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See and Hear No Evil

Sweeping terrorism under the Oriental rug. Also: Migrating toward Mitt. Shopping sprees. Defending Ms. magazine. Plus more.

8.28.06

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WHAT! ME WORRY?!
Re: Philip Klein's No Terrorism To See Here:

"Quite simply, they don't think terrorism is a big deal."

Gee, then they haven't been on an airplane lately, have they? We're now flying the scary skies and it's a jungle up there.
-- Linda Coffman
Author, Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
Augusta, Georgia

Philip Klein and your readers should be paying more attention to people such as Matthew Yglesias and Ronald Bailey. They are right. The entire power of a terrorist act is in the fear that it generates. Terrorists have no standing armies. They can't occupy territory. All they can do is create fear. And this fear is what keeps them in power.

It works well if there are people willing to help them create that fear. The media, for example, helps by broadcasting the acts. And political parties help by spreading that fear. In fact, a symbiotic relationship can exist where the political party can retain it's power be spreading the fear of the terrorists, and the terrorists retain their power in their community by spreading the fear of the political party. It's the perfect relationship and the Republicans and Al Qaeda have it down pat. Each spreads fear of the other and they both stay in power. Is there any wonder Bush hasn't gone after Bin Laden?

Seriously, if terrorist acts were simply treated as criminal acts they would eventually go away. The media over-reaction to the acts, and the Republican over-reaction to the threat simply adds fuel to the fire.
-- Ron Schoenberg
Seattle, Washington

Joseph Heller would admire the logic, there has been no terrorism against the U.S. since 9-11 so therefore all the security measures Bush has taken against terror (interrogation at Gitmo, NSA program, the war in Iraq) are not needed. I think I'm going to sue my doctor for needless infliction of pain and suffering -- the quack gave me a shot against polio when I was young and there hasn't been a case of polio in the U.S. in over 25 years!
-- David Beruh
Hockessin, Delaware

I will make a predication that if America is hit by a terrorist attack before the elections and the Republicans are reelected, the left will say Bush was behind the attack. Gosh that is a no brainer. Another no brainer, let the Dems get in high places and there WILL be another attack. The terrorist would know nothing would be done to them, just like in the
'90s.
-- Elaine Kyle

Mr. Klein's piece hits that proverbial nail on the head...that of the liberals' inability to see the physical threat of the war on terrorism. There has been so much verbiage yelling wolf over the wrong things that the distraction aids the terrorists in their plot to overthrow the United States. And I am not sure that they have not succeeded.

I would say careful to the President that I respect so, that when a country goes to war and the only folks asked to sacrifice are the military and its families, that disunity follows rapidly. Fireside chats of long ago were given to people asked to sacrifice and a cause they knew was life threatening. We have periodic talks but not the kind that sustain collective memory. Folks not sacrificing, need to be reminded daily that we could lose this war.

And that brings me to the Democratic Party...and the prospect of their winning the elections. Nothing, absolutely nothing, scares military families more than the idea of a party who places the end result above the nation good, and who would do anything, even treason, to make sure that they win elections. We know they would sell out the United States, state by state, through appeasement, as long as they were the last to be destroyed by the enemy. No desire to seek the good of all or even the smallest comprehension that, we could lose this war, and then invite further destruction, of person and property, exists in their mind or conscience.

Folks who are disgusted with the Republicans speak on public radio about not voting this election and "showing" the Republican Party something. Please, do you know what that remark means to a mother of a son at war for his 3rd tour? Another young man from our town, on his war home, has already remarked, "It seems we are fighting for a country that doesn't care for freedom, for our sacrifices, for our life blood." What kind of selfish people does it take to not value the privilege of voting. You may be disgusted, but call or write your Representatives, don't punish the military by NOT voting.

This mother is distraught this morning over the course I see our nation taking. If we cannot see the threat, if we have no resolve to win, to support those who sacrifice everything for our freedom, then maybe we will deserve to be conquered and live under sharia. For those who never know what the military or military families sacrifice, observations from their quarters are cheap and worth nothing.

Staying focused and keeping the mind set of continued freedom must need be the resolve of all.
-- Beverly Gunn, rancher, Military Mom
East Texas

When George W. Bush is gone and we no longer have a President dedicated to defending America at all costs then we can experience the "love" Osama bin Laden and company want to share with us right here in the good old USA. My only hope is people like Mathew Yglesias, John Mueller and Ronald Bailey will be the one's experiencing that love.

Gee! Happy days are here again. Let's bring the troops home and quit worrying about that nasty old terrorism. It's just a Republican trick to get votes. Scary Reid knows what's best for America. Hey, how about a tax increase on the middle-class to make things really fun?

From what a lot of conservatives are saying this is what they seem to want too. Bipartisanship is back and polarization is out. I feel safer don't you?

