TOO MUCH VICE
Re: The Prowler’s Teleprompting Obama:
Joe’s already run for Vice President once. He lost. We don’t need re-tread liberal losers on the Republican Party’s ticket. But then again, McCain seems hell bent on shooting himself in the foot every time there’s a bit of daylight between him and his opponent, perhaps because he’s not a Republican at heart. Lieberman for Secretary of Health & Human Services, or the like, but not as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate! For God’s sake man, what are you thinking?
— Patrick Slamon
It will not be fine with this former Republican — now Conservative Independent! I was just starting to resign myself to voting for John McCain; but I can promise you I won’t be voting for him with a Democrat Vice Presidential candidate on his ticket.
What is John McCain thinking? Say he’s elected President and he dies…we would be left with a liberal Democrat for President. The wrinkled, old white dude’s judgment should be seriously questioned.
— Judy Beumler
Lieberman — that’s the ticket, all right. More like a suicide pact. Has everyone forgotten that Lieberman plighted his troth to Al Gore in the not too distant past? Of course, it turned out that Gore jilted him, but from August till November, we would still be treated to MSM analyses of Lieberman’s opportunism, as he clings to and continues to pledge his allegiance to the Democratic Party.
Running mate to Al Gore seems a hard thing to live down to me. Lieberman’s selection makes about as much sense as offering it to Hillary or Harry Reid as an olive branch.
— Diane Smith
In the past few days, we’ve read reports to the effect that Senator McCain is saying to himself, “Hmm… I wonder how it would go over if I picked a pro-abortion vice-president. Or perhaps a Democrat.”
These are all rumors, of course. But the problem here is that, given the nature of the man, they’re highly believable rumors. Until we know just whose name his flying fickle finger will land on, Republicans must brace themselves for McCain to actually choose Lieberman or Ridge.
Perhaps McCain is heeding wiser counsels in the party and the vox populi, saying to himself, “Wow! I guess I’d better not go there!” But the fact that he needs to be talked or shouted out of choosing Lieberman or Ridge is just mind-boggling. And if someone else’s better judgment prevails over him this time, you have to wonder what this guy will do next. Allen Drury himself could not have invented the 2008 Republican presidential campaign.
There once was a time, ‘way back in the 20th Century, when rumors of a GOP presidential candidate selecting an avowedly pro-abortion VP would have been summarily dealt with thusly — “Get real!” End of rumor. But the 20th century was a long time ago, I guess.
— Byron Keith
Despite being a conservative, I have no problem with a McCain-Lieberman ticket for one over-riding reason: conservatism is first and foremost about having moral principles. Without that foundation, conservatism is no better than the “politics first, country second,” ideology that informs modern-day liberalism. Joe Lieberman is one of the few politicians who puts the country ahead of his personal ambition.
Considering the current state of Congress, statesmanship — despite ideological differences — should be encouraged, not scorned.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
ONLY A DREAM IN RIO
Re: Nicole Russell’s Green with Hypocrisy:
Nicole nailed it. Absolutely.
Now, I’m no fan of the Republican wimpiness, the candidate, nor the present administration that Nancy, Harry, Barack and those other demented ones love to link with McCain (I’ll probably write-in Dr. Thomas Sowell’s name, John Bolton’s, or maybe my wife’s name; with a Ph.D. in Business, among other earned degrees and awards, she’s certainly more qualified than most!), but the bogus, opportunistic, sanctimonious and supercilious attitude(s) taken by the Democrats were so repugnant that they reminded me of last year’s July 7th fiasco called “Live Earth.”
Was strolling down Atlantica, past the Copacabana Palace in Rio, a lot of the construction for the PanAm Games was in the Leme neighborhood, but then there was this ridiculous stage, lighting, support tents and associated crap cluttering up the beach, all awaiting the concert that night. And, parked on the corner of Rua Fernando Mendes, 8, 9 or maybe even 10 shiny, gas-guzzling V-8 powered Mercedes-Benz limos, each sporting the highly impressive “Live Earth VIP” designation — not a Prius in sight! Imagine that.
Now, one or two? Uh, maybe. Perhaps. But aren’t these the presumed Carpooler types who’d do ‘most anything to save a gallon — or even a litre?
Sure, I snapped a couple pictures as proof, and got a nasty, nasty look from one of the nattily attired suits overseeing the (presumed) spectacle, while gnashing his teeth with appropriate angst — then went on my way, shaking my head at the gross hypocrisy Al Gore had wrought.
