END OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s How Very French:
R. Emmett Tyrrell is easily as indispensable to the conservative cause as anyone, not excluding Bill Buckley and Brent Bozell. "How Very French" is hilarious and accurate, and puts me in mind of National Review Online Editor Jonah Goldberg's description of the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys." Rock on, Mr. Tyrrell.
-- Jim Williams
San Antonio, TX
Your remarks regarding the French are very disturbing. How dare you make fun of the French and their cologne. If you bathed as often as the average Frenchman you would need you cologne as well. Vive la France and pass the can of Glade.
-- Ed Callahan
Would it be excessive for President Bush to recall our ambassadors to France and Germany for "consultations"? How about thereafter, declaring their ambassadors personas non grata? Or, would that be like using a baseball bat to swat flies?
-- Dick Lambert
Eagle Rock, VA
Re: Michael Craig's Half Asleep and Half Nelson:
Michael Craig suggest that Nelson Mandela might be a paid lobbyist for Qaddafi, Hussein, Arafat, and Castro. My intuition tells me that Boy Clinton might be writing the scripts for the old fool!
-- Jack Hughes
Regarding Michael Craig's anti-Arab, pro-war rant against Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter:
It is the sign of personal and cultural immaturity to think that those who are not for us are against. It is even the sign of immaturity to think that those who disagree are not deserving of respect when they choose to voice disagreement.
I state this to anyone in the United States who is for the war against Iraq: setting aside for the moment the hypocrisy of a government hell bent on going to war against an oil-rich country with minimal evidence of direct or indirect threat or connection to a threat against the United States, but too afraid to confront a very real nuclear threat by a dictator who is in fact ready to bring a region to war against an ally of ours,
If you want war so badly, go sign up and fight. Otherwise, you are a
coward and a hypocrite.
-- David Hester
TWO PARTIES, TWO AUTHORS
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's A Perfect Prescription for Disaster:
The authors have diagnosed the problem correctly (constant, inflexible opposition to anything the President does) but have assigned it to the wrong cause (the two-party system).
Our system of government was designed to make it difficult to do much; the Founding Fathers were deeply suspicious of a central government that could take away their hard-won freedoms. The real problem is political partisanship run amok; what some of them referred to as a spirit of excessive faction. The two-party system is a part of the problem since it only presents two choices; any third choice is irrelevant.
Mason & Fielder offer no solution to the problem they have described and present the scenario of someone needing medicine as an issue that the federal government must take over with no awareness that some of us might not agree.
The problem of excessive partisanship is one of character and organizational culture; it can best be dealt with at the ballot box by not voting for the candidates of a party that practices it. This may have played a part in making Tom Daschle Minority Leader of the Senate.
The two-party system is more problematic. One way would be to institute proportional voting for the House of Representatives while requiring Senators to win not just the popular vote but to carry a majority of the counties or legislative districts in a state to preclude a candidate winning by carrying a populous urban area while giving the shaft to the rural "fly-over" country.
-- Robert Murphy
Normally, I agree with Jackie Mason but his attack upon the two-party system as the reason we do not have subsidized prescriptions and low-cost housing is simply wrong. That is, unless you are socialist.
Mason's argument that the two-party system has "destroyed" any attempt to enact social programs and is, thus, a "hopeless case" is only true if you find socialism to be your government of choice. The failure to enact additional socialism is not a fault but a benefit of a two-party system. I do not want my politicians passing social legislation merely because we are the "richest country." Being the "richest" does not mean that you put your citizenry on the public dole. In fact, the prescription for disaster would be to further the socialist state, then when human nature gravitates towards the lowest common denominator, which it does in our fallen world (my apologies to the evolutionist who believes thing get better when controlled by chance and chaos), we would all be on the public dole. But, who pays the government when we are all taking from the government? Inevitably, we would no longer be the richest nation on Earth and Mason's argument too would fail.
Perhaps, I just missed Mason's comedic sense of sarcasm.
-- Steve Shaver
That Tom Daschle and a lot of his cohorts are very hypocritical people is beyond dispute. What is less obvious is what keeps them in office. Unlike most Republicans and Conservatives, Democrats are much more inclined to vote the party line and/or vote Democrat because that's the way we've always done it in our family. This thoughtless loyalty is something Democratic politicians can count on whether or not they have delivered for their constituents and their country.
-- Dick Melville
Ozone Park, NY
THE WAGES OF CNN
Re: Steve Hornbeck's This Is CNN:
I watched the Columbia coverage on CNN, I do not have access to Fox. The CNN coverage was driving my wife and I nuts because every time they would show one of the clips of the shuttle breaking up, the commentator would draw either a red X or white circles around the breaking up debris. We felt we were being treated like children, we could see the debris trails clearly without any help from CNN.
