Doing the Right Thing - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Doing the Right Thing

Re: Ben Stein’s Bush Amazes:

So Ben, if the current President was a Democrat, a Democrat occupied the position of Scooter Libby and all the other “facts” of this case remained as they are currently understood (especially the context of this case — the war in Iraq and the origins of our entry into that war), would your position be the same?

Are there conservatives lawyers of prominence, like the well-known liberal lawyers in this drama, who would write on behalf of this person?

Why should the perjury in this case be less troublesome to anyone than the perjury uncovered during the Clinton administration? Are there different categories of lying under oath to a grand jury?

Have we learned anything about special prosecutors from Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Starr other than the fact that they can spend enormous amounts of taxpayer money in the service of partisan agendas? But, who had faith in Janet Reno and the Justice Department during the Clinton administration and who has faith in Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department today to investigate and administer justice impartially?
Mike Roush
North Carolina

THANK YOU, Sir, for your fine article regarding our President. He is a just and fine man and I’m proud that he is the leader of our great Nation.

The biased media is destroying our people and our country with their opinions and why any good person would want to be punished by running for public office is beyond me, but thankful that there are a few…

Mr. Libby did not deserve this treatment and all this was a waste of time and taxpayers money…finally our Leader steps forward once again to put things right.

Again, THANK YOU for your excellent article.

A Proud American,
Bob Knopsnyder
Markleton, Pennsylvania

Ben is correct about Fitzgerald. Why hasn’t this shoe scrapping been disbarred like Nifong? The Illinois and D.C. Bars apparently don’t have the guts or ethics to rid the legal profession of this embarrassment.

But Ben is wrong about Bush. If Bush is so all-fired wonderful, why did he put out the crock that he respected the jury’s verdict and why did he let a quarter of a million dollar fine stay in place? Bush was doing nothing more than making a stingy and reluctant bow to his base who had trounced him in the preceding week by convincing the Senate to put the kibosh on his amnesty-granting elitist “immigration” bill.
John Gridley

It is simply appalling to see the White House Press Corps pummeling Tony Snow with hostile questions about the Libby commutation. Their outrage is curiously selective.

When Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court in the Paula Jones civil case, after his lawyer Bob Bennett alerted the judge that he had unknowingly filed a false affidavit containing Clinton’s brazen mis-statements, the liberal press whined that the false testimony was “immaterial” and that the case had been had been thrown out. “No harm, no foul,” they complained. “Injustice,” they bellowed.

But in the Libby case they have no problem with a public figure being criminally prosecuted, financially ruined, disgraced and sentenced to jail for perhaps mis-stating his recollection of a three-year-old phone conversation, one that in any event offered no evidence that Libby or anyone else had committed a crime — ESPECIALLY not the crime Fitzgerald was fraudulently investigating.

So I ask the conveniently amnesiac David Gregory and the other baying hounds in the WHPC: where is the harm, where is the foul?

Injustice? Of that we’ve got plenty — and that’s why President Bush did the right thing.
John Link
Belmont, Massachusetts

OK, I’ll take that serving of crow, a small serving, but a serving nonetheless. I had given up on Mr. Bush. I’m very proud of him for finally doing what so many of us had been asking him to do, although it might have been Cheney’s asking that did the trick. Still, he did the right thing. Hillary’s having a hissy fit and Schumer’s, well, Schumer. Just a reminder, Mr. Bush, you are still President, so let this be a first lame-duck step to an even greater legacy. Secure the southern border, tell Calderon to clean up his act, then we’ll talk.
Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

Ben’s column was right on the mark up until the last paragraph. Bush did not do the right thing — the right thing would have been a full pardon and a public rebuke of Fitzgerald. The next “right thing” would be a full pardon for the border patrol agents who were railroaded.
Robert Gallagher

Re: Jeffrey Lord’s From Gettysburg to Glasgow:

The column, “From Gettysburg to Glasgow” is one of the finest you’ve run in quite some time. It is also a stark reminder of how many Americans — blissfully ignorant of our country’s history — form unassailable opinions based on nothing more than that which is emotionally or ideologically satisfying.

