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Tempers Run Hot

Is the Republican candidate mentally challenged? Hillary, West Virginia, and Homnick. Racism in play. Plus more on political climate change and other contentious matters.

5.15.08

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NO DISAGREEMENT
Re: Larry Thornberry's Green Gasbag:

I disagree. McCain is stupid.
-- Stephen Goth

Speaking as a writer myself (yes, a real one that gets paid to do it, like you), I must say your recent column "Green Gasbag" was as hilarious as it was accurate.

Please keep up the good work!
-- Eric Mylonas

Had I been living under a rock somewhere, I would have thought that Larry Thornberry was writing some mis-begotten humor about purported utterances by Sen. John McCain about global warming, etc. But no, I haven't been doing such a thing and have even heard those words as spoken by the good Senator and Republican nominee for POTUS. Perhaps Senator Obama is correct -- McCain has "lost his marbles" or words to that extent.

I sent in a contribution to McCain's campaign a month or so ago. I wonder if there's any way I can get it back. I'm REALLY beginning to worry at this point.
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

As a conservative who has mainly voted Republican throughout my life, I am finally quitting. Try as I have to hold my nose and support John McCain, I cannot. Currently, I agree with him only on abortion. The speech he gave on global warming, though, overrides even that.

My problem is that I believe in God. Therefore, I believe he created the earth, then plants and animals, then us. For years, I have thought it utter foolishness to believe man could destroy God's creation. And, of course, I'm right. Man cannot destroy God's creation.

However, an alarming array of evangelical pastors, the Pope, and supposedly "right-leaning" politicians have jumped on the environmental apocalypse bandwagon. It's too much for me. Because of my faith in God, it really doesn't matter who calls the White House home from January 2009 to 2013. It just doesn't. There's not enough difference among the three remaining contestants because each apparently, and mistakenly, believes man to be more powerful than God.

So, it is goodbye, McCain 2008. I won't be voting for Hillary or Obama, either. I'll simply burn my voter's registration card as a sign of protest against with arrogance and stupidity of the candidates we've been offered.
-- Kevin Cozort
P.S. -- And, don't anyone pipe up with the ridiculous "Ron Paul is still running" malarkey. He's as crazy as a road lizard in his belief that America should only defend itself if some foreign country's army's boot heels touch American soil. Paul is as out of the realm of reality as the three remaining viable candidates. Someone please tell him about intercontinental ballistic missiles and their ability to carry nuclear payloads. If there were a ballot with only two names, Ron Paul and Foghorn Leghorn, I'd throw the switch for Foghorn. He's got, I say, he's got twice as much on the ball as Mr. Paul!

Since global temperatures have been increasing and decreasing over the years, it's obvious that the current global crisis must be rethought in order to ensure that we address the true issues confronting our fragile planet, especially since our expert class has been unable to form a consensus about the problem that lasts more than a generation (in the 1970s, global cooling was the concern). Since both cooler and hotter temperatures have consequences, we must come up with a paradigm that encompasses all temperature trends and permits us to use the new paradigm to advance a free-market agenda, just as the Greens have used global warming to advance socialism.

The new paradigm is global lukewarming.

Naturally, as the creator of this concept, I will expect a modest royalty for the use of the term and all subsequent applications of the theory, the bulk of which I promise will be applied to maintaining global equilibrium. Towards this end, I would like to announce the formation of the Goldilocks Institute of global climate control. Our motto: "This part of the planet is too hot, that part is too cold. It must be juuuuuuuuuuuust right." The institute will work tirelessly for the maintenance of global equilibrium. For example, those who insist on purchasing carbon credits to prevent global warming will now also purchase an equal number of carbon debits in order to prevent global cooling. Since carbon credits are made by planting trees, carbon debits will come from logging those trees. Obviously, planting and then uprooting trees is a pointless expenditure of limited resources, but I have come up with a brilliant (if I say so myself) solution. As the first entrepreneur to address the carbon equilibrium credit/debit issue, I will be glad to take money in return for not planting trees that I then don't have to harvest. The model for this program has been tried to great effect through our farm subsidy programs, and I anticipate that I should do at least as much for the environment as those farmers who received subsidies for not planting crops, like Sam Donaldson.

Don't thank me, I'm a humanitarian. While a Nobel Prize is always a nice paperweight, I'll settle for the knowledge that I have made the world a better place for our children. Just make sure that the checks don't bounce.
-- Mike Harris

After reading Mr. McCain's speech on environmental issues and his idiotic approach to solving the problem, his quest for amnesty for illegals, his past performance on tax cuts and campaign reform makes me wonder if I can in all good conscience vote for him. But, on the other hand, what the choice between Hillary or Obama makes me want to cry. Then we get to the Democrat led congress leading the spineless Republicans around by the nose makes my pace maker over heat. Now I have to go out and buy gasoline at nearly $4 a gallon when we have millions of barrels of crude oil lying just off shore but even if we were able to extract it, where in the hell could we refine it since we haven't built a new refinery since the early 1970s.

Woe is me.
-- Tom Bullock
West Covina, California

Remarkable, loved every word! I've e-mailed it to anyone I can think of, of any importance.

Please keep writing about Global Warming -- you're spot on. Keep up the good work,
-- Paul Case
Auburn, Washington

Well said Mr. Thornberry. Somewhere, Ronald Reagan is shaking his head in disbelief. Oh, I forgot, the Republican intelligentsia has told us to get over Ronald Reagan. Sorry. It appears that for Mr. McCain and the RNC, judgment day is coming, and it cometh soon. It won't be pretty either.
-- A. DiPentima

In his article about global warming panic, Mr. Thornberry does not mention two organizations of scientists and professionals who expressed their negative views on this panic propagated by the far left. One is "The petition on global warming," signed by over 21,000 scientists and professionals, which states that human activities have no influence on the earth's climate; the other is found under "climatescienceinternational.org" similarly supported by hundreds of scientists in opposition to that global warming panic. This warm-mongering should be compared to the medieval scares of the coming end of the world. Consensus -- indeed!
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

Will someone please help me! I can't make which party's presidential candidate is worse: a Harvard-educated Carter redux whose ignorance of history and economics is truly awe-inspiring, if not down-right apocalyptic, a mentally dysfunctional old man suffering from Global Warming Fried Brain syndrome? At least that race-baiting, cackling pantsuit is just about out of the picture.

For now.
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Unfortunately I can believe McCain is buying off on this "green baloney."

When we need leadership most in the country our choices have been reduced to Larry, Moe, and Curly.

As El Rusbo says, "we're so screwed."
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

I have to respectfully disagree with the author's assertion that McCain is not "just stupid." The man's admitted he's ignorant about economics, yet he's proposing an enormous, complicated, government-run economic policy.

Messing with things you own up to knowing nothing about is pretty much my definition of stupid.
-- Tricia Carr
Laguna Niguel, California

Larry Thornberry's last sentence says it all: "perhaps it's Republicans we don't need." Exactly right. We need conservatives, not the watered down version of socialism Republicans are currently selling.

McCain's "not stupid"? He's apparently willing to alienate the voters he desperately needs to win in November. How smart is that?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

CUTS BOTH WAYS
Re: Jay D. Homnick's A Closet Race in West Virginia:

Jay, do you think broad brushing an entire state over what Democrat primary voters do at the polls is a neat thing to do? I've got some background in that state and know places that I wouldn't go with my choice of weapons and body armor but everyone knows which hollow the crazies live in and the Confederate Battle Flag flying from a tree is usually your first and last warning if you don't. Nevertheless, I think some West Virginians are going to take you to task for giving black Democratic voters a pass on their 90% margins for Obama in every primary. I think you owe the non-Democratic West Virginia voters an apology for the insult you've given them simply for living in West Virginia.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

I've gotten really tired of Jay Homnick's tortuous sense of humor and mis-magnetized political compass, and should have known better than to read this latest effort, a verifiable waste of good electrons. His thesis, however, seems to demand a reply.

