LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Dearest John:
While I appreciate Ms. Fabrizio's civil attempt to prompt some form of dialogue with Senator McCain on issues of importance, the effort seems quixotic, if not a complete waste of time. Ms. Fabrizio doesn't seem to know the man who is John McCain. This "straight talker" owes his current front runner status to years of fawning media coverage stemming from his embrace of "maverick" (i.e., liberal) policies. Does Ms. Fabrizio believe that McCain will somehow have a conversion on the road to Damascus and embrace conservative positions - the repudiation of which put him in the limelight in the first place? I suppose one could hope that McCain will reject the half-baked McCain-Lieberman carbon regulation bill, the McCain-Feingold free speech strangulation act, the McCain-Kennedy open borders bill, his open disdain of tax cuts "for the rich" in 2001 and 2003, his support of broad federal funding of stem cell research, etc., etc., etc. The audacity of such hope seems a tad breathtaking. McCain can't effectively reach out to conservatives without appearing to pander. The Catch 22 for the old boy is that he has zero chance of winning without a lot of help from committed conservatives. Committed conservatives, for their part, are certainly not going to shill out for McCain, just because he's opposed to Obama. Quite a conundrum for the good Senator, it would appear. Having observed this preening media marionette him over the years, however, I doubt that he truly grasps the depth of his problem, and will do little to address it.
-- Peter R. McGrath
Winter Park, Florida
A couple of more things Lisa. Perhaps a postscript to John.
Don't close Gitmo John and bring that scum to Leavenworth, KS for trials and defense attorneys provided by the ACLU. It is a security risk, and exactly what Clinton would have done. You claim to be strong on defense, act like it.
Listen, the amnesty bill failed. Do not bring it up again, no matter how much you want to legalize illegal aliens. Instead promise to introduce legislation that mimics that just enacted in Oklahoma which has resulted in illegals fleeing the state in dramatic numbers. And John secure the borders.
Senator, please enact legislation that allows our forces to interrogate outside the requirements of a field manual. I know you and "Amnesty Graham" were enthralled with it, but the kids in harm's way could use a little flexibility in questioning the enemy.
Finally the next time you give an interview to a German magazine stand up for your country and its principles, just a little. Most Americans I know would appreciate it.
But sadly, Lisa, I think you and I both ask too much of the Senator.
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri
Why I think our country will be better off in the long term if John McCain is not elected president:
1. I suspect he will compromise with Democrats to raise income/FICA/Medicare taxes (on the rich) to avoid an upcoming, media created, fictitious, budget crisis.
2. He will compromise with Democrats to enact some form of universal health care (for his legacy, and to make the issue disappear much like how the prescription drug crisis for the elderly disappeared after Bush's plan was passed). The health care union will eventually control health care and vote exclusively for Democrats, who will continually pass favorable legislation for their financial security.
3. Our southern border will be 'enforced', but not secured. All the problems associated with people and narcotics entering our country illegally will continue to be suppressed. The 'racist' accusation will haunt republicans as Hispanics begin to overwhelmingly support Democrats. The liberal media will convince Mexican-Americans that all their problems are due to evil republicans. McCain will compromise with Democrats giving illegals the right to vote (for Democrats) and will issue a blanket presidential pardon to illegals immigrants. But no to amnesty!
4. Only liberal Supreme Court justices will be replaced by Hillary or Obama. McCain will compromise with Democrats to appoint only justices Dems approve of.
5. All candidates won't mind if another major terrorist attack occurs. They'll blame Bush and use the issue for political gain.
6. Global warming, energy independence, public education, political bribery (oops, I mean campaign finance), and many other issues won't matter.
Basically, things are going to get worse, no matter who is president. I expect a Dem-controlled congress will not be replaced with a GOP congress in 2010 with McCain in office. The people will blame and replace, in mass, whichever party controls the White House in the next presidential election. Let's look forward to 2012 and beyond.
