DON'T OUTSMART YOURSELF
Re: Eric Peters' Smart Shoppers:
I had to laugh when I read the mileage of the supposedly Smart car.
We have a 1991 Honda Civic (hatchback) with five on the floor.
My son rebuilt the engine and tranny, replaced the suspension, exhaust and brakes. He hasn't had a chance to do any body work on it as he's in Iraq, but when he gets back...
Anyway, the other day I bought gasoline (regular) and calculated its mileage (I'm a little obsessive) and it got 38 mpg. I do mixed driving -- local and highway -- to get to work and home, with the occasional traffic
jam. I drive on the expressway at 70 to 75 mph.
Har! Our hoopty Civic gets better mileage, holds four people and some cargo, is safer and FAST.
Who's Smart now?
-- Anastasia Mather
Staten Island, New York
The Smart Car isn't smart. I wish the simple minded folks buying "Not-so Smart Cars" would just donate their money to the USO or Republican Party since it would be better spent.
You know what would be smart? Liberals voting to drill for oil in Alaska and off our coasts and ignoring their fascist base to support the energy industry building new refineries and nuclear breeder reactors to make America energy independent. Of course, smart liberal (not sneaky, manipulative, opportunistic, immoral, greedy, etc.) is an oxymoron.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
FREE RIDER DILEMMA
Re: Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.'s Less is More:
Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. is dreaming. There will be no reduction in the size and scope of the federal government -- not when that federal government costs almost half of the American public nothing in terms of taxes.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
There is much in Mr. Crews' article to recommend it. One could say getting Congress to take overt responsibility for its actions may be a task comparable to cleaning the Aegian stables, but that would be an unfair criticism of the hygiene of livestock. To call the regulatory mess created by the Federal Government a "ball and chain policy" is far too polite, and I congratulate him on his restraint.
Mr. Crews touches on a crucial topic: the practice of delegating lawmaking power to agencies, which has resulted in the pernicious growth of administrative law. The resulting mountain of regulation is simply a response to the incentives created by Congress for each bureaucracy to regulate, monitor, grow, increase its scope, "justifying" its continued existence, so that it can compete for increased funding at the trough filled by compliant and malleable taxpayers.
For those in Congress who have a vested interested in the growth of government, it is a very agreeable arrangement: they merely need to avoid altering the incentives while the process continues unabated. At current growth rates, the slow-motion suicide of this nation will be completed in just a few more decades.
Could it be possible that an event so outrageous in its extent would spur overwhelming popular pressure to return our government to its rightful role(s) as specified in the Constitution? At this point I rather doubt it, given the Faustian bargain most of the electorate has struck with government. To borrow a line from "Zed" (Rip Torn) in the movie Men in Black: "You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training."
It may not be too early formulate your escape plan and keep your bug-out bag nearby.
-- Bud Hammons
Barack's speech was brilliant and will go down in history because it secured his radical left-wing base and will allow him to breeze to the nomination.
By embracing the person of Pastor Wright and denouncing his views, Obama has managed to have it both ways. Many thought the speech was going to distance Obama from Pastor Wright but that would have set apart the radical base and would not have satisfied "angry white men" anyway.
While, in general terms, Obama said that Pastor Wright was "wrong," he could have gone a long way in healing some of the racial divide by shooting down the myths that radicals like Wright pronounce as truths. Namely:
1) White Republicans invented the AIDS virus to kill black men;
2) George Bush actually did 9/11;
3) The world's problems are caused by America.
In this regard, Obama passed up a great opportunity to speak "truth to black power" and he utterly failed to do so.
-- John Sorg
Barack Obama claims that he is uniquely qualified to "bring our country together" and that despite his lack of experience and relative youth, he has demonstrated superior "judgment."
Obama has now acknowledged Reverend Jeremiah Wright, used incendiary language that widened the racial divide. Obama says of (his) fellow congregants that (their) anger is real; it is powerful; and that not understanding its roots, serves to widen the chasm between the races.
If Obama is really the Reconciler and Chief, why didn't he change the hearts of Rev. Wright and his flock over the past 20 years? Everyone is asking what influence the good Reverend had on the candidate, but shouldn't we be wondering why the very people Obama knew best, still hate America, the White Man and Israel?
With regard to the issue of judgment; Obama demeans President Bush, John McCain and the Clintons claiming that they didn't know what was going on inside Saddam's closed police state, (10,000 miles away) when he didn't know what was happening in the pew right next to him.
I think that pretty well sums up the qualifications issue.
-- Dennis Goldman
Have I taken leave of my senses, both mental and seeing and hearing? I keep reading about the brilliance of Obama's speeches even by people like Mr. Henry who do not agree with him. Am I the only person who is numbed by the stupefying banality and dullness of this man? Other than his perfect diction (I envy this more than I can say). He says nothing and says it in such a way that I can't listen more than a few seconds. The real test of speakers who can really hold the attention of an audience are talkers who are on three hours a day on the radio but even they have the advantages of times out for commercials and station breaks. But Russ, Sean, Dr Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell when he agrees to be on with Dr. Williams, Lee Elder and others that are able to hold our interest for long periods completely overshadow this pleasant, dull, man who in the final analysis is merely spouting words put into his mouth by liberal ideologues. I for one can't take much more of Obama, Hillary, or McCain. Let's vote now and avoid eight more months of this nonsense.
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan
With regard to Jeffrey Lord's observations regarding Obama and the Bombmaker's Church -- specifically that "the United Church of Christ is going to prove to be a veritable field of political landmines for Obama"" -- a number of factors merit consideration.
