Re: John Corry's AWOL on MIAs:
Truer words were never spoken. In the haste to leave a miserable war behind, we left good men to die in the hands of an enemy who cared little for human life, and even less for American lives. I wear a bracelet to this day of one of the missing: Major Hugh M. Fanning from Fort Worth, Texas, MIA since October 31, 1967. Whether later generations know it or not, the POWs and MIAs left behind will forever be a blemish on America and our government.
-- Mike Webster
John Corry in the above article wrote that John Kerry was an authentic Vietnam War hero. I suppose this statement is based on the number of medals and purple hearts Mr. Kerry obtained in just from months of active duty. Doesn't this make John Kerry the greatest warrior of all time? He wants voters to believe what a hero he was and that he will be a better Commander-in-Chief than an AWOL Bush. So why isn't he releasing his records so that we can decide what kind of a hero he really was? Does it not occur to people that it seems strange that someone who brags so much about his war experience is steadfastly refusing to divulge his military records. Perhaps he is not what he wants people to believe. Bush did so amid the hue and cry over his Air National Guard days. Selecting the president of the United states is serious business. Voters should have all the information to make a sound and proper judgment. Thus if John Kerry thinks he will make America safer than Bush can, please invite him to yield his military records for the people to decide. The threat to America will not end with the capture or death of Osama bin Laden. There are many more Osamas in the pipeline and the daily casualties in Iraq is pointing to it.
I hope The American Spectator will take a lead in calling for John Kerry to open up his records so we can judge whether our safety will be in cool hands.
-- Johann Foo
It is not surprising that The Vietnamese Candidate should be a creature of the Left.
In the 1962 movie The Manchurian Candidate, a U.S. soldier, played by Laurence Harvey, has been captured in Korea and programmed by the Red Chinese to return to America and assassinate a Presidential nominee on the Convention floor. The soldiers captured with Harvey have also been brainwashed to believe they like and admire him, although he is actually arrogant and aloof. Their testimonials of his conduct cause him to be decorated and lauded upon his release. Among the soldiers is a wizened and toupee-bewigged Frank Sinatra, the nominal hero. Harvey's wealthy and influential mother is played by Angela Lansbury who was about the same age as Harvey and an Oedipal relationship is directly implied. A twist near the end reveals that the mother is a Chinese agent who is involved in the assassination but did not know her son was to be the assassin -- he seems only mildly disconcerted when her handler tells her. In the climax, Harvey, after murdering his lovely fiancee and her beloved father, a kind of a Robert Lafollette type, turns the tables on the Chinese. He shoots and kills the Joe McCarthy-like vice-presidential nominee , played by James Gregory in a chilling career performance, who is his mother's current husband and presumable replacement nominee.
John Kerry is married to his mother figure, who despite her wealth and influence is at least a fellow traveler of the Left. Her husband has called for a regime change in America, but not in Aristide's Haiti. He is war decorated but strangely reticent about the wounds incurred, refusing release of the records. He is not particularly likable. He has been endorsed by North Korea's odious ruler. His senatorial voting record shows a consistent dedication to weakening the country's defense and intelligence capabilities. Is there any reasonable explanation for a major political party's determination to nominate such a man?
-- J.R. Wheatley
Harper Woods, Michigan
Would you please post the 1994 POW/MIA article on your website? Perhaps this doesn't conform to your editorial policy, but under the circumstances one should consider it a public service.
-- Dennis Sevakis
Re: Reid Collins's Tumbrel Rolling:
Reid Collins writes: "The case has nothing -- nada -- to do with the 'little guys who lose money in the market...' By selling ImClone at a fortuitous moment, Martha Stewart did not cost any other little guys anything."
Not true and you should know it. Martha's selling of her stock moved the price down such that the Imclone investors who didn't know about the FDA announcement lost more money than they would have otherwise. Let's just say there might have been more of an equality to the losing of money if Sam and Martha had followed the rules. And I doubt if Martha (or Sam) thought very much about the "little guys" who were going to lose big a few days after they (Martha and Sam) made their Imclone profits. In fact, Martha's conversation with her friend during her subsequent vacation supports that theory. I think it can honestly be said that if Martha was ever a "little guy", those days are long gone and she has forgotten them entirely. After all, as Mr. Collins points out:
"Why do we suppose Stewart wound up owning 4,000 shares of ImClone in the first place?" - at a very good price too, I imagine.
Mr. Collins also notes: "...equating Martha Stewart with the guys who brought Enron, WorldCom, and the like to their knees is patently dishonest."
But no one has done that. Murder is a crime but so is shoplifting. Are you suggesting that because a shoplifter didn't kill anyone, we should forget about prosecuting him?
-- Brenda Costello
Martha Stewart was convicted because she is stupid. During the last 25 years a plague of lawyers has descended, like locusts, on our land. They are on every street corner. The government uses them by the truckload. Anyone who is interviewed by a government investigator for any reason is nuts if he or she is not accompanied by a lawyer. If Martha Stewart had one by her side when she talked to the Feds her problems would have been long forgotten by now.
A lawyer friend of mine likes to keep reminding me that "there are no mutes in jail."
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Martha Stewart deserved to be tried and found guilty. She was guilty of insider trading, a fraud on the market. Other stockholders in ImClone suffered a loss through not being privy to information that she used to cut her losses. Small investors in mutual funds that held ImClone stock suffered a loss. She conspired to commit insider trading, in other words conspired to defraud the market.
She misled prosecutors, as we say over here "perverted the course of justice." Next time you feel like pulling the "Martha Stewart should've pled the Fifth" defense, try giving false particulars to a traffic cop after an accident. Ultimately, it's the same crime.
