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A Party of Begalas

Democrats out for blood. Plus: A Murtha admirer. An Arnold nonadmirer. Why Iraq? Amish America.

10.4.06

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CUT OUTS
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Democrats Identify the Enemy:

Mr. Begala said. "We're really tired of being bullied by Fox.''

Shouldn't that be: "We're really tired of being confronted with some of the truth by Fox"?
-- Reid Bogie
Waterbury, Connecticut

There's a sentiment which underlies the "cut and run'" mentality Mr. Lord so ably identified:

Modern Democrats seek to "cut and run" because, ultimately, they don't believe the United States is worthy of being "first." They do not believe we're a force for good in the world and they would just as soon see our role diminish, with the result that they oppose any U.S. policy which, in their view, has a whiff of "self-interest" to it.

It's also why they're in love with the United Nations and with thugs like Chavez (Jimmy Carter, call your office...) -- anything that takes us down a few notches (especially when there's a Republican President) is all good.
-- Bradly Roger Bettin, Sr.
Cocoa, Florida

An old adage says that even a blind squirrel will sometimes find an acorn. But when it comes to issues related to identifying enemies of the United States, Democrats apparently defy probability. Jeffrey Lord's analysis of those who speak for the party neatly illustrates this. What reason can be proffered for these phenomena? These people hate George Bush to such a degree and so intensely that it clouds their judgment and prevents them from seeing what is obvious to the rest of us. They are so desperate to regain power they appear to be willing to jeopardize the security of our nation in order to procure sufficient votes to win control of Congress. According to the twisted view of some of them, the actions of terrorists bent on our total annihilation are morally equivalent to those of our nation and its attempts to protect itself from this menace. Meanwhile, they offer no alternative other than cut and run.

The American people are tired of their shrill denunciations and endless complaining. Until Democrats articulate a comprehensive and reasonable alternative to the Bush administration's prosecution of this war, the majority will pay no attention to them. As long as they persist in minimizing the imminent threat posed by Islamic terrorism and cling to their naïve notion that these groups can somehow be placated through negotiation or appeasement, most Americans will continue to prefer Republican leadership. Most Americans recognize cowardice and self-serving opportunism for what it is and are repulsed by it. Hopefully, they will express their displeasure at the ballot box in November.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

I highly recommend you remove Jeffrey Lord from your staff. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but his rant is full of logical fallacies. In order to preserve any sort of integrity, you really should let him go.

Here is a quick copy and paste of what he wrote and I'll follow with why it is wrong.

* Vietnam
* Cambodian genocide
* Invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets
* Communist takeover of Nicaragua
* Iranian Hostages
* Rescue of American hostages in Grenada
* Bombing of Beirut Marine Barracks
* Creation and funding of the Strategic Defense Initiative
* A Nuclear 'freeze' with the Soviets
* Deployment of Pershing Missiles in Europe
*The B-1 and B-2 Bombers
* The Trident submarine
* The Patriot Missile
* Removing Saddam from Kuwait
*The Patriot Act
* NSA Eavesdropping of Terrorist calls
*Terror Detainee Bill

In every single instance -- all of them -- the Democratic Party response was some version of a "cut and run" psychology.


Vietnam was a stupid and failed campaign. At one point we had over 400,000 troops inside of Vietnam and American forces still couldn't repel the NVA and VC forces. Nixon's presidential campaign was geared toward exiting Vietnam and it would be under Republican leadership that America left Vietnam.

The Cambodian Genocide was a direct result of Nixon's bombings of Cambodia. That led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge, the blame goes right on Nixon's shoulders.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? Democrats cut and run from it? What in the bloody hell is Lord talking about? The only thing that led to was Reagan propping up the Taliban and training and supplying Osama bin Laden and his fighters. That didn't come [backfire] now, did it?

Carter attempted and failed miserably to rescue the hostages. There was no cut and run. There are allegations that Reagan helped prolong the crisis in order to help his election campaign.

