Reader Mail

Paint It Black

Sticking up for Conrad. Mahony's flack hits back. Food fight. Plus much more.

12.20.07

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THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s You've Got a Friend:

When R. Emmett Tyrrell writes, "[Black] saved some of the finest newspapers in the English-speaking world and introduced a sophisticated conservative point of view into the dull drone of our liberal-polluted Kultursmog," he is presumably speaking at least partly of the London Daily Telegraph.

While Tyrrell is correct, the "saving" was unfortunately as transient as Black's role as publisher of the Telegraph. Anyone who has read the Telegraph since Black's departure cannot avoid the conclusion that the editors and writers made an ideological 180 the moment the exit door stopped swinging. In addition to proving Tyrrell's point, the Telegraph also proves the corollary, that a publisher cannot explain away the "liberal-polluted Kultursmog" of his paper by alleging the independence of his editors and writers. The buck stops with the publisher.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

You're a good man, Mr. Tyrrell. The traits I value most in people are whether I deem a person to be a "stand -up guy" and a "straight shooter," gender neutral of course. You qualify on both. Happy Christmas & New Year to you & the rest of the TAS family.
-- Anthony DiPentima

STUMBLE BUM
Re: George Neumayr's response (under "Other Cheek, Not Turned") to Tod M. Tamberg in Reader Mail's Mahony Hits Back:

George, make you a deal: You say "Tamberg Hits Back" instead of "Mahony Hits Back," and I'll spell your name correctly next time. Sound good? Seriously, I doubt that most folks, including the cardinal, are even aware that you or the Spectator exist. I stumbled on it quite by accident, and was happy to respond right then and there.
-- Tod M. Tamberg
Director of Media Relations,
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

DODDERING ON THE BRINK
Re: Shawn Macomber's Questions about Chris:

Senator Chris Dodd is the reason I pray for term limits. Every time Dodd runs for reelection I vote against him. I don't know why the people of Connecticut keep putting this blowhard back in office.

Like many members of Congress who have made a lifetime career in office and enjoy the more-than-generous benefits that they vote for themselves, Dodd doesn't stand up and fight for the really important things, the hard things, things that would bring relief to Connecticut citizens who are paying enormous taxes and enormous prices for energy (not to mention they are leaving Connecticut in droves). Instead he panders to the special interest groups and is rarely seen or heard in public.

Imagining Dodd as president is just too silly...although, the presidency does have term limits.
-- John Nelson
Hebron, Connecticut

Is it too late to cancel the check given to this idiot to write this babble?

Talk about not knowing AND worse yet, not CARING to know the candidate -- just trying to score cheap shots. Is Shawn 13 and had time left over from writing for his middle school paper?

RESEARCH is the cornerstone of good journalism. Shawn needs to go back to school and take his garbage writing with him.
-- John and Gibby Ries

HUNTER FOR PRESIDENT
Re: W. James Antle III's Life Was Blue:

W. James Antle writes, "The Republicans seem to be increasingly split between undermining their social-issues advantage by nominating Rudy Giuliani or mimicking the Democrats' old fusion of social conservatism and economic liberalism by nominating Mike Huckabee."

But these choices are not inevitable. Conservatives have two fabulous choices that don't split the Republican Party: Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter. A Thompson/Hunter ticket would be powerful. Of course, a Hunter/Thompson ticket might raise some eyebrows, but they could get the burned out Rolling Stone reader vote!
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

TACTICAL RETREAT
Re: Jeffrey Lord's So Much for the Ideology of Tactics:

Mr. Lord almost, but not quite, completed the circle of logic. The missing piece was an explanation on the main difference between tactics and strategies, and how that difference is applied to politics.

Tactics are used by liberals specifically to achieve a short term objective -- reelection or, in some situations, a specific power grab. Strategies, on the other hand, are used by the conservative movement to effect long term goals. Note that I didn't say that strategies were used by Republicans who, these days, are no different than liberals -- re the latest Omnibus monstrosity.

