Reader Mail

Heightened Tensions

Craig and Democrat stall tactics. Hillary's SOP. Material accumulation. A Russian explains Putin's thinking. More McCainiana. Plus much else.

9.4.07

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POLITICS OF PERVERSION
Re: Liz Mair's Democrats Are Idaho Dreamin':

Linking to Liz Mair's article, your splash ad teaser posed the question, "Can He Be Replaced?"

To paraphrase William F. Buckley, "Hell yes -- by any random name in the phone book."

I'm sick to death of Washington, D.C. and all those perfumed parasites who keep pestering us, steal our earnings, act like petty little gods, but are really all just greasy old senile pervs deep down.
-- Jim Switz
Port Townsend, Washington

I suppose that Senator Craig could run for reelection and, in all likelihood, win. Most of the offices with incumbents who've done bizarre things, and who have survived multiple elections, are held by Democrats.
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

Liz Mair should also have reminded Idaho Republicans of a past "Republican Idaho Nightmare" known as Senator Frank Church, Democrat, Idaho. It might, as Sam Johnson said about the prospect of being hung in the morning, "concentrate the (Idaho Republican Leadership's) mind(s) wonderfully."
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Why is POLITICAL BIGOTRY so easily allowed by the Democrats and the activist old media?

If an entire race, sex or religion painted with the brush of a few, we would call it racist, sexist, or religious bigotry.

Still...everywhere among Democrats and the activist old media the battle cry is the same: "Can the Republicans recover?", "What is wrong with the Republicans and their family values?"

Why is political bigotry allowed?
-- Mike May
Whittier, California

FOIBLE FOLLIES

We all have our foibles, I'm sure.
Some are more foibled than others,
But need we parade them in public?
My average sisters and brothers

Do you think you would turn to politics
If your copybook read like a Novel?
Wouldn't you choose a less limelit life?
Or would you consistently grovel

To constituents, waving a glad hand
With a smile plastered onto your face?
Would turning your family inside out
Be worthy of the race?

Fame has its price, and sometimes
The cost may be worth the pay,
When the gifted leader who cashes the check
Can levitate over the fray.

But unless someone very special
Answers the Country's call,
Please spare us the sordid details
And yourself the ultimate fall.
-- Mimi Evans Winship

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
Re: Mark Goldblatt's Democratic Sanity Check:

It's not that Hillary's "rivals" for the Leftist nod are upset about a "suggestion that another major terrorist strike against the United States would help the Republican Party": they are discomfited by her acknowledgement that Americans instinctively distrust Democrats on issues of national security. Of course they're going to deny that.

All sorts of pundits and spokesmen could have repeated this on television and in print, and it would have fallen on deaf ears in the terrorist lairs. But when the Democrat nominee-presumptive gets up and says it, it's a clear signal to our enemies that if they lay low for long enough, they get to win.

On the other hand, should the terrorists decline to follow Hillary's advice and manage to execute another 9/11, the howls on the Left for Bush's head will only intensify: all his efforts to bolster American security would be seen to have failed, and he and his party would be to blame. In this scenario, to discredit the president, the Mohammedan terrorists, recalling the Provos' failed attempt on Margaret Thatcher's life in 1984, "only have to be lucky once." Nonetheless, as I repeated throughout 2004, and as I'll predict again now, there will be no major attack on U.S. territory during this election cycle. It would not serve the terrorists to remind us that we are at war; better for them that we forget.

Still, I had to laugh at the Breck Girl's sticking to that "Two Americas" script. It's not about security (should an ambulance chaser achieve the Oval Office, how could it be?); rather, it's about the illusion of security. Only if we "unite" will we be safe. (Like Londoners huddled together in the Underground during the Blitz?) Allow me to suggest that President Bush has demonstrated otherwise.

I have frequently asserted to the consternation of my Leftist acquaintances that President Bush has indeed been the "uniter" that he claimed to be at the outset of his term. When the Mohammedans struck, everyone who wanted to unite did; everyone who didn't chose not to. There's not much you can do about that in a free country. It is critical, though, that the dividers not be rewarded with the presidency. Let's unite around that.
-- Stephen Foulard
Houston, Texas

Ms. Clinton, as always, is positioning herself. She is completely devoid of scruples. The reason for her comment is that from somewhere she has information there may be an attack on the U.S. before the election and she is setting up her position.

Should such an attack occur Ms. Clinton would be squirming with glee. The more death and destruction the better. She would appear at the sight, weep with the victims about whom she cares not a feather or a fig, except that they vote for her. She would then with fire in her eyes and rage and demonic hatred in her voice scream:

"Republicans did this! I said months ago that such an attack would aid the Republicans and look what happened. Thousands died and many more injured. Make Republicans pay -- a vote or me will set you free!"

