Re: Al Schilleci’s letter (under “Imposterosities”) in Reader Mail’s In Recovery:
I have never said that I wish I had voted for John Kerry. On the contrary, I have said on the record that despite my criticisms of George Bush that I would vote for him again if Kerry or Al Gore were the alternatives. What I have said is that if I were given the choice today between Bush and Bill Clinton, I would vote for Clinton. Whatever else you may think of him, on economics and the budget his administration was much superior to Bush’s. It gives me no pleasure to say that, but any objective examination of the facts will come to the same conclusion.
— Bruce Bartlett
Great Falls, Virginia
NO PEACE THROUGH SURRENDER
Re: Doug Powers’s Peace at Any Cost:
Doug Powers’s piece, “Peace at Any Cost,” touches upon one of the great dilemmas of mankind’s attempts to bring peace to this planet. When devout pacifists are pressed upon their beliefs they typically resort to quoting either Christ or some other worldly pacifist like Gandhi. Like so many things written in the Bible, the “turn the other cheek” method of solving problems tends to just feed the problem. It has its place but it did not save Christ nor did he wish to be saved. As a purely pragmatic matter, if every Christian followed the teachings of Christ to the letter, the world would be in short supply of Christians in less than a decade. Given that the same God created us and Christ and gave us our genetic based tendencies, it stands to reason that our natural response to violent attack being to defend our selves or our loved ones is not out of line with God’s wishes in a broader picture.
I consider myself a Christian but I will not be the one that turns my swords into plows or lays down my weapons at the first stream I come to marching into Hell. I don’t doubt the beliefs of the “true pacifists” but please don’t beg for your life on TV because your child-like view of the world has come crumbling down around your shoulders. Evil exists and unless you want to see the entire planet consumed by it, it must be confronted on this planet not in the next life. If you believe violence only begets more violence, you need to square that belief with the outcome of WWII and 60 million dead because the world kept turning the other cheek until evil had the strength to lash out.
I hope the peace activists find a better world where ever they end up but I also hope some of them realize that their beliefs ended their friends’ lives and accomplished nothing to disarm the evil they embraced. If you have such little regard for your own life, you certainly don’t have any for those around you. There in lies the dilemma, to bring peace to this world using the populist view of today means lifting not one finger to stop the actions of blood crazed murders. I can’t speak for Christ but I suspect his human side would have had a problem with standing by and watching a child be murdered when he could have done something about it. If you don’t have the means to resist, you are just another lamb to the slaughter. History is full of lambs, wolves and those who stand between them. Tom Fox sacrificed his life thinking that “turn the other cheek” would make a difference. It did, it made it easier for the wolf to find a meal.
— Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia
The story on Mr. Fox, murdered by Muslims, has prompted me to make an offer. I am not a wealthy man but I am willing to pay Ms. Cindy Sheehan’s way to Iraq so that she can cause peace with Islamofascists to just break out! I believe it would of great value to America’s war effort to send her there.
Ms. Sheehan could no doubt tell them of her distaste for everything American and thus become a moderating influence. Please write me, Ms. Sheehan, care of this publication, to arrange for your transportation to Iraq.
— Jay W. Molyneaux
Doug Powers’s TAS article, “Peace at Any Cost,” was a very interesting glimpse into the minds of those who self-charitably call themselves pacifists. And while the murder of anyone trying to do good works is a tragedy, Tom Fox’s death also illustrates the hideous mindset of his Islamist killers.
Pacifists live in an idealized world that — for most people — ends in their teenage years when the real world intrudes with its less than ideal realities. To believe that evil will cease being evil because one refuses to respond to it with force is a juvenile vanity that most mature minds reject. Pacifist ideals didn’t save Mr. Fox and they won’t save civilization. The nature of this enemy (and all past enemies) renders pacifism a non-option in our survival.
The hard truth is that Islamists don’t care what Hollywood or the New York Times says about anything; they don’t care if westerners are gay or straight, black or white, liberal or conservative, married or single, rich or poor or male or female. If ANY westerner is not willing to accept Islam with its hyper-intolerant, medieval “culture,” and live our lives strictly according to the Koran, they want us dead. Period.
Tom Fox’s murder should illustrate what is at stake in the Middle East and what type of enemy we face. Denying these threats to world civilization is done at the cost of our personal liberty and our lives.
