Reader Mail

Things Are Looking Up

Right reading. Homeschooling. Al Gore out to pasture. Roberts and religion. And, of course, our daily dose of Ben Stein-related missives. Plus much more.

9.16.05

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VIVA SPECTATOR
I just wanted to comment on the articles I have read. You guys are awesome! I just recently heard of you and look on the Internet for your website. I'm so tired of receiving information in Spanish from the Democrats of how bad the Republicans are making this country. They obviously never want me to learn English. Keep up the good work! Viva Republicans!
-- unsigned

CHILDREN LEFT AHEAD
Re: John R. Dunlap's Home Sweet Homeschool:

Hurrah for John Dunlap. My wife and I started homeschooling about 1986 and continue to this day with our last two kids (of six). It's been a great experience; good results -- one Marine lieutenant, one horticulturalist, one organist, one Coast Guardsman, a 15 year old already a church organist, and a 13 year old raring to go. Most of the credit goes to my wife. Didn't take much persuasion though -- I went through public school in the late '60s and early '70s when all the trendies were in full court press with their lies. Vowed they'd never get hold of any child of mine. Yes there are trials in homeschooling, but I can guarantee one thing -- no child is left behind in a home school.
-- W. G. Wheatley
Worton, Maryland

Hi, John -- very much enjoyed your homeschooling article. My son-in-law and daughter have asked me to homeschool their kid(s). What recommendations do you have re: curriculum; any lessons-learned; any book(s) you recommend on the topic?
-- George O'Neal

Wow, did I enjoy the Dunlap homeschooling article! I have no children, but as a former high school Latin/Spanish teacher with good all-around educational background, I have worked with and tutored homeschoolers for years. Their parents want them to learn languages but don't know languages themselves: that's where I come in. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with all of those students.
-- unsigned

Grizzly? What a grizzly error to make in an article purporting to tout the benefits of educating your children.

Sign me a graduate of a public high school and state university...
-- Lorrie Callison Watson
Orangeburg, South Carolina

ENVIRONMENTALISM'S CATCH-22
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Accountable Al:

Looking beyond the obvious how about a cabal at work here? Army Corps of Engineers identifies a need for new levees, bigger and better. A proposal is floated to Congress. The ruling Democrats wring their hands, "Oh woe, clearly we need this but no space for pork to fund the constituents back home." They need cover. Riding to the scene is rumblings from EnviroWhacko LLC.

A conference is held by the politicians: "Hey we float the bill for the levees through Appropriations. Frank, be sure to add an environmental study rider. I'll make sure EnviroWhacko knows about it." The appropriations are slated and placed in the budget. EnviroWhacko gets its grant, and summarily proceeds to pound ACE with statutory mumbo-jumbo. Eventually the project dies under the weight of sheer legal inertia.

So in the end, the levees aren't built, EnviroWhacko spends the balance of the grant on a junket to an environmentally sensitive resort traveling by private fuel guzzling jet, and the politicos have their cake and eat it too. To paraphrase -- "I funded the levees, right before my enviro stooges unfunded it. But my hands are clean, see!"

And so it goes. How much longer before "We the People..." stop this madness?
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

TRUMPED-UP SCIENCE
Re: Michael Fumento's Hot Air:

Masterful destruction of the pseudo-scientific claptrap being generated by our "grant" driven academic community. Isn't it true that they claim global warming causes the Glaciers to melt and cool the water? Hurricanes require warm water to generate their power. Hence, "global warming" would equal fewer hurricanes. Another benefit of "global warming." Stoke up the coal stove mother!
-- Ron La Canne
Burlington, Wisconsin

MIND FIELD
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Reading the Mind of John Roberts:

Patrick O'Hannigan hit the nail on the head concerning to role of the Church, and that of a Judge. Many people today are so used to judges legislating from the bench that they confuse the moral obligations of a legislator to those of an impartial judge who must review a law or statute. States Legislatures may make immoral laws, and if those laws are constitutionally sound, a Judge or Justice would be remiss to overrule that them based on his own church's convictions. The moral onus falls on the legislators who write the laws as well as the people who vote them in. If, someday Roe is overturned, and a state votes overwhelmingly to allow abortion on demand of all types, and if the law is constitutionally sound, an orthodox Catholic judge would have to let it stand. As a private citizen, the judge has exactly the same votes as his fellow citizens: 1. Since, the judge did not craft the law, and as a private citizen he voted for a legislator who opposed it, the Catholic judge will not be held responsible for that immoral law. He could say as much in his legal opinion.

