Reader Mail

Energy Liquidity

How much is enough for California? Also: Medieval thinking and Islam. Jimmy Carter's protocols. Tucker, Vietnam, and Iraq. Homnick Humor. More on Rudy and life. Mitt Romney explained. Coulter: A UK view. Plus much else.

3.12.07

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CLASSICAL GAS
Re: Bill Whalen's Who's Afraid of Liquified Natural Gas?:

"...The problem is, California generates less than one-seventh the total amount of natural gas that it needs to meet consumer demand."

By making the above statement, Mr. Whalen is swallowing whole the line of a few energy companies, like Sempra Energy and Australia's BHP Billiton. While it is true that California does not produce nearly all the natural gas it needs, the state never has produced that much. Rather, its supplies come from the Permian Basin, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Canada via several pipelines.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency's latest forecasts of California natural gas use see it as flat for the next 30 years. Those same forecasts indicate North American supplies will be at least adequate to supply California needs during that time.

Yet the push for LNG goes on even though no state agency has even bother to stage a hearing where claims of need for LNG can be examined and cross-examined. What a way to make decisions that will cost Californians untold billions of dollars in additional natural gas rates for decades to come if any of the current planned projects are completed!

Mr. Whalen has been suckered, and I don't know why. Did he want to be?
-- Thomas Elias
California Focus columnist

Bill Whalen, a purportedly smart individual, rants emotionally in his support of liquefied natural gas for California. Where are his facts? Where is the data, preferably empirical?

Alternative energy methods exist today to provide all of the electricity our state uses. This is established fact. What's needed is money to build the commercial solar plants in our deserts and to hook up the wiring. What's needed is seed money so average folks can put photovoltaic panels on their roofs.

Doing just that frees up the existing natural gas for our stoves and heaters. This will suffice for the short term as our inventive geniuses devise efficient electrical devices of providing for those needs in the long term.

If the proponents of importing foreign fossil fuels insist on persisting in their venture, then they should be required to swear in evidentiary hearings as to the known supplies available both for U.S. importation and to meet the ever-increasing needs of Asian nations emerging into the First World.

We don't want to get into an energy war with, say, China!

And if our governmental types, both political and bureaucratic, insist on such importation, they and the supposed scientific experts likewise should face evidentiary panels establishing both the need and the costs. Then they should cement their resolve by placing the first regasification plants off such communities as Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and other wealthy cities. The process is safe, isn't it? It's needed, isn't it? Then why do they always pick on impoverished, small locales in which to site these facilities?

Fair's fair. They who reap the rewards should suffer the ills created by their aggrandizement.
-- Roger G. Pariseau, Jr.
Oxnard, California

As a citizen of Alberta, which makes a lot of money supplying gas to California, I am pleased. The supply shortage will raise the price we get for our gas. Excellent. California is rich, they can pay for luxuries, stupidity is a luxury, let them pay.

As a friend of the U.S.A. I am unhappy. Dear stupid enviro-nuts: The law of supply and demand is immutable; you cannot change it any more than you can eliminate gravity. You are increasing supply elsewhere in the world. The price elsewhere will fall. Someone, probably the Chinese will buy the gas, and burn it. The net effect of your childish naivete is more money for me (good), less money for you (good -- less to spend on truly damaging stupidity, and bad, as the U.S.A. becomes less secure and poorer) and more money for the Chinese.

Cheers from Calgary, and best wishes always,
-- Fred Zinkhofer
Libby is innocent!

I make no apologies for having absolutely no sympathy for California and their myriad of energy problems, most of which are self-induced.

I do feel for those few conservatives still living in that state. However, if the same environmental whackos continue being elected or worse, allowing non-elected environmental whackos to control the state's energy policy, what on earth can you expect?
-- Margee Riggle

MEDIEVAL MINDS
Re: Christopher Orlet's Worse Than Communism:

For rhetorical reasons that I could only (and uselessly) guess at, Mr. Orlet sums up his interesting piece with a bit of historical hooey: "Islam today is identical to Medieval Christianity." Now, to refute that remark concretely would require a rebuttal of greater length than the Spectator could allow and, I suspect, of much greater length than Mr. Orlet could sustain the interest to follow. Instead, let me try a shortcut with some logic of the hairsplitting sort for which Western medieval education is loosely known.

