LUCKY AT LIFTOFF
Re: Reid Collins's Restoration: STS-114:
STS 114 was lucky at lift off just as all the other shuttle missions that were successful were. They did not fix the problem of the foam falling off the external tank. Consequently they have now grounded the whole mess until they can try to come up with yet another reverse engineered so-called fix. Looks like one of those cascade-of-events-that-lead-to-a-disaster kind of thing to me. Hopefully in NASA's zeal to put 7 people on a highly dangerous test flight on an unknown reverse engineered craft without any knowledge of their fuel situation there won't be one of those events while coming home. Hey, maybe they could add on some extra wings or make it so it can submerge under the ocean? Why not? That's no less crazy than trying to fix a near 40-year-old design made when transistors were as new as bell-bottoms.
If you want a great example of what is capable for a fraction of the cost and is much safer all you have to do is look at Spirit and Opportunity. Otherwise in the near future they will be naming some hills on Mars the Discovery Hills.
KEEPING HER FRIENDS CLOSE
Re: The Prowler's Democratic Self-Strangulation:
Anyone dealing with the Clintons should not turn their back on them -- they are very good about sticking in that knife. Just look at people in the know around them that have died.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas
There can be no doubt that Mrs. Clinton is an able politician. She can speak untruths simultaneously from both sides of her mouth and never move her lips! Silly Senator Schumer is learning what it is like to try to work with a Clinton. He will be, like everyone else, used, abused, lied to and tossed on the dung heap. (Were this Mr. Clinton under discussing it might be appropriate to add "molested" to this litany.) Should Schumer dare protest this treatment he will also be belted and flayed, verbally sodomized, and placed under the dung heap fit only as food for flies.
Am I the only person in our great land to find Mrs. Clinton's ability to ruthlessly trash friends, allies and enemies alike, a less than respectable qualification for our nation's highest office?
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Everyone but Schumer already believes Chuck is the junior senator from New York.
"Senate Democrats say... Schumer and his staff had done a relatively decent job of keeping his role in the stalking of Roberts in the background."
Evidently these same Senate Democrats did not see Schumer alongside Leahy in front of the cameras before the echoes of Roberts's statement had died in that White House hallway just salivating at the opportunity to give his special brand of partisanship to a wide audience.
To the contrary, Schumer forces his way to the forefront and hogs the limelight at all times. He fired warning shots on potential judicial nominations the day after Bush was inaugurated in 2001 with threats of battles to come and has been puppy-dog eager for TV face time on the subject ever since. The latest such exposure was on Fox News Sunday during which time he posed as a mild mainstreamer merely seeking to fill in a few items of information before he voted yea on Roberts's nomination. (Brit Hume was the interviewer and did not press Schumer at all on this attempted Schumer charade.) And, of course, we've all heard the admonition to not put body and soul between Schumer and a TV camera.
There was the qualifier of "relatively," but even taking that into account there is no politician that is more embarrassingly, laughably obvious than Schumer in his obnoxious self-promotion. I'm sure a good share of the other Senate Democrats consider him a mere useful idiot to put out front and throw verbal crap on the wall. And his staff stands no chance of hiding anything concerning this clown.
-- Rick Thiel
The propaganda attack on Karl Rove is strictly an "inside the beltway" thing. The public couldn't identify the man, nor do they care a whit. They may think they are scoring points but it is only with their own most extreme partisans.
-- G.B. Hall
STUCK IN 'NAM
Re: Megan Basham's Baghdad Hill Blues:
The thing about the media and the left in general is that they continue to fight the Vietnam War. They cannot get out of that loop and assume we soldiers all feel the way they projected on to the soldiers of that war. I served nine months in Afghanistan. I, and the people I worked with understood the strategic context of the war, and were happy to be able to take part in this. I hope to have the opportunity to go back in the next year. I for one know I did more good in my nine months than all the bleeding hearts in California.
-- M.E. Roberts, author of Villages of the Moon: Psychological Operations in Southern Afghanistan
PROFILE, DON'T SEARCH
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Searches Make Sense:
Better to make searches sensible. Of course sensible searches make sense. But as Mason & Felder remind us toward the end of their piece, the searches we get both on subways and airplanes are nonsensical. There would be a small segment of terrorist supporters who would oppose any search, and a few anarcho-absolutists. But what undermines the legitimacy of the searches and public support is the blatantly irrational manner in which they are done. It shows the authorities are not really trying to catch terrorists but only make a big appearance of doing so, while reinforcing the submissiveness of the ordinary citizens, which will prove useful in a whole series of other situations as well.
