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Judicial Activists Strike Again

Let the states string 'em up. Mad in Massachusetts. Mystery Machiavellian. Plus more.

6.27.08

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HANG 'EM HIGH....AT THE STATE LEVEL
Re: William Tucker's Death Should be Reserved for Killers:

I agree with Mr. Tucker. As they used to say in all those old Westerns: lethal injection's too good fer 'em. Rather, they should be placed in the general prison population with no hope of solitary confinement. Then cry me a river.

Just to show I'm not emotional, and all, Mr. Tucker gives a lot of practical reasons why child rape shouldn't be a capital crime, but I didn't see much on whether he thought the Supreme Court was correct that it was unconstitutional. Certainly four justices agree with me that Louisiana was perfectly within their constitutional powers to pass such a law. Had Ronald Reagan made a better pick than Justice Kennedy, Louisiana could be free to try it out. But instead, all convicted child rapists everywhere will get to be squirreled away from danger, content in the knowledge that somewhere out there is a child who he continues to torture just by being alive. I fail to see the deterrence factor in that.
-- Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.
Omaha, Nebraska

I agree with William Tucker that putting child rapists to death is a mistaken and counter-productive law. I am convinced it would have the perverse effect of incentivizing murder for a rapist after having ravished an innocent child. After all, as a matter of percentages, a child rapist has increased chances for getting away with the crime is he leaves no witnesses behind. But, as they say, that is a perfectly good answer to another question.

The issue before us is the difference between policy and the Constitution. The Supreme Court is supposed to rule on matters of law and their congruence with our founding document. A law may be bad policy; but between good policy and bad is not for the Court to decide. The Court in this case would have been on more solid ground if it confined itself to the death penalty for child rapists and the eighth amendment.

While the immediate result may be ultimately good for the community, the long term concern is that the Court is turning itself into an unelected super legislature with the power to overturn any aspect of self-government by a free people. All who care about Federalism and the separation of powers need to weigh this matter with care.
-- Mike Dooley

William Tucker missed the point in the SCOTUS ruling to over-turn the Louisiana death penalty law for rape. This was another example of judicial moralizing at the expense of the states rights. I do agree in the abstract that the death penalty may be counterproductive when applied to rape; however, the legislators of Louisiana were compelled by the heinousness of the crime. Raping a child is as bad as murder in their eyes and should be punished as such. Whether the death penalty works in deterring crime is a matter for state attorneys and lawmakers and not the Federal Judiciary. Five members of the courts believed otherwise. Writing for the Majority, Justice Kennedy wrote that the punishment was disproportionate to the crime. That is, the majority didn't find a legal problem with the law from a technical point of view, but they did agree that raping a child isn't as heinous as say murdering an innocent bystander during a robbery. The courts in short rendered a moral opinion, which they substituted for the Louisiana Law. Practical moral philosophy is accomplished in the legislators of our state houses and Congress and not in the courts. The death penalty as practiced by most states (Letha Injection) is quite "humane," which renders the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment non-applicable.

Personally, I'm against the death penalty. Yet, it is not up to me or the courts to decide whether the death penalty is immoral in the State of Louisiana. In recent years our courts have acted more like Plato's Philosopher Kings than Learned Hand. Justice Scalia was right when he referred to the courts as our "Master in black robes".
-- JP
Indiana

William Tucker writes a nice argument for debate in the Louisiana state government although I am not convinced that child rapists are affected much by rational thought. It is amazing that he didn't write this article when the debate was actually going on. I can certainly live with life sentences with no chance of parole for this crime but I am worried that a very liberal Supreme Court can and will find this unconstitutional as well. The idea of letting nine oligarchs decide this is the problem with the Supreme Court's ruling. I am sure that one could find all kinds of stupidity in state laws but the corrective is not using the Supreme Court to eliminate bad laws based on goofy constitutional reasoning. This creates a problem when five out of nine do something stupid (and they are very capable), there is no easy corrective. When we accept that the fact that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of all aspects of our government (federal, state and local) we are no longer living in a representative republic but in an elitist oligarchy. No thanks!
-- Clifton Briner

Although I am not sure I agree with it, there is some merit to William Tucker's argument that the penalty for child rape should be kept lower than the penalty for murder. This is something that should be hashed out in our legislatures, not in our courts.