-- Paul Hoffmann
San Antonio, Texas
While sitting in my den a few days ago, I was interrupted by a knock at the door by a campaign worker for Ron Paul. He gave me a brochure and departed forthwith, leaving me to read or discard it as I might choose. I read it and was surprised to note that I agree with Mr. Paul on virtually every point covered with the notable exception of his position on the war in Iraq. This was high irony for me because I had just finished reading a list (lengthy) of John McCain's positions on the issues of the day. It appeared to me that Mr. Paul is wrong on the single most important issue and right on most of the others while Mr. McCain is right on the single most important issue (the war) and wrong on most of the others. It would appear that I am impaled on the horns of a dilemma from which there appears to be no escape. As I read Ms. Fabrizio's letter to Mr. McCain, I could not help but wonder if she has noticed the same thing that I noticed.
Early and often I have noticed Mr. McCain's disdain for conservative beliefs and values, and it would seem that Ms. Fabrizio has addressed some of the most serious ones. My question would be that, instead of trying to massage Mr. McCain away from his many progressive stances, perhaps conservative commentators should attempt to massage Mr. Paul away from his one. Ms. Fabrizio seems to be quite a sensible woman with a great command of the language. I think she might be the woman for the job.
-- Joseph Baum
I am not a fan of John McCain. I'm still thinking of casting my absentee ballot in the Texas primary for Mitt Romney, but ultimately I will vote for John McCain, because he is a Republican and out "patriotic self-preservation." While principled Rush Limbaugh will spend the election ensconced behind his famed golden Attila the Hun microphone, conservative first Sean Hannity will be safe in a Fox studio and Ann Coulter will be excoriating John McCain on behalf of Hillary Clinton I will be in Iraq with a Battalion of Marines. Because of that one word, Iraq, I don't want this election to go as the last one did when supporters of the Democrat party influenced the 2006 election with IED's and suicide bombers. Nor do I want the Battalion fighting its way out of Iraq, because the Muj are inspired by the election of their fellow traveler or an aging doctrinaire liberal eager to appease her resentful radical base.
It is easy to condemn John McCain for his "maverick" or more accurately incoherent politics (espousing environmental nonsense, energy stupidity, advocacy for terrorist's rights and Constitutional waywardness), but the sage words of Ronald Reagan (America's second greatest President after conservative George Washington) remind me that surrendering in politics, because of principles isn't sound judgment much less good politics. For those who wrap themselves in Ronald Reagan here is how the Gipper responded to "principled conservatives" attacking his pragmatic Presidency -- "Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."
Reagan the politician worked with liberal Democrat Bill Bradley to double the self-employment tax in a failed attempt to "save" Social Security. Reagan the idealist granted blanket amnesty and citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, because he believed these people could be part of the American dream (sounds a lot like Bush and McCain). In an attempt to assuage the ire of fiscal conservatives he raised Federal taxes 6 times. The man with an eye to history made his first appointment to the Supreme Court a moderate female -- Sandra Day O'Connor. In a conciliatory spirit with Democrats he appointed a little known moderate Justice Kennedy to the highest court in the land. In the tradition of LBJ and Nixon he even created an entire new bureaucracy (the Department of Veteran Affairs); saved 3 he promised to eliminate (Commerce, Energy and Education) and allowed a host of Democrat "sacred cows" to survive (PBS, legal aid, etc.). Reagan even ignored Iran's involvement in the murder of hundreds of Marines and he allowed the terrorist leader who brutally tortured and murdered a Navy Seal to go free (that man has just reportedly died in Syria thanks to Israel). Reagan regularly touted his amiable working relationship with uber liberal Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil. Using the criteria many conservatives use to "judge" President Bush and John McCain the Gipper was NOT a "conservative." He was a "RINO." Of course, that's BS, but ignorance regarding the history of the Reagan era shouldn't give "conservatives" carte blanche to twist the facts to fit their personal fantasies.