First problem, Homnick seems to have been taken in by BO's facade of idealism. Get wise! Young Barack is a bundle of personal ambition and narcissism, glossed over -- for those whose eyesight is weak -- with a thin varnish of goodwill and unity. No experienced political commenter should have been taken in by him, even for so long as the first month after he announced his candidacy.

Second problem, Homnick blandly assumes that 60% of white West Virginians voting for Hillary proves they are all racist, while 90% of blacks voting for Obama proves...Well, apparently it proves nothing to him. Get over it, Jay. Either we are all racists or none of us are. And even if your verdict is "all racist," is racism worse than dishonesty? Assuredly, hardly an honest word comes out of the mouth of either Democrat candidate.

Further, which candidate was the first to introduce race into the argument? From the very start Obama has used his race as an asset-- arguing that he could better deal with the Third World because of his ethnicity, and that he was somehow uniquely endowed to be a unifier within the U.S. -- and as a defense, charging that many criticisms by his opponents were covertly racist. In a sense, Slick Willy was just following suit in South Carolina. Consider this irony: Homnick uses this line, "...to look into the heart of real darkness." Were he to use such a phrase in a column critical of Obama, that man's campaign would immediately denounce him as a racist.

I don't write this as a defense of the Clintons, whose political machine I'll happily see consigned to the dustbin of history. What I decry is the incredible gullibility of Jay Homnick, who can advance -- apparently with a straight face -- concepts such as these: "But a part of [Obama's] idealism should be embraced, the part that asks us to view him through a glass lightly. In this respect, he should be seen as a candidate representing both parties. Republicans in their right minds should be making the message clear: That is the guy I would be voting for if I thought his ideas were on target."

I can hardly wait for Homnick to propose that Jeremiah Wright be appointed Chaplain to the Senate, and Bill Ayers be made Assistant Director of Homeland Security. As for Michelle...No doubt co-president will be sufficient for her.
-- Richard Donley
New Lyme, Ohio

In response to Jay Homnick's article on WV Primary, HRC wins OH, PA, and WV but only the vote in the latter is commented on as being racist. He doesn't need to explain, I understand where he's coming from (his prejudices). No wonder liberal Democrats win.
-- David Bartlett

Mr. Homnick is way off base on West VA if the only evidence he has is that Hillary won big. Just because Obama is in the lead does not mean that all the other states votes count more the West VA or Kentucky, etc. If he wants to find racism, he can look on Obama's side of the ledger. Ninety percent black voting for Obama? What does he offer in true good ideas for blacks or whites? What is his difference to Hillary, other than he is black and a man. He is more electable, why, because he is black? I thought that was the problem, Mr. Homnick. Get a clue. This guy did not win because he is not a good candidate and because some like this woman (why I don't know), maybe because of her husband.
-- Joseph D'Ambrosia

Generally I am in agreement with much of what Jay Homnick writes, but on this one I am left flabbergasted! For him to basically call everyone in West Virginia a racist for voting for Hillary Clinton is a smear of epic proportions and seems to come straight from the Obama camp playbook.

While I am sure that there are those who will not vote for Obama because he is black, it is not fair to lump all opposition to him in West Virginia into a case based on race. Did you ever stop to think that many people in the West Virginia primary simply identify more closely with Clinton? Or that the decision by the Obama campaign not to even really try to contest the state may have caused the massive landslide for Team Hillary? What are the people of West Virginia (and soon Kentucky) to think when Obama writes them off before the first ballot is cast and will not deign to come to (***GASP!***) Appalachia to try to win them over? Are they then supposed to go vote for him in droves?

