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POTTED GROWTH
Re: Shawn Macomber’s The Manchurian Questioners:

“Luisa and Gallo-Chasanoff programmed themselves, and now, moments after deprogramming, they want to lecture the nation about truth and the state of democracy?”

While, to some degree, we are all held responsible for our own actions and words, both of these young shills are simply reflecting the failure of the American Public School System (or more aptly, America’s “Dumbing-Down Institutions”).

And yet, amazingly enough, we continue to act surprised when our newly indoctrinated kiddies come away from these socialist-cesspools with anything short of the values we ourselves hold dear.

Right…

The problem with too many of our college grads these days is that they are, for the most part, little more than “educated” puppets blissfully unaware that it’s Big Brother that’s holding their strings.

When we start with a foundation of very thoroughly liberal-tainted “learning” and then top it off with a daily dose of the whiney-defeatist pap dished out over the ‘National Ritalin Toob’, we should not be at all surprised when the end result turns us into a nation of apathetic and ignorantly complacent idiots.
Bart

Shawn Macomber’s claim that “Neither the Clinton campaign nor CNN, for all their flaws, are in the business of creating Manchurian questioners” may be true, but it skirts the real issue. The real issue is that Democratic candidates, especially Sen. Clinton, are terrified of being in an “uncontrolled environment” where they might be confronted with questions for which they aren’t thoroughly prepared–and that CNN is a willing participant in the charade.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Maybe I can rest easy over the liberals that will be voting for the first time, since a lot of them care more about an IPod than they do casting a vote. If the questions from some of these college age young are any indication the country will be better off it they take the IPod.
Elaine Kyle

I wonder if “boxers or briefs” was also a planted question.
Gretchen L Chellson
Alexandria, Virginia

COMPASSION PLAY
Re: W. James Antle III’s Bush Doctrines:

Let me be the first to say I have always hated the expression “compassionate conservatism” — because it gives ground to the idea that we are not compassionate. In fact, it implies that we know we do not care for others; we just want what is ours.

For twenty years, liberals have beaten us over the head with the Scrooge/Grinch appellation. To the contrary, we are not stingy; we just prefer to direct our money ourselves rather than let the federal government decide for us.

Those two nasty words deny all the good we do through our churches and through street corner, homegrown charities helping the homeless and families down on their luck. Give me a break! That’s the one piece of the Bush Doctrine that I WANT to go away.

Let’s please bury compassionate conservatism in the dust heap of bad ideas and poorly-thought-out expressions.
Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

This is one conservative that doesn’t doubt Mr. Antle’s theme in this column at all. I can only pray that we can somehow leave this “compassionate conservatism” behind. It will, however, take the emergence of a new champion of Reagan conservatism to lead the movement, and I am not yet totally sure who that will be. In another decade or less I probably won’t even care, or perhaps won’t even know.

I would like to suggest, however, that we need to go back farther than 2000 and George Bush to root out this big government brand of conservatism. Indeed, this is indistinguishable from his father’s brand of conservatism. Remember when Bush ’41’ upon ascending to the office from Reagan said that he would have a “kinder, gentler” administration? The Bush clan didn’t consider Reagan and his coalition kind or gentle enough. If you will remove your blinders and study the subject, you will find the Bush clan philosophy to be root and branch of the New England, old money, country club, Yale/Harvard elite vision of and for America. It is in their blood. It is in their genes. It is indistinguishable from the vision of Prescott Bush, George’s grandfather.

I do so hope that somehow we can succeed in burying this aberration in the conservative movement and return to some semblance of sanity.
Ken Shreve
Living daily among the New England style conservative elite

No one has done more damage to the Conservative movement than George W. Bush (his father did his best, but he ended up being a piker compared to his son).

W and his gang (Rove, Wehner, Gerson, et al.) aren’t conservatives. They have much more in common with Teddy and Harry and Nancy. The bumper sticker should read BUSH LIED, GOP DIED!

The Bushies should be drummed out of the corps. Let’s hear it for Russell Kirk, Bill Buckley, and Ronaldus Maximus!
Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

HARRY BEAST
Re: The Washington Prowler’s Dingier Harry:

To quote the Democrats’ favorite caricature of a Marine, “Shazam!” CNN played a Hillary Clinton by planting programmed Democrat automatons in the Democrat debate in Las Vegas to ask favorable questions of the mental midgets running for the party’s nomination. If Hillary or her staff can’t do their own dirty work they get their propaganda hacks in the media to do it for them. Didn’t CNN know that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas and when Democrats hide behind phony “independents” they aren’t supposed to reveal the shocking fact that those “independents” were actually Democrat operatives? Whose life is forfeit for this snafu? Why should anyone be shocked that the Democrats cheated and stacked the deck? This is the party that routinely steals elections with dead voters and dubious recounts. Happy Days are here again and Boss Tweed is now a female Carpetbagger.