To expand upon this difference, one could say tactics were used by the Clintons to great success due to the very short timeframe experienced by each occupant of the Little Rock mansion (2-year increments). When the timing was right, they then applied the principle of tactics on a national level. They succeeded because they were able to change the definition of "short term" in our national discourse. BC (before Clinton), a four year time horizon was "beyond the horizon" for most of Middle America. In the AD era, time became compressed, as history and events compressed. Bill's peccadilloes compressed his White House occupancy to nothing more than a flash in the pan.

The conservative movement, by contrast, is a life-long goal. The main emphasis is not reelection or the latest power grab, but rather, the effort to "re-ground" and "re-direct" this great country to the principles promulgated by our Founding Fathers. The strategy, therefore, is akin to turning an aircraft carrier within the span of a bath tub.

Tactics will still work for the liberals in future (flash-in-the-pan-itis), but for those who care deeply about the long term direction of this country, they had better give the grownups the time they need to effect the greater strategy -- to return this nation to its position as a constitutional republic with limited governmental powers.
-- Owen H. Carneal
Yorktown, Virginia

Wow! Once again Mr. Lord ably identifies and articulates that which makes the liberal (or are they "progressives" now? No matter a rose by any other name...) mind work. It has amazed me, especially in the last 5-6 years that these so called adults are so pathologically committed to getting and staying in power that they assume there are no consequences for the effluvia which emanates from their pie holes on any number of issues in any and all venues. These past 6 years and the tactics employed by the "loyal" opposition has been a disservice to America and her interests. Almost as sad is the wedge it has driven between me and life long friends who in the past participated in spirited, honest discussions on policy and philosophy but now always, always, revert to the lib/Dem talking points.
-- Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

Great article -- it reminded me of something Goldwater said in his book, which is, he felt he would have had a chance against Kennedy in '64 because he knew the campaign on both sides would stick to the issues or ideology.

Against Johnson, Goldwater knew he would be dealing with Johnson's tactics, and of course fell victim to it. At least in the long run, the voice of Conservatism won out.
-- Anthony Mastroserio
Skillman, New Jersey

Jeffrey Lord's article on liberals and the politics of tactics made for stimulating reading. While he makes several good points there is still the nagging reality that it works for Democrats and is illustrated by how Chuck Schumer manipulated many conservatives in 2006 to "punish" Republicans. Now thanks to Schumer's tactical genius the worst Congress in U.S. history is abysmally led by Democrats who have battled hard to increase pork spending, raise taxes and surrender to Islamic rapists and murderers in Iraq. Thankfully, they've been stopped dead in their tracks by the same President Bush and Republicans in Congress that many conservatives so vehemently trashed. According to Mr. Lord's colleague James Antle III the Democrat's tactics are so formidable that they may actually win the White House and increase their Congressional majority even though the electorate has only contempt for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi's Congress. Either tactics work or the American electorate was dumb in 2006 and plans to be dumber in 2008 (to reference Hillary Clinton�s favorite movie).

It could be said that arrogant RINO Mike Huckabee's campaign is the product of emulating the tactics of the Clintons and Democrats. In the footsteps of Bill Clinton Huckabee has smeared Mitt Romney with veiled attacks on his faith just like the Clinton's smeared Ken Starr. His Christmas ads, that the liberal media miraculously praises while disparaging the faith of those who believe in the Christ of Christmas, could be a tactic to cover up his lack of ethical integrity as Governor of Arkansas. By endorsing a consumption tax he's made another tactical move to keep voters from seeing that he is nothing more than a contemptible tax and spend liberal. Even more stunning is that his tactics have won disciples of Pat Buchanan's 21st century "No Nothing" philosophy to Mr. Welcome Mat's Presidential campaign.

One would hope that 2008 is a watershed year when tactical politicians bite the dust. But that will only become reality when the Clintons, the Democrats (Obama, Edwards, Reid and Pelosi all practitioners of the politics of tactics) and their one notable Republican protege Mike Huckabee go down in defeat.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Jeffrey Lord's article on Tactics of Ideology is an interesting and (long term) contemplative piece. As an observer of "things political" I'm hoping there's a grain of possibility in what he writes regarding an end result to the left's recent battle positions.

However...