A lack of knowledge coupled with an arrogant sureness is America’s weakest link in the fight against terror.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

I am a regular reader of TAS so I am sure that somewhere along the line I have read one of Mr. Lord’s pieces and been able to move on to the next article without any significant additional thought or consideration but I can’t actually recall that being the case. Mr. Lord consistently presents information that requires one to think about and consider the situations that we find ourselves in today. Thank you, Mr. Lord, and I wish you a July 4th holiday filled with the pride that comes from knowing our country has generally been led by those men who recognize the right thing to do and have held a course to that end. I know I and my family are grateful for the rich heritage of this country and for the place we have in it.
Roger Ross
Tomahawk , Wisconsin

What is it about pseudo-intellectuals and Iraq? Victor Davis Hanson has tried to equate the wars of the ancient Greeks with Iraq, and now Lord tries the war of northern aggression. Mr. Lord’s appeal to the War Between the States for some justification for Iraq is appalling. There is no consensus in this country as to the necessity of Lincoln’s war. For preservation of the Union the war was an utter failure. The northern radicals broke it over a system that was dying substituting a system the founders would not have recognized.

Iraq can stand or fall on its own merits. many of us believe the war was a mistake and never would have been started with sober consideration of the factors involved. Alas, the mistake has been compounded by incompetent political leadership and a refusal to recognize the mistake we made in Korea and Vietnam.

Lincoln’s did have one thing right, he prosecuted his war the only proper way, with the entire country’s might mobilized. The way Bush is piddling, it would be better if we did come home.
Richard L. Hardison
Waynesville, North Carolina

Mr. Lord writes:

“Wouldn’t it have been better to simply accept the idea pushed by the defeatists of the 1860s that African-Americans were destined for slavery and that it was just too bloody and ghastly a proposition to do anything to unchain them?”

Was there really no other option? Was the slaughter and maiming of hundreds of thousands of young men the only possible price for the abolition of slavery? Was the destruction of 1/3 of the country on an epic scale by a vengeful army an exclusive right?

While the causes of the American Civil War are frequently debated, writers like Mr. Lord proclaim slavery as its exclusive and unavoidable cause. But I must wonder, if the war was really all about slavery, why didn’t Congress simply outlaw it?

From roughly mid-February until mid-April 1861, all the delegations from the so-called slaveholding states had gone home. The only delegations left were from Northern states and, therefore, in Mr. Lord’s estimation anti-slavery; and since the only cause of the war was ending slavery, why did they not simply pass a law making it illegal?

Congress would not get around to outlawing slavery until a couple of years after the destruction of the South. Even Abraham Lincoln’s dubiously legal executive order known as the Emancipation Proclamation was a wonderful example of political pragmatism, carefully worded to free only those slaves over which he had not effective control.

One wonders.
Christopher M. Sullivan
Columbia, South Carolina

Not everyone who wishes to bring the troops out of Iraq is a defeatist, as Mr. Lord suggests. To make a correlation between our own Civil War and the Iraq conflict is stretching history almost to the breaking point. No, they were two different wars with two different aims. The Civil War was for preserving the union, the Emancipation Proclamation was added almost as an afterthought and only applied to those states in rebellion. The Iraq conflict is a battleground for fighting a mindset that is a threat to the world. It is a killing ground. If we leave tomorrow or not for years, it will remain just that. The war on terror is beyond Iraqi borders, it could even end up in Venezuela if Chavez keeps his promise of exporting his revolution. There’s an even better chance it will involve Iran. Israel is in danger also from the worsening instability among the Palestinians. This calls for a rethinking of strategy: Do we want our troops to remain bogged down in a specific area, chasing insurgents, while others terrorize in other areas or do we want to regroup and get ready for the eventual big conflict between ideals that is coming? Iraq is bleeding us right now, while the real defeatists in this country are doing the best they can to ensure this nation does not see her 300th birthday.
Pete Chagnon

The amazing common thread is that the, as now, Democrats urge surrender and support treason in time of war.
Mark K. Zunk
Indianapolis, Indiana

Simply put, the piece was outstanding and right on the money. Happy 4th. And another 231 to come, I hope!
Neal E. Hunt
Canton, Massachusetts

Re: The Washington Prowler’s What Does It Nonprofit a Man?:

Up front, I’ll say I’m a Ron Paul supporter.

The American Spectator article, as well as the potential FEC investigation, is really stupid.