— Deane Fish
Altamont, New York
Well said, and none too soon.
One minor point.
Can we stop calling murders “executions,” please? The term comes from the phrase “execution of sentence” and implies that the terrorists and gangsters in question have some kind of legitimate authority, and that there was some kind of due process. Neither of which is true.
The unfortunate Mr. Fox was murdered. No one had the right or legal authority or excuse of any sort to kill him, or any of the other terror victims.
God have mercy on him and them — and on us if we don’t get our act together and defeat these scum.
— Martin Owens
Doug Powers’ article reminded me of an interview I once read about Dave Mustaine, the guitarist and founder of the heavy metal band Megadeth. He explained the reasoning behind the band’s big hit: “Peace Sells.” Mustaine simply said: “I see a lot of people selling ‘peace’, but I see few buyers.”
Yeah, they’re good live too.
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
The death of “Christian” peace activist Tom Fox at the hands of the brutal and sadistic Islamofascist group, “Swords of Righteousness Brigade,” admittedly produced conflicting reactions within me, some of which were not very charitable. Fortunately, Mr. Powers has tastefully and respectfully touched upon those aspects of reality denial by pacifists like Mr. Fox without the sneer of paternalistic superiority. That being said, I shudder to think of what last thoughts went through Mr. Fox’s mind when confronted with the horror of his impending brutal death. Sadly, I suspect, like Mr. Powers, that Mr. Fox did not experience any great epiphany as he faced the great void. I say this because if indeed Mr. Fox was a dedicated Christian activist, he would not have been woefully ignorant of the admonitions from another great Christian pacifist who preceded him, to wit, Reinhold Niebuhr.
The well-worn adage that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it, is usually lost upon pacifistic utopian dreamers like Mr. Fox but some, like Niebuhr, were able to see through the fog of idealism before it was too late. For decades, Niebuhr was a dedicated pacifist and Christian theologian. However, when confronted with the pure evil of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Niebuhr saw that Western Civilization was facing the greatest challenge of its time. This confrontation with evil required action, the type of action done by men and woman shunned by the elites on the left that occupy campuses like Yale and Harvard. For Niebuhr, it was time to shuck the folly of moral equivalency and ambiguity. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, not to pacifists like Mr. Fox or those cocooned in the admissions office at Yale. To be charitable, at least Mr. Fox had the courage to die for his convictions, misguided and foolish as they were, which is a lot more than I can say about the scores of world class phonies like Michael Moore, George Clooney, and leftist academicians.
— A. DiPentima
A RARE FRIST
Re: The Prowler’s Censorious Democrats:
Well, finally! I can’t believe Senator Frist found a pair and actually backed down the Senate Democrats. Usually he stands there with his big brown eyes popping and stammers something about being outraged. Good for you, Bill. It’s about time. Let’s see some more starch in the backbone.
— Judy Beumler
MINISTER WITHOUT A PULPIT
Re: Ivan Osorio’s Standing Athwart History…:
I was just wondering if the author, Mr. Osorio, could let us know whether Mr. Lynn still describes himself as an “ordained minister.” That’s how he always introduced himself on TV when was the ACLU’s anti-Christianity point man. But where has he ever preached?
— Jim O’Sullivan
A PRESIDENTIAL BILL OF GOODS
Re: W. James Antle III’s Bartlett’s Protestations:
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that the same W for whom we voted once, maybe twice, hasn’t been — increasingly, by a long shot — who we expected. Did we get duped by W and his handlers, or were we just so repulsed by his opponents and what they represented we ignored who W is?
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
ISLAM’S PR STRATEGY
Re: Jed Babbin’s The Yale Colonial Office:
In the article, “The Yale Colonial Office,” the author forgot to mention that students at Yale may find Hashemi to be a likeable fellow and come to embrace his and Islam’s ideas towards the role of men and women. For a special ambassador of the Taliban, Hashemi has pulled it off — coming to Yale to proselyte the ideas of Islamic male hegemony and misogyny. At some point, many men in America (particularly at Yale) are going to realize that if Islam triumphs in America they will be sitting in a power seat unheard of in the West and completely unthinkable. The American male has nothing to lose by embracing Islam and Yale is publicly rewarding a most extreme form of Islam.
Please let us know whether Yale has any Islamic clubs and, if so, Heshemi’s involvement, and definitely keep us informed on the Islamic proselytization efforts of Yale and the corruption of American youth.
