Reader Mail

Cap-and-Tirade

Carbon costs recalculated. Budget balancing act. Obama without hope. North to Alaska. Plus much more.

6.5.08

Send to Kindle

COAL COUNTRY
Re: Willam Tucker's A Qualified "Yes" To Cap-and-Trade:

Let me see if I understand. Mr. Tucker is actually proposing, I assume with a straight face, that the federal government (he is talking about the group we have in Washington now, plus the legions of additional Democrats that are going to be sent there in November, right?) place a tax on carbon emissions, then "return" the money to us sheep? I would like to know what Mr. Tucker has been smoking and/or imbibing. Never in the history of our republic has anything like that ever occurred and it isn't going to in the future, either.

The likelihood of anything like that happening is about the same as that John McLame will appoint conservative, constructionist justices to the Supreme Court, should he be elected.

Mr. Tucker actually believes that a $4 trillion drain in the national economy will not be a problem? I would be fascinated to learn what he thinks would be.
-- Keith Kunzler

Lieberman-Warner is a crucible, though not just one about the environment. It is a consumption tax, since businesses will pass on their carbon costs. Our income tax system has damaged our economy and political culture long enough...so long that we think that just cutting it defines victory. But we need to tax what we want less of, not more of. And if we need to redistribute, let it be on the grounds of consumption, not productivity. If we demand tax neutrality as the price for Warner-Lieberman, maybe we have the step forward a national sales tax cannot achieve. And not because global warming will be impacted, if it exists at all.

Hard as it is for rational and mature citizens to concede anything to Al Gore and his acolytes, we need a consumption tax to replace the income tax...and undoubtedly Congress will turn the special terms of carbon trading and caps into a mountain of pork. But the income tax code already is that, and more -- if the "progressives" are so emotional and passionate about global warming, then maybe that emotion gets them to accept trade off of income tax elimination for a carbon consumption tax system. The progressives' passion for their carbon-use moral crusade should be played like getting extra points over the spread in a bet with a team fanatic. Tax neutrality or nothing. It might just be how John McCain sees it. Or can be made to see it.
-- Christopher Roberts

I remember when the NIMBY -- not in my backyard -- syndrome appeared. I remember its morphing into the NIABY -- no in anyone's backyard -- syndrome. And for the past few years, I believe we in the United States and elsewhere may've moved into the NIABYE -- not in anyone's backyard, ever -- era.

So can nuclear work? I hope so, but I wonder when?

As for how much we're spending on foreign oil, perhaps we could've lessened some of that burden -- perhaps significantly? -- if at least four things had occurred in recent decades; say, since the late 1960s or early 1970s.

First, Congress would've set aside its ever-growing, destructive partisanship and that body, working with presidents, had actually done something for ALL Americans, in the form of some cohesive and workable multi-faceted energy policy, rather than allowing us to become enslaved.

Second, the NIMBYists and NIABYists and their opposition to any exploration of reserves and then building of new domestic refineries or expansion of the nuclear industry -- as well as a certain political party's decade's-long attention to these special interests and the other political party's lack of spine -- might've actually had created ways for at least informed consent -- not consensus, which is an illusion -- on what needed to occur and when for our society.

Third, the regulatory frameworks hadn't become so unwieldy and the relationships between industry, regulators and so-called environmentalists hadn't deteriorated into ones filled with animosity and mistrust by all parties.

Fourth, we the people would've taken to heart that we are the government and that we needed to stand for ourselves by demanding vocally, demonstrably and at the ballot box that the first, second and third things occurred.

There's no set of clean hands in all this.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

The Lieberman-Warner Act is aimed at CO2, not specifically coal.

Now first, CO2 is not a pollutant no matter what black robed judges or tree huggers say. CO2 does not and never has antedated temperature changes. Temperatures have fallen or flat-lined since 1998, yet CO2 concentrations have risen by as much as 5%. Al Gore and the UN's theory of a positive CO2 feedback runaway loop is proven false.

