Reader Mail

Battle Stations

New Hampshire border wars. Rising to debate. Taking sides on Rush. Plus more.

2.1.04

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DO FENCE ME IN
Re: Enemy Central's Puny Warriors:

Sorry, but the humorous hyperbole did not work this time. New Hampshire is not "the least ethnically diverse and most sparsely populated state this side of Lapland." Those of us who love our state wish that it were. Perhaps you are thinking of Montana or Vermont (excluding Burlington, which its residents proclaim between sips of latte to be "Very nice, almost like Vermont").

Of late, we in New Hampshire have been overrun with outsiders, and, unlike the Democratic clowns, they do not leave in February. Check out Nashua and Manchester for our burgeoning population of third-world descendants. Depending on the ethnic background, you'll find the decent ones working in the factories or managing convenience stores or performing day labor; the non-decent are selling drugs and warming the jails. (That's right. We too have inner cities. They're just "sparsely populated." So far.)

What's worse, we are overwhelmed with former Massachusetts residents -- and that is why Kerry won. The Mass-holes, as we call them, took a break from complaining about New Hampshire's (comparatively) limited government presence in daily life, recognized a familiar face, and voted for him. It's their habit. "Kennedy, Kerry, whoever, the millionaire pol said he was going to fight for us poor folk, so we voted for him." He'll turn the entire nation into the same workers' paradise that they left behind. As the Mass-holes have been saying since their election of McGovern as their president, "We're right and the rest of the country is wrong."

Our bitterly cold winters and stingy public services manage to keep most losers out, but it can't stop the refugees from the People's Republic of Taxachusetts. Our Massachusetts immigrants are like suicide bombers. Maybe they don't blow themselves up with hidden explosives, but they sure as hell carry their destructive political notions with them when they roll in. (Perhaps the better simile would be SARS-carriers.) In any case, neighboring Massachusetts makes me sympathize wholeheartedly with the Israelis' fence-construction.

It was better when they just came to ski, left some money behind, and went home to Revere and Quincy.
-- C. Kelleher

DEFICIT BLIP
Re: David Hogberg's Deficit Demons:

In his piece about how the deficit might be a problem for President Bush in his bid for reelection, Mr. Hogberg ought to have mentioned a flaw in focusing exclusively on the deficit figure. While the number itself is substantial, it can be seen in a better perspective if it is compared to the Gross National Product. When this is done Americans will see that our present deficit is not of as much concern as in the past, and it is immeasurably better than most other countries.
-- Dick Melville
Ozone Park, New York

RISING TO DEBATE
Re: George Neumayr's For Crying Out Loud!:

I agree with Mr. Neumayr's assessment of Thursday night's debate. I hesitate to even call it a debate. There is not an appealing quality in any of the hopefuls. Their whole platform seems to be who can come up with the most damning story about President Bush. By now I can just see Osama and Saddam salivating at the thought that Kerry and Dean especially and all but Lieberman might be the next president of the U.S. Maybe Saddam would even get a pardon from Kerry or Dean. Kerry thinks the terrorist issue is exaggerated. Now that ought to make citizens of the U.S. sit up and take notice. Does that mean Kerry will let the terrorists have free rein here because we misunderstood them? Obviously these presidential hopefuls think that President Bush is more dangerous than Osama, Saddam and the terrorists who have decided they don't like us. The more I listen to the so-called debates the more I am convinced that power is the only thing these hopefuls are thinking about. They don't have a civil tongue in their heads and I haven't heard any sensible solutions from any of them. I would be inclined to tell them all to "come back when you grow up!"
-- Jane
Connecticut

After watching the debate last night, I think it's undeniable that Sen. Kerry has resorted to Botox. I have very little respect for a Presidential candidate who thinks "looking pretty" is that important. I have even less respect for one who then lies about it. He obviously thinks we are all blind or stupid.
-- Elizabeth Knott

TORTURE BY PROXY
Re: Kevin Steel's Curiouser and Curiouser:

The damning question is if the U.S. government had credible evidence that Mr. Arar was associated with terrorism then why was he not detained for questioning? Which raises the question that since he was not, was it U.S. intent that he be directed to Syria to be beaten to a pulp? Which raises the question as to whether we have contacts that believe we would have received credible evidence from such tactics. Which raises the question as to whether the U.S. should be having such dealings with such rogue states for such purposes?

A lovely conspiracy theory, which I usually don't subscribe to, but I have seen stranger things with less motivation behind it. It will be hard to prove much of these allegations being cloaked by national security but if it were ever to be proven true some serious heads ought to roll. The other concern is the lack of public debate on torture by proxy, something I personally don't support.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

RUSH PRESCRIPTIONS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Silent About Rush and Reader Mail's Rush to Rush's Side:

Perhaps Rush will consider moving to Indiana, where most of us not only love him unconditionally, but also have prosecutors who, for the most part, are completely unwilling to prosecute anyone for prescription drug offenses.

