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Background Checks

Wanted: presidential experience. Keeping playgrounds legal. Driving lessons. Plus much more.

6.12.07

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ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Experience Counts:

"...the candidate who hasn't done any [or all of these] might be advised to get some more experience."

Might be advised? For those without experience, it's too late to bolster their CVs for the upcoming shot at the White House.

Whatever they might do would be so transparent as to be laughable. But given the egos of those who've little or no experience -- and that's inclusive of all parties -- there's still that chance they'll try. Certainly they'll wordsmith whatever they can to show, no matter how pathetically, that they've got the right stuff. Or they'll just invoke the Clinton's, particularly Hillary's, lament of "politics of personal destruction."

Realistically, though, will any of these experience-lite candidates heed Ms. Rubin's well-intentioned advice? Of course. That'll immediately follow Al Gore correcting intentional exaggerations about anthropogenic global warming
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

Ms. Rubin's column is staying on my fridge until the elections.
-- Jay Molyneaux

Ms. Rubin, as is her wont, slips in a supposed fact, and then uses it to attempt to prove her point. She writes, "As we go through more rounds of presidential debates...," and again, "get caught up in the latest debate soundbite...."

Pardon me, but I would argue that we have not had any debates yet. Surely anyone that would call the travesties that we have seen recently debates deserves a failing grade in the meaning of words. There have been no debates by either the Dems or the Repubs, and I see none in the offing. I sincerely wish that there had been or was going to be, but I see no prospect of such event.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

Since the three most popular late 20th century Presidents (Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton) were effective communicators on TV and two (Kennedy and Clinton) were lightweights, could it be that the American people prefer Presidents who are engaging TV personalities more than experienced or principled leaders? One could even argue that our current political system obsessed with public opinion polls (not unlike the Nielsen ratings) and focus groups is a byproduct of America's TV generated American Idol mindset.

Consider the meteoric rise of Obama whose telegenic personality and banal platitudes make him a viable Presidential contender despite his radically leftist voting record and potential ties to organized crime, corrupt businessmen and Muslim extremism. If it isn't his TV generated image that's propelling him forward what is it that's make this cipher and thinner male version of Oprah a contender for commander-in-chief?

Prior experience is irrelevant when it comes to the Presidency. Abraham Lincoln, ranked by many as America's greatest President, was a successful trial lawyer and lobbyist, but a failed politician with negligible leadership experience. What he did have was the ability to connect with people, tell a good story, strong personal convictions and a stubborn tenacity (on par with President George W. Bush) to insure the survival of the United States despite the American electorate. Fortunately, prior to the 1864 election there were several Federal military victories or he would have been a failed one term President whose legacy would have been a shattered nation. Chance and luck are as much ingredients of politics as are experience and leadership.

With this in mind it would behoove the GOP to nominate Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani. Both are effective communicators and come across well on TV. Since many conservatives idolize Reagan without understanding his record one is led to the conclusion that while substance is preferred it still takes a back seat to style in American politics even among self-described conservatives. Fortunately, for us and the country Thompson and Giuliani like Reagan have both.
-- Chaplain Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Is Ms/ Rubin kidding? Clinton had no experience and was a buffoon on foreign policy. He gave our enemies (China, North Korea) everything but the kitchen sink. He emboldened our enemies (Iran, Iraq, Al Qaeda, North Korea, etc.). That is why Bush has had to do what he has. I think his foreign policy has been good, not great, given what he inherited. Whose side is she on, America's or the Democrats? Most of these countries were not our friends before. We have to work with them, but we do not have to let them run our country.
-- Joseph D'Ambrosia

NO FUN FOR YOU
RE: Hal G.P. Colebatch's Unsafe At Any Swing:

Just goes to show: this is what happens when you give up your guns.
-- Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

I'm thankful I was born in the '40s when childhood was there to be enjoyed. Swings, teeter-totters, merry-go-rounds, roller skates, bee stung bare feet, were all good things that made parks fun and special for children.

In school at recess we played softball, had organized snowball fights, played pop-pom-polaway, marbles, and jacks.

Occasionally, blood happened, but the principal and school nurse fixed the hurt and sent us back to class.
In the summer we built forts, played Tarzan, Cowboys and Indians, smoked Dad's Camels and holed up in basements reading comic books when it was too hot. Check out a copy of Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" and see what childhood is meant to be.

Don't let the Early Childhood experts looking over their shoulders for lawyers take the fun out of growing up.
-- Marcia Fox

I believe that I have discerned at least part of the problem that the estimable Mr. Colebatch reports on. Near the end, he writes, "Beverly Hughes, the new Children's Minister..."

Now please pardon an American manner of problem solving, but any society that has a government ministry entitled the Children's Ministry, is in deep trouble. It is absolutely obvious that the purpose of the Children's Ministry is to prevent young humans from being children, to require that they become small-sized adult worry warts.

As I think back upon my childhood, eons ago, it is obvious that my parents should have been in prison for their neglect of my welfare. Why, do you know that during the summer, I was allowed to ride my 2-wheel bike around a conglomeration of neighborhoods without a helmet or knee or elbow pads on?

In fact, I was often seen going as fast as possible while barefoot, with no shirt or socks on, just a pair of shorts. When I would fall, my grandmother would rejoice that I had not torn my clothes, and send my back out after the application of a little iodine to the skinned up area. They did caution my about riding my bike while carrying a BB gun in one hand.

When you consider that 5 of the 6 adults smoked in our household, it is obvious that I am not really here. Surely I must have died at an early age from such neglect.

Seriously, it is my theory that youngsters, children and young adults, are going to challenge their well being in some manner or fashion. The more that we take away the small challenges, the more they seek increasingly more dangerous ones. I would cite bungee jumping off high structures as just one such challenge.

