THE WAY TO LIVE NOW
Re: P. David Hornik's Ten Pearls of Jewish Wisdom:
Thank you for this new David Hornik piece. It was most enlightening and I would appreciate seeing more of his take on the secular application of Judaism.
-- Francine Rudd
Re: Doug Bandow's Addictive Allotments:
Tobacco farmers subsidize the American government, not the other way around. As a tobacco farmer I make about $1 net for every pound of tobacco I harvest, the U.S. Government then rakes in over $16.50 in taxes. This has been going on since we were a British colony. If the government gave us the taxes they collect from one years sales, all of us would park our tobacco setters in our barns and burn them to the ground. They are offering me $8.
The quota system was devised after the tobacco companies starved tobacco farms in the first decade of the 20th century. Starting in 1904 Big Tobacco bought at any price all the tobacco produced and drove production and prices through the roof. After 4 years they stopped buying, their warehouses were stocked for years. Farmers starved. The US Government stepped in and started the tobacco quota system to provide price stability and stop the depredations of Big Tobacco. This same thing is happening now with pig and beef farming. The consolidation of the packing industry will again make it impossible for farmers to earn a living.
If you like to eat maybe you should learn a little about this industry before you shoot your mouth off. Our entire civilization rests upon 6 inches of topsoil.
-- M. Andreasen
As a conservative who supports the President in the war on terror, I am increasingly disappointed in his big-spending ways. The name of the game is elect economic libertarians, and that means we need to smarten up and play the game to win. Complaining doesn't get us anywhere, finding small government Republicans to support does.
Then we need to do what it takes to get 'em elected.
The president was never a small government conservative. His record in Texas was not one of government rollback. We should not be surprised that he is not acting like one now. Ronald Reagan he ain't. Let's go find the next Reagan in time for 2008.
-- Nicky Billou
Regarding your conclusion that Bush won Thursday's debate, respectfully I have to ask you, are you serious? I am a middle of the road moderate who supported Bush's primary reasons for invading Iraq. I watched the debate and I have watched the situation in Iraq deteriorate from this administration's lack of planning, and the President's insistence on ignoring his own experts who warned him this would happen without proper troop support. What I saw in this debate was a stubborn man who refuses to acknowledge the dire situation we are in in both Iraq and Afghanistan and who has consequently refused to correct his course. I am sorry, Mr. Tabin, but Mr. Bush did not win. It was not even close. If you believe he did, you must also refuse to believe the post-debate polls and that the situation in Iraq is spinning out of control. You and the President you support need to face the facts. If we are to win in Iraq, and get back to fighting the real war on terror, as a country we need to admit when we are off course and make changes. By refusing to admit we are bumbling this war, and that Mr. Bush bumbled this debate, you are only making it easier for me to start seriously considering voting for Mr. Kerry. At least he is willing to face the facts -- and this will give us a chance for victory in Iraq and security at home.
-- John Sheehan
Mill Valley, California
TALK BACK LIVE
Re: Easton Phidd's letter ("Quick Study") in Reader Mail's In Recovery:
Mr. Easton Phidd of Canadia, writing to Reader Mail, seems confident of his comprehensive view of the world and its future course. A man with a vision.
I think his plan to learn Chinese is splendid. He will be in an excellent position to exploit the opportunities offered by his forecast Asian Century. I'm told Canadians make excellent servants, being of docile and pleasant nature, and this cannot have escaped the attention of our East Asian counterparts.
Alternatively, I'm certain he could find consequential employment in China writing commentary, in the Chinese language, on the legitimacy of that government.
I'm puzzled, though, by the glum tone he strikes in his note. After all, he's sitting on top of the world. How is it possible to be at once morally superior and blue? Perhaps it is the imminence of awful Winter's icy embrace.
But why don't these people worry about their own bloody countries, for Goodness' sakes ?
-- Paul Kotik
Regarding Canadian Mr. Phidd's recent letter to The American Spectator in which he insults our president, our country, and our intelligence with the practiced ease of the truly ignorant: A little education is a dangerous thing, and a little (dare I say 'petty'?) education is what you get in today's colleges in Canada, and of course in our own left-wing academia as well. Mr. Phidd should go back and re-read his economics text books for starters, and then he could perhaps discuss economics with this lowly B of S in computer sciences. He has quite a ways to go before he's able to understand MBAs and professional businessmen like President Bush.
