Moving On - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Moving On

Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s After Harriet — One Choice, Really:

I can only pray the Bush administration is listening to you. I’ve been hoping Ted Olson would be a Supreme Court nominee for at least the last four years. I was always disappointed his name never appeared on any of the short lists. Let’s keep our fingers crossed (again).

I have been reading your wonderful publication since I first noticed the huge magazine and purchased it at a downtown Kansas City bookstore during a lunch break back in 1990. While I have been agitated by the downsizing of the magazine and bewildered during the relatively short period when the magazine featured the favorite subjects of that futuristic gentleman, whose name I cannot now remember, I do not think I have ever disagreed with anything written by Mr. Tyrrell. I have freely taken of his kool-aid. However, his musings concerning the Miers nomination have seemed designed to ingratiate himself with the White House. Maybe that is unfair to Mr. Tyrrell, but not more unjust than his suggestion that those of us who care very deeply about the Supreme Court are opposing the nomination simply because we have nothing better to do. With all due respect to Mr. Tyrrell, his observations concerning the nomination have been boring and rather disappointing.
Dave Mills
Rolla, Missouri

Re: George Neumayr’s The Unoriginalist:

Political prose doesn’t get any better than this: “Amateur hour has gone much too far when barely literate Democratic Senators, still sore from the schooling John Roberts gave them, are giving her a second round of homework and puzzling over her admiration for the jurisprudence of ‘Warren Burger.'”

And think about what the following, which sure rings true, means:

“‘I can’t see this nomination going forward,’ says a Judiciary Committee staffer to TAS. ‘The hearings would be so ugly.’ What will sink Harriet Miers, he predicts, is the ‘evidence that she can’t write and think.'”

If I wrote or gave speeches like “power attorney” Ms. Miers did back when I was in, say, high school, Brother Kelly would have wrung my neck. But back to Ms. Miers. This airhead has been giving the president legal advice for how long? And now she’s going back to the White House to muddle up God only knows what else behind the scenes? Please.

Harriet Miers is an example of what you get with gender affirmative action — one undeserved promotion after another. Unfortunately it took the spotlight of a Supreme Court nomination to expose her as an empress without clothes.
Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

Multi-culti is nullti-culti.
David Govett

I just read that Ms. Miers has also said that if the Congress will not fix problems then the courts should. Sounds like she would have fit right in with the other liberals on the court.
Elaine Kyle

This has to be about the best rebuttal yet, next to the scholarly article in the American Thinker. Reminds me of the famous caning incident that erupted during a “discussion” amongst the Founding Fathers. Can one picture Miers being there? She’d be asking them if it was time for tea and cookies.
R. Ready

Re: Andrew Cline’s Race-Based Ball:

So how many “elite” American born black long distance runners are there? Why don’t we have our own blacks winning the New York or Boston Marathons? Some people need to get a life.
Roger Ross
Tomahawk Wisconsin

It is ironic that, in Sept 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates are generally credited for being the first Major League team to start nine black players. That starting lineup included Hispanics Manny Sanguillen, Roberto Clemente, Rennie Stennet, and Jackie Hernandez. If it’s in a record book somewhere, put an asterisk by it. Maybe two asterisks, considering that Hernandez, as a Cuban, shouldn’t even count as a minority!

Major League Baseball needs to hire a commissioner from academia, preferably from the California system. Just cap the number of Asians and save the slots for African-Americans. Problem solved.
Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In his enlightening article, Andrew Cline asks whether the declining number of black youths that opt to play baseball is a problem. On its face the question seems rhetorical, but a moment’s introspection suggests otherwise — that perhaps Bud Selig does have something to worry about. I find it not the least bit far-fetched to imagine the next black face entering the open “door to Major League Baseball” to belong to a shakedown artist such as Jesse Jackson, demanding that MLB contribute to one of his “charities” lest he organize a boycott.
Howard Portnoy

Re: John Connly Walsh’s Explosions and Kidnappings:

Two sentences jumped out at me as I read John Connly Walsh’s At Large column.

“The AP and others were notified ahead of time so that they could focus their cameras on the event and record it for history.”

“Casualty reports were slow to filter out but, as I write, the number of dead is reported to be 10.”

Are not AP and others guilty of a crime here? If I had the same information and did not report it in an attempt to save lives, would I not be guilty of something that could land me in jail? Would I be innocent if I had a camera in my hand?

There is something seriously wrong here. Does the press think that it is above the law and above its obligation to the ten or more people who died? Here is a case where protecting their sources puts the media clearly on the side of terrorists. Why do our soldiers tolerate this?
Merlin Perkins

John Connly Walsh replies:
The short answer to your question is that yes the press do think they are above the law. Look what happened in the Judy Miller and other similar cases. Why should the media feel they can withhold information from a grand jury? The media have always had some very overblown fantasies about an array of privileges they believe they have which put them above the law.

I would like to see a judge say to a Judy Miller (or any other reporter who refuses to answer): “You refuse to testify because you won’t give away a source? Ok, it’s ten years without parole for you, even if you change your mind in the next five minutes!

