Reader Mail

Character References

Six years ago yesterday. How are we doing? Iraq -- an American colony? Also: Chait crime. Bush's glass half-full. Osama's day will come. Plus more.

9.12.07

TRY TO REMEMBER
Re: Quin Hillyer's Renewing the Spirit of 9/11:

America doesn't effectively remember 9/11 because it doesn't want to remember. It is easier to bemoan the costs of taking the war, declared on us as far back as 1979, to the Islamofascist nutburgers rather than continue to engage. After all, it was only a few buildings and a few thousand people in faraway New York City. And it was a long time ago now. Even the New Yorkers are more invested in believing it was America's fault than in thinking about the future with nutcases who remain committed to maximum destruction against the Great Satan and his works.

I knew we were off the tracks when we stopped showing the event on TV. Why wave the bloody flag and inflame the masses? Our media elites, including Fox News in this case, wanted cooler programming about the domestic crisis of the week -- and, of course, cool talking heads that disputed our mission in Iraq and other hellholes of the Middle East where the hatreds of Western civilization grow like cancers. Every newscast on television should lead with video of 9/11. If our media folks were really American patriots (and many would be insulted to be so considered since in their view they are journalists first and foremost!), that is what they would do without even being asked until WW IV is over. But the American spirit of "Remember the Alamo" has been lost in the bloodless sophistications of adult thumbsucking.

We can be sure we will eventually pay a great price for our ostrich behavior, more than the cost of the Iraq War and its aftermath, more than ten such conflicts. I wonder how our elites will justify their sophisticated inattentions combined with the bashing of their own country? Be assured, even then they will eventually find a way.
-- Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri

Am I the only one who is frankly getting sick of these memorials? All we have on the news is the 9/11 memorials. Some wacko shoots up the Virginia Tech campus. What happens? We have more memorials.

Enough already. When are the American people going to say that's it. No more memorials. From now on we're going to do something about it.

You want to prevent another 9/11? Then go after the Islamic fascists -- and hard. You want to stop another Virginal Tech? Then get rid of these "gun free zones" on campuses.

Don't get me wrong. We should remember the tragedies that have occurred. But we need to stop dwelling on them. We need to learn from them and then take action to make sure they never happen again. Catering to Islamic fascists and creating more gun free zones aren't answers -- they are dangerous feel-good solutions that are going to get more people killed. We need to start holding these politicians, school boards and campus regents accountable and responsible. We need to enact policies that will protect the American citizen.
-- Carol
Hillsboro, Oregon

Today we get two for the price of one. Both articles are among Mr. Hillyer's best.

There is a great deal of self-doubt in America today. Why? Initially we ought to recall the sustained and ongoing attacks on American institutions by Democrats. This assault began in the 1960s and has continued relentlessly against the military, the court system, the Republican Party, and most especially against this President.

There has existed, for the past almost 7 years, an unprecedented clarion cry against President Bush and every single action he has taken. Democrats take their playbook from communist dictators. Dictators must have an enemy against whom to rally the "people." The democrats have demonized the Military, Christianity, morals and education among others. Now the United States is its own enemy.

But more than any single institution they have gone after this President. He is clearly vulnerable. He has spent billions foolishly. Fiscally he is a Democrat. He does not speak well in public. He served only in the National Guard -- which he has in common with most sons of privilege -- Bill Clinton excepted: he didn't serve at all. And his connection with an oil family makes him a great target for lies and baseless accusations when fuel prices rise. Oh yes! He has politicized politics!

Why should doubt surprise us? Doubt and timidity is what democrats need to prevail. They are now reaping the harvest in fields of lies they have been planting and carefully cultivating for more than forty years. You can mark my words. One day a Democrat President will not leave office at the appointed time. It will be because there is a "terrible crisis that will not permit elections at this time." Then, the dream that is America will be gone. Forever.
-- Jay Molyneaux
Quit, Cut & Run, USA

Quin Hillyer should be commended for his excellent column. It is sad that so many have forgotten that tragic day and the terror and pain it inflicted on the people of this country. I certainly hope that everyone will think back to what they were doing that day when they learned of those brutal attacks, pause, and say a prayer for everyone who was impacted by those events and for all our military and civilian personnel who strive on, fighting to defeat this terrible enemy and to protect us, our way of life and our freedoms.

