HIS TO LOSE
Re: G. Tracy Mehan III's Man of the Hour:
Man of the Hour? You mean we are not going to have Hillary, Hurler in Chief after all? Did everyone see Hillary's catch-in-the-throat account of the day MLK was shot? "I went back to my dorm room and hurled my book bag across the room..." I don't suppose that oracle of all things factual, Google, could tell us if there was such a thing as a book bag in 1968. If there was, it must have been so nerdy no one but Hillary had one. I had two sons of book bag age at the time and I never saw one.
But, think of it, if she does pull this out and gets back in the White House, we better batten down the bric a brac. Hurler of book bags, flinger of figurines, launcher of lamps...Commander-in-chiefing is a testy business. That place will be a shambles before the first week is out. Just sitting in the Oval Office, de ja vu-ing about Bill and Monica in odd moments may set her off.
As I think on it, if she doesn't get the nomination, Bill better buy some kind of protective head gear and a cup. He has not been the Ace-in-the-hole as was supposed he would be. I was amused, though, as Hillary explained his good fortune this last year at making so much money "doing what he loves best, Talking." Well, second best, maybe.
-- Diane Smith
Obama has demonstrated consummate skill at satisfying his base without being pinned to policy positions that would be anathema to the sensible majority. Count on him skillfully tacking (against the left wind) to the center in the general election. He'll bring moderate, even somewhat conservative credentialed, players onto his team, and will run circles around the pedantic, doddering, ill spoken McCain, whose sputtering effort to remain relevant will be seen by the mainstream media as more an object of curiosity, or derision, than as a serious challenge to Obama's ascendancy. Without question, Obama will utterly crush McCain in fundraising. Anyone on the right believing that McCain has anything more than a snowball's chance in hell of winning this election is deluded, at best.
-- Peter R. McGrath
Winter Park, Florida
One's looks, since 1960 exactly, have meant a lot in American politics. McCain is old and looks and acts old. Worse, he will never fiercely defend his positions because getting along with everybody and being lauded by press sycophants has always been his primary concern. And even worse, his positions are such that they will never excite the base he so desperately will need to win. Look for him to pick another worm as his vice president. Crist perhaps.
Obama is an empty suit. And although he pretends to be looking for new solutions, his solutions are instead right out of the old playbook. Nationalize health, raise taxes, spend money, run and hide from world affairs. Jimmy Carter pretended to be new; Bill Clinton pretended to be new; Jerry Brown pretended to be new: it was the same old thing.
But Obama, unlike McCain and especially Bush, is articulate and intelligent. He really is the guy with whom you'd sit down at the bar and have a couple of beers. Yeah, he's got this election hands down. Barring some catastrophe, the election is his.
(Maybe it's worth it, if this will finally make the Clintons go away. God almighty, have we not had enough of the Clintons?)
Problem is the right is SOOO far right nowadays that ANY Democrat to them is "far left."
Republicans will pull out their scare rhetoric this fall w/the gods, guns, gays garbage. But I think this year voters actually give a damn about REAL issues like Iraq, economy, environment, & the trivial social issues shouldn't play that much a role.
I've contributed to Obama's campaign, but would certainly vote for Clinton if she's the nominee. After these last 7 years, I'll never vote Republican again in any election.
-- Rich V.
No, Barack is not just another liberal Democrat: He's a leftist masquerading as a very liberal Democrat.
He has already shown that, underneath his stylish manner, honeyed oratory and signature long-windedness, he's a touchy fellow with few, if any, new ideas. His to-date performance as a potential candidate shows his inability to field direct challenges to his persona and background. His resume shows he woefully lacks the experience to be Commander-in-Chief and national chief executive. Even his investment portfolio shows he lacks sufficient experience to know much about the market. And his pastor disaster and disingenuousness in handling it indicates he does not have the good common sense and character to represent us.
As for the assertion that "Obama could become a divisive figure"?