My friends, we in America are not very far behind Great Britain in this silliness. It is not a time for us to mock our English cousins, but to mind our own home front to free it from the incessant carping of the nannies and nags.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

Isn't it interesting that in liberal societies where political correctness imposed by government which continues to chip away at the freedoms of law-abiding citizens fails miserably in solving and reducing the more serious problems of drug/alcohol abuse, sexual predators, murderers, and all other sorts of crimes against persons.
Mr. Colebatch's use of the H. G. Wells analogy I think is accurate. These "social engineers" are trying to produce a population of "sheep," potential victims of psychos and sociopaths. These "wolves" will never conform to a utopian society, are themselves treated as victims instead of criminals and they are popping up all over in positions of authority. Depressing isn't it?
-- John Nelson
Hebron, Connecticut

WE'VE SEEN OIL THIS BEFORE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Oil Is Not Well:

I've waited several days for someone else to say this but I guess it's up to me.

RET writes of the inevitability of rising gasoline and oil prices, citing all the usual reasons including the old canard about the oil running out. Many of the same reasons led everyone from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s to believe the same thing, yet gasoline and oil prices eventually declined. I know nothing about the oil business or international economics. I can't argue that Mr. Tyrrell is wrong but I'm having deja vu all over again. Let's check back in ten years and see how things have gone.
-- Carl Clawson
Hillsboro, Oregon
P.S. Driving is still cheap. The last time gasoline reached such a historic high we were driving cars that got 10 to 15 miles per gallon. Now we get 20 to 30 miles per gallon and as a bonus the cars cost far less in repairs. I don't plan to cut back on my driving anytime soon.

STUTTERING TOM
Re: W. James Antle III's The Trouble With Tom:

The reason Tom Tancredo is going nowhere is because he stumbles in his speaking too much like George Bush. He does not portray himself as being an articulate orator. We don't need another blubbering idiot at the helm.
--- Ted Hamano

UNBEARABLE BURDENS
Re: Jeffrey Lord's A Legacy of Losing:

I know many right-wing commentators (including Rush) like to mention JFK when they discuss a strong national defense but the facts do not bear that out. He was all talk and no follow-through.

His only exercise came at the time of the Bay of Pigs and he failed miserably, miserably, miserably, and then he lied to everyone about it. The missile crisis then followed like night follows day and he lied to everyone about that one, too.

The man was a terrible President and, very possibly, an unelected one but for the self-sacrifice of Richard Nixon who did not want the country to be embroiled in a lawsuit about the election with the Cold War ongoing. Yes, he got tax rates down a bit; but even Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker! One stroke of good luck or majestic words (bear any burden) does not good President or strong warrior make.
-- Tom Abella

LIBERAL EDUCATION
Re: Letters under "Rapid Response Team" in Reader Mail's Sensible Solutions:

Thank you to AmSpec for publishing my quiz, and hopefully this little post. Thanks to all who stepped up and took a few whacks at their party, my party, and moi. (Do I get banned for using French? Or do you all like them now?) Since going line-by-line to everyone who responded would require an extraordinary amount of typing, I'd like to shine a little light on a few of them.

"You'll have to excuse me. I have a lot of slip knots to put in all these ropes before dawn." That is all at once wildly funny and slightly disturbing. I laughed so hard, Coke came out of my nose. (Because I was drinking it. That doesn't happen spontaneously.) It stung, and I just left a message for John. We're looking for $20-$25 million. There should have been a warning label.

As far as the Vice President goes, I maybe should have worded the question some other way. What I meant was this: If I was alone and walking in a dark alley, and two individuals (gotta be PC!) attempted to rob me, and right before they attacked I was able to pick one politician to help me out, it would be him. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that if he goes down in that alley, he's taking somebody with him. I felt the same way about Donald Rumsfeld.

"The fact that you're a Democrat and a fraud analyst qualifies you for chair of the DNC or Joe Wilson's literary agent." Well, I'm not a fraud analyst anymore... but I can scream at inappropriate times look all crazy if you want. Thanks for the tip! Also, you are 1/3 of the answer to question 8. Although you probably have no intention of answering it, you can't blame a man for trying. And it's not my backside that's flabby. It's my beer gut. Apparently, Killians will do that to you. There should have been a warning label. I'm going to be so rich by the time I finish this...John will be rich...er.

"Seems like he is still in the pre tin foil hat stage and therefore can be brought around!" They mailed me one shortly after I registered to vote (a requirement in my parent's house), but it didn't fit. So I used it to make a baked potatoe. (That's right...a Dan Quayle reference.) It tasted rather... nutty.

Thanks Elaine, that made me happy. And as all good liberals know, that's all that really matters.

You know, I didn't think those were debates. But everybody kept calling them that, and I didn't want to seem weird. Peer pressure, you know.

Hopefully I'll be allowed to drop by here occasionally, but I promise to call first. RET was not happy with me. He made me put my hand on that picture and promise to play nice.
-- Lee Lutz
Somewhere between D.C. and Baltimore in the DPRM

SELLING CAPITALISM SHORT
Re: Paul J. Cella III's The Right Variety:

I beg to differ with you when you say "it is capitalism, after all, that inflicts upon us all a mass culture that is fundamentally pornographic and often simply vile." Capitalism is neutral. It is a reflection of the culture. Capitalism during the 1940s or '50s was much less vile than it is now and that was because our culture was less vile and that was because the morally relativistic and free love left had not quite take hold of our culture. "Diversity" and "multiculturalism" are ideologies pushed by the left. As you know, they do not mean ideological diversity.

"Our government was meant to govern a moral people," I think i've heard said (I'm being facetious!). Capitalism is not the mechanism that has made us less moral, but the moral relativity of the left has.
-- Deane Pradzinski
Highland, California

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