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Turning Up the Heat

Mitt Romney's consistency. Global tempers. Iraq showdown. Plus much more.

12.11.06

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MITT CONSISTENCY
Re: W. James Antle III's Mitt Giving Fits:

Any one who knows Mormons well and has studied their doctrines, understands Gov. Romney has been consistent in his beliefs regarding gays and abortion. Due to their history, Mormons make a major theological point of separating individual freedoms from the rights of organizations. Because of their beliefs, their leaders were murdered, the believers discriminated against, and they were forcefully driven from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois prior to settling in Utah -- only to have the federal government send an army to occupy the place. Hence, they take strong exception to any person, state, or organization engaging in discrimination or restricting individual freedoms coupled with a belief that the only power an organization should have over an individual is admittance or expulsion from its membership; it may speak for or against a belief or practice, but not force an idea or practice. The distinction often confuses outsiders. Mormons don't believe that gays should be discriminated against in employment, housing, or even politics while at the same time preaching against homosexuality and denying them membership in the church. The boy scouts have a right to deny membership to gays -- but not to harass them.

A similar misunderstanding of doctrine occurs regarding abortion. Mormons believe that abortion for the purpose to birth control is tantamount to murder and will result in the member's excommunication. The only exception is in the case of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in jeopardy -- and even then, only with prayerful consideration. The attitude is "legally you have the right to have an abortion for birth control -- and to send yourself to hell." This makes abortion in the faithful Mormon community so rare that most outsiders misunderstand its doctrine as "no abortion -- ever." I have a Mormon friend that became pregnant as the result of rape. After much prayer, she had the child and raised it with the same love she devoted to her other children. Governor Romney's statements have been consistent with those of his faith and consistent over the years. His religious beliefs regarding abortion should not be considered pandering to the left, especially when contrasted with those of Senators Kennedy and Kerry.
-- Larry Zacharias

Mitt Romney is no more a hypocrite than conservatism's icon -- Ronald Reagan. President Reagan cut income taxes then raised them twice, praised the self-sufficiency of the self-employed then doubled their payroll tax, condemned Iran's extremism and then armed the mad mullahs, promised to fight terrorism and then tucked tail and bolted from Lebanon. Conservative pundits have turned President Reagan into a caricature of himself to promote agendas he never would have endorsed (border control and bashing Hispanic illegals being the most obvious) and insured no conservative can live up to their "ideal." Thus, insuring moderates and liberals will win in 2008.

"Conservatives" in their haste to demean President Bush (who has more guts than all his detractors combined) have proven like liberals they prefer political posturing to straightforward leadership. As one who serves his nation in the GWOT I'm truly mystified by the destructive whining of my fellow conservatives. If we want to win in Iraq and 2008 we've got to end the melt down that gave the mid-term elections to the Democrats and promises to hand them the Presidency in under two years.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Are conservatives that gullible? Romney's campaign is really a Bush directed anti-McCain campaign.

The Bush people are lined up, money is being raised for a one-term social liberal. Anyone who watched Mitt run the Salt Lake City Olympics knows this guy is about money -- big money, and he's a moderate.
-- Stan Froelich

TURNING UP THE HEAT
Re: Patrick J. Michaels' Losing It:

Thank you for a rational article.
-- Ed Greif

Lamenting proposals scientists use two by fours to settle the outcome of the Climate Wars. Pat Michaels protests "Most of the people being shouted down aren't even guilty as charged. Almost every scientist I know will tell you that the planet is warmer than it was, and that the burning of fossil fuel has certainly contributed to the warming of recent decades."

What a hoot ! Though a comparative stranger to the experimental atmospheric sciences, State Climatologist Pat has contributed long and voluminously to the warmth of the debate in the press. Now that even the insurance companies have read the handwriting on the wall when it comes to warming, he insists "The science is pretty simple... Hard to deny." Indeed -- but that being the case, what has deterred him from agreeing with his colleagues on so many elementary matters? On every level, from satellite radiometers in orbit to heat flows in the deep blue sea -- you name it, and at some time in the last decades he has denied that it signifies humanity is making the planet warm enough to engage the wheels of policy. It seems to be his job.