-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

Mr. Klein's insightful article properly expresses the incredulity many of us have as to how almost one half of our fellow citizens (and the world for that matter) can remain stubbornly myopic to the threat of global Islamic fascism. How ironic that the people quoted by Mr. Klein, specifically as to this "overblown threat, perpetrated by Bush," are the very scholars, historians and pundits that should be acutely aware of the historical symmetries and patterns that are eerily being replayed daily in front of our very eyes. By coincidence, the same day Mr. Klein's article appears, the "Drudge Report" quotes Iran's leader, Mr. Ahmadinejad, as saying that he would "sacrifice half of Iran to wipe out Israel." Ah, excuse me Professor Mueller, but does this sound like a threat from an enemy that "scarcely exists"?

Might I suggest some reading for your enlightenment? Try reading Victor Davis Hanson, clearly a man and scholar not fooled by history's cyclical nature. Let me also express my thanks to Mr. Klein for his help in explaining how it is that people manage to stumble over history, time and time again. It's clear to me now how the age old maxim about, "those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it", works. Either history is a sly ol' fox that manages to disguise itself just enough to befuddle liberal pundits, Democrat leaders and scholars, like Professor Mueller, so as to allow for the repeating of grave mistakes, or, it just might be that history is rather clear, but that these same folks are hopelessly and perpetually
clueless.
-- A. DiPentima

Since nobody died the hippycrites don't care about the would-be UK airliner bombings.

Maybe if 3,000 to 5,000 people had died that belly-fire seen after 9/11 would have re-emerged but no one died so no belly-fire is to be found here.

Certainly no refrains of "God Bless America" lilting from the steps of Capitol Hill.

For all the phony rage over the Aug 8, 2001 PDB we actually have a catastrophic plot foiled and they act like -- well -- it never happened.

Of course if the plot had killed thousands they would be screaming that Iraq took the president's eye off of closer threats, they weren't doing enough to monitor the jihadists at home (NYT articles and anti-NSA injunctions notwithstanding) and maybe Bush needs to fire his entire staff mid-war in favor of John Kerry's still secret plan to make it rain puppy dogs and daisies.

When it comes time to hand out blame the hippycrites always seem to conveniently run out of indictments when they finally compelled to get around to the subject of head-sawing bombers. No calls to have the perpetrators and those who support them dragged into the street and hung by their gizzards. No righteous howling that if any nation be found sympathetic to the terrorists' agenda to have that nation dismantled mud brick by mud brick. Instead we have Harry Reid sniveling about the politicization of terror. With all due respect senator (which would be the aggregate sum of zero) you sound like you're paraphrasing a wayward test pilot who's experimental aircraft has flamed out at 15,000 feet and gone into an uncontrollable tailspin, "Project! Project! Project!"

We get plenty of complaints that the terrorists aren't getting enough sleep, the cell is too cold, the bikini-clad interrogator is speaking a little too brusquely (who do I have to bomb to get that kind of action?), water hoses are only for petunias and their Korans aren't being respectfully treated even though they seem to have tragically misinterpreted what we're told is really a religion of peace. What next, taxpayer funded copies of Mien Kampf for neo-Nazis? Wait, forget I ever asked that!

Let's face facts: Hippycrites don't care about the deaths of innocents.

From the iraqbodycount.com to Hezbollah staged dead baby puppet shows to foiled terror plots the hippycrites only want dismembered bodies to lay at the feet of their political enemies (being pacifists they're not allowed to do their own killing) while real killers roam condemnation-free if not outright lauded for defying the dreaded Neocon Zionists.

When I re-enlisted for the infantry I thought it was to play a part, no matter how small, in a greater effort. Now I realize it's safer to confront jihadists than suffer the fools at home.

You civilians have a bigger fight than us grunts ever will. You better "get hot" or we're all doomed.
-- M.S.B.
Florida

Terrorists are preparing to strike America again. I believe they are waiting to see if Democrats regain control of the House and Senate plus waiting until George Bush leaves office. Iran is playing the same game since they are the main country funding terrorism. Many Democrats sympathize and support al Qaeda and Hezbollah plus we have thousands of radical Muslims already in America funding terrorists. Liberal fools might wake up if terrorists hit a major Democrat city like Boston or San Francisco-or New York again, but I doubt it.
-- Howard Lee
Bogalusa, Louisiana

I agree with Philip Klein's analysis of the risks surrounding terrorism. I can only add that when several thousand people slip in their bathtubs, the American economy doesn't slip into recession.
-- Mike Sierra

MITT AND McCAIN
Re: W. James Antle III's Mitt's Evangelical Breakthrough:

Mitt Romney doesn't have the baggage being dragged by both John McCain and Rudi Giuliani.

