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None Dare Not Call It Treason

The New York Times lives in shame. Also: Ben Stein's Rove Republicanism. More words on Andrew. Plus much else.

6.27.06

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TIMES' TIME HAS COME
Re: Jed Babbin's The New War Profiteers:

YES. The leakers should be charged with treason and thrown under the jail.

I do not understand what is keeping the Attorney General from making this a top priority.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

Mr. Babbin is exactly correct with his assessment regarding what should be done with the NYT and others who reveal classified information.

Anyone who has ever had a security clearance can tell you that even having a clearance equal to the classification of the information in question does NOT get you that information. You have to have the clearance AND the NEED to know. There is no "right" to know classified information.
-- Bill Deady
Manchester, New Hampshire

I'm afraid that Jedbab has let the buck stop one place short of the head of the table by suggesting that action against traitorous leakers, reporters, editors, and publishers "all comes down to Alberto Gonzales."

Despite the media's common bestowal of the title upon the Attorney General, Mr. Gonzales is not in fact the "Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States." Under the Constitution, that title belongs to another man -- the President.

President Bush should direct his Attorney General and his Justice Department to get to work immediately. And he should promptly fire anyone who balks.

As Churchill would have had it, "Action This Day."
-- Doug Welty
Arlington, Virginia

Once again Jed Babbin has said it for all of us, as only he can. Our young patriots die. We lay "so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom." And if things should happen to spiral downward, the New York Times will be the first to say, "Hey, it wasn't my fault."
-- Cara Lyons Lege
Frisco, Texas

One must ask what would happen to an employee of the CIA, the New York Times -- or a congressman, for that matter -- who passed highly-classified secrets directly to Al-Qaeda? I suspect they would end up in a federal super-max prison, down the hall from Zacarias Moussaoui, to await execution or life without parole. And rightly so, for the damage done to our ability to thwart the next 9/11 is obvious. The damage done is exactly the same whether state secrets are handed directly to our enemies or passed to them through the New York Times. That's why we have the "Espionage Act" and the "Disclosure of Classified Information" law (Section 798, Title 18, U.S. Criminal Code). The latter is very explicit that:


has violated the law. The intent to aid Al-Qaeda or to harm the United States is not a prerequisite for indictment. The act of willful disclosure is the trigger.

I'm in agreement with Mr. Babbin that Alberto Gonzales must aggressively pursue the leakers and the publishers, but would go one step further: If Gonzales doesn't act now, the President should fire him and appoint an Attorney General who will.

It's time for zero tolerance. If the traitors in our midst continue to give away state secrets, our enemies will eventually connect the dots. Maybe they already have.
-- GnuCarSmell
Jacksonville, Texas

Here are some dots:

The New York Times is in deep doodoo financially. "Pinch" Sulzberger is taking the Gray Lady for a headlong drive off the proverbial cliff. The New York Times Company's earnings, stock price and debt rating are all headed south.

The Saudis have lots of money. They're swimming in disgustingly, corruptingly insane oodles of the stuff with high crude oil prices gifting the Kingdom a financial windfall of epic proportions.

The Saudis are well-known for their world-wide financing of radical Islamic imams and madrassas for the purpose of promoting Wahhabism, the official Saudi state religion. No secrets here. They just have to have a means of getting all their gigabucks moved around the world and from one financial institution to another.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is the world's official means of getting gigabucks moved around the world and from one financial institution to another.

The United States is scrutinizing transactions handled by SWIFT that appear to be connected to or involving terrorists and terrorist organizations -- who, one may with reasonable assurance say, are on at least some occasions connected with those Saudi sponsored and financed "religious" leaders and schools.

If the American monitoring of SWIFT is an "inconvenience" for the Saudis, they have one of two choices. First, move money around the world not using SWIFT, which seems a non-option considering the current structure of the world's banking systems. Or, get the Americans off their backs. The question being how best to do this.

The New York Times claims its publishing of "classified" information is in the "public interest" despite personal pleas from the President stating that these revelations are not in the public interest. And nobody appears willing to do a damn thing about it.

How many of these dots are connected? Who knows?

