Reader Mail

In These Times

The N.Y. Times prosecution complex. Also: Shooting down North Korea. An unfinished Finn. Ethan Allen Dean. Global warmup. Plus more.

7.11.06

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BILL KELLER AND THE LAW
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Meet James Mattoon Keller:

"Bravo!" to Mr. Lord for his article "Meet James Mattoon Keller." It is by far the best on the subject I have yet read.
-- Keith Varni

Nothing wrong with any of Mr. Lord's proposed suspension-of-privileges sanctions against the Times, or against any other media entity which knowingly reveals classified national security information. It seems to me this is the least that should be done, because it's simple common sense not to cooperate with one's avowed enemies in one's (our) own destruction.

But I'd still like to see some prosecutions. I've read several times the relevant sections of the applicable statutes, and it seems unambiguous that the Times violated those laws. So what's the problem? Are laws to be enforced, or not? And if not, why bother keeping them on the books?

And it's no excuse to suggest that the administration has plenty else on its plate right now, not when it has enormous power to get whatever resources it needs to do whatever truly needs to be done -- especially the prosecution of sabotage, betrayal, treason, whatever word legally fits the crime. If the AG needs to hire some more lawyers in order to bring the case(s), fine, do it; what with all the tons of money being spent by Washington on matters infinitely less important, who's going to squawk if pinch-boy gets pinched, if Keller lands in the clink?
-- Chuck Vail

As a big fan of Seven Days in May I was struck by your use of the film to make a very persuasive case about the current state of the James Mattoon Scotts located in MSM newsrooms around the Country.

I have come to view the NY Times and its fellow MSM as seeing themselves as an "Uber Government" above all other organs of elected government; and exempt from any laws of regulations promulgated therefrom.

I really like your idea to press the case forward; to ask the American people in an open debate with whom they wish to entrust political power, the elected members of government, or an unelected and unaccountable elite.

If there is one disappointment I have with President Bush is that he still has a play-nice-in the-sandbox approach, while his enemies play for keeps! This does not mean that he needs to use the Clinton "war-room" attack style, but an aggressive counter attack against his political foes in front of the American people is essential. Not ad hominem -- but a case based on competing ideas and views of America!

The MSM and their cohorts on the left are very adept at deflecting criticism, by throwing out the canard that either their right to free speech or that their patriotism is being challenged. This is just another way of saying that they are to be exempt from any criticism because they are beyond reproach.

Enough! Let's take the case to the American people and let them decide!
-- Brian J. Cain
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Right on! This article should be distributed to Congress and read on the floors of both houses. Bush should be considered a real "weak sister" if he doesn't follow through and demonstrate that the First Amendment has responsibilities as well as rights.
-- Chuck Wood
Sanford, Florida

Great analogy. Great way of making the point.

Also a great film. Did Burt look good in the uniform, or what?
-- Greg Richards

MORTAL MATH
Re: Jed Babbin's Crazy Kim, Cozy Carl, and the Bow Wave:

Mr. Babbin's piece begs the question, "Why should the ground based anti-ABM defense have a greater probability of success than the ship based when it would seem the ship or sub based systems could get closer to the target and possibly intercept earlier in the launch?"

Another question is why aren't we paying more attention to our 30,000 to 40,000 troops on the DMZ? Originally they were deemed to be a "Trip Wire" defense: strike them and the U.S. mounts a full assault against North Korea and/or China. Today, the tepid response of South Korea to the North's provocations and aims along with a growing anti-Americanism among South Koreans suggests the danger of inferior intelligence and suspect support from the South that place our troops in greater danger than before. Add to that the possibility of an attack on the troops without a full U.S. response, perhaps locked by the South, and a redeployment of those troops seems in order. The situation reminds me of the Marines whom were bombed in Lebanon in 1984, surrounded by hostiles. Redeployment now might seem like the wrong signal at the wrong time. Tough toe nails! And it might wake the South Koreans from their dream.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

Thankfully, there is a comedian out in the Heartland who has coined a fast growing phrase "Git 'er Done!"

So with apologies to Dan Whitney, "Larry the Cable Guy," let's start.

North Korea: Lay some Tomahawks on to the launch sites, after putting the 7th Fleet on full alert.

"Git 'er Done!"

Iran: B-1, B-2 and B-52 precision strikes on any and everything of a military value in their country. Remember, they did commit an Act of War on our Country in 1979 with the taking of our Embassy.

Syria: Same deal. They probably have Saddam's WMD's in the Bekka Valley.

"Git 'er Done!"

Drag Bill Keller, his staff and the little AOS Jr. out of the NYT building and tar and feather them.

Same for a majority of Democrat Senators and Congressman.

"Git 'er Done!"

The President and his Attorney General need to start convening grand juries investigating treason by the MSM, embedded bureaucrats, Congressman, Senators and their staffs.

"Git 'er Done!"

I could go on and on and on and on......
-- Jim Woodward
Fruitland, Maryland

WHAT DO YOU KNOW
Re: Joel Miller's Is Europe Finished?:

... about Finland, that is. Obviously enough to make you misunderstand what is possible to misunderstand, no more no less.

