Northern Exposure - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Northern Exposure
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WHO’S THAT LADY?
Re: Thomas Cheplick’s Que Sarah, Sarah:

But if McCain chooses the fetching Gov. Palin as his running mate, won’t he open himself to criticism for having chosen a “Trophy Veep”?

Otherwise, seems like a great choice!
Mike Zimmerman
Milwaukee, Ohio

There is a scene in Lawrence of Arabia where Lawrence is sheltering in a cave with two or three of his Arab lieutenants, the only men who remain with him at this critical moment. They are arguing what to do next. One of the Arabs makes a point, and Lawrence in response spits on the ground. The Arab points to the spittle and says “That is not an argument.”

I have now read Mr. Cheplick’s article three times. I see that Mrs. Governor Palin is a looker, which I already feel guilty about appreciating. And I read that Mrs. Governor Palin is pro-life, which of course is a good thing, except that nothing, nothing, substantial has been done at the federal level about protecting the most innocent and most defenseless since 1973. That’s thirty-five years for those in Rio Linda, as El Rushbo would say. That’s it. No additional “objective” evidence from Mr. Cheplick about Mrs. Governor Palin.

In the words of T. E. Lawrence’s Arab lieutenant, “That is not an argument”.
Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

Holy Smokes! Had I known they can grow them so well up in Alaska I might not have spent my life to date living in the Lower 48!

Wait a minute…Now that the male hormone rush has subsided and I’m thinking clearly again, would she vote to open ANWR to drilling? If not, then she may not be the perfect compliment to the McCain ticket that would bring conservatives back into the fold. But even if Mrs. Palin were against drilling in ANWR, I’d still be happy to meet her unwed younger sister.
Bruce Clark
Texas

I really have no dog in this fight, as I truly do not know enough about the pretty lady to make a judgment. I would like to point out one part of the article, however, that seems a bit ironic, at best. Mr. Cheplick writes; “Gov. Palin could become the Republican Party’s Segolene Royal, the French Socialist Party’s glamorous leader known for her heels and political bite.” I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but did the writer notice that Ms. Royal lost the election to a man? So he is saying that we should put beauty on the ticket regardless of the won-loss record, right?
Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

Picking Sarah Palin will never do. It makes too much sense.
Dennis Bergendorf
Frankfort, Indiana

McCAIN FIND GOLD?
Re: Philip Klein’s The McCaining of McCain:

McCain’s finance predicament offers him an opportunity to repudiate McCain-Feingold. This is an opportunity for John McCain to play statesman and humbly say his heart was pure, but he made a mistake. It worked for Bill Clinton who knows it might work for John McCain too.

If all else fails his supporters can follow in the footsteps of Democrats and use 527’s to make up the gap in dollars. Still this is a golden opportunity for the Maverick to admit he’s human and the best way to clean up politics is full disclosure and banning all foreign contributions in U.S. elections. Why should we allow foreigners to buy elections for Democrats?
Michael Tomlinson

“It is highly ironic that the father of campaign finance reform would emerge as the presumptive Republican nominee only to find himself embroiled in a controversy over whether he violated the kind of strict regulations he long championed. But that is exactly where John McCain finds himself.”

We will now find out about John McCain. If he doesn’t do as he promised when he was in trouble…then we will all know how much his “straight talk” meant and what his ethics are.

No case involved, that’s what he said he would do and he took the money.
Joe Mahoney

What comes around goes around, Johnny Mac!

Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

OBAMANATION
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Obama’s Society of Beggars:

Mr. Lord’s article is a very good one, but it only confirms what anyone familiar with doctrinaire socialism already knows. That Mr. Obama would make us a society of government largesse recipients goes without saying, or, should I say goes without caring for many of our friends on the left. I believe that, given time, time that we may or may not have, the nation may be able to repair itself after the passionate affair with socialism into which Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton are tempting us. How easy it is to salve one’s conscience and smooth over the rough thoughts of poverty, inequality, and discrimination. We pay taxes and those taxes relieve us of the obligation to help the less fortunate. After all, it is the job of government to see to it that no one goes hungry, homeless, or abortion-less. As disturbing as these people’s hunger for government to be the solution to all of the age old problems of mankind is, there is a danger out there that they ignore.

