Reader Mail

Wings of a President

Bush can fly, Moore can’t. Plus: Canada -- the next Yugoslavia? Blood Democrats. Supreme matters. And more.

7.1.04

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OVER THEIR HEADS
Re: Reid Collins' Centigrade Conversions:

Moore's movie wants to make us believe George Bush is an incompetent dunce who was unable to act decisively when informed of the 9/11 attacks. Moore and Strawberry, er, Raspberry, ignore the fact that the duty George Bush volunteered for, flying jet interceptors, requires the highest job qualifications in the military and is some of the most dangerous duty available. No military service, anywhere, entrusts an expensive, sophisticated jet aircraft to anyone unless that person possesses levels of intelligence, coordination, courage and decisiveness far above average. Only the brightest, most competent men and women serve our country as military aviators.

Many become airline pilots, an honored and respected occupation in America; we routinely entrust our lives to them, relying on the intelligence and skills that earned them their wings to ensure our safe transit. An Internet search for "most dangerous occupations" confirms that pilots rank very high, with airline pilots in third place; and flying high performance military aircraft is far more dangerous than flying passenger jets. Ask an airline pilot. Ask your insurance agent.

Yet that is exactly what our president did, the same man that Moore would have you believe was an ignorant, indecisive shirker. Isn't it strange how a tough, brilliant, political operative like Bob Bullock, the late, legendary lieutenant governor of Texas, a DEMOCRAT, saw Bush so differently? He saw him as strong and savvy and became his close friend and political ally. Ask Texas Dems who knew him: Bob Bullock was no fool; he knew how to take the measure of a man far better than some effete filmmaker or a snidely superior columnist.

So, Moore and Strawberry and their ilk should consider the fact that such uninformed criticism reflects far more poorly on them than on GWB. They are free to attack his policies all they want, but spewing contempt for his intelligence and courage exposes their own ignorance of reality; dummies don't get into flight school and indecisive cowards don't fly jet interceptors. Of course, these arrogant critics who hold Bush in such contempt would know that if they'd been smart, brave and decisive enough to become military aviators themselves.

Hey, Moore; hey, Strawberry; the man earned his wings; where the hell are yours?
-- Russ Vaughn
Lakehills, Texas

I think John Ford said something in 1942 to the effect that "if you add more than two feet of fake footage to a documentary it becomes a travesty." He -- along with other greats like Capra and Huston -- proved you don't have to use the MSU (Make Stuff Up) system of production to get a good film.…

As for Moore, the only award this thing deserves is the Leni Riefenstahl Hubris Award.
-- Cookie Sewell
Aberdeen, Maryland

PEAS IN OUR TIME
Re: Jeremy Lott's A Bad Night for Conservatives:

I take issue with Mr. Lott's prediction that the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois and New Democratic Parties will tear each other apart in the upcoming Canadian minority parliament. All are one form of socialist party or another and the Liberals and Bloc exist for the sole purpose of bettering the position of Quebec in confederation. Their target will be Alberta and its premier, Ralph Klein.

The big election winners in the short term were Quebec separatists. The Liberals must have Bloc support to pass legislation. They will go to the Bloc who will naturally require a payoff for Quebec in money or decreased federal involvement in the province in return for keeping the Liberals in power.

The second and longer term winners were the Alberta separatists. After having been caught in a mire of scandal, corruption, incompetence and crime, Liberals were still elected by Ontario and Atlantic voters. This will seen as proof that there is no hope of working within Canada. Upcoming battles over health care between Ottawa and Alberta will increase tensions already strained by gun control, lack of democratic reform and most importantly the Kyoto accord.

Stand by -- if we're lucky Alberta should be an independent country within four years. A Conservatives' victory would have been the best thing for national unity -- their defeat may start the house of cards to topple.
-- Michael Shannon
Edmonton, Alberta

Jeremy, just as you'd usually avoid using the terms "towelheads,"
"jungle bunnies," or "beaners" in The American Spectator, it would be polite not to refer to us French Canadians as "pea soupers." Try to preserve a little dignity.
-- Craig Burley

AS HEARD ON RUSH
Re: Paul Beston's Blood for Power:

Paul Beston hit the nail squarely on the head with his June 30 "Blood for Power" article. I never cease to be amazed at the lengths some will go just to maintain power -- and as he said, have us lose the war or at least suffer some measure of disgrace, simply to oust the current administration. There seems to be no limit to what certain Democrats will say or what they will do, all in the name of power and control.

I believe, perhaps naïvely, that the vast majority of our electorate -- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike -- loves our country and can see the façade for what it is. There are many different views on how things should be done, and even whether we should even be in Iraq at all, but very, very few have ill wishes for our homeland. Let's just hope that most will see through the Democratic power-hungry smokescreen and make the right choice in November. But the Republicans need to get busy and get the message out a little more forcefully.
-- Gary Johnson
Madison, Alabama

The article was forwarded to me. Thank you for being smart and strong enough to write such a piece. Bravo.
-- Tim Hall
San Antonio, Texas

Great article! Paul Beston? Super job. I have sent it to many friends and family. Hopefully the ones on the left will see something they have been unwilling to see
previously... Thanks.
-- Thor Johnson
Lilburn, Georgia

Although I've never heard any Republicans out and out question the patriotism of any of their Democratic opponents -- perhaps implied though never declared -- your commentary causes me to ponder, WHY?
-- Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

A great article by Paul Beston. I wish every voter in the USA could see it.
-- unsigned

IT'S TOO LATE
Re: George Neumayr's War by Judicial Review and the "Courting Disaster" letters in Reader Mail's Extremism Is a Vice:

I think you are in a coon hunt and the dogs are barking at the wrong tree. As much as I think certain aspects of the Supreme Court decision may have been a little off, they reached the proper conclusion. If you wanted a different decision then the President and Congress should be the object of your wrath.

