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Where Time Stands Still

Fond memories of Christ Church, Alexandria. Also: Rudy's life confusions. Hillary's unsunny disposition. Suicide of the West watch. Plus much more.

1.13.08

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FOND, SAD MEMORIES
Re: Mark Tooley's One New Year's in Washington:

Mark Tooley's "One New Year's in Washington" brings back fond memories of the Episcopal Church I grew up in and which has since vanished. One poignant image -- Mr. Tooley correctly identifies the great abolitionist hymn "Once to Every Man and Nation" -- with its unforgettable and stirring melody as such.

Unfortunately, "Once to Every Man and Nation" was purged from the Episcopal Hymnal when they discarded the 1940 Hymnal -- as they had the King James Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Articles of Religion for "good news" and political leftism -- probably because it was too Calvinist. So we see the lefties discarding the anthem of the abolitionist movement, the movement that had the greatest and noblest impact of any on the history of the United States.
-- Paul Windels III
Scarsdale, New York

Having been a member of Christ Church, Alexandria, for many years before moving to Florida, I was delighted to read about Mark Tooley's Christmas Eve there. It is indeed a place where time stands still. A walk among the gravestones in the yard puts you right into the 18th century and pictures in the library record the visits of many of our presidents. Wonderful memories rekindled!
-- Mimi Evans Winship

NO MORE CONFUSION
Re: Matt Bowman's Staring Decisis in the Face:

Clearly, Mayor Giuliani confuses slavish devotion to cherished precedents, e.g., Roe v. Wade, with judicial originalism or restraint. Thanks to you and Mr. Bowman for making this very clear. The Mayor's position effectively locks in precedents which deserve little deference in the first place.
-- G. Tracy Mehan, III
Vienna, Virginia

While most of the would-be Republican nominees for 2008 are seriously flawed when measured by the standard of our Constitution, Rudy Giuliani is yet the only one who I will absolutely, positively not vote for should he be the survivor when the primaries dust settles, due primarily to his morally bereft disposition toward the fundamental civil right to life.

That there are many hundreds of thousands of Americans of a similar mind on this is doubtless; Rudy thankfully has no chance, whatsoever.
-- Francis M. Hannon, Jr.
Melrose, Massachusetts

I am certainly no legal expert of any kind, but Mr. Bowman's column highlights what I have read in several places, by several writers, going back as far as the first of last year. The additional point that I have read in those articles is that, if you analyze Rudy G's appointments to the bench in NY City, you find typical liberal judges such as any Democrat would appoint.

Sorry, I do not trust Rudy G's pronouncements regarding what he would do about judicial appointments. Neither do I trust his pronouncements regarding the 2nd Amendment and possible additional gun control laws.
-- Ken Shreve

Here we go again. The Bowman piece on Giuliani's "monumental shortcomings" (in his view, and that of the anti-choice zealots, perhaps?), continued to exhibit the misplaced priorities of the right, in my opinion...

As a Deist and independent Independent (with Libertarian leanings), methinks we have to simply SURVIVE as a country before trying to fix all those uncomfortable little things like stem-cells and abortion -- take that up when we eventually get some breathing room, if that time ever does come. First things first.

And, sorry to say, to these well-seasoned eyes, it appears that Rudy Giuliani is the only guy with sufficient STRENGTH to get this ailing nation through the next few years of terrorism and Bad-Guy-Threats. Strength is the only thing that bunch comprehends.

So, no, I don't like abortions (but certainly am Pro-CHOICE; what is there about the word "choice" that people fail to understand?), but, putting our ducks-in-a-row/priorities in order, face it, no other candidate has the strength we so badly need.
-- Frost

SHE'S THE ONE
Re: Philip Klein's The First Lady President:

In his excellent survey of the conservative movement, The Conservative Crack-up, RET quipped that you cannot examine many liberal points of view without slamming chin first into a contradiction. When it comes to gender politics, there are times that I feel like wearing a catcher's mask.

For years, the feminists claimed that any ostensible differences between the sexes were merely constructs imposed by the patriarchy in order to keep women in a position of subjugation. And now such leading thinkers as the Honorable Dana McMahon tell us that Hillary's main qualification is "that she is a woman"?

Does this mean that Hillary has done the best job on inculcating the patriarchy's constructs? Or is that there are a disturbing number of women who are willing to emulate Steinem or Schlafly depending upon the prevailing winds? I have always marveled at how many feminists I have taken to dinner who became good old-fashioned gals when the check comes.

