NEOCONNED OUT OF CONTRACEPTION?
Re: Doug Bandow's "I Just Had to Do It":
Regarding Dana L's "just having to do it." Would someone tell Dana and all the rest of the Desperate Housewives that we don't really need to know every detail of her rare coupling time -- beg pardon, that was "couple time." Cute. So, she passed "Go" and didn't have a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. One wonders how on earth she managed the frenzied search for a place to, uh, terminate (they can say anything but "kill," can't they?) her baby, what with meeting the school bus and all.
Here's some news, lady -- once you have a family, you are no longer a couple. And when you couple, there is a fair chance your family is going to increase. Better make a checklist, if things are that wham-bam around your house.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
The questions that Dana L's situation raised for me concerned Mr. Dana L. Why didn't he do something to prevent an unwanted pregnancy? Did he even think the pregnancy was unwanted? Was he ever even informed of the pregnancy or consulted about the abortion? Mr. Dana L is the one who should be agonizing over this decision.
-- Stan X. Willis
Wow! I had to read this twice to believe someone wears their tin foil hat so tight that it also causes brain damage.
Don't get me wrong, abortion is a traumatic event on so many levels. For that I may understand her pain. But here is a woman who at least on the surface appears intelligent. She is a lawyer after all. (One can debate whether that connotes intelligence, but is best left to another article, obviously.) Nor can she claim ignorance having borne two children, so he and she know the score. So the question I have to ask is: two forty-something adults appearing to not want additional children do not make the necessary permanent preventative measures, and this is society's fault?
Short of her being a prior entrant on the Jerry Springer show, I cannot find a worse case of "Stuck on Stupid" since that reporter covering Katrina. Pity her children.
-- John McGinnis
Doug Bandow's article, while excellent, was difficult to read. If Mr. Bandow is looking for material for his next article he might consider investigating the rates of mental illness and suicide among women who've undergone this ghastly and most unnatural act.
The woman featured in this article is to be pitied. True, she seems like the type who would blame President Bush for the conditions on the surface of Mars. But in this case that's simply a cover for what she's really trying to come to terms with. And there's no way that she ever will come to terms with it, absent God's grace. I'll say a prayer for her.
And may God have mercy on our nation if we continue to allow this evil to occur legally.
Why the hell didn't her husband just get a vasectomy when they decided they had enough children?
-- Steve Stafford
THE GREAT GIPPER
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Ronald Reagan, Teacher:
Mr. Lord has captured the very essence of why I say to all that will listen (and some that won't) that St. Ronald of Reagan was the single best President in my lifetime, and certainly well into the top five in our nation's lifetime. This article also captures why George Bush (a) is no conservative, and (b) can not be favorably compared to Pres. Reagan. Was Mr. Reagan, as a President, perfect? Shoot no! But then who was/is, with the exception of a certain man 2000 years ago. Was Mr. Reagan the best? You betcha! Darn I miss him.
-- Ken Shreve
In response to Ben Stein's claim that FDR's "acts of hospitality" towards Japan and Germany were a greater tactical mistake than the invasion of the war in Iraq, I'd like to point out a significant difference.
When Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, we were unprepared. When the Bush Administration planned for at least a year to attack Iraq, we were still unprepared and undermanned.
What is lost on Stein is the fact that when you are the attacker, you better be damn sure you're prepared to finish the job. That's the undermining difference in his comparison, and it's the reason why the invasion of Iraq is a significantly worse mistake.
-- John Crimmings
New York City
Mr. Stein makes some telling points in his article, but, it is evidenced from some of the reader responses, that they need to re-read the piece in question. Mr. Stein qualified his statement that the war was a mistake by implying that it was a mistake to prosecute it undermanned and under-armed. The reasons for the invasion were just, but the long-term performance is lacking. While it is true that the initial invasion was a resounding success, the occupation of that country has not been. Few, if any, of the planners expected the country to become a magnet for every non-Palestinian terrorist and jihadist in the Islamic world. The rules of engagement have caused innumerable problems that are the direct result of the lack of a rudder with regard to the policy of this administration regarding post-Saddam Iraq. Iraq could have been brilliant, but has sunk to mediocrity. And while some of that can be laid at the feet of the mainstream media, anti-war protest organizations, and liberal and partisan attacks against the current administration, some responsibility must also be borne by the people in charge of prosecuting this action: the Bush Administration.
