Re: Philip Klein's Obama Rising:
There are two big problems with Sen. Obama: (1) He's a politician and (2) He's a typical politician. A typical politician is a hypocrite. While Obama says he wants to bring people together, his real feelings on unity are clearly enunciated in his seminal address on the national stage at the 2004 Democrat Convention.
In that speech he accused the Republicans of voter fraud, "rounding-up" Arab American families and placing spies in our libraries. That's demagoguery. This guy's a phony to his core.
-- Robert Bulk
So Philip Klein joins the legions of 8th graders, high schoolers, and guilty white folk gushing over the ingenue Obama. I think I'll wait until Obama's creator Tony Rezko goes on trial in Chicago later this year. I know some of the testimony that will be given at the Rezko trial and it will be devastating for Obama -- I think the Clintons are digging up as much dirt as the U.S. Attorney.
-- Jack Hughes
SUBPRIMING THE PUMP
Re: Lew Uhler's Subprime Rescue Politics:
Great article, but omitted one salient point, i.e. most of the sub-prime borrowers have nothing invested in their homes. Nothing down, and many of them have never made a mortgage payment.
This is another costly hare-brained scheme to elicit sympathy for the fabled "poor" people and not incidentally bail out the mortgage bankers and speculators.
-- Robert W. Roth
The old saw goes: "when you can't pay your mortgage to the bank you're in trouble. When you own multi-millions and you can't pay it, the bank is in trouble." What is not said is that when the bank is in trouble (in this case, a lot of banks) a lot of innocent folk will get hurt in the cascade of economic failure. I agree in principle that the government is ill-advised to bail out the banks; but it seems the average taxpayer will get burned one way or the other.
Sort of reminds me of an experience in my own life. I told my son not to buy a particular car. He did anyway. Said car "suddenly" needed major repairs a few months later. He did not have the money. I told him he would just have to save up from his paycheck until he could afford to get his car fixed. I had the money myself but thought he needed to learn to make better decisions. Guess who ended up taking him to work so he could keep his job. You know, the job he needed to get the paycheck(s) to save up for the repairs as well as keep up with insurance and car payments.
Sure, I could go the complete "tough love" route and let him lose the car and his job; but that would have had him my house an additional year or more before he spread his wings and left the nest. So teaching my son a lesson ended up taking a bite out of my hide in lost of time and inconvenience. In this case of the banks and sub-prime loans, in teaching them a lesson, don't think they alone will bear the costs.
-- Mike Dooley
It seems to me that every word of Mr. Uhler's column is true, correct, and right, and I have exactly zero confidence that any significant number of politicians on the local, state, or national level will heed his call for common sense.
-- Ken Shreve
SCRAPS AND LITTLE MORE
Re: Peter Hannaford's The GOP's Table-Scraps Strategy:
Mr. Hannaford's column completely misses the point.
According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, the idea of using a ballot initiative is totally unconstitutional. The clause states that "Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the â€¦"
The purpose of a ballot initiative, especially in the case of California (just ask Arnold), is to accomplish an end-run around the state legislature. Therefore, it is totally unacceptable (and illegal) to change the way California's Electoral College representatives are appointed for a Presidential election by using a process that leaves out the state legislature's participation.
How much clearer must the Constitution be written in order for the linguine-spined politicians to take it seriously enough to uphold its directives as a matter of their day-to-day jobs? Duh!
-- Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
AN UNSTABLE ALLY
Re: George H. Wittman's A Musharraf Surprise:
Mr. Wittman has written a very cogent article. It always amuses me, however, when I read that George Bush, or Condi Rice, or some other American government official is or has pressured Musharraf or some other American ally in that Moslem-dominated part of the world. Musharraf and rulers like him have a decided wish to remain alive. They do not have quite the freedom of political movement as an American politician.
