Skip to comments."Jon Stewart, You Magnificent B*stard! I Read Your Book!"
Posted on 12/22/2004 8:38:32 PM PST by Congressman Billybob
So America (the Book) was named Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. More than successful, its a cultural phenomenon. I had to see what the shoutings about. If your goal was money and self-promotion, congratulations. If you had a higher goal, close but no cigar.
Begin with the Foreword by Thos. Jefferson. Ol Tom was one of the greatest political thinkers in history. Im not going to pick on deliberate falsehoods or fake quotes. Nor brevity, nor attempts at humor. Just flat-out, factual errors.
You have Jefferson say we composed the Declaration and the Constitution. You credit 26 collaborators on this project. Didnt any of you know that Jefferson was in Paris when the Constitution was written? There was a movie with the title Jefferson in Paris, played by a sober Nick Nolte. Did all of you miss it? But I digress.
You have Jefferson call the Constitution a living document. He thought no such thing. In the Kentucky Resolutions, he wrote Put not your faith in men, but bind them down with the chains of the Constitution. Elsewhere, he repeatedly called the federal courts the most dangerous branch, if they took the law and the Constitution in their own hands to rewrite as they chose.
Its not that you and your colleagues were ignorant of Jefferson. When you got to the free press, on page 136, you used the great quote from Ol Tom about choosing between government without newspapers, or newspapers without government. Yall did your homework, when leading to the answer you wanted. (But you used a corrupt source and blew the quote.)
That the Founding Fathers werent perfect is self-evident. Ben Franklin said it best at the close of the Constitutional Convention. His speech on compromise included this: Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad.
The one thing we got right, two centuries ago, was writing a Constitution that worked and lasted. Though there are several 5,000-year-old civilizations, the oldest Constitution is ours, at 215 years. Our successes have stemmed from that, with more than a little assistance from Franklins Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights Clause. (Every nickel of your royalties are based on those few words.)
Jon, compliments where compliments are due. You almost got the story of the Constitution right. Its true that the Founders prayed that the Constitution would be ratified, respected and upheld.... You missed only one, overwhelming point. Amendment of the Constitution is right there in the document. It says that Congress and the states have that power, NOT a bare majority of the Supreme Court Justices on any given Friday (when they conference their decisions).
Of the 191 Members of the United Nations, 185 have written constitutions, in most cases just unenforced window dressing. For all your bemoaning the fate of the United States, you miss this essential point. But there are many lesser errors in your work.
Just on a fast read, and without doing extra homework, America (the Book) has an average of 1.5 gross historical errors per page. Lets just sample the prime numbers: P. 1, in every election since 1789, more than two people have run for President; P. 3, you assume no demagogues in Athens perhaps yall were ignorant of the ostracism of General Alcibiades, leading to the fall of Athens?; P. 5, Gutenberg did not lead to the dumbing down of literacy, the National Education Association has done that; P. 7, Machiavellis influence on American democracy is not none, it is massive. Dont you follow politics at all?
Jon, youve written a book of humor, not philosophy. Still, you are too bright and well-educated to hide behind that excuse. You seek to be a newsman while you condemn the breed. And you seek to educate while you amuse. Sometimes the humor IS subtle. Like the quote without attribution to Otto von Bismark (P. 66). Or the bow to Eric Otter Strattons legal summation in Animal House (P. 91).
I called you a magnificent b*stard, because your goal was higher than mere amusement and money. (You certainly caught my reference to General Patton, commenting on Field Marshal Rommel.) You sought to put useful information in the hands of many people, even if tricking them into it. Fair enough. Surely there will be a second edition. Next time, talk to a couple people who REALLY know the details of your subject.
Sort of like Victor Borge at the piano, you need to know the music straight before you can conduct a side-splitting take-off. Fair enough?
the (More er Less) Honorable Congressman Billybob from Western Carolina
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. CongressmanBillybob@earthlink.net
Absolutely excellent! Be sure to actually send this to the aforementioned bast*rd.
Man. I'd hate to have you review my book. You're a hard man. Thanks for the great review. I knew something was fishy the minute they started touting how good this book was.
It reminds me of that book, Cold Mountain. All the elites were talking about how good it was and I had trouble getting through the entire book.