Now, we still do not know exactly what transpired in Haditha. There is much speculation and many leaks, but a complete picture has not emerged. The incident will continue to be investigated and facts will emerge that clarify this incident. This will all be accomplished under the watchful eye of the news media. As the known facts present a cloudy picture, it is neither the time to convict anyone of wrongdoing nor the time to mount a defense of their actions. Be not too quick to rush to judgment. Haditha may have been an execution, a mistake or perpetrated by others. The truth will come out.
Also, people must beware of falling into the malaise that the media and those who oppose the war would have us suffer. Rarely are any positive stories reported from Iraq. While it is still very much a war zone with a political vacuum totally foreign to Americans, it will remain a dangerous place for several years to come, but it becomes steadily better there. Our involvement will decrease as an Iraqi government gels, but we will not be leaving Iraq for many, many years. This nation has a strong history of pacifism and isolationism. This was fine when we had two major oceans to act as buffers and it took a month to correspond between the New World and Europe or Asia. This is no longer the case and we no longer have the luxury of watching events from afar.
If I was to make a prediction, it would be that the current world situation will worsen. Emboldened by what they perceive as the weakness of Americans, Iran, China, North Korea, and a myriad of other enemies lurking in the shadows of the world will continue to attempt to increase their power. Additional hostilities will rise up and our young men and women will be placed in harm's way in other parts of the globe. Why do I say this? Because we, The United States of America, are failing do what we promised to do: simply to dissuade -- by whatever means necessary -- terrorist organizations and rogue states from threatening world peace.
-- Michael Tobias
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
I'm not in any particular rush to see Rumsfeld replaced, but sometimes it's necessary to replace "the man in charge" even if the person being replaced has not necessarily done anything wrong. This may be that time. The question I saw repeated in many other letters is "if you want to replace Rumsfeld, just whom are you proposing?" The obvious choice hasn't been mentioned anywhere that I've noticed. He's a former fighting general, a known political quantity, and more than smart enough to combine the necessary understanding of modern non-linear warfare while swimming through the political waters. And justice demands it, since this tough fighting man was reduced to tears by Bush "41" and his affirmative action Joint Chiefs Chairman when told he would not be allowed to rid the world of Saddam Hussein the first time around.
Obviously I'm talking about Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf. There may be an important reason for his name not coming up, but I've neither heard anything indicating he would be unwilling to move into DOD as its head, nor that there was anything barring his way.
-- Larry Hawk
I like Ben Stein but he has fallen into a semantics trap crafted by liberals that should be discussed. "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy; that is WHY they are called the enemy." That maxim is as old as human conflict. To assert that grave mistakes were unnecessarily made is to assign a hubristic mantle to our political leaders that they neither want nor deserve. Of course, our leaders are going to make mistakes, especially in time of war. Such is the nature of humanity. And, of course, mistakes made in war are always grave. The key to victory is adjustment of the tactics. We have done that. We are stuck with "nation building" whether we like it or not. The real failure of the CIA was not WMD but the absolute failure to disclose just how badly Saddam had run his country back into the dark ages during the '90s. I don't believe anyone had any real idea just how primitive conditions were going to be upon success and how great the task would be to provide the very basic necessities which a civilized society needs to function. Assign the blame, if you must, on the analysts that failed to pick up on the destruction of Iraq prior to the war's onset.
-- Ron Eames
As is the case in so many situations in which the Left find themselves, Mr. Hatler and Mr. Greene seem to believe that Mr. Kerry should get a free pass to claim any thing that he chooses and be allowed to fling it in the face of those of us who did not serve in Vietnam. These two gentlemen might want to consider the fact that there is a mountain of evidence discounting Mr. Kerry's claims of heroism and little other than his word that those claims are factual. It would seem that those on the Left want all witnesses on the Right to prove total blamelessness before their testimony can be considered. Almost every claim that Mr. Kerry has made about his heroic actions on the river has been proven to be either patently false or impossible to verify by words from any other mouth but his own. His Winter Soldier claims and the rest of his testimony before Congress have both been completely discredited. Even those who vehemently opposed the war have had to recognize that the things he testified to never happened. The hard-core Left continues to pound the drum of his defense while occupying an indefensible position. Kerry's defenders have a lot in common with George Armstrong Custer.
-- Joseph Baum
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Regan that included admirals from the U.S., British, Canadian, Australian, and French navies. At the cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a group of about a half a dozen officers from most of the countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French Admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked: "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied to him in French: "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German." The French admiral laughed nervously but didn't say another word for about 20 minutes. When he did speak again, he spoke politely in English! The other admirals only smiled.
