Reader Mail

The Party’s Over

What do Democrats do now? Plus: Baker in the public square. Our Jesse. Surprising terrorism. Iraq under contract. More NCAA scalpers. And much else.

8.12.05

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WELCOME TO 1965
Re: Patrick Hynes's Democrat Disbelief:

The loss of religious and moral values by the Democrats gave Bush the election, and now Democrats wring their hands about the need to articulate clear moral values, which it does not possess.

A party whose foundation rests on the philosophy that making moral and value judgments is immoral and which elevates moral equivalence of all beliefs and values to its center cannot then say it values one moral view over another. In a recent New York Times editorial, liberal religious activist Jim Wallis lamented the fall of Democrats because of their failure to stand for morality and religion, and then defined such standing as embracing government welfare programs for the downtrodden. Welcome to 1965, Jim. At any rate, the party identified with kicking Boy Scouts off government property, tearing crosses off city seals, relegating Christian symbols and language to underground status, lining up entertainment-industry elites with foul language and foul lives as its chief supporters, having labor leaders greedily run amuck at public expense, holding trial lawyers up as its priests, chasing the military off of school grounds, advocating alternative lifestyles as government policy with students forced to march lock step to its beliefs, protecting terrorists' civil rights at the expense of American lives and obsessing with racial identity and victimhood has a long way to go to turn itself around. It cannot do so without the help of level-headed Democrats currently shoved to the margins of the debate by their own party.
-- Caroline Miranda
North Hollywood, California

Sort of gives new meaning to the joke: How can you tell when a Democrat is lying? Answer: Whenever his lips are moving. You don't suppose that the voting, American public is on to these phonies do you?
-- Jim L.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

"Then they'll lose some more elections until they say, Okay this time, we're really/I> going to pay attention to Americans of faith."

LOL, now that is really funny, I will believe the Dems on this when pigs fly.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

The "Democrat Disbelief" article by Hynes refers to the Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults. RCIA actually stands for Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.

It can be an important distinction as there are many who do not accept that Catholics are Christians.
-- Anne
Kansas City, Missouri

GOOD TO HIS WORD
Re: Hunter Baker's Gelernter and Dobson in the Public Square:

I enjoyed Hunter Baker's piece very much. In his column, Mr. Gelernter seems to ramble on attempting to find some justification for not using the term Nazi in this debate. I would like to interject my opinion into the discussion of Dr. Dobson's terminology.

I have seen a number of Dr. Dobson's appearances, both prepared statements and interviews, it is difficult to avoid seeing the man in recent years. It is my opinion that Dr. Dobson does not use words casually. He uses them for effect. And, in this case, the word Nazi had an effect. It illustrated exactly how this use of embryonic human beings is viewed by Dr. Dobson and much of his constituency, and make no mistake, the man has a constituency. By equating the destruction of human potential (life) for research into possible benefits to the human species, embryonic stem-cell research, to the medical experiments conducted by Nazi scientists on human life, some for the benefit of the human species, he makes his feelings concerning the former clear.

I will not enter the debate over the destruction of embryonic life to facilitate stem-cell research, at this time. My only point is that the good Doctor used the terminology in a calculated manner. He made it clear that he sees no middle ground on this issue. He deems it evil, as evil as anything done by the Nazis in the name of science. It seems that some people are uncomfortable with that.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Thanks to Hunter Baker for his comments on James Dobson. I have followed most of Dr. Dobson's public career and have enormous respect for him. For one thing, he has credibility. If Dr. Dobson or Focus on the Family says something you can count on it being fair, accurate, true, and documented. Would that CBS, the AP, or the New York Times had such values. Like Mr. Baker, I may disagree on occasion with a few of Dr. Dobson's opinions -- usually on minor issues. But overall, as an evangelical Christian, I am happy to have Dr. Dobson being the point man to articulate what concerns us.
-- Michael Landry, Ph.D.
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Congrats to Hunter Baker and James Dobson, but it would appear that they both miss a very discouraging difference between National Socialist treatment of the mentally ill, retarded, and other instances of "untermensch" and that of American supporters of embryonic stem cell research. That would be the fact that the Nazis had enough conscience to hide what they were doing, whereas the Americans brazenly publicize it.

Conscience is an almost extinct concept in 2005. The Jesuits sent us all to see the film adaptation of Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons for the finest examination of conscience, but I suggest that an incident from living memory is more relevant and therefore more effective, that being the peerless William Holden's character in The Counterfeit Traitor. Holden compels us to examine our inner self when he comments to Lilli Palmer, "My conscience has always been an obedient dog, quiet in the corner." But events eventually compelled Holden's real life character, Erik Erickson, to see the previously faceless victims of the National Socialists as his own brother, which leads Erickson to act with good conscience, despite risks unimaginable for present-era Americans.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

LIBS BURY FDR
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Our Jesse:

Liberals may bury Mr. Helms, but interestingly they have also buried one of their own. I talk specifically of FDR. Liberals revere him as the spring well of their thoughts and actions.