As I pointed out, we may be able, as a nation, to recover from Socialism/Communism as did East Germany, the Czech Republic, and several other eastern European countries. What we will not be able to recover from is our surrender in Iraq and in the War on Terror. East Germany and the others did not have a scimitar at their throats as they climbed back aboard the Capitalist Express. We will have. When the U.S. surrendered to the North Vietnamese, there was no threat that the ARVN would strike us in our homeland. They had gotten what they wanted from us — victory. They were uninterested in attacking us here and converting us to Buddhism thus changing our very way of life. Such is not the case today. The left’s pollyanna-ish belief that if we leave Iraq, the Islamists will leave us alone is not just foolish and stupid, it is rashly dangerous.

Mr. Obama has shown us that he knows how to “work the system” for all it is worth. Mrs. Clinton has shown us that she knows how to make one hundred thousand dollars out of one thousand dollars in a very short period of time. Neither has shown us that they understand, care about, or are competent to deal with the threat of jihad. This, above all, makes them too dangerous to hold any kind of office, even the ones that they now occupy.
Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

Mr. Lord suggests the driving force behind Mr. Obama’s vision is captured by Oliver Twist’s famous words, “Please, sir, I want more.” Seeing a communist under rock and socialist behind every tree, Mr. Lord continues by outlining Mr. Obama’s work as a community organizer. I urge everyone to read David Brooks’s column in the New York Times (2/26/08) in which he discusses John McCain’s long and consistent battle against the “Please, sir, I want more” pleas of corporate America. I find it interesting that Mr. Lord is unable to detect even the slightest hint any “ism” in the “military-industrial complex” Dwight Eisenhower so presciently warned us about.

Sometimes when people ask a slum-lord for heat they are not trying to remake the United States in the image of Cuba; they are simply asking for heat. All too often, the request for heat is met by the attitude best captured in the words of Mr. Scrooge. “Bah, humbug!”
Mike Roush
North Carolina

It is no coincidence that the housing market and stock market slumped once the Democrats seized Congress in 2006. The markets instinctively know that the worst thing for the economy is Democrats. Even Democrat Bill Clinton recognized this fact when he acquiesced to Republicans and allowed them to save the country and his irrelevant administration from his liberal schemes.

Thus, the man who didn’t believe in balanced budgets is now able to claim “he” balanced the budget and produced a surplus — good for Willie. Tragically, the “Obamanation” lacks even the rudimentary instincts of Bill Clinton to let Republicans save Democrat’s bacon. Obama seems to truly believe in his own “messianic” diatribes. Thus, he is unlikely to accept the help of unbelievers (i.e., Republicans). As a politician his record is one of rabid partisanship regardless of his current disingenuous rhetoric or media spin.

Unlike Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain and even Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama has never had a job. He’s lived off the taxpayer dole and at the trough of government pork his entire life. If his disciples were reasonable and practical this would disqualify him from his party’s nomination, but as a Democrat his non-resume is the epitome of do “nothingism” that appeals to the base of the welfare party. It is possible that the true believers of “Obamanation” even regard this as a secular “miracle.” That the “chosen one” has gone from a “community organizer (leach)” or professional “beggar” to potential Presidential nominee of the Democrat party without being sullied by work much less capitalism (Note: I did not include greed, because like many Democrats Obama has benefited from shady business deals with alleged criminals and foreign donations from nation’s linked to genocide and terrorism).

To glean some idea about what motivates the “messiah” (he’s slippery than Bill Clinton when it comes to honesty and candor) one can look at his early life to get a glimpse of how his “secular theology” was shaped — a single-parent mother, a madrassa in Indonesia and a culture of entitlement based on self shaped the adult Obama.

As a “man” (Bonnie Erbe of PBS has defined him as an honorary “female” like Bill Clinton was the first “black” President) his life has evolved around how he could get ahead without working. Like many liberals he determined the best chance for success without over extending his meager abilities was to become a professional welfare grifter and lackluster politician without accomplishments. As a welfare “organizer” he became addicted to praise for failures. Now his full blown ego demands greater adulation that only the Presidency can fulfill. Lucky us!

