Re: Greg Hoadley's letter (under "Rights and Wrongs") in Reader Mail's Rudy Go Round:
Reader Greg Hoadley of Deerfield Beach, Florida wrote in to criticize "so-called conservatives trying to sell 'America's Mayor' is [sic] the second coming of Ronald Reagan." Hoadley went on to ask: "Are you listening, Deroy Murdock?"
Yes, Mr. Hoadley, I am. Now, please listen to me.
First of all, you are totally mistaken when you write of Rudolph W. Giuliani "now he says he opposes gay marriage. His flip-flop on this issue is almost as believable as Mitt Romney's -- which is to say, not very."
In fact, Giuliani has opposed gay marriage since 1989. That's right -- 1989, well before even gay rights groups promoted the idea of same-sex marriage.
"My definition of family is what it is," Giuliani told Newsday 18 years ago. "It does not include gay marriage as part of that definition."
Agree or disagree with Giuliani on this issue, he has been totally consistent on it for nearly two decades. If you're waiting for the flip to flop, keep waiting.
Second, there was only one Ronald Reagan, and every Republican alive will struggle to be anything like him. That said, of all the Republican presidential contenders, Giuliani's mayoral record and current policy positions come closest to what made Reagan such a success.
Giuliani worked for Reagan at the Justice Department and as U.S. Attorney in New York City.
As mayor, his record was both socially conservative and Reaganesque.
Times Square, a porn mecca when Giuliani arrived, now is home to Mary Poppins and other family-friendly musicals. Giuliani chopped overall crime 64 percent, slashed homicide 68 percent, graduated 649,895 New Yorkers (58 percent of relief recipients) from welfare to work, curbed or abolished 23 taxes, sliced the tax burden by $9.8 billion or 24 percent for a family of four earning $50,000, jettisoned racial and gender quotas in contracting, delivered 25,637 children from foster care to adoption, privatized 23,625 apartments from bureaucratic control to individual and family ownership, and financed charter schools while fighting for vouchers. Meanwhile, taxpayer-funded Medicaid abortions in Gotham fell 23 percent during Giuliani's term.
Based on these achievements, and his pronouncements today, it's safe to say that Giuliani is Reaganite on taxes, spending, public order, quality of life, welfare reform, school choice, racial preferences, privatization, shrinking bureaucracy, Americanization of immigrants, fatherhood, moving foster kids into adoptive families, pulverizing Islamofascism, and maintaining peace through strength.
Giuliani also says he would appoint federal judges and Supreme Court justices akin to Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Sam Alito. Former Solicitor General Ted Olson's endorsement of Giuliani last week speaks well of the ex-mayor's judicial temperament.
Finally, I say these things, not as a "so-called conservative," but as a libertarian-oriented member of the conservative movement, which I joined in 1979. I worked for Ronald Reagan's 1980 and 1984 campaigns. I also was a communications consultant to the Forbes 2000 campaign. I am a commentator and a scholar with various free-market think tanks.
In short, I am a proud right-winger who knows another right-winger when I see one. That is why I am honored to support Rudolph W. Giuliani as the 44th president of the United States.
-- Deroy Murdock
New York City, New York
DON'T FORGET RUDY'S FLIP-FLOPS
Re: W. James Antle III's Abortion Contortions:
Are you kidding me? In what world has Giuliani not contorted himself on the abortion issue? Giuliani says he's pro-choice, but promises strict constructionist justices like Roberts, Alito and Scalia -- a coded but clear message to the pro-lifers that he'll appoint justices most likely to overturn Roe, a decision he explicitly supported in an ABC interview on 2/6/2000 when he was planning to run for the Senate, agreeing that Roe was "good constitutional law." Add to that Giuliani's clear flip-flop on partial-birth abortion (not to mention his flip-flop on gun control, another important issue among social conservatives), and it is extraordinarily difficult to understand why Mr. Antle would present Giuliani as some consistent, principled, straight-talker with the courage of his convictions, who "offers social conservatives few concessions" and "respects pro-lifers' intelligence."
-- Philip Gordon
New York, New York
I applaud Mr. Antle's honest appraisal of McCain's and Romney's flip flop on abortion. My social views are much like Rudy's but what I don't like in a candidate is pandering or recent changes in core beliefs. In Romney's case, his recent conversions include not only a change on the abortion issue, but also on gay rights, tax cuts, and most recently gun control -- to the extent that he joined the NRA within the last year.
Even if you don't care for Rudy, one has to admit that he is straightforward on his beliefs, which have been consistent over the years.
-- Dennis Bunker
Toluca Lake, California
Rudy is a Damn Yankee who is on his way to the presidency.
-- Catherine Pape
DEMS' WAR POWERS PLAY
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Democrats to the Rescue:
Right on! To paraphrase FDR, the only thing they have to fear is victory. FDR would have placed them in internment camps after they had been horsewhipped at home. This is indeed about nothing but politics. Shame.
-- Richard Mann
I do agree with Mr. Tyrrell that the Democrats think that because they won the majority in congress that they now have assumed the Presidency. I do hate to tell all of them that George W. Bush is still President and will do as he sees fit. Pelosi and Murtha are trying to control what he does. If Murtha cuts funding for our troops it will not set well with the American people. Our fighting men and women deserve the best we can give them.
