Re: Jeremy Lott’s The War on Charity:
The idea that charitable giving is based on selfish motives, as these professors suggest, is absurd on its face. Although I am unaware of any studies on the question, I would wager $1,000 that the overwhelming number of charitable donations are done in quiet discretion, if not anonymity. The giver may indeed feel good about himself, but that is more indicative of conscience than libido.
That said, there is a selfish form of “charity,” and it’s the left-wing kind — in which do-gooders spend Other People’s Money rather than their own.
— Doug Roll
Re: Paul Chesser’s Newsweek: Alarmed by Deniers:
Nice article on climate change. Rush was quoting from it today, so I went on The American Spectator and read it. I am one of the skeptics. I want an answer to what happened to the glaciers that were here in New Jersey 30,000 or so years ago….It must have warmed up quite a bit!
— George Mills
Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
I thought I was the only one that noticed until I read your article on global warming in The American Spectator online. I get free issues of Newsweek and was shocked when I saw the cover. This is supposed to be a news magazine? It might as well be the New Republic. The cover was so obviously biased as to be laughable. I immediately threw it in the trash and will cancel my free subscription. Paying $0.00 is just too much for this garbage to be delivered to my house.
— Jeff Schneider
It is about time people start looking special interests and ideology behind the Global Warming chicken littles. Follow the money! Who is funding it, who is pushing it and what do they have to gain? What is their ultimate goal? If governments can control energy use by citizens and business, government controls people and all business. This is communism by another means of propaganda. Since we don’t fall for the class warfare rage and guilt nor do we fall for the Left’s race hate bait, now the Marxists are trying to move us into centralized submission with global warming fear.
Give us your money, your freedom to move and your business and we will use your freedom and money to control the climate so that it does not change? Otherwise, you are going to all die. Yeah, right!
Meet them on their own terms. Who is funding them and what is their ideology? What is their goal? Can they control the climate if we submit to their demands? What, ultimately, are their demands and how do the preachers of global warming gain from their demands?
— Jo Marie Fullerton
Mr. Chesser makes a valid observation about the science of climate change. There are many variables that affect weather and climate and any judgments about the relative importance of each variable and the interplay among them is necessarily tentative at this time.
However, I would suggest that the pollution introduced into the atmosphere since the advent of industrialization has probably (note the weasel word) had some negative effect on weather patterns and climate. I would be genuinely amazed (and greatly relieved) if scientists demonstrated conclusively that a century plus of pollution has had no effect on either. Until we learn more, I think it is prudent to entertain seriously the hypothesis that pollution is adversely affecting our climate and to take steps to reduce it.
— Mike Roush
Not that I buy into it, but…if we can assume, for the moment, everything the global warming alarmists believe is true…I think I’d rather see the whitecaps rolling over the peak of Mount Everest rather than do what the activists want done.
The past century has produced a lot of “crises” that would be “solved” by the same solution—turn everything over to big and extra-constitutional government, and everything will be fine. The “solution” to global warming is just more of the same.
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
Even if global warming is 100% human-caused, I am very skeptical of the ability of any body, governmental or otherwise, to actually undertake and enforce “corrective” action against global warming. The liberal doomsdayers and their leader Al Gore can bemoan the existence of global warming, but what are they seriously intending to do about it? Is Gore going to shut down his power-gobbling Tennessee mansion and move to a small apartment in Nashville to set an example?
If the situation is anywhere near as dire as we are being told, it will require draconian measures. The way I see it, if this “crisis” is human-caused, there are only two possible solutions. Either we reject the modern, Western lifestyle that is now being adopted throughout much of the developing world (perhaps we could insist that the people of China and India give up their newly acquired automobiles and go back to their bicycles) or we reduce the human population. We all know that neither of these options are feasible or even sensible, but given the calamity that is being predicted by the left, I can’t think of any other approaches that will actually get results. I hear about a lot of baby steps being suggested, like compact fluorescent light bulbs, but they are all irrelevant in terms of expected results.
By the way, I wonder how many Newsweek readers found it ironic that Al Gore is credited, in part, with sounding the global warming alarm as early as 1988, despite the fact that he and Bubba presided over the “age of the SUV” and the historically cheap gasoline of the mid- to late-1990s. When gasoline was selling for under $1 a gallon during the Clinton administration, I can’t recall Gore ever proposing a stiff new tax to help discourage consumption. Instead, gasoline remained cheap for many years, leading to an explosion of gas hogging vehicles. I wonder how many minivan-driving soccer moms will switch to sub-compacts if their hero Hillary tells them to?
— Kevin Cecotti
South Park, Pennsylvania
I had the same thoughts when I read the editorial on the cover page of the “news” magazine.
Someone should do an empirical study of their “Conventional Wisdom” insert.
