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Saint Jimmah's crappy book

Don't ask me why, but I've actually bought and read Jimmy Carter's awful book. Believe me when I say that I approached this volume with low expectations, but they were promptly surpassed. This book is so bad on so many different levels that I found myself subconsciously attempting to conceal its cover while carrying it in public, because I was actually embarrassed to be seen reading it.

I'm a slow reader and I came late to the book review party, so I won't try to rehash all the critiques about the book's biases and factual errors, as those have been extensively documented elsewhere. I will, however, share a few thoughts that occurred to me while reading it.

First of all, the book's frontispiece really set the tone for the rest of the volume. It contained two lengthy quotations, one from the Holy Bible, and another from... Jimmy Carter. No, I kid you not. What kind of person would do that? The kind of person who would also make statements like this one.

"Because Jefferson was a humble person, I feel a kinship with him."

There's a certain kind of "pompous humility" that only a deeply religious person can have, I believe. Anyway, Carter must have been terribly enamored of that particular block of prose of his. Not only did he quote it alongside the Old Testament, but he repeated it again for good measure, in toto, at the end of the first chapter. Not as a quote this time, or with a footnote, but simply embedded right into the body of the text. As far as I know it's not a crime to plagiarize oneself*, but that's still kinda weird.

Speaking of religion, I had forgotten the extent to which Carter wears his Christian faith on his sleeve. I remember (vaguely) that he raised a few eyebrows among the Northeastern elites when he burst on the scene in the 70s, because many of them had been unfamiliar with terms such as "born again," and didn't know what to make of a president who spoke openly of his faith in Jesus Christ.

This book was a shocking reminder. If George W. Bush went around talking about Jesus and his faith one tenth as much as Carter does in this book, he'd have been fed to the lions already. There's even one anecdote in which Carter suggests to Golda Meir that Israel's political problems might stem from Israel's secular society, that God might be angry because His people have turned their backs on Him, as happened so often throughout the Old Testament (Jimmy was a Sunday School teacher, don't you know.) No, I'm not making this up and I'm not exaggerating. It's even more bizarre to read his account of the meeting than my brief summary of it.

If you can get beyond the turgid, sanctimonious prose, the book's content is even more troubling. As I said, I won't rehash all the arguments about the history of the region, but one does have to wonder what makes a man like Carter feel compelled to find fault with Israel at every single turn, even when historical facts must be altered to allow it.

The book is shocking in its one-sidedness (Hint: If you're really trying to write an unbiased and dispassionate account of the Palestinian conflict, you might want to rethink using the word "Apartheid" in the title.) By comparison, Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel was much fairer and more evenhanded than Carter's screed, even though Dershowitz makes no pretense at impartiality. His book sets out to be avowedly pro-Israel, and yet Carter comes across as the shrill partisan by comparison.

It's not really surprising, though. Dershowitz is a legal scholar and he wrote a scholarly book, replete with footnotes, extensive references and a detailed bibliography. Carter's book had none of this. Carter chose instead to adopt the "Believe what I say because I'm Jimmy Carter" approach.

The problem is that more and more people don't believe him anymore. The number of Carter Center board members to resign over the book now hovers at fourteen, which is the bit of news that prompted me to write this admittedly late quasi-review.

I've never been a big Jimmy Carter fan, but I did (naively) buy into the conventional wisdom that he was intelligent, sober, well-meaning, and honest to a fault, despite the fact that he was an incompetent chief executive. Perhaps that really was the Carter of the past, but the Carter of today has devolved into a caricature of full-fledged moonbattery. Sad.

* There was actually a court case about this 15 years ago or so. IIRC, there was some dude who (like my father used to do, God rest his soul) read like a quadrillion Western novels every year. One day he was reading one of those crappy "adult westerns" and (miraculously) recognized that he'd read it before. Not the stale, hackneyed plot, mind you, but the prose itself. He went back through his stack of paperbacks, and sure enough found that whole chunks of the book had been lifted wholesale from a previous title by the same author. The book publisher was pissed off because they had commissioned a "new" work and they sued the guy. It was the first time I'd ever heard of anyone being sued for plagiarizing themselves. I never did hear how the ruling came out, however. Oh well.


SUCKER!!!!!!!! for actually buying that drivel by that over-rated ex-president!

I'm so... ashamed.

I didn't even buy Carter's presidential memoirs, figuring that living through it was bad enough; I didn't have to be reminded of it in print.

Redeem yourself: buy the current edition of "Maxim Girls" or something.

> Redeem yourself: buy the current edition of "Maxim Girls" or something.

Thank you, Father Confessor Fred. Your penance is tough... but just. On my way to B&N. :-)

Dont feel bad. I also bought and read that book of Carter over the holidays. I guess we are in the same wave length on what books could be interesting to read, no matter what you think of the opinions expressed inside them. I have not read Dershowitz's book yet, but I also plan to buy and read it.

Next time pick up some light fiction like "Treason" by Anne Coulter. At least it will be entertaining....

""Next time pick up some light fiction like "Treason" by Anne Coulter. At least it will be entertaining...."

I'would never ever buy a book that would benefit financially Ann Coulter. She is an anti-American lunatic who hates democracy. She does not deserve a penny for her books.