And so, what has been wrought? Well consider it took nearly half a century for them to erect a memorial to the man. Then, they deliver this. At the appropriate angles it looks like the same resting place of Lenin in Red Square. Its messages, speak of the depression, and hardship. Only begrudgingly does it speak to man's aspirations (fireside chats).

So where is the rousing liberation of Lincoln? Or the lofty dreams of Jefferson? Or the towering accomplishment of Washington? At the FDR memorial it is lacking and so it is fitting that the same memorial that houses FDR's aspirations may also be considered the burial ground of the liberal cause -- it looks it.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

ISRAEL'S EXTRAORDINARY PATIENCE
Re: P. David Hornik's Terror in the Galilee:

As inexcusable as this act of terrorism committed by this Israeli soldier was, I am somewhat surprised it hasn't happened more frequently. I can't imagine how the Israeli Jews live day to day with the constant threat of a terrorist attack, anywhere, anytime. They are in a continuous state of war that ebbs and flows, with their enemies outside at every border and worse, amongst the Arabs within their borders. An anxiety nightmare that shows no sign of abating. I would think no cooler heads in written history prevail than those of the Israelis as they strive to survive. Regardless, given the state of mind of Israel's enemies which are in reality those of the West also, what is the answer to solving this problem? Historically, given the imperfect nature of human beings, is it time for another cataclysmic event to rise, i.e., an awful world war? I shudder to think.
-- David P. Bennett
Chicago, Illinois

BIG LABOR'S GRAVE, NOT REBIRTH
Re: Carl F. Horowitz's Labor's Family Feud:

Carl Horowitz presented Big Labor roiling in controversy, but somehow managed to concoct a ray of hope for the unions. His optimism is misplaced. Organized labor is an anachronism.

He observes that after an AFL-CIO split in the 1930s, unions grew in the then-powerful industries of rubber, steel and autos. Each of those industries was a labor-intensive oligopoly, the only environment where unions can flourish, thanks to the large pool of potential recruits and the low level of competition faced by the employer. World War II amplified this situation, having crippled a great deal of potential foreign competition while leaving America's domestic manufacturing capacity intact. Union rolls peaked in the decade following the war.

The unions acted to limit the demands on employees while expanding their compensation, adding costs without corresponding increases in productivity. Whether this was good or bad, moral or immoral is irrelevant. The point is that it was unsustainable. New competitors, unencumbered by the cost of union demands, eventually arose and seized the market share held by the unionized firms. Union shops shrank or disappeared. Mr. Horowitz notes that private sector union membership fell from 35% in 1955 to 8% in 2004.

There is little ground left for unions to prospect for members. Heavy industries like autos and steel continue to downsize. Light industries like software and cell phones disproportionately create jobs exempt from union membership. Transportation is convulsed by bankruptcies among railroads and airlines. Mining and agriculture have substituted automation for manual laborers. Construction trades are highly fragmented. Retailers such as Wal-Mart have proved resistant to organizing. Nearly half the states have Right-to-Work laws.

The only growth unions have enjoyed in decades has been in the public sector, the only remaining industry without competition. However, many government employees are barred by law from going on strike, denying their union its most powerful weapon. Sooner or later, members will wonder what benefit they receive in exchange for the dues they pay such a toothless union. Also, many public sector union members are teachers. In time, school voucher programs may even wrest the education monopoly from the government, eliminating still more union jobs.

Labor unions are in permanent decline because they do not add value. Their unwillingness to seek a role other than agitation explains why they, and the party they support, are in trouble.
-- Jim Bono
Midlothian, Virginia

RECONSTRUCTION FOR HIRE
Re: John Connly Walsh's Big Disappointments in Iraq:

Opinions are like buttocks, everybody has one, but some are bigger. I don't know what the "highly paid professionals" are getting done down in Baghdad, I'm too busy taking care of my business to worry about themâ€"except when it impacts my work flow. I can assure you that in my office we are awarding contracts continuously; but to Iraqi contractors, not American. Why pay American firms for substandard work by local subcontractors when we can avoid the high overhead and go straight to the source? Several of our major projects by the big U.S. or multinational firms have been plagued by cost over-runs and shoddy workmanship. Mr. Walsh's negative comments and general whining will get no sympathy from me. I am working hard to get Iraq back on its feet by employing Iraqis and allocating our funds where it will do the most good. As for the contracting bureaucracy; I am plenty frustrated by the application of the Federal Acquisition Regulations in a contingency environment. In my humble opinion, our legal counsel requires use of contract clauses and solicitation processes which have application in the U.S. with U.S. firms, many of those clauses and processes are out of place here. It's incredible to me that the government has not implemented a template for streamlined contracting in this environment, if we have one they're not letting us use it. In my former life as a combat engineer, my business was overcoming obstacles that prevented mission execution. I am still doing it as a contract specialist. Too bad Mr. Walsh works where the creation of obstacles is the norm, but to implement my commander's intent I prefer to work with Iraqi contractors.
-- J.W. Purcell, 1SG , USA (Ret.)
Contract Specialist, USACE-GRN HQ
Mosul, Iraq

