Reader Mail

Drawing the Line

Giuliani rejectionists. Gitmo and dishonor. Age before McCain. Unprotected China trade. A Secret conservative. The audacious Bart. Plus more.

4.16.07

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INDEFUNDABLE
Re: Doug Bandow's Rudy's Abortion Deal-Breaker:

Why are Republicans even discussing nominating this man? Nominating gun-grabbing abortionists' friends for political office is the Democratic Party's job, not the GOP's.

At least, it used to work that way.
-- Byron Keith

Well done, Mr. Bandow. It's the advocacy of abortion inherent in Rudy's would be policy of government funding that I find most disturbing. Social conservatives know that it's an imperfect world, and some flexibility is necessary to win in politics, but outright advocacy of the opposing view by an otherwise desirable candidate crosses the line. If this is the case, though we still might be better off with Rudy than Hillary, if he's the only choice, it's not by much. Thank God for Fred!
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

Having worked in the prolife vineyard for many years, I have no illusions about politicians. Very few understand abortion or have any concept of the magnitude of the bloodshed. To most of them, it is merely "another issue," and a pesky one at that.

Mr. Giuliani tries to straddle the fence, believing that prolife Americans will of necessity vote for him if he becomes the Republican candidate. Well, think again. I for one am tired of being betrayed and having the prolife cause denigrated by politicians who speak with forked tongue. Absent a candidate who truly respects human life and is willing to stand up for the life principles, I may absent myself from the polls. And I certainly will not work for any candidate who is not prolife.
-- Maria DeCesare
Westminster, Maryland

The social conservative is not about just a single issue, such as abortion. Rudy has far more problems than abortion. He also supports the right of gays to "marry," and how about his positions on embryonic stem cells, or cloning? He's not going to get many conservative votes. And he will run into problems with his own Catholic Bishops as did Kerry in the last election. His boat is sunk!
-- Terry Duerr
Ohio

THE OVERHANGING BRANCH
Re: Quin Hillyer's Git Thee to Gitmo:

Reading Quin's piece on Gitmo reminded me of a story my father related to me about one of his experiences guarding Japanese prisoners of war. As I've been to Gitmo, pre-Camp Delta days, I know of the Spartan nature of the place.

The story my father told me will stand in stark contrast to the good-natured people we have warehoused at Gitmo. My father's primary duty during one part of WWII was to guard Japanese POWs during their work details outside the Camps they were kept in the United States. On one of the trips back in from a work detail the group of POWs in the back of an open Duce and a Half became agitated and excited. My father was armed with more that harsh words and had no concern for his safety and quickly realized the cause of the commotion. The route in and out of the Camp had a low hanging tree limb over the road that required anyone standing up in the Duce and Half bend down or be hit by it. My father knew where this limb was relative to where they were on the road. He was facing the POWs not up the road at the fast approaching limb. The Japanese POWs operating under their ideas of honor and such saw it as their duty to warn their new "master" of the on coming doom or face dishonor and ultimately be punished if they did not. They honestly feared the consequences of not protecting their captor from harm and my father had come to understand this and at the appropriate moment, ducked to the relief of his charges. No one ordered my father to be humane to what were obviously a defeated people. He did his duty and to their credit, those same people and their offspring are some of our best allies today. Respect brings respect.

The people we are engaged with in this war have shown many of the same suicidal and brutal tactics in this war as the Japanese did throughout WWII. A vital difference is that our current enemy has shown not a shred of honor on or off the battlefield. My father's POWs would be amazed at the luxury found at Camp Gitmo and thoroughly disgusted at the dishonor those there represent. My pet cats have more humanity than the bulk of those at Camp Gitmo. Our bending over to respect the two-legged animals there is not going to bring a like response. They do not see themselves as either defeated or required by their law to return the favor. You cannot reason with a fanatic whose whole upbringing has revolved around finding a good day to die rather than living everyday to the fullest. Being "nice" to these people is a sure sign of weakness and enrages them even more. They have no concept of human decency left in their makeup. They aren't going to go home "after the war" and get on with their lives. The bulk of them will pick up the first weapon they can find and look for someone to kill or be killed in order to fulfill their life long pursuit of dying well. Putting these people on trial will make a mockery of what is already a worthless institution with regard to justice for most victims. Anyone who can't make the trip to Gitmo to see these fine upstanding examples of humanity can get a good glimpse of what is at Gitmo by visiting the local zoo and observing the social behavior of the larger prime apes. You won't have to observe long.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

Thank you, Quin Hillyer, for an honest and factual assessment of Gitmo. The one thing you may have been missed was how the detainees use old MRE bag filled with urine and feces to throw on our guards. Despite this uncivilized behavior our troops do not retaliate, but continue to act as professionals.

