Reader Mail

In a Bad Place

The days grow shorter for the good guys. A tale of two Friedmans. An American Carol isn't impressing. Heedless speeder. Plus more.

10.7.08

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CAN HE DO IT?
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III's End Game:

Obama wins, Democrats win.

McCain wins, America wins.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

I still agree with Benjamin Franklin, who said that God still rules in the affairs of men and nations.

What we need to do now is to pray that God will deliver us from evil and bring us leaders who will be for the healing of our land. Because if Obama is elected, our great nation is going to end up in a very bad place -- probably starting with our freedom of speech.
-- J.E. Purvis

While the Obama's revolutionary council is hard at work on Abu Hussein's future cabinet and Supreme Court appointments, and while our MSM are directly engaged as his unpaid campaign staff, your G. Tracy Mehan, III, is predicting an election too close to call. I say -- baloney! McCain/Palin will win over 40 states with a mandate. This is not the case like it was in 1992 when that small-town crook won with the help of Perot and with the considerable push of that gentlemanly wimp Bush the Elder. The American people can smell the stench of revolutionary Marxism when it reaches their nostrils -- have no fear!
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

Mr. Mehan's article is ridiculous, while Barack Obama may be one of the weaker candidates in the Democratic Party, he is certainly not the weakest. (Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich.) John McCain, on the other hand is most certainly the weakest of the Republican nominees. I am tired of hearing that John McCain "the maverick" is the strongest Republican candidate because he disagreed with the Bush administration on "a number of important issues." While there is certainly much to fault the Bush administration on, the areas where John McCain disagreed with him are not among them. Try taxes, the gang of fourteen, campaign finance reform etc. Conversely, the areas where John McCain agreed with the Bush administration are the ones that are most controversial with the public. Amnesty for all illegal aliens, open borders, "free trade" which is just a pseudonym for outsourcing, and the bailout, which is just the first installment in a long list of payouts to rescue the thieves and crook in congress and on Wall Street. Henry Paulson, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank should all be in prison, not running the US treasury and overseeing a bailout of the financial crisis they caused.
-- Paul Martell

Tracy Mehan is correct the election is too close to call, but he is too easily impressed by Obama's political luck. Obama should be trouncing McCain by double digits, but he isn't. In fact, the election being too close to call is not good news for the Obama camp. The Obama camp's hysteria over the weekend that Americans will be turned off if by their candidate if he becomes the focus is a major revelation of how weak the candidate really is. While the American people are currently unsettled (and this is not good news for McCain) it is evident they rightly do not trust the shyster from Chicago.

Polls tend to favor Democrats. Thus, the shock that Ronald Reagan buried Jimmy Carter (in a race the pollsters said was tied) and Bush 43 beat both his opponents despite Al Gore's attempt to steal the election in 2000 and Kerry's deep pockets and exit polls. Pollsters were amazed Gerald Ford closed a double digit deficit and nearly won against Carter in '76. For that matter, had Bush 41 played hardball against Bill Clinton the so-called "Comeback Kid" would have been toast. Barack Obama is less experienced than Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but based on the little we do know about him he's as unethical as both. That's scary.

If Obama wants to talk about issues then McCain should focus on the issue of Obama's ties with corrupt bankers like Franklin Raines, dubious business practices, and illegal contributions. Those are issues and revelations of Obama's flawed character and fair game in politics. What's Obama so afraid of? He seems to meet the minimal Constitutional criteria to run for President (albeit his citizenship is questionable) so what's he afraid of if the McCain focuses its attention on him? Wouldn't it be better to air his dirty linen now and save him the embarrassment of impeachment and removal from office later when the skeletons coming falling out of the closet?

