Spectator.org Commenters of the Week
From the Wild West of our comments section, it seems a rivalry has emerged between grizzled veterans "JA" and "Bob K." -- and there's not room enough on the site for both of them. Their spirited debate below Aram Bakshian's Thursday review Taking A Look At WWII on the definition of National Socialism provided some of the best highlights from this week's commenter matches. It'd be interesting to see one of them square off in European history against sharp-tongued bloke "Moe Blotz."
But while some in politics resort to eye-gouging, a select few rise above. Dignified "Alan Brooks" is an economic cynic who does his best to intellectually police Comment Town. In a comments section where lawlessness (and spam) reigns supreme, sometimes it takes a sheriff like Brooks to differentiate between stimulating economic activity and actually reducing the size of government, as he did below the Green Lantern's piece Obama Can't Trade Places. Well played, Mr. Brooks.
Facebook Friend of the Week
On the Facebook front, few fans have been as enthusiastic for the Spectator's daily updates as Paul Richard Decker Sr. of Springfield, Missouri. Mr. Decker's consistent "Liking" of Spectator articles is commendable, and, with a Democrat in the White House, also makes him eight times more likely to be audited. Keep up the good work, Paul. We appreciate it.
And now for some of this week's Reader Mail...
HOT AND COLD
Re: Ross Kaminsky's Welcome to the Carbon Cult:
The Global Weirding we actually are experiencing has a name -- Normal Holocene Weather. Back at least by the mid-'70s when I was Science Editor at the University of Texas Press, it was well understood that since roughly 1920 we had been experiencing a stretch of unprecedentedly ideal weather (thanks to favorable solar cycles overlapping with beneficial ocean currents), the most ideal weather since the last glacial and that beginning in the 80s we would slowly return to more normal patterns. This is not controversial... you can see it on a sufficiently detailed temperature chart, particularly one that shows annual highs and lows. From 1920 to 1980 there were only four swings of great amplitude, all to the hot side (one coincided with the Dust Bowl). Now we are experiencing summers that are both hotter and milder and winters both colder and milder along with more extremes in wet and dry. Look back into the 1800s and what do you see? The same patterns. I believe this phenomenon may have been a feature article in the Smithsonian (?) in '74 or '75.
-- Charlie Tips Flower
I appreciate the data on concentrations of CO2. But the article fails to discuss the effect of methane; many scientists believe that methane is also a major contributor to global warming. But there is good methane and bad methane, and we all know that methane produced by Democrats is considered good methane.
-- Doug Finlay
Re: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Leon Panetta Is Right:
I disagree with Aymenn Tamimi's conclusion. Just to mention two issues: in the north, tense status quo is better than a roaring confrontation, as it gives more time for the needed compromise. How much time? A few more years, with the knowledge that this is not an indefinite arrangement.
In the center: when the U.S. armored brigade leaves Camp Victory Maliki will be 100% living at the mercy of Muqtada = Iran. The Iraqi army? I don't think they are a match to JAM -- which still exists, and can be re-activated in one month. Without U.S.-British massive support they wouldn't have been able to defeat Muqtada in Basra, later Baghdad, in 2008.
However, if I drive Tamimi's argument to its logical conclusion there is no reason to leave in Iraq 4,000 U.S. soldiers. They will be completely exposed and also their very presence will still serve as a political lightning rod for Muqtada and Iran. They may be moved to Jordan and train the Iraqi troops, unit by unit, there. More awkward, indeed, but possible. Much of the Iraqi police was trained this way.
-- Dr. Amatzia Baram
University of Haifa
A PROBLEM WITH COULTER
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Blonde Ambition:
Here is my problem with Coulter. I agree with what she says most of the time and I admire her courage and most of all I revere her intellect. But she detracts from her message because she too often comes across as snide and acerbic and seems to push people's buttons for the sake of pushing their buttons. She doesn't need to be like Bill Maher. She should take a page from the playbook of Bill Buckley who was funny, charming and yet very deadly. She could in fact reach a much larger audience if she would worry less about winning the battle and more about winning the war. After all, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
-- Fran McKinney
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's Evolution Needs to Evolve:
I appreciate Hal Colebatch's thoughtful take on evolution, but it is weak. Evolution comes in two categories macro and micro.
Microevolution is changes within a species and this is accepted and noncontroversial. Macroevolution is something coming from nothing and one species changing into another. There is no scientific evidence for this and belief in macroevolution is religion. It is the foundation of the atheist faith. The Darwinists start out talking macro, but quickly bait and switch to micro -- always!
DNA is a huge encyclopedia written in the cell. Encyclopedias cannot evolve. A cascade is a series of events in which every step requires the step before it.
Blood clotting is a cascade that consists of a series of over 100 events. Cascades cannot evolve. There are millions of cascades in our universe!
It is ridiculously easy with the Internet and the many books and magazines available to get beyond Darwinism!