As for Harry Reid I can only picture inebriated or stoned Ann Richards drooling out, “Poor Harry Reid, he’s stuck his head up his dernier!” What’s the difference between Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Harry Reid? Reagan and Bush are real men and leaders unafraid to buck the fickle and spineless trends of the feckless American public to defend the country and do the right thing while Reid is nothing more than a neutered male unable to stand up to the fruitcakes and fascists of MoveOn.org and the Democrat base. It is no surprise that al Qaeda and its fellow travelers are delighted to have Reid and Pelosi as the leaders of Congress and the Democrat party. Quisling Reid is still trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq and help kill U.S. troops in the war against Islamic imperialism. At least Jane Fonda had the excuse of being a hot, but ditzy actress when she fingered Americans to be tortured in the Hanoi Hilton. Reid while dimwitted cannot hide behind a pretty face or fulsome bosom to veil his treachery.
Michael Tomlinson
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Bush should do what Theodore Roosevelt when Congressional Democrats tried a similar ploy during his Presidency. He declared that between the end of their special session and the resumption of normal there existed a tiny fraction of time in which Congress was not in session. He wrote his appointment so it occurred at that moment.
Mike Perry,
Seattle, Washington

NO BRAINER
Re: Michael Tanner’s Heck of a Job, Doctor Brownie:

The most important question asked by Mr. Tanner is also the easiest to answer:

“What is there about our experience with government that suggests it is competent to run one-seventh of the American economy, let alone make many of our most private and personal decisions for us?”

The answer has absolutely nothing to do with the Government’s actual “ability” or “non-ability” (as in the cases of the VA, Medicaid, and Medicare) to deliver quality services.

The answer, plainly and simply, is power and votes.

If the politicians control your access to health care, they control you. And if they control you, you become dependent on them; therefore, you will vote for them — something along the lines of voting for the candidate who provide you greater access to the public treasury.

This was an easy one.
Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Yorktown, Virginia

I realize the use of “referred” in the article likely covers the reference ambiguity, however “the triumph of hope over experience” regarding second marriages originated with S. Johnson not G. Marx.
John Turner

If someone comes to you and says, “I am from the government and I am here to help you.” RUN
Elaine Kyle

Why limit universal health care to a single species, Homo sapiens? Why not cats, dogs, turtles, tarantulas, snakes, whales, dolphins, eagles, and thousands of other worthy creatures?
David Govett
Davis, California

SHAH REDUX
Re: John Tabin’s Playing With Fire:

Mr. Tabin’s latest submission is an absolute travesty. I understand that the 1970s was a long time ago for many people, but this is absolutely deja vu all over again. Been there, done that. This is exactly the same as what happened with the Shah in Iran. I certainly hope Mr. Tabin likes the next head of Pakistan that will sell us out to the Taliban and the Al Qaeda.

What is it with pundits on both sides of the political spectrum that they cannot simply accept our allies, warts and all? Mr. Tabin is like someone who marries their first choice, ideal spouse, and then launches full time into an effort to change said spouse into someone else completely.

I am sure that Tabin will be delighted to welcome back Mrs. Bhutto, who spent an inordinate amount of time during her rule the last time enriching herself and her friends. She should last the short time until some form of the Islamic Jihadists take over the country. I hope that Tabin has a workable plan for extracting our diplomats, our military, their families, and other American citizens when the attack on our embassy occurs.

Are you sure that this article was not written by Jimmy Carter and submitted under the name of John Tabin. Have you checked to be sure that he is all right and not under some form of illegal house arrest and torture. Perhaps you could have his computer analyzed for emails from Rosalynn Carter (The Steel Magnolia).

As for the likes of such as Negroponte, what would we expect from a confirmed career member of the Foggy Bottom striped pants crowd that is closer to the Clintons than with any Republican, even a big government one like the Bush clan. Why Bush seems so intent on keeping the moderate left wing bureaucrats at the controls of the ship of state is a real poser, but he does seem so. He loves Negroponte, but could easily move on without John Bolton. Wonderful! He sacks Porter Goss, who is making progress in cleaning the mess up at CIA and installs Gen. Hayden, who has multiple ties to the Democrat leadership in Congress. Seems right to me. He looks into Putin’s eyes and sees into his soul, and declares it good, but is really, really concerned about an ally, Musharraf, taking firm control of his country and office to prevent a creeping coup by those who would stick a knife in our backs in a New York heart beat.

