Reader Mail

Pick Her

Might sting a bit, though. Libertarian aptitude. Tasty ironies. Plus more.

6.6.08

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DREAM TICKET MUSINGS
Re: Quin Hillyer's Thorns of a Dilemma:

Enjoyed the phrase "Second Fiddle to a Second Fiddle," but instead of running away screaming I had to laugh. Can you imagine D.C. crowded with Barry, Michelle, Hillary, Bill, Pelosi, Reid and a veto proof Democrat Congress? A laugh a minute, 24/7. TV pundits and gossip columnists would have four years of joy.

Let us further imagine the First Hundred Days of their administration. Now that's a briar patch.

Yep, old rabbit be laughing.
-- Nelson Ward
Cowles, New Mexico

Mr. Hillyer makes some very cogent points. Not only could, if he chose to, John McCain heavily stress the previous animosity between these two socialist icons, but McCain, or his staff, has challenged Obama to 12 question and answer sessions, rather than the standard useless "debates" organized by the drive by media. Obama has shown himself to be a master of the teleprompter; however, he is a train wreck when it comes to answering questions and thinking on his feet. This is normal for those who seek to be all things to all people. While McCain is not a dynamic speaker, he has the kind of experience at dealing with difficult questions that is born of a life of accomplishment and confrontation.

I read somewhere that Obama congratulated McCain and declared his respect for McCain's accomplishments even though McCain did not recognize Obama's. This statement is a real guffaw producer. Obama has distinguished himself as a "community organizer," that is, someone who helps others wring money from the government and extort more of it from local businesses. He has also managed to give the world a clinic on how to espouse opposing positions on any number of issues, the most important being whether or not Iran is a threat to our way of life. McCain is a poor choice for POTUS, but Obama is a prohibitive one. It's McCain hands down.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

By all accounts, conservatives would hail an Obama decision to include the Billary team on his e-ticket.

Which is why he won't do it -- even Obamassiah isn't stupid enough to commit political suicide. Can you imagine Bill being content playing "second to the second" for four, maybe eight years? Ain't gonna happen -- and the man from Illinois understands this.

Sure, they'll play the "dream ticket" game right up to the convention, with the media snuffling for morsels each day. Nothing makes an MSM journalist's day more than an ability to write a "dream ticket" article each day leading up to the event in Denver.

Smart politics.
-- Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Yorktown, Virginia

Three separate writers have produced three definitive pieces in today's edition to prove why beating the Democratic Party's nominee should be relatively easy. All wrote about what we in the heartland to know as arrogance, elitism, and full up stupidity regarding our nation's security. Yet, I wonder if McCain will be bright enough to use any of the ammunition handed him. He, while surely being a military hero, he seems loathe to aim and shoot verbal bullets as his opponents. Strangely enough, his temper is used quite freely about other things, but seems to go under the wraps when he plays in the playpen of the privileged ruling class.

I find much to be distressed about this election. As the mother of a Special Forces pilot, who returns to war shortly for his 8th time, I fear for the course of direction I see our nation taking. In fact, I fear it so much that I have sat here on the ranch fairly quiet, while trying to pray this through. Rush Limbaugh, esteemed political commentator, urges his listeners each day to not be afraid, he reminds us that America is still strong. I fail to see his optimism, as I see a wildly drunken former heavyweight reeling from side to side, spending wildly, hoping the next fight's result is better, and toppling finally to the ground.

But what do I know? I sit on a ranch in relative isolation. But as my Dad, who nears 89 says to me, "Well, gal, it is often not those in the arena who see the path of destruction coming, but those observing from far away, who take in small details that will spell out the end." I think he means something akin to folks who can't see the forest for the trees analogy. I know this, we are sowing the seeds of our own destruction and it won't be any Presidential candidate that we can depend on this election cycle. And while Rush Limbaugh believes that in failure we will have time to rebuild conservative values from the bottom up with another Reagan-esque styled person, I don't see that on America's horizon. I see only that we are a sinking ship.

Still, I awaken each morning and while I ask God to bless America and to return us to the roots on which we established this fine nation, I pray more for America to bless God.
-- Bev Gunn
Texas

HILLARY DOESN'T FIT THE BILL
Re: G. Tracy Mehan III's Just Say No to Billary:

What worries me is that we may have another national shrine, the Naval Observatory, sullied by having Bill Clinton in residence. The quickie du jour (or l' heure?) -- -well, ask the Oval Office valet who tidied up after Monica's visits...

