Re: Jeff Emanuel's Arnold's Gray Days:
Perhaps the steroids have reached his brain.
-- Dan Mittelman
Mr. Emanuel's article illustrates the sad results of the R. Limbaugh/GW Bush go along to get along style of party driven politics. The same sort of damaging "wait your turn" approach to leadership that got us Dole will get them Rodham-Clinton. Given the Bush failures and reneging on conservative values (all the while being cheered to the point of odiousness by R. Limbaugh) it is no surprise to see another faux-conservative entertainer (like Limbaugh) Schwarzenegger choose the same non-conservative road. Standing by a politician (Bush) who stands for nothing and has no core values diminishes those of us who cherish conservative ideals.
-- David C. LeMeur
Huntersville, North Carolina
Schwarzenegger's problem was that he failed (miserably) to educate the citizenry of what needed to be done. He was mostly correct in summing up California's problems. They're the same problems that most government entities are rife with. But instead of keeping up the pressure publicly, he decided that the state could do what Americans can do better if unshackled by the state.
Similar to Michigan, California has debts piling up and residents unable/unwilling to pay. But Michigan, unlike California, chose to perpetuate their misery by re-electing Jennifer Granholm after experiencing the first 4 years of decline, to further wreck their state rather than revert back to a Republican governor who at the least, may have slowed the growth of the state.
Thus we suffer, the promises of a growing government, and the realities of a shrinking populace, declining home values, and an anti-growth strategy used against private industry and individuals. The remainder in Michigan, unable to sell their homes and get out, watch the former "Arsenal of Democracy" grow ever silent and its residents throw once valuable resources into their campfires as the cave dwellers remain silent and refuse to acknowledge voting for a huge mistake -- twice.
-- P. Aaron Jones
California is inexorably headed toward nationhood. The impetus for seceding from these United States comes from Mexico and its migrant citizens and a liberal Socialist culture that insists on spending more than it can afford. If deficits stay small, the State can continue for some time to finance the debt with bond issues and by raising taxes. If deficits continue, however, the time will come when the State either bankrupts itself and begs to be bailed out by the U.S. taxpayer, or secedes to become a separate entity, be it super-state, territory, possession, or nation.
As a nation California would have one of the largest economies in the world. It could borrow money and run deficits that are eventually repudiated just as other nations of the world do. That is because inflation erodes the value of the debt over time. Thus a 14 billion dollar debt in 2007 and a 3 percent inflation rate would be worth half in about 25 years, one fourth in 50 years and one eighth in 75 years (rule of 72). That is the system nations use to run deficits. States and local governments however eventually bankrupt if they do not pay debts when due. Even nations can bankrupt if other nations and their own citizens will not loan them money, but because of the World Bank and other world banks and often the generosity of the U.S., this rarely happens.
If America regains control of its borders, Mexico's influence and economic pressure on California will diminish. But the influence of California's liberal politicians will continue. What Arnold started should be continued, not abandoned as he seems to signal. California's citizens can make their resolve known by electing leaders known to be fiscally conservative. Arnold still has time to prove himself a successful Governor rather than a successful politician.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Jeff Emanuel, in highlighting Governor Schwarzenegger's failures, hit upon a sensitive issue for all states. For over a decade many states have taken Washington DC's lead in running up huge bills. Taxes in many states have sky-rocketed. In my state of Indiana, many property taxes have risen as much as 400 percent in the last 4 years. (This, by the way, cost a supposedly popular Democratic Indianapolis Mayor his job, and GOP Governor Daniels is fighting furiously to get a reform of the reform through the legislature.) States, unlike the Beltway have specific hard duties that must be performed efficiently if the normal day to day lives of the citizens are to continue. Public safety, education, well built roads, sidewalks, traffic signals, bridges, and snow removal are expected to be delivered by the local and state governments. These services are necessities.
