TROUBLE IN GREEN BAY
Re: Ryan Young’s Decisions, Decisions:
Brett Favre’s retirement is starting to remind me of Bill Clinton’s retirement: How can we miss you if you won’t go away?
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
Fans can have it both ways, and as a Cowboys fan I can attest to that. In professional sports, fans usually “root for the laundry,” because the players change so often, especially in football. But for me as a Cowboys fan I have seen two all time great players leave Dallas to play elsewhere, and I have cheered them on even as I cheered my team.
I remember when Tony Dorsett was let go by Dallas and ended up playing for the Denver Broncos, and it killed me that “TD” had to go. But I understood that it was best for the team to let him go and start looking towards the future, because TD’s best days were behind him. It didn’t profit the team anything to hold onto him “for old time’s sake” when he wasn’t able to produce any longer.
And I remember when Emmitt Smith left the ‘Boys for Arizona; that one really hurt! This was the all time leading rusher in NFL history we’re talking about, and he was going to Arizona? But again, I stuck with my team and their decision because I could see that Emmitt could no longer get the job done on a consistent basis.
In both cases, I was hoping that the players would still have good years in their new homes, because I had grown so fond of them when they played for my Cowboys. But I could also not fault the Cowboys for parting ways with the players, because the Star is bigger than any individual player, and the players involved knew it.
And that is the difference in those situations and this one with the Packers and Favre; Favre has apparently decided that he is bigger than the organization. He has had them dancing to his tune for the last 3 years with his Hamlet act regarding his future, and after he retires he wants to come back… and basically demands that he be reinstated as the starter! This from a guy who in March told the world that he no longer had the desire to play football, and who after his hinting that he wanted to return then told the Packers that he was not interested in a return after all. He has called his GM a liar, has destroyed any trust between himself and the organization, and has done everything to create a media depiction if himself as victim.
That’s why, if I were a Green Bay fan it world be very hard for me to root for Favre in Green Bay or elsewhere. With his antics and constant public criticism of the team’s management, he is reinforcing the notion that he is bigger than the entire Packers organization and that it should bend to his will. That is the attitude of a spoiled child, not an attitude you want as the leader of your football team.
— Eric Edwards
(Cowboys Fan for Life)
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
I’m obviously a Packer fan living here in Green Bay. If I wasn’t, I’d probably have some serious problems in the workforce.
The Packers went though his shenanigans last year when he could not make up his mind if he wanted to play.
Favre should be traded especially to a cold weather team that does not have a dome. I don’t seem him being too successful with a new team, new playbook, new offensive line, and new receivers. The two cold weather games last year resulted in a terrible performance for Favre. And if Favre has to put the weight of the game on his shoulders, the interceptions just pile up.
He’s a great quarterback and he’ll always get his share of completed passes. But when he’s been in the same playbook for 18 years, can he really adjust?
— Dennis Campbell
Green Bay, Wisconsin
I have a question. If Favre comes back to a backup status will this stop his consecutive streak?
If so, this seems to give Packer management the whip hand.
Re: George Neumayr’s Boarding the Tomnibus:
Quick couple of questions on this one:
Why isn’t Coburn on anyone’s list of possible VP choices for McCain? These guys go together.
Is it too early to start talking Coburn 2012? While I totally agree with term limits in general, it’s just a shame that such a damned fine Senator and Congressman limits himself out of the game.
Here’s to you, Stevens. Wish we had more like you.
— Charles Campbell
George Neumayr, why is it that so many of your articles make me want to cry or to strike out in anger? “Boarding the Tomnibus” did it again.
There is a very old — and obviously very forgotten (in the Congress, at least) — rule that no bridge, building, or battleship should ever be named after a living person.
The “Ted Stevens Anchorage International Embarrassment” is not the first or only time this has happened. Next time, for goodness’ sake, wait ’til the honoree is dead and cannot embarrass further.
And never, NEVER, name anything after a U.S. Senator — alive or dead.
