Re: W. James Antle III’s Third Partying:
This year will be my first election where I vote for a third party. The problem with continuously voting for the “lesser of two evils” is that eventually the “lesser of two evils” becomes more evil than the evil you were voting against previously.
— Lance Stiles
GOP No More
I’m aware that Halley’s Comet returns every 76 years, but I’ve never heard of “Hayley’s” comet. Does this mean we’re due for a rerun of The Parent Trap? Couldn’t be any sappier than the original version.
Like Mr. Antle, I get to waste a vote routinely — in my case, every two years, by voting against our congressman whose middle name is Jim. But at least we kept Baghdad Jim under 80 percent last time! That’s pretty heady stuff for our minuscule band of Seattle conservatives.
Seattle SSR, Washington
When the election was between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, I voted for Roger MacBride, the Libertarian. I had just been introduced to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (accidentally, when a friend of mine who had to spend the summer in traction after ramming my motorcycle into a telephone pole was given a copy to while away her time, and handed it to me with the plea, “Read this and tell me what it’s about so I can pretend I have read it!”) and declared that I could not in good conscience vote for either of the “chosen ones.”
To this day, Mama still blames me for the election of Jimmy Carter.
— Kate Shaw
Voting Republican from Toronto
Having lived for four years in the Boston area, even “throwing away” my vote in 2000 by voting for soon-to-be President Bush in a state where Gore was guaranteed the electoral vote, I can sure understand Mr. Antle’s feeling that it makes no difference which non-Democrat he votes for. Yet despite that feeling, somehow, Massachusetts has had a long run of Republican Governors, lasting from Weld, long before I moved in, to Romney, long before I moved out. And they have accomplished conservative things despite a Democrat dominated state legislature. Mr. Antle, your precious votes have counted and they have made a difference.
Each of us can get the feeling that our votes don’t matter. How do the Democrats in Massachusetts feel, when it does not matter a whit if they vote in a general election, since their guy will win anyways? But everyone’s participation does matter. The vote is the one poll that really does show what the people care about. Even in losing, we can have an influence by getting the other side to modify their stance, even just a little.
And every now and then, the balance of votes swings, and the vote gets close, very close, and out of millions of voters, just a few voters could have made the difference. Less than 600 people who stayed home in Florida 2000, or 600 people who voted for a third party could have changed that outcome. I was a teenager in Ohio when it had a very narrow victory of Carter over Ford, and we are still suffering from Carter’s decisions today. And in 2004, Ohio once again came into play. Didn’t Illinois narrowly put Kennedy in over Nixon in 1960? You never know in advance when the outcome will really depend on you. Will you be partying in third place, squandering your chance to make a difference when that time comes?
I was. I have always leaned a little towards libertarianism, and Fairbanks Alaska was well served in the state legislature by a popular libertarian. At the time, Alaska was run by Republicans, the governor had gone a little liberal, and that libertarian chose to run for Governor. I helped put a Democrat into the Governor’s office, and he stayed there for two terms. The libertarian garnered over 10% of the vote, ironically winning more government support for the next libertarian candidate, but there were no more libertarians in office.
And I watched in horror as the same nightmare repeated nationally. Everybody was so upset with the first President Bush, we had read and trusted his lips, and felt betrayed. So like some sort of sick twisted Medieval Monks, trying to protect ourselves from the Plague, the American people flagellated ourselves by voting for Perot, and inflicted Clinton upon ourselves.
I can’t stand how many times McCain has betrayed Republicans, nor how many times he has stabbed conservatives in the back. Nor can I stomach how liberal he will be. I tried to get a conservative nominated instead. But I can’t inflict Obama upon this great nation, a man further left than Carter, who was further left than the Clintons. If you can’t stand how the Clintons governed, Carter was much worse, and Obama will be worse than Carter, hands down.
So I must vote for McCain for the sake of the country. But I won’t give the bum any money. That is reserved for supporting conservative Republicans and those who encourage and help conservatives to run. And maybe after McCain and Bush have turned the words Maverick and Moderate into bad names, those conservatives can step up and clean up the mess, like we always do.
Please, don’t abandon the party to go party in perpetual loserdom, even if it is trying to excommunicate you. Instead, hunker down and stand your ground. And help fight to take the party back from the blue bloods and put it back in the hands of the people. And then you will matter a whole lot, even if this isn’t the year that your vote will matter.