Unfortunately, for his devotees and possibly the United States, like the emperor who had no clothes Barack Obama, the “secular messiah” has NO ability to perform the miracles he promises. The best we can hope from an Obama Presidency is that Republicans gain huge Congressional majorities in the off year elections (unlikely based on historic trends) and stop him from destroying the economy like he pledges to do with national security.

If Obama is elected “messiah” this is one conservative Republican who plans to remain a “heretic” until the advent of sanity (i.e., Republican Congressional majorities or a Republican President). That is if the nation can survive a man with the abilities of Jimmy Carter, the charisma of Bill Clinton, the honesty of LBJ, the courage of Mike Dukakis, the meanness of Harry Reid, the masculinity of Nancy Pelosi and the politics of Ted Kennedy.
Michael Tomlinson

I always look forward to Mr. Lord’s commentaries, but today I’m blown away! Great piece!

I find it absolutely amazing that seemingly intelligent, educated people are ready, willing, and apparently unable to stop themselves from this supplication. Having lived through the last half of the 20th century I have seen what “liberal” or “progressive” actually means and find it troubling that in this new century so many of us are willing to throw away our future and our children’s future for the false hope of socialism. I have seen up close the City of Detroit under liberal Democrat rule for the past 50 years, decaying and dying neighborhoods, disastrous schools, etc. — in other words a reflection of the south side of Chicago, or of Newark, or of New Orleans, or (fill in the blank) any major city in this country that has been gutted by their “liberal, progressive” leadership. Of course these same supplicants either ignore or demean the progress made by the Giuliani administration in New York in lowering crime, lowering taxes, and in general improving EVERYONE’S quality of life during his tenure.

Delusion? Seems like a strong descriptor, after all some of these supplicants are folks I otherwise love and admire, but there it is.
Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

Mr. Obama does not want to be President of the USA. He wants to be the first NDP Premier of Canada. This country is made up primarily of beggars.
Kate Shaw

SWISS SECOND AMENDMENT
Re: Robert VerBruggen’s Say it with Bullets:

Mr. VerBruggen, my chief problem with statements like this — “The gun debate, not to mention gun technology, has changed significantly since the Founding era. The Constitution didn’t spring from concerns about protection against crime, and there’s no obvious way to decide what modern guns the Framers would have defined as ‘Arms.'” — is that you discount the central purpose of the 2nd Amendment and then slice and dice what the general understanding was in 1787.

“Arms” are and will always be that which the Government has access to else the 2nd Amendment is moot. The “Arms” used in the Revolution were as “modern” as anywhere else in the world at that time. Calling up the local “militia” armed with the standard deer rifle of today doesn’t quiet serve the same purpose as the same number of people armed with M16s does it? The technological differences between a Brown Bess smooth bore musket and a Kentucky Long rifle as they relate to battlefield effectiveness were significant even in the 1780s. 80 years later the Percussion rifled musket was a faster firing version of that same flintlock Kentucky Rifle that the British Redcoats paid a dear price against on their outing to and from Boston. By the 1870s the 13 shot lever action was by the technology of the day a “machine gun” compared to what came before. Technology is irrelevant to the “right” simply put.

The Swiss are the only Nation that actually practices what our Founders preached. They have not separated individual responsibility from individual freedoms as we have. Close to 10% of their population or every able bodied adult male of military age is mandated to “keep and bear” modern military arms of the type that most Americans get their knowledge of from a Hollywood movie. Their kids aren’t walking into their schools and killing their fellow citizens either. In our society those that opt to not be responsible civic minded citizens are celebrated while those that do step up to the plate are threatened, intimidated and sued at every chance for doing the right thing. Let no good deed go unpunished is common practice in the United States today. That’s why the Founder did not put restrictions on individual weapons in 1787. They understood Human Nature better than most of our citizens do today.
Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

Here are two points not often made in a discussion of the Second Amendment:

1. If the colonists had not had the right to keep and bear arms, there would not have been a United States of America. The framers understood that full well.

2. The framers also understood that tyranny was not a one-time event, but lurks in the darkness waiting to strike anywhere at any time it can seize the opportunity.