All we can hope is that the American public comes to its senses and keeps the democrats out of the White House come 2008. I hope two years of their idiocy and dirty tricks will cook any chances of them returning. It scares the hell out of me to think about a Democrat in the White House! Vote Republican!
-- J. Sherrill
I concur with Mr. Tyrrell that the Democratic leadership in Congress has not been terribly effective to date in reaching its purported goal of bringing our troops home from Iraq. However, his references to previous commanders-in-chief and past wars are not appropriate in this context. Only in the limited sense that we have deployed military forces to Iraq does this situation qualify as a bona fide war. One cannot ignore the fact that Saddam Hussein was removed and that we recognize and accept the government that replaced his. In the strictest sense, war requires at least two sovereign states in armed conflict with each other. Clearly this is not the case now. What we have is an ambiguous brew of factions blowing up lots of things, but no sovereign state is openly fighting us. The idea that an unfettered military commander is essential in this instance is dubious at best, especially when that person's lack of foresight set in motion this spiral of unintended consequences. Democracy is messy, ergo Congress is messy. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they're just trying wind things down as best they can.
-- Abe Grossman
Pleasantville, New York
You're right and then some. Pelosi and Murtha want a troop pullout but won't say it. All their antics are designed to subvert the Constitution and heap glory on themselves. They're willing to sacrifice American lives to gain a political advantage. Of course; they won't say what happens after the troops leave, something even Joe Biden has remarked on. Undoubtedly; Iraq would fall into chaos and bloodshed, make that slaughter. It would rival Vietnam circa 1975 and then some. Republicans also have a problem; who challenge Pelosi and Murtha? There simply aren't any towering intellects, political giants or heroes within the party. Can anyone compare Giuliani, McCain or Romney to Ronald Reagan or Dwight Eisenhower? Only one person comes close; Newt Gingrich. His problem; an electorate brainwashed by left wing media.
-- Bob Montrose
Fort Lee, New Jersey
"Has any war ever been fought this way? What are the Democrats thinking of?"
I think a better question would be what were American voters thinking? They voted in the CUT AND RUN PARTY.
I totally disagreed with the way the President was running the war, did not think he was really fighting to win. Can't win a PC war and when I was asked in a poll if I agreed with what Bush was doing I had to answer NO. Did not have the option to say it should be fought HARDER. So when the Dems talk about Americans are against the war that does not tell the whole story.
-- Elaine Kyle
Wouldn't the Supreme Court have something to say about this?
-- Annette Cwik
Re: Carol Platt Liebau's See No Evil...Unless!:
Regarding Carol Platt Liebau's article "See No Evil â€¦ Unless!", I offer another example of selective television impact. The National Organization of Women recently took to task the executive producers of Desperate Housewives for their January 14, 2007, episode entitled "Not While I'm Around." In a letter dated January 30, 2007, NOW stated, in part:
The episode included erroneous and, at times, dangerous information, leading your audience to wrongly believe that:
* Condoms are ineffective;
* Young people need parental permission to obtain birth control pills, and
* Parents can obtain private, confidential sexual health information about their teenager if they call the teen's health care provider.
In a recent study, teens ranked the media as one of the top four sources from which they learn about sex and sexual health. That is to say, that when it comes to teens and sex, young people are listening to what you, the producers of a very popular television show, have to say.
The NOW letter then proceeded to give the information it deemed necessary to correct this "erroneous and, at times, dangerous information." The letter ended with:
"Desperate Housewives is a wildly successful show. We congratulate you on your success to date and hope that you will continue to entertain your audiences while recognizing the great responsibility and power you have to educate as well."
I guess that means that the folks at NOW are concerned when it comes to television's influence as related to sex â€¦ they want to be sure teens know they can (and should) have sex whenever and with whomever they wish without the need to worry about consequences or their parents' wishes.
-- Elaine Nash
Anderson, South Carolina
P.S. The full text of the letter from NOW can be seen here (pdf).
There has been plenty of talk about the torture shown on 24 but not a single mention of the nuclear blast that killed 12,000 people in the same show, nor the four additional weapons that the terrorists have and are prepared to use. It takes moral blindness and rank hypocrisy of the worst sort to condemn one and not even mention the other. Acts of evil are not the same, some are much more deadly than others. Jack Bauer tortures the bad guys because it is an imperfect world and he is trying to prevent murdering criminals from killing thousands of innocent people. It isn't Mother Teresa he maltreats and he doesn't do it for fun. Knock yourself out, Jack, I'll hold your coat if that will help. There is a choice between committing an evil and enabling one that is far, far worse and Jack chooses the smaller one. Good on him, I would hope that the authorities in the real world would have the courage and judgment to make the same choice to protect the public but I have strong doubts.
