Reader Mail

Coming Attractions

Bill’s book and the Kerry ouster. Post-Pennsylvania conservatism. New nuance on France. Same old U.N. Plus much more.

4.28.04

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JUNE SWOON
Re: The Washington Prowler's A Clinton Quickie:

The only reason Bill is releasing his book in June is to pave the way for Hillary to run as "savior of the party" in '04 after Kerry implodes. It's always about Bill and Hillary.
-- Judith
New York, New York

Per my previous note, I continue my wager (box of money, youth pills, cosmetic surgery to look like Clint Eastwood at 45....for me and only if I win) that John F. Kerry will not make it past the Democratic Convention. Increasingly, his candidacy causes viewers to remind themselves that this is not the highly talented Darrell Hammond of Saturday Night Live doing the bloviating gigolo John F. Kerry. That magnificently deadpan self-parodist out there actually is John F. Kerry. Moreover, as events unfold, Bush and the Republicans may be moving toward their most vulnerable. It is now or never for Hillary Clinton. She and her husband own both the Democratic Party and much of the media. Imagine the bonanza for the latter if a really good cat fight began to develop, say, after Memorial Day. A "concerned" editorial here. A "pertinent" story placed there. A "pregnant"....whoops, sorry, old boy.....I mean a "thoughtful" profile someplace else, and suddenly it's lock-box time for John Boy.
-- Gene Wright
Laguna Niguel, California

BUSH OR TOOMEY?
Re: John Tabin's Why Bush Backs Specter:

"But Specter in the Senate and Bush in the White House are just as surely preferable to Hoeffel and Kerry."

Not so surely if you focus on what they do and not on what they say. A few examples: Was it John Kerry or George Bush who asked Brahimi to come to Iraq to instruct us on the finer points of democratic republicanism? Is it John Kerry or George Bush who has called cease-fires in Iraq, giving the enemy time to regroup, resulting in the death of more American soldiers? Is it John Kerry or George Bush who refuses to expand our military in a time of war? Is it John Kerry or George Bush that refuses to close our borders to illegal immigration? Is it John Kerry or George Bush that has refused to veto one over-spending bill? Is it John Kerry or George Bush who continues to enforce unconstitutional Supreme Court decisions? The list grows daily.

Bush or Toomey? The real question is which candidate's election would be more important to the Conservative cause. I say surely it is Toomey's. The real irony is that with the coming of George Bush, Conservatives like Toomey are becoming RINOs, Republicans in Name Only.
-- Mike Rizzo

Tabin is going wobbly with his Specter strategy. Afraid of motivating the liberals to vote? I guess a vigorous, energetic campaign based on ideas and issues of importance to constituents is a lousy game plan? The assumption that Bush might not win without Specter in November sounds like conventional wisdom. Sooner or later Republicans will need to own up to conservatism or else they too will eventually stand for everything and nothing. How stupid does "Toomey is too conservative for Pa" sound coming from a very conservative Senator? And then on top of that, Specter goes to an event and pimps his NRA endorsement? I did not know that abortion ceased to be an important issue to the base. I can understand that Toomey might be running an inept campaign and the party strategy is to stay with the incumbent. But what good is the incumbent when he votes against his party on critical issues? It's time to make a stand and serve up an example to other party pretenders that it's not better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.
-- Diamon Sforza
San Diego, California

Must we always bow at the altar of political expediency? I am very concerned about the anti-conservative posturings of the Bush Administration's first term. If the first term is any guidepost, I fear a second term. Bush II will enjoy his lame duck status for four years. We now have the biggest real estate, stock, and debt bubble in history. We and our government owe the world almost 40 trillion dollars. I suspect the bubble will pop some time in the next four years. Bush II may turn out to be Harding/Hoover all over again. Be careful what you pray for. The support of Specter is just one more Bush compromise on the road to perdition.
-- Fr. John Westcott
Anglican Priest
Bloomfield, Connecticut

