Re: Quin Hillyer's Pentagon in the Tanker:
The pending decision by the Pentagon on building the next generation of U.S. tankers is kicking up quite a bit of dust. The current fleet of tankers was built when Eisenhower was president, "American Bandstand" was the MTV of the bobby-sox generation, and Elvis was king. Some of these aging, decrepit tankers are now flown by the grandchildren of their original pilots.
Quin Hillyer argues in The American Spectator for splitting the tanker contract between Boeing and French-based Airbus. Why the rush to judgment when neither company has even submitted a bid yet? Hillyer, who has written editorials for Alabama newspapers, seems to want Airbus's promised manufacturing facility in Alabama. But he also accuses Boeing of alleged and unsubstantiated corruption in the pending contract's requirements.
This takes a lot of chutzpah from an advocate of Airbus. Airbus, after all, was caught red-handed selling planes that could be retrofitted for military use to Hugo Chavez, and lying about it. An Airbus agent extradited to Germany in August on bribery charges also stands accused of bribing Canadian officials to give Airbus a $1.8 billion contract with its national airline.
The World Trade Organization found last month that Airbus provided over $15 billion in illegal government subsidies for its aircraft in open violation of international trade law. This included billions in illegal subsidies for the A-330, the very plane it proposes as the new tanker. The Pentagon should factor these subsidies into its decision. It is utter insanity for the U.S. Trade Representative's office to be suing Airbus in court for violating the law and then have the Pentagon reward this illegal behavior.
Some have criticized the fact that Boeing received pricing data on the A-330. This is a distortion. Boeing protested the awarding of the tanker contract to Airbus in 2008. In a major embarrassment, the General Accounting Office found numerous unfair advantages granted to Airbus and reversed it. That is how pricing data became known -- the reversal of an unfair contract.
Our war fighters on the front lines in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere in the global war on terror need a 21st century tanker. These aircraft need to be built in a way that protects U.S. economic and national security, and does not reward illegal trade practices by a French-based manufacturer.
-- George Landrith
Frontiers of Freedom
Quin Hillyer replies:
All of this Airbus stuff is a red herring. Airbus never cheated on THIS project, and Northrop is going to assemble the plane here in the U.S. Meanwhile, what Boeing doesn't say is that almost as much of its plane's parts will come from Europe (as if that's an awful thing, which it's not) as the Northrop plane parts. I know people representing European companies who will be providing parts for whichever one of them wins. Meanwhile, the key idea here is that with another 400 planes needing to be built even after this contract is completely finished, the benefits of splitting the contract can be substantial. What I object to, as a veteran of procurement wars, is the vicious public campaign Boeing has run throughout the process. If Boeing had a better plane, it would not have leaned so heavily on politics.
Re: Larry Thornberry's Revenge of the Norwegian Nerds:
Excellent musings by Mr. Thornberry, but one sentiment stands out and says it all. "Mr. Obama has much to be modest about but does not seem to realize it." I have always thought that those like Obama who have not an inkling of self-introspection about their mediocrity are happier than those who tend to over emphasize their shortcomings. Perhaps so, but honesty and realism do have their virtues. Also in a President of the U.S., Obama's false self-importance is extremely dangerous to the security of not only those of us in the U.S. but of the world.
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan
Pax Obama? How about Pox Obama?
By the way, I appreciate the positive-thinking, prophetic statement that "when Obama leaves office in 2013." That's predicated, though, on whether we have elections in 2012, isn't it?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton , West Virginia
International tensions are high. The situation calls for Hope.
An even more disheveled mess is the state of affairs of the Washington Redskins. Perhaps Dan Snyder could sign President Obama to a one day contract. President Obama could lead the team onto the field. President Obama could give a rousing halftime locker room speech. Should the Redskins manage to score a touchdown, President Obama might even hold for the extra point. Can there be any doubt that the Associated Press would vote him NFL Rookie of the Year?
-- Dan Martin
A prize for peace has a wonderful ring.
You can win it without doing anything.
The less you do, the more they'll woo you.
It's a sort of vacant Norwegian voodoo.
The once fierce Vikings have calmed way down
And donned a more professorial gown.
If you bow low enough, they'll raise you up,
Even if you're a never done anything pup.
The slap on the back's now a pat on the head.
Your bended knee's what they look for instead.
The gracious teleprompter can supply every word.
Still the unworthy recipient's made to look absurd.
So keep a sharp eye, if you get my drift,
And beware of Norsemen bearing a gift.
-- Mimi Evans Winship
Re: Brooke M. Goldstein's Can Hamas Make Sesame Street Sweet?:
Ms. Goldstein, possibly in the interest of being polite and diplomatic, uses the term "teach" and its variant verb tenses, to describe the purpose of "Shara'a Simsim," and this may well be the intent of that particular show, but it is misapplied to the general offering for children by Hamas TV and Al-Aqsa TV. What they offer children (and those of the unquestioning mindset of a child) is indoctrination. By using the word teaching, Ms. Goldstein implies legitimacy to the methods of sharing information and ideology which does not exist.
