This 74-year-old Jew, a Democrat since birth, rarely agrees with the gist of Stein’s articles.
I do today. Not only his take on the Foley business compared to Darfur, et al.; but perhaps even more his Yom Kippur message about our men and women in the military!
— Mort Weintraub
…As a gay man — no, as a critically thinking citizen — I am livid that Republicans, Neocons and their many enablers and water-holders in the media are blaming the Foley scandal on his sexual orientation. Livid, yes, but honestly, not a bit surprised, as I see the far right now freefalling into a tail-spinning nose dive over how best to control the damage and maintain a position of power. That’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? It’s not about accountability, nor the safety of our nation’s youth from sexual predators. And it’s certainly not about anything that even approaches the truth, which is that top leaders in a Republican-led Congress tried to cover this scandal to protect its power and hold on to a superlative fund-raiser like Mark Foley.
— Jerry Rigdon
Atlanta/Stone Mountain, Georgia
Ben Stein hits the nail on the head concerning L’Affaire Foley. While Iran and Korea race to develop nuclear weapons with a global range, the Beltway — hence the USA — is completely absorbed in a scandal, which when all is said and done isn’t a scandal at all — at least in the Post Clinton America. If you want rape and child abuse writ large — go to the Congo or Thailand; for real political sex and intrigue one must go back several decades. Thus far, all we do know about this sordid cyber scandal is that it is driven by the 527’s, and the timing couldn’t be better for Nancy Pelosi. As far as October Surprises go, when one evaluates the feeding frenzy, this one will be well remembered. Lost in all of the fracas is the fact that they boy wasn’t really a boy, but a young adult of 18. Of course, gay bashing is now “in” (at least until the polls close on November 7th); just a few years ago Pelosi castigated the Boy Scouts for their retrograde fear of gay scoutmasters. Now, Pelosi is demanding why House Speaker Hastert hadn’t better supervised a gay House member’s dealing with pages.
When Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as House Speaker next January, it will not be because of an agenda; nor, will the mid-term elections turn on the President’s popularity, the Iraq War, terrorism, or fiscal matters. When it’s all said and done, the Democrats will win because of a sex scandal where there was no sex, and over allegations of child abuse where the child was an adult. As Iraq continues to melt down, and Iran continues to arm itself, it is nice to know what occupies The Beltway’s attention.
The only thing I would add to your list would be “to read another beautiful piece of prose by Ben Stein.”
You have a remarkable way of cutting to the core of any issue. Please keep writing Mr. Stein.
A Canadian Admirer,
— Nicholas Chadwick
Ben Stein needs some writing instruction! Please help him.
— Robert Murphy
Thanks, Ben, you are a Gem. God bless our military.
— Ginny Hudson
I am an old man now and did my military fighting many, many years ago, probably before Mr. Stein was born. If anything I did was instrumental in his birth or life then this article more than repays me. It is obvious he has far greater insight into where our priorities should lie than the vast majority of the mainstream media and most politicians.
Thank you Mr. Stein for reminding of what is really important in life.
— L. W. Antoine
Palm Bay, Florida
THANK YOU, for Mr. Stein’s “Foley in Perspective.”
It’s the only sane view of this time, along with his heart felt true tribute to God and to the military.
I thank Jehovah for him. May more people turn from today’s insanity.
— Mary Beth
I’ll say it again, God Bless Ben Stein! His constant prayers for our Military and our country will certainly resound in Heaven.
— C.D. Hill
I’ve rarely, if ever, read anything approaching the profound and obviously heartfelt expressions in Mr. Stein’s article. Nothing can be, or need be said, except “Amen” and “Shalom”…
Verl W. Addison
Bravo to Ben Stein. Thank God there are still some people in this country and in the media who have some common sense.
Leave it to the liberal media and the Democrats to use this sad situation to their own advantage. Where were these self-righteous Democrats when Bill Clinton was abusing his position to seduce a young intern on the taxpayer’s time. Maybe if he had been paying attention, he would have allowed those in a position to do so catch Bin Laden. At least Mr. Foley had the decency to resign. Too bad that Clinton didn’t have the same class.
