Dang, I missed Ben by one day at Walter Reed, I was there Monday shaking hands and passing out some cigars to our guys. Amazing men.
Hear! Hear! To Ben Stein. He states the ridiculously obvious that needs to be stated over and over, and I for one appreciate his saying it, loud and clear and right on point. Thanks, Ben. And thanks to those he praises. We've long since awarded you the Prize in our hearts and minds, as have millions of Iraqis and Afghanis. The world is a far, far better place for your sacrifices, and it is a far, far better thing you do, than Al (or we) has ever done.
-- Kent Lyon
College Station, Texas
It was said long ago that Winston Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in the 1950s because he had to have some sort of Nobel Prize, and by then the Peace Prize was already so tarnished and beclowned that it would have been an insult to offer it to him.
-- Hal G. P. Colebatch
Bravo for this column! We in RFD WI., and I'm sure a bunch of other places in flyover country, completely agree with you! This ol' Marine, (Vietnam '67,'68,'69) with two nephews in Iraq, (Marines) is completely fed up with this self-serving Gore and any like him. The most precious in this country, our warriors, should be so honored! I laughed out loud when I first heard of Gore's Nobel Prize! Remembering AraRat (intentional) & that totally useless, gutless Carter.
Tomorrow, I will attend a funeral in Madison, WI as a Patriot Guard Rider to honor a young woman who lost her life for us. THAT is a heroine! Thank you for printing what I'm thinking, every day! God Bless America and our FINEST!
-- Bernard Blank
Why should Ben Stein and Larry Thornberry get worked up about Al Gore's Nobel?
I don't care if Al wins the Nobel.
I don't care if Al wins an Oscar.
I don't care that Al won the popular vote in 2000.
I just reflect on the aftermath of November 2000 and thank God that Al did not win the Battle of Florida.
-- Dan Martin
See what eating Lutefisk will do to you? So much for fish being brain food! Maybe those self-important Norwegian "Quisling 5" committee members should eat more reindeer. Or polar bear. At the very least switch from those little canned sardines to bigger fish. I'm not a scientist, but maybe small fish produce small brain cells.
As to your comment about Al Gore's butt print, that wasn't very nice. Can Al Gore help it if his fat head leaked to his butt? It's global warming, don't you know. All that temperature rising causing his fat head to liquefy, leak out his armpits and produce "Butt Rising." Say, about 70 centimeters a year. Good thing there's a moratorium on whaling by Norwegians. Imagine Al Gore being harpooned while collecting his prize.
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
You have to admit, those folks at the Norwegian Nobel Institute would give the Marx brothers a run for their money. Hey why not, if the French still go gaga over Jerry Lewis, why not the Norwegian's over Groucho? This is indeed comedy of the highest order. So without any further adieu, let's put an end to next year's speculation. Clearly, given the established criteria, that only world class gas bags need apply, only one candidate stands tall; that would of course be the articulate Iranian visionary, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
He not only has a final solution for Middle East peace, this man has shown a capacity to grow, as demonstrated by his recent embrace of homosexuality, upon learning of its existence in his Iranian paradise. To demonstrate the point, perhaps Mr. Ahmadinejad would accept the award in drag. Margaret Dumont, where are you when we need you the most?
-- A. DiPentima
Al Gore won the Noble Peace Prize.
I surveyed the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, tuned into Fox News and read The American Spectator and other online publications for the reaction of conservatives to this.
Basically, what I found was:
1. Ad hominem attacks on Al Gore.
2. Attacks on the Nobel Committee and the country of Norway.
3. Arguments about who deserved the prize more than Al Gore.
The conservative talking points are all irrelevant to the issue at hand, but masterpieces of misdirection nonetheless.
What I didn't see was this: Al Gore doesn't deserve the prize because he is wrong about global warming and here is the reputable and irrefutable scientific proof. Why didn't I see this? Simple. Al Gore is right about Global Warming and the conservatives are wrong. And, in "the marketplace of ideas" people are buying Gore's and not those of conservatives who are trying to dismiss global warming as a left wing hoax. Abraham Lincoln was right: you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Also, as a result of his "marketplace of ideas" success, Al Gore is getting rich which seems to irritate some conservatives. Why? Isn't that how markets are supposed to work?
-- Mike Roush
In all the hubbub of Al's big win, hasn't anyone noticed that he didn't win a prize for science? This should come as no surprise since his movie, and his efforts, don't amount to any real science anyway.
-- Jesse Milligan
Bravo Ben...you are right again...no surprise.
-- David Freedberg
PERFECTING ANN COULTER
Re: Jay D. Homnick's In Defense of Ann Coulter:
Someone (Ann herself?) needs to write an article on the term "perfecting." Ann was certainly using the term in a technical, theological sense. She was using the "critical" presentation of the word to mean completion of maturity in spiritual formation with regard to an individual's coming to know God, and the legal status of that person from God's point of view. The "perfecting of the saints" is a rich term that is not at all aggrandizing, but humbling in the fullest sense ofâ€¦well humbling! That is perfection must involve relating oneself to Christ in such a way as to model Christ by self-sacrifice for the salvation of others.
She certainly did not mean the populist characterization of the word, someone who thinks they are perfect, flawless. But her speeches were so far over the hosts head, as to dazzle! I thought too, that she should have caught on to his baiting, and called him on that. What a buffoon he was, and disingenuous.
Ann said what she meant. Yet, regrettably, what she meant was not at all understood by many of her listeners, especially her clownish, disingenuous, insincere host.
-- Rodney John Tombleson
Please inform Mr. Homnick that he has written a spectacular and concise article. Wow, even in the 13th century seriously religious leaders knew that it didn't matter who was right, that G-d would forgive as long as it was sincere. Such a shame that the left wingers/political opportunists can't exhibit the same behavior. Ann Coulter was a victim of them, not her words. I think DD couldn't wait to get this into the blogosphere. In his dreams it was: one down and ? to go. Next victim.
This from a nice Jewish girl.
I am a religious Jew who observes and practices his faith. I happened to find the Ann Coulter/Donnie Deutsch interview while channel surfing and was astonished that Deutsch was offended by the views of a practicing Catholic on Judaism. Deutsch needs a better education for he obvious doesn't know what religious Catholics believe.
Next time, if he is looking for a politically correct view, ask a secular Catholic; they are not hard to find!
-- David Smith
Liberals are getting pretty desperate these days. Why else would they have to twist words, and quote out of context, in order to score points against O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and now Ann Coulter. Ann said that Christians are "perfected Jews." She said this on something called The Big Idea, hosted by someone named Donnie Deutsch.
The reaction of liberals is typical -- jaw drops, eyes go wide, she's a fascist, etc. Most theologically astute listeners would have interpreted her to mean that because of Jesus, Christians are perfect in the sight of God, whereas Jews are still trying to achieve perfection by obeying the Law of Moses. Or at least some are.
However, liberals interpret her to mean that Christians are superior to Jews. Part of the problem is that Ann was trying to be politically correct. She was trying to make Jews feel good about themselves. She didn't say Christians are perfected Muslims, for instance. So she gets into hot water with Jews for trying to be inclusive.
Are Christians perfect, or are they superior to Jews? With the exception of myself and a couple of tree-sitters on the Palouse, I would say no -- and I'm only superior on those occasions when I'm sober.
Obviously nobody's completely perfect -- with some exceptions, as I said. Or maybe it's that some are more perfect than others. My Jewish friends, during my moments of lucidity, tell me they are in the latter group. As such, Jews of all people should see that Ann's comments are not a sign of incipient Hitlerism. To say otherwise is to fall into what Mr. Homnick described as "crude religion baiting." We're all superior to that, yes? Comtraya?
-- Vern Crisler
I'm not sure I understand why anyone, including Jay Homnick, would find it necessary to defend Ann Coulter in her dustup with leftist gasbag, Donnie Deutsch. I guess it all goes back to conservatives' fear of being thought neanderthal by the likes of the New York Times and other centers of enlightened vegetarian gaia-ty. I didn't see the interview in its entirety (anyone who did would have to have his head examined for tuning in to such a wienie -- Donnie, that is, not Ann), but who could miss the excerpts of Donnie's high dudgeon at Ann's hope he could be perfected through Christianity. As a non-religious person, I don't have a dog in that particular hunt, but you would think Donnie might save his outrage for his fellow accommodationists with those Islamofascist nutburgers who would like to follow Hitler's path and turn Donnie and other Jews into lampshades. While Donnie as either traitor or moron (following Ann's Hobson's choice) might almost (I stress almost) deserve such a fate, American adults understand that rerunning the 1930s with nuclear weaponry available to the barbarians is guaranteed to be harmful to "the children" and all other living things, Jewish and non.