The writing was not that good and the author seemed to stray off the storyline here and there. And then they made a movie about it, which didn't accurately portray the characters in the book. Another Hollywood masterpiece.
You rarely disappoint, sir. Well done.
I haven't read John "I'm Important" Stewart's book, but WOW what a demolition.
And to offer perhaps a bit of an addendum, claiming Machiavelli has had to effects on American politics is like claiming Sun Tzu has had no effect on American military strategy. The work is so seminal, such a statement would have to be considered a joke.
My Christmas wish is for Santa to bring me a little monkey that looks like Jon Stewart.
Well its no mystery why Stewart is such a media darling -- because he shares the values of leftwing elitists. Yes, he will take shots at the Left, but as with Letterman and Conan, the shots at the right will always be greater in number and given greater effort.
And yes, that whole bit about suggesting the Founders would be dismayed at conservative insistence on having the Constitution mean what it actually says, and not be subject to whatever the latest Sup Court wants it to say, is nonsense.
I read the thread title and laughed my way inside. :D
Amendment of the Constitution is right there in the document. It says that Congress and the states have that power, NOT a bare majority of the Supreme Court Justices...
Thank you, sir.
Merry Christmas and God Bless
"On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
Main Entry: sat·ire
Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin satura, satira, perhaps from (lanx) satura dish of mixed ingredients, from feminine of satur well-fed; akin to Latin satis enough
1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit
also see "fake news" or "rubber chicken"
Aaah, the smell of fresh napalm in the morming...;-)
Nice job, Billybob -- I enjoyed your essay, and the spanking of Jonny-Boy Stewart.
Thank you, Congersman Billybob!
Your posts always seem to be home runs.
Keep up the outstanding work.
I was always under the impression that a prime number was evenly divisible only by itself and one (eg 1,2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29,31,37,etc).
If one is not a prime number, then is there such a thing as a prime number?
Ah, well, never mind just now. What I want to do is to wish you and your family and friends THE merriest of Christmases, and the very best of the New Year!
The integer '1' is not a prime because it has just one divisor, itself.
'2', otoh, has the necessary two divisors, '1' and '2', and is therefore a prime number, and identically so for other primes.
For the text ''any number that divides another number'', please read ''any positive integer that divides another positive integer''
Imprecision is inexcusable in mathematics, and I'm getting too rusty (muttering at self).
Nonetheless, Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends!
I used to like him before he moved to Hollywood and sold his soul.
Definitions of prime number on the Web:
A number that has exactly two factors, 1 and the number itself (cf Venn Diagrams Discussion).
Any integer greater than 1 that is divisible only by 1 and itself.
Any integer greater than 1 that is divisible only by 1 and itself. The first twelve primes are 2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29,31, and 37.
any integer that cannot be divided by another number evenly except by itself and 1; two is the smallest prime number Example:"2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13"
A whole number greater than 1 that has exactly two whole number factors, 1 and itself. The first five prime numbers are 2,3,5,7, and 11.
A prime number is a natural number that has only one and itself as factors. Examples: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, are prime numbers.
A prime number is a number, larger than 1, that can only be divided evenly by itself and 1. The first 4 prime numbers are 2,3,5 and 7. 4 is not a prime because it can be divided by 2. Can you name the next 4 prime numbers?
Who cares about endless interpretations of Marbury?
"...Congress and the states have that power, NOT a bare majority of the Supreme Court Justices on any given Friday (when they conference their decisions)."
"I know that on the surface Stewart's book is merely satire and humor. But I've seen enough of his interviews to believe that he considers himself merely a humorist."
I disagree, Jon's transparent pose as a mere TV prankster who has nothing important to say is laughable. He attempts this schoolyard reverse-psychology whenever he is interviewed. Freepers don't fall for it, and the more intelligent "moderate" Americans also see through it.
Michael Moore also insists he's a mere satirist, as a way to dodge fair criticism of his phony documentaries that are just crackpot conspiracy theories strung together. Only fools take him at his word.
Jon Stewart, Al Franken, Michael Moore, they attemp to fool the public with their insistence that it's all satire, but it's too easy to see their genuine disdain for America. All three have deep white guilt and are ashamed of America. They are icons of the malcontent nation.
Do not let them fool you into thinking they have no deeper important agenda than entertaining silliness.