I would ask Tucker if he believes that, in those states that have eliminated the death penalty, the maximum penalty for child rape should be something less than life without possibility of parole, for the same reasons he gives in the fourth paragraph of his article.
-- Glen Hoffing
Camden, New Jersey

Nice argument, but that's the kind of policy that LEGISLATURES discuss. The SCOTUS was limited to deciding if it was "cruel or unusual" under the Constitution. You've fallen prey to the liberal mindset: "Tyranny is OK if I get what I want."
-- Matthew Eckel, J.D.

I agree in the main with Mr. Tucker's conclusion that the death penalty should be reserved for murder. (In the main, because what about treason during war?)

However, Tucker sidestepped the real question: what gives the Supreme Court the right to overturn a Louisiana statute regarding punishment of offenders? Presumably this statute was passed by the legislature of Louisiana, a duly elected body representative of the people of Louisiana.

Where in the Constitution is the Supreme Court given the right to interfere in domestic matters involving crime and punishment? Cruel and unusual punishment (8th Amendment) is a limitation on the Federal government, not on the States. And even if it were a limitation on the States, it's primarily a limitation on the process of punishment (torture, drawing & quartering, etc.) prior to execution, not on the sentence itself.

Our country is no longer governed by the People (WE the People), but is instead government by five or six unelected judges, who through a spurious incorporation doctrine, continue to usurp the rights of the People to self-determination in the pursuit of happiness (and that includes making laws and punishments to effect that purpose).
-- Vern Crisler
Gilbert, Arizona

Mr. Tucker misses the point. The death penalty for child rapists or for any crime short of murder may or may not be wise or appropriate. But that debate is one for the various legislatures, as informed by their constituents. It is not properly within the Supreme Court's constitutional jurisdiction. That is the main point and the one that irritates conservatives to no end.
-- Delane Clark
Mount Airy, North Carolina

Mr. Tucker makes a fine case for expanding capital punishment for those convicted of premeditated murder, even though his reasoning is narrow and simplistic. Then he fails to apply this same logic to those convicted of raping a child under the age of twelve. Using his logic that increased execution for homicide reduces the rate of homicides, then wouldn't it follow that the increased execution of child rapists would reduce the incidence of child rape? If so, then what is the basis of his argument that those convicted of raping a child under the age of twelve should not have to face the death penalty? It appears to be that he feels the threat of death for this particular crime will encourage the perpetrator to kill the victim, as there is no difference in the penalty for sexual battery and homicide. Of course this presupposes that the perpetrator of a child rape is a good hearted soul who would never stoop to commit the heinous crime of murder unless forced to by the unenlightened criminal statutes of his home state. Would you trust your future welfare to someone who had shown such little regard for your current welfare? And what about all the instances of rape victims, particularly children, turning up dead in a ditch or even the perpetrator's back yard? Perhaps the threat of life in prison drove them to kill their victim. Maybe all of the victims of rape-murders could have been saved if only the perpetrator knew that he would not have to face more than five years in the state pen. This is all ludicrous speculation and ignores reality.

The point of contention, with regard to the Supreme Court's decision that the death penalty is not applicable to the crime of sexual battery upon a victim under the age of twelve, is that the Court overrode the will of the people of the State of Louisiana without just cause. A majority of the States in the Union also adhere to the potential imposition of capital punishment for rape of a victim under thirteen, even though it has not been imposed following the disastrous decision of the SCOTUS in Coker v. Georgia in 1977. Therefore, it is not unusual punishment under the 8th amendment, but rather the usually legislated punishment. How can execution for the perpetrator of one crime [child rape] be cruel if the same method of execution is not cruel when applied to the perpetrator of another [murder]? Therefore, it is neither cruel nor unusual under the 8th amendment, but rather humane and common. This is simply the continuation of the fuzzy thinking that has pervaded the Court for decades. There is little, if any, logic applied to the decisions in these cases. And it appears that the wording of the Constitution and its Amendments are irrelevant to the Court's decisions.