On August 19, 2004, Cato published Patrick's "Meltdown for Global Warming Science. With coauthors S. Fred Singer, and David H. Douglas, Michaels commences: "How many times have we heard from Al Gore and assorted European politicians that 'the science is settled' on global warming?"

They continue, "Well, the science may now be settled, but not in the way Mr. Gore and [UN official Hans] Blix would have us believe. Three bombshell papers have just hit the refereed literature that knock the stuffing of Mr. Blix's position and that of his company, the United Nations, and its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...The surface temperature record shows a warming rate of about 0.17 degrees Celsius (0.31 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since 1979. However, there are two other records -- one from satellites, the other from weather balloons -- that tell a different story....which record is right, the U.N. surface record showing the larger warming or the other two?... The odd-record-out turns out to be the U.N.'s hot-surface history."

So much for Michaels claims to have been swimming all along in the warm mainstream of the IPCC's much maligned consensus. One of the cardinal rules of science is that when you are wrong, you should publish a retraction, and none has been forthcoming in Michaels' case. Deplorable as Jim Hansen's call for 2x4's may be- physicists have a long tradition of not shooting other physicists, there is no scientific way of denying that Pat has invested so much heavy timber in the petard on which we see him hoist that you ought to engineer other arrangements for TAS anticlimactic retreat from the field of climate denial. At the rate Pat's rhetoric is skidding downhill, he may come to rest as South Park's official meteorologist before the ski season is out
-- Russell Seitz
Cambridge, Massachusetts

"Losing It" is a clear, rational and scientifically supportable thesis on global warming. These factors are exactly why it will be vilified and repudiated by the loony left. The purpose for the falderal about global warming is to raise money for those who make a living from "disasters'. We have the-death-of-all-American- seniors-if-the rest-of the-country-doesn't-pay-all-our-medical-bills- for-us crowd; we have the whales are all going to nuke us disaster pending; not to mention polar bears and let us not forget fur seals and buffalo. The most vocal of each of these groups are those whose table is set by the ill-gotten proceeds of their instilling panic.

The purveyors of this death-is-upon-us-all tomorrow mentality are those who thrive when donations are ratcheted up in response to panic. Outright distortions, lies and made up facts are REQUIRED to create the panic that opens the faucets of donations. If you doubt this for one second just look at how one of America's biggest buffoons has profited form the escalating rhetoric. Yes, I am referring to the Prince of Tennessee, Albert Gore Jr. This is a man who in his last few years has actually worked! His first nearly 60 years were funded by the public and the last couple of years has seen Mr. Gore finally catch on. He too could create a falsehood in the form of a video and sell it to the environmental whackers for huge bucks. Congratulations Mr. Gore. You've learned the rudiments of capitalism and much better late than never.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Wellington, Florida

I subscribe to a British science magazine that consistently publishes global warming articles. They are positively convinced that developed ( wealthy ) nations' big business' and fossil fuels are the culprit behind this ' threat '. Yet another article a few pages away features the air pollution of China ; so bad respirators are a necessity in the cities. China could give a hoot about coal scrubbers, catalytic converters , banning barbecues and lawn mowers , or hybrid cars. Mexico follows suit. How does one cook and stay warm in India or Africa ?. Burn wood or anything else carbon that will heat. Where does Kyoto figure into third world countries and their actions ?. What percentage do they contribute to greenhouse gases ?. No mention and is conveniently omitted. Quoting Michaels, " there really isn't anything you can do about it ".
-- Russel Ready

An additional point or three: Their oft-mentioned "computer models" predicting bad stuff are a result of computer programmers who can/will design a model to say whatever he's been hired to have it say. Too few people have noted that the sun is in a warmer trend these days, it's kinda cyclical.

NASA's guy is another joke: If you'll recall, NASA was trying to just justify a budget when they stumbled across an ozone hole, remember? Voila! So, sure, NASA is hardly a "reliable source" because, like any governmental group or bureaucracy, it's only interested in those "facts" that justify more "research" and more taxpayer dollars -- to insure their own damned jobs!

Interestingly, as I recall, Mount Erebus down in Antarctica spews more crap into the atmosphere in one day than mankind does in a decade or so.