-- Alan Dippold
Ottawa Lake, MI
Thanks for the bit on CNN. It is hilarious, and I would say, has a few truths in it. After a news day like today, it is appreciated.
TECHNICAL NUKE OUT
Re: Jed Babbin's No Nukes Is Good Nukes:
I agree with what you have written. My worry at this time is with the convergence of the crises in Iraq and North Korea that what has come before will be small compared to what might be coming. The right thing may be dreadful indeed. If there is no conventional alternative to nuclear weapons to destroy Saddam Hussein's and Kim Jung Ill's WMD and their criminal regimes, President Bush may have to do it using the Bomb, many of them. There is no kind, gentile or nice way to do this.
To paraphrase Lincoln, the quiet answers of the peaceful past are inadequate to meet the stormy present. If it must be done then let it be done once and for all. There is no joy or glory in it. There are only two evils. The lesser is to act once and decisively. The greater is to do nothing at all, easy simple and disastrous for us. I hope I am wrong.
-- Dwight Newsom
Jed Babbin replies:
I don't think we need to cross the nuclear threshold unless all else fails, or we are attacked with WMD. I continue to believe that the war on terror is different from facing down Stalinists such as North Korea. If we play it right, and don't give them too many opportunities, we can out-wait them as we did the Soviets. The terrorists need to be attacked with conventional forces everywhere we find them.
But there are problems we need to plan for, and to invest in solutions now. The Columbia Space Shuttle -- at twenty-two years -- was only as old as the average Air Force fighter. Grandsons are now flying the same KC-135s that their granddads did. The B-52 will likely still be a key part of the bomber force when it gets to be eighty years old.
The Air Force is only representative of the other services. We need to make up for the shortfalls all around, and we have to do it now so that the R & D can take its usual time. People, systems, and plans need to be considered and paid for. Sad to say, but our priorities need to be adjusted, and money set aside to pay the bill.
FEELING HIS SUFFERING
Re: Paul Beston's President Job:
I, too, saw the pictures on Drudge and saw what can be done by stress and suffering. I sometimes write to the people who keep harping at him, the steady, relentless wave of negativity that is poured over him each day by the liberals, the bias, and the overall attitude of some Americans. I am not a person who generally notices the leaders of countries, but on 09/11, I became interested in the war, journalists and the work they do and then on to American politics.
I watched President Bush present all his speeches and the wonderful moment at ground zero when he yelled, "we hear you." That is the truth. He does hear them, he cares. When someone cares, and they are in pain, we see the results in a photo taken not that long after the first one, and can easily see what he is going through.
If he sends Americans to war, as I know he must, he will suffer. He will not tell the world he is suffering to show "how much of our pain he is feeling" but Mrs. Bush, who I think is as genuine as he is, will know, his family will know and his friends will know, and out in the world, there are people who will know and support him. We must not lose a man with standards, morals, leadership and a man who will give his strength to his country as best he can at all times. I pray for President Bush each night, I ask for him to be given strength and wisdom in his decisions.
From now on, after reading your column, I will ask for some laughter, some joy , and for many people to pray for him in the coming struggle.
As I said, I am not a person who has even been a fan of singers, movie stars and such, but after watching this man for eighteen months, I am a huge fan!
Thanks for your column. I was so pleased to read your thoughts about your president. It was wonderfully written, expressing the thoughts I have, but can not write about so beautifully.
-- Carole Graham
dual citizenship: American/Canadian
Re: The Washington Prowler's Biden His Time:
Would someone -- kindly or unkindly as you will -- tell Legend In His Own Mind Joe Biden that standards for U.S. President have not been lowered enough, as yet, to include him. (I hope William Jefferson Clinton and Al Gore aren't evidence that we may be getting there.) He would be the first hair transplanted President -- that's probably not the exact way to put it. I wonder if future politically correct generations of Americans would depict him in heroic statue from behind -- showing his transplanted strands failing to reach the back of his bare head -- as FDR is now shown in his wheelchair. I assume Larry David wouldn't support Biden; remember the "Curb the Enthusiasm" episode in which the brilliant but handicapped Chef -- he has Tourette's -- in Larry's new restaurant starts spewing profanities and the resourceful Larry saves the day when he joins in and then the customers catch the spirit and pretty soon f---s, c---s, s---s, and hundreds of other Anglo-Saxon obscenities were fouling the air just before the credits rolled. Larry had fired his first choice as chef when he discovered he lied about being proud of his baldness: he took off his toupee to be interviewed.
-- J.R. Wheatley
Harper Woods, MI
Re: Editor's note We're Number One:
Happy B'day. Greatly enjoy your site and look forward with trembling anticipation to your "new and improved" site.
La Luz, NM