Reader Mail

The Democrat 55

Rosa DeLauro doesn't want to hear from you. Plus other examples of non-Catholicism. Also: Confederate Republican rule. Paycheck protectors. Comrade Lynn. A new wave of Ben mail. And much else.

3.15.06

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SHEEP FROM GOATS
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Selectively Faithful:

Bravo for Lisa Fabrizio's "Selectively Faithful." Before she entered Congress, Rep. Rosa DeLauro was the executive director of EMILY's List, the PAC whose raison d'etre is to see to the election of pro-abortion women. That, despite her sham document's claim to "...agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life and the undesirability of abortion..."

The term "lying, treacherous *****" comes inexorably to mind.
-- Francis M. Hannon, Jr.
Melrose, Massachusetts

Thanks to Lisa Fabrizio for a great column. This delusional press release would be more aptly named, "Historic Moral Relativism of Catholic Apostates." It is chilling that 33 of these signatories voted for partial-birth abortions in 2003. What Clintonesque chutzpah! Their twisted view of Roman Catholicism is identical to their opinion of the U.S. Constitution -- screw you, we'll interpret it any damn way we please.

Someone please tell battle-axe Rosa DeLauro that Thomas Jefferson used the phrase "wall of separation of church and state" to clarify that the state will not make demands of any church (hint: it concerned the taxing of minority Baptist congregations from her home state). But it certainly looks like these 55 Congressional Democrats are making demands of the Roman Catholic Church through veiled threats (if you want continued tax breaks for hospitals, you'd better allow abortion on-demand) and trampling the Constitution by grossly misinterpreting Thomas Jefferson. These 55 Democrats should read the 1st Amendment. Their special definition of "separation of church and state" does not exist and is only a euphemism for imposing their secular beliefs on Americans. Why should taxpayers fund the secularists' belief in abortion simply because the secularists are a majority today? What about Jefferson's defense of minority religions (which would be today's conservative Jews and Catholics) in his Danbury letter?

I'm still laughing over the Clintonian quote, "We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties." Oh really? Using their same "logic," the imposition of Sharia Law on Americans by a few Islamofascists elected to Congress would be legal. Don't forget Democrats in the judiciary like Stephen Breyer loudly applaud the trendy, intellectual laziness of citing international law (by the way, Sharia law is international law) and belittle original intent of the Constitution.
-- Joe Weldon
Juno Beach, Florida

I always enjoy Ms. Fabrizio's thoughts. She is always provocative and, to me, interesting. She provided a link To Ms. DeLauro's Congressional website. I thought it might be interesting to share the good Congresswoman's thoughts and allow her to be aware of mine.

Unfortunately she has "decided to limit contact by not publishing an email address." I just love a public servant who doesn't want to hear from her employers. Vote this do-nothing out of office, people of Connecticut. She is supposed to work FOR you!
-- Jason Brutus Kane
Miami, Florida

I thought "Selectively Faithful" by Lisa Fabrizio was a great article. I am fed up with the liberal media and the 55 democrats portraying Catholicism as "open to interpretation." Lisa knew the facts and stated them as so and I commend her for that. I wish the bishops had done a little more than that letter though. Democrats are trying to excuse themselves from the major moral issues that are central to our faith. They in no way represent what the Catholic Church stands for and it is laughable how off the mark they really are. Thank you Lisa for telling the truth.
-- Julie Witkowski
Traverse City, Michigan

My compliments for your article. I suggest, however, that you have your sights on the wrong people. Why should you expect "ordinary people," including elected representatives, to refrain from inventing their own flavor of Catholicism, when the clergy not only fails to formally inform them of their non-Catholicism, but the clergy does their own inventing? I will not, however, try to put my two cents in with TAS, because when I did the same a few weeks ago in reply to a related Mark Gauvreau Judge article, my letter was ignored, see below.

Mark Gauvreau Judge writes, "I think we should just declare Weigel's "virtual schism" a genuine schism, and start kicking heretics to the curb." The only problem with that plan is, the kicking cannot start until "we" and "heretics" are clearly defined. And there is the rub.