Barry is always very careful to be seen vehemently defending his Jewish masters.

Carter is right -- Israel is the problem.

Well Barely, you were wrong about oil prices...and the H-1B visa...and the list goes on...and on).

Before the last election you insisted and even wanted to bet that oil and gasoline prices would skyrocket after the election and be back to the $3/gallon range by winter.

I couldn't bare to take your money. That would've been like betting against a child - it's not fair.

Any way, it's mid-January and you're as wrong on oil and gasoline prices as you were about H-1B visas and everything else.

G W Bush DID NOT (and cannot) manipulate world oil prices.

The price of oil is still low and many analysts feel it could hit the mid-40's per barrel.

OPEC has called an emergency meeting to consider cutting output to stabilize prices.

Hmmmm, wrong on oil, wrong on H-1B's...maybe wrong on Israel too?

Yeah, I think that's a fair bet.

Hysterical jew insists that Carter is bought. Of course, when Carter points to the purchasers of Congress, he's an anti-semite. Having everything both ways is pretty much the essence of judaism.

Tsk, tsk ... poor JMK. You were clearly *afraid* to take my bet. If the Repugs had won, gas would be on its way to $5 a gallon.

Fortunately, you all lost, because you are losers. Nobody is listening to your crackpot ideas about the "free market" blah blah blah.

The Robber Barons are on the run again. LOL!

Wrong again, Barely.

Apparently you've even forgotten what you initally said.

YOU claimed G W Bush manipulated oil prices before the election.

Clearly he and ONLY he can do that, according to your claim.

Follow this, it'll help you understand why neither Bush nor Gore, nor ANY American leader can "manipulate oil prices" - oil is a commodity, speculated upon in the Futures market (look that institution up). Weather, oil reserve inventories around the world and weather are all factors in how commodities traders decide to "bet" on the price of various commodities.

Oil prices have gone down because (1) U.S. oil reserves are very high, (2) the weather, especially in the northeast U.S. has been much warmer than normal (less demand) and (3) supply has remained steady.

A real man, like Arthur Gumpter (one of tens of thousands of commodities speculators, Mr Gumpter is a "high roller") has a much better chance than either G W Bush or Al Gore of "manipualting the price of oil," but even 100 guys like Gumpter, hell, even 1,000 probably couldn't get together and succeed in driving the price of oil against where the commodities market would normally take it.

Just as H-1B visas exploded under Clinton (who signed onto TWO consecutive INCREASES in the cap) and dropped under the current administration, which also dropped the cap back down to its initial level (before BOTH raises), oil prices are not controlled one bit by American politicians.

Oh stop lying JMK. Why did your daddy Chimp suddenly decide to allow oversight on his Spy On America operation? Why JMK? Why? You said you fully supported it and that it was perfectly legal, so why is Chimp now going before a court as the Constitution dictates?

Yes, that's right, it's because Bush was breaking the law and committing treason.

Bush is a liar, a criminal, and a traitor.

Bush lost his complete control over the government, and oil prices dropped like a rock. Don't be retarded, of course the government can effect oil prices. Really, you sometimes natter on like an imbecile.

Oh Barely, you can't seem to get anything right!

What was the outcome of the latest deal between the Justice Dept and the FISA court?


Yeah, no one really knows, BECAUSE it's classified, as James Taranto of the WSJ duely noted, "What is one to make of yesterday's announcement that the president has decided to end the Terrorist Surveillance Program, bringing the wiretapping of international calls to or from the U.S. under the supervision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court? It is a muddle, as the Washington Post reports:

"Many details of the new approach remained unclear yesterday, because administration officials declined to describe specifically how the program will work.

"Officials would not say, for example, whether the administration will be required to seek a warrant for each person it wants to monitor or whether the FISA court has issued a broader set of orders to cover multiple cases. Authorities also would not say how many court orders are involved or which judge on the surveillance court had issued them.

"We participated in a conference call yesterday in which "senior Justice Department officials" explained the change--or rather in which they explained very little, citing national security to keep all details secret. About all we gleaned was that the agreement between Justice and the FISA court was very complicated and was the result of negotiations that went on for "almost two years."


You know what the "evil Bush administration" just did, numbnuts?

They avoided Congressional hearings and possible tighter restrictions that some Democrats would prefer to place on the program.

And Congress hasn't reined in oil prices you dolt!

They haven't even passed a single shred of legislation yet. Not a single Bill from the new Congress has reached the President's desk.

Market forces control oil prices as they control ALL commodity prices.

Try proving different!

And please, try something original, like...I don't know, maybe like posting a an article with a graph showing how the commodities market controls oil prices, as you argue that it really shows that the American government controls them.

Like what you did over the H-1B Visa issue.

I'd like to say something intelligent and political but you all made good points. Somehow all I can think of when I talk about Jimmy Carter is Peanuts and Beer. The beer because of his brother, and because I would probably need a beer to read that book.

"Somehow all I can think of when I talk about Jimmy Carter is Peanuts and Beer. The beer because of his brother, and because I would probably need a beer to read that book." (my2cents)

It would probably require more than one to slog through that tome, though definitely NOT a "Billy Beer."

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