Coupled with the scourge of political correctness, we have paid quite a price for ignoring Samuel Johnson's observation that nature has given women enough power that the law has wisely given them very little.
-- Finbarr Moran

Philip Klein, you're too kind.

Our deer quean [a kind of internal reverse Spoonerism there (sorry, Rev. S. {although it is the first of its kind}, but these days P.C. trumps the wit in your original and prohibits its repetition)], Hillary the Ready [to be compared with Ethelred the Unready [who, although he was male, ready, and a real king {complete with crown and scepter and smartly preceded by a bewigged and berobed dignitary wielding, but never actually swinging, the Royal Mace [whereas in Hillary the Ready's drizzling rain of terror, the mace is used in earnest -- invariably by surrogates and with considerable effect}) who actually got to use HIS radical policies to wreak repeated disasters on his country], has found her voice.

[Whew! That was almost as a complex a thought as one of Hillary the Ready's descriptions of her accomplishments and readiness to serve.]

Anyway, back to her newfound voice. No longer shrill and rasping and punctuated by acid stares and cackling laughter, it is now pinkly soft and little-girl-like, punctuated by fluttering lashes and soft,
barely discernible sobbing.

Followed by her well-rehearsed talking points, of course.

In a twisted way, it does put one in mind of Margaret Thatcher, "The Iron Lady," although Hillary the Ready appears rather more like "The Iron Maiden" of medieval politics -- smooth as refrozen ice on the
outside but considerably more prickly on the inside.

Ah, nostalgia! She'll make it live again.

If we let her.
-- A. C. Santore

I truly hope that Mr. Klein is right. I also hope that the Clintons remain true to form post-Iowa and unleash their attack machine. It will be interesting to watch her self destruct. Her message so far is still the old "twofer". And that is not at all appealing to those Iowans that took it upon themselves to reject her, her message, her husband, and her campaign so soundly. Yo Bill: Are you listening yet? Of course not. You never did.

Kind regards,
-- Greg Mercurio
Vacaville, California

This is the issue with Hillary. "Lacking Ronald Reagan's natural sunny disposition, Clinton's way of exuding optimism about America is to tie the nation's potential for greatness to her ability to realize her own narcissistic ambitions." Not Reagan's sunny disposition, but the lack of any basis for it. She has no perspective on life, no sense of humor, no understanding, it's all about balancing the books, the great Scrooge of the age. The self, reduced to mere matter, immutably centered in the universe. All other matter is unimportant, it's very existence relying purely on how successfully it gravitates toward her. Karl Marx is but a dolt by comparison.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

When you run "Bridge to the 21st Century" through the Universal BS Translator, you get "It's ME!"

When you run "Rebuilding the Road to the Middle Class" through the Translator, you get "It's MAXI-ME!"

Mike Myers could play both parts with little makeup.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

DWT
Re: Eric Peters's Driving While Talking:

CELL PHONE NIGHTMARES

When will the cell phone horror stop?
How many deaths will it take?
How many heart-stopping moments
Will non-attentive drivers make?

What is so vastly important
That they can't pull off the road
Before plugging voices into their ears
While their vacant minds unload

Common sense and thoughtfulness
As they focus their attention
On the conversations absorbing them?
Mindlessness is in the ascension.

And why do we tolerate it,
This frightening new aberration?
It's time we put down our national foot
And return to rationalization.

If you agree that something must be done
And think that I am right,
Let me know I have you on my side.
I'm ready to fight the good fight!
-- Mimi Evans Winship

WESTERN SUICIDE WATCH
Re: Doug Bandow's Blue Helmet Bigotry:

I can't imagine why anyone would be surprised that a UN resolution on bigotry would find it solely in Western democracies. The General Assembly is a collection of random states, the majority of which maintain their sovereignty through the unflinching application of force within their borders. Their common interest is to deflect criticism away from themselves and towards their enemies in the west. Throw in the influence of oil and gas export from the Islamic states and Russia, economic and military clout from China and the media's love affair with Stalinist holdovers and you have a guarantee that only those nations that actually respect human rights will be excoriated. It's mob rule at its most basic. Meanwhile, our elites will cite this resolution as evidence of our intolerance of Islam, and increase their demands that we coddle terrorists from these states and conduct the Palestinian/Israeli peace process as if we were mediating between cranky pre-schoolers, rather than between an irrational culture which revels in mass murder and a democratic state which seeks its own survival.

