The Fifth Risk – Michael Lewis

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy
by Michael Lewis
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Oct 07, 2020 


This is not the type of book I normally read but the author’s name caught my attention. Michael Lewis wrote Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short, all stories that I’ve seen as movies. And being that the Fifth Risk is about Donald Trump, I figured it was worth a read.
The book caught my interest early, tempting me with how the Donald botched his transition into the White House. The author compares past presidents Obama and Bush and how they came to office prepared, and with experts who could fill the important top positions in various departments of government.
It was no surprise to me how the businessman turned president was totally unprepared for the massive undertaking and came in with only his family and a few friends to take over one of the most powerful countries in the world.
The story is about how the president took up to six months to fill some of those jobs for departments like energy where they control unimportant things like nuclear weapons. It goes on to tell how the Donald filled positions previously held by experienced scientists with wealthy buddies who had no idea what they were getting into and no interest it what the job was all about. Scary stuff.
Lewis talks about how the president has surrounded himself with yes men and how no one is allowed to tell him anything negative. They are fired if they do.
Much of this book was dry and boring…parts where the author went into all sorts of detail and backstory about the people who were replaced by the incoming president.
If you want a scary look inside the Trump administration, The Fifth Risk is worth a read.

Saving Faith – David Baldacci

15157Saving Faith
by

David Baldacci (Goodreads Author)
15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jan 19, 2020


I’ve read much better by Baldacci and was disappointed that I had a hard time getting into this novel. Admittedly, some stories are difficult that way, trying to understand the plot and the introduction of new characters. In this case, I found way too much fluff and back story, to the point that I had to skim ahead through the first quarter of the book.
Granted, some history and back story go to character development, but I don’t believe we need to know how a certain character behaved in grade school if it has nothing to do with the overall plot. Having said that, I found the characters in Saving Faith likeable. And having said that, personally, I found some of their actions and dialogue a bit sappy and unlikely in the real world.
Maybe I’m being a bit critical but that is what reviews are all about. Baldacci acknowledges certain professionals who aided him in his research and the writing of this book. If that’s the case then I have to wonder if perhaps they were holding back or what world they are living in. I see the book was written in 1999 and I know for a fact the world was not such a gentile place back then.
The book does get better in the second half, but with the exception of one nice twist, it was very predictable.

Who’s gonna cook, clean and pick?

IMG_2968I’ve never used this forum to preach anyone’s political agenda, and I usually try to remain impartial to any policies that may affect me when travelling abroad, but in this case I’d like to offer my two cents on the illegal immigrant status in the United States.

Being Canadian and living in such close proximity to the U.S. we are bombarded with American news hourly, especially the everyday antics of their politicians and president. It was on our recent trip along Route 66, from Chicago to Santa Monica that I made certain observations and came up with one big question for any American who believe’s there’s no room in their country for illegal immigrants.

Who’s going to cook your meals, clean up after you, and pick your produce?

During our trek across eight completely different States I noticed something missing from common laborers ‘everywhere.’ There were no fat white people making my breakfast, cleaning our motel rooms, or picking vegetables in the fields. The only ones I saw were being waited on in places like Denny’s, where they were shoving massive amounts of biscuits and gravy or waffles and pancakes into their pie holes.

Whether they believed in deporting illegals or not, none of the white folk I saw seemed to have any problem whatsoever with who was putting their food in front of them or cleaning up after them. It was obvious that the younger generation only cared about the mobile devices they were fixated on and probably couldn’t have told you if it was a human or machine that served them.

So back to my question. If America is successful in kicking all the illegals out of their country who the hell is going to run the place? I wonder how many politicians have immigrants working for them at home? I’d bet there are more than a few. I’m just a bashful and passive Canadian. What do I know?