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Conservatism à la Carte

Obama's failures. The right kind of hope. Aborigines, terrorists, steroids, and broken windows. Plus more.

1.15.10

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TROUBLING INCOMPETENCE
Re: Angelo M. Codevilla's CIA's Vulnerability Is Congenital:

Mr. Codevilla's synopsis of CIA's culture of incompetence is troubling, indeed. Even worse than the Agency's operational deficits is its refusal to acknowledge them and compensate.

One wonders, for example, about the Jordanian agent who brought the Chapman station suicide bomber into play. Mr. Codevilla observes that CIA had no way to vet the Jordanian.

I suppose the Israelis did, though. I expect the Israeli intelligence community either knew everything there is to know about the Jordanian or could discover it chop-chop. Did the CIA consult with its Israeli counterparts on this matter?
-- Paul Kotik
Plantation, Florida

PAYING ATTENTION
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Michael Steele/Haley Barbour Book Flap:

I heard some of the GOP congressional leadership was upset because they didn't know Michael Steele's book was coming out. I guess the conservative beef that the GOP leadership doesn't really pay attention to their concerns is true.

Don't they look at Regnery Publishing's website? If they had seen it, they'd have known it was coming out...
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

ACTING STUPIDLY
Re: RiShawn Biddle's Arne Duncan City Limits:

The stupidity of conservatives is boundless. Mr. Biddle (writing in NRO) celebrated the alliance between conservatives and Al Sharpton over education reform. Now Mr. Biddle has discovered discouraging words about Duncan's tenure in Chicago. Did it ever occur to anyone in your shop that this new found consensus is nothing more than another case of Republicans getting snookered? The "reforms" in NY, Chicago, and D.C. are as radical left as could be. Yes, it is possible to have left-wing political machines that combine thuggish techniques and the appearance of reform.

I am a conservative who writes about the schools. The real story is the inability to get another point of view published in the New York City newspapers for example. The anti-union position of Rhee and Joel Klein has formed an unholy alliance between the press Barons of NY and school reform. You know, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So if the "reforms" focus on the impediment unions present to their "reforms," than we'll back anyone who goes along with blaming the union for the failure of the Black underclass to achieve anything after 50 years of hundreds of billions of tax dollars being poured down the inner city rat holes.

The charter school revolution will turn out to be nothing more than a dollar feeding frenzy as the worst political forces create "not for profit" charter school operations and get the money flowing directly into their hands. This movement will take large immigrant communities like NYC and further atomize them. Instead of a public high school, we will be cursed with multi-ethnic charter schools that will go unmonitored. Get ready for the madrassa's!
-- Marc Epstein

REID'S DIALECT
Re: Mark Hyman's Bigots and the Press:

"Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described presidential aspirant Barack Obama as a 'light-skinned' black man 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.'"

Barack Obama is a light-skinned black man because his mother was white. That fact means that Stanley Ann Dunham, Mama Obama, had something in common with Strom Thurmond -- each procreated with a racially diverse partner. Unlike Thurmond, it has not been reported that Papa Obama provided financial support for his child.

Noting then-Senator Obama's complexion does not make Harry Reid a racist, any more than his demeaning of Justice Clarence Thomas made him a racist. The worst that can be said of Reid is that his comments were insensitive.

In any event, an insensitive Senator Reid apologized to a sensitive President Obama, who, while graciously accepting his apology, made no insinuation that Reid had acted stupidly. Our President will no doubt pass the apology for wicked white culture on to the whole wide world. The dialog on race proceeds apace.

Amidst the flying fur, some questions have arisen as to just what is a "Negro dialect"? I suspect that Reid meant to say "accent." If Reid could only bring his communication skills up to a grade school level, say to that of Justice Clarence Thomas, life in Washington would be more pleasant. Again, whatever Harry Reid meant by negro dialect, there surely is no racist sentiment behind the thought. If there were, Fr. Michael Pfleger would never have performed his comedic imitation in "white-face" at Trinity United Church of Christ.

At least Harry Reid didn't start the rumor that Michelle Obama straightens her hair.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

LOST HER MIND
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's The Catholic Case for Immigration Reform:

Lisa Fabrizio has lost her mind. I and many of my friends and associates have forsaken the Republican party because of this sort of fuzzy and emotional thinking. We are being invaded by third world immigrants who have nothing in common with European Americans and Western Civilization. These immigrants are not only coming from south of the border but from Islamic nations like Somalia.

