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The Outsider Insider
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WAFFLE KING
Re: George Neumayr’s Flip-Flapping:

It is very sad to think that any American would for even a moment consider voting for this Flim-Flam man, let alone that this political Mordecai Jones might triumph and occupy the Oval Office. George C. Scott must be spinning in his grave. Ahmadinejad is right — get ready for a world without America. Iranian nukes not required, however — we will destroy ourselves.
Kent Lyon
College Station, Texas

The Boy President had triangulation. Now Obama wants to play “three card Monte.” Sadly, the American public is mostly playing along.
Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

This is the man terrorist-appeaser Bruce Bartlett thinks will make a good President? Obamacons are unprincipled in claiming to be conservatives while supporting the most left wing Presidential candidate in U.S. history. One would like to blame it on their naivete, but since they claim intellectual and moral superiority over neo-cons, evangelicals and traditional conservatives they must know the man they’re backing — a crass Democrat pol committed to appeasing international despots, undermining national defense, throttling free trade, raising taxes, socializing medicine, increasing abortions, escalating government spending, expanding the welfare state, and while limiting First and Second Amendment rights for Americans ensuring them for terrorists and illegal aliens. All this with an ego only Leni Riefenstahl could choreograph.
Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Would it be all right to call him an “Obamination”? His deliberate and misleading flip-flops are making me dizzy.
Dolores Teus

This may be an open-ended question, but what do Liberals want?
Pierce Barnard

A POLITICIAN IN FULL
Re: Jennifer Rubin’s The Obama Economy:

Ms. Rubin has an interesting analysis of what each candidate will need in order to topple the other. I am keeping a hard copy file of all, as they are all interesting and each has a different spin.

When I was a little girl our family followed horse racing. I could read a racing form and know what it meant. As a child I stood by, listening while my elders spoke with “touts,” each describing what he knew about a given horse that “no one else knew.” Weather and the condition of track was always a factor. Horses that were antsy in the starting gate were unpredictable. Some horses couldn’t stand a rail position. I thought I knew as much as any racetrack tout — and I probably did: zero.

However, Obama recalls a name to me that was never a winner. If a horse was said to have “early foot” that meant he was not a stretch runner, that he made a good show breaking out of the gate and when he saw a few horses coming up, he quit.

Let’s hope that John McCain is a “mudder” because I imagine by September he will have plenty of Demo-mud to run in. A good mudder on a sloppy track can out-run a Derby winner, accustomed to dry track. They are all probably running on astro turf, these days, though and mud is not a factor. Which probably accounts for a lot of injuries, too.

My recollections are of quarter horse racing in Texas, Louisiana and Ruidoso Downs. In Louisiana, instead of “They’re off!” the cajun announcer would shout “Ils sont partees!” (sp?) I loved that. I never saw a thoroughbred race (and I won’t be seeing one in November!) until I moved to California where Del Mar was just down the road . That was probably the first time I ever saw a race that was not fixed, too. Louisiana was not known for keeping it the Sport of Kings.

Horse race or crap shoot, let’s get it over with.
Diane Smith

“How successful McCain is in bursting the bubble of the new and improved Obama will, in large part, determine who wins the election.” Are you kidding? We’ll be lucky if McCain doesn’t vote for Obama to show how fair-minded he is, and then get all disappointed when that simple, barefoot Chicago politician doesn’t return the favor. Study up on your Marxist dialectic, folks, and your Sharia law, too. It’s gonna be a long four years. Maybe more…
Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

Obama is showing he is just another politician, trying to be all things to all people. Like Bill Clinton before him, you won’t know what you’re going to get until after January 20, 2009. He will obviously disappoint many people, the question is who?
B. W. Peek

TAXMAN, ENEMY OF THE POOR
Re: Peter Ferrara’s Economic Growth and the Working Class:

Back in the early ’90s, a question was posed to several panelists on a TV show: if an economic policy unquestionably benefited everyone, but disproportionately benefited richer Americans, would you be for or against it? Everyone one of the panelists on the left side of the spectrum voted thumbs down.

For dedicated leftists, there is no such thing as prosperity for all. There is only “fairness.”
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Ah… Taxes! Mr. Ferrara makes a good point near the end when he says, “States without an income tax have higher economic growth, and higher growth in jobs, wages, and incomes.” Yet he doesn’t make one point that he should. The Republican Party should adopt as part of its party platform to pass some version of the Fair Tax initiative and present a constitutional amendment to abolish the income tax. Mr. Ferrara has just presented the single most effective argument for this. States without an income tax are booming in growth. Even the housing market down here around Austin is doing pretty well, as is the market around Nashville (two places that I know). There might just be a reason for this.

For those of you not familiar with the Fair Tax, it completely removes the taxes on capital and income and replaces these with a single sales tax coupled with a monthly “prebate” to fund the cost of that tax up to the Federal poverty line. Now, just imagine the amount of capital that would come pouring into this country after it was turned into the biggest tax haven in the world.

Do you think anyone would be serious when talking about China catching up to us?