— A. C. Santore
Whether a Democrat or Republican, you can bet that the “Congressional Culture of Corruption Continues,” thanks, this time, to Senator Ted Stevens, Republican, Alaska. Senator Stevens was indicted on seven counts of failing to disclose having received more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO, Corporation, in exchange for funding, to include federal grants, and other aid.
Some may view the timing of the indictments as “curious,”since Senator Stevens must face a GOP primary on August 26. However, the number of indictments and nature of the crimes committed far outweigh the timing of the indictments.
It is clear that Congress cannot police itself. In the eyes of many, Congress is nothing less than an organized criminal cartel working out of Washington.
There is only one answer: establish an Independent Ethics Panel. This panel can neither be made up of current or past members of Congress nor can the current Congress be involved in its creation and staffing. The Panel cannot consist of Washington insiders or lawyers (this is an ethics panel dealing in right wrong, not a legal proceeding subject to the chicanery of lawyers).
Only a truly Independent Ethics Panel can work. Congress is broken. It needs to reform. This is a workable path to eliminating a 9% approval rating.
— Richard D. Brinkley
Re: Andrew Cline’s A Lot to be Sorry About:
Well, as long as they don’t deliver babies for free everything’s cool, Andrew.
— Jim Jackson
An apology is a meaningless gesture if not followed by action. In the Jewish tradition, repentance (teshuva) calls for more than words. The sinner is to recognize his sin, feel sincere remorse for the wrong doing, undo the damage and relieve the victim of the offense and resolve never to commit the sin again. For Christians, similar instruction apply, including, II Corinthians 7:10, “For the sorrow that is according to God worketh penance, steadfast unto salvation: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Or simply John 8:10, “Go forth and sin no more.” For Muslims, repentance, Taubah, calls for the cessation of the sinful act, regret and remorse, firm resolve not to return to the sin, and righting the wrong committed. Rep. Steve Cohen’s apology for slavery was blatantly self-serving, condescending and an insult to all American citizens, be they the posterity of the anti-bellum age or immigrants of later generations.
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester , New York
Allow me to add a few things to Mr. Cline’s excellent list of things for which our Congress should apologize.
The continued assault on personal liberty and American freedoms I’m not talking about the Patriot Act here (though, this act does go too far in some cases). No, I’m talking about increasing the power of the FCC and increasing the so called indecency fines levied against business who broadcast certain content. I’m talking about the continuing failure that is the War on Drugs, better described as the War on Personal Liberty. I call it thus because the government is not given the power to determine any substance as illegal, and because in execution our drug laws are used to imprison young men and women who have harmed no one, often not even themselves. It’s used to justify knockless warrants on the barest of evidence, the strip searching of students, the warrantless search of personal vehicles, and in my own personal experience, the treating of our citizens as criminals when they reenter the country after an overseas trip. I’m talking about the laws against gambling. I’m talking about support bans on public smoking, ‘unhealthy’ foods, and other things. I’m talking about the continuously raised subject of censorship under many names and guises, from both the right and the left.
Wasting our time and money with unconstitutional “hearings.”
Yes, I’m talking about the baseball steroid hearings. I’m talking about yet another hearing against oil company execs. I’m talking about the hearings about rap lyrics (no, I don’t like them either). I’m talking about all of those hearings dating back decades where our Congress went and stuck its collective nose into subjects over which it had no constitutional authority. This does not include the hearings on the Bush Justice department. While these hearings are carried out as obvious partisan activities, the Congress does have the right and responsibility to check Executive action.
Allowing the Dollar to tumble.
While this might be considered an Executive failure, the Constitution puts the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the Legislature. The Congress is charged with providing a stable currency and care of interstate commerce. The failing dollar is their fault, and they really ought to do something about it.
Neglecting the duties charged to you in the Constitution.
The failure to maintain interstate commerce by allowing transport infrastructure to fall into disrepair. The failure to secure our borders (covered in Mr. Cline’s excellent article, sorry for the repeat). The failure to review judges based on their knowledge and application of the Law and allowing dozens of Federal appointments to not be filled. The failure to properly fund and equip our soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors. The failure to update copyright and patent laws to keep up with changing technology. The failure to even debate on treaties negotiated in good faith by our Executive. The failure to provide consistent, clear, and implantable Energy policy so that Americans can continue to enjoy their freedoms and pursuits in the modern world.
