"Open Letters to George W. Bush" author Case Wagenvoord: BOOK REVIEW

Irene Watson

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Open Letters to George W. Bush
Case Wagenvoord

iUniverse (2005)
ISBN 0595361978
Reviewed by Joanne Benham for Reader Views (6/06)

This book is a tongue-in-cheek satire of government and big business, told through a series of letters to President Bush from a fictional character called Belacqua Jones, described by the author as a meth-addicted psychopath, half a bubble off plumb.

Belacqua Jones is an ardent admirer of George W. Bush and possesses keen insight into the political machine. That insight is clearly evident in this book as Jones comments on every aspect of Bush’s presidency and offers invaluable advice to further his political career. Some of Jones’ suggestions: Enhance the value of death. If someone has an illness such as cancer, offer painkillers rather than medicine to fight the disease. Morphine is much cheaper than chemotherapy. Keep the rest of the world impoverished so that the US can maintain its standard of living. Shore up Social Security by making cigarette smoking mandatory for children. If he wishes to eliminate Social Security, he can just abolish retirement. Problem solved. The big corporations can take back all the money they put into the 401 (k)s and give enormous bonuses to the top executives as they so richly deserve.

Jones is also looking out for George’s interests, such as warning him about the Ashlee Simpson debacle. It takes an astute player to recognize the potential harm Simpson could do the political machine.

At times Jones shows astonishing vision, such as urging the canonization of Judas Iscariot by the Vatican. How could anyone, except a meth-addicted psychopath, half a bubble off plumb, realize that Judas was a victim, actually a sacrifice to the greater good?

Although I don’t agree with everything Case Wagenvoord writes, I found that I was in agreement with much more of what he has written than I anticipated. A brilliant, satirical book, I would urge everyone to sit down and browse through this work. Since the book is a series of letters, in no particular order, you can jump around, picking the chapter headings that intrigue you. Some of my favorites…The Iron Colon, Tree-Huggers, The Benefits of Torture, God Bless the Democrats, Stoning and Human Sacrifice.

Joanne Benham is a reviewer for Reader Views.


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