It makes me sad Democrats are so unwilling to tell the American people who the real Barack Obama is. It makes me sad they're so desperate to win elections they'll smear a 26 year veteran of the Senate and genuine war hero. It makes me sad they have the gall to run a candidate who is so inexperienced and corrupt they have to keep the details of his life hidden from the American people to attempt to seize the White House. It makes me sad Democrats refuse to address the issues or even investigate the corrupt dealings of members of Congress with those who hurt America's economy to feather their own nests. It makes me sad that the media is so biased and partisan they refuse to investigate Obama. But I'll be happy when John McCain is the 44th President of the United States.
-- Michael Tomlinson

The more I hear, the more I am convinced that there is deep and far reaching corruption in this election supporting Obama. What can be done? I think that we should all be very afraid if Obama gets elected and I am afraid that it is going to happen. Corruption, money and power make it difficult to see the truth.
-- Dawna Kirn

GREEN IS THE NEW...NONSENSE
Re: William Tucker's The Greening of Thomas Friedman:

Mr. Friedman is late coming to the table with his ideas. A fantastic book, The Green Hills of Earth, was all about "electrons that meets all four criteria: abundant, clean, reliable, and cheap" and it was written over sixty years ago by R.H. Heinlien. Yes, it was science fiction back then too.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, NY

Your W. Tucker is quite right in criticizing the false precepts of T. Freedman. What he forgot to mention is the fact that these "new future alternative energy sources" are not new. The geothermal power plants have been in existence for at least 70 years -- they are necessarily small, expensive, and deadly polluting. They leave behind enormous amounts of arsenic and radioactive Cesium and Strontium. Solar and wind power plants have also been in existence for some 40 years -- they are also small, ten to twenty times more expensive in spite of all tax breaks and government mandates, and utterly unreliable. How do I know this? Well, I worked over 30 years on all kinds of power plants -- coal-fired, oil-fired, gas-fired, nuclear, solar, geothermal, and wind-powered. This whole hue and cry for "new, reliable, renewable, non-polluting" technologies reminds me of the medieval alchemists searching for perpetuum mobile, trying to convert lead into gold, and inventing eternal youth stone. Destined for failure no matter how many billions we throw at them!
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

William Tucker's review doesn't tell us whether "...In fact, the (world population) numbers are generally expected to level off at around 8-10 billion in 2050..." is his own assertion or was paraphrased from the book he is reviewing. May I ask, "generally expected" by whom? Why? What reason is there to believe that human reproduction will do anything other than what it always has done, namely, increase at about 150 percent of the rate of the growth in economic accommodations available to it? As for Friedman's book (I haven't read it and I won't if Thomas Malthus isn't in the index), what point is there in rigging the planet for an additional five billion souls (nuclear power is the only non-pipe dream option) if, while it is being done, 7.5 billion more souls appear. Nothing will have been gained; everyone still will end up standing back-to-back and belly-to-belly, ankle deep in each others (radioactive) jelly. Sooner or later, some are going to have to go over the side of lifeboat, or not be allowed onto the lifeboat in the first place (think China's policy: one child per female).
-- Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

"The way to stimulate this kind of innovation...is by generous tax incentives, regulatory incentives, renewable energy mandates, and other market-shaping mechanisms that create durable demand for these existing clean power technologies...That kind of [progress] will come about only if government uses its power to set prices, regulations, and standards to reshape the energy market and force utilities and other big players to either innovate or die."

This Friedman guy is brilliant! The genius of the American system is demonstrated by the
marshalling of market forces to achieve socially desirable ends. Recent experience suggests that the government can enter a market directly and a have a huge impact. Greedy oil men and coal barons will never invest their ill-gotten gains in renewable energy. These slow-thinking millionaires are too dim-witted to see the profit potential in solar and wind. Skeptics like William Tucker don't help.

No, what this crisis calls for is a cabinet-level executive with a mandate to direct investment towards those energy projects that hold promise for a greener future, and the spin-off of Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) to do the heavy lifting that a free market, hitherto left unfettered and unregulated, has ignored. Let's call it the Department of Non-Traditional Energy, or DONT.

The ability to provide an immediate return on investment should not be a criterion in evaluating research grant proposals. The mission will be to promote liquidity, stability, and affordability in the green energy space. And, of course, to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Special consideration should be given to those projects headed by members of the Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered Community, or whose primary researchers include minority community members. (For the purposes of this research, mathematicians, chemists, physicists, and engineers of ethnic Chinese origin will be considered qualifying minorities.)