As of today, there's a battle tactic that might Mr. Lord may have overlooked: During a dog fight (liberal scandal) it's a lot easier to escape a hit (get away with it) when your "6" (check with the Air force) is being covered not only by your wingman (i.e. James Carville) but additionally by concentrated flack burst from ground support (New York Times-NBC et al.)

As of now, Commander Bush and his squad are taking hits from all sides and getting minimal response for backup from the aforementioned...ground support.

Meanwhile, as the good guys continue to remain airborne, let's hope Sgt. York finally gets a computer and e-mail address. It's always better when you know the cavalry is comin'.
-- Dave
Sacramento, California

LUCID SHARON
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Prime Minister of Catatonia:

I seem to be making a career of disagreeing with Jay D. Homnick, but he has missed the point of Sharon's policy regarding the turnover of Gaza. Ariel Sharon had no illusions about the capacity of Palestinians to govern themselves. I believe that his intent was to shed an impoverished, corrupt hellhole and provide the world with a stark example of Palestinian conduct. Had he not succumbed to a coma, I have no doubt that Sharon would have used the Hamas coup as a demonstration of the futility of the peace process and an opportunity for Israel to dictate terms on the West Bank, where a desperate Abbas would take any deal that permitted him to cling to power.

Sharon could have easily annexed East Jerusalem in return for Abbas' continuity as head of the PA and the independence of the remainder of the West Bank under his banner. One counter-terrorism fence later and Israel would have neutralized the Palestinian issue while maintaining the moral high ground. Instead, Olmert has squandered this opportunity, resuscitating a comatose peace process which is far less likely to achieve lucidity than Ariel Sharon
-- Mike Harris
MAJ, US Army

REEDUCATION
Re: James Bowman's Nanking:

The reviewer reveals a gap in his education. One that most of us non-Chinese Americans younger than 90 suffer from. Our children are not taught about the actions of the Imperial Japanese Army in China, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, in fact throughout Asia, during their horrific expansion and occupation prior to and during WWII. The reason the Japanese soldier could say what he did with no perception of irony is precisely because the Japanese, as a matter of policy, would kidnap and transport young girls from the conquered territories to military bases throughout Asia to service their soldiers. They were called "hospitality" girls. This soldier surely was expressing a preference for a "hospitality" girl to an "unwilling" victim. As if the "hospitality" girl was a willing participant! Some of the "hospitality" victims still survive and have told their stories to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Philippine journalists and historians. Every year, in the Asian countries who suffered Japanese occupation, there are mass protests at Japanese embassies and consulates by local citizens. They are protesting the continuing revision of history texts being published and disseminated in Japanese schools which progressively, year after year, diminish the horrors perpetrated by the Japanese Imperial forces during that shameful period. Not a few of the Korean hospitality survivors have successfully sued the Japanese government, winning substantial reparation, for their lives of suffering. Because, while at the close of the war, these women returned home unfit for marriage, shunned and marginalized for their entire lives, the Imperial Army troops returned to their homes in a relatively beneficently-American-Occupied Japan (of which I know a little, having been born in Osaka, during the occupation, to a US Army MSgt stationed in Kyoto). We Americans never hear of this history, though we are reminded, daily, of the Holocaust. This is why so many ignorant Americans bemoan our being the first to use a nuclear weapon, especially on a "defeated" "innocent" civilian population. Whereas you will not find anywhere in the Japanese-occupied areas of Asia, or in Australia and New Zealand, anyone over the age of 30 who regrets our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending as it did the horrors they were enduring in a more immediate manner rather than prolonging their suffering through the execution of a conventional invasion of the Japanese nation.