— James Bailey
Re: W. James Antle’s June 3 piece, I have never bought into that “throwing away your vote” stuff. Why is it “throwing something away” to refuse two equally distasteful choices? But I’m always being told that if I vote Libertarian, I’m “throwing away my vote.” I like to answer that commonplace with the following anecdote.:
Let’s say someone offers me a choice between eating trash and eating garbage. “I’d rather have strawberry ice cream,” I reply. “Well, you can’t have that. All we have are A. Trash and B. Garbage. Pick one or the other or you get nothing.” “I’d still rather have strawberry ice cream,” I reply. And I would go on record as preferring strawberry ice cream even if I get nothing. I mean, who wants to eat trash or garbage?
If enough people vote for a third party candidate, they can tip the election. Unfortunately they tipped it the wrong way in 1992, when Ross Perot took enough votes away from George H.W. Bush to hand the election to Bill Clinton, who by the way only got 43 percent of the vote, but won the White House anyway. Let the chips fall where they may; I voted for Bush in 2004 but this year I might vote Libertarian. As I said, I’d rather have strawberry ice cream, even if I can’t get it.
— Kelley Dupuis
Lots of good men and women have died so that any of us have the privilege of voting.
Wonder if those who served and died because of that service — regardless of which war or place of conflict where they were sent — could still vote for anything. would they be so cynical to throw their vote away, or condone anyone else throwing their vote away?
If for no other reason to honor the sacrifice of those men and women, eligible voters ought to find someone they could support, passionately or not, given the circumstances surrounding the vote and the implications of some lunkhead — say, for example, Barack Obama — winning because lots of cynical Americans don’t understand the right they’re squandering.
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
BIG BROTHER BEGONE
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Orwell Does the Hamptons:
I’m in cognitive dissonance — I’m a liberal and I agree with Mr. Lord. I concur with his statement that the Hampton police surveillance is an abuse of government. But there are similar but worse abuses of government about which I am anxious to from Mr. Lord, the warrantless surveillance of Americans. At least the Hampton police surveillance he describes is legal.
Right now, in addition to being spied on without judicial scrutiny, any American can be arrested without cause and imprisoned indefinitely. On the whim of the President you can be charged and convicted of crimes without ever seeing the evidence against you. He has declared that as President he is under no obligation to obey laws passed by Congress. Now that’s serious abuse of the Constitution. Mr. Lord appealed to the Constitution of the United States in the actions of the Hamptons local government. I would now like to hear what Mr. Lord has to say about President Bush as Big Brother.
— Ron Schoenberg
Like the frog in the stew pot being cooked slowly by degree, too often the American public allows its legislators and police forces strip away our liberties and freedom without much notice or protest. While the temperature rises, we sit and enjoy the warmth mistaking it for comfort and safety.
Recently a friend of mine was pulled over and given a ticket by a police officer for not being buckled in her car. (She was buckled, as she pointed out to the officer, but since she was of a large frame, she was unable to buckle the device as prescribed; the officer was unmoved by the explanation.) When the click it/ticket laws were first passed, our legislators promised these laws would only be enforced as an ancillary incidents; the lack of a seat belt would never be sufficient reason for being stopped by state agents. Few protested the erosion of our Fourth Amendment rights then. Now the police have their right to stop and search our cars for the appearance of the possibility that a seat beat is not being properly worn.
The Hamptons are known for their warm waters and comfortable surroundings. Let her citizens not confuse being cooked alive for a feeling of well being.
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
The heck with apologies! To a cop, the time spent writing an apology is just time off the street, closer to the coffee machine. What is needed is a means to make the bureaucrats responsible for their errors (Dan) and lapses of judgment (Vered), like the rest of us. I understand that may be a Sisyphean task, but the old fashioned “vote the bums out” approach no longer works as the bums (Democrat or Republican) have become interchangeable.
— Reid Bogie
Apparently this type of device is not only used in East Hampton. Last year Newsday reported:
The Long Beach [NY] Police Department is among a growing number of law enforcement agencies nationwide using the roof-mounted license plate reader, known as the Mobile Plate Hunter.
At least 18 police departments on Long Island, including Nassau County and Suffolk County police, use readers, which cost about $22,000, said North Carolina-based manufacturer Remington ELSAG.
More than 220 departments use it nationwide, the company said.