Can we get some kind of grant money to have everything Scotch-Guarded before he gets in there and starts marking his territory?

What kind of voting bloc would enable a congenital liar (Bill Safire's description) and her cuckolding husband to return to the (approximate) scene of their crimes? Four years of our tax money supporting two millionaires, as they ransack yet another official residence. This time, we would do well to have an inventory prior to occupancy with the stipulation that all broken lamps, figurines and crockery will be replaced at the VP's expense.

Meanwhile, Obama would do well to decline any picnic invitations to Ft. Marcy Park.
-- D. Smith

I find myself hoping that the Clintons WILL be the VP choice for Obama.

I believe that will provide considerable fodder for Mr. McCain (if can embolden himself to use it) and ensure his Presidency. I am not sure he understands sufficiently the venom with which he will be lambasted by the radical leftists supporting Mr. Obama. Because of that failure I think Mr. McCain will be defeated easily.

I think therefore think that Mr. Obama will be elected. Having been elected he will immediately embark on turning this country into France. A fully democrat Congress will kneel at his feet in obeisance and quickly enact whatever socialist, collectivist lunacy he proposes. And make no mistake about it, the change he seeks will change the fundamental character of this nation from one of bold and sweeping undertakings, to a timid mommy state where religion is eschewed, freedoms are curtailed and morals will be situational. Taxes will double and guns will be confiscated.

However, if the Clintons are vice Presidents, Mr. Obama will not have to worry about "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", but just plain old slings and arrows. His back will be as porous as a colander. Fighting on two fronts always presents the possibility of total defeat.

Let us pray that the Clintons are able to prey on Mr. Obama.
-- Jay Molyneaux
North Carolina

FALSE OPTIMISM
Re: Philip Klein's Obama's Romney Problem:

"Obama has never had to run a general election campaign against a viable Republican in which his liberal views underwent scrutiny." Hasn't? This past perfect tense thus implies that this lack of scrutiny is over. Oh, Mr. Klein, you optimist. Yes, TAS will continue to take the junior senator from the great state of Illinois to task, and Fox may pipe up now and again, but "scrutiny" from the mainstream media?

Further, remember Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty, along with its related observer effect: the act of being observed changes the behavior of what is being observed. While Obama is not quite as slick as the Boy President (or as slick as he thinks he is), Obama has been able to charm, beguile, mesmerize, and con the American public for the last five months. He only has to do so for the next five to become the next POTUS. Scary.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Mr. Klein poses an interesting thesis in his article. Now that the nominating process is over, both candidates will be forced to move to the center to attract independents and crossovers from the opposing party and hold some of the less ideological members of their respective parties.

In the list of Obama's policy changes outlined by Mr. Klein, I don't see anything that is likely to alienate his supporters. Will these changes ignite opposition to him among independents? Maybe, but I seriously doubt it. I don't think the majority of Americans make their political decisions by parsing candidates' policy positions at the level Mr. Klein described. I think Senator Obama's real problems are convincing people that he has the experience to be president and overcoming the racism that still exists in this country.

On the other hand, Mr. McCain's main problem is convincing independents that he too is independent and the candidate of change in spite of his 95 percent record of voting with the Bush administration. While the other 5 percent enrages some people, how many Americans could name the issues on which Senator McCain displayed his independence from the GOP? Maybe immigration.

I listened to Senator McCain's speech in Tenner, Louisiana. Eighty percent of what he said could have been delivered by a Democrat without a trace of irony. Seems to me that Senator McCain is moving perilously close to a position where Senator Obama could look at him and deliver the line that sank Romney's candidacy. At any rate, the real story of this election may be the impact of Bob Barr in Georgia and North Carolina. Nobody who follows politics will forget Ralph Nader's role in the 2000 election.
-- Mike Roush

To Knowbama is to Nobama.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

NO HOLDS BARRED
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Laughing Last:

The Libertarian laughter seems to be misplaced. Bob Barr's candidacy seems to be counting on angry Conservatives making a protest vote against McCain and the Republican Party. However, it is these Conservatives who will be the most unhappy at the mistakes and the mess that a President Obama brings this country.

I am a Conservative who believes in a smaller, more effective, less intrusive government. I do not have strong views on abortion or gay marriage, but I oppose the creation of new rights by the judiciary and so I have sided with social Conservatives on these issues. However, if angry Conservatives throw this election to Obama, then I will never give them my support on these issues again. It is possible that two or three liberal justices may retire from the Supreme Court in the next several years...if we allow a President Obama to fill these vacancies, it may be 30 years before we have another chance to get a true conservative majority on the court.

