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Where’s the Love?

Bush wants to know. Stein-Hilton, round two, big time. RET vs. IOC. Roush respondents. Plus more.

8.8.08

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LEGACY MATTERS
Re: Mark Goldblatt's Bush Hatred: The Sequel:

Irony of ironies: Yet again, Northeastern liberals are Copperheads who recklessly demand expeditious defeat.

This war, however, Southerners fight to free former slaves, in Iraq.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

Mark Goldblatt wrote an excellent piece detailing some of the avowed reasons for the hatred of President Bush by liberal critics. His responses to those same complaints, while a bit superficial, were still accurate. He is one of the few writers who seem to get it, with respect to the justification for the invasion of Iraq; Saddam had continually violated the terms of the cease fire that suspended the 1991 Gulf War. No other justification was needed.

The one thing that Mr. Goldblatt does not address is the underlying cause of the hatred of President Bush. That is simply fear. Bush inherited global terrorist attacks upon the U.S. He inherited Iraq. And he inherited North Korea. And in all three instances, he acted. And, more importantly, he acted in a Presidential manner. This terrifies liberals. The mere thought that they might actually have to stand in the open and defend themselves is horrifying to them. The thought that someone, particularly an avowed enemy, might not like them and say bad things about them to their face is terrifying. Psychologists would call this a classic example of extremely low self esteem. They simply believe that if you ignore it, it will go away. And if it won't go away, they develop elaborate, and often contradictory, reasons why they should do nothing. The thought that they should defend themselves and sustain a bloody nose is terrifying.

President Bush is what they are not; a man of principle with a streak of basic honesty who is willing to put himself on the line [al a Gary Cooper in High Noon] to fulfill his obligations to protect and defend this nation. He is today what he was when he was elected to office in 2000; a fiscal conservative who is also a social liberal who governs as a governmental moderate. This should not send liberals into the twilight zone in and of itself, except that he is a constant reminder to them of their own shortcomings and cowardice. This can not be tolerated. Hence the savage personal attacks upon this President. Attacks that are never aimed at those who are, in fact, the true and avowed enemies of our nation.

When the world was smirking at the U.S. after our retreat from and subsequent abandonment of South Vietnam the liberals were content. The U.S. had been rendered harmless. When Jimmy Carter was unable to stem the resultant tide of Communist expansion and consolidation and failed miserably to effectively deal with the crisis in Iran, the liberals praised him. After all he continued to prove that the U.S. was no threat to anyone. When Ronald Reagan effectively dealt with the Iran hostage crisis simply by being elected, they were appalled. When he then began to verbally and economically attack communism in general and the Soviet Union in particular, his demonization began in earnest. George Bush, 41, was subjected to the same liberal attacks as Reagan and for much the same reasons. Bill Clinton was the liberal dream; a likable hick who couldn't keep his pants on around women or jog past a McDonalds. His Presidential military forays were against people who could not possibly be a threat to the U.S. and could be justified, in the liberal mind, as "helping the less fortunate." And, of course, the U.S would not be acting unilaterally. Our troops would be working for someone else [the UN, NATO, etc.]. His idea of handling the problem of North Korean nuclear development was to give them everything that they asked for, then to ignore them. Terrorist attacks? Send the FBI to the scene to collect bomb fragments, then ignore them. George Bush, 43, was everything that Bill Clinton was not. And for that, he has been castigated by the liberal media and liberal politicians since before his election.

For George W. Bush, the Presidency has not been a popularity contest or a means to line his pockets, but a duty to be performed. And though I regularly disagree with many of his policies, I admire him for his devotion to duty. He should rank as one of our greatest Presidents. It will depend, of course, on who writes the history books.
-- Michael Tobias

Anyone who understands liberal ideology knows why George W. Bush's liberation of Iraq makes them insane: the president actually "walked the walk" instead of just "talking the talk." What "talk" is that? The reams of published quotes by leading Democrats as to the necessity of removing Saddam Hussein from power.

Liberals have always worshipped symbolism over substance. Anyone challenging the bankruptcy of that concept will always get hammered. More so if they are successful--which is why Democrats have shamelessly tried to undermine anything that resembles success in Iraq.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Iraq as the first liberal democracy in the Muslim world -- the notion ignores Turkey.

Error of fact, or opinion?
-- Steven Bassion

Here is the truth regarding Bush hatred. The world has changed. Modern communications are bringing out into the light practices that are as old as sin and are normally called "Black OPs."

