Reader Mail

Never Ending Swansong

She's in it to spin it. Putin's makeover. Malthus is my muse. Plus more.

4.24.08

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YES IT GOES ON AND ON, MY FRIEND
Re: Philip Klein's The Democrats' Quagmire:

Though I rarely disagree with Mr. Klein, in this case I do.

We know two things about democrats. They do nothing very well and they lack any kind of courage. Their primary process proves the former and the latter will be proved by their choice of Barack Obama as their candidate.
-- Jay Molyneaux

It would appear that the Iraq Surrender Party is having a difficult time choosing a designated driver to take them over the cliff this year. Too bad. For the political party with the most undemocratic method of selecting a candidate, perhaps they should tear a page from the New Jersey play book and run Al Gore, who would appear to be their only viable candidate. Such fun and entertainment we haven't seen since George "I'm 1000 per-cent behind Tom Eagleton" McGovern and "Come Clean for Gene" McCarthy. Hopefully they will riot in the streets of Denver to complete the "Back to the Future" scenario they seem so hell bent on re-enacting. Isn't Ward Churchill nearby? Surely Bill Ayers can afford the bus ticket. One can only hope.
-- Patrick Slamon

For those enamored with Obama it must come as a shock that the new age messiah's popularity is limited to effete white liberals, African-Americans and college students with minimal real world experience. For those who correctly recognized him as an enemy to traditional values, patriotism, economic growth, the 2d Amendment, national defense, tax payers and common sense Obama's drubbing in PA was good news. Considering he is the second coming of Jimmy Carter one can only hope that not only will the contentious Democrat primary continue to chip away at his phony facade, but it dooms his chances in November if he does become the Democrat's anointed savior. I bet there are some old time Democrat pols wishing that party bosses in smoke filled rooms told Democrats who their nominee would be considering what the current primary system has wrought.
-- Michael Tomlinson

According to Philip Klein, "For superdelegates to nominate (Hillary Clinton) would not only alienate black voters who make up the party's most loyal voting group, but turn off a new generation of young voters that has been inspired by Obama."

Two points: First, alienating black voters is not a big problem. They are the "bridesmaid" ethnic group. Hispanics are the new "bride," being numerically larger than to blacks--and far more loyal to Mrs. Clinton than Mr. Obama. Second, when has the so-called "young voter" ever showed up at the election booth in respectable numbers? The answer is never.

Still think Obama's a winner?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

It appears after the Penn. primary loss of Obama that he may have a drinking problem. You see he has not won an election in two months. The last time that he did was in the state of Wisconsin in February. Is it a coincidence that this week the National Survey of Drug use and Health placed the Badger state at the top of the list of percentage of drunk drivers on the roads. You see it does matter who drinks and votes. Maybe he should have FREE drinks for everyone before the polls opened.
-- Jared Harold
Naples, Florida

AND THEY'LL CONTINUE SINGING IT FOREVER, JUST BECAUSE
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III's Earth Day: Corporate Edition:

While reading this article I was reminded of a story that appeared several days ago on the front page of our local paper. It detailed that some of the park and public land clean-up work that has traditionally been done by young people in the form of summer employment is not going to be done this summer because the Park Department cannot afford to pay the salaries. The story, only in the final paragraph on the jump page, barely mentioned that a large part of the reason for this situation is the increase in the minimum wage. It seems that this increase has priced the young workers out of the market.

At the risk of sounding like an "I told you so," I was motivated to comment on this to some of my colleagues (fellow high school teachers) who are agonizing about whether to vote Clinton or Obama. I smilingly reminded them of my previous opposition to the increase in the minimum wage, and, in fact, my opposition to having a minimum wage at all. They looked at me as though I had just nailed a thesis up on the cathedral door. It wasn't (according to them) the higher minimum wage that deep sixed the jobs, it was the low budget of the Park Department. It seems that the whole problem could be solved by INCREASING that budget so that the youths could be hired.