And where is your dismay that so many of the blacks voting for Obama (and against Clinton) are casting their votes on the basis of his race? Is the fact that many black voters are willing to overlook all of Obama's many deficiencies, his lack of legislative accomplishment, and his total lack of experience simply because he is black not a problem for you? For me as a black man it is bad enough to see my people simply giving their votes to any Democrat that comes down the pike, but to see them using their votes as some sort of statement on racial pride is even worse! It makes no difference to me if the voter is white or black; casting a vote for a candidate simply because of their race does not sit particularly well with me.

And you may as well disabuse yourself of the idea that a McCain-Obama general election is going to be "colorblind" because it is not going to be. The primaries have already shown that the Obama camp and their media allies are more than willing to turn any criticism of Obama, no matter how fair or deserved, is going to be spun so that race is an issue. So why should we think it will change when a Republican, who is already a presumed racist simply for being a Republican, tries to challenge his Obamaness?

Maybe you should take a minute before you write another article smearing the voters of an entire state of racism.
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

Maybe I just don't understand the point of Mr. Homnick's article. It appears to me to be saying that it's perfectly okay for Black Americans to line up behind Obama, in some cases to the tune of 90 percent or more, while at the same time it's not okay to line up behind Clinton. Of course one is a Black American and one is a White American. So basically if you're Black and you vote for Obama because you can identify with him because you are Black that’s okay, that’s not racist. But if you're white and you vote for Clinton because you can identify with her, well then by God you are a racist. Did I miss anything?

Clinging to my guns and my religion, I am respectfully,
-- Art Brecher
Sparks Nevada

Homnick? Homnick? Who IS this guy? HOW did he end up writing a piece for my beloved Spectator? Further, has he ever been in the same room with R. Emmett Tyrrell? The piece "Closet Race" is about what he seems to be abhoring in the Clintons. Racism. NOT racism per se. But a highly sophisticated, highly dark but hidden kind of racism. Come on. The left and PC crowd have already made it clear, that every time we comment on Barack Hussein Obama and even hint that he is what he is (an unsteady Chicago POL) or make ANY reference to the company he keeps, including those having nothing to do with race, Mr. Homnick and the rest of the left will squeal --RACISM-RACISM-RACISM. Anything stupid he does or says is off limits to these people.

Homnick complains about "people who would vote for any white person before any black person." What about people who would vote for any black person before any white person? In this election season it is matter of factly reported the blacks are voting in the 90s range for Obama. Was it not racist of him to ignore the State of W Va because there is a low percentage of black voters there? THIS is the savior who is going to bring us together? The way of Homnick and his friends in the Obama campaign put it, on a winking basis, isn't his whole strategy -- "Vote for me I aint no whitey"? We are told that Obama's "idealism should be embraced." What idealism? I have yet to see a sliver of idealism that bodes well for our great nation,

Finally, how in the name of Oprah can anyone who is a Republican (and especially a conservative) opine that the amateur with the most LIBERAL voting record in the Senate, "be seen as a candidate representing both parties"? Mr. Tyrrell, spank this guy.
-- M.J. Turkelson
Lebanon, Ohio

Jay D. Homnick replies:
I meant representing both parties in the sense that it is a source of pride for all Americans that a member of a minority group could be the Presidential candidate of a major party. I hold no truck for his views, of course, and would like to see him soundly defeated.

The purpose of my piece was to slam Democrats and Hillary in particular for allowing the race to be downgraded to this crude level. Rush Limbaugh wondered if I meant to tar Republicans for a share of this blame, and I assured him in an e-mail that this was never my intention.

Some readers argued that Obama is equally guilty because he is getting 90 percent of the black vote. I would be prepared to share that condemnation if I saw him using explicit appeals for votes on that basis.

PLAYED OUT
Re: Tom Bethell's Playing the Racism Card:

Tom Bethell writes that it is perfectly reasonable for Hillary Clinton to point out that Barack Obama does not fare well with lower-income white voters. Jay Homnick clearly disagrees, and says that "this was not Hillary Clinton's finest hour, nor West Virginia's."