Now in the interests of disclosure, my personal belief is that the death penalty should be reserved for those who have proven themselves to be such a grave threat to society and its members that they can be allowed no opportunity to re-enter society. As long as they live, there is always the chance that they may gain their freedom, either through escape or the misguided actions of government officials [pardon or commutation of sentence]. Their death effectively insures that they will never pose a threat to society again. Premeditated murders surely fall into this category, but so may a number of other crimes. Take for example the hypothetical case of a man convicted in the kidnap and prolonged torture of another individual, during which the victim's life is only saved by the timely intervention of law enforcement agents and medical personnel. Even though the objective of the perpetrator was the death of the victim, in a most cruel and inhumane manner, should the death penalty be disallowed because the victim did not die? It appears that the SCOTUS thinks so. I realize that this is an extreme example, though not unknown, but it illustrates my point that the SCOTUS has continued to drift farther away from its Constitutional role, which is to evaluate the Constitutionality of laws not whether the members of the Court personally agree with them. This then is the crux of the debate: who watches the watchers? A large number of people, in this country, are not sure. This seems to be a Court out of control, as do so many of the lower courts of this land. That is the problem with this decision. Who knows what the members of the Court will find personally objectionable next?
-- Michael Tobias

Bill Tucker's argument to limit the death penalty to murderers trivializes the entire concept to tit for tat, or, if you prefer the Biblical phraseology, and eye for an eye. Oh that I could have called on Mr. Tucker in the days of yore when my father took off his belt, his objective not being to impose tit for tat on my posterior but rather to punish me.

The good people of the State of Louisiana decided that when a 300-pound step-father rapes his eight year old step-daughter, said step-father should suffer the ultimate punishment, and may God have mercy on his soul. The people of the State of Louisiana, as opposed to writers from Nyack, New York, are not desirous of tit for tat. They want to punish the violator in a way that makes clear that such behavior will not be tolerated. Contrary to the good people of the State of Louisiana, five blackrobes of the Supreme Court decided that such behavior should be rewarded by lifetime room and board at no charge in an institution of the state.

Let's not make it that way.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

Some problems with William Tucker's theory that execution should be reserved for murders only:

--Treason is still a capital offense -- so much for the "murder only" approach to capital punishment.

--SCOTUS has no Constitutional grounds allowing them to usurp states' rights on this issue.

--For many liberals, there is no such thing as "life imprisonment." Sooner or later, the "he's suffered enough" mentality leads to parole in far too many cases.

--Child rapists thinking cogently about the difference between life imprisonment and death in the midst of a child rape is huge assumption on Tucker's part.

--The "emotional" aspect of a child being sexually violated cannot be easily dismissed.

--Executing such beasts is not an "indiscriminate" use of the death penalty.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Even if every other sentence Mr. Tucker has written in his article is 100% correct, The Supreme Court's decision to overturn a Louisiana statute imposing the death penalty for child rape should, indeed, cause quite a bit of conversation among conservatives.

Once again, the Supreme Court has ventured in to the territory of the people and their elected representatives and trumped the democratic will. All of the fine arguments Mr. Tucker makes are points to be considered by our elected representatives in crafting legislating. As Robert Bork pointed out, not every bad law is unconstitutional.

Unless one wants to make the case that counter-productivity falls within the penumbra of unusual, I'm afraid that Mr. Tucker has written an excellent argument while completely missing the point, and the Supreme Court has, once again, proclaimed itself to be a super-legislature.
-- Tim Falk
West Des Moines, Iowa

The best practical argument for the death penalty is this: Without it more criminals would kill the witnesses to their crimes. As bad as child rape is, it seems to me, we shouldn't give the rapists new incentive to become child killers.
-- JL
Lynden, Washington

SAFE, BUT HOW SAFE?
Re: Philip Klein's In Defense of George W. Bush:

Someone should remind Mr. Klein that it was 8 years between the first and final attacks on the World Trade Center. Terrorists are very patient people. All that Mr. Bush has done is to ensure that there will be another attack by fanning the flames of hatred every day in Afghanistan, Iraq and throughout the rest of the Middle East.
-- Pamela R. LaPier

If on the day after the next Inauguration a tragic terrorist attack on the US occurs does it follow that the new President has failed to protect the United States? Your argument for Bush is specious at best.
-- Thomas Hewitt

Bravo, Phillip Klein! Bravo!
-- Chris Scibelli
Los Angeles, California

ENVIRON-MENTALLY UNSOUND
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Tracing the Roots of Environmentalism:

