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Never Again

Re: P. David Hornik’s On the Left, Terror, and Friends:

P. David Hornik’s outstanding analysis of Israeli Leftist support for Palestinian terrorists aims at tracing fundamental reasons for this phenomenon. And he rightly points out a strong elitist element involved.

It has been my observation that it is precisely from the class of frustrated intellectuals, who believe themselves smarter than anyone else, who believe governing power should rightly be theirs, that this kind of treasonous identification most frequently comes.

This is of course not something exclusive to Israel, but given the evils of suicide-bombing Palestinian terrorism, it takes one of its most reprehensible forms here.
Shalom Freedman
Jerusalem, Israel

There is a point that P. David Hornik has missed. And that is a lack of respect for the opposition. Arafat didn’t want PEACE — he wanted VICTORY.

I think that Arafat was a deplorable person, but looking at him solely in terms of the head of the PLO, he wanted victory. Did this make him a bad person (as I say, leaving aside everything else — his personal behavior, his terrorist tactics, etc.)? No!

Suppose a British diplomat had dropped down in Washington in 1863 and went about ringing his hand about the terrible carnage of the Civil War — all those brave men being killed and maimed.

The Brit says, “We must have peace. Everybody wants peace.”

So he goes to Lincoln and says “Mr. Lincoln, do you want peace?”

Lincoln: “Certainly Mr. Brit. Just get Jefferson Davis to lay down his arms and we can have peace.”

So the Brit goes to Richmond and sees Jefferson Davis and says, “Mr. Davis, do you want peace?”

Davis: “Certainly Mr. Brit. Just get Mr. Lincoln to let the Confederacy go and we can have peace.”

So the war went on.

Is it so difficult to understand this about, for instance, the Palestinians? Yes, very likely most Palestinians DO want peace, but that doesn’t count because they are under the thumb of their leadership. Very likely most Germans didn’t want to invade Russia, but that didn’t count because Hitler was in charge. And Hitler DID want to invade Russia.

So with the Palestinians. They have a warrior religion, they have a tactic — suicide bombing — and they want ALL of Palestine. Why is that so difficult for people to understand?

To offer peace to Arafat, if he were still alive, is in some sense to insult him. In the same way it would have been insulting to offer peace to Robert E. Lee. He didn’t wasn’t PEACE. He wanted VICTORY. As did Lincoln.
Greg Richards

Islamic terrorists are the products of a failed and humiliated civilization. When they look upon the achievements of the West in contrast to their centuries of their failure, they are filled with rage and envy.

Envy and the fear of envy are both part of human nature. The problem with our pampered liberals is that they have an inordinate fear of being envied. This causes them not only to side with terrorists, but also to hate their own country, race, and sex as a way of deflecting the envy of others away from them personally.

Of course this is a mental disorder but it is the reason why the Left is soft on terrorism.
Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

If it were not for the politically correct imperative to avoid damaging self esteem, Mr. Hornik could have summarized the three categories of dangerous Leftists as merely having severe character disorders.
Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

“The question, then, is why the leftist persists in this view (‘defend the indefensible’) of things.”

Why? Lawrenced Auster offers a fourth reason: Cultural Leninism — assigning morality, not to a group’s actions, but inversely proportional to the group’s perceived degree of power. This is because the Left views all life as a class struggle, between those who have and those who don’t, and this includes groups that have power and those that don’t.

The elimination of class necessarily demands an insistence on radical egalitarianism and radical non-discrimination. Thus, when the Israelis were the underdog against five Arab nations, the Left cheered them on; now that the Palestinians are the ones perceived to lack power, they are given the moral high ground. “…In a society dedicated to that proposition, the good itself must ultimately be seen as evil, because the good discriminates against evil, while evil must be blessed with victim status, because it is excluded by the good… Traditional morality judges the intrinsic moral qualities of men’s actions, and so is capable of seeing and stopping real evil when it appears… By contrast, a people that defines the good as tolerance must inevitably end up tolerating evil, even the evil of terrorist killers… These inversions of decency and sanity are not the work of anarchists. They are the logical consequence of the central credo of modern liberalism: that all intolerance and discrimination must be eliminated.” [Emphasis added] — Lawrence Auster, “Liberalism: The Real Cause of Today’s Anti-Semitism.”
Gordon Paravano

Re: Christopher Orlet’s Drawing the Line:

Mr. Orlet draws a line regarding free speech, and this makes him a more dangerous man than his anti-Semite enemies.