The philosophy of Western suicide continues to do its work.
-- Mike Harris
MAJ, USA

TURNOUT TURNOFF
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Surge Protection:

This article flies in the face of the obvious, unless it's more of a rallying cry for Republicans.

."..Democrats estimated turnout at 239,000, and nearly 115,000 Republicans took part..."
Associated Press)

New Hampshire also showed a much greater turnout by Democrats, although I have only located the youth voter turnout data on short order while I'm typing this response.

What is really behind the whole desire for change in this country is the undercurrent created by a majority of Americans NOT WANTING to be involved in Iraq anymore. This doesn't necessarily mean that we'll leave, but many feel that by assuring a change in party leadership, some assurance will be gained that and extension of that conflict will be avoided, anymore than necessary. Positive news at this point is nice, but it's like buying a beaten wife a new dress. Everything doesn't just go back to being hunky-dory.

Many believe this country has been run very poorly. This accounts for experience taking a back seat to choosing a new direction or (I hate this sound bite) "change" that even the republican candidate throw out like rice at a wedding.

Frankly, at a time when gas is putting a crunch on Americans' incomes, a very substantial deficit now is residing where a surplus was eight years ago (to the tune of $20,000 for each citizen? is that right?), and people can see as clearly as day our tax money finding its way to a conflict in a country where all justifications for war all turned out to be B.S., well it's pretty obvious something's gonna give.

I don't think Republican Candidates will be able to distance themselves from the present POTUS enough to gain the oval office for 9 years to come, let alone have even a chance at winning in '08. Even many Republican voters are disgusted, and Independents want, well you know... that #&$^ sound bite.

The tea leaves are swirling around in the numbers, no matter what the talking heads are saying... including this one.
-- Ted Burner

SHOES AND HEELS
Re: Henry Gekonde's No Shoes for Zimbabwe:

I'm a little behind on my reading, so my apologies for replying late on this. As a product of the '60s and '70s, I was exposed for a time to a group called "Firesign Theater." There's a skit on their "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers" album (hey, I didn't name it) that includes the following:

Shoes for industry, shoes for the dead! What chance does a returning deceased war veteran have for that good paying job, more sugar and that free mule you're dreaming of? Well, think it over. Then take off your shoes. Now you can see how increased spending opportunities mean harder work for everyone...and more of it, too!

The point of this part of the skit was to illustrate the pointless feel good demands that many well-meaning but poor-thinking people make on us to (supposedly) help others or even ourselves. Just substitute "Zimbabwean refugee" for "returning deceased war veteran" and the depth of the suggestion becomes clear: there ain't none.

Just to place the request for shoes in perspective, here's another appropriate line from the same album:

Friends, it's going to be all right tonight at the Powerhouse Church of the Presumptuous Assumption...

Presumptuous Assumption is what the original request for shoes was all about.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

HONEST EXCHANGE
Re: Michael Showalter's letter (under "Jesus Love Me, Too") in Reader Mail's Goodbye Gibbs:

In all our exchanges concerning Mormonism, it seems to me we have been talking about two different questions: 1.) Should Mitt Romney's faith be a disqualifying factor conservatives should take seriously in his bid for the White House? 2.) Is Mormonism Christian?

We have had a robust and frank conversation on the second question. I don't believe anybody changed their positions; but we did air out our laundry for the refreshing cleanliness of sunshine.

On the first question, I believe everyone to a man would not hold anything against Romney because he is a Mormon. That would be intensely un-American and a shameful disservice to a group of people who have been nothing but fiercely patriotic. We have our policy disagreements; but Mitt is on our side.

I do not, however, believe that our discussion has been a detriment to our Conservative/Republican campaign for the White House and Congress. I assure Mr. Showalter the Democrats will in their own way try to make a scandal of Romney's faith. (Their mouths will say one thing while their hands throw dirt.) If the time comes, we'll know what's coming before the first mud ball comes our way. As all good Boy Scouts know, we should always Be Prepared.
-- Mike Dooley
Indianapolis, Indiana

SURGE AND PRIDE
Re: Victor Provenzano's letter (under "Surge or Dirge") in Reader Mail's Goodbye Gibbs:

It would appear the ongoing desperation to find some "flaw" in the Surge is reaching new highs, or lows depending on your point of view. Mr. Provenzano seems to be pushing new talking points that the reason the Surge worked (in other words, didn't actually work) was 1) the violence was already decreasing, and 2) it's the result of ethnic cleansing leaving no one for the locals to fight anymore.