Congrats, Mr. Tabin. I believe that you have now gone completely over to the dark side. I hate bursting your bubble, but Pakistan is not America, and it is in an extremely rough neighborhood that demands slightly different rules of the road.
Ken Shreve

CAN’T FIGHT CITY SCHOOLS
Re: RiShawn Biddle’s No Parent Left Behind:

In an excellent article, RiShawn Biddle says, “…the fact 89 percent of the nation’s students still attend traditional public schools suggests that most parents aren’t dissatisfied with the status quo.” I suspect it more likely suggests that many parents don’t think they have any other choice.
Jeff Himmel
Perry, Florida

IN THE AFFIRMATIVE
Re: Paul Dorell’s and Diane Smith’s letters in Reader Mail’s Sorry, Dianne:

Paul Dorell doesn’t seem to realize that affirmative action manifests itself almost exactly like white privilege. They are and were secretly administered by our government elites in a way that the beneficiary has no definite idea that he has received a goody on his own skills or through a race-based handout. The beneficiary never knows exactly who his victim is. Mr. Dorell’s solution on how a black person should handle this is to take what the “good liberal” gives you and shut up or drop totally out of society. That is the only way a black person can avoid the possibility of getting special treatment in the American work place. I would never recommend that to anybody. Of the two poisons that the left has inflicted on our society, welfarism and affirmative action, affirmative action is the far lesser evil.

I don’t know exactly how affirmative action affected Judge Thomas’ career and I doubt whether Mr. Dorell does either. What I do know is that he has become an independent, strong voice for the rule of law on the Supreme Court. He has the judicial temperament that make the best judges unlike some of his colleagues who view the Supreme Court as a nine person oligarchy. I think it would be easier to make the case for the continued existence of white privilege by examining the careers of Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and Stevens.
Clif Briner

We keep coming back to the same tiresome, unsubstantiated charge. Mr. Dorell writes: “A beneficiary of affirmative action who renounces it after implicitly accepting it in order to advance his career is…” (Emphasis added) What Mr. Dorell is in fact saying while not exactly saying it is that he believes Thomas tailored his constitutional views to the liking of the conservative officeholders at the top. He characterizes Thomas with a venality we usually associate with the Clintons.

“…He (Thomas) would have been more intellectually honest if he had rejected it outright at the beginning by not accepting what it had to offer him personally.” Affirmative Action has always been more about assuaging white guilt than any benefit to minorities. It has been a few years since my college days, but how would a black man or woman go about “rejecting” affirmative action? For that matter, how does one sign up for it? Was there some piece of paper they could sign saying “I don’t want affirmative action for myself”? Was he supposed to decline admission to law school because white administrators would use his name to fill their quota targets?

Mr. Dorell well understands that the confirmation process in the Senate is politics writ large. It is not about who’s “the best man.” If it were, we would have a Justice Bork. It is precisely in the wake of the Bork debacle that both Bushes realized they had to work the politics on one hand and select a justice to their liking with the other. With the absence of Thurgood Marshall, there was a consistent demand within the Senate that another African-American replace him on the bench. This type of “quota” requirement is a bitter pill for conservatives to swallow but one has to deal with the world as it is and not how you think it should be. Anyone who was not an African-American, had shown a conservative sense of jurisprudence while on the Court of Appeals, and was strongly suspected to be anti-Roe v. Wade, would simply have too many strikes against him. As we now know with 20/20 hindsight, Thomas’ confirmation was not a cakewalk as it was. Mr. Dorell seems to fault Thomas for making his way through the process the best he could. It seems to me that Thomas could have declined the nomination because the process wasn’t like the one we read about in our high school civics book or endure the ordeal believing one did have something of worth to bring to the court. Thomas was/is not the textbook ideal of a Supreme Court justice; but he was/is the right man for the right job at the right time.

One thing is sure: the left never forgets and it never forgives. At a critical juncture, Thomas took their subterfuge and attacks and threw it back on them. He fought fire with fire and so this “Borking” failed. Because of this wound to their pride, the left will never give Justice Thomas his due. SIXTEEN years after the fact, the left just won’t let it go.
Mike Dooley

I would have hoped that my life would never come to terrorizing octogenarian Californian tories of the fair sex, yet Ms. Smith’s tart tongue surely invites invective. Perhaps if Ms. Smith desisted from her subtle phraseology, e.g. “stunningly stupid,” I would feel less provoked. Fear not, Ms. Smith — people of my ilk are gentlemen.
Paul Dorell
Evanston, Illinois

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