Also not mentioned but pretty important, the idea that countries which are "clean" can SELL their credits to unclean states -- hence, it's simply another internationalist type ploy to redistribute wealth and install more global socialism.

Yet, for all the actual facts which we may quote, those Koyota clowns will shout you down with nasty epitaphs every time. A no-win situation? Kinda like Dubya's no-win/"containment" war in Iraq, 'ay? Sad.
-- Frost

I know that, at various times in history and pre-history, the earth was warmer and colder than it currently is.

What is the correct temperature of our beloved planet?
-- Laurence Louden

PERMANENT INTEREST
Re: Jed Babbin's The Lebanon in Iraq:

Jed Babbin writes that "Our interest in Iraq is not in building its democracy but the toppling of a regime that sponsored terrorism," as if the two are separable, or in some way contradictory. I am disappointed. Surely he would admit that once we had toppled Saddam's terror regime, we had to help the Iraqi's establish something better. If he doesn't support "building its democracy," what then? Spin the wheel and hope it doesn't stop at Terror-Sponsoring Regime 2.01?

We didn't topple Saddam's regime for the sake of nation-building, but rather to eliminate a threat that was universally recognized. We are honor-bound to support the Iraqi project until that young democracy can sustain, govern and defend itself. Not only is this the honorable thing, it is in our national interest.
-- GnuCarSmell
Jacksonville, Tex

I greatly admired Jeane Kirkpatrick for her intelligence, candor and insight. Sadly, we will miss her, as there are few like her in government today; those who are or might be, are pilloried or run out of Washington, for being tough, or not politically correct enough.

If the United States has permanent interests in the Middle East, as indeed it does, we need to adopt a new approach to the Muslim world. We deposed Saddam Hussein for good and obvious reasons.

Syria and Iran clearly need the same treatment. However, given our country's citizenry, with their five-minute attention span, and video game mentality, we should not occupy either country.

A workable foreign policy for us might be, "Mess with us, and we'll come to your house and break things up really good. It will be up to you to fix what we broke. We won't be paying for fixing it, either. If you mess with us again, we reserve the right to come back and break it again."

This country's leaders lack the resolve to do what is necessary to ensure our own safety. We do not have the national will to secure our borders, the national will to utilize our own petroleum reserves(Anyone ever read about the oil shale in the U.S.? What about the oil in ANWR?), the intelligence to develop and use nuclear and geothermal power, etc. The citizens of the country don't care enough, or lack the intelligence, to demand more (er, anything?) of their elected leaders. I suspect that, today, it is impossible to underestimate the survival quotient of the majority of American voters.

The majority of our voting citizens have no sense of pride in, or understanding of what it is to be a citizen of the United States. They feel NO RESPONSIBILITY for their and their children's future.

There are no longer any statesmen in Washington, only politicians interested in "getting theirs." They totally fail to understand what is necessary to survive in the world today. They have no spine, morality, or sense of honor.

I didn't think I would live to see the fall of the United States in my lifetime, as I'm on the uphill side of 65, but I am very afraid I'm going to live to see it. The Roman Empire lasted longer, but then, they didn't worry about what the rest of the world thought, or the problems associated with political correctness. .
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

How about "The Balkans in Iraq"? Nation building got a bad name in the Balkans where we have been trying unsuccessfully to forge a unity government amongst people who essentially hate each other. The Muslims, Croats and Serbs have been butchering each other for centuries and our nation-building efforts in such places as Bosnia and Kosovo have been a thankless task. It appears we have much the same situation in Iraq with the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites and our nation-building here seems to be similarly discouraging. There is one important difference, however. The Balkans presented no national security threat. Our efforts there were largely humanitarian. In Iraq we have reluctantly taken on the nation-building task to leave a sovereign, responsible government behind that will not become a breeding ground for radical Islamists to export their terrorism.

