Horsefeathers - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

Re: Philip Klein’s Small Brown:

My father has been a thoroughbred trainer since 1947, and he told me that the single greatest defect of each and every system of predicting winners is this:

The experts all know how it’s supposed to come out, but nobody ever tells the horse.
Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

Have you ever gone for a long walk or jog on a dry, cool day? Have you then done it on a very hot, humid day? The air that you are inhaling on a hot, humid day is much less invigorating than when weather conditions are ideal. It can give you the sensation that your lungs are being seared by the hot air, so imagine what a horse must experience when he is running full speed in these conditions.

I think that the mile and half distance, the 93 degree humidity, and the fact that this colt had raced three times in a span of five weeks, all contributed to the fact that he just didn’t have it on this particular race day.

I too was looking forward to a Triple Crown winner, but the conditions prevailed, and it just didn’t happen.
Harold T. Carstensen
San Antonio, Texas

Big Brown’s crash and burn kinda reminds me of another “horse race” with a pre-anointed winner — according to the “experts.” With any “luck,” history could repeat itself.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Perhaps I watched a different race.

Not only did Philip Klein place the loss on Big Brown’s lack of stamina, the son of the owner of Affirmed did the same — with three examples.

In the race I watched (admittedly on television, which could explain the discrepancy), Big Brown seemed to come out of the gate in last place and ended up there at the end.

In order to accept the notion that he lost because of a lack of stamina, I have to accept that that lack of stamina manifested itself in the first 50 yards.

Or whatever 50 yards translates into when measuring the distance of a horse race — 50-love, or something like that.
A. C. Santore

As the old saying goes, “The only cinch is on a saddle.”
Tom Bullock
West Covina, California

Re: W. James Antle III’s The Party’s Over :

My concern is that, like the plagues of old, the Clintons will reoccur.

It is my opinion that while the Republicans have moved us to the left with their nonsensical spending and their acceptance of virtually all the democrat issues — global warming, the health care system, etc. — and only tinkering at their fringes rather than disputing the existence of the issue at all, Mr. Obama is a true European socialist. His administration will try to move us much farther left then most of us are prepared to go. He will posit controls over many aspects of our lives that are now left to us. Medical care will be run like FEMA: billions spent and nothing accomplished. We will pay reparations from people who never even knew a slave, much less owned one, to people who never were slaves: the African American community will be much wealthier but equally as dysfunctional.

These and other huge transfers of wealth will cause tax increases to every one who works. All 50% of us by that time. “Rich” will start at about $40,000 for a family of four and so will double digit tax increases for those rich folks.

As it has already, the economy will falter (It was expanding at about 3% a year until democrats took over Congress and now creeps at about 1%) even further under the double burdens of confiscatory corporate taxes, incredible environmental levies, and vastly increased regulation.

Americans will not long stand for the idea that when we, according to democrats, can’t afford our mortgages, our fuel, our groceries and our lifestyle, a good hefty tax increase will solve those problems.

Then will rise once again the awful specters: a pantsuit wearing woman with the overbite, and the cheeseburger gobbling glutton with a bimbo on each arm galloping in to save the party. Know what? Democrats are just stupid enough to vote them back in!
Jay Molyneaux
North Carolina

After all the trash talking and questioning of Obama’s abilities, experience, integrity and fortitude, Hillary’s people are still talking her up for VP? Hell yes! She is the perfect choice for VP. She has shown herself to be able to pick up large swathes of blue collar voters, a majority of female voters and a good share of the youth vote. Senator McCain, what are you waiting for?!? Hillary is ready for her close up now!
Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Mr. Antle perhaps mischaracterizes Hillary’s speech as concession; call it the opening of her 2012 campaign. Obama must lose, of course. Do you think Billary has any dirt left over that can be slipped (sans fingerprints) to McCain?
Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Vanity Unfair:

“Bill Clinton” is synonymous with “chutzpah,” as Jay Homnick reminds us in “Vanity Unfair” today. Clinton’s arrogant claim of saving over a million lives since leaving office mocks the accomplishments of authentic lifesavers like Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution in agriculture, and Fred Soper, mosquito-exterminator extraordinaire. They showed in abundance what Boy Clinton exhibits not one iota of: genius, conscientiousness, and selflessness.