Yet, many states have gone beyond the offering of the most basic services. Like the Beltway, many state capitols have gone into the pork business. State Lobbyists of all types have lobbied for additional spending and regulations that put the ability of many of the most basic services now in jeopardy. California, as in the past has set the tone -- which should serve as a warning to other states. California for over a decade has been the liberal's Nirvana. Feeding off the tax revenues of Silicon Valley, and the financial services sector, California added billions of dollars in additional spending to care for illegal aliens, public education, public transportation, and their famed universities. Additionally, California has some of the stiffest pollution standards, some of the most restrictive land-use laws, and under Governor Schwarzenegger California has enacted very onerous carbon emission laws. The Global Warming lobbyists have gone as far as to promote a law that will allow state regulators to set thermostats of individual homes during periods of "peak energy usage." Of course, California's problems with energy production are related to their restrictive laws concerning power plants. Under both Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, California has not built enough power plants -- this despite growing demand from increased industry and population. Californians must now ration energy during the hot summer months. This very big problem has nothing to do with oil shortages or global warming, and everything to do with a state government run amuck.
Across the country many communities have crumbling sidewalks, pot-holed streets, near bankrupt school districts, and under sized police forces. Yet, these same states find money for expensive monuments, parks, half billion dollar sporting arenas, urban community centers, and subsidies for little used public transportation. At the same time income and property taxes have sky-rocketed, and most states have gone into the gaming business. Finding creative ways of "raising new revenue" has become a cottage industry for most states and cities.
Unlike the Beltway, state and local elections tend to be more volatile. The failure of providing snow removal during the 1979 Chicago Blizzard cost Mayor Michael Bilandic his job; memories of the 2000-2001 black-outs cost Gray Davis his. (Yes, Enron had a hand in it, but capping what public utilities can charge customers is a sure way to disaster.) At some point voters take notice that their community is not just unsafe, unkempt, but also very expensive. Large Corporations eventually vote with their feet. California has one of the most diversified economies in the world. But even California can suffer from a decade of mismanagement. Huge deficits, crumbling infrastructure, Orwellian regulations all add up to a gathering political storm. Despite significantly higher taxes, California doesn't have enough cash to repair roads, run public schools, or add additional law enforcement. When he agreed to raise taxes earlier in his term, Governor Schwarzenegger failed to understand one of the first rules in dealing liberal bureaucracies -- there are never enough taxes to go around no matter how high you raise them. Of course, the Governor never was much of a conservative. Schwarzenegger was living in a fantasy world of hybrid cars, rising real estate prices, carbon free air, and Euro-Socialism while his state went to hell. In a few years he can retire from public life and leave the taxpayers a huge mess to clean up.
Ah-nold has proven to be a disgrace, as one can see from his actions as California governor and as documented in Jeff Emanuel's fine article. Years of body-building steroids and hob-nobbing with the Kennedy has softened his brain to the point of collapse. And so it goes out on the Left Coast (as fitting a description as one will ever find).
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Californians are learning what Germans learned in the 20th century: Never trust an Austrian artist.
-- John Gridley
I [DON'T HEART] HUCKABEE
Re: Jennifer Rubin's End of the Short Road:
Huckabee is engaging if you like smarmy demagogues. The cute comebacks and one-liners are annoying after a while. That snake oil salesman doesn't fool me one bit. Huckabee is a CarterClinton. Who needs that?
On Mike Huckabee: "he has been a welcomed reminder that what you believe and what you have accomplished counts more in Republican politics than who you are." Amen, and thank God.
-- Laurey Boyd
It was rewarding to see "purple dog" RINO Mike Huckabee lose again in South Carolina even if it was to RINO John McCain (who's nearly as nauseating to see and listen to as Huckabee). These two RINOs suffer from Messianic complexes, insufferable egos and a welfare-like mentality that Republicans and America owe them something -- that's just too much like Democrats for comfort. Hopefully, Republican voters will send them both back to the showers at the end of the primary season.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
DON'T TOUCH THE HAIR
Re: Andrew Cline's John Dandy:
Yes, the Breck Girl, as the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign referred to him, truly has the Metrosexual Democratic vote locked up. Similarly, Romney has a death grip on the Metrosexual Republican vote. I sure miss the days of seeing President Reagan astride a beautiful horse on his ranch.
