Reader Mail

Obladi Obama

He talks and talks, but about what? Also: Targeting Wal-Mart. Stalin, Putin, and Ukraine. Rudy and adoption. Plus much, much more.

11.15.07

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THE VERY JUNIOR SENATOR
Re: Shawn Macomber's Barack's Hillary Problem:

Andrew Sullivan made another interesting (and accurate) observation in his Atlantic column on Barack Obama relative to Hillary. He notes that Obama can tell the voters what he really believes while Hillary can't. Instead she has to lie and deceive. And here, in Sullivan's own words, is why he says this is so:

"As a liberal, she [Hillary] has spent years in a defensive crouch against triumphant post-Reagan conservatism. The mau-mauing that greeted her health-care plan and the endless nightmares of her husband's scandals drove her deeper into her political. Her liberalism is warped by what you might call Political Post-Traumatic Syndrome."

Now here's the take away point.

"She [Hillary] has internalized what most Democrats of her generation have internalized: They suspect that the majority is not with them, and so some quotient of discretion, fear, or plain deception is required if they are to advance their objectives.

"She is hiding her true feelings. We know it, she knows we know it, and there's no way out of it."

Yes indeed, the majority is not with Hillary's left-wing agenda -- either on domestic or foreign affaires. It should be fun to see Hillary turn herself into a pretzel in the coming months as she tries to square the circle. And once "the world's smartest woman" sees that she's about to be checkmated, watch the rage flow. That's when the real entertainment will begin, and I'm relying on The American Spectator to be there to document it all.
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

Hey Shawn: Are you for real?

At least you write good English so I'd presume you are somewhat educated, huh!

The whole volume of your bromidic piece seems to be vainly trying to undermine the extraordinary character and vision of Obama; it smacks of some mental indolence when you are only so ready to spout what you perceive as negative regarding the man.

One might want to wonder how much you got paid for this tripe!

Do a bit of intellectual exercise; read the man's policy speeches/proposals, stands on issues and past cum present records before you spout this kind of tripe.

Unless you lack scruples!!!
-- Fox

Senator Obama has presented himself as an African-American Socialist, which bodes well for his success in the Democrat Party. His program for the future of America consists of higher taxes, redistribution of wealth from the well off to low incomers, and an end to the war on terror which impedes his planed redistribution of wealth. Along the way immigration laws will remain lax in order to pick up more Democrat voters.

Senator Edwards presents himself as a white Socialist and plans a future for America that is almost identical to Obama's.

Senator Clinton presents herself as a female Socialist with programs almost identical to Edwards and Obama, but who intends to hide her plans through the general election.

A shift toward Socialism of the magnitude planned by these 3 candidates has been rejected by voters in the past and won't work this time unless Republicans fail to organize.

As the war in Iraq winds down, voters will return to thinking about taxes, spending, immigration and security. Hopefully, Republicans will present their historic positions well and keep the Presidency, leaving three Socialists in the pear tree during the Christmas season, 2008.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

Apparently the good Senator rose from humble beginnings (like most of us). Would someone please ask the good Senator how in the hell he became a millionaire in his first term? First term Senators have to absorb the exorbitant costs of maintaining dual residences and all the associated out of pocket expenses. I know his wife has a good job, but, come on.

He wasn't a millionaire when he got there.

Color me confused.
-- Terry
Minneapolis

DUE LEFT
Re: John Carlisle's The Greening of Wal-Mart:

Oh, Wal-Mart. The store I love to hate. I shop there for many things due to the low costs. Though still on the young side, I remember when Wal-Mart had everything Made in the USA. If you ask me, that was their first mistake. Even if it meant higher prices, I would probably still shop there just for that.

But I hate going to Wal-Mart. The customer-service is horrible. The people do not seem happy in their jobs, and if even a quarter of the employee charges are true, I'm just as happy I never worked for them. Of course, Wal-Mart in "going-green" took the wrong approach. They went with 'cut carbon' rather than the smarter move, "find a better way."

Contrast with Dell Computers. Rather than send out demands to suppliers to cut emissions, Dell focused on new technologies that lower their product's power draw. Not only does this cut back on the "devilish" GHG emissions, but it helps their customers save money for little more in up-front costs. Most of the new technologies are the same or near the same, and save the user money in the long run by lowering energy and cooling costs. That's smart business. More business should start thinking along those lines. Our government should, too. But I won't hold my breath for government to act smart.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

Just another reason to continue to shop at Target! Besides the facts, the prices are the same, the stores are much cleaner and brighter and continually restocked.
-- Tom McGonnell
Alexandria, Virginia

John Carlisle just gave me a brilliant idea. I can sue Wal-Mart for the damage that a broken compact fluorescent did me. In fact, I should be able to form a class action suit and make millions.
-- Yaakov "Jim" Watkins

