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Death penalty days. Yes on denial. Enemies of freedom. Franklin Graham on Dad's joke. Plus much more.

7.1.05

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FAN MAIL
You guys are the biggest bigoted cult America has ever known. You should be both ashamed and embarrassed to call yourself Americans. Get a liberal life and maybe some day the Republican cult will stop brainwashing you.
-- unsigned

JUSTICE IN DEATH
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Death to Rader:

Congratulations, Mr. Tyrrell, on the evolution of your thinking regarding the death penalty. When I read that you have evolved toward the advocacy of public hangings at high noon on Saturdays in the town square, I shall lift a can of Budweiser to toast the completion of your journey.
-- Dale White
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Of course there are many good reasons for capital punishment, but the foremost is justice. A life-taker destroys not only the life of his victim, but nearly always ruins the lives of the family of his prey. Until justice is served society is undermined and diminished by the anarchy of evil. If one wishes not to call capital punishment murder, then call it justifiable homicide. If the elected government can't bring itself to do the deed, let a survivor, relative, friend of the family, or even a "interested" third party who may have always wanted to kill, but could find no social sanction.

Actually, a more reasonable course of action would be to "use" the Dennis Raders of this world to further our understanding of science. Dennis Rader should be condemned to spend the rest of his life paying back society. There are many ways he could do this, but considering his enormous crimes, he should pay an enormous penalty. Mr. Rader should be literally and figuratively dissected to try and find out what created this kind of monster and how to prevent them from acting out. That would be true justice for the victims and society. I would bet that other potential murderers knowing that their crimes would result in an anonymous death on some unknown laboratory table would probably think twice about the 15 minutes of fame involved fulfilling their evil fantasies.

It is most important to prevent the life and gruesome death of the victims from becoming simply a horror story that Mr. Rader can glorify himself in narrating, or allow him to be admired and caressed by celebrity style interviews until he is finally called to hell.
-- J. W. Libra
Santa Fe, New Mexico

I was glad they televised this moron's hearing. In short time Hollywood or a TV writer will have a script and someone like Robert Blake will play the part and make him sympathetic. Those of us who had a chance to see the real deal know he was delusional wimp who somehow thought these horrific acts made him something else. Also, ladies, do not open your doors to strangers.
-- Annette Cwik
The Villages, Florida

Your piece is pretty heady food for thought.

There is a lot to say for, and against the death penalty, and I suppose the same could be said regarding incarceration.

Sometimes, my mind goes to the punishment found in the Middle East for crimes. Admittedly, their culture provides the basis for the punishment. We find there, criminals are castigated through their punishment, and society readily recognizes it. Regardless of how inhumane we may view it.

Putting Rader in prison for life, or life times ten, does nothing to castigate him in the eyes of our society. As you say, he will soon be forgotten. Our prisons are full of people who would be outcasts in Middle Eastern society. Perhaps our desire to be humane has caused us to lose our perspective.

As Christians, we believe that God will ultimately punish wrongdoers if they do not repent and turn from their wicked ways. We instituted prisons with the idea that criminals would have the opportunity, away from society proper, to recognize their wrongdoing, and repent. Additionally, we somehow see punishment against crimes as getting revenge, and any good Christian knows that revenge belongs to God and God alone. Unfortunately, our prisons have become a rest home for the criminally insane.

President Kennedy was assassinated while I was in Marine Corps boot camp. I well remember our junior drill instructor informing us, that electrocution or the gas chamber would be too easy a death for the man who did the deed. I agree. I feel the same way about Rader. Life imprisonment, or death penalty, would be too easy for him. I don't have the answer(s). Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
-- Terry A. Pinkerton
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Mr. Tyrrell writes that he is wavering in his opposition to the death penalty after listening to the testimony of Dennis Rader. One wonders if Mr. Tyrrell holds the liberal view (oops, I mean progressive view) that terrorists should be captured and prosecuted instead of the conservative view that they should be shot and killed.
-- Earl Wright
Clovis, California

Mr. Tyrrell is beginning to realize in his liberal (classic sense) mind, some people deserve a good killing. As the true Chief Justice says, "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" (Genesis 9). There are six things which the Lord hates...hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6). Rader is in serious trouble.
-- David Shoup
Dublin, Georgia

THE PLAYBOY PHILOSOPHY
Re: David Holman's Yes on Abstinence:

Holman misses the mark by ignoring or being ignorant of the real reason the left is so obsessed with "abstinence" training. They aren't so much against abstinence as they are against what it encourages.