Meanwhile, be sure to keep in mind that the Saudis are "our friends" and everything the New York Times publishes is "fit to print."
-- Dennis Sevakis
Bloomfield, Michigan

Perhaps the lack of apparent action by the administration for revealing these programs is a calculation that our country can withstand these blows and revelations far better than the Times or Post can. A war of attrition with the press? Makes no sense to me, I agree with Jed, but there must be some calculation going on somewhere in this administration, right? Well maybe?
-- Roger Ross
Tomahawk, Wisconsin

The reason the Attorney General of the United States doesn't go after the New York Times is that the Bush administration has been revealed to be a totally cowardly, wimpy group. In time of war, it would behoove the U.S. to have leaders in the Andrew Jackson tradition, best summed up by the policy, "Leave me alone, and I'll leave you alone. Mess with me, and I'll kill you, or make you so sorry, you'll wish you were dead!"

Instead, we have a poorly disguised, patrician Yankee, masquerading as a Texas cowboy, for our leader. Give me a break!

Unfortunately, the American people don't get real leaders entering politics these days. President Bush is a product of his gentlemanly patrician culture. I long for someone with the instincts and inclination of Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, or Harry Truman. Making nice with the rest of the world when they hate us or envy us to the point of hatred is a waste of time. We will never be loved, but we can be respected, if we keep our own house in order, i.e., enforce our own laws regarding traitors and fifth columnists.

I totally agree with you that internal media enemies in time of war should be brought before a grand jury, and asked to reveal their sources, or jailed until they rot. Once they reveal their sources, those sources should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Sadly, I suspect I will wait a long time before this administration gets serious about enforcing the laws of the land.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

A slogan that I applied to the Democrats seems very appropriate for the MSM too.

"Keeping the world safe from America for over thirty years."
-- Geoff Bowden
Battle Creek, Michigan

I sent the following letter to Attorney General Gonzales (with copies to the White House and my federal representatives) on Saturday, the day after the Times story ran. I concluded by simply asking if, as seems clear to me, the Times violated anti-espionage statutes, the AG intends to prosecute; and if not, why not?

I would ask a similar question of Spectator readers: If you think the Times has betrayed our national security, then have you written to the appropriate authorities to urge prosecution? If not, why not? There is obviously and certainly nothing wrong with airing outrage in media like the Spectator, but wouldn't the time and effort be better spent directing your views to those who are in a position to do something?

(Letter to Gonzales)
Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

I'm no expert, not even a lawyer, but over the past year, in the face of repeated instances of media outlets publishing classified information and other sensitive material important to waging the war on terror, I have read any number of analyses which in my opinion make a pretty persuasive case that such actions are prosecutable under the Espionage Act and other statutes. I have also read the statutes themselves, at least those sections pertaining to the publication of classified information, state secrets, etc. -- i.e., the publication of which ends up causing serious damage to the security interests of the U.S. -- and I must say that both the language and the intent of the statutes seem quite clear, and that the actions of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post seem quite clearly to qualify as deliberate violations.

So with all due respect, General Gonzales, what are you waiting for?

Did or did not the parties involved knowingly publish information harmful to the national security interests of the United States? Yes or no? If yes, then they must be prosecuted. If not, then you should explain why not.

Thank you.
-- Chuck Vail

Jed Babbin has clearly expressed the outrage that many Americans have towards the treasonous/traitorous acts of the NY Times/LA Times.

Here's some old news. Clinton used the Swift program and the NSA wiretaps. Clinton returned terrorist suspects to their native countries knowing that they would be subject to some unusual interrogations. Where were the leakers then?

There are Clintonistas in the CIA, State Dept, DoD, IRS, KGB, DEA, FBI. etc., and their aim is to embarrass the President of the United States.

What Arlen Specter doesn't seem to understand is that leaking classified secrets is a crime.
-- Fred Edwards

As an always loyal Bush supporter I want the White House to rescind the NY Slimes and Washington Compost White House press credentials and prosecute the hell out of these bastards. Want to energize the Republican base, win seats in the mid-term elections and deal terrorism a "body blow" -- prosecute Pinch, Risen and the rest of the terrorist sympathizers. The time has come to strike at al Qaeda in the U.S. and it starts with the CIA, NY Slimes and Washington Compost.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

PRINCIPLES OR PERSONALITY?
Re: Ben Stein's Why I Am a Republican:

I don't believe in your simplistic, humble, rosy views of the world, especially your airbrushed views of Republicans. To say that Republicans are "the party that does not hate" is utter nonsense. Hate is what motivates Republicans (and all political movements): hatred of Democrats, liberals, poor freeloaders, criminals, and Commies.