Would the "heretics" be the pastor of the Catholic Church I attended for many years whose homily, reflecting on the gospel that warned of the Last Judgment, during a time when the Gingrich Revolution was proposing to privatize some functions of the federal government, warned that those who wanted to privatize might find themselves for that reason on the left hand of God?

Or would the "heretics" be the priest who succeeded the above as pastor of the same Catholic Church, whose homily declared that "the Holy Spirit was always referred to in the female gender"?

Or would the "heretics" be the bishop of my diocese who allowed the diocesan newspaper to be used for op-eds that ran the gamut from condemning this nation's desire to forcibly protect itself from those who wish it harm, to federalizing and expanding every form of taxpayer subsidized existence, to the "evils" of Wal-Mart?

Or would the "heretics" be a regular visiting priest at the Catholic Church I used to attend that declared some dozen recent figures of the political left to be latter day John the Baptists? And the pastor of the same church who refused to even acknowledge an objection to such a declaration?

Or would the "heretics" be the Catholic clergy, from priest to monsignor to bishop to cardinal, who cannot bring it upon themselves to look a "pro-choice" person, private or public, in the eye and tell them that they can call themselves whatever they want, but they are not Catholics, period?

Of course, all of the above is anecdotal, and thus hardly scientific or conclusive. But spend the effort if you like digging up the hugely detailed obituary that no less than the New York Times published upon the death of John Cardinal O'Connor. Read how at conferences of Catholic bishops, one after another, O'Connor was the only vote against one resolution after another which coincidentally were consistent with the policy plank of one major political party? O'Connor consistently found himself all alone. That was not anecdotal. That was strikingly conclusive.

So tell me, Mark, who are "we," and who are the "heretics?"
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

As far as I am concerned, politicians are below the MSM as far as truth telling goes. If we don't get this country back to our religious roots we are doomed.
-- Elaine Kyle

LEFTY RACE FANTASIES
Re: Shawn Macomber's Alternate Realities:

When my family and the majority of Southerners opted for secession it was to get away from the Yankees, not dominate them. We no longer wanted to be a part of nation that included them. Had it not been for their desire to force us to stay in the Union we would have gone our own way peacefully. After independence and before the dawn of the 20th century with the help and encouragement of Great Britain slavery would have ended (see Brazil's emancipation history). Who knows, in a South not scarred and embittered by a destructive war, race relations may have been amicable and harmonious -- sadly just another "what if?"

It is obvious Kevin Wilmott, of the faux documentary Confederate States of America, is not only a historical illiterate, but a cultural snob and moron. He projects onto Southerners and conservatives the intolerance, racism and hate that permeates the politically correct left. It was Louisiana and later the Confederacy that used the abundant talents of Judah P. Benjamin (a Jew) as a Senator and cabinet member not New York or Massachusetts. Had the Confederacy won its independence one could even see the potential for a Judah P. Benjamin presidency. Imagine the first Jewish president in North America would have been in a 19th century Confederacy.

It was Franklin D. Roosevelt, a New Yorker, who turned away shiploads of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. It was the same Roosevelt and his administration that refused to bomb the Nazi death camps where six millions Jews were slaughtered. And it was FDR who formally recognized the brutal Soviet Union and affectionately called its mass murdering anti-Semite leader "Uncle Joe."

During the Cold War it was Bible thumping Rednecks of the South who were stalwart pillars in America's war against the evils of Marxist-Leninism (an ideology that has murdered more innocent humans than any in the world's history). It is Southerners, in disproportionately high percentages, who man the front ranks in the war against Islamofascism while Wilmott and his kind do all they can to stab them in the back and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Kevin Wilmott's faux documentary is more a reflection of his twisted and hate filled ideology than it is about the Confederacy or conservatism. You know if the blue state liberals and their adherents in the red states wanted to secede I believe there would be a lot of folks saying to the "lower Canadians" and terrorist sympathizers, "Adios and y'all don't come back now -- you hear."

