Reader Mail

SCOTUS Pocus

Remember the Gitmo. Obama the manager. In Nixonland I'll take my stand. Plus More.

6.16.08

Send to Kindle

FLAMING THE DECISION
Re: Larry Thornberry's Supreme Cowardice and John Tabin's Lord Kennedy:

The Supreme Court decision makes it clear that the U.S. should take no prisoners. It worked well in the South Pacific. Gosh, those flame throwers were wonderful weapons!!!
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

As if more proof were needed, the Fab Five have proved once again their utter disregard and contempt for the American peopke. It also serves to prove no good can come from placing an ACLU lawyer on the Supreme Court. As for questions on the bar exam, I think it obvious there is only one: "Do you despise America and Americans, particularly those in the military?" If the answer is yes, you qualify to practice law (or enter politics via the Democrat party). Make no mistake, this is not a case of maybe they don't understand the Constitution or the individual issues at stake, they hate America with a white-hot hate and all Americans who love their country.
-- Daryl Wright

This decision needs to be overturned by a Conservative Supreme Court, another reason to vote for McCain. There are only two others: his support of a winning strategy: the surge and his reformist, pork-busting disdain for earmarks.
-- Sandra Mendoza
Tiburon, California

Question from the unintended-consequence-department: Could it be that in the future the U.S. military will report higher enemy KIA counts offset by lower enemy POW counts? Wouldn't be a shocker. Rather, seems that it should be expected. Ya think? All that Boumediene v. Bush may do in the long run is make life tougher and death more certain for future al Qa'eda wannabes. But then, it's not about them, it's about SCOTUS power...
-- Dennis Sevakis
Bloomfield, Michigan

We are so screwed! The good thing about this is there will now be fewer, illegal enemy combatants, legal enemy combatants, or any other prisoners of war of any stripe. Killed in the fire-fight or shot while trying to escape will be the phrase of the day I suspect, as it should be. It will be very unfortunate that we will lose many an opportunity to extract valuable intelligence from some who might otherwise be captured. (Of course, playing loud Boy George music probably doesn't extract much anymore.) This decision impacts intelligence gathering as well because of the consequences these five idiots apparently cannot begin to see.
-- Roger Ross

The Supreme Court's recent Boumediene v. Bush decision is absurd, but the consequences might be disastrous for the left. Since the Bush Administration already has released most of the Gitmo prisoners, the remainder is the worst of the worst. It therefore is likely that the civilian courts will examine all the remaining Gitmo cases and find that there is sufficient evidence to continue to detain every single one of them, without exception. This experience might teach the public an unforgettable lesson that the left's accusations that Gitmo holds a multitude of innocent victims has been a hysterical fantasy.

Since the civilian courts will have to make up all their procedures as they wade into this uncharted legal territory, it is likely that the civilian courts will entangle themselves in continual and embarrassing procedural thickets. The experience might teach the public an unforgettable lesson that the military can handle such cases much more effectively and rationally than civilian courts can.
-- Mike Sylwester
South Hackensack, New Jersey

I agree. It's hard to imagine the Waffen SS captured in the Ardennes immediately being given defense attorneys and a trial date. It's also hard to picture FDR inviting the German-American Bund into the American fold as the current administration has done for the "Council on American-Islamic Relations".

Nor do I recall Nazism ever being termed a "religion of peace" by an American president. Failure to name the enemy and to declare total war on him has invited him to subvert the home front, and no one should claim surprise at the results.
-- Bob Danielson

Those who think SCOTUS made a proper decision regarding terrorist "rights" should ask themselves a question: if it had been made on Sept. 12, 2001 instead of June 12, 2008, would you still be applauding it?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

I totally agree with the 5-4 decision. If the so-called administration can't get their act together enough over 5, 6, 7 years these prisoners need to go free. Enough of that Texas-Wyoming BS. If these are such bad people, take them out, line 'em against that wall and shoot them. After all, they are in Cuba and the precedent was set back in '59.
-- Tom McGonnell
Alexandria, Virginia

It seems obvious to me that the driving force behind this Supreme Court decision is to increase lawyers' fees. If we release all these prisoners, lawyers will have no claims on the Treasury. I say this because the prisoners will all be released anyway, so let's avoid the legal fees.
-- Oldguy

Just think about it for a minute. That grunt crawling through that 140 degree sandbox, dodging fire and IED's, only able to dream about ice water, is fighting to give the guys trying to kill him the very same rights he has. Amazing.