Re: James G. Poulos’s My Kind of EU:

As Europe grapples with the prospect of admitting an Islamic nation with a fast-growing population into the borderless would-be superstate, the claim is being made that Turkey’s history is one of relative tolerance. Europeans are instructed not to worry about the impacts of massive Muslim in-migration by pundits such as Mr. Poulos.

Here are just a few headlines that are examples of what happens in “”secular” Turkey relative to western principals such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the equality of men and women, and support for Islamic terror:

Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office demanded up to three years of imprisonment for MasterCard Southeastern Europe General Manager Ayse Ozlem Imece for degrading the Turkish identity. A survey by a university in Turkey has shown almost 40% support for the practice of “honor killing.” Bektas Erdogan never expected his Christian faith of 11 years to jeopardize his career as a fashion designer in Turkey. The weekly political magazine Tempo and some major Turkish daily newspapers such as Milliyet, Aksam and Cumhuriyet have reported that the Islamist Turkish terrorist organization “Great East Islamic Raiders Front” began publishing a new weekly magazine named ‘Kaide,’ which openly praises Al-Qaeda and idolizes Osama bin Laden. Turkey has been employing thousands of Islamic fundamentalists in violation of its secular constitution.

And here is an example of an “integrated” Turkish family in Germany:

Most recently, Hatin Surucu, a twenty-three-year-old Turkish woman who had been forced into marrying her cousin at age 16, was gunned down at a German bus stop. The attack had been planned. The motive — Surucu had divorced her husband, discarded her religious head scarf, and had begun dating German men. This was too much for her family to bear. So her three brothers killed her, and orphaned her five year old son.

Hatin’s archly conservative father, who comes from the Kurdish province of Erzurum in Turkey’s eastern Anatolia region, has lived in Germany for 24 years but hardly speaks a word of German. Her mother wears a head scarf, adding a veil when speaking with strangers.

If they are found guilty, Mrs. Surucu’s murder will be the sixth “honor killing” within Berlin’s 200,000-strong Muslim community in four months. Shocking as that is, the reactions of some Turkish immigrant children at a school whose main gates are yards from the scene of the shooting has caused even graver concern.

Asked by teachers what they thought of the murder, several 13-year-old pupils are said to have implied that they thought Mrs. Surucu had “earned” her death. One boy said, “She only had herself to blame,” while another insisted, “She deserved what she got. The whore lived like a German.” The enraged school director not only sent a letter home to parents, but also to teachers across Germany. The letter ignited a media fury. Less known, however, is that the letter also hit a nerve among educators. “Teachers from across the country wrote back saying they had had similar experiences,” Boehmecke said. They reported Turkish boys taunting Turkish girls who don’t wear headscarves as “German sluts.”

Mr. Poulos needs to familiarize himself with books such as Eurabia by Bat Ye’or, and The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom before he blithely assumes that Europe will westernize Turkey, rather then Turkey Islamizing Europe.
Beth Plymale

RE: Unsigned letter (under “Iraq Plans”) in Reader Mail’s Up From Academia:

I’m glad to see that Osama reads the Spectator, only he could have written:

When America is finished, in ashes (it will happen soon), you may get the idea your country was simply WRONG right from 1776.

Tom McGonnell
Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Pete Chagnon’s letter (under “It’s the Agenda, Stupid”) in Reader Mail’s Up From Academia:

Mr. Chagnon artfully expresses the feelings of most of the true conservatives in this country as far as G.W. Bush’s presidency is concerned. He points out that he knew who he was voting for when he voted for him. G.W. Bush was not a stealth candidate. His moderate, to be kind, positions on immigration, social issues, and fiscal matters were known when he ran for the Office of President. But we all voted for him anyway. Why? Mr. Chagnon spells it out. None of us wanted Al Gore or John Kerry in that office.

Now I have my differences of opinion with the President’s policies, but exactly what has he done to warrant a rebellion of the right at this point in his Presidency? Is it a succession of things? Is it a single Supreme Court nomination? Is it simply that the conservative movement is merely standing up for their principles? If the latter, why did they compromise those principles for the last five years?

None of these are sufficient. I feel that the answer is simple. The strident conservatives are concerned that there will be no conservative rebellion led by the White House. There was no fight, with liberals, over stem cell research. There was no fight over Social Security. There was no fight over the Roberts’s nomination. And now, there is no fight over the Miers nomination. Compromise is viewed as a defeat, by a segment of the conservative movement. They have not gotten what they want, from this President, so they are in near revolt. Confrontation is the agenda.

But, it does not appear that they understand Washington, D.C. The Capitol is a place of compromise. The whole of our government is built upon compromise. The Congress is a shining example of that basic concept of this country. This President, as most others before him, has had to compromise with members of Congress, many of whom are even more liberal than he is, to get any of his agenda passed. A series of singles will score a run as surely as a homer, it just isn’t as spectacular. No one really knows why President Bush nominated Harriet Miers for SCOTUS and no one knows exactly how she will vote if she ascends to that position. So, it is hard to say if she will be a disappointment to conservatives or not.

