Re: William Tucker's Terrorism and Probable Cause:
An excellent piece of writing and logical thought. What a great pity our judges don't adhere to logical thought in their opinions. It has been and will continue to be a great loss for our country.
-- Susan Gluck
Weston, West Virginia
If Mr. Tucker is correct in his assessment, the most logical move on the part of the terrorists would be to move to the U.S. and conduct operations where the rules for investigating a gang tagging a wall are the same as investigating a group using stolen aircraft for missiles.
-- Danny L. Newton
Re: David Yerushalmi's The Worst of the Times:
Many thanks to David Yerushalmi for writing this and to The American Spectator for publishing it. I was of course aware of the debate over the legality of the NSA program and of the clearly illegal (in my view) actions of the persons who leaked the fact of its existence. But this is the first I've seen of the Espionage Act being brought into the mix, at least with respect to the publishing angle. The language of the two sections of the Act quoted by the author seem straightforward, unambiguous, crystal clear, against which the actions of Messrs. Sulzberger and Keller seem quite damning. Lots of people, including me, think that what the NYT did was traitorous; the language of the Act seems to confirm it. Moreover, unlike the Pentagon Papers, which if I remember correctly dealt with the history of how we got involved in the Vietnam War, as opposed to the strategy and tactics we were then employing to try to win it, the situation here seems to be a clear-cut case of revealing a current tactic of battle in a time of war, not fundamentally different than if during World War II somebody on the Allied side had revealed to the Germans that we had captured and cracked the secret to their Enigma machine, or had revealed to the Japanese that we had cracked their military code.
I hope the administration will bring charges against the Times. I would like to see this tested in court. More important, I believe this needs to be resolved -- now, before any further buildup of our enemies' arsenal of nightmarish weapons.
-- Charles R. Vail
It seems only America's enemies are above the law. Take the GITMO detainees for example. They are receiving treatment far above that specified by international law. In fact, their current conditions are tantamount to those of legitimate combatant POWs. I have in front of me a letter reply from Sen. John McCain stating that he has "called on the Bush administration to create a system of fast and fair trials for those detained at GTMO." Never mind they are not prisoners as a result of being accused of a civil crime but detained as part of a military operation to prevent them from returning to, and re-enforcing, the enemy. Never mind they are illegal combatants who meet not a single one of the four requirements for legitimate combatant status according to the Geneva Convention, and are essentially "highway robbers or pirates" unaccountable to any legitimate authority. Never mind they were caught waging private war, which is illegal.
The issue is the same as civil law enforcement: compliance is directly proportional to enforcement. No enforcement equals no compliance, and no compliance in war means more indiscriminant non-combatant death and destruction.
But none of this matters to McCain and other liberals. All they can see is "holding ourselves to higher ethical standards." How noble.
-- Gordon Paravano
Thank you for publishing this important article. It is amazingly arrogant on the part of the New York Times that they would decide to publish such information. It, once again, begs the question about their seemingly endless motive to embarrass the Bush administration.
In any case, I urge you not to let this issue drop. Those responsible need to be held to account for their treasonous actions.
-- Charles W. Faust
San Ramon, California
I am waiting with bated breath for the DOJ to bring criminal charges and better yet charges of espionage against the New York Times and any who gave them classified information about the NSA wire taps. Does anyone remember what Jane Fonda did in North Vietnam? Surely, her actions were seditious and treasonous. Surely there are laws against her actions. No one, no one ever brought her up on criminal charges. Do we really think that the New York Times will be held accountable for its actions? Oh I wish with all my heart their house of cards would fall and burn.
-- Clasina Segura
New Iberia, Louisiana
This is an excellent article about the Times. This is one American who is disgusted with all the people in D.C. getting away with just that. We should go back to the Clinton administration and Madeleine Albright when she made a pact with the Chinese which resulted in a large donation to the Clinton-Gore Campaign and gave the Chinese the ability to reach the continental United States with missiles! Then there is John Kerry and Jane Fonda. And I believe it is a disgusting fact that Edward Kennedy should sit in judgment of good people such as Judge Bork, Justice Clarence Thomas and now, Samuel Alito. This man is a criminal in his own right and has no right to be judging good people. Why are he and Kerry and Fonda allowed to get away with all of this? As for Kerry he owes the people one year's salary for the time he spent away from Congress while running his presidential campaign. Senator Dole gave up his seat in the Congress when he ran. Why is Kerry allowed to get away with all of this?
-- Carolyn Ann Widmer
One of the real sick reasons for putting out information is "The Public Has The Need To Know." The public has a need to know only the information that will not help the terrorists! The info you give the public is the same you would want the enemy to have and no more. I watched the Generals hold their news ops during the Kuwait operations. How they were getting their daily beach landings down to perfect . The reporters also wanted to know why the troops were moving west; they were told this was to get the troops more in tune with land they were operating in.
Then things started and the guns that were trained on the beaches were fixed so they could not be turned around on the troops who can in from the air field and the troops that went west to look over the land they would be operating in was now moving east at a very rapid clip. Having spent twenty years in the military I knew no General would put out any info on training nor even talk of troops being moved unless they wanted this info out for the enemy and CNN sure got the news out to Hussein.
I think eavesdropping is about the only weapon we have for keeping track of what is going on in this world. I for one have nothing to hide but I sure would like to know just who are these calls going to and what it means to my freedom?
You would almost think that just maybe the Dems have a spy in their party that they are protecting. If the Dems only work for America like they seem to work for the Terrorists? Schumer and his ENERGIZER BUNNY mouth would be great at getting out the info you would the terrorists to have.
Bush is doing a good job protecting America but who is protecting America from the New York Times and the Democratics.
I'm sure our Military sleeps so much better at night knowing the terrorists who just might blow their body apart will not be tortured for his act.
-- Cliff Gerald
Satellite Beach Florida
I think I get it. It is illegal and dastardly for the President to order surveillance of al-Qaeda communications if one end is domestic. It is legal and courageous to deliberately leak a classified program that has thus far prevented the next 9/11. The twisted world of the NYT is a strange place, indeed.
"The Times should be held to the same standard as all other citizens."
The problem here is that they may be held to the same standard... Sandy Berger got away without jail time. Seems most Democrats do get away with it. The leaker and the Times should not get away with this one, our lives depend on it.
-- Elaine Kyle
A SPORTING BET
Re: Lawrence Henry's Future Sports:
Let's get real here. Digital and high-def notwithstanding, the only sports that will remain popular on television will be those that are the most popular to gamble on. First, you will have to figure out a way to make the ordinary sports gambler want to gamble on hockey and soccer. Then you can try to make those games interesting to watch on television. Good luck (pun intended) with that!
Besides, who needs more technology to get in the way of our enjoyment of watching sports? How many of us were really thrilled to watch those recent six-and-half-hour bowl games? I'm a rabid Penn State fan but near the end of their game with Florida State I was wishing I had few bucks riding on the game to stop my yawning. If I recall correctly, the clock timing a football game only runs for one hour.
Limit technological changes to the minor concerns of life: Like replacing paper ballots.
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
NASCAR used to be better than it is now, where all you see are cookie cutter cars. Used to be able to see cars you thought you could go in and buy off the show room floor. Guess I am just getting old and long for the "good old days."
-- Elaine Kyle
Re: Christopher Orlet's Latin, Not Leftist:
Just make sure that the thousands who wade northward across the Rio Grande are not carrying coke from Bolivia.
-- David Govett
WHAT ARE BELGIANS CALLED?
Re: John O'Sullivan's Patriots for Themselves:
This sounds like a very interesting book. One example of Belgian perfidy was the collaboration of Belgian fascists with the Nazis. There were enough Belgian volunteers to form a SS regiment that eventually was annihilated on the Russian front. The foremost of these volunteers was Leon Degrelle who held the rank of Sturmbannfuehrer (major) in the Waffen SS and was awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knight's Cross), one of the highest awards bestowed by the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler was said to have remarked, "If I had a son, I would want him to be like Degrelle."
I also remember a Monty Python sketch from years ago where this cheesy talk show host was announcing the results of a contest to select an epithet for the Belgians. (This can be cited as further proof that Belgium isn't a real country -- Brits are known as "Limeys", French as "Frogs", Italians as "Wops" and "Dagos," Germans as "Krauts" or "Le Boche," but what are Belgians called?) Among the entries were "Flems" and "Waffles" but the winner was "Bloody, Disgusting, Fat Belgian Bastards." In light of Belgium's execrable history and their recent high-handed political machinations, this epithet might be the most appropriate one.
-- Bill Erdmann
Belgians cast their legal net worldwide to deflect attention from the numerous pedophilia trials conducted in Brussels not too many years ago. Obviously they have read Freud about projection.
-- David Govett
Re: Christopher Orlet's Feminism Stripped Bare:
Feminism really got stripped to the bone by Christopher Orlet -- and they have it coming. I have been a casual critic of the feminist movement over the years as they relinquish every freedom and right worth having, as they pursue EQUAL RIGHTS. From Friedan's "Feminine Mystaque" (not a typo) to the comely erstwhile Playboy Bunny, Gloria Steinem, seeking to ugly-fy herself by disdaining makeup, to the "power suit" donned by every woman -- those outlandish shoulder pads making them look like hod-carriers or linebackers, its been breathtakingly hilarious. Was that some kind of protective gear in case they ever hit that glass ceiling? Whatever, it was unattractive and off-putting.
I once had the misfortune of having Bella Abzug as my seatmate on a flight from SFO to Houston. When I attempted no conversation, she coyly suggested I might not know who she was (I did) and said "People usually recognize my signature hat." I said "I'll bet they do, particularly when you're still wearing it. When the Seat Belt sign goes off, you can remove your hat, too." She left it on. But she left me alone.
I say women can read all the Playboys and attend every raunch bar every night of the week, but true equality will not be achieved until women can experience and rise above the most dreadful of male afflictions -- Male Pattern Baldness! Imagine any woman with a bald spot the size of a yarmulke smack dab in the middle of her flowing tresses -- sporting about town, sitting in pick-up bars and still thinking she's hot stuff. Men can.
On second thought, if they keep pursuing those testosterone raising entertainments, MPB might be their reward.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Free the Barrett Report:
The squelching of this taxpayer funded report is a criminal act that is an attempt to cover up other criminal acts by the very people that swear to uphold the law. What a shameful bunch of scum we have elected to serve us. I have written emails to my elected officials and to Sen. Grassley. I hope they feel as I do, but if anything is going to be done to free this document up it will be done only by those who have the power of the pen. Isn't this why the First Amendment exists in the first place??? Durbin-Dorgan and Waxman are pretty puny people, but they probably will win in the end because no one really gives a darn anymore... how sad.
-- Gene Hauber
I do not understand why Republicans are such weak-kneed cowardly wimps. Right now we have all kinds of illegal leaks to the MSM by who knows who (not whistleblowers as the left calls them when the leak helps their side but criminals when the leak hurts them) about CIA prisons and NSA surveillance.
But we can't get the Barrett report released? We paid for it. Why can't Grassley just make a copy and mail it to the Washington Times or to Rush Limbaugh for that matter? He can say he's a whistleblower too! Don't the American people have the right to know if the IRS is abusing their power to harass citizens and deny them their legal rights?
Oh, I forget. When the Clintons are involved it's never about breaking the law or abusing power. It's always a necessary step to protect the elite and the left to make sure we cornpones don't get into power (you know -- us slobs according to Mark Judge).
I can't support the GOP any longer. I'm tired of backing spineless wussies the hide under a bed every time a Democrat says, "Boo."
-- Greg Barnard
Will this report be opened to the Freedom of Information Act? In its total 400-page form? For all the talk of our civil liberties and our individual rights I want to be able to see that report in full.
-- Eric Batten
Re: Mark Gauvreau Judge's Right-Wingtips:
It truly is a shame that there aren't more classy guys around like JFK, Bill Buckley, George Will, and... uh... Mark Gauvreau Judge. I have this to say to Mr. Judge: It isn't your elevated taste in music, sports, and clothes that would make someone think you are a snob, if they think about you at all, but rather the thinly disguised contempt you have for those with less lofty tastes. If you can't hide it any better than that while sitting at a laptop with time to choose your words, I can't imagine what a boor you must be in person.
-- Michael Hargis
Shepherdsville, Kentucky (Lots of average people here, Mr. Judge. You'd hate it.)
I'm a metrocon too, and proud to finally have a catchy label to describe myself. I think the article shows that a lot of conservatives really need to lighten up a little. Sheesh...
-- Paul Altoz
Somehow, your article leaves one with the idea that people who strive for beauty, dignity, art and knowledge may not shop at Wal-Mart. Which is a pretty ugly slur against every single person who does shop there.
-- Robin Boult
GEOLOGISTS FOR BETHELL
Re: Tom Bethell's Politically Incorrect Science:
As a geologist, paleoclimatologist, historical geologist, and paleo-geo-historian I agree with your assessment of "global warming" in the first chapter of your Politically Incorrect Guide to Science.
There are many examples of hedging by the party line "scientists" i.e. Steve Schneider (whom you quote) and Jim Hansen (NOAA) whom you don't quote (you can't quote them all). Schneider's comment about deciding between being honest and effective summarizes it all. Hansen, on the other hand, can't seem to get his story straight. He was the whistle-blower on "global warming", in 1998, when he said that CO2 was the culprit. Since then he allowed that CO2 was over-estimated and that soot falling on polar ice absorbed heat and melted the ice instead of CO2. Hansen, however, continues to support the idea of "global warming" in spite of his own pronouncements, even in the light of data that show how temperatures have varied in the very short span of the 20th century.
Four years of personal geological experience in the central Sahara desert showed me substantial climate variability in the past 12,000 years alone. 12,000, 9000, 6000, and 3000 years ago minor advances of northern European glacial ice coincided with wetter periods in the Sahara when animals and plants responded to increased rainfall and lakes and rivers during normal annual cycles of the time. This is since the last (Wisconsin) glaciation. The wet periods alternated with the longer dry periods about every 3000 years. This coincides with work done by the well-known Israeli desert scientist K.E. Butzer. Examples of this and other types abound in the paleogeologic and paleoclimatologic literature.
There is abundant evidence for large-scale temperature and CO2 variations throughout more than 600 million years of earth history. Since climate and sea-level vary daily for numerous reasons (many not yet known to us), with plenty of geological and climatological evidence, the application of a bogus, scale-distorted, unsupported "hockey stick", makes no sense.
During the late paleozoic and late mesozoic the atmospheric CO2 content was 10 times and 5 times, respectively, the present level and supported a large increase in plant and animal life. 17 major ice episodes, and many lesser ones affected the earth, throughout geologic time. Sea-level changes every day.
How these agenda-driven hired guns can extrapolate our very small contemporary time interval to some disastrous future interval requires a substantial element of hubris.
It is certain that climate and sea level will change. They always have and will until there is no more Earth. Nothing lasts forever.
The last ice age (the Wisconsin) ended about 11,000 years ago. We are in the present interglacial interval during which the normal progression is that temperatures will irregularly rise until they drop to anticipate the next glacial period.
To expect that the ever-changing Earth, and its climate, will remain static is unrealistic and geologically and paleoclimatologically unsupported. The only thing that is permanent is change and is completely supported by paleogeology and paleoclimatology.
You probably already know that several petitions against Kyoto and against "global warming" have been signed by large numbers of scientists. More than 2600 climate scientists signed a petition, against Kyoto, to be signed only by their ilk. A similar petition was signed by more than 5600 non-climate scientists i.e. botanists, zoologists, physicists, geologists, astronomers, chemists, etc., etc.
There are significant numbers of very well-respected climate scientists who oppose anthropogenic "global warming" and who have successfully survived attacks on their science. some of them are Richard Lindzen of MIT, Patrick Michaels of Virginia, Robert Balling, Canadians Essex and McKittrick, William Gray of Colorado State University, Tom Karl, etc.
In a truly amazing seizing of a position of expertise was that of well recognized climate scientist Al Gore. He held hearings (and twisted testimony) and wrote environmentalist books. This man flunked out of divinity school and law school. What a resume!!!!! Bill Clinton's climate resume is equally impressive.
Thanks for writing your book. I see that another famous climate scientist, with an English degree, Chris Mooney, disagrees with you as well. You must be doing something right if you are drawing fire from the self-important Mooney.
Cheers (British for ta ta),
-- Peter K. Link
SOME FREE LUNCH
Re: Merlin Perkins's letter (under "Statistically Improbable") in Reader Mail's A Spring of Leaks and Bob Johnson's letter (under "Natural Selection 101") in Reader Mail's Leakology 101 in response to Granville Sewell's Evolution's Thermodynamic Failure:
I'm always willing to entertain new ideas, so I've checked in on William Dembski's book No Free Lunch. No, I didn't read it, nor will I, based on all the reviews I could find of it. The reviewers uniformly condemn Dembski's thinking on this subject as being not rigorous, and consequently, not published in the so-called scientific journals.
Following is an excerpt from the most sympathetic review I could find. It's written by Todd Stark and it's on the Amazon.com site (scroll down). It does do a certain amount of "damning with faint praise" however. You could look it up!
Evolutionary theory is still one of the best kept secrets in science, at least in the United States. So if it weren't for the political sensitivity of the topic regarding education, and the unavoidable and sometimes warranted guilt by association; No Free Lunch could be appreciated as really thought provoking philosophy. Popular philosophy, not professional philosophy. Bill Dembski is neither rigorous enough conceptually (especially regarding the views of his detractors) nor incomprehensibly dull enough to rank with most professional philosophers in my opinion. However, Dembski does have a very interesting book here, even compared to his previous efforts.
This book is clearly, cleverly, and carefully done. In typical popular accounts, the Darwinian view of change in populations is so often recruited in the service of "survival of the fittest" ideology and as a modern creation myth that the ID authors seem compelled to try to trash them all together to oppose the ideology and the myth as sources of spiritual meaninglessness. Dembski is mostly able to stick to his positive argument and not misrepresent biological concepts the way some ID folks seem to do, but he shares their sins of omission about the positive evidence for natural selection....
[My interests include books, evolutionary theory, psychological science, hypnosis, computer technology, and books. Okay, so I like books. You'll find further information at my personal web site at http://ToddStark.com/]
Therefore I remain committed to the proposition that in the infinity of the Universe, all things are possible. Even God.
-- Bob Johnson
Re: Shawn Macomber's Night Raid!:
I usually write lengthy letters in reference to your articles. In this case, I simply wish to thank Shawn Macomber for his reports from Iraq. And to remind him that he is no longer on the Common. Keep your helmet strap tight and your head down, or it might be something more important than your pants that gets damaged next time.
Good reporting, good luck and good night.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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