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Dropping an Obama

Not First Lady material. Libertarian driving instructors. Scolding Ben Stein. Plus more.

2.20.08

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BELLE OF THE BALL
Re: Philip Klein's Michelle, My Belle:

Michelle Obama stuck her foot in her mouth. For that she has been pilloried. Can we now move on to something more substantive to talk about, or will conservatives be happy to continue emulating the obsessive nitpicking that defines hypersensitive liberals?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

I've never understood how being critical of one's own democracy, one we are responsible for collectively, is negative. Would letting a kid do anything with constant praise be considered love? Or being a responsible adult? Since when is praise and constant pride helpful to nations or citizens. Aren't we supposed to be engaged, in a democracy, in making the nation and world a better place? Why this I am proud all the time? How is that a helpful thing?

I just don't get it, this America is special, any country is special -- it is rude, and strange, and leads to nothing. What if people came to your house and you kept saying I am so proud of my house, my house is the best house in the world?

It's weird, and I wish there was a way to have a real discussion on nationalism and civic responsibility instead of whether a relatively young public figure has had reason to be especially proud of her nation so far-- I haven't been since I was a child, that was the 60s and 70s -- I don't think Carter was great, or Reagan, we haven't had a great president. We haven't defeated the Nazis recently, and have instead done a lot of things I am ashamed of and feel terribly guilty about as someone who is part of this democracy!

Scratch the surface of our military industrial economy and how it affects the world, ourselves and the next generation, and ask, does this make you proud? I mean, why that word, doesn't work for me. I have enormous hope for my country, enormous, and would like to be proud, would really love that, and hope for that.

That is not negative, that is hopeful, denial is depressing.
-- Betsy Podlach

Sir Richard Francis Burton, English explorer, linguist, author, soldier, and first Caucasian to visit Mecca during the Hajj, said, "Tell me a man's religion and I can tell you about half the man. Show me his wife, and I can tell you the rest."

What would the famous Englishman say about Senator Obama?
-- Ira M. Kessel

Klein didn't say it. Podhoretz didn't say it. Nor did Rush or Sean. But does anyone else really think that Michelle, not my belle, said "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country" for the first time ever? I think not.

Michelle and maybe Barack and almost certainly all of their ideological sycophants have been saying exactly that over and over, party after party, rally after rally, year after year, kind of like the incantations of monks over the centuries between the fall of Rome and the Age of Reason. The biggest shock to Michelle had to be that repeating, just one more time, in a public context, what she had said innumerable times privately, would cause such a fuss.

It should be a red flag for any thinking man to always come to the conclusion that he's "right" and they're "wrong". But I suggest that the most reliable standard to be applied to "right" and "wrong" is which utterance survives public scrutiny and the light of day and which doesn't. By that standard, red flag or no red flag, nothing a Democrat/Liberal says is "right", because it never survives public scrutiny and the light of day.

Learned your lesson, Michelle?
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

Philip Klein wrote, "What is most striking about her remarks is that they stand in stark contrast to the tone that has characterized Obama's rhetoric ever since he burst onto the national scene in his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech."

Not really.

Barack Obama did go on about words not being "just words," so we have to assume that his wife was speaking "not just words" in this situation also.

Her words fit perfectly with his "not jut words" when he called an American flag lapel pin "that thing" and his eloquent "not just silence" when the Pledge of Allegiance was being recited.

Movement and voice always make even the best camouflage lose its effectiveness.
-- A. C. Santore

Such a statement from Mrs. Obama reveals attitudes that are not appropriate in a First Lady.
-- David Shoup
Augusta, Georgia

McCAIN/COX?
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's The Cox Report:

Ms Fabrizio's missive inspired me to write the following letter to John McCain:

An open letter to Mr. John McCain,

Want to assure your election in November? Want to assure CA gives you its electors? Want to present a clear choice to the hollow demagoguery coming from the Dems? Want to unify the party, bringing back disaffected conservatives such as myself? There is one way to accomplish all:

Choose California representative Christopher Cox as your running mate! Do it soon! Cox is a true conservative, a Harvard MBA in Economics. He'll be your absolute perfect complement in skills, political power, ability to unify the party and excite the base. He has no liabilities, unless, of course, you consider a 98% conservative rating by the American Conservative Union to be a stigma.

I for one will send my most generous political contribution to you once I see you have made a substantive, genuine move to unify the Republican Party. I'm sure millions more are waiting for this essential gesture of solidarity.

Please do it! You know you need the best weapons to fight the good battle against the energized Democrats this summer and fall. Chris Cox is such a powerful weapon.

Your party's future rests in the balance, not to mention that of the nation you so valiantly fought in the jungle battles of Vietnam. This election is as compelling battle for the future security of the world, for which a Republican victory in November is no less essential.
-- Robert
New Jersey

That's a strong case for Chris Cox as McCain's running mate. He's a very attractive guy, with an impressive history and a lot of his future ahead of him. Another thought: what about J.C. Watts, or Steele, the former Lt. Governor of Maryland?
-- John G. Hubbell

I'm worried about Lisa Fabrizio. Is she still swooning after writing about the "brilliant, virile and handsome" Christopher Cox? As someone who worked in the district that he represented and met people who knew him, I was surprised to read about his "sunny disposition" and "air of equanimity." More importantly, I seriously doubt that Cox would enable McCain to carry California in November. I'm hoping that McCain will chose a current or former governor as his running mate instead.
-- K. Simonson

SCIENTIFIC SCOLDS
Re: Ben Stein's Florida's Darwinian Interlude and David Dawson's letter (under "Faulty Intelligence") in Reader Mail's Why Not Goldwater:

In his report on the Florida "educrats" attempt to introduce strict Darwinism in the school curricula, Ben Stein reminded me of the conversion by a noted French scientist and agnostic (whose name escapes me for the moment). This scientist calculated the probability of accidental formation of life in that Darwinian organic soup. He first postulated a very extremely simple living cell, consisting of only two kinds of molecules, say black and white (there are in reality many thousands of different molecules in a living cell); then he postulated that there are only 2000 such molecules necessary to produce such a living cell (a real living cell has millions of different types of molecules). In a further attempt to simplify this cellular structure, he assumed that an orderly line of one white and one black would be arranged in a line of only 1000 each of such molecules.

His question was as follows: a) how big would such an organic soup have to be to produce that simple living cell by chance mixing, and b) how long would it take. He calculated the following: it would take the entire known universe of some 10 to the power of 80 molecules, half white and half black, about 16 billion years which is the longest estimated age of the known universe, to produce such a simple living cell once.

His conclusion was that a spontaneous formation of that vastly simplified living cell in a vastly simplified universe was absolutely and definitely impossible. He then stated that anybody believing in a chance formation of life in the face of these mathematical facts must be totally insane.

Perhaps Ben Stein might be interested in these scientific facts.
-- Marc Jeric

By its very definition, a "theory" is not a scientific fact, but rather a supposition to explain something otherwise unexplained. There is no doubt that the theory of evolution can sometimes explain how life has developed, but it cannot explain how life was created. The problem comes when someone tries to force the truth about the former to fit a theory about the latter.
-- A. C. Santore

Ben old bean, anybody can protest that "To my little pea brain, these are some pretty big issues about evolution, the origins of life, and genetics that Darwinism cannot answer." But being a lawyerly sort you know you risk getting sanctioned big time if you start pounding the table before you check to see if there are law books you can open to relevant precedent.

Since you are surrounded by university libraries, why don't you take yourself to one and crack open some back issues of say, the Journal of Cosmology, Physical Review, and hell, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and check out the latest on "How did the universe start? Where did matter come from? Where did energy come from? Where did the laws of motion, thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, come from? Where did gravity come from?' Instead of standing around trying to sandbag the Socratic Method?

