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In Souter’s Shadow

Lightning strikes twice? Plus: Blair weather friends. More Rudy reactions. Winning by losing? Much more on the Mufti McCarrick. And a lot else.

10.11.05

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YANKEECONS
Re: The Prowler's The Winning Card:

So let me see if I have this straight. An ex-Senator that was a putative Republican from New Hampshire, where I have been exiled, convinces Bush 41 that David Souter was a perfect pick to assuage the conservative base and rein in the SCOTUS's activist bent. Now we have another putative Republican from New England (I think from New Hampshire) convincing Bush 43 that Harriet Miers was a perfect pick to assuage the conservative base and rein in the SCOTUS's activist bent.

Hmmm. Though the Bush family has resided in Texas for many years now, they are New England Yankees from the elite of Connecticut and maintain a family home on the rock strewn coast of socialistic Maine. Could it be that the Yankee heritage of the Bush family does not allow them to get a realistic picture of what "conservative" means, or that they just simply can't fully get rid of the Northeastern stereotype of true conservatives and their disdain for them as unwashed rednecks.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

KYOTO RACKET
Re: Patrick J. Michaels' Blair Plays Fair:

Well, it's about time that someone other than GW pointed out the unworkability of Kyoto. The real reason for Kyoto had nothing to do with global warming. It was all to do about (as all things are) massive amounts of cash. The carbon trading scheme that was to be set up would have been nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth from the first world producers to the third world consumers. Given the kleptocracies that are rife in the undeveloped world it would be doubtful that any of this money would have gone to development of clean industries in either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 33rd worlds. If anything, it would have meant another fleet of Mercedes limos in the garage of another tin pot "peoples" dictator. This scheme, if it had been enacted, would have made "Oil for Food" look like a Sunday school picnic.
-- Ron Pettengill
London, United Kingdom

Perhaps Mr. Michaels would extend his autopsy on Kyoto by explaining why the eco-freaks seem to be lukewarm or negative on wind power and other green power plans. The reporting on the financial impact of several projects designed to save the planet could not possibly have given the average person fair warning of the direct and indirect costs of adopting economically inefficient technologies. Migratory birds have been flying into fixed microwave towers for decades and they just recently found out that they fly into rotating metal too! Why, all of a sudden, is wind power noisy and ugly when at the same time it is saving the planet? Why is it that the eco-freaks are good at coming up with the feel good ideas but bad at anticipating the secondary and tertiary social effects and financial impacts. Do the eco-freaks care about the dollar/euro too?
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

GIULIANI ISN'T THE CURE
Re: William Tucker's An Army of One:

"What did Giuliani have going for him when voters desperately turned to him by a thin 52-48 percent majority in 1993?"

What Tucker doesn't mention, and which Siegel probably does, is that four years earlier the electorate voted by almost an exactly inverse margin to elect David Dinkins and not Rudy Giuliani. The difference in 1993 was Crown Heights and the Korean Deli boycott, after which the respective groups of yellow dog congenital Democrats held their noses and voted for someone calling himself a Republican.

As Giuliani himself documents in his own book, Leadership, all of the drop in the murder rate and forcible felony rate was accomplished without any new laws, rather simply by the committed enforcement of existing law. When Giuliani insisted on tackling the "squeegee men" (Giuliani counts 180, see page 42 of Leadership, Siegel counts 60), NYPD counsel said no-can-do, but where-there's-a-will-there's-a-way Giuliani suggested using jaywalking laws against the "squeegee men", which did the trick. Forcible felonies in city prisons were ignored by Giuliani's predecessors; Giuliani enforced existing law in the prisons as well as the streets and decimated crime in both locations.

But what Tucker doesn't mention, and perhaps Siegel doesn't either, is that regardless of the literally unbelievable reductions in violent crime that Giuliani and Giuliani alone accomplished, Giuliani had become a pariah late in his second term, the tragic shooting of Amadou Diallo by the Street Crimes Unit being the demagogic keystone that the NYC Left used against him and his policies. Only the even more tragic 9/11, and Giuliani's peerless handling of those events, changed tracks on the legacy that was being chiseled into liberal stone by the N.Y. Times and the NYC leftist establishment.

Probably the most riveting memory that Giuliani recounts is his first hour after the attack, when he sped south to get a characteristic hands-on look at the scene. There were reports of people jumping from the towers, which Giuliani initially wrote off as mistaken and/or hyperbole. Upon arriving on the scene, he saw, with his own eyes, a fellow stand in a window, 100 stories up, and jump. He then saw couples, hand in hand, stand in a window and jump together. No mistake. No hyperbole. Yet, curiously, Hollywood, always ready with cheap thrills, and certainly happy to recount roughly comparable events at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire early in the 20th century, has not yet presented its gullible audiences with a recreation of that couple jumping, hand in hand, impacting on the pavement a thousand feet below at over 100 MPH. If anyone wonders whether Giuliani has any difficulties thinking through what happened that day, who the real enemy is, and what needs to be done with the real enemy, all they need to do is read Leadership.

Who was the fellow who infamously stated, "What's good for General Motors is good for America"? Two days running, two writers at The American Spectator appear to be suggesting "what's good for NYC is good for America." Despite having been born and raised in NYC, and lived all my 53 years in a relatively short radius of NYC, I cannot agree. The bitter medicine that NYC needed is not the medicine that America needs, and my paisano Giuliani while doing everything right for NYC would not do everything right for America.

He needs to go on an isolated retreat. He needs to do a very thorough examination of conscience. Perhaps after that, he may discover how America's needs differ from NYC's.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

CONSTITUTIONAL IRAQ
Re: Jed Babbin's Next Sunday in Iraq:

Jed Babbin's conclusion, that rejection of the Constitution would be a victory for Iraq, makes no sense. They have had four different governments since we took down Saddam. They need stability. The Sunni Arabs will whine no matter what. Delay in establishing a new, permanent governmental structure plays into the hands of the worst of them. I pray the Constitution passes, no matter how much grumbling occurs, and then the Sunni Arabs will have no choice except to fully participate in the general elections.
-- Scott Allen
Naperville, Illinois

Non-participation of a minority population in any election does not mean that the entire government is illegitimate. The enemies of democracy would like everyone to think so but if this were true then America is also illegitimate since I am sure you could find at least 20% of the U.S.'s minority population that has never participated in democracy. Denying UN recognition because of non-participation of a minority means that most countries that are members of the UN should also not be allowed UN recognition by that kind of twisted logic. Most of the countries that are in the UN are not democracies so they have no right to sit in judgment of the democratic process.

What is more important is securing rights for any minority group even if they refuse to participate. From what I know the Iraqi constitution has provisions to ensure rights for their minorities.
-- Brian Brumfield
Jackson, Michigan

"Three things can happen when you pass and two of 'em are bad."

It was Darrell Royal of Texas, not Woody Hayes. Curt Gowdy used to quote him frequently.
-- Rex Pilger
Arvada, Colorado

SELF-PROMOTING
Re: George Neumayr's Conformist Credentials:

Memo: To GWB
From: HM
As head of your judicial selection task force, I have examined all the potential Supreme Court nominees, and have found that the most qualified person is... yours truly!
-- Carol A. Baker

IGNORING THE HERETICS
Re: James Philbin's Mufti McCarrick:

Allow me, please, a follow-up to my note regarding James Philbin's, "McCarrick in Mufti."

On September 30, Monika Hellwig, of Georgetown University's Theology Department, and "a 'pathfinder' in ecumenical and interreligious dialogues," died. But it was Hellwig's life as a Catholic theologian and "activist" (whatever that means) that could have prompted a similar article by Philbin about the decline of the Church and its hierarchy, including Cardinal McCarrick. For Hellwig and others, like the former theology professor at Catholic University, Charles Curran, represent one of the unimaginable and unintended consequences of Vatican II: open defiance of Catholic teaching at (formerly) Catholic institutions.

Her obituary, which appeared in the Washington Post, claims that Dr. Hellwig, a former nun, was adored by Church leaders, "even when she publicly expressed differences of opinion with church hierarchy." What differences? She supported Curran, who publicly dissented on fundamental Church teachings on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality. Full disclosure: in 1991, while assigned to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, Archbishop (now Cardinal) Pio Laghi described to me in detail the efforts that were made -- not for Curran to cease and desist -- but to change his appointment to the philosophy department! After all, Curran was teaching theology (presumably Catholic) at a pontifically -- sponsored university, and Pope John Paul II did not believe that Curran should continue to defy Church teachings. Fancy that.

That same year the Vatican issued Ex Corde Ecclesia (From the Heart of the Church) which, according to the Post, "...required (Catholic) colleges to teach and follow church doctrine more closely." Hellwig dissented and spent her remaining years seeing to it that the papal decree would not be enforced. Cardinal McCarrick's abnegation of his pastoral duties and his timidity in dealing with renegade theologians -- and politicians -- are part of a piece, but Mr. Philbin shouldn't be surprised at the number of "defective prelates" who are currently in the Church's hierarchy.

De mortuiis nihil nisi bonum -- of the dead say nothing but good. Dr. Hellwig was entitled to air her views; neither Cardinal McCarrick nor his predecessor was obligated to accept them. Unless -- until -- the character of the hierarchy is changed, our clergy in mufti will continue to lead the faithful down the garden path, and the downward spiral of Mother Church will continue. Truly, these are the times that try men's souls.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

For the past few years, our pastor has hosted an interdenominational celebration of the 4th of July. Christians, Jews, and a Muslim. The first year the Muslim exhorted the common ground of the love for the Virgin Mary. The next year, his talk was about the way to God was through Islam. The "celebration" was followed by a reception in the church hall where the Muslim was handing out tracts "Islam is God." I made other plans for this year's festivities. Our pastor is a wonderful Catholic priest who is revered for his ecumenism. I vehemently disagree with his values on this subject. McCarrick is a fool. McCarrick and my pastor can not bring themselves to believe that this "religion of peace" will kill them if given a chance. I guess I am an extremist in my views. It's by observation that I have formed my opinions.
-- Clasina Segura

In regard to Mr. Philbin's clear contempt for praying to "Allah," his clear lack of either erudition or linguistics is showing; perhaps both.

How -- he might have asked -- did Jesus Christ, who spoke Aramaic, pronounce "God"? Answer: "A-la-ha" [reference: Lamsa, George W. (2001). The Modern New Testament from the Aramaic. First Aramaic Bible Society. ISBN 0-967-59897-4. Page 482.]

Yes indeed...there is but one God...and we'd all do well to embrace that concept in every way.

Oh...and how would Jesus have said "one God"? Answer: "khad Alaha," where khad has the meaning "one" in Aramaic, but clearly implies the potential for a common origin with the English word "God" as well.
-- Mark Hughes
Austin, Texas

I appreciated reading the article on McCarrick's prayer to Allah. It is amazing someone in his position can make such a reprehensible action appear to be performed in the best interest of the world. Tolerance is not always the best way to lead a Catholic life! It is sickening how more a more so called leaders of the Church contradict the true teachings of the faith. Cardinal McCarrick for one, should be stripped of any leadership role in the Church. Not to do so only confuses and divides the Catholic Church.
-- Dave Stone

LOUD AND CLEAR
Re: Ben Stein's American Miracle:

Please convey your beautiful thoughts to George Soros and Al Franken.
-- Frank Olah
Eldorado, Canada

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