To spend literally trillions of dollars to redistribute wealth and create a command-and-control economy only to reduce the earth's temperature by about 0.003055225 °C by the year 2050 or so is just not worth it.
-- Tom Wasney

NOT FOR HILLARY
Re: Daniel Allott's The Audacity of Death:

Your whole column just stinks and reeks of your hatred of Mr. Obama. Or is it jealousy or hatred of blacks? You sound just like what you are accusing Obama of. You are trying to put words in the man's mouth about what he should or should not say or do. Who in the hell are you? I will tell you. You are a bunch of ignorant very unintelligent beings who are a disgrace to the human race. Go crawl back under the rock from whence you came. Good riddance.
-- Betty Joebe

Obama's woeful inexperience, obvious corruption and lockstep votes that bow to the far-left Pelosi/Reid agenda should make him a laughing stock.

However, his Himmler-like devotion to the Abortion Party's murder of children has made him a monster.

Obama will never be my President, no matter how many morally and intellectually bankrupt "Americans" cast their vote for him this fall.
-- Brian Schafer
Arlington, Virginia

COBBLERS
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Modern History Lessons:

As they are wont to say on the floors of Congress, I would like to associate myself with Ms. Fabrizio's excellent remarks. I do not necessarily refer to the "facts" of the life of the Indian maiden fair. I am referring to the inanity that attempts to pass itself off as sports talk and analysis today. There are good reasons why the various Halls of Fame require players and coaches to be out of the game for five years before being eligible to be voted on. I am tempted to say that as many as half of the enshrinees into the Halls of Fame should be expunged there from. But then, we are talking about "fame" not skill level, although many confuse the two.

Lisa, I am afraid that the ex-jocks these days seem to think that all history in their sport started when they arrived on the major league level. Also, much as I hate to say it, race does come into account in the analysis. To cite an example, Jim Brown was among the top five greatest football running backs of all time. Donovan McNabb is NOT among the greatest quarterbacks of all time, yet both of them are constantly being cited for their greatness. Barry Sanders is another example. How many championships did he help his team win? Not near as many as Jim Brown. But you see, Jim Brown wasn't electrifying, as a runner. He just got the job done at a near phenomenal level.

I grew up in Washington D.C. My grandfather used to talk of going to the ball park and watching Walter Johnson pitch. I had an older second cousin that grew up in the home for problem kids in Baltimore and was a childhood friend there with Babe Ruth, back when he was George Ruth. There are some modern day ex-players that were truly greats, Joe Morgan is NOT one of them, close but not quite. Now Ozzie Smith of the Cards was an absolute magician at shortstop. I am sick of hearing the idjits on TV speculate as to whether Tony Romo will go the Hall of Fame. He hasn't even started three seasons yet. Brett Favre, maybe, Tony Romo, you got to be kidding. AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH

You go, Lisa. Talk some sense into them.
-- Ken Shreve

Today's muscle bound baseball dinks couldn't carry Ty Cobb's jock strap. His list of accomplishments far and away surpasses anything these pampered ignoramuses could ever achieve, steroids or not.

Cobb was born in Georgia in 1886. To say he was a "racist" is like saying the sky is blue. Unfortunately, the nuances of American history, not to mention baseball history, are lost on those who play left field with only the barest minimum of public education.

What a shame. If baseball were played today like it was played by Cobb, Shoeless Joe, Tris Speaker, Christy Mathewson and other greats of the Dead Ball Era, you would not be able to keep the crowds away. As Cobb stated, "Baseball is a red blooded sport for red-blooded men. It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest."

In comparison with the mollycoddles today, Cobb has "...beat the bastards and left them in the ditch."
-- Susie Q
Graceland East

I will always be grateful for the assistance I received from the Ty Cobb Foundation for my three years in law school. I was married, had two boys under the age of 4, and worked as an engineer 25 hours per week to fund living expenses while going to law school full time. I have been practicing since 1983 in the field of intellectual property. I wrote the Foundation several years ago thanking them again for supporting my studies. As you might guess from my background, I am a Reagan conservative -- individual responsibility, love for country, less government.
-- Carl Davis
Marietta, Georgia

CRONETTE CHRONICLES
Re: Linda Scott's letter (under "Crone Troopers") in Reader Mail's Party of Three and Robert Stacy McCain's Crone Wars:

Hell hath no fury like a 60-year-old cronette. Let's see, 60 means withered flower child in hippie years. Poor underpaid, sexually harassed Linda Scott, gazing at the glass ceiling, seeing her bitter reflection. Musing on the Feminine Mystaque ( a little joke -- I know how to spell mystique).