— Michael R.E. Sanders
Jed’s piece on 3/13 (Yale) was one of the best I have read. Thank you.
Jed Babbin replies:
Mr. Sanders: Are you pulling my leg, or have you lost your mind? “The American male has nothing to lose by embracing Islam?” No, nothing at all. Only every single freedom we have, every right under our Constitution, and everything else we hold dear. C’mon. You were joking, right?
OLD BUT TENACIOUS
Re: Eric Peters’s Senior Driving:
The saying goes, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Eric Peters singles out one population group (people above a certain age) to persecute in the name of “STATISTICS.”
You could very well take his statistical reasoning and apply it to another population group, the Negro race. Statistics indicate that African Americans in this country commit more crimes per capita than any other race. Based on Eric Peters reasoning, one could argue that it would be appropriate for retail establishments to have African Americans shopping in their stores followed and closely watched, because some African Americans commit crimes. Of course, that sort of action would be reprehensible and soundly condemned by society.
Mister Peters’s arguments give me the chills. His phraseology â€” “For example, who could argue” blah blah blah — smacks of demagoguery. Singling out one population group as the root of a problem sounds a lot like something from the 1930s. How far away is a “Logan’s Run” solution?
I have 55 years driving experience, am 70 years old, just retired, 6’5″, 250 lbs, and could drive circles around Eric Peters sorry *** and could probably whip it too.
— Richard Swett
MAKING MASSACHUSETTS LOOK CLEAN
Re: Lawrence Henry’s Boston’s Brother Bosses:
Howie Carr has always been able to point out the hacks that are prevalent in Massachusetts. He does not see the new generation of hacks who have taken over the Federal Government and the Republican Party. This gang makes the situation in the Bay State minor league. The true hacks are in the Bush leagues.
— Thomas J. Connolly
BEN’S MILITARY FAMILY
Re: Ben Stein’s Missed Tributes:
Spot on Mr. Stein, spot on. Thank you for speaking the truth. Now if only YOU had a television forum like the Oscars to “reward” our REAL heroes. Maybe, just maybe we could teach the country to care about what is really important in life and how to recognize the TRUTH. Thank you, thank you.
— Lt. Col. Carolyn Bell
Ben Stein’s Missed Tribute could not have said it better. Hollywood is so out of touch this could be why the Oscar show had its lowest ratings ever…
Well what can I say to this.? Let’s see… whoever wrote this article obviously considers himself to be the ultimate patriotic American. But clearly embracing the ideology of the Republican Bush administration. Which is out of favor with the clear majority of the current American polls. Fine, good for him. But not representative of a great more than 50 percent of the American public. Which is wonderful and commendable, but America is a big country with lots of different views and ideologies. Thank God.
Be you Democrat or Republican, it might seem plausible to remember that the Oscars are awards given to honor excellence in filmed entertainment. Not supposed to be an evening of political soap-boxing. Let me say again — not supposed to be. Granted, we know in the past (Michael Moore for one example) the event has been hijacked for political and usually liberal Democratic grand-standing. And as a liberal Democrat myself… I disagree with this practice. It shouldn’t happen. But hey, Hollywood is a liberal place and individuals find their ways to take advantage of the spotlight. As inappropriate as that may be, it has happened. For the writer to say that the calls for peace were pitifully dishonest by Hollywood, who “doesn’t consider itself to be a part of America” is not only wrong, but ignorant and extremist in itself. Hollywood is a big part of America, and if that weren’t the case, then tens of millions of people wouldn’t continue to flock to the cinemas. If it weren’t for the American public who lines up to buy tickets, then Hollywood would be out of business So then, who does Hollywood represent? Hollywood tells stories. People want to watch and experience stories which not only take them away from their reality, but can show them another. It is entertainment. It’s the movies. Hollywood is not Washington DC. Hollywood is dreamland…good and bad dreams alike. Stories can honestly be told from any perspective.
The writer of this article says that, “George Bush did not lie.” So can’t we just as easily say that this author is living in his own dreamland? That George Bush, concerning the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as within other political hotpoints has not ever told a lie?? Could we ever dare to say that any U.S. president has ever been completely truthful? How could George Bush be infallible?