I'm going to switch the order here, the bombing of the Beirut barracks and its response is all Reagan. He ordered troops out, not the Democrats. Now then, 2 days after the bombing Reagan orders the invasion of Grenada. And Republicans talk about "wag the dog" with Clinton.

Funding SDI. What a money pit that is! Currently our counter missiles don't even launch, or when they rarely do, require homing devices placed on the targets! I wonder why the author didn't mention Star Wars, ha ha!

A nuclear freeze with the Soviets: I can't find any source on the net that tells me what the vote is on the issue, but I'll remind you it was Carter who took up the SALT II initiative.

Mr. Lord does not provide explain how Democrats "cut and run" from missile development and deployment, so I'm going to skip that entirely. Does Lord even understand the term "cut and run?"

Removing Saddam from Kuwait. Ah classic, how soon we forget Democrats supported George H.W. Bush in Desert Storm. How soon we forget that the Executive had the daughter of a Kuwaiti emir lie in front of the U.N. about babies being torn from their incubators! Kind of reminds me of when Colin Powell went in front of the U.N.

Considering the GOP is supposed to be the party of smaller government and freedom, it sure has grown under George W. Bush. Just about twenty years ago, Reagan was decrying government and how '"it is the problem." A sizable portion of Democrats voted for the Patriot Act and it passed easily. Where is the cut and run?

"NSA Eavesdropping of Terrorist calls." Somewhere in that statement is a word that is un-provable. Terrorist calls? How do we, the citizens of America, know that it is only terrorists who are being monitored? Because the President said so? Could anybody be foolish enough to believe that a politician who has lied before (I'll fire anyone who leaked the name of Plame)? There is no congressional or judicial oversight and FISA is basically a rubber stamp which the President is clearly evading! Absolutely pathetic.

Same thing with the terror detainee bill. The President's job is not to protect the American people, his oath of office did not say "I swear to protect America from terror!" His job is to uphold the Constitution! Stop walking all over it and placing blame on Democrats where it does not belong. This country is about freedom and I've never seen so many American citizens happy that it was being taken away.
-- Scott Decker

This is a very interesting article about the perverse notion of "enemy" that the Democrats appear to have. But Mr. Begala may, in fact, be right about Fox News. It may pose more of a threat to the left than any other item or event in the list of "real" issues in Mr. Lord's article.

Begala is wrong. He thinks (or asserts, perhaps disingenuously), that Fox "bullies" his side. Of course a Fox show (a la O'Reilly) may contain a forceful exposition of the conservative point of view. What makes Begala and the Democrats loathe Fox is not that it lets conservatives express themselves, it's that it puts conservatives and liberals TOGETHER on and lets them argue. The typical Fox show is like that, isn't it?

In contrast, the ABC/CBS/NBC/PBS news and commentary shows abhor that format. They prefer to let the Walter-figure or Katie-figure drone on, maybe tossing a deferential series of softball questions to some guest. They break once in a while for a laxative ad. Next, the John Williams theme music and the closing graphics. No muss, no fuss, no arguments. They don't want any, especially ones where logic is allowed.

Well, Fox is different. When Fox televises arguments in its shows, usually (in my opinion, at least) the more informed, logical, fair-minded, and persuasive person prevails in the mind of the viewer. More often than not, it's the conservative. And the liberals can't stand it. It is a double-whammy: They look bad; the conservatives look good. To them, Fox shows represent very high stakes-low yield games that ought to avoid.

