Reader Mail

America’s Soft Side

Prosperity and ease. Remembering Rodney. Kerry security. Luddite stems. Plus: Presidential silence. And much more.

10.14.04

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BLIXED MESSAGE
Re: Marina Malenic's Duelfer and the Dullards:

"Hans Blix, the chief U.N. inspector from 2000 to 2003, said the [Duelfer] report indicates that 'international inspection is another means of war without fighting,' adding that Hussein would have been contained had his inspectors been allowed to remain in Iraq."

Marina Malenic puts her finger on the real agenda of Hans Blix -- to maintain the well-funded bureaucracy he belonged to into the indefinite future. But he doesn't believe in opposing force with force -- ever.

What did the inspectors do when Hussein threw them out for four years? Fight a "war," or just say "Oh, well" and move on?

And what about atrocities, genocide or civil war within a country -- like Iraq or Darfor in Sudan, or Rwanda...

"Contain them," says Blix.

What about a mad North Korean regime that throws out the inspectors and gets nuclear weapons ready to use?

"Contain them," says Blix.

Typical of a citizen of a marginal, pacifist country which has to be protected by the really serious nations....
-- Barrie J. Wright
Adelaide, South Australia

The Duelfer Report could have said John Kerry has a fetish for little boys and most people, especially Kerry supporters, would be blissfully ignorant of it. I great portion of society gets their information from television, not on a regular basis, and then only a mouse brain's amount is retained. The reason for this is because the majority of our citizens are comfortable with somebody else taking responsibility for their lives and that includes educating yourself on any subject of direct relevance such as finance, politics, or health issues. My observation correlates to the volume of meals consumed in restaurants. A huge part of the population does not even feed itself anymore. It is easier this way because then the blame can go to somebody else when things get out of control.

I write this email before the final debate, but it is not a thought of political genius to predict that Kerry will come out as the protector and guarantor of the soft life.
-- Diamon Sforza

LAST RESPECTS
Re: Shawn Macomber's Death of a Funny Man:

Rodney Dangerfield always had my respect. No matter how bad life was, Rodney could pick you up by showing that you had no idea what bad was.

"My house caught fire the other day. The kids ran around screaming FIRE! FIRE! My wife said 'Hush! You want to wake daddy?'"

My favorite Rodneyism. "I remember the first time I had sex. I was so scared. It was dark and I was all alone!"

I hope St. Peter is saying, "Come in Rodney, we've got a roomful waiting for you."
-- Scotty Uhrich
Glyndon, Minnesota

Nice little obit/review. I was won over, at least I'm gonna borrow the bio from the library.
-- J. Zelin

Amen.
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

SAFE WITH KERRY
Re: William Tucker's The American Chamberlain:

William Tucker does not get it. Kerry's concise view of the terrorism threat and how to address it are far more comprehensive and thought out than anything tried by Bush and the neocons. Tucker's attempt to attach the following philosophy to Kerry's plan is ludicrous. "In other words, if we just ignore them, they'll go away. And if we don't ignore them but fight back, then it's all our fault."

Essentially, you cannot declare war on a word or on a philosophy and have any real chance of declaring total "victory." The concept of terror as a weapon will always be with us. Enlisting nations throughout the world in choking off support for terrorists and the teaching of hatred for infidels (as is done in many Saudi schools) will go much further in controlling terrorism and its ability to enlist persons willing to commit suicide for their cause.

Kerry's approach will make us safer in the long run. Calling him disparaging names or trying to put words in his mouth is not what a reader expects from a published writer, even one with Tucker's right leaning philosophy.
-- Jim Barisano
Acton, Massachusetts

STEM COUNT
Re: George Neumayr's Futuristic Luddite:

George Neumayr's "Futuristic Luddite" exposes Kerry and Edward's disingenuous appetite for embryonic stem-cell research for what it is: crass and cruel pandering. Bush might ask Kerry if he can attach a cost to Reeve's treatment and rehabilitation -- a million? Ten million? Twenty million? Couldn't this money have been better spent treating birth defects or any number of childhood diseases? Should society be willing to invest vast amounts expensive and limited resources in an individual who requires round-the-clock care and has little, if any, chance of improving?

The answer, of course, is yes. Yes, we must respect, protect and defend all life because it is a gift from God and thus sacred.

Perhaps Kerry will one day discover that this respect and protection is not limited to only celebrities and registered voters....
-- Wes Prussing
Palm City, Florida

While reading Mr. Neumayr's commentary on Mr. Kerry's twisted scientific stand against protecting our population from nuclear destruction with a missile shield, but for the destruction of human embryos, embryos which are headed "for the trash", I couldn't help but wonder what convoluted pathway Mr. Kerry's brain took to reach this conclusion. Embryonic stem cells have saved no one. Defensive missiles, in places like Israel and Iraq, have saved thousands, yet Mr. Kerry is hell bent on denigrating the one while deifying the other. Upon reflection though, I probably should not complain about this Kerry position, for it is just about the only one on which he hasn't flip-flopped. Now if we could just pin him down on some of his other flights of fancy, he might some day develop enough conscience and conviction to leave the Democratic Party.
-- Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio

This must have been the "John Kerry is corrupt" publishing day at TAS, not that I disagree with you. In this article, Mr. Neumayr says Kerry's "concept of science is corrupt." In "Things a President Can't Say," the deck says Kerry is an "intellectually corrupt opponent" of the president.

Mr. Neumayr also said that a missile shield is a chilling thought to Kerry. Oh, really? In the Sept. 16 issue of the British scientific publication Nature, the publication asked, in part, "Would you increase or decrease spending on missile defense?" Kerry replied, "I favor additional research, development and testing."