Also the world today is more of a village, people meet and know people from other countries and find many of them to be nice people.

Just because something was acceptable behavior in the past doesn't mean it remains acceptable practice today.

After all it used to be illegal under church law to practice usury.
-- Kevin Walsh
Greater Dandenong
Australia

This is an excellent article. One of the things I truly enjoyed about it was the clear recitation of several points I have made in personal discussions of this administration. It should be no secret that though I have my own problems with the Bush administration, though I very rarely blame Bush or his administration for them being there. Bush holds the distinction of having been the only president to ever have his administration questioned and called illegitimate from his first day in office. With 9/11 and Iraq, we often forget all about the difficulties of the 2000 election, and Al Gore's simple refusal to admit his defeat in the electoral college. Combined with his attempts to bring more ideological balance to a highly liberal professional bureaucracy (honest or not) and we see an administration with a lot of problems. Bush's apparent poor public speaking skills haven't helped much either. I also think that while he's remained mostly consistent from an ideological perspective, he's also had a few too many politicking moments that have caused problems.

In short, Bush is far from a perfect or Great president, but he's been a good one. And we need to try and remember that and remind others of that as much as possible. And as for the squelching of American rights... can anyone give me an example? Other than the general surveillance, that is. I want something specific. Name a name, give me a person who had their rights violated by any action of the Bush administration. Really, 'cause I can name three big actions taken directly by the Clinton Justice department without even thinking hard that ran rough over the American Constitution, policy, values, and law.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

The only people who have tried to make a direct link between al-Qaeda and Iraq are Democrats like Bill Clinton and leaker of classified documents Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller. Only fools with their heads buried up their derrieres would question whether the war on terror is a "proper war." Just read what the terrorists have said and are saying if you seriously doubt this is a war -- a war on a larger and more dangerous scale than Democrats, their media stooges and paleoconservatives want to believe. To treat the threat of Islamic terrorism lightly, as did the Clinton administration and Democrats, is to invite disaster as illustrated by 9/11.

It would behoove people to actually read the Geneva Conventions to appreciate how systematic the Bush administration is in adhering to the rule of law. As one now in Iraq it is amazing to see how far things have progressed since March of 2003 when we initially entered the country. The "Bush war" is being won with minimal casualties (averaging less than 800 deaths per year in 5/12 years better than the murder rate in Democrat Philadelphia, Baltimore City, DC and Richmond combined). Even more despite "war fatigue" (boredom) the American public has had to sacrifice absolutely nothing for the war effort not even higher taxes.

Finally, Democrats and their mindless automatons feel empowered to lie about President Bush, because too many conservatives have been duped into swallowing their propaganda and spouting liberal clichés about him. By hurting the most conservative President in modern US history, liberals have been able to derail our movement and regain the power they crave. Unlike Bill Clinton, George W. Bush is more concerned with actually governing and protecting America than chasing a legacy. He knows the liberal media, academic establishment and Europeans hated Reagan so he's in good company. Whether history vindicates President Bush is irrelevant. What is important is that he continues to fulfill his Constitutional responsibility and keep America safe. If the American people think that's unimportant they can elect Barack Obama and follow the advice of Mrs. John Kerry and "learn to live with terrorism like Europeans do."
-- Michael Tomlinson
Habbaniyah, Iraq

CELEBUTANTE VERSUS WRITER/ACTOR/ECONOMIST
Re: Ben Stein's Porn Star for Obama:

I never thought in a million years I'd defend Paris Hilton, but Ben Stein's "Porn Star for Obama" piece was not worthy of print on your web site. It's ugly and cruel, and I wonder why Ben felt he needed to watch the Paris' sex tape video (I've not seen it nor do I have any interest in seeing it).

Perhaps he should be pointing the finger at John McCain's campaign for inserting Paris into the political conversation to begin with. Now that McCain has been hoist on his own petard, Mr. Stein reacts with venom bordering on unhinged.