Bertran has a spiritual heir (perhaps even his reincarnation) in the noted pacifist singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn. Though the latter's preferred tool is more technologically advanced and therefore more efficient, the blood-lustful sentiment is the same:

Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
Cry for Guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a bitch would die

-- Peter J. Lyden, III
Rumson, New Jersey

Now that Mr. Tyrrell has discovered the roots of these kooks out to destroy the environment in order to save it, perhaps he can embark on another quest. I would like to know the actual head count. In our country, world-wide, how many of them are there? How many of us are there? If we outnumber them, how come they seem to be making new rules daily for us to live by?

I am getting so sick of "going green." In a women's magazine I read recently that Jennifer Aniston has gotten her showering time down to three minutes and this includes brushing her teeth, while showering! Wow. My spiffy electric toothbrush has a timer device on it and it exceeds Jennifer's entire toilette. Moreover, being a born oral hygiene nut, I brush long past the signal to quit. I am going to write that magazine a letter and tell them to ask Jennifer is she has a swimming pool -- and if she knows what it takes to keep it at the fill line. Water evaporates, Jen. I used to watch my warm pool going up in steam in the cold night. Some of it is carried out on swimsuits. Maybe if you use the pool, you should require everyone to wring out their suits back into the pool after each use. Geez.

I view all this conservation about like when I was a child and being admonished to eat my squash because children were starving in China. It didn't make sense 75 years ago and it makes less sense now.

Until recently I was stumbling over recycle bins in the kitchen and in the garage. Finally I called our Scavenger Department and asked them if I cut out saving glass and plastic, in round numbers about how much "hard time" would I be looking at, because frankly, I don't have that much time left and besides, if I were in Stony Lonesome, someone else would be responsible for re-cycling. I explained to the Scavenger lady that before putting glass in the re-cycle bin, I wash and rinse and dry it. I have wasted water, detergent has gone into the sewer, I have used a tea towel that is going to have to be laundered and dried, all of which goes a long way to cancel the good of putting a spaghetti sauce jar in the bin. She asked me why I washed glass that was destined to be re-cycled. While I am not an environmentalist, I do not litter and I am fastidious about my garbage, that's why!

She told me I would not go to jail and so, with a great lightening of spirit and the assurance that the enviro-cops are not going to cuff me, I have freed up a little floor space in my kitchen.
-- Diane Smith

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s column omits an essential reality regarding radical environmentalism: it is not about the environment. It is all about self-anointed elites wishing to exert control -- via the courts, Congress, the U.N. and the media -- over the rest of us.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

GOT RELIGION?
Re: George Neumayr's Religiosity Without Religion:

Whatever Obama says, and means, it lasts only till he says something else on the matter. Like the next day.

Ever notice how Barack links his sentences? The spoken clauses are absolutely reversed! No one speaks this way. It must be "On high utterances" that cause these twists in speech patterns.

Really. It's time to stop calling Obama a flip-flopper. Rather, it ought to be called "The Obama Sly-Fox Trot." Left step forward, glide right, left step back. And pirouette!
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

STORMY GLOUCESTER
Re: Christopher Orlet's Gloucester's Shame:

Fortunately I had the foresight to leave the north shore of the Boston area over 40 years ago. The story is a perfect example as to how liberalism will ruin a society. And yet there are 40-45% of our country (who will vote for a full fledged Marxist/liberal) who just do not see that. Liberalism is the single greatest threat that we face. Wake up people!
-- Don

"You can't expect 40-somethings who have never grown up to behave like parents, can you?" No, Mr. Orlet, you certainly can't.

I've been making precisely this argument for a number of years now, as I've watched the seeds of self seeking neo-paganism that were sown in the '60s, my own first decade of life, and flower ever more abundantly in the present day. Today, rather than being around at home to model morality and instill discipline in their bereft kids, Mom and Dad instead are either out with their new "boyfriend" or "girlfriend", or at the tattoo parlor.

"Pathetic" hardly begins to describe it; no wonder the West is vulnerable to Islamofascism.
-- Francis M. Hannon, Jr.
Melrose, Massachusetts

According to Christopher Orlet, libertarianism is about "live and let live, as long as the government doesn't use my tax money to support any one's self-destructive lifestyle."