Mercifully, I was all grown up before Gloria Steinem had a chance to warp my outlook. Being "hit on" in the workplace is not sexual harassment. It's a "birds do it, bees do it" pastime. Being offered a salary increase for dalliance is another story. Being denied a promotion because you look like Betty Friedan, likewise. In any case, if a woman can't fend for herself without some kind of arbitration, she ought not to be working in an environment teeming with predatory males.

I recall when I was about 48, the office twit, who was about 35, "complimented" me thusly. "If you were ten years younger and single, I'd ask you out." I said, "Henry, if I were ten years younger, you'd be standing at the end of a very long line." Everyone within earshot roared with laughter. Poor Henry's studliness suffered a mortal blow.

Feminists are a humorless lot.
-- Diane Smith

Many days I access The American Spectator site determined to not respond to anything, regardless of provocation. Many days I hold to that resolution. Then there are days like today. I read the letter by commenter Linda Scott, and almost fell on the floor laughing. I mean we have our resident liberal, Mr. Roush in North Carolina, and he proves the stereotypes of liberals with just about every letter that y'all publish from him. Ms. Scott has totally subsumed him with her letter. He must be mortified.

It is clearly demonstrable that liberals, whether they be Dems or not, are totally humorless. Well, they do laugh at conservatives, but it is not a laugh of humor, it is one of derision, at best. Within the category of "Liberals", some groups are even more devoid of humor than others. I would certainly nominate the environmentalists as among the most tense and humorless, but I do believe that feminists are the true winners in the category. Ms. Scott has demonstrated, again for all to see, the truth of my analysis, I believe. A writer who she doesn't know, in an emagazine that she likely disagrees with to the very depths of her being, refers to some female Hillary supporters of a certain seniority as "crones", and Ms. Scott absolutely blows a gasket. I mean, you would think that someone had launched an RPG up her pants leg, or that someone had told her that she would have to go to a full burqa and only leave the house when accompanied by a male relative.

Ms. Scott says that she is 60 years old. Therefore, I know that she has been told that "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Obviously she does not believe that. I bet she puts that chip on her shoulder the very moment that she gets out of bed in the morning, or whenever. I bet that she spends her every waking hour determined to prove that every male alive has insulted her, just by daring to breath. I bet that she gets livid when a man holds the door open for her. God help the man that would dare to compliment her about some feature of her presentation for the day, like her hair, or outfit, or whatever.

Now before Ms. Scott has a heart attack, I am older than she, have been vertically challenged (that means short) all my life, and am now more than a little bald, and a bit heavier than the doctor likes (what do doctors know). I have absorbed many times more than my share of verbal jibes ever since I can remember. Often I didn't particularly enjoy the humor at my expense, but the best defense is always a good natured laugh and move on. Take this election cycle, for instance. I am running for the leadership of the ugly, old, farts, for the "None of the Above" club. Good Lord, woman, you are allowing every male in your universe to totally control you, to totally determine your moods for you. I had a very wise older cousin that I listened to. She would say about folks like Ms. Scott that they must have been sucking on a lemon all day.

I have a hard time understanding conservatives that voluntarily spend endless hours socializing with liberals, even claiming to actually like them. Why do you want to always be around people that have no joy, except when they are tormenting some other poor soul? I prefer to be around folks that know happiness, and joy, and laughter, and good natured banter, and that can laugh at themselves most of all. Stop taking yourself so seriously, Ms. Scott. In the grand scheme of things, exceedingly few of us, me included, are all that important.

Have a great day, Ms. Scott, you old crone.
-- Ken Shreve

This is why McCain will win in a landslide.

Millions of women refuse to vote for Obama. They will sit it out, write-in Hillary, or vote for McCain.

But, McCain has been lavishing praise on Hillary while all of you dumbasses have insulted her in every way you could think of -- stealing her delegates, allowing Obama to steal caucuses, telling her to get out when she won the people's vote, etc.