ETERNAL FRANCE
Re: Jed Babbin's Once More Into the Screech:

Congratulations to Jed Babbin. In one sentence he has told the truth about the U.N. to wit, "It is a mechanism to constrain America, not to cooperate with it in defense of freedom." The majority of the general membership of the U.N, consisting as it does of Middle-eastern Thugocracies, African dictatorships, Asian dictatorships, South American Drug-lord-ocracies and effete West European has-been Socialist hell holes, not only is not interested in defending freedom, it is scared to death of it! Thus, rather than making any attempt to make their own failed systems of "government," or to be honest, "oppression," they attack the United States, and any other free society they can find. Alas, there are not too many of those. I agree whole-heartedly that the best thing we could do with that assembly of asses at Turtle Bay, would be to tell them that, as most of them profess to hate the United States more than they can express coherently, we are not going to force them to remain in our country any longer. Give them a month to pack their things, and they can relocate their circle of hatred to some other country. Perhaps Lesotho, Colombia, Iran, or China would welcome them. Or, here is an interesting thought, they could relocate the U.N. in, Tibet. We should bid them farewell with the words of Queen Agravaine, "Goodbye, Good luck, and Get out!"
-- W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

I found the paper more amusing than French bashing usually is. Thank you for maintaining a kind of humor in this long love-hate type of text !

French people are very thankful of the sacrifice of so many GI who helped us to get rid of the Nazis, when Hitler declared war on the United States (and not the contrary) after so many years when France was left alone in front of the mightiest army ever assembled. We did pay our share in 1940 with 100,000 men killed in one month (we somehow managed to kill 30,000 Germans during
the same time, as history recognizes) and another 50,000 killed in the resistance or the Free French Army . Unfortunately, we could not retreat 1,000 miles as the Soviets did when facing the same onslaught.

As the U.S. did not feel necessary to help France against England during the Napoleonic wars, we did not feel it necessary to enter into a war with Iraq, a sovereign nation with absolutely no links with Al Qaeda terrorism. More than that, we had already said that this action will only create a new area of instability where terrorism will develop, as verified since. An avalanche of anti-French rhetoric (and some anti-American also) followed our decision and the most ignorant part of the French and Americans took it very seriously.

Most of the French, however, like myself, had no grudge against the U.S. and did not get xenophobic for so little. History told us that we may always need a friend either smaller than us or more powerful (see the story of the rat and the lion taken in the net). Maybe a good thing to remember for an isolationist like you. I sincerely wish you to get out of Iraq with the minimum loss of lives and honor (not as in Vietnam where we French lost also 50,000 men but kept half of it at least).

Best regards,
-- Philippe Artru

I like it. Thank you!
-- Catherine Hill
Lakeland College
Lloydminster, Alberta

Thank you, Mr. B., for revealing once again how totally clueless the French are about themselves and the American public. It's interesting to me that people who are typically irrelevant in any meaningful way usually have bloated opinions of themselves, bringing on feelings of confusion and puzzlement in those around them. (See: John Kerry, Sen. Edward Kennedy, the 911 Commission, Peter Jennings, and the entire casts of "60 Minutes" and "Friends," for examples).

If I could assign missions to Colin Powell, I would send him to France with the following declaration:

"People of France, hear me well. Your claim to be allies of America and a country that has any positive effect on world affairs has about as much value as a promise from Yasser Arafat. Let me explain our view of your country: we hold no trust with your promises, your so-called commitments, and we could care less what you think of us. Our national policies aren't determined in any way by our relationship with your country. If we assigned any value to the United Nations, we would question your presence on the Security Council; since you're no longer a world power, or contribute in any way to world peace and security. For those of you who still believe that my country holds a debt to France for assisting us in our own Revolution, let me direct you to the thousands of U.S. military graves from the two occasions we saved you from German conquest. Let's hear no more about debts, OK? ...
-- Bill Proctor
Chicago, Illinois