I would love to see the two of them critique each other's column. That would be a true discussion of race in this country.
-- Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey

"...why is it okay for Obama's supporters to tout the high percentage of African-American votes he is receiving...but not okay for Hillary's supporters (and Hillary herself) to mention his relatively low percentage of white votes...."

Why? Because African-Americans have proven that they can look beyond race in a general election.

Republicans recently ran African-American candidates in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. African-American candidates opted for the white candidate. White Democrats, on the other hand, cannot see beyond race.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Amazingly, in all the media discussion about race, one critically important group is getting virtually no mention: Hispanics. Vote totals in states with large Hispanic populations have been disastrous for Obama -- despite polls that showed exactly the opposite prior to the primaries.

"Angry white men" aren't the presumptive nominee's only problem.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

The Obama Campaign has chosen to hide behind the charge of racism to avoid critical review of the Senator's position on all matters; like a talisman used to ward off evil, the campaign brings it out each and every time someone dares to assess his stance; it is the speech code users trump card. Sycophants in the press, etc. just play along.

Is it possible, is it just possible, that the majority of us who will not vote for the junior senator from Illinois (whatever the color of our skin) have decided to do so based on his predictable expressions of threadbare liberalism and voting record, his lack of judgment in the selection of "friends," and his utter lack of experience? Yeah, I think so.

Frankly, if Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, or Walter Williams were running for President, I'd vote for them. NOT because they're black, but for what they stand for. Get it, mainstream media?
-- C. T. Botkin

CLINGING TO RELIGION
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Unholy Toledo:

Lisa Fabrizio cites the Pope, who re-iterates America's founding freedom of religion. She correctly identifies the extreme effort and rationale of the Left in suppressing religious freedom, as a necessary part of the attempt to establish State suppression of religion, essentially a theocratic state but with the "theocracy" of atheism (the Left shares that goal with radical Islam, only the type of religion, or lack thereof, differs). America is the first country in history to establish religious pluralism with no control by and with no connection to the State, with an explicit provision in its Constitution forbidding State established religious observance while also forbidding any State interference with the practice or expression of religion (not always applied in practice despite its enshrinement in principle in the Constitution). The evils of religion that Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, et. al, like to cite, which are the clarion call against religion for the Left, ironically occurred almost entirely in the setting of religion inextricably established by the state, either as theocracy or as an adjunct to and part of the political regime, from Charlemagne, to William the Conqueror, Henry the VIII and beyond. Thus the evils generally attributed to religion historically are actually evils correctly attributable to the State joined with religion. Europe's religious wars, for example, were more correctly political wars, as political factions devolved along lines of religious denominations which vied for State control. The only way to assuredly prevent the exploitation of religion (or atheism) for truly evil purposes on a large scale by the State is to separate it entirely from the power of the State, a point the Founders seemed to understand well. It is a measure of how far the nation has departed from Constitutional principles in that the state is used now to suppress religious expression, as Benedict notes, rather than protect it (child sexual abuse, of course, just as execution of women for witch-craft, under the guise of religion, does not qualify as legitimate religious expression).

Atheism is accorded no preferential status in the Constitution, and hence is accorded the exact same status as Theism or any religion, e.g., free expression thereof without suppression of the religious expression of other citizens. For example, if Nat Hentoff, a self-described "flaming atheist Jew," who claims his only religion is the U.S. Constitution (and a notable constitutionalist he is with profound respect for religious and a-religious pluralism) were to be elected President (we could do much worse, have done so in the past, and are likely to do so again) and chose to swear his oath of office on the U.S. Constitution without referencing the Deity, I for one would be very pleased, indeed. Hentoff would be the least likely individual to ever attempt to circumscribe American religious pluralism. Unfortunately this cannot be said generally for the Left, in whose approach Atheism assumes the status of Spanish Monarchical Catholicism during the Inquisition, inextricably linked to the power of the State and exploited egregiously by the State for its own ends of suppression of what are deemed the undesirables among its citizens. There is an exact parallel with Soviet suppression of religion, or Islamic totalitarian theocracies, and the effort of other Totalitarian states (e.g., North Korea's forced worship of the "Great Leader" in the fashion of Stalin) to impose a religious (or the antithesis thereof) requirement on the citizenry. Ironically, that is the type of State that the Left appears interested in imposing on the American nation in its effort to extirpate the American Founding. Religious freedom and plurality are absolutely essential to the endurance and advancement of the American nation. Without them, all of America's freedoms crumble and vanish, though the Left would have you believe otherwise. Unfortunately, religious freedom, as the first among our Constitutional freedoms, does seem anathema to the Left. There is a reason that Religious freedom is the first listed freedom in the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. One can only conclude that the Left appreciates this, hence the vigor and extent of its assault on religious freedom of expression.