-- Christopher A. Hall
How about a new slogan: "Edwards: Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful."
-- Mike Harris
THE CONTENT OF THEIR GOLFBAG
Re: Reid Collins's A Dream Deferred:
Thank you, Mr. Collins. A well written and pointed article. It reminds us all of the dreams deferred by many to sacrifice to make this world a better place. One more reason to honor Mr. King.
Maybe, one day, Mr. King's other dream, of true racial equality, will be realized, and men and women the world over will be judged by their character, and not their so-called demographic.
-- Charles Campbell
In answer to James Antle's overall question (can McCain ride his SC win all the way to the nomination?), I believe the answer is unfortunately "yes."
Taking that a bit further, it also guarantees massive Republican losses at the polls on election day as well as not winning the presidency as hundreds of thousands of Republicans like myself stay home on election day.
-- Dave Schallert
It will be a cold day you know where when this conservative votes for McCain. The Senator who gave us an anti-first amendment bill working with Ultra Liberal Russ Feingold, the Senator who almost gave us amnesty working with super ultra liberal Ted Kennedy, the Senator who was a co-founder of the gang of 14 that would have stopped the filibustering of Supreme Court nominees, and finally the Senator who passed a law requiring our forces in combat to interrogate by the field manual (do you think the bad guys might be able to train to resist that?) will never get my vote. I include the general election as well should he become the nominee.
He voted against the tax cuts! Why doesn't that surprise me?
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri
Although I am a regular reader of your website and subscriber of your magazine I was very dismayed with your recent article about John McCain's victory in South Carolina. Rather than explain to your readers who the "real" John McCain is you basically gloss over it and pretty much give him a pass!!
I would assume that the vast majority of your readers would consider themselves Republicans, and for that reason you should have been more straightforward about John McCain, or can it be that your mag and its editors are falling into the same trap as other so-called Republicans and are beginning to "sell-out" the Party and its founding Principles!!
I don't know if you realize how many REAL Republicans despise and loathe John McCain. Let's forget about his war record for a minute, we all admire and are grateful to him for his service, BUT THAT'S WHERE IT STOPS!!! This man has not only jeopardized everything that the Party has tried to accomplish for 8 years, i.e. Tax Cuts, Stopping Illegal Immigration, Appointment of Conservative Judges, Terrorists Rights, but he has ACTIVELY sided with Democrats on almost every important issue to Republicans and Conservatives!!
How in the world a state like South Carolina could have voted for this man is utterly un-explainable!! especially when according to polls the majority of people in this state listed illegal immigration as their primary concern! GO Figure! Lastly it is disgraceful that the RNC allows "independents" and Liberal Democrats to vote in open primaries like IOWA NH and especially SC and decide who the Republican Nominee will be!! If this is not MANIPULATION of the process I don't know what is!!!
-- C. Rodriguez
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
I give you the following:
And the list goes on, I am a Vietnam veteran and a conservative. I have not voted for a democrat since Gerald Ford ran against Jimmy Carter. But I will not vote for John McCain under any circumstances and if he is the Republican nominee I will vote for the Democratic candidate.
I will end this commentary with a two word summation of the results of a McCain presidential campaign: BOB DOLE!
-- Paul Martell
Conservative voters will not vote for McCain under any circumstances. How could I, in good conscience, vote for a pro-amnesty Gang of 14 member? And I haven't forgotten the Keating affair.
Yes, Allen W, Obama or Hil as POTUS would be a bad thing, but at least it would be the Democrats doing it to us and the country not a "so called" (a la Dan Rather) Republican President McCain. If the Senator is such a great candidate he doesn't need my vote, and good thing, he'll never get it. I've helped the wrong candidates before and suffered regret from it. It isn't going to happen for me again. You get your guy in office and call me in 2011 and let me know how you feel then about your choice.