Capitalism, not socialism, is what drives economies to healthy success. So it's actually Canada that is dragging the U.S. down, not the reverse Mr. Phidd. Would he and his compatriots care to elect a free-market, limited government Prime Minister (or is it 'Premier' now?) up there sometime, or will Canada continue to freeload off the U.S. in terms of economics, security, and capital market success? Canada is it's own anchor on true economic freedom, and the U.S. is getting tired of dragging it around for the sake of Canada's welfare state.
Not sure where Mr. Phidd is witnessing this supposed decline in America. The DOW is a miracle of U.S. resiliency considering where it came from 10 years ago and what it's had to deal with since then. It appears that Canadian class-warriors such as Mr. Phidd are a bit concerned that proponents of democracy, such as those he's calling 'new-cons', are finally breaking the socialist/liberal stranglehold on the truth and direction of the United States. We Americans (and I think most Canadians still want to be included with us in that term) prefer to NOT live in a welfare state, thank you.
Sorry Mr. Phidd is disheartened, but perhaps he should have the courage to face his own educational shortcomings before ranting about illiteracy in America, and, his own nation's growing socialist irrelevancy in world affairs before complaining about U.S. leadership. The U.S. needs partners to help us rid the world of tyrants, theocratic tyrannies, and socialism -- not slacking liberal whiners. Canada's economy will be much better off -- and not so dependent on the U.S. -- if it is NOT run by socialists, not to mention mullahs.
But don't worry Easton, the United States will continue to protect and enrich your country too - we like your beer.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
All I gotta say is... what the ??? What is this guy talking about? It's about as clear as mud.
Why doesn't this Canadian worry about his own country, which has no military and was getting ready to put up a statue to draft dodgers from the Vietnam era. Geez, don't they have anything else to do there?
Instead of worrying about our future, worry about yours. Did you know that Canadians profited from the Oil for Food program that was supposed to help the Iraqi people but became an "Oil for Palaces" program for Saddam and a money skimming program for France, Russia, China and Canada? Nice to see your country playing with the "big boys," just too bad to see that you're playing on the wrong side. You might also be concerned about your country's open arms to residents of terrorist states. That could come back to bite you one day and force our country to view your country as less than friendly.
GW Bush has an undergraduate degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. Just because one is unable to speak one's thoughts clearly has nothing to do with how or what that person thinks. Being able to express oneself verbally is beneficial, but can also be debilitating to the masses...(Hitler comes to mind). I consider myself a very bright person, but have difficulty explaining myself out loud. So, go back to school and realize that although speaking makes one look smart, it's the thinking that's the real deal. And so far, Mr. Bush has done more putting his thoughts into action in his nearly four years than a glib President Clinton did in all eight of his smart-talking years. John Kerry speaks well, but has a difficult time putting together any kind of cohesive thought on Iraq. I'll go with the guy who stumbles on his words, but knows what's right for our country long before I'll hand over our country to a fast-talking lawyer who did absolutely nothing constructive for 20 years in the Senate, except debate.
-- Deborah Durkee
Mr. Phidd, I would much rather have a president who thinks about what he is going to say, than one who has memorized his talking points, much like your typical Hollywierd liberal. To me, that just means that he is indeed a regular human being. A lack of finishing school grammar is not a indication of ones intelligence, he didn't get his MBA in business by being illiterate. John Kerry is a pompous socialist, perhaps that's why you like him so much, who would sell our country out to the U.N. in a heartbeat. As for the U.S. dragging Canada down, we would have to pull you up before we could drag you down. It never ceases to amaze me, that failing socialist societies are always at the ready to give us advice on how to handle things.
-- Greg Goff
To Mr. Phidd: Had your brain not been frozen by the cruel weather in Canada, you might have used a dictionary to discover the following:
\Dis`en*fran"chise\, v. t. To disfranchise; to deprive of the rights of a citizen; v : deprive of voting rights.
No one in this country has been "disenfranchised," at least since the Voting Rights Act was passed in the 60's. There are many votes which didn't count because of errors made by voters who obviously did not know how to vote -- that is not disenfranchisement, but rather blatant stupidity on the part of those voters.
As for the rest of your blather, please post your address so that I can send you 25 cents (Canadian) and you can call someone who really cares about the opinion or feelings of "...a Canuck looking for reassurance on the other side of the 49th."