Like a college sophomore who has procrastinated until the last day, then been forced to pull an all-nighter to get his term paper in on time, Sen. Obama attempted to make a virtue of necessity in hopes of sending the Rev. Jeremiah Wright cancer on his candidacy into remission. The speech he delivered in Philadelphia on March 18, read from "invisible" TelePrompter screens, was cleverly written, delivered with his accustomed rhetorical flourish, and sophomoric in its conception, perhaps born of his view that he can always "get over" on guilt-ridden, gullible Whitey of which there seems, to him at least, to be an endless supply.
The speech simply had to be clever.
On the one hand he seeks to attract Cry Baby Boom cohort now feverishly working to elect Hillary in an ex post facto -- and desperate -- attempt to erase the reckless, stupid 'legacy' of the first elected president ever to be  disbarred and  impeached for lying under oath, Mr. Cry Baby Boomer himself, Slick Willie. As the leading edge of a younger generation inexorably elbowing the post WWII cry babies out of their accustomed -- uncritical and ever flattering -- limelight, Sen. Obama has to be tactful as hell or risk losing the resentful, self-pitying Blame America First/Cry Baby Boomer vote altogether.
On the other hand, he had to continue to appeal to the very genuine desire of a great many Americans -- creating a bridge that would at long last transcend race, age and gender -- to come together according to the motto on our coinage, E PLURIBUS UNUM (from many, one) in the belief stated by our Founders that all men are indeed created equal. In aid of this difficult balancing task, it was necessary for Sen. Obama to trash his white grandmother, portraying her as a racist. It was also necessary for him to 'explain' Rev. Jeremiah Wright's hatred of America in a way that would elicit the sympathy of Whitey while not alienating Black church members.
It was, in short, a magnificent, but foolishly immature effort to 'get over'. Why immature? Because the strength of Sen. Obama's pitch has always been that he has the JUDGMENT to be president based on his cheap, sideline condemnation of our campaign in Iraq well before he was a United States Senator.
Sadly for Sen. Obama, his actions belie his fancy words. A MATURE man of seasoned judgment fit for the highest office in the land would not have wasted TWENTY YEARS deciding WHETHER to distance himself from a hateful, racially prejudiced bigot capable of bellowing GOD DAMN AMERICA from the pulpit of his church. In the context of the Presidential sweepstakes there is no excuse for putting a curse on America, no matter how nimble the rhetoric seeking to explain it away.
While most generous Americans can -- and probably will -- write off this blunder of a talented green horn to the folly of youth, this stumble will likely doom his candidacy this year. No wonder Hillary has that cat-that-ate-the-canary smile on her aging puss. The good news for Sen. Obama is that if Hillary loses to Sen. McCain, Obama will be around in four years, still in the prime of all his youthful vigor, to collect his chips and apply the lessons so painfully learned in 2008.
-- Thomas Stuart
Re: Larry Thornberry's Brer Howard and the Tar Baby:
It is with delight that I watch the Democrats disenfranchise their own "sheeple" as they have tried to do for over a quarter century to military voters and Republicans in the upper Midwest and other states afflicted with corrupt Democrat politicians in power. The chaos and confusion Democrats are causing in Florida is illustrative of what they want to do to taxpayers, American business, the environment and government at all levels. As Bug's Bunny would say, "What a bunch of maroons!"
The Democrat party is a monstrosity of corruption, arrogance and deception. The Florida debacle is just one more example of why these buffoons do not need to be in control of the White House, Congress or even public latrines. Is it any wonder that shady businessmen, fat cat lobbyists, union thugs, al Qaeda and dictators around the world love Democrats -- not only for their well documented addiction to graft and anti-American cowardice, but their ineptitude?
What happened to the patronizing Democrat mantra of "count every vote?" Hillary deserves to have her Florida and Michigan delegates seated. That is the fair thing to do. It also guarantees to make the Democrat primary season and convention more entertaining for Republicans and the nation. The Clinton soap opera just keeps giving and giving. Happy days are here again.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
ONE MORE THING
Re: Robert VerBruggen's A Clean Shot:
Please allow a follow up to the points that I raised yesterday.
At one stage in the questioning of Alan Gura, the attorney who sought to overthrow the D.C. ban on all handguns, Justice Stephen Breyer sought to bring the discussion around to finding the best possible solution in dealing with the regulations of keeping, yet regulating, individual gun ownership.
After Gura responded to a series of hypothetical situations, the Justice then asked Gura this question: would it not, he inquired, be better for all concerned if the legislature, not the judiciary, devise ways and means to handle these regulations? Then came his comment: You wouldn't want 1000 judges making this kind of decision, would you?
There is a supreme irony in the framing of that question by Breyer. It lies in the fact that what the Justice saw as an impediment to good government was precisely what he and the other Liberals on the Court have been preaching and practicing for decades: the replacement of the popular will expressed through the voting process, by judicial fiat.
As I said: it was a good day for the conservative cause.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Re: Christopher Orlet's Publius or Perish:
Better than passing yet another stupid law, people who object to an anonymous message of any kind ought to quote back to the slanderous (or uninformed) Anon a paraphrase from ole Ezra Pound: "If a person will not [openly] defend his ideas, then either the ideas are no good or he is no good." Hiding behind a fake name is cowardly.
Shaming and ostracism work against the mean-spirited postings of those who hide their identity. As for children, parents or other adults ought to be part of all their Internet activity.
-- Jameson Campaigne
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