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review 2018-02-01 19:59
Fire and Fury: A review with feathers
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House - Wolff-Michael Roth

Here we are, at the end of a long, challenging read. There were moments I wasn't sure I could make it, but I persisted, as is a woman's way. And what have I learned from this 300 page clusterfuck?

 

Our president is a bird brain.

 

Don't believe me? I brought the receipts. 

 

 

I want to introduce you to Snow. 

 

 

Snow is an only child, quite happy with his lot in life, and by all intents and purposes the President of the United Cage of Cockatiels. Stay with me here.

 

Snow, who was the runt of the clutch, was the only baby we kept out of four little cockatiels. He has been pampered, spoiled and allowed to run the show. He thinks he has all the chirps, the best chirps. He can be loud when ignored, and petulant when angry.

 

He literally will chew the perch out from under himself if it means it will take down one of his flock mates he's in a spat with.

 

 

He is, in short, a little shit.

 

But according to everything I have read, he is completely qualified to be our elustrious leader. They are so frighteningly similar it gives me pause. Is Donald Trump a bird? Nah, just a bird brain. Let's explore this further with quotes from the book. This is the first time I have ever highlighted in a book I purchased because I just didn't want to miss anything.

 

1. Cockatiels have notorious short attention spans.

 

Early in the campaign, in a "Producers"-worthy scene, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate: "I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head."

 

This was one of numerous times Trump had no patience for anything not to do with him. More than once it was noted he would simply get up from a meeting with a world leader and leave because he was bored. This was also why he couldn't seem to hire people: they ran on numbers and he ran on drama. He would likely not hire the proper person simply because they used data.

 

Cockatiels are trained in 10 minute intervals, by the way. Birds just don't do well with extended periods of learning.

 

2. Cockatiels love to preen, strut and be the center of attention. Even if it makes no sense.

 

...he lied about his height to keep from having a body mass index that would label him as obese.

 

Some seducers are preternaturally sensitive to the signals of those they try to seduce; others indiscriminately attempt to seduce, and, by law if averages, often succed  (the latter group might be regarded as harrassers). That was Trump's approach to women- pleased when he scored, unconcerned when he didn't  (and, often, despite the evidence, believing he had). And so it was with Director Comey.

 

Here is another peculiar Trump attribute: an inability to see his actions the way most others saw them. Or to fully appreciate how people expected him to behave.

 

One of Trump's deficiencies- a constant in the campaign and, so far, in the presidency- was his uncertain grasp of cause and effect.

 

The virtue of Donald Trump- the virtue, anyway, of Donald Trump to Steve Bannon- was that cosmopolitan elite was never going to accept him. He was, after all, Donald Trump, however much you shined him up.

 

Snow spends his day trying to woo his own mom. When that fails, he sits and crows at the top of his lungs for any attention the others might lavish on him. They mostly ignore him because they have grown tired of his obnoxious squawling. He is the cleanest of the four birds in the cage, but will poop in his own food dish. He makes little sense to his cage mates. But to himself he is an amazing, vocal superstar.

 

3. Cockatiels aren't known for their strategy.

 

As for the President, it was quite clear that deciding between contradictory policy approaches was not his style of leadership. He simply hoped that difficult decisions would make themselves.

 

...Steve Bannon was running the Steve Bannon White House, Jared Kushner was running the Michael Bloomberg White House, and Reince Priebus was running the Paul Ryan White House. It was a 1970s video game, the white ball pinging back and forth in the black triangle.

 

My tiels are notorious for getting themselves into messes. Like crashing into things then laying helplessly and waiting for me to come pick them up. They are like kamikaze pilots. I see very much of the White House in their motions. At least no lives but their own hang in the balance when Snow convinces his cage mates to blow that taco stand and fly head first into the mantel.

 

4. And finally, as much as I love them, sometimes cockatiels just aren't all that bright.

 

Trump didn't read. He didn't really skim...Some believed for all practical purposes he was no more than semiliterate. 

 

Not only didn't he read, he didn't listen...And he trusted his own expertise- no matter how paltry or irrelevant- more than anyone else's.

 

Here was a key Trump White House rationale: expertse, that liberal virtue, was overrated. After all, so often people who worked hard to know what they knew made the wrong decisions. So maybe the gut was as good, or maybe better, at getting to the heart of the matter than wonkish and data-driven inability to see the forest for the trees that often seemed to plague U.S. policy making. Maybe. Hopefully.

Of course, nobody really believed that, except the President himself.

 

Snow literally bites the hand that feeds him. And he poops on his food. Plus, might I refer you back to the picture of the chewed rope perch? 

 

 

So, in conclusion:

 

The book was frightening in its honesty. Trump isn't in charge so much as he is being led around by whoever gives him to most compliments. He's easily frustrated, he hardly works, he has turned our democratic process into a oligarchy/monarchy, and he has absolutely no grasp of why people hate him. He is a narcissist who expects everyone to love him or bow to him. He has the mistaken idea that a president is a king. And he has zero idea about policy. The sad thing is he said a few things in this book that sort of showed a real human being, but then it was completely crushed by his fragile ego. 

 

Fire and Fury confirmed he never wanted to be president. He did this to martyr himself and raise his brand, but when he won he became power hungry. He has no business in DC.

 

As for the book itself, it was well written, needed some more editing and had a couple of grammatical errors. I haven't ever read a political book before so I got a crash course in realpolitik language. But man, after this, I need a stiff drink. How about...Trump vodka?

 

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review 2017-11-14 22:08
All At Sea
All at Sea: A Memoir - Decca Aitkenhead

This book is a step-by-step in how not to behave like an adult. This woman did nothing a rational grown up would, and so I had no ability to connect with her. She left her marriage, which is fine, but she left it for a coke dealing crack smoker. And then she wants you to believe that being a dealer is boring and not all that dangerous. They play house, have 2 children and never marry (because marriage is only a piece of paper). And then it turns out he's still married to another woman. When he dies, she seems genuinely shocked she has a nightmare of logistics on her hands. Yes, honey, that's what happens when you don't marry a man but instead just intertwine your lives. His will left everything to his legal wife.

 

Plus, most of this book was just circling the drain of her constant sorrow. With pretty words. Lots and lots of pretty words. Over 200 pages, and there wasn't much substance. Just "my love died and my life is over and my kids are out of control". She had a down-her-nose view of anyone of faith, she wouldn't let the kids call her Mum, and she epitomized the idea you can be educated and still be dumb.

 

I'm proud of myself for finishing this.

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review 2017-06-22 22:16
Love is Love
Love is Love - Phil Jimenez,Various

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review 2017-06-05 15:32
Girl A.
Girl A: The truth about the Rochdale sex ring by the victim who stopped them - Ebury Digital

Absolutely heartbreaking.

 

If you're in the UK you would of known about ITVs showing of three girls a three-part drama Based on the true stories of the victims of the grooming and sexual abuse case of Rochdale that hit the headlines.

 


When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass.

 

 I believe this is the written story of one of the victims at lest I really hope it is, and all proceeding's and money of buying the book goes to her and her baby.

 

This book had me in tears It makes for a harrowing read and isn't something I would normally read at all. But I felt so much anger after watching the TV drama that I felt I needed to read the book. It didn't help, I felt even more anger and disgust at the police services. And those that were supposed to protect the girls. This isn't for the faint of heart at all and I don't recommend it at all if you over think about book's. My heart truly goes out to the victim's of this book and hope for their sake the monster's Will never get a normal life again.

 

 

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review 2017-04-11 23:57
Beyond Reach
Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic... Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic - William Hoffman

It's hard to imagine a time before we knew where the Titanic rested. But for more that 70 years it slept in the North Atlantic without a soul knowing it's true location. I was drawn in immediately by the prologue of Thomas Andrews, the designer of the Titanic, and his heroic final moments trying to save as many lives as possible while his precious ship foundered. This book, despite being full of science terms I am unfamiliar with, was well written and compelling. It gripped me. I cried, I got goose bumps, I felt for these people- both the Titanic passengers and the Gyre passengers alike. Wow. I am so pleased with this read. They were pioneers in trying to locate the grave of the Queen of the Ocean.

 

 

RIP Thomas Andrews

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