McCain will have Carly Fiorina, the HP CEO, as his VP. He wins CA and he wins the women's vote.

Obama cannot find a woman on this earth to replace Hillary. And, if he tries he will insult the millions of women voters EVEN MORE.

So, McCain wins by a landslide. Undecided women will definitely vote for McCain now. It may not be Hillary, but McCain has restored dignity back to the women who were so insulted, dishonored, and degraded by Obama, his followers, and the DNC.

And, of course, there's the American war hero against a two-faced, lying, corrupt, Chicago punk.

Landslide.
-- Ted & Megan Hurly
Dayton, Ohio

I doubt that Robert Stacy McCain had Linda Scott in mind when he wrote of "Hillary's army of liberal crones," for the simple reason that he probably has no idea who Linda Scott is. But after reading her charming letter to the Spectator, I'm thinking, yeah, crone.
-- Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey

WELL CONNECTED
Re: John Tabin's Unfinished Hillary:

"A man is not finished when he's defeated; he is finished when he quits." Richard Nixon

Madame Hillary is far from ready to quit. She is still in the race for herself. If the VP slot works for her in the long term, she'll take it. If not, she will manipulate the situation and personalities to her advantage. Machiavelli is a dress (or rather a pant suit). I have never cared for her philosophies, tactics or personality, but I take my hat off to her: she behaves like a pure egoist, even if she can never admit it to herself. Senator Clinton is Ayn Rand's Dagny Taggar incarnate. Minus the scruples.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Picking Clinton would be suicidal because she would emulate a black widow. She only wants number 1.

She has the tools to accomplish this because Harold Ickes worked for the Gambinos prior to the Clintons.
-- Richard Bakula
Van Nuys, California

BUDGET'S GOT YOU DOWN
Re: Peter Ferrara's A Still Fighting Reagonomics:

Peter Ferrara writes: "But if you think balanced budgets are the sine qua non of good economic policy, and believe that spending reductions are not a viable option, where does that leave you?" This is a good question. Witnessing the behavior of the White House and GOP-controlled Congress before the 2006 elections and the behavior of Congressional Republicans in this election year (and the Democrats most of the time), I see scant evidence that gives me hope that spending reductions will happen anytime soon. As I've said before, politicians cannot be expected to commit political suicide. They will always respond positively to the demand for pork from their organized constituents working through well paid lobbies. Both parties are completely entrenched in this.

Mr. Ferrara quotes Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition: "The chances of cuts of this magnitude are 'nonexistent,'" said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that promotes fiscal discipline. "There's not a consensus to cut back on the functions of government that much," he said. "Those are very, very deep cuts." Mr. Ferrara then draws the wrong conclusion; namely that, "the bottom line is that conservatives and free market advocates should not be looking to the anti-Reagan Concord Coalition for leadership." My reading of Mr. Bixby statement is that he is simply describing accurately the current political landscape - there is no consensus for the cuts to entitlements that Mr. Ferrara and his supporters want. Calling on Americans to give up entitlements in light of the incredible waste of money on "rebuilding in Iraq" is a fool's errand.

Mr. Ferrara quotes Robert Bartley in support of Reaganomics: "The best summary of it all (Reaganomics) can be found in The Seven Fat Years, by the late Robert Bartley, for many years head of the Wall Street Journal editorial page." I quote Ben Stein for the case against Reaganomics, "The next thing (you need to know) is that the Republican Party (my party and yours) has for the last 30 years or so been operating under a demonstrably false and misleading premise: that tax cuts pay for themselves by generating so much economic growth that they replace the sums lost by tax cutting." Tax cuts will always simulate the economy in the short term. They will also produce budget deficits and increase the national debt. This is not a problem if the deficits and debt are dealt with in times of economic prosperity. We saw this during the Clinton administration when taxes were increased and "pay -go" implemented and the deficits and debts reduced. Reaganomics has become a permanent "spend and charge" philosophy because we have tax cuts but no reduction in spending. Was it Vice President Cheney who said deficits don't matter? So we have the Democrats who want to "tax and spend" and the Republican who want to "spend and charge" and neither party exhibits any real interest in reducing spending. The bottom line is an ever increasing national debt (a burden to our children and grandchildren) owned by countries that do not have our national interest at heart.