I find it incomprehensible that anyone would take the stance articulated in Ms. Fabrizio's article. Let me just add that this is the kind of sentiment that was articulated by the Bush administration and John McCain. It has almost destroyed the Republican party and has helped give rise to the tea party movement -- out of which a viable third party may evolve.

I am a Vietnam veteran and I had several close friends in the service who were born in Mexico and came here LEGALLY. Shortly after obtaining their citizenship papers they received their draft notices. I had many discussions with them about life south of the border. Mexico does not have a European or Western culture, it has an Indian culture that is alien to the traditional values of the west. Why do you think the left is such a vocal supporter of immigration from South of the border and Islamic nations. The answer is simple, they wish to "deconstruct" our nation so they can "reconstruct" it as a Marxist state. Either Ms. Fabrizio is a Marxist or she is what Lenin described as a "useful idiot."

As for the Republican party, they had better purge themselves of progressives like Ms. Fabrizio or they will soon cease to exist as a viable political party.
-- Paul Martell

John O'Sullivan wrote a piece for NR about this a couple of years ago. I suggest Ms Fabrizio read it before she writes another article on this topic.
-- Michael

HOME RUN TROT
Re: Andrew Cline's McGwire's Lament:

No way was he clean when he hit 49 home runs in rookie year. His following years were much too erratic. His dishonesty, which I believe continues today, is how he should be remembered. Too many kids' dreams start with baseball. If you want to screw yourself up, fine. But don't mess with kids' dreams!
-- E.J. Kallas

Three cheers for The Babe.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

BROKEN ECONOMICS
Re: Ross Kaminsky's Pelosicare's Broken Window:

An excellent article by Ross Kaminsky. I recommend Bastiat's work to all our readers. An excellent 2-page distillation of The Broken Window is found in Henry Hazeltt's highly readable Economics in One Lesson, a book that, were I am economics teacher, would use in class. Follow that up with Thomas Sowell's superb Basic Economics and Jude Waniski's The Way The World Works. Due to the extreme lack of economics being taught in our high schools along with the still overly-Keynesian way being taught in our colleges and universities (except for a very, very few), we need to teach ourselves the alternatives in order to counteract Progressive thinking.
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

CHICAGO HUCKSTER
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell's Obama's Second Systemic Failure:

I am convinced Mike Royko will reincarnate, born fully formed, should Obama be re-elected. The Chicago huckster administration may soon surpass even Governor Blagojevich in the quality, not just the quantity of its sublime tawdriness. These things beg for expert journalism.
-- Christopher Roberts

COMING UP SHORT
Re: Andrew Cline's America the Beautiful:

Andrew's writing is an example that hope springs eternal. I keep hearing from various Conservatives as well as Rush that this is a center-right country. The voting results and Supreme Court picks demonstrate otherwise.

We couldn't even get our agenda through when we controlled all three branches. What we have are a la carte Conservatives who pick and choose what they wish to follow and endorse. This is why we come up short. The left has remained more committed and united since the Glorious Revolution in the 1600s.
-- Tom

THE USUAL TERROR SUSPECTS
Re: William Tucker's "Better a Hundred Terrorists Go Free...":

Australian Aborigines are amongst the poorest and most disadvantaged people on the planet -- bar none. Any indicator of health or welfare that you choose is likely to place them at the bottom of the heap, in a country that is at the top of the heap in terms of quality of life and economic development. According to liberal apologists of terrorism, the link between poverty and terrorism should mean that Australia is awash with Aboriginal suicide bombers. There hasn't been one -- not one, not one solitary instance of Aboriginal involvement in terrorism that I am aware of. The only terrorism cases in Australia in recent years have all involved Moslem men between the ages of 18 and 40 -- the usual suspects that the liberal theorists somehow never manage to see.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

CALCULATED STUPIDITY
Re: Aaron Goldstein's Six for Six:

I am not sure these actions were as much stupidity as they were calculated actions to destabilize our country, neuter the Constitution, coddle Islamofascists, and punish George W. Bush and his administration, especially Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.

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