It does not surprise me that Mr. Begala wants to characterize such argumentation as "bullying"; it distracts from the fact that liberals' arguments are so often specious or ill-informed.
-- Francis X. Dillon

Mr. Jeffrey Lord captures several truths about what seems to be a deliberate policy of weakness in today's Democrats Identify the Enemy. Mr. Lord recounts that American Democrats (in the person of the obnoxious Paul Begala in this instance) have decided that the way back to power is to get tough with Fox News instead of grappling with the more dangerous Muslim fascists around the globe. Mr. Lord presents an impressive list of recent issues upon which the Republicans have consistently taken the harder line and the Democrats the decidedly softer line. In most of these cases, history has proven the harder line to be the correct approach. Yet the Democrats persist to this day in voicing no support for any form of hard line. Why?

We witnessed a significant change in American politics in the late 1960s when confrontation and dissension (as opposed to dissent) replaced compromise and consensus in Washington and elsewhere. Because that "strategy" resulted in what were then perceived as major opposition victories, to wit toppling the Nixon White House and prematurely ending the Viet Nam War, Democrats and the mainstream media came to believe that a confrontational soft line reflected the national spirit and clings to that
belief to this day. Thereafter, no TRUE Democrat could agree with any Republican about any important matter, particularly the use of force. Stir in the feminist movement, minority rights, political correctness, affirmative action, gay rights and cultural diversity and the Democratic party of today was formed. They are so painted into this chaotic
ideological corner that, even when they privately agree that the United States MUST assert itself, lasting support for harder line initiatives such as the Mr. Bush's Iraq War is impossible. Ask Joe Lieberman.

Democrats so misread the national spirit that they pretend that Fox News rather than slavering Muslim savages are the greater threat. That might have worked in 1968. Americans -- including many Democrats -- know instinctively that George Bush is not the anti-Christ and that the United States is not an abusive imperial power. Right now, it is just unfashionable to say so. Imagine what we could accomplish without the dead weight of the Paul Begalas and the 1960s hanging around our necks.
-- Deane Fish

Mr. Lord's article takes aim on futile Democrat mentality ...the enemy is us, or American network television, or anyone that opposes them. I do wish the equation was that simple to voters. In my heart of heart as the mother of a pilot 'over there' for the third time, I pray each day that those that be for us be more than those that are against us. That may seem like a strange prayer to some but to a mother who has seen what happens when a country abandons its soldiers and leaves them not only locked into failure by rejecting the mission they are fighting for, but vilifies those who return, I shudder. I remember men returning from another war who came home to be called baby killers. For some it meant the rest of their life was spent trying to recover the feeling of basic humanity. For others they persevered onward and upward but still held the echoed words inside forever.

I found myself locked in anger this weekend after hearing the revelations that a member of the GOP could pursue with uncalculated lust and dishonor a teenager who had been given to his care. It doesn't matter one iota to me that Democrats do this with great regularity then talk about it on the Oprah show ... I am concerned that many will go to the polls next month and defeat Republicans and then the next two years we will see impeachment, soldiers vilified even further and left without funds, and most of all that nightmare that our country could fall. I realize there are not many folks who think we could fall as a nation, but I most surely do.

In 1982 my aunt bought a beautiful remote ranch in the mountains of Wyoming. She told us, her nieces and nephews that she was buying the ranch as a refuge for a time when the United States fell. I remember many of my cousins laughing about that but I grew still and pondered her pronouncement. In the last two years all of those who inherited this ranch have remembered those words and we all believe her words might come to pass. For what is happening in this war is many who feel the enemy is ourselves, not those who want to kill us. And if a nation is not unified it will fall.

I pray everyday for my country, its leaders, and my President for God's protection and blessing. I do feel that only those of us whose children are involved are the ones sacrificing and seeing the true picture of what we have to lose. I hope that voters will understand what we have to lose when they vote in November and vote accordingly. May God awaken us before it is too late.
-- Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher
Military mom

America has not really won a war since WWII. America has become to politically correct to go in and get the job done and have less loss of life for American soldiers. Yes at least Bush had the backbone to fight back, unlike Clinton that just called it a law enforcement problem. But he is not really fighting to win and come home.