-- Roger Ross
I don't hate John McCain. I don't trust John McCain. There's a difference. I don't trust him because he thinks he's above the people. I don't trust him because he does what he wants not what the people want him to do. He has no loyalty down, so why should there be loyalty up? He's been in Washington so long that he has become Washington -- compromises, deals, the Senate is the most important thing in the government and it should be civil, which means Republicans make compromises to maintain harmony rather than sticking to your guns for what's right. That's not a maverick, that's a cowtower.
He's a dichotomy. He believes in a strong national defense...except at the border where he'd screw the American people for what or whom? In that respect he's just like Bush.
The only thing going for him is that he says he'll cut spending. I believe him there. But, would he raise taxes to do it? That, I'm not so sure about. He has a lot of Democrat friends.
McCain-Feingold proves that he has absolutely no regard for the Constitution and freedom of speech (just like Bush who signed the damn thing). Once again, he has a lot of Democrat friends and no sense of the Constitution as a set of rules, maybe that's the maverick part.
And leave Rush out of it. Rush tells the truth about McCain that his supporters just don't want to hear. Rush is not insensitive to blacks. Mr. Snerdley (who is his call monitor) has been with Rush for years, and he just happens to be black, not that you'd know that as Rush doesn't broadcast that fact. The McNabb controversy was about sports media, not McNabb, and once again it was Rush telling the truth that the liberal sports media was "desirous" of a black quarterback to do well. Is that insensitive? There's nothing in the Constitution that says you have a right not to be offended, that's called freedom of speech. Hmmm, the same part of the Constitution McCain has a problem with -- coincidence?
-- Deborah Durkee
Exactly what are our young soldiers fighting and dying for in Iraq and Afghanistan? Freedom? Can there be Freedom without limited, constitutional government? Can there be limited, constitutional government if our rulers are not bound by the Constitution?
I will not vote for McCain. McCain-Feingold subverted the Constitution and McCain can go to hell. But what the hell, my vote is meaningless. Here in the no longer Free State of Maryland there is no organized opposition to the Democrat scum. Hell, thanks to traitorous bastards like Bush and McCain is there any organized opposition to the Democrat scum anywhere? The Reagan coalition has been lost in the Bushes and there will be hell to pay...
-- Ralph Diamond
I'm having a hard time believing Allen W.'s assertion that he's "a longtime Rush listener" -- if he has been tuning in, it's obvious that he hasn't been listening. His sanctimonious snarks about divorces, prescription drugs, and premium cigars aside, I fail to understand how the Donovan McNabb flap is any indication of "insensitivity to blacks."
Asked his opinion by his fellow commentators, Mr. Limbaugh correctly observed that McNabb was not having a good year. To say otherwise would have been "the soft racism of lowered expectations." Limbaugh also (correctly) criticized the media for their biased coverage of McNabb, speculating (again, correctly) that it was because everyone wanted a black quarterback to do well -- so they all sugar-coated his poor performance.
I suspect that Mr. "W.", like most of Rush's detractors, relies more on the interpretations of the Fourth Estate, rather than actually listening to the man.
-- David Gonzalez
Re: Michael Fumento's Quicksilver Salesmen:
I read Michael Fumento's article with interest and would like to pose a question: Even if thimerosal itself isn't the cause of autism, what do the majority of children with autism have in common? Like it or not, the answer is vaccines.
My husband and I chose to not vaccinate our son after much research and serious deliberation. Having made the decision, we knew it would be stupid and irresponsible to rely on "herd immunity." We found a supportive pediatrician, make an effort with our son's nutrition, and give him a homeopathic product made to spark his immune system. It's more work, but there are a hell of a lot of unknowns about vaccines. We would rather take a less-traveled path than subject our precious child to the risks vaccines pose, nebulous as those risks may be.
