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Conventional Wisdom

Kerry's big entrance. Ron Jr's judgment. Berger's blunder. CAIR vs. Mason and Felder. Plus more.

7.29.04

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THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES
Re: The Washington Prowler's Kerry Camera Ready:

Regarding Kerry forcing Bush's hand on the 9/11 Commissions report, didn't the White House say a couple days ago that the President might enact some of the changes by executive order? It was obvious what Kerry was doing the moment I heard those words come out of his mouth.
-- Liz

The last time John Kerry road a water taxi up a river and saw that many civilians waiting for him he opened fire, didn't he?
-- Unsigned

JUDGING REAGAN
Re: Hunter Baker's A Nearly Perfect Injustice and Timothy P. Carney's Go Back to Ballet:

"When Ron Reagan eulogized his father in a more or less respectful manner..."

I saw a different eulogy than Hunter Baker did.

I saw only the eulogy that had an intentional domestic political slap, unambiguously directed to the President, i.e., the comments on "those who wear their religion on their sleeve."

And I saw only the eulogy that had an ultimate moral equivalency slap, when he magnanimously assured everyone that "we're all going to heaven," otherwise known as "there is no absolute right and wrong, decide as you will, no one, not even the Great Judge, will ever contradict you".

He spoiled an otherwise spell binding, heart rending and perfect tribute to one of the greatest Presidents of all time.

I wish him luck with the Great Judge. He will need it.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

You have written some very good articles about Ron Reagan Jr and his appearance at the DNC, but you guys have missed a very important point. The great injustice here is that if Ron Jr does not like his father's politics then so be it, but he shouldn't act upon these disagreements, conflicts, and arguments by sticking a knife into the backs of his father's friends in the Republican Party less then two months after his death.

Ron Reagan Jr's appearance at the DNC is utterly sick and shows once and for all that liberals have no sense of morals and decency.
-- Jon Mo

DECLINE AND PUBLISH
Re: David Weigel's Great Barack Hope:

It shows just how far we Republicans, in Illinois and nationally, have fallen when the Spectator publishes a puff piece for Mr. Obama, who, if possible, is left of the Kerry-Edwards team. Where is the leader who can communicate a vision of personal freedom, limited government and anti-socialism? Obama won the primary because he was the only black running in a crowded field. No one in Illinois knows anything about him, except that he's in favor of nationalizing health care, yet he's been crowned as the next Martin Luther King. I just don't get it.
-- Karl Kuppler

OLD TIME EASY LISTENING
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Top Clinton:

Clinton reminds me of an operatic tenor. His speeches make great music, but I can't recall the lyrics.
-- John Schuh

I have only two questions about Clinton's great speech: If only Democrats for the most part listened did anybody really hear it? And if his speech quickly dissipates like a severe case of flatulence, was it really that great?
-- Diamon Sforza
San Diego, CA

KVETCH CITY
Re: Jay D. Homnick's The Count of Nine:

I don't want to nit pick, but I will anyway.

Tisha B'Av isn't exactly a holiday, it is however a fixed time (or Moed) which is why Tachnun (putting down the head) is omitted during the prayers of the day. There are no restrictions as far as using electricity or driving a car that occurs on the major Jewish holidays.

The spies actually returned on the 8th of Av and the people cried that night which was the 9th. (On the Hebrew Calendar, the nights come before the days). It should be noted that Tisha B'Av culminates a three week mourning period which begins with another fast day exactly three weeks to the day before Tisha B'Av. During the three week period, the restrictions intensify as we get closer to Tisha B'Av.

The Book of Lamentations is not read both at night and at the day. At night we read the book of Lamentations in the Bible which is Acha in Hebrew. In the morning we read what is called Kinos which is translated as lamentations. But the reading of the night and day are not the same, unlike Purim when the Book of Esther is read both in the night and day.

Most synagogues do not use candlelight. We do dim the electric lights at night. Perhaps there are some synagogues that use only candlelight at night, but I am not aware of any.