Your magazine has printed some excellent articles on the subject of evolution by Tom Bethell and Bethell has written The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science and Ben Stein has made a DVD entitled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I would add for starters "In the Beginning was Information" by Dr. Werner Gitt and In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Believe in Creation.
Of course, the science of intelligent design does not need the Bible. Science itself requires intelligent design. It's time to lift up the rug and stop believing in the myths needed by the destroyers. Hitler/Goebbels "Make the lie big enough and tell it often enough and many will believe it." We live it everyday!
-- Sandra Usher
Re: Jed Babbin's The Labrador Doctrine:
The amazing thing about dog stories is no matter how bad your day you always can find a smile while reading dog stories. Thank you, Mr. Babbin, for your dog stories today. I needed one. It has been a long hot summer in Texas and the drought has flat worn us ranchers out. Along with a drought that resembles the 1950s drought in which I was born, we had to sell many cows, as grass is in short supply and making hay for this winter was a dismal effort at best. Accompanied with the searing hot dry days was the fact our pilot son is gone to the war zone for his 11thtour of war. He left his lovely family, a wife and two daughters and a baby (sex unknown) due in December, to go do what he trained to do. He longed since boyhood to fly for the Air Force, and he is living out his dream and duty.
So, here from E. Texas, where we are on our knees praying for that 30% chance for rain today to materialize, thank you for your dog stories. It really made this old rancher smile, and that is a good way to begin my day.
-- B. Gunn
Re: Quin Hillyer's Half-Developed Thoughts:
I couldn't agree more with your sentiments regarding the Manning family. As fifth graders, we snuck our AM radios into class (St. Martin's) to listen to the NFL draft (back when it was on a work day and naturally pre-ESPN) and celebrated when we selected Archie. Later I worked at a local sporting good store that would have prominent Saints come in for a "meet and greet" and got to know the Mannings over the years, even "baby sitting," i.e. entertaining Peyton while his dad signed autographs. As long as there was a fan in line, Archie had the pen ready.
Especially compared to today's stars, the Mannings are in a class to themselves. We're lucky to have had them be a part of our lives.
Thanks for attention to one on the true "good guys."
-- Jay Adema
Quin Hillyer replies: I thank Mr. Adema for his testimonial to the Mannings. Such stories are legion. Wherever there was a civic need to be met in New Orleans, the Mannings -- parents and children -- have been there for four decades now. One remembers how Peyton and Eli, on their own, organized an airplane full of needed household supplies just days after Hurricane Katrina and delivered them to displaced New Orleanians. Or the times elder brother Cooper and Peyton, rather than acting like high school BMOCs, would make sure to sit in the front row and even lead cheers for their school's volleyball team to make sure the girls got the support they deserved. Class acts indeed.
Re: Roger Scruton's The Importance of Culture:
I am of Greek and American heritage: my father was a graduate student in the 1950s studying in Greece for a year when he met my mother. He too wandered the countryside and went to remote villages in search of ancient sites. I have grown up hearing both my mother's and father's stories of life in Greece in the first half of the 20th century.
Roger Scruton's description is right on the money! I have had the same thoughts: a loss of identity of one culture to the next throughout Europe because of this single-currency idea, and the impossibility of allowing Greece (in many respects a country with a third-world economic system) into a first-world EU economic system.
I love Greece and have both visited and lived there. I come from a large family--many relatives still live in Greece. They are feeling the pain of these economic times and I fear that things will only get worse for them in the near future. I hope these difficulties will not last long, if only for their sake.
-- Ariadne T. Henry
Re: Patrick Howley's I Want My Rudy Beads:
I agree with your assessment of a Giuliani run in 2012. I liked him 2008 until his campaign imploded.
One suggestion this time around.…Suggest to the future candidate that he keep his wife out of the campaign and his cell phone turned off.
Come on now, taking calls from the wife in the middle of a speech? If this was an actual true occurrence how can any voter think otherwise than the man is henpecked.
I like Rudy, I will vote for Rudy, I will contribute what little funds I can afford to Rudy, I will even work for his election, but make certain his wife is under control.
-- Tom Kittle
Patrick Howley replies: Like you, Mr. Kittle, Rudy was my favorite candidate in 2008, and his failed campaign strategy only prevented the voters from being able to access him. But I don't see why we must chide the lovely Mrs. Giuliani. If anything, Rudy's devotion to his wife only makes him more appealing to female voters. And imagine the consequences he'd face at home if he ignored his beautiful wife's phone calls. Losing an election is one thing, but coming home to a scorned Judith Giuliani, I imagine, is quite another. I think I'd rather face off with Putin.
Re: Green Lantern's Obama Can't Trade Places:
I'm sure a thousand people will point this out, but Aykroyd and Murphy get rich at the end of Trading Places through insider trading. That's just another insight into the Hollywood version of economics, where nobody gets rich except by cheating and all prosperity depends on exploitation.
-- Ed Kickham