If Islam, as Mr. Orlet plausibly argues, is worse than communism, and Islam is identical to Medieval Christianity, it follows that Medieval Christianity is worse than communism. Would Mr. Orlet care to argue his implied proposition concretely? Or may I reasonably hope that Mr. Orlet knows enough history, modern as well as medieval, to see quickly that the implication is preposterous?
-- John R. Dunlap
San Jose, California

Christopher Orlet writes an excellent piece. The problem is Islam: the religion, the ideology. The question one might seriously want to ask is, "Can Islam be modernized?" with the corollary: "How many within Islam feel the need to modernize?"
-- Steve Baarda

Christopher Orlet points out the central challenge faced by the West in confronting followers of Islam living in the West. In the West, we believe that religious differences should be respected; that everyone is entitled, without state interference, to follow their God of choice; that we must do what we can to accommodate differences; and that many moral choices are personal in nature and no one's business but our own. Many in the West also assume that the religious beliefs of others should not be questioned because all religions have the same general purpose -- to promote love, understanding, and justice.

We also assume that all other religions and cultures have, at their core, the same respect for religious diversity that we do. Therein lies the rub. As has been noted by Robert Spencer, Islam does not accept the idea that people of different faiths should be left alone or that the state has no business in religion. Nor does Islam accept that people should be free to make moral choices. Instead, Islam provides that people should either convert or be subjugated-- one or the other -- and that public morality should be brutally enforced by the state. It has no tolerance for those that seek a different path or that do not conform to its rules. The West must understand that this fundamental difference exists and must devise a strategy to manage Islam based on that understanding.

Unfortunately, that means that the West cannot simply accept Islam as "just another religion" and it must insist that its followers (at least those living in the West) accept certain Western values. Among these are the rights of every individual to practice his or her own religion; the right of woman to be treated fully as citizens; and the rights of non-Islamic individuals to make their own moral choices, even if they conflict with Islam. In essence, the West must curb its own notions of religious tolerance in order to preserve its values and way of life. I hope that it will not take another 9/11 for this to become clear, but I fear that it will.
-- Rob
Los Angeles, California

Christopher Orlet doesn't get it. Islam today is exactly what it was under Mohammed. His comparison of modern Islam with medieval Christianity is simplistic, unlearned, and insulting. Islam was a threat to the world in the 7th century and remains a threat to the free world of the 21st century. The same can in no way be said of Judeo-Christianity, the ideological source and moral authority of the freedoms we enjoy today.
-- Paul Neuman
Atlanta, Georgia

VIETNAM SYNDROME
Re: William Tucker's Waiting in Kuwait:

Tucker's self-revelation that he was a "college puke" during the Vietnam conflict goes a long way in explaining his current position regarding the conflict in Iraq. As to his assertion that we strategically won the Vietnam War -- give me a break. What a load of self-delusional BS. We lost strategically in Southeast Asia and the result was totalitarian dictatorships in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and the genocide of 3-4 million people. It was that defeat coupled with the Clinton/Murtha cut and run strategy in Somalia that taught of our current foes that America is primarily a nation of linguini-spined wimps (see Osama bin Laden's 1996 fatwa).

The big difference between defeat in Southeast Asia and possible defeat in Iraq is that we knew the Communist Vietnamese were not going to bring the war to our shores. On the other hand if we adopt the Francophile Pelosi/Reid/Murtha/Kennedy/Durbin/Biden/Obama/Tucker strategy in Iraq the Muslim jihadists will bring the war back to the streets of America (once George W. Bush is out of the White House) with a fury and bloodiness that makes 9/11 look tame.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Mr. Tucker, in Kuwait on his way to Iraq, writes: "...the Israelis were originally just another Middle Eastern tribe." Now there's a statement so bizarre on so many levels that even I can't imagine what it's meaning -- if any -- could be. This does not bode well for his reporting from Iraq.

Could Mr. Tucker be asked to enlarge upon it and, perhaps, clue us readers in?
-- Paul Kotik
Plantation, Florida

THEY CONTROL A NICE MEDIA, TOO
Re: Philip Klein's The Protocols of the Elder Carter:

Why is it so hard for some people to distinguish between "Jews" and "Israel"?

Jimmy Carter is being attacked because he told the truth about several Israeli governments' treatment of Palestine -- not by all Israeli governments and not by Jews.