If parts of his Philadelphia lecture and some of the racially based volleys being fired over the airwaves, in newsprint and through the Internet by him, his team, pundits and ordinary citizens are any indication, he is already. To blame? His blame-everyone-and-lecture-everyone-else arrogance and his true racial agenda.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
Just a few questions, OK?
How do we know the statistics on Obama's March money raising efforts are accurate and trustworthy? It's a bit early in April, isn't it, to confirm that Obama's campaign had 442,000 contributors in March of which 218,000 were 1st time donors?
Shall we believe everything that comes from Internet websites like Politico?
Obama has been in my hometown a few times recently. His TV and Radio Ads are all the same. The Oil Companies are all awash in obscene profits. He is going to get rid of those profits when he becomes President. He will create jobs in alternative energy industries!
We should live so long!
To bad for him that my Pension Fund and the Pension Funds, IRA's and 401K's of most Americans are heavily invested in those nasty, profit-making Oil Companies.
This is a pocketbook issue and we know where THOSE funds are coming from. Don't forget that.
-- Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
A PRESIDENT OF COLOR? WHY NOT?
Put Clarence Thomas at the top of the list,
Though as a Supreme he'd be sorely missed.
J. C. Watts, whose Faith and experience are strong,
Has no trouble telling Wright from wrong.
We don't need to be harangued about a dark past
When our store of forward thinkers is growing fast.
Ken Blackwell, Michael Steele, Governor Bobby Jindal,
Colin Powell, Condi Rice, their numbers swell.
Closing ranks is what Americans best do.
We're each a part of this multicolored stew.
Most of us can't, like Tiger Woods, be Cabliasian,
But what matters at the end is our ethical persuasion.
Do we want to come together in a true melting pot
Where only character counts? Of course. Why not?
But we the people are awake and aware.
We recognize false prophets, so have a care!
-- Mimi Evans Winship
Re: William Schulz's Had They No Sense of Decency?:
Not the mendacious media and not popular culture. Thank God.
I am reading Blacklisted by History now. It's slow going because it is so well written, so meticulously researched and so dense with facts that the reader who doesn't savor every word is short-changing him or herself. Mr. Evans's masterpiece should be required reading in any course focusing on Modern American Political History (heh, yeah, right, maybe in 50 more years). In an case, I will finish it (this year, I hope) and I will be the better for having done it since I will know that which I knew not before.
As I remember the passages detailing the documents Mr. Evans expected to find but didn't, my prayer is that a future M. Stanton Evans will be able to piece together the circumstances surrounding yet other abuses of the trust and confidence mistakenly placed by the American people in a President/Co-President, National Security Advisor, and most of an entire administration.
-- John Jarrell
San Antonio, Texas
In recent years, I kept noticing I'd been had by oh-so-many stories that, I came to realize, had been put out by the left, that were out-and-out wrong. I'm not surprised to find I'd been had by what was said about Joe McCarthy.
I did have one beef with M. Stanton Evans's book. It's been so long since it all happened, and so much has happened since, that for the kind-of younger crowd like me who didn't live through it, it's hard to figure out just who's who in the book. One subject is identified as a "professor," but the name given is that of a famous astronomer...I was not sure they were one and the same (the name is as odd as my own), and going over the text carefully left me wondering if I had missed something.
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
Re: Bob Emrich's Snake in the Grassley:
My thanks to Rev. Bob Emrich for his article. Rev. Emrich expresses genuine Christian concern about the Senate Finance Committee's letter to and apparent interest in the wealth of Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, and three other so-called "Christian ministers." I too dislike any precedent that bolsters the humanistic, secularist god-State in man's rebellion against the true Ruler of this world, our Lord Jesus Christ, and against His true Church.
But that's not what we see here. The incident of the Grassley letter represents a very opposite situation. A genuine, orthodox Christian layman in the U.S. Senate appropriately exercises his civil power and duty to inquire about the tax-evading, self-enriching proclivities of a bunch of unregenerate phonies.