As to the music that night? Can’t say what happened there on the beach; after a stop at the Allegro Bistro on Ribeiro, caught some more great jazz/bossa-nova at the Vinicius Show Bar in Ipanema, right across the street from the site where Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes were inspired to write the fabled “Girl From Ipanema.” But, never fear, I walked the whole distance, not to Save any Planet, but ’cause walking’s terrific in Rio!
I’ve always believed that “the shortest path between two points is a straight line.” Having said that, while being fully committed to helping the DNCC’s party planners achieve a quicker pathway along the desired Green Brick Road at their Denver convention, I offer a simple suggestion: Rather than placing all the food vendors under a twenty-page-list of culinary restrictions for the serving p.c. approved munchies, all they’d really need do is park a truck-load of pre-pre-made tuna sandwiches out in Colorado’s noonday Sun (say) four or five days before the main buffet is served, and chances are better than 60/40 they’ll all be a politically correct hue of Al Gore Green by the time that first scoop of macaroni salad is served.
Hey, don’t thank me. I get the Food Channel on basic cable.
— Dave Starich
Elk Grove, California
THER OWN WORDS
Re: Robert VerBruggen’s Fast and Loose:
Original intent: Since Madison and Hamilton actually penned the document, what did they have to say about firearm ownership?
Hamilton, in a portion of one of his run-on sentences: “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of self-defense…”
To which Madison seconded, “The advantage of being armed, which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…form a barrier against the enterprises of ambition.”
Jefferson piled on, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves from tyranny in government.”
The Founders without exception knew the opinions of Burke very well. “To secure any degree of sobriety in the propositions made by the leaders in any public assembly, they ought to respect, in some degree perhaps to fear, those whom they conduct.”
The Left hates the true understanding of the 2nd amendment because they see themselves as absolute rulers, and an armed citizenry as a threat. It is.
It was Madison himself who appointed Joseph Story to the Supreme Court, and this is a man who also is very clear. “The right of the citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the paladin of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpations and arbitrary powers of the rulers; and will generally, even if they are not successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
Neither did the Founders ignore smaller concerns. John Adams, “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion…in private self-defense.”
Samuel Adams, “The Constitution shall never be construed…to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” The chains of the Left do not quite yet sit so lightly on us.
Lastly, for those who grasp at commas to re-interpret the Constitution:
From this single sentence of Hamilton, he of the offending comma, do tell us how many of these nine commas you would keep in your own contemporary correspondence. “Let us recollect, that peace or war, will not always be left to our options…to judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude, that the fiery and destructive passions of war, reign in the human breast, with much more powerful sway, than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and, that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate on the weaker springs of human character.”
We will keep the comma and our guns so that others may find their sobriety, respect, and fear. We already have those things.
— James Wilson
Mr. VerBruggen’s article is a perfect example of why attorneys should not be allowed to interpret laws in general and the Constitution in particular.
The Constitution of the United States of America, including the Bill of Rights, is probably the simplest, most clearly written set of legal instructions since the Ten Commandments. In the case of the Second Amendment, it reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Only an attorney could possibly argue that the word “people” referred to anyone other than the individual citizens of the United States of America. After all, the preamble begins, “We the People…”
The Constitution is not a legislative instrument. It is not law. It is, in point of fact, the source of law in the United States. It is a compact which defines, empowers and limits the federal government of the United States. The only mistake that the Founding Fathers made, with regard to the Constitution, was that they naively relied upon the members of the three branches to limit the encroachment of the federal government into the lives of the citizens of the individual states. As we have seen, the federal government has utilized extremely suspect decisions with regard to the Constitutional authorization for most of the federal laws passed in the last two hundred years, the use of the commerce clause of the Constitution leaps to mind. So to provide the ultimate check upon the powers of the federal government, they drafted the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
As I said, the meaning of this Amendment is a virtual no-brainer; except to an attorney.
— Michael Tobias
I have never been a believer in the collectivist position on the second amendment. I’ve never seen anyone else refer to my main objection. Maybe it is a bit too subtle for the legal mind to grasp.
It starts with historical context. Judge Posner mentions that our founders were a people who “feared standing armies.” They’d lived under an army of occupation for nearly two decades, after the French & Indian war. The American Revolution was a long and bloody struggle that finally was able to remove that army and restore the people’s freedom. We know, from the Federalist Papers, among other sources, that there was intense debate as to whether or not they ought to approve the new Constitution which many feared would create a dangerously strong central government.