Thanks for reminding us, Quin, and may God bless America!
-- Patrick Spooner, P.E.
Wyndham, New Hampshire

THE WAY WE ARE
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The American Character:

Schumer is one of the American Loyalist who favors a king (or queen) and wants Washington, D.C. to be the center of all government. In the '50s there was a saying, "you want to make a federal case out of it?"

Now everything seems to be a federal case, be it hurricanes, schools, welfare, etc. I believe that half the citizens in this country want some one to take care of them and don't want any responsibility for themselves.
-- Larry A. Sliger

On a recent cruise I was watching a strange Blackjack game. A very poor hand could be turned back and half the original bet would be taken by the house. The dealer offered this option to one of the players....he responded: "I'm an American, we never surrender."

Just so. Incidentally, and perhaps immaterially, he won the hand. The column rates a "Huzzah."
-- J.C. Eaton
Chetek, Wisconsin

In Jeffrey Lord's "The American Character," we have a fine reminder indeed of backbone. I hope your American readers don't mind me riding on the back of his fine article when I say that this kind of character still exists in other places, today. There is a history of it elsewhere and it will always have a future. Not just in the US, although I admit its concentration in your great country is no coincidence. Even as they are ordered to leave Iraq, British troops are fine examples of courage.

My father fought for his country in WWII enlisting in the RN in his teens. He did us all proud. And my grandfather survived Gallipoli; he had backbone big-time. And here in Australia, my new homeland, there is bucket loads of grit. There will always be the Schumers in this world -- our enemies count on it. But for every Schumer, there are countless greater characters, bigger minds and stronger hearts. As long as there are people who write the kind of material that Jeffrey Lord does, we have hope. And when our enemies try harder, we know we are doing something right.
-- G. Constable
Sydney, Australia

The basic flaw in this article is that in Iraq the roles are exactly reversed. The U.S. has far more in common with Britain in this comparison than with the Revolutionary Army. The fact that the British Army was an unstoppable force when focused was never an issue -- the British thought that this little army would roll over and the locals would "welcome us as liberators." This all happened and yet the war wasn't over after the capture of the capital. Small groups in the south and north fought the British in the wild areas where massed troops couldn't make a bayonet charge and there were no fortifications to or other "military" objectives to take.

This war was fought many miles from home for purposes that the British public never really grasped -- if the Americans wanted to have them out, fine they would leave. War was bad for business, and now the French were reaping the benefit of the colonial produce. With support at home waning and a constant loss of soldiers thru small engagements scattered over a wide area the army just couldn't continue the fight effectively. Foreign powers were interfering -- providing munitions and material support and the bleeding continued for years.

Does any of this sound familiar? Wars that try to impose foreign ideals on a local populace always fail -- always.

Colonial occupation will always result in a pissed-off population and a continued loss of blood. It is just cheaper to harass an outside enemy than it is to police a population.
-- David J. Burton

Jeffrey Lord replies:
Respectfully, the point I was making was about the essence of American character, something that has shown up again and again in all kinds of situations involving Americans, including those that have nothing to do with war. It was not about analogies between the presence of Americans in Iraq and the British in colonial America.

But since the subject has been raised by reader Dave Burton, it is flatly in error to suggest that the U.S. presence in Iraq is in any way, shape or form "colonial" in nature. This is propaganda that bears zero relationship to the truth. No one that I am aware of in government or out believes America should run around the world to colonize. We are a nation of 50 states, and with the exception of the seemingly perennial discussion about Puerto Rico as number 51, there is no movement to make Iraq or any place else a U.S. state.

