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Planetary Politics

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 10:38:25 -0500
Archived: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 10:38:25 -0500
Subject: Planetary Politics

Source: The New York Times - New York, USA


December 16, 2007

Sunday Book Review

Across The Universe
Planetary Politics

By Dave Itzkoff
Published: December 16, 2007

Have the worlds of science fiction and presidential politics
ever been more closely aligned than they were in 2007? This was
the year when Rudolph Giuliani told a young questioner on the
campaign trail that we'll be prepared" if the United States is
attacked by aliens from another planet; when Dennis Kucinich
blithely confessed during a Democratic debate that he'd seen a
U.F.O.; and when Mitt Romney revealed in an interview that L.
Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth" was one of his favorite novels.

But really, is it all that remarkable that Romney would identify
with the story of a virtuous hero who saves Earth from a foreign
invasion force? Or that several candidates have embraced science
fiction when so many of them could benefit from its lessons? As
the primary season approaches, we offer a few sci-fi suggestions
to some of the Democratic and Republican contenders - and to a
few major players on the periphery who could use the remedial

Rudolph Giuliani
Former Mayor of New York

Should tell reporters he's read Childhood's End by Arthur C.
Clarke: An advanced intelligence arrives from above, creating a
utopia by integrating all of humanity into a single mind that
thinks and acts as one.

Might also consider reading The War of the Worlds by H. G.
Wells: During a cataclysmically destructive event, an observant
bystander happens to be in the right place at the right time and
thereafter never stops talking about it.

Barack Obama
Senator from Illinois

Should tell reporters he's read Behold The Man by Michael
Moorcock: Obsessed with Messianic ideas, a man with issues about
his lineage travels back in time to discover he is actually the

Might also consider reading The Bicentennial Man by Isaac
Asimov: An especially lifelike robot is faced with an
existential dilemma - give up his mechanical immortality and be
accepted as human, or be shunned by mankind for all time.

Mike Huckabee
Former Governor of Arkansas

Should tell reporters he's read By His Bootstraps by Robert A.
Heinlein: A hard-working man learns he will one day ascend to a
position of great power if he can just trick history into
repeating itself.

Might also consider reading A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury:
A clumsy milquetoast with a shaky grasp of science goes hunting
for dinosaurs and ruins the future for everybody.

John Edwards
Former Senator from North Carolina

Should tell reporters he's read The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le
Guin: Traveling between two worlds, a well-meaning intellectual
learns that bureaucracy and conformity are the inevitable
consequences of a society that rejects private ownership.

Might also consider reading Sometimes They Come Back by Stephen
King: The survivor of a vicious assault in which he saw his
brother taken down is set upon by the reincarnations of the
thugs who originally attacked him.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Senator from New York

Should tell reporters she's read Dune by Frank Herbert: Left
adrift to wander in a desert wasteland, the scion of a deposed
dynasty retakes the family's lost throne in thrilling and
violent fashion.

Might also consider reading Herbert's Children of Dune": A
calculating despot undergoes the ultimate act of political
triangulation by transforming himself into a part-human, part-
worm creature and going on to rule for what feels like 3,500

John Mccain
Senator from Arizona

Should tell reporters he's read Starship Troopers by Robert A.
Heinlein: An impressionable young man is drafted into an
intergalactic military campaign and finds that war solves all

Might also consider reading The Forever War by Joe Haldeman: An
impressionable young man is drafted into an intergalactic
military campaign and finds that war doesn't solve anything.

Dennis Kucinich
Congressman from Ohio

Should tell reporters he's read Dragon's Egg by Robert L.
Forward: In an unexplored corner of the galaxy, a neutron star,
inhabited by tiny, tightly concentrated creatures that seem to
exist in only two dimensions, develops and prospers.

Might also consider reading The Running Man by Richard Bachman:
A desperate participant in a brutal TV contest appears to be the
only person who doesn't realize there's no way he can win it.

Fred Thompson
Former Senator from Tennessee

Should tell reporters he's read Oryx and Crake by Margaret
Atwood: After rousing from a lengthy slumber, a mysterious
hermit emerges from his cave to pass on his religious and moral
teachings to his circle of subhuman followers.

Might also consider reading Non-Stop by Brian W. Aldiss: Having
been away from their native soil for countless years, a starship
passenger and his fellow travelers lose their ability to live
among a civilized society and regress to a feral state.

Ron Paul
Congressman from Texas

Should tell reporters he's read The Invisible Man by H. G.
Wells: Thanks to his singular affliction, an oddly dressed,
unstable man is able to make life difficult for his many rivals.

Might also consider reading White Light by Rudy Rucker: A
nonconformist stumbles on crucial truths about how the universe
might really work; his colleagues dismiss his findings as the
result of too much drinking and pot smoking.

Michael Bloomberg
Mayor of New York

Should tell reporters he's read The World Inside, by Robert
Silverberg: As it turns out, a grossly overpopulated city that
corrals its citizens into massive skyscrapers, encourages random
sexual encounters and has no justice system to speak of can
still function pretty well.

Might also consider reading The Sirens Of Titan, by Kurt
Vonnegut: The richest man in America travels to the farthest
reaches of outer space, where his wealth cannot shield him from
the human race's ultimate insignificance in the universe.

Al Gore
Former Vice President of the United States

Should tell reporters he's read The Andromeda Strain by
Michael Crichton: Working in quiet isolation, a team of
scientists manages to avert catastrophe through the systematic
application of reason.

Might also consider reading Foundation by Isaac Asimov: A
supergenius with a knack for predicting the future determines
that things on Earth are about to get very bad very soon. In
return for his service, he is arrested.

George W. Bush
President of the United States

Should tell reporters he's read Ender's Game by Orson Scott
Card: A gifted child from a privileged family defeats a race of
inhuman warriors without ever having to leave the comfort of his
war-simulator machine.

Might also consider reading A Scanner Darkly by Philip K.
Dick: A troubled law enforcer invites a series of increasingly
desperate, damaged characters into his home and lives to regret
the decision.

[Thanks to Stuart Miller of http://uforeview.net/ for the lead]

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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