God bless America! God bless the South!

Please note: I used the Georgia font and dark gray to write this e-mail.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

As a white person I am incensed! I suggest we immediately promote the self-decorated John Forbes Kerry-Heinz from insignificant Senator to General and send him off to make war on England and France whose intervention caused this whole mess. I just wish the Europeans would let us fight our own civil wars!
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Wellington, Florida

As to Mr. Macomber's article on Mr. Wilmott's fantasy movie, it appears both Messrs. Michael Moore and Oliver Stone have legal grounds to sue Mr. Wilmott for theft of "artistic" expressionism.
-- A. DiPentima

It seems to me the welfare state is the slave owner of today. Just look at the welfare state (Louisiana) where poor people are fed, clothed, health care given except they are not expected to work. Where the people expect the state to take care of them and protect them from floods, etc. Welfare keeps people under the thumb of those who LOVE to give welfare for votes. To get something without having to work for it, leaves you without self esteem.
-- Elaine Kyle

SENATORIAL HOOKEY
Re: David Hogberg's Blank Checks:

When you consider that most of those in Congress who create the most problems with the budget are, by ordinary American standards, quite wealthy, any proposal to cut their salaries on non-performance of their job is ludicrous, and certain to be ignored.

The only way to ever solve the problems of the Imperial Congress is to pass three constitutional amendments:

a. Term-limit all members of Congress;

b. Require that every budget be balanced; and

c. Give the President line-item veto powers.

Finally, a most draconian fourth amendment should be considered:

d. In any year, the federal budget cannot grow at a rate greater than the economy.

There are states where one or more of the above proposed amendments are the law, and none of them has collapsed into chaos, or gone bankrupt.

Sadly, none of these things will ever happen, because in order to amend the Constitution, it requires a bill to pass both halves of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each.

No modern politician would ever touch the above four proposed amendments with a ten-foot pole, because it would mean the end of the political class at the national level. One might as well go out and look for an honest job. . . .

The founders of this country did not foresee the government of this country being dominated by career politicians. Sadly, what we have today is the result of that failure. But then, they were men of honor and character.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

Paychecks should also be docked for every day the member is not in chamber doing the job they were hired to do. So when they decide to run for an office and have to be off campaigning all over the country, they need to pay for it with their paycheck being docked. Why should taxpayers pay them for NOT doing their jobs.
-- Elaine Kyle

OLIGARCHY, ONE STEP AT A TIME
Re: Quin Hillyer's Judges Judging Judges, Quite Judiciously:

As to "Judging Judges," Mr. Hillyer cites the axiom by Judge Cardozo, i.e. "the tendency of a principle to expand itself to the limits of its logic," suffice to say, this was the clarion warning against the liberal tactic we have come to abhor, incrementalism.
-- A. DiPentima

Nice (important) piece on the judges, Quin. I know Diane and we miss her on the Wisconsin Supreme Court (she was the balance). Do you think she is too young? In Wisconsin we know how qualified she is but I didn't think she was on the national radar. Edith, too old? Take care!
-- Bruce Mueller

FEINGOLD'S AID
Re: The Prowler's Censorious Democrats:

Well, well, do tell, who finally starched Frist's shorts? Give that Feingold a cigar. Certainly got Frist hot and bothered. Strange bedfellows.
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

BUSH OR CLINTON?
Re: Bruce Bartlett's letter ("Mis-Kerryed") in Reader Mail's Signing On and Al Schilleci's letter (under "Imposterosities") in Reader Mail's In Recovery and W. James Antle III's Bartlett's Protestations:

I have to agree with you on a lot of your points concerning Bush. I am a Reagan Republican and I supported both Bushes (though holding my nose while doing so) only because the alternative was unthinkable to me. I never voted for Clinton nor could I even fathom doing so. Clinton held the line because a Republican-controlled Congress kept him to it. If Clinton had his way, he would have increased spending, taxes, and government programs beyond what Bush has done. Clinton gutted the military and in spite of it, the military survived because it adapted, but at a cost. Now back to G.W. This President reminds me of a Democrat we had in office once. This person had a program called "Guns and Butter." While fighting a war in Vietnam, he increased social programs (War on Poverty) in much the same way Bush has done. The major difference being no draft and tax cuts between the two (Johnson raised taxes). Yes, you are pretty much on the money but the only difference between Bush and Clinton (other than morals, defense spending) was a Congress which held the line.
-- Pete Chagnon

Does Bruce Bartlett keep a straight face when he says that the economics of the Clinton administration was superior to today? Remarkable! Just what Clinton policies led to a better economy? Perhaps it was the Y2K hoax!!

The truth is, is that Clinton is the Forrest Gump of presidents. He was at the right place at the right time. He inherited a good economy from Reagan/Bush (the Bush recession was over by the fall of '92). Clinton then did his best to destroy the economy with tax increases, but the 94 Republican Congress overruled him. To get reelected in '96, he took Dick Morris's astute advice and signed welfare reform (a Republican idea) after he twice vetoed it. The last two years of the Clinton years, the country was misled by Billy Daley and the Commerce Department, which was putting out phony corporate earnings.

You might say that Clinton rode in on a lie (the worst economy in 50 years) and he rode out on a lie (it's a new economy, buy and hold!).
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

Bruce Bartlett's rant against Bush might be better aimed at the once-called Gingrich Congress. Bush never sold himself as a Reagan Republican (unfortunately). If Bush is guilty of anything it was trying to deliver the agenda he campaigned on -- much of which I disagreed with -- more federal involvement in education, prescription drug benefit, no action on illegal immigration, etc.

Bush is a lame duck now and it would be wiser to direct our anger at a Republican Congress that lacked a backbone to defeat some of Bush's well-intentioned but very misguided policies. But apparently that won't happen until Madame President Hillary Clinton is sworn into office in '08. By then it might be too late.
-- Don Herion
Valley Village, California

DIFFERENT FORUM, SAME WORLD ORDER
Re: James G. Poulos's The Exhaustion of the International Order:

Mr. Poulos missed the point with his article. He wants to establish "new institutions that reflect the desires of the world's representative democracies." The world's representative democracies, with a handful of exceptions, already express their desires all too clearly, for a long, long period of time -- they don't like the U.S., they loathe Israel and they will do anything to avoid confronting Islamic terrorism that threatens both counties -- and them as well, although they are too stupid and gutless to accept that. What do you think the EU has been doing all these years, for God's sake? Don't you read the New York Times! What is the point of having new institutions that will simply repeat the same message. Mr. Poulos simply refuses to accept the ugly reality of the world he lives in.
-- Christopher Holland
Canberra, Australia

BACK FROM THE DARK SIDE
Re: Doug Powers's Peace at Any Cost:

God bless Mr. Powers for having the honesty and courage to admit that his mind experiment went horribly wrong. The zinger about the vegetarian was pretty good too.
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

What crap! Tom Fox was no peace activist. He was an anti-American activist cloaked in the ostensible Christian peace robe. He tried to show those Arabs the "good face" of America. He had no problem campaigning against Israel in general and Jewish settlements in a Jewish homeland in particular, a la Rachel Corrie. That is why the Palestinians were upset by his death.

True peace activists take no sides. They are against all violence. Tom Fox had a problem with the Israeli Fence as it would deny Arabs the chance to do violence to Jews. Tom Fox had no problem with good ol' boy Saddam killing Arab Iraqis, just with George Bush liberating Afghanistan and Iraq from mass murderers.

Bet that at the end he was cryin' and hopin' George Bush would send in the Marines to save his sorry --- in time. Bet he kept asking his captors, "Why me? I hate America and Israel."
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

BARRY LYNN CHRISTIANS
Re: Ivan Osorio's Standing Athwart History...:

I had a great laugh reading Ivan Osorio's piece about the Army of Davids event. Especially his lampooning of that fool, Barry Lynn.