Since 1964 I have been sailing around the globe and met many people from six continents. Never have I come across such an arrogant conservative bigot for a hypocrite. I had the preconceived opinion that USA-ans are stupid and arrogant. I had my doubts though but not anymore!

You have proven it to be a fact!
-- Kalevi Nyman
Captain Emeritus

Is Europe finished? Yes. Eurabia will be a reality in a generation or two unless the Europeans wake up and recognize Islam is out to conquer them biologically, culturally and/or militarily if the first two by some miracle fail.

Instead, of importing Muslims to do the work Europeans won't do they should be looking to Mexico and Latin America for workers. Some bright entrepreneur in the U.S. should start a business facilitating the hiring of Mexicans and Latin Americans in Europe. That would kill two birds with one stone -- alleviating the U.S.'s illegal immigration problem and providing Europe with good workers not wanting to murder them and enslave their daughters.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

DEN OF THIEVES
Re: Mark Tooley's Pentecost of Big Government:

I see that the religious left continues apace with their ridiculous yet incessant claims that they are following the dictates of scriptures. And this is not a we-said vs. they-said scenario. There is no scriptural basis for the freedom-suppressing motives behind virtually all of their agenda, to say nothing of their advocacy of abortion and elevating homosexuality to parity with traditional God-sanctioned marriage.

To justify their claims they inevitably put forth the scriptural instructions to perform charity. But, as always, charity is performed with one's own resources, given voluntarily. To perform works with others' resources, taken from them involuntarily, is not charity; it is theft. Don't fall for it, brothers and sisters. And please keep publishing brother Tooley's fine exhortations admonishing us thusly.
-- R. Trotter

Maybe Dean and the left-wing Democrats can adopt the "Oracle of Reason" as their bible, seeing as how they want to reshape "religion" to their way of thinking. Reason: The Only Oracle of Man was a book written by none other than Ethan Allen of Vermont in his own diatribe against Christianity. He, too, was upset over the unreasonableness of the Congregationalists of the time to his own viewpoint of what constituted sin. Seems he wanted to do as he pleased with his life without the bothersome problem of Christian morality. Having been a carpetbagger governor of Vermont, it's surprising that Dean hasn't trotted the General out yet as an example of his current fad. Whatever, from the article, one must ascertain that these kooks are wandering around in the wilderness again looking for their "holy grail" to win the upcoming elections. The problem they are facing is how to teach morality without morals or religion without God. Of course, they dare not say that God to them is the government and morality is whoever has the best argument, most money, and loudest lawyer. P.T. Barnum said that there is a sucker born every minute and two to take him. It'll be interesting to see who falls for this.

BTW, Ethan Allen died from pneumonia caught while riding in a sleigh in a fit of D.T's. His daughter Fanny founded a Catholic religious order and a hospital as a way of atoning for her father's sins. For those natives who may take umbrage at my knocking a local hero, unless you're native American, my folks were here long before yours and quite frankly, I never cared for that Connecticut Yankee , though he did have his good points.
-- Pete Chagnon

IAIN MURRAY REPLIES
Re: Ken Jorgensen's letter (under "Molecular Mayhem") in Reader Mail's Climate in Court and Iain Murray's Taking a Molecule to Court:

It does my heart good to be chided for not being sound enough on global warming. As I have been equated to a holocaust denier by environmentalists for my previous writings on global warming, for daring to suggest that there are genuine scientific problems with the theory, I don't think I can be accused of falling for their hype.

My position on global warming is this: that the satellite temperature records show a modest warming over the last couple of decades, considerably lower than the rise indicated by the surface records or by the computer models; that, all other things being equal, more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will lead to more warming, but that this property decreases in effect the more CO2 is added which means that, again all other things being equal, we can expect no more than about 1 degree C rise from a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere; that we know very little about other climate forcing agents; that all scientists recognize that we know next to nothing about the most important factor in the supposed feedbacks that amplify the effect of CO2, i.e. clouds; and that every climate model shows a linear result, which means that if we accept all their assumptions but input real world data, we can expect no more than 1.7 degrees C warming this century, and this is likely to be the top end of expectations. In other words, I accept that global warming is happening, but that we can't say for sure what is going on and that even if the alarmists are right in their theories by their own lights there is nothing to worry about. I have a paper coming out this week that explains this position in more detail and would be happy to send Mr. Jorgensen a copy if he would like.

Yet I didn't want the piece to be about global warming science, but about the implications of allowing the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide. That's why I was careful to say "connected," which implies, to my mind, a theory, not a proof. I did not say "scientists have shown that…", merely that they have made a connection. I suspect that the Court will decline to rule on the state of the science, given the many ambiguities involved (it would be a double disaster if they did).

I hope this reassures Mr. Jorgensen of my bona fides in this area.
-- Iain Murray

DIZZYING MATH
Re: Iain Murray's Taking a Molecule to Court:

Apart from global warming, why on Earth would anyone want to regulate CO2? No one complains of the 375-750 parts per-million level found in occupied spaces with good air like the Supreme Court's lofty chambers? But as CEI is wont to remind us, it's the dose that makes the poison, witness the greater than 9-11 death toll when Africa's Lake Nyas burped forth a cloud of the stuff some years ago. But be of good courage- we have only added 100ppm to the atmosphere. So far. That leaves us a factor of 2 short of the onset of any of the following.