In the national Chinese dialect, Mandarin, as well as in the local (Nanjing) dialect, the pronunciation of the Chinese name of the city is, in fact, Nanjing (or, more like Nehjing). Nanking (or Namking) is the "British" pronunciation as they learned it from the southern Chinese (Cantonese dialect) in Hongkong. The Chinese written characters, Nan Jing (literally, Southern Capital) are read as "Kyo To" in Japanese! Quite ironic! Kyoto was one of the cities we deliberately avoided bombing during WWII because of it's "special" cultural, historic, emotional, and psychological significance to the Japanese people. Yet, here they were, in the cultural, historical, center of China -- a seat of art, poetry, philosophy, and learning - and the express Imperial Army policy was to so debase and terrorize the population that they could speedily eliminate resistance and pound the Chinese into total submission. This was not "frenzied soldiers run amok". This was activity ordered by the Ministry of War in Tokyo and executed by the officers in the field in Nanjing. In fact, one of the commanding officers, days after his return home to Japan, climbed a hill, wrote an abject apology to the Chinese people, especially the citizens of Nanjing, and committed ritual hara-kiri. Until the Japanese, like the Germans, face this shameful episode; take responsibility for their behavior; sincerely apologize to their victims; cease their revisionism; and stop their annual ritual honoring war-criminal officers at the Yasukune shrine in Tokyo, Chinese, Philippinos, Koreans, and others will not forgive or forget. That is why we rarely hear of any Asian countries, especially those who suffered Japanese occupation, protesting China's modernization and expansion of it's military forces. In fact, some secretly welcome the counter-balance to Japanese military expansion and modernization -- especially in light of the recent constitutional debate in Japan regarding removing the constitutional limits on her military's growth and deployment.

For additional reference: The Rape of Nanjing, by Iris Chang; Banzai You Bastards!, by Jack Edwards; and Japan's Imperial Conspiracy, by David Bergamini.

Thank you for your time.
-- Janne Liu

DON'T BLAME AMERICA FIRST
Re: Joseph Baum's letter (under "Blame the Victim") in Reader Mail's Mahony Hits Back:

Sorry, Mr. Baum. Unionized education, not America itself, is responsible for the lion's share of educational deterioration. Don't believe it? Imagine a union which, instead of demanding better perks, payoffs and power for its members, demanded higher levels of accountability, discipline and civility by students and their parents. Imagine teachers and principals threatening to strike if those kinds of demands were not met.

Unfortunately, imagining is as close as we'll get. Wonder why students and parents are all about "me, me, me?" Take a good look at the unionists. Apparently some people do learn to be selfish and self-centered--when they have a perfect "role model" for such right under their collective noses.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton

REVERSE ROBIN HOOD
Re: Charles Campbell's letter (under "Socialist Leeches") in Reader Mail's Mahony Hits Back:

If the "Fair Tax" plan was law, that would mean every time I bought something and used my savings I would be paying taxes AGAIN on money already taxed once. The low income families with children and the oldest would be badly hurt.

If you want to read about what not to like about this plan check out past issues of James Taranto's OpinionJournal -- Best of the Web Today, here is just one link.
-- Elaine Kyle

DELICATE APPETITES
Re: L. Bryan Williams' letter (under "Nice Dish") in response to Timothy P. Carney's Why Hillary Will Lose Iowa in Reader Mail's Mahony Hits Back:

Mr. Williams recommends the Midwestern culinary delight of meatloaf. While I agree that this was indeed one of my favorites as a child (and still is today at 53) I might suggest the Pennsylvania Dutch (a misnomer) favorite of Scrapple as a great culinary alternative. While it was supposed to be a breakfast food, my mom served it as a special dinner. It's not that she was a bad cook, but being poor, simple pleasures like meatloaf and Scrapple were indeed "treats." In fact, I believe I was a teenager before I ever tasted steak.

Uh, if you don't know what Scrapple is, try it before you Google the ingredients. I still can't believe all that "stuff" is in Scrapple. But then, some people even like Head Cheese.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

Casserole is a delicacy. But what elevates it to fine cuisine is SPAM luncheon meat. To confirm ask anyone in Austin, Minnesota.
-- George Siletzky

BURN BABY BURN
Re: Charles Paul Freund's A Brutalist Bargain:

No sooner do you have an article that mentions the Old Executive Office Building was fireproof, a fire breaks out in it. Just a coincidence? Or maybe Anti-Preservationists striking back...
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

SECRET SANTA
Re: Quin Hillyer's Simple Simeon:

Thank you, Mr. Hillyer, and a merry Christmas to you, too.
-- a reader

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