Keeping this context in mind, we imagine the first session of the new congress. In ratifying the Constitution, several states have required a bill of rights, to help protect the people, from their government. Accordingly, the congress is working on these amendments. Does it really make sense that one of these high priority items was to ensure that weapons would be available to government forces? Has there ever been a people, at any time, in any country, who really felt it was necessary, to change their founding documents, to guarantee government weapons?
If your answer to these questions is “no” then the collectivist position does not pass the laugh test. If your answer is yes, then please take a look at what is going on in (the once and future Soviet) Georgia, and then reconsider your position.
— D. Stein
RE: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Dreams from My Brother:
Hopefully, Obama’s dear brother will be removed from that squalor post-haste. Certainly there must be an extra bedroom at the Obama household, or at least some room in the garage. Come to think of it, George could very well become a “permanent” guest in the Lincoln bedroom next year if all goes well in November.
If a plan exists to exhibit George at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, as Mr. Tyrrell suggests, I am confident that Mrs. Obama will see to it that he is bathed and given a good de-worming.
— Mark Santoro
Little wonder that Obama’s slipping in the polls. Dodging the question of when life begins with the archaic disclaimer “That’s above my pay grade” as he did at the Saddleback forum will have that effect. Apparently, if the answer to a question isn’t in his Teleprompter it doesn’t get answered, except by a glib evasion of the issue.
Bringing all seven of Obama’s half-brothers to the Democratic convention won’t compensate for that revealing gaffe.
— Stan Welli
The Peanut President had a popular brother, but unless Jimmy wanted a cold “Billy Beer,” the younger Carter was not of much help. Roger Clinton was good for a few giggles, but overall, no one voted for The Boy President because he liked the way Roger rocked out. George Hussein Onyango (also spelled Owango) Barack may not help his brother, but at least he won’t be an embarrassment.
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Re: Peter Ferrara’s Poverty and Welfare in America:
Sen. Obama’s citation to the biblical injunction “Whatever you do to the least of these you do unto me” is disingenuous at best, if not hypocritical. This man who lectures us votes to deny even the simplest of caring responses to a baby who survives an attempted abortion. I oppose Sen. Obama because he wants increased government programs, increased government spending, and increased taxes on the working middle class. The middle class is not provided mechanisms to shelter income available to the Kennedy’s and Kerry’s of the world — the W-2 salary is fair game for taxes and social insecurity “contributions,” and tax incentives phase-out with increased income. How’s that for fair?
— Carl Davis
Re: Philip Klein’s Learning to Care About Health Care:
Fantastic article on health care. This should be a must read for every American.
— J. Gedroic
I learn what the common understandings are from my very excellent daughter, who lives unprotected from the prevailing Left winds at a college campus.
She has personally learned that health care is horribly expensive, and very inconsistent indeed. We should therefore “do” something. I explain to her that care is very expensive because it is those very mandates of governments and lawyers which demand it; that solutions cannot be offered at the same level of awareness that created them. The one who killed his parents is protesting the status of an orphan.
And that there will never come a time when she may fail to discriminate in making choices under any system other than a nationalized one; only, in a nationalized one she will not only not get a choice, but there would be in any case no excellence to seek out.
It is an innoculation that lasts a few weeks.
— James Wilson
This is an absolutely fantastic article on healthcare and the free market. As with all things, less government regulation and more privatization are the solutions. Just study Galveston County’s private retirement plan, in lieu of Social Security. As an employer, I benefit from providing healthcare (pre-tax) for my employees, but not much. I would strongly prefer for them to benefit on a personal level, as well as to personally administer the plan. As you stated, conservatives need to get their heads out of the sand. Thank you for the ammunition to battle the growing Liberal war cries.
— John Hornsby
Consequences of nationalized health care:
Since the proposed extension of medical care is to “everyone in the United States,” it will suck in millions of additional illegal aliens, raising taxes even further.
Fewer excellent university students will seek to enter medical school. After all, why study to age 30 for the government wages and respect accorded a bureaucrat?
Pharmaceutical companies will curtail research and development, since lower profit margins will not justify enormous, speculative investment.
Medical tourism to other countries will flourish.
American life spans will shorten (though this will be welcomed by those who recall the private medical system).
Subsequent generations won’t notice the degradation of take-home pay or medical care.
Fait accompli: People of the Government, by the Government, and for the Government.
— David Govett
ALL THE COLORS
Re: Mark Tooley’s Over Here, Over There:
You’re going to be getting a lot of e-mails on this one. The Rainbow Division was not the 69th of movie fame. It was the 42nd Division. Their Chief of Staff was General Douglas MacArthur who gave it their nickname since the soldiers were from the National Guards of 26 states, “They arrived from across the nation like a rainbow.”