Surveys of domestic and foreign company leaders suggest that not only would domestic companies create more jobs here in the U.S., many foreign companies would relocate their headquarters to these wonderful shores. Now that is change we can believe in. (sorry, couldn’t help it)
Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

Peter Ferrara did an outstanding job of exposing the fallacies in socialist thinking. Peter also shows how easily the left can intimidate weak-minded conservatives with just a little tough talk and bad statistics.

I would like to add a few points to his argument. I think it’s easily shown that immigration has had little effect on the wages of middle and lower class Americans. A simple plot of average wages from the Bureau of Labor shows that average real wages (adjusted for inflation) declined from 1973 to about 1991, rose until 2000, and then remained flat. Average wages actually rose during the 90’s when we witnessed a huge influx of immigrants. What can explain the pattern in average wages? Inflation. Nixon took the US dollar off the gold standard in 1971. Immediately afterwards the prices of all commodities took off like rockets. It took the Federal Reserve until about 1990 to really tame inflation. The decade of the ’90s witnessed relatively low inflation and high productivity growth. Since 2000, inflation has returned and productivity flattened.

Inflation hurts the middle and lower classes in two ways. 1) Wages rise more slowly than prices, so average real wages fall during periods of high inflation. 2) Inflation erodes the savings of businesses and investors, leaving less for businesses to invest in new equipment. Productivity growth requires new equipment. Wage increases require productivity growth. So inflation reduces wage increases. Real wages will resume their ascent when the Fed returns to its senses.

Finally, when the Fed pumps vast volumes of money into the economy, as it has done since 2001, a large portion of the new money goes into assets like housing. This drives up the price of housing, makes it less possible for low and middle class Americans to afford, and consequently lowers their standard of living.
Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

LONE STAR COMMUNITY
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Like a Good Neighbor:

And all you people in the other 49 thought ” Don’t Mess With Texas” was just a slogan on a garbage bag.
Oldguy

Shortly after I moved to Texas last year, the state passed an improved Castle Law. This law allows for anyone to be protected from legal and civil trial when they use aggravated or deadly force against another under a few conditions. In sum, these are if the actor is defending himself or another and is not committing a crime at time of action. The law’s details even include the use of such force to stop imminent robbery as long as the actor has right to be there and the actor isn’t engaged in criminal activity.

It might be a stretch to say that Mr. Horn had right to be on his neighbor’s property, but I’m sure that as he was acting to stop a robbery in progress… the home owner will not object. The real injustice here is that the Texas attorney had the audacity to bring charges against this man in the first place. Which just goes to show that we have a criminal government. Though Mr. Homnick doesn’t tell us, I’m willing to bet that the responding officer didn’t even attempt to arrest Mr. Horn.

And I was just starting to like this state…

But Mr. Horn, you’re welcome in my neighborhood. Anytime. America needs more neighbors like you.
Charles Campbell
Austin, Texas

It’s nice to see that crime is getting to be a high risk line of work in other venues.

It certainly is a risky profession in East Tennessee, where I live.

If the story of Joe Horn story doesn’t make you feel good all over, you have a heart of stone.
Chris Hall
Knoxville, Tennessee

INDEPENDENCE DAY HIJACKED
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Independence Forever!:

Well, the July 4th night showing of 1776 on TCM was impossible for me — I work nights — so I dug out my own DVD copy and watched that earlier in the day. I enjoyed it so much — I found the end so emotionally affecting I was in tears — that I watched it, in starts and stops, twice more over the weekend.

I wish the powers-that-be would show 1776 all day long on July 4th. Instead, they served up Independence Day on 24-hour marathon duty — even though it has nothing to do with independence or the day.
Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

NOBODY’S JUDGIN’
Re: Mike Dooley’s letter (under “Obama and God”) in Reader Mail’s Medal Performance:

Mr. Dooley, we letter writers were not making judgments on the state of Obama’s soul but on his words. We were trying to express the truth of the matter that saying all the right sounding, religious platitudes does not make a man’s faith sincere.

But at the risk of being presumptuous, I will say that in my mind Obama is no more a Christian than Osama. Obama believes in a watered down, non-threatening, all-inclusive “Christianity” that makes room for people of any faith to enter the Kingdom of God. If Obama were a true Christian he would know that Jesus declared that He is “…the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). The “Christ” Obama claims to worship is only a way to heaven, not the way as Jesus says He is. Based on just that information alone, I have no problem in saying that Obama is not a follower of the Christ, but is adhering to and preaching what Paul called “another Gospel,” and it is one that will mislead even the elect if it were possible.

Bible believing Christians have a duty to defend the faith and to point out for all to see when a different Gospel is being preached, and in this case that is what we are doing.
Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

SOCIAL GRACES
Re: Ken Shreve’s letter (under “Shreve Port”) in Reader Mail’s Medal Performance:

I wish to thank Ken Shreve for his kind words. Occasionally I hesitate to write about a subject or event, thinking just because it interests me doesn’t mean that it will be worth the space to print it for others.