Is anyone naive enough to believe a three trillion dollar federal budget and nine trillion dollar federal debt isn't the essence of what Orlet ostensibly deplores?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Disney teen Queen 15-year-old Miley Cyrus makes the comment, she's"'Too Much' for boys to Handle," and previously participated in a sexually suggestive Vanity Fair photo shoot. Then 17 underage high school girls get pregnant in Gloucester MA on a lark. I thought to myself, "why society is tolerating such morally abhorrent behavior from its younger generation?"

Yesterday mass media's front pages screamed, "Hundreds nabbed in Child prostitution ring." I developed the conflicting feeling of, what is the difference?

Now before getting your boxers in a bunch over the above observation, the point that I am trying to make is, with an ever increasing liberal lifestyle that more and more Americans are participating in, the line of what is morally repugnant and what is accepted is being blurred.

The very same liberalism that allows middle school girls to walk out of the house looking like street walkers then thinks that the Miley Cyrus's Vanity Fair photo shoot was morally acceptable for a 15 year old girl because it was, "artsy" and will fight to the death to defend nurseries on high school campuses along with pregnancy tests from the school nurse, wants to take the moral high road with the FBI and child welfare advocates touting, "We have made our neighborhoods safer for our children."

As a healthy functioning society we cannot have it both ways. Yes, those that were busted in the child prostitution ring should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but so should the 16 teenage boys and the one homeless guy in Gloucester MA.
-- Melvin Leppla
Jacksonville, North Carolina

CLAWS OUT
Re: Peter Ferrara's Alley Cats of the Left:

Peter Ferrara calls Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman and entire left wing of the nation brown shirts and fascists. Ignoring for the moment the question whether Ms. Huffington is a leftist, one must question the historical appropriateness of equating the left with fascism when the real fascist movements murdered thousands upon thousands of leftists from Germany and Italy to Spain, Chile and Argentina. But then the point of ad hominem attacks like Mr. Ferrara's is not accuracy, but rather to avoid treating the opposition's argument with a dignified response by use of a form of character assassination. Of course, Ferrara sees this fault in Huffington, not in himself.

Like other many of today's conservatives, Ferrara engages in a Goebbel's technique of telling big enough lies and keep repeating in the hopes that people will come to believe it. Thus, he insists that there hasn't been any increase in the world's temperature despite multiple scientific studies that show that it has. (Just to name one: Hansen, J.E., and S. Lebedeff, 1987: Global trends of measured surface air temperature. J. Geophys. Res., 92, 13345-13372) It is appropriate to question how much of this global rise is due to human-caused activity; however, to reject a 0.3 to 0.6 degree centigrade rise as something that is insignificant demonstrates profound and willful ignorance.

Conservatives like Ferrara act as though opposition to the left constitutes adequate policies and programs. Conservatism should be more about a habit of mind than tenacity to ideology. It's legitimate to criticize the left for if it uses fears of global warming to push for unrelated policies or for hyping global warning by quoting worst-case models of anticipated temperature increases without due regard for the fallibility of predictive models. In contrast, it is not legitimate to deny or ignore scientific evidence as Ferrara has done. Refusal to grapple with serious problems like global warning will condemn conservatism to irrelevancy.
-- Michael Kramer
Salt Lake City, Utah

TO RUSH'S RESCUE
Re: Mike Dooley's letter (under "Don't Rush to Conclusions") in Reader Mail's Huffington Puffington:

If Mr. Dooley actually listens to Rush Limbaugh's program he would understand that Rush is in the entertainment business, not being a "love doctor!" Most of his talk about women is squarely tongue in cheek and not to be taken seriously, but it seems that Mr. Dooley has chosen to do so in order to have something bad to say about Rush. And as it was, Mr. Dooley showed us his fallen nature by taking an uncalled for shot at Mr. Limbaugh's personal life. What, pray tell, does Mr. Limbaugh's failed marriages have to do with whether you agree or disagree with his political viewpoints? Nothing, of course, but they are apparently fodder for people that disagree with Rush!