All this because our officials, from the President on down are terrified of offending our enemies, because they lack the guts to challenge Political Correctness, and think it safer to attack their friends instead.
Police have always used "profiling," and are encouraged to do so when the "proper people" are being profiled. When a woman is raped, do the police go out and round up an equal number of men and women, to avoid profiling men? Thank God, no, they profile men. And enforcement of civil rights law also involves profiling of white people. How often do EEO and affirmative action enforcers go making "testing" applications of non-white businesses and landlords? Overwhelmingly civil rights and hate crime laws were written explicitly as laws profiling whites, even though blacks, Asians, American Indians, and Hispanics are equally capable of prejudice. How many black men have been investigated for possible membership in the Klan?
We accept these latter profiling as appropriate because there are very, very few women rapists, or black Klan members. There are also very, very few blue-eyed grannie suicide bombers.
A good shepherd troubles the wolves, not his own sheep.
-- George Mellinger
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
"Pssst. Don't tell Timothy McVeigh that he is a dark haired Muslim. Pass it on."
Seriously, I understand the component that it is certain ethnic groups that comprise the Jihadists. But there are also reports being aired that the OBL network is attempting to recruit other ethnic groups to do their bidding as well. So about the time we narrow our review process to one group we'll find fair haired Dutch nationals running around with explosives. (With apologies to the Dutch.)
It may seem to make sense to be more selective. But I don't know if it is skin complexion that will be the trip wire. But most certainly it will not be Ma Frickert who is now being frisked by the TSA agent.
-- John McGinnis
Quoth Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder: "The possibility that a search may reveal drugs or "illegal weapons is a plus -- not a minus. People shouldn't be walking around our city in possession of illegal guns, drugs, etc., bringing them from one part of town to another."
It's unfortunate that Messrs. Mason and Felder adulterated their message by frolicking in this particular minefield. This is much the same attitude as prevailed in Germany in 1928, when the elected conservative government enacted the "Law on Firearms and Ammunition," asserting government control of personal arms. The 1928 law presaged the Third Reich's tightening of such restrictions a decade later -- and the ensuing slaughter of millions who had acquiesced to their own disarming (translation: being rendered helpless to resist the tyranny visited upon them by their own government).
According to *my* reading of the U.S. Constitution, there is no such thing as an "illegal" gun. To whatever extent that governments criminalize the possession of arms, it is by arrogation of power specifically denied them by that Document.
-- David Gonzalez
The great Mason and Felder are usually spot on. Unfortunately, not so about the New York subway searches.
The police commissioner knows that unless the searches are targeted at the only group which has killed anyone since 11th September, young Arab/Muslim males, the searches will be a waste of expensive time and personnel.
Are we at war? If so, then let's search, and search aggressively, all those who fit the bill as enemies who seek our destruction. This, of course, means profiling. Profiling takes guts because it is not politically correct. Nevertheless, our liberty and way of life are either worth taking the heat, or not.
Keep this up, gentlemen, and your children will have no Bill of Rights to protect them. That holy document will be considered an obsolete relic, an obstacle to the internal security apparatus.
Lets stop playing games and worrying about who might get offended by our efforts to protect ourselves. Let's stop thinking about votes and elections as the drivers for what can and cannot be done to secure our borders.
Random searches, dream on.
-- Mark E. Medvetz, Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Public Service Pennsylvania:
Kudos to Professor Ralph R. Reiland for bringing Pennsylvania's usual political shenanigans into national scrutiny ("Greed in the Public Sector" and "Public Service Pennsylvania"). One hopes that he can make a difference, but truth be told, Pennsylvania's corrupt politics could support a cottage industry of investigative journalists. Everybody should be welcomed to this turkey shoot.
Just today, my local newspaper, the Wilkes Barre Citizen's Voice published a letter to the editor by the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Ralph Cappy, who defended the stealth pay raises that the Pennsylvania legislators recently voted for themselves and the judiciary. The letter is notable for its length, sense of self entitlement and hubris. Judge Cappy tries to explain why Pennsylvania judges should be paid the same as federal judges. One reason given is that it will encourage a higher class of lawyer to run for these offices. (Hopefully, they will be classier than Judge Cappy who I am sure will not have the class to recuse himself from hearing any lawsuit that might reach him on the issue of these pay raises.) He uses the same argument to support the raises the legislature voted for its members. The Pennsylvania Legislature is in session an average of 77 days a year. Now a better class of person will be encouraged to vie for these part time jobs.
