8.4.06 @ 12:01AM
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Re: Eric Peters’s Boxed-In Beauties:
Perhaps it would be more fun if we could all drive as fast as people in Europe can drive. I for one love beautiful fast cars. But when you look inside what most people are driving today, perhaps it doesn’t matter anymore. Personally I believe that the saddest sight of modern times is those parents who have bought the huge SUV with the DVD player on board, so their lumpen offspring can be carted through some of the most beautiful and enthralling countryside the world has ever produced, with their eyes glued to the same poo-fart-drop-your-pants trash they’d be glued to if they were sitting at home on their beds. Why bother to take your children anywhere if you’re going to lock them in a box of Same Old Same Old for the duration of the journey?
Yes, in Olden Times when cars held more people in the back seat,
children were allowed in the front seat, and there was no
“entertainment” on board except for the load of library books and
the radio controlled by Mama, travel was more of a strain and one
had to actually acknowledge the presence of siblings and learn to
read a map so as to avoid asking “are we there yet?” more than
twice an hour. But when we arrived at the Tourist Court, the Motel
or the Cabins for the evening we knew we had made a journey and we
knew where we were. Today’s kids might just as well be left locked
in their bedrooms with the curtains drawn as carted down a
featureless Interstate to a generic motel, having spent the whole
day staring at a screen and deafening themselves in isolation with
iPods. Not only do they not know where they have been or where they
are, they don’t even know if anybody else was traveling with them.
And it surely doesn’t matter to them how fast their parents got to
— Kate Shaw, Editor
At the current rates, we will double the length of our highways in 363 years, but the population will double in 66 years. Governors and highway departments are obsessing over how to get more sales and property tax out of highway construction. These considerations are detrimental to mobility and safety. The idea that highway departments are suppose to be planning and designing for mass mobility of our real mass transit system, the car, seems to be ripped out of the engineering curriculum to make room for too much concern about the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.
We need a financially sustainable balance between roads to new
destinations, like new homes and roads to old destinations, like
where we work. What must be done is to increase the capacity of the
existing system. The car is worth the costs. How many people were
evacuated from Mississippi or Louisiana on the trains?
— Danny L. Newton
Although the traffic situation in my locale isn’t quite as bad as
the metropolitan areas mentioned in the article, I have learned to
love to play in the traffic with my new Mustang GT convertible. In
my younger days, speed was the thing. Now, I find that “quick” is a
lot more fun. Between that and sticking to the back roads, I can
get my car freak addiction taken care of quite nicely and I worry
less about meeting the local ticket writers.
— J.W. Purcell, 1SG, USA (ret)
The clogged-all-day condition of highways and roads in our
metropolitan areas is a strong argument, just one of many, against
greatly increased immigration. And that’s why George Bush should
get up one of these weekday mornings, leave the Secret Service and
the bullet-proof Caddy behind, borrow some underling’s wheels, and
spend rush hour tooling around the Washington Beltway. Then let him
try to explain to us why we need tens of millions more people in
— C. Vail
MAN OF STEEL
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Cool Under Pressure:
Bret Stephens like most civilians, journalists and Americans
just doesn’t get it — once the shooting starts all war plans
change. When you have great fighting forces (as the U.S. and Israel
have), the next most important thing needed is a Commander-in-Chief
with “steel.” The United States and in a sense Israel have that in
George W. Bush. No President since Lincoln has faced more
“subversive” opposition in a time of war than President Bush, but
like Lincoln Bush has remained firm in his resolve to win. As one
who has served I thank God for President Bush. Fault him for what
you like, but he is a great Commander-in-Chief.
— Michael Tomlinson
Bush got this one right, for sure! I’m very tired of the Muslim
trick of attacking the US or Israel then screaming for a cease fire
as soon as we respond. Apparently, that was Saddam Hussein’s
grand strategy when we invaded in Iraq in 2003.
The sole point of the game is to make them look big and brave in
the eyes of other Muslims. Victory, in their twisted minds, is not
defeating Israel, or the U.S., but merely survival. If Israel kills
every last Hezbollah fighter but one, he will declare victory and
Israel defeated. They’ve played this game for half a century and
it’s time we ended it.
— Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Seems to me the last President we have had that wanted to really
WIN a war was Truman — yes, a Democrat. Even though Bush would
love to win, he is not giving the service men and women the
go-ahead to GIT’ER DONE.
— Elaine Kyle
You are either blind, or sympathetic to the neo-cons as most
journalists are (if they want to get ahead, that is.)
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s The Emanuel Brothers’ Mel Bonding:
The brothers Emanuel’s outrage is all show. If Mel’s drunken
diatribe is so intolerable to them why aren’t they offended by the
sober anti-Semitism of America’s Joseph Goebbels — Michael Moore?
Could it be because Ari represents Moore in Hollywood? When is Rahm
going to condemn Hezbollah loving John Dingle and demand he and the
other terrorist loving anti-Semite Democrats resign their seats in
Congress? For that matter when are they going to make an ad
thanking President Bush for reversing the anti-Semitic attitudes of
the Carter and Clinton administrations? If Rahm and Ari took their
“partisan sheets” off they’d see the majority of anti-Semites
aren’t alcoholic actors, but the base of their party
— Michael Tomlinson
Many loyal Democrats and sadly many Jews seem to have forgotten that their Icon: Franklin D. Roosevelt in a particularly cynical move did not want to upset voters by allowing a boat from Europe that was filled with Jewish families to dock in America and thus escape Hitler’s death machine.
Fearing a reputation for “favoritism” from the press and voters rather than doing the humane thing Roosevelt failed to intervene and in effect sent that boat back to the European port for which it came, sentencing many Jews and their children to certain death and persecution.