That's how the radical left Democrats operate.
-- Jay Molyneaux

HAPPY CAMPER
Re: Lawrence Henry's Stuff:

That was a great piece of writing and insight. I head out to my garage every weekend, and wonder what can be thrown away. I've taken to sneaking "stuff" into the back of my car, so I can take it to the Goodwill or church thrift store under cloak of darkness and without interference. Heaven forbid I should ask first. Roller blades that only fit five-year olds (my youngest is 11) must be saved for some hypothetical grandchild or cousin (explaining that technology marches on and that the old roller blades are now obsolete falls on deaf ears).

On the camping front, I spent about 12 years in the various YMCA "Indian" programs for dads and kids. All the camping was car camping. I now have propane stoves, gas cylinders, gigantic tents and inflatable air mattresses (among other things). Putting the "stuff" away after a weekend trip was a 4 hour process. My boys joined the scouts with a troop that only backpacks. Coming home from even a week-long trek to the Sierras results in a clean-up that is basically putting the dirty clothes in the wash, airing out the sleeping bag, and hanging the backpack on the wall. Storage and clean-up time cut by almost 90%. So, there is hope.

I wonder, however, what I'll do with all that car camping gear?
-- Paul J. Sievers
Newport Beach, California

IT'S NOT UNUSUAL?
Re: Michael F. Cannon's Romney's New Rx:

Mr. Cannon says: "It [Romney's Massachusetts health insurance mandate] represents the first time that Americans were required to purchase a particular product simply because they reside in a particular state."

Huh? What about states requiring drivers to purchase auto insurance? I ask, not to be snarky, but because I'm confused; what does Mr. Cannon mean, and if Romney wasn't breaking new ground, what's the beef?
-- Maynard Thomson

CHEATED
Re: Barron Thomas's Year-End 2007: Buy, Sell, or Hold:

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out the point, the conclusion, and thus any value whatsoever of this article. Mr. Thomas doesn't give any real answers to the hypothetical questions he asks.

At one point he states: "Profits are made the day you buy, not the day you sell." Then follows it up later with another adage: "Holding is the historical path to wealth." Well, which is it? Smart buying or holding that is the key?

If these are the musings of an insightful real estate "expert," I can see the margin squeeze on the traditional 6% commission will only continue.
-- William H. Stewart
Boston, Massachusetts

THEIR GOD IS DEAD
Re: Mark Tooley's Anti-War Despair:

I wonder -- other than his employer, what is there in Winkler's diatribe that indicates he's motivated at all by anything "religious"?
-- Brad Bettin

THE RUSSIAN MIND
Re: George H. Wittman's Russia, Inc.:

Greetings,

I've read the article "Russia, Inc." by George H. Wittman and I'm shocked, by facts and ideas that are for the most part unreal as well as by its paranoia. I'm from Russia and actually know a little bit more about my country and our president as well as about FSB, oil, etc. The described ideas will mislead readers about the situation and politics of the Russian Federation. The most foolish facts:

1. Russia suggests new candidate to IMF. That's not a man who is agent of KGB or something like this. He's just a professional who can has much more experience in economics than the Frenchman. Do you think it's bad? IMF need to be modernize. Just read the professionals.

2. Russia wants to control oil and gas. Most Russians want that. Because it allows to invest much more money to solve social problems. Do you really think that the U.S. government doesn't control and not communicate with national oil companies like Shell? I was in the USA and my friend at Shell totally agrees with me. In Russia we have not so secure a market in oil and gas; foreign companies, which do not want to invest money in social projects, are allowed to steal money and to control the oil industry. Putin has made the country much more stable and he doesn't want to start war with other countries. Russia in contrast to the USA was a real member of two global wars and many others. We know the price of such wars. That's why in contast to the USA we have a protecting military doctrine unlike China and the USA which have an offensive doctrine. And this means that we just want to protect our interests. Many countries want to take Russian resources in Siberia or some other region. But the people of those countries haven't died to discover that region. And actually can't do that know. No normal European engineer can work in Siberia in minus 50 degrees centigrade.

3. Russia has claims on the Arctic. But these claims are based on international rules which were signed by many countries. We're just protecting our interests. And actually it's your country that is the leader of efforts to explore this region. No other country has so many expeditions there.

4. You defend your anti-missile defense system. But you don't understand that if this system is created, a stupid government like the Bush government could start war with Russia to expand the democratic world. Because he thinks he'd have no problem such as has been the case in Iraq and Afghanistan. As result, the world could be destroyed. If you remember the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy protected U.S. interests and didn't allow the installation of such dangerous missiles near the U.S. East Coast.