People in this country do need to get their priorities straight.
— Noreen DiDonato
I cannot agree more with your article about this congressman Foley. It bothers me tremendously that this is fed to us on a non-stop 24/7 cycle. So much that I hardly watch even Fox since this story broke. I find it almost frivolous the way the media, congress are handling this. With all the problems we facing today, I am way beyond appalled. I cannot happen to think that there are a lot of conservative people who think the same way as I do. I want congress to seal the border, get rid of PC, combat the war on Radical Islam, pull our troops out of South Korea, hunt, interrogate, kill terrorists, drill in Alaska and the coast of Mexico for oil. And yes, Speaker Hastert has to resign, but no because of this, because of what he did when the FBI raided the office of Congressman Jefferson of New Orleans. But I don’t want congress to be involved in what consenting adults are doing, It is ridicules what is going on here. I am so fed up with this!
— Regina Jaegermann
As usual Mr. Stein proves why he is the ultimate voice of American reason and sanity. And, his final paragraphs left me in tears.
While we constantly say “God Bless America!” I would like to add God Bless Ben Stein!
— S.J. Reidhead
Though I cannot accept the existence of God on faith alone, as a Holocaust survivor and as an immigrant who loves America and cherishes his Jewish heritage, I will say Amen to your entire column, its wisdom and proper perspective.
I especially appreciate your sentiments about our troops in Iraq. We can never thank them enough.
Reading your column, I was again reminded of some my sentiments when in the summer of 1994 when my wife and I visited Normandy in France. At some point after ambling down to the beaches where our troops in 1944 faced the cliffs, I was thinking of the American youngsters from safe comfortable homes back in the safety of the United States charging up the hill in the face of what we know from history was withering deadly machine gun fire. How did they do it; what impelled them?
I only lived because these youngsters did not. We enjoy our liberties because they died.
— Thomas A. Edelman
Santa Monica, California
I enjoy reading your commentaries and just finished reading your piece on the relative importance of “other events” versus the peccadilloes of one perverted ex-Congressman. As the father of a two-tours in Iraq Marine Corporal (whose wife is also serving in the Air Force), I could not agree more with your very moving concluding thoughts regarding the members of our military.
It is interesting that some people in this country either don’t care about, or actually hate the military, who, ironically, would willingly fight and die to protect their right to irrationally hate them. It is also “interesting”, how some who seem to “hate” the battle in Iraq and question whether there really needs to be a “war on terror” at all, also seem constitutionally unable to understand that the military, the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines, are what stands between us and the enemy, this time the Islamic extremists who would either totally subjugate us and take away all the bounties of our citizenship in the greatest country on earth, or if they can’t do that, would kill us all.
The debt we owe these extraordinary people can never be fully repaid, especially for those who sacrifice body parts or even their very lives. They can never be honored and thanked enough (and it is amazing how seldom they actually are, even after the sad experience of the returning Vietnam vets, of which I am one). Unfortunately, one only sees the outpouring of gratitude in numbers when there is a military funeral. I always make it a point to approach every person I see in uniform — without fail, whenever and wherever I am — to thank them for their service to their country.
One thing we should give priority to and work assiduously for, is to assure that such people, such heroes, in addition to receiving the daily honor and respect they are due, more concretely, are provided with benefits concomitant with the sacrifices they have made — for us — so that they can go on to be a part of the American dream as well, either by continuing in the service, or not.
On behalf of my son and his bride, I thank you for your kind words and your moving recognition of the importance of our military in maintaining and protecting your opportunity to live the American dream, your (our) way of life. I wish that more (all) of our citizens, whether they agree with the mission or not, were at least as motivated to demonstrate such gratitude overtly and without waiting for a military funeral.
— Michael Fields
Attaboy, Ben! Tell it like it is. Maybe the gay pros and cons will lighten up now. The problem with Foley isn’t his sexual orientation, it’s his particular lack of moral fiber.