If there were any errors, they were done by HSLDA or HSLDA PAC or the officers. Clearly, Mike Huckabee and his campaign were not at fault and were not negligent.

The draft letter described included typos. Well, duh, it was a draft. The draft letter was not shown in full. The copy I have included definite references to HSLDA PAC at the top. Leaving off references to HSLDA PAC distorted the nature of the letter.

The officers of HSLDA and HSLDA PAC overlap. It is unreasonable to expect a segregation so great that one has to go to a coffee shop and check mail using a different address to get a copy of something. It is reasonable to assume email addresses apply to the person, even when using the domain of an organization.

This is clearly petty of the rival campaigns involved, of Spectator, of the FEC. It is reasonable for the Spectator to publish an article, but the distortion is unbecoming.

I am a homeschooler and was disappointed that HSLDA PAC came out for Huckabee. Even so, all three Mikes involved are good people, and this attack on them is silly.
Dar Scott
Albuquerque, New Mexico
P.S. It might also be argued that the HSLDA E-lert service was reporting on the decision by the HSLDA PAC and was providing news to its members.

Re: Peter Hannaford’s Reviving a Dinosaur:

Sorry, but I disagree with that dinosaur premise of Peter Hannaford. He’s totally correct in everything except his summation. Those radical Democrats aren’t about to cave (like one wimpy inhabitant of the White House has done so many times in recent years); they’re dedicated to the proposition of stifling any and all descent, and the aforementioned wimp, Dubya, just might let this thing go through — his resentment to the proper, just and overdue criticism he’s received by so many of the “right” in talk shows nationally.

As a retired broadcaster, I cringe at the idea of a so-called “fairness” doctrine, recalling how Homer Lane (45 plus years ago at KOOL-TV in Phoenix) would editorialize about litter, and of dogs’ pooping by the curb. That was about all he could say without having that ugly “fairness” fiasco slap him about the head. You want Pablum Puke and a totally destroyed AM-band? Watch what happens… if.

And, as they’re devoid of anything remotely concerned with scruples, expect them to launch a real drive to rid their constituents of Limbaugh, et al.

It’s an ugly world out there, and the theoretical “leaders” of the GOP lack the cojones to successfully fight these threats: Dubya, McCain, Trent Lott, and their buddies, Durban, Leahy, Teddy & company are far too chummy for my taste. I’ve never, never been so appalled at the terminal wimpiness shown by the Republicans, in the face of those demented (yet determined) Democrats.
Jonathan B. “Jack” Frost
(presently vacationing in Rio, ready to celebrate July 15th and the 46th anniversary of our starting the “KOOL-Gold” [oldies] format on radio, now aired on over 700 stations nationwide, and ready to carry an “Al Gore Sucks” banner at that weird “Live Earth” event in a few days!)

I find the idea of censoring the airwaves both reprehensible and unconstitutional. And typically liberal. The radical left has two unwavering goals: to make us dependent on government and to force feed us their claptrap.

One can see who the anti — free speech crowd is and where they lie on the collectivist political scale. I think the radical liberals got this idea from one of their political idols: Hugo Chavez. This shutting down talk radio came up only after he shut down a mildly critical TV station in Venezuela.

I thought only impoverished Venezuelan peasants would fail to understand this is a bad thing, but from the utter and complete silence on the subject it seems that ignorant Americans feel just the same as the peasants from Venezuela.

I’m changing my address to:
Jay W. Molyneaux
Quit, Cut and Run.

Out of 9/11’s Shadow:

What a great article on Scott Carmichael’s book True Believer! A timely article as we now celebrate our nation’s founding.

I can only assume that Ms. Montes will be granted a parole sooner than she should.
Bob Boyd

Re: W. James Antle III’s The Deal Is Done:

W. James Antle has, within the reasonable limits he set out to achieve, explained why the failure to invoke cloture on Senate Bill 1639 occurred, but in addition to the work of “freshmen” senators (Sen. Sessions is not one of them) in defeating the fraud that was improperly labeled “comprehensive immigration reform,” there are issues not included in his commentary that require further explanation, or at least emphasis. It might interest readers to know, for example, that Senate Bill (SB) 1639 was originally SB 1348. Why change the enumeration? It appears that one explanation is that the conservative blogosphere started calling SB1348 “the Black Death” immigration bill, for its number coincided with the onset of the bubonic plague that destroyed a good part of Europe, and the Solons of the Senate thought such a point of reference unwise.