It's almost a cliche that we live in a world today that is becoming more and more like the novel 1984, where war is peace, and truth is lies.
-- Anthony C. Santore

I am so glad Mr. Carter cleared all that nonsense up! Here for all these years I thought he was just an idiot who hated the United States and its friends and trusted its enemies.

His anti-Semitism is now gone. Mr. Carter loves Israel -- he brokered a peace deal -- it's just Jews who also love Israel he dislikes.

His Iranian policies are certainly very astute. I never quite understood the value to having hostages in that country. Thanks to Mr. Carter I still don't. I guess what he meant was that he gave the Muslim Nazis the ability to work their magic on just a few Americans instead of all of us?

It's obvious to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to this poor mentally enfeebled gentleman that he is no competent. His strategies were disastrous; his execution non-existent and he was thrown out of office in disgrace. Why pay the slightest bit of attention to his rantings now?

Come to think of it mentally enfeebled, incompetent disastrous goals -- isn't he what political experts call a democrat?
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

I read on another blog that Mr. Carter is borderline certifiable for mental illness. While I doubt that this is true, when he makes comments such as those quoted in this article, they don't help to combat that judgment of his mental state. Notwithstanding that my 1976 vote for Mr. Carter is one of my greatest regrets, I now see that his incompetence as President has morphed into monomania. He is obsessed with the notion that he can erase his numerous glaring misjudgments, both as President and as self-appointed arbitrator of the fate of other nations, by bringing an end to the Hebrew/Muslim conflict in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, according to his actions, he believes that the only way this end to conflict will come is if the Nation of Israel is destroyed. I would suggest that this belief is the guiding factor of most of his post-presidential activities, and while I don't presume to know what is in his heart, I think it is only logical to conclude that this behavior is at odds with what he has always publicly claimed to be his great commitment to morality. With each public appearance and speech, he more deeply entrenches himself in the snake pit of Muslim hatred. As such, it is difficult to accept his posturing as someone who is not anti-Semitic, not anti-Israel, but rather pro-peace.

I have given him every benefit of the doubt, yet he comes up short. If his convictions are genuine, he is an utter fool. If they are not, he is an amoral charlatan. I can find no other way to describe him.
-- Joseph Baum

Jimmy Carter doesn't have a Jewish problem -- he has anti-Semitic problem. Like a sizable portion of the Democrat/Copperhead/Quisling/Appeaser party Jimmy Carter is an anti-Semite. America's worst President is also its nastiest and most hypocritical. Time for the man who sold Iran out to the fanatics and was Yassir Arafat's bosom buddy to stop the verbal goose-stepping and fess up to his hatred of Jews. Honesty is the best policy.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

HOMNICK HUMOR
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Cherokee Indignation:

Wow! What a hateful pile of hoya from Jay Homnick disguised as humor!

Whether he is right or wrong about the central issue of the Cherokee Nation's decision about who is a Cherokee, his essay is full of contemptuous and insulting language about them, full of the very stereotypical language he appears to condemn.

Not good, Homnick. Not good, American Spectator.
-- Tony Santore

My grandfather's family was a mix from the Upper Creek nation and Scots immigrants. Since they chose to remain in Alabama and not move to what is today Oklahoma we have no standing in the tribe. Big deal! We should end the whole reservation system that is a vestige of Democrat 18th-21st century racism. Time to pull the tribes into the 21st century and end their corrupt monopolies on gaming and cigarettes. Where is Jimmy Carter to decry this centuries old apartheid system? My guess is powwowing with some third world dictator on how to undercut the U.S. and democracy in the world.
-- Michael "War Squid" Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

I'm just wondering how long it will be for some apologist to claim that this greedy, racist act is a direct result of the white man's treatment of Indians and not the responsibility of the electors themselves. A people that is "one with nature" obviously learned this behavior from the evil white men, who exploited them for centuries, yada yada yada....
-- Tom McGonnell
Alexandria, Virginia

MASSACHUSETTS MIRACLE
Re: Philip Klein's When Romney Attacks and the letters under "Hit Mitt" in Reader Mail's Life of the Party:

Mitt Romney became governor of my home state of Massachusetts. Let me repeat, Massachusetts, one of if not the leading candidate among the fifty for the most loony-left, America-hating, morally degenerate and corrupt states. The first and so far only state with "gay marriage." Drunken parties in the state house during legislative sessions. A recent Speaker of the House guilty of obstruction of justice. The current House Speaker in the pocket of the Mass. Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. Home of "The Big Dig," the largest and most incompetent, graft-ridden public works project in the country's history. Iraq War protests on the Boston Common. (Where are 1770's "Sons of Liberty" now?) Universities that take Pentagon money but won't allow ROTC on campus. Not a single Republican out of 12 senators and congressman in Washington. Good gosh, every six years the voters reelect a cowardly womanizing drunk who never held a job in his life as a senator!