Bob -- true or not, it's a good story.
-- Jeff Upton
Re: Andrew Cline's The Task at Hand:
OK. As an independent conservative, I agree with you -- mostly. However, I do not hear you pushing for a credible 3rd Party for the '08 elections. How about a march in DC? We could call it "The Independent Conservative March." Maybe some banners with: "Before It's Too Late, Tancredo '08" in red, white, and blue letters. He surely is a true conservative. You might have other names in mind.
But, I must disagree with the comment in your article that: "...President Bush's amnesty for illegal aliens appears dead thanks to vocal opposition back home..." Wrong. Mr. Bush has only begun twisting arms in the House and has no plans of giving up. When push comes to shove, the House will cave and will compromise -- just watch.
No, if you want to separate conservatism from Republicanism (if there is such a word), there is only one way: third party. Yes, it is hard. Yes, there will be losses early on. But, eventually, people will get fully fed up with the tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum parties and will jump aboard. The only question is: who can be the engineer of this new party? Any ideas? Any volunteers?
The shape of the state of our Union will not return to course until we begin to enforce the Constitution. Republicans have shown a complete contempt, as have Democrats. Consequently I will continue to support the candidates of the Constitution Party along with an increasing number of former "conservatives." After all, what about politics of the last 20 plus years is worth "conserving"?
The United States of America will continue to be a dying nation unless we return to our founding PRINCIPLES.
-- Thomas Mick
Here is a part Mr. Doug Welty's letter in regards to the heated illegal immigration debate -- "Let's see how all these fire-breathing "deport-'em-all" types like it when it costs $150 to have their lawns mowed, $300 to have their houses cleaned, $15,000 to have their siding painted or a new roof put on, and there's a six-month wait to get that backyard deck built." One has to ask where he can find such cheap prices and rapid construction timetables as things are now? And where you are located has a great deal to do with how much goods and services cost. But as always -- compared to what are you basing your anecdotal evidence that without a large pool of unskilled labor that prices and times will be greatly increasing? The U.S. economy creates and destroys between 6 and 8 million jobs on average each economic quarter. So a mere 10% of low paid unskilled labor types should have almost no effect whatsoever in a free market society. What they want people to believe is that because most normally coherent people aren't going to allow all this illegal low-paid labor to continue they will be using this as an excuse to raise their prices once their supposedly essential low-paid workers are returned to their point of origin. And if they can stop a million or so people a year from getting in there's no reason they can't "deport-'em-all" in a decade or less. It would just take an effort at the local law enforcement levels. It is repugnant that there are people who think that it is all right to have a lower class of low paid, uneducated working poor to work for some cheap bastard who drives around in a Navigator or a Caddy....
I wasn't going to respond to Brandon Crocker's article because I understand his illness, having been afflicted with it myself as a youth. However, since my fellow responders served up such a huge can... on Brandon, I thought another dollop couldn't hurt.
It seems to me that a paucity of attention has been paid to the actual problem. All of the debate centers on the presumption that the United States has an economic need -- cheap labor -- which only Mexico can provide. The reality is that the current (and likely future) Mexican government has a political goal it believes Mexico is entitled to accomplish on its own terms.
At any other time in our history, Brandon's technical case for a "guest worker" program, might be plausible, might it not? But, like a good joke, timing is everything. Not only do we live in a post-9/11 world, we live in a time of "global economy," the advocates of which despise national sovereignty and national borders. Because of that and Mexico's own agenda, we do not have the luxury of receiving cooperation from Mexico. Unless there is "room for compromise" from the Mexican government, there can be no "room for compromise" from the United States when their citizens cross our border illegally. The border must be secured before we can effectively negotiate immigration policy with Mexico on our terms. The United States must regain the leverage in this dispute. Our preservation as a sovereign power -- the preservation of the American Revolution --supersedes all other concerns. One would think our own President would understand this.
On July 2, Mexico will be holding national elections. The prevailing wisdom is that the United States has a vested interest in seeing the party of Vicente Fox (PAN) win. Perhaps. But no legislation should pass the United States Congress, if at all, until after those elections are completed and the results are finalized. Some of our "elite politicians" have been attempting to accelerate the process in an attempt to help PAN. But, we need to know exactly what we are up against. And, if Mexico's newly elected government decides to cut off our oil supply, we can just call their bluff at the borderâ€¦plus we'll have another good reason to drill in ANWR!