To those who want to close Gitmo might I suggest we ship the detainees to some terrorist-appeasing venue in New England or the Northwest. I'm sure jihadists would feel right at home with the arrogant, obnoxious and anti-military Quislings of either region.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

TAKE ME BACK TO DEAR OLD GITMO

Take me back to dear old Gitmo
Where once I had it better than I knew.
My head is full of lice.
A shower would be nice.
It's freezing and there's foggy, foggy dew.

I want to go back to warm and sunny Gitmo
There are bats living here inside my cave.
I miss three squares a day
And dining by the Bay.
About the menu here I cannot rave.

I miss the friendly pranks we played at Gitmo.
We don't have any fun in this dark place.
There isn't much to do.
Most reading is taboo.
We don't throw "cocktails" in each other's face.

I miss the medical facilities at Gitmo.
I've a sore tooth that's aching through my head.
I'll have to pull it out.
There's no aspirin about.
I wish I had a nurse and nice warm bed.

Sometimes at night I dream I'm back in Gitmo.
I'm not bonding awfully well with my neighbors here.
Their conversation as we sup
Is of blowing each other up.
I find I'm making myself scarce in this atmosphere.

Oh, take me back to dear old Gitmo.
Where once I enjoyed soccer and TV.
Here, I'm really, really bored
Out of my itchy, scratchy gourd.
Give my regards to Gitmo By-The-Sea.
-- Mimi Evans Winship
American Thinker 4/4/07
Rush's Stack of Stuff 4/4/07

AGE ELASTIC
Re: Jamie Weinstein's Elder Statesman:

There is another aspect of John McCain's age. He has had time to accomplish things. He has had time to settle his thoughts and positions on issues. He also has served his country, something, to the best of my knowledge, no other candidate has done.

By serve his country, I do not mean serve his ego like Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama. Ms. Clinton's accomplishments are four. One: she got rich from being in politics and having an abusive husband. Two: she ghostwrote a book that removed responsibility for raising children from parents to some amorphous "Village." Three: she has managed to denigrate her self worth and stay with a serial philanderer who today, all of us suspect, is keeping busy at that hobby. Four: she set a wonderful example for her daughter of how to give up your self-respect.

Mr. Obama, who, unlike Ms. Clinton, seems to be a likable person, has come out of nowhere. As nearly as I can fathom his reasons for seeking the Presidency, they seem to be "its time for a black President; I'm available and I am fun to watch and listen to."

Mr. McCain on the other hand, has experience at many aspects of the job of President. He has served his country sacrificially and during that service endured unspeakable torture and degradation, never surrendering his honor. (Honor may be a commodity completely unknown to the democrat candidates.) He has established a rapport on both sides of the Senate aisle and understands politics and how to get things done.

Most important he offers demonstrable evidence he values America over his own ego: he risked death rather than dishonor her.

Nuff said?
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

Memo to Mr. Weinstein: Sen. McCain's age is the least of his problems.

McCain's negatives begin with the fact that he is an insufferable egoist and elitist, disdainful of ordinary Americans. His rigid inability to see or admit serious policy mistakes and errors in judgment is legendary. When challenged, his arrogance stiffens and he responds by advocating even more draconian stupidity to already untenable positions. None of these, I submit, are a function of age. Contrary to the myth created by his former friends in the media, this man is no maverick. Rather, it's all about what his personal political calculus tells him at the moment. As we've watched and commented on over the years, every position he has taken and grandstanded on, including his current support for the surge, has, at its core, what's best for John McCain. Mr. Bush, the Republican Party, and the country are all secondary considerations. His defenders might say that's a bit harsh, or, what else is new for a pol on the national stage. Perhaps, but bottom line: the only two serious candidates completely unsuited to be President, are Hillary and McCain. With both, it's a question of temperament and humility, not age.
-- A. DiPentima

McCain is no statesman and is ideologically squishy. At his age he isn't going to become a Reagan. His campaign is deflating and his support isn't there. Reagan was no RINO, McCain is.
-- Glenn Strong

TRADE OFFS
Re: Daniel Ikenson's A Trade War Averted:

In "A Trade War Averted" Daniel Ikenson shortsightedly ignores the fact that the Chinese communist regime is funneling the immense profits generated by the humongous U.S. trade imbalance to finance a huge naval and military expansion that is far beyond any conceivable threat facing China in their region. These arms are being arrayed against the United States. And Mr. and Mrs. Mindless Consumer shopping at Wally World is paying for them.