To suggest, for example, that perhaps Dick Nixon was not hateful (ever?) is hogwash. He was known to be the epitome of deceit, artifice, and, yes, hate. He hated Communism, remember? That's for starters. To suggest that Republicans who espouse killing to "win the peace" have no hatred motivating them is silly. Revenge (to 9/11, for instance) is always motivated by hatred. That doesn't mean Republicans aren't loving as well. Just don't gloss over the picture. That's denial.

But sure the world could always use more love and understanding (and truth and light!). Republicans are humans, not saints, and no more human than Democrats. And, as you noted, we are all part of this great country. There are morons in both parties, it would appear...
-- John Damion, Republican
Las Vegas, Nevada

After reading this column by Mr. Stein, I felt so sorry for him! He experienced the kindness of a Republican and therefore believes all Republicans are kind and have no hate in their hearts. He believes Republicans are all meek, mild storekeepers who love their world and pinch their pennies. Karl Rove knew exactly how to handle this kind hearted little fellow. He researches everything and everyone thoroughly and Mr. Stein is no exception. Poor Mr. Stein lives in a little world of tunnel vision and seems frightened of the real world.
-- Loretta Riley

I was the editor of a documentary on Karl Rove and I could not agree more with Mr. Stein. If you would be so kind as to forward my thanks to Mr. Stein, and to share this URL with him. I would be very interested in his opinion of the program; which can now be seen online.

The documentary suffered in nuance when it was cut down to sixty minutes, but I am still proud of it. Karl is a political genius in the same way Peter Lynch is genius to investments.

As one of the few (if only) Reagan Republicans at FRONTLINE, I work hard not to let the program fall to the left -- a natural if somewhat ignored tendency of some of the programs.

Thank you for your time, your website is a daily read for me and I am very grateful that it is out there.
-- Steve Audette
Senior Editor, FRONTLINE

My Heavens, this is disappointing. Mr. Stein has written some of the most thought provoking articles I've read in the last several years. This was not worthy. I'm glad Mr. Rove is a Republican. I'm glad he's a good person. But there are modest, hard-working, self-effacing Democrats out there too...I met one once in 1994.

Political parties are formed and maintained for the advancement of IDEAS. The national Republican leadership has cynically betrayed the ideals of those small business owners, entrepreneurs, and self-reliant workers that Mr. Stein nostalgically refers to in his piece. So many opportunities squandered in the last five years. Mr. Stein's economic speeches, quaint intimate dinners with the Rove family, and wistful columns not withstanding, I for one am no longer a Republican because these good people in power behave as if being in power itself were both the means and the end.
-- Tom Bledsoe
Calhoun, Georgia

As a lifelong, straight ticket Republican of modest means and humble origins I am proud to be in a party that values human life and the dignity of life, believes freedom is for everyone including Arabs and Muslims, has the guts to stand up to tyrants, knows it's your money and not the governments, knows America is great and should be the world's only superpower, because it doesn't want to enslave others and is made up of just nice people. I'm proud to be a Republican, the party of "NICE GUYS & GALS."
-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

Although I have disagreement with you on tax policy and perhaps a couple other things here and there I've always liked you.

I am glad to be in the same party you are just as much as I'm glad to be in the same party Karl Rove is.

Take care and keep writing,
-- Mike

That's it? The fact that Karl Rove doesn't have horns and a tail?
-- Chuck Vail

REINFORCING BIGOTRY
Re: James G. Poulos's In Defense of Andrew Sullivan -- And Christianists:

First we make up a word "Islamism," to describe a certain type of religious zealotry (couldn't we have called them zealots?). Then we call Islamism's terrorists "Islamists" to distinguish them from other types of terrorists (what was wrong with just calling them Islamic terrorists?). Now Sullivan makes up a new word -- "Christianist" which he has clearly stated is intended to associate what HE thinks to be Christian religious bigotry with Islamic bigotry.

And now you sir, compound these Orwellian turns of phrase by repeating them in your article.

The fact is the term Christianist is an anti-Christian term and is indicative of Andrew Sullivan's own anti-Christian bigotry. It is an anti-Christian term because it attempts to make a moral equivalence between Islamic terrorists (so called Islamists) who wish to slaughter or enslave us and the various Christians who are tut-tut ting over homosexual marriage. If the comparison were apt, American Christians would be seeking to have Madonna burnt at the stake and Ron Howard drawn and quartered for producing the Da Vinci Code.

