Monday, December 1, 2008

What You Should Know About Politics But Don't

A Nonpartisan Guide to the Issues
Jessamyn Conrad

Let me say first, that there was not a lot of new information in this book and I found the title only slightly less offensive than the "for dummies" series of books, which I refuse to consult on principle. I've read over a couple of them, meh. It went downhill from there.

The book starts off talking about elections and explains about voting districts and political parties and the electoral college. Then it gets into voter suppression and fraud, gerrymandering campaign finance and the trouble with electronic voting machines. The following chapters take on a long list of hot button issues: recession. stagflation, the mortgage crisis, isolationism, health care, homeland security, no child left behind, all the while maintaining a neutral non partisan tone, the News Hour with Jim Lerher, on Prozac. "Some believe that torture is inherently morally repugnant and is never justifiable. Others think there may be some very restricted circumstances in which torture is morally acceptable, while still others contend that those conditions are broader."

Some people bend over backwards to not have an opinion, too, and Jessamyn Conrad is one of them. Some people think torture is sometimes OK? Let's put it out there, Jessamyn. The Bush Administration denies that it ever tortured anyone and if it did, then they must have deserved it. And besides, if the President does it, it's legal.

I became weary of the neutrality. None of the burning issues of the day have any relevance weight, meaning or value in this book, just on the one hand and on the other.
The publisher got blurbs from Barack Obama and Bob Dole for the front cover. I guess John McCain was too busy to answer the email.


  1. Heh, sounds truly mindnumbingly awful. Having no opinion is like being a piece of plain white toast or wallpaper, useless. I like it when people at least disagree with me.

  2. What a great review! You really got across the banality of the book; I definately won't be buying it - but I will look forward to your next humorous review!


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