William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Have You Seen My Country Lately? — by Jerry Doyle

Jerry Doyle

Have You Seen My Country Lately? America’s Wake-Up Call

by Jerry Doyle

Recommendation: Read

There’s no point in accusing me, because I admit it. I picked up the book because I saw “Garibaldi’s” face on the cover. I can’t imagine you not knowing, but on the diminishingly slight chance you don’t, Jerry Doyle was the sparsely coiffed, hard-bitten security chief with a Daffy Duck fetish on the sci-fi series Babylon 5.

And if you haven’t heard of Babylon 5, there’s no hope for you.

I have convinced myself that I bought Doyle’s book because he smokes. (Dear Health Zealot: I do not.) Yes, and he wants to be left alone about it. To which I say, amen, brother.

The government’s position, Doyle says, is “Love the sin, hate the sinner.” Tobacco taxes are punitively high, ostensibly to discourage smoking. But the fees from the taxes are shunted to various health programs for kids, like SCHIP. Those programs would be hurting were it not for the taxes.

SCHIP, incidentally, is yet another government program, this one to provide health care to “poor” kids. It’s funded, in large part, by tobacco taxes. The key word is poor. It used to mean “below the poverty level.” It now means three hundred percent above the poverty line, an already high number. And it no longer means just kids. It also…but have you ever heard of a bureaucracy that hasn’t inexorably grown?

Doyle started his life the hard way, being left at Catholic orphanage in Flatbush, Brooklyn in 1956. He was lucky to be adopted by an Irish cop and his wife. He had a great childhood, playing stick- and stoop-ball on the streets. He rode—unsupervised, as did all the kids—on the subway to school. His dad died early.

He became a pilot after high school, but was enticed by the money to be had on Wall street. That’s where he learned cold calling and the basics of economics. On a whim, he headed to Hollywood and put his telephone skills to work. It landed him a recurring role on a soap, and led to his casting on Babylon 5.

He became a bit of dick, and many of the pampered do. Until he called a boyhood friend who had to work for a living and who refused to listen to his sniveling. He grew up.

He became a Republican. Even stranger, he decided to run for Congress in LaLa Land. As a Republican. Since he was willing to put up a tasty amount from his own purse, the national committee supported him. He lost.

And then he found it hard to get work, to have phone calls returned. Not that anybody was biased, you understand. It’s just that nobody had time for him.

Except for Mark Masters, who was convinced Doyle had a unique point of view—and a good voice. He found himself ensconced as a talk radio jockey, for the Talk Radio Network. I haven’t heard his show and it’s not available on-line, unless you’re a subscriber.

Doyle is not a happy man about the trend towards “economic fascism,” which he describes as a four-factor process: Product, Price, Profit Margin, and People. He writes lucidly about the government-backed union takeovers of GM and Chrysler.

The government wanted “greener” products, which increased the price (and don’t forget the idiotic “cash for clunkers”), which decreased the profit margin, and allowed the government, not shareholders, to hire and fire executives.

Henry—“Shifty”, as he calls him—Paulson features in a chapter on “Financial Incest.” If you’re a regular reader of the Wall Street Journal, much of his story will be familiar. If not, Doyle nicely summarizes.

Remember tenured, peer-reviewed terrorist Bill Ayers? The guy who said, “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at.” Doyle doesn’t like him, nor the rest of the Obama-Chicago connections.

Dolye takes a side in the culture wars. The press and the people are to blame for the “grapefruit” coverage in the media, where the focus is on celebrity, celebrity, celebrity, and fear, fear, fear. The elite is unable to imagine veterans other than as victims. Bias is supreme. My favorite is his quiz in which are several quotations. You must guess whether they are culled from Obama or the Port Huron statement. A fun game to play with your friends.

Don’t like what’s going on with government? Then do something. Don’t vote for an incumbent, run for office yourself, put your begging hand back in your pocket. Speak up. Solve your own problems.

He leaves us with this familiar quotation: “I know your works. You are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”

3 Comments

  1. IMHO B5 is the finest work from its genre ever. The character Doyle fleshed out was a big part of it… that and nearly the entire series having been written and controlled by one man’s vision.

    Have to get myself a copy of this book

  2. I understand that in England the poverty level is set at the first quartile of income. Meaning, of course, poverty is forever present regardless the amount of money any given person has and therefore no help program can possibly succeed.

    ” … tell me where is sanity
    Tax the rich, feed the poor
    Till there are no rich no more.

    “I’d love to change the world,
    but I don’t know what to do
    So I leave it up to you.”

    — Ten Years After
    I’d Love To Change the World

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