Lots of Bush and Cheney “down” arrows over the past seven years. I would think the raw numbers of Republican down arrows and Democrat up arrows would be revealing.
— Shaun Eisenhauer
I happened to pick up a copy of the Newsweek issue in question while I was paying for a couple of books at Borders. Was curious to read the latest chapter in the global warming hysteria saga. I haven’t bought Newsweek in at least a few decades, but what immediately struck me was how thin the magazine is.
There is just nothing there, in terms of both content and advertising. Has to be less than half the number of pages than when I was a kid. If they continue to convert readers to their left-wing agenda at the same rate they’ve been doing over the past 30 years, they’ll be out of business pretty soon.
— Don Harrison
Paul Chesser’s article on the fabled bias of Newsweek is one more assertion of the obvious: the unpersuasive and irritating little fishwrap is pure leftism. Rants like the one Chesser describes in the most recent edition though have long ago lost their convincing power. All the hypocritical, hyperbolic, screeds published by these charlatans since time immemorial have inoculated me and made me, what I like to consider, their most lost soul. I am beyond worrying IF there is global warming. Likewise, beyond believing that mankind is at fault or can be seriously determinative. No, I’m at the point where I don’t CARE!
— Jane Eaton
For years my mother subscribed to Newsweek, Time magazine and a few other of the same ilk. As a kid we read them along with everything else we got our hands on. After she passed away the request for subscription renewals poured in on a weekly basis. Of course they went into the trash as should have the magazines a long time ago.
— Jan Wood
Let me get this straight…
There’s an aggressive, activist, and intrusive campaign driven by “big business” and designed to suppress the “truth” about global warming???
Well they must have a terrible PR agency, because I haven’t seen a darn thing…all I keep hearing is more blather from the likes of Al Gore and Sharon Begley.
Then again, maybe it’s being run on a cable channel that my cable company doesn’t provide…stupid cable
— Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey
Thank you for our recent article in The American Spectator. Since I am a skeptic about global warming, how do I get in touch with the cabal doling out the money so I can buy a new energy saving air conditioner being touted by the local electrical utility?
By the way, I quit reading Newsweek many, many years ago.
— Thomas Bullock
West Covina, California
You finished your article with:
“Begley’s piece should surprise nobody. Anyone who has subscribed to Newsweek in recent years could not help but notice the near-weekly articles promoting the global warming scare agenda, and ‘what can be done about it.'”
In fact, going way, way back to the late sixties, I used to subscribe (briefly) to “Newsweak” and US “News” & World Report, and dropped them both like a hot potato when it became clear that their politics trumped straight reporting every time. Biased? Since when is that news?
Thanks for your article on the enviro-loons and hypocrites. Glad I am not alone.
— Jim Kendall
LCDR, US Navy (Ret)
A SUBWAY ELECTION?
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s The Final Face-Off:
Now, let me get this straight — in the last paragraph of this column, did Mr. Tyrrell, in all apparent seriousness, refer to Rudolph Giuliani as a “right-winger”?
— Byron Keith
One of the defining moments in my life — although I never really thought about it much at the time — was when I joined the YAF at Purdue in the fall of 1967. The two guys across the hall from my room in the dorm, Faust Wertz and Jim George, were really smart guys and good at explaining the emerging scumbags of the “New Left,” how to identify them, and the drivel they spouted. We used to follow the adventures of the “Purdue Peace Union” (AKA Purdue chapter of SDS, who got kicked off campus for the usual shenanigans), and some of the YAFers even had pet names for these moonbats.
The key moment was when a group from Indiana University — normally our mortal foes on the football field or in the fieldhouse — came up to tell us of a new magazine they were going to come out with, and also to pass around the first series of the legendary “Drop It” buttons sporting a B-52 silhouette in place of the usual silly peace sign. Jim introduced me to “Bob” from IU, who I recall was wearing a suit and had striking blue eyes. (Thirty years later I saw same in TAS and found out old “Bob” was really RET, nice to meet your heroes before they become famous!)
They haven’t changed in 40 years and HRH Hillary I is not going to change either. I shuddered back then what would happen if they got into power (as I found out that same year what happens when they take over academia, leaving in January 1968 as an academic drop and potential high-velocity projectile interceptor in Vietnam, but that’s another story) and shudder today.
No way these people can accede to national power — they have here in Maryland and we are still awaiting them to revert to type.
— Cookie Sewell
Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Maryland
I was just thinking of Woodstock last weekend. Why, I don’t know. I wasn’t there, my dad said no, instead, I was working with him. I, of course, had no idea what it was, or why I thought I should be there, just that everybody at school was talking about it, so, well, I wanted to go. After I learned more about it, especially after seeing the reports on TV, I understood. Ah, the young, so impressionable. So, here we are, almost 40 years later, and about half of my generation still remembers it fondly. This is why I worry about ’08.
