I was pleasantly surprised this afternoon to see a lengthy review of Public Policy Hooligan posted on Amazon. Ragnar Danneskjold took the time to extract a heap of his favorite lines from the book, making for a bouncy summary of the twist and turns of the narrative. I’m glad that at least one other person enjoyed my jab about how the Supreme Court’s equated of piracy with fellatio in a 1996 case.
Here’s his review:
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for all of Bovard’s fans, including the new ones!, January 7, 2013
This review is from: Public Policy Hooligan (Kindle Edition)
Bovard is one of my favorite authors, as he has been achieving his self-described goal of “a style that combined philosophical principles with volleys of stunning facts” for decades now. For anyone like myself who has had to stop halfway through books like Lost Rights, Freedom in Chains, Terrorism and Tyranny, and put them down under the siege of his armies of verifiable truths – this set of memoirs is nearly as informative and perhaps a tad more fun!
In letting the author speak for himself (as he is far more qualified than I to do), the hard part is limiting oneself to a short sampling of the goodies within. About the only thing that is “missing” is the usual thick chunk of endnotes, which this reader has been known to use when opponents insist this Bovard guy simply *must* be making it up. In his own words – “Pshaw, I never claimed to be a moderate.”
“We should not abandon an incomplete liberty for a perfect servitude.”
“I am a friend of democracy as long as democracy is a friend of liberty. I love my own personal freedom more than I love the majority”
” … if someone believes that government coercion is the key to progress, does that give me the right to pummel them to convince them of my ideas – coercing them to enlightenment?”
“Their faith in government did not arise from hard evidence, and mere facts would never make them repent.”
“Intellectual history appeared to be a series of Pandora’s Boxes opened by people nonchalant about subsequent body counts. I was mystified by the lack of a political learning curve, as if drawing lessons from history would be cheating. Almost all evidence against the State was ruled inadmissible.”
“I had no faith in shaming the perpetrators. I preferred to awaken the victims.”
“It was difficult to attend any Washington gathering without hearing a background drone of federal employees murmuring about how soon they could collect a pension … there is no justice in raising taxes on prviate workers so that civil servants can retire younger and live better.”
“Environmentalists have become good Washingtonians, more concerned about spending money for a good cause than actually solving a problem. Being pro-environmental is, increasingly, a license to disregard the failure of anti-pollution programs.”
“‘Yes – we ware the most caring of them all!’ It was morally inconceivable that anything done by such fine people could ever harm the downtrodden … as long as government appeared benevolent, nothing else mattered.”
… and if the observation that “regrettably, Rehnquist did not deign to explain the legal equivalence of piracy in the 1820s and contemporary fellatio” doesn’t grab you, what the Hell will?
Recommended for all of Bovard’s fans, and to those who might find those reams of facts daunting, this is a great “gateway book” to ready one for the “hard stuff”! 🙂