It is true that we are allowed to sit on normal chairs after midday, but all the restrictions (fasting, not washing, no anointing, no wearing of leather shoes and no marital relations) continue for the entire day -- the same five restrictions that we have on Yom Kippur.
-- Mark
Flushing, New York

Jay D. Homnick replies:
There are those whose custom it is to read the Lamentations in the morning as well, Telshe Yeshiva for one. All Yeshivas that I know of observe the custom of keeping the lights off at night and reading by candlelight, although many synagogues do not. The fasting continues after midday, but fasting is not associated with mourning in Judaism; mourners do not fast. The laws associated with mourning, i.e. sitting on the floor and not donning phylacteries, are removed after midday.

I think you will find that my presentation accurately reflects a scholarly understanding of the observance, without pulling the reader into slight variations in customs, which would distract from the main point without shedding more light.

LOCK AND LOAD
Re: Read Collins' Not Knowing:

Funny thing is that Mr. Collins, like myself, was struck by the possibility that if the pilots of the airliners hijacked on September 11 had been armed, the tragedy wouldn't have happened. As things were, the aircraft, their crews and passengers were SITTING DUCKS, and it turned out that about 3,000 others weren't much better off. But your readers should know that some airline pilots were armed for many years, and there is at least one documented case, dating from the 1970s, of an armed pilot stopping a hijacking.

In their report, the 9/11 Commission laid at least part of the blame for the events of that day on "the failure of congressional oversight," which was certainly a factor, and you know something, this failure of congressional oversight is still with us. A prime example thereof is to be found at TSA, which was directed by The Congress to develop and operate a program to arm -- REARM would be more correct a term -- commercial airline pilots. While TSA has been stalling, obstructing and "slow walking" in every imaginable way -- the action that Congress ordered it to undertake -- that same Congress has, in the manner of bemused parents, viewing the antics of their spoiled rotten "rug rats," looked on, and done nothing...
-- Alan Schultz
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

HEAR THAT, CONGRESS?
Re: Eric Peters' A Black Box in Every Garage:

I would like to register my dismay at the thought of such an outrageous attempt to control our lives! While a black box could be helpful in determining the cause of crashes, there is far too much information planned that would grossly overstep the bounds of law enforcement, safety enforcement, and certainly personal and private information. If it is to be used at all, it should be like the airlines black boxes, in that it could only be accessed manually, to provide information about events and practices leading up to a crash, with NO microphones to eavesdrop on the driver and passengers, nor any tracking device to show travel leading up to the accident.

I strongly urge the U.S. government to avoid passing any legislation or regulations that would give law enforcement a warrant to snoop on us all.
-- Thomas J. Parnell

WORSE THAN WATERGATE
Re: Jed Babbin's Code Word Bergler:

Nixon was almost impeached and the burglars went to jail for snooping on the opposition's political strategy in the DNC offices in the Watergate complex. Sandy Berger entered the National Archives and removed code word material, and the Democrats want everyone to laugh about how sloppy Berger is.

Thomas Jefferson said we are a nation of law not of men. Equal justice before the law demands that Berger receive jail time for offenses that broke more laws than G. Gordon Liddy did. Burglary is one thing. Breaking one's oath that is sworn and signatures taken at each of the several layers of clearances before getting to the code word level is pure treason. It says so in the National Secrets Act and in the executive orders that administer it.

I don't care how much money, personality, or press the Democrats and the Clintons have. This illegal act must not be brushed aside like Chappaquiddick.
-- Newt Love
Annapolis, Maryland

THEY CAIR
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Religion of Hate:

I'm confused here. Does the CAIR Ibrahim guy want an apology from Muslims for being murderers and preaching hate and terrorism, or from Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder for having the courage to point it out? Or Westwood One for tolerating free speech? I got a surprise for Islam -- the entire Hadith is online and can be read by all. Islam at its core teaches hatred, violence, and genocide and they put it in print -- so what's the apology supposed to say?