Perhaps our idealism has gotten the best of us and our effort to establish a western style democracy in Iraq is a bridge to far. The Balkans were at their best under the authoritarian government of Marshall Tito from 1960 to 1980. Using the former Yugoslavia as a template for Iraq, the answer to our redemption in Iraq would be to find a benign dictator who could keep all the competing factions in line. It wouldn't be pretty, but we could then scale back our operation to focusing on those who mean us harm.
-- J. Brick
Beaver Dam, Arizona

Mr. Babbin, who is generally very astute and one of my favorite columnists, is way off the mark because of his retinitis pigmentosa. It isn't a question of nation building. It is a question of leaving behind a stable democracy we can count on for decades, at least not to attack us or support those who would. By his formula, we should have pulled out of Germany on May 9, 1945 and out of Japan on September 4, 1945. Good plan, no? Absolutely not. Why didn't we? Because at that time we weren't the immature, shortsighted fools that he thinks we should be now. Please send him to an ophthalmologist. I will pay the bill.
-- Carroll Melton
Arlington, Virginia

HEAVY LISTENING
Re: Christopher Orlet's Kindly Uncle Saddam:

I'm sure that Kofi Annan would like Saddam back in power for only the purest of altruistic motivations. Since the end of the Oil for Food program, Mr. Annan's son has been forced to find honest work.
-- Vincent Mohan
Englewood, New Jersey

I am one of the mouth breathers that listen to Dr. Michael Savage at least two hours an evening.

I am also someone that reads your magazine on the website every week and I am very disappointed that you would stoop to name-calling.

I enjoy both Dr. Savage and your magazine especially articles from Ben Stein and Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder but it is hurtful when a publication of your stature would reduce itself to insults.

It must be very difficult for you to believe that I can actually read your articles without moving my lips and having a dictionary by my side.
-- Mrs. Janet Rifkin
South Easton, Massachusetts

JUNG AT HEART
Re: Richard Kirk's Exercise in Contempt:

Terrific article by Kirk on Dawkins. In his essay, Mr. Kirk states:

Even poor Carl Jung is made into a kook by Dawkins for believing "that particular books on his shelf spontaneously exploded." (I've read a number of works written by Freud's unfaithful protege and have yet to encounter the concept of spontaneous book combustion....)

Dawkins in referencing the following episode from Jung's memoirs and recounted elsewhere:
Jung once asked Freud what he thought about psychic phenomena. Freud dismissed the whole subject as sheer nonsense. Jung wanted to respond with some sharp words, but restrained himself. He said that his throat felt like red-hot iron, and then a nearby bookcase emitted a loud, cracking noise. Jung and Freud jumped, fearing the bookcase might crash to the ground. "See that?!" said Jung (who believed that such things didn't happen just by chance), "that's an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorization phenomenon." When Freud looked dubious, Jung predicted a second loud noise, and sure enough, the bookcase emitted a second noise. Freud stared at Jung, aghast. This incident foreshadows the later rupture between Jung and Freud. It also illustrates Jung's belief in a connection between man and the world, between psyche and matter. [Joseph Campbell's introduction to The Portable Jung, Penguin Books/The Viking Press, 1971.]

Perhaps Dawkins's characterization of "exploding books" doesn't accurately portray the event or provide context but, in any case, most people would agree that the whole episode is pretty weird.
-- Steven G. LoBello, Ph.D., MSPH
Professor of Psychology

FRESH AIR
Re: C. Kenna Amos's, Mike Showalter's and other letters (under "Running Scared") in Reader Mail's When the Going Gets Rough:

I read the column by Jeff Jacoby and wrote to him expressing my agreement with the statement Mr. Amos reproduces in his letter to TAS: "...I would wager that countless Americans are upset with Bush, not because he isn't skedaddling from Iraq quickly enough, but because he seems to have no serious strategy for winning..."

That's it in a nutshell. If Bush would lead. If he would stop listening to advisors who seem to be in some kind of Washington, D.C. cocoon and pay attention to the soldiers and Americans out here in the hinterland, he'd hear us all saying: "kick butt and take names." We want to win. I'm with Mr. Showalter -- get rid of Shia militia strong-man Sadr, let the Marines take on the Sunni insurgents and the al Qaeda types as they did in Fallujah. Hold the territory we take! If we don't have enough soldiers then leave South Korea and Germany and get them where they're needed. Why should we keep soldiers where they have nothing but contempt for them anyway.