If I were platoon leader, or company commander today, I would end all my briefings with three words. Take no prisoners.
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri
US Army 1966-1970

SCOTUS may have just given the Conservatives (yes, with a capital C) a reason to hold their noses and vote for McCain: the stink of Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, Kennedy, and Breyer's odious decision is a clear demonstration that the Court must be saved from the Left wing nuts. McCain is no friend to conservatives, but can the Right abrogate its responsibility and allow a President Obama to pick two or more Supremes? The medicine is indeed harsh, but it is better than dieing from gangrene.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Can there be any more doubt that the leftist/Marxists have cast aside any pretense that they see themselves as Americans? Can there be any doubt that they have made a deal with the devil? Emanations, penumbras, extraordinary circumstances....? God help us, and God help our children and grand children.

When I heard the news of this cowardly act of treason, that's right treason, being perpetrated on us, I had to pull off the road as my hands were shaking and I was blinded by a rage I haven't felt since 9/11/2001. Isn't it enough the filth in the world wants to bring us down and destroy our way of life? This is just further evidence that the left is either made up of the dumbest bastards on Earth or maybe something even more sinister. I've never been a conspiracy theorist but I must say it certainly appears to me that the dems/leftists/Marxists in this country (and beyond?) are working hand in glove to ensure that this nation born of freedom and liberty is socialized, marginalized, and brought to its knees.

Arm yourselves while you still can, educate and inform your children, friends, neighbors; everyone in your sphere of influence. Americans must find a way to turn back this treasonous bent.

God Bless America,
-- Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

John Tabin's "Lord Kennedy" captures the arrogance of our supreme lawyers in defying the clear intent of Congress on how detainees in the War on Terror are to be treated. Allow me to point out two things: First, "Swing voter Kennedy" would not be in charge of the U.S. government if swing voters had not put the Democrats in charge of the Senate. As usual, the Democrats pretend that all they can do is obey when the Supreme Court just happens to enact their agenda, so boldly that the Democrats could not vote for it and hang on to their seats. Kennedy and his four liberal justices knew they would and decided to strike now before the people can change their minds. Second, if this stands the so-called "so-called War on Terror" is over. Terror is again merely a criminal problem to be handled by police, closely supervised by lawyers, just like it was for eight years of the Clinton administration. Liberals have convinced themselves that the 9/11 attacks did not prove the failure of this approach. What could, one wonders?
-- D.M. Duggan

Once again the Supreme Court has decided that the writers of a law could not have intended the law to mean what the law said. They decided. Couldn't they just have asked the guys who wrote it just what they intended?
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

As the Supreme Court extends its control of American military/legal policy by decreeing that detainees at Gitmo have much of the same rights as American citizens, the cry goes up about the purely political nature of the decision. This problem was ostensibly solved by laws that were passed by the Congress to try to ensure that detainees could be tried without being in open court where military tactics or intelligence methods were open to public scrutiny. But the left wing of the Court has decided that what the Congress specifically set out to do with the legislation is not what they set out to do. Only in the bizarro-world that is American jurisprudence could this happen.

My question is, where is the Congress on this? Why are they not standing up and putting the Court in its place? We elect the members of Congress to enact laws, not the Supreme Court, so why are the representatives so willing to cede their constitutionally mandated powers to 5 unelected members of the SCOTUS? When are they going to crawl from under their desks and stand up for their right to have their legislation stand even if a slim majority of the Court doesn't like it? It is not the SCOTUS that are cowards, because they are willing to rewrite the Constitution from the bench in broad daylight. No, it is Congress who are the cowards for not invoking their constitutional powers to limit the scope and reach of the powers of the SCOTUS.
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

The Supreme Court has nullified the votes of the American electorate.

The Supreme Court has nullified and mandated the laws of Congress.

The Supreme Court has taken command of the military.

Incrementally, the Supreme Court has obviated the Executive and Legislative branches as well as the will of the American people as determined by popular elections at all levels.