Now, all those criticizing Romney as a "flip-flopper," how in heck do you think could he get elected in such a place if he held strictly to the conservative line?

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." -- Emerson
-- Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

ANNIHILATION OF ANN
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's War on Words:

Lisa Fabrizio's article "War of Words" misses the deeper significance of what has happened in the conservative movement this week. Certain members of the blogosphere have taken it upon themselves to publicly denounce Ann Coulter in the following terms, amongst others: "Coulter's vicious word choice tells the world she cares little about the feelings of a large group that often feels marginalized and despised."

What "group" are these people talking about? The same "group" from which Charlene E. Cothran, "Venus Magazine" publisher, has just joyfully announced her departure? Would these same bloggers have Miss Cothran permanently condemned to a life from which she now feels so happily liberated? Do they think that such a life "belongs" to her in the same way as her ethnic heritage?

It is critically important for the conservative movement to be aware of what is happening here. The source of these bloggers' perceived righteousness seems to be a very cynical, but apparently brilliantly observed, pro-sodomy advocacy guide entitled, "After the Ball", by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, published in 1989. Here is one of the many suggestions from this work of propaganda:

The Waging Peace media campaign will reach straights on an emotional level, casting gays as society's victims and inviting straights to be their protectors. For this to work, however, we must make it easier for responsive straights to assert and explain their new protective feelings. Few straight women, and fewer straight men, will be bold enough to defend homosexuality per se. Most would rather attach their awakened protective impulse to some ... general desire for consistent and fair treatment in society. Thus our campaign should not demand explicit support for homosexual practices, but should instead take antidiscrimination as its theme" (p.187).

Elsewhere in the book, Kirk and Madsen search for an "opening wedge into the vilification of our enemies" (p.190). These bloggers have assisted this process by vilifying a decent woman, who made a satirical joke, as "vicious."

As Ann Coulter said in the same talk, if both candidates for the White House end up being pro-abortion, then America might as well give up as a country (as Britain has). How can the conservative movement continue to be pro-life if it falls so easily for cynical propaganda designed to undermine the fundamental importance of procreative love?
-- Kevin O'Neill
London, United Kingdom

PRO-CHOICE OR NO CHOICE?
Re: Daniel Allott's He's Not for Me and Reader Mail's Life of the Party:

Daniel Allott's politics may be clear, but his math is certainly fuzzy. His algorithm to determine how a voter should choose a candidate is simplistic in assigning import to two and only two issues, and equal import at that.

He states as self-evident dubious assumptions that the war on terror is paramount and that Rudy Giuliani would be our most effective wartime leader (a "ten" on terrorism). Fair enough, but I can claim it is just as dubious that all other candidates would surely receive no less than an "eight" or "nine".

Furthermore, it is ridiculous to claim that only his two issues matter or that each is equal. Voters' decision calculus is based on numerous issues, and each voter weights them differently. I may agree with Mr. Allott on his scoring of Rudy Giuliani's positions, but if I think terrorism is three times as important as a pro-life stance, then Rudy's score is 32 and not 12.

As for how Rudy will play out in the hinterlands, I can only offer the results of the straw poll our annual Lincoln Day dinner last month in this rural but rapidly suburbanization corner of northern Nevada: Gingrich 26, Giuliani 24, McCain 12, all the rest 14.

I am a native New Yorker, and a hardcore social and economic conservative. I was glad to be able to help out in all three of Rudy's mayoral campaigns while living in New Jersey in the '80s and '90s, and to offer my support now.
-- Howard Hirsch, Chairman
Lyon County Republican Central Committee
Dayton, Nevada

Daniel Allott apparently likes to lay at the altar of religious conservatives who commit a political sin: being single issue voters.

Single issue voting, on whatever reason, has become the modern pariah in politics. Such constituents never compromise, even if a greater good would occur.