Lastly, she was convicted on five counts, not one, giving prosecutors the reasonable belief that she and her co-accused were engaged in a premeditated assault on the securities laws and on the administration of justice.
Sorry folks -- IT'S TWENTY THOUSAND YEARS IN THE HOLE!
-- Martin Kelly
IT'S ALL A PLOT
Re: Brooke Oberwetter's Private Concern:
The trust fund is bust specifically because it was set up to. The Bush administration has done it in entirely by spending the country into a deficit that my children's children will be paying for. Your privatization into managed funds is also a Ponzi scheme my friend because as we know, the stock market is subject to mismanagement and fraud to the same degree as government. Or how about being beholden to multinational corporations because our retirement funds are tied up in them?
Outsourcing, pollution, exploitative employment practices, get used to them because when your retirement is tied up in these companies you won't have any leverage left. We'll all be echoing the CEO's line of what's good for the company is good for the country. Have GE clean up its toxic mess? Heavens no, the stock price will drop. Investigate Daimler-Benz for unsafe cars? Can't because our retirement fund is heavily invested in it. It is a race to the bottom and you should be intelligent enough to know that and I suspect you are.
Folks who write this drivel for partisan publications such as yours have no concern for Social Security because you make a huge living that is part and parcel of your privileged upbringing. Please stop the populist BS in favor of "privatization." We are smart enough to know that this option is the final step towards the corporatization of America.
-- Joe D'Alessandro
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Social Security is a prime example of government doubletalk. It's called an entitlement program, yet Supreme Court decisions are quite clear about the fact that no one owns any title to benefits. The program is supposed to be backed by bonds, but they're a very peculiar form of bond because they're not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. In fact, all that backs them are campaign promises. The Social Security trust fund is all trust and no funds, holding only a promise to raise taxes at a later date.
-- Ian Callum
I went on Social Security in Aug '03. It seemed many years in coming. However, for many years prior to that I could see the need for privatization. It's one of those things that you innately know if you have any intellectual honesty. I may suffer in the process, but it needs to be done. Get on with it already!
-- Gene Hauber
A BLACKMUN ON THE COURT'S RECORD
Re: George Neumayr's Justice Death:
Is this statement in the part of the case that can be referred to by defense lawyers to assist their clients?
"Upholding abortion in the Casey decision, Anthony Kennedy permitted himself one of the most ludicrous lines in Supreme Court history. 'At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life,' he wrote."
If I read this correctly a defendant could use this as a defense for anything just by redefining existence and meaning so that what they did was not a crime. Takes President Clinton's "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" to a whole new level, doesn't it?
-- Troy Harmon
According to the Bible*, Harry Blackmun will one day stand in the REAL Supreme Court and attempt to explain the blood of millions on his hands. I don't think he will be able to convince the Judge of All the Earth.
-- David Shoup
*Genesis 18:25, 1 Samuel 2:10, Psalm 9:8, Psalm 67:4, Psalm 82:8, Acts 10:42, Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 12:23, 1 Peter 4:5, et cetera.
SCANNED TO DEATH
Re: John Sharkey's letter ("Make It Snappy") in Reader Mail's Piling On:
John Sharkey wants to save himself some money by controlling every aspect of our lives: "Instead of increasing the premiums for smoking, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and other high-risk activities, just allow insurance companies to exempt any illness resulting from those activities."
Coincidentally, a couple of those "other high-risk" activities were in the news today: obesity is about to surpass smoking as the leading cause of death and lack of exercise is going to kill many more of us. Let us install scales at the entrances to emergency rooms and refuse treatment to anyone outside the insurance company chartered guidelines. How about chips under the skin to monitor exercise levels too? Then we can run a scanner over the chest and download the exercise details and "whoops, Mr. Smith, it shows here you've only exercised at 10% of our minimum requirement, no admittance for you."
Once all the smokers, drinkers, eaters and sedentary people are off the roles of the insured and dying in the gutter, the rates will surely drop, if they're still not low enough, we can expand "other" and turn away patients with broken legs because they had the audacity to use a skateboard; those with skin cancer that, according to their implanted chip, resulted from spending more than the maximum allowed time in the sun; and of course, those that had bacon and eggs for breakfast more than once a month, as recorded by the supermarket scanner, so as to unnecessarily increase their cholesterol. Motorcycles? Fuhgettaboutit!
Soon all that would be left to exclude is death from boredom. Thanks, but no thanks.
-- Mark Hessey
Belmar, New Jersey
BEFORE THE RELEASE
Having recently read the article "Mel's Maligners" by George Neumayr, I feel obligated to say that I agree with most of the article, except for the condescending remarks made towards Catholics. When he labeled us -- for I am myself a Catholic -- liberal, perhaps he was thinking of such "Catholics" as currently populate the national Congress in the form of Democrats. I must caution Mr. Neumayr that these people are not, and should not be, construed as representative of all or even most Catholics. He says that Christ without the crucifixion appeals to liberal Catholic priests, and that this is why they have been taking Crosses out of churches and schools. I honestly have no idea where this statement comes from, as in my church -- my "Liberal Catholic" church, which I go to at least once a week to attend Mass -- the cross is prominently displayed on the altar. And that's with Jesus actually on it, I might add, in contravention of what seems to be a popular Protestant doctrine that Jesus is not to be shown on the cross when one is represented.
It is also stated that the former priest did not like the crucifixion. This is probably why he is a former priest. While I can't speak for other people, I can say with confidence that most of the regular Churchgoers understand the crucifixion, why it happened, and acknowledge it, and it's amazing sacrifice. Most would and should be offended by the ridiculous blanket statements about Catholics in the article. I think that while lambasting people for their disparagement of others' faith, Mr. Neumayr might take care not to do so himself. Still I must thank you for the rest of the article, and for reading my letter.
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