If our Senators want to query Roberts about his opinions of St. Thomas of Aquinas, St. Augustine, or the value of Tridentine Mass they should do it in private. It has no more relevance than Roberts's knowledge of Kant's Categorical Imperative.
-- J.P. Koch
Indiana

BATTLING MOONBATS
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Hurricane Roberts:

Her article was very accurate, particularly the following: "Women's reproductive rights, end-of-life rights; it's enough to inspire the belief that the Founding Fathers risked their lives to build a nation dedicated to the proposition that the government should guarantee the right to exterminate its oldest and youngest citizens in order to fulfill the personhood of others."

Keep it up, Lisa! Excellent commentary on the moonbat left!
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

With all of the hot air that the Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee are using in their badgering of John Roberts, I am surprised that Al Gore and his environmentalist cronies have not issued an injunction to halt the hearings, due to global warming. I guess that they have not thought of it yet. Then of course, Roberts is an enemy of the libs; so the hot air levels will continue to rise.
-- S. Brewer
Riverton, Wyoming

GALS TOO
Re: Jay D. Homnick's In the Eye of the Storm:

I appreciate all the kind words you had for the Coast Guard. But I must take exception to the impression you gave concerning the Coast Guard. Some of the pilots are women, some of those aircrews are women, some of those radio operators are women, some of those rescue boat coxswains, engineers and crewmembers are women. Women have been an equal part of the Coast Guard since 1975. The Coast Guard does not operate under the Combat Exclusionary Law that plagues the Dept of Defense. Women are part of the highest traditions of the Coast Guard and serve where needed. In the Coast Guard, gender does not matter. Because as you say, when it comes to trying to do things right, you can't knock the Coast Guard.
-- Judi Carey, BMC, USCG, ret.

FLINGING STARE DECISIS
Re: George Neumayr's Demagogic Buffoons:

What the Democrats (including Specter) have inadvertently demonstrated during the hearings is their insecurity on those rulings that they know to be constitutionally bankrupt. With precedent being their only weapon, they swing it wildly hoping to land a blow on the Judge Roberts pinata. Sorry, boys, you're out of your league.
-- Randy Gammon
Drexel, Missouri

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
Re: Tom Elliott's The Big Lie:

I so appreciate the views you wrote about in this article. What is wrong with the media that allows them to go along with all the racial activates accusations like the ones you brought out? I hope there are more people out there who understand the facts as you presented them in your article in The American Spectator on 9/14/05.

This county needs more people like you that will have the courage to tell the truth. I am from the South and do not know anyone that wants to see anyone left behind. I want everyone to work hard and make a better life for themselves. I was a single mother with two children. I lived within my means, got those children through high school, and one of them through collage. I never thought to ask for help raising them and getting them through school. I completely thought that was my job. It seems simple to me that all people should feel responsible for the children they bring into this world. Work hard, keep them in high school until they graduate, and then encourage them to get out and do the same. I think a lot of government subsidized help takes away initiative to do it as a family.
-- Donna Sayers

TRUTH OF THE BEHOLDER
Re: Ben Stein's More on Katrina and Get Off His Back and Reader Mail's Jumping Jurists!, Staying Alive, and Ben Quells Media Riot:

...Americans as a whole are a brave and proud people. We've been fighting against bigotry, prejudice, and those that would forcibly dictate their ideas for the common good since our nation's birth. Our history includes great suffering to gain and protect the freedoms that our nation's blood has earned. Among those freedoms is the individual's right to own and protect property. Those that voluntarily stayed and lost did so because they were free to make that choice. Those that were trapped due to circumstances beyond their control are now amongst the world's populace of innocent victims. I am heavy of heart and grieve for them, but I am also proud of what they accomplished and believed in. May God bless our nation as we endeavor to rebuild the foundations of a new life and livelihood for the survivors. Resolution shall require bilateral proactive planning and cooperative plan implementation.

