I appreciate TAS printing responses to their articles like that of Mr. Dillman's who was responding to R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s "Woolsey-Eyed Democrats." In just a few short sentences, Mr. Dillman articulated all the intellectual capital in the possession of these leftist wing nuts.
Mr. Dillman, you begin your diatribe with a not-so-subtle accusation that all conservatives stretch the truth, followed quickly by an alliterative claim that the article was "factless fabrication." I guess space did not allow for any proof of these assertions, but hey, why go to all that trouble. I'm sure we all know it is "common knowledge" that TAS would just censor them! Tossing in the names of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld -- now, that was really clever. For the benefit of any lamebrain conservative out there who doesn't get it -- they are the real terrorists. Next, you really get the ball rolling as you execute your coup de grace. You inject profanity into your brilliant commentary to demonstrate your utter loathing of Mr. Tyrrell and his opinions! Oh horrors, can Mr. Tyrrell survive this last great scholarly broadside? And lastly, that slogan "Truth, justice and the American Way" has a familiar ring to it. Hmm... I'll bet you got it from a 1950s Superman rerun! Way to go Bob, I am impressed! At least we know where you go to get your facts. As for your challenge to debate someone, bring it on. With your grasp of the issues, I think we can all spare 30 seconds. In closing I'll use your own words, "Quit printing your crap." Just kidding, Bob. I believe in free speech, even the idiotic kind.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Poor delusional Dillman -- but I guess we need people like ol' Bob to remind us that there's a weird faction out there bordering on terminal goofyness.
That said, I'm with Joan Moriarty's view -- something I've commented on before, the caliber of your letter writer/responders is absolutely incredible; have rarely (never?) seen more consistent offerings with such humor, insight and observations. The columns are fine, but often the letters surpass 'em -- TAS is a great way to start a day with those first cups in the morning.
Appreciate those high standards!
Now, if I may, a quick revisitation of the Volvo topic from several days past? For a while I thought it was mandatory that any and all Volvos (at least those over seven or eight years old) had to have a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker... or it might fall apart, especially up 'round the Socialist Soviet of Seattle.
-- Geoff Brandt
Congratulations on your success! You wrote the above article to demonstrate the complete paucity of intellect and principle among radical Democrats.
As Emeril says "BAM!" Bob Dillman of Flagstaff, Arizona, writes a letter in response with a non-existent ICQM (Intellectual Capacity Quotient Measurement) using foul language, invective and name calling as his thesis. All Conservatives should thank Mr. Dillman for proving that rank-and-file radical Democrats are no more reasoned or capable of critical thought than are their leaders. A true masterstroke, Mr. Tyrrell. Thank you for the demonstration.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
What is it about liberals and their need to use foul, nasty, hate filled language.
They are a people scorned, insecure and full of hate and discontent.
Common sense would tell me that it would not be a good idea to turn a country's government over to a people who may take such rage out on those they don't agree with. (Sounds a little like the Taliban, doesn't it?)
-- Russell Brown
I can well understand why Bob from Flagstaff might feel a bit dyspeptic: by his own admission, he's been eating excrement! Poor lad, he's so out-of-sorts that he issues foolish challenges to his betters (while misspelling their names) -- and even botched his own surname by substituting the adjacent "i" for the "u." One key to the left, Bobby -- a move you should find easy.
-- David Gonzalez
Bob Dillman, in his vulgar angst, proves that Mr. Tyrrell hit a nerve with the truth. Dillman, if that's his name, couldn't win a debate with a turnip. His profanity is just a manifestation of the Copperhead Democrats fear of the truth (like Dracula's fear of the cross).
Republicans did stand by FDR, even when he was spying on Americans and sending them to concentration camps. Why? Because they knew the evils of Nazism, fascism and imperialistic Japan and were determined to destroy them. It was Republican's patriotism that kept them backing a President as power mad as FDR (witnessed by his attempt at court stacking and arrogant disregard for a two term Presidency).
Today's Copperheads have allied themselves with 21st century Nazism. In their twisted reality they hope for America's defeat. The problem with that is their Muslim masters would butcher them and their "yellow" journalists hacks first. (I guess there is a silver lining in every black cloud.)
Bob, it's time for you Copperheads to grow up or emigrate to Syria (your promised land).