The electronic bleeps and alarms are emitted from the reader when the two infrared cameras scan license plates at a rate of between 15 to 25 per second, the company said.
Images of those plate numbers are sent to a database in the car trunk and compared to a digital list of vehicles wanted for various crimes, traffic violations, reported stolen cars and vehicles linked to Amber Alerts for kidnapped children, authorities said.
Good article! Now I know why the city of Wilkes Barre, Pa. decided to use the $1,000,000.00 they recently received as their share of the taxes paid by the new Mohegan Sun Casino next door and used it to purchase a surveillance camera system instead of putting it to use repairing the atrocious roads they have in the city.
It’s a start! Even little towns have big time aspirations!
Of course, the only thing the cameras will show will be empty streets. Most people will be at the Casino or in the huge, nearby Mall, both of which are outside the City’s very small geographical limits.
And the City’s population and businesses will continue to decline.
— Bob Keiser
(Just outside of and going there less frequently)
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
I’m surprised that Hampton Child Protective Services didn’t also show up to “rescue” Vered’s 13-year-old granddaughter. The Gestapo wannabes were, perhaps, unprepared for that eventuality. That would indicate that Vered and company do not comprise a Christian religious sect nor is her gallery designated as a “compound.” Otherwise, I shudder to think what may have transpired.
Is there a new sheriff in town? Or something? Might behoove all of us to stay on top of such changes of command. New guys — or gals — always seem to be in need of proving something. Whatever it may be.
— Dennis Sevakis
Dan should consider himself lucky that the police didn’t shoot his dog. And Vered should consider herself lucky that she didn’t end up face down in a pool of her own blood. Lest some of your readers think that I’m being excessively dramatic, I have seen videos of police doing just those things to people (and dogs) who surely didn’t deserve it.
Apologies are not enough — the termination of every big-talking Chief Wiggum-wannabe, up to and including the actual “Chief” of this goon squad, should be demanded by every citizen of Long Island. Additionally, public dissemination of each arrogant blowhards’ home address and the name of any slattern reprobate enough to become their spouse, and their place of employment, should be immediately forthcoming, followed by a vigorous public campaign to harass any such employer unmercifully until said spouse is unemployed, as well as identifying and shunning/barring their entire families from any social gathering and public establishment. This should explicitly include parents, siblings and, most importantly, children — “sorry, Timmy, you’re not welcome to play with my children — anywhere — because your father is a disgusting power-craving bully who should be enforcing dress codes in Tehran rather than living in a civilized society. Now get off my porch and don’t ever come back.” Ostracism and embarrassment can still be powerful tools, if we have the guts to use them without pause.
— P. Jacobs
MY CAP’S OFF TO YOU
Re: Larry Thornberry’s Cap and Destroy:
It amazes and saddens me that the global warming sham can exist in today’s information age. Are conservatives so weak (or the left so strong) that the left can push this hoax through despite reality?
If cap and trade becomes law, the big tax increase will fund the Left’s redistribution ideology and welfare state and it will never be undone because the tax will be used for further government entitlements. It will be a crushing blow to fiscal conservatism.
— Carl Harris
San Antonio, Texas
I think the best name for this act should be the Cheap Fossil Fuel for India and China act. Think those nations will join our economic suicide pact? The Green-Fascists don’t know what a carbon footprint is yet. Never mind the destruction of their precious ecologies. I suppose we can look forward to the good will and generosity of the UN to ameliorate the sudden transition to Third World status. Right?
— Stephen Knewtson
THE SHIP IS SINKING
Re: Juan Carlos Hidalgo’s Beyond Castro:
Parables are very popular in Latin culture. They are enjoyed by both the very young and those who are just young at heart. For our esteemed senators running for the presidency of these United States of America, here’s one especially for you.
Two well dressed men of means are sailing across the Atlantic to Cuba when the boat’s hull is breached causing it to sink quickly. (The old crone who was riding along was just recently thrown overboard.) The older and more experienced man starts bailing the water. The young and dapper dandy asks him, “What are you doing?!?” The man, pausing from bailing, responds, “Throwing the water overboard so the boat will float higher on the rising sea.” “Stop, you fool,” the other replies, “The water will become so deep that we won’t be able to stand in it!” Neither one thinks of plugging the hole. (Geniuses they’re not.)
McCain or Obama. Our choices. Our tragedy?