Climate Change hysteria.
The largest reason that we cannot have a serious, fact and science based discussion on Global Warming is the continued insistence by certain lawmakers to refuse to allow such. Rather than getting their aides to seriously research the subject, it’s all become a question of how much power we’re going to lose to the government this time and how much of a wreck it will be to our already struggling economy.
Slanderous charges against our Men and Women in Uniform.
I’m looking at you, Murtha. Need I really say more?
In short, Congress is a failure. If it were up to me, each and every member of Congress would come under review, challenged with their voting record against the Constitution, and then impeached out of office if their voting record demonstrated any constancy against the list provided by Mr. Cline and myself.
— Charles Campbell
In reading about things that go on in the Capitol Building, I am often reminded of a distant cousin’s musing, “No American is safe while Congress is in session” (Will Rogers)
— Jeff Cook
THE SOUL OF A CONSERVATIVE
Re: Quin Hillyer’s Do We Have a Prayer?:
The reason why so many are surprised by the “unsecularity of the American public”is that secularization of society has been the confident prediction by intellectuals and “free spirits”since the end the 19th century. They freed themselves from the shackles of religion and it would be only a matter of time that everyone else would do the same. Even if a God did exist, He wasn’t supposed to matter that much. He certainly doesn’t care and He definitely doesn’t talk to anybody.
When it comes to the issue of prayer, many who do not believe make what they think is a decisive question: “If your God is supposed to be so loving and compassionate, why doesn’t He heal everyone?” Surely this is a question whose answer is hidden by the left hand of God — that is that side of God He does not reveal to us. But there is a partial answer.
The question “Why doesn’t God heal everyone has it all backwards.”The real question is: “why does divine healing happen at all?”Readers who study the Scriptures will note that the miracles and healings are less about the healed and more about our Lord and the world to come. These are glimpses of the promised Kingdom of God that the faithful keep and contemplate them in their hearts praying “Even so, Come Lord Jesus.”
— Mike Dooley
I continue to appreciate the genius of our Founders, particularly where they had to deal with sectarian differences. Tony Snow was a Catholic, Brit Hume is an Episcopalian. Millions of conservatives ascribe to different churches, denominations and creeds. Yet, we’re all conservatives who believe in free market capitalism, private property, small government, low taxation, and personal freedom.
Although as John Quincy Adams wrote: Our Constitution is written for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other,” even non-religious people benefit and prosper in our republic, and have for two centuries.
The idea of separating religion and politics allowed us to avoid the sectarian conflict that raged in Europe. A politically conservative Baptist is highly unlikely to attempt to use government to require Pentecostals to stop clapping, put down their hands, and stop speaking in tongues. Likewise, Pentecostals wouldn’t try to impose their ideas about the Sabbath on Seventh Day Adventists. None of us should have any qualms about voting for people of different faiths. What matters is the candidates’ views on governance and the Constitution.
We conservatives are Americans. We can pray together, and we can pray for one another — and do so unashamedly.
It’s no wonder liberals chafe over the “unsecularity” of conservative America. But then, liberals aren’t really Americans. If they were, they’d be conservatives–regardless of what faith, or faithlessness, they ascribe to.
— Robert McClain
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
I have always felt that the biggest privilege a Christian Believer has is to be right in the middle of answered prayer!!! And the privilege of being able to pray for an individual, even if God’s answer to the prayer is not what we believed the best outcome, is no less powerful. For God gives comfort and sends graces we cannot imagine. And as a Chrisitan author has written, God either brings us through the event unscathed, or He carries us through the event in His arms with Heaven awaiting. And I could write volumes about the answers of NO! to some of my prayers and I am increasingly thankful for the times God did answer NO, for He knew the best for me and He has never failed me.