And Mr. Dooley were simply trying to defend Rush from unfair charges of racism, why didn't he just stick to that line of thought? All that was necessary to defend Limbaugh was to point out that his "Barack the Magic Negro" parody was a takeoff on the LA Times article, that the original article was much tougher on Obama than the parody, and that the parody was primarily aimed at Al Sharpton and his feelings of being pushed out of the limelight by Mr. Obama. See how simple that was, and how I never had to bring Rush's personal failings into the conversation? It seems to me that Mr. Dooley stated all of those disagreements with Mr. Limbaugh to do the exact thing he claims he wasn't doing; trying to prove to a liberal reader that he is consistent and fair.
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

Mike, given the number of unmarried adults in this country and the failure rate of first time marriages combined, the larger point I was making is that it takes two devoted people to make a successful relationship (married or not) and only one to wreck it. Given the stats on this, you are in the minority of those that can call marriage a smashing success in this society. It is not my mission statement to defend Rush. He's a big boy and does quite well with that 3-4 hours a day with 20,000,000 listeners a week.

A lesser point but still relevant is if you wish to defend Rush for something he said do so but what you did was to shoot the messenger for his "sins" as you see them and then defend a comment he has defended a dozen times on the radio himself. Conservatism is full of self-righteous people who have such high personal standards as to become their own group of one at times and lose sight of the larger picture. A good example of this is how WFB is viewed and revered by most Conservatives vs. Ann Coulter. As much as WFB was an intellectual giant, he never crossed the 50 yard line into enemy territory to change the hearts and minds of the average Democrat voter. He spoke and wrote way over the heads of most Democrat voters. Both Ann and Rush are in the trenches every day trying to reach average Democrats with a Conservative message. The average Democrat voter never heard of WFB other than having his name mentioned in some negative off handed way by the same Democrat propaganda machine that feeds them their daily dose of Liberal philosophy. You may not like Rush or Ann's style but I submit that between the two of them they express the principles of Conservatism to more people in a single day than all the current elected Conservatives do in a life time.

I took your offhand comments about Rush's marriages and his views on raising children the same way I take Liberals who tell me I have no right to comment on something because I haven't experienced it or that their way is the only correct way regardless of evidence to the contrary. We are all works in progress to some extent but I fail to see how shooting the No. 1 and No. 2 Conservative Messengers in the back with such comments adds value to the quest to get more people to make the right choice vs. the easy choice of Liberalism. You clearly have one woman figured out (or the other way around I suspect) and I'm happy for you. Bill Clinton still has a whole lot more women figured out based on his personal experiences and the number of women that voted for him vs. his opponents. Generalities always have a few holes in them.

If the Messenger must rise to the level of a Christ to have credibility then we are all lost with perhaps the exception of the new Christ child Barack Obama. A wonderful marriage, two beautiful children what else could a Conservative want in a Messenger of Hope and Change?
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

ALL APOLOGIES
Re: Jeremy Lott's reply to letters under "Whale Watchers" in Reader Mail's Huffington Puffington:

Reading Mr. Lott's reply to the reader comments, I must admit, I'm very embarrassed. It's not often that I totally miss the satire of a column, but I did in this case. Ms. Terrell, I apologize for my statements.

In my defense, there is a very large movement for people to move dogs and cats over to vegan diets. But I still should have known better.
-- Charles Campbell

NOW YOU KNOW HOW ROUSH FEELS
Re: Adrian S. Robert's letter (under "Arianna's Back Alleys") in Reader Mail's Huffington Puffington:

I regards to Adrian S. Robert's rantings about evil conservatives, I had to wonder how he speaks without breathing, because his brain is surely oxygen deprived. How exactly do conservatives swindle people out of all of the things you mentioned in your letter? You are typical of liberals in that you think that most of the public is too stupid to handle their own affairs and need government to watch out for the. 1st, there are no victims, only volunteers. If you can't handle your own money wisely, then how is that anybody's fault but yours? If you are working at a low paying job, educate yourself to get a better paying job. Why should an employer have to pay you more than you are worth, simply because you are not educated enough to get a better paying position? You are right about one thing: I don't care about single mothers. I didn't make them mothers or make them single. They either did it by plan, or made bad choices. Either way, how is it society's responsibility to take care of them? If you are out of work through no fault of your own, then I am all for lending a helping hand. I guess that I am one of those "less fortunate" conservatives, except for one thing. It has nothing to do with being fortunate or unfortunate. It has everything to do with how hard you are willing to work, your desire to get ahead. I make as much money as my ambition allows. It's up to nobody but me as it is for every other able bodied American. Get a life!
-- Greg Goff
Casper, Wyoming