Though America was designed to be a representative democracy, I doubt the Founding Fathers expected nine to represent 300 million.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

While Bumble was right, "The Law is an ass," we are forced to observe that "The Supreme Court is Five Asses."
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

NO ONE TO BLAME BUT HIMSELF
Re: David Weigel's Leaving Nixonland:

It was the ego of Richard Nixon that brought down Richard Nixon. He won 60.7 percent of the vote in 1972, just short of LBJ's record 61.1 percent in 1964. He blamed American Party candidate Congressman John Schmitz and his 1.5 percent of the vote for his not breaking the record because of the vote Schmitz won and Nixon's belief that Schmitz convinced an equal number of voters if they could not vote for him to at least not vote for Nixon. Nixon's ego was a symptom of the illness of Watergate.
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

MANAGERIAL STYLE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Tough Leadership:

Two observations:

It seems the right is always dismissive of community organizing. I expect this from the right. As defenders of the wealthy, they'd prefer the poor to remain that way, and disorganized to boot.

Second, the largest operation either McCain or Obama have managed lately is, of course, a presidential campaign. Obama's is better organized, better financed, more cohesive, more extensive, and more grassroots than McCain's. There's no doubt that, based on experience in the 21st century, Obama is the better manager.
-- Tom Davis

Tell me your article is in the opinion section of your newspaper, because it has no journalistic merit at all. It is simply your opinion. So for that, I get that you are obviously a Republican and a McCain Supporter. Which, by the Constitution, is your right: your own pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of obvious unhappiness.

What I actually found humorous in your op-ed piece is the comparison of Obama's experience to McCain's experience. The two men have a 25+ year age difference. Of course Obama and McCain's experience levels will be different. And to state that Obama's managerial experience only is limited to community organizing indicates you haven't just been asleep during the Democratic Primaries -- you've apparently been bored into a restless coma during a "get out the Republican vote McCain rally."

But, you aren't to be faulted for your obvious infatuation with budgets and jellybeans, so I'll help you rebuild your mental astuteness as you awaken from your blinding stupor, here's a truth lesson: Obama served as a Chicago Congressman for 12 years and now as a State Senator -- both required management skills -- while not with a "billion" dollar budget -- guess what -- they still count. And by the way -- you might want to take notes on this one -- he is currently managing a historic presidential campaign -- both in terms of management and (gasp) budget. In fact he's broken fundraising records by all accounts.

So, if becoming the president was solely based on how well you manage people and a budget -- Obama will win by a landslide.

And also if becoming the president was solely based on how well you manage people and a budget, Bush would certainly have proven himself to be fiscally responsible and we would not be sliding into a recession right now. After all, wasn't he a governor before he became president? Because everyone knows governors are the best presidents right? Wrong. The best presidents inspire a nation to grow, to get involved and to care about what happens in their world and the world around them.

This nation is getting left behind in the global community because of the thought that only someone who has "earned" the right to be at the table can be at the table. That's a superiority complex and mentality that has kept this nation divided by itself and isolated us from the world.

What McCain managed decades ago, he certainly deserves credit for, but what good is what he managed if it has only taught his campaign to steal -- excuse moi --"borrow" Obama's campaign lines and try to infuse them into his own campaign. Seriously, with all that experience, you would think the McCain team would have an original thought. Leading is not about experience -- it's about vision. We elected the first president of the United States of America because he had a vision and the guts to carry it out. I don't need experience if the vision remains what it currently is and I most certainly don't want someone with the guts to keep carrying forth this vision. Because it keeps us in the America we are today.

But, just so we're clear on the points of this lesson:
1. Obama does have managerial experience that extends far beyond being a Community Organizer.
2. Obama is a leader as evidenced by the number of new voters he has brought into the Democratic primary process as well as inspired to become involved in politics.
3. Experience does not equal effective leadership.
4. Leaders have a vision that inspires and sparks growth not recession.
5. Leaders lead, followers "borrow".

So, I hope this lesson was informative for you. I'm not worried about your thoughts on Obama. In another 25 years you'll be writing about the billion dollar budgets Obama has managed.

Personally, I like McCain -- it's just the people he keeps company with that makes me a little itchy.