I find great comfort in prayer. It has always been so. A child born at the beginning of the ’50s drought in Texas, my heart returns to the time when big men knelt in the living room of our home and in church and prayed for rain. I noticed, even at that early age, that they also thanked God for the provisions He had given that week and prayed that if rain wasn’t in His plan for the coming week would He please give them the grace and comfort and provision to make it another week. And none of those ranchers that I knew that prayed lost their ranches during that 8-year period of hard drought.
My mother taught me at her knee to lift my voice to God, not in written prayers but taught me to pray from my heart. A child’s simplicity is lovely to hear, as I listen to my grandchildren pray now. At my home they fold those hands and lift those voices as I once did at that age. And the things they remember to pray bring tears to my eyes. From God bless and care for Uncle Ben at war, to asking God to let us have rain and cooler weather and to see more butterflies and hummingbirds in our garden. One even thanked God for getting to watch the hummingbirds fuss and fight.
The privilege of prayer has saved my life on several occasions. During the early days of the Internet (invented by Al Gore) I was once injured terribly in a car accident (1991). Prayers were lifted for me in short order, thanks to the Internet, and soon folks from England and Germany and two churches in South Korea, were praying for a woman they had never met. This is the power of prayer, that we can cover the globe knowing no time and no distance and knowing God will incline His ear and listen to His children. Even my dear son-in-law developed, in part as a Christmas gift to me, a site to list prayers and have individuals pray for you from all over the world. It is called Faithmap.com
So, this day I pray, Lord bless my son and my country and those who fight to keep me free, and Lord please confuse the enemies here at home and abroad, that would desire to possess those things we hold dear. And Lord, may those that be for us be more than those against us!
Blessings this day from an East Texas Rancher,
— Bev Gunn
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Captain McCain:
Mr. Tyrell’s “Captain McCain” was typically informative and insightful, but was also quite lengthy and as such I could not respond as quickly as I would have liked. This proved fortunate, because Daniel Henninger in his Wonder Land column in the July 31st Wall Street Journal put my thoughts into words better than I could: Every time I see myself coming to terms with Mr. McCain’s shortcomings as a conservative he does or says something to renew my doubts. I need not repeat Mr. Henninger’s description of the senator’s harebrained statements about Pelosi, Gore, and social security taxes, but his recent remark that Wall Street is the “villain” that caused the sub-prime mortgage problems warrants a personal response. I work on Wall Street, and I’m weary of self-righteous people like him who believe they’re better than rest of us because they are in “public service,” while we merely toil in private industry to earn a living. Is he so obtuse that he can’t see that we pay the taxes that enable him and his ilk to indulge their oh-so noble mission of government service, free from having to compete for and hold a job in the dreaded private sector? In this way Senator McCain is no different from elitists like Barack and Michelle Obama with their hectoring of young people to go into government instead of the corporate world because the former is in their opinion so much more laudable.
Only in the most abstract sense does government produce anything. Concretely, it produces nothing. It doesn’t make the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the homes that shelter us, or the cars and airplanes that move us. The government does not invest the hard-earned money that will pay for college or retirement. It does not provide the capital to start businesses that create jobs. Nor does government produce the income that pays the taxes that it collects through the buying and selling of goods and services produced by companies and individuals. This does not mean that government does not do some important things. On the contrary, it ensures the national security that makes all these other productive activities possible. But even the military, deservedly the most respected and indispensable government agency, produces nothing in an economic sense (and I say this as a retired career military man and Desert Storm veteran, of which I am most proud). Indeed, there would be no military to speak of without the taxes paid by the producing sector of society that buys the weapons and pays the war fighters. Why is this so hard for Senator McCain to understand?
Mr. Henninger asked the question, “Is John McCain Stupid?” It’s a shame that it had to be asked.
— Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
I respect you as a conservative, but you sure have missed the boat with John McCain. Having McCain in the Whitehouse would be far more damaging to the Republicans than Obama. Why just yesterday good old John was singing the praises of Nancy Pelosi; I almost puked. At least with Obama in the White House, the few remaining feckless Republicans can vote against his initiatives. With McCain in the White House, he’ll twist the arms of the Republicans to pass his global warming nonsense legislation that is no different from Obama’s, and press his open borders agenda.