McCain obviously didn't show up for class when the U.S. Constitution was being presented, either in high school, or at the Naval Academy, or he rebelled at the concept of the Bill of Rights. His sponsorship of McCain-Feingold and defense of it since makes true conservatives sick to their stomach. He has also previously admitted to being for sale, think Keating Five. His stand on illegal immigration is another hurdle he has to overcome.

Giuliani is similarly burdened by a lack of respect for the Bill of Rights, mainly his enthusiastic endorsement of gun control. His marriages, divorces, Big Apple lifestyle, pro-choice pronouncements, et. al., aren't going to endear him to evangelical conservatives.

When contrasted with the two above, Romney becomes a very viable alternative. He just needs to run to the right of some of the stated policies of the Mormon church.

With regard to foreign policy, none of the three really have any experience. McCain has been all over the place, witness his statements about Bush this past week. Rudy was a U.S. Attorney and a Mayor, hardly jobs which require knowledge of foreign policy. Romney only needs to adopt a Jacksonian approach to foreign policy to win points in any debate on this issue.

If Giuliani would get rid of his New York opposition to the Second Amendment, he'd have a much better chance.

McCain doesn't deserve to be known as a Republican. He is a McCain promoter, with the attitude that, if it promotes McCain, it can't be wrong. In my estimation, he already has too much of a track record, and he's getting up there in years, considering what he's been through in his life.

I'm perfectly willing to take a closer look at Romney over the next two years.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

What is Mr. Romney's stance on immigration, border security and amnesty for illegals? The Republicans continue to underestimate the immigration issue's impact on the 2008 election. I predict that it will become a bigger issue than the war in Iraq and that any candidate who does not support a fence on the border with increased border security and tough sanctions against employers will loose the election.

I would also like to pint out that George Bush and company are dead wrong in their belief that 187 damaged the Republican Party in California. What damaged the Republican party in California was the lackadaisical follow-up on 187 and the rulings of the ninth circuit which stymied implementation of 187.

Mark my words, immigration is going to be the hot button issue in the next election and if you doubt my word just watch what is going to happen to John McCain. He may be the front-runner right now, but the wheels are going to come off his political bus in the primaries.
-- Paul Martell

I remember his father trying to explain away the fact that he (the father) was the product of a bigamous marriage. Mormons believe life doesn't begin until the embryo attaches itself to the wall of the womb, hence stem cell research is OK. Pro-lifers hate flip-floppers! If the Democrats finally get smart and run Bayh the Republicans better watch out. He will trounce McCain, Giuliani or Romney. We had Owens until his divorce.
-- Annette Cwik

SHOP CHOPS
Re: Lawrence Henry's Manshop, Womanshop:

Ha, ha. Lawrence Henry has it exactly right. Men know exactly what they want, how much they're willing to spend for it, then go out, find it and buy it.

Would that women shopped the same way. One needs look no further than the difference between men's and women's fashion to see the difference.

After the Renaissance, when men wore makeup, tights and frilly froo-froos around their waists, a group of guys got together and decided they needed to get a grip on this fashion thing. And they invented the suit.

The basic design of the suit has not changed for over two hundred years. Different styles--single breasted, double breasted, two-piece, three-piece, flat front slacks, pleated slacks--come and go in and out of fashion, but the basic design of the suit remains unchanged. All that matters is that it fits.

Women's fashion is all over the map, constantly changing with the weather. And sizes vary from store to store. Even worse, for the price of a tailored man's suit, you can't even buy a woman's blouse.

I suppose it's even worse when shopping for a car.
-- Scott Collier
Edinburg, Texas

I've developed my own theory about the difference in shopping tastes between men and women (Manshop, Womanshop by Lawrence Henry).

For thousands of years, our race were hunter-gatherers. Men were the hunters and women the gatherers, and together they worked to feed themselves and their children. If a man were a bad hunter and took a long time to return to his family, they might not be there when he returned -- eaten by a sabertooth, perhaps, or murdered by an enemy tribe. Conversely, if a woman were a careless gatherer, she might poison her whole family, or not gather enough food to survive lean hunting times.

This is why men are lightning shoppers and can become not only exasperated, but panicked, when shopping takes a long time. This is also why women become unhappy when shopping is a rushed experience, and they are unable to satisfy their gene-deep desire to browse and browse.

So I always remember the sabertooth when I shop with my husband, and we kill our prey and return home quickly. (Last prey: the elusive washing machine.) When I feel the need to browse, I call my sister. Viva la shopping difference!
-- Bonnie Ramthun
Erie, Colorado

I didn't know people in North Andover, Mass. said "dang"! I would be interested to know if it's "dang," as in "rang," as we say it here in the South. I can't wrap my tonsils around a pronunciation of "dang" with the "a" sound of John Kerry or Ted Kennedy saying "yard"!!! Now I'm waiting for "I'll be dad-gum."
-- Claudia Morris
Augusta, Georgia

Very astute observations, Mr. Henry. Shopping indeed proves that men's and women's brains are hard-wired with different circuitry. The woman's inner voice says "I shop, therefore I am." Not quite as spiritual as the masculine response: "I came. I saw. I bought. Look at my cool new [fill in the blank], Dear."