While I lean more towards the pro-life arguments, I would have no problem voting for Giuliani. Moreover, I believe the abortion debate will be solved more at the state level as opposed to the national level. If the pro-life movement would concentrate at the local grassroots level, they might find more success. Aside from easier victories for parental notification, and an outright ban in South Dakota, there seems to be a shift towards state regulations.

So chill out. One issue does not necessarily break a candidate.
-- Stephen Scott
Tulsa, Oklahoma

I didn't come to the party to be a cheap date. And I refuse to be one.

I write as a former conservative Democrat, a "Reagan Democrat," if you will -- who reregistered as a Republican at the close of Reagan's presidential tenure. I agree with Daniel Allott, but even more so: Not only is Rudolph Giuliani "not for me," but if he is the Republican presidential nominee, he will lose me for the GOP. Just as Ronald Reagan attracted me to join the Republican Party, Giuliani will repulse me, and the result will be a typical Giuliani divorce -- very bitter, with the children harmed.

To expand: I grew up in a Democratic household, just as Reagan did. Our family concerns could be encapsulated shorthand as "working family freedom." Once I started hearing Ronald Reagan "in his own hand" and not mediated through the Leftist media, I understood and agreed with his political philosophy of limited, liberty-based government and returning family freedom to the family. I switched political parties because of across-the-board conservatism. I believe I got the priorities right at the time -- highest on my list was opposition to the Communist threat emanating from Soviet Union expansionism, especially dangerous to us in Nicaragua in this hemisphere -- but with respect and restoration of traditional family values next. (I had already gotten politically active with Democratic campaigns, and I was appalled at the cavalier condescension and hypocrisy of the pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality elites I met at the top of the Democrat hierarchy. Giuliani strikes me as very much like those sneering folk.)

The intellectual mistake most analysts make is to conceive of the variety of political views as resting along a single dimension, with some kind of undefined, mushy political "middle" of moderate centrists and Right-leaning Democrats and Left-leaning Republicans. This simply does not adequately capture the reality. There is nobody a (former or today's commonsense) conservative Democrat disagrees with more than a liberal Republican. We have next to nothing in common in what we believe to be important and true. I live in California, and I am already disgusted, nearly past the point of no return to the GOP, by that vile hypocrite, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is a socially liberal Democrat masquerading under the false advertising of claiming he's a Republican. (If you think I'm wrong in that, give me a real example of a conservative Republican Schwarzenegger has assisted effectively in getting elected, or a truly conservative Republican plan he's gotten enacted against Left-wing Democrat opposition. You will find none because there are none. There are some things, like Schwarzenegger, that political operatives just cannot spin.)

I am very disinclined to vote for either John McCain or Mitt Romney, although either might find a formula to persuade me he isn't going to go Left after election. But Giuliani is a deal breaker for me; if he's the GOP presidential nominee, I am completely convinced we will, forever after, have the two major political parties, both virulently pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality, with traditional family values being considered not suitable for polite political discourse. If Giuliani is the Republican running for president, I will probably vomit every time I hear the word "Republican" -- I know that's just me, and I'm a tender damsel, but I suspect I'm not alone and the GOP will lose more voters than the party gains from a Giuliani pick as standard bearer.

I'd be euphoric if a California primary vote for San Diego-area Congressman Duncan Hunter turns out to be meaningful. Congressman Hunter is a trustworthy conservative, a true inheritor of the Ronald Reagan legacy of robust, across-the-board conservatism. In fact, Hunter's national security credentials are far superior to Giuliani's. But have you learned that from any national information source? Giuliani was rhetorically strong after 9/11, but his policies in office, as New York City mayor, were incredibly weak concerning national security matters. Giuliani currently opposes the Hunter-sponsored real fence defining the U.S. border, in favor of a meaningless Giuliani "virtual" fence; Giuliani favors amnestying the lawbreakers who entered or overstayed in this country unlawfully, and that's without regard to the likely terrorists slipping through under the Giuliani illegal amnesty plan; shortly before 9/11, Giuliani refused to follow the rule of law in assisting the national government in apprehending illegal aliens in NYC. So, do you believe the Giuliani talk or the Giuliani walk?