Free traders excused away selling scrap metal to the Japanese before Pear Harbor that we got back in the form of bombs and shells. Free trade kills more than U.S. jobs, it kills nations...
-- Jack Foley
Duluth, Georgia

Mr. Ikenson fails to mention the other "advantages" of free trade with Communist China:

1. Its poisoning of our pets;

2. Its poisoning of its own people and land and of the entire world at a level not even achieved in Louisiana; and,

3. Its use of trade surplus money to rearm its forces, threaten the free China and support the mad mullahs of Iran.
-- James Pawlak

PRESUMPTION AT DUKE
Re: Peter Hannaford's Straight Talk Times Two:

Should the tar-and-feathering of the Duke lacrosse players, as well as their presumption of guilt, surprise us? No. This was a social disaster, as well a moral catastrophe, engineered and then executed by the tar-and-featherers and presumers

This incident exposed the ugly and ever-present social, ethnic and intellectual racism that drives the black community, liberals and so-called progressives, the mainstream news media and purported places of higher learning that perhaps should re-examine why they call themselves universities.

The incident also shows the extent to which an officer of the court and elected official will not only betray the public's confidence but his oath for power. As for the prosecutor's integrity and character? Perhaps he needs some remediation?

Given all the chest beating about Don Imus and what he did, it'll be worth watching how quickly Duke University, its president, those professors who rushed to judgment and those numbskull demonstrators genuinely admit their bias and racism -- and then publicly announce their true apology.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

TOMMY TAX
Re: The "Tommy" item in the Washington Prowler's Thompson & Thompson:

You should see what Tommy Thompson did to Wisconsin's budget.

I am a Republican, but if you look at national statistics, you will find that Wisconsin continues to be one of only a few states without a budget surplus and we have ranked in the top 10 taxed states throughout Tommy's reign.

We have a structural deficit of $1.5 billion because Tommy balanced budgets with tricks and one-time money. His last budget before he became HHS Secretary moved a massive state school funding payment from June to September (our fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30) in order to be technically balanced.

If he is a reliable conservative then I am Tommy's reliable supporter. Neither is true.
-- Sapien

DEBATABLES
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Fear of Fox:

In the column, Mr. Tyrrell referred to Mr. Imus's "First Amendment rights having been jettisoned." I'm not aware that any government had attempted, or even proposed, taking any kind of official action against Mr. Imus.

The First Amendment specifies our right not to be silenced by the government. It does not, and should not, say that our friends, family, employers, or society at large are prohibited from expressing disapproval of our speech in whatever otherwise lawful ways they wish.

If people want to say stupid, offensive things, the government is required to put up with it. The rest of us aren't.
-- Anthony E. Greene
Bowie, Maryland

Barack Obama claimed to be different than the other Democrats and claimed he offered something new.

If he had agreed to participate in the Fox News/Black Caucus debate, he would have immediately risen head and shoulders above all of his rivals and would have gained a great deal of independent and Republican support.

Instead he listened to his "handlers" who tell him what to say and what to think. He will soon be reduced to saying nothing but Democratic talking points and soundbites.

What a shame. He could have been special.
-- John Bryk

EXERCISED
Re: Steve Salerno's The Secret of The Secret's Success:

Steve Salerno's take on The Secret is an article unworthy of TAS. TAS is above all, a journal dedicated to championing free minds and free markets, and is the principal organ of the conservative movement today. This movement's patron saint is the great Ronald Reagan, and the Gipper is famous for his sunny optimism, his belief in man and America's goodness, and his absolute belief in a human being's ability to generate success if they only believe in and apply themselves.

As a rock-ribbed Reagan Republican conservative, and as one who has extensively studied the Secret, I can unambiguously state that it is fundamentally stating Reagan's ethos, believe in yourself, focus on what you want, work for it, and you will attract it. The converse, which is what Salerno seems to be spewing, is liberalism's view which is society is divide into winners and losers, and not everyone can be a winner, and people need to get "real". That type of thinking is what has produced the welfare sate and kept it in existence for 60 + years. I expect to read that crap in a liberal magazine like the New Republic, or a closet liberal magazine like Newsweek. I am surprised and disgusted that your magazine would give airtime to such un-conservative filth.