It is no wonder that the Democrats are wanting to fight Fox, at least they won't get their heads cut off that way.
-- Elaine Kyle

Bill Clinton was bullying Chris Wallace on the Fox Broadcast network. Did anyone notice?

Did anyone notice that the Democrats have been all over Fox News channel since that day -- most of them are Democrats who have very seldom, if ever, been on Fox News channel before that day?

Has anyone noticed that Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and many people working for them bullied the women who mentioned that Bill Clinton may have molested them?

What is a bully anyway?

And what does progressive mean? In Wisconsin, that word is on every Democrat's lips and used by one of the two main papers in Madison. I have emailed all of them and not gotten an answer.
-- N. Larson
Belleville, Wisconsin

Jeffrey Lord is so right in his perspective of the weak democrat party with a small 'd' for diminished (not for "Democratic Party" as some would like you to believe). Where have the leaders of the real Democrat Party disappeared to? When I was a young boy growing up in northern Maine (before Maine became a liberal enclave) in the early 1960s the Democrat Party stood for something -- it stood for working people and for a strong America. Now the democrat party stands for diminished, downsized and defenseless.
-- Patrick R. Spooner, P.E.
Windham, New Hampshire

Mr. Lord missed one thing, The Democrat pathology (very nice BTW) doesn't extend to domestic issues in any context. Oh if it were true on taxes, "Cut 'em and run," the people will take care of the rest.
-- Roger Ross
Tomahawk, Wisconsin

I felt something akin to the glowing pride I feel on the occasion (rare in my area) I hear The Star Spangled Banner properly played.
-- unsigned

It is my hope that Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and all the networks give that crass act, The Blatherskite Brothers, Begala and Carville, all the time they need to hawk their book and spit all over themselves talking and mugging for the camera. If we ever come to a point where saliva tests are given, we won't have to do mouth swabs -- just wipe the camera lens! In Bill Clinton's case, we could just scrape it off Chris Wallace's "smirkily" smiling face.
-- Diane Smith
San Francisco, California

Clinton and his gang go after Fox News for being "bullies." Harry Reid rattles ABC's cage over The Path to 9/11

Exactly how long after a Democratic Party recapture of either (or both) houses next month will blogs be next on their list? About as long as it'd take to get them all sworn in.
-- Jeff Kocur
Milford, Delaware

Great, great article. I hope this melts Begala's over-inflated ego.

Thanks so much,
-- Tom Callahan

BLINDERS ON
Re: David Holman's Murtha and the FBI: The Director's Cut:

Is there NO sewer TAS and Hannity will swim in while doing the dirty work of this administration's perverse quest to eliminate any and all dissenting voices!

How Hannity can rail for days how the Dems probably rigged the timing of the Foley outing, then in the same breath bellow about the 26-year-old non-issue Murtha video clearly demonstrates the no-morals, win at any cost, derelict methods the Regressive Right stoops to embarrass their detractors. Colmes and the rest of America immediately saw the hypocrisy and the lack of ANY explanation as to the video's source. Who could make such demands to the FBI to locate and LEAK the video? Had it been obtained via the Freedom of Info Act, the Spectator would have said so, and why after 26 YEARS is ITS release a month away from the general elections?

Maybe Sean should ask Dick Cheney or Karl Rove for an explanation why a 26 year old video showing Murtha NOT taking the money, is an issue in the forthcoming general election? Or maybe Sean could tell us what the value is in airing the video and make comparisons to Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, or Grover Norquist.
-- John Hendricks
Granada Hills, California

WHAT'S TO CELEBRATE?
Re: Peter Hannaford's California: Color It Purple:

Purple is also the color my father's face used to turn when you mentioned the initials F.D.R. in sequence. At the risk of sounding like my old man, something I swore I never would, but increasingly do, the Governator is a bust.

His political resurrection has been at the expense of any hint of what might be considered a conservative thought.

He is pro-abortion, a big spender, a born-again union lover, and really just a liberal democrat who's better than average with his check book. Wow, I wish my old man could see me now.