  • 1,000-2,000 ppm: complaints of drowsiness and poor air.
  • 2,000-5,000 ppm: headaches, sleepiness, loss of attention, rapid pulse
  • 5,000 ppm: labored breathing, onset of hypoxia,
  • >1 percent = 10,000ppm: prolonged hypoxia resulting in eventual brain damage and coma.
  • >5 percent: Convulsive breathing, rapid loss of consciousness. Atmosphere opaque to heat.
  • 15 percent: Recommended for euthanizing mice by University of California

One wonders what Iain and company were breathing when CEI thought up the "We Call It Life" commercials that have brought such present joy to Al Gore and generations of satirists yet unborn.
-- Russell Seitz

STAND-UP BEN
Re: Ben Stein's How Was Your Weekend?:

God bless you and the support you have for our brave men and women and the United States of America.

You yourself are brave to stand up and state a position that is not popular in most areas of your chosen profession(s). Since you work with or at least have closer, better, more regular contact with the members of the mainstream press than the rest of us, maybe you could ask them for us; why, if you they hate America and each and everything that made this country what it is today, why do you stay instead of moving to a socialist utopia like Cuba, or China, or the economic powerhouse of France?

Let's stop calling them liberals and call them what they really are -- Socialists. Traitors. Benedict Arnold clones.

Although I do not listen to him regularly, Michael Savage has been (at least on his website) screaming bloody murder about the treatment of our Marines at Camp Pendleton for weeks. From everywhere else, including the conservative Bush network of Fox News, the protest has been deafeningly silent.
-- Byron Smith
Meridian, Idaho

THE BATTLE CONTINUES...
Re: Clifton Briner and CDR Doolittle's Letters (under "Established Connection") in Reader Mail's Climate in Court:

I have to say that even though I disagree with well over 50 percent of the opinions expressed in TAS, it seems to be one of the few sites where one can participate in somewhat dignified discussion amongst contributors of divergent views.

Regarding Clifton Briner's comments on the Iraq connection, I would still maintain that the relationship between Osama and Saddam must have been weak, otherwise there would have been major al Qaeda training camps in Iraq -- I don't think there were. Saddam was a paranoid dictator whose goals had little in common with Osama's, and smart dictators don't subsidize those who might overthrow them. I would remind Mr. Briner that the original stated objective of the invasion of Iraq was the capture of suspected WMD, and at the time there wasn't much emphasis on an al Qaeda presence. That appears to have been a last-ditch effort by the Bush Administration to justify the invasion after no WMD were found. As far as my knowledge of terrorist activities is concerned, I am well aware of the first bombing of the World Trade Center. That occurred on my birthday in 1993, and my mother was working in the building at the time.

On the subject of wealth mentioned by Paul Doolittle, I wasn't implying that no one in the Armed Services has a moneyed background. I don't know whether any statistics are available, but I would guess that currently a tiny minority of less than 1 percent has millionaire parents. A case could probably be made that the majority of today's military forces are the victims of class discrimination based on money. Rich people have more options than the rest of us. CDR Doolittle elected to join the USN, but could just as easily have done a number of other things, with his resources. Not having much money, I encouraged my aimless son to join the military when he graduated from high school. That was before events unfolded in Iraq, and I'm glad that he didn't follow through. I think many pre-Afghanistan and pre-Iraq enlistees were in for a very unpleasant surprise when they found out what it entailed. Telling them that they're brave and taking a few of them to see fireworks doesn't solve the problem.

Coincidentally, I grew up in Pelham Manor, N.Y., near Scarsdale. However, my father was a real war hero whom Ben Stein would have been proud of -- who was never a millionaire and committed suicide. I don't belong to any country clubs.
-- Paul Dorell
Highland Park, Illinois

LAY DOWN UNDER
Re: P. Aaron Jones's letter (under "Stole the Gallows Pole") in Reader Mail's Climate in Court:

P. Aaron Jones of Huntington Woods, Michigan would do well to research the life and times of that disgraceful larcenous mastermind, Kenneth Lay. A large financial contributor to George W. Bush throughout his Governorship, and his first term of President, Lay and Bush were close acquaintances. Lay borrowed out his Enron jet to Bush a number of times during the Florida recount, and reached the level of "Pioneer" for fundraisng in 2000. It was also alleged he was short-listed for the Treasury position given to Paul O'Neill, and was a informal Energy advisor to the White House at the time he was bilking the hard-earned of his fellow Texans and Americans. Californians will remember the energy crisis of early 2001, ironically it would be Lay that was almost single-handedly responsible. Kenneth Lay was everything that is evil about selfish people. Ignoring the harm he did to ordinary Americans (and their life savings) is a typical Right-wing way of "forgetting" the facts. Kenneth Lay would have enjoyed jail. But his heart wasn't in it!
-- Nathan Maskiell
Melbourne, Australia

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