My question to John McCain is, when is he going to start reaching across the aisle to his own party?
— William Schmidt
Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Live by the Poll, Die by the Poll:
Politics may be my avocation, but economics is my livelihood, so I think I’m on solid ground when I challenge your correspondents’ belief that a small sample of 1,000 or so yields no statistically valid results.
That is incorrect. Although it might appear counterintuitive, a sample of 1000 will yield very reliable results. Furthermore, the statistical significance of the result depends only on the size of the sample. Thus a sample of 1000 yields the same accuracy whether the population is 10,000 or 1,000,000.
Of course, the trick is to make the sample as random as possible, or at least stratified accordingly to known characteristics. In that regard, sadly, most current polling falls far short.
— Howard Hirsch
Chairman, Lyon County Republican Central Committee
Robert Stacy McCain replies:
Thanks for writing, Mr. Hirsch, and you are most certainly correct.
People who dispute the fundamental premise of polling — the random sample as a representation of public opinion — don’t know what they’re talking about. There are real controversies about polling, disputed among pollsters themselves, but the sampling principle is not one of them.
As to the shortcomings of current polling, the real question is: Are people who answer the phone and agree to participate in polls truly representative of the voting population? Talk to pollsters, and you will find deep worries about the rising “refusal rate” in recent years. What are the opinions of those people who answer the phone and tell pollsters to go straight to hell? Do the go-to-hell types differ fundamentally in their political views from the people who eagerly and pleasantly spend five or 10 minutes participating in the survey? One would suspect so, but no one has yet quantified that difference and come up with a factor to account for it.
The biggest caveat about early polls is the very high percentage of respondents stating a preference — higher, as mentioned in my article, than the eventual turnout. Combine that with Democrats’ traditional advantage in early polls, and it is hard to avoid the conclusion that many people who tell pollsters in July they’ll vote Democrat don’t actually show up on Election Day. In other words, the Democratic Party’s natural constituency includes a lot of liars who are too lazy even to vote.
You probably always suspected this to be the case, but now you see the scientific proof — in polling data!
NOT TAKEN LIGHTLY
Re: Mike Roush’s letter (under “Goldberg Would Be Upset”) in Reader Mail’s Do the Math:
Must be wearying to watch every word uttered or printed, looking for the ulterior motive/real meaning. What was Dashiell Hammett’s motive in naming his detective Sam Spade? Why does a white guy, an actor at that, go by the name of David Spade when he could choose any name he wanted. How about that ambassador named Negroponte? Oh, I know he pronounced it Nay-gro…but we know what it means…
I am glad Mike was not around about 35 years ago when I was skimming the pool and discovered a crime scene in the adjacent fish pond. I had 17 huge koi. They were a beautiful sight swimming languidly in circles, their colorful bodies sparkling with water in the sunlight. Ah, but one moonlit night, along came a hungry raccoon and cleaned out our pond. I am from Texas where raccoons are called coons… (Davey Crokett wore a coonskin cap — not a raccoon skin one) I know it is also (or was) used derogatorily in reference to blacks — although I cannot see why. Check out a raccoon, you’ll have to agree. I know why a red-neck is called a red-neck. Because he labors in the sun and gets sunburned. Howard Dean thinks it means of low social order and uneducated. I don’t know why Cajuns in Louisiana sport bumper stickers that read “Proud to Be a Coon-Ass” but they do. That might be something Roush should look into. Cajun, for Mr. Roush’s edification, is Cajun for Acadian.
Anyhow, we caught the rascally coon in a big box trap, where he sat, snarling all day. I called SPCA. When the door bell rang I opened the door to an imposing forest ranger looking black man wearing leather gauntlet gloves and carrying a pole with a locking snap device on the end. I was so relieved I burbled “You must be here for the coon.” If he was taken aback by the remark, he did not indicate it. I did not apologize for having used the word, as it would have only given an unintended meaning to what I did not intend. He expertly retrieved the distraught animal and dragged him to his truck. I thanked him and gave him a contribution check for the SPCA. Had Mike Roush been there, he could have taken umbrage at my condescendingly calling a raccoon a coon in the presence of a black gentleman.