The power of and desire for religious freedom has been repeatedly demonstrated in our time, as symbolized in the lives of the Polish Pope and the Dalai Lama. Benedict continues the legacy.
-- Kent Lyon
College Station, Texas

While I applaud Crystal Dixon's bravery in standing up to the PC mob, let's remember a couple of things:

1) The position she espoused is quite widespread within the black community, but there is a sizeable disconnect between such opinion and the voting records of most black politicians, who seem to be firmly in the pocket of the gay lobby. I think the loyalty of all too many such politicians (including a certain presidential candidate) is to the values of the New Class and not to their constituents.

2) This is not a First Amendment issue. Ms. Dixon is not constitutionally protected from job sanctions as a consequence of speaking her mind, but that raises three other concerns:

a) How did it come to pass that a practice that was once considered perversion now has not merely accepted status, but exalted status in America?

b) How did individuals who hold such opinions come to exercise such power over individuals such as Ms. Dixon?

c) How long will it be before individuals like Ms. Dixon can be held criminally liable for their opinions?

Perhaps someone from the ACLU can answer these questions.
-- Howard Hirsch
Dayton, Nevada

I really mourn for a country and culture that I have loved. It is no more. For all the political moaning about "the children" -- I see no let up in the determination to destroy our progeny at every turn. My heart goes out to Ms. Dixon. Brilliant as she appears to be I do hope someone hires her really quickly because of her obviously deep understanding of this issue. Or is it already too late?
-- Rose Storey

MAROONED
Re: William Tucker's Parlez-Vous Nucleaire?:

In 1990 I was pleasantly surprised by two reactors in the Loire Valley near the French chateau I stayed in. They were surrounded by deep woods, beautiful rivers and seemed to belong there. However, just before the elegant table d'hote dinner a young woman from Cleveland -- a fellow Ohioan! -- brayed loudly that she couldn't believe the French permitted nuclear reactors. Le Bugs Lapin said it best: "What a maroon!"
-- Dennis DiMuzio
Cincinnati

I wonder where the French got their ideas, maybe you should got back to the desert near Idaho Falls, the place where all those ideas came from. Also thank the Clintons for stopping the recycling idea, it was completed, tested then scrapped (IFR).
-- Jeff Olsen
Idaho Falls, Idaho

DRUNKEN LUNCHEON
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Jimmy Carter's Second Term:

In his essay about Jimmy Carter's "second term," Jeffrey Lord wrote of the "$50 martini lunch" used by Carter as a metaphor to attack business. I think the actual term used was "the three martini lunch," which not only encapsulated the notion of getting away with something wrong, but the aspect of going back to work impaired by consumption of alcohol, a notion held in contempt not only by Carter's fellow Baptists, but also the great number of new-prohibitionists that thrive to this very day.
-- Gary Stewart
Kenney, Illinois

Jeffrey Lord replies:
Gary Stewart and I have the same memory. Alas a check reveals that Jimmy Carter did in fact talk about the "$50 martini lunch" during the 1976 campaign. "Three martini lunch" has much more of a ring to it, and others picked up on it. Then again, former President Carter has well established his political tone-deafness.

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