There is no clear, overwhelming, majority opinion on most matters in this country and there will not be one in Congress either. The President reflects this. The Conservative movement will have to nominate a candidate that they have more in common with next time. Unfortunately, the Democrats are surely not going to do that for them and the Republicans will nominate a moderate, because moderates win national elections, extreme candidates do not. So the trick is not to attempt to force a lame duck President to change, but to work to elect more conservative Congressmen and Presidential candidates, so conservative positions will be adopted.

The conservatives engaged in this “revolt” against the President’s policies are simply wasting their time. It is their time to waste, however, so that is alright. The have their agenda and the President has his. Unfortunately, they are not the same.
Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

If you can get this to Pete Chagnon who wanted to know if Cut & Shoot was a real place. Yes it is real, see this link.

Also is the home of boxer Roy Harris.
Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

Re: George Neumayr’s The Exorcism of Europe:

I very much enjoyed your Oct. 18 piece on exorcism. It is certainly not easy to be a Catholic in a Church run by men who are, essentially, non-believers.

I had one thing to add that I thought might interest you. The New Rite of Exorcism, according to the experts asked to use it, is utterly useless, a “blunt instrument.”

You wrote, “In the Michel trial, the German bishops actually used its outcome to call on the Vatican to rewrite the exorcism ritual so that it would incorporate all the proper secularist assumptions…The Vatican has rightly refused all these calls…”

I’m afraid you are mistaken about this last, though I would very much like to say you were not.

Father Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome and author of some very interesting books on exorcism, gave an interview with an Italian Catholic magazine in which he says that the very disaster you denied above has been the case. The new rite of exorcism is, as he says, “a farce” and an “incredible obstacle that is likely to prevent us acting against the demon.”

Why? Because it denies the authority of the Church and the power of the Devil. It incorporates, in other words, the secularist assumptions with which modern Churchmen are so enamored in our wretched times.

“I can affirm with certainty that none of the members of these commissions had ever performed an exorcism, had ever been present at an exorcism and ever possessed the slightest idea of what an exorcism is.”

Fr. Amorth charitably ascribes this to inexperience. I think, being a priest of the diocese of Rome, this was probably a prudent move. But he describes the way he and his fellow exorcists were treated by the Romans who are clearly as embarrassed by the work and faithfulness of these men as were the German bishops.

One hundred fifty exorcists came to Rome for a conference and asked for a Papal audience:

We made our request for an audience in the proper manner … on the day before the audience, Msgr. Nicolo told us — to tell the truth, he was very embarrassed and it was very apparent that the decision did not depend on him — not to present ourselves at the audience, and that we had not been admitted. Unbelievable: 150 exorcists from five continents, men appointed by their bishops in accordance with the rules of canon law which requires that they be men of prayer, knowledge and good reputation – and thus in some way the cream of the clergy — ask to take part in a public audience with the Pope and are shown the door! Msgr. Nicolo told me, “I promise to immediately send you a letter explaining the situation.” Five years have passed and I am still waiting for this letter.

Fr. Amorth gives an example of the problems with the new Ritual:

Point 16 solemnly declares that one should not carry out exorcisms if one is not certain of the presence of the devil. This is a masterstroke of incompetence: the certainty that the devil is present in someone can only be obtained by carrying out an exorcism… We exorcists have all tried out the new prayers in the New Ritual ad interim and we have come to realize that they are absolutely ineffectual. But the rite of baptism for children has also been spoiled. It has been so drastically overhauled that the exorcism against Satan has virtually been eliminated.”

Fr. Amorth organized a group of 18 exorcists to examine the new ritual and the result was not encouraging.

“The Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship gave a report to the Commission of Cardinals in which he said… One should also take note of the fact that a group of exorcists and “demonologues,” who subsequently formed themselves into an international Association, were busy orchestrating a campaign against the rite.”

The thing that disturbs me is that the Legionaries of Christ are now running very popular exorcist courses at their Rome University and the Legionaries are notoriously neo-Catholic “company men”. Having dealt in my work with Legionaries’ intractable adherence to modernism in philosophy and their determination to justify and “Christianize” utilitarian bioethics at the same University, I am not terribly sanguine about their much-touted exorcist program.

I have often found it is a charming, though occasionally annoying, habit of American conservative Catholics to assume that, though the men in the chancery offices may be scoundrels, atheists and incompetents, that everything in “John Paul The Great’s” “conservative” Rome is just fine.

One wonders who these trusting neo-Catholics imagine appointed men like Lehman, Kasper, Daneels, and Mahony. It is well to remember that the secularist rot in the Church does not stop at the Bronze Doors and bishops do not appoint themselves.
Hilary White
Toronto, Canada

Re: Jed Babbin’s The Post-Fitzgerald White House:

I never could figure out how two married people ever got into a situation where one could order the other on an official trip to anywhere without a supervisory link between them. This kind of situation is avoided in most large businesses and certainly in the government. Maybe the CIA has no rules against this or does not mind the problems that it could create.
Danny Newton

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