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It’s Academic

Re: The Prowler’s Reporting for Duty:

The pathetic irony with the Kerry-Bush Yale academic experience is that while John Kerry was probably burning the midnight oil studying (or practicing his acceptance speech), W was probably down at Mory’s hoisting a few beers and having some laughs. Gaudeamus Igitur!
Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

John Kerry would be wise to release everything that’s in his file now. If not, just wait until he and Hillary get into their “campaign” season. Remember that no one does “opposition” research like the Clintons. I feel certain that her minions already have lots to use against the Senator. One can just imagine how she’ll be needling John about not releasing his file, and speculating about what might be hidden inside. We all know what a paragon of truth and virtue Hillary is, and she is not about to let a political opponent’s weaknesses go unexposed. Actually I think it will be fun to watch Hillary slide the knife into John’s back. Maybe he will be able to return the favor.
Mart Martin

It now appears that what the present junior Senator from the Bay State said upon presenting himself to the United States Navy was, in fact:

“My name is John Kerry, and I’m reporting for sushi.”

Senator Kerry’s spokesman expressed regret for the long-standing erratum, and emphasized that the young Kerry had not been properly informed of the actual culinary practices of the Navy. He denied the allegation, which surfaces from time to time, that the young Kerry’s disappointment with the shipboard menu had anything to do with alleged war crimes.
Paul Kotik
Plantation, Florida

The Kerry staffer the Prowler quoted illuminates the rub we all have with John Kerry’s ongoing cover-up and dim-witted foot-dragging about releasing the full contents of his service jacket: “The man lost. He’s now had to admit that he was [crappier] student than Bush and yet you keep hounding the man. Nothing will ever satisfy you people.”

“You people”? Where I come from, that is a pejorative, incendiary phrase.

Kerry had to admit he was a worse student than Bush? Notice the familiar construct: “He’s had to admit…”

“The man lost . . . and you keep hounding him”? Senator-and-would-be-president gets caught in lies about the central theme of his candidacy — his service in Vietnam — but can’t/won’t support anything sufficiently, still plays games and because he lost, we should all just drop it?

John Kerry remains a man without conscience. He will never authorize release of his full military record. And until he dies, he wears a scarlet on his forehead he designed and then tattooed. That tattoo is a reminder of how he met with and then gave aid and comfort to our enemy — as an officer of the United States Naval Reserve — while our soldiers died and suffered wounds in Vietnam, and while John McCain and others suffered, even died, in the Hanoi Hilton.

Kerry detests and fears truth. It serves no serve political end for him. He thinks we the “you people” don’t see that. But should he and his staff wander out amongst “you people,” they will find how very much they are held in real contempt for just that.
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Re: George Neumayr’s The Watergate Channel:

Mr. Neumayr stated:

“A student named YinYin Yu, 16, opined daringly that Felt’s info was beside the point since all politicians behave badly at some point: ‘They don’t have ethics. They have politics…. No one acts ethically all the time, and in politics it’s more effective to act unethically than ethically.'”

A student of 16 has more common sense than most of the media talking heads. My advice to TAS: Hire YinYin Yu!
Nelson Ward
Ribera, New Mexico

In contemplating the relative indifference of the Cantonville High
School students to the lessons of a 33-year-old Watergate scandal, I used a mind game to put a young person’s historical perspective on this event. I transport myself back to the 17-year-old high school senior that I was in 1956, and ask myself: What would I think if the big news story of the day was a rehash of a political scandal, the Teapot Dome Scandal (1922)? Answer: You’ve got to be kidding me! I wasn’t even live then.
Tim Hughes
Fairport, New York

All the new media interest in Watergate has raised several questions in my mind:

1. Would the Republic have been irreparably harmed if Nixon had finished his term of office?

2. Do ends justify the means (lying, deception, trickery) take on a higher moral tone if it is reporters playing “gotcha” with politicians, rather than a politician “doing what it takes” to save his agenda or promote his idea of “noble”‘ or effective policy?

3. Is the presidency better or more effective since Watergate?

4. And lastly, just what was Nixon’s crime, I mean besides lying (gasp) to investigators?

Re: Geoffrey Norman’s You Are Not Allowed to Feel Better, Got It?:

Thank you for printing Geoffrey Norman’s editorial against the “Drug Czar.” One of the things he didn’t mention in his excellent piece is the plain fact that the U.S. government, at the University of Mississippi, with professors, fences, guards with M16s, and acres of land, can not grow weed as good as the average long haired hippie who visits his garden once a week at best for fear of fascists who know that arresting longhairs is a lot safer than arresting criminals who have actual victims. That’s right, the government is incompetent at growing A WEED.