But this long weekend was devoted to shredding old tax records, medical bills, etc and from one of these folders out fell this tiny article — about three inches long, brittle around the edges. I printed it in its entirety for your readers because I thought it spoke volumes about both Senator Bill Bradley and Senator Helms. After all, Senator Bradley, in speaking with a sports writer did not have to recount this sweet moment. And the sports writer certainly did not have to write it up. I decided it was a lovely coincidence that I ran onto it on July 4th and so I sent it along.

Last evening on Brit Hume’s hour there was a old interview with Senator and Mrs. Helms. At one point, she took part in the conversation a little more than she felt warranted and although she knew her subject well, said, “I’m sorry, maybe I am talking too much…” At which point , Senator Helms leaned forward, patted her hand and said “No, no, you just go on.” Senator Helms graciously shared the interview.
Diane Smith

MASQUERADE
Re: Brian Iller’s letter (under “Hack Away”) in Reader Mail’s Medal Performance:

It may be of interest to you that most readers of TAS see nothing wrong with “Bush’s seizure of executive power.” (Just how do you seize executive power when you are the executive?) What Bush and every President since Ford have done is assert their constitutional authority against Congress’s attempts to micro-manage another branch of government. (Separation of Powers, anyone?)

Just why do you think Johnny G-man is spying on you? What makes you think Johnny can do so without a warrant? If, however, you are talking about whether Johnny is monitoring and tapping the phones of those with ties to known terrorists groups… well, I HOPE SO. Who knew that lurking in the penumbras of the Constitution, unnoticed lo these two centuries, has been a First Amendment right to communicate privately overseas, in wartime, with enemy operatives plotting to murder Americans? In the real system of separated powers devised by the Framers, the courts of the United States had no role — none — in defending this nation from foreign threats. That was to be the job of the president and the Congress, which is to say, the officials actually accountable to the citizens whose lives were at stake. (Let us remember Congress had both its hands in this too.)

As far as the “no-bid” contracts, you are most likely referring to Halliburton. Halliburton may be the devil incarnate, but there are only two companies in the entire world that provide the special oil services that were needed in Iraq. One is American. One is French. Excuse me if I don’t lose any sleep because Francois loses out.

And, again, where does this fairytale of the ravenous love affair petroleum fat cats have for the Republican Party come from? It is a notable actuality that fat cats of any variety of a do not share the enthusiasm conservative little folk have for free and open trade or limited government. As far as the oil tycoons are concerned, if Congress through its web of laws and regulations reduces competition you won’t here them crying in their beer. If a larger government serves their interests — which it certainly does — they aren’t about to object. What is also notable is the impressive array of the wealthy lined up for the Democrat Party. Why don’t you look it up sometime who is handing over the big checks to the Dems. Explain why the average donation to the Republican Party is smaller than that to the Democrats. I can tell ya that it ain’t because Bill Unionman is more generous with his checkbook than the average Joe and Joni.

Lastly, if you were actually were “just a moderate independent,” you might have at least paid lip service to the opposing arguments.
Mike Dooley

NO ALTERNATIVE
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Dewey, McCain, and the Politics of Personal Honor:

Mr. Lord’s most recent offering struck a chord with me. The suggestion that Sen. McCain’s self-absorption with his personal honor really twanged my internal tuning mechanism.

Not just much, but EVERYTHING is made of his constancy with respect to not accepting proffered early release from the Hanoi Hilton. At first blush, to the non-prior-service types, this would seem a monumental exemplar of courage and constancy. Not to mention loyalty and genuine love. And to a degree it obviously was. But there is a description in his treatment of Pickett’s charge by Shelby Foote that offers useful analysis. As Pickett’s men were waiting in the shelter of a treeline during the preliminary bombardment, a rabbit darted out in front of the Confederates and headed for the safety of the tall grass. “Run brother rabbit, a rebel uttered, if I was you, I’d run too.” Meaning, it was obviously the only thing that was going to insure survival in the coming tragedy. The point was, and is; the Civil War soldier, whether he be from the Iron Brigade or the Stonewall Brigade knew he could never run. At least if he wanted to go back to the hometown that produced his unit. His friends would always know if he lurched cowardly…and would never forget. So it was with McCain. Even to those of us, to whom what he is so almighty proud of means much, we know he never really had a choice. He couldn’t accept early release, ever. Not if he truly wanted to go home.
J.C. Eaton
Chetek, Wisconsin

HARD TO SWALLOW
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III’s This Bud’s Not for You:

Ownership of Anheuser-Busch by a European brewer could only improve the product. Bud is a revolting bitter slurry unsuitable for drinking. Of course millions of dullards slurp that dreadful taste killing inebriant in the same way millions of dullards watch synapse dissolving commercial and cable TV and drive 50-100 miles a day to/from work in their 15mpg 5000lb vehicles etc. etc. Products of Public education enjoying pop-culture washed down with a gagging effluent of matching quality.

I never pass up an opportunity to tell someone who cares, my opinion of Bud, or should it be more accurately called Scrud. Take the blind taste test with two identical opaque steins; drink a descent German, Belgian, Danish or Czech Pilsner chilled, then a swallow of an equally chilled Scrud.
Wil
Indy

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