So, vote for Barr at your own peril. All you will do is give us a President Obama. Then don't complain to me. I will be rooting for the other side on the issues that you care about the most.
-- Hugh Greentree
Columbus, Ohio

Those "conservatives" thinking of taking out their petty, yes, petty, frustration at the thought of voting for their party's nominee, Mr. McCain, and instead voting for the libertarian alternative, Mr. Barr (aka Ross Perot), might take a moment to read Thomas Sowell's most current column regarding the difference between Mr. McCain and the nut Obama. Get your heads screwed on right and see things for what they are...conservatives are the only people who think voting is a game. Democrats and liberals do not. If you want four years of total disaster and the reversing of the progress brought about by Reagan and those Republicans that came after, then please, indulge yourself with voting for Barr. But if you live in the real world you'll shut your complaining, whiny mouth and do the right thing. Support and vote...for McCain.
-- Steve Heafey
Alamo, California

Senator McCain's namesake, Robert, is right on about Bob Barr. The former U.S. Attorney for Northern Georgia, four-term Congressman and Impeachment Manager against Bill Clinton has engaged Russ Varney, a veteran of third party campaigns, who says he will raise forty million dollars. That is enough to put out a message that will draw disgruntled Conservatives' protest votes against McCain and Ron Paul followers' votes. As Barr suggests, the winner of the election in November could garner only a plurality rather than a majority of the vote in a three way contest. McCain's vote, undercut by Barr and Obama's vote, undermined by whites and Hispanics who feel threatened, could make the three-way race difficult to predict. The race for the presidency could hinge on which candidate, Obama or McCain, loses the most votes to protest and indifference.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

If Bob Barr gets his way, the only people laughing in November will be Democrats who will have taken control of the White House, Congress, and ultimately the Supreme Court. What real conservative would want that?

In two years the Democrat party in Congress has undercut a booming economy (during the GOP Congress the economy was growing at 3 percent to 5 percent annually) and encouraged Islamic terrorists to hope that the days of Jimmy Carter's weak and anti-Semitic administration will be reborn.

Thanks to the ongoing conservative crack-up ("thanks," Rush), John McCain is the GOP's nominee. A nominee who has embraced President Bush's tax cuts (the one thing saving the economy), wants to fight terrorism, is sympathetic to social conservatives and is likely to pick a conservative Veep who will fill his shoes at the end of his one term. John McCain may not be the ideal candidate for conservatives, but he's better than Barr (another Jim Webb) or Barack "Jimmy Carter" Obama.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

TASTY IRONIES
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s All is Vanity:

Some ironies are just too delicious -- as in the legacy-obsessed Clintons having their legacy undone, not by a "vast right-wing conspiracy," but by the liberal media toadies who built it. How could such a thing happen to the "first black president" and the "smartest woman in the world?"
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

While a scatological vocabulary on a on a former President of the Untied States is about as attractive as bird droppings on a Ferrari, you have to give the devil his due. If anyone knows about "scumbags," it is good 'ol Billy Boy Clinton.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

STILL YELLA
Re: Mike Roush's letter (under "YELLA") in Reader Mail's Cap-and-Tirade:

Roush in a Harlem restaurant?

Poor Mike, feeling unwanted...?

There was a time when, as a high school senior, I'd head into Manhattan, take the "A" Train up to 116th and start walking... to Minton's Playhouse.

Those Harlem residents, sitting on their front stoops, knew where this blonde kid was going; probably the only white face in several city blocks... never did I feel a moment's worth of anxiety or worry. But that was in another era, before the Jesse Jackson's, Al Sharpton's, and other race-pimps stirring the pot of dissatisfaction and Terminal Angst.

No, I bopped on down to Minton's to listen to Bird, Tony Scott, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke; watch Baby Robinson dance, and experience a new (at that time) singer, who kinda took me under-her-wing and tried to get me to enjoy Soul Food. Neat lady, Carmen McRae!

And, while I'm sorry that Mike Roush was not greeted with the genuine joy, smiles and happiness I used to experience, I guess you can attribute that to the way times change. It was another era. And Rodney King had never even uttered the phrase, "can't we just get along?" Hell, he hadn't been born yet, that was 55 years ago.

One final point, if I may. My family rented an apartment; most of our black neighbors down the street owned their homes.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I'll briefly lament the fact that creeps like "the reverend" Wright and "father" Pfleger spew their hatred -- how the times have changed!

Never did get to appreciate that Soul Food, but I'll never forget that wonderful lady, her voice, her style, and her smile.
-- Geoff

SMUGLY BETTY
Re: Betty Joebe's letter (under "NOT FOR HILLARY") in Reader Mail's Cap-and-Tirade and Daniel Allott's The Audacity of Death:

As evidenced by her screed against Daniel Allott's "The Audacity of Death," Ms. Betty Joebe might be startled to learn the well-documented fact that a number of the founders of the American Birth Control League, forbearer of Planned Parenthood -- the General Motors of the baby-killing industry today -- were avowed racists, and viewed their dirty business as an antidote against the proliferation of nonwhites.

Ms. Joebe's irrational outrage against Mr. Allott is mere railing against the messenger; it is Barack Obama's disgraceful legislative track record against America's most defenseless which deserves the condemnation. Like it or not, and the Senator's pronouncements to the contrary, any informed adult with views of the unborn such as his in effect is a pagan, and highly unsuited for this country's highest office for that reason alone, not Constitutionally, of course, but prudentially, for certain.
-- Francis M. Hannon, Jr.
Melrose, Massachusetts

It never ceases to amaze me the anger and vitriol that flows from the left wing of American political thought! Just take Betty Joebe's letter in response to an article here at TAS that simply points out how radical Barack Obama has been on the issue of abortion. Instead of taking issue with anything written in the piece, Sweet Betty decides that any opposition to Obama is based on his race, and on the writer's inherent bias against all blacks...as if Obama is representative of every black person in America.

Well guess what Betty, I am black, and Barack Obama does not represent me or my beliefs on this issue. Personally, I view abortion as an abomination against God Himself, right on par with murder. In the legal sense, I believe that abortion and the rules regarding availability of the procedure are rightly left to the state. And since Obama seems to have no qualms about the killing of unborn babies, even going so far as to see unplanned children as "punishment", I stand foursquare against him on this issue and many others. Does that mean that I am a racist as well?

Why, dear Betty do you even read TAS and expect to see anything other than what you see? This is a forum that leans to the conservative/libertarian point of view, so there is not going to be a whole lot of Obama worship here, and you should probably know that coming in. So why get so worked up when the writers and readers here are not down on their knees worshiping at the feet of the Democratic Party "messiah"? If you want that type of coverage try CBS, ABC, or MSNBC where one host famously gets "a tingle" up his leg when Obama speaks, or gets "giggles" when Obama wrapped up the nomination.

But whatever you do, please refrain from coming here and trying to invade this conservative corner of the web with your bitter recriminations. Stuff like that is why God invented the DailyKos!
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

Gracious me, Betty. Did we read the same column? Because I see none of the racist garbage you attribute to Mr. Allott. Was there a single word or thought in your "letter" rebutting his comments, or was your entire purpose the vilification of anyone who doesn't hold Obama in quite the messianic esteem you seem to do? But that is apparent on its face: "you are a bunch of ignorant very unintelligent beings who are a disgrace..."

Grammar was difficult for you, wasn't it? Go back to the Huffington Post, where that sort of thing passes for thoughtful commentary.
-- Steve J
Seattle, Washington

I am quite disturbed by the half-researched article written by Daniel Allott. Though I am not a great Obama fan and should be rejoicing that someone is writing things that will aide in his not getting elected, I think the writer should be more responsible in selecting what he writes and how he presents it!

The title itself, "The Audacity of Death," labels Obama a killer. Has the author tried to understand why Obama takes this abortion stance? I for one am pro-life, but respect Obama's position based on the fact that he states that banning abortion will not stop it and will cause harm to many women. It may not be a stance I agree with, but it's a respectable choice.

Pro-life doesn't just relate to the unborn child -- it also covers the living!!

Obama supports gun control (I should imagine this will save lives!), opposes the Iraq invasion (how many lives would have been saved but for this?), mandatory health care for all children (how many children have died due to lack of money for required health care?).

Where is McCain in this equation? He supports the death penalty and 'no gun control'. Pro-life? I doubt it.

I think Daniel Allott should stick to writing about finding solutions to decreasing the need for people to have abortions, safe sex practices, monogamy, better health care for all, solidifying marriage, child care...etc. for those are AMERICAN values!
-- Adele Dubois

NOT A FEATHER IN YOUR CAP
Re: Willam Tucker's A Qualified "Yes" To Cap-and-Trade:

I agree that nuclear power is certainly going to help immensely with our energy needs Al Gore's mythology is simply a power grabbing hoax. Carbon footprints are about as real unicorn footprints. This new bill before the senate would be a disaster and give over sovereignty to the UN. The answer is a paradigm shift in technology. Do you remember the fuel injector? I'm actually old enough to remember the Volkswagen Rabbit circa 1975 -- 52 miles to the gallon while wearing your Jimmy Carter sweater (I still have mine). The Hydrogen Highway will give us a fuel that will propel our cars and the only by product is drinkable H2O. Even the greenies gotta love (probably begrudgingly) this technology. Americans have always figured out a solution when needed. The Manhattan project, Microsoft and even Home Depot. We will rid ourselves of the dreaded oil addiction if we have a mind to and if the liberals don't impede us with those pesky taxes and regulations
-- Ralph Cavolo

I read Mr. Tucker's article concerning the Cap and Trade legislation with interest. It never ceases to amaze me how little thought seems to go into what people say or write. This legislation is not only bad, it is potentially disastrous.

First, CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a naturally existing component of our atmosphere which is given off by virtually every living organism on the planet. In addition, it is a necessary nutrient for most plant life. And, if that were not enough, the planet, through volcanic activity and naturally occurring fires, produces many times more CO2 every year than does man-made enterprise. It is not bad for the planet.

Second, man-made global warming is a theory that has been largely debunked by the scientific community. As much as it may offend our sense of self-worth, we just do not have that big an impact upon global systems. And this legislation would have little or no impact upon global warming if it did exist.

Now to the important points of Mr. Tucker's argument. This country does not need another tax. We do not need further environmental regulations. In fact, we are strangling ourselves with the regulations that we have.

Mr. Tucker mentions acid rain. This was a specific problem which was largely confined to the Great Lakes area and parts of the Northeast, both heavily industrialized areas that used high sulfur content coal. The legislation did reduce the amount of sulfur in the air and acid rain largely disappeared within a very few years; along with most of the manufacturing plants that caused it. That's right, most of the heavy manufacturing industry in the Great Lakes region and the Northeast left. Not necessarily due to the imposition of sulfur reducing regulations, but they left nonetheless. Thereby assisting in reducing the amount of sulfur produced and its attendant acid rain.

Now on to another myth; the reasons for our dependence upon foreign oil. Initially, oil companies reduced domestic production in favor of imports for purely economic reasons. It was less expensive. The oil refiners could buy foreign oil cheaper than they could drill, pump and transport domestic oil and the imports were of a higher quality. Exploration and drilling continued, domestically, largely because of tax credits and subsidies for exploration and non-producing wells. Then, in the late 70's, the hippy-dippy, feel-good, Garden of Eden environmental movement sprang up. Save the earth, save the trees, save the snail darter; all were feel-good campaigns that led legislators to pass regulations that went on to cripple the economic expansion of this nation by limiting [or making it outright impossible] for the expansion of our domestic energy supplies. Now, oil companies can not drill for oil in the most productive regions of North America and refinery development is nearly impossible. Coal, which is cheap and plentiful can not be used effectively and large deposits of it are now safely ensconced in a wildlife conservation area, courtesy of Bill Clinton. Nuclear power development has been effectively shut down for thirty years. All because misguided do-gooders want to feel good about themselves. We are strangling ourselves. As energy costs skyrocket and people can no longer heat their homes in winter, or drive their cars, or afford food; as energy rationing begins and expands and as investment capital is diverted to the necessities of life, the welfare of the spotted owl will not be so important to the man on the street. Environmental groups are on the way out. If things continue, a Greenpeace t-shirt could get you lynched in some areas.

Now, a word about taxes. There are no good taxes. All taxes are bad. Most are not even necessary. And, most importantly, they do not go away. I am still paying a tax, every month in my telephone bill, to pay for the Spanish-American War. Remember this: all taxes are BAD. The taxes and fees in this abomination are beyond bad, they are disastrous. They will stimulate nothing but the evacuation of American business outside the borders of this country. And just why do the citizens of this nation need to hand over another 4 TRILLION dollars to the federal government.

Finally, one last thing to consider. No matter what this nation does, we are still at least FIVE to TEN Years away from any true energy independence. It will take that long to build the nuclear power stations, build the refineries, dig the coal, and pump the oil that we need. In that time, the burden on the average citizen will grow. Energy will cost more, food will cost more, manufactured goods will cost more, jobs will decline, savings and investment will dwindle and another recession will be in full swing. This does not take into consideration what certain external groups and nations will do as this country drops into a malaise.