He opens telling us that H. L. Mencken supported free speech “up to and including the utmost limits of the endurable,” and then interprets this as Mencken drawing a line on free speech expression. Can Mr. Orlet not read? That means Mencken supported unlimited free speech, period.

Where does it end to legally justify the silencing of those with whom you disagree? If you don’t like the speech of the hateful or insane, then put the truth out there. Only the hateful and insane will deny the truth. It is always, precisely, and only the speech that is offensive to some, that requires protection. Otherwise the sacred Constitutional right of free speech becomes Orwellian, or in this example, Orletian.
Gerald Brennan

Mr. Christopher Orlet is fixated on Idea # 38,567,045 which most people long ago recognized as a really stupid, vicious idea. Mr. Orlet, however, thinks it’s our civilizational duty to shut down expression of the idea.

But Idea # 23,875,306 (partially superseded by Idea # 23,875,403(b)) was far more horrible in its implementation in the 20th century, yet its expression is proscribed precisely nowhere in Europe.

What’s up with that?

The answer to Mr. Orlet’s implied question “How far does one allow treacherous ideas — ideas proven to have deadly consequences — to spread and corrupt?” is “To the horizon and beyond. Way, wayyyyy out there.”

Come ON! It was not the ideas themselves that caused all the damage. The damage was caused by degenerate street fighters who fought for political power, won the battle, and then set about implementing Idea # 495 (particularly odious), Idea # 23,588, Idea # 777,856, Idea # 27,459,443, and Idea # 29,112,004, among others.

That they succeeded as they did had everything to do with (1) the chaos of postwar German and (2) political cowardice in other countries. The success of these monsters had very little to do with the lack of polemical ability on the part of their opponents. Once vicious people get their hands on power, any half-baked idea will serve as a justification for whim (e.g., Idea # 52, currently very much back in vogue at UCLA).

The remedy for bad speech is more bad speech, which is hardly an original idea with me. I mean, isn’t it delicious to hear the Islamicists actually saying out loud, right there in public, that they believe Ideas ## 456,970 through 577,859? The more they say how much they like them, the more laughable they become. It’s hysterical. I want them to repeat these pathetic ideas over and over again. QED.

That we collectively remain so silent about the worthlessness of those particular ideas is far more worrisome to me than allowing them to be promulgated (though I must confess that I wonder why we make it so easy for the Saudis, a hostile foreign power, to finance the promulgation in the U.S. of Idea # 359,888).

Nonetheless, trying to shut down speech (other than the kind that (1) starts stampedes to theater exits, (2) scares the horses, or (3) immediately incites riots and fainting spells) is an exercise that is unworthy of our great Western tradition of skepticism, inflates the importance of the feared speech, and reflects a sad lack of confidence in the ability of reasonable people to refute stupid ideas. Yelling “Shut the [bleep] up” has some initial appeal as a control mechanism but, in the end, it’s a heck of a lot more work than you expect.
Richard Ong
Cassville, Missouri

Too much Freedom?

No, I don’t think so. I disagree with laws against denial of the Holocaust for the same reason I disagree with economic protectionism: interference in the market, whether it is the market of ideas or the market of goods and services, ultimately hurts consumers (which in the realm of ideas, is the public itself).

Can we defeat denials of the Holocaust by countering those statements? Yes, of course we can. We don’t need laws to do it.

We do outlaw speech, but only when it does actual harm. If someone discloses our national secrets, who is harmed? All Americans are, by being placed in grave danger of harm by our enemies. When someone makes realistic, actionable threats against another individual who is harmed? The individual, who is coerced by such threats, same as the victim of a robbery. Who is harmed (not to confused with offended) by a denial of the Holocaust? Nobody but the issuer of such denials, whose reputation as a fool is firmly cemented by the statements themselves.

Once criminal penalties are used to police speech for political correctness, the sole determinant of what is and is not legal political speech lies with the politicians who write our laws. Many would say it’s a good thing there are no limits on political speech here in the USA.