How we got here is quite obvious -- John McCain despite the criticism of the conservative media or maybe because of it has won the most votes in GOP primaries. Why didn't a staunch "Reagan conservative" win? Simple, those who now invoke the name of Republican Ronald Reagan to attack his heirs and party have replaced the real Reagan with a phony caricature. If the "conservative movement" is in trouble (something that I'm now dubious about thanks to the youth at CPAC) the trouble has been one of our own making for failing to heed the "big tent" wisdom of Ronald Reagan and substituting it with a "conservative" version of MoveOn.org litmus tests and tumult.
Before "principled conservatives" choose to stay home or cavalierly throw away another election and injure the nation by empowering Democrats they need to heed the prescient words of Ronald Reagan from October 1964 -- "We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening."
-- Michael Tomlinson
Hooray for Lisa. Keep at it. I am "in touch" with your opinion regarding Sen. McCain. Please add to "Conservative Complaints" my opinion that either Sen. McCain or Rev. Huckabee were "civil" in their "nasty" treatrment of Gov.Romney only because he is bright, rich and far better looking and "Presidential" than either one of them. Also the Romney "family" is, by far, the more class-act!
-- Gene Simmons
ARCHBISHOP OF CANT
Re: Peter G. Riddell's The Archbishop and Sharia: A Pas de Deux?:
Rowan Williams seems determined to go from being a public embarrassment to a public menace.
-- Mary McLemore
Pike Road, Alabama
The conclusion that the Archbishop of Canterbury has serious thinking to do misses the point. If the Archbishop were capable of serious thinking, he would never have made a fool of himself in the first place. He said he wasn't an expert, and then went ahead and gave his opinion anyway! Talking about something that you don't know about is the very definition of stupidity -- how on earth did this idiot get a Ph.D? And what is he doing in a church where he spends his time defending those who regularly attack his own faith and his own congregation? The Archbishop of Canterbury is the first person I have ever heard of who is a member of a church that he clearly thinks is morally and spiritually inferior.
All this is sad enough, but the real kicker is that when the Archbishop attended the Anglican Church Synod, he was given a standing ovation! Not only is the Archbishop incapable of serious thought, his own church leadership congratulates him for it. No wonder Christians are despised and attacked around the world when this is the quality of their leadership.
-- Christopher Holland
The Archbishop's use of Beth Din to justify Sharia demonstrates his complete lack of understanding of Jewish Orthodoxy, and is, ultimately, an insult, to Judaism. Jews have always submitted to the law of the land where ever they migrated. The Orthodox take only religious matters to the Beth Din. If a mutilations, beatings or "honor crimes" were reported to this community, the rabbis would be obligated to report these crimes to the proper legal authorities. Even an ardent anti-religionist as Mr. Hitchens acknowledges, Jews, in general, do follow British law. Contrary to the Jewish way, many Muslims' disregard human rights and national laws by protecting criminal British citizens in their own courts. The Archbishops is either being willfully ignorant or duplicitous in citing the Jewish courts to justify Muslim human rights abuse.
Certainly not all Muslims have trouble accommodating national laws; mostly Wahabite courts, purveyors of a fundamentalist and convoluted version of sharia, are the ones who most often run afoul of the law of the land. Under Wahabi understanding, women are often treated as no more than chattel. As Abraham Lincoln stated almost 150 years ago, a house divided cannot stand. British law must be for all citizens or none. The same holds true for the United States of America.
As for religionist coming to America, Muslims are welcome here to practice freely; but freedom is not license. All who join our community, our nation, are compelled to follow the laws of this nation. No exceptions to state of federal laws allow Mormons to practice polygamy. No special rules allow followers of Santeria to practice ritual slaughter and sacrifice of animals. No public good is achieved when a nation makes exceptions for religious practices that are, in any way, intolerant of basic human rights. The laws are to protect all people, from the strongest to the weakest, especially the weakest.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Britain's "fragmented society" is a testament to the bankruptcy of multiculturalism. Muslims understand that far better than the Brits. They know what uncritical tolerance of the "religion of peace" really amounts to: the incremental surrender of Western culture to Islamo-fascist totalitarianism--without a shot being fired.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
It is easy to accept Peter Riddell's contention that Anglican Archbishop Williams is "humble," "no expert," has a "lack of self-confidence," and may not have been precisely quoted.
