Re: The Washington Prowler's Let Me Entertain You:
We had a phrase we used to use about my mother-in-law: "Often wrong, but never uncertain." This would apply to John Kerry me thinks.
-- Susan Gluck
Weston, West Virginia
The Prowler's update on Jon Carry's (U.S. military spelling) elitist utterance did little to convince this loyal reader that Carry's mouth was simply outran by his nimble and nuanced mind. He said it. He's said it before. He meant it. Period.
The whole situation calls to mind the motivation of those suburban fools who stick those obnoxious "Support our troopsâ€¦ Bring them home now" signs in their lawns. If I were on speaking terms with such people and I could be sure of an honest answer, I'd love to ask them the following question:
"If there were no anti-Bush political statement to be made by displaying that sign on your lawn, how much time do you actually spend thinking about the welfare or safety of "Our Troops?" Honest answer? Very little.
-- Deane Fish
Altamont, New York
The befuddlement of the Democratic Party is illustrated in the final paragraph of this article which so aptly defines their "circular firing squad" stance in the Final Days.
That they believe a little standup comedy delivered by a guy who looks like he just lost the bolt in his neck is going to "energize" young people is just astonishing. Who gets paid a salary to dream up this kind of strategy? Do they have no memory of the quote from a guy at the Bruce Springsteen concert in 2004 to energize the crowd for Dean? "I'm just here for the music." If the Boss couldn't deliver, why do they think Kerry, who has a mind like a flat-iron is going to fire anyone's ambition to vote.
Have none of them read that since the 18-year-old vote came into being in 1972, registration and participation in that age group has steadily declined. In the intervening 30+ years they have so many new distracting toys, so much more idle time, voting is the furthest thing from their tiny minds. They are wandering the malls, instant messaging their friends 15 ft. ahead, forgetting their math assignment, missing curfew. You can't get them to clean their rooms, how are you going to get them to vote? When you think about it, how many 18-year-olds do you know who can even name our vice president today? And the Dems rely on that as their base? We'll see.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
Kerry hasn't apologized yet! His speechwriter has. Kerry was man to misspeak, and man enough to say that he wouldn't apologize and now he isn't man enough to admit he "misspoke"; instead, he said it was misinterpreted by the right.
Freudian slips show the hearts: Kerry isn't man enough to apologize. Is he man enough to defend this country? I doubt it.
-- Stu Margrey
Kerry's gaffe may be as much a product of where he lives as liberal loathing of the military. Today's well-educated and professional military is a heavily Southern institution. In the enlisted ranks 42% of the personnel are from the South while 39% of the Officer Corps' are Southern. Kerry comes from a region that produces the fewest volunteers -- the Northeast (14% in both categories). Considering this fact it's possible he just doesn't know anyone who is serving or has family serving in the military.
Thus, to a snob from New England or a MoveOn.org type our troops are just dumb rednecks or poor colored folks. Primarily useful as stage props or campaign gimmicks, but definitely not someone deserving respect. That's why when I hear someone like Kerry telling me how much they support the troops I tell them, "I don't want or need your support."
By the way, Kerry's apology was just another slur at those in uniform who were so stupid they were offended by their better's insult.
-- Michael Tomlinson
According to The Prowler, John Frankenstein Kerry (Imbecile - Massachusetts) has claimed he "mangled" his joke this past week in California, setting off a well-deserved flap. It seems to me that Mr. Kerry (no, I will not use the title of Senator for him because 1. He is not my senator and 2. He is undeserving of that title) needs to stop attempting to tell jokes. If I remember correctly, he tried something similar recently regarding shooting someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. As Don Rickles would have said, "Keep your day job, dummy, and leave comedy to the pros."
Furthermore, I've just visited Lurch's Website to view his apology. In it I read the following: "I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform..." First of all, there was NO misinterpretation of his words -- what was said was said, it's there in black and white (and audio). Secondly, in other words, he is apologizing to us because we are too stupid to understand the gentle nuance of his "joke." The great liberal egoist simply can't understand why we can't understand, so we must be a lot dumber than he and his fellow travelers are. Thank you, John, I really needed that. Excuse me, what kind of grades did you achieve at Yale? And who got paid off to admit you into Boston College Law School and then allow you to somehow graduate?
What truly scares me is the fact that I have watched and listened to this idiot for far too long a period of time and realized that, there but for the grace of God, this clown could have been President. I can now fully see the guiding Hand of the Lord in what took place in the 2004 elections.