No, there is no silver lining to the Cap and Trade legislation, unless you wish to see this country destroyed.
-- Michael Tobias

DAGNY...TAKE A ROPE AND HANG ME
Re: Ira M. Kessel's letter (under "Well Connected") in Reader Mail's Cap-and-Tirade:

Ira Kessel often has intriguing things to say, but he is guilty of the most absurd comparison I have ever seen in Reader Mail (including the unintentionally hilarious work of left-wing correspondents), which is quite an anti-accomplishment! "...she (that would be Hillary) behaves like a pure egoist...Dagny Taggar (sic) incarnate..."

What?

I guess Ira missed most of the 1,086 pages of Atlas Shrugged. Ira, in these days of moronic politics, AS is definitely worth a real read!

In Ayn Rand's philosophy, an egoist is one who lives by and through his or her own efforts, not one who loots from the efforts of others. An egoist is a free trader of values, not a political hack (that would be Wesley Mouch, a much better comparison for Hillary, or Mr. Thompson, who is somewhat like John McCain although without the war hero aspect). Hillary Clinton is your typical altruist, masking through fairy tale platitudes her desire for the looting and eventual destruction of that (and those) she does not understand and cannot control.

Dagny Taggart ran a private railroad, attempting to avoid government interventions, whether such interventions were supposed to be in her company's interests or otherwise. She pioneered the use of Reardon Metal, the subject of pseudo-scientific scare opposition. She discovered an abandoned motor that had run on a new energy platform, and sought out the inventor to joint venture the development of this new idea. Does any of this sound like Hillary Clinton?

Please, Ira, leave the libeling of Ayn Rand's ideas and characters to the left. Their misunderstandings are usually funnier.
-- Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri

BETTER THINK TWICE
Re: Craig Sarver's letter (under "LEFT OUT") in Reader Mail's Cap-and-Tirade:

Mr. Sarver needs to reacquaint himself with the provisions of the Patriot Act which give the President the power to incarcerate American citizens indefinitely without warrant. By provision of the Patriot Act all the President has to do is declare them to be an enemy combatant, the definition of which is entirely up to the President. In fact that has already happened. Jose Padilla, an American citizen was declared an enemy combatant by President Bush, was put into a military prison with indefinite duration and with no right to a trial in civilian courts. Padilla was not a nice person and I'm not upset about his treatment, except that it is an example that establishes exactly what I said can happen: the Patriot Act has given the President of the United States the right to incarcerate an American citizen indefinitely without trial. Maybe the President can be trusted to use this power against truly evil people, or maybe he can't. The point is that the Constitution was written precisely because such trust is not possible with the human occupants of the Presidency.

I am liberal, but I used to believe that conservatives, even though I disagree with them, could at least be trusted to defend the Constitution. As far as I'm concerned the Constitution is what makes the United States the giant among nations. So I am dismayed by the both the ignorance of Mr. Sarver about the provisions of the Patriot Act, and by how conservatives in general have caved into the authoritarian demands of the Bush Administration. There are dictators from the Left and from the Right, and we must be vigilant to protect our freedom and liberty from either direction. But I am seriously disappointed by the eagerness of the right to accept the Patriot Act and other declarations of President Bush that subvert the Constitution and degrade our liberties and freedom. The excuse from the right is the threat of terrorism, but whatever happened to "give me liberty or give me death"? I myself was in the North Tower on 9/11. I experienced the gravest terrorist threat we've experienced on our soil. But even that doesn't make me want to give up my sacred liberty. To me surrendering our liberty to the government is cowardice. What has happened to conservatives? What has happened to their huevos? What has happened that they're so ready to give up their liberty, to let the government spy on them, to give it unlimited power to throw them in jails at its whim?

I now believe that the only people with huevos are liberals who are defending their liberty and the Constitution and aren't afraid of the terrorists. The terrorists don't have an army like the Germans did. They can't occupy territory. All they can do is terrorize. And that's nothing. So why are conservatives so afraid of them that they're willing to give up fundamental liberties given us by the Constitution? Why are they so willing to put whole sections of the Constitution down the shredder? I can only conclude that they are afraid; they are wusses unable to confront the terrorists like men.
-- Ron Schoenberg
Seattle, Washington

CRONE ALONE
Re: The letters under "Cronette Chronicles" in Reader Mail's Cap-and-Tirade:

Nicole Hollander, creator of the comic, "Sylvia," had a great discussion on the word crone a few years back. She came up with the definition, as voiced by Harry the bartender, of "crone- tribal wise woman, often quite attractive." I'll take it.
-- Diane of the big lakes

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