But he is also the archbishop of one of the world's largest religions. Many millions of people around the world listen when he talks. He should pause to ponder before he shoots his mouth off. He should consult experts before flapping his gums. On obviously controversial topics he should issue precise statements so he will be precisely quoted instead of shooting from the hip.
This is just another act of the irresponsible leadership that is resulting in the Anglican church imploding around the world, and especially in the U.S'
-- Jim Jastrzembski
Re: William Tucker's Biofuels Meltdown:
While I agree with pretty much everything in Mr. Tucker's piece, he fails to address one potential source of biofuel: algae. According to various articles I have seen, algae, requiring only water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight, can be grown virtually anywhere, would require the destruction of no cropland or wilderness areas (the current plans are to use giant plastic bags in the desert or possible even in urban areas) and could use the carbon dioxide given off by conventional fossil fuel power plants (or other sources -- one experimental facility uses the carbon dioxide given off by a brewery). Given this, and the fact that by one estimate we would need only an area roughly the size of New Mexico to produce enough algae to power the entire U.S. transportation fleet, it would seem that this is one biofuel that has real potential. I realize that this is still in the developmental stage, but is there an algae-as-biofuel killer problem out there that I'm unfamiliar with?
-- Scott C. Pandich
Oneonta, New York
One of the most reliable ideas modern-day America can depend on is this: facts never impede activism. If that were not true, who could explain why we choose to burn food to make fuel?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
Why do we even worry about who is going to be the next president? If a guy like Jimmy Carter can't ruin this country, no one can.
-- Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I am not a scientist, but I've been saying this for a long time. One thing that you left out it the transportation of biofuels! You can not pipe this stuff! Another dirty little secret is biofuels burns faster and offers poor gas mileage. So, you have to fill up more, and you are burning more fuel than you would if you just burned gas.
Another thing, just where is the proof that CO2 is causing global warming? All ones needs has to do is to look up in the sky during the day on a clear day, and you will see quiet clearly what drives our weather and climate.
-- Jim Williams
Burning food has always been insane. Crop residue has been used for fuel. Liquid fuel is more convenient than solid fuel for transportation. Crop residue can be liquefied, but it is too expensive, for now. Electricity for transportation only makes sense if it can be supplied to the vehicle on wires like an electric locomotive on a commuter rail line.
So spend money on basic research on cellulosic ethanol production to liquefy crop residue. Build more nuclear electric generation plants. Build hybrid electric cars and trucks that can obtain power from a wire built into expressways. Electrify the freeways.
Notice that none of this requires a carbon tax to make sense today.
-- Paul Nelson
William Tucker gets it right on biofuels but embraces climate hysteria like a mindless lemming. It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent human beings arrive at their own peculiar and irrational belief systems. For instance, Rush Limbaugh has a remarkable intuitive grasp of climate science yet refuses to believe in evolution. A college educated friend of mine is firmly convinced the moon landing took place inside a Hollywood film studio -- yes, I really do know one of those people! I suspect Michael Crichton is pulling his hair out right about now, assuming he has any left.
-- John D. Runkle
PHARMING IT OUT
Re: W. James Antle III's Pharma Follies:
I enjoyed Antle's article about the unfair diatribes launched against the drug industry. However, I feel his article omitted a key point that demonstrates why the rhetoric of Clinton, Obama, and McCain is not just naive, it is dishonest. Politicians always rail against the drug companies for charging more in the U.S. than they charge in other countries. However, the price disparity is largely a product of the price controls and costs imposed on drug companies by those other countries. The drug companies are forced to charge more here to make up for the losses they suffer internationally. To act otherwise would be economic suicide for the manufacturers. The politicians are well aware of this, but they repeat their unfair attacks because the drug companies are easy targets and the pols don't want to be accused of being under the thumb of big business.