Senator Grassley and my Dad used to work in the same Cedar Falls, Iowa machine shop together, back fifty years ago when our Senior Senator first sought election to the Iowa House of Representatives. I cast my first general election vote in 1980 at age 18, a straight-Republican absentee ballot from my temporary abode at Christian college. My vote went to, among other men, then-Congressman Charles Grassley bravely challenging a sitting Democrat Senator. I have voted for Senator Grassley ever since and expect to continue to do so. Politically speaking, I think I know him pretty well. I do occasionally disagree with some initiatives of his (farm subsidies, earmarks). But I never, ever doubt Senator Grassley's good intentions and general good sense.
Nor do I doubt his commitment to Jesus Christ and His true Church. Charles E. Grassley and his wife Barbara are life-long members of the Conservative Baptist Church in Cedar Falls. The CBC is as middle-of-the-road "evangelical" conservative Protestant as one gets, these days. The adjective 'evangelical' has come a good distance since its rise in common use during the Protestant Reformation. But then and down to the present day the term generally signifies a Christian who freely preaches the "Evangel," the Good News: that any man, dead in sin, may receive new life through sovereign grace of God, Who forgives and pardons the man's sins, through the blood of His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, resurrected from the dead.
Rev. Emrich -- identifying himself as a "Bible Baptist" church pastor -- astonished me when he employed the term "evangelical churches" to describe the likes of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. For many years most orthodox "evangelical" Protestants I know would name the six targets of Charles Grassley's letter as any of (in descending order into Hell): 1) heterodox (at very best), 2) outright heretical, and/or 3) ungodly fraudsters. All of them, Copeland and Dollar in particular, preach and live (very well!) by a completely materialistic, sub-Christian pseudo-theology. Main-stream evangelical Christians identify their propaganda as "Prosperity Gospel" or "Name it and claim it Christianity" -- and we call it false teaching. In so many words, Copeland, Hinn, Dollar and their ilk tell credulous people that "God wants you to get rich!" And they'll get rich if they "Send money to my ministry!" Guess who profits...
Duh. Easy roads to success -- how humanist and un-Christian can you get?
According to World magazine (November 17, 2007), here's what Senator Grassley did that worries Rev. Emrich:
Grassley sent letters to six organizations on Nov. 5 asking for full financial disclosure: Paula White Ministries, Benny Hinn Ministries, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Creflo Dollar Ministries, and Kenneth Copeland Ministries.Also note this point about the timing of Grassley's letter: Most of his targets, particularly Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar, were complicit in the financial shenanigans that nearly took down Oral Roberts University late last year. That Pentecostalist college had been started by Oral Roberts, another revivalist who worked the "prosperity Gospel" line. Roberts' son got in trouble for using college and 'ministry' money for his own personal trips, uses and whatnot. According to World magazine Roberts' compliant board included the following members:
The letters asked organization leaders to provide detailed financial information, including audited financial statements, executive compensation packages, ministry credit card statements, a list of property and assets, and a detailed explanation of personal use of organization assets, such as jets and homes.
Grassley said the investigation was aimed at examining complaints from the public and news outlets about the tax-exempt ministries' financial practices. "The allegations involve governing boards that aren't independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities, such as private jets and Rolls Royces," said the senator. "I don't want to conclude that there's a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more."
Board chair Pearson is son-in-law to Kenneth Copeland and heads Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Other members include Copeland; Creflo Dollar (World Changers Church International); Marilyn Hickey (Marilyn Hickey Ministries); Charles Green (Harvest Ministries); Jerry Savelle (Jerry Savelle Ministries); John Hagee (Cornerstone Church and John Hagee Ministries). The only non-minister is Michael Hammer, chairman of the Armand Hammer Foundation.
Names sound familiar? Might this "Board" of "Trustees" include some of Senator Grassley's ugliest targets? And some others at which he could well have aimed. (Plus, oh my, a connection to the old Commie-loving, Soviet-financing Armand Hammer!)