Obama '08 -'16 -- love it!
-- T.C. Gunter

NOT SO FAST
Re: John Schneider's letter (under "Guzzlers") in Reader Mail's Expensive Thirst and Eric Peters's Hummer's Done:

John Schneider responded to the "Hummer's Done" article by referring to nice, clean refillable hydrogen fuel cells. He might be waiting for a while yet. Hydrogen is the most common element on the planet, but it isn't easily available. Hydrogen doesn't occur by itself; it can't be mined like coal or pumped like oil. Hydrogen is produced by electrolysis of water (a reverse fuel cell, in fact), a simple enough process provided that large amounts of cheap electricity are available. Given all the opposition to nuclear power, coal and petroleum fuels for electricity generation, large scale production of hydrogen on a scale sufficient to operate large numbers of cars with hydrogen fuel cells doesn't look likely in the near future, or any future for that matter. Add to this the problems with transporting and storing a highly combustible fuel - pictures of the airship 'Hindenburg' burning and crashing come easily to mind. A perfect incentive to say 'not in my backyard'. Since when has that incentive ever been rejected with prejudice?

I don't know what technology will replace internal combustion engines on a large scale, but I don't see fuel cells as being that technology. Back to the drawing board, guys!
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

This is pathetic, and it really didn't have to end this way. For decades the Japanese have made enormous investments in SUV hardware and sold them to third world countries. Wherever you go in Africa and South Asia you will find Toyota Land Cruisers, Mitsubishi Pajeros (our Montero) and Nissan Patrols (not sold in the U.S.). They don't have large V-8 engines. Many use a six cylinder turbo-diesel.

* If only the Big Three had taken the export market seriously,
* If only the Big Three would have invested in high torque diesel and turbo diesel engines (four and six cylinder, not eight),
* If only the Big Three could have built a vehicle with either left or right hand steering (if they didn't know how, they could have hired some retirees from Morris Garage).

Then perhaps they would be able to survive in this environment. In the last few years, Hummer and Jeep (under Chrysler) have attempted to play in this field, but it is "too little, too late." Hummer recently hit Kenya and hoped to establish a foothold with their five-cylinder gasoline model. That would now seem threatened. Welcome to the fuel prices that most of the rest of the world enjoys. Every day I see parking lots full of Japanese SUVs, in a country where fuel had been selling for US$1.00 / liter and is now climbing from there.
-- Craig A. Zimmerman
Nairobi, Kenya

I enjoyed the article "Hummer's Done," though the tone was a bit hyperbolic. It was a good bit of analysis. What pushed the piece over the top for me was this statement at its end: "[Toyota] has a fleet of highly successful small cars -- and is literally swimming in black ink."

Really? Toyota is literally swimming in black ink? If that's true then either you have buried the lead or you've got another, potentially bigger story left to write.

Despite the unfortunate current usage the word "literally" is not a superlative. It is correctly used to indicate that a statement that someone might think was meant figuratively, should, in fact, be taken at face value. In this case, I would guess that literally no one at Toyota swims in ink of any color. In fact, I suspect that the specific density of ink makes the act physically impossible.

While you may, understandably, feel that you have to complement your good reporting with vivid phrases in order to compete with the blogs and demagogues for readers, such amateurish use of the language undermines your credibility. Ultimately, that credibility is your best and longest-lived asset.
-- Thomas Minnick

MEN IN FULL
Re: Gary Hankin's Letter (under "Flawed McCain") in Reader Mail's Expensive Thirst:

Letter writer Gary Hankin says of the Republican leadership, "They have made a mess of our military, economy and standing in the world not to mention killing over 4,000 of our kids. You have sat too long for the good that you've done...GO I say in the name of God, GO!"

America has not had 4,000 of its "kids" killed in Iraq.

I watch The NewsHour on PBS every weekday and over the years, they have shown pictures of the fallen, along with each soldier's name, branch of service, age, and hometown. They call it "Our Honor Roll"

Every time they run this segment, I stop everything and respectfully take notice. And as the faces of the fallen flash by, I use my left hand to count the Marines. And with my right hand, I keep count of how many are thirty or older.

What I have found is that a significant number of the fallen are thirty and older (and according to figures from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which gathers the bulk of its data from the U.S. government, 30 percent were at least thirty-years-old).

Humans that are 30-year-olds and up are not "kids." They are adults. As are 18-year-olds. Nevertheless, regardless of their ages, all had the courage to lay down their lives for the sake of our freedoms, which ironically, includes Hankin's freedom to debate without courage of fact.
-- Mark A. Tarnowski
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article