Consider, rather than having asked for resolution but a declaration of war from Congress, this issue would have been moot. Congress having given the declaration would have conveyed to the detainees POW status, not enemy combatants. DOJ would not be involved as at that point it is clearly a matter of military courts. The President's hand would have been greatly strengthened in this matter as there is a 500 year body of law both domestic and international in regards to prisoners. Their detention would not fall under habeas corpus other than a declaration of their name to the Red Cross. Padilla and Hamdi being U.S. citizens could be clearly bound for treason under the "Aid and Comfort" provisions thereto. And by the way, do you think that Congress would have balked on a declaration of war on September 13, considering the mood of the country?

You may balk at a declaration as the Taliban and Al Qaeda are NGO's, not sovereign states. But I need only point out that Congress authorized the President under a declaration to roust the Barbary Pirates who would be considered NGO's today. Had the Congress authorized under the current circumstances, provisions within the Constitution to give the President the powers needed to handle the issues. The Supreme Court would have affirmed the President under Section 8, Clause 11 having been duly authorized by Congress as it would have clearly restrained any other consideration by the Court.

Lacking that declaration the Supreme Court is now required to render based on a position that the country is not at war in letter even if it is in fact. On that basis, habeas corpus has not been suspended. The slimes that they are the Al Qaeda operatives being citizens are entitled to the provisions of the Constitution. What the Supreme Court did not do is eliminate the "enemy combatant" status of said individuals. Yes it's complicated, messy and not the right way to do things.

But I can only point out that the whole resolution process has been flawed. It was a mess as declared in the Gulf of Tonkin. And it appears to being a very messy process yet again. There is a reason that the Constitution has a defined method for declaring war and issuing letters of marque. Bush and Congress should not be so squeamish about doing so. It's a tool, use it. And having used it, sideline issues like court hearings fall away. Resolutions as expedient tools come with their own impediments.

I believe that Bush has performed masterfully in two wars so far. His only errors have been not keeping the Iraq army on the payroll and not asking for a declaration of war from Congress. If he had, we would not have spent the electrons for this article.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Conservatives have become accustomed to bemoaning the judicial usurpation of politics, and now also the judicial usurpation of executive war powers. Now, it can certainly be granted that there exists a place for more analysis of the tortured logic of the decisions by which the courts have usurped authority which is rightly lodged elsewhere. But can we not at least admit that perhaps the time for debate over the proper response to the problem has passed?

If conservatives insist upon the tired, outworn remedy of electing more Republicans, in the vain hope that, somehow, they will secure the appointment of sane jurists to the courts, they display not a grasp of the problem, but utter incomprehension. The problem is not rooted in the weakness of the Republican majority, but in the intellectual corruption of the law schools, their politicization, and the convergence of these trends with the interests of a substantial percentage of the political class on both sides of the aisle. If we would have any chance whatsoever of turning back the tide of judicial usurpation, we must begin by jettisoning the superstitious reverence in which we hold the courts -- all that tired, old rigmarole about the courts being the guarantors of liberty and the right ordering of the body politic. Who, after decades of unanswered usurpations, can believe in such fantasies? Who, after decades of hearing that the courts are the conscience of the nation, such that, were they to suffer the other branches to limit their authority, or even -- God forbid! -- reverse even the most tortured and ungrounded ruling, the nation would no longer be able to understand itself, can still retain childlike faith in the impartiality and wisdom of the courts?

One way to make plain that the old superstition has been exploded would be to recover the older American sense of the courts as merely one branch of government among three, possessing no monopoly on the interpretation of the Constitution, and no authority or warrant therein to fix irrevocably the doctrine and practice of the nation upon entire categories of law by means of decisions upon particular cases. In fact, I believe that Lincoln's objection and opposition to Dred Scott were framed in precisely these terms.

Let us speak plainly about these matters. What is required is simply resolute defiance of the courts. Where the courts have exceeded their authority, let the executive, whether governor or President, state that the verdict is question is null because contrary to long-established practice, which has, by virtue of its customary status, an overriding presumption of constitutionality. That is what it means to say that the courts have no monopoly on the interpretation of constitutional provisions -- that established practice, such as, for example, the powers of the executive in wartime, are controlling, and the courts, in consequence, may not intervene. They lack jurisdiction.

Do we wish to have a constitutional republic, or not? If not, then let us continue voicing timid and feckless solutions to what is a grave constitutional crisis-in-slow-motion. If so, let us ask the question "How many divisions has the Court?" and act accordingly. The rule of law cannot be overthrown where it does not even exist. The time for talk has passed, for the courts have become a great menace, an ongoing, open-ended constitutional convention. Crush the infamous things!
-- Jeff Martin

TOO CUTE
Re: The "Homing Instincts" letters in Reader Mail's Extremism Is a Vice:

If 43 fails, it will in no small part be due to the fact that he has committed the same sins as 41, namely catering to those who will never vote for him at the expense of those who otherwise would have. That, and a lack of the vision thing. Trying to be too cute by a half and buying everyone off can only get you so far.
-- Stephan Hirsch

TALL TALE
Re; The Washington Prowler's The Kerry-Moore Connection (Hillary at Bay):

Everybody should know that the story about how Hillary got her name is a lie. At the time of her birth Sir Edmund was an unknown and inexperienced climber. No one knew who he was and it would be years later until he had any recognition.
-- Barry Mandelkorn

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