SEND IN BEN
Re: Ben Stein’s Gratitude:
My thanks goes to Ben Stein for his insights and appreciation of the efforts of the US Military. We are not so different from the people he writes of in his essay except for the fact that we chose to serve for a period in our lives and be ready to answer the call when the time came. As a Marine for over 20 years, I can say my choice was actually been a very simple one, a very simple commitment with consequences that last a life time. To lead one must also serve. So thanks Ben Stein to you. And thanks for the book Tommy and Me. The book helped me a great deal.
— Jerry Driscoll
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Painkiller Killers:
I recollect that frog licking was a fad of the college set back in the ’80s. Might we get that cranked up again amongst the Columbia School of Journalism student body? It might just calm them down enough to consider other careers.
Now where is my tree frog net and passport?
— John McGinnis
AMONG THE PSEUDOCONS
Re: Jed Babbin’s Happy Pseudocon New Year:
The Law of Unintend Consequences:
Look, I’m a pretty smart guy, pretty well-read, been around a bit, fought the Shia in Lebanon and the Liberals in Cambridge. I have some original, useful, and possibly significant ideas. I’m dedicated to the conservative cause and to American security, justice and prosperity.
All I want is to insinuate my thinking into the public discourse and pray it contributes.
But then, every week, I read that damned Jed Babbin and am completely depressed, discouraged and demotivated. The challenge of writing it all out that well is simply too daunting. No can do. Why bother trying ?
It’s like watching Tiger Woods play golf and deciding to run out, buy a set of clubs and get a job just like his.
So here’s the unintended consequence: plainly, the cause would be better served by having more, rather than fewer voices of Babbinesque power and style, but the guy’s explosive yield per gram of fissionable material is probably causing lots of people like me to resign ourselves to a life of watching FNC, refilling our tumblers and writing despondent letters to the editor.
Oh, crap ! I guess the only bright note is we vote right. And 2005 is another year, and you never know what doors might open up.
— Paul Kotik
Jed Babbin gets it and passes it along to us. Must be his Marine Corps roots. Great slap at the “pseudocons” (great coinage too) and heartfelt tribute to the American warrior. Semper Fi, Mr. Babbin.
All I can say about Jed’s piece is… Hallelujah, amen brother, and happy New Year.
— Pete Chagnon
“If we have to fight the fight-and we damned well do, no matter who the nominee is-let’s make it worthwhile.” Amen. What a call to arms! Could anyone have said it more eloquently than Mr. Babbin about what faces those who wish to save our Supreme Court — our country — from the clutches of liberals?
Republicans and conservatives now have to show they are worthy to serve and willing to implement the mandate given to them by the majority who voted in the recent election. Namby-pamby, tail-tucking capitulation to the Democrats and liberals-as well as tunnel vision, fear of governing and general timidity-will not be acceptable.
And indeed, we all are blessed to be Americans. We must not squander or cheapen that. As Babbin said, we cannot rest a moment-yes, we also must fight to win-if we care about our children and their children.
Happy New Year, regardless of what type of “con” you may be! Get ready to put on the gloves and roll up the sleeves.
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
Jed Babbin’s latest cumulation of New Year assessments hit the mark as to the nation’s presumptive expectations of ALL new immigrants from here on out. No one has ever said it better.
The American melting pot should be a crucible that produces committed new Americans who are prepared and willing to assimilate and take a productive place in the society. If pride in a given immigrant’s current heritage trumps desire to honor and adopt traditional American language, values, culture and energy, stay home. Diversity is fine; chaos is not.
Sound the charge! I am right with you! Let no Pseudocon prisoners be taken. Neocons can be taken prisoner provided they are prepared to get with our program and renounce “Neoconism” for ever. Damn the RINOs, full speed ahead. Rummy for Supreme Commander.
— Ken Shreve
“Our great good fortune to be Americans is a precious one, and we can’t rest a moment if we’re going to pass it on to our children”
Sadly there will be very little good fortune to hand on to your children, not while your government is so perverted and deluded.
So far your government has told many lies (intentional lies) and sent your fine young men and women to die in a war that has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. But everything thing to do with the financial interests of the military and oil corporations.
Watching America at the moment is a bit like a snuff movie. Godfather meets Matrix. The people are conned into believing bull—-, then reassured by a deluded born again Christian that he is your protector and will look after you. But you must pay for protection. Your money and the blood of your children is the price. Not to mention your morality and soul.
Some $200 billion (and growing) of your money has been spent on destruction and murder, sorry freedom. But where is the freedom, oh that’s right your freedom to murder innocent women and children.
So far bin Laden has played you like and ignorant fish (sorry to the fish, fish have greater intelligence than your government).
World Trade Center, one to bin Laden,
War on Terror, two to bin Laden,
Afghanistan, three to bin Laden,
Iraq, four to bin Laden.
American people, nil
Bush and the corporate Mafia, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Seems to me bin Laden has achieved his goals and Iraq must have exceeded his wildest dreams. You see bin Laden has succeeded in exposing America for what it is, not what it thinks it is. The criminal and disgusting behavior of bin Laden and his operatives has been more than matched by the criminal and disgusting behavior of Americans who claim to be the good guys, the nation with God on its side.
How would all you good Christians (who support this murder and destruction) explain your actions in Iraq to Jesus?
Now, more and more American kids are killed, wounded and psychologically destroyed, your economy is in decline and your president is thinking of new ways to rape you. Think Social Security. Bin Laden must be laughing his head off at what he has achieved and sadly you guys think your winning. What a sick joke.
My prediction for 2005 is that ordinary Americans will slowly wake up to the disaster that their government has got them into and I would not be surprised if George W gets impeached by the end of his term. He should be and he deserves to be executed for his actions. The world will be better off without the Bushes and bin Ladens.
Happy New Year and God bless America (no one else will).
— Justin Obodie
I hope you have purchased enough cement not only fix the immigration policy but to fashion a pair of boots for Nurse Rached’s Presidential bid. Her endless ambition will provide lots of mirth as well as many excellent articles from TAS. Happy 2005.
— Mrs. John B. Jackson III (Janet)
Re: The Washington Prowler’s Bush Humiliators:
So President Bush is “insensitive” when he did not publicly address the disaster in Indonesia right away. The question is who was he being insensitive to? The victim who is without food, water or electricity and would not know if the President spoke as he has no radio or TV? The President was working right away to get relief to these people, so he was not insensitive to their needs. No, the people he was insensitive to was the press.
There they are down in Crawford TX, with nothing going on and time on their hands when what could be the story of the year breaks. Their colleagues are all over the story, but as they are on the President’s beat they can’t participate until the President comes out and says something. How utterly insensitive to their needs he is. Even Clinton came out and gave the guys covering him something to use. Since he wouldn’t give them a story, the story became that he wouldn’t give them a story.
I guess after 8 years of covering Clinton and now 4 years of Bush, they are still not capable of recognizing that there is a difference between talking about what you are going to do and actually doing it. The first is just words, the second is what actually gets help to those who need it.
What a bunch of whiners.
— Scotty Uhrich
I figured something like this was going to happen. The Left, France and Germany could not figure out a way to blame GW for this natural disaster so they attack him because the United States obviously wanted to gauge the full extent of what was needed.
I am sure the Schroeder and Chirac will be able to cover their donations from the BILLIONS in “consulting fees” they received from Saddam
“Former President Bill Clinton was advised not to speak with the BBC about the tsunami tragedy…” Perhaps someone should advise Kofi Annan not to speak.
From the UN Secretary General (SG) Kofi Annan’s 30 