Please take down this ugly piece of writing.
-- Sonja Mendoza
Socorro, New Mexico

I had a different take than Ben Stein. First of all, I loved McCain's original ad. Secondly, I love Paris' "rebuttal" because it kills two birds with one stone. Paris' energy plan is what McCain has been proposing. Obama is now dumber than Paris Hilton. Never mind that lots and lots of people will now watch McCain's ad again. Never mind that the response of the Obama campaign was "Whatever." The second bird is that it makes Paris appear like she has a brain as well as being 35 years old if she thinks she's running for President. And there's nothing more devastating to her image than if she were smart and old. This whole thing is a gold mine for McCain. He gets young people to realize that Obama is dumber than Paris Hilton and he gets old people to realize that they don't really like young people.
-- Andrew Macfadyen, M.D.
Omaha, Nebraska

Way to go Ben Stein, somebody needed to tell the little tramp she's not hot, and that's right...not even close to pretty. In telling her, he told so many others as well, and that's why they're so exercised.
-- Bill Cook
Seward, Alaska

I think Mr. Stein's assessment of Paris Hilton's rise to fame and the dubious merit of her celebrity is entirely accurate. There is no reason on Earth why we should even know who she is -- until now. Mr. Stein has let his political ideology blind him as to what has really happened here. John McCain started it. He used Paris Hilton, as a symbol of vacuous celebrity in a generally unwarranted attack ad on his political opponent. Ms. Hilton, of course has had nothing to do with the campaigns of either candidate, so her inclusion in that ad was entirely gratuitous and, I presume, unauthorized. Mr. McCain used Ms. Hilton to make fun his opponent, and he got burned as people sometimes do when they use other people. Simply put, the vacuous celebrity, with no apparent reason to be famous, upstaged him. That is really sad. Ms. Hilton was very funny. Mr. McCain's ad was not. It kind of reminds me of Mr. Stein's character and Ferris Bueller -- no contest.
-- David Turner

Reading Mr. Stein's article and several letters in response I think far too much is being made of Ms. Hilton's reply.

McCain's placement of Ms. Hilton's image in the original ad used her iconic Pop Celebrity a very effective rapier against Obama. It worked better than anyone could have dreamed and they are still off balance because of it.

Her reply was a funny and well done. It took nothing away from the original ad and may actually have underscored it in that her response was more effective than anything Team O or the DNC has come up with so far. Ms. Hilton's response was not on behalf of Obama but rather a defense of herself. Using the same Pop Celebrity. It warrants a chuckle or laugh and maybe even praise for its cleverness but not a serious response. She is what she is complete with all the antics that brought her to her current status.

If we lose the ability to laugh at our selves and each other we are no better than the over sensitive victims on the left. Lighten up laugh a little... life is way to short to take something so trivial so seriously.
-- Bob Kasper

After reading Ben's porn obsessed Paris Hilton column I suggest he take a break before his head explodes. And can I suggest that next time instead of trying to watch Paris Hilton porn and type at the same time he does just one thing at a time.

Two hands are always better than one.
-- Alan Kennedy
Sydney, Australia

I like Ben Stein. I did not like his editorial about Paris Hilton and John McCain in The American Spectator.

Stein is right when he says that John McCain has achieved distinction for his service to his country and his courage in captivity. But McCain degraded himself by proclaiming his "pride" for trashy campaign ads that mock Obama and distort his record. And if Paris Hilton and a couple comedians feel inspired to respond to McCain's trashy ad about Paris Hilton with some trash of their own, he has nobody to blame but himself. If Paris Hilton is the filthy wretch you think she is, what does it say about McCain to compare her to Barack Obama? And what were you doing watching her porno?!? (Wait, I don't want to know!)

This campaign should be about the issues facing Americans rather than gutter politics, something that McCain had once made a centerpiece of his campaign. But now that he is trying to catch up in the polls, he has broken his own ethical commitments and insulted the public.

Thanks to John McCain's own decisions, we are talking about Paris Hilton and "the One," instead of taxes, foreign policy, the economy, education, health care, and security.

Do not blame Barack Obama for this unfortunate turn in the campaign. If you don't like trash politics, you should use your celebrity pulpit to ask John McCain to shift back to issues that matter.
-- Davin Heckman

Ben Stein can take his shots at Paris Hilton, but John McCain tried to slander his opponent in this presidential race by direct comparison to her. That's pretty shallow politics, as far as I'm concerned, but it also means that he started this little fight with Paris. She said some nasty things -- she may even be a nasty person, though who of us passing judgment has ever met her -- but you can't blame her for feeling offended herself.
-- Blair Chafe
Ottawa, Canada

Ben Stein, as usual, is spot on. Even more enjoyable is his righteous indignation. Wow! Ben, get angrier! Paris is a hairy wart on Hollywood's sagging bum.
-- Jesse Milligan

PERSONAL STAND
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s My Olympic Boycott:

Well said. I boycott the Olympics for the same reasons.
-- Roger Gehle

Olympic athletes have to deal with the local culture of the host country. I suppose that many athletes from other parts of the world were offended during their stay at Salt Lake City -- not everyone wants a free condom shoved in their face every 30 seconds.