I myself have yet to see a movie that “worships gays.” That would be a funny film. But I’ve seen lots of films “worshiping” boxers and other sports heroes. And God forbid, the hundreds of morally deterrent films that blatantly “worship” strong independent or even suffering woman. Right? Or films that “worship” animals or cartoon characters. It just has to stop. Right? Hollywood has just gone crazy with its storytelling. Is this guy actually backing Joe McCarthy and the nonsense that occurred 50 years ago? Maybe I’m wrong, but it sounds that way to me. Like Hollywood has damned the great McCarthyism. Oh please.
The one who is living in a dreamland is the writer of this article who thinks that in America Jews, Muslims, women, gays, blacks, Mexicans, etc. are being treated equally. They aren’t. Sounds to me like the writer of this article only sees America representing himself and others like him.
People in Hollywood DO think that America is a fabulously great country, contrary to the author of the email. I know, because I’m from there and I know those people, and I worked in that nasty un-American movie business. A business chock full of blacks and homos and Jews and Muslims and women and Democrats and Republicans and all sorts of other nasty disgusting un-American types.
Nobody in Hollywood is attacking America. By making such a statements implies that George Bush and the current administration IS AMERICA. And it isn’t. Thank God. People often stand behind the banner of “fighting for freedom,” but who can give a clear definition of what that really means?
Sadly it is radical Islam and Muslim fundamentalism and extremism that is creating such terror and horror around the world today. No question. But this is NOT true Islam. Those people are not representative of the millions of peaceful and loving Muslims who denounce terror and killing, just like you and me. The media has distorted the whole picture. It would be the same as to say that Christian evangelical fundamentalist extremists are the same as you Christians all over America. They aren’t. These are crazy people with radical agendas and blinders on their faces.
REAL GREATNESS lies in open dialogue among different countries, cultures and religions. Real greatness lies in skilled and intelligent diplomacy. Real greatness does not lie in war and battle. Fallen soldiers lie all over the world. All are fighting for what they believe in. All are fighting for their countries, their beliefs — right or wrong. We do not all agree, we cannot. The world will probably never be at peace. But don’t blame Hollywood.
And please don’t say Amen to the writer of that email without taking a minute to think it over. He sounds like an ignorant bigot to me.
— Chris Kitrinos, Tugra Ceramic & Handicraft Center
AMEN! You hit it right on the head! Thanks for the insightful tribute to those who really deserve it.
— Paul Landers
Not real sure but was Oscars on a live delay? Any mention might have been (bleeped)…
I just wanted to say to Ben Stein — bravo! And thank you for speaking the truth in a world that often doesn’t want to hear it.
— Susan Newbold
Bravo — bravo for your “Missed Tributes.”
— V.A. Robbins
Re: “Ben Fest, Week Two” letters in Reader Mail’s We’re Having a Party:
Thanks to LTC Slemp for vocalizing a “soldier’s” appreciation of Ben Stein’s recent critique of George Clooney’s “self-congratulation” speech.
Mr. Stein is the “genuine article” while Mr. Clooney is a just another self-absorbed Hollywood phony, who “plays a hero” on TV.
— Don Kropp
Ft. Bragg, North Carolina
My fellow writers of “Letters to the Editor” regarding Ben Stein and his (and your) feelings of support for our military in harms way, I have a question for each of you. When was the last time that you tangibly supported our troops.
I don’t recall ever reading about Soldiers’ Angels here. That is an organization that provides tangible support or our fine military men and women. January and February have been terrible months for donations for this group.
When did you last send some money for their First Responder Backpacks for our wounded soldiers? These backpacks provide the necessities of toiletries, underwear, etc., for our wounded that have their clothing cut off to treat their wounds and then are rushed off to Germany and then the U.S. with only what remains on them.
When was the last time you sent some funds for the Valour-IT program to purchase lap tops with voice software for our wounded vets that can’t use their hands due to wounds or who are blinded?
When did you last contribute so that we can purchase and send Kevlar blankets to help shield our folks from the IEDs? Maybe you could participate in the Adopt-a-soldier program of writing letters to our deployed forces along with the occasional “care package.”
All of you here are computer literate, or you wouldn’t be reading articles and responding with letters on the Internet. Please visit soldiersangels.org and learn of their activities and who they are, and then consider supporting them. There are other organizations providing tangible help to our military, and I do not intend to denigrate any of them. I just happen to believe in and support Soldiers’ Angels. Yes, I contribute my own limited skills and modest economic resources to them. No I am not a flack for the organization, just one who supports them.