Glad you and the missus reached an accord in your new car search. Happy motoring,
-- GnuCarSmell
Jacksonville, Texas

Here's an addendum to the "woman vs. man shopping." My beloved procrastinates before making a decision. Likely as not however, will return the merchandise several days later! Excuses; light was poor, doesn't fit properly etc. I've seen whole trunk loads of clothes go back to a store.

Still stores love her! She's received a call from one store managers; wanted to be sure she was in town before running a sales on women's clothes!
-- Diogenes

Men are hunters; women are gatherers.
-- John Manguso
San Antonio, Texas

DUI ON ARRIVAL
Re: Eric Peters' Seat Belt Lashes:

I read the above article, and its review in the Washington Times, with great interest. The topic stimulated another, somewhat heretical, thought that has been brewing for some time. I say heretical since I happen to be a retired, rural, surgeon with a long history of interest in and involvement with trauma issues. This would imply also a commitment to prevention, such as reducing drunken driving and the use of seat belts (my habit since '58).

A second area of investigation by Mr. Peters might be the issue of the DUI charge as it now seems to be practiced, with no apparent difference being shown in the rate of "alcohol related" highway traffic deaths. It is the perception of many of my fellow citizens that a large percentage of DUI tickets are generated by observing for technical deficiencies (i.e. tail light lamps burned out) in vehicles leaving bar or restaurant lots resulting in the vehicle being pulled over for a "warning" which is a ruse for sniffing for alcohol, breathalizing, and charging a DUI if the alcohol level is high. The citation has nothing to do with driving characteristics, and a larger and larger number of those who never have created a driving hazard are charged on this basis, some now fearful to consume any alcohol at all when out to supper. There is also a perception that the truly pathologic drivers continue to do so, even after involvement in fatal crashes. I, for one, have often wondered if there is some reward for the law enforcement unit for producing DUI's, as is alluded to in the article. Perhaps the same reward system exists in the DUI arena.

This also revitalizes in my mind a quote from Tocqueville some 170 years ago that I encountered recently. This appeared in his tome Democracy in America. He warned of, "where government covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original mind and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate." And thus "the will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided...'til each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." Perhaps we have arrived.
-- Stuart A. Reynolds
Havre, Montana

POINTING SHAME
Re: Doug Bandow's Liberalism Unbound:

Mr. Bandow does highlight one relevant point. That women who have had abortions and who did not want to have abortions should become politically active. They would be much better advocates for themselves than bossy Mr. Bandow.

The point of Mr. Bandow's diatribe against Ms. Magazine telling women to come out of the closet about having abortions, however, is that they should be ashamed and silent, regretting their decision the rest of their lives and hoping and working for the elimination of all abortions forever.

Does Mr. Bandow help women do that? No. Women might come together on the issue if there weren't so much hellfire and brimstone being tossed by one side on everybody else. Columns like Mr. Bandow emphasize judging the sinners (the mothers, of course, men are never mentioned). He encourages more decades of shame and silence in a country where millions of God-fearing women have abortions every year. They do so even though people right next to them in the pew say it's wrong and priests and ministers say it's wrong as well. Interestingly many of these same leaders don't talk about domestic abuse and violence towards women which is an epidemic everywhere, across every class and race in our country.

Rather than blame the mother, how about following Jesus' example? I heard he hung out with the dregs of society, prostitutes, tax collectors, these days he would even be with women who have had abortions, openly forgiving those willing to ask. Instead of Jesus' forgiveness, though, women anywhere would be scared to speak up for fear that people like Mr. Bandow would stone them, or at least whatever legal form of verbal and emotional abuse that would take in his world.
-- Siobhan Kolar

EVERYTHING'S COOL
Re: Patrick J. Michaels's Sea Change in Global Warming?:

I have some empirical evidence to offer on this subject. The past couple of years, here on Florida's East Coast, we have had numerous upwellings of cool water along the near shore during the summer months. Some of these water temperatures, which are normally in the low '80s, have been as low as 50 degrees at depths of less than 60 feet.

This has contributed to a change in fishing patterns, since many bait fishes which love warm water, typically numerous near shore in the summer months, have remained offshore, changing the feeding patterns of predator fishes.

No one has offered a detailed explanation of why we are having so many, and persistent, upwellings of cold water. I'd love for someone to tell me why.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

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