this book/movie. I just hope half the world feels about it the way I, and Opus Dei, do. It truly sucked. I found myself painfully forcing my way through it each time I sat down to lay some cable. Dan Brown really didn’t do anyone any justice with this one.
It follows the daughter of the curator of the Louvre and an American historian through a pretty unimaginative set of riddles to find the secret of the Holy Grail (which isn’t a chalice but the true writings that would blow Christianity out of the water if revealed).
I feel the best quality the book had was that the chapters were brief enough to make it worthwhile reading on the john, and long enough to provide enough paper to wipe with.