I found it amusing to read the letter from the liberal who believes all conservatives are multi-millionaires. I am an Administrative Assistant who makes less than $40,000 a year and would not be a liberal for all the tea in China. Conservatives do not want governments looking over their shoulders because we are grown-up enough to run our own lives and keep what we earn through hard work. And, for that person's information, liberals are not averse to making money hand-over-fist. Ask George Soros.
-- Dolores Teus

Peter Ferrara in his "Alley Cats of the Left" states " ...[leftist activists] can't go more than three lines without falling into hysterical vituperation, or, in more colloquial terminology, fouled mouth name-calling." Reader Adrian Roberts dutifully confirms the Left's Pavlovian reactions with her description of conservatives as "satans [sic]" who "...swindle people out of their wages...," and "take food out of the mouths of children..." blah, blah, blah.

Perhaps Roberts will benefit from Prof. Arthur C. Brooks of Syracuse University and his book on charitable giving, "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism."

Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

The fact is that many liberals are generous with other people's money, but not their own.
-- Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Adrian Roberts's spittle-flecked letter left my jaw in my lap. I hardly know where to begin, but I will anyway. Roberts witlessly makes precisely the point that Ferrara argues - that to those on the left who prize feelings over facts, and knowing that their intentions are honorable, it therefore follows that anyone who disagrees must have intentions that are OTH. As Ferrara writes, "disagreements with their opponents never seem to involve a difference of opinion, or of philosophy, or of the effectiveness or justification of different policies. What their opponents believe and argue for is always a scandal."

Secondly, regarding Roberts's assertion that conservatives "have been tricked into thinking that these rich people actually care about them!" Sorry, Adrian, no one has been tricked into anything. The last thing I want is for government to care about me, to love me, to think about me at all. If I were approached on the street by someone who said, "You don't know me, but I and some others have been thinking about you, and we're making decisions on your behalf, because we care...," I would grab the nearest cop and have that person arrested for stalking.

Last, but not least offensive, is Roberts's almost unbelievable statement that "...rich people look for ways to pay poor people less and less money." Is that the way it works? That simply by virtue of the fact that one person has more than another, he "owes" that person? How dare he try to avoid the equitable redistribution of his wealth?
-- Pete Chase
San Diego, California

It appears that at least one of Arianna's minions has wandered off the reservation again. Adrian Roberts' angry letter denouncing all conservatives is a real piece of work. Is this guy an actual person or merely a caricature of the loony left? Did he come up with this tirade on his own or is it just a cut-and-paste montage of blather lifted from the blogs of others at places like the Huffington Post?

I especially marveled at the paragraph listing all the things conservatives don't care about. Who knew that Mr. Roberts' employment at an investment bank provided him the added of fringe benefit of unlimited discernment regarding the motivations of every conservative on the planet, even the ones he doesn't know?

One wonders though, if Mr. Roberts is so disgusted with the way all conservatives operate, how does he justify retaining his employment in that den of iniquity? A place that obviously enables these miscreants to profit from their evil practices is certainly no place for a man with his sense of moral superiority. Why isn't his outrage strong enough to make him quit his job in protest over their mistreatment of others?

Could it be that his lust for material possessions edges out his desire to right the wrongs he claims to see others commit? That is just a guess on my part, though. My job as an IT professional doesn't provide me with the insight required to peer into the hearts and minds of others to get at their motivations. I have to leave that to an omniscient God. But, Mr. Roberts is right about one thing. God will be the final judge of all our actions, including his speculations about the motives of others.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

WITHOUT MENTIONING ANY NAMES

"...it will be well for [the Prince] to seem and, actually, to be merciful, faithful, humane, frank, and religious. But he should preserve a disposition which will make a reversal of conduct possible in case the need arises...he must be disposed to change according as the winds of fortune...dictate."
-Niccolo Machiavelli
The Prince
Chapter 18, "In What Way Princes Should Keep Their Word"

Sounds kinda familiar, doesn't it?
-- Gretchen Chellson
Alexandria, Virginia

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