Think of it as method acting due diligence , and get back to us as soon as you figure out what Ferris's science teacher would say if the poor SOB died and returned after spending a warm eon in the ninth circle of Graduate School? In any event congrats on Tom Bethell's review of Expelled. A cult that imagines itself persecuted by another cult is God's gift to cult film fans
-- Russell Seitz

I understand you published a letter recently by David Dawson alleging that there are no creationist physicians. You stand corrected.
-- Robert G. Person, MD FAAFP
Liberty, SC

WE DON'T NEED NO HEALTH CONTROL
Re: Jeffrey Emanuel's Unfree to Choose:

This "healthcare plank" is obviously the first step in Hillary's platform of Socialism. She has made similar statements before regarding taking from the richer and giving to the poorer. This plays right into the illegal alien issue that the Democrats don't want to address. Millions of people seeking hand-outs mean millions of voters for Democrats.
-- John Nelson
Hebron, Connecticut

Mr. Emanuel succinctly states the core tenets of "Billarycare." It is coercive; very expensive (so you will pay twice -- once via tax increases and once via wage garnishment); and completely unnecessary.

Read this article and tell me you won't vote for John McCain! Remember the words of Ronald Reagan: "The closest thing to eternal life is a government entitlement program." If we allow the radical socialists like Hillary and Obama to hijack our medical system, we will never get it back.
-- Jay Molyneaux

CLICK IT OR TICKET
Re: Eric Peters' Don't Want to Buckle Up for Safety:

As a Libertarian Driving Instructor, I do worry about the nanny-state forcing people to wear their seat-belts backfires. Usually, when people are forced to do something, they resent it on that principle alone. Ironically, while something like wearing your seatbelt or helmet is in the best interest, they fight it on the freedom principle.

On the other hand is the overall public cost. My mother points out that when people do not wear their seat-belt or helmet, the often end up at her rehab center. And how do these victims cover their medical costs for rehab? Medicaid or Medicare. That is public money we pay taxes into. Then someone soaks it up when they refuse to wear their seatbelt or helmet.

Yes, I agree we cannot force someone to do the right thing, but we can give an incentive. So change the law that if a motorist or motorcyclist chooses not to wear a seatbelt or helmet and gets into a wreck and needs Medicaid to pay the bill, they have to pay it back at least 90 per cent of it.

Maybe that might get their attention.
-- Stephen Scott
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Thirty some years ago in automobile accident suits the insurance defense bar tried to introduce the concept that failure to wear a seat belt should be deemed to constitute contributory negligence per se, and in states that had not modified the old common law concept that would have been an absolute bar to he plaintiff's recovery of any damages. In states adopting the concept of comparative negligence, it would have sharply reduced any damage award.

The plaintiffs' bar jumped in and succeeded in getting numerous state legislatures to pass legislation that stated the failure of an injured plaintiff to wear a seat belt could not be introduced for the purpose of establishing contributory negligence or comparative negligence.

If the public policy goal is to get almost everybody to belt up, the easiest way to do it would be to adopt legislation barring negligence claims from people who suffered injury from being thrown about beltless in an automobile. There would be a lot of maimed beggars in the streets of this country, but after awhile people would catch on and many more lives would be saved and severity of injuries greatly reduced.
-- Stuart W. Settle
Richmond, Virginia

I agree with the article written by Eric Peters 'Don't Want to Buckle-Up for Safety?' Government should general leave the adult population alone.

I had seen an article several days earlier that conflicts with his assumption that the obese use more in medical care than the physical fit. I would direct him to consider this article.
-- Karl

It's clear someone left his thinking cap off when writing this article.

First time I ever used a seat belt was on a lengthy freeway trip back around 1968. Not five miles on my way I was forced into a panic stop. The car went into a bad skid, and I almost slid off the bench seat. The belt -- rather loose though it was -- held me in and allowed me to control the skid. Without it I might have shot across three lanes of traffic.

So "Does the guy in the next lane's decision..." affect you? It certainly might have that day, Mr. Peters. I've never failed to use a belt since.
-- Richard Donley

WHERE CONSERVATISM COUNTS
Re: R. Andrew Newman's Where Corn Counts:

To paraphrase W.S. Gilbert, "For airy condescension mixed with amoral lust for "free" government money and power, give me a Beltway-wannabe Republican every time."

It doesn't matter to Mr. Newman that biofuel and ethanol and other such "eco-friendly" boondoggles waste energy by consuming more energy than they generate and pollute the environment with toxic soy fumes. No, in his tiny worldview that ends at the edge of the cornfields, the only thing that matters is that somebody will get rich on this scam, and Republicans should be getting their pockets stuffed and their mouths full rooting at this latest government subsidized trough.