I find Ann to be a cheerful antidote to the inane claptrap of what passes for liberal thought. She calls 'em as she sees 'em, and nobody does a better job at skewering the pretentious sloganeering that pretends to serious discourse. As a YAF'er in the '60s, it used to amaze me how unskilled the left was in debate. Since their childish chants were never challenged, they were unprepared to discuss any topic, whether economic, political, military, social, or artistic, beyond the schoolyard "yes it is, no it isn't." My only quibble with Ann's new book is in the title since there are plenty of stupid Republicans out there as well (goodness, she knows that!), the sort who draw back at the use of clever irony as if such assertiveness "just isn't done" at the country club where we all just try to get along together, "don't you know." I find exposing the naked savagery of petty authoritarian mystics on the left to be both entertaining and instructive.
My high school government teacher, the fondly remembered Pinko Perlmutter, used to rail at Joe McCarthy's reincarnation in Senator Goldwater's presidential campaign oratory. Dark mutterings of "witch hunts" finally caused me to ask if there wasn't a difference between witches who really didn't exist, and communist spies in the government who really did exist. That shut him up, at least for a while. When Ann took on the McCarthy haters, I cheered. While a reasonable person might quibble with some of Senator McCarthy's tactics, that person cannot ignore the real problems that Senator McCarthy took on in patriotic service to his country. We ignore the extreme anti-American statements of the Durbins and Murthas, and castigate old Joe. The world really is upside down, and Ann would put it right side up.
So, Ann, no one needs to defend you. You are a wit who cleans out the mind-stables of the sorry halfwits who would knowingly or not betray America and her values. And you are the best man for the job.
-- Stephen J. Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri
The good news for Ann, after all the bashing she's taken, is that she really doesn't have to worry about many people watching that show. It's a ratings loser in a big way.
-- Jesse Milligan
Until I followed the link in the Ann Coulter article, I had neither seen nor heard of Donnie Deutsch.
Now, I'm not sure whether I'm glad or sad that I just did.
Either way, in that clip Donnie Deutsch has pointedly demonstrated that he is "egregiously an ass."
For the perfect turn of phrase, Shakespeare never lets us down, does he?
-- A. C. Santore
With all due respect to Mr. Homnick, who cares about the little watched Donnie Deutsch? He's just one more reason to call your cable company and tell them to cram it. If television was "a vast wasteland" back in Newton Minnow's time, it's nothing short of an infinite universe of inanity these days.
-- C. Vail
P.S. Yes, I pulled the plug on cable about six years ago. And no, I haven't missed it. In fact, my life has been enriched by its absence.
Perhaps a more palatable phrase would have been "â€¦a Christian views himself as a completed Jew"? Or perhaps not. Regardless, it is a sad reminder of our times that provocateurs can successfully stir up dissention by pointing out that practitioners of religions believe theirs to be exclusively correct. That is the basic tenant of any religion, including the ones that delude their followers into thinking that they accept all beliefs (as, to do so, one must exclude those who don't).
The left seems ever inclined to forming some type of One World Government; a likely component of achieving that goal is to achieve some type of forced One World Religion. That attempted coerced religion may be Atheism, as was repeatedly tried during much of the 20th Century, or, since that didn't work out so well, a religion that pretends to encompass all religions.
However, the end result of the Left's goal is, as ever, the suppression of freedom. And the current strategy for achieving that seems to be by promoting the supposed "right" not to be offended.
-- Richmond Trotter
Oh, Ann! You can from all
Get such an outraged rise.
Instead of telling the truth as you see it,
Why not tell a few little lies?
If you just make everyone happy,
You might someday realize
A shower of respect and honor,
Maybe even a Nobel Prize.
If I don't reach the same conclusion,
Then scant attention I'll pay it,
But with Voltaire I'll strongly defend
Your God-given right to say it.
-- Mimi Evans Winship
FOR PETE'S SAKE
Re: W. James Antle III's Making the Old Right New:
Mr. Antle III may have provided "just the facts" about the Republicans' new non-interventionist thorn, Ron Paul, and the reception he received at the Robert Taft Club, but perhaps it is time to look closely at this man and, at the very least, question his motives. In the last two months alone, Dr. Paul has voted "No" on House Resolutions 557 (which condemned the UN's Human Rights Council for unfairly targeting Israel; passed 416-2), 548 (which expressed concern for Lebanon's democratic institutions; passed 415-2) and 1400 (the Iran Counter Proliferation Act; passed 397-16). Add those brilliant legislative decisions to the non-vote on HR 32, which denounced the practice of female genital mutilation (passed 378-0), and you have more than enough to consider. Perhaps this man is not in the tradition of Robert Taft after all; rather he appears as a Pete McCloskey wannabe (circa 1972). With friends like that, one can only think that Ronald Reagan's admonition to never speak ill of a fellow Republican needs at least one caveat.
-- P. Hauptman
Thank you for your article.
-- Donna Westerman
CALL TO FELLOWSHIP
Re: Lawrence Henry's Church and Me:
I would like to remind all concerned that by leaving a particular Church one is not abandoning the work of Christ. There is always another Church to go to. While I would caution Mr. Henry against abstaining from communal worship altogether, I would also tell our responders that there does come a point where it becomes detrimental for a particular individual to continue in his Church and seek another. Perhaps that individual is weak and a bad Christian at that point, but for each of us some Churches are more helpful and edifying in our failings as Christians than others.
Contrary to popular belief, Martin Luther was never an advocate of "personal interpretation" of Scripture. While he believed the wisest man and the simplest child could read the Bible to their profit, Luther also believed the Christian must be guided by men of God who are both knowledgeable and theologically trained. Luther believed that the entire Scriptures were about Jesus Christ and the only way the average Christian can understand this larger insight is step by step by learned guidance. That can only happen in the Church.
The Church contains all the saints that have ever been, those who are her sons and daughters now, and those who are yet to be born. To abstain from the assembly is to cut oneself off from the past (a strange thing for a conservative to do). It cuts oneself from the future. Worse, it separates us from that great, living collection of all who are beggars before our Lord. In the end, beggars are all we are.
-- Mike Dooley
SOAP BOX DERBY
Reader Mail's Evangelical Turnout:
As I've got older, I have found myself standing on an increasing number of "soap boxes." As all my family and friends back in Britain know, one such soapbox is the EU. It is one unholy mess that Britain inexorably moves into and in my opinion, does so at its peril. I'm sure I am not alone in this view. Therefore taking in the various TAS readers' letters arising from W. James Antle III's "Left Behind," I am struck by the naivety of people whose dogged retention of so-called principles facilitate their losing common sense particularly when it comes to making massive choices, such as who will govern a country. If these people are representative of the Christian Right, they need to wake up and take a long hard look at the last ten years or so of Socialist Britain. Incompetence I know is not something that is monopolized by the Socialists, because I remember the motley conservative crew that held power in the post-Thatcherite and pre-Blair years. Nevertheless, theirs was a walk in the park compared to the legacies of the current bunch. If Mrs. Clinton is voted in because of the Christian Right's apparent dislike of the Republican candidates on offer, their principles will mean a whole lot of nothing. Zilch in fact. Their principled platform will be assaulted in ways beyond personal angst. I hate to think what will then happen to the U.S.; how long would 8 years of Democrat rule under another Clinton take to unravel? How much of a battering will the US Constitution suffer and what consequent future lies ahead for Conservatism and all those areas of principle the Christian Right hold dear and seek to protect? Better to pray than to stick to your principles at any cost. Amen.
-- G. Constable
Re: Philip Klein's Ladies First:
George McGovern stated that he wanted to live long enough to see a black president in the White House (pace, former President Clinton), but wanted a woman this time because, after all, ladies first. If he were any kind of a gentleman, he should have stepped aside for Shirley Chisholm back in 1972.
-- Anthony Bouton
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