Pennsylvania does not have referendum or recall. It is high time the Pennsylvania Constitution was amended to allow them!
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
BEGGING FOR BRAINS
Re: Jed Babbin's Baghdad Barbarella:
This shameless creep would not be at it again if we had done our duty as loyal Americans. Hanoi Jane should have been tried, convicted and executed for treason years ago. This might have given pause to Willie who sold our military secrets to the Chinese People's Army. Traitor Kerry might have declined to betray America, our Vietnamese allies, our POW's and Nicaragua. He might even have voted for some of the military hardware which performed so well in Iraq. Even Turban Durbin might have hesitated to curry favor with the terrorists by betraying our warriors in Al Jazeera and throughout the Muslim world. Scorn is too good for the traitor scum. Okay, I'm dreaming. Anyway, good on yuh, Jed.
-- Dick Lambert
Eagle Rock, Virginia
What a great article concerning "Hanoi Jane"! At the time of Fonda's treason, I was a Navy wife, only concerned with bringing my husband home. The news only reported the anti-war demonstrations here at home, LBJ's reluctance to call it what it was, a "war" -- it was called a "CONFLICT," Kent State, and nonessential trivia. If I had then what is HERE now: Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the sophisticated recording devices that show the GOOD that we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq, I would have felt much better about having my husband away, being a hero! Thanks for showing the REAL side of Vietnam and THE WAR ON TERRIORISM! Hopefully, the Dems will decide that fighting the war on terrorism where there they live is better than fighting them here!
Please send me her itinerary.
-- Clasina Segura
New Iberia, Louisiana
Mr. Babbin has done it again!
Since my stepson is in Iraq fighting and risking his life to stop the terrorists, I want to make a suggestion that MAY (probably won't!) make Mizz Fonda give her "Hate America" tour a second thought.
It's about time the Congress and the President endorse and pass a formal Declaration of War against the Islamofascists. Let's not just say "terrorism" because, as usual, the left will claim we are the terrorists. Let's be clear and spell who it is we are seeking to kill.
Such a Declaration should do the following:
1) Define the enemy and leave out political correctness;
2) Define "treason" appropriately and set up swift trials and capital punishment for those found guilty;
3) Stipulate that terrorists found in America will be tried by military tribunal and, if found to be terrorists, will face execution within 3 days of the court finding.
This would be a start in getting America in the proper frame of mind to really, once and for all, have an all-out war effort to WIN!
And one side benefit is maybe we can either shut up Hanoi Jane or try her and fry her!
-- John Sorg
The new slogan could read, "Jane: Brain, Not Breast Augmentation!"
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Jed Babbin replies:
Mr. Sorg: Be careful where you say these things, or you'll soon have people voting for you.
MOVING THE CATHOLIC GOALPOSTS
Re: George Neumayr's J'Recuse:
This report of the private interview between Dick Durbin and John Roberts raises red flags. These off-the-record meetings are very improper. Sen. Specter bragged about his four-hour interview with a Court of Appeals nominee -- no doubt impressing the judge with the Senator's views on judicial supremacy.
If a Supreme Court nominee is to meet with Senators, he should meet with all 100, give them equal time, and the public should be given a transcript of each interview.
Why not bypass the disgusting Judiciary Committee and send the nomination to the full Senate? Judge Roberts could appear and answer questions from all 100. He should be represented by counsel, who could object to improper questions.
The obvious point of these closed-door meetings with Senators is: "I'll vote to confirm you if you will indicate you will rule the way I want on cases." Violates separation of powers, among other things.
-- C. Baker
Once, having nothing else to do, I took my C-Span directory of Members of Congress and Senate and tallied the stated religion of every member of Congress and Senate -- Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian. Mormon, Assembly of God... all of them.
I don't know how it stands today, but several years ago, in both houses, Catholics Ruled!
And the world still goes round.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
My compliments on your excellent article regarding the Left's ever-growing anti-Catholic bias. Might I ask the source of the featured writing by the Holy Father, then Cardinal Ratzinger? I can't wait to use it on my fellow parishioners here at St. Thomas Sandinista in Indianapolis. Thank you.
-- Mark K. Zunk
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