There's more I could discourse on, but I'll end as I began. I didn't come to the Republican Party to be a cheap date, and I'll leave before any Teddy Kennedy wannabe invites me out for a drive to the lake in his car.
-- B.J. Coleman

Mr. Allott's piece, "He's Not For Me," portrays a threat greater than radical Islam: radical pro-abortion Republicans marching under the title of "conservative." While Giuliani rightly decries the violence of 9-11 against helpless American civilians, he shamefully endorses and promotes the same vicious carnage against helpless Americans, but those at an earlier and more vulnerable stage of human development.

Every Monday-Friday in the US there are as many, if not more, deaths by surgical abortion as there were when the Twin Tower collapsed. (On Saturday there are usually 20,000 murders committed in the womb in the U.S.) Each deadly act of violence must be fought for the sake of justice. Every life is sacred and must be protected. We cannot bring back the victims of Islamic terror that died in NYC in 2002, but we can and must stop the domestic terrorism of abortion that continues, unimpeded, every day, at a rate of over 3,500 human lives per 24 hours.

If we rightly honor the victims of terrorism, and celebrate the courage of those fighting to save lives and freedom (from fire-fighters and police, to our soldiers), we must never dishonor their memory by ignoring the cries from the daily casualties suffered in the "culture war." They deserve our diligent protection!

The article by Dan Allott is nothing but a voice for the voiceless victims calling out to all Americans, and here, the Republican Party not to ignore their conscience, or disregard their first responsibility to defend life, nor ever forget their foremost duty to protect the weakest and most defenseless among us.

God bless Mr. Allott, and God save Giuliani and those attacking our children.
-- Will Goodman

While I agree with J. W. Eilert, Jr. in his letter concerning Rudy, social conservatives will strongly object to one of his assertions. Yes, Republicans of all stripes would go to the polls and vote for Giuliani when facing a much worse Democrat candidate. Yes, many would go holding their noses. As Mr. Buckley said, always vote for the rightward most viable candidate. Before the convention, however, we still must measure each man. Giuliani could well be a minor candidate six months from now -- even then there will be at least 3 or 4 months before one primary vote is cast for anyone.

Mr. Eilert makes one conjecture that should not pass--at least not without comment. "I've always been unconvinced by just such single-issue arguments". I am not so easily comforted with this notion. It is not a given that anti-abortion Republicans will ultimately vote for a pro-abortion candidate. Abortion and other "life issues" are not just one "single-issue" concern among others. Abortion is a transcendent issue above all others. The "sins" of attacks on the health of the economy, indolence in the face of illegal emigration, and excessive tax levels pale when compared to the red blood and torn tissue reality of death. It has to be remembered that there are more conservatives than Republicans. For most conservatives, the conservative movement and the Republican Party are merely in a marriage of convenience. Many will not vote for any candidate who is not unambiguously pro-life -- not "most of the time" -- NEVER.

Rudy may well turn out to be our man. Nevertheless, we should never fool ourselves he won't come at a cost.
-- Michael Wm. Dooley
Indianapolis, Indiana

After scrutinizing the potential Republican candidates likely to run for President in '08, it has become apparent that there are no conservatives in the race. Hopefully one will emerge. If not we will have the choice of voting moderately liberal, liberal or loony.

Will a truly conservative candidate emerge? It looks bleak.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

ROUSH TO JUDGMENT
Re: Michael Roush's letter (under "Conviction Politicians") in Reader Mail's Life of the Party:

Starting to sound like a broken record; your readership is so incisive and sharp in the wide varieties of opinions and manners to attract a certain problem/situation, often reading the letters is far more stimulating than the columns. Even ol' sourpuss Abe is thought provoking (and, occasionally, just provoking).

Mike Roush may've been a tad off in his criticisms, but I believe he recognizes that there are a bunch of us who genuinely feel that Bush has been an awful president, a miserable "leader," and disastrously inept in numerous respects. I, too, feel badly betrayed -- although I'm thrilled that neither Gore or Kerry made it; that would've been far worse.

Thus, I guess my point is that, with concerned people like your readership, our country may not be quite as bad off as it sometimes seems. Now, if there were just a few more of 'em.....
-- frost

I didn't want to, but I HAD to respond to Mr. Roush's letter. It was a classic! I printed it out and blew it up on a copier so that I could frame it and hang it in my den. If ever there was a better example of self-delusion, I've never seen it. The saddest thing about it is that no matter how much evidence this gentleman sees to refute these charges, I am willing to bet that he would never discard a single one of them. Perhaps liberalism is not a mental disease, but , rather, it is a religious faith.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

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