-- C.D. Lueders (A proud American who couldn't care less about what you think and does not intend to reassure you in any way)!
Boca Raton, Florida
P.S. You parrot the liberal democrat talking points extremely well. Do you use cut and paste?
Mr. Phidd: Your condescending, old world attitude is pathetic…and no surprise, considering the source's locale. It's clear by the way you state your beliefs and concerns that you believe Canada is a remora on this great white shark (the US). You have no credibility to complain -- period. Perhaps you should be more concerned with the state of affairs in Canada, what with your weak health care system (universal), drug policies, (legalize it! Mr. Tosh), lippy politicians, et al. America will emerge, as we always do, from this election cycle just fine.
-- Jesse Milligan
Easton Phidd, Toronto, Ontario writes: "Ideas, structure, process. That's what its all about." But of course, that IS the great Canadian liberal credo. Lots of blather, but never ever any action or deed! Oh Canada! Easton Phidd of Toronto, it's bad enough as it is, but you are embarrassing us even more.
-- Kai-Welf Lerche
Chilliwack, BC, Canada
As Mr. Phidd obviously fancies himself a writer, I must commend him for his brilliant piece of fiction.
-- Alina Sindler
Re: The "All Talk" letters in Reader Mail's In Recovery:
There have been several good articles here about the debate and the performance of the two combatants. There have also been quite a few really good letters published on the subject. They collectively take Mr. Kerry to task for his gaffes, faux pas, and unworkable or conflicting solutions offered. I have noticed, generally speaking, the same thing within the conservative blogosphere.
Of course there have been a few deviations from this observation. There have been a few liberal attempts at attacking the conservative opinions expressed in the conservative Internet community. Then there are the letters that completely ignore any semblance of reality and proclaim variations of the "Bush won and Kerry stunk" attitude set. Any other conclusion is completely and utterly rejected.
I have noticed one consistency among the good articles and letters. They all contain obvious points that Bush DID NOT make during the debate. It seems that Mr. Bush has a very bad and destructive habit, when he goes eye-ball to eye-ball with an opponent, he can not bring himself to utter the disagreeable truths that would go for the jugular and end the contest with a total rout of the opponent. Oh, he can and does say good, strong, combative stuff in his prepared stump speeches before friendly, supportive crowds, but not when he is toe to toe with his opponent. In a face to face situation, Bush moderates his tone, moderates his criticisms, and cuts the repetition and redundancy that are so very vital to a winning campaign.
Mr. Kerry says Mr. Bush lied. Mr. Bush says that Mr. Kerry seems to be taking contradictory positions. Mr. Kerry says that he can't believe that anyone can take the positions that Mr. Bush takes. Mr. Bush says that he believes Mr. Kerry is wrong in his solutions. I could go on, but you get the point. What has been the one unarguable positive for the Bush campaign? When was it when the numbers really started moving in Mr. Bush's direction? It was when the Swift Boat Vets came on line with their ads, book, and interviews. They are not coordinating with the Bush campaign and are not taking the moderate tone that Bush consistently advocates.
Remember, this election does NOT hinge on committed supporters of either of the candidates. It hinges on the folks that have been paying zero attention until recently and the ones that can't even decide whether to turn right or left at a dead end road. Anybody that argues that negative campaigning and ads are counterproductive, like the MSM does, is either wrong, naive, blind, or biased.
Dang it, Dubya, if you really want to be reelected, quit worrying about whether the Dems and the MSM (Oops, that is a redundancy.) love you or not, and show some fight when you are toe to toe with the opposition. Pay attention, Dubya, get in the game and quit looking for Daschle or Kennedy to hug.
-- Ken Shreve
Hopefully some of your readers have taken note of this event. Mr. Rutan, a masterful aeronautical engineer is poised to take the X prize. $10m in cool cash.
The Spectator is a publication that focuses on current political events. But I respectfully suggest that the Spectator send Shawn Macomber to cover the second launch. He will find the angle (hint: $0 govt. funds). There is high likelihood that this event will be the equivalent of Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic for our time.
-- John McGinnis
Re: William Tucker's Who Says We Lost in Vietnam?:
What a great article! As the first ever exchange officer with the Royal Thai Air Force in 1982, I can tell you it's very accurate. Thank you, Spectator, for printing Mr. Tucker's article.
-- Dan Abrams
Lt.Col., USAF (Retired)
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