In Rome of 1960, the hairless male swimmers, Mr. Somers excluded, may have been off-put by the hirsute European ladies.

Ho-hum, the Chi-coms want to crack down on prayer. Rather than be upset, athletes should thank God, silently, that they are not Falun Gong, or Tibetan monks.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mr. Tyrrell omits mention of perhaps the best reason to avoid watching the Olympics this year: The fact that the viewer will be exposed to political ads.
-- Kent Lyon
College Station, Texas

Where on this planet is the 3000-meter swim contested? I've been a masters swimmer for 35 years and have yet to hear of this event.

Please explain.
-- Curtis M. Miller
Davis, California

WORSE THAN YOU THOUGHT
Re: Joseph Lawler's Change That's Unbelievable :

As all well-informed conservatives know, Barack Obama is not only corrupt and sleazy, he's a fraud. As has been revealed in his letters to homosexual militants Obama's message of "audacious change" is merely a ruse to promote an extreme and morally bankrupt agenda at odds with the values of the majority of Americans. Radical Obama wants to destroy the values and culture of the United States and reshape them in his own twisted and perverted image. Any conservative considering voting for Obama or "liberalterian" clone Bob Barr is insuring the immediate cultural, social and moral collapse of the US. If elected, a far longer shot than many think, Obama will make America's worst President, Jimmy Carter, look good.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Habbaniyah, Iraq

There have been suggestions by some in the media that the group running Obama's campaign had their first success getting Deval Patrick elected Governor of Massachusetts. Governor Patrick made a lot of promises and talked of big changes just as Obama has. It has been noted that Obama has borrowed some of the same lines that Patrick used in his campaign about change etc.

Governor Patrick has not delivered on his promises and is thought by many in the state to be a failure as Governor. Because the campaigns are so similar, one must wonder if Obama is just an empty vessel controlled by a slick marketing group.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook,Texas

Here is a simpler case against Obama, if we are interested in the bottom line in the cost of running government.

The present pension of a president is $191,300 a year. If Obama is elected and serves two terms and then lives to age 80 -- he will cost us $4,973,800 in pension income. Two terms at 1600 Pennsylvania and the rest of your life on Easy Street! Not bad.

All things considered, McCain is the better bargain.

But what about Obama's (maybe 30 year) tobacco addiction?
-- Diane Smith

STEP BY STEP
Re: Richard Kirk's The Audacity of Wishful Thinking:

I laughed so hard I exhaled extra carbon dioxide. So Kirk's plan should include mandatory laughter limits.

Which may not be necessary in an Obama administration since no one will be laughing.
-- Gary Cape
Delta County, Colorado

Point 11: Personal Methane Recovery. With a slight increase in bean intake we can recover enough methane to A) cook the beans B) end to use of home deodorizers saving the ozone layer C)stop having to blame the dog! Of course we would have to ban Rolaides and GasX.
-- Victor Sadesky

When one uses a windsock for proposing policy corrections, advocating tire pressure adjustments as energy policy is not absurd in the least. Or at least it is not on the other side of the looking glass.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Regarding the above article, another law President Obama should enact would be to require all of us to run around our houses unplugging all those unneeded, electricity hog appliances such as: VCRs blinking 12:00, Cell Phone and ipod chargers, microwave ovens when not in use, fast start TVs, etc. This would no doubt save enough electricity so there would be no need to build an nasty nuclear power plants that would otherwise be needed to power all the electric cars he would make us buy. He could also use his "volunteer" force of social activists to "inspect" our homes to insure "compliance."
-- Mark King
Alpine, Texas

SOMEBODY'S GOT IT RIGHT
Re: Lawrence Hunter's Regulatory Competition is the Solution:

There seems to be an implication that the Bush Administration, that supports regulatory competition with its "optional federal charter" for regulating the insurance industry, somehow opposes the idea, because New York Federal Reserve Bank president Timothy Geithner (not a member of the Bush Administration) advocates a liberal alternative that amasses power to the Federal government. Geithner's opinions are all his own.