The government's regulatory apparatus needs to be set in motion for the purpose of increasing the price of traditional energy. Then, it is simply a matter of redirecting the surplus to the renewable-friendly enterprises. These enterprises, in turn, will support high levels of employment, providing green jobs to the millions of persons displaced by the inefficiencies of impersonal free market forces.

Will there be risk? Yes, but the risk of doing nothing is far greater! Besides, some of the aforementioned mathematicians and physicists can be enlisted to engineer financial instruments that will mitigate the risk. Imagine a vast secondary market that is invested in a basket of securities representing the underlying value of the direct research, grants, loans, and enterprises that have been authorized under DONT. Even those nations that are indifferent to our green initiatives will unwittingly support our vision via the investments made by their dollar-swollen sovereign wealth funds. These secondary markets will work side-by-side with carbon offset and cap-and-trade initiatives. It will truly be a global undertaking.

This initiative dovetails with Barrack Obama's vision for America. It will require a strong executive willing to make the hard choices for patriotic Americans to do their share, to step up to the plate. Tax incentives, regulatory regimes, pricing mandates, the leadership required to compel utilities to innovate -- these are the traits required of the new-breed executive that we seek, one who has the vision to see a five-year plan to fruition, and beyond. In Barack Obama, we have the executive talent to undertake this bold initiative. The only remaining question -- can a President Obama find the selfless public servants, willing and capable, of manning the bureaucracy?
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If by "saving the earth" Friedman means freezing the global status quo (or an arbitrary status quo ante), Darwin would think him mad.

Since evolution (Gaia in Newspeak) evolved the current "mess," is it not adaptive, by definition?

Hence, the Friedman Freeze is counter-evolutionary.
-- David Govett

WORTH SEEING?
Re: Judah Friedman's Do I Dare?:

So funny, so resoundingly true and insightful! Judah is right on the mark once again!
-- Tamar Rudnitzky
New Jersey

Please. Sincere beliefs, thought out, mean things to thinking adults. Go see the movie. Take your friends, take your enemies. Don't hide. Discuss, laugh and enjoy.

I'm originally from Cookie Sewell's "Peoples Republic of Maryland" so I understand your angst. Lived in Georgia for a time, loved it. Now I am in Utah. I prefer the Red States and the people.

Judah, I think "An American Carol" is a darned funny movie, hitting on so many levels it ought to be seen twice. I would like to see a sequel. There is so much Leftist thought out there to be explored, mined and made fun of, it boggles the mind. Conservatives in Hollywood, clue: major bucks to be made. Kudos to the entire cast and company.

You want to write? Who do you want write for? Your choice.
-- Jim Woodward
Midvale, Utah

Sounds like we are now living in Nazi Germany, doesn't it? It's not only in Hollywood that people are afraid to speak their mind or be seen in the "wrong" place watching the "wrong" movie for fear of their career; it has spread all over the country. If this goes on much longer we may see the beginnings of an actual civil war with real shooting. I never thought I would see this happen in the U.S. I am 66 years old. It is sad that the country is now in real danger of imploding.
-- Bobby Faulkner

We went as a family to see the movie An American Carol. It was abysmal, an awful film. It was a good concept with a terrible script that was jerky and hardly funny. It reminded me of another film that had a great concept but was terrible in reality -- Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. The only thing that made it different from Michael Moore's films is that it is true.
-- mjms

Let me save you a trip, Mr. Friedman. I "dared" to see An American Carol. It's a sophomoric stinker. In fact it's so bad that, ironically, it might do more damage to the conservative brand than any movie Michael Moore (the subject of the movie's lampooning) ever made.

Great premise -- awful execution.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCED
Re: J.T. Young's When Sarah Met Harry:

As Obama smears John McCain, the Democrats' media stooges continue to try and sleaze Governor Sarah Palin. The most outlandish attack is she is inexperienced -- compared to whom? To say the Democrat candidate is light in experience is charitable when his one real accomplishment in life is having spent it as a Democrat machine's token.

