Re: Lars Walker’s Bishop’s Letter From the Future:
I believe a draft of this letter has already been prepared by Nancy Pelosi. I say draft because someone pointed out to her that Sharia hasn’t actually been implemented in the USA. Yet.
This would be funny if it wasn’t so damn scary.
— Karl F. Auerbach
CORN ON THE TAKE
Re: Iain Murray & William Yeatman’s Food Before Fuel:
This is probably going to sound crazy, but I think the push toward corn-based fuels will, pardon the pun, “sow the seeds” of violent revolution. How? As corn prices skyrocket, and our friends South of the border feel the pinch, they will blame the fat Americans and their big SUVs. While the TV will have images of starving Mexicans, the United States will be blamed for attempted genocide; and the Left will finally be able to “legitimately” equate the United States with Nazi Germany. Los Angeles will grind to a halt with protest after protest; “Stop The Genocide!”; “You Drive; We Die!” Meanwhile, Democrats will decry the violence and our obscene “addiction” to oil. All the while mandating even more draconian environmental measures…and ride the coattails to permanent majority status. Sound crazy?
— Jon Lindquist
Las Vegas, Nevada
Messrs. Murray and Yeatman have correctly identified the dirty little secret concerning the 2005 Energy Bill.
Why does Congress think it has a mandate to manipulate our free market? This supposed power is mentioned nowhere in the U.S. Constitution — and don’t for a second use the canard of interstate commerce for justification — it is nothing but a red herring.
Where are Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, Walter E. Williams, and Thomas Sowell when you need them the most. Free market thinkers, all.
Congress’ Invisible Hand is once again leaving the American Taxpayer in the dust.
I would definitely enjoy an in-depth 20/20 expose on this subject by John Stossel. A month or two ago, he hosted a piece comparing the cost to produce ethanol verses the production cost for gasoline. If that’s what it takes to wake up the electorate to this ill-conceived mandate, then I’m all for it.
Thanks a lot, Congress, for increasing my food bill. Talk about the law of unintended consequences!
— Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Adding the increase in food prices, the fact that Americans are using more gasoline this year is mostly due to the use of 10% gasohol. Theoretically, this is 3% less efficient (which of course means a 3% increase in number of gallons required, even if people drive the same number of miles). In fact, many reports are now indicating the loss in gas mileage may be closer to 10-15% since engines may not burn gasohol in the same manner.
Research is required.
— Mark A. Peterson, Ph.D.
Congressional meddling goes far further back than the mess they started in 2005.
It goes all the back to energy crisis in the early 1970s when they created a new bureaucracy called the Energy Research and Development Agency (ERDA) whose mission was to investigate and bring to the marketplace alternative fuel products. ERDA was soon to be integrated into the Department of Energy an even larger bureaucracy. Both ERDA and the present day DOE have failed miserably in the development of new energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Way back in the 1970s the United States was imported approximately 40% of our oil supplies from foreign sources; the number is more like 70%. The latest example of congressional meddling is the mandate by Congress regarding Yucca Mountain, the supposed pilot plant for the disposal of high-level radioactive wastes that is now reaching into the billions of cost overruns and approaching decades of schedule delays. With the reemergence of nuclear power the need for a feasible, cost effective high-level waste disposal is critical. Yucca Mountain does not appear to satisfy this requirement, if and when it meets licensing standards.
— Tom Bullock
West Covina, California
These same politicians who are mandating the use of food as a gasoline substitute will, in a few short years, be decrying the obscene profits of “Big Corn” and will call for extra taxation and Federal regulation of corn distribution. As long as the Iowa caucuses are held first, there is little chance of any candidate calling for sanity in our ethanol policy.
— Joel D.
THE VICTIM CLASS OF 2007
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Graduation Day Vacuity:
Thank you for the raising the collective American Consciousness to the plight of our many annual graduation speech victims. This year I was subjected to a mind-number delivered by R. Nicholas Burns. He had been released on loan from the U.S. State Department. Amongst other gems, we were treated to remarks from Robert Kennedy and John Kennedy. But perhaps the Kennedy of most importance to college students was neglected: Sen. Edward Kennedy, “Make mine a double!”