Aristotle demanded as much from the students as he did the teacher. The teacher offered information but it was the students' responsibility to reflect on the validity of the words. The test of a true teacher is that his charges can come to think independently; often the students will come to the same rational conclusion, but other times, the teacher and student can disagree peacefully. With indoctrination, only one method and one answer exists: that of the nominal "teacher." This is true for Maoist, Marxist, Stalinist, Nazi or any other doctrinaire philosophy. No reflection is required on the part of the student. In fact, it is openly (and often brutally) discouraged. When Palestinians disagree with Hamas or Islamic Jihad, they know a midnight knock on the door is not far behind.
Language is a precise instrument that is often used in a sloppy manner. Ms. Goldstein offered a very insightful (and frightening) analysis of Hamas TV and Al-Aqsa TV. Being precise in her language would have made for an even clearer understanding.
-- I.M. Kessel
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Obama's Job-Killing Agenda:
How true, Mr. Reiland, how true!
First, Obama and his community organizing social engineers have no idea about how a real economy works. They see only the pies in the sky of socialism and expanded government control over everything. They are killing jobs because, for them, it's government that creates wealth, not jobs in manufacturing, mining, and agriculture.
Second, Obama and his social engineers have no desire to learn how a real economy works. They already believe that they know it all.
In order to bring about the ideal society they envision (with no understanding of that system, either), they must first wreck, or at least fatally weaken, all of the things that can get in their way -- a strong capitalist economy, democratic institutions, and the moral foundation of the country (or religious, if you prefer).
Then, when there is no hope left for us -- or chaos in the streets - they would replace it with a totalitarian economy, a totalitarian government, and a totalitarian society...
...ruled by them because they know best, you see.
-- A.C. Santore
Obama's "stimulus package" is to Jobs ... as physicians' "blood-letting" of their patients 200 years ago was to their health: the patients died.
-- William A. Stanmeyer, Esq.
Great Falls, Virginia
TRYING IN VAIN
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Democrats Called Foley Guilty of Sex Crimes:
Jeffrey Lord is asking Democrats, liberals, and progressives for consistency when considering character for public office. He's also asking Democrats to review past history and react logically to present events. The Dems will no easier remember Mark Foley's name than the lecherous cheat that replaced him in the name of their own party. What Lord is asking ain't, doesn't, hasn't, and won't happen, let alone be acknowledged.
Why don't we ask the Democrats to objectively assess Social Security, Medicare, or The Stimulus's performance vs. initial projections and expectations? They want Gov't Healthcare enacted only after the current crop is on to trashing other sectors of the economy. They'll hardly remember their promises. They just know that "you can't stop the programs because it will hurt those that need it most."
Democrats of less than reasonable character are removed from office only because of "pressure from the right wing extremists." It is rarely if ever because of the Democrat party's call for removal of one of their own to preserve their party's integrity.
Why don't we finally acknowledge that we are not dealing with reasonable people here. Republicans for too long have let the insane define the terms, trying in vain to negotiate on the crazy's premises instead of getting out front of the issues and setting an agenda.
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
Has the world gone completely and totally mad? Your recitation of the hypocrisy of the Democrats, and their like went on and on but could have continued for another six pages at least. Now I get up this AM in all innocence and find out Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What in the world is going on? We surely "are not in Kansas any more" although Kansas is not really Kansas anymore witness the former governor and the famous baby killer they lionized.
Very seriously I believe we are in danger of Obama beginning to believe all this nonsense about himself and do real harm. Obama is basically a very simple half-educated man who is being used big time by his handlers and the people who have financed his time at Columbia, Harvard, and the Chicago period. The danger I speak of is he may come to believe and start using the power of his office to restrict the freedoms of Americans, such as restrict our healthcare options, bind the US to treaties with dictators, authorize his lackeys to brand anyone who disagrees with him as racist, criticize our country abroad every chance he gets, employ dozens of czars to appropriate the powers of the rest of the US government with no oversight, have children worship him in a parody of Christian hymns, and other assorted outrages. Nah.... it would never happen, the Press would not stand for it would they?
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak Michigan
HARBINGER OF CHANGE
Re: Larry Thornberry's Marco's Million-Dollar Mo:
A conservative victory in New York's 23d Congressional district and a Mark Rubio upset in Florida would be very good news for the GOP and country. But more importantly we need to win in Virginia and New Jersey this November. Wins in those states would be a damning blow to the radical Obama Democrat agenda. Sadly, New Jersey is a bit problematic, because of the candidates frittering away a convincing lead and New Jersey Democrats willingness to cheat. All in all this November portends to be a harbinger of positive change in the nation after months of the failed Presidency of Barack "Insane" Obama.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
It should also be noted that many Florida conservatives, such as myself harbor a lingering grudge against Crist for endorsing McCain at the last minute in the FL primary in the hopes of being named his VP candidate. This self-serving endorsement, for all intents and purposes, torpedoed Romney right out of contention and handed McCain the nomination.
-- Mike Gallina
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Re: James M. Thunder's The First Ironman of Hawaii:
My wife and I were married in one of the churches Father Damien built on Molokai before he lived at Kalaupapa full time. Something of his spirit touches the whole island, even yet.
If there was ever a model and a vision of true Christianity, surely it was this man.
-- Martin Owens