THE DAILY SHOWBOAT
Re: Shawn Macomber's Berserk Stewart:
Great article, as usual. I do have another take on Jon Stewart -- he is not that funny all by his lonesome. I think The Daily Show is a howl despite its left-wing knee-jerkery, so imagine my surprise when I caught a Jon Stewart stand-up routine a year or two after he began his Comedy Central stint....not funny! I was truly surprised. He does very well with the writers and setting (I'm guessing) on the show; by himself, he is barely entertaining. Catch one of his stand-ups, you will not think it is the same person. Go figure.
Shawn Macomber's recent article regarding Jon Stewart's appearance on "Crossfire" highlights a deeply troubling aspect of our modern media. We have long heard about the potential perils of entertainment and news becoming too intertwined, and although I have been a viewer (and at some points, a fan) of Stewart's show, I think that it is more guilty pleasure than anything else. As Shawn points out, Stewart, like Bill Maher and George Carlin, has the ability to influence without being held to any accountability. They can - and regularly do - distort facts and figures, tell half-truths, and give skewed interpretations of current events. But they hide behind the "poetic license" of a comedian. It is unethical, and downright dangerous. My kudos to Mr. Macomber for finally pointing out this disturbing development.
-- Nick J.
Re: Sheila Monaghan's The Mother of All Swing Voters:
I applaud Ms. Monaghan's piece. I only wish to add that for too long the Democratic Party has assumed that mothers no longer cared about their children after they were born (that is unless they were born into poverty).
The alleged right to "choose" and the economic causes of the left have certainly failed to observe what any parent knows. Parents love their children. Parents want the best for their children in terms of opportunity and safety. Ah, how sad that so few liberals take time to raise there own children, or even have children. They are doomed to never understand.
-- Mike Arney
Charleston, South Carolina
Re: Jed Babbin's November Losers:
Many thanks to Jed Babbin for being among the very few prognosticators to touch on a particularly gruesome effect of a Bush loss in November. I believe the single most consequential catastrophe of a Kerry presidency would be the meltdown of morale in the armed services, wherein the Military Times has reported an overwhelming (74%) preference for Bush. (A generation ago, during Vietnam, I was in the military myself long enough to guess now what kind of time-serving paper-pushers would prefer Kerry.) It is beyond me why this point has been left to a few hundred Swift Boat witnesses and otherwise buried in concerned commentary on the prospect of Kerry as President. We're at war, remember?
-- John R. Dunlap
San Jose, California
Thanks, Mr. Babbin. I too think a President Kerry would be a disaster for America but I had not considered the effect on Israel. Thanks also for mentioning CBS News loss of prestige. I am one of those boycotting CBS because of the 60 Minutes use of fraudulent documents. I wrote CBS that I was giving up their Sunday afternoon NFL games until Rather resigned or was fired. The CBS stonewall continues unabated. Now I am resigned to missing the whole Houston Texans season this year. At least the game is available on radio. Could you count the radio business as a winner if Kerry becomes president?
-- John Scherwitz
Clear Lake, Texas
If Kerry wins....
Not only would that spoil Hillary's plans for '08, since, as an incumbent, Kerry would surely be the Democrats selection in 08, and he would just as surely lose big.
Kerry's policies will have so soured the electorate that whoever runs against him will win big, and during his first term will be able to effect such an enormous improvement in the country (due to the disastrous affect of Kerry's abysmal leadership) that he will surely win re-election in 2012. This even against a possible Hillary run. Note that in 2112 Hillary probably will have to choose between running for president vs. senate, and if she chooses (poorly) to run for president, her political career is probably over. If she senses the impossibility of winning in 2112 and waits, she is 69 years old in 2116, and might be tired of the grind by then.
In short, a Kerry win in '04 closes out Hillary as a possible president for good.
-- Rich Renken
"Last, and least, lest we forget, the junior senator from New York will be a big loser...."
A few nights ago, on Fox News, Dr. Dobson said the thing that was keeping him awake at night was thinking of Kerry winning the election and making Hillary Clinton the Supreme Court Justice, where she would re-write the Constitution.
Scary thought, wouldn't you say?