Lynn is the type of fellow who likes to spew forth what he believes is conventional wisdom which is neither. One of my favorites from these types is "Wal-Mart is a monopoly." Oh really?

I usually look these people in the eye and point out for that lie to be true I must be mentally insane since I see competition everywhere. I simply ask since Wal-Mart sells auto parts are all those Napa, O'Reilly, Advanced Auto stores, etc. figments of my imagination?

Super Wal-Marts sell groceries. So I guess my insanity confuses my brain and makes be believe I really see all those Kroger, Publix, Food Lion, and Bi-Lo grocery stores. And of course my delusions continue as I drive by Target, and K-Mart and JC Penney and Sears and Kohl's and Lowe's and Home Depot...all stores I seem to believe sell things Wal-Mart sells.

Better hurry up and fit me with a straight jacket and put me in a padded room before Wal-Mart grabs the healthcare market and puts all those hospitals out of business.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

Ivan Osorio's column -- bully for him.

You know, I really thought Marxist dialectic had been consigned to the "dustbin of history," but apparently not. Barry Lynn seems to be a modern-day Marxist, an apologist for central planning. How quaint! In warning about the dangers of "mega-corporations" such as Wal-Mart, Mr. Lynn is fairly wallowing in blissful ignorance. Has he forgotten that Wal-Mart began life only in the 1970s, and as a one-store chain? Has he looked at the recent condition of Sears, the world's largest retailer for most of the 20th century? I'm sure there are many other examples.

Mr. Osorio's point is well taken. Sometimes changes come so fast that certain individuals with a fondness for dustbins can't see them at all.
-- Randolph R. Resor

NEW BEST OF BEN
Re: Ben Stein's Missed Tributes:

Kudos to Mr. Stein for his "Missed Tributes." He demonstrates a wonderful form of courage.
-- unsigned

Thanks to Ben Stein for his stirring salute to our fighting men -- the best Americans. Hollywood may not appreciate that one of their own is a true intellectual and polymath, but millions of us in the real world cherish this guy.

It should surprise no one that our soldiers did not rate an honorable mention on Oscar night. That would have run counter to Hollywood's political dogma, which may reduced to the powerful, yet nuanced tenet: "America Bad. (Others Maybe Bad Too, But America's Fault)."

Like Ben, I would challenge Hollywood to show real bravery -- not the make-believe kind. Let's see a film that offends and enrages Hollywood, and makes pariahs out of the film's director and cast. Let's see if a producer steps forward to make an epic film, for example, showing how the policies of Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung left ten million or so corpses for each of Joe McCarthy's harassment "victims" -- victims who, incidentally, supported the Marxist policies that made all those corpses possible. Now, that would be brave. That movie might even attract an audience.
-- GnuCarSmell
Jacksonville, Texas

Ben Stein's commentary was a breath of fresh air. I cannot tell you how many times I feel like I am on a different planet because I don't worship at the celebrity altar. I would think it comical that so many Americans can't get enough of anything celebrity, except that now that they are feeling "brave" it may have serious public policy consequences. The fact that the Drudge Report would list one of its threads "Streisand urges caution on Iran" has to be one of the most comical and scary things I have ever seen. I didn't know she was a foreign policy expert. Let's take the reverse and see if this sounds equally ridiculous, "Scowcroft found dialogue in Crash simplistic." Yes, indeed. They should stick to playing pretend.
-- unsigned

Please lay off Hollywood...Where else can we find Barbarella-style airheads to dictate foreign policy? Or ham actors to bravely attack a Senator who's been dead for 50 years? What did you expect to see? Truman Capote on patrol in Fallujah? Or J-Lo working two jobs to raise three kids while her husband is risking his life in Baghdad?

Hollywood is part of the mainstream media, and the MSM is part of the Democrat Party, and the Dems are part of the global leftist revolution. Like Jon Stewart said: "The Oscars is really the one night of the year when you can see all your favorite stars without having to donate any money to the Democratic Party. And it's exciting for the stars as well because it's the first time many of you have ever voted for a winner."