In my opinion, you just want to show that you want to secure American public society. Actually, this is cool, of course. But the main problem with U.S. government views that they don't understand that confrontation with Russia makes problems for itself. When the USSR broke up, the U.S. made the mistake of helping oligarchs like Berezovsky in a way to protect American interests. I've talked with members of the two main parties in the U.S. and saw that they don't understand the realities of Russia. Most problems and confrontations with Russia could have been resolved in the 1990s if the U.S. had helped the Russian Federation. But the truth is, the U.S. made it difficult for Russia to integrate with Europe, NATO, and WTO (World Trade Organization).

Why?

Actually, USA wants to disintegrate Russia. Just read CIA public reports. This is stupid. Just imagine the result. The world will be dangerous. In my country there are many nuclear plant and missiles and biological weapons. Just imagine a civil war using this last weapon. The USA couldn't control that. Do you know the theory of gold bullion, which explains most of the U.S.'s problems? The U.S. wants to be the leader. But also most of its economy is based on stealing the economic potentials of other countries. The world needs to be globalized on equal principles without domination by one country.

Best Regards,
-- Pavel S. Tsarevskiy
Software Engineer
Samara, Russia

SEMPER TEMPER
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s John McCain Battles On:

In the many years that I have perused and responded to the stories in this webzine, I have rarely, if ever, read anything whose storyline is such a fanciful flight from reality as RET's, "John McCain Battles On." How else is one to define a piece that celebrates, among his other virtues, the serenity of Sen. McCain: "There have been rumors of his dreadful temper. I've not seen it." Could it be, Kind Sir, that Sen. McCain was aware of your presence, and "cooled it" in that period you were together? But if Signor Tyrrell is unaware of McCain's "dreadful temper," allow me to point out someone who has, personally, witnessed it: Peter Gadiel.

Gadiel lost his son and another family member on 9/11 in the Twin Towers, and, subsequently, has devoted much of his life to alert the US public to the dangers to our national security posed by illegal immigration. (17 of the 19 Muslim terrorists were illegally in this country at the time.) He also created a website: 9/11 Families for a Secure America. Gadiel, who travels to much of the country to make his case, came to Washington this past Spring, and went to the U.S. Senate to speak to individual senators about the menace that uncontrolled borders will bring about. By chance, Gadiel saw McCain as he was entering his office building, and went over to speak to him. Gadiel, in his quiet way, asked McCain why, given the dangers involved, the senator from Arizona has taken his position of favoring amnesty for illegal immigration, but McCain's intemperate response to that very good question required that he be restrained by his aides: he screamed so intensely at Gadiel that spittle came forth from the corners of his mouth. That was typical McCain; what Tyrrell saw was posturing for the media.

R. Emmet Tyrrell Jr. reads several newspapers daily, but does it not strike him as odd, or has he never noticed that The Washington Post, that bastion of conservative thought, never fails to mention favorably Sen McCain's voting record? In fact, McCain has taken over the position formerly afforded Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as the newspaper's favorite conservative. With McCain's departure, who will be next: Justice Kennedy? But McCain's supposed equanimity and posturing apart, how does RET square the senator's voting record with that of a "conservative," or does that not mean much any more to this webzine?

I can tell you that one nationally known jurist told me that McCain-Feingold was the most unconstitutional statute he had ever seen, and he sees a lot of them. Further, it was McCain who joined the Senate's Gang of 14 (7 from each Party) -- to decide if President Bush's future Supreme Court nominees would be acceptable, or even come to the floor for a vote. In so doing, McCain et al. were clearly attempting, by legislative chutzpah, an unacceptable constitutional power grab into an area of executive prerogative. This is a "conservative?"

Finally, I am supremely confident that McCain's candidacy as a presidential hopeful is over, but what really destroyed it was his belief that there would be no serious fallout from his carrying the water for this administration's disastrous policy -- or non-policy -- on illegal immigration. McCain and his RINO GOP allies appeared indifferent and/or hostile to people like Peter Gadiel, who sought to keep this country safe by protecting our borders. By acquiescing to the likely elimination of our those borders by the millions of illegal aliens who cross it with impunity each year, including potential terrorists, McCain committed his own form of political "seppuku," and, in the process, the issue tore the GOP apart, something from which it has not recovered. The final irony is that, by his actions, McCain may prove instrumental in bequeathing as his final legacy the assured election of Mr. Tyrrell's favorite candidate, Mrs. Clinton.

Pax tecum
-- Vincent Chiarello
American National Council for
Immigration Reform

There are very few sure things in life. However I am 100% sure that McCain is through.

