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Dog Days

McGreevey perspectives. Unfit for Command fit for BOMC. Schori from this shore. Plus much more.

8.16.04

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THE AGONY OF DEFEAT
Re: The Washington Prowler's Making It Look Big Easy:

The Republicans should get along very well with Rodney Alexander. He is obviously a man without honor. He will fit right in with the Tom DeLay crowd.
-- Bob Derry

END OF THE AFFAIR
Re: Lawrence Henry's McGreevey Update:

Thanks for the excellent and tightly written "Another Perspective" by Lawrence Henry. Yet another perspective is "Hooray for him!"

Bill Clinton showed us that having affairs with government employees was fine, as long as you don't lie under oath about it. McGreevey confessing with Dari by his side was a better piece of performance art than the Clintons' version of the same passion play. Since McGreevey's affair was a same sex union upstages the Clintons again.

I am amazed at the astuteness of McGreevey for shrewdly playing for public sympathy and popular opinion while becoming the quintessential Democrat politician. All of this should play wonderful for McGreevey, placing him after Hillary at the top of the list of Democrat presidential candidates. After McGreevey, his wife Dari should run.
-- Newt Love
Annapolis, Maryland

We're still missing the point on McGreevey. The man is under investigation for major felonies. He's may be indicted by a federal grand jury. This is one of the worst cases of political corruption in American history...

The guv is trying to hide behind his gayness, but it's not a "coming-out-of-the-closet" story.

It's a story of a governor endangering the citizens of an entire state by appointing an unqualified person to be head of homeland security, which person turns out to be his gay sex partner. In addition, it's a story of sexual harassment, by offering a taxpayer-financed job for sex, and obstruction of justice by offering jobs and money for silence.

If New Jersey allows this character to avoid a special election by remaining in office until Nov. 15th, the state will need to apologize to Tony Soprano.
-- G. Ferguson

BIAS-FREE
Re: Patrick Hynes's Book-of-the-Month:

I agree that Unfit for Command is an important book. I hope it becomes a best-seller. But, the Book of the Month Club (BOMC) shouldn't be faulted for political bias.

BOMC publishes books on all political sides. E.g., they have published Ann Coulter. They're currently putting a big push behind Tommy Franks's book. They were unable to use Unfit for Command because its publisher, Regnery, works on an unusually rapid time schedule. BOMC didn't know about Unfit for Command.
-- David Skurnick
Montville, New Jersey

MEDIA INSURED
Re: Lawrence Henry's Lies, Damn Lies, and Media Bias:

I often wonder how long the media could exist if they tried to operate an insurance company. Their laxness with the truth would soon bankrupt the company. Would they end age discrimination by selling cheap policies to older people? I doubt if anyone with an SUV could buy insurance since SUVs seem to be having the most spectacular accidents. Would they even sell insurance to pregnant women since they are alleged to be such bad risks? Our economic system discards poorly operated companies that do not at least conform nominally with reality. The government, however, if infested with frivolous views of reality, can stay on tax payer life support almost indefinitely, as did the Soviet Union.
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

LOCATION, LOCATION
Re: George Neumayr's The Thin Green Line:

The issue is not the fence. Under the circumstances most reasonable people would agree that it a fence might be a good idea. The question is the location of the fence. If Israel built the fence along the 67 border three fold be no problem. However what they are doing is building on what is clearly Palestinian property. This is being done to enclose settlements that ought not to have there in the first place. To pretend otherwise about the fence is disingenuous.
-- Jim Hickey
Tampa, Florida

OPEN SECRET
Re: Jacob Laksin's The Truth Has Set New Jersey Free:

"Whisperings surfaced"? Oh, come on. I lived in New Jersey when McGreevey was elected, and his sexual predilections were widely spoken of then. If his latest gambit to cover up corruption were to make any difference in New Jersey politics, that'd be the surprise.
-- Lawrence Henry

Gov. McGreevey's resignation speech contained words such as, "blessed," "virtue," and "grace." McGreevey was also referring to the Catholic Church when he cited "the tradition" he was raised with as one of the reasons that kept him, a Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard graduate, from coming to terms with his own gayness.

Don't you just hate it when politicians wrap themselves in their faith?
-- Mrs. John B. Jackson III (Janet )

MURPHY'S LAW
Re: Hunter Baker's An Off-Keyes McCainiac:

"Why would the Weekly Standard run this kind of trash?" My sentiments exactly, and I read the Standard's article before I found Mr. Baker's. Keyes may not stand a chance, but you simply don't trash a candidate who's never in his life shaded his principles for political gain. I almost had the feeling that that was the reason Mr. Murphy doesn't like him.
-- William Luse

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
Re: Paul DeSisto et al.'s letters ("Five on One") in Reader Mail's Past Present and Kurt Schori's letter ("Swiss Miffed") in Reader Mail's Consumer Reports:

Paul DeSisto might have gotten nasty and pointed out that Hitler left Switzerland alone not because of its defensive capacity but because it was a compliant tool of his war economy. Just like Sweden, which became a rich country during WWII.
-- John Schuh
Lake Dallas, Texas

Kurt Schori's letter weenie, eurotrash letter was pretty well trounced by the previous responses you published. One point however sticks in my craw. He lectures us to read our Constitution and ponder its words, specifically "the pursuit of happiness." That would be in the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Schori.