We need Hollywood!
-- C. Baker

Everything Ben says below is true...except perhaps the part about the oil companies doing their best to provide fuel in a hostile environment -- we should have gotten off the oil standard years ago. But that's not the purpose of this response.

What was said about Hollywood is certainly true...however perhaps the most disturbing attribute in Hollywood is, despite their liberal babbling, is that the anti-Semitism is so rampant, it even affects the large number of Jews in the industry.

Anyone with an IQ over 15 understands that a true ally in the bag is worth more than a pile of fair-weather and two-faced "friends." Out "friends" in the Arab world, vicious anti-Semites all, pretend to be our "allies" while talking about Muslim destruction of Jews in the Middle East.

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that has both Jews and Arabs as members of its cabinet.

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that allows freedom of religion.

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country whose very existence is threatened daily by her neighbors.

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country who offers benefits to its poor, regardless of faith or national origin.

Some facts about Israel's neighbors:

Islam has access to all its holy sites, regardless of which country they are located in (including Israel proper).

Muslims pray toward Mecca, not Jerusalem. Jerusalem, mentioned hundreds of times in Jewish scripture, is barely mentioned in the Koran.

Jews are denied access to any holy sites in Palestinian-controlled areas, and they visit Israeli-controlled sites at the risk of their lives.

The United States would be smart to STOP DEALING WITH TERRORIST NATIONS, whether they have oil or not. Our appetite for oil has caused countless deaths and heartache for our citizens, just so they can drive Tahoes and Infinitis.

Let them keep their steenkin' oil.
-- unsigned

Your "Missed Tributes" piece is more worthy than an "Oscar."
-- unsigned

I am the mother of a veteran. My son, Jesse Diehl, spent a year in Iraq. He ate, wore and slept in dirt for a long time. He jumped into Iraq the night of the 23rd and was terrified of what could be on the ground in the dark. He was nineteen years old. At daybreak he and his buddies were joined by the Kurds, who were cutting up Iraqis with chain saws and putting them in Hefty Bags. He said the stench, heat and flies were not exactly fun. Those were his words. No drama. No whining. He's been shot at, blown up... No drama. No whining.

Mr. Stein, Hollywood is becoming sicker and more insidious. And I want to thank you for what you said about the Oscars. You said it for Moms like me. My precious son is home now. He's safe. When he came back to us, he just wanted to picked up at the airport quietly -- family only -- NO limousine -- NO welcome home party. He just wanted to be quiet. And I know this will mean something to you. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph bless you -- my dear Mr. Stein.
-- Rebecca Diehl

Great article! Hollywood is an extremely poor example of what made America great. Hopefully this country will overcome its fascination with meaningless fools and give praise to those you risk and give their lives so that we may enjoy our freedoms. Keep up the great work!
-- unsigned

I was privileged to read your article ... and I say a hearty "amen" to your words of clarity and outrage about the state of affairs in Hollywood.

Thank you for speaking for the troops, their loved ones, and for all of us here in this great nation who still do appreciate the awesome greatness of our courageous protectors in uniform be they police officers, firefighters, or members of our military.
-- Roger A. Bowler
Seattle, Washington

I wish they could publish this so realistic article in every newspaper across the country! Brilliant!
-- unsigned

HOLLYWOOD SCREENING
Re: Susan's letter (under "Exercising Command") in Reader Mail's Signing On:

Let me just say to back up "Susan" who wrote that she pays attention to who stars in, wrote and directed films before she decides to see them. I do the very same thing. With ticket prices being what they are and the fact that now movies seem to be another tool of the left to mass market their worldview to millions of the unthinking citizens across the land I am not going to contribute one red cent to help them with their agenda. The only actor I have a real problem with is Tom Hanks because he's a decent man who at least seems to know how to keep his mouth shut. I won't go on a great hunt to discern a Hollywood-type's political bent, but once they insult me because of my views and faith, they go on the boycott list. I'm sure I'm not alone.
-- Claudia Morris
Augusta, Georgia

WHAT DPW CONCERNS?
Re: Pete Chagnon's letter (under "Coming Around on Dubai") in Reader Mail's Signing On:

I would take Pete Chagon's statement, "Let's get a few things straight. Those of us against the Dubai deal are not a bunch of third graders nor are we protectionists. We had justifiable concerns about putting any aspect of our ports under a country, ally or not, whose main religion is one of Islam."