Brandon, be of good cheer. Your idealistic fervor for world peace is visualized, even by your detractors. And, while I'm sure you think they can't handle an argument from anyone with an opposing viewpoint, much less an argument from anyone with opposing thumbs (ooga booga), remember, it goes both ways. You sure know how to stir a hornet's
-- Mike Showalter
All I know on this subject is that I travel the world working on the behalf of various corporations as a sub-contractor. In virtually every country I visit (and there are dozens, ranging from the UK to Malaysia and, ironically, Mexico) I am required to get a work visa. I am forbidden from staying longer than a pre-agreed time (usually around three months) and I am forbidden from collecting public funds (welfare). I have over-stayed a visa on one occasion, and only by a matter of days. I was given a thorough chewing-out by immigration officials on the way out, including the threat that it would be more difficult to receive a visa in the future.
Why is an identical policy so abhorrent to the U.S. political class?
Further: any discussion of immigration policy is completely academic as long as there is lax enforcement of the borders and virtually zero benefit to actually becoming a citizen.
-- Bradley Alan Madix
P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, my grandfather emigrated from Spain, and my wife's father and mother emigrated from Holland and Indonesia, respectively. My daughter is a product of (legal) immigrants: Dutch-Indo-Hispanic-Germanic-Welsh.... This makes the census form somewhat of a problem. I usually check "White." She is.
The details of the guest worker program are not important. What is important is the wall. Once there is a wall, the power of supply and demand will indicate a proper level of guest workers. As of now we have essentially unlimited supply. Guest worker programs won't change that at all.
Those of us who support Tancredo are afraid that there will be a guest worker program and no improvement in enforcement or border control. Until I am convinced that enforcement and border control will improve, I will oppose guest worker programs.
-- Yaakov "Jim" Watkins
As I have been posting for a long time, John Kerry is not cowardly but he is most certainly delusional, a point I attempted to make with this humorous take on his Cambodian ventures which Power Line posted back during the 2004 campaign.
John Kerry is the worst kind of war profiteer: one who enriches his political resume on the misery, suffering and death not only of his enemies but of his brothers in arms. No other kind of man is more despised by veterans. No man is less honorable. No such man will ever be commander in chief as long as I and the millions of my brothers at arms draw breath.
-- Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Thank you for the "special comments" column on John Kerry's murky past. Cookie Sewell's detailed description of the various types of discharge was especially enlightening and the letter from Thomas E. Stuart gave me a surge of pride that there are so many in retirement still so vitally interested in preserving the honor of the service and calling into further question the sham naval career of John Kerry. That this creep had the gall to kick off his convention with "Reporting for Duty" was the biggest political joke of 2004.
The writer who warned "Baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet" should make Teresa think twice about bank-rolling this four-flusher again.
-- Diane Smith
Southern San Francisco, California
Re: Patrick Hynes' "It's Just a Movie":
Yesterday I watched An Inconvenient Truth, and I disagree with Patrick Hynes's review. That's fine if he doesn't like Al Gore and he thinks he's just politicizing a scientific issue for his own benefit. I personally would have preferred a movie that featured interviews with climatologists and presented their data more scientifically. But the movie's format is bound to be more effective for the average viewer than a dry, technical presentation. If you watch it and read up on the subject -- not just in partisan publications -- I think you'll agree that this is a serious issue. I'm convinced that if nothing is done we're looking at the greatest disaster ever to confront mankind. If you vote anti-environment and live in lowlands near an ocean, plan on moving inland involuntarily within a few decades.
-- Paul Dorell
Highland Park, Illinois
It would be easy and "convenient" to dismiss crazy old Al as just slightly demented if the evidence of fraud by him was not so pervasive and if he was not so enabled by the elite media. Let's look at some of the "inconvenient" facts that continue to follow him around if not exactly noted in the same main line media.
1.) The mine royalties that were signed over to his dad the first Gore Senator from Tennessee by Armand Hammer who with his (Hammer's) dad had exclusive commercial contracts with communist Russia and Stalin dating back to the twenties and thirties. As far as anyone knows there was no monetary consideration flowing from the first Gore to Hammer or his financial entities.
2.) The second Gore who apparently spent more time living in the Watergate Hotel than he ever did in Tennessee and of course lost Tennessee in 2000 and the election (of course I realize being from a state is more than just geographic location, I have spent the best part of my 60 years in Michigan but still think more like a Tennessean than a Michigander.)