President Bush, unlike his immediate predecessor and Barack Obama, is honest and says and does what he believes is right (in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan).
-- Michael Tomlinson
Habbaniyah, Iraq

LOST CAUSE
Re: Mike Roush's letter (under "Understanding Grover") in Reader Mail's That's Hot:

It was fascinating as usual to read all Mike Roush's equivalencing but what would you expect from a guy who gets confused between a shovel and racial insult?

Mike needs to consider the concept of "the shakedown" to fully understand the company/lobbyist/politician relationship. There is too much corporate welfare (may it all die) but there is a lot more money paid to political parties and candidates to make sure nothing bad happens. When organized crime does this we call it protection money. When Harry and Nancy do it we call it "fighting for the people." We probably could develop some common goals with respect to corporate welfare reform but Mike needs to expand his Democrat list of lobbyists to include unions, environmentalists, race baiters, Planned Parenthood and all the other professional "do-gooders" who sponge off their neighbors. It was also disingenuous to speak of the massive borrowing while not mentioning who created the entitlement programs that drive this. Republicans shouldn't feel obliged to be tax collectors for Democrat power grabbing pyramid schemes. If they take that role too seriously there will just be more power grabs and we will have Europe's capacity to defend ourselves. By the way, when contracts were awarded to KBR and Blackwater during the Clinton administration (or for that matter during World War II, the Korean War and Viet Nam for just Brown Root) does that mean the Democrats used to prefer them as welfare recipients or is this just another one of Mike's boogeyman arguments?

Liberals have long played on the boogeyman of the religious right butting into people's lives. I don't see James Dobson forcing me to do anything. What I do see is liberals forcing (or threatening to force) me on what kind of toilet I can have, light bulbs I use, cars I will drive, where my thermostat will be set, whether I smoke, what I eat, what kind of appliances I use, whether I can spank my children, what and when my children should be taught about sex, whether I have the right to be notified of my child's abortion, whether I can defend myself or my property legally, and oh yea how well inflated my tires are. Don't get me wrong I understand the tradeoffs between order and liberty but this invasion of my personal space is way over the top and reveals much about the people behind this freedom grab. Mike has somehow turned into what he most hates, a busybody into every room of his neighbor's house. I don't believe he can resist the adult's bedroom for much longer. I am sure that how many children we can have is right around the corner. Did anybody predict that the left would morph into a pack of killjoy ascetics? We're on to you Mike. Leave us alone.
-- Clif Briner

Yesterday, I went to exercise my God given right to view porno using internet at the local public library. After two hours of lush depravity, I was mysteriously redirected to the TAS website. Talk about a rightwing conspiracy!

I must tell you it was lacking any of the usual female anatomical points of interest. It didn't even have the usual sassy "How To..." instructional video links. It did, however, have a letters section. "Now, we're talkin'," I said to myself. Thinking I may have stumbled into an uncensored version of Penthouse Letters ("FLOCKING TOGETHER", Indeed!), I swung my computer burned eyeballs toward what I thought would be tales of carnal fleshpots.

Talk about a letdown! I kept reading in hopes some "teenage high school cheerleader triplets made a man out of me" chronicle was buried in there. Now, I wanna ask you people, why all this fixation on politics when there's a whole world of female derrieres and mammary glands out there? (Although, I will say that Mike Dooley is one hell of a writer.)

Just when I was about to give up, my eyes wandered onto a letter by one Mike Roush. What was disturbing was when Mr. Roush said: "But, more to the point, is there anyone who really believes that Pat Robertson [and] James Dobson are uninterested in imposing their values on society?"

A chill ran down my back. Just who are these scoundrels? Are they going to decree mandatory chapel? Are they going to have the IRS collect a tithe of our income and then turn it over to the televangelists? Are they going to take my issue of Stacked and Topless away from me?

I quickly typed "imposing their values on society" into Google to find out what it means. After a few seconds the definition popped up:

Euphemism [Amer.Eng.]. A political code phrase denoting abortion and euthanasia. Used almost exclusively by Liberals, Libertarians and "Blue Blood" Republicans.

Well...at least I feel better now.
-- Mike Dooley

Just an observation, Mike:

Blackwater has NEVER lost a protectee it has been hired to escort for security in the Middle East. Even when it was (is) the target of a media witch hunt, which failed. Even now the US State Department will hire no one else to keep themselves safe when anyone of them has to go near, you know, actual possible danger to their supremely important skins. Not even Delta has that record. We could discuss Halliburton as well, you know Clinton's favorite non-bid contractor but why bother...
-- Craig Sarver
Seattle Washington

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