I hope Bohanon asks Ibrahim or CAIR what they think about separation of church and state. Do we think they will tell the truth? Not until they take over and shut down the media.
-- Clark Albritton
Dublin, California

Please pass the word to Mr. Mason and Mr. Felder that they need to ramp up the rhetoric on this topic and keep it in the forefront of the news. They are speaking the absolute truth. Many more people of influence in this country like Mr. Mason and Mr. Felder need to join these two truth-tellers in becoming more vocal. Most Americans don't realize how close we are to again accepting the status quo regarding these murdering terrorists. We absolutely cannot let that happen.
-- Dennis Preiser
Kokomo, Indiana

ANTI-ANTI-EUROPEAN
Re: Shawn Macomber's Amoral Hazard:

You really shouldn't allow this blatant anti-non American propaganda to be published. In the first place, not all Europeans are anti-American. Most of the people in Europe remember the sacrifices made by American Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen during World War 2. What has been seen in America as a rising tide of anti-Americanism is garbage. Our favorite consumer products are mainly American inventions or improvements to other inventions. Our favorite movies are American. Our favorite soft drinks are American etc., etc.

If we are all so anti-American how come these large American multinationals are still in profit never mind still in business? America's largest consumer market is not America it is the rest of the "First World" which mainly consists of the European Union, Canada and Australia. If we are so anti-American all we have to do to force America to do what we want, is slap you with a trade embargo so heavy it would cripple the American economy for years. Remember that little thing called the Stock Market Crash in 1929? If the rest of the "First World" was so anti-American we could make that look like a hiccup! Yeah we would be impacted but we could trade with each other and just ignore America, in the long run the rest of us would be ok. (Just a little hypothetical scenario for you to muse over).

The simple truth is most people in Europe and for that matter the rest of the world are anti-George W Bush. We are sick to death of a warmongerer telling us we should send our armed forces to die in a foreign land. George Bush and his pet Prime Minister Tony Blair, sent troops thousands of miles away to die, so Iraq's WMD could be captured. Now it looks like both of them lied to their people either knowingly or not. America has lost hundreds of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and what has it gained America?

I'll tell you what America has gained, your leader has gained all Americans the undying hatred of thousands of young Islamic men who are growing up on a diet or real anti-American feelings. These people still hold a grudge against most of Europe, because of the Crusades and they happened hundreds of years ago.

If you noticed the reaction of Irish people to the visit of George W. Bush, you will know that he has managed to do what no other American President has ever done. Ireland is still a fairly conservative society and yet Bill Clinton can walk the streets of Dublin with Bono from U2, he even went to a bar with Bono and had a few beers. The only trouble his security detail had was trying to give him enough room to breathe, because so many people wanted to shake his hand. The Irish love America more than any other European Country, after all 30 million Americans can claim Irish roots.

Yet when George W. Bush came to Ireland he had 6000 Troops and Police with tanks and armored cars to keep people away. The man had a 2 mile exclusion zone setup around him, for pete's sake, there was protest marches in Dublin with thousands chanting for Bush to go home. A womanizing ex-President has people wanting to shake his hand and your current President has people wanting him to leave the country or better yet not to come.

If Americans want to gauge European people's true feelings towards them then they should visit Europe and spend some time with us. Don't listen to idiots trying to rouse people's fears, get out of America and take a look at the rest of the world. Most of us are the same as you, all we want is to get up in the morning, shower, shave, go to work and not have to worry about whether or not some power mad megalomaniac is going to kill our kids. Shawn Macomber has written an article that just reinforces what Bush and his sycophants want you to believe. Just like when people renamed "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries." The American People need to get a grip on reality. We don't hate Americans just the stupid policies of their government.

We are waiting on Americans to kick Bush out of office and then relations will get back to normal but if we have to put up with Bush for another 4 years well maybe we should just wait and see what happens. Best of luck America.
-- Cailean Iceadadh
A European who likes America and Americans

YOU'RE WELCOME
I wasted my time reading a story from your site offered by Yahoo as I like to read political stories (both sides). Unfortunately, the story I read was right-wing bull and doesn't deserve my time. Please do not respond to the e-mail as it is my work e-mail. Thanks.
-- Karyn

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