-- Michael Tomlinson
Paul Johnson's fine book: Modern Times has a quote that parallels Tyrrell's claim of Cindy Sheehan being the "left's Gandhi."
Obviously, Sheehan has backers who undoubtedly cover her flights, press conferences, meals and now it seems, bail money. One of the many Indian Princes who subsidized Gandhi's ongoing PR efforts proclaimed: "It costs a lot of money to keep Gandhi in poverty."
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
A question for Messer Bob Dillman of Flagstaff, Arizona: Was not YOUR president (read Clinton), impeached for perjury? Just wondering.
-- C.D. Lueders
I just love Mr. Bob Dillman, you can always tell a Democrat because they can not talk without using obscenities. Bless them all they make our job easier.
-- Elaine Kyle
Golly. He's angry. Hope it isn't anything to do with cartoons...
-- Mark Stewart
THE NEW SONG OF ROLAND
Re: Steven Usdin's Zealots Then, Zealots Now:
Mr. Usdin presents an interesting and logical supposition that is totally fallacious. The component missing in the equation are the elephants in the room, religion. Judaism and Islam.
Jews always carry within themselves a genetic messianic marker: a desire to make everything right in the world. Their very religion is messianic. First, better oneself, second, set an example for others to see and follow. Christianity followed in these steps, but employed a Savior as a newer version of a Sin Eater for those unable to fully follow the Biblical commandments. The battle lines were then drawn for dominance on competing messianic visions for the world. Judaism lost. The reasons were simple. Though messianic in outlook Judaism was primarily a tribal affair.
For two thousand years the Christians rampaged against the Jews to prove their vision of a messianic world to be the correct one. But that did not prevent Jews from wanting to be part of and apart from society at large. Despite generations of life in the ghetto marked by discrimination, destruction, poverty and pogrom, the search for acceptance and equality never waned.
Suddenly, ideas for remaking society emerged. Realizing that, as Jews, they would unacceptable, many chose Communism, Socialism, Trade Unionism, Anarchism. Each and every one was offering a messianic message: choose me for a more perfect society! And the Jews flocked to each and everyone of them, hoping for that golden ticket, acceptance. These noted communist spies repudiated that superstitious old time religion for a new one, Communism. As Jews they were powerless in a powerful world, in a new world order they would have a place. The messianic streak flourished again. This time without a messiah.
Islam's messianic view is the furtherance of belief in Allah and Mohammad, not in visions of a more perfect society. Not when the ideal is some 70 heavenly virgins (besides, what happens after they've been deflowered? Do their hymens grow back?). Not when society prides itself on honor killings and illiterate masses, even as they bow and pray five times a day.
Arab society is tribal in nature. So is Jewish society, irrespective of its heavily cosmopolitan veneer. Two Abrahamic peoples in conflict over inheritance. Forward 3500 years and substitute today for Biblical Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Judah and Eliphaz, Jerusalem and Amman, Damascus. Funny how little the names have changed in all this time.
Arabs inhabit a hierarchical feudal society in a modern-day Hellenized world. A people, barely a generation removed from their Bedouin tribal ancestors, whose allegiance is to clan, tribe and religion is not so much the breeding ground for terrorism as it is the spit of a knife in the clash of civilizations. Islamo-fascist terrorism is just the advance scouting party for a people flush with oil money ready to take on a dependent world.
Not for nothing the flag of this religion is the Sword of Islam and not the Crucifix or the Tablets. Everything always comes down to a messianic vision for the world. All this nonsense about lack of opportunity is trash talk. They had less opportunity back in their homeland and didn't blow themselves up.
Now, however, Islam is gathering itself to rampage against both Christian and Jew for the same reason. What the West needs is a Charles Martel or a Roland. Or an American President without multicultural pretensions saying Islam is a peaceful religion. I can't predict how it will end for Christians. I know Islam won't destroy the Jews. Nothing ever has. Nothing ever will. How do I know? The Bible tells me so. And history does, too.
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
I disagree on two points. First, the poverty of the 1930s was in America where capitalism was the way of life. So they were looking for something different. In the Middle East they are living in poverty because of Islam and not because of the West or capitalism. So their gripe should be with Islam, not the West and capitalism.