I read with amazement "Once More Into the Screech." Instead of taking notice that in this instance that the U.N. and dare I say even France may have been right in not sanctioning our pre-emptive strike against a sovereign state, Jed Babbin gives the classic response of bullies everywhere: "we don't really give a damn." Why this is good a thing I have yet to understand.
-- Scott Alber
Bloomington, Indiana

Our last visit to France in July 2001, was a fairly pleasant one. I queried a friendly bartender about why Parisians, in particular, were being so unexpectedly cordial to "us Yanks." Seems that American tourists were noticeably detouring to friendlier territories, and there was a quasi-organized campaign to bring the business back.

The current campaign with a repetitive theme by Mr. Kerry, to put "an international face" on the Iraq War, has raised a significant issue that I doubt anyone on the Republican side really wants to honestly answer. The answer is, that the face would still be anglo; as it always has been. Looking back on past UN-endorsed peacekeeping missions, our major opposition on the Security Council have seldom or never participated. Germany, believes it has no legal authority to venture beyond its borders (or interests). Russia, a new democracy, still holds old grudges and suspicions. France, has primarily been concerned with minimal "cameo appearances" in prior missions, but seldom has placed ground troops in harm's way.

I worked with Canadians, Brits, Aussies and French in joint exercises and in certain UN-sponsored missions, such as Kosovo, Bosnia, and patrolling the Iraqi No Fly Zones. I can summarize that our relationship with the Australians, British and Canadians was almost seamless. The French, when they show up for battle, Monday thru Thursday, 10-4, seemed chiefly concerned with the status of their next cuisine cargo delivery. The rest of the "coalition" was working 15-hour days, every day. I never saw any Chinese, German, Russian, Mexican, Spanish, Kenyan, Somalian, Nepalese, Japanese (the list goes on and on) troops, aviators, etc.

So, when John Kerry says we need to "internationalize" the war, where is he planning to recruit? The French, Germans, Russians, Chinese, and North Koreans should probably lead the list since they have sizable armies and resources. Secondly, they are the countries who helped fund Saddam and furnish him with the fairly sophisticated weapon systems, aircraft and radars that we've had to dismantle twice, so far.

So why won't the Republicans tell the truth? Probably because it would be an admission that the UN is a complete failure and a total joke, when it comes to peacekeeping. It's always the same crew who shows up to clean the mess. The same crew who got rid of Hitler, Hirohito, the Soviet Empire and numerous other threats to freedom. A lot more has been accomplished by our Coalitions of the Willing throughout the last century than the UN has dreamed of. What would happen to the UN as a "World Body" if the U.S., Britain, Australia and Canada stayed home, from now on? It would truly be what President Bush referred to as a "Debating Club"...
-- unsigned

Jed Babbin's writing is always enjoyable, especially when he coins new words like "interlocutoress." (Perhaps he meant "interlocutress"?) I seldom find much to criticize in his writing, but this sentence gives me pause: "She apparently believes that relations with France are something the average American actually gives a rat's patootie about."

Now, "patootie" means "sweetheart" so yes, I suppose most Americans wouldn't care much about a rat's sweetheart. But since I have pet rats, I am usually concerned with making sure my boys don't get the wrong girl in trouble. Being confined with other rats of their sex and perpetually horny, they periodically attempt congress with their cage mates, which results in a brief but violent stand-off. Would that we humans were all so defiantly heterosexual!…
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

SLOW MARCHERS
Re: George Neumayr's Among the Pagan Ladies:

As a Christian, I found George Neumayr's assertion that those marching on Sunday were pagans to be deeply offensive. Of course Mr. Neumayr has the right to is opinion, and of course he has the right to disagree with the beliefs espoused by the marchers, but disparaging the marchers and their beliefs does little to make his case stronger. I agree that the marchers' calls for church taxation, or a retroactive abortion of George Bush are distasteful, but I respect their right to say and do what they want as Americans. To make a successful argument for conservatism we must portray ourselves not as hatemongers, but as truly compassionate and concerned for others' well being.
-- Jack Peters
Chicago, Illinois

