Review: Glenn Beck’s Common Sense–The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Minus 1 for Fluff, Plus 2 for Bringing Us Back to Paine: 6 Over-All,

June 27, 2009
As annoying as this book obviously is for so many, it is not only squarely on target, but merits great respect for bringing all of us back to the more developed wisdom of Thomas Paine.

Glenn Beck is not Thomas Paine. He’s not even an average American, cf.
The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation’s Most Ordinary Citizen. What he has going for him is a bully pulpit, the right instincts (no pun), and the ability to reach some, but not all and certainly not a majority, of conscious Americans.

The book is squishy, a moderately well-organized rant against “Progressives”; I myself have done better with Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography). However, I honor this book, I really do. Below are five books that have the substance this book lacks, without the heart that Glenn Beck delivers:
Obama: The Postmodern Coup – Making of a Manchurian Candidate
Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency

My review of that last one (I review all books I link to) itemizes 23 of the 25 high crimes and misdemeanors that make Dick Cheney long overdue for retrospective impeachment and negotiated exile.

My notes from the first half of this double-spaced book (the second half is the original work of the original Thomas Paine, and I loved having a chance to reread that):

+ Principles must displace the two political parties
+ Creative extremists are needed–non-violent *armed* extremists better
+ Government is imposing both sacrifices and intrusive conditions on a public that has been sacrificing since the 1960’s
+ Shortcuts have consequences, national debt IS bad
+ Political leaders are parasites (Amen, Brother!–I would add, “and prostitutes uncaring about the public interest.”
+ Social Security and Medicare are a scam because the money is being spent and an IOU put in its place–close to $10 trillion in unfunded future obligations (but see my review of Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
+ “Smiley-faced fascism” is the order of the day
+ Tax code is a weapon and a scam
+ Election manipulations anti-democratic, need term limits and an end to gerrymandering (see my review of Grand Illusion linked above)
+ “Green Government” is a scam that is radically increasing federal government powers to intervene and impact negatively on private property

Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) are the poster child for Congressional and Executive idiocy and hypocrisy, and I give this its own paragraph to emphasize how much I admired this example and the way in which the author presented it. He lines up his facts and I am shocked to learn that they contain six times any “safe” level of mercury and when they break there is a complex clean-up procedure that is required, and they are *seriously* hazardous to children, pets, and adults.

I totally welcome and agree with the author’s view that politicians are disdainful of citizens and overly enamored of secrecy for the sake of avoiding oversight.

I learn for the first time that lawful armed citizens were unlawfully disarmed in the wake of Katrina, and I believe the day will come when law enforcement officers are gunned down by citizens resisting unlawful disarming–our government is out of control, is going to issue illegal orders including “martial law” for the “common good,” and they will not be ready for the Harvest Of Rage: Why Oklahoma City Is Only The Beginning.

The author does a fine job of pointing out how the two-party tyranny uses international treaties to end-run common sense and impose addition deprivations on citizens.

A few quotes I especially admired:

p6: “The fastest way to be branded a danger, a militia member, or just plain crazy is to quote the words of our Founding Fathers [about the right to abolish the government].

p6: “It is not time to dissolve the bands that connect us to one another, but it is time to dissolve the ‘political’bands that *separate* us from one another.” I totally agree–look up the Unified Independents, I believe they will capture a third of the seats in 2010 and if Obama does not pass the Electoral Reform Act of 2009, he will be a lame duck President kicked out in 2012 in favor of an Independent President who demands Cabinet level selections and a balanced budget proposal be presented to We the People *prior to* Election Day.

p9: “Through legitimate ’emergencies involving war, terror, and economic crises, politicians on both sides have gathered illegitimate new powers–playing on our fears and desire for security and economic stability–at the expense of our freedoms.” Absolutely right, see the images I have loaded above, Obama is a CONTINUATION of Bush and Goldman Sachs is still helping Wall Street loot the Treasury.

p19: “This isn’t a debate aout money, it’s a life-and-death struggle for personal freedom and national liberty.

Between the book and the origina Tom Paine materials is a 9.12 project that does not do much for me, I’m sticking with the Boy Scout principles.

See my review of the following books for modest hope:
Fighting Identity: Sacred War and World Change (The Changing Face of War)

My online annotated bibliography at my corporate web site (OSS.Net, Inc.) provides direct links to 500+ of my reviews of relevant non-fiction books organized into groups.

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