It was a fine end to the $120k of money thrown down a pit for my brother’s education. He has graduated with very fine opinions indeed that show off his tremendous high mindedness: after graduation, he remarked that it was obscene for people to earn a lot of money and that it should just be confiscated. I felt confident that the Dickinson College had done its job well and that my brother would not likely be in a position to ever endanger his conscience on this issue. It occurred to me that it is best that these awful graduation speeches continue for these unfortunates: the universities that sponsor them have shunned reality for all these years. They should not bear any responsibility at the end either for the reintroduction of their charges to this unfortunate situation.
— Barry Hellman, MD
Mr. Tyrrell says that the “old liberal left has won the battle for the culture.” The left has continuously fought to control human behavior and to restrict man’s accomplishments. The left is all about enforcement, they do not inspire. They have tried to control human nature and the free person’s desire to live for their own sake.
Our reference to the left as “liberals” is itself a contradiction. The reason that the left offers vacuous and uninspiring commencement speeches is because in their world; “it’s all over” but for government enforcement of every aspect of your life. They are thought-less because they feel that government shall provide in its entirety everything man needs. Man should just shut up and be a slave to their rules.
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
Oh Bob, come now. No matter how pompous and trivial the recent commencement ceremonies you had to endure might have been, clearly, the most inane and dangerous speeches in America today, come daily from the floor of the House and the Senate. Talk about intellectual pollution, nothing comes even close.
A one time, forty minute droning from a hopeless sap and leftist fool is easily endured with thoughts of a cold beer and a summer in the Rockies with one’s soon to be forgotten girl/boy friend. However, in your case, it was back to work; no summer gamboling in the heather for you, which is why I suspect the ceremonies were that much more excruciating. I’m with you on this one, big guy, and as your new best friend would say, “I feel your pain.” Yes, time has passed us by, but there’s still work to be done. Forget Angela and Gloria, they’re as yesterday as we are, it’s what’s on C-Span now that’s truly inane.
— A. DiPentima
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Qatar Man:
The court’s majority stated, in part, “To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President calls them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country.” They also declared, “It is that [extraordinary presidential] power — were a court to recognize it — that could lead all our laws ‘to go unexecuted, and the government itself to go to pieces.'”
With this opinion and an extreme statement such as that, it seems that it may be our judiciary that’s going to pieces and that our safety has become more endangered, not protected.
Dissenting Judge Hudson grasped what was at stake.
“This broad language [of Authorization for Use of Military Force, Public Law 107-40 (AUMF)] would certainly seem to embrace surreptitious al Qaeda agents operating within the continental United States,” he said.
Further, stating that “the unrebutted evidence shows that al-Marri associated himself with and became an agent of al Qaeda, the organization targeted by the AUMF and the enemy with which the United States is at war,” Judge Hudson said, “Although al-Marri was not personally engaged in armed conflict with U.S. forces, he is the type of stealth warrior used by al Qaeda to perpetrate terrorist acts against the United States.”
Will it take another 9/11 or two for those who deny we’re at war to wake up and realize that this global jihadists-inspired-and-continued war’s enemy soldiers — you can call them combatants or belligerents; doesn’t matter: they dress as civilians and wish to kill us, even if we’ve been stupid enough to allow them to enter our country — don’t necessarily wear military uniforms and march on drill fields?
Apparently the deniers learned nothing from the first 9/11, nor have they learned anything since.
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
Excellent, truthful article. It is a shame the left in this country gives rights that our founders never did or would have if a live today. He is not a citizen or even a permanent resident. He is an illegal alien over staying his visa. Since he got one to go to school and did not, he should have been deported. However, since he committed a crime against the U.S. before being deported and he came only to commit those crimes he is an enemy of the U.S. and not due the due process of this country. Personally, I think the judge should house him under house arrest until his trial.