Somebody up there is looking after us.
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Ignorant rube that I am, I'm still unable to find the intended joke about President Bush in Kerry's horrifically insulting prepared remarks about our military men and woman. But then again, I'm not a legacy Yalie nor a member of Skull and Bones, so what do I know? However, the MSM, especially Howard Fineman and Imus have scolded us conservatives (I guess I'm not the only one) over our deliberate obtuseness in failing to see the Bush intended humor in Jean- Francois' witty comments. Oh, to be nuanced and sophisticated like that Central Park West cowboy, Imus. Maybe Mr. Fineman can ask former majority leader Trent Lott if he sees the clear intent in Kerry's comments. How unfortunate for Sen. Lott that the MSM conveniently lost their subtlety and intellectual dexterity when Lott uttered his unscripted fealty to a failing 100-year-old colleague on his final birthday. O.K., so if my logic is as sharp as Fineman's, since Lott had to give up his majority leader's position and had to under go sensitivity sessions, shouldn't Kerry have to resign from the Senate (no leadership position to give up) and do a tour of duty in Iraq with the next generation "band of brothers"?
Think of the possibilities! Kerry reporting for duty in â€˜08 arriving in an armor-plated Humvee. I can't wait.
-- A. DiPentima
Jokester Kerry is much funnier than he sounds. You just have to appreciate his cutting-edge style and understand where he's coming from, which is Vietnam circa 1968. Back then, maligning young men of military persuasion was becoming fashionable -- even hip. By the time Kerry gave his Genghis Khan testimony in 1971, he was very hip. He explained how the armed services were a dumping ground for dog-shooters, village-razers, ear-choppers and other curious psychopaths. Generally speaking, they were not folks who made an effort to be smart. Kerry himself was a notable exception to the rule.
So the joke is this: Iraq is a metaphor for Vietnam, and the uneducated losers who end up "stuck in Iraq" are a metaphor for George Bush because they didn't "make an effort to be smart." Get it?
At last, John Kerry has coughed up something that is being touted as an apology. However, if one stops and thinks, anything that contains the phrase "I sincerely regret" is not necessarily such. What Kerry sincerely regrets is that people "misinterpreted" his words. Hey, pal, when effete snobs like you try to be funny, the results are usually ugly.
-- Evelyn Leinbach
There is a middle position between apologizing for saying something wrong and "apologizing" for the fact that others were offended by one's words because of the way they interpreted them. In the future, people in situations like those of the pope and Senator John Kerry could more accurately reflect what they should be sorry for by saying: "I apologize for saying things in a way that I now see is susceptible to being interpreted in a way that offends people and is unacceptable."
-- Richard L.A. Schaefer
Kerry said exactly what he wanted to say about our troops, because as usual he was pandering to his audience! Kerry's apology is not an apology! Posting on his blog is cowardice. Where is the new conference? He just slammed the troops and Americans again -- by stating that he is apologizing that his words are being misinterpreted??? By whom -- Kerry! We all get it and Mr. Kerry you were not telling a joke, but trying to further your political career on the backs of our troops as you have done since 1971! Mr. Kerry you have no honor. Our troops do and they responded swiftly and decisively, I love them!! In addition, the silence from Pelosi & Reid (Democrat leaders) is deafening, and very telling of how these leaders have contempt for our military -- Hmmmm. Don't these 2 usual run to the microphone at the drop of a hat? Where are they?
Lighten up, people! John Kerry meant nothing malicious to soldiers in Iraq, he just flubbed his punch line.
And I can prove it by asking you to picture John Kerry telling a joke. Now imagine his audience laughing.
See what I mean? I can't imagine it either.
-- Dan Martin
ODE TO DEMOCRAT DIVERSITY
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Midterm Exams:
I read your commentary on the coming Midterm Elections with interest, enough interest to respond anyway; a characteristic that is usually outside of my norm.
I find many of your observations to be fairly typical of a radical conservative juggernaut. I also find your straw man bickering typical of most conservative opinion journals.
But for time constraints, I only get a half hour lunch, I have to move to the heart of my objections.
You state accurately that "these are not normal times." This allegation is the truest of your musings.
Yes, these are not normal times. These times are fraught with a government that does not represent the will of the people. These are times when American hegemony has been abused to the point of catastrophe and a White House Administration that lacks talent for domestic and overseas conflicts and resolution, not to mention vision for the latter. And finally, these times represent a cookie cutter legislative branch that serves at the will of the President.