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Mike Roush is a reactionary piece of work. Senator McCain didn’t attend Hagee’s church for twenty years and never referred to him as spiritual counselor. No Republican could ever survive an equivalent association to Obama’s. This is quite a contrast with Senator Obama. He is still making excuses for the racist mob he has been hanging with since he was a young adult. Obama is the Robert Byrd of our time. He joined a race baiting organization to further his early political career but unlike Byrd he just can’t seem to walk away. These racist black churches have millions of members and make the atrophied KKK look back with sadness when they used to be a powerful influence in the Democrat Party. It is natural that Obama and his ilk are Democrats, the past and present race baiting party. Like all who play with this fire they imagine they can control the blaze and use it against their political enemies. President Clinton, Senator Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro and many others have learned that sometimes you can lose control and end up getting burned. I frankly would like more light shed on “Black Liberation Theology” and Hagee’s views as well. It would be a lot more interesting than the Democrat candidates’ trite thoughts on the so-called important issues.
— Clif Briner
Barack Obama hasn’t resigned from TUCC. He just decided to physically quit taking the wife and kids there. His statement in his politically expedient resignation about a “cultural and stylistic gap” means that he agrees with Wright, Moss and invitees such as Pfelger and Farrakhan — and that he, Obama, would simply say that sexist, racist, hate-filled, anti-American excrement spouted from the pulpit and endorsed by the congregants in a more honeyed, much-less-passionate, physically restrained, more palatable way to non-black audiences, especially “typical white folks.”
And if they didn’t understand what he said, after getting over his puzzlement, he would then browbeat them in yet another endless lecture about it.
As for Jeffrey Lord inviting Obama to stay in the UCC because Lord believes the denomination needs change and good judgment restored? Is Lord serious? Of the public figures that should be on no one’s short list of persons having good judgment is Barack Obama.
—C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
Re: Quin Hillyer’s Meet the New Barry Goldwater:
Republicans need to encourage McCain to resign from the Senate….Looks like he’s going to be elected, and then the Socialist Gov. of Arizona will be able to appoint a Democrat to the Senate and it will be two years before that person will be up for election…
If McCain resigns now, Republicans will be able to have a Senate candidate this November, and the odds will favor the Republican since Arizona’s favorite son will be running for President….Could be the difference between 39 or 40 Republicans in the next Senate.
— C. Baker
Fort Worth, Texas
Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Crone Wars:
How dare you speak for me or about me. You say: “Hillary’s army of liberal crones has become increasingly embittered toward the Democrats.” But you have no idea who I am or what I am about. You have no right to call me a crone. I have worked hard all my life and fought sexual harassment in the workplace and inequities in pay between men and women. Over the years, we have had victories and failures, but we have stood our ground. Inch by inch we have gained footing. We, as women, have not always agreed upon political paths. Indeed, I do not agree with Hillary Clinton on all issues, such as immigration. But she has CONSISTENTLY stood up for the rights of all Americans, male or female, young or old. I am not embittered against Democrats. I am embittered against journalists who hide behind the principles of American journalism to take potshots at women who have earned more respect than you give. Your boys’ club is stupid and childish, and intelligent men laugh at you. I am too annoyed to laugh. I am a 60 year old woman who has been in the workforce for 44 years. I rather imagine that is longer than you have been alive. I resent people who call me “sweetie” as much as people who call me a “crone.” But I accept his apology and will vote for him when Hillary withdraws, thanks to the undermining of members of the boys club like you. Just remember that she HAS received more votes whether your little male ego is comfortable with that or not.
TOAST OF THE TOWN
Re: Ken Shreve’s letter (under “Cut and Run”) in Reader Mail’s Hillary’s Hell Cats:
Memo to Mr. Ken Shreve, our man in ka-Blue-ey Land,
Please, Mr. Shreve, permit me to disagree with you about “I am no professional writer.” You, sir, are a WRITER — the fine “professional” volleys from the hired Right at Spec, Hum. Events, Townhall, etc., notwithstanding.
Emmett and the Spec ought at least find out your favorite wine and cheese and box a set to you. Do you ever do cigars? Favorite Bourbon or Scotch?
Here in the B.O.-land of Illinois, formerly also Rodham-Land, one appreciates your straightforward comments. In commonsense, sort of an amateur Sowell, at that.
— “Pristinus Sapienter”