— Joseph D’Ambrosia
DOCUMENTED TERROR TIES
Re: Ralph R. Reiland’s Intelligence Failure:
There was “scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks,” argued Scowcroft. “Indeed Saddam’s goals have little in common with the terrorists who threaten us, and there is little incentive for him to make common cause with them.”
Additionally, “There is little evidence to indicate that the United States itself is an object of his aggression.”
If the above from the CYA, aka the CIA, is true, then why are the 5 million documents captured in Iraq by our military — containing evidence to the contrary according to those who have seen some of the documents, many now translated or summarized — being kept under lock and key by our intelligence agencies ?
Additionally there have been numerous magazine articles in the past several months proving just the opposite — that in fact Saddam’s intel agency worked hand-in-glove with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in attacks on American targets, including our embassies (which are “national soil”).
Following pressure from Congressman Mike Pence and others, President Bush ordered the documents open to the public, online, followed by a clever ploy by the CYA: they released Iraqi nuclear bomb plans from these same documents to the New York Times who expressed mock horror at the danger of people seeing such things (inadvertently giving proof Saddam had a nuclear WMD program), resulting in access to all documents being denied. The mainstream press did not even bother to yawn at this censorship.
It is time for the President to order again open access to the documents, not only for the sake of his misbegotten administration but also to answer the question: who were, and are, the terrorists and their Iraqi enablers ?
— Jameson Campaigne
SEPARATING WHEAT FROM CHAFF
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder’s Immigration: A Simple Solution:
To Mason and Felder’s solution I would add that we have two immigration problems. One is people who come to improve their lives, get an education and opportunities for their children, etc. Legal or not, these are people we can work with. The other problem is people who come here and are troublemakers. They should be identified by local law enforcement, given one appearance before a local judge and returned to their country of origin after leaving fingerprints, DNA and photographs, and being told that their next illegal entry into the U.S. will be considered an invasion and will carry an automatic 20 year sentence in an outsourced jail in Bolivia.
Why we keep criminals, welfare abusers, drug dealers or users, alcoholics etc, who are also illegal immigrants here is beyond comprehension. Whatever constitutional rights an alien has, he does not have the right to be here.
— Merlin Perkins
Just catching up on my reading and came across Mason and Felder. Not bad guys, but I think we’ve all been missing the most obvious solution to this whole problem. Forget the illegal aliens, just deport the whole Washington political class, Pelosi, Reid, McCain, Graham, Kyl, Specter, Bush, etc. Surely, Ireland would welcome back one of their own, Teddy. Some nice pub owner could find him a place to sit out his waning years. There, simple enough?
— Mike Showalter
Re: Eric Peters’s 2008 Camaro: Dead on Arrival?:
I am writing in regards to the “2008 Camaro: Dead on Arrival?” article written by Eric Peters. While Mr. Peters may have a valid point about gas prices hurting the sales of the future Camaro, I find many inaccuracies in facts he is reporting. I would also like to say this is not the first time I have read an article by Mr. Peters that contained inaccurate facts and he should really brush up on his fact-checking and research techniques.
I would first like to point out that he is incorrect in stating the Camaro will be back in the market in mid to late 2008. Camaro is slated to begin production in mid to late 2008, with the first examples of the coupe hitting the market at the earliest in very late 2008, most likely 2009 (per Chevrolet’s website). I work for a GM dealer in Ohio, and even we don’t know exactly when the Camaro will be available yet. Also, he states that the Camaro will pack “at least 400 horses in Z28 form,” which is also incorrect. While industry insiders and enthusiasts are speculating there will be a Z/28, Chevrolet has not made an official announcement as to if/when a Z/28 or an SS will be available. The base V8 Camaro however will feature at least 400 horsepower (coming from the base model Corvette) and the “top of the line” Camaro will feature horsepower numbers closer to that of the Corvette Z06. Seeing as how the Camaro and Corvette share engines, similar horsepower levels can be expected.