-- Virginia T.
Mr. Babbin, I enjoyed your article today in The American Spectator. I agree with just about everything, more or less. But I must take exception with one thing you state.
Perhaps your ability as a "wordsmith" needs a little improvement here. You state that " Everyone who is anxious to see their family doc go out of business should vote for John François." I believe what you really intended here was for " Everyone who is "eager" to see their family doc go out of business should vote for John François. "Anxious" means fear and foreboding, and while it is in accepted use, the 'eager' word is far more accurate.
Also, the last part about Hillary having to wait until 2012, will not work. With a Kerry win, expect to see her start to criticize him in 2005, and finally break with him by 2007, wherein she will challenge him for the office in 2008. You can count on that.
-- John L. Kelly
Jeb Babbin's piece describing the losers following the elections in November is correct as far as it goes. But the list, if President Bush wins, is far more extensive, and TAS readers should enjoy a fuller sampling. Consider the following lot of sad sack losers:
a. Radical environmentalists (those who torch SUV's and new homes under construction in the name of saving the environment; those who sit in trees to keep owners of those trees from using their property; those who cheer when the Endangered Species Act is used to protect a tiny, insignificant fish such as the "snail darter" to stop construction of dams and other important water projects badly needed for the production of electricity, flood control, irrigation, and recreation; those who oppose nuclear power, the absolute cleanest, safest, and cheapest energy source available for production of electricity; those who oppose the construction of any new petroleum refineries or conventional electrical power generation facilities, even though our maximum production capacity for both is very close; those who oppose domestic oil and gas extraction from our vast, known reserves, both off-shore and in the North Alaska wilderness; those who deny the obvious fact that, if we would pursue these methods of energy production, while developing new technologies to protect the environment, we would have an economic and technological boon with millions of new, high paying jobs, far lower energy costs, and, most importantly, energy self-sufficiency to enhance national security; etc.)
b. Radical animal rights activists (those who sabotage science labs where animals are used for medical research; those who object to drinking milk or eating eggs because it exploits cows and chickens; those who believe the lives of some animals -- but not all -- are equal to humans, e.g., whales but not marlin, dolphins but not tuna, cats but not skunks, exotic insects in the rain forests but not cockroaches or mosquitoes; etc.)
c. Hollywood and the entertainment media (those who derive money and celebrity glorifying violence, sex, drugs, crime and vulgarity; those who have given us such cultural pollution as hip-hop music which denigrates women and family values, movies depicting all forms of human depravity, and video games with extreme violence; those who have done more than any other single group to coarsen and corrupt our culture and our children; etc.)
d. Biased, liberal news media (those who no longer even bother to claim they're neutral or balanced; those who readily acknowledge reporting only matters they consider to be true; those who are lazy, smug and intellectually corrupt; those who purposefully create and/or present fraudulent evidence to misinform; those who rely on liberal special interests to provide press releases to use as news without regard for accuracy and content; etc.)
e. Personal injury trial lawyers (those who claim to protect the "little guy" but who, in reality, line their own pockets and drive up the costs of insurance to a point where many people can't afford health and other kinds of insurance; those who drive up costs of malpractice insurance to a level that many doctors can't afford it and leave the profession, or simply don't buy it, risking the loss of everything they have if sued; etc.)
f. Big labor leaders (those who lavishly spend union members' money to support liberal politicians and causes, but won't permit individual union members to have a say in how the money is spent; those who are often corrupted by organized crime; those who wield vast power over liberal politicians by their financial support and, thereby, secretly control public policy without accountability from the public; etc.)
g. Abortionists (those who make up the highly lucrative abortion industry such as abortion doctors, nurses, clinic owners, and others; those who make up or contribute to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and numerous other pro-abortion groups which prey upon, and make millions of dollars from, pathetic people desperate to correct the consequences of their poor personal conduct by extinguishing the lives of their unwanted, unborn babies; those who steadfastly oppose notification of parents of minors who seek abortions; those who, for over 30 years, have been involved in a culture of death wherein over 40 million unborn babies have been slaughtered -- many hundreds of thousands of whom were brutally killed even though they would have been viable outside the womb; etc.)