Since your TAS column, “He’s Ready If You Are” (February 8, 2007), I’ve endorsed Rudy, been chastised, along with others, by Lisa Fabrizio for having done so, repented (once Fred began to act like a candidate), and now? — well, let’s just say it’s the dog days. Fred’s still not officially in, and I’m getting a sick feeling that he may not have what it takes to beat the witch from Chappaqua. I know, I know, all the arguments about Rudy’s character (I wonder, Lisa, do Fred’s alleged adventures not count just because he left them smiling?). And, I know Rudy is a northeasterner, which makes him what, a RINO?, A Rockefeller Republican? I guess Quin’s point about Barry G. doesn’t apply to Rudy, eh? Well, we will have to see.
I’m certainly ready, as it were, to keep on supporting Fred. But, I’d rather fight the bankers, than the socialists, come 1.20.09. So, RET, we’re ready, we’re all ready, for this last hurrah, to see if the kids who went to Woodstock rule, or if those who stayed home and worked with their dads rule. I know this, we will be propelled into a new Dark Age, the likes of which our worst nightmares now fail to grasp, should Woodstock win.
— Mike Showalter
Mr. Tyrrell, Jr. is in serious need of adopting a nondescript pseudonym and spending serious amounts of time touring and talking to regular people in fly-over country, preferably using a pickup truck to tow a trailer and spending the nights in camp grounds. He has obviously spent too many years enjoying his life among and as part of the political elite.
True, Mr. Tyrrell, Jr. has nailed the Woodstock crowd, but they still consider themselves part of the societal elite. I would agree that the Left will proffer the queen of the Woodstock generation, Madame Hillary, to the public for the 2008 POTUS election.
Surely, Mr. Tyrrell, Jr. can leave his political elite bubble long enough to realize that, for good or ill, the GOP will NOT agree on the nomination of Mayor Giuliani for POTUS. I understand that the current state of the GOP race with 10 candidates (including Fred Thompson) bleeds off support for the three viable candidates, Rudy, Mitt, and Fred.
Surely, Mr. Tyrrell, Jr. can understand that the conservatives’ problems with Rudy only start with his stand on abortion, a very serious road block. Emmett, can you not understand that there are multiple millions of us that WILL NOT vote for someone that favors and believes in NYC style gun control laws, and the defining of the 2nd Amendment as a group, not individual right? Do you not understand that millions of serious Christians will not vote for a man that is thrice married, and committed adultery on wife one and two? Do you not understand that there has been no serious nationwide campaign to publish the characteristics of the judges that Rudy actually appointed in NYC? Mayor Rudy has two things going for him, his war on crime in NYC, and his activities during the 9/11 attack. That is it, and it isn’t enough. Besides, much of his war on crime came at the expense of us law-abiding gun owners.
As GOP also-rans begin dropping out, their supporters will go somewhere. I would posit that the largest percentage will go to Mitt or Fred and not Rudy. The evangelicals that can not vote for Mitt due to his Mormonism, will not be able to vote for Rudy because of abortion, adultery, and three marriages. The only supporters that Rudy is liable to attract will likely come from the McCain camp and the Ron Paul camp.
At this moment in history, if Fred Thompson runs for POTUS, he will be very hard to stop for the GOP nomination. That presumes that he quits dithering around and gets in the race by the first week in September. If he doesn’t run, for whatever reason, Mitt Romney will be the primary beneficiary of Fred’s supporters.
Us regular folks have been telling you political elite that certain politicians and policies are non starters, but you refuse to believe us. We told you that McCain was toast, and he is now seeing it for real. You simply can not act the independent maverick all the time and expect your supposed team mates to then back your run for POTUS. You folks in the political elite were determined that your illegal gardeners, nannies, and other workers would get amnesty this year, by damn. Sen. Specter still doesn’t get it, but I do believe that George Bush MAY finally see the writing on the wall, even though he is throwing a tantrum and won’t commute the sentences of the jailed Border Patrol agents.
Mr. Tyrrell, Jr., you need to get out and talk to regular folks that don’t know who you are, and hopefully a whole bunch that don’t care who you are. Rudy is going back to the business world where he will make a nice comfortable living and enjoy his elder statesman status.
— Ken Shreve
You can tell Mr. Tyrrell that Rudy will never see the light of day on the Republican side. And it is only August. Please give me a break: nothing will happen until the end of the year. No 50% liberal and 50% conservative will make it out of the primary.
— Joseph D’Ambrosia
Tyrrell, you’ve done it again — you have a word for everything!
My next early appointment at the Literary Association won’t be for the usual “eye-opener,” but for a “matutinal beer.”