Second, Communism was just an ideology and the other has a spiritual aspect to it and therefore must harder to stop and control/change. I do not think the West has a clue what they are fighting here. This ideology is much harder to change. And I do not think that democracy is all that is needed. I think it will definitely help. The most import thing is to get the flow of information into those countries.
-- Joseph D'Ambrosia
Now let's find a solution to poverty and apply it to the third world and remove the fuel for these threats to our society.
Not to mention the moral implications!
Cary, North Carolina
Re: Paul Chesser's New Leader -- How About a New Direction?:
I use profanity only in cases of very strong emotion, either negative or, as in this case, positive agreement. My response to Paul Chesser's article that tells what we stupid Republicans have to do to prevent becoming the minority party again is: no ******* ****. The author simply repeats what the Republican Party said that it was going to do in its landslide victory of 1994. I fault the lack of vision, leadership, and true conservatism of President Bush, who has yet to meet a spending bill that he didn't like, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as well as many of the GOP rank and file, including pork barrel politicians like Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Why should we conservatives vote Republican?
-- David Shoup
Mr. Chesser offers a quaint semi-tough re-packaging of basic ideas as to how Republicans can re-establish themselves with all Americans as well as their conservative base. A new Republican House leader is merely window dressing to hide the real problem behind the culture of corruption that both parties suffer from. If Mr. Chesser really wants a new direction that will seriously shake up the status quo, I suggest he start a national dialogue about term limits. As Robert Novak reminds us, it was Newt's "Contract With America" that propelled the Republican Party to majority status. One of the main tenets of the Contract was term limits. It died a quiet death for obvious reasons. Basic Human Nature 101 tells us that money and power increase exponentially as both remain symbiotic to one another. Terms limits, while not a magical panacea, given human creativity, would give those who give big money reason to pause about the value of such largess. Concomitantly, limited exposure to the lure of power that infects Washington, D.C. would reduce the need for the money flow. You only get limited government when the ability to control it is also limited. If the ability to control government is limited, the flow of money is reduced. The tax code is a perfect example of this principle. I'd love to see a national poll on term limits. I suspect given the Abramoff scandal and recent performances by Democrat members of the Senate, that the poll would send shock waves into the heart of D.C.
-- A. DiPentima
CONCEDING POOR GOVERNMENT
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's A Patttern of Blindness:
Mr. Reiland correctly noted that the federal government, and most of the state and local governments for that matter, seem to be totally inept. This couldn't be further from the truth. They are incredibly competent in the one area important to most of their members.
He points out that the State Department seems to have no idea what is happening on the diplomatic front anywhere in the world. He notes that the Federal Emergency Management Agency seems unable to manage a federal emergency. And he notes that the Central Intelligence Agency seems unable to collect and effectively analyze intelligence. That no one bothered to read an intelligence memo from an FBI field agent should not surprise anyone, either. After all, the memo came from Phoenix, for goodness sake. No up and comers out there. That federal, state, and local politicians are engaged in a turf war during a major natural disaster should surprise no one. Such turf wars are the norm in this country.
Finally Mr. Reiland asks if anyone sees a pattern. Of course we do: the governments of this nation have been getting less and less responsive for the last 50 years. The real question should be: Why? The answer is rather simple, actually. Politics. The upper echelons of these agencies are all politicians; not diplomats, crisis managers, intelligence officers or law enforcement officers. They are politicians. And worse, they work for politicians. True service professionals cannot stand politicians, simply because, for the politician, the mission of the agency is secondary to his real priority which is the politics of managing his career. Thus, they are continually blindsided because they are not paying attention to what their agency should be doing, but rather how best to manage their careers.
This is true in the legislative and judicial branches, as well. All government has become politics. Attention to the details of one's job description results in acute frustration for the dedicated government professional. Because of this the best and the brightest leave early, leaving only the politicians and the incompetents and those who have given up operating these agencies. Is it any wonder that nothing gets done, or at the least does not get done well?