It is this kind of disconnect from reality that always frustrates me when I talk to liberals. I guess that their minds just refuse to go in straight lines from problems to causes to solutions. I shut up after this exchange because I knew that suggesting that the market set the wage for employees would be anathema to these people. What to do, what to do!
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

QUEER EYE FOR THAT PUTIN GUY
Re: George H. Wittman's Profiling Putin:

While at the Russian Customs Academy in St. Petersburg, the director of the academy showed me a picture of Russian dignitaries present when Customs moved into the new "old" building. On the stage was a rumpled and badly dressed Putin, at the time, I was told, an official within the St. Petersburg government. Contrast that photo image with the "new" Putin and one has to wonder who took Putin behind the Russian equivalent of the "Red Door"? Some makeover in more ways than one! Judo instructs one in how to use your opponents strength against him through balance and leverage. It would seem that Putin also understands how to use your opponent's weaknesses against him, hence the power politics when it comes to Russian gas and oil exports. Putin will continue to be an interesting "study" for some time to come. Excellent "profile."
-- W. Meehan
Oakton, Virginia

HISS-TRIONICS
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Alger Hiss Democrats and Michael Roush's letter (under "Hiss Majesty") in Reader Mail's Beyond Good:

Reference Mr. Lord's article on elites and Alger Hiss and Barack Obama, don't you know that Alger Hiss was innocent? He was innocent and Richard Nixon was guilty. What was Nixon guilty of? Well of being, well, being Nixon. Everyone knows that. Everyone also knows that Harvard educated liberals are never guilty of anything. Besides, what crime was it to spy for the Soviet Union against the evil U.S.? You folks at the American Spectator had better learn American history and the nature of good and evil. Besides, up is down and black is white, slavery is freedom, war is peace. The Democrats help people, Republicans kill people and puppies.
-- Paul Melody
Gainesville, Virginia

Mike Roush launched his harpoon at Jeffrey Lord's article by "summarizing" it into a syllogism:

1. Senator Obama said some folks in the mid-West are bitter and cling to their guns and religion as a consequence. Ergo, Senator Obama is an elitist. (If you doubt this, remember he graduated from Harvard Law School).

2. Communists of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were elitist.

3. Therefore, Senator Obama is a communist.

The problem with Mr. Roush's rant is that nowhere in Mr. Lord's article does he pronounce that Senator Obama is a communist. Somewhere in his pursuit of excellence and knowledge, Mr. Roush apparently played hooky the day his teachers enlightened their students about the "straw man" false argument.

More than one European has visited America and noted that in our devotion to the belief in the equality of all men we avert our eyes from the realities of "class" in our midst. In our case, "class" has nothing to do with an aristocracy and often nothing to do with money. Instead, we have an elitist class composed of those with a certain sensibility and refinement.

Pace Mr. Roush, William Kristol did not invent Mr. Lord's contention. The observation of liberalism elitism is a widespread piece of social criticism among conservatives. Perhaps, Mr. Roush should consult Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions or his The Vision of the Anointed. Perhaps, James Burnham's Suicide of the West. Followed by F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom and The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism.

Conservatives in general have suspicion and distrust for government. They are skeptical (to say the least) of the ability of government to engineer societal solutions and make the workings of society more orderly and rational. Conservatives in any case don't believe anyone should have that much power. Liberals believe there is nothing wrong with government (nor growth in government) as long as the right persons are in command. Against all historical evidence, liberals believe the disorderliness of society with all its inequality and injustice can be managed into that "excellent nation." And who will those people be to handle those kinds of levers of power? People just like...them.

In spite of all songs extolling the virtues of diversity, equality and democracy and in spite all the avowed concern for all human beings, the truth is the Clintons and Obamas of this country have little use for people much different from themselves. Joe the butcher and Mary the candlestick maker are just fine with them as long as Joe and Mary share the same politics and vision. On the other hand, liberals bear no little impatience and frustration when Joe and Mary foolishly go in different directions. And when Joe and Mary do, liberals take the condescending view that Joe and Mary are ignorant, bigoted and probably fearful.

There is no area more illustrative of elitist attitudes than in the area of patriotism. Liberals tend to hold one of two views of patriotism. The first are patriotic to an idealized America congruent to their vision and that is the America they love and believe in. The second see patriotism as an outmoded and dangerous fossil of a time that should have been long past....It is not too much to say many liberals see patriotism as a kind of secular sin. In contrast, most Americans have essentially an unconditional love of America. Everyone can have 100 things they would like to be different in America; but in spite of those things most Americans believe America is good and believe in the "promise of America" to themselves, their fellow countrymen and to the world. Without hesitation or qualifier, they believe America is the greatest country in the world. Liberals are apt to lump these embarrassing attitudes into nationalism and chauvinism inappropriate for the modern world -- certainly not the attitudes of critical thinkers.