h. Pacifists (those who mostly just hate America and wish to see our culture and society fail; those who accept the benefits of freedom but refuse to fight or sacrifice for it; those who undermine our brave fighting forces by creating domestic political dissension, a far greater weapon in the hands of our enemies than guns or bombs; those who are merely craven misfits and cowards; etc.)
i. Socialists (those who want government to control all commerce and redistribute wealth; those who trust the government and its officials more than the people; those who would give up the freedom to succeed based upon one's own effort and merely meld into an indistinct morass of people satisfied with what government planners dole out; those who are too ignorant to know that socialism will lead our country to become one of numerous other failed -- or soon to fail -- socialist countries strewn throughout human history; etc.)
j. Pornographers (those who claim the first amendment protects distribution of smut, but would deny our school children the right to say "under God" when pledging allegiance to the flag; those who support and make celebrities of people such as Larry Flynt, Howard Stern, Hugh Hefner, and other such notorious polluters of our children and culture; etc.)
k. Atheists and the ACLU (those who are obsessed with driving any reference to religion and God from the public square; those who will not acknowledge that religion generally, and Christianity specifically, are historic and cultural cornerstones of our Constitution and laws; those who fight relentlessly to force "scouting" off public property because Scouts insist on acknowledging God; etc.)
l. Homosexual activists (those who seek destruction of marriage as an institution between one man and one woman; those who seek to permit open homosexuality in the military, thus undermining morale and unit cohesiveness; those who have repeatedly sought to force the Boy Scouts to permit openly homosexual scout leaders, thereby, putting young boys under the direct influence and control of avowed homosexuals; etc.)
m. Radical feminists (those who insist there are no significant difference between the sexes, but are "lightning fast" to claim sexual harassment or to demand preferential treatment for women; those who have quietly and insidiously tried to "feminize" young boys to achieve long-term feminist political and cultural objectives; those who insisted on the resignation of Senator Bob Packwood (a Republican) for improper sexual comments and touching of women members of this staff, but who cared, not at all, about Bill Clinton's sexual acts with Monica Lewinsky while in the Oval Office, grouping Kathleen Willey, also while in the Oval Office, exposing himself and soliciting sex from Paula Jones, engaging in a decade-long affair with Gennifer Flowers, raping Juanita Broadrick, lying under oath in a Federal court proceedings, resulting in being disbarred, and going from one scandal to another throughout the eight years he was president; etc.)
n. Anarchists (those who are firmly committed to overthrowing our government; those who were among the most outrageous and violent demonstrators at the Republican National Convention in New York, but who didn't bother to demonstrate at the Democrat National Convention in Boston; those who are funded by many of the same donors as socialists, communists, and other radicals who wish to destroy our capitalistic republic and eliminate private property as we know it; etc.)
o. Race hustlers and dividers (those who use race to divide the country into "us" and "them," thus decreasing a sense of community for all; those who take every opportunity to claim to have been wronged when, often, the so-called victim are as much, or more, culpable; those who care more about perpetuating their power as so-called "minority community leaders" than providing real help to members of that community; those who use phony claims of racial "victimization" to justify personal failings and lack of honest achievement; etc.)
p. Gun control advocates (those who refuse to admit that, in states -- now 38 -- permitting law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, significant decreases have occurred in violent crime; those who wrong-headedly believe guns cause crime, not people and that, if guns are taken from law-abiding citizens, criminals won't have guns; etc.)
q. Class warriors (those who think people who work hard to take care of themselves and their families should be punished for their success; those who think people who strive to leave a legacy for their families should have property forfeited to the government; those who want property earned by hard-working and committed people re-distributed to others who lack the will or ambition to succeed in the only country in the world where anyone can be successful if they apply themselves and exercise reasonable judgment; etc.)