But you might as well get used to it, because nothing is going to change anytime soon. Governments have an enormous amount of inertia and they do not change direction very quickly. We can only hope that the rest of us can survive the governments' inertia.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Yeah, I see a pattern of fools. Democrats elect fools like Clinton whose Justice Department and foreign policy caused 9/11 and then blame everyone else after the fact. Democrats elect fools like Blanco and Nagin that run like hell at the first sign of a problem, leave their constituents to fend for themselves and then blame everyone else for their own inaction. Democrats hire fools like Dean to run their party so he can blame everyone else for everything under the sun. All this leads me to the conclusion that democrats are a bunch preschoolers that constantly screw up but never admit to it, that whine and complain that no ones listening to them when all their doing is babbling, and can't stand it when Mommy leaves because "who will take care of me now?"
Cow Creek, Texas
Mr. Reiland's thesis (government is incompetent) is well taken; indeed, sometimes my only consolation watching the missteps and missed opportunities of the Bush administration is to ask myself what it would have been like with Gore or Kerry in charge. Sometimes the only defense I can muster for the failures leading to 9-11 is that the problems were largely a Clinton legacy.
On one point, however, I think he gave Bush a bad rap. I seem to recall that his assertion that no one anticipated the levee failure was in the context that the worst seemed to be over when it happened, i.e. no one anticipated it after the storm had passed. Mr. Bush's behavior prior to and during the storm suggest that levee failure or overtopping was indeed a serious worry, at least at the federal level.
-- Rick Skeean
Can someone explain to me why this [economist]'s drivel is being published in American Spectator? As opposed, say, to MoveOn.Org? We're quoting, as credible authorities, Michael Isikoff and Michael Hirsch of Newsweek? Has either of these two gentlemen, either separately or together, ever published one correct statement about George W. Bush or his administration? Why don't we allow Prof. Reiland's stuff in the future to be published by the DailyKos blog? Thanks
-- Keith Kunzler
I completely agree with you that there is no real excuse for these people to not have seen the outcome of this election going to Hamas. I also am furious at either the complete stupidity or utterly evil wickedness of [those] who orchestrated this "two state solution" (including Bill Clinton, George Bush, Colin Powell and yes, Condi Rice) in that they somehow thought that a "Palestinian State" would be anything other than another terrorist stronghold, another base to attack Israel. As if there weren't enough Muslim Arab theocracies already in the Middle East. Instead of supporting our ally, Israel, a democracy, these fools decided to put their trust in the lying murdering terrorists, thinking they could tame and appease these savage barbarians by giving them some of Israel's territory.
-- Jerry S.
So Condi Rice says she wants to know why Hamas won. She runs a Department that has made concessions to terrorists for years, and is still doing the same. The State Department told Hamas to run in the elections. The State Department told Israel to put up with it. The State Department let Hamas participate in elections despite its awful record, its platform and its refusal to disarm -- all of which is public knowledge. Now that Hamas has won, which was fairly predictable given the well known and long standing Palestinian addiction to terrorism, Condi says nobody saw it coming. The only person who is a bigger clown than Condi Rice is the guy who gave her a job in the first place. Who needs these idiots?
-- Christopher H.
PUBLISH OR PERISH
Re: Jay D. Homnick's A Tale of Two Cartoons:
My compliments for stating what should be quite obvious to any perceptive witness.
-- David Shoup
The Muslim stance is arrogant beyond belief -- and actively dangerous to our own freedoms. Not only do they have no right to portray their Prophet -- no one else does either. And they back up their demand with violence. Imagine, by comparison, the reaction if the Vatican put a bounty on any non-Catholic who questioned Papal supremacy. For that matter Muslims insult Christianity every day by denying the divinity of Christ! What revenge are we entitled to?
Why do we put up with these gigantic temper tantrums? Al Capone said it best: "you get more with a quiet word and a gun than with just a quiet word." Radical Islam has proven that hair-trigger sensibilities go farther when allied with a genuine hair trigger. Since they have now proven they can get the Western "leaders" and "opinion-makers" to truckle to them by waving a gun, what will be their next demand? That all the world keep the Ramadan fast and lock up the women, or else get bombs in their subways?
-- Martin Owens
There is only one (1) thing wrong in Mr. Homnick's article regarding the cartoon(s).
He mentions the word "culture" without the caveat that what in the Islamic world passes for culture, the "civilized world" moved beyond several centuries ago.
"Barbarism" is a word that comes to mind when discussing Islam, and more important, the fundamentalist wing-nuts who seem to be in charge.