After reading John Carlisle's "The Greening of Wal-Mart America," may I suggest that it be sent to the CEO, H.Lee Scott. I am hoping that it might be a wake up call for him and his shareholders to quit caving in to these far left radicals.
-- J. Keene
Harrison, Michigan

SCHOOLS AND SOCIETY
Re: RiShawn Biddle's No Parent Left Behind:

As an educator here in Ohio for these forty plus years, I have seen a deterioration in the public school system, which, in the last ten years resembles the side of an extremely dangerous cliff. This deterioration is NOT, however, caused by poor teachers, weak curriculum, or standardized graduation testing. It is a product of a deteriorating society. It amazes me that thinkers who daily bear witness to the fragmentation of our society, the growth of expectations relating to government handouts, the dearth of personal discipline among our youth, and the abandonment of parental responsibility, cannot seem to fathom WHY our children are not learning at the same rate at which those of us who went to school forty and fifty years ago learned.

If we were on an ocean liner, and the hold began to fill with seawater, and the ship began to list drastically to port, I would hope that we would realize that the holes below the water line were the cause of the serious list. My guess is that we do not seem to realize that our society is listing to port and is taking the educational establishment along with it. I am not sure that we as a people are smart enough to right the ship before it capsizes.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

SEE NO EVIL
Re: Christopher Orlet's Bath Revisited:

Christopher Orlet is an optimist. In order to admit there are maniacs among us, one would have to concede the existence of evil -- which runs completely counter to our "progressive" infatuation with moral relativity.

Today, one man's maniac is another man's "victim of a personality disorder."
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

AMONG FRIENDS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s Norman Mailer, RIP:

And quite a few reasons not to be so fond of him at times (see Fidel Castro). Yet no less a great writer. May he rest in peace.
-- J.M. Santin

WET SPOTS
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Amateur Night with Howard Dean:

Please put warnings on articles like this in order to keep a dry pair of pants in the house. Funny, funny and I'll close with an AMEN!
-- Neal E. Hunt
Canton, Massachusetts

Mr. Dean perfectly illustrates what my father always said about Democrats: "When you tolerate everything, you stand for nothing."
-- Jay Molyneaux

CHOICE AND HUMANITY
Re: Ira Kessel's letter (under "Our Enemies") in Reader Mail's Odd Behavior:

Well said! While I think I can understand Mr. Emanuel's use of "these animals" as a way to describe the barbarism being exacted against our brave soldiers that morning and the help pull the reader into the atmosphere of that frightful morn, it is important for us to remember that they are not animals. When animals act in a manner we would call "savage" it can be forgiven, they have no Divinity to lead them to better action.

We as Mankind, however, do have Divinity. And if we are to recognize the God within ourselves, we must see Him in our Friends, our Enemies, and all members of Homo sapiens sapiens. We are all created equal, it's our choices that make us different. And though some of us will fight, kill, and die to protect our right to make those choices, those that fight and those who are protected must both remember that we do not fight animals, but our fellow Man.
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

TALKING TRILLIONS
Re: George H. Wittman's Oil, Money, and Power:

What do people think about the fact below from "Oil, Money, and Power" in terms of current U.S. policy?

"The IEA has been quoted as calculating that $22,000 billion ($22 trillion) will have to be invested in all aspects of the global energy infrastructure in the next 23 years simply 'to replace capacity going out of service and meeting growing demand.'"

Has the war stalled investment? Has the war affected the price of oil? The above article cites the Saudis who say hedge funds and speculators have driven up the price. The analysis seems lacking at best and dangerous at worst if were in a position to affect policy.

Also, I would like to know what the obvious dangers are concerning Iran and Oil? To me it seems that their production would prevent a U.S. strike on the grounds that we could not handle the interruption of supply economically, but I doubt that is what Wittman has in mind.
-- Jay Scrivner

VEEPERS-
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Hillary Futurity:

Well, Lisa, you were right about Fred, that he would be a candidate. But, Edwards, the nominee, and Hillary VP? I dunno, you may want to check the water you're drinking. I sure wish Al would throw his hat in. That would certainly set off a lamp throwing session at Chappaqua.

I guess it doesn't hurt to hope.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

STEEL CURTAINS
Re: Quin Hillyer's Duly Noted:

In response to the lunacy of your random thoughts of the third paragraph (Leaving politics for a minute...), try this thought. PITTSBURGH STEELERS!

I do hope you come to your senses again soon.
-- Tom Cook
Raleigh, North Carolina

THE EASY LIFE
Re: Robert VerBruggen's Subsidize Life:

A truly great plan.

The sad truth is that this country has passed the point where we can simply make abortion illegal and be done. The time has come on us to stop trying to change people's behaviors through law, and start working on changing people's hearts and minds. This is the best solution for almost all of our problems.

