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Vouch Potatoes

Neighborhood nervousness in Ohio. Plus: Leading in Iraq. Dr. Death With Dignity. Exercised. And much more.

8.31.05

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V-OUCH!
Re: Marie Gryphon's Vouchers Hit the Burbs:

Marie Gryphon hits the key voucher point I have been making (not in print!) for years -- the vital importance of breaking out of the "inner city only" or "low income only" box, so that families of ALL backgrounds and locations can benefit from greater educational freedom. To that end, it's equally vital to stress the importance of non-voucher approaches to broadening the constituencies of freedom, including private action, Coverdell Accounts, scholarship tax credits, and many more that no one has invented yet. If we truly care about educational opportunity for the poor, we need to make a common cause between the neediest families, and the patrons of public schools who want something better than the status quo.

Great job, Marie.
-- George A. Pieler

Regarding "Vouchers Hit the Burbs," haven't we learned anything from what's happened to our colleges and universities since they've all become dependent on our taxes? Costs (actually prices) have skyrocketed and liberals imposed political correctness on almost all of them. Vouchers will eventually do the same thing to private elementary and high schools.
-- D. Duggan

I voted for California's school voucher initiative when it was on the ballot in the '90s. It went down to a 2-1 defeat. Since then, I have reversed my position because, as a parent of children then in private school, I realized that, through the forces of political correctness, the courts' incessant drive for radical egalitarianism, and the ubiquitous government power of coercion, over time the private schools would become what the public schools are now. In the case of parochial schools, they would be forced to teach ideas contrary to their professed beliefs. To those who have refused to change the public school through political action I say, "I don't want your riff-raff in my school."
-- Now Resident of Arizona

I was living in the upscale Birmingham school district of Michigan in 2000 when the voucher program was overwhelmingly defeated. It wasn't hard to see why. Good school districts have high property values. Even if you maintain the high quality of the school district when outside students are brought in, property values will decline because the need to move to the district to get into the quality school no longer exists. With vouchers, a family that wants a quality public school education can live just about anywhere. Thus the distortion in home market prices that occurs wherever there is a quality public school system will cease to exist wherever there are vouchers available. Current property owners are left holding the bag, and they of course, don't want that to happen.

Although the economic incentives provided by vouchers do improve school systems, you can't get people to vote against their pocketbooks.
-- Paul Doolittle

IRAQ, ONE PIECE AT A TIME
Re: John Connly Walsh's Iraq in Late Summer:

I really appreciate John Connly Walsh's columns, especially this one. Thank you.
-- Jackie Carpenter

I appreciate Mr. Walsh's story of two good men doing what it takes regardless of the smothering bureaucracy. I wish more Americans would wake up and realize our government, on all levels, is ridiculously managed.

It is this level of incompetence that has kept us consistently defending ourselves regardless of the obvious warnings.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

Mr. Walsh has a great idea, rewards for those doing outstanding work in Iraq. How about TAS starting a fund (donations) for the rewards? Nominations from those currently working in Iraq, military or civilian, of individuals who are going above and beyond what is expected. Not sure how you would select the winners, maybe a vote or even a panel of distinguished judges.
-- Anonymous the younger

SACKETT'S RACKET
Re: Margaret Moen's Right to Life Retrospect:

Being a child with aging parents, their wishes in a living will are already in the cards. Who am I to not accede to their wishes in the matter of their demise? Where I might part company with Mr. Sackett, is in the manner where the state stands in for the family in making decisions of life and death.

There is also a pratfall for those guardians of the fetal death camps as well. To pass a bill as Mr. Sackett proposes may in fact eliminate Roe v. Wade. A presumption of "Death with Dignity" (DwD) carries with it the baggage that there has been a meaningful life preceding that point. With the skills of a sharp jurist, one might actually see that a case is made that if DwD was the law of the land, terminating a fetus would not conform to it and hence, the nascent life must be persevered to term-- presumably under the aegis of due process.

Such are the hairs that SCOTUS splits.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

FAKIN' CAJUNS
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Taking Names:

When I hear Katrina, I immediately think of Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation -- the one who always looks like someone gave her a nice slice of green persimmon in the green room before she went on TV.

Where I live, we don't name our natural disasters cute feminine names like Earthquake Earline. We just call it the Big One until a bigger one comes along -- maybe because there is no time to name one in advance.