I'm still waiting to hear of one real Obama accomplishment aside from the fact that he earmarked sizable amounts of tax payer's money to Joe Biden's lobbyist son who is under investigation for fraud. Maybe his sweetheart land deal with an imprisoned felon or his cozy Democrat home mortgage rate counts as experience in business. Maybe the press believes his relationship with Franklin Raines, the man who cheated Fannie Mae out of $90 million, is enough experience to manage the US economy into insolvency and depression something another lightweight nobody Democrat almost accomplished -- anti-Semite Jimmy Carter.

Talk about inexperienced and opportunistic -- Barack Obama wins the prize hands down.
-- Michael Tomlinson

Before he was elected to anything, Harry Truman failed as a small clothing store owner and took 15 years to pay off the debt. Where was the government bailout!?! What a sham. What a shame. A man having to be responsible for his own actions and choices. And somehow he is a liberal icon? Simply astonishing.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

DON'T FORGET RULE OF LAW
Re: Eric Peters' So You Got a Speeding Ticket:

I am a frequent reader of your site, and I really enjoy it. However, this article did not fit with the conservative political theme of this site which I have always enjoyed.

As a municipal prosecuting attorney, I do not think about what I do for a living to be merely as an agent of a "revenue stream" in some unholy alliance between law enforcement and insurance companies.

The last time that I checked, at least here in Missouri, aldermen are elected by its citizens as representatives. Then those aldermen in public meetings enact speed limits in an attempt to make drivers refrain from driving too fast. Some drivers do not think they have to follow these rules, and the result is often a municipal citation for a code violation.

As a conservative I would think that this is not some kind of strange concept. That rules would be passed by representatives about how we are to act while using a machine that can put others very lives at risk. I do not think that Edmund Burke would have a problem with this idea. There are rules, and if you break those rules, some punishment often will be the result. Maybe I am missing something here.

Mr. Peters's tone and language I also find troubling. The idea behind this language, that "[y]our insurance company is all about maximizing the revenue stream -- just like the cop who gave you the ticket -- and even though your piddling 66 mph in a 55 zone "speeding" ticket doesn't in any fair-minded way mean you're an unsafe driver, the insurance company will use it as a pretext for claiming that you are -- and will jack your rates up accordingly" is wrongheaded. The idea that uniformed officers, the same people who willingly place their lives at everyday in order to protect the domestic tranquility are simply committed to "maximizing the traffic stream," is really, I think, disrespectful to the law enforcement community, something that conservatives are supposed to be about. I have always been of the opinion that the "screw the pigs" mentality was a product of the left.

Moreover, the gaming-the-system mentality that Mr. Peters seems to espouse is the same type of thumbing one's nose at the rules that is the cause of much of the problems we face in this country today.

Finally, this email is written in my private capacity as a reader, and not as a public official. The views represented are purely my own. Again, thanks for your site.
-- William Thomas "Dub" Duston

A LITTLE LEARNIN'
Re: David Smith's letter (under "Media and Hockey Mom Square Off") in Reader Mail's Picking Up the Pieces:

I would like to ask Mr. Smith just exactly what debate he was watching. As I listened to Joe "Gasbag" Biden repeatedly speak with forked tongue, I was amazed at the equanimity with which Mrs. Palin answered some of the most asinine questions that I have heard in a long time. As for the "memorized talking points," most objective observers would consider these to be what we in education call "preparation." I guess that Mr. Biden's lame dishonesties did not have to be memorized; probably because they were so false.

I also enjoyed Mr. Smith's "I and I alone know who won the debate. Anyone who has an opinion different from mine is wrong. Only I can evaluate answers, and I base most of my evaluation on important things such as the dropping of the 'g' at the end of participles and gerunds."

Please Mr. Smith, the next time you decide to parse a debate, try listening (or should I say listenin') to the content. It will do wonders for your analysis.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

ONLY JUST BEGUN
Re: John Berlau's Doing Something?:

So the same government that thought the way to manage the financial system was to lend squillions to poor people who had no hope of ever paying it back is now spending $700 billion fixing the same problem it helped create in the first place? I don't care what Henry Paulson and his Wall Street mates say, I think this thing hasn't hit rock bottom yet, it isn't even close.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

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