A Member of Congress is presumed to have a modicum of knowledge about what is legal and what is not, but without the guts to stand up to his or her anti-social leanings, all the intelligence in the world isn’t going to keep those leanings at bay.
As an aside, I think your short but delicious cameo in The Mask is far more apropos to Foley than Ferris Bueller. “We all wear masks, Mr. Ipkiss.” Well, now someone has ripped the mask from Pholey’s phiz, so why don’t we all move on now?
— Bob Johnson
I just read about Mr. Stein. First, through a slightly fabricated email, but as always, I checked Snopes.com and found that the central meat of the letter was factual. I decided, then, to read further about him via this website, and ended up at The American Spectator. My parents would love your articles. I am still a bit awestruck at Mr. Stein and how eloquently yet simply he expresses views that are among the most controversial of our time. THIS man is who is brave, ranking right there among our soldiers and the families who support them. THANK YOU for putting these words into print. THANK YOU for daring to say what has become so politically incorrect to say. Mr. Stein is right when he points out that Hollywood wouldnâ€™t dare to proclaim such truths as who the real threat to human decency is. They are afraid of being literally cut down for it. THANK YOU for saying what I am afraid to say a loud as well in too large an audience. You are an inspiration to me. And I am sure many others. Sincerely,
I read that the House Ethics Committee will open an investigation into former Rep. Foley. That’s interesting. As I recall, when Tony Coelho and Jim Wright resigned from the House in disgrace, Republicans asked for an ethics probe in their cases. However, the then Democrat-controlled body rejected the calls, saying that since both had resigned, the House no longer had any jurisdiction or authority to conduct such an investigation.
Did that rule change? Or is this yet again the double standard?
— L. Pettifogger
Regarding Ben Stein’s article and the firestorm that followed. We have heard from the “gays,” who stole a perfectly good word to describe homosexual and invented “straight” to describe the rest of the male population. Maybe that’s what initially got them so whacked out about the Boy Scouts — the creed part where they promise to be morally straight. That was long before “gays” had co-opted the word, and it meant only straight-arrow or true. Even now we say “Damned straight” meaning damned right. We don’t mean damned heterosexual. Ah, but if you only speak Castro-ese, it’s difficult.
But this is as good an argument as I have ever heard for the Boy Scouts not wanting homosexual men “leading” boys (or following too close). It’s the “just in case” clause. Who knows where it would lead?
Maybe Willie Nelson needs to write a new song.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be page boys
‘Least not in Congress, where the “closeted” roam
They’re safer, much safer, if you jus’ keep ’em home
So, Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be page boys,
Let ’em play baseball or go hiking back-packed
There’s a better chance they’ll come home, their virtue intact.
It doesn’t take a homosexual to guess that there is nothing sadder and more desperate than a middle age “queen” with no consort. He goes out shopping.
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
(not San Francisco)
Thank you, Ben Stein. I thank the Lord every day that there are men like you in this country.
— Alan A.
— Bob Keiser
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Re: H. W. Crocker III’s Message to Islamists: Don’t Tread on Me:
Thank you for publishing H.W. Crocker’s outstanding and timely article.
— Hal GP Colebatch
A fine piece by Mr. Crocker, very compelling, and in at least one respect quite provocative. Early on he says it is “…better that Sunnis and Shias proclaim death to each other rather than death to us…”
I’ve been thinking along the same lines, but afraid to give voice to my thoughts, even feeling a shame of sorts for having them. After so much effort on our part to topple a tyrant and establish a peace, it seems at first disloyal to our cause, and certainly to those brave Americans who have paid the ultimate price, to feel anything other than frustration and sadness at the increasing level of sectarian violence. But then, like Mr. Crocker, I think: better them than us.
And what a lesson we’re learning. When the adherents of the two main branches of Islam cannot even reconcile themselves to peaceful co-existence, who among us can still reasonably believe there is much hope, at least in the short term, for accommodation between Islam and the rest of the world?