The Democrats have done the nation a favor by rejecting the Clinton duo and their cronies, and the Obama campaign has no use or little need for their services.
Mike Cakora
Columbia, South Carolina

On the Soviet holocaust, Stalin is said to have remarked (more or less): Two dead in a ditch is tragedy; a million dead is a statistic. Same problem with saving people. Clinton just saved too many lives for anyone to notice.
Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Masters of Disaster:

You gotta love ’em! The Democrats do nominate the sleaziest of people; but what about the Republicans? In the same year, they nominate a self-proclaimed Maverick, who was also a foot soldier in Reagan’s army, right before he was involved with the Keating Five Scandal, several years after he flew four or five planes into the ground; all the while not learning anything about the economics that make our country work but at the same time supporting Manmade Global Warming legislation and amnesty for illegal aliens. A whiny, cranky old man with an explosive temper doing everything in his power for seven years to sink a Republican President and the Conservatives who actually understand how to make this country work. This is the same guy who twice sought to defect from the Republican Party that now nominates him for President.

So, I ask, who really are the Masters of Disasters?
Judy Beumler

Re: David Mark’s Map Quest:

“Outright political considerations have often dictated state shapes. Consider the mega states of California and Texas.”

Is there any truth to the rumor that Alaska was to be split into 2 states? Texans, particularly the vainglorious politicians, took pride in their state being the largest of 48. They were troubled by the prospect of being 2nd out of 49. I heard that the plan was shelved, but only when the bigwigs figured out that by splitting Alaska, they would have made Texas the third largest state.
Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Re: Lawrence Henry’s The Thing I Don’t Understand:

“…why do so many people refuse to do the work or do it right?”

It’s so because Western teaching gradually evolved towards putting main, or sole, emphasis on the intellect — even in learning activities that are kinetic at their foundation (like playing a musical instrument). This way we try to subdue the basic kinetic issues (which result from most instruments being not natural for our bodies and from our, bigger-than-life, unnatural actions necessary for playing them) and leave these actions never really addressed, for next teachers to try to deal with (but only if the student lasts that long). Some people can learn kinetically-based activities that way (although the extent of their success must be debatable), for many others it means giving up the activity before they really started to learn it. As you said, “Diligence will not solve every problem.”

One of the poor outcomes of this trend is the spread of the playing-related health problems (which the diligence makes
only worse).

Also, in my music-teaching practice I could see that beginners’ learning focused first on due kinetics makes the process much more engaging than the solely intellect-based sort (and that goes for students of all ages).
Pathan Krakauer
Vancouver, British Columbia

Re: William Tucker’s A Qualified “Yes” To Cap-and-Trade:

William, you are preaching to the choir about the benefits of nuclear power, but do you appreciate why no new nuclear plants, refineries or large scale oil drilling in the US has taken place for over 30 years? Apparently not. It is not against the law by the way.

Beyond the obvious risk factors involved in our target rich legal environment and the attached legal cost in both dollars and time, the sheer cost of government regulation heaped upon the aforementioned industries make the return on new investments prohibitive even in today’s rising cost structure. You don’t seem to grasp the cost of the existing fossil fuel infrastructure and that the equivalent power output just can’t be idled and replaced by a nuke plant for anything like the same cost. You overlook the human displacement factors that can not just be factored out of the equation. The millions that depend on the fossil fuel industry, particularly coal powered industry, for jobs in Appalachia and out west aren’t trivial. Short of putting all these new nuke plants in West Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Southeast Ohio, Pennsylvania and several other states out west to help offset the massive unemployment a rapid shift to nuclear would bring about, this is a non-starter at the voting booth in those states that would be bankrupted by your suggestion. The number one bulk cargo of the railroads is coal. One pellet of uranium replaces how many thousands of cars of coal?

