Current Appeal - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Current Appeal

Re: William Tucker’s Tesla’s Last Triumph:

William Tucker writes that Nikola Tesla has “sunk into obscurity.” The statement does Mr. Tucker credit, for it shows that he is unaware of the importance Tesla enjoys in the amazing crackpot world of the UFO enthusiasts. In that alternate universe, Tesla’s name frequently pops up as the inventor of (suppressed) technologies that underlie fantastic vehicles, weapons, and other systems of all sorts. It boggles the mind.
William Ducker
Austin, Texas

I hope one of those five remaining D.C. customers of Con Ed scheduled to be terminated by year end is not the New York City Transit System. Subways, elevated trains, and commuter rail lines using third rail to gather current are run with D.C. Trains using overhead electric catenary systems are AC.
Stuart W. Settle
Richmond, Virginia

Re: Jeffrey Lord’s Vanity Wares:

As I read the last line in Jeffrey Lord’s essay, my reaction was the same as tennis great John McEnroe when confronted with a questionable call: “You can’t be serious!”

For what is President Bush well on his way to greatness? Iraq, Katrina, cleaning up corruption in Washington, fiscal responsibility, greater transparency in government, addressing the social security issue, figuring out what to do about health care, taking care of our troops, uniting us?

It appears that his one real accomplishment is cutting taxes primarily for the most affluent in America. Sure the stimulus worked in the short term — it always does. But, now we are staring at ballooning deficits and a huge national debt, much of which is owned by people who don’t necessarily have our best interests at heart. Does anyone really believe as the Vice President does that they “don’t matter?”

Oh, I forgot. It’s all Bill Clinton’s fault. Sorry. Clinton hasn’t been President for a long time. And, the Democrats were the minority in both houses of Congress until the last election.

There used to be well known conservative principles. Now it appears that conservative principles are whatever the GOP is doing.
Mike Roush
North Carolina

Mr. Lord has managed to make me laugh out loud while at the same time providing a sobering and insightful look at the beltway and the current “conventional wisdom” in D.C. The worst part being so many of the faithful don’t seem to have either the intellectual honesty to recognize it or the intellectual curiosity to question it; so smarter than the room in their own minds I suspect laziness. After all, in the words of a great American most people’s historical perspective begins with the day of their birth.

Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

I guess what they said was true: the skills you acquire in high school will serve you for the rest of your life. Especially if you go into Washington politics.
Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Imagine That:

Regarding ego as sometimes being a primary political motivator, one can see that the reason Jesse Jackson attacked Obama for acting like he’s white is that Jackson himself is green. Moreover, Jackson should have said “acting as if he’s white” in order to avoid grammatical errors that are sometimes used to stereotypes blacks.

Sidney Harris once held up as a test of authenticity the willingness to include in one’s efforts work for a cause that does not directly help oneself. He cited the Pro-Life movement and the ACLU as groups that do this. It would be good if Jackson and Sharpton spoke up and demonstrated for the Swedish cartoonist now in hiding and under government protection.
Richard L.A. Schaefer
Dubuque, Iowa

As a sort of footnote to Ms. Fabrizio’s essay, there emerges another pattern to liberal behavior. I read that another vacuous celebrity, fabulously wealthy, has decided that “The View” is off limits to radical leftists because it has a mildly conservative cast member. I am speaking of Barry Manilow, who characterized Ms. Hasselbeck’s views as “despicable.”

This follows on the heels of Democrats refusing to participate in a Fox-sponsored debate relating to the race for the Presidency.

I see two aims in this cowardly behavior. First I posit the radical left wants field only “softballs” as if they have to respond to penetrating questions they will be exposed for the haughty, elitist, autocrats they are and their programs will be shown to be as effective as they are in Cuba and were in Russia.

Secondly, lack of spine seems to run very deep and long in the Democrat party. They urged the north to quit the Civil War; they quite literally surrendered thousands of Vietnamese to concentration camps and millions of Cambodians into murder camps. They supported a communist revolution in Nicaragua, and are now suggesting that we surrender to terror in Iraq.

In each of these military surrenders there is clear evidence that Democrat sympathies with the enemy made each of the wars more terrible because the enemy knew that if they could just raise the number of American soldiers killed the Democrats would surrender.

My dead friends from Vietnam I’m sure, if they were able, would thank the Democrats for freeing them from such horrible problems as home ownership and the possibility of foreclosure, trying desperately to find health insurance, raising children, and having to work.
Jay Molyneaux

Re: Quin Hillyer’s The Daring Possibility of Freedom:

I just wish Freedom extended to my wallet. I can’t remember a single year in which Government did not expand beyond inflation and the per capita tax burden not increase in my 35 years of paying taxes. Even with Reagan’s and Bush’s income tax cuts, my parents didn’t pay anything like the marginal tax rate most middle class have today. Hilleryism is just more of what has come before. Most of the people that will benefit from Hilleryism don’t pay any or hardly any income taxes or even FICA for that matter. The people that will benefit from Hilleryism the most have more Freedom than most of us because they don’t pay for what they get. That’s Freedom (from something) for millions of able-bodied Americans. They say Freedom isn’t free, really? Millions would disagree.
Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

Re: Andrew Cline’s Hard to Swallow and the “Bitter Medicine” letters in Reader Mail’s Hillary Knows Best: :

My God, you act surprised!?!