I would say: Anybody ever heard of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act?
Mark Stewart
Jacksonville, Florida

I am neither a leftist nor a mindless modern “libertarian.” However, I have to side with Mr. Irving’s right to express his vulgar opinions. Freedom of speech, particularly political speech, should be inviolate. If you allow the prosecution of Irving for Holocaust denial what is to stop a future Court from prosecuting someone who writes an article refuting the “Jeningrad” Massacre? This is hardly a reach given the environment in Europe today. Think about the judicial attacks to silence Oriana Fallaci over her defense of European culture. Free speech does require that we tolerate the rantings of a David Duke, David Irving, or Noam Chomsky. If you want to gore someone’s pet ox be prepared to let someone gore yours in return.
Jerrold Goldblatt
Arlington, Virginia

I respectfully disagree with Christopher Orlet’s opinion of the prosecution of David Irving. In fact, I vehemently disagree. To me, this issue is so basic that I fail to see how Mr. Orlet could have arrived at his conclusions.

This is clearly a case of Free Speech as the Founders of this country intended; to say otherwise is intellectually dishonest. That Mr. Irving’s opinions and writings are unpopular and offensive is irrelevant. However, the right to be unpopular and offensive is not.

That Mr. Irving is a fool and a buffoon is not in doubt. But I’m increasingly nervous when ideas begin to be labeled “illegal.” To me, this is creepier and more reminiscent of fascism than anything that Mr. Irving believes or says. And might I add, since this trial is taking place is Herr Hitler’s homeland, the irony is not lost.

Sorry, but I’m with the Leftist intellectualoids on this one. Irving as a right to make an ass of himself to as large an audience as he can find. Frankly, his idiocy, on full public display, is a tremendously valuable example of the true face of anti-Semitism.
Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey

Re: Lawrence Henry’s MSM Waterloo?:

I swear to God, I thought your first paragraph was aimed at the mainstream media! It was perfectly worded, and perfectly targeted. “One of the things we’ve seen this year is the reduction in your approval ratings.” How could it be better said, the MSM’s ratings are in the tank and sinking like the Titanic.

“And I know how you feel about polls, but it appears to be taking something out of your political clout, as evidenced by the Patriot Act vote.” The MSM ignores poll results that don’t buttress its agenda, readers no longer accept them at their word.

“What do you attribute your lowered polls to?” Good question. They result by the public learning the truth from bloggers, and being able to recognize the pervasive MSM bias.

“And are you worried that Independents are losing confidence in your leadership?” Nailed their coffin shut! There is absolutely no confidence in the MSM’s “leadership,” as per Dan Rather, ABC News et al. The Alternative Media has them in its sights, the MSM’s every utterance is being vetted, and the MSM fails to meet the bias or truth test.

Lefties simply cannot learn from their mistakes. The question is meant to expose Bush weaknesses, instead the weaknesses exposed are with the leftist MSM and its’ leftist reporters and staff.
G.B. Hall
Marietta, Georgia

Re: John Tabin’s Democrats Powerless Against Alito:

In my mind, perhaps the one major baffling question that remains unanswered regarding the hearings is; why do we insist on calling them hearings? They are not hearings. Truth be known, what they truly are, are an inquisition or even more appropriate, a kangaroo court. Mr. Alito, in the eyes of Teddy and his band of insignificant little boys and girls on the left, was tried and convicted before even entering those quote, unquote, “hearings.” In short, Mr. Alito is guilty of something. Just what specifically, other than being a conservative, no one will ever know.

Folks, is it me, or has the Democratic Party become an unhinged, international disgrace? I find their Modus Operandi at best disgusting, embarrassing, shameful and putrid. Teddy and his gang of insignificant little boys and girls on the left should be ashamed to show their collective faces in public. To my way of thinking, they owe Mr. Alito a huge apology, on their knees and from the senate floor for their disgusting, abusive behavior and accusations. And Teddy, what a piece of work! This man who can’t even complete a short and simple journey across a simple bridge has the nerve, the sheer audacity, to badger this fine, decent American patriot.

What in God’s name has happened to the Democratic Party? Senator Lieberman, sir, you need to disassociate yourself with that pile of steaming, human refuse that was once the noble Democratic Party. You sir are a fine decent American patriot whom I could vote for as president. But as long as you continue your membership in that disgraceful party, I wouldn’t vote for you as dog catcher. Good God almighty, the late great President John F. Kennedy must be rolling over in his grave.

