Re: Marc Farinella's letter ("Casey for Senate") in Reader Mail's Not So Fast:
Does Mr. Farinella really expect Pennsylvania voters to accept at face value his denials and question the accuracy of The American Spectator's report in light of the fact that the very sort of deception it describes has been part and parcel of the Democratic Party's campaign strategy since the 1980s? Does Mr. Farinella assume that pro-life voters are not aware of the number of 2004 Democratic primary candidates for President ran as pro-life candidates early in their careers only to side with pro-abortion forces once elected than suddenly adopt the positions and language of the pro-abortion lobby when they ran for high office?
As a pro-life, social conservative from a strongly Democratic family who switched to the Republican Party because of these issues I don't believe any truly sincere pro-life, pro-family person could be comfortable associated with the single largest pro-abortion, pro-gay organization in the nation. Before The American Spectator's report I had already assumed that Bob Casey's positions on these issues were nothing by convenient deceptions just as they have been for every other Pennsylvania Democrat past and present who adopts them when running in races where such positions are a necessity, while under the umbrella of an organization that actively promotes the wanton destruction of innocent life.
Misters Farinella and Casey, I've been deceived by so called "pro-life" and "pro-family" Democrats in the past and it will never happen again.
-- Paul S. Galvanek
Re: William Tucker's End the Embezzlement Now!:
Sounds a lot like Al Gore's "lock box" to me!
-- Jim Mathews
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Let's pretend that we never heard of Social Security and start with the eighties, which was when we began to have investment options provided by many employers. Let's assume that instead of Social Security the government had required FICA to be used for retirement, so that the government wouldn't be stuck with welfare and Medicaid.
For all intents and purposes this is where upper middle class
Americans are now. A majority have growing investment accounts and affluence previously unheard of for elderly retirees. So we don't have to make excuses to have private investments. All those in opposition to Bush's Private Accounts, already have these accounts of their own, so their protests are a travesty.
The problem is that the debts of Social Security must be restructured and the plan must be allowed to expire as the beneficiaries pass away. It is no longer a good deal for anyone paying 15.3% FICA. It will be less expensive to get rid of than to try to patch it up.
-- G.B. Hall
This is brilliant and should be emailed to all members of Congress. It is indeed highway robbery and the pitiful shame is that Americans (of all ages) are oblivious to this fact, but instead think there is an Al Gore type lockbox with their name on it.
-- Cheryl Singletary
The only part that I disagree with is where Tucker says, "The 'Social Security Crisis' will occur when, because of demographic shifts, this annual surplus vanishes over the next 12 years. Suddenly, Congress will no longer have that $100 billion to plug the budget gap every year."
First, the crisis will occur in five years when the annual surplus crop of social security cash starts decreasing. At this point, Congress, used to annual growth in all expenses, will find the deficit is growing much more rapidly than in recent years. To fill the void, Congress will do what it has always done: increase its borrowing each year. By the time 12 years have passed, Congress will, like the proverbial frog in a pot of slowly heating water, not realize that it is time to jump and continue to borrow. There is no "suddenly" that might jolt Congress into action.
-- Hugh A. Dempsey
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
-- Threima Leech
Placitas, New Mexico
THE SENIOR RACKET
Re: David Hogberg's AARP Should Retire:
Kudos to David Hogberg ("The AARP Should Retire"), but there is one important aspect of the relationship between the AARP and old folks which he failed to fully address: the necessity, as the AARP sees it, to keep the oldsters dependent upon itself. To that end, it betrays the trust of the malleable superannuated (through fear-mongering campaigns rife with mischaracterizations, half-truths, and -- not infrequently -- outright lies). To better understand this manipulation, one need only substitute "blacks" for "seniors" and replace "AARP" with "NAACP."
-- David Gonzalez
DIVORCE IS DEADLY
Re: Lawrence Henry's Don't Be in Such a Hurry:
Regarding Lawrence Henry's 3/18 "Don't Be in Such a Hurry" and the whole Terri Schiavo story in general, I am enormously frustrated that no one (in the press) seems to be covering the real story. In my mind, this is not so much a pro-life or right-to-die issue, but it's a marriage issue. Whenever I see Terri's spouse Michael Schiavo mentioned, he is called her "husband." This is because Michael still has a piece of paper that says he has that status -- which is his entire legal claim allowing him to determine life or death for Terri.