So, when do the moderate Moslems, if there are any, stand up and say enough?
I am not holding my breath.
-- Steve Maclachlan
You won't see Muslims running amok in the U.S. because our ancestors knew the deterrent value of a firearm. Hence the Second Amendment.
-- David Govett
Re: Jed Babbin's Getting With the NSA Program:
At the NSA hearings, Senator Kyl said at one point that he had not intended to ask further questions, but had been drawn to do so by what had been said about briefing Congress. What Kyl could have said is that Congress, or some judiciary committee members, could not be trusted, since Senator Leahy had been reprimanded for revealing secrets. Instead, with a sly grin slowly developing over his face, Kyl asked whether it was the intelligence or judiciary committee that would already be prepared or vested to receive information about the eavesdropping on international calls of terrorists. With the obvious answer being given, Kyl asked whether that would mean that the judiciary committee would have to receive all the previous relevant information with which the intelligence committee was already familiar. The Attorney General treated it as a rhetorical question whose answer was so obvious it did not require a response, especially when a response might even have shifted the implied charge against someone like Senator Leahy to his own lips instead of leaving them on Kyl's where they were more effective. Kyl also attacked Leahy by noting that Leahy had praised the leaker and the New York Times for leaking the program, thus approving an act that the head of the C.I.A. said hurt U.S. intelligence badly, including our reputation among our allies for being able to keep a secret.
Kyl could have said: I'm not surprised, Senator Leahy, that you favor revealing classified secrets, since you yourself have done so; your remark shows why you should not have been briefed, given your standards. The Attorney General also turned on its head the briefing of Congress. His answer to the argument that members of Congress who had been briefed were under oath not to talk to anyone about it was that the oath to secrecy was superseded by the oath to see that the law was upheld. The Democrats could have given the impression that they support leaks when it hurts the country and oppose them when it helps the country. Kyl pointed out that procedures for reporting crimes exist--procedures even a member of Congress could use -- and, of course, they do not include leaking to the New York Times.
-- R.L.A. Schaefer
As an aging ex-NSA member, All I can say is that this is the stupidest flap that I have been privy to since Ted Kennedy's alibi for leaving Ms. Kopechne stranded in a submerged tidal pool. Just when you think the Dems have sunk to the bottom, they find ways to go just a little lower.
The fact of the matter is, since the late 1940s the NSA has performed communication surveillance of suspected enemy agents, some covert and some not so covert, vis-a-vis the U-2 incident and the Pueblo incident, always with distinction and always for the good of the security of the U.S. We (they) have never abused the privilege to my knowledge and never eaves dropped without just cause. And always for the well being and protection of the United States. That being said, the real crime here is the person or persons who violated his NSA oath and security clearance to leak information that he/she was sworn to uphold. It takes a year or better for the FBI to clear an operative for the Top Secret clearance necessary to be an operative and consequently carries with it the appellation that once having served, you may and for always carry your head just a little higher with the pride and distinction of being a trifle better person for not having violated the trust the government placed in you.
No matter what the outcome of this partisan investigation uncovers, the NSA will not be the same because of it and the "leaker"(s) will be anathema, if not before the country, certainly in his own mirror.
Incidentally, I enjoyed your book and also your sitting in for Ms. Ingraham during her Iraqi visit and for your service to our country.
-- A. Lafauce
A further thought on the Dec. 2004 criminal investigation of Rockefeller, Durbin and Wyden (and countless other leakers we don't know about):
How is it we can send a criminal to the death chamber for killing a convenience store clerk and allow men like Rockefeller, Durbin and Wyden to jeopardize the safety and lives of an entire nation -- even to destroying our country -- how can they go unpunished when they have broken their oath of office, betrayed their country, willfully and intentionally revealed information to aid the enemy? How can that be? Why do we tolerate these morally bankrupt to "represent" us? Are their deeds unknown to their constituents? I guess so, as the "criminal investigation" apparently died aborting. If it is still ongoing, you would do all a favor with an update as to any progress.
I am in favor of ridding society of the convenience store murderer, but all things considered, he presented not 1/1,000,000th the danger to our country that the likes of Rockefeller, Durbin, Wyden and Patrick Leahy do on a daily basis. Weasels, all.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
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