I would also like to point out the inaccuracies about the Camaro’s gas consumption and fuel tank capacity. Mr. Peters states that a “20-something gallon gas tank” will take $70, which is true if the tank holds 23-gallons of gas. But the last Camaro had a 15.5 gallon fuel tank, which would cost $45 to fill up. I’ve been around cars all my life and I personally have never seen any muscle/sports car with more than an 18 gallon tank. Even my 1998 Jeep Wrangler doesn’t have a 20 gallon tank! It holds 19 gallons, which is the larger, optional fuel tank. He is somewhat close on the “20-something MPG.” LS1 powered Camaro SS models are known to get 28-29 MPG, and with GM’s Active Fuel Management technology slatted for the next Camaro, I would expect to see similar, if not better, MPG numbers. Corvette gets 28 MPG in the base LS2 model, and the 505 HP Z06 even doesn’t do too bad with 26 MPG. I would say these are hardly gas-guzzlers compared to the Camaro’s and Corvettes of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Yes, I would agree that when you compare Camaro to a Honda Civic that gets 38 MPG, it might look like a gas-guzzler.
The other fact that Mr. Peters fails to mention is a very crucial piece of information about Camaro buyers. It’s a point that GM finally understands, judging by the recent gathering of Camaro enthusiasts that GM hosted at its Milford Proving Ground. His demographics are accurate in terms of age, sex, income, etc. But Peters misses the obvious fact that Camaro buyers don’t buy a Camaro because they’re looking for a vehicle that gets the best MPG or is the most luxurious. We Camaro buyers purchase Camaro’s because we have a love affair with the car. We have an emotional connection to it, to its history, and to what it stands for. So, will gas prices hurt the new Camaro? I’m sure that Chevrolet will lose a few sales because of it, but I firmly believe it won’t be as many as people think. If Mr. Peters would report the real facts about the car and take a better look at
— Eric Sheumaker
Chesrown Auto Group
Re: Reader Mail’s Child’s Play:
My 83-year-old husband often laments the fact that our three grandsons have been denied the wholesome carefree pursuits of his youth. Hal was born in San Luis Rey, California in 1924. His parents’ property adjoined the San Luis Rey Mission. When the priests were engaged in noontime prayers, six year old Hal was engaged in fishing out their goldfish pond to stock his own at home.
One day as he sat on the back step he called to his mother in the kitchen, “Mom, would you like turkey for dinner?” She, thinking it was just childish prattle, replied, “I’d love turkey for dinner.” So Hal took bead with his slingshot and sent one of the Mission turkey’s immortal soul straight to Heaven. They did not have turkey for dinner. His mother accompanied him to the Mission to confess his sin. In all likelihood the priests had turkey for dinner.
Hal’s first venture into entrepreneurialism was gopher trapping for farmers be-deviled by the rodents destroying their crops. The agreement was “Boy traps gopher, presents gopher’s tail as evidence, is paid 10 cents a tail “bounty” by farmer, who buries tails. After some time, boy observes burial site and reasons that by exhuming tails, dusting them off a little he can sell them to the farmer again and again. But, in the absence of embalming — the tails soon looked a little the worse for wear and took on an aroma of decay. One wily farmer went to the gopher tail cemetery and discovered he was being had by a 10 year old.
In those days you didn’t get off by saying, “Mistakes were made.” His mama used a switch. To add to his humiliation, she made him cut it. He always brought a pretty sturdy branch from the peach tree. She would eye it and say “No, I need a slender one, with a lot of bend to it.” Hal knew why. Slender switches had a certain zing to them on bare legs.
This little criminal graduated from high school at 16, “life-guarded” at the beach in Oceanside until he entered Navy pre-flight at 18, commissioned LTA pilot, graduated college (magna cum laude), awarded scholarship to Stanford for Master’s degree and recently survived a dissecting aorta. God must have forgiven him.
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
Re: Mark G. Michaelsen’s Milwaukee’s Unfavorite Son:
The most disgraceful aspect of the Milwaukee McGee saga is that if Michael McGee ran in an election today, he would win in a landslide of even greater proportions than his blowout recall victory earlier this year.
That explains, far more eloquently than I ever could, where the real problem lies and the mentality of Milwaukee.
— Eric Stessman