If Mr. Chagnon and his fellows demonstrated just the least indication they had any idea precisely what a company like P&O or Dubai Ports World actually does, how security at ports is actually affected, or how the CFIUS review process actually works. For all the bluster, I have yet to see anyone opposed to the DPW transaction who can elucidate just what these "justifiable concerns" might be. Apparently, adherence to Islam is for him a disqualifying criterion. If it is, would he be willing to apply it to American citizens of that religious persuasion? For why would we draw the line at countries whose "main religion" is one of Islam? After all, most of the terrorists involved in the London tube and bus bombings were British subjects, many of them native-born Britons. Last I looked, P&O was a British company. Could not P&O have on its payroll British subjects who are Muslims? Does this make them suspect, too? Were I a jihadist, I would find it much easier to infiltrate an American port carrying a British passport or an American social security card than a visa from the United Arab Emirates (or any other Middle Eastern country).

So rather than straining at gnats, perhaps Mr. Chagnon would be better advised to try to focus on the critical issue of winning the war against jihadist Islamism. In a war of this sort, victory cannot be achieved unless one finds a way of binding countries in the region closer to us, and then of transforming them into the type of societies which reject rather than embrace the jihadis. As Arab countries go, the UAE is about as close to the angels as one can get: not only have they provided critical intelligence and logistic support to the war effort (at great risk to themselves), but they have also enacted sweeping banking and security reforms that have made the UAE a place that terrorists avoid. Participating in the Port Security Initiative, Dubai as one of the major entrepots of the world, already participates in our port security efforts by pre-screening containers and cargo at the port of embarkation, and allowing the inspection of cargos and manifests by U.S. customs officials at their end of the supply line. That's something substantive, whereas concerns that nominal ownership of a terminal management company are purely chimerical.
-- Stuart Koehl
Falls Church, Virginia

BIBLICAL PAYBACK
Re: Thom Bateman's letter (under "No Peace Through Surrender") in Reader Mail's Signing On:

Thom, you are correct in your citing Jesus teaching to "turn the other cheek." Absolutely, Jesus did, in Matthew 5:39. However, every scripture must be kept in context: He was telling the Jews of their need not to engage in personal vendettas. The same point is repeated in Romans 12:14-21. Paul said, "Repay no one evil for evil" and "do not avenge yourselves."

Cornelius was the first Gentile follower of Christ (they were not yet called Christians). When he asked what he must do to be saved he was told to "be baptized for remission of his sins." He was never told to relinquish his position as a soldier. God provides governments and leaders, and we are to obey them as long as it does not go against the commands of God.
-- Kevin W.
Morgantown, West Virginia

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS
Re: Ken Shreve's letter (under "Exercising Command") in Reader Mail's Signing On:

Mr. Shreve rightly asks:

"My fellow writers of 'Letters to the Editor' regarding Ben Stein and his (and your) feelings of support for our military in harm's way, I have a question for each of you. When was the last time that you tangibly supported our troops?"

I routinely make it a habit to shake their hand, wish them God speed and thank them for their service whether in my wife's hyper liberal and military hating "church" (more likely especially (!) there!) or on the street. When I see a soldier in uniform having dinner in a restaurant where I am dinning, I routinely pick up the check for their food and drink anonymously. I tell the server that if asked to tell them it's from an old trooper as a sign of respect. I recently paid the check of an Army Ranger who was out with his family just prior to shipping out. I understand my insignificant gesture brightened what was for the soldier and his family a very dark evening.

Not much buts it's something.
-- Craig Sarver
Behind the lines, Seattle, Washington

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