Now, I'm all for new and interesting ways to read history with the caveats that it should make sense and should actually try to reflect what we remember of history. If you're going to completely change the story, at least pick something that folks have already forgotten or suppressed. At this time last year, Iraq was declared a failure because of the increase in violence/deaths of Americans. If there was an actual slight decrease in violence/deaths immediately prior to the Surge, and it justified not doing the Surge, I'm sure the Dems would have used it against said Surge. That never happened. And for the initial months following its start, the Surge was considered an a priori failure because the violence was NOT decreasing.

Nancy and Harry were making points daily, pre and post Surge, on the total and complete failure based solely on the level of violence. That seems to have changed over the last year as the violence decreased. Now, Nancy says the Surge is a Total Failure â"¢ because the "political" outcome hasn't occurred. If it were to occur tomorrow, I suspect it would still be a Total Failure â"¢ for (fill in the blank) reason(s).

On the ethnic cleansing line, probably the new canard to downplay the Surge success, the cry last year against the war wasn't that so many Iraqis were being killed, but that Americans were being killed. Remember the magical 3,000 number? It was reference to the number of Americans killed on 9/11, and as we approached and then passed that magic number during the Surge, we suddenly lost any justification to be in Iraq at all. A ridiculous contention to be sure, but the point was that American deaths were the problem, and Iraqi deaths were a secondary consideration. What changed? Success. With fewer and fewer Americans dying, the focus HAD to shift to Iraqi deaths. But the cursed Surge has also reduced the number of Iraqi deaths, as well. Foiled again.

One can't deny that ethnic cleansing did occur. But to state that violence ultimately reduced the violence goes against another treasured rubric used against the War in the first place: violence begets violence. So is it now violence begets violence except when it doesn't? In a land of 25+ million people containing Shia and Sunni, Arab and Kurd, it's not like they're running out of potential victims, even if 18% of the population isn't there any more. So either the cleansing was spotty at best, or the Surge stopped it. So ignore the success, and create a new paradigm.

Obviously, with the success of the Surge, admitted belatedly by many Democrats, the paradigm MUST change. Who needs a press corps to diminish US as a people when we have Mr. P, Nancy, and Harry? That's three out of the Four Horseman.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

Interesting tirade by Victor Provenzano who sites nothing to back up his BDS and loathing of America. Wonder where he lives, afraid to say apparently...That even the communist leaning NYT is admitting it was wrong about most things in the Iraq war especially now must bite. Funny thing Vic last thing I saw was hundreds of thousands of Iraq citizens who fled during the slaughter of Saddam's purges are trying to return. Wonder why they would want to do that? A few documented facts please, frothing hate don't do much anymore for anybody, even the MSM, too used to it as a normal operation mode from the left.
-- Craig Sarver
Seattle, Washington

THE BEST FOR THE BEST
Re: Ben Stein's Specifics:

I agree wholeheartedly with Ben on taking care of our vets and their families. Here is another suggestion: get rid of VA hospitals, give vets a health care credit card, and have the Treasury pay the bills. Let the vets find the best physicians, hospitals, etc. to treat them. They deserve the best.
-- Jim Mulcahy
Grand Island, New York

ONE MORE ROUND
Re: George Neumayr's Arm's Length Conservatism:

George Neumayr, as usual, nails it. I'm no Huckabee fan myself, but it is truly amazing to read commenter after commenter at blog after blog vowing to purge the party or to vote the Democrat ticket, the libertarian one or not vote at all should Huckabee end up the nominee. In many cases they are precisely the same people who quite recently so roundly condemned any social conservative who even hinted he might not be able to support Giuliani. I guess party loyalty is wholly dependent on whose elephant is being gored.

The only difference in attitude would seem to be the recognition by the religious right that they are one facet of a coalition while the economic conservatives seem to believe they are the gatekeepers of an exclusive club that all other members belong to at their will.
-- Brian Bonneau

If somehow Huckabee or McCain win the Republican nomination my wife and I will sit this one out.
-- Steve Smith
Chattanooga, Tennessee

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