Reader Mail

Fifteen Rounds of Fun

Inside the vice-presidential ring. Senator Obama, Commander in Chief. Communing with a libertarian. Plus more.

7.22.08

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KNOCKOUT
Re: Quin Hillyer's And the Winner Is...:

No mention of Rick Santorum or Sarah Palin? Hmmmm.
-- David Tomaselli

As a very lukewarm voter for McCain, I would gladly and enthusiastically support the McCain/Kasich or McCain/Ashcroft tickets.

Both of these guys would be great choices for McCain. It would show the conservative base that McCain is willing not to just compromise with liberals, but will also compromise with the conservative right. Plus either guy will help McCain in states that McCain must win in November. Very wise choices for McCain. Of course McCain won't make these choices, he is too arrogant to take good advice.
-- Lee Schafer
New Caney, Texas

I don't know about social conservatives, Catholics, evangelicals, etc., but if Romney is NOT on the ticket, here is one Goldwater Republican who will say Good Bye to the GOP ...PERIOD. I am SICK of political losers whose only objective is to get elected to this cushy job and then, do nothing, because they are all dumber than grass.

Romney is the first guy in 20 years that actually knows something about how the country runs. That's why all of the above don't want him. I can see how he would tank the ticket for them. If you are running for President of the blind, the one-eyed man is a threat.
-- Craig Startt

MONUMENT IN MOTION
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Obama's Tank Ride:

This morning, a report on Fox said that Obama had flown over the city of Baghdad. Didn't say whether he used a plane or not. With Obama's press buildup, one can't be certain...
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

Respectfully, to mention "transparent phoniness" and "Barack Obama" in the same article has little meaning anymore.

That said, how fitting that Obama will speak at the Siegessaule. Of course, the irony and ignorance of his choice won't register with Obama, his handlers/ advisers and devotees or his shills in what's wrongly called the "news" media.

Perhaps he'll unveil his new anthem: "Das Lied der Obama" -- that is, "The Song of the Obama" -- sung to the tune of "Das Lied der Deutschen"?

Instead of that German national song's first few words, "Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, Uber alles in der Welt...," Obama would substitute "Barack, Barack" for "Deutschland, Deutschland."

And the narcissist's true universal anthem will be sung: "Barack, Barack above all, above everything in the world..."

Regardless of what he does or does not do -- the inevitable gaffe or two; more than a few distorted or untrue facts about his accomplishments and those of his opponent; some American bashing; etc. -- he's becomes not just more creepy in his grandiosity and disgusting in his arrogance, but also embarrassing to our country.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

We can only hope that like "Happy Days," Mr. Obama will fade from our landscape. But one must consider the liberal, left wing point of view that reality is something to ignore when it conflicts with radical dogma.

Mr. Obama has himself become a pop icon to a group I refer to as Obama Lama Ding Dongs. These are an admixture of children who easily ignore reality because they have no idea what it is; radicals who wish to debase the reality that has been this once great nation; and finally, the far left leadership of the democrat party who daily reframe reality based on their popularity polls.

Sadly, these are the people who now run the country. Happily, they have the attention span of a gnat and so...
-- Jay Molyneaux
North Carolina

I am getting a little tired of hearing about Team Obama. How about "Obama-rama," the European Medicine Show starring Dr. B. Hussein and his star-studded cast of back-up singers Wilson, Couric and Gibson, in perfect harmony! Dr. Obama will be offering free samples of his Elixir of Hope to all and visas to those who might wish to emigrate and vote in our November election. Mercy boocoo.
-- Diane Smith

DELICATE WORK
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Splitting Hairs (and Atoms):

Mr. Homnick makes a good point that changing from a hard-line approach to a softer one rarely produces positive results in these circumstances. But, it may just be a bit premature to criticize the Bush administration for placing an "observer" at the EU-Iran nuclear negotiations as changing our approach.

First of all, it must be acknowledged that nothing, short of armed intervention, is going to slow, let alone stop, Iranian nuclear development. Therefore, any negotiation is doomed to failure. But, that would not stop the Europeans from capitulating to the Iranians, in the current spirit of "ignore it and it will go away." Therefore it may be wise to have our own observer at these talks to remind everyone that the U.S. has not lost interest in this matter. And that there are currently 130,000 U.S. troops just south of Iran.

Secondly, this whole situation is a complicated one. The United States surrendered control of it, to the Europeans, several years ago. The results of that decision are apparent today. Nothing has been accomplished with regard to curtailing Iranian nuclear development. Add to that the reasonable fear and concern of the Israelis and the Gulf States about their futures if Iran nukes become operational and the US is in a serious bind. Israel has stated, and I believe that you can take those statements to the bank, that they will not allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons. They will take unilateral military action against Iranian nuclear sites when they become convinced that a nuclear Iran is inevitable. The only thing that has held Israel back, from this course of action, has been pressure from the U.S. Israel may feel that it is in their best interest to mount a campaign against Iran prior to the swearing in of a new President in January 2009 or even before the 2008 Presidential election to solidify US support for their actions. A U.S. presence at the next round of EU-Iran negotiations may dampen Israel's commitment to immediate military action, while reminding the EU that the U.S. will support Israel should action be taken.