You compound Andrew Sullivan's bigotry by trying to make a "legitimate" use of the term in your article.
-- Paul

Here's another side to the debate over homosexual marriage: Many of us who oppose it do so out of love. We love homosexuals and want the best for them. If homosexuality is immoral, as we believe, we would be evil to tell them their lifestyle is fine, just as it would be evil for a doctor to tell a patient who has clogged arteries that he only has heartburn. But we also love the young men and women whom homosexuals target, for we're convinced that people aren't born homosexual; they're recruited by other homosexuals. We're convinced that the homosexual lifestyle is destructive, and we want to see fewer young people lured into it.

Marriage is society's way of sanctioning sexual relationships. Western society has always held that sex outside of marriage is immoral; within marriage, it's beautiful. Homosexuals know that, which is why they want homosexual marriages legalized. If the state sanctions homosexual marriages, then it's broadcasting to young people that homosexuality is not immoral or destructive; it's good for you, and a relationship every bit as desirable as marriage between a man and a woman. We love young people too much to lie to them.
-- Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

I propose that one does not have to be Christian to object to gay marriage or abortion. Indeed, while I do not believe in God myself, I find many of my moral values reflected in the Bible. There are a number or aspects of Christian dogma that I disagree with, but I think -- as an obvious example -- that murder is fundamentally wrong, and, moreover, that life and liberty should be protected by the governments that we create. In fact, any other functions of government (e.g.: building bridges and roads; coordinating aid in time of disaster; protecting and adjudicating property rights) are trivial in comparison. So the protection of the right to life by democratically elected governments happens to correspond with a Christian tenet. Should we abandon it?

I constantly read columns on these issues, and the writers invariably frame the discussion with Christianity (Christianism, in this case,) whether they are from the political left or right. Why must I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins in order to object to the snuffing out a human life in the act of abortion? Why must I attend church to feel that institutionalizing gay marriage makes my marriage less meaningful? These are not religious objections, they are moral.

I do not hate gays. I do not begrudge them their loving relationships. I fully respect their desires, and value them as people. I am not interested in a rhetorical argument about marriage. If gay couples would like to talk about policies that allow for easier transfer of estates between them or access to loved ones in hospitals, or whatever, I'm open to the discussion. Marriage, however, is an institution that creates an ethical and legal framework around the creation (or even possibility of) a human being. People get married because through their love for each other they may create a person. Though marriages are frequently less than ideal, this act of creation is impossible in a same-sex relationship, and institutionalizing these relationships is a mockery of marriage. By the way, so does marriage to help someone get a green card.

Abortion is the act of terminating a gestating child. Someone has made the decision that the child should die. I understand that there are times when this simply must be done, for the sake of the mother's health for example. I am certain that the choice to end the life of a gestating human being is extremely painful for almost all people who make it. But society is right to object to abortion. It is not desirable in any case. I don't hate people who make the decision to abort a child. I think what they are doing is usually morally wrong, and I generally agree with policies that discourage it.

If I may return to the subject of murder: I think we can all agree, perish the thought, that there are circumstances where killing one's fellow man is simply the right thing to do. I do not say this lightly. I think that the commandment "Thou shall not kill" is axiomatic. One should always treat others as they themselves would want to be treated. However, faced with an intruder in my home, and feeling myself or my family threatened, I would not hesitate to kill them. Nor should I be obligated to by law or religious belief. The law has recognized my right to defend myself and my loved ones. Homicide, it seems, is also a matter of degree.

So to those on the left and the right: not everyone who is opposed to gay marriage, abortion, gun control, sex education in public schools, welfare, the estate tax, etc., is a religious fanatic. Or even religious. Please, please, please acknowledge the fact that these are discussions of policy, and positions on these issues may be objected to simply because one finds them objectionable, regardless of what Jerry Falwell (or Jerry Springer) thinks.
-- Brad Madix

THE SOCIALIST FACTOR
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Memo to AOL and the Angry Left:

The polls prior to the time Germany invaded Russia were entirely different because the socialist, like the socialist today, supported Russia. Russia had a treaty with Germany. After Russia was invaded by Germany, the socialist supported the eventual war with Germany. Take away 35 percent on the support side for the war, the socialist part, and you have a different result. The left has not in the polls supported any conflict since World War II!
-- Art Hageman