If you think it is unfair to sum up Obama's character based on one utterance, I would counter that his expression is simply an emanation of the company he keeps.
-- Mike Dooley

Mr. Roush doesn't seem to understand what elitism is. It's not about going to Harvard. It's about the attitude of being above it all, of knowing it all and laughing (as Mr. Roush himself does) at those who would have the audacity to question one as enlightened and special as an Obama or Hiss.

Mr. Lord did not imply that Obama is a communist, Mr. Roush. You're the one who jumped to that conclusion--guilty conscience? If you'll read closely you'll see that Mr. Lord was saying that the Hiss trial was when liberal, Democrat elitism became apparent, and it has never gone away, only grown.

For any conservative who has ever been in a room with a bunch of liberal university "intellectuals," that elitism is apparent. Rather than arguing their case, they just assume everyone in the room agrees with them, and if one doesn't they are appalled at your stupidity and storm out of the room (or turn their backs) to get away from the plebe. That's elitism. That's what's on display with Obama.

Why won't Obama participate in another debate? Why won't Obama have press conferences? Why did he storm out of one a few weeks ago when they started asking questions he didn't want to answer? Why won't he sit down with any press other than friendlies? Elitism.
-- Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

You know, it's a real pleasure to entertain, or at least try to entertain others. Taking old songs, those from the '60s are most apropos, and rewriting the lyrics to spoof current politicos is a lot of fun. If you're a frequent reader of TAS Reader Mail, you may have seen my efforts. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't, but usually, I hope, there's a laugh or two for anyone who remembers the context of the original.

However, I don't think I even come close to the humor found in the contributions of Mike Roush, and oh, let's not forget, Paul Dorell. Together, they are truly without peer, and I believe such talent deserves the acknowledgment of this readership in some magnanimous gesture of appreciation.

My first impulse is to send both our honorees group tickets, so their families can also attend, to Ben Stein's movie, Expelled, or maybe a copy of Friedrich Hayek's book, The Road to Serfdom, or perhaps a copy of Milton Friedman's book, Capitalism and Freedom, but that's just me. Some of you will have even better ideas, I'm sure, but maybe this will get us started.

Except for the implied request of this letter, I've not asked permission of the editor to proceed, so I'm hoping I can catch a break here. If not, then be it known that I stand by my evaluation of the quality contributions from these two fellow travelers, and were it not for the saving grace of my purported "knuckle-dragging" intellect, I too, might've been an ardent advocate of the progressivist nostrums they set forth based on their nihilistic wit.

Nah!
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

SPEAKING OF MIKE ROUSH
Re: Mike Roush's letter (under "Hiss Majesty") in Reader Mail's Beyond Good:

"P.S. I'm still waiting for Marc Jeric's citations concerning the statement that 'no human activity' has contributed to global warming and the statistic concerning government scientists. Mr. Wladyslaw Pleszczynski: Ball is in your court, I guess."

Ottawa Canada April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- International Climate Science Coalition Releases Signatories to the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change

The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) today released the names of over 500 endorsers of the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change that calls on world leaders to "reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as popular, but misguided works such as An Inconvenient Truth." All taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) should "be abandoned forthwith," declaration signatories conclude.

Included in the endorser lists are world leading climate scientists, economists, policymakers, engineers, business leaders, medical doctors, as well as other professionals and concerned citizens from two dozen countries. The complete declaration text, endorser lists and international media contacts for expert commentary, may be viewed at http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/media1.php.

Perhaps most significant among the declaration's assertions: "there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity have in the past, are now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change."


There is much more at the cited article which basically shows the religious superstitions of folks like Mike Roush are on the way out even behind enemy lines in Seattle.
-- Craig Sarver
Seattle, Washington

MALTHUS IS MY MUSE
Re: Mike Dooley's letter (under "Limits to Common Sense") in Reader Mail's Beyond Good:

Michael Dooley is right; but there will only be a respite. As commodity prices rise, idled farm land will be planted, and the supply of food will increase. As it does, human population also will rise (faster than the new supply, Malthus's formulas assure us). And always, just over the horizon, await the Four Horsemen, on their eternal chore of balancing the available proteins and carbohydrates with the number of empty stomachs (and gas tanks) seeking them.
-- Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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