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View Full Version : If You Care About The U.S...This Is A Must Read



Gayle in MD
08-02-2006, 10:39 AM
I have two book recommendations which I think every one should read. The first is John Deans' book, "Conservatives Without Conscience" which is worth its weight in gold, as far as I am concerned. Bare in mind, that Dean, who is now an Independent, was a registered Republican for most of his life, and during 1996, was hired as an Anchor Buddy, (Fill Talk for when the Anchor is at a loss for words) by several news networks. His idea for this book came out of his conversations in the greenrooms of major network news stations, with Republicans of that time span, and from conversations he had with Barry Goldwater before he passed away, over his concerns about the path the Repulbican Party was taking. Although he doesn't tell whom these Green Room conversations were with, and considers them off the record as far as identifying the speakers, he does tell their words, he tells an interesting story about the philosophy of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, and its detour away from its tradition values.

Mr. Dean, who describes himself, as partisan, only in his wish for better government, offers information of a study which began after WW II, by Social Scientists whose mission was a to study the process of authoritarianism, in relation to leaders, and followers.

He makes the point that Authoritarian Governments operate over time, through the use of secrecy, slowly chipping away at Democratic Principles. On the contrary, Democracy thrives through government transparency. In a Democracy, people know everything their government is doing, and in an authoritarian style government, government knows everything its people are doing. I might point out, this book is not of the character bashing style, but rather an extremely well document, thorough explanation of where we are, and how we got there, and what formerly drove the actors in the play, if you will.

Since the Bush Administration is known as the most secret administration since Nixon, and is considered by most political experts, as the most secret of all times, IMO, this book offers some insight into issues that would be of interest to both self proclaimed Conservatives, and Liberals. Dean's first book, "Worse Than Watergate" is also a commentary to what is happening to our Democratic Principles of government, but it pales in scope to the second.

At a recent book signing, John Dean tells a story of Bill Frist, which I had never heard, which he himself told in his own autobiography, of how as a medical student, after running out of his grant money, to study heart transplants, he regularly went to the local animal shelter to get cats, which he would then bring home, and treat as pets for several days, after which he took them down to his labratory and disected them. Frist boasts of his demanding nature, throughout his childhood, and college days, and of how he managed to dictate to all around him, taking the top authoritarian position in each circumstance, in order to get his way.

In Deans book, he gives us outlines of the actual questionaires used from the studies of the Social Scientists, in both their studies of authoritarian leaders, and authoritarian followers, how to spot them, and how one may determine for oneself where one falls, in questionaire form. He also applies these standards to past political figures, and present, current, potential candidates. The book is intriguing, to say the least.

The other book is "Sandstorm: Policy Failure In The Middle East" by Leon Hedler, and lays out the reasons why we should disengage in the Middle East.

If you are scratching your head, as I am, as to how in the world we are going to resolve our situation in the Middle East, this book is also a must read.

Gayle in Md. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif