O.K. ... this did not come off my shelf, but was in a stack of books from my Mom's place. Among the myriad of ways that I'm going to be missing my Mother is that she'd buy a lot of conservative books and pass them along to me when she was done, so I sort of figured I'd slip this in for my recent "political/philosophical" book slot. P.J. O'Rourke's All The Trouble In The World
is a FUN read ... there have been dozens of quotes I'd have liked to share out of this, but wasn't reading with a highlighter, so you're out of luck (hey ... Amazon has this used for as little as 59¢, so it wouldn't kill ya to pick a copy up!). Once again, this would have probably had more impact 5 years ago (it's 10 years old at this point, so there's a lot of Clinton/Gore poking going on), but it was a hoot.
The main thrust of All The Trouble In The World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague, and Poverty
is O'Rourke musing on "human suffering" in the context of various places he's been around the world ... over-population
in the context of Bangaladesh (he points out that the population density there is the same as Fremont, CA) ... famine
in the context of Somalia ... environment
in the context of the Amazon rain forest ... ecology
in the context of the Czech Republic ... saving the earth
in the context of the Earth Summit in Rio ... multiculturalism
in the context of his alma mater, Miami of Ohio, and the Balkans ... plague
in the context of Haiti ... and economic justice
in the context of Vietnam. In almost every case, the core problem is one of politics
and not environment or economics. In fact, by the time you're half way through this book, you're pretty sure that the old saw about the Klintons (Q:"How can you tell if the Klintons are lying?" A:"Their lips are moving!"
) goes double for every "environmentalist" (and he seems particularly fond of poking Al Gore with sharp sticks). Virtually every statement from the Environmental Left is shown to be blown up from some totally-out-of-context bit of untreated preliminary research which was grabbed to make a hot sound bite (the Alar debacle is a prime example). Section by section he shows what a colossal mess governments make of the world where given the chance ... a Libertarian battle-cry if I've ever heard one. The book ends on a positive note with the grass-roots capitalism erupting from Vietnam ... a situation he says was made possible when "Faced with a choice of leading or following, the Vietnamese government got out of the way."
As I noted above, this is available for under $5 (with shipping) through Amazon's used department ... if you're sick of the smarmy liars like Al Gore spewing shit they've made up to further their political agendas, pick up a copy of this book ... you'll be happy that you did! Anyway, since I had such fun reading this, I dug up another P.J. O'Rourke book from the depths of my "to be read" shelves, Parliament of Whores
, where he takes a good hard look at our
government. Should be fun.