For all of the statistics and arguments, Mr. Ferrara's real point is, "That should not be surprising, because the organization(Concord Coalition) grew out of a residue of liberal Republicans and neoliberal Democrats who were in revulsion against what they derisively called Reaganomics, but who were routed politically by the Gipper." Given his agenda it seems to me like a sizable number of Mr. Ferrara's fellow citizens and K-Street would be more suitable targets than the Concord Coalition.
-- Mike Roush

TRANSATLANTIC TIES
Re: Tom Bethell's A Britain No Longer Great:

Thank you, Mr. Bethell, for your fine article on the mounting problems facing Great Britain's social experiments which have been implemented in the misguided hopes of addressing the concerns of the poor.

Obviously it goes without saying that America has painted itself into the proverbial corner on this matter a well. I am a pastor in one of the most liberal denominations in the country, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA is bent on replacing fathers in a way that is almost diabolical. They would never admit it but all of their policy statements make it hard to conclude otherwise. As a passionate student of the social sciences, as a devoted theologian, and as a news junkie it has been my great disappointment to witness the continued denial of the failings of trying to replace a father with social programs.

I, like you, am not unsympathetic to single mothers and their children. And that it precisely the point. What is in the best interest of a child? What is in the best interest of a mother loving her children? What is in the best interest of a society longing for, consciously or unconsciously, a basic framework of society which is grounded in security, opportunity, and at least a semblance of moral understanding and moral resolve?

At the heart of what is so painfully wrong with replacing a dad or a mom with a government check is that a government check cannot love a son or a daughter like a father or mother can. In each and every moment of a child's life without a father or a mother is the excruciatingly painful truth to the child that the most important person in their whole life is not around them to love them and to guide them. A child grows up feeling and knowing that the most important person in his/her life either doesn't want to be with them or is not allowed to be with them. No amount of government money can heal that hurt or restore that youngster to his or her proper place in this world -- that place being the heart and soul of their dad and mother.

Is it any wonder these children lack the capacity to learn, to function normally in society, and to become the people they were meant to be? And as they cost more and more to society and as more and more of them make up society we as a society continue to fade and turn to the wrong answers.

Of course I do not begrudge broken families the opportunity to find relief from government. But more importantly it behooves society and especially societal engineers to finally acknowledge the utterly vacuous state of affairs in our social engineering campaign as it relates to the interfacing of family life and its relation to societal moorings. After all, public and social life is made up of individuals who were brought into this world through conception and families. Society therefore, cannot be healthy if it refuses to come to terms with the utter importance of working to repair the basic components necessary for stable family life.

Yes, I am sufficiently aware that that can only happen by courageously confronting a cacophony of voices bent on continuing this failed social experiment. But damn it, children are worth it and so are the adults who they need most dearly.

Is it a "socially just" mind-frame to be so dismissive of the deepest need of children and the way in which that deepest need is relegated to some misinformed notion of a moralistic bygone day? Is it socially just to deny them, wittingly or unwittingly, the love and guidance of both parents? Is it socially just to create for them a life of dependence upon government entities that can never love them or give them the guidance for life they desperately need? Is it socially just to instill in children that their only hope is a life lived without basic personal responsibility for their actions but that others will always be responsible for them? Where is the dignity with this kind blatant condescension?

As a pastor I am convinced finally, that only God's love can heal a child or an adult who has experienced the deep, deep hurt of growing up without the most important people in their life. Yet, they can only heal if they are able to acknowledge the deep abiding hurt which they are being told they don't have by our social engineers.

Government programs for the poor must never be thought of as the answer to social ills but must only be thought of as stop gap measures. They must never be understood as entitlements but must be understood and implemented as expressions of kindness from tax-paying citizens who hope that their gifts will be received by the recipients with gratitude and a longing by the recipients to give back to society what they have been freely given by society. In that there is dignity. And frankly, in no small way all of us have received from others so much so that we can never fully repay in this life.