Like a comic that swears too much and inadvertently reveals deep emotional hurt, the audience instinctively knows the staged faux hatred is real, not satire.
In short, correctly written my post would have agreed with you, not with me. Yes, I feel strongly that Stewart has an agenda beyond humor.
As hard as Jon Stewart tries to look like a bemused patriot, he is an arrogant socialist who hates America and just about every important aspect of it. His book is tasteless drivel about the deep subjects of freedom and justice in a representative democracy. He thinks he's clever and funny (and oh so brilliant, of course. He's even smarter than those old-fashioned fathers of our country.) He and his book and tv show are disappointingly immature. He's like the cute, talkative six year old who knows that no matter who he's talking to or about, bodily functions and jokes about private body parts--and nudity--will always get guffaws from other like-minded children or will cause some adults profound embarrassment--particularly parents, which is probably why he enjoys his exhibitions so much--he embarrasses his own parents, an inclination he still hasn't outgrown. His cheap humor belies a dearth of wit and incompetence in the language. To him I'd say, Is this all there is? Is this all you've got, man? You're boring and you rely on easy and cheap humor you hope will mask your truly malicious intent: to tarnish my country America's image in any and every way you can. May you get what you so richly deserve--massively ignored.
Amen to that.
Article III, Section 1: "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Which begs the question, I guess, of what is "the judicial power?" Not having a dictionary handy, I'd say "the power to decide whether a thing or action is lawful" is a fair definition.
Article VI, Clause 2 makes it clear that the Constitution and all laws made "in persuance thereto" are the supreme law of the land.
So, if someone has an interest which is potentially affected by a law passed by the Congress (whether it be a civil or criminal issue), it may be that the law at issue was made "in persuance" to the Constitution and would thus be the supreme law of the land; or it may be one which is not, in which case it cannot override the terms of the Constitution and is a legal nullity.
So in order to do its job in resolving the controversy before it, the court must first decide whether the law is in accord with the Constitution. If, for example, the Congress passed a law establishing Islam as the religion of the United States, and someone was arrested for being Catholic, in order to adjudicate that criminal matter, the court would have to first decide whether the law that the person is being charged with is in accord with the Constitution. If it is not, then the person cannot be charged because the law is invalid.
I don't think that judicial review is the problem as much as the abuse of the concept of "substantive due process" and the fact that judges are willing to base decision on "emanations and penumbras," rather than on the text.
Does this not, under the Ninth and Tenth amendments, require interpretation of the Constitution and the legality of Federal actions a matter for the States and the People?
Who cares about endless interpretations of Marbury?
Actually we all should. Because although Marbury's basic holding - that the judiciary must decide what the law is before it can enforce it - is clearly the proper decision and wholly constitutional, it is also noteworthy because it does not make the Courts the only arbiter of constitutionality. But in our zest to avoid "constitutional crises", politicians too often just pass or sign anything and figure that the courts will make the constitutional decision for them.
Thank you so much for reading it so I don't have to.
Good review. I don't know why people think that the mere quality of being a celebrity automatically lends any kind of serious weight to their opinions. Still, I might take a peek at his book since boyfriend's a huge fan of him... then again, boyfriend has a bit of celebrity worship syndrome in him anyway...
OTOH, there's no one pundit I particularly admire, least of all self-proclaimed pundits from Hollywood whose sole crediential is fame... although Laura Ingraham's confident, take-no-prisoners attitude is quite admirable.
"Haven't seen any reviews of Jon Stewart's book on FR. Y'all probably considered the source, and didn't bother with it. It's a cultural phenomenon, for better or worse. So I felt somebody had to do this task."
Thanks for the book review - sure hope you didn't have to pay good money for it!
As far as this, "Jon, youve written a book of humor, not philosophy. Still, you are too bright and well-educated to hide behind that excuse. You seek to be a newsman while you condemn the breed. And you seek to educate while you amuse."
I used to think his Daily Show was funny, UNTIL the elections were in gear. His Bush bashing was too over the top; he didn't even TRY to be unbiased. He's no newsie, just a leftist humorist and one I can't stand.
Has Daily Show gone off the air yet? LOL.
to read after work
I'm going to keep reading it and there are times when I genuinely laugh and other times when I roll my eyes. I'll keep looking for more of the laughs.