Regarding Mr. Walsh's comment that "...many Iraqis who are not willing to believe that the U.S. is unable to quell the insurgency, or to stop the infiltration of terrorists from Syria and Iran," I think that those Iraqis are correct in their assertions, but for the wrong reasons.

I also have a hard time believing that we can't stop this insurgency, but I don't believe it's a conspiracy. Nor will I second-guess the Military or the soldiers on the ground in Iraq, whom I believe are doing the best they can. The problem, as I see it, is a matter of political will and political correctness.

The war on terror is a brutal war against brutal, vicious opponents who have no qualms about killing civilians, even their Muslim brethren, to defeat the western infidels. They are focused on the end-game, while our politicians are focused on public relations, including (at times) our Commander-in-Chief. Such political hand-wringing (and political shenanigans like the Abu Ghraib "controversy") is lengthening this conflict and causing many more of our Soldiers, as well as Iraqi civilians, to die unnecessarily. We cannot defeat these terrorists by "going wobbly", as they understand one thing and one thing only: brute force. When such force is directed at them, without constraint, history shows that they always back down. Unfortunately, history also shows that they are emboldened by Western pusillanimity.

Iraqis, like most of the Arab world, have lived most of their lives under dictatorial regimes that treated internal resistance with harsh brutality. The end result was internal security. I'm not in any way suggesting that we emulate Saddam's methods of dealing with dissent, but it's not hard to understand the confusion of the Iraqis. In other words, "Saddam didn't tolerate nonsense, why does the USA?"

Why, indeed? Until all of our politicians understand that we treat the threat of terrorism as seriously as we did Nazism and Communism, and that we take the fight to wherever it needs to be (like Iran or Syria),
There are more disappointments and tragedies ahead.
-- Gavin E. Valle
Peapack, New Jersey

Don't worry, when the Republicans pull out of the public square, the Democrats and their international accomplices will be back in charge -- finally willing to help, saving the day after encouraging terrorists and lying about our war efforts and spitting on the graves of our fallen Soldiers and undermining our efforts daily for two-plus years.

Abu Ghraib, Seymour Hersh, Linda Foley, Eason Jordan, Sean Penn... AP, BBC, U.N., EU, Arab states and businessmen that took Saddam's blood money while ignoring the mass graves will go on ignoring the millions who suffered and the men and women who pay for their freedom, scrapping and howling for power, power, power...

Mr. Walsh, just come home. We aren't worthy of the sacrifices of our troops. They say they support what they are doing. In blogs from war zones they report noble efforts, individual stories of courage and hope.

They must not be as smart as you are, I guess, what with all the skills and courage and incite a Soldier in a war zone facing nutcase jihadists and homegrown, hate-fed, lied to and hopeless enemies with IEDs and a far more powerful weapon -- the U.S. media.
-- unsigned

GOD HELPS THOSE
Re: David Govett's letter (under "The Bounds of Loyal Opposition") in Reader Mail's Fight for the Illini:

David Govett of Davis, Calif., said in two sentences what I earlier burned up my computer on, in an endless diatribe, responding to Walsh's article describing the Iraqi's annoyance that "America had not fixed things yet." If they were not "born to the lash," as Govett suggests, they seem perfectly suited to be permanent welfare recipients, as are a class of people here in the U.S.

My low opinion of the effort being put forth by Iraqis themselves, is buttressed by a TV news segment tonight reporting that the wealthy and "intelligentsia" of Iraq have scuttled over to Jordan and are building mansions to wait out the turmoil in their homeland. One well-fed looking Iraqi said his heart was in the soil of Iraq, but apparently his money is in the Bank of Jordan.

Americans have fought and died to make and keep this country free. Iraqis seem unwilling to do the same. "You don't plow a field by turning it over in your mind." And yes, I know there is great danger in coming forward and joining the army or police force in Iraq. It was dangerous at Valley Forge, too.

"At least under Saddam, we had electricity..." Hmmm, Thomas Jefferson described this mindset perfectly: "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."

It is beginning to look as if they did not want freedom after all. Just electricity and air-conditioning.