The complaints about 24 show extreme moral confusion and weakness and it is precisely this that encouraged Osama bin Laden to attack Americans in the first case. Osama said he had seen Americans fighting in Somalia and he knew from that experience that they could be beaten. Islamic fundamentalists do not complain about the morality of the West, they complain about the absence of it -- Pope Benedict XVI said so and I think it is fair to give him some credence as an expert on moral questions. Carping about the likes of 24 doesn't not advance the moral case for preventing terrorism one iota, it hinders it and encourages terrorists to think that we are too gutless and stupid to defend ourselves. It is bad news all around and I wish these silly idiots would shut up and stick to social commentaries on eating disorders and the rudeness of taxi drivers.
-- Christopher Holland
Also, when I see Muslims portrayed in the same manner as Christians, I'll believe that the television producers have finally gotten some spine. Until then, they are just a bunch of liberal hypocrites!
-- James A. Olson
Severna Park, Maryland
LISTENING TO TUNNEY
Re: Paul Beston's The Man Who Wasn't There:
To the reviewer: Commander Tunney broadcast to the troops in the Pacific during WWII about their return someday to their families. The purpose of the message was for the troops to restrain their speech. As you might imagine, the f-word was used frequently along with obscene profanity. I was there with the Third Marine Division and heard the broadcasts when we were based on Guam. Thank you.
-- C. Mark Gilson
Seneca, South Carolina
LOCK AND LOAD
Re: Christopher Orlet's Sulejmen the Mysterious:
Is Mr. Orlet a Canadian? Has he never heard the term "An armed society is a polite society"? Can he not perceive the hesitation someone might feel if he were about to open fire on a group of people, if he knew that at least some of them were likely to shoot back? Atlanta is rife with stories of would-be gunmen who fled for the hills when confronted by the barrel of the would-be victim's Glock (Atlantans tend to buy locally).
On 9/11 I was living in a building with a predominantly Muslim population, many of them arrayed in burqas and traditional dress. My sister was visiting me from the US and she was terrified that they would come after us. I told her that on the contrary, they all assumed that Americans ALL carry guns and they were terrified WE were coming after THEM. Within 24 hours there wasn't a burqa or hijab to be seen in the entire neighborhood.
It's not only guns that prevent crime, Mr. Orlet. Sometimes the perception of concealed weapons is just as effective.
-- Kate Shaw
My thanks to Christopher Orlet for identifying me as among those who are "a bit whacked" for carrying a gun. I could argue that, since the planet's population is about six billion and more than one person on the planet has been murdered by a jihadist, the odds seem a bit worse than Orlet's quoted one-in-ten-billion chance of dying this way. Or I could argue that carrying a gun provides protection against other violent criminals, such as drug addicts, gang bangers, or car jackers, and not just jihadists or the mentally unstable. Or I could argue that my gun also protects innocent people from crimes even when I am not a likely victim. I may not know her but you'll still be looking into the barrel of a gun if you try to rape her in my presence. Or I could argue that carrying a gun is no different than voting -- use the right to prevent losing it. Or I could argue that carrying a gun protects me in the same way as using seat belts, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, all of which I do because the investment far outweighs the potential consequences. But being a bit whacked, I'm not likely to have sound judgment and clarity of thought to support those arguments. If only we had Hillary's health care system in place now, I could get proper treatment to correct my illness. Until then, I remain cocked, locked, and ready to rock!
-- Tom Cook
Raleigh, North Carolina
I wonder how far back these things go. Isn't Sirhan Sirhan a Palestinian?
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
Re: Donald Parnell's letter (under "Rights and Wrongs") and Christian Evans' letter (under "Clean Slate") in Reader Mail's Rudy Go Round:
I'm not a constitutional scholar, but I am something of an amateur etymologist (Mr. Homnick might quip, that means I go buggy over words!). My readings on the Founders' use of the phrase "a well-regulated militia" in the Second Amendment suggest that they used "regulate" in its 18th century-contemporary context (now, largely, obsolete). To them, the word meant "bring order, method, or uniformity to." Ergo, the militia was to be well-trained -- then drilled to hone members' ability to act in concert.
Unfortunately, in the middle of the 19th century, someone coined the word "bureaucrat" -- ever since, those creatures have interpreted the verb "regulate" to mean "subject to strict governmental control." Thence, "Big Tim" Sullivan, Thomas Dodd, Carolyn McCarthy, and Sarah Brady.
-- David Gonzalez
Mr. Christian Evans advises to "read the Bible cover to cover...", nominal advice I suppose but having given the subject of religion casual study over the (many) years I have always been puzzled in discussions of this type when a writer makes a theocratic statement about what the "Bible" says. Even casual reference studies seem to indicate that that document is the victim of several less than authoritative interpretations and translations. The current King James version for instance, the most commonly cited source was "translated" in 1611 if memory serves (No I was not present!) by the elite of the time in the King's circle of friends. Their use of English was light years away from the common persons vernacular, for instance the use of the word "Heaven" was literally "Sky" not a place where one received eternal rewards or punishments. The well-known mistranslation of "witch" from the root Hebrew word for "poisoner" remains a classic example. My point and I do have one, is that the debates over "What God said" no matter what religion one is foisting remains a subjective matter of interpretation. But it seems endlessly fun for some to debate. Sounds like everyday politics to me and with as much emotional import. Behind enemy lines,
-- Craig Sarver
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