The problem is that Michael has NOT been living as Terri's "husband" for over ten years. Since 1995, he has been openly ENGAGED to and living with another woman, Jodi Centzone. Their open adultery has produced two children, and the four of them live together happily as just another family. Jodi's status as Michael's fiancÃ©e was even included in the obituaries of Michael's parents, when they died. In those newspaper obituaries, there was no mention of Michael's "wife" Terri.
While I am usually dead set against divorce, in this case it would be the right thing for Michael to do. Just divorce Terri, return her to the care of her parents, marry Jodi, and let your children live in a legal father-and-mother home. Then, Terri's parents can decide whether or not to "pull the plug" on Terri. If they choose to do so, it will be much harder to argue about it.
So why doesn't Michael do the right thing and divorce Terri? He essentially says it's because he wants to honor Terri's wishes and help grant her right to die. But the real reason is undeniably because Terri still has money -- hundreds of thousands won in a lawsuit years ago. This money was supposed to provide for Terri's care and rehabilitation. Michael has made sure very little has been spent on rehabilitation. Once Terri dies Michael & Jodi and kids will inherit a comfortable nest egg.
One request: Whenever The Spectator mentions Michael Schiavo as Terri's "husband," could you please put quotes around that word?
-- Allen Nyhuis
Re: George Neumayr's Collacting Coffins:
Again, Mr. Neumayr has pitted the ace at 100 yards. I would, however, move the start date of the feminization of the military in general and the army in particular back to the dissolution of the gender specific service branches. When the Women's Army Corps and Women in the Air Force were ended and their members integrated into the line service branches, events and policies were set into motion that have led inevitably to today's tragic theater of the absurd.
Surveying the train wreck that is our government, society, and culture, I have realized that we are at a culminating point in history. We live in an era where the policies and attitudes born of liberal fantasies are fully interacting with the Laws of Nature with catastrophic results. The only good news I see is that the scales seem to be dropping from the eyes of fellow citizens at an increasing rate. This will limit the amount of damage that Reid, Boxer, Kennedy, Clinton, et al. can still do. But cleaning up their mess will be the work of generations.
-- John Jarrell
San Antonio, Texas
I believe the quote in Mr. Neumayr's article concerning the assets required to evacuate 24 fully loaded females from a combat area is missing the word "or." Assuming that the reference is to 24 women with their rifles, rucksacks, ammo, food and water (maybe what -- 175 lbs. each?) one Chinook would suffice. Or six Hueys, or two blackhawks, etc. Not quite "half the aviation assets of a division."
-- T. L. Fornes
I share George Neumayr's concern in his article "Collating Coffins" about placing women in combat. But if women are given a pass from fighting why are they in the military at all? Every soldier should be capable of combat since the primary mission of the military is to fight and win wars; a civilian force can do everything else.
Female soldiers are promoted to higher rank just like men and receive the same benefits. (Pregnant female soldiers actually receive additional benefits and are very costly and disruptive to the military.) Yet only men are expected to fight and possibly die in combat.
We are at war. American soldiers are dying partly in Iraq because of a shortage of combatants. It is time for both liberals and conservatives to stop playing PC games by calling for a complete end to this leftwing and absurd social experiment of women-in-the-military. This could be done gradually by only accepting new male recruits. The end result would increase our combat strength by about 15% at less cost. Rummy could spearhead this all-male recruitment effort as part of his transformation of the military.
-- Lou Venticinque
This entire issue is a rare case proving the adage: be careful what you wish for -- you just may get it.
The feminists have espoused their PC ideal of a gender neutral world in the face of common sense which says it just isn't so. They have demanded that the military open all Military Occupation Specialties to women, and now are crying when they are faced with the consequences. Life isn't fair, and you don't get it both ways.
"You're not generally told as a female that you will be in that type of situation where you are in harm's way directly," National Guard Sergeant Brenda Monroe said to the Sacramento Bee. "I never dreamed that I would wake up every night and have to run to a bunker and take cover because we were being attacked or under direct fire."
Sorry sweetie, but when you join an organization whose main function is to break things and kill people, you have to understand that there are those on the other side who intend to do exactly that to you. Get used to it.
-- William Batley
It seems to me that women fought hard to be "equal" to men. Now let them cope with it! I have little sympathy for those who do not like the result of their own foolishness.
And no, I don't like it a bit, any more than you do. But foolishness brings it's consequences to all who practice it.
-- Roy W. Hogue
Newbury Park, California
I pray that no more mothers and daughters have to die, just as I do that no more fathers and sons do, either.
But, I wonder: Are all women who enter the military, feminists? And of those who enlist, do none of them suspect they could be in harm's way, even if they have a non-combat-arms or non-combat-arms-support MOS? Or that, in general, their lives might be greatly inconvenienced?
Once, as an environmental engineering consultant, I worked on a project at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Having to get special permission for something or another, I found myself in an office staffed with a young enlisted woman.
While waiting, small talk got around to how life in the USAF was for her. She said, "OK," but mentioned she was being shipped to Turkey soon, for an extended tour, and wouldn't be able to take her little child (or children, maybe husband?) with her. She was genuinely upset. I seem to recall she said she didn't think it was right
All I could do was sympathize. But I wondered then, as I do now: Didn't she understand the possibility existed and might actually occur? And at what point did she decide she should be the exception to the Air Force's policies?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
As a retired Marine, I have some knowledge regarding the driving force behind putting women in the "back of the front lines," which is essentially what co-location really means. I served as an Avionics technician and up through the ranks to heading the same Avionics shop I once worked in as a tech. From the time I entered the Corps, in 76, until the time I was retired (medically for M.S.) there has been serious clamor by almost all "career oriented" women Marines to allow them in units that serve as close to the "line of departure," the front line until someone else takes action that results in a change of location, for one specific reason: in the service one's ability to climb the ladder of the chain of command is limited by the billets one has held. A rational way of thinking says that one cannot command a combat element without the experience of serving in such an element, whether it be a helicopter Squadron or a Brigade Service Support Group. While this has only marginal significance to the enlisted personnel, since they can never "command" without being commissioned, it has been a bitterly fought campaign by female officers who see, correctly, that their career is limited to the very few commanding slots that are not directly combat related.
Aside from political correctness, it has been impossible for any woman to reach the rank of General in the Marines because until the policy changes were made, one could only get there via sequential commands of actual combat elements. In order to provide for promotional opportunities for these women, the rules have been changed by changing the names of such units as used to be understood to be directly connected to combat and hence, to the front lines. The distinction has had no significant effect on operations until we entered into a form of war that had previously been restricted to operations in tiny third world countries such as Haiti or Panama.
Unfortunately for the enlisted women, by changing the rules in order to satisfy the desire for full equality of command for the female officers, the military has no way to allow female officers to serve in a unit and simultaneously dis-allow enlisted female members on the basis of "non-combat" related requirements. During times when we haven't been at war, the vast majority of active duty women have demanded their full equality in every regard save the single most important one, and that is physical performance. In order to allow this full "equality" all of the services have enacted differing physical standards for male and female members, and pretended that in order to be "fair" one must balance the physical challenge against the "natural" capacities hence all members are equal, although some are more equal than others. As we watch the process of war for the first time in real time, one gets to watch the many things that have led to what used to be called "shell shock" and then "post-traumatic stress disorder" occur among men serving in horrific conditions, and thus gain a real understanding of some of the harsh realities of war. There has never been any real debate over the general tendency of women to be more emotionally based than men are, and it has been demonstrated time and again that those most likely to suffer from some sort of "PTSD" are people who are more emotionally driven than others, this has been amply demonstrated among men, even absent the presence of women. Now that we have women in the front lines, we can expect far greater percentages of war casualties to be scarred by "PTSD" than ever before.
All of this is entirely for the purpose of ensuring that women in the military have the opportunity to become Generals, even though the only real purpose of having Generals at all is for the leading of military units in actual combat and making and deciding on overall strategic considerations as they pertain to the impending battles. One has nothing to bring to this table absent experience in combat, so for the sake of the two or three female Colonels who will be promoted to the rank of General, we reduce the quality of all training, because when you "gender norm" the physical requirements of serving in the bottom echelon, you invariably reduce the actual competition that is the driving force for achievement. Today's soldiers are trained in co-ed basic training meaning not only are women being put in the front line risk areas, the men that they are put there with are also under trained and unprepared for the realities of hostile forces trying to actually kill you and destroy your tools of war. While the Marine Corps has refused to go to co-ed Boot Camp, you will find a step stool at every "obstacle course" on every Marine base, and while male Marines still are required to negotiate the obstacle course within a specific time, such is not the case for female Marines. I have had quite a few women Marines that earned my respect while I served with them, however I have only met one single woman Marine who I would care to be in combat with, and that out of 23 years of contact with truly "the best and the brightest." Most of what has been demonstrated as "being done wrong" during this war is directly related to the leadership that is capable of believing that it is okay, or more often, absolutely essential to offer the exact same promotional opportunities to women as men without any regard to consequences of their reckless disregard for obvious truths.
-- John McClain
GySgt, USMC, ret.
Vanceboro, North Carolina
It's not just in the military where this problem exists. Remember just last week the uncuffed killer in Atlanta overpowered his 50-year-old female security guard, grabbed her gun, and killed four people.
Re: E. Christian Kopff's A Tale of Two Administrators:
A suitable follow-up to Dr. Kopff's excellent article might be "A Tale of Two Teachers." Kopff and Ward Churchill both are employed as teachers at CU Boulder. Kopff is director of department that focuses scholarship on the enduring contributions of Western culture to the world and leads students to the truth. Churchill is head of a department that spreads radical racist hatred of the tenants of Western culture to naive students. Dr. Kopff points to the topsy-turvy academic world, in which "diversity" is paying Churchill and his ilk to spread propaganda while true scholars fight a rear-guard action against administrators who loathe the very foundations of the Western academic tradition. Yes, we do need a revolution. We need courageous faculty like Dr. Kopff, backed with the force of college boards, legislative bodies and ordinary citizens to take back our schools from the liberal mindset that pervades education today. Western civilization has always depended upon the brave individual. Personal integrity is at the heart of our Western tradition. The Left hates and fears the power of the individual; "group identity" is the icon of the Leftist philosophy. Those of us who know our Western culture know that the transforming power of individual moral strength spreads from soul to soul, from person to person.
Dr. Kopff, a man of integrity, is leading by example. It is up to the rest of us to take up the fight. I have no doubt that he faces hostile action every day on the academic battlefield that has given Ward Churchill tenure and a "Department of Ethnic Studies." Many thanks to The Spectator for giving Western Civilization a voice and to Christian Kopff for saying what needs to be said.
-- Michele C. Keigley, Ph.D.
Re: George Neumayr's Lawless Judges:
I know this might not apply to the federal system, but, how long would it take for most local judicial systems to come to a grinding halt if each defendant, from those charged with serious crimes, to those multitudes charged with mere traffic violations, were to refuse to plea bargain and request a trial by jury? Plea bargain grease is the only thing that allows the system to generate adequate turnover and ensure that those few who do go to trial are scheduled in a timely manner. Actually, it would probably only take a small percentage of defendants, say 20 percent, maybe even less, to bring the system to the point where only serious cases were scheduled and the remaining dismissed due to the inability to conduct them in a timely manner. This thought came to me while considering that local governments here in Colorado, constrained by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), have dramatically increased fines for most common traffic violations because this revenue is not subject to the restrictions of TABOR. Although the increased fines cannot be denied, we are told that patrol officers don't have quotas to meet. Yeah, right!
-- Jim Mathews
Colorado Springs, Colorado
SWEETHEART OF THE WEEK
Your "magazine" is a joke. You lost credibility sometime between Stonehenge and David Brock. My prof uses you as an example of propaganda in America. I would not know you existed if he did not. Keep the laughs coming.
-- R. Simmons
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