How do I know this? Why I saw it on PBS!
Mel may have said it. But Franklin D. Roosevelt DID it!
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
Re: Jed Babbin’s Israel as George Bush:
Hey, Mr. Babbin: I hope all is going well with you. I read your article regarding removing Hezbollah from Lebanon. I was glad to see that out there. I had a few thoughts about this….
Can the people of Lebanon take action to remove Hezbollah politicians? Certainly, they could allege and prove the organization is illegal (its existence as a militia) and it is operating in violation of the U.N. resolution. The organization has caused the destruction of the Country. Hezbollah is not a state and the Lebanese govt. is just sitting there watching Israel do the work they should be doing. This is bizarre! I hope our government is conducting covert efforts to motivate and inform the citizens of Lebanon.
I was also wondering why the U.S. or other governments aren’t asking the Lebanese army or getting an international force in there now to work in the Northern part of the country to watch for supplies and weapons going to Hezbollah. They could block some roads. They could even arrest Hezbollah. If they are caught with weapons. It’s just frustrating knowing they are just sitting on the sidelines while Israel has to enforce Res. 1559 and lose lives of its soldiers.
Well, thanks for reading. I always enjoy your articles (and
— Tom Rosenblum
Jed Babbin replies:
Thanks for the note. I think the Hizballah have established themselves in such a position that the Lebanese are powerless to do anything about it. As to an international force, that is a standing gag. First you have to get agreement of the Lebanese government which they have so far refused. Next you need to agree what the force is going to do and then who is going to make it up and command it. Then you need to gather it, ship it in, and deploy it. Takes months, not days. Won’t happen any time soon.
Re: Jed Babbin’s Brownwater Sailors:
An excellent piece of straight reporting. I pity the enemies of
the U.S. who meet the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.
— Doug Santo
An excellent article. I’m glad to see this is finally coming on
line. It’s been talked about for years.
— Michael A. Brueckmann, USN (Seabee) retired
MEETING OF MINDS
Re: James Bowman’s America: From Freedom to Fascism:
Mr. Bowman’s column on the convergence of movies and paranoia
for the extreme right and extreme left raises the question of the
ideological convergence of left and right. Columnist Sidney Harris
once stated that, at their extremes, the left and right become one
another as they meet each other coming around. If one accepts the
arguable position that Hitler, Franco and Mussolini were on the
right and Stalin and Mao on the left, it’s easy to see the
resemblance. Hitler had a National Socialist party that destroyed
mediating institutions and handed all power over to the state and a
command economy. So did the populist Peron. And so also Chavez
today. Note that the way the “right-wing,” Islamofascist government
of Iran got a discontented population to choose the most extreme
candidate over a slightly more moderate candidate was to promise a
not-provided redistribution of income. Note that the rebellions in
Iraq and Lebanon are aimed at destroying mediating institutions
provided by democracy, including an army subject to laws. Indeed,
it can be argued that the army was traditionally the other party in
Latin America that provided a check on extreme government by a
party of the right or left. The same for Turkey and Pakistan.
— RLA Schaefer
This is not a movie review, it’s a political diatribe. Mr. Bowman
states that “the law is what the judges say it is.” Not so. We have
a written Constitution which states specifically that judges “are
bound by it.” If judges rite opinions in violation of our
Constitution, they are acting lawlessly. Haven’t seen the movie,
not defending it, just feel like Mr.Bowman needs to stick to
— C. Baker
A CORAL CRUSADE
Re: Patrick J. Michaels’s Okay Coral:
Most climatologists can’t tell a troglodyte from a triloboite, so it’s great to see the doyen of data downsizing on the global warming front, Virginia State Climatologist Pat Michaels celebrating his reincarnation as Professor of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech by invoking 500 million years of geological history in challenging coral paleontologists to believe. “You can bet that they’ll be around a long time after humans have come to the end of the evolutionary road.”
Sadly, our polyp friends have already flirted with extinction in connection with massive changes in atmospheric and ocean chemistry, including pH and calcite compensation point shifts associated with CO2. For 10 million years after the Permian extinction, there was no such thing as a coral reef and it took the few survivors 100 million years to recover their diversity. Alas, the trilobites croaked entirely, and have never come back, which leaves paleontologists and crab cake aficionados eternally indebted to The American Spectator for its heroic contribution to troglodyte diversity here at the end of the neocontrarian epoch.
As a paleo-con, I refuse to forget the burning question of who
lost China’s Permian Corals? The evolutionary forebears of the
perfidious paleocommies, whose excessive zeal for environmental
regulation even when the primordial protomaoists consisted of fewer
cells than can earn a Presidential veto nowadays, took coral
diversity down from 753 species, 167 genera and 39 families in the
Chuanshan formation to only 68 species, 20 genera and 10 families
in the Changsing strata — by the end of which, all rugose and
tabulate corals has become extinct . As this is somewhat earlier
than the invention of collective farms, Fukienese seafood
restaurants, or revisionism, some suspect CO2 may have had a hand
— Russell Seitz
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Dear Senator Kennedy: Resigning to Reform, Mimi Evans Winship’s poem (under “Teddy Haymakered”) in Reader Mail’s Passion Fodder, and Paul Curley’s letter (under “Hit the Road…Again”) in Reader Mail’s Coming Clean:
Thank you, Paul. I stand corrected. I did forget big brother
Joe. Carrying three martyrs on his back has probably plunged Teddy
even deeper into his cups than I related. Add Miss Kopechne into
the mix and it’s a wonder he’s ever sober, if he is. Dashing around
tilting at windmills over the years has not lessened those burdens,
though lumbering is more like it these days. If his desperate
crusading has not helped him, sadly it has not helped his country,
— Mimi Evans Winship
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