When we speak of teenagers abstaining from sex, we don't mean forever, we mean "abstain until marriage." That message promotes marriage, which is what the ACLU, PBS, the Playboy Foundation and all those other leftists are so upset about.
-- Bill Kriebel
Hopewell Junction, New York

It should be noted that Catholics For Free Choice is NOT affiliated with the Catholic Church but "promotes positions contrary to the teaching of the Church."

"...on November 4, 1993, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) released a statement stating, 'many people, including Catholics, may be led to believe that it [Catholics For Free Choice, CFFC] is an authentic Catholic organization. It is not. It has no affiliation, formal or otherwise, with the Catholic Church.' The bishops added that CFFC 'is associated with the pro-abortion lobby in Washington, D.C.' and 'attracts public attention by its denunciations of basic principles of Catholic morality and teaching....' And in May 2000, the president of the NCCB, Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, denounced the group for its rejection and distortion of the Church's teachings on life issues."

"On a number of occasions the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) has stated publicly that CFFC is not a Catholic organization, does not speak for the Catholic Church, and in fact promotes positions contrary to the teaching of the Church as articulated by the Holy See and the NCCB."

See the statement of the U.S. National Conference of Catholic Bishops on "Catholics For Free Choice."
-- Gordon Paravano
Sedona, Arizona

Mr. Holman should have titled his article "Yes on Denial." He states, "Parents should pay attention to this debate. It could determine whether your children learn about morals from you or Joycelyn Elders and the Playboy Foundation." Of course, the truth is that most parents aren't teaching their children anything about sex or morals. Otherwise, where are all of the teen pregnancies, teen sex, and illegitimate children coming from? It makes no sense that people want to make this an either/or argument. Parents sometimes go to great pains to see that their children become good, safe drivers. But that doesn't mean that you send them out on the road sans seatbelts. Why give kids only a portion of the information on sex and protection? Studies have also shown that abstinence only education may delay sexual activity among kids, but they eventually do have sex and they are ill equipped to protect themselves when they do.
-- Ben Berry
Washington, D.C.

CORPORATE INTERESTS
Re: Timothy P. Carney's Big Government Business:

Mr. Carney's "Big Government Business" reminded me of some doodling I have been doing over the years. When I returned to Washington in the late 1970s to run a publishing operation, good services were hard to find locally. I had to deal with suppliers in New York and Chicago and, to a lesser extent, Baltimore, to get the quality we needed.

Quality of life concerns, such as reasonable restaurants, had improved a bit from the '50s and '60s, but finding people with a private enterprise work ethic -- as opposed to the gummint worker ethic -- continued difficult. I found it necessary to import talent (and many people did not want to transfer to D.C., although the move of Time/Life Books to Virginia in the mid-'70s was the first indication of the growing draw of Washington [if memory serves, suburban Washington beat out New Haven, Connecticut).

The most notable change at the close of the '70s into the '80s was that a number of large corporations relocated their corporate HQ to greater DCA, an indication of the growing power of doing business with the government -- not just the DoD -- and trying to influence regulatory agencies and the congressional complex.

Normal companies had already started leaving New York City in the '60s, but initially they headed to locations other than DCA.

There probably is a Ph.D. thesis in here somewhere.

Big government and big business belong to each other. Both are enemies of freedom and liberty and sell-out the citizens.
-- Edward G. Tripp
Cincinnati, Ohio

Mr. Carney couldn't be more correct in pointing out the hideous dichotomy between big business and small. I have been a serial entrepreneur for the last ten years, starting and operating technology businesses in the U.S. and Europe. My clients tend to be large organizations which more often than not are also multi-national. By and large they tend to toady to the government line (lest they end of in anti-trust Microsoft hell) and nurse happily from the public teat whenever and wherever the opportunity presents. This of course stifles most disruptive innovation. The one that realize their status will actively pursue innovation by partnering with small startups or medium size businesses which are still under the radar.