Incidentally, how long does it take the U.S. to get our 19 year olds "combat ready" and on their way to Iraq? Walsh's pessimistic prediction of the length of time it will take to train Iraqis seems a good deal longer.
-- Diane S. Smith
South San Francisco, California

OFF THE RESERVATION
Re: Andrew Cline's Racist Paternalism at the NCAA and Reader Mail's Fight for the Illini::

Just read Andrew's piece on the absurdity of the NCAA "busybodies." Went to your site and was suspect of other content since you're based out on the East Coast. After reading several of Andrew's articles among other contributors to your site, I didn't hesitate to save your site as a favorite. I look forward to reading future articles and want to commend you and your site for heralding common sense, moral values, and justice in a location seemingly void of all logic (or at least the most prominent media appear that way -- spelling God without a capital G -- wouldn't want to offend our atheist friends...)

Thanks and keep up the good work!
-- Doug
Omaha, Nebraska

After reading "Racist Paternalism at the NCAA" by Andrew Cline, which was forwarded to me in an e-mail, I had to go to your website to see what American Spectator was all about. I was very impressed with what I found and ended up purchasing a gift subscription for my Dad (birthday present). I can't wait until my Dad receives his first issue! Keep up the good work.
-- unsigned

There are cultures that used to eat the heart of an animal they killed, hoping that in doing so they would gain some of the courage, skill and strength of the animal they vanquished. It is part of the tradition of the Shaman to wear the horns or some other symbol of the animal they honor, whether it is buffalo, or Lion or Cave Bear. Would the NCAA say the Indian tribes that wear a buffalo headdress were hostile and abusive to buffalo? (Maybe we should call PETA.)

Sports teams name their teams after this type of entity in the hope that that entity will impart some of their courage, skill and strength to the team. A team name is a sign of respect not disrespect for that entity. The team name is a metaphor for the way they wish to perform in their symbolic combat -- the game of football, basketball or any other sport. You want to overwhelm like the Crimson Tide, or fight like the Fighting Irish or Trojans, or (dare I say it) like Indians? Sioux, Lakota, Cherokee, Apache, and so on are all names that command respect. Whether or not they have been defeated (and as a people they have been disrespected, abused, dishonored, tricked and cheated. They were pushed out of their land and their treaties with the U.S. were broken by the government. It is a great stain on the honor of the U.S. but that is a different issue), they fought bravely and probably more honorably, for the most part, than did the non-Indians during the Indian wars.

You don't name a team after something you disrespect or feel will not impart an essence of winning. You don't have a team called the "Fighting Democrats" or the "Fighting Slugs" or the "Jihadist" or "Wife Beaters" or "Milk Toast" or "Liberals." Why? They do not command respect.

Why didn't the new baseball team in Washington D.C. take the once honored name of "Senators"? Perhaps because this entity is no longer respected? I've recently hear of a team that in protest of the use of Indian names did name their team for something they obviously disrespect -- "The Fighting Whities." Rather juvenile but I think it is pretty funny.

The NCAA reminds me of the do-gooders that were so appalled by midgets and dwarfs being "exploited" by sideshows in the early part of the 20th century, they got laws passed against "exploiting midgets and dwarfs" and put these poor people out of work. They were making MONEY. It improved their standard of living. The unintended consequence of this (and there are ALWAYS unintended consequences of this sort of meddling) was the midgets and dwarfs had to go back to doing either nothing or menial labor for which they got much less money. These meddling busy bodies certainly got no love from the midget crowd.

Let's face it, you have too many people out there without anything productive to do and so they have to meddle in the affairs of others. If a tribe is offended by their name being used then it is they that need to confront the team and air their views. The others (are you listening, NCAA?) need to sit down and shut up.
-- Gregory Huff
Littlerock, California

Andrew Cline's column regarding the idiots who call themselves the executive committee of the NCAA is nothing short of a masterpiece! Surely the "sane" among us can overrule these ignorant jackasses and allow the schools to wear what the uniforms they wish. Let's seek wider dissemination of Andrew's treatise.
-- unsigned

Did you think that NFL team in the Washington D.C. area took notice?

The term "redskin" is an old Euro-American name for Native Americans, referring, which is very unflattering and demeaning to them. In the past, there was a going rate for the scalps or hides of indigenous men, women, and children. These "redskin" trophies could be sold to most frontier trading posts. "Redskins" as used by the Washington National League football team, was a poor choice from the beginning. It was an unflattering name given to Indigenous Peoples by Euro-Americans.
-- Jeff Brownell
Herndon, Virginia

I think this is what will finally bring an end to the obsolete NCAA. All 18 teams named by the NCAA should pull out, start forming their own association, and invite other institutions who have the intestinal fortitude to join them. After about three years hopefully about 60 to 70 per cent of current NCAA members will have jumped ship and joined the "ACAA" (my idea for their name -- American Collegiate Athletic Association). Maybe somebody with the money ("follow the money!") will read this and pull the right strings to get it started.
-- Cloyd Brown
Roanoke, Virginia

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