— Michael Skaggs
BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME
Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Overrated Obama:
Aside from the fact that Democrats everywhere claim that any criticism of Obama is racism, all of Obama’s pronouncements about every conceivable topic are vague and as useless as screen doors on a submarine. Even though the main stream media is reluctant to criticize. They are having trouble finding things from the mouth of the candidate that make even rudimentary sense. A man with no accomplishments, no work background, no military service, no common sense, and a healthy relationship with 60’s radicals who regret that they did not cause more destruction and kill more innocents than they did is not someone who inspires confidence. All this being said, I realize that this same main stream media and the rank and file of the party will march lockstep to the voting booths to cast ballots for him. I often wonder how liberals avoid recognizing the failures of communism and socialism that stare them in the face. Unfortunately, there are enough of these voters and media people to make Obama’s election an impending reality. The only good thing that will come of this is that the combination of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi will bury this country so deep in the muck of economic hard times that it will take the rest of the century to restore and reassemble the party if, indeed, that can be done at all. Yes, Hope and Change! We will hope we survive because we will have only change to spend.
— Joseph Baum
Re: RiShawn Biddle’s H-1B Education:
RiShawn Biddle’s story barely scratches the surface of the H-1B visa scandal. The focus of the H-1B visa program is the wholesale, permanent displacement of experienced American citizen technical professionals by “fresh (inexpensive and imported) young blood.” While the nation as a whole loses in this exchange, the economic elite are enriched. Millions of Americans have had their careers destroyed by this program, which the elites such as Bill Gates, III continually demand be expanded. The banker class has been driving this program since the passage of the 1976 “Eilberg Amendment.” My pair of articles provides considerably more background. The involvement of Microsoft lobbyist Jack Abramoff in this scandal is documented in the second article, which was published in January, 2008.
The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit, Fall 2007
Career Destruction Sites – What American colleges have become Spring 2005
Missing table regarding H-1B visa usage by NIH Grantees:
Organizations such as NumbersUSA, with about 700,000 members, provide free citizen activism tools to press for reform of this corrupt situation.
— Gene A. Nelson, Ph.D.
DOERS AND DO NOTSs
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Batman and Rush: Why McCain Will Win:
Having considered Mr. Lord’s cogent comments on Americans and their love for leaders who act from conviction I have this observation: there is a large difference between “thinking” and “searching for a thought.” People who act from conviction have already thought about their positions and are ready to act when called upon. Those who must “think” before answering usually have no conviction on the topic so must conjure one to fit the situation. Liberal “intellectuals” (John Kerry and Obama amongst them) try to make their positional waffles sound superior because they wish us to believe they are, somehow, better endowed intellectually and therefore must consider so many “nuances” before answering when, in fact, they are actually playing catch-up to the “doers” in the crowd.
— Kregg Miller
Re: Philip Klein’s McCain’s Finest Hour:
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS
How does one carry such an ego
In a mind and heart so small?
The only substance that can be seen
Are carbon footprints, after all.
Who is it above his pay grade?
Does he seriously mean the Almighty?
Would he have us believe the Creator
Has a morality so fragile and flighty?
Stay in the clouds, young Barry.
In the light air is where you belong.
To have you anywhere near the Oval Office
Would be wrong, so terribly wrong.
— Mimi Evans Winship
Re: Diane Smith’s letter (under “Clear Sailing”) in Reader Mail’s Memorable Reunions:
I had a second cousin, may she rest in peace, who lived out the last 50 years or so of her life in New Hampshire, next door to where I now live. I kind of think that it is a shame that Diane and my cousin never knew each other. They do seem to be soul mates in many ways. I always likened her to Katherine Hepburn, both for her red hair and her attitudes. I would love to hear what she would say about the Obamessiah. I think that, somehow, she would work in one of her favorite expressions. She would say that Obama looked like he had been sucking on a lemon. She seemed to save that description for really hypocritical elitists that were always telling others how to live their lives. She was not at all enthralled with the nanny state, and lived alone, taking care of herself in her own home until about the last 4 or 5 years, and passed on in her late 80s. I didn’t always agree with her, but I loved to get her started talking about the national politicians, and then just sit back and listen. Like me, she spent several decades in the Washington D.C. area, and was personally acquainted with many notable figures, both political and military, especially in the period of the 1930s and 1940s.
Diane, you have about a decade on me, but I consider that folks like us have a God given duty to keep the younger folks on their toes, and to keep bursting the balloons of the fools that think that they should tell us how to live out the remainder of our lives.
— Ken Shreve