PRAYERS OF THANKS
Re: B. Gantt's letter (under "On Board") in Reader Mail's Adventures With Andrew and R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Lords of Self-Discipline:

B. Gantt said prayers will be said for Mr. Tyrrell, but I think B. Gantt needs to start praying that the terrorists are stopped in Iraq and do not come here with their roadside bombs. America did not start this fight, and Clinton just caved and did nothing. At least we have a President that is not a coward and is trying to protect us. Now if he would just stand up to Fox and close our border things would sure be looking up.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

Re: your screed, probably plucked from MoveOn.org. FDR was most likely elected to his third and fourth terms because we were at war. The "mess in Iraq" has saved the lives of untold thousands of Iraqis since Saddam was deposed. A parallel here: Torture and rape rooms, WMD used against Iraqis and neighboring countries, etc., and the holocaust complete with concentration camps along with the indiscriminant use of V2 rockets in the bombing of London. President Bush was elected twice. Our system of government only requires a single one vote to win. Had Gore and the Florida Supreme Court succeeded, a valid election would have been ILLEGALLY overturned.

As to vendettas, you and those of your ilk who are willing to destroy our country to GET BUSH AT ANY COST are indeed experts on the subject but arguably neither informed nor patriotic. You will also be called to account for your actions and no amount of praying will keep you from your fate. We certainly don't need prayers from the likes of you.

President Bush won the presidency twice despite the dirty tricks you folks tried to pull. We will win the war if given a chance and people like you, the MSM, and MoveOn stop your muckraking (now doesn't that sound better than "throwing feces"?).
-- C.D. Lueders
Melbourne, Florida
P.S. The 72 virgins you expect to receive are a myth.

SAFETY NEST
Re: Christopher Orlet's All Heart:

At least we know now why the Dixie Chicks go skittering off to the UK every time the welcome mat is pulled out from under them here -- in the form of concert ticket sales. If the $$$ were still here, they would
be.

The shallowness of Natalie Maines knows no depth. Her most recent statement, which Fox News chose to run, was (I am paraphrasing) "I don't get this patriotism stuff. I mean, just because it is a nice country - a nice place to live, why do you have to be a patriot?" You don't, Natalie, the country is full of people just along for the free ride. We tolerate them and we ignore you. You have made it clear what you think of your birthplace. It is a prime piece of real estate with excellent plumbing but nothing you'd want to pledge allegiance to.

As long as people like Maines, Alec Baldwin, Streisand, Al Gore, CrazyArianna, Al Franken, her Demo-convention bed-mate, Cindy Sheehan, et al., have the megaphone, their insane mouthings will be heard above others. I wonder, if the airhead Natalie spoke and no one quoted her and no one aired it, would she sigh and just collapse under the weight of her hair extensions?

We have the war in the Middle East, the European "hearts and minds" one, and deadliest by far, the treasonous one right here at home.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco CA

THE SULLIVAN DEBATE SCHOOL
Re: R. Andrew Newman's Kicking the "Christianists":

Andrew Newman does a fine job of taking apart the stupidity that is Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan is for the most part pitiful to watch, his delusional efforts to reconcile the Truth with pure unadulterated evil. But the Scriptures speak of those who will call good evil and evil good. We just have a modern day example.
-- John Jakubczyk

What Mr. Sullivan and continually overlooks and ignores is the fact that he can indeed marry -- to someone of the opposite sex!
-- C.D. Lueders
Melbourne, Florida

Right! OK, Sullivan, you stay gay, but give up "gay-ism," and I'll stay Christian, but give up "Christian-ism." Happy now?

Didn't think so.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

POOR POLICY, ON THE WAY
Re: David Hogberg's Mandate Malpractice:

"This gives citizens more insight into the effectiveness of a policy when deciding whether to adopt that policy nationally."

This works only if the people are then provided with a true measure of the effectiveness of the program. Given the propensity of our media "elite" to favor such government ineptitudes, I suspect we'll hear nothing but praise for the Massachusetts program coupled with anecdotal evidence with no hard facts being disseminated. Don't count on anyone making intelligent, informed decisions.
-- Frank White
Albuquerque, New Mexico

THE SHRINKING MODERATES
Re: Mark Gauvreau Judge's Doubting Coulter -- At First:

I am writing you in response to an article recently published on your site by Mark Judge concerning Ann Coulter's attack on four 9/11 widows and the widows' subsequent use of inappropriate imagery to score political points. As a moderate myself, I find it very disturbing that those on the far left, and those on the far right, fail to recognize the hypocrisy in their own arguments and actions.