Beyond the foregoing, permit me to list, randomly, a few other groups of losers: the Communist Chinese; the Dixie Chicks; the New York Times; the French; Islamo-fascists; those who advocate legalizing drugs, one of whom is George Soros, the billionaire, socialist, currency speculator who has stated he would donate his entire fortune if he could be assured President Bush would be defeated; the UN; most college professors; the North Koreans; the vast majority of American Muslims; activist judges who, unabashedly, create law rather than interpret it, and especially such judges on the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Judicial Circuit, and the Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Florida supreme courts; the Germans; the Communist Party USA; 60 Minutes; Canadian and European socialists; 45 ultra-liberals senators who, for the first time in US history, have chosen to filibuster a president's judicial nominees; jihadists; Dan, Peter, Tom, and other such liberal news-readers; felons for felon voting; 95 ultra-liberal members of the US House of Representatives who are avowed socialists; the Syrians; remnants of Al Qaeda, Taliban, and other terrorists now being decimated by coalition troops; the ultra-liberal Black Congressional Caucus; illegal immigrants for illegal immigrant voting; the army of virulent and mindless Bush-haters who relish opportunities to express their utter contempt for the President; etc.
And, lastly, allow me to name just a few individuals who, as Mr. Babbin says, may well suffer some kind of breakdown (or have their current unstable mental condition vastly aggravated) if the President wins: Whoopi Goldberg, James Carville, Osama bin Laden, Barbara Boxer, Saddam Hussein, Al Sharpton, Ted Kennedy, Kofi Annan, Barbara Streisand, Al Gore, Jacques Chirac, Michael Moore, Jessie Jackson; Sultan Mohammad Omar; Noam Chomsky; Robert Byrd; Barney Frank; Ted Turner; Charles Schumer; Jane Fonda; Daniel Ortega; Tom Hayden; Fidel Castro; the Clintons; John Zogby; etc.
-- A. A. Reynolds
Chula Vista, California
Jed forgot the biggest losers if Kerry wins: 1. The American people; 2. The rest of the people in the world.
Re: Chris Fletcher's letter (under "Defying Definition") in Reader Mail's Human Capital Remains:
Reader Chris Fletcher, of St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, UK seems like a good-hearted observer of the Middle East whose comments are not particularly unreasonable.
This is a subject, though, about which almost no one is able to comment without making at least one factual error that takes the wind out of the argument's sails.
Mr. Fletcher has confused "fedayeen" with "felahin." The former word refers to martyrs for a cause, like the so-called "Saddam Fedayeen," those selfless, self-sacrificing terrorists currently causing so much nuisance in Iraq. But some of the Arabs who became refugees when the British Mandate expired were, indeed, felahin: peasants.
It is worth recalling, too, that according to a U.N. survey taken almost immediately after that estimable organization's founding, at least 60% of the Arabs then residing in the disputed territory had either themselves moved into the British Mandatory Palestine from other Arab countries, or were descended from people who had arrived during the previous 100 years. Thus, the commonplace assumption that "the Palestinians" are an organic nation with ancient ties to the land is quite misleading. The majority are a tide of opportunistic (not a pejorative) job-seekers attracted to the late Ottoman and then British Mandatory Palestine by the renewal of economic activity there around Jewish investment from abroad. They are "Palestinians" in the sense that most of the current residents of Las Vegas are "Nevadans." It isn't nonsense, but neither is it a millennial national identity. Indeed, before Israeli independence, "Palestinian" was always used to refer to the Jews living there. Getting everybody to accept the notion of a Palestinian Arab people was one of the most brilliant public relations coups of all time.
Going back a bit farther, let's recall that the Arab conquest of what had been the Roman province of Palestine was completed over 5 centuries after the last sovereign Jewish state there had been conquered by Rome, and more than a millennium after the first Jewish state had been established.
No particular solution follows from any of these observations. It may be, though, that it would be helpful to winnow out as much myth and error as possible from the analysis, as our reliance upon the fantastical models has not worked well.
-- Paul Kotik
WITHOUT A PRAYER
It has been noted by many that Kerry is increasingly claiming that his political views devolve from his "religious upbringing."
While President Bush is roundly criticized (often by the Kerry campaign) for bringing religion into his politics, there has been no similar criticism of Kerry.
Why don't the ACLU, New York Times, atheist groups, NEA, et al. criticize Kerry for his infusion of religion into his political speeches? For one simple reason -- they know he doesn't really mean it.
-- John Bryk
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