But there are a great many Americans who do believe that Iraq -- like Afghanistan -- is a battlefield in a larger war, just as the Battle of Brooklyn Heights (the Battle of Long Island) was not really about Brooklyn, Long Island or New York City, but about freedom, democracy and who will run America -- Americans or outsiders. Do I believe that we should colonize Iraq? No. Do I believe we stay until they have a secure, stable future that they can run themselves? Yes. We have been here before with Germany, Japan, Italy, and Korea. Is this a pleasant role? No. But we have learned to our sorrow that when we ignore these situations millions of people die -- the last time out in WW II that meant over 400,000 Americans. Colonies, of course not. Freedom and security -- always.

Mr. Lord writes an interesting article, and a very timely one. It, indeed, does deal with the "elephant in the room," so to speak. This is a topic that entirely too many of our national leaders, starting with Pres. Bush, refuse to address.

I must, however, call into question Mr. Lord's apparent conclusion in one respect. Mr. Lord writes; "Brooklyn's Chuck Schumer of Sheepshead, Brooklyn has indeed forgotten what kind of 'people we are.'" I do not for one moment believe that Schumer has forgotten anything. It is simply a case of him betting that the majority of the American electorate agree with the Socialistic, left wing, anti-American traitors that he represents and casts his lot with. I truly believe that we dismiss this possibility at our extreme peril. I am not at all sure that Chuck is not right.

We need to acknowledge that those citizens who supported the American Revolution amounted to approximately one-third of the adult population. Another third were loyal to the English king. The rest just wanted to be left alone to pursue their individual lives, without the discomforts of war intervening. I suspect that the numbers are not greatly different as regards the hostilities in Iraq today. The noisiest groups, the most activist groups, are those that would rather switch than fight any day. Of course Schumer is exhibit one of the ethnic group that will be dealt with most harshly, should their viewpoint come to completely rule the day. Schumer's head would be one of the earliest ones removed from his body.

It is such a darn shame that the majority of Americans simply refuse to learn from history. They do not want to be confused by facts. They simply want to be left alone to pursue their narcissistic, hedonistic lives. The saving grace is that so many of those folks could care less about voting. National policy is, instead, set by at most 50% of our adult population, if that many.

On 9/12/2001 George Bush, atop a pile of debris in New York City, told all Americans to go about their business and that he and the military would handle everything. Since that time, Bush and our military have been at war. The only ones of our general population that pay close attention are those whose relatives are in the military, or those of us who revere honor, courage, and our military, and of course the anti-war Socialistic left.

Pres. Bush missed an historic opportunity to educate the American public to the true nature of the enemy, and the true task ahead of us, and to ask every American to go to war with our military, to put the entire country on a war footing until this little problem had been solved for the next 100 years or so. If that had been done, a greater portion of our population would be standing with him and our military today, and the Chuck Schumers of our political system would be far less bold, far less noisy, far less obnoxious. We might even find Kennedy, Leahy, Kerry, Boxer, et al to be less overt in their treason.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

Where have our leaders gone? Liberals destroy them to stifle politically incorrect opinion. General Petraeus is training Iraqis to defend themselves and our troops to rebuild Iraqi services. This unique leader is smeared as "General Betray Us" by Moveon.org in the New York Times, the newspaper that publishes military secrets without hesitation.
-- Hank Borgman
Farmington, Michigan

Hooray for Jeffrey Lord's most welcome statement of the American character.

Sadly, it will be lost on the very people it is most intended to reach -- the people of questionable character who undermine, not only General Petraeus, but all American patriots.

General Washington, when faced with a Continental Congress who could not, or would not, provide money to pay his suffering troops at Valley Forge, went to bankers in Philadelphia and borrowed money on his own account in order to pay them.

Losing was not an option. He had pledged his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor. Literally!

Can you imagine General Carping Schumer and his fellow anti-patriots doing anything even vaguely like that?

I can't.