When I worked for the Indiana State Police "Drug Diversion Unit" (which pursues any misuse of prescription drugs), I was repeatedly amazed at the reluctance of prosecutors to proceed on rock-solid cases regarding prescription drugs. In one case I worked, a lady gave an audio taped confession to 324 violations of prescription drug laws, including using multiple names and multiple doctors to obtain prescription drugs. Each of the 324 violations was a Class D Felony. The prosecutor accepted a plea deal reducing her charge to a single misdemeanor, and sentencing her to a short probation period, and a $1.00 fine.

Nationwide, investigators in this field face the same dilemma. The crimes are well defined, though somewhat complicated, and usually documented by a wealth of pharmacy paperwork. On the other hand, many prosecutors and juries can easily identify with someone who might go afoul of the laws by accident, or simply out of confusion. The resulting prospect of a complicated trial, with a jury sympathetic to the defendant, for a crime who's prosecution won't likely make the newspaper (or anybody's career), is highly unappealing.

Cases you do find being prosecuted usually involve someone who is openly dealing the drugs, or who is also involved in other illegal activities, which are more commonly prosecuted. In other words, someone the prosecutor wants to get, and is willing to do the difficult work of a prescription drug case to get them. Certainly, Rush's lawyers must have looked into a statistical comparison of prosecutorial efforts against prescription drug abusers to bolster their claim of malicious prosecution.

Until I worked in the prescription drug field, I considered substance abuse to be a voluntary activity, worthy of little pity. Then I worked the case of a clinic worker who, after shoulder surgery, was given a powerful painkiller. Although the lady had not so much as a traffic ticket in her history, she proceeded to obtain the painkiller by fraud, calling in bogus prescriptions, using her doctor's name, using names of patients, and even using their insurance and Medicaid to pay for her drugs. When I apprehended her (in the act of obtaining the drug by fraud), she confessed to what amounted to over 1,000 felonies, all related to this addiction. A working mother, with a good job, and cohesive family; was taken to jail for being unable to overcome this addiction. Many of these episodes are tragedies, not crimes.

For what it's worth, Rush has my support.
-- Dave McDowell
Monticello, Indiana

I just want to write you saying thanks for a well written and a fairly balanced look at his situation. Whatever happens to him remains to be seen, but if he does receive some sort of jail term a lot of people are going to be irate. I could see if he was a dealer or some kind of habitual offender, then it could be justified. As far as I know this is his first offense. Anyone else in this whole country who would have done the same exact thing would of gotten a slap on the wrist. Rush offends a lot of people because he exposes them for who they are....

I do not know much, I am just a person typing on my PC, but my parents taught me right from wrong and how great it is being an American. Let's just hope that the Florida judicial system does not take a great American from us.
-- W.K. McConnell

Rush is a drug felon and your apologia for him will not change that fact. Read the search warrant affidavit, it's all there. And Roy Black is doing what defense lawyers have always done, shifting the inquiry from the perpetrator to the police. Maybe the plea negotiations were better left under wraps, but when all is said and done, the fact remains: Rush is guilty, guilty, guilty. It just goes to show that you can't trust those pudgy, short-haired, overly groomed, golf-playing, pill-popping, AM radio types.
-- Frederick J. Schreyer, Esq.
Averill Park, New York

Rush should live by his own words when it comes to illegal drug use. Rush broke that law and deserves jail time just like any other illegal drug user. And sorry, I am a conservative Republican.

I think it is quite funny that he has not mentioned drug use in any recent statements.
-- Ken Edelman

Tell Rush, hang in there, another dittohead is with him.
-- Sharie Stockard

FAMILY TIES
Re: "Oppo Research" letters in Reader Mail's Rush to Rush's Side:

Mr. "Unsigned" boldly writes to disparage Dubya for using influence in getting "a coveted slot in the Guard." He uses this line from the Sept. 27, 1999 NYTimes as evidence: "A former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives said today that during the Vietnam War he contacted a general in the Texas Air National Guard to help George W. Bush attain a pilot's slot in a Guard unit upon his graduation from college."

"Unsigned" apparently believes that becoming a pilot trainee and joining the National Guard are identical acts; they are not. The key difference lies in the words "attain a pilot's slot." Such are American youth, and such evidently was George W. Bush that the competition to obtain one of the most dangerous jobs in the military makes it helpful to use political influence even to be considered.

In years past one of my sons wanted to join the Air Force ROTC but eventually didn't because they would not assure him of pilot's training despite his good college record, high intelligence, and significant athletic ability. While I cannot like the idea that the politically prominent can do more for their sons than can the rest of us, I hesitate to condemn Bush's father; had I any influence to spare I assure you that I would have used it on my own son's behalf in that situation.
-- Richard Donley

About 1965, I was secretary to Major General John S. Gleason Jr., Commander of the 85th Division (Training) --an Army reserve unit -- based in Chicago. I distinctly remember typing a letter from General Gleason to Senator Al Gore Sr. It was in response to Gore's inquiry about openings in the reserve unit. My recollection is that Gleason told Gore the unit was filled up.
-- Jack

PATRIOT ACTOR
Re: The Washington Prowler's Unsettling Old Scores

As I recall, Ashcroft also refused to campaign against the dead Carnahan those last weeks as an honorable and moral stance.
-- unsigned

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