Before branding those who are differently-minded as "crackpots" who live in an "angry and paranoid universe," I would hope Mr. Fumento and his dogmatic ilk possess just enough curiosity to consider the possibility that vaccines play a role, though perhaps not yet perfectly identified, in autism. And let us not forget about the disturbing rise in juvenile diabetes and the increasing number of children afflicted with severe allergies. Vaccines again pop up as a common denominator that crosses borders, income brackets, and race. It's interesting to think about, isn't it? I certainly don't believe in conspiracies, but I do believe that vaccines are pushing our bodies beyond what they are capable of tolerating.
I found the tone of Mr. Fumento's article a bit childish, defensive, and not at all worthy of the intelligent, independent spirit I cherish in The American Spectator. I know many fellow conservatives who share my viewpoint on this topic and would like to see TAS publish a piece that shows the other side of the story.
-- A. Wood
WORSE THAN CONSPIRACIES
Re: Melvin L. Leppla's letter (under "Kelo Wattage") in Reader Mail's Actors of the World, Unite!:
Well said! I've been saying it for a while now, including in my response to "The Powerful vs. The People." The Government does not have our best interests at heart. It will make no move to place checks upon itself. It is up to us, the People, to utilize our reserved right. The right to change or abolish, as we see fit.
I have a young daughter. I fear for the America in which she will come of age. What rights that I have taken for granted will be denied to her? How far will the fascist nanny-state have gone by the time she graduates from high school? From college? What restrictions will be placed on whom she marries? On for whom she can vote?
Am I crazy to feel this way? Am I seeing too much in coincidental actions of various policy makers?
Actually, I don't believe in conspiracies. Conspiracies are small things, and usually for a specific goal. Movements and trends are much harder to combat. Rome wasn't built in a day, and its destruction was only possible after generations of neglect. It has been the eventual fate of every democratic and republic society to end in death, destruction, and tyranny. As of this time, no former society that fell in this cycle has resurrected itself. Not Persia, not Greece, not Rome, not Spain, not England. Will we be the next?
It starts with desire. People become scared, they look to the government for security. That desire turns to dependency and welfare. Then comes the apathy. And then the tyranny.
Can anyone provide me with a solid historical fact that denies anything I've said?
The time is now, before the apathy and dependency have completely overtaken us. We must act, we must bring every politician under intense scrutiny. We must tell each and every one of them "fix it, or you're out." And then we must follow through.
-- Charles Campbell
Re: Judah Friedman's Socialized Acting:
Fox News showed President George Bush and movie director Oliver Stone together with a split screen on Monday, January 21, in a story about Stone's proposed movie on the President. This unintentionally spotlighted the fact that Stone looks like the President -- more than Josh Brolin does. In the spirit of saving Americans movie money, as proposed by Friedman, Stone himself should play the President in his movie; it would lower the cost of making the movie. In addition, the moviegoer would see more clearly that the image on the screen is mostly Stone, not the President.
-- Richard L.A. Schaefer
PUTTING HUCK TO THE TEST
Re: Liz Mair's Huckabee's Religion Problem:
While doing my own research on Mike Huckabee's promise last week in the South to rewrite the Constitution, I came across Ms. Mair's article.
I fear that the American people only remember the basics of the Constitution and not the meat of it. Article 6 states that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
During the time of the writing the founders were no doubt referring to the Test Act of 1673 in England, I believe that campaigning on what I call a "faith ticket" violates this section of the constitution egregiously.
The document which has withstood the test of time in our country is no longer good enough for Mr. Huckabee. I would like to see an article reminding the American people of the true reasons that the Puritans came to America (to escape state religion) and that separation of church and state is NOT a myth.
-- Rev. Lisa Haase
YOU HURT MY FEELINGS
Re: Robert Chapman's letter (under "A Man of Substance") in Reader Mail's Actors of the World, Unite!:
Mr. Robert Chapman of Brooktondale, New York characterizes South Carolina's image as a "state dominated by fanatical, naive and unrealistic extremists." That's right. Those observations come to us from Mr. Robert Chapman of Brooktondale, NEW YORK, that bastion of deliberative, reasonable, and realistic middle-of-the-road politics. No radicals or extremists there.
-- David Atchison
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