Teddy Kennedy, as a Massachusetts resident, I am embarrassed over your behavior. You, in my opinion, are a living, breathing, walking, sewer dwelling, embarrassment. Talk about a party residing in the sewer. In my opinion, many on the left are so low that they have to look up to watch a snake crawl on its belly.

God Bless Mr. Alito and his family for putting up with the collective intellectual midgets on the left and their disgraceful and putrid behavior for three days. I predict that you will all be nominated for sainthood when this kangaroo court disbands. And from me sir, thank you for the sacrifice you and your family are making for this country.
Jim L
East Sandwich, Massachusetts

Thanks to John Tabin for explaining in terms that even a smart twelve year old can understand, what Judge Alito thinks and how he came to think it and why he will continue to think it beyond all the badgering of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. Sadly, Dem Judiciary Committee members are impervious to reason, ignorant of law and the Constitution and have a tin ear these days of what resonates with the public. They came off as cheap criminal defense lawyers.

Joe Biden, perhaps unwittingly (as that is how he generally operates) cried “Uncle” when he said these preliminary interrogations ought to be done away with and it should go straight to a vote. If that isn’t frank admission that all the flashing white grimace-grins, Princeton Baseball caps, all the Kennedy fluttering of staff-prepared notes, held in hands tremulous from a lifetime of Happy Hour starting before noon, the snide Russ Feingold— that none of them could lay a glove on Sam Alito, I don’t know what is.

Biden, on a stupor from three days on the ropes, thinks if it had gone straight to the floor Barbara Boxer, Barbara Mikulski and Harry Reid might have bitten Alito’s ankles enough to make him stumble. Well, dream on, Joe. You had your chance for three days plus your Chris Matthews and Katie Couric moments and none of it stuck.

Let the four-flushing vote battle begin!
Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

That was a very insightful piece from John Tabin on why the Democrats won’t be able to stop Samuel Alito’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

A few additional thoughts: First, left unsaid by Tabin, though strongly implied, the reason Alito will be confirmed is that he is simply too qualified not to be. Alito’s testimony, and his many opinions while serving on the 3rd Circuit clearly demonstrate this.

Second, he does not see the vocation of a judge as a “superlegislature” as some do; rather, his 15-year track record on the 3rd Circuit shows that he knows his role is to strike down only those statutes that are inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. Hence, his refusal to call Roe v. Wade “settled law.”

Third, it appears that a number of conservatives (including yours truly) were wrong about last year’s “Gang of 14” compromise. Turns out, it has greatly benefited President Bush. As Tabin points out, if the Democrats try to filibuster, the Republicans simply have to trigger the so-called “nuclear option.” Kennedy and Co. will then have to kiss this weapon goodbye, and say hello to Justice Samuel Alito. Why will the GOP be able to do this? See my first additional thought.

Fourth, what happens when (GULP!) President Hillary nominates Laurence Tribe to the Supreme Court? Obviously, such a nominee is an expert in the workings of American jurisprudence. So, how will Republicans stop him, without being accused of hypocrisy (i.e., “You supported Alito, who was well qualified. Tribe is well qualified too, but you won’t support him, you hypocrite!”)? They must make their case about the judges’ proper, restrained role; remind people of the horrendous Kelo decision, as well as their many other power-grabs.

All in all, it was a good week for conservatives. Samuel Alito acquitted himself very well. He not only ran intellectual circles around the egomaniacal Democrats; he presented a cogent case for judicial restraint.

Simply put, if Samuel Alito is not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court, nobody is.
Greg Hoadley
Boca Raton, Florida

The Senate Democrats lost their “Battle of the Bulge” yesterday and in so doing demonstrated their complete lack of honesty and common decency. As Mr. Tabin suggests, their “battle” over Judge Alito is all but over. But there is no honor on this battlefield for them. Neither bravery nor principled idealism were demonstrated by these superiorists, only the cowardice of small and vile men like Ted Kennedy, hiding under their protection of senatorial immunity. I mean no offense to the many brave men and woman who have graced real fields of battle with their bravery and blood in making this war analogy and I would agree that the actions of the Senate Dems were more like street muggers than soldiers, so if I have offended, I ask for your forgiveness.