So what exactly is Peter Hannaford celebrating? The fact that a guy with a small r after his name wins in November? So what. He may throw us a bone about boldly vetoing the "right" of a California resident to marry an Alsatian, but other than that, he's just a butch version of Gray Davis.
-- Robert Brennan

DESERT JUNGLE
Re: William Tucker's Iraq: A Mistake Worth Making:

Thank you, Mr. Tucker, for your thoughtful analysis and insights into this violent culture that we know as radical Islam. This is information that is seldom highlighted or shared in the mainstream media.

Why is it so hard for those on the left side of the political spectrum to comprehend that if there is just one chance in a thousand that a small cabal of Islamic fanatics can get through to us with the destructive power that was presented to us on 9-11 or, God forbid, worse, then every drop of blood and payment of treasure is a price we must pay.

Our leaders must understand the nature of the threat we face and do everything in their power to make this country safe -- not engage in wishful thinking and pretend that if we just make nice with these people, they will leave us alone.
-- J. Brick
Beaver Dam, Arizona

Our biggest mistake in Iraq was reverting to a limited war strategy like those of Korea and Vietnam. The Shia waited very patiently, much more patiently than I would have waited, for Americans to kill the Sunni terrorists who were murdering their people in order to ignite the ethnic violence we witness today. But we chose to appease the Sunni terrorists in hopes of seducing them into political participation. Our defeat in Iraq occurred at the first battle of Fallujah when we caved to Sunni politicians, who led the terrorists, and withdrew our Marines. We should have jailed the Sunni politicians and killed every Sunni male in Fallujah. The Shia carried a huge amount of distrust of the U.S. after the former Bush let Hussein murder them by the hundreds of thousands. But they waited patiently for us to rein in their tormentors after our invasion and we failed them again. Don't blame the Shia for our stupidity.
-- Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
P.S. You might be interested in this editorial from the editor of the prominent Arab daily newspaper, the Middle East. He argues that while the Iraq war has encouraged young men to join the jihad, it’s not the source of terrorism in the world.

The Iraqi insurgency was not a surprise. It was inevitable. Even necessary on some level. Thirty years of horrific oppression by Saddam was not going to be forgotten by the majority of the population. Did William Tucker really expect these people to turn the other cheek? If my family was wiped out I would want payback too. The Shiites are going to grind down the Sunnis so they can never regain power.

Every insurgency campaign is a 15 round fight. There are no knockouts like the '67 war between Israel and the Arabs. The cliche that if we sent in more troops this thing would be over is nonsense. We currently have 150,000 coalition and 225,000 Iraqi forces battling maybe 25,000 insurgents. Another 50,000 would not make a difference now. It certainly would have made no difference two years ago.

Insurgencies are won by grinding it out day after day, sometimes fighting the same battle over the same real estate several times. It means targeted assassinations (Sadr?). It means cutting off areas and cleaning them out and then doing it again. It means cutting deals. It means creating a large network of informants across the country. We are in year three in a five to ten year campaign. That's how long these things take and more American divisions was never going to change that. Considering the low casualties we have suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan we should be more optimistic and more important, patient.

If we are not prepared to make this commitment then we should not only get out of Iraq but Afghanistan and everywhere else and let the rest of the world go to hell.
-- Don Herion

I'm nothing if not persistent, so let me try this again with some parenthetical perspective inspired, coincidentally and with uncanny and remarkable precision, by Mr. Tucker. Hey, it's just a LTE, not Shakespeare.

It occurs to me, Mr. Tucker, that waiting for a gratifying resolution to the war in Iraq is like watching a newly planted lawn grow. You know it's happening, but you can't see it.

This new lawn (Iraq's new government), though, just happens to be centered in a yard of wild grass (the Middle East) immediately surrounded by large areas of weeds (Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc.). So, what of it?