Wouldn't want his cold feet to freeze like the patriots at Valley Forge.
-- A. C. Santore
Pennsylvania

The radical left will always despise the American character because they can't control it. Like their soul mates in the Democrat Party, they have nothing to offer Americans beyond defeatism and despair -- which they characterize as "progressive" thinking. They are not progressives.

They are losers.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

In NYC, this year, a Marine recruiter was spit on. That speaks volumes about Charles Schumer and the people he represents in the U.S. Senate. It also goes a long way in explaining what happened to the American character or the lack of it among terrorist appeasing Democrats.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jackson, North Carolina

THE SCHUMER WITHOUT A COUNTRY
Philip Nolan Schumer
Is the name I'd give
To the vicious New York Senator.
Should he not choose to live

On board a ship
Way out at sea
And never again know
This democracy?

"The Man Without a Country"
Is the perfect map
To chart the course
For this sneering sap.

Look it up on Google
If you don't know the story.
You will agree
That this sort of glory,

This merited exile,
Is the well-deserved fate
Of this American troop hating
Reprobate.

As a lip-curling partisan antagonist
He's free to leave. He won't be missed.
-- Mimi Evans Winship

TAXING CHAIT
Re: W. James Antle III's Those Crazy Supply-Siders:

Mr. Antle offered a spirited and candid defense of supply-side economics, but there are a couple of items that I believe merit comment:

While Mr. Antle is correct that the Clinton tax increases did not cause a recession, Gross Domestic Product did in fact fall from 3% in 1992 to 2.6% in 1993, the year these (retroactive) tax increases went into effect. Because the economy was by then well into recovery it was able to absorb these tax hikes. It is to President Clinton's credit that he raised taxes after the recovery had become self-sustaining. This is in stark contrast to President Bush's tax increase in 1990, which was most untimely, as the economy was already entering into recession.

Mr. Antle claims that tax cuts "do not pay for themselves," but Federal tax revenues grew from $500 billion in 1982 to $990 billion in 1989. How does one reconcile this? If lower taxes result in increased corporate profitability and rising stock prices and dividends, which in turn increases corporate tax revenues and capital gains taxes and income taxes on dividends, then the tax cut is paying for itself.

There is a tax level that optimizes tax revenues. Above that level the economy loses capital that could be effectively employed but instead is wasted on inefficient government programs created by self-serving or utopian-minded politicians; below that level the taxes necessary for legitimate government purposes are inadequate. These purposes involve national security and protecting the civic and social institutions that channel human proclivities to useful and productive ends which lead to economic growth. These institutions include the most basic unit of society, the family, and also religion, capitalism and the free markets, physical infrastructure, regulatory bodies to maintain market integrity and a legal system to adjudicate disputes.
-- Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Jonathan Chait is following the well-treaded path of lefties like Paul Krugman and Tom Friedman whom develop story lines based on apparent incongruence of settled economic theory. They do not originate theory. Jonathon Chait is a liberal who is contributing his effort, and hopefully make some money, trying to elect a Democrat President in 2008.

Democrats are engaged in a campaign to quit Iraq now so it will look like a loser and they will get credit from voters for getting us out. Liberals like Chait, whether they be Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, Peaceniks, Environmentalists, Feminists, Gays, Labor Unions, or just wanters, know that the Democrat Party is the only way to get what they want. And the Democrat Party in order to deliver the programs wanted by these groups must elect their own and raise taxes to finance the programs because the Federal Government employs static rather than dynamic budgeting. So, Chait's assurance and sorry proof that taxes may be raised without hurting the economy. Mr. Chait is just doing his bit for the liberal cause as poor an argument as it may be and is part of a tide of articles and books that will come forth and be trumpeted by the mainstream media.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