I fail to see what good it does America for Musharraf to go beyond the line of what is possible and get himself killed. Who would take his place? Would his replacement be as good an ally to us? What would happen to his countries nuclear weapons? There are many more questions if Musharraf were to be assassinated or deposed. Perhaps it would be good for Bush or Rice to recognize that they can only get so much out of our individual allies in that part of the world.
The cities and small towns of Pakistan and Afghanistan ain't exactly Crawford, Texas.
-- Ken Shreve
Re: The "Seitzmograph" letters in Reader Mail's Grace Under Pressure:
Regarding letters of reply to mine on Paul Chesser's Newsweek: Alarmed by Deniers:
According to Mr. Briner, "Mr. Chesser claimed that Sharon Begley cited the 4th report by the Panel on Climate Change and Russell Seitz made it clear that there is no way she should be citing it if she can't even look at it yet. Somehow this ends up being a criticism of Mr. Chesser which I don't understand ..."
I wrote nothing suggesting that Sharon Begley failed to read the IPCC report, and assume she followed its progress as thousands, many critical, have, by reading it online. We owe thanks to the American delegation for securing the transparency of the IPCC process, just as Mike Crichton's CalTech speech suggested in 2003, by insisting that the work in progress be made accessible on the web.
Mr. Briner adds: "Mr. Seitz says that apparently non-scientists should say nothing while the scientific community gets this all straightened out."
This is utter bilge. Before charging that a piece of scientific work has been politicized, Mr. Briner, like any other citizen, has a duty to familiarize himself with it the old fashioned way -- by reading it. Regurgitating talk radio is no substitute.
As to Mr. Briner's assertion that "when Al Gore makes some ridiculous claim, it never seems that science community gives him much of a hard time, " it's time he read my blog, Vide Infra. It seldom gives Al joy -- nor have my Wall Street Journal op-eds.
Not having cable TV, I am utterly mystified as to why Karl F. Auerbach should direct his displeasure with The Weather Channel in the general direction of my reply to Mr. Chesser.
I see the performance artist known as "frost'" has also responded: "Here we go again. Mr. Seitz's artful manipulation of some words might lead the unwashed to believe that there is, indeed, chaos in our immediate future, of a nasty warming with sea-levels rising 'n all that stuff...."
For Frost's information, in the Summer 1990 issue of the National Interest I wrote :
Politically, I counsel constant vigilance. The salvation of the world affords an enchanting pretext for those predisposed to societal intervention. They have already raised the abolitionist banner, pointing to the prospect of Bangladesh awash and waterskiing down the Mall to the Capitol -- a prospect no more likely in my lifetime than nothing happening. My personal expectation -- and I reserve the right to change my mind if the evidence does -- runs more to centimeter-per-year rises in sea level and a lot more climatic variability than actual temperature rise.The entire text of this essay, A War Against Fire, may be read here.
-- Russell Seitz
WHY MORE ILLEGITIMACY POST-ROE?
Re: Bill Margeson's letter (under "Permissiveness Breeds Depravity") in Reader Mail's Building Bridges:
The answer [to Mr. Margeon's question] is that the rate of out of wedlock births did, in fact increase after Roe v. Wade. Statistics bear this out. Loads of information on this subject by another critic of Levitt, Steve Sailer, can be found here, including the following excerpt:
Legal abortion is a major cause of what it was supposed to cure -- unwanted pregnancies. Levitt himself notes that following Roe, "Conceptions rose by nearly 30 percent, but births actually fell by 6 percent." So, for every six fetuses aborted in the 1970s, five would never have been conceived except for Roe!See the graph next to this quote showing the illegitimacy rates skyrocketing for a few decades, before and after Roe.
-- Joe Huston
FALL FROM GRACE
Re: Ben Stein's CNN Must Be Crazy:
All you have to do is review Nancy Grace's vile statements on the Duke Lacrosse case, and her gutless disappearance when the players were exonerated, and know that not one thing she says or does should be taken seriously. She is as much a caricature of herself as a professional wrestler.
-- Robert S. Cypher
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