Mr. Judge pointed out other persons in their own tragedies such as a man who lost his daughter on the PanAm bombing or Mr. Judge himself losing his father to cancer, as persons who responded appropriately to their loss. What Mr. Judge failed to note is that no family member of the victims of the Lockerbie attack and surely not Mr. Judge himself was ever accused of enjoying the death of their loved one.

I would love to see Mr. Judge respond to accusations that he reveled during his father's suffering, knowing that it was only a matter of weeks before he would get a big fat insurance payment as a result of his father succumbing to the disease. Any person, including Mr. Judge, would have lashed out at the accuser and in doing so, likely would have used "colorful" imagery in order to get sympathy.

Personally, I find nothing wrong with the 9/11 widows' response to Ms. Coulter's accusations. They were unfairly and viciously attacked. Their response was a human, instinctual response -- make people feel more sorry for me by reminding them that I watched my husband burn alive. Look it up in a psychology book.

Ms. Coulter and many of the folks on the far right are guilty of the same tactics. Ms. Coulter makes outrageous statements, viciously attacks her critics, all for a specific intent. To get people to listen to her. No one would listen to a tall, skinny, blonde-haired babe discuss politics unless she made inflammatory comments. Which she does repeatedly.

So you see, Mr./Ms. Editor, you and those like you on the far right, and persons such as Howard Dean and John Kerry on the far left, are all guilty of using personal attacks, slander, absurdity, etc., in order to tout political viewpoints.

Most Americans like myself, who try to listen to all points of view, who make compromises, who use logic to arrive at solutions, we are tired of the divisive tactics that the right and their friends on the left use to build support for their respective parties. Instead of scoring political points for your team, (you know like raising the terror threat level the day after the 2004 Democratic National Convention -- hmm that must have just been a coincidence), we in the center ask that you fight for the American people, and actually do something to help the country you represent instead of helping the party you represent.

Although liberals and conservatives will likely never share the same point of view on political matters, we can rest easy knowing that they do share one common trait -- hypocrisy.
-- Stephen Sboray
Virginia

I found the the commentary by Mark Gauvreau Judge on the 9/11 widows to be as callous and heartless as Ann Coulter's characterizations were.

Politics aside, people deal with grief in different ways. Not often is it seen in a press release, but the feelings and comments of the widows were genuine. Adding political statements to the comments only reinforce the shortcomings that still exist in our entire government structure in dealing with security issues. September 11 may not have been able to be prevented, but a lack of foresight on the previous 20 years allowed it to.

The current administration would like the American public to think that the war on terror has nothing to do with September 11, though they invoke it at every opportunity. It is the excuse they use for every aspect of our foreign policy. It strangles the innovation in this country to deal with the real issues of concern to the American people by dedicating resources to policies that have no chance of changing minds or hearts.

The blame game is over. The need for coherent policies that reflect the will of the American people is just beginning.
-- Greg Furman
Hammond, Indiana

Mark Gauvreau Judge replies:
After my father's death, I did not go on the Today Show and blame John Kerry for it.

EVERYONE'S A POET
Re: Mimi Evans Winship's letter ("Spots, Spots") in Reader Mail's Adventures With Andrew:

Thanks to Mimi Evans Winship for referring me back to R. D. Vraa's "spot on" letter, wherein R. D. claimed to have woven it into our daisy chain of cliches. I go to Santa Barbara for a couple of days and the embers of "spot on" re-ignite! But, confession is good for the soul, R. D.! I believe I said it had spread to Muleshoe, but Mansfield is good. (I'm from Dallas)

Mimi has a way with poetry that I cannot aspire to -- but here goes

We live in an Age of the Instant Cliche
Banality's our milk and honey
But whatever we do, whatever we say
We'd better not try to be funny.

I tried it and look what it got me -- tagged the very tasteful lady -- and worse.

Or

Nuance is in
You need it to win
John Kerry, you know, invented it!

Sledgehammer's out
As is "Big Mo" and clout
It seems Howard Dean only rented it.

The gimmicks they use
Are only a ruse
When the time comes for the big race
The Dem that they choose
Is destined to lose
'Cause you really can't steal first base.

I studied iambic pentameter with the guy who wrote Burma Shave signs. At the time I thought he was Ogden Nash.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

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