The "Million Mothers March" and the "March for Women's Lives" both grossly inflated their attendance numbers. The Pro-Choice movement claims that the Supreme Court is one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade, while only three members are on record as against it out of the necessary five. Are feminists trying to make the case that women really do suck at math?
-- Scotty Uhrich
Glyndon, Minnesota

NOT IMPRESSED
Re: Shawn Macomber's Small Tent:

Ah, the press corps prima donnas. If they get their precious toes stepped on watch out "for woman scorned" attitude in full force. The telling line about Toomey not being PROPERLY grateful for the free advertising. Give me a break.
-- Annette Cwik

TAKING STOCK
Re: Patrick Hynes' John Adam Smith Kerry:

Not wishing to appear dense, but I miss Mr. Hynes point?

The long list of companies that are defined in his article have some of the following results:

Company EPS P/E

Medtronics 1.53 32.5

Verizon 1.26 29.9

Home Depot 1.88 19.4

The rest of the list is similar, not a dog stock among them so the average portfolio manager would wink. Though I might see the connection of outsourcing as an issue, but considering that every Fortune 500 is doing it, the charge is that Kerry should divest himself totally from the S&P 500? Then of course the charge could be leveled that Kerry does not believe in ownership in American futures. On the whole a viewpoint most Americans would consider weak.

Kerry of course launched this tirade so it might be appropriate to throw it back at him. But quite honestly that is just gutter sniping from the sidelines. Kerry has enough weakness in his core record. That is what should be attacked. Any dog knows that you go for the neck when on the hunt.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Patrick Hynes replies:
Mr. McGinnis is not dense, but he does miss the point, as he himself admits.

John Kerry has made the obliteration of corporate outsourcing the central plank in his economic platform. Without this rhetoric, there would be nothing unique about his message; we've heard it all before from the lips of Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, and Al Gore. I dare say Kerry has made this his defining issue, posing as the champion of the working folks against "Benedict Arnold" CEOs.

And yet according to the Institute of International Economics, the globalization of IT production has boosted U.S. GDP by $230 billion over the past seven years. That is to say, offshore outsourcing produces a net boon for our economy. So, of course John Kerry should not "divest himself totally from the S&P 500." He should maintain his God-given right to make a buck. And so should everyone else in America. The very fact that those companies mentioned by Mr. McGinnis are doing so well for their investors is proof John Kerry and any other political leader should take Ronald Reagan's advice on economic matters: "Don't just do something, stand there."

So, the point is twofold. First, John Kerry is wrong to claim offshore outsourcing harms our economy. And second, he knows he's wrong, because he gleefully profits from the practice.

AUTOMATIC DRIVE
Re: The Washington Prowler's Hybrid Kerry:

"When Kerry was called on the SUV last Thursday, Kerry said that, in fact, he had been thinking for a long time about having his campaign use a hybrid as a 'campaign car.' But his choice would be a Ford model, which is an American-made automobile."

Kerry's commitment to American-made is unfortunately suspect. The Chrysler 300M SUV in Kerry's family driveway is made in C A N A D A.
-- Tom Reynolds
Wharton, New Jersey

TOUCHÉ
Re: Scott's letter in Reader Mail's Marching On:

Regarding Scott's letter about the article on Pagan Ladies -- you've got to be kidding. Any time anyone exercises their freedom of speech that you "progressives" disagree with you see fit to hold them up to scorn and ridicule. That's your right. But it's also George Neumayr's right to get his message out, whether you like it or not. I defend them both. I get the impression that those of your ilk, however, would like to silence any of the speech you disagree with. But, oh dear, then it's not free speech is it?

Damned Constitution!
-- Matt
Colorado

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