3.) Despite having little feel for what the average Tennessean thought he did have the sense and I hope principle to run as an anti-abortion candidate until he had to switch sides when he and Clinton ran on the national ticket in 2000 and now he advocates abortion now and forever including partial birth.
4.) He and his charming if somewhat plump wife were sharp critics of some of the overkill of certain song and film language until they realized these people responsible for them were their natural party base and changed their tune.
5.) He runs around the world spewing his nonsense wasting hydrocarbons while castigating ordinary folks who either need or desire SUVs and who spend their own earned income on them not those of rich friends or his old daddy's as Gore does.
Methinks I smell a little hypocrisy. The list could go on and on as it appears Gore will be emulating the energizer bunny.
-- Jack Wheatley
Re: Linguistic Lancing from Reader Mail's Liver Spots:
I've been watching this recent dialogue regarding the term, "spot on" with great interest. I am now laying a claim to be the person responsible for this seeming tempest in a teapot (although being somewhat of a watchdog for the English language, I do understand the passion and heartily endorse it). My claim lies in one of the few (two) letters I've submitted to the Editor, dated 11/28/05 regarding the HBO series, "Rome" (I checked the archives). In retrospect, I have no idea why I submitted these observations, but I did. Oddly enough, my comments immediately followed those by the honorable Ms. Diane Smith regarding Mr. Bill Buckley (one of my few heroes in American conservative thinking). Anyway, in my senior musings (like Ms. Smith, I am also a grandparent), I wonder if my "spot on" subliminally festered in Ms. Smith's subconscious until the next time it appeared, it became too much of a travesty. Yes or no, I enjoy the give and take among your valued contributors, many of whom have become dear friends, whether they know it or not.
-- R. D. Vraa
DOWN, RIGHT, AND ANGRY
Re: "Still Not Budging" letters in Reader Mail's A Bad Mood Worsens:
Down right angry here. I have had a good time with TAS for quite a while. But I don't like being suckered. I have grown quite weary of all this "Bush bashing." Then there was a suggestion from one reader that we all need national identity cards. Then there was a comment trashing hunting. There is no one old enough on this site to speak of WWII with a whole lot of first hand knowledge. Much of what we see today is second hand regurgitated history. Bashing Bush has become the socially elite thing to do. Everyone is a political analyst -- without being briefed everyday with fresh intelligence.
America has a problem with authority. She doesn't like yielding to authority: the authority of God nor the authority of our elected leaders. Case in point: the drop in church attendance and the unrelenting criticism of the United States President and his people. Vietnam never was a mistake. The mistake was a bunch of easily led Americans sat down and fell in love with CBS and the anti-Americans than run it. They listened to Walter Cronkite drone on for years about the mistake of Vietnam. And then Hollywood kicked in. In the end, it was the American citizen that lost the war in Vietnam. They listened, they watched and then became a bunch of parrots regurgitating Cronkite.
Ultimately, you cannot finance a war with out the will of the people. Congress is always checking the winds of time, especially when it gets close to elections. That is why in the end, it was Congress that cut off the funds for the South Vietnam military, condemning them to defeat, despite the fact they were winning.
When history is reviewed, ultimately, the failure of Vietnam will fall on the average American citizen. They lent credibility to CBS, Hollywood and the anti war movement with their incessant parroting. The blood of many South Vietnamese and Cambodians are on the hands of Americans because we cut and run and failed to stop the North Vietnamese Communists from overrunning South Vietnam.
Many years ago as I was leaving church, one of the church leaders came up to me with quite a lot of exuberance and asked me "Know what I saw on CNN?" and went on to rehash the whole bucket of swill. I am deeply offended that a leader of a church would get his politics from CNN and the rest of his life from the Bible. Most American churches are parroting the swill from mainstream media sources. Shame.
Considering, on a personal level I usually dismiss anti-hunters, anti-gunners, anti-war people, Democrats and anyone that wants to lecture me on the "wrongness" of Vietnam, I really should spend less time reading TAS. I very often stay up past midnight just to catch the new edition. Makes me a bit of a hypocrite, don't cha think.
Actually, I need to be about some things I have got behind on. And I really should go to DC and see "The Wall" and then go pay my respects to the Enola Gay.
-- Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire
Re: Ben Stein's They Did God's Work:
Please pass on my sincere thanks to Mr. Ben Stein for his article, "They Did God's Work."
-- Catherine McNerney
United States Army