As a citizen of a small, unimportant country Mr. Schori should acquaint himself with the political documents of large, important countries that he is attempting to enlighten.

Presumably if Switzerland spent less time accommodating our swindlers and thieves through their banking system and warmly receiving our billionaire fugitives such as Marc Rich (a funder of those terrorists Mr. Schori claims the Swiss are so assiduously fighting with us), we would be able to stop pointless exercises like freeing fifty million Afghans and Iraqis and join the Swiss in important work like beefing up power grids in Outer Kajerkistan.

As a descendent of sensible Swiss Italians let me apologize on behalf of my land of ancestry to all American Spectator readers for this knothead. He must be a descendent of the dimwitted son my family told to go visit Aunt Sofie in the next village over while they all high-tailed it for the trip to America.
-- Brian Bonneau

Goodness, I do wish my fellow readers wouldn't get so riled up about Swiss Guy's rap.

Look, Old Europe is best thought of as a giant theme park, kind of like Disneyland. One would not snap at Goofy in Orlando, so
why not just sit back and have a chuckle at the Swiss Guy and the other entertainers in Euroland ? I can still remember when
"buffoon" was not an insult, and "fool" was what stand-up comedians used to be called.

Enjoy, my dear fellows, enjoy ! Toss some coins in the poor devil's virtual styrofoam cup -- after all, he has his niche to fill and we have ours.
-- Paul Kotik
Plantation, Florida

Well, it appears that the two sides of the Atlantic truly do have their differences. Schori does make a couple of notable points, but has missed more often than hit. True, Europe does some admirable nation-building on a small scale and should be commended. However, it's important to remember that pacifism only works on other pacifists. Ironically, sometimes the only way to ensure peace is to make war by ensuring that those nation states that refuse to integrate into the world that operates under the rule of law is to remove whatever obstacle presently prevents that integration. In Iraq's case, it was Saddam Hussein. Anyone who thinks the only reason to take him down is because of WMD is truly a fool; Iraq's integration into the larger world (whether as a pure democracy or not) will do more to transform the Middle East than anything in modern history. It was most assuredly NOT a case of crying wolf, but a logical, long-term strategy. Those that want to get smart on the subject should read the book "The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the 21st Century" by Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett. I personally don't hold a grudge against Old Europe for not jumping into the fray....I expected nothing less. They didn't help because, if you look at their combat-ready deployable forces, they have very little capacity to do so. They can integrate the small scale Ivory Coasts and Haitis into the larger world; the U.S. will tackle the Iraqs and Afghanistans; fair enough?

Ah, yes, the World Wars... Russia, Britain, et al. fought gallantly in that war but there is no disputing the fact that the U.S entry into these conflicts (both WW I & II) turned the tide and sealed the outcome. If you're skeptical, read of Sir Winston Churchill's reaction to learning that the U.S. had entered the war. The U.S. was not concerned with the Nazis landing on its shores...it was concerned with the Nazi ideology engulfing a third of the world, which would of course drastically affect our own and the entire world's prosperity. And, let's not be too Euro-centric here...the Japanese were quite a hegemonistic power in Asia and the battle for the Pacific was at least as fierce as that for Europe, if not more so. The U.S. fought major campaigns in both theaters and played significant roles in securing victory in each. How many European nations can make the same claim? Outside of the Brits, not many.

As for the economic comparison, one should look at two of the supposedly "great" economic powers in Europe for that answer. France and Germany are both finally waking up to fact that a 35-hour work week and 2 months of vacation aren't going to cut it in a competitive world economy. Ireland is an excellent example of a country that finally got into the economic fast lane, and they did it by shunning the continental European ways and adopting the economic model of the U.S. They are far outperforming their continental cousins, and it's not by accident. So much for the "wasteful economy" theory. My favorite suggestion, though, is that I can somehow earn another week of vacation by talking to my neighbor...that's priceless! No, we don't have to "make the world think we are (fill in the blank)." The world already knows it, judging by the 6 million-plus immigrants coming into this country each year. Yes, coming IN, not going OUT. I believe they are, as you emphatically state, in the pursuit of happiness.
-- Robert LeFevers
Williamsburg, Virginia

A CHRISTMAS STORY
Re: Thomas Lipscomb's John Kerry's Bodyguard of Lies:

I served in an artillery unit in the Central Highlands of Vietnam (1st Bn, 92nd Artillery) from May 1970 to April 1971. My memories of that time range from vivid to murky (probably a combination of age and psychology). However, I kept no daily journal and took no 8mm movies of my and my units' activities. What doesn't square with me about John Kerry's war tales is how someone who so thoroughly documented his time in-country could so thoroughly and erroneously misstate the self-described "seminal" event in his experience, the "Christmas in Cambodia" episode.
-- Ralph Roberts
Laurel, Maryland

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