Many shudder at the thought that The People need a backup plan for when our government turns again to tyranny, but the framers, who experienced it all first hand, provided just that.

Whether as a shield against tyranny, or a sword to defeat it, we will always need the Second Amendment. Without it, we will surely lose our freedom.
A. C. Santore

BUILDING THE SHARK JUMPER
Re: Eric Peters’ Crossover Repeal:

‘Twas ever thus…

This is nothing new. The auto industry is built on repackaging the same features and calling something else. Good grief…what was the real difference between a Pontiac Bonneville, Chevrolet Impala, Buick LeSabre or Oldsmobile 98? Or a Ford Galaxy or a Mercury Monterey? Or a Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager or Chrysler Town & Country? Or a VW Phaeton and an Audi A8? It goes on and on.

You should save this article and republish it in about 3 years. No one will remember.

When conglomerates compete, the only way to add market share is to artificially expand the market with new models of the same thing. The only way to get people to replace something that meets their needs is to convince them that they have new needs that can only be met by the new model.

There is nothing new under the sun.
Barry Washington

This business with the crossover utility vehicle has more to do with CAFE standards and the 1990’s East Asian Economic Crisis.

The CAFE standards made it hard to keep building station wagons. The Asian Economic Crisis made gas cheaper than store-bought water. Big boxy pickup trucks were something GM, Ford, and Chrysler knew how to build at a profit. Boom! The SUV became the family car.

The CUV is an attempt to piggyback on the acquired fashion for a big boxy family vehicle while slimming down the weight and improving the gas mileage. I see these vehicles more for their styling than their utility. If I needed to move cubic feet of matter, whether passengers or inanimate belongings, a minivan seems to offer the most utility — the CUV’s I have seen don’t seem to offer much interior room for their gas consumption and price.

I chatted up a fellow at the hardware store about his shiny new Ford Edge, essentially a bulked up Mazda 6. “How do you like it? How is the gas mileage?” His response was that it was a fine car, but gas mileage was below that of his Taurus station wagon, but “they don’t make those anymore.”
Paul Milenkovic

Eric Peters article is silly. How many cars is too many? Whatever the marketplace — as opposed to a cranky writer — determines.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

NOT OKAY
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch’s Money and Misery:

Let me see if I have this right. New Line Cinema just settled with Peter Jackson for holding out on him. In effect, New Line admitted to withholding money rightfully belonging to Mr. Jackson. So now, they are doing to same thing to the Tolkien Estate, which, according to Mr. Colebatch, has enough money that they should just take it in the shorts and let New Line make their movie. That’s okay, this ridiculous logic goes, the book sales will make up for lack of integrity. What a pile of dragon excrement! What the founder of New Line should do is, take a cashier’s check for $150 million, hop on his private jet for a trip to Europe and the Tolkien Estate therein, then present the check over dinner to Professor Tolkien and offer him a job as consultant for the new movie. Stick a crowbar in your bank vault, New Line, pay the man what you owe!
Scott Brown
Colorado Springs, Colorado

STILL CATS AND DOGS
Re: Wayne Martin’s letter (under “Don’t Monkey with Evolution”) in Reader Mail’s SNL Hell:

I am writing this letter in response to Wayne Martin’s statement that “A scientific theory, to be valid, must be testable through observation.” While this is true, it is also true that a valid scientific theory must also be testable and repeatable through scientific experimentation and not just through mere observation. Since no one has been able to create a cell from scratch and guide it through evolutionary stages via scientific experimentation, it is highly unlikely that science has compiled “clear evidence of the fundamental validity of evolutionary theory” as Mr. Martin states.

Just how valid IS a theory if it can not be demonstrated through experimentation? If life formed and evolved through random chance and environmentally selected breeding, as current theory states, why hasn’t science been able to conduct any repeatable experiments that actually demonstrate the theory in question? Why, for example, has science been unable to create a new species without resorting to altering the genetic code directly through gene splicing technology? Why can’t we simply breed a new species into existence if this is how life is supposed to evolve? The theory would allow for such directed evolution yet, even after thousands of years of repeated selective breeding of animals like dogs and cats, we have been unable to produce a new species.
Raymond Swanson

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The Grinch Stole Christmas Sale
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