To another question, he answered, "My administration would never utilize biased (scientific) advice as a foundation for public policy." Is that as truthful as him saying at debate two that, absolutely, he won't raise taxes on anyone whose income is less than $200,000?

I found on the Web this partial definition of a sociopath: Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. I also found that in the 1830s, that which defines sociopaths today was called "moral insanity." Respectfully, does this describe Sen. Kerry's behavior?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

SILENT BUSH
Re: Lawrence Henry's Things a President Can't Say:

Lawrence Henry gives us a good reminder about defensive things the President can's say without disrupting current diplomacy.

However, the President passed up several good opportunities to attack Kerry's record. His very first rebuttal to the very first question about Kerry's leadership on the issue of security should have brought a quick reminder that Kerry proposed slashing the CIA budget by $6 Billion, and more importantly that in the year after 9/11, Kerry skipped all the Foreign Intelligence Committee meetings.

That's not leadership!
-- Jim Whittle
Douglasville, Georgia

Why should it matter if President Bush alienates or inflames relationships with Turkey or "old Europe"? Which would be worse, offending them or holding back and letting Kerry win? Would then Turkey and "old Europe" come on board? When the United States is in a fight for its life, why should offending the fence straddlers (at best) make any difference whatsoever? Keeping these jerks as "friends" won't matter much if we lose to the murderers (a.k.a. terrorists, insurgents, jihadists, etc., etc., etc.).
-- Paul Higdon

This is a great article -- It is my thoughts exactly! I have made these points to people previously, that the president cannot say everything he knows or wants to say because what he says has consequences. Kerry doesn't care what he says.

I completely agree with this opinion.
-- Bruce Sindel

Good points. Hark back to the JFK campaign and the "missile gap." JFK, we later learned, was briefed by Ike and knew that the missile gap didn't exist. That was deemed to be secret information and not to be disclosed, so it became a major part of the JFK campaign. Same thing!
-- G.B. Hall
Marietta, Georgia

PASSING GRADES
Re: David Hogberg's Electoral College Update:

I believe you can count on Missouri, Wisconsin and New Mexico going to Kerry because of vote fraud. Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and the Navajo Indian reservations are in the bag for as many votes as the Democrats need to swing the election. The election will turn on Ohio and Florida. I think vote fraud in those two states is "relatively" under control (or at least on the radar screen). God help us, but I don't think the Republicans have any idea what they're up against.
-- Paul Doolittle

Your analysis is spot on the mark. The spin masters from Clinton have just about assured a Kerry victory, and I predict by a good margin. I (we) suffered for eight years under Clinton. Now we will have to endure a repeat of Jimmy Carter with a northern accent. I fear for our economy; I suspect rampant inflation, higher taxes, and four years of hearing how big John Kerry inherited a bankrupt country, blah, blah. The only good news is that the Republicans will win big in the House and Senate at the mid-term election. This might help if the Republicans can find a leader equal to Newt Gingrich. Sadly, without GW we will be adrift.
-- Paul Melody

STOMACH CRAWLER
Re: H.D. Miller's Senator von Munchausen and the One That Got Away:

Kerry on Hunting: Take, for instance, a July interview in which he was asked what kind of hunting he preferred. Here was our Nantucket Natty Bumppo's response: "Probably I'd have to say deer.…I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach."

Incredible bs. The rest of the story is here.
-- J. Faessel

HUSH, CHARLOTTE
Re: Charlotte Erickson-Rempfer's letter ("Can't We Get Along?") in Reader Mail's Outlaw Nation:

"Issues such as a woman's right to choose, right to life, stem cell research, marriage and ANY attempt to legislate morality do not fall into the arena of governance."

So says "This Voter," otherwise known as Charlotte Erickson-Rempfer.

Yet she thinks many other issues are ready for the -- presumably federal -- "arena of governance": public education (historically a local and state concern), health care (primarily an individual concern), adequate wages (ordinarily set by agreement between employer and employee), a military trained for defense (not offense?), and the world-wide elimination of hunger, disease and nuclear threat. A modest list, certainly, and one much beloved by potential Kerry voters. I only wonder that she did not include the global elimination of feelings of envy and inadequacy.

The founders of this nation did not agree with her, nor does any governing system I am aware of. Not legislate morality? What else is the law in its most basic form? Look at early law codes, of which the Ten Commandments is one of the simplest. With the exception of religious ritual they are largely about life, liberty, and property: moral issues in every case. The Declaration puts it slightly differently: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

No, it appears to me that "This Voter" has it exactly backwards.
-- Richard Donley
New Lyme, Ohio

Obviously levity is no laughing matter with Ms. Charlotte Hyphenated-Name. She seems to have a beef with me, as I was the one who commented on Kerry's Complexion of Many Colors. For a minute there, I thought the Dutch lady had moved from the Netherlands to North Bend, so she could vote and cure the ills of our country. "

This voter's laundry list of things she wants fine tuned is daunting in the extreme. Her little civics sermon almost made one nod off. The only thing she left out is possibly changing our name to the United States of Utopia, which would certainly be more appropriate if even half the things she suggests ever come to be.

I don't know whether her lofty ideals reminded me more of a southern Miss America aspirant or one of those ditzy, dowdy women you see in the audience of a PBS fund-raiser, gently swaying and mouthing the words to "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" as balding Peter and Paul and frumpy Mary recall for us those idyllic times in Woodstock. But she sure doesn't remind me of anyone who still has even the most fragile grasp on reality.

There, lady, I have tried to be gentle with you, but I have little patience with humorless folks.
-- Diane Smith
So. San Francisco, California

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