Re: Shawn Macomber’s The Daily Kossacks Ride Again:
My collegiate career was spent at a small liberal arts college in Vermont, and spanned the years 1968-1972, a particularly interesting time to be a college kid.
I spent many a golden autumn afternoon on a soft stretch of campus lawn, partaking of illegal substances and mouthing much of the same jibberish as the intellectual giants described by Mr. Macomber. I was passionate, I was committed, and I never thought that any adult, save for a professor from a small liberal arts college in Vermont, would take me seriously for one second. The influence that the “progressive” blogosphere wields over the Democrat Party is mystifying, and more than a little disturbing.
— Richard Meade
Bayside, New York
Shawn Macomber exquisitely skewers the insipid Kos crowd. His musings must extend to the utterly vacuous band of presidential pretenders traipsing to Chicago this weekend to sip and, as necessary, spike the Kool Aid. What always astonishes about the Kos crowd is their die-hard commitment to mediocre reasoning. I find no less a commitment to vacuousness in the whole field of Democrat candidates. One must admire their wily determination to avoid public exposure to any question demanding intellectual discrimination. Naturally, these working girls (Hillary included) will say or do virtually anything to attract voters, so this weekend should be chock-full of howlers as these accomplished hucksters try to do outdo each other in wooing the progressive nincompoop set. Who says there’s no hilarity in politics?
— Peter R. McGrath
Winter Park, Florida
Two thoughts quickly come to mind when reading Mr. Macomber’s article on the YearlyKos convention. Both offered to me from a 20+ year Navy chaplain of no small distinction. The first, “Show me a young person who doesn’t vote Democrat, and I will show you a person with no soul. Show me an adult who doesn’t vote Republican, I will show you a person with no brain.” The second, though admittedly not his own words, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1st Corinthians 13:11.) The YearlyKos is evidence of adults who proudly and loudly vote Democratic still, people who still cling mightily to their childish ways.
Worth noting is that many of the attendees of the YearlyKos are proud to have been indoctrinated by their teachers. A true teacher does not indoctrinate; indoctrination is used to inform, or simply form, vassals and drones. True teachers assist their charges to use their innate gifts to think. A good teacher allows for disagreement on all matters as long as the student is able to demonstrate cognitive mastery. The teacher works for the day when he is no longer needed, appreciated, but not needed. The wise teacher encourages independence once the process is completed. That the attendees still ape what they were taught as uncritical babes speaks volumes about both the teachers and their students.
Narcissism is a disease all online bloggers have to various degrees; we must have some narcissism or we would not hold our own opinions to be so valuable that they must be shared with the worlds, but the paradox of the narcissism that challenges the YearlyKos confab is these people spend their days staring into their mirrors (psyches?) and yet they cannot reflect upon themselves (their thoughts). The statements cited by Mr. Macomber demonstrated no understanding of anything outside of the speaker’s experience and ego.
As children, when we are frustrated, we strike out with childish prattle and pranks, such as a sneeze bomb, but as adults we learn to put away these childish ways and open ourselves to the risks of independence. Or not. The DailyKos crowd has surely chosen the latter.
— Ira M. Kessel
Teacher, Rochester (City School District), New York
Was this dribble necessary? I fell asleep reading this. Please move these people along with Soros to the island of Utopia. where they can tell everyone what to do and believe they are better then everyone else.
— Joseph D’Ambrosia
RAISING THE HOOKAH BAR
Re: J. Peter Freire’s The Great Iraqi Copout:
A few observations concerning J. Peter Freire’s article:
First, Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack (Brookings Institution) ask, “How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission?” These are legitimate questions given the fact that the administration has always argued that the purpose of the surge is to give the Iraqi politicians time to solve the problems outlined in the benchmarks. Are the Iraqi politicians under Maliki’s leadership doing their part? As far as the troops are concerned, anyone who believes they are not being worn down “needs to pull the hookah hose out of their mouth.” (Thanks to Bill Croke for the wonderful phrase.)
