Bovard, James. The Bush Betrayal. New York: Macmillan, 2004. ISBN 1-4039-6727-X.
Having dissected the depredations of Clinton and Socialist Party A against the liberty of U.S. citizens in Feeling Your Pain (May 2001), Bovard now turns his crypto-libertarian gaze toward the ravages committed by Bush and Socialist Party B in the last four years. Once again, Bovard demonstrates his extraordinary talent in penetrating the fog of government propaganda to see the crystalline absurdity lurking within. On page 88 we discover that under the rules adopted by Colorado pursuant to the “No Child Left Behind Act”, a school with 1000 students which had a mere 179 or fewer homicides per year would not be classified as “persistently dangerous”, permitting parents of the survivors to transfer their children to less target-rich institutions.

On page 187, we encounter this head-scratching poser asked of those who wished to become screeners for the “Transportation Security Administration”:

Question: Why is it important to screen bags for IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices]?
  1. The IED batteries could leak and damage other passenger bags.
  2. The wires in the IED could cause a short to the aircraft wires.
  3. IEDs can cause loss of lives, property, and aircraft.
  4. The ticking timer could worry other passengers.
I wish I were making this up. The inspector general of the “Homeland Security Department” declined to say how many of the “screeners” who intimidate citizens, feel up women, and confiscate fingernail clippers and putatively dangerous and easily-pocketed jewelry managed to answer this one correctly.

I call Bovard a “crypto-libertarian” because he clearly bases his analysis on libertarian principles, yet rarely observes that any polity with unconstrained government power and sedated sheeple for citizens will end badly, regardless of who wins the elections. As with his earlier books, sources for this work are exhaustively documented in 41 pages of endnotes.

December 2004 Permalink