The Senate Dems once again revealed the ugly face of liberal elitism. No slander or lie was beneath them, yet I suspect that their advocates at MoveOn, et al., are not the least bit sated with the carnage inflicted. They wanted this nomination defeated, but with a man like Alito running circles around their liberal champions at every step, the far left never had a chance. Such is the sad state of affairs that currently plagues our country. While I suspect that Reid will not give up without a final fight, it would be fitting, as Mr. Tabin opines, to have the reign of liberal judicial activism annihilated by the “Constitutional Option,” for a least a generation to come. When Justice Alito finally assumes his well-deserved place on the Supreme Court, judicial restraint and original intent will once again become the guiding principles for all judges to adhere to. As for the Democrats, with their war over judicial activism having been lost, they must now face the reality that a sea change in their political calculus must occur. They must actually engage the American people and speak to policy initiatives that Americans can evaluate. Democrats can no longer sit back and ankle bite and nibble at the edges and pretend that this is sound opposition policy while unelected judges enact their radical policies for them. Yes, now that the judiciary has been recalibrated, Democrats must once again stand on their own. I suspect Zell Miller will be proven correct when all is said and done.
A. DiPentima

Re: Ralph R. Reiland’s Shock and Flawed:

Most of Iraq has been untouched by anything near what a real destructive war is like. You know — people eating rats for food, mass exoduses of refugees, millions dead, rampant diseases, and total destruction of major cities — you can’t do that in today’s PC culture. But that’s been the tried and true method of winning a total war against an enemy fanatically bent on your destruction. You wipe them out and show no mercy on them until they surrender.

On their side they are lucky to find a Band-Aid much less get helo’d out from a fire fight. So many of our wounded would be dead if we were in their position but luckily we have top notch medical capability. Our side would have many more deaths if we had used a larger force on the ground though since we only have X amount of highly advanced military medicine expertise to have at hand. Plus the thinking goes that you want to have a strong incentive for the Iraqis to get their ship in order if they want a secure place. Incentives for becoming a productive human being towards the greater good of a society is a core conservative principle so fostering that in Iraq is imperative. I can guarantee you that after we bombed Berlin in WWII — destroying a huge chunk of it — the next day there was traffic flowing and people who went about their daily routine in parts of the city that did not get destroyed.

Gen. Tommy Franks wrote in his book that they totally didn’t see any of the trucks that were loaded up with fanatic killers trained to fight using cowardly suicide methods right around when they did that mass ordinance dumping known as “shock and awe.” So there’s one big opportunity the military missed. Second — Paul Bremer was screeching in deaf ears to crack down on the looting that occurred — remember all of that? If the U.S. military had shot looters and showed that we were the new sheriff in town that would have shown we meant business. Instead we looked like liberals — all spineless and weak. Third — getting shafted by our so-called ally Turkey. We were not allowed to invade from the northwest. This was crucial since that force from Turkey was to have secured the border with Syria and that whole river-valley ‘Sunni triangle’ area would have been subdued like the areas where we drove up to Baghdad were. Seeing active military maneuvers in your backyard tends to subdue you. You can bank on that every time. The vast majority of Iraqis were not subdued by ‘shock and awe’ because they didn’t see any of that. And they didn’t keep any kind of garrisons in areas that were loaded with insurgent-types so that also invited a counter-attack at a later date by them.

All of this is a moot point since the liberals denied us from invading in a timely fashion so our every military move was telegraphed ahead of time. Our dumb media can’t keep a secret and actively look to report as many secrets as they can. If they can’t find a secret to tell they’ve been more than willing to make some up.
Jackson, Michigan

Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Race to the Top:

Jay Homnick offers a very interesting glance into the character of Little Chuckie Schumer, de facto junior Senator from New York.

Considering that a former Klansmen is senior among Democratic senators, I can’t see Chuckie’s attempt to ethnically cleanse Flatbush having any negative consequences for him. I hope I’m wrong.

Maybe someone can check Chuckie’s real estate records for restrictive covenants from the 1920s. Do you suppose the press would throw that in his face, a la William Rehnquist?
Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Re: Lawrence Henry’s Future Sports:

Lawrence Henry’s article is good as all the others he’s posted on your web site. But I have to take exception to his view that “auto racing is already more fun on TV than in person.” I’ve been attending motor sports events of all type of race cars for over forty five years.

Believe you me, there’s NOTHING like being there. Anyway, American Spectator monthly magazine and website are great. My favorite writer is R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr. — he really does a good job exposing the cranks on the left.
Vincent Giannangelo
Boston, Massachusetts

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