A wealthy donor salvaged ORU, but demanded and got the ouster of (mis)managers Roberts, Dollar, and Hinn. Anyone remember a another "prosperity gospel" operation from the 1980s? Called "The PTL Club"? Same sort of "Let's shear the sheep, raise lots of donation money, and be rich!" operation as Creflo Dollar, et al., brazenly run. And spectacular was the exposure and collapse of PTL, when it came. At least Jim Bakker received God's grace to repent of that materialistic operation.
Reverend Emrich, do you suppose that your Christian brother Senator Grassley might possess legitimate concerns about the shearing -- and worse -- of Christian sheep by ravening wolves like Copeland and Dollar? I agree with you that using state power to reign in the excesses of nominal "Christians" doesn't leave the orthodox feeling very safe, in this twilit secularist era. But I trust Senator Grassley's motives here. He represents the avenging sword of our Lord. The targets of that sword...well, false teachers don't deserve your defense of them. And, I close with warning to Creflo Dollar: When my Senator sinks his teeth into you it's because he thinks you're evil. And there's no stopping Chuck Grassley when he knows he's in the right; he will never quit doing the Lord's work.
-- David James Hanson
Thank you, Mr. Emrich, for an informative article. I had heard tiny rumblings about Grassley and his Inquisition. I have just written my senator, Mitch McConnell, to ask him why this continues and it Constitutionality.
I would hope Senator Grassley would also look into the Senator Obama's church in Chicago to determine just where the $1.92 million came from for the Reverend Jeremiah's fancy retirement home. I'll bet if we opened that church's books it would be a revelation.
-- Judy Beumler
Hubris. Simply hubris.
The reason Senator Grassley feels free to attack both the Constitution (the First Amendment) and churches is simple. He does not believe in any power greater than himself.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Proof yet again, if proof were needed yet again, that the Tenth Amendment is, if not dead, then moribund.
This is the same Senator Grassley who, some years ago, commented critically on a witness who declined to answer questions before some rump committee or other, and, when he was told that the witness was exercising his constitutional rights, answered, "And what difference does that make?"
Where are the heroes who will rescue us from this endless usurpation of power by the federal government?
Dead, I tell you, dead.
-- A. C. Santore
I am a Christian, but the churches mentioned in the article should be audited by the IRS. A Congressional hearing might be a circus, but the IRS must take a look at some of these organizations that by all outward appearances are taking advantage of the system. Scientology, Hare Krishna, Jeremy Wright's church...the IRS should take a peek at the financials. My Methodist church would be glad to comply with such a request. The churches that don't want to might just have something to hide.
And what about the politicking that goes on in some of our churches? Tax exempt status should be withdrawn when a church becomes an arm of a political candidate. This happens all too often around the country.
Let us see the light of day.
-- Kay Williams
If the ministries of Bennie Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar are built upon The Rock, they will survive Senator Grassley. If they are built upon the sand, they will fall and great will be the fall.
-- Bill Castor
Re: Lawrence Henry's Telling Stories:
My dear Daddy was a dirt-track-oval, fairgrounds-on-Saturday-night kind of racer in his younger days. Today, at age 87, his legend has grown and to listen to him one would believe that he was Juan Manuel Fangio. Since Daddy's family are all storytellers, which they call "leaving a story in better condition than it was when I heard it," we enjoy the stories without critical examination. (My sister has turned up numerous items of this sort in researching our genealogy, including a wonderful, hair-raising tale of a Lake Freighter called the Calumet Queen that allegedly sank with all hands on board save our uncle who was in the drunk tank on shore at the time. We have never found any information about this ship anywhere, but the story would make a great Gordon Lightfoot song.)
The difference between these stories and those of Clinton, Richardson, Obama, et al. is that nobody in Daddy's family has ever tried to claim their stories as experience on their c.v. Had Daddy gone to Ferrari and claimed to be Juan Manuel Fangio or his equal on the track solely on his say-so, it is highly unlikely that Enzo Ferrari would have taken his word for it and given him the drive. The racing fraternity is a small one even today, and even a cursory check around would have resulted in his being escorted to the door much more quickly than he arrived, even in the 1950s without benefit of Google and video.