When reading your article I wonder why you do not mention why the Republicans are going to lose this November so I'll take a shot at it for you.
I surmise that the people are tired of being fooled by a conservative PR machine which tell one thing yet represents another.
Yes the Democratic Party has a diversity of views, but so do the people of the United States. The Democrats are poised to take over precisely because of their diversity. The Democratic Party represents a huge swath of the American people and it's the diversity of the party that brings challenge, debate, then finally a compromise. Unlike the lock stock and barrel method of everyone agreeing with a party line that the Republicans are so famous for.
It is precisely the so called cohesion of the Republicans that are killing the conservative movement -- now it's the Republicans who are out of step with the American people.
You mentioned the lack of principled leadership in the Democratic Party, is this a joke? It is hardly worth rebuttal, but I'll say it in one name -- Tom Delay.
You should take a good look at your party and your so-called principles and ask if radical conservatism is really the answer to America's problems at this juncture. I suspect that I know your answer, but for the those of us who live in the real world of rising inflation, rising healthcare and insurance costs, and skyrocketing college tuition and mortgage payments the answer is getting easier -- throw the bums out!
-- Thomas Van Nostrand
Technology Resource Specialist
CCNA, BCMSN, MCP, CNA, A+
St Petersburg College
Mr. Tyrrell, good column. I predict that the elected GOP and GOP consultants will blame the voter base for being too radically conservative. This will be the analysis regardless of how well or ill the party does in the election. If they were to manage to hold on to both houses of Congress, the base will be blamed for them not winning in a landslide.
The country club Repubs will once again decry their need to endure the right wing, Christian conservative anchor dragging them down. Nothing will be said about such as Sen. Snowe joining with Sen. Rockefeller in threatening the Chairman of Exxon because he dares to contribute to the CEI. No, it is all the fault of those right wing crazies that are so bothersome.
-- Ken Shreve
BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID
All else aside, one fact should scare
The living daylights out of Americans who care,
Who are willing to open their eyes and see
The succession of the United States Presidency.
Sadly, shots have been fired throughout history
At our Commanders-in-Chief, sometimes critically.
Add to that the concern for the second in line
Whose health could cause him to retire or resign.
Don't block out the picture of what could be:
President Nancy Pelosi leading scatteredly.
Pacing the Oval Office frantically
While the world watches horrified, helplessly.
Before it's too late, too great a price is paid,
Please be afraid. Be very afraid.
-- Mimi Evans Winship
THE DRUG VOTE
Re: Brian Lee Crowley's Reimportation Looms:
Mr. Crowley, thank you for your excellent article. After November 7 voters and non-voters may have decided to lower our national standard of living by bringing the Democrats to power. Maybe with a Canadian standard of living will even become comfortable being more like the French -- consistent military losers appeasing Islamic terrorists.
-- Michael Tomlinson
MESSIN' WITH TEXAS
Re: Quin Hillyer's Campaign Border Patrol:
I kept writing Gov. Perry about doing something about illegals and kept getting the same run around that it was a federal issue. I would tell him my school tax dollars are NOT a federal issue and all the illegals in our schools are killing the education system. In the last few months, of course right before the election, he decides maybe he should do something about it.
Well as far as I am concerned it is too late for him. He should have been doing something for years.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas
Re: Stuart Koehl and Hal G.P. Colebatch's exchange (under "Shot Down") in Reader Mail's "Hot Properties":
Mr. Colebatch responded to by article by writing:
"My own sources are quite at variance with this. Certainly, far from being a "short-range tactical bomber," the Canberra was for its day spectacularly long-ranged. It was used by the U.S. as a long-range intruder aircraft."
I've been a military and aviation analyst for 27 years now, and all I can say is that Mr. Colebatch's response is a good example of why aircraft performance statistics cannot be taken at face value. The claim that the Canberra was "spectacularly long-ranged" can best be described as hyperbole, and the term "long-range intruder" is entirely relative to the extremely short-ranged tactical fighters of the 1950s. The performance statistics Mr. Colebatch cites are not meaningful when placed against specific mission requirements. For instance, he writes:
"I agree it was in fact assigned the role of a tactical bomber, but this was not necessarily the original intention. There seems no reason it could not have eventually carried nuclear weapons except that times, nuclear technology, alliance arrangements and strategic needs changed. It had a bomb-capacity of 10,000 pounds, the weight of an atomic bomb, and was designed to fly above 40,000 feet, suggesting a strategic rather than a tactical role."
