SPEND, SPEND, SPEND
Re: G. Tracy Mehan Of Rachmaninof and Economics:
Oh, ye of little faith! We Americans can spend our way to prosperity. And if we fail to do so, it will be because we haven’t spent enough.
— David Govett
BUT THAT’S NOT SAYING MUCH
Re: Philip Klein’s The 9/11 Presidency:
I was embarrassed for Mr. Klein to read the following statement in his essay “The 9/11 Presidency.”
“Whatever criticisms can be made about President Bush — and there are plenty of valid ones — it must be said that he prevented another terrorist attack on American soil, which became the focus of his presidency since Sept. 11.”
It is true that there have apparently been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11, but to assert that it is because Mr. Bush “prevented” them is embarrassing to read. It is embarrassing because we cannot know if that statement is true, it implies only Mr. Bush acted on this issue, and because it is probably very misleading in many respects… and perhaps even substantively inaccurate.
(1) The statement is simply impossible to prove — no one can know whether any actions he may have taken or may not have taken reduced (or increased) the likelihood of such attacks … and there is good reason to suspect many of his actions (if they were his actions) actually increased the likelihood of future attacks on American soil,
(2) obviously there are hundreds of thousands of Americans and non-Americans who worked together to reduce the likelihood of such attacks. Mr. Bush is only one person among many who had a role to play, and whether or not he played a positive role in this matter is open to very serious questioning,
(3) if we wish to speculate about what he did that may have had some impact on terrorist actions, his decision (if it was his) to invade Iraq paired with his decision (if it was his) to do so with clearly insufficient troops against compelling advice he had received about the need for about twice the number of troops his administration committed to the action combined with his decision (if it was his decision) not to concentrate on seeking out and destroying Al-Qaeda and continuing the progress in rebuilding Afghanistan rather than attacking Iraq almost certainly greatly increased the number of attacks against Americans (and many others) outside the United States, and
(4) those actions have very likely increased the likelihood of future attacks from a still active Al-Qaeda and perhaps others who have become enemies of America because of his decisions (if they were his decisions).
To ignore Mr. Bush’s contributions to the creating of such destruction and to the loss of American and many more other lives because those tragedies occurred outside of America’s borders, and to ignore the future problems for which the seeds have been sown (if he did make decisions that contributed to those events and problems) is bizarre and surely unworthy of a person of Mr. Klein’s intellect and, I am sure, caring for others.
— James A.F. Stoner
WAR ON VOINOVICH
Re: Enemy Central’s Private Diplomacy:
A former employer of mine, in a moment of candor referred to a seasoned but slovenly co-worker I managed as “body.” “We hire thinking that we are getting an asset. But sometimes,” he said, “you just pile up bodies.”
Voinovich, Snowe, McCain, Graham-nesty are all bodies that give the Republicans some semblance of a senatorial headcount…nothing more. These guys are hogging the left-lane, blocking faster moving traffic. Like the mini-van you cannot see around when stuck in a jam, these bodies just take up space, go through some motions and call it a day. Perhaps a chance at golf with some semi-celeb will make it a week.
— P. Aaron Jones
ONCE A CHEESE-EATING SURRENDER MONKEY
Re: Joseph A. Harriss’s Burger’s Revenge:
Yes things were great in the “old France,” chiefs doing their magic in the kitchens and serving up the foods that made France, well, France. Americans raved about the food UNTIL they visited the chiefs in the kitchens then they took one look at the hygiene (more like total lack) of the chiefs cooking the food or just a passing glance at what was under their oh-so-sophisticated food preparers finger nails and ran for their lives…
— Craig Sarver
Re: Ira Kessel’s letter (under “Member of the Machine, and Proud”) in Reader Mail’s Teenage Wasteland:
I make no claims on how others should live their lives. I am not an absolutist by any measure. I live and work in the real world where compromise is the rule rather than the exception. I merely pointed out that you claim to be a libertarian while living the life of a liberal Democrat. Nothing more. I think the central tenets of modern day libertarians are grossly at odds with being a member of a collective and letting it make decisions about your well being. Karl Marx was a big fan of absolutes and thought the human condition could be perfected (through force). The root wood in Communism is essentially the same word that binds a Union today. Intimidation and extortion are never legitimate in a free society. Let’s let those harmed by strikes sue the Union and its members for damages and see how that flies with regard to “self interest.” When is the last time you saw a business perform a “lockout” with regard to the number of Union strikes that occur every year?
You speak of “balance” like we still live and work in the hay days of the industrial revolution and sweat shops of the early twentieth century. Nothing could be further from the truth today. The bulk of exported manufacturing jobs were union based. The union based Big Three are going bankrupt, not the non union competitors that happened to pay the same hourly rate the union members get at the Big Three. Public sector unions all over the country, but especially in Democrat controlled states, are bankrupting their state governments, and this is your idea of “balance” to the excesses of capitalism?
You responded to Chuck in your defense of unions with a phrase that started off with “Ideally,” and then how the world should work under perfect conditions. There are 6.7 billion concepts of what an “ideal” world is like on this planet but only one real world. In the real world there is action and consequence. The long term consequences of unionized labor are mediocrity and a slow and destructive decline of the businesses or functions they control. The evidence of this is heaped miles high for all to see in the states where unions rule. Those of us in the real world that have to compete on an individual basis day in and day out and meet deliverable objective standards figured this out a long time ago. That’s called Capitalism. Unions aren’t about capitalism in any sense of the word.
Ira, your choices are yours and hopefully will always be yours but please stop calling yourself a “libertarian” and living the life of a liberal Democrat. We are what we do not what we say we are.
— Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia
SLAVERY AT MSNBC
Like George Washington, Obama is a first, the first black president…at least since Bill Clinton. As taught in modern textbooks, Washington was not great because he had slaves. Obama’s slaves are called the media, so maybe slaves aren’t that bad. They won’t, however, have to wait years to be emancipated by a Lincoln, because the man from the Land of Lincoln is already Lincolnesque. He rode a train, just like Abe. Someone get a fainting couch and a glass of Vichey for Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Putting Calvin Coolidge’s economy of words to shame, Obama spends entire speeches saying nothing. This proves the superiority of a Democrat. Besides, nobody is comparing Obama to the also-rans like Silent Cal, who never hit a three pointer.
Ready to solve the Hoover/Bush Depression à la FDR, Obama is looking to do it in less than the eight years or so it took FDR, and without the exclamation point of a world war at the end. And to think this will all be done in the chic haute couture of JFK. From that stylish UN powder blue and white Office of the President Elect logo, to Michelle’s red and black, uh, creation, we return to Camelot.
As the bone chilling climate change days of Martin Luther King Month give way to arctic Black History Month, I propose we change the mid-February shopping spree/ski weekend to Barack Obama Day. In the spirit of political correctness, I’d also like to change the name of the Happy Federal Holiday between Chanukah and Kwanza to Ronald Reagan Day. Anyone else remember him?
— Robert Yatto
SONG OF ROLAND
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Burris in the Saddle:
I am a conservative Constitutionalist Republican. However, to the new liberal senator from Illinois, I say, “Way To Go!” for facing down “the big boys” (Reid, et al). It was long overdue. He called their bluff and they folded. Let’s see some poker playing like that from the GOP!
— Michael Skaggs