I request an opportunity to write and article responding to Mr. Salerno, and his pseudo-intellectual leftist rant against a movie that were he alive, Ronald Reagan would heartily endorse.

Free men and free minds can achieve anything. This has been proven time and time again, and good for Rhonda Byrne for underscoring that point powerfully, and God bless her for turning a major profit doing it. The very existence of the United States of America is proof positive that The Secret's message is on the money, and Salerno's is not.
-- Nicky Billou
CEO, Tranz4m Inc.
A 2-hour workout in just 23 minutes, with the same or better results!

BART ALERT
Re: Bart Trzynadlowski's letter (under "Fairly Unbalanced") in Reader Mail's Hen House Democrats:

The comments of Bart Trzynadlowski caught my attention for their sheer audacity. He ends his letter with," Fox News is long on spin and short on journalistic ethics and integrity. They are the least qualified of all the major cable news networks to host a serious election debate." I find great irony in this statement because it comes immediately after he berates R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. for failing to offer what he deems to be substantive evidence for his claim that Democrats don't want to debate against dissenting voices.

Mr. Trzynadlowski, where is the compelling evidence for your assertion about Fox News? Did TAS remove it against your will? Was it simply an error of omission? Or, are we to assume its absence is an acknowledgement that you don't have anything to back up your claim except your opinion? You have to admit, it is pretty lame to accuse another of failing to prove their argument when you present no support for yours. Was your use of the term "mindless drivel" a Freudian slip?
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

I find it quite interesting that Mr. Trzynadlowski could find fault with RET's column for not providing "supporting evidence" and then proceed to denigrate Fox News as "long on spin" and being "the least qualified of all the major new outlooks" without providing any "supporting evidence." But then, when one parrots the talking points of Moveon.org and the Democrat Party (but I repeat myself), I guess you can demand but not give according to your demands.

Maybe it's just a "divine revelation?" Yeah, all you need is faith in Obama the Christ, Our Lady Hillary of the Dubious Naming, and St. John the Ambulance Chaser.

The thing that cracks me up is that if Fox News is really just the bunch of nitwits and bumpkins as claimed by the Dems, then it should be quite easy for these superior people to make fools of the Foxes. Why not take the opportunity to show these Foxes for the fools and half-wits the Dems think they are?

Gotta learn to face your fears, folks. It's the only way to grow and mature.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Also Former Square Dancer Extraordinaire
Eden, Utah

There's no evidence that liberals seek to avoid debate and stifle dissent? Snork! Just ask the many conservatives who are dis-invited from college speaking engagements because of leftist objections. Ask, for example, those who tried to speak on illegal immigration at Columbia, but were shouted down by "liberal" thugs calling themselves "students.".

Then there's Anthropogenic Global Warming: When Oracle Algore and other AGW zealots make fallacious claims of "scientific consensus," and accuse skeptics of being shills and "denialists," what else are they doing but trying to avoid debate and stifle dissent?

Fox News lacks journalistic ethics and integrity? Then why does Fox have the highest cable ratings? Why do liberals such as NPR's Mara Liasson and Juan Williams continue to appear as "regulars"? Why does self-described Democratic voter Chris Wallace get to host his own Sunday show, one of the most important among cable and network news programs? Ditto Alan Colmes, Greta Van Susteren, and Geraldo: how do liberals get their own gigs? And how about Bob Beckel, Susan Estrich, Terry McAullife, David Corn, Katrina vanden Heuvel and the many, many other liberal Democrats who appear on Fox news and commentary programs? If Fox is so biased, why do these people, as well as Democratic congressmen and senators, appear as guests? Shouldn't they all be fleeing Fox the way Don Imus's liberal "friends" are now shunning him?

"Mindless drivel"? I've got your "mindless drivel" right here, Bart: it's your letter.
-- John Link

FARE PLAY
Re: Alex Makowski's letter (under "All's Fare") in Reader Mail's Turning to Thompson:

"Fair" is so a verb: to enclose with a streamlined shell or plating. This page discusses the "faired version of the [Kawasaki] ZR-7 750cc" motorcycle.

And "fare" is a noun, too, as anyone who has ever used a bus, train, or cab knows.

I demand an apology from Alex Makowski!
-- Rich Rostrom

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