But in fact, the aircraft's bomb-carrying capacity of 10,000 pounds refers to its total payload limit, internal and external. Internal bomb load -- the more relevant figure for nuclear strike missions -- was only 5,000 pounds, at a time when nuclear weapons weighed significantly more. The 40,000-foot altitude cited is the service ceiling, relevant mainly for the Canberra's reconnaissance mission (although secondarily useful for its pathfinder mission as well). It could not be achieved while carrying a full bomb load, and in the bomber role the Canberra flew almost exclusively at low altitude.
And while the Canberra had an unrefueled ferry range of some 2,000 miles, this could only be attained carrying maximum fuel, which in turn could not be carried together with the maximum bomb load. A more practical figure would be "tactical radius", which is a more modest 600-800 miles, depending on such factors as mission profile and payload. This is hardly sufficient for a nuclear strike role, especially in the Pacific. Even in Europe, it would hardly suffice to get one from Britain to Berlin and back (which was the RAF's original requirement for the bomber, by the way).
Mr. Colebatch cites the Australian Minister of Defense as writing in 1956 that "the Canberra did not carry enough conventional bombs to take an appropriate part in the Strategic Reserve but that 'it can carry nuclear weapons.'" This, too, is a bit of hyperbole that has to be evaluated in light of internal Australian politics and the ongoing discussions with the UK concerning the Strategic Reserve (of which Australia wanted to be part). The Canberra could not have carried any of the contemporary strategic nuclear weapons internally, though it could carry the Mk.7, the first U.S. tactical nuclear bomb (which weighed only 1680 pounds) on an external pylon (which would cut into range). But with a yield of only 8-61 kT, the Mk.7 was not a "strategic" weapon, but a battlefield support weapon (it was, in fact, designed to be carried by USAF F-86F/H and F-84F fighter-bombers). Also, since this was an American weapon, approaching the UK about acquiring nuclear weapons seems rather pointless, since the UK could not provide the type of tactical nuclear weapon envisaged.
The feasibility study cited by Mr. Colebatch, "Study, Feasibility of Equipping RAAF Canberra MK 20 Bomber Aircraft for Combat Delivery of USAF MK 7 Nuclear Bombs, 3 MEL-10, R190/10, A6456/2, AA," appears to be just that - -a feasibility study (also one conducted three or four years after the Minister of Defense's 1956 complaint). Air forces conduct thousands of them, most of which come to naught because, once one subjects the numbers to a more rigorous analysis, serious operational objections emerge. For instance, at the time the study was completed (November 1959-December 1960), the USSR had already developed surface to air missile systems that made high altitude bombing missions impractical. The U.S. at this time had already switched its B-52 force from high to low altitude penetration missions, and the Canberra would also have to follow suit. A low-altitude mission profile would further erode the combat radius (jets burn more fuel at low altitude), definitely putting the Canberra into the light bomber class after all (I would have to have a complete set of mission planning graphs to be precise, but a back of the envelope estimate is something like 600 miles for a hi-lo-hi mission).
Mr. Colebatch writes, "I said in my original article simply that there was some evidence Australia looked to developing a nuclear deterrent in the late 1940s or early '50s but this was not proceeded with." I agree with that. I don't think that it was ever a really serious effort, though, simply because Australia lacked the resources to sustain a meaningful deterrent force (one that could, for instance, hit something other than New Zealand or Indonesia), and it never made any effort to procure such a delivery system as a prerequisite for developing one. Ironically, today Australia possesses a superb nuclear delivery system in the form of the F-111, but eschews nuclear weapons altogether.
My point in writing is that one must be very careful in the use of figures concerning weapon system performance, or in using such figures to undergird a policy argument.
-- Stuart Koehl
Falls Church, Virginia
My two-cents' worth on this fascinating subject. The Canberra had a long and interesting history, holding various records such as high altitude (65,890 ft with conventional jet engines in 1955 and 70,310 ft in 1957 with a rocket motor) and was used to spy on the Soviet Union until the U-2 came along.
In addition, on February 21 1951. An RAF Canberra B Mk 2 (WD932) flown by Sqd Ldr A Caillard, became the first jet aircraft to make a non-stop transatlantic flight when it flew from Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, to Gander, Newfoundland. The flight covered almost 1,800 miles in 4h 37m. The aircraft was being flown to the U.S. to act as a pattern aircraft for the Martin B-57.
Besides which it was just a damned beautiful aircraft!
-- Bob Johnson