Count him out...count on it.
-- Dave Schallert
Parker, Colorado

LEVEL-HEADED
Re: Tim McCaffrey's letter (under "Above Sea Level") in Reader Mail's The Unforgiven:

Mr. McCaffrey, much of what you said is either wrong (a 12 foot Storm Surge hitting New Orleans; New Orleans flooded mainly from Lake Pontchartrain's backwash and the levees gave way short of their maximum height) or irrelevant (the amount of Per Capita Federal tax dollars Virginia gets to support the Pentagon, two NASA facilities, the Defense Supply Depot, One major Marine Base, Two major Naval Air Stations, the world's largest Naval Base with half our fleet based there, a Naval Amphib base, the Air Force Tactical Command and fighter wing plus a host of Army, Coast Guard and lesser Federal facilities that Louisiana does not have) to the matter of economic viability for the below sea level portion of New Orleans. To make the point crystal clear the following questions and answers will focus on the root problem with trying to overcome what nature is doing (on a grand scale) to make this moot.

One, how many tens of billions in 2007 adjusted Federal tax dollars did it take to build the existing levee system which couldn't withstand a sideswipe from the weaker side of Katrina? The area I live in has been hit by Hurricanes several times in my life time, including one who's eye passed right over where I was located and despite that wind damage and considerable flooding that took place in many cases along our coast and low lands, a large amount of square miles of urban housing and businesses did not fill up with water and have to be pumped out after the storm passed. Pull up any NOAA/Corp of Engineer maps of the flooded and non-flooded areas around New Orleans proper and you will see the bulk of the flooded areas are North of the Mississippi and I10 and East/SouthEast toward the Gulf. The bulk of the land that touches Lake Pontchartrain or North of the Mississippi flooded and there is nothing laughable about that. NOAA says the Delta area loses 30 square miles a year to erosion or an area similar in size to downtown New Orleans. That portion of New Orleans' area that is above sea level is like an ant hill in the middle of a swamp and the Ocean is coming to New Orleans. It won't take much to re-flood New Orleans from any one of three directions.

Two, how many years did it take to build the existing level system? If the erosion in the Delta keeps on at the current rate, with or without Al Gore's 23 foot rise in Ocean levels, by the end of this century the levee system will be the sea wall keeping out the Ocean not the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain. Now you are talking a earthen levee wall 30-40 feet tall and twice as wide at the base to keep water out. How many of the 148 pumps that New Orleans had failed to work for what ever reason? 148 pumps even with self contained power supplies next time will not keep up with the flooding a single major breach will cause. It took less than a day to flood New Orleans. How many weeks to evaporate and/or pump it out? The New Orleans pumps are to what took place with Katrina as the same on the Titanic. They just slowed things down.

Three, my property is insured, I don't live or work in a floodable area (except in Biblical terms). Why isn't the damaged/destroyed properties already rebuilt from private insurance payouts? Destructive Storms are the norm for the normally warm waters of the Gulf area. Ask Galveston about that.

Four, what does it cost to insure against flooding in the areas below sea level per $100.00 of assessed valuation?

The answer to all the above is hundreds of billions of dollars more cost than any other city the size of New Orleans and every city in this Nation will ask for the same special treatment if the taxpayers from the other 49 States foot the bill for the Private Property owners in New Orleans not insuring their property. I understand the emotion involved and I'm sure many feel your "pain" but my tax burden is already 40%, most of which came from the same sort of emotional arguments as is being made about rebuilding New Orleans on the Federal tax payer's dime. I pay a lot to insure me and my property each year but the people with their hands stretched out looking for a free ride made a choice, a poor choice indeed. If you can't insure something against loss such as this maybe there is a message in that that needs to be repeated until it sinks in. The people living and working below sea level in New Orleans have been sent a message that anyone with common sense should appreciate. A portion of New Orleans sinks a little more each year, the Ocean moves a little closer and water does what it does, runs down hill to fill a void.

You see this as a moral issue or simply name calling. Hardly. False compassion or Guilt trips line the path to Hell I hear. The Nation was pretty generous to the folks along the Gulf coast even though fraud and graft ran wild in some quarters of the area. There is no moral imperative requiring one portion of the country to facilitate economic suicide by rebuilding below sea level in an area being reclaimed by the sea slowly but surely. At best the argument for doing this is a jerk kneed emotional reaction to having been caught with your pants down around your knees when you should have been paying the insurance cost to cover the risk you assumed, figuratively speaking. I choose to live where I do and assume the risk for doing that. I've seen a few Hurricanes in my life up close and I understand the law of gravity can't be repealed.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

'TIS NOBLER
Re: Sander Fredman's letter (under "Sacrifice, Not Suicide") in Reader Mail's The Unforgiven:

With reference to Sander Fredman's letter, I suspect there is a little skewing of logic here, to put it kindly. Cultural honor aside, take a look at the motives of each proponent of their so-called sacrifice and ask yourself whose is for a more noble cause. Neither the Kamikaze nor the Islamist suicide bomber has made for a better world or progress or freedom etc., etc., etc. End of story.
-- G. Constable
Sydney, Australia

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