In discussions with my Father, who is still a proud AFL-CIO liberal (God love his idealism) he can't understand how I can be against the Kelo decision since he views me as a fat-cat capitalist (the charge of class enemy has been leveled as well) capitalist and therefore in my interest since I would be able to appropriate "working people's" property for my own financial gain. My response is: you finally get it. Conservatives are for the little guy -- we want people to be independent and the best course is the ownership of private property. My Dad, like others, tends to have a view of conservatives as a bunch of white guys sitting around a map of the world, smoking cigars and dividing up the world. That "business" is one big amorphous ball and that big or small we are all out to screw the little guy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As conservatives we have an opportunity here -- GOP, listen up! -- we can prove that we believe in the goodness of everyday people and their work by using our state and federal legislatures to correct this decision. This is could be a turning point -- if we follow our conscience and take advantage of the moment. Here in the U.K. they are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Arguably one of the events that has had most influence on recent modern history. In an article recounting the battle yesterday I was struck by a quote attributed to Lord Nelson the night before the battle: "England Expects." Too right. America expects.
-- Ron Pettengill
London, United Kingdom

WHINE AND CHEESE
Re: John Tabin's Thirty Minute Man:

I am so thoroughly disgusted with the rhetoric and complaining of Kennedy, Byrd, Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, Corzine, Kerry, Clinton One and Clinton Two, Rangel, etc. What a bunch of wimpy, cowardly whiners who just can't get over not having complete charge of our government. What is the matter with people like this who claim they have the country at heart when it is so obvious all they care about is their mindless, insensitive lying trying to bring down our President in an attempt to force their empty ideas upon this country? They had their chance during the campaign and they lost -- twice. Instead of joining the winner, President Bush, they have done nothing but obstruct and whine. They are proving to the country just what kind of security we would have under their watch -- none! I find these people so ugly in their rhetoric and wish there was a law that would remove them from public office once and for all so this country and our President could get on with the business of the people.
-- Jane McNair
Mystic, Connecticut

We understand that bin Laden, Zawahiri and Zarqawi got their feelings hurt when the President brought up September 11, 2001. Is that why the Democrats are so upset about it?
-- unsigned

BUSH THEN OBAMA
Re: Will Wilkinson's Obama's Stale New Deal:

"There are those who believe... [t]hat the best idea is to give everyone one big refund on their government -- divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on."

Your source's quote of Senator Obama is such a spot-on concise description of everything I am for -- can we get him as a keynote speaker at the next Republican Convention?
-- Paul Milenkovic
Madison, Wisconsin

LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PUBLIC USE
Re: J. David Breemer's O Madison, Where Art Thou?:

Reaction to two points in J. David Breemer's excellent analysis:

1. Rather than NOT "believ[ing] such rights have an important role in checking government power and preserving liberty," it seems self-evident that the Court majority FIRMLY believes this to be the case...but does NOT SUPPORT the objective of "checking government power"!

2. Rather than the "Framers ma[king] a mistake in creating such a powerful and autonomous judicial branch," the Court actually arrogated the power of constitutional review to itself (as I believe Mr. Neumayr wrote in his article yesterday), while Congress has abdicated ALL of its possible checks on judicial tyranny:

a) "Borking" strict constructionists while insisting on "living document" lefties;

b) Abject failure to provide ANY oversight (e.g. should not at least one wild-eyed would-be dictator on the bench have been impeached for acts contrary to their oath of office, i.e. outside constitutional restraints?).

c. NEVER ONCE imposing their explicit Constitutional power to limit the scope of judicial authority (at least not in living memory). Blame it on an apathetic public or spineless Republican senators cringing before a left-wing press that eviscerates anyone who would dare THINK of reforming the court, or choose another villain, but please don't blame the Framers!
-- Kevin Amaro
Hayward, California

I think the homes of the five Lenins should be checked out for possible use as a landfill. Since that would surely be a better use for the public good.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

"Unlike those claiming violations of free speech rights, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, or any other constitutional liberty, those seeking to protect their property are shut out of federal courthouses." -- Breemer