Well, after a couple of weeks (3+ years), your family becomes impatient (that would be many of us, the American people, prodded by the MSM), and begins to wonder if you (the President) made a mistake trying to make a nice lawn on such challenging ground. You realize that maybe you didn't prepare the soil well enough (as in our mistaken romantic notions about the Shi'ia), and that some of the previously established wild grass (the Ba'athists) escaped your selective herbicide (the invasion) and is trying to take back the yard (the 'insurgency') before the new grass can get established. Too, some pesticide resistant insects (Al Qaeda) are gnawing on the tender roots. And, you've noticed the beginnings of an incursion of weeds from an adjacent area (Iran and Syria). Still, you believe that once your grass (democracy) spreads, it will easily dominate the yard.

You'd like to get back to your easy chair, and your usual routine of watching TV, and worrying about something more important, like the NFL, so you review your preparations again and again with your family, to reassure them that you've done everything you were supposed to do (the President's sermons about why we're there). You may even be tempted to go for a short cut solution, like adding more fertilizer (more troops). But, adding more fertilizer isn't always the best solution. Adding too much, could kill the grass (the new government might be perceived as a puppet government and fail), and that would obviously defeat the whole purpose of planting it in the first place. And after all, you don't want your 'best friends' (Europe) across the street (the Pon) to think you're an idiot (oops, too late; but of course they think everyone except themselves are idiots). So, you wait and watch (stay the course).

Your immature young son (the Democrats), however, isn't one for waiting. Ignorant of how to establish a lawn to begin with, he's uncomfortable because the neighborhood association (the UN) thinks grass is inappropriate for the neighborhood anyway, and his friends at school (the American left) are always chiding him about how much better the yard would look if you would abandon your hopes for a lush high maintenance lawn, and preferably, just let it return to wild grass. But, if you must do something, at least go for a less expensive approach, like a low maintenance xeriscape instead. No mowing (no national elections), no fertilizer (no national army), just three indigenous trees (Sunni, Shi'ia, and Kurd) planted in sand and gravel (a Swiss canton system?) blissfully thriving in their own utopian part of the yard sharing the same water source (oil). Hoping to improve family relations, and knowing your son is easily intimidated by neighborhood critics and only seeks approval from his peers, you explain to him that a nice lawn is really the best way to go. It not only improves the appearance of the neighborhood (no more Saddam), but property values increase (it will build an economy for all of Iraq), and maybe other neighbors (Iran, or even Syria) will also plant a new lawn. He is unconvinced, but you persevere in the conviction that even he will eventually have to admit that having a nice green lawn to run around on in bare feet (a more U.S. friendly government), is better than wild grass or even sand and gravel.

Most of us don't sit around watching new grass grow. It's too easy to become discouraged. We take it on faith that, in time, having done our part, we'll be enjoying a nice new beautiful lawn, mowing it on the weekends, and occasionally baiting for fire ants or other pests. And, we only fertilize it once or twice a year because too much will
kill it. Hard work, but we will enjoy our beautiful lawn all the more for the effort. And, hopefully, our neighbors will notice and do likewise.

So it is with Iraq.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

William Tucker mentioned a lot of mistakes in his article on Iraq, but he didn't mention the biggest one -- the refusal to let Israel defend itself against the same terrorists who are busy killing Americans. America wouldn't need a big army in the Middle East if it let Israel fight its battles and fight America's as well, but America simply does not have the nerve or the imagination to let it happen. America will never have enough troops in the Middle East without conscription and a massive armament effort, and that is never going to happen, so I simply can't understand what America is doing keeping Israel on the sidelines the way it does.