This is what it means to be truly human when we receive with gratitude and we give back with humility and perseverance. But let this giving and this receiving begin where it must begin - from mom and from dad to their children.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Bethell. The world needs what you have to say. Thankfully there are quite a number of honorable social scientists who are speaking up about this now but will it be enough? I sure hope so!
-- Todd Hylden
Fergus Falls, Minnesota

As an engineer, I cringe at the phrase "social engineering." Engineering demands the application of science and scientific method to efficiently accomplish a given task. When something does not work, either financially or practically, there is recognition of the failure of the engineering and an immediate demand to correct the problem.

In social "engineering," failure just means that the wrong people were not aggressive enough in violating property rights to accomplish Utopia. No one gets sued, goes to jail or is embarrassed so badly that someone can not later resurrect pleasant memories of the last good intention.
-- Danny L. Newton

THAT GREAT LAND
Re: James Bailey's letter (under "Jumping Ship") in Reader Mail's Party of Three:

Fondly recalling my 22+ years in "The Great Land" of Alaska, Mr. Bailey sure jogged my memory of those Republicans like Jay Hammond who were 'way more Liberal/"progressive" (doesn't that word just gag you?) than guys like Steve Cowper, Hugh Malone, Oral Freeman and a number of other Democrats who acted more like Libertarians and were dedicated economic conservatives; even John Sacket, or George Holman, who got railroaded/Meekins'd some years ago.

Contrast that with the betrayal that so many of us feel because of the horrible Bush administrations, plural, the wimpy Republicans in Congress (or those spending/earmarking fools like Don Young and Ted Stevens) and the woeful choices awaiting us in November...

Unable to stomach Bill Clinton or Bush-the-Elder, in years past, I admit protest voting for Perot; it was "principle." On other occasions, rather than settle for those nominated, I wrote in Dick Lamm one year, Jeane Kirkpatrick another, and even names like Scoop Jackson, Paul Tsongas and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- sharp, principled people who just happened to be Democrats. Barry Goldwater was gone, no longer an option.

So, John Bolton might be an option this year. Or Joe Arpaio. Ted Nugent anyone?

I do know, with certainty, I can't vote for ANY of the candidates presented thus far, none. The Lesser of Evils or the Evil of Lessers? Nope, never again.
-- Geoff Brandt

YELLA
Re: Clif Briner's letter (under "Yella") in Reader Mail's Party of Three:

Mr. Briner writes: "I frankly would like more light shed on 'Black Liberation Theology' and Hagee's views as well." In the early '70s, with a Black friend, I walked into a restaurant in Harlem that obviously catered to Blacks. The place fell silent and people stared at me. Some were curious, some were hostile and none were welcoming. I was experiencing what many of my fellow citizens experienced every day of their lives. I gained some insight into "Black Liberation Theology" that night. According to you, Mr. Briner, it also made me a reactionary piece of work.
--Mike Roush

IF McCAIN RESIGNED
Re: C. Baker's letter (under "Thinking Ahead") in Reader Mail's Party of Three:

I thought in Arizona the governor could not name a replacement when there is a vacancy. All they could do is declare the seat vacant, then set a date for a primary in 60 days, then another election for the nominees in another 30 days. The only other state like that is Oregon. Has the law changed in Arizona?
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

LEFT OUT
Re: Ron Schoenberg's letter (under "Big Brother Begone") in Reader Mail's Party of Three:

Ha, yes behind enemy lines in Seattle. Ron you need to do at least a cursory fact check before blowing chunks out of your fever dreams and BDS. The laws were not changed so that Americans can, pick your particular Bush hate and place it here....The national security laws enforced, most were written in the Clinton years and the military detention was written and upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1940s! The non habeas corpus provisions only apply to enemy combatants outside the U.S. Habeas corpus still is in full force within the U.S. and only combatants arrested on Middle Eastern soil can be held in Cuba. Looking at the number of jihadists released to be found again fighting the American soldiers should prove not only that they are not held long enough but that they get out entirely too often. As to the rest of the fever dream of the left none of what you said matches objective reality. But then that's what being a leftie means, don't it?
-- Craig Sarver'
Seattle, Washington

DAY OF INFAMY
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Orwell Does the Hamptons

Thanks for the clarity with which you reported the surreal events of the 24th.
-- Janet Lehr
Vered Gallery
East Hampton, New York

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article