I think Giuliani will be a great president. I also think he will be good for the Republican Party. I think this because of the exact same issues that the so-called 'social conservatives' raise with him. In short, he is not 'socially conservative' and I see this as a good thing. George W Bush is a social conservative. We've all seen where that has brought us. The major problem the Republican Party and social conservatives have is that they are not conservative. They are every bit as liberal as their Democratic opponents. They still want to tell us what is right and what is wrong, and they want to turn this into Law and force us to comply. This is not being conservative.

I call myself Libertarian for good reason. I want less government. Think of the smallest amount of government you can imagine. That's still not small enough. Like anyone, I want paved roads, a secured boarder, a strong military to protect my shores through the projection of power, and free movement between my states. But I do not want to see government knowing how much I make, telling me what I can or cannot imbue, or otherwise being at all involved in my life. This goes for Federal and State governments, as well as my local governments. Personally, I think this is political conservative thinking. It's time our government concerned itself with the process of government, and let society figure itself out. We'll all be better off.

We have serious problems in this country. Crime is again on the rise. Invaders are running amok, and we say 'okay' because they are not in uniform (though they are still often armed). The dollar is falling. Oil prices rise, and we won't do anything to change it or fight it. Healthcare is over regulated and over politicized. Our men and women in uniform fight as hard as they can, they get the job done, but their political support erodes. All of these need to be addressed.

Is America's Mayor the best person to address all of these? No. Is he the best choice we've got on the field? I can't be sure, yet, but for now put my answer as 'Yes.'
-- Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

DON'T BET ON IT
Re: Lisa Shymko's The Politics of Genocide:

"Will Moscow ever recognize the Stalin-led forced famine in Ukraine 75 years ago as an act of genocide?"

Let me stick my neck way out there and provide an answer to the above question; NO !!

In addition to the millions exterminated -- purposely -- via starvation in the Ukraine, let us not forget the tens of thousands of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians also exterminated by the Bolsheviks under Lenin and Stalin; putting aside for the moment the tens of millions of ethnic Russians, Tatars, Chechnya's, etc., that Stalin exterminated

Let us also not forget the Bolshevik invasion of Finland, and Stalin's non-aggression pact with Hitler. Let us also recall that it was Russian diesel fuel that powered Nazi tanks as they rolled over France in 1940. And yes, please recall that Stalin's hordes invaded Poland in September 1939, two weeks after Hitler did the same which formally launched the WWII in Europe.

You can actually find photos in books -- if you care to look for them -- of Russian and Nazi troops greeting each other in Poland, celebrating their successful invasion of that land.

Let us all recall that Stalin sent congratulatory messages to Hitler upon his success in invading Norway, Denmark, Holland, France.

And yes, all of Stalin's successors, from Khrushchev through Andropov, cut their teeth and earned their stripes serving under Stalin as he pursued the Great Terror in the 1930s.

As for Walter Duranty of the NY Times, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the Bolshevik utopia. To this day his Pulitzer has not been withdrawn by the liberal, open minded, free press advocates of the Pulitzer Committee, who, truly and deeply value accurate reporting. Really.

I am still waiting for them to award, posthumously, a special Pulitzer to Leni Riefenstahl for that "outstanding journalistic documentary," TRIUMPH OF THE WILL.

Given the Russian proclivity for repression, mass murder and fomenting terror, and their affinity for Nazis in general (as long as the Nazis do not turn on their Bolshevik brethren), it is easy to see what Putin hopes to achieve with his petroleum guns aimed squarely at Europe and the USA (rubles for oil please; no dollars accepted).

As for the Russians apologizing for murdering millions of Ukrainians plus 20 or 30 million others, well, you can expect this to occur when the NY Times editorial staff calls for massive, peaceful demonstrations in support of democracy in Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.

Do not hold your breath.
-- CA
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Talk about complications in Israel's dilemma on whether to endorse the Ukrainian position on genocide, "for fear of straining Israel's delicate relations with Russia."

They have an even bigger problem in that department -- the Israeli soccer team will play Russia this weekend, and if Israel wins, Russia will almost certainly not qualify for the next level in the competition, but England probably will. If Israel loses, the reverse will be true.

Now THAT's a diplomatic dilemma!