I think the Bush administration doesn't have a clue what it is doing in Iraq, it made horrendous miscalculations about the war it was going to fight and now it can neither retreat nor win without making very substantial changes that it has not shown any ability to manage so far. Wars always go wrong and that is why generals like having reserves, but America started the war with nothing in the tank that can be called upon now it is needed. That was really, really stupid and the only way out now is to change course completely and take Israel right off the leash, regardless of world opinion and what the Palestinians, Syrians, Saudis and the rest might say and do. Unless that happens, and I imagine that it won't, America can forget about winning in Iraq, defeating terrorism and stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

THE AMISH MURDERS
Re: Andrew Cline's Nightmare in Utopia:

...One hundred and fifty years ago, this kind of act would have been difficult to pull off in most rural towns and communities. Note I didn't say impossible. Nothing is impossible if a person is determined enough and willing to die trying. The difference between now and then rest on how our culture values itself and those that violate our most basic human beliefs. One hundred and fifty years ago, our culture did not feel sorry for our criminals, particularly violent ones. We did not reward them with their 15 minutes of fame over a 24/7 worldwide news service that not even the Amish can get away from. One hundred and fifty years ago, if such a violator made it into the school and was not shot there, they would be given their day in court and executed for their crimes within the month if not sooner. Most would not make it to the Court house alive for such a crime. Today there is almost no chance such a crime will result in the death penalty. If it did, the process would turn a tragedy into a circus event for at least a decade. Some call what we have today progress. Progress for whom?

One hundred and forty one years after our bloodiest war, the Civil War, we find ourselves in another war where the expressed target of our enemy is unarmed civilians. Five years after this was made crystal clear to us we still run around like nothing has changed and wait to be packed in some "sardine can" and hope we aren't the next group of victims for the nightly news to parade around the world in the interest of ratings. One hundred and fifty years ago most schools had arms and the people there knew how to handle them. Churches too. The odds a nutcase could simply walk up and start shooting children in or around the school grounds were vastly lower than today. Back then we valued ourselves and our children enough to be serious about protecting them from the nutcases that have always existed. Today, we don't value very much that isn't material in nature. Nothing will ever prevent such events entirely but two of the three recent shootings were easily prevented by responsible adults on the scene. Our culture's tendency to celebrate senseless violence and our unwillingness to act in our own behalf has made our society a target rich environment for both nutcases like this and our Religion of Peace friends. We keep getting wake up calls on this and ignoring them....
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

Neither the Amish nor the much more numerous Mennonites "attempt to live a sort of Utopian life." Rather, they are very much with this world but retain a style that matters so much to them because it is meant to reflect humility before their God and in lieu of the pomps of this world. But anyone who has had any contact with either group realizes that none of them see their way of living as Utopian in any way, shape or form. It gives praise to God, but it is also always recognized as hard, and surely not for everyone.

I don't usually feel that anything I read on The American Spectator's website is unnecessary. Andrew Cline's story is. It is also remarkably uninformed. Cline especially should never have used the term "guilt by association" in relation to the concept of something that even the clannish, modest Amish cannot protect themselves from. What the Amish could not really protect themselves from in Nickel Mines, PA was, simply put, evil. In the individual person of Charles Carl Roberts IV. To strain to attempt to draw larger "lessons" from this tragedy is both vastly silly and an embarrassment.
-- Richard Szathmary
Clifton, New Jersey

What is it about the Inheritance Tax (aka "Death") Tax that brings out idiocy in some men's minds?

In paragraph # 11 of his essay on the Amish Schoolhouse Murders he describes the Inheritance Tax as an act of vengeance against the wealthy for the crimes the Rockefeller's committed a century ago?! Now, I submit that this is a bunch of crap. Money obtained from inheritance is a variation of good luck and is much like hitting it big on a lottery ticket or a million dollar payoff on a slot machine. If one is subject to tax, then all are subject to tax! Who cares if taxes were earlier paid on the moneys by the previous owners? The guys that have the money now get their turn to pay. That's not vengeance, it's common sense.

It makes you wonder whether some multi-billionaire (like a Rockefeller) bought his newspaper and now requires him to engage in acts of boot-licking contrition.
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

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