Ben Stein is spot on regarding his attitudes toward this country and our unsurpassed military men and women that pay the price daily to keep us free. Won’t you please consider helping to relieve them of some of that burden that they bear for us?
— Ken Shreve
Mr. Dorell, Mr. Portel and Mr/Mrs/Ms Unsigned, you too are invited, please no gifts of sour grapes.
— Roger Ross
This is to “unsigned” on the Ben Stein Hollywood article. I also thank God you did not bring children into the world to make more little liberals. Why is it Bush’s fault that the people of New Orleans did not get out of the way? What about all those buses that were left to flood by the Democrats that run New Orleans and Louisiana. They should have been used to relocate people.
I am sick of people just making excuses. If you don’t have the guts to sign your letters then why should anyone care what you have to say. This is America and no one is going to come and throw you in jail.
— Elaine Kyle
To Susan Bryan: I am an American who looks at who directs, acts in and or produces a film before I see it. I really wanted to see Monster-in-Law, because it sounded like a funny movie. I have not, nor will I ever see it because the traitoress American, Jane Fonda, is in it. Because of my views I have missed seeing many movies which were acclaimed. Instead I read Ben Stein and others like him. I read the blogs of our service people doing America’s great work. I watch Fox News because, at least, I might get news instead of biased viewpoints. I do the very best I can to see that not one dollar of my money goes to those who defame and despise our great country and the people who serve her. My parents are doing what I am doing. Never will I deliberately see anything by George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Robert Altman, and others like them. They reap the rewards of living in our country and yet disparage it, and spit on it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion in this country. It’s kind of ironic that the countries our celebrities most admire are those where dissent is not acceptable…for example Cuba. They glorify mass murderers and despots. How brave they are to voice their opinions here, where the harshest reprimand they receive is the occasional letter like mine. I would at least have a modicum of respect for them if they tried their antics in say…Iran? Or even their beloved Cuba.
COMING AROUND ON DUBAI
Re: unsigned letter (under “Enough Is Enough”) in Reader Mail’s In Recovery:
I am amazed at the “Unsigned” tripe that gets printed. President Bush is trying to walk a fine line that will enable the Republicans to continue to occupy the White House. As President, he has to serve the People. Now some of those people are Sunday school teachers, but some are thieves, crooks and con artists. I would like to see our borders closed, the Gulf of Mexico restored to its natural level, Roe v. Wade overturned and our military fighting in the name of our God. That ain’t going to happen. Americas’ citizens demands Toyotas and Hondas, abortion on demand, welfare and everything else that requires a global economy. They want us to win a war being fought against an enemy that is fighting in the name of Allah. Yet we are to fight in the name of who? And we are to fight with political correctness?
I made a crass remark about two weeks ago, about offering ports for peace. It was a knee jerk reaction, prompted by the liberal news media. I got suckered on that one. I should have realized that there was more information. I should not have hitched my wagon to a stinking liberal horse. I should have realized this port deal, was just another attack on the Bush Administration. This Port Deal will go down in history as one of the liberals’ finest hours. They won this one. They smeared egg on Bush’s face over a business as usual deal. With the terrorists and the stinking liberals on our trail, we sure don’t need any more enemies. Next time Schumer comes out in favor of anything, well, I have learned my lesson.
— Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire
It’s time to take off the gloves. I have read enough of the Dubai supporters BS long enough. I have listened to the Bush apologists spin about this President to last me a lifetime.
Let’s get a few things straight. Those of us against the Dubai deal are not a bunch of third graders nor are we protectionists. We had justifiable concerns about putting any aspect of our ports under a country, ally or not, whose main religion is one of Islam. The main concern is the fact that at any time, this Middle East government run company could be infiltrated by a radical Islamist (remember that Egyptian flight that “crashed”) and we would have no control over it. Those were valid concerns. Now, the other fact as has been pointed out by quite a few of us on the right is that Bush was the better choice in a field of no choice. We suffered through his increasing of government programs, his out of control spending, and his intrusion in our private lives in the interest of “national security.” Now, a lot of us are facing massive increases in our cost of living thanks to high oil prices, over which G.W. doesn’t seem to have any control or interest to bring in line. Maybe the Democrats aren’t a helluva lot better but as the saying goes, dead is dead, no matter how it happens.
— Pete Chagnon