In fact, it's the stuff of classical mythology, Greek tragedy, and epic poetry, combined.
-- A.C. Santore

DORELL OPEN
Re: Paul Dorell's letter (under "Don't Doubt Thomas") in Reader Mail's Odd Behavior:

I don't know what to make of arguments such as the one Mr. Paul Dorell makes. He has a terrible concern that Justice Thomas "bit the hand that fed him" in opposing affirmative action. Mr. Dorell further adds "For Thomas to say that affirmative action should be banned is like Fidel Castro saying that all future revolutions should be banned: in both cases, they would be renouncing everything that gave them a voice in the first place." But a similar argument could be leveled at any white man or woman who opposed racial discrimination in the 1950's and 1960's. Whites benefited (whether they asked for it or not) from long decades if not centuries of discrimination. By objecting to discrimination, were these Caucasians saying to all their children and children's children that it was OK for their parents to get the benefits and become lawyers, doctors and test pilots, but that it was, after all, a bad idea, and no one else afterward deserved the privilege? Does that mean that it was not fitting for all those white men and women to do the deed and end segregation and racial favoritism? Should somebody else like St. Francis or Gandhi have done it for them?

And what is this business about Justice Thomas being the "hired hand of the conservative establishment"? The fact that conservatives like him doesn't mean Justice Thomas is that gunfighter we brought in scare the sheepherders any more than it can be said Roberts, Alito, or Scalia signed on to ride herd for the ranch.

I, too, am seeing the last years of my professional life coming to an end. I can tell you one thing. I've seen a lot of folk climb their way to the top and it sure wasn't conservative behinds they kissed to do it.
-- Mike Dooley

Paul Dorell claims that Clarence Thomas shouldn't be against affirmative action because he may have benefited by it. By this logic a white person must always be for racism since they may have benefited by it. The other possibility is that only white people are capable of thinking past race and doing what is right. Both views expose Mr. Dorell as a bigot. If black people don't fit into the box defined by their majority Paul finds them inauthentic. Does this standard also apply to whites? How did Mr. Dorell find himself to be the arbiter of correct black opinions?
-- Clif Briner

OK, Mr. Dorell, pay attention. I'll try to be gentle. I did not misunderstand your point about Clarence Thomas, you misunderstood mine. This is very simple. Whether Clarence Thomas benefited from affirmative action, or not, his opposition to it does not describe, as you say, profound ingratitude. As with the CPA I mentioned, there are people who benefit from a government policy, who are honest enough to oppose it because it is bad policy.

I would guess that you think Justice Thomas is unqualified to serve on the Supreme Court. If so, and he is only there because of affirmative action, then you should oppose affirmative action for making his advancement possible. Unless, of course, you believe affirmative action is fine as long as its beneficiaries agree with you.

By the way, George Washington was a revolutionary, Fidel Castro's a thug.

This nonsense business is fun.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

NEVER TOO LATE
Re: G. Constable's letter (under "'Tis Nobler") in Reader Mail's Heightened Tensions:

While glancing at material for a resume I noticed today G. Constable's Sept. 4, 2007 letter regarding my response to Hal Colebatch's article "The Christian Resonances of Modern Epic" published in The American Spectator, Aug. 23, 2007. My response was the concept of personal sacrifice while very much a part of the Christian tradition -- John 15:13 -- is not unique to it. I mentioned the kamikaze pilot of WWII and the current Islamicist suicide bomber of today. Constable accused me of the crime "skewing of logic" and goes on to say that neither the kamikaze nor Islamicist "made for a better world or progress or freedom etc., etc. End of a story." That's because? We won WWII and with help from our recently defeated enemy -- the Empire of Japan, with "cultural honor aside" (General Douglas MacArthur kept the emperor, and that was a smart move) -- were able to industrialize Japan to become the competitive pain in the a double scribble it is today. This was a necessary compromise that undermines Constable's simplistic formulation about kamikazes don't equal a better world. On Islamicist suicide bombers, I'm a little familiar with the Anglo-American special relationship, monopolistic media control, and going on seven years wartime propaganda. To reduce the conflict to the highest representation of the western enlightenment versus the crazy with the celestial retirement plan involving 72 virgins is silly. This cowboys vs. Indians view might sell to the bread and circus crowd, but hopefully not to those who would make the sacrifice Colebatch, Constable, and I are in a frictionally agreeable way talking about.

Yes, I'm sorry for the belated response.
-- Sander Fredman
Leesburg, Virginia

WINDY CIVICS
Re: Mike Roush's letter (under "Talking Points") in Reader Mail's Odd Behavior:

Regarding Mike Roush's comment: "Talking points -- Since when have Democrats/liberals been able to get it together to have 'talking points'? The Republican/conservatives are masters at this art form."

Mr. Roush, as a former manager at a Chicago museum (I won't name it, but it owns a German submarine), I used to see (in the early '90s) a talking-point FAX arrive every morning. It was addressed to a member of the staff who had been the personal secretary to (former Chicago mayor) Harold Washington -- and who was known to be a huge Democrat activist.

Obviously, sir, you are either: a) woefully ignorant, or b) a pathetically-poor prevaricator.
-- David Gonzalez
Wheeling, Illinois

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