My advice to Hillary is twofold. If you think we are too dumb to know the difference between stories and reality, shame on you. If you actually believe your stories to be true, seek help immediately.
-- Kate Shaw
Storyteller but not Story Believer
As a long time teacher I, too, have a roster of stories that I use to make points about various things. Some of them are true and about myself, some of them are true and are about people that I know, and some of them are apocryphal. I have always tried to identify the bona fides of the story before or immediately after telling it so as to make my point as honestly as I could.
Right now, Mrs. Clinton is under such a siege that I am tempted to give her a pass on the sniper story. In fact, she is not the most egregious liar running for the Democratic nomination. Mr. Obama has that distinction and also the honor of being the far more skillful one. So, if worse comes to worst, we may be saddled with the world's worst liar, or the world's second worst.
-- Joseph Baum
Lawrence Henry completely misses the point regarding Hillary Clinton's lying: it only matters if one gets caught. Considering the years of free passes Mrs. Clinton has received from the MSM, it was quite logical for her to assume the status quo would hold.
No one is more surprised that it hasn't, other than Mrs. Clinton -- or perhaps her husband.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
Do you mean Edward Said, famous for writing Orientalism?
-- Tamara Mackenthun
Mountain Home, Idaho
CITY ON A HILL ORIGIN
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Doubting Thomas:
Jeffrey Lord is to be commended for his insightful article on the UCC and its Doubting Thomas. One small quibble, though: Ronald Reagan's "city upon a hill" goes much further back than John Winthrop --clear back to the Sermon on the Mount wherein Christ said: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." [Matthew 5:14]
-- Darrel Hansen
Re: Daniel J. Flynn's The Left's Good Warriors:
These are the same pathetic idiots that recently rejected the battleship USS Iowa as a floating museum, apparently due to the military's "don't ask don't tell policy."
I'm quite sure Franco and Stalin would have welcomed a gay brigade from San Francisco. But of course!
-- Jim Woodward
A "memorial" to the Abraham Lincoln brigade? To Marxist terrorists? Unbelievable.
General Franco is and was a hero to all freedom loving, thinking people. The Last Crusade documents what really happened during the Spanish Civil War.
"The total number of priests and religious martyred was 6832 -- in other words 12% of all the clergy in Spain were killed, and about a quarter of those who were trapped in Republican zones. And yet there were almost no apostasies -- no clergy or religious did so under torture -- and the crusade was successful."
Marxists tortured and murdered over 6,000 defenseless, unarmed clergymen and nuns, most of them who died while praying for their communist murderers. Marxists destroyed half of the churches in Spain.
Only in San Francisco (a city named after a Catholic friar, by the way), could a morally and intellectually bankrupt population, honor such terrorist scum as the murderers who left America to go overseas to murder people who only wanted the freedom that the American communists left behind.
-- Brian Schafer
Interesting half-truths in Daniel J. Flynn's article on the new monument to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in San Francisco. Flynn tellingly quotes from Orwell, a common reference point for anti-communism. Yet Orwell's anti-stalinism was nevertheless leftist, as every decent biography of him has concluded. One symptom of this article's propaganda function is how it describes Orwell's having been shot in the neck while fighting for the Spanish Republicans, followed immediately by an unexplained reference to Communist firing squads -- thus associating his bullet wound with a Communist rifle. This is deliberate obfuscation and clearly attempts to avoid the obvious awkwardness of admitting that Orwell was shot in the neck by one of Franco's fascist snipers. More to the point, which Flynn would like us to forget, is that Orwell continued to support the Spanish Republic despite his dismay with the communist infighting there. Amnesia? Yes, we are still warding off these symptoms of historical senility.