No wonder the Republicans are staring at a loss of historic proportions, if this is the kind of klutz who is enthusiastic about Senator McCain.

I am a registered Democrat. But Jimmy Carter's massive incompetence and Ronald Reagan's promise of a strong American persuaded me to vote Republican for President in 1980, and I have voted Republican for President ever since. This year may be a toss-up.
-- Frank Dalton
High Point, North Carolina

Coming from Louisiana and a Conservative, the idea that bio-fuels are better than gasoline itself is hard to accept. However, reality is that we will not be drilling for oil and gas for many years as long as our media is controlled by the Left. So, we must have bio-fuels. But why must we use corn to make them? Why must we, at the mouth of the Mississippi, have to live with an ever growing dead-zone in our Gulf of Mexico that comes from the increased fertilizers required to grow corn? Why must we give up the best fishing anyone can have, around our artificial reefs-also known as oil rigs-so that corn is grown to make bio-fuels? Don't you like seafood? Don't you know that 95% of all seafood harvested in the Gulf of Mexico comes from around those oil rigs? This needs to be presented to the growers, so that they can plant saw grass or some other plant that doesn't require so much nitrogen to produce, but makes fine ethanol. Maybe we could work out some kind of arrangement that those states might get cheaper seafood if they don't contribute to the growing dead-zone. But that will happen anyway, without any special arrangements just by reducing the size of the dead zone, since then more fish will survive and there will be more fish in the market.
-- Jim Davidson

I am a 4th generation Republican who knows why he is a Republican. I do not take my marching orders from the Christian Right or talk radio.

I was born in corn country and have grown-up in wheat country. I will not be lectured by such a plebian writer as R. Andrew Newman.

What socialist school taught him that it is the nation's job to bail-out the grain belt with a boondoggle?

I won't be supporting anyone who favors promoting bio-fuels in lieu of drilling for real petroleum.

I will not be voting for McCain this side of heaven. He has not simply turned his back on me; he has actually carried the water for the other side, not once but many times.

I will vote Libertarian this time.

We survived 4 years of Jimmy, the midget, and we were blessed with the rise of Ronaldus Magnus.

If we can survive 4 years of Obama or Hillary, we will perhaps once again be blessed with a Conservative.

Till then, quit throwing ink in my face, unless you can muster more substance.
-- James P. Banks

BOB LOTT CONSERVATIVES
Re: Jeremy Lott's Bob Lott for President:

I'm sure Jeremy Lott's father is a fine man. He might even make a decent President, but he didn't enter the Presidential race so why should anyone waste their vote on a man who doesn't even want to be President? School yard antics don't cut it in this dangerous world where grownups play with bombs and kill people in the name of their faith. It doesn't cut it when Democrats plan to elect from their two choices the first "female" President determined to undermine this nation's security and economic dominance. Don't forget George W. Bush won't be around in 2009 to protect us from their Democrat's supporters in al Qaeda or their plans to punish us with higher taxes.

If Ronald Reagan were alive today he'd be disgusted by the antics of conservatives who seem determined to undo everything he and his Republicans have accomplished. I can just here him chiding the childish behavior of some conservatives -- "There they go working to empower Democrats." He might even quote his friend Barry Goldwater and tell conservatives "to grow up" and stop acting like spoiled children.

To those "conservatives" who seem determined to elect liberal Democrats and destroy the Republican party -- You're no Reagan conservatives!
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

BRING BACK THE GUNS
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's Rudd Awakening:

I found Mr. Colebatch's column on the new Labor Government in Australia very enlightening, if not very hopeful. Of course, since our Aussie cousins simply bowed down and meekly acquiesced to being disarmed by their government, since they are now considerably more dependant on the government for self defense in their homes, they will simply have to go along with whatever Mr. Rudd wishes, won't they? This is precisely why I would NEVER vote for a gun control, anti 2nd Amendment politician like Mayor Rudy G or almost any of the Dems. I keep hoping that, somehow, our Aussie cousins will come to their senses and force the government to let them have their guns back. I shall not hold my breath, however.
-- Ken Shreve

A big tent is fine, if you want to live in a tent.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

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