The point that cannot be emphasized enough is that the defeat of SB 1639 truly was a grass roots effort by the citizenry of this nation. In my lifetime, I have never seen such an outpouring of activity by citizens. One group, NumbersUSA, claims that their members and other interested individuals sent more than 700,000 letters and faxes to Senate offices, plus telephone calls to the Senate switchboard. From every part of the country, people who had never lifted a finger or telephone their senators before were enraged at what they divined as the betrayal of this country. It gives one pause to think that we do, indeed, live in a country where the people rule, at least some of the time.

Secondly, in the end, despite the financial power of the unions, the Chamber of Commerce, Latino activist organizations, and the media, democracy won in that, as Antle notes, at no time was more than one-quarter of our citizenry in favor of this egregious bill. The word had, finally, gotten out to the public: our government, and too many pols from both parties, cannot be trusted in dealing honestly with illegal immigration. For a bureaucracy that cannot handle its current workload attempting to process 12-20 million new applications would surely translate into no adequate supervision of those who have violated our laws, but were now eligible to become citizens. The very fact that those who sought to circumvent the time honored procedures of the U.S. Senate by not holding hearings or submitting a financial impact statement tells you a lot about the snowjob that was planned.

It needs to be repeated: there was no justification for SB 1639, because there are currently U.S. laws on the books that deal with all of these issues. But in the same way that we have not implemented the enforcement provisions of the Amnesty Act of 1986, or its revision a decade later, or the law to build a fence, which was signed by the president, but has barely gotten off the ground, it was evident that SB 1639, if it were to become law, would be conveniently forgotten in a short while.

Finally, as I have written in this webzine for several years, this is an issue that will not go away. By his refusal to listen to his base, this president has damaged his party’s chances for a victory in ’08, which could allow Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi to push through a bill similar to the failed SB 1639. But I take heart that, when push comes to shove, the American people will respond accordingly. We’ve won neither the war nor the battle, but only the first skirmish in an on-going effort during these times that try a man’s soul.

Pax tecum
Vincent Chiarello
American Council for Immigration Reform

Re: Doug Bandow’s Thrown to the Lions:

Last year author and activist, Rosie Malek-Yonan’s book, The Crimson Field, was brought to the attention of Congressman Christopher Smith’s office who chaired a House Committee on International Relations. The Crimson Field is a true story chronicling the author’s own family struggle to escape the Assyrian Genocide of WWI. Consequently, on June 30, 2006, Ms. Malek-Yonan was invited to Capitol Hill to give a Congressional testimony about the plight of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq since the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003. (You can read the text of her testimony here.) Her testimony and additional report prompted Congressman Christopher Smith to fly to Iraq to meet with the Assyrian community and to turn in Ms. Malek-Yonan’s report to U.S. officials in Iraq.

Now one year after Ms. Malek-Yonan’s passionate plea to the U.S. government, a Congressional appropriations subcommittee has voted to send $10 million to aid the Assyrian Christians in Iraq. However, but for this aid, nothing else has been done to help the Assyrians Christians of Iraq and the Assyrian Christian refugees stranded in Syria and Jordan. Perhaps this financial aid will be a start, but it begs the question, who will receive the funds and how will they reach the Assyrian community and how much of the $10 million will actually find its way to the Christian community in Iraq that is in desperate need of assistance.

As Ms. Malek-Yonan had testified, monies were previously allocated to the minorities in Iraq, however, the Kurds were in charge of disbursements and Assyrians never saw their share. I hope that this time the Assyrian community in Iraq will receive a generous portion of these funds.
Trip Miller
Los Angeles, California

This is truly an appalling story. What can be done to bring some relief to the victims?
Brian J. Kavanagh
San Francisco, California

Re: Reader Mail’s Hymns to Hymns and Lawrence Henry’s Praise Music Flunks:

Re Hymn to the Hymns and the continuing pros and cons, provoking deeper thought on the subject than I apparently gave it in my previous letter. After reading and enjoying the many insights provided by readers in this second installment of traditional hymns vs. praise music, I have concluded it is matter of musical taste.