Of course Hillary’s going to recycle her socialistic plan, and for (in her view) good reason, she’s assessed that those who want Something-for-Nothing are more numerous/powerful (and backed by the media for some unfathomable reason) than those of us who have a sense of responsibility.

Hey gang, we’re outnumbered, it’s that simple.

And candidly, I hold the present mickey-mouse inhabitant of the White House as a co-conspirator — Dubya’s done NOTHING to close the border and stop the continuing flow of Illegal (NOT “undocumented”!) Aliens. Nor, for that matter, have the majority of wimpy Republican senators (the lower-case “s” was intentional) who appear to be afraid of their own shadows, much less the demented Democrats.

I hold all of the aforementioned in total, absolute contempt. Just the thought of them, from Hillary to Bush, from Leahy to Trent Lott, ad nauseam, make my skin crawl.

And can you imagine what our Founding Fathers must be thinking? Where’s Barry Goldwater when we need him so badly!

Let me see if I have this correct. There are approximately 30 million uninsured people in the USA. This means there are 270 million insured people in the USA. So Mrs. Clinton wants those 270 million people to give up their insurance and join a government health care plan in order to insure the 30 million who do not have insurance.

Something is wrong with that picture.

Are illegal immigrants included in that 30 million? And if not, is Hillary’s plan going to include them?

And speaking of illegal immigration, why don’t the Democrats invite 30 million poor Chinese and 30 million poor Africans to this country to make the illegal immigration more diverse.
Fred Edwards
Tucson, Arizona

Re: Michael Roush’s letter (under “Media Sanity”) in Reader Mail’s Hillary Knows Best:

In his letter responding to James Bowman’s column, Mike Roush asked what the Iraq war was about if not about oil since we didn’t find WMD and Iraq has no connection to the 9/11 attackers. I recommend Mr. Roush read the column by James Lewis at the American Thinker website titled “Iraq as Qaeda Bait.” It can be found here.

It is an interesting big picture answer to why we’re in Iraq. Especially since the Israeli bombing of a suspected nuclear “something” sent to Syria by North Korea — it’s a reminder of Bush’s early linking of the axis of evil: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. We’re surrounding Iran according to Mr. Lewis’ column. That’s one reason why we’re in Iraq.

As far as the oil question, according to Mr. Greenspan, he’s the one who brought up the oil question to Mr. Bush. He thought Iraq was a threat to the world economy because of its threat to the engine of the world: oil. The president rejected that as the “reason” for going into Iraq, but wars have been fought for lesser reasons.

All of these questions about why, who, what etc. are questions for the historians of the future. Right now the question should be — we are there now, what happens if we leave? I suggest all look to Vietnam and Cambodia in the aftermath of the United States not just leaving that area of the world, but the Democrat Congress cutting off funds for the South Vietnamese. That legacy alone should give the cut and runners pause. Then add to it the boost it would give Al Qaeda to send the great Satan home with his tail tucked between his legs, and you have a recipe for a major disaster.
Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

I have one simple question for Mr. Roush: if the Iraq war is all about oil, then why is oil now at $82/barrel? We certainly didn’t need to take over the whole country to secure the oil; it would have been much simpler to just take over the oil fields and control the pipelines to the ports. The rest of the country could have just rotted if it was all about oil. If we had these new supplies in our coffers (so to speak) oil would be down so low the corn farmers in Iowa would be demanding we give it back.

But no, we’re trying to provide security for the whole bleeding country! We’re building their infrastructure to better than the Saddam era. How again does this get us the oil? And how/why are the Iraqis making deals with the Chinese to develop OUR oil fields?

If it’s about oil, we’re abject failures. Of course, the same could be said about a number of other bromides. We failed at imperialism or neo-imperialism. Where is the American empire? We failed at colonialism or neo-colonialism. In the past, the only land we even ASKED for was that sufficient to bury our dead. And we don’t even do that any more since we bring our dead home.

If the mandates were oil, empire, and colonies, we’ve exceeded even abject failure. Even to describe our failures metaphors fail; similes are found lacking.

Oh, woe is US.
Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

Re: Alfred S. Regnery’s Single Malt in the Blue Ridge:

I very much enjoyed Al Regnery’s account of making single malt whisky in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It reminded me of a similar episode in my life.

About a dozen years ago, I visited my good friend who had moved from the Chicago area to a log home he built in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We were sitting on the porch, overlooking a Gary Player golf course, when he said to me, “Jack, I’m going to let you in on something — but you must promise you won’t go back to Cook County and let a soul in on my secret.” I promised, and my friend walked me around to a wooded area at the back of his property and showed me a still. My friend, with the help of his new neighbors, was making moonshine in his back yard…and everyone said it was the best whiskey in the county.

The reason my friend didn’t want me to go back to Cook County and blab was that he was a former FBI agent, a former Cook County Commissioner, and the former Sheriff of Cook County. He was also the brother of that great American patriot, Rosemary Woods.

Joe Woods (RIP) operated one hell of a still and he was one hell of a guy!
Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

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