It’s gotten to the point that researchers, to get halfway decent quality pot, have taken to desperately trying to import it. That’s what a monopoly does, and the tax-and-spend drug warriors refuse to admit it, just as they refuse to admit their suggestion that God DOES make mistakes, but that’s exactly what they’re saying with this expensive failure of a policy. I defy anyone to debate me on this point. Feel free to print my name and email address, but know this — the moderator won’t be Bill O’Reilly, it will be someone who is ACTUALLY fair and balanced, on whom we both agree, if this happens at all. I’ve seen government weed and illegal hippie weed from the free (“black”) market. Guess which is far superior?

Gracias for allowing Mr. Norman to speak his mind on this topic, he nailed it. It is very nice to see TAS get back to some libertarian style conservative (real conservatism) commentary on issues. Can’t wait to read the letters section for the next week as the sanctimonious social conservative element of your readership go into overload at Mr. Norman’s suggestion that we get back to having individual rights in this country.

The SCOTUS ruling, while pathetic, was hardly surprising. Every SCOTUS session and every legislative session is devoted to curtailing individual rights in this country. From banning smoking in public places to FMA to medicinal marijuana, the powers that be in America want to ensure that you don’t have any choices left to make. Of course, they will never take away anyone’s right to booze, because they all partake in that sin. The Republican Party has lost its way just as the Democrats did a long time ago, by abandoning its principles (individual rights) and selling out to the special interest groups. By definition, special interest groups exist only to promote the welfare of that specific group of people which is often to the detriment of individual rights. People often don’t mind this occurrence if they are not part of the disaffected group. A good example of this is that it is the war on drugs. Why the need for people to try and control the behavior of others? As long as people are not breaking other laws (driving under the influence, public intoxication) why does anyone care if they are smoking pot or using other drugs in their own home? The war on drugs is an abject failure that has cost billions and billions of dollars with no good results. The fact that drugs remain on the black market only makes them more expensive and less manageable and creates most of the crime that occurs in the drug trade (think prohibition). Legalize them, regulate them, and tax them. The Republican Party must get back to supporting the principle of individual rights even on issues with which they disagree.
Ben Berry
Washington, D.C.

I do a lot of reading and it is rare that I will take the time to write a response to anything I’ve read but I absolutely must say that Mr. Norman’s article “You Are Not Allowed to Feel Better…Got It?” is one of the best pieces I’ve read in a very long time. My compliments to the Spectator and Mr. Norman.
Mark Kelch
San Antonio, Texas

Re: John Tabin’s Scalia v. Thomas:

After reading John Tabin’s “Scalia v. Thomas,” it finally hit me. What’s wrong with court decisions, that is. The U.S. Constitution is basically a simple document. Short, concise, and to the point. But when the justices start to “nuance” this point and that, they lose sight of what the framers intended, and go off on nit-picking binges that completely baffle the reasonable mind. So until the supremes come down to earth with common sense decisions, to quote a DC radio host, “We’re doomed.”
Al Markel
San Francisco, California

Re: Ben Stein’s The Cost of the War on Terrorism:

Man! What an article! Thanks.

Thank you for taking the time to be with these families. I am very proud of the military and their families for the sacrifice which are made to help others and preserve our freedom. I am proud of my nephews who have served in Iraq.

“The Cost of the War on Terrorism” by Ben Stein is just great. Thank you.
Wick Smith

Re: W. Simmons’s letter (under “Watergate Criminology”) in Reader Mail’s Record Grades:

Mr. Simmons, where I live, if somebody in law enforcement believes that a person has committed a crime they don’t go running to a newspaper reporter and run their yap, they actually try and prosecute them.

To W. Simmons (who writes “Richard Nixon committed a crime, for which….): Wait a minute! Just what “crime” was Richard Nixon convicted of? I know that he was not a nice guy, but that does not justify the assumption of guilt, out of hand. This is a common tactic of you libs: say it enough times and it becomes a “fact.”
Jay Bannister
Dallas, Texas

Re: Linda Dorf Rips’s letter (under “Watergate Criminology”) in Reader Mail’s Record Grades:

Ah yes, it was Richard Nixon. That administration’s dishonest stench still hovers over Mr. Stein’s essay.
— Linda Dorf Rips

Yes, she certainly does. With wild abandon — possibly resulting in
another sort of… er, “hovering stench.” I’m told that there are OTC compounds which might help.
David Gonzalez
Wheeling, Illinois

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