-- Erick Heroux
The curse of amnesia has stricken overseas also. In England and Ireland there are 52 memorials to the Communists who fought for Stalin in the Spanish Civil War. However, there is not a single memorial to any of the 640 Irishmen who fought for the Catholic faith against Stalin, not even in their own Irish homeland where it was the only country where more troops fought for Franco then against him. Perhaps, someday, there will be one.
-- Michael Skaggs
BOOK BAG ARMS
Re: Emily L. Mullins' Self-Defense 101:
I read with interest the article "Self Defense 101" by Emily Mullin, who makes some good points in advocating for the right of properly licensed college students with to carry concealed weapons on campus. But I suggest some of the arguments advanced are weak or unsupportable, and advocates should develop better ones. Leaving aside the general question of whether or not responsible adults ought to be able to carry concealed weapons on campus or elsewhere, there is no empirical or other evidence that more guns on campus would reduce episodes such as those at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. It has a nice romance to it, the idea that at the moment of truth, some young man or woman, or the philosophy professor down the all, would dispense with the villain with a well-placed shot to the head.
But that is the stuff of Hollywood movies, often not very good ones. Likewise, the deterrent argument -- the idea that would-be troublemakers would think twice about mass murder knowing some students and professors might have a pocket pistol -- has little merit.
There is strong evidence that criminals, and even angry non-criminals of sound mind, are reluctant to commit mayhem if there is a possibility that their intended victims might be armed. But there is no reason to believe and no evidence to support the idea that crazed-killers ala Mr. Cho at Virginia Tech, bent on their own self destruction as well as the destruction of others, would be bothered by the possibility. They might even welcome the challenge. Likewise, it borders on wishful thinking to believe that these terrible campus episodes might have been nipped in the bud if only some of the students had been armed. Even among well-trained soldiers and police (perhaps with the exception of special elite units), a large percentage are ineffective in returning fire when the shooting starts, and a minority, albeit the minority that makes the difference, does most of the work. And while some active or retired law officers or ex-soldiers might do well enough in situations like that at Northern Illinois University, it is too much to think that young men and women with no prior police or military training would be cool and effective the first time in their lives they came under direct fire, regardless of how well they might shoot paper targets at the range. This would be especially so when everyone around them were panicking, screaming, and running in circles.
As an aside, the article incorrectly asserts that acquiring a concealed carry permit "isn't an easy process" and is costly. In the great majority of states, it is neither difficult nor expensive to do so. Nor do most states require the applicant to demonstrate any proficiency with firearms. Two states, Vermont and Alaska, require nothing more than a minimum age and an ID -- no training, no background check and your ID is your permit. In Virginia, and in many other states, one may obtain the permit without even owning a gun, or having any experience with firearms. The required gun safety course in Virginia is classroom only, and there is no requirement for any time at the firing range.
This is not to say the process is not rigorous in other aspects. One applies for the permit at one's local circuit court, which is the issuing agency, and a careful background check is conducted by the State Police to weed out criminals, illegal immigrants, wife beaters, and assorted crazies. And the State Police keep permanent records on all permit holders. Nor are the fees steep -- the cost in Virginia is $50 as I recall. Thus, by and large, the holding of a concealed carry permit tells one nothing about the holder's competence with firearms or suitability for using them.
We should keep in mind that these permits are issued for self-protection and protection of family and home, and not for the protection of the general public. Many people who might have the motivation and willpower to protect themselves, their families, or their homes in a tight situation would nevertheless lack the ability, motivation and training needed to engage in a firefight with a mass murderer threatening strangers in a public place. Effective prevention of incidents of mass murder must and should look elsewhere for solutions.
-- David Sciacchitano
Re: David Weigel's Van Helmsing:
Let's give credit where credit is due. I will be eternally grateful to Jesse Helms for his opposition to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is quite enough opinion on child-rearing right here in the US of A without our recruiting and empowering a panel of international eggheads to add theirs.
-- Bill Grimes
Corpus Christi, Texas