May those that seek to gain even the slightest political advantage during rescue and rebuilding efforts receive their just rewards.
-- L.A. Glazener

Hooray! Someone wrote an article that is finally truthful... and even got it published. Good going, Ben, and thank you.
-- Larry Martin
Longview, Texas

The Ben Stein article has permanently demeaned the Spectator. It is the greatest collection of disinformation in one short column that I have ever seen. I am astonished that the Spectator has fallen so low as to become a pimp sheet for Ben's lobbying to be made White House spokesman for the resident Moron. Why don't you find some honest writers?
-- unsigned

Your article is VERY WELL VERSED!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am soooo tired of hearing all the flak given to President Bush I could scream it from the house top.
-- unsigned

I just want to say "Amen and Hallelujah" to Ben Stein. Additionally, I am sick of the comparisons between 9-11 and the Katrina disaster.

NYC was attacked by terrorists, NO was attacked by nature.

NYC had no advance warning, NO had repeated warnings over several days.

NYC mayor took charge of the situation, NO mayor took care of himself and watched from a hotel window.

NYC mayor worked with Gov., NO mayor blamed Gov.

NYC New Yorkers were proud to take care of each other, NO folks expected the Federal Govt. to take care of them....
-- Yolanda Cranford
Southlake, Texas

Ben Stein asks some very good questions in "Get Off His Back." But let us ask this: how did President Bush or at least his Cabinet, decide that former administrative assistant Michael D. Brown was the appropriate individual to manage FEMA? Is there actually a vetting process that this administration follows? And finally, although everything is not President Bush's fault, many things certainly are, and one would hope that the man would own up to his own mistakes. He never has, excepting the carefully qualified responsibility ("to the extent") for Hurricane Katrina. One can be sure that Karl Rove, thankful that attention has been deflected from his involvement in the Valerie Plame affair, is on the case of finding out who really is to blame.

There are far too many missions unaccomplished that our President and his fellow-traveling, smirking, cynical pundits like Mr. Stein would have the public forget.
-- Jeff Kopie

In response to Ben Stein's 9/2/2005 article "Get Off His Back," I was just wondering how Ben's crow dinner tasted now that Bush himself has taken responsibility -- for once -- for the federal government's anemic response....
-- John Sodrel
New Albany, Indiana

At last a voice in the wilderness of Katrina coverage that makes some sense! Lord, I love Ben Stein (even though I don't want to take his money).

As someone who lived in New Orleans and its surrounding areas (including Slidell), it is nice to see someone who realizes just what was and is going on.

Sure, everyone who was involved as a victim is frustrated. Who wouldn't be if you had to stand in long lines for ice and water or food stamps, etc.? And trying to find loved ones who were in or around Katrina central is one of the hardest things I've tried doing lately. Ten million lists and none complete. It may be a year or more before I can locate or find out what happened to all my friends. Not just acquaintances but friends who are like family.

Please thank Mr. Stein for his columns for me.
-- Claiborne Ann Walsh
Montrose, Alabama

From reading all the mail posted in response to Ben Stein's Katrina article it again solidifies the fact that those on the left are nothing but functional illiterates and gullible fools.

Not only do they ignore actual, provable fact they always believe the flat out lies their masters in the MSM and DNC tell them to believe.

Thus the reactions by these children on the left (and I mean actual children in that they have the brains of 12 year olds) to Ben Stein's article were completely predictable as the letters posted proved. I'd like to make some summarized observations about their childlike beliefs on the hurricane:

1. They are all convinced that the federal government is responsible for their lives. Again, this proves they are children that are not capable of taking care of themselves. Thus Bush "should have jumped over the incompetent Democrats in Louisiana and take over as a leader."

Of course these are the same people that, if Bush had taken over and federalized the National Guard to evacuate New Orleans, would have been making the same attacks if the feds took over and there was minor damage and no flooding. You can just see the video on MSM TV showing how Bush "forced poor black people to leave their homes and put them on his Astrodome plantation in Texas...", etc.

2. These left wing children don't bother to do their homework. Not one of them even knows how the laws of our land work at any level. They are too emotional and whiney to understand the Constitution in that they ignore the clear role it spells out for the federal government. A very limited one at that.

They have been brainwashed to believe our country is supposed to be ruled from a central governmental source which is entirely backwards from how it was set up with the Constitution.

3. They lie consistently and pound the same "talking fact" like, "the levee money was cut." A total lie. And if not, PROVE IT! They can't and won't. Again, just like a child, they'll huff at you and say, "no you prove ME wrong" thus forcing you to prove a negative. And even if you waste your time and do it, they'll ignore the facts presented, call you a name and (hopefully) leave.

4. And being children, when they try and make their point they yell, stomp their feet and throw a temper tantrum that is represented in words by saying Ben "shouldn't be allowed to say these things" or "The Spectator shouldn't be allowed to print," etc. This makes them feel like they've "won" the debate even though they did nothing but spew forth vindictive with no actual facts that can be proven.

Ben might remember the tactic of demanding facts be "shut up" when, on Bill Maher's old Politically Incorrect, the only Baywatch babe actress without sizeable, uh, floating devices demanded Bill "shut him up" when he was giving her facts about natural resources in our country as she bellowed out the typical liberal creed on the environment.

5. Finally, they always choose to just point fingers and lay blame at the Republicans for their own inadequacies and deflect any criticism away from themselves by ignoring the total incompetence of Mayor Ragin' Nagin and Governor Blanco. They also ignore the predictable failure of liberals to lead, govern, and live in a civilized society. They refuse to recognize that decades of their ideas, programs, expenditures, planning, etc. have been proven to be failures.

They've created these urban utopias that are nothing but dysfunctional, unaccountable, unsafe, and corrupt political machines designed to keep them in power as they commit open graft for their personal benefit.. But when they are required to exercise that power and lead they prove yet again they are incapable because, frankly, they aren't the brightest bulbs in the box.

So I say we adhere to the left's view of Bush and let that be his support as he now sends the National Guard out to every one of their giant urban paradises and override the state and local governments and clean up all the corruption and ineptness to help all those poor people. Since they don't understand the Constitution then let it be damned.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
Re: Michael Biemann's letter (under "Ben for the Long Haul") in Reader Mail's Jumping Jurists!:

Dear Herr Biemann, Living in Germany is no excuse for your ignorance as to the many positive aspects of the Katrina response that the American media has ignored or misreported. We Americans (I presume you are a German national) are subject to the same information blackout and must garner the facts by "multi-sourcing" our information. Pictures of people sitting on roofs for days without help are not all that uncommon in disasters of this magnitude. In fact, in August 2003, you may remember that your neighbor to the southwest, France, experienced a slight problem of its own. The heat wave (spawned by George Bush and the unratified Kyoto treaty) caused almost 10,000 elderly French citizens to die, while their children and French bureaucrats went on holiday to Italy in order to get a decent meal. Parisian streets were bone dry, but still no relief efforts were forthcoming. We readily concede the point that bureaucracies, by their nature, are woefully inept; after all, the etiology of the word is French. Many Americans will also agree with you that we spend too much of our tax dollars on other parts of the world, without much gratitude. But you are in Germany and not France, so let me just say that your reference to our praising our "Great Leader" is not a road you want to go down. Americans are more into impatient toe tapping than goose-stepping. As far as efficient evacuations are concerned, it cannot be argued that the well oiled machine of the Nazi SS, in its ability to herd innocent men, woman and children into cattle cars for assembly-line extermination, produced its intended result. Finally, you make reference to our nation with "major problems" -- do you really want to go there? Auf Wiedersehen,
-- A. DiPentima

A FLOOD OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS
Re: George Neumayr's Masques of Death:

I received a copy of Mr. Neumayr's article from 9/2/05 via the Internet from a friend in the military. Here's what I wrote back to him:

Wow. He's brave...writing what people actually think.

Right before the hurricane hit on that Sunday night, I said to Emily (my six year old), "Emily, we should say a prayer for the people of New Orleans. The hurricane is going to hit them and it's going to be a terrible disaster." Here's how she replied:

"No Mommy, I'm not going to. Didn't you ever hear about Noah and the flood? God was very angry that people couldn't follow the instructions He gave them. He was angry that they were bad and hurting each other all the time. So... He made a big flood that wiped them all out! Noah listened to God Mom, and that's why he left. I think that God knows exactly what he's doing. I mean, who do you think makes the hurricanes?! Anyway, I'm not going to pray for all the people. I'll just pray for the innocent children who had nothing to do with it...okay?"

How do you argue with that? I said, "Okay Em. You are a very bright little girl. Let's say our prayers and go to sleep."

I just thought you would appreciate that particular perspective.
-- Kathryn Tablizo
San Antonio, Texas

TRIPPIN' CANDIDATE
Re: Jed Babbin's Amateur Hour Is Over:

I know I have to adjust my dose of LSD. Did I hear right that Joe Biden actually thinks he is presidential material? I have to get my medication on track. I could not have heard that.
-- unsigned

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