I recall, with horror, the time I heard Cher sing what sounded like “Whoa, Holy Night.” I dread this year’s PBS Fourth of July celebrations where some bimbette wearing hair extensions down to her waist, sequins all over, and Day-Glo lip gloss will favor us with an orgasmic rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”.

I know I would enjoy listening to Beverly Gunn sing what is in her heart. And I know I would detest hearing “The Carpenters” X 1,000 wailing and driving me nuts with their manufactured fervor and hyperkinesia.

One thought does linger. The part about getting young people “in the doors.” Recall when Bruce Springsteen had his big concert to “rock the vote” in 2004? A reporter asked one young man in attendance who he was voting for, how he felt about Howard Dean. The kid said, “I’m just here for the music.”
Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

I would like a cautionary note sent to Mr. Lawrence Henry concerning his article “Praise Music Flunks.” He needs to do more research before declaring phrases in Praise Music meaningless.

In his critique of the Praise chorus “You Are My All in All” Mr. Henry writes, “…note that the key phrase, the supposed theme, ‘You are my all in all,’ means really nothing.”

I want to point out to him that the operative phrase “all in all” appears in Christian hymns and writings many time. Just a casual search of the term “all in all” on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library website yields 856 hits alone. Ten of them from the Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA. Also “all in all” appears at least two places in the New Testament; 1Cor. 15:28 (ESV) and Eph. 1:23 (ESV).

The phrase “You (Jesus) are my all in all” must mean something to Christians or we wouldn’t use the phrase so much.
Rick Snodgrass
P.S. I’m a musician in a praise and worship team at our Church. Classically trained as a percussionist with a BA in performance from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music ’79. I’m a conservative Evangelical Christian and I believe that God delights in, and inhabits the praises of His People when they are offered in FAITH. You can be a stuffy New England Evangelical who likes High Church Hymns or a member of a tribe in Papua New Guinea who chants Praises to a log drum beat and God will Delight to receive your Worship because the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.

As a Southern Baptist raised on hymns I can sing them with great enjoyment…but only the first, second, and last stanzas! We Southern Baptists are known for our propensity for just singing those verses. The only exception I can think of is Amazing Grace, where we sing all the verses with great certainty and sometimes stand on the last verse, while imagining the gathering of saints at eternity and singing to the King of Kings!

The focus should be on our worship. How we worship with the various hymns and praise songs is really, quite secondary. The heart attitude is what God is looking for. And I want that heart to be cleansed and pure and waiting for the sermon, so we can take in all God would say to us each and every Sunday.

Respectfully from East Texas,
Bev Gunn
East Texas Rancher singing both praises and hymns

Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch’s Unsafe at Any Swing:

Thank you for making me smile.

I very much enjoyed reading the article “Unsafe at Any Swing.” One of the major factors with these policies created is the fact we have adopted the “American Way.”

From the population of the upper hemisphere we have adopted the same it’s someone else’s fault not mine, how much money can I make.
Alan Hatwell
Leicester, UK

Re: Louise S.’s letter (under “Sightings”) in Reader Mail’s It’s Too Late:

I have to take exception to a portion of what you wrote: “Sometimes they even have their Filipino or Indonesian slaves with them walking two steps behind.”

I’m sure you are not that ignorant to be unaware that these Filipinos or Indonesians are paid house helpers and are not slaves. Therefore, you must have malice in your mind. I hope that you only wish to direct your insult on those niqab-wearing women — I have no quarrel with you on that.

But you also demean their Filipino or Indonesian maids by calling them slaves. That, madam, is both uncharitable and unjustified. The majority of these people knowingly go and work in a harsh land because it is the only honorable option left for them to lift their families back home from poverty. For that, they deserve respect, if not admiration. You, on the other hand, with your careless words, deserve only contempt.
Mike Gotera
Richmond, Virginia

Re: Joe Mahoney’s letter (under “Nails on the Head”) in Reader Mail’s Hymns to Hymns:

I smell a mole.

Joe Mahoney praised Jim Webb, a Democrat, as an example for Republicans to emulate for supposedly not selling out to business interests. Webb had supported the immigration bill (and amnesty) all along before caving in. (Check out his Senate web page.) Plus Joe hates Ann Coulter.

There’s a place for you to go Joe where they love Jim Webb and hate Ann Coulter: It’s called the Democratic Party.
Mark Sobolewski
Falls Church, Virginia

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