— C. Vail
Great article; has the facts about our history exactly right. We need a crash course for all students, young and old, that teaches what we REALLY are instead of what some panty-waist wishes we were.
— Don Goodman
Now we have Britain letting a Muslim cop opt out of defending the Jewish Embassy. What next, can a Muslim cop just stand by while a crime is committed as long as it is not against a Muslim? Europe and Britain have totally lost what little mind they had left. They have turned belly up and tail tucked when it comes to anything Muslim, just like the Democrats would love for us to do. Maybe an American liberal judge will use this foreign “law” to help the Muslim cops over here.
— Elaine Kyle
SAVE OUR SEATS
Re: John Tabin’s Every Seat Counts:
Conservatives who think losing in November is no big deal are seriously self-deluded. The chances of regaining the majority in 2008 are slim if we lose them this year. The Bush economy is on the road to a balanced budget and bigger and better things. That means voters will be less likely to change Congress in ’08. It also means Republicans desperate for a win may turn to John McCain as standard bearer in ’08. McCain is a disaster waiting to happen as nominee and if elected (doubtful) President. The solution is conservatives need to work hard for a GOP win in November and then look for fresh Congressional leadership. Not as punishment, but as it is time for new blood.
— Michael Tomlinson
Mr. Tabin, sir, your analysis would make absolute sense, especially the 2008 part, if it were not for one small item. Sir, you are talking about the GOP, the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, the party that never misses an opportunity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In any race where a Repub. is shown to be an ironclad lock to win, it is not safe to bet on said Repub winning. Republican politicians and their advisors are that group most like to fatally shoot themselves with an unloaded gun. Sir, it is good to maintain an optimistic outlook on life, and you may have earned a few paychecks as a GOP “consultant”, etc., but I have been observing, and off and on working in, GOP politics since 1956 (and voting since 1960). I tell you that nothing is impossible with this bunch, from not losing control of either legislative chamber to a complete wipe out in both chambers. But then it is possible that someday Lucy will NOT move the football when Charlie Brown tries to kick it.
— Ken Shreve
DEPENDS ON THE MEANING OF “IC”
Re: T. McGreevey’s letter (under “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien“) in Reader Mail’s Wise Counsel:
Well, I see we’ve goaded another illiterate yahoo into foaming at the mouth whenever we speak of the Democrat Party.
Bubba, it was the Federalist Party, not the Federalistic Party. The Whig Party, not the Whiggish Party. The Communist Party, not the Communistic Party. And even today, up in the frozen North, the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party — not the Democratic-Agricultural-Laborious party – holds power in Mini Soda (as the governor from the Reform Party — not the Reformist Party — used to call it).
As if there were anything “democratic” about the party of the aging antiwar Left, the government employees’ unions, the gay-rights movement, faculty-lounge lizards, radical vegetarians, and female-headed multiple-cat households. Sheesh.
— Doug Welty
T. McGreevy should relax before he (or she?) blows a gasket. The adjective form of the noun “democracy” is “democratic”; the widely preferred adjective form of the proper noun “Democrat” is “Democrat.” The distinction helps to avoid confusing the two: things democratic are usually wholesome and desirable; things Democrat are usually not.
That said, the only thing the Democrats ever regret is the loss of power. They are otherwise incapable of embarrassment. They have no shame.
— Stephen Foulard
NANCY ON PARADE
Re: Jeffrey Lord’s When Nancy Met Harry:
Kudos to Mr. Lord for presenting the usual arrogant hypocritical positions of the liberal elite in our political system. It is refreshing material indeed!
— Daniel Binkley
Might want to consider using the term Nambla Nancy given her support for the group…
— Gustavo Aray
Re: Huey Long’s letter (under “Picking Up Where We Left Off”) and GnuCarSmell’s letter (under “Pence-ive Moments”) in Reader Mail’s Hypocrisy Held Over:
My brow was unmoved at the name Huey Long. For “GnuCarSmell,” on the other hand, it is furrowed.
— Stephen Foulard