I have to wonder if you’ve done the cost analysis of what new nuke plants of comparable MW output to existing plants would actually cost to build, how long and when they would return a profit. What would the KW cost be of these plants vs. comparable coal fired capacity? Natural Gas capacity? Most estimates for nuke plants in the past ended up looking like something the companies that bid on the Big Dig produced. How many times over bid was that project?

I work for one of the only two companies that produce nuclear vessels on a regular basis. The “nuclear” part adds considerable to the cost of these ships even with the nuclear power plants being highly standardized and in series production. Their power output vs. their cost is nothing like the often stated benefits of nuclear power. Even at today’s fossil fuel prices the cost of “nuclear” regulations, etc., give said ships a more expensive life cycle cost over fossil-fueled cousins. Operational advantages trump their life cycle costs. Same for nuclear power plants. Just the word “nuclear” in the mix doubles the cost of the project. Double the cost, double the time to construct, double the time any meaningful return on investment exists.

What you are suggesting is essentially an artificial “tax” on fossil fuels for what would be several decades in order to drive the existing fossil fuel infrastructure bankrupt so that you could some day plug in your electric only car to a outlet that got its power from a nuke plant that cost up to tens times as much as current nuke plants to build. I appreciate passion and idealism when focused in the real world but short of all the economic disincentives and risks being removed from the equation, the investment community is not going to sink trillions into risky projects that take tens years to build, if they get licensed, and 10 years after that to return a dime on that investment. Cost/benefit economics wins every time in a free market situation. France has what it has because it is a socialist country and had no large scale fossil fuel option. Just imagine what would have happened to the nuclear power industry in this country if we had had to shut down most of our plants due to low river levels as France did. Thousands died because of lack of AC. Such class action suits in this country would bankrupt the industry.

You need to be preaching in the Halls of Congress. If government regulation is not streamlined and meaningful tort reform attached this will just remain a dream.
Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

Re: Linda Scott’s letter (under “Crone Troopers”) in Reader Mail’s Party of Three and Robert Stacy McCain’s Crone Wars:

Regarding the article “Crone Wars” and a letter by a certain Hillary Clinton supporter: Your letter writer should have stopped at the point where “you have no idea who I am or what I am about.” I’d have felt a lot better about her. Would that she had spent her life on something constructive versus the sexual harassment BS and fighting for “inequities in pay.” (Any clue, Ms. Scott, that men’s and women’s occupations do not align — equal pay for the same jobs? Sure. On the average? What does that mean or matter?)

Correction, Mrs. Clinton has not stood up for the rights of all Americans. She has apparently never read the U.S. Constitution, seeing as she is against Bill of Rights #1 (see McCain-Feingold), #2 (see gun control), #9 and # 10 (see big government). I am not a journalist, and I don’t play one on TV, but I too have absolutely no respect for Hillary Clinton. That is not to say that that I have any respect for Obama or McCain either. I’m not voting for any of those 3 clowns, since we have the Constitution Party.

I have never heard the word “Crone” either, so I don’t know if it has too many negative connotations. I think a better term for those with your opinions is “feminazi.” At least you don’t have to worry about anyone calling you “sweetie” — not gonna happen.
Jimmy Antley
Gadsden, Alabama

Re: Michael Tomlinson’s letter (under “OBAMA-WEBB ’08”) in Reader Mail’s Other People’s Money:

About Senator Obama and Senator Webb, Mr. Tomlinson writes: “Barack Obama and Jim Webb would be a perfect match — both are racists, misogynists, empty suits (Obama’s resume is non-existent and Webb was a total flop as SECNAV, saved from the humiliation of being fired by Reagan’s kindness), liars and narcissists who despise us mere mortals.”

As I read this, I was reminded of a quote from Elbert Hubbard, a writer and editor who died on the Titanic in 1915. He wrote: “If you can’t answer a man’s arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.”
Mike Roush

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