But speaking of names -- practically every region has its own pronunciation of its cities. I once knew a girl from Larchmont and she called it Noo Yock. I've heard that some New Jersey folks call it Joisey. I once worked with a woman from Chicago and she called it CHICARGO. All the Kennedys call it Bahhston. In Charleston, it's Chahlstun. TV newspeople don't feel called upon to give any of these cities the local pronunciation, UNTIL THEY GO TO NEW ORLEANS. They are all down there clinging to a lamp post in gale winds reporting on what is happening in "N'Wahlins". They are not southern, they are not Creole, nor Cajun, but they would all like you to think they were born on Bourbon Street. Why is that?
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

NOT PEACEFUL BUT DECEITFUL
Re: George J. Tomascik's An Embarrassment of Riches and Patrick J. Hynes's Bent out of Shape:

Mr. Tomascik in his oh-so-clever letter, repeats for the umpty-umpth time the anti-war question: What was the reason we went to war in Iraq? There is an answer to which people like him never apparently listen, because they keep asking the same question. The question people of his ilk should be asked is: Under what reason would you ever agree that war is necessary? If honest, their answer would be, "There are no circumstances under which we should ever go to war."

One can't argue with people like Mr. Tomascik or Ms. Sheehan. They are totally irrational. For them, there is nothing worth fighting for. Consumed by hatred for people who don't agree with them, they are beyond logic, reason, or sanity. They don't think, they emote.

There is something far more worrisome than the growing divide between liberals and conservatives. It's the terrifying prospect of a great divide between the Sane and the Insane. God help us if the Insane should ever come to power.
-- D.C. Norman
Durham, North Carolina

I liked Mr. Tomascik's analogy of the circus elephants in line by trunk to tail. I would add that the donkey is characterized by its habits of braying noisily, obstinately refusing to move forward, and biting the people who attempt to get it moving.

A war of self-preservation is not insane except to the insane. An avowed enemy has promised to kill as many of us as possible, and to remake the world to the size and shape of the dark ages during which transpired the birth of its religious icon, Mohammed.

With typical liberal illogic and shortsightedness, Mr. Tomascik castigates those who would prevent the above from happening, and supports those who have helped to make the country into the warped democracy that it has become. Congratulations on your clear perception of the state of the country and the world. May it NEVER prevail!
-- Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio

"...Your ridiculous ridicule of a mother who lost a son in another senseless war fabricated by our government."

Sorry, George, but you cannot argue from an unsupported proposition, although "Mother Sheehan" certainly tries. The "war" is neither senseless nor fabricated. Cindy gets ridiculed by sober, clear-thinking individuals regardless of their political stance, simply because her rants are so insanely unbelievable.

"Instead of tearing down a woman who actually stands for her beliefs... Please, provide the reason we are at war with Iraq."

Nothing that I have read in The American Spectator has torn down Cindy for her beliefs. That's because she doesn't believe the garbage which spews from her mouth. It is not her beliefs, but rather liberal propaganda supplied to her by liberal organizations.

As for the reason we are at war, I can only suggest, George, that you continue to read The American Spectator, and if your mind isn't totally corrupted by the New York Times, moveon.org, and the like, perhaps you will come to understand why we are at war, not with Iraq, but with terrorists there, whom the liberal media persists in labeling "insurgents."

"Conservatism is an ideology that is reactionary at best."

Finally we have common ground where I can agree with you. Yes, conservatism IS a reactionary ideology, simply because it is so different from liberalism, and all you read and hear and see in the mainstream media is liberalism.

George W. Bush is a conservative Republican, and Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, Charles Schumer, et al, are liberal Democrats thrown out of power by the voters (albeit not out of office -- yet). Hence the liberals are fighting back in all possible ways, with all possible weapons, not including, of course, the Truth.

In many ways, TAS is simply another "voice crying out in the wilderness" of liberal pre-digested pabulum for those, like you, who are "blind because you will not see."
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

OBSOLETE ABSOLUTISM
Re: Dan Peterson's The Little Engine That Could... Undo Darwinism:

Thank you for Dan Peterson's brilliant article on Intelligent Design. Mr. Peterson obviously hit a raw nerve judging from the vitriolic, irrational attacks from the true believers in Darwin's creation myth for atheists. Not one of the true believers in Darwin's quaint nineteenth century theory was able to refute Peterson with scientific arguments. The Cambrian Explosion alone is enough to explode Darwin's myth, but Mr. Peterson's critics ignore the scientific evidence against the basic tenet of their philosophy and persist in their child-like faith in Darwin's obsolete theory.
-- Robert Graham
Naperville, Illinois

PING PUN
Re: Jed Babbin's UNdermining Democracy:

Shouldn't Secretary Babbin have referred to the confection cobbled together by Ping the nefarious Gabonese as a "Ping pong"?
-- Martin Kelly
Glasgow, Scotland

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