— Dan Martin
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Ladies’ Knights Out:
I hope Jay D. Homnick stays on the case of AAF (Academics Against Fun) Commissar Banzhof, who, I suspect, will follow on to his victory over the innkeepers with an assault on the discriminatory practices of streetwalkers.
Not sure how that will work — will he seek court orders compelling the ladies of the evening to sell their wares to female customers? Force other ladies to purchase these wares? That won’t work — according to Banzhof’s colleague, Mr. Larry Flynt, “Women will pay for sex when poodles pay for haircuts.” Compel male citizens to work shifts in the streetlights’ red glare, or require the johns to throw a little business to the gigolos? The mind reels at the complexity of it — I’ve got a valid high school diploma, and it’s quite beyond me. Good thing Banzhof is an edumacator. This, plainly, is best left to trained specialists.
— Paul Kotik
Could Ladies Night be considered to be promoting “Diversity”?
Or, why isn’t this considered an “Affirmative Action” event? As in, serving an under-served group? That you are serving them Harvey Wallbangers really should not matter, should it?
— Chris Eastlund
THEY CALL ME MR. SCHIPS
Re: Peter Hannaford’s Goodbye, Mr. SCHIPS:
As soon as I saw that Senator Hutchison (TX) voted for this bill I let her know this was not a good thing. If y’all don’t like this bill let your fingers do the walking and email, call or fax your elected people. We stopped the bad immigration bill we can put a stop to this also. Don’t expect someone else to do the work for you, take a stand.
— Elaine Kyle
Listening to the debate for universal health care places me to the reminder of the health care we received during our time in the military. And each time it does I am reminded that if folks want this kind of care they’d better think again. While there are many caring doctors there are many more for which private practice was not possible, due to incompetence. And the system requires patience wait and getting used to the mindset of caring, such as we give our cattle. By that I mean we line them up and do all our care at one time and without giving much personal one on one time.
Much slips through the cracks, with universal care. Picture England and its three year wait to be seen, even for dire health problems. Now multiply that. And throughout the Democratic debates I have no noticed any of these candidates say they will subject themselves, nor any of their family members, to this care. You’d think if it was good enough for us it would be good enough for them.
While living in Germany on assignment I discovered that while this country had a plan similar to England, the folks with money used private doctors and avoided receiving care through the government. As one neighbor told me, “This type of care is limited in scope and the doctors don’t really care about individual patients as they know they won’t receive compensation for a greater measure of caregiving.”
I had always said that if ever I was badly injured I hoped it would be AFTER we retired, so I would receive the best of care. Well, it happened just that way. Some five months after we retired a logging truck ran my vehicle off the road and left me there to die. From EMS trauma to receiving the care of top specialists who placed my badly broken body back together again, I was given extraordinary care. That would never have happened as a military dependent.
Finally, after the hearings of how the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. gave substandard care to a large number of injured and wounded veterans, I can tell you that if we nationalize health care the scandals of this nature will sweep the country. With the unique size of our nation, no successful effort could be mounted to build and support a system that would be of optimum performance.
And to any presently serving military doctors who may be offended by my suggestion that substandard care is all military families receive, I apologize in advance. This term is descriptive and applicable to the care we received nearly 20 years ago.
— Tom and Beverly Gunn
East Texas, Texas
A FORD, NOT A LINCOLN
Re: Quin Hilyer’s Gerald Ford, Orator!:
Quin, back when the things Ford spoke of meant something, 30-40 years ago, the average American didn’t send half their income to Government. With such power as represented by the wealth we American’s give government the entire focus of most of our population today is either getting something from Government or getting some our wealth back so we can exercise the power that comes from that wealth. That’s why we are a divided Nation today. Half pay for the things the other half gets from their efforts. You don’t need a multi-million dollar tax payer paid for Government study to understand that our population is focused on who has the power in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere because that’s the center of our universe now. Power and the wealth transfer that comes from this predominates every aspect of American politics now. It will take more than a good speech to set things right and the “people” actually retain the power again. Reagan understood this.
— Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia
A HUCKSTER’S HAT TRICK
Re: John Tabin’s New Recklessness at the New Republic:
Not being a veteran, I am not qualified to speak on the particulars of Scott Beauchamp’s libels of our military. I am, however, a person of at least average intelligence, and so I knew at once that something smelled fishy about his brand of storytelling.
What hit me was this: Who are the victims of his alleged vile behavior? A woman, a dog and a (deceased) child. He hit the perfect trifecta of heart-string-tugging American icons. What, are there no adult men in Iraq on whom he might have practiced his cruel, heartless ways? Adult men with rifles and RPG’s and explosives, perhaps?
Nope, they don’t make compelling victims, so I guess they must be written out of the story.
— Andrew Batten
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