We can call an appaloosa mare an “appy” or a Labrador retriever a Lab but we can’t call a raccoon a coon or a spade a spade, apparently. Perhaps Mr. Roush can search his archives of offensive terms and tell me if a black woman referring to a white woman as “Miss Anne” is complimentary. It was universally used in the late sixties. Didn’t matter what your name was, you were referrred to as “Miss Anne” by newly integrated young black women in the workplace when chatting among themselves, annoyed that “Miss Anne” had told them you can’t file Boeing parts catalog pages in a DC-10 parts catalog. But that was when honky was the term of endearment, too.
Sticks and stones…Mr. Roush. This is beginning to remind me of the offensive “black hole” remark at a Dallas council meeting, recently. Obviously none had ever heard of the pesthole jail called the Black Hole of Calcutta, from whence no one ever emerged. ‘Ere long we will ethnically cleanse our vocabularies along the lines of the book-burning in Germany and live sappily ever after. Oh, except for Obama supporter, “Ludicrus”. He can say or rap whatever he pleases. Artistic license, y’know.
— Diane Smith
I know Mr. Shreve needs no one to defend him because he is quite capable of that himself. I just wanted to pass along some information about the term “to call a spade a spade.” You can find it here:
It seems the phrase is quite old:
“The phrase was introduced to English in 1542 in Nicolas Udall’s translation of Erasmus, Apophthegmes, that is to saie, prompte saiynges. First gathered by Erasmus:
“Philippus aunswered, that the Macedonians wer feloes of no fyne witte in their termes but altogether grosse, clubbyshe, and rusticall, as they whiche had not the witte to calle a spade by any other name then a spade.”
I find it quite amusing that only those on the left could possibly find it offensive, but then they are consumed with identity politics and political correctness. In reference to Mr. Shreve’s point about calling “socialists” “socialists,” Mr. Roush says the new term is “liberal fascism.” (Thank you, Jonah Goldberg.)
Which is exactly the point — political correctness, to call a spade a spade, is liberal fascism writ large. Thanks for illustrating that so clearly. Oops, how dare I use that forbidden phrase.
— Deborah Durkee
Is this supposed to indicate that Mr. Shreve is a closet racist or something: “Call a spade a spade when it comes to Obama.” Marvelous turn of phrase, Mr. Shreve.” Well I would like to inform you that I am a proud African American conservative, and my little blog (found at: https://flagwaver.blogtownhall.com/default.aspx) is named “Calling a Spade a Spade!” So I wonder if that “Marvelous turn of phrase”, which only means telling the unvarnished truth about something (in case you didn’t know), means that I am also a closeted racist? And when did this particular phrase go into “The Big Book of Naughty Words and Phrases” that liberals love to refer to whenever blacks and whites disagree?
— Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
KANSAS IN AUGUST
Re: Peter Ferrara’s What Kansas Knows:
A late word on Ferrara’s “What Kansas Knows”:
Great points on the decomposition of the Democrats, but this belief that the party still stands up for the “little guy” is fiction.
The Dems are now a party of snobs and elitists who can’t stand the working folk. Blue collars are fine election season props. Behind the mansion gates, however, as Obama showed us earlier this year, the regular folks are viewed with disrespect if not outright disgust. In fact, that may be the actual point of Frank’s Kansas.
Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake.” Queen Pelosi would say “High gas prices? Let ’em ride bicycles.”
— Gary H. Cape
Delta County, Colorado
RELENTS ON WILENTZ
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Reading History this Summer:
From looking the book over in the bookstore, I couldn’t tell whether Sean Wilentz’s The Age of Reagan was positive or negative, objective or partisan, about Reagan’s contributions to the United States. I suppose it may be worth a look, after all.
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida