Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell's Jon Coogler Stewart:
I write with respect to this year's J. Gordon Coogler Award for the Worst Book of the Year. Although I can appreciate the merits of your ultimate selection, I find it difficult to accept that anyone but Michael Moore could win the award in any year in which Michael Moore has been published. According to Amazon.com, Will They Ever Trust Us Again, the aforementioned's latest, was published in October, 2004 -- a month after, and thus more recently, than the Jon Stewart volume.
I am not one to cry, "Fix!" but... one has one's suspicions.
-- Rufus Thompson
Great article, as usual. I read conservatives at NRO think Howard Dean will be more of the same 2004 candidate Dean as DNC chairman. Having just reread your article on Dean from early January, I am looking forward to your thoughts about this subject. If Dean is a closet Clintonista, your position that he is not as hard left as he seems rings true. The Clintons certainly won't run as hard left as the 2004 Democrats did. I emailed your article to the NRO editors in response to their article from yesterday detailing how lousy Dean will be as DNC chairman, and suggested they should interview you in light of your personal knowledge of the man. Not trying to start any squabbles (seriously), but I think that would be an interesting Q & A.
Anyway, look forward to your thoughts on this in future articles.
-- Lee Wheeler
As a long time reader, I just wanted to comment on this year's Coogler winner. I read it, thought it was funny and seemed to poke equal fun at both parties and was just basically smart-aleck. Great? No, but there had to have been worse books (Joe Wilson's liefest? Richard Clarke? Will they ever trust us again?) amongst the deluge of anti-Bush books this year. Just a thought. As a side note, I introduced myself to you at Bill Buckley's appearance at the B&N in Georgetown last March while you were holding court in the cafe after the event. Keep up the good work.
-- Rick Hiteshew
Re: George Neumayr's Democrats in Bush's Shadow:
Mr. Neumayr wonders if Harry Reid, in his reference to Groundhog Day, has seen the movie. Listening to both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi I would lean more toward the movie Dumb and Dumber. Both their speeches last night just illustrates how out of touch these people are with reality. Their main purpose on the job is to criticize the current administration. We can do much better than these two. I think people are so tired of rhetoric that doesn't amount to anything more than whining.
-- Jane McNair
Seems to me that much progress could be made toward balancing the budget if pork-barrel "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" spending was eliminated, earmarked edicts to agencies were curtailed, and giveaway social programs were carefully scrutinized. A simple reading of the federal budget allocations easily shows some of the obscure, needless things that are funded. Give the president line item veto authority!
-- Gary Johnson Madison, Alabama
Re: John Tabin's Three Speeches:
Well done! Moving overview of speech last night.
-- Sam Phillips
John and I must have watched two different speeches. I agree on one and two, but three, rather than a "laundry list," both my wife and I viewed it as a repeat of his campaign promises. When are you pundits and publishers going to get the fact that with this president you get what you see. He says what he means and means what he says - period! And that is what is resonating with us.
-- Jim LariaClermont, Florida
Re: Shawn Macomber's Apocalypse Now:
Excellent work by Mr. Macomber. He has been active in canvassing the news and the portents are disturbing. But, as disturbing as a Russia-Iranian nuclear club might be, there are far more worrisome activities being undertaken by the Bear of the North.
It seems that the U.S. media has completely missed the current Sino-Russian Friendship pact that Russia entered into with China in 2001. Though ostensibly an "understanding" between the two countries to oppose the US anti-ballistic missile development program, since then there has been a significant amount of sophisticated Russian military sales to China. These include SU-27 and SU-30 fighters and the "Sunburn" supersonic anti-ship missile. In addition to these munitions sales, the two Asian powers have held joint military exercises.
The actions of Russia in selling these arms to China should be of grave concern to Americans. With China's continuing statements that Taiwan is "part" of mainland China and the newly acquired capability to significantly impact our naval combat operations in the region, America's "resolve" should not be seen to waiver.
Russia is not a friend to the United States. President Putin has embarked upon a calculated course to reduce the power of the United States through the use of client states and "allies" such as China. China has its own desires in the Pacific region and bears watching closely.
Look for the proliferation of more sophisticated weapons systems and even nuclear technology from the Russian government in the near future. Though rogue nuclear states such as Iran and North Korea pose the greatest short term threat to this country, there are long-term adversaries out there possessing much greater resources. And, though the US has no imperialistic aims in the world, others do.
Vigilance is extremely important and we will never have very many friends in this world. We are, for all intents and purposes, family in this country. We can squabble among ourselves, but we should never do it in front of the neighbors. If we don't learn this soon, we may all be in serious trouble.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Hero Insurance:
Mr. Homnick, sorry. You're suggestion re upping individual paychecks to cover insurance premiums for Soldier Group Life Insurance is just too, logical, too efficient, too obvious. You can't expect our government to implement such a reasonable plan, can you? Sir, come back to reality. Our elected representatives will surely find another way to reward the families of fallen military heroes. A more expensive way? Certainly. A way they can ride to endless re-elections? Ah! Of course.
-- Tim Jones
Re: Julia Gorin's Found in Translation:
This was superb! Congratulations to Julia Gorin for cutting through the BS.
-- Mirjana Samardzija
Re: William Tucker's Tort Reform's Ground Zero:
Recently, President Bush went into "judicial hellhole" country to call for tort reform, which is designed to assure the lowering of medical malpractice insurance rates. Before making this claim, he should have noted what happened in Mississippi where five counties were listed on the American Tort Reform Association's "judicial hellhole" list.
After tort reform was effected in Mississippi, Dr. Keith Goodfellow said that skyrocketing malpractice rates are forcing him to give up part of his practice. I can't think he is the only Mississippi doctor to find that tort reformers' promises now have a hollow ring.
When Mississippi placed a cap on pain and suffering awards, it joined other states that have done so on the "medical malpractice victims' hellhole" list.
Medical malpractice creates victims. Then tort reformers seek to make them victims once more by denying them a basic constitutional right: that a jury decides what recompense for their injury is appropriate.
Tort reformers, who surely know better, persist in promoting California as their poster boy, who didn't have staying power. Doctors' premiums increased by 450 percent during the 13 years after medical liability caps in California were imposed and only declined after voters enacted comprehensive insurance industry reform and rate regulation of insurance companies, known as Proposition 103.
With appalling insensitivity, tort reformers, most notably the president, add insult to injury by referring to medical malpractice lawsuits as frivolous. That is outrageous. I am insulted on behalf of people dear to me whose lawsuits were not frivolous.
Obviously, Bush isn't going to stop promoting the myth of tort reform, but Congress should look beyond rhetoric and support the interests of victims of medical malpractice, not the interests of insurance companies and bad doctors who are the only beneficiaries of tort reform.
-- Jane Marshall
A LIBERTARIAN FOR LIFE
Re: slg's letter (under "Left Coast Ethics") in Reader Mail's Matters of Life:
"slg" seems to feel that he should have the right to choose his own death. I say, choose away slg. I mean, we don't have a jail term or the death penalty for suicide. I think that if a person chooses to die, let him/her have at it. I do, however, take issue with his patently ridiculous attack on what he called "legislating morality." If my memory serves me correctly, he wanted legislators to "stay out of [his] life." What absolute pap! What does he think laws against assault, murder, theft, rape, etc. are? OF COURSE WE CAN LEGISLATE MORALITY. In fact, most laws stem from our concept of morality. Being a libertarian (small "l") is fine, but be a logical one. Yes, we want as little government intrusion into our lives as possible. At the same time, we don't want to go back to the cave days when government not only did not intrude, but did not even exist. What happened to might makes right is civilization.
-- Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio
Re: The Prowler's Innocents Abroad:
I am so embarrassed that so many of my fellow Delawareans reelected Joe Biden last November. Six more years, I don't know if I can take it!!!
-- Ruth Ann