Second, so what are the responsibilities of the Iraqi politicians? Mr. Freire states:
“Let’s not forget the authors’ embrace of unreasonable expectations. Today, ‘Iraqi leader’ is synonymous with idling fat cat, or worse, terrorist abettor. They have earned the ire of any person with an interest in dodging accusations of giving up on a winnable war. But there’s only so much a politician can do when the country is teetering on the brink of chaos (at least, according to the American press) and might sink deeper once the Americans finally leave (at least, if Democratic calls for withdrawal are to be believed).”
“But to suggest that Iraqi politicians are going to pull Iraq out of the mud is silly, much like the old myth about Franklin Delano Roosevelt pulling America out of the Great Depression. Iraqis are going to be the ones for the job of cleaning up. With any luck, our guns will be the ones giving them cover while they do it.”
So, the Iraqi politicians are being burdened with “unreasonable expectations” and we are “silly” to think that duly elected Iraqi government officials are going to “pull Iraq out of the mud.?” Who will do it? The Iraqi people without the aid of their governmental officials, according to Mr. Freire. I thought we were trying to do away with militias under the control of sheikhs and religious leaders who operate for their own narrow, parochial interests.
Finally, Mr. Freire observes:
“One questioner in last week’s YouTube debate noted the three flags of his family’s military service, the most recent one belonging to his son, dead from the current war. ‘I do not want to see my youngest sons joining them,” he demanded, asking, ‘By what date after January 21st, 2009, will all U.S. troops be out of Iraq?'”
“Based on O’Hanlon and Pollack’s assessment? If we’re seeing success, militarily, then the questioner’s youngest sons will be safe and no date would need to be established. (Of course another solution would be to provide his youngest sons with alternatives to the lives of soldiers. Might I suggest conservative journalism? Then again, maybe not.)”
Mr. Freire should have expanded on the benefits to becoming a conservative journalist in lieu of becoming a soldier: You get to enjoy the august company of the President and Vice President in avoiding being in harm’s way while extolling the virtues of military conflict. You get to enjoy to the fullest your tax breaks as you leave economic responsibility for the war to future generations. You get to denigrate “liberal” think tank scholars who have the integrity so say, at long last, this administration might have done something right in the war in Iraq.
— Mike Roush
J. Peter Freire replies:
This hookah hose is in my mouth because that is where it is supposed to go. The surge is an attempt to show that increasing troop levels could bring stability to a seemingly chaotic situation. It has. Politicians need time to take advantage of it.
Odd, though — politicians have the power to fix everything? It feels weird to call these people skeptics when they believe something so naive. It’s as though Iraqi leaders could fix these things, if only they wanted to. Really? You think they’re capable of that? I live in the United States and I don’t believe my elected officials could do it.
As for the benefits of being a conservative journalist, I have never met Bush or Cheney, I think the tax cuts might have saved me 10 bucks, and I get to do way more than make fun of beltway academic elites (but it is a perk). I also get to talk to concerned Americans like yourself, which, I think, is reason enough to love my job.
DO THE RIGHT THING
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Lousy Days Are Here Again:
Mr. Tyrrell’s (and James Taranto’s) insights on the Democrats and their views being reflected back at them from the media and the culture as a whole makes much sense. It also keeps them comfortable that they are in the right. But the shake-up that happens when the truth smacks them in the face is almost comical to watch. Case in point: the recent poll taken by the New York Times that showed a growing percentage of Americans believe that going into Iraq was the right thing to do. The Times was so aghast at their results that they re-did the poll, which showed nearly the exact same numbers. Way to spend those dwindling profits, Pinch!!
The Democrats are so uncomfortable being stirred from their self-righteous slumber that no Congressional Democrats attended the recent briefing on the Iraq war by General David Petraeus. How totally irresponsible these elected officials are!
Then the article by the liberal Brookings Institution duo written basically as a warning to the Dems to step away from the cliff caused one Democratic congressman to utter their true concerns: good news in Iraq means bad news for them. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that they’re not patriotic…don’t question that now.