"Protection of property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937. The paradigmatic case, written by that premiere constitutional operative, William O. Douglas, is Williamson v. Lee Optical. The court drew a line between personal rights and property rights or economic interests, and applied two different constitutional tests. Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status. If the right asserted was economic, the court held the Legislature could do anything it pleased. Judicial review for alleged constitutional infirmities under the due process clause was virtually nonexistent. On the other hand, if the right was personal and 'fundamental,' review was intolerably strict. From the Progressive era to the New Deal, property was by degrees ostracized from the company of rights. Something new, called economic rights, began to supplant the old property rights. This change, which occurred with remarkably little fanfare, was staggeringly significant. With the advent of 'economic rights,' the original meaning of rights was effectively destroyed." -- Justice Janice Rogers Brown
-- unsigned

Your readers concerned about recent Supreme Court decisions, for example the Kelo decision addressed by David Breemer ("O Madison, Where Art Thou?", 6/29), might consider signing the petition at Vote for Judges to do something about it.
-- Karl Maher
Denver, Colorado

SOMETHING TO GO HOME ON
Re: Eleanor Stables's From Russia With Love:

I just read this article and really enjoyed it. I thought the detailed comparison between the Derbishky orphanage and the Nizhnekamsk Hope Center was especially enlightening. After reading the article, I only wish I had a little more sense of how bad the situation is in Russia as opposed to other industrialized countries (a numbers of orphans comparison to France or Britain, followed by a comparison to other former Soviet Republics would have been nice).

Still, I especially liked the way the author left me with something hopeful to walk away with after such a sad description of the general situation in Russia. The baby girl described as a "little present...bundled up warmly to be taken home by her mother" was a strong image, and it gave me the sense that improvement is possible.
-- Richard Barrett

THE POWER OF CHOICE
Re: Chris B.'s letter (under "Pro-Ban Conservative") in Reader Mail's Decadence on Display:

Probably without realizing it, the writer has expressed a truly conservative position and one to which liberals pay lip service when it suits them, namely choice. As he says, if he had a smoke free bar in his home state he would CHOOSE to patronize it just as a smoker would CHOOSE a smoking one. And the owner of the business could CHOOSE the type of patronage he wished to attract.

I am a former heavy smoker who is now paying the price for indulging in the filthy habit with emphysema and COPD and only go into smoke free restaurants, hotels, etc. But I don't have the right to tell others to do the same. As liberal pro-abortion Catholics are prone to say "Although I am personally opposed, I have no right to impose my belief on others"
-- Charles Dana

GRAHAM DENIES THE CLINTONS
Re: Jack Hughes's letter (under "Jumped the Shark") in Reader Mail's Decadence on Display, Joellen M. Arrabito's letter (under "Crusading for Hill") in Reader Mail's Midnight Breakfasts and Jed Babbin's Slippary:

Dear Jack,

Thank you for contacting us to express your concern regarding comments about former President and Senator Clinton at the recent New York Crusade. Franklin Graham has issued the following statement addressing this topic:

Recently at my father's New York Crusade, he made comments in jest concerning the Clintons, which may have been misunderstood. His comments indicated that President Clinton could have been an evangelist and his wife, Senator Clinton, could run the country. My father, of course, was joking. President Clinton has the charisma, personality, and communication skills, but an evangelist has to have the call of God, which President Clinton obviously does not have, and my father understands that. For a long time, my father has refrained from endorsing political candidates and he certainly did not intend for his comments to be an endorsement for Senator Hillary Clinton. While his political views are quite different than the Clintons, they remain good friends. -- Franklin Graham

Please join us in thanking God for the tremendous results from the New York Crusade as thousands of lives were touched and changed for eternity. We would appreciate your prayers for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as we continue seeking to reach as many people as possible with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Franklin Graham has an aggressive Crusade schedule already extending into 2007 along with BGEA's many other global outreaches.

Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. God bless you.
-- Administrative Services Department
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

SHE STOOD BY HER CROOK
Re: The Prowler's Nailing Labor's Coffin:

Wish you would all get off Hillary's back. She is a very understanding and supportive person. Just look at how she understood, and supported her husband while he was making a personal whorehouse out of our White House. Look also at how she and her husband contributed to the Treasury of the United States by renting out the Lincoln bedroom to criminals, contributors, and a mixture of both from Hollywood.
-- C. Quick

THE MOST ADVANCED COUNTRY?
Re: John Train's How to Invest in China:

250 years ago China was WHAT? Maybe 2500 years ago!
-- unsigned

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