Re: John Carlisle's Legal Services Unleashed:
With all apologies to the classic rock song by Sweet: Power is like oxygen/You get too much you get too high/Not enough and you're gonna die/Power gets you high.
The Democrats are high on power and they are behaving like adolescents left alone to party for the first time. The Looney Left, following the path of their Beloved Leader, is working on bills, such as the highly partisan and toxic "The Civil Access to Justice Act of 2009." They are not considering that mom and dad will come home -- some day -- and the little miscreants will be held responsible for their choices and actions. Come 2010, the American public will begin to feel the full effects of the legislative impact of the Democrats attacks on economic and civil freedoms. (Hours ago the Senate passed The One's budget. Oh, shame on them and ruin on us.) Yes, November 2, 2010 is a long way off, so conservatives and libertarians must make their collective voice heard long before then if we want to remain free of the nanny state, or at least fight the back the erosions of freedom, both civic and economic.
Truly, the Democrats are not satisfied with stripping Americans of their liberties; they are set on changing the American economic system from one of (impure) capitalism into (unmitigated) European socialism, but history may be on the side of our better angels. All tax-raising president have faced a backlash in off year elections. The Titan of the Teleprompter may prove no exception. Charm (and guile) can take a person only so far. Prince Obama has gone farther and faster to reimage America into the Marks and Engels than even the most cynical could have conceived, but we have not yet crossed the point of no return. With a collective voice, the American public can let its representatives hear our wails, gnashing of teeth and cries. Much like the Israelites under Pharaoh, we are being forced into slavery and crushed alive. God may save our souls, but we must save ourselves.
In the words of Bob Marley, "Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights/…Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight."
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
IT'S ALL BEEN DONE BEFORE
Re: George H. Wittman's Rediscovering the Wheel in Afghanistan:
Did Machiavelli get it spot on again?
Writing about republics and their civilian "commanders-in-chief," he wrote:
"These [civilian commanders-in-chief], trusting entirely to others, understand themselves nothing of what pertains to war, and yet wish to decide upon everything, so as to preserve at least the appearance of sovereignty, and in their decisions they commit a thousand errors."
999 to go, then.
-- A. C. Santore
COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
Re: Eric Heidenreich's The Latest Population Bomb:
What we need to realize is that the market will lower population growth if left alone. Go back to Gary Becker's Economic Analysis of Fertility.
In a world of choice with respect to having a child, the demand for children is a function of price and income. Becker found a positive, though low, income elasticity of demand for children and a negative price elasticity of demand for children, which over time seems to have slowed the birth rate in advanced industrialized countries -- in some to the negative range. The primary factor here is the higher price of children, the major component being the opportunity cost of the mother not working in a labor market that has seen opportunities for women growing at a faster
rate then for men.
Thus, the best way to "control" world population is to promote market based economic development.
-- Andy Weintraub
FOR MY OWN SAKE
Re: James Bowman's I Love You, Man:
Aristotle saw friendship as a good, or more precisely, a virtue; friendship was not based on feeling but on a means to bettering the people involved in the special relationship. The best of friendships were between two equals, two men (yes, by today’s standards, Aristotle was sexist) who engaged in exercises that lead to the perfection of their virtues. A much lesser form of friendship was one where both parties find utility in the other (or an as Erich Fromm called it "the marketing orientation" of love). To Aristotle, a genuine friendship is based on one man who loves another not as a means to an end but a end in itself; both parties want what is good for the sake of that person. Aristotle call this "good will" (eunoia). Mr. Bowman might call it honor. The friendship works for the betterment of the two men, and since the two, as part of a whole (society), are improved, the whole is also improved.
When one is pursuing pleasure for the sake of pleasure, hedonism, taking any concern for the other is secondary, if not simply incidental. Aristotle in no way denied egoism; in fact, he believed strongly in one's self interests; but, unlike the hedonist, Aristotle postulated that pursuing the things that improve a person where truly the pleasurable and worthwhile pursuits. While leaving dog crap on a public walkway may give someone a sense of pleasure, it does not improve anyone. (In fact it is a determent to the public good, but that is another issue.) The reason movies like I Love You, Man are now in vogue is that many people of both sexes, but especially men, have grown tired of doing what is in their long term interest. This thinking may actually be logical in a society where the government will save everyone (well, everyone who earns less that $250,000 a year) from their responsibilities. When Aristotle was doing his writing, if one could not be responsible, one did not live long. Growth, morally, spiritually and physically, was a necessity. Today, more so than any time since the post Reagan revolution, surviving does not depend on self-reliance or responsibility but on an ever growing nanny state. In such times, words like honor and friendship are punch lines, not virtues. Mr. Bowman, I love you, man. In a virtuous and honorable way.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
I HEAR MUGABE MIGHT BE LOOKING FOR A JOB SOON
Re: Quin Hillyer's Il Duce, Redux?
And another thing...let’s get rid of that silly requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen!"
-- Gretchen L. Chellson
I grieve for my country. I hope all those, who I call the 'self-righteous,' that didn't vote in November so as to teach the Republican Party a lesson, are satisfied.
God help us!
-- Mike Showalter
CASTING THE FIRST STONE
Re: Paul Crowley's letter (under "Source Criticism") in Reader Mail's Vital Signs:
Having read Mr. Crowley's letter regarding Mr. Tucker's Three Mile Island piece, I took the time to reread Mr. Tucker's piece and am convinced that the only editorial error lies in publishing Mr. Crowley's disinformative letter.
-- Reid Bogie
Have a cup of tea with me,
And then send the tea bag’s tag
To your Congressmen and Senators.
They’ll know it’s not a gag.
Do it by April 15, if you can,
And no matter your political bent,
Join your fellow Americans
In making sure the message is sent:
We Are "Taxed Enough Already."
-- Mimi Evans Winship