Sure, talk to Iran and Syria, but say one thing to them: "we have evidence of your involvement in killing our soldiers in Iraq. Apparently, you're declaring war on our country. This is the only warning you'll get -- get the hell out or you'll hear our bombers tonight."

We've been fighting this war with not just one hand tied behind our backs, but both hands due to political correctness, left-wing shouting, and a treasonous American media. Start fighting the war at home. Part of our problem is that Bush wanted to keep things as normal as possible here at home -- good idea after 9/11 for the economy, but that should have changed to a war footing at home shortly thereafter. Involve Americans to let them understand the stakes in Iraq. During WWII kids collected cans and all kinds of metal for the war effort, and the U.S. sold war bonds. Why can't something similar be done today to give Americans a sense of their involvement in the war?

Prosecute the leakers and those who publish our secrets. Learn how to fight back against those who want to throw in the towel. Lay out our "losing scenario." We could lose our country if we don't show some spine in Iraq -- the terrorists will be streaming in here through our wide-open Mexican border because they won't be afraid of us. Why should they be -- our country is being run by politicians who hate their own country.

Where are our statesmen who can stir the country with a love of country? Where is our Winston Churchill? Our Ronald Reagan? Instead we have a bunch of Jimmy Carters who only contribute to the "malaise" our country feels because it's being led by a bunch of wimps.

Pay attention, President Bush, don't go "all wobbly" on us -- time to lead.
-- Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

Rush Limbaugh likes to affectionately chide his audience, the "great unwashed," not to try high wire punditry at home, but rather, leave it to the experts. Well, having spent the weekend reading and digesting The Iraq SGR, I can safely say to my fellow readers at TAS, that we rubes (I say this with admiration and affection) can indeed try this at home and do a damn good job at it to boot, as demonstrated by the letters from Mike S., Diane, Beverly and Michael T., in response to Mr. Henry's article. I confess to being disheartened and perplexed this morning, after all, how could such an august group of accomplished individuals take such pride in this rehashed version of the Bush Doctrine along with their own assorted hodgepodge of nonsequiturs added to it? And how could the Sunday elites in the MSM fawningly slobber all over it, yet at the same time, call it a wholesale repudiation of Bush's policies?

For example, how can it be said that Iran and Syria do not want a "chaotic Iraq" (p. 43) yet at the same time be "actively undermining stability in Iraq" (p.44)? Just what exactly, in their 5 days in the Green Zone, (p.106) did they discover to come up with this neat little nuisance? In the section entitled "Dealing with Iran and Syria", Recommendation 9 calls for U.S. incentives and disincentives, but Recommendation 10 calls for the U.N. and the five permanent members (four of which are France, Russia, China & Germany) to deal with Iran's nuclear program, ostensibly neutralizing America's key bargaining chip. HELLO Kofi, the IAEA and "Oil for Food" scandal part II, Iranian style. Add to this Recommendation 13, the "Comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace" component, and when your hands stop shaking, you want to run to the nearest vomitorium.

So let me once again thank the aforementioned readers for their wisdom and clarity of thought. The elites are truly clueless. I would humbly suggest to the President that he toss the ISGR's recommendations in the circular file, sit down with Victor Davis Hanson and a few others from NRO and TAS and then read the readers section of TAS, just to get a breath of fresh air.
-- A. DiPentima

RECENTERED
Re: Fred Lucas's Mike Bloomberg's Middle March:

How does Lucas get "CENTRIST" out of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual unions and gun control. Other than so-called economic conservatism, Bloomberg and Lieberman are clones with different political names.

If the Republicans want to continue losing elections keep giving us politicians with these qualifications.
-- F.Derose
Baltimore, Maryland

ADDITIONAL DETAIL
Re: Lawrence Henry's Victory, Yes, But...:

The peace party -- Wilson estimates about 20 percent of voters to be a "permanent peace party" --- the global warming hysterics, the gay "marriage" movement, the ugly outsproutings everywhere of political correctness, multiculturalism, the free immigration movements, all the prominent pieties of the modern age, are all of a piece, all the enemy. They aim to destroy America. What's more, they explicitly say so.

You forgot the people that leave the toilet seat up.
-- Chris Andre

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