The main argument against taxes should not be that it will soak the rich or just benefit the rich, it should be that the tax code is used to control economic behavior. With history on the side of lower taxes and the boost it brings to not only the economy but also increases the amount of revenue to the government, the socialists always ignore this point because it takes away the tool they use to control economic behavior. When they want to increase the role of government they demonize an industry or company and justify a tax increase to limit public consumption, such as the sin tax on alcohol and tobacco or the gas tax and the soon to be tax on fatty foods. They even admit the tax is intended to make it more expensive and to lower consumption. Note increasing revenue to the government is not the main goal stated. With this logic you can argue that they do not want average citizens to become rich at all. If you increase taxes on the rich you limit the amount of people's ability to become rich if you are not so already. With rising gas prices in the news regularly, there is one thing the government could do to help lower gas prices to the American public and that would be to eliminate the gas tax. But the goal is not to make gas more affordable, it is to lower consumption and increase government's control over the product.
-- Luke Williams

DOUBTING TOBIAS
Re: Michael Tobias's letter (under "Happy Days Aren't Here") in Reader Mail's Our Osama Complex:

Michael Tobias like so many conservatives reveals why our movement is in self-imposed crisis -- a failure to appreciate the gains. He asks in referencing the Bush administration, "What, prey tell, did we accomplish other than having a President with a capital R after his last name?" Here are just a few accomplishments by way of President George W. Bush: (1) the first Presidency in modern U.S. history to not only cut taxes, but to never raise them, (2) the first time since the 19th century that the U.S. actually fought Islamic terrorists with a combat death toll below the peace time military deaths of the Carter and Clinton administrations, (3) the end of gun control laws passed since the 1980's, (4) all Supreme Court nominations have been conservatives, (5) in 2006 a deficit of 1.9 % of GDP or well below the 2.3% 40 year average, (6) historically low unemployment, (7) a ban on partial birth abortions, (8) the Child Custody Prevention Act, (9) job creation greater than Europe and Japan combined, (10) historic wage gains, (11) a crackdown and deportation of illegal aliens in the wake of the failure of comprehensive immigration reform, (12) homosexual activism stalled, (13) environmental extremism ignored and (14) Democrats beaten in three elections they were supposed to win: 2000, 2002 and 2004.

Democrats only won in 2006 when many conservatives bought into Democrat propaganda and stayed home on Election Day, threw their vote away on third party candidates or voted for liberal blue dogs (like the racist misogynist Jim Webb), because they believed the myth that they were "conservatives" (gag).

If Mr. Tobias and other like him keep it up the Democrats are insured victory in 2008 and for the foreseeable future. Then who'll be happy?
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

CHANCE ENCOUNTERS
Re: Christopher Orlet's Why Can't We Find Osama?:

"Others insist that his capture no longer matters, that a martyred bin Laden will just be replaced by another madman. Right. So we stop looking for rapists and serial killers, since there will always be more rapists and serial killers coming along."

Actually Mr. Orlet if you check the records of hundreds, thousands of successful captures of "rapists and serial killers" you will find that most occur due to some "dumb luck" on the part of the investigators and some very serious mistakes made by the wanted. More to the point however, most efforts to hunt down said people pair down to one investigator doing research on a part-time basis over years... unlike your typical criminal, they don't have thousands of armed friends to help protect and hide them and make any act of Ramboism a very costly operation for just one man. We didn't pursue WWII on the basis of capturing or killing Hitler on the hopes that would end the war or send a powerful message to the German people. There is always a lot of support troops that have to be dealt with before you can get to the head to the monster and more heads always show up. Osama's day will come, probably the result of some poor dumb luck.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

SOUNDS RIGHT
Re: Joseph Baum's letter (under "In With a Bang") ") in Reader Mail's Our Osama Complex:

TAS reader Joseph Baum asks, "If you folks who subscribe to this 'big bang' theory could only tell me what went 'bang,' I would join your side in a heart beat." Allow me to submit for your consideration the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 1, Verse 1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." I further submit that the Word was exceedingly loud.

Though one might ask: if a universe explodes from a singularity, and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
-- Stephen Foulard
Houston, Texas

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