I agree that it is disgraceful that Americans have to subsidize the drug costs for the rest of the world. However, even a basic understanding of the economics demonstrates that the fault lies with governments, not drug companies. Of course hell will freeze over before a politician takes responsibility for this mess, which means that the real answers (i.e. fighting the price controls and other cost enhancers imposed on the drug industry by bureaucrats) will never be pursued. Politicians instead will pursue the easy and dishonest route of punishing the drug manufacturers, which will have the unintended consequence of suppressing R&D and driving needed medications out of the market.
-- Chris Major
You make me laugh. We little people who use these drugs know what the drug companies are doing. I have been an insulin dependent diabetic for 20 years. I have yet to see a new drug that comes on the market and replaces an old drug. What we get is a "new" drug to add to the ones we are already taking. Why is that? Take the sulfa drugs and glucophage. I was taking both drugs. They both went generic hence cheaper. What do the drug companies do? They combine sulfa and glucophage and call it GX something or other and hence not generic. Give me a break. I have taken synthroid for 40 years. It finally goes generic. The drug company fought this tooth and nail. Sen. Durbin was involved in helping them. It didn't work. That baloney about research will not work any longer. Just like the automobile industry if American companies are not innovative other countries will step into the breach i.e. Japan with Toyota and Honda. We will do just fine unless the drug companies end up killing a lot of us off by having the drugs come from China.
-- Annette Cwik
Re: Elizabeth Terrell's Whatever Happened to the Inner Child?:
Contrary to Ms. Terrell, I like the idea of No Child Left Inside, with its outdoor learning programs, riding bikes, running, swimming, and "experiencing nature directly."
When I was going to school, it was every boy's goal in life to get out of the classroom. You didn't need to tell us to ride our bikes, go running or swimming, or experience nature directly -- though my idea of that was climbing trees, digging underground forts, or yelping when I stepped on a nail while going directly barefoot in nature.
Getting out directly into nature was desirable because school was usually unrelieved drudgery. I didn't have ADD back then, but rather IDD, interest deficit disorder -- that is, I wasn't interested in anything. Except going outside.
I don't have a problem with the fee, with its attempt to limit indoor recreation. Too many choices are bad for kids, I always say. The only difficulty is the notion that "experiencing nature" will increase test scores, grades, attendance, build citizenship skills, and other stuff. That never happened in my case. I must humbly admit that my intellect was not as great back then as it is today.
But can indoor play cause all the fat kids to lose weight? Can it make their inner child less dumb than their outer child? Ms. Terrell cites proof, but I have doubts.
-- C. V. Crisler
I CAN'T DANCE, I CAN'T TALK
Re: JP Freire's On the Rivera:
"I don't look like a total ass when I dance."
As a middle-aged, white American male, I find this comment damn funny, and horribly true in my case.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Two left feet, Eden, Utah
Primo, I have a call in to A. Soprano, Sr., to ask him to send someone 'round to speak with you about your insult to Italians. See "Secondo," below.
Secondo, Gerry Rivers reminds me more of that old cartoon character "Six-Gun Pete" -- and acts like him.
Everything else you wrote about him is a treasure.
-- A. C. Santore
HE THINKS NOT
Re: Doug Bandow's Union Dues and Don'ts:
What your article failed to point out is the fact that in "Right to work for free" states, wages, benefits are out paced in non-right to work states. Labor Unions work for the worker. Sorry if it negatively impacts on corporate America's bottom line. Funny how all of the free trade deals negatively impacted on the Southern states who is all right to work for free states. I thought it was the high Unionization rates that drove business South fifty years ago. If that was the case what happened? Labor Unions never got a foothold on the Southern States. This Country has tried it your way for the past twenty-five years. Have wages gone up? I think not. Labor is making a comeback, the Department of Labor has just reported that Unionization has risen for the first time in years. You and your cronies better adjust you financial spread sheets. Here comes the Labor movement.
-- Greg Kotecki
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