The other Democratic response from John Murtha, cut-and-runner-in chief: those two Brookings Institution guys have drunk the Bush Kool Aid.
How pathetic. It would be funny if it weren’t so darn (stronger word may be inserted here) important.
— Deborah Durkee
I wish I could subscribe to Mr. Tyrrell’s benign analysis of liberals, especially those in Congress and the MSM, but their actions belie such an interpretation. Messrs. Tyrrell and Taranto are correct as far as they go, however, as recent events are proving, the consequences of this liberal
hegemonistic juggernaut are ominous, and do not portend well for sustaining the principles of our democratic republic in the future, especially if this juggernaut goes on unabated. Simply being arrogant and ignorant is not what liberalism is all about. Take two recent examples; Chuck Schumer’s all out assault on the Constitution and the Senate’s role in judicial confirmations, and the intellectually dishonest discourse on the “Fairness Doctrine.” Two direct hits on sacrosanct principles articulated in the Constitution. Add to this, their suicidal disbelief in the War on Terror, and one can only conclude that bad things are desired and out of the rubble will come their long desired socialistic utopia. Radio commentators such as Mark Levin have called these coordinated efforts Stalinist. Unfortunately, theirs is a more apt acknowledgement, than that of Messrs. Taranto and Tyrrell. Let’s hope we never have to find out who’s correct. — A. DiPentima
Mr. Tyrrell is a prophet. On the very day his article appeared this appeared in the Wall Street Journal:
“More than two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. economy is either in recession now or will be in the next year, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows.”
This, despite a July 31 Associated Press story headlined, “Consumer Confidence Hits 6-Year High.”
If there is any pessimism felt by the American People, it’s due to the unremitting assertions of the liberal mainstream media that the economy is “bad” and getting worse. Of course, this is to increase the chance that Democrats will win the presidency and take control of the House and Senate. Now that prospect does make many feel “gloomy.” If Democrats win enough seats and the presidency, the dire predictions in that article may possibly come true. However, as Mr. Tyrell said, the Democrats are deeply enveloped in “Kultursmog.” Should they fail in their electoral objectives, perhaps they will finally be jolted out of it. We can hope.
— Margaret Schlosser
Bethany Beach, Delaware
As our favorite President put it:
“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” — Ronald Reagan
Sure hope your prediction is right, RET.
— Mike Showalter
CAN’T HEAR YOU
Re: Quin Hillyer’sListen to Goldwater:
I did listen in 1960, because that was the first Presidential election that I was able to vote and have voted Republican ever since. Listen indeed to Federal spending out of control, rampant incompetence, cronyism and corruption (Harriet for the Supreme Court, Brown at FEMA, the Attorney General and Duke Cunningham), non-enforcement of immigration laws to an almost impeachable level and supporting the recent immigration law “reform Goldwater would be in a rage.
Are good judge selection and resolve on Iraq the best we can hope for?
I withdrew my 47-year support for this crop of RINO’s right after the immigration reform fiasco.
— Dennis Eaton
PROFESSOR HILL’S PUPIL
Re: Philip Klein’s Rudy’s Sage:
If this is true and Rudy is so knowledgeable about foreign policy, why is he afraid to face the people in the You Tube debates?
— Peggy Paul
What an articulate and accurate statement of the reality of terrorism framed in realhistorique.
Philip Klein for President!
O.K., Vice President, then.
— A. C. Santore
Re: Brendan Dougherty’s Barry Ball:
I withhold comment on the somewhat hazy or fuzzy moral and ethical conclusions toward which the author is trying to reach and skip to the penultimate sentence. “They were also one of the best baseball teams ever fielded.” Come on. The Red Sox choked.
Without knowing Mr. Dougherty’s age, let’s revert to 1969.
The “Amazin’s”? Nah-uh. The Cubs choked.
— Jack Slattery
Great article. The great Mets of ’86 were bad boys for sure. But there is one important difference from the miscreants of today: they weren’t cheaters.
— Eugene Kallman
Santa Monica, California
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