Third, everyone seems to forget the fact that Iran is, technically perhaps but still, at war with the U.S. Iran declared war on the US in 1979 and that declaration has never been rescinded. That the US chooses to ignore this is strange on the face of today's situation, but it nevertheless exists. It is impolitic to have formal relations with a nation with which you are at war. Senator Obama seems to be ignorant of this tenet of international diplomacy. Jimmy Carter attempted to negotiate with Iran and we can see how that turned out. Therefore, having an observer in position to remind the Iranians of the continued commitment of the U.S. in this matter serves a diplomatic function without engaging in negotiations.

Personally, I do not feel that placing a U.S. observer at these talks will have any effect on the current Presidential elections. However, direct military action by Israel will certainly have a major effect on the U.S. electorate. The outcome is simply impossible to predict.
-- Michael Tobias

Keeping nukes out of hostile Iranian hands?

Don't look now, but that train done left the station already. Like in 1979, when Jimmy Carter snapped it off short in the Shah of Iran's back. In fact, the station ain't there no more.

I think ayatollahs plus nukes equals insanely dangerous situation, same as anybody else with an IQ above freezing. That doesn't change the fact, however, that there is very little we can actually do to prevent it.

Bomb their N-weapons program out of existence? Oh, Puh-leeze. Hitler put his war industries underground in about five years. Iran has had thirty year's grace. Even allowing for the legendary corruption, self-delusion and fecklessness of the would-be heirs of Xerxes and Ali, the guts of such nuke program as they actually possess have unquestionably been removed from the reach of air strikes, ours or Israel's. If not, somebody in Qom needs to have his virgins confiscated. And if Iran's "new-kyu-lur" ambitions are actually scotched by one neat surgical strike, I'll undertake to paint my hindquarters blue and walk naked, backwards, down the street in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Praising Jesus the whole way.

To wipe out Iran's nuclear weapons capability, we would need to invade the country, seize the sites, and take them apart. And then pray to God they hadn't had time to rathole the essentials next door (but they've obviously had that time, in spades). Send them to Russia, for instance? Same as Saddam Hussein did, via Syria, with his toxic toys that we never found?

And if, as is surely true, even the most sanguine American patriot regrets the cost of the occupation of Iraq (437,000 square miles, diverse and manipulable Arab population, 28 million), will we be willing to pay the price of physically pacifying Iran (1.7 million square mile; homogenous Persian population -- proud to the point of xenophobia -- 66 million)?

No, much as it rots my guts to say it, we have no choice, none at all, but to follow the example we've so ignominiously set with North Korea, and bribe the bastards not to take the warpath.

What the hell, it worked for Byzantium. For a little while, anyway.
-- Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

A lot of Americans hate being reminded of reality, but this one is immutable: every day we and the Europeans spend "negotiating" with Iran is another day they get to perfect a nuclear device and a delivery system for it.

The MSM has been woefully derelict is describing the Iranian government for what it is: a group of "true believers" willing to allow their country to be completely obliterated as long as the chaotic conditions required for the re-emergence of the Hidden Imam are achieved. Mutually assured destruction (MAD) will not deter these madmen. They are more than willing to commit national suicide -- and they are on the record as saying so, "as long as Islam prospers."

Americans may not wish to remember, but the last time we faced a nation that used suicide to advance their political/military agenda, we nuked them -- twice.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

COMMUNITY OUTSIDER
Re: Erin Wildermuth's In the Garden of Walden:

Great piece, Erin Wildermuth.

The anarcho-syndicalist was made the butt of a wonderfully funny joke in another great piece, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

That group of anarcho-syndicalists was also shoveling [excrement].
-- A. C. Santore

So without "immigrant" labor they would fall apart? It is the same everywhere it seems.
-- Cecil Thorpe

NORMAN EVASION
Re: Reid Collins's Open Blast Furnace:

Greg Norman did what he has always done during his career: he let his ego get in the way of his brain. Comparing his club selections, especially on tee shots, to those of winner Padraig Harrington, reveals that wisdom does not always accrue with advancing age.

Norman's stubbornness has apparently been an asset in his business dealings. In golf, as he demonstrated once again on Sunday, it has been his greatest liability.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

THE HUNDRED DAY WAR
Re: Mike Dooley's letter (under "No End in Sight") in Reader Mail's Bumps on a Blog:

Mr. Dooley, I must refute your assertion that I do not answer my rhetorical question of how to choose between the immorality of abortion and the immorality of using police power to force our ideals onto another. I clearly state in my original posting that we must legally allow the practice while we teach against it from a moral stance. Yes, this is 'my' suggestion, arrived at through the trying to chart a moral course through two positions I find equally abhorrent.

Tell me, Mr. Dooley, would you stand before a 16-year-old rape victim, gun in hand, and demand that she not abort the child that is the result? Would you demand, on pain of violence, that she allow the child to come to term, even if she in turn gives the child up for adoption? I apologize for the use of such a crass argument, but it cuts directly to the center of my point. I know that I could not take such an action, and I have my doubts that you would. Would you instead turn such an action over to the state? We must remember that the power of the State is the power to utilize violence to achieve its ends. Behind every law is the implicit threat of violence. It is this understanding that separates the Libertarian from the Conservative. I have no doubt, Mr. Dooley that you, like me, when faced with this hypothetical young rape victim that you would use every moral and reasoned argument you could find to convince her to bring the child to term, even if only to give to adoption. We can both realize that we should not take vengeance on the unborn for the actions of the immoral father. It is the understanding of this situation which makes me say we must allow the practice. This is not an argument to allow abortion for just rape victims, this is instead to help illustrate that we cannot know the whole of a situation, and therefore we cannot make blanket laws.

Please realize, Mr. Dooley, the central argument of Libertarianism. It is not that societal rules be abandoned, we leave that to Liberals. We advocate that you cannot legislate morality, which is a very different stance. Because of the implicit threat of violence behind every law, we must be very careful in every law that we pass. We must ensure that the law itself is moral, not in the sense of personal morality, but in the sense of political morality. And here is where the argument of forcing your view point onto others comes into play. Once you realize and understand the power of the state is the power to police, the utilization of violence, then you must realize that some laws cannot be allowed because they are, in effect, the utilization of violence to force your ideas onto another. You may disagree with my reasoning, but I hope you can at least understand how I come to think this way.

To return to my example, I have no doubts Mr. Dooley that you, as I, would stand between the rapist and his victim ready to fight, kill, or die as needed. Our willingness to accept this action as right and just is what makes the laws against rape moral in the political sense. This same argument can be used to justify the laws against murder, theft, fraud, and many others. We cannot give onto the State the power to do things that we will not do as individuals and call ourselves a just society. We trust in the State to provide for a free and just society, and to ensure that our society remains that way we must in turn carefully examine each and every law with the understanding that we are making an implicit threat of violence.

This in turn provides the reason for saying that our country was founded on Libertarian ideals. Our Founding Fathers were men of rare wisdom, and even rarer morality. They understood the power of government, and sought to limit where the government could act. This idea of limiting government is what makes someone a Libertarian. I've said it in many of my writings to the Spectator; we cannot argue against Liberals utilizing government to advance their agenda only to turn around and have Conservatives utilize government to advance their agenda. Instead, we must choose the harder road, the road of longer work and less reward. We must stand together and defend the moral traditions of our forefathers because they are right, because they represent the collective wisdom of thousands of years of human experience. But we must do this through argument and reason, and not through the implicitly violent threats of the State.

Please, Mr. Dooley, understand that many people claim the title of 'Libertarian.' Most of the time, they do so in error and misunderstanding. Often you have a Liberal trying to make himself look better by calling himself Libertarian. But what separates the Libertarian from both the Conservative and the Liberal is that a Libertarian is talking about the role of government, not the role of morality.

It can be easy to misconstrue my arguments as a case of moral relativism. They are not. I am not saying that having an abortion, or not, is the same in moral terms. I unequivocally state that having an abortion is immoral. But I also state unequivocally that using violence to stop someone from having an abortion is also immoral. My suggested solution is the result of my reasoning on how we handle a difficult moral quandary. I also would say that this understanding, the practice is immoral but must be allowed in a legal sense, is but the first step to creating a more just society where we can see the rate of abortion start to drop to include only extreme circumstances.

Finally, let me close with my thanks to Mr. Dooley for both your compliment to the reasonability of my previous arguments and giving me so much practice to further hone my arguments and writing skills. And also, Mr. Dooley, my apologizes. First, for your apparent dislike of Libertarians. I assure you, good sir, that on deeper reflection you may find that we do not disagree as much as you seem to think, but only on methods and means. Also, I make no claim to having a monopoly on reason, even if some Libertarians do. Most of us will argue for the sake of argument because we enjoy the debate, and it is only through constant questioning of our assumptions can we come to understand if they are correct or not. And second, my apologizes for appearing to equate abortion with lying, adultery, and other such actions. I was not trying to argue a moral equivalence, but rather a legal one. It was a poor choice in presentation and misleading. And in true closing, let me just say this: While some Libertarians may give the impression that we think we have a monopoly on reason, some Conservatives give the impression that they think they have a monopoly on morality. Let us both avoid the Liberal's mistake of painting each other with too broad a stroke, eh?
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas
P.S. I have recently started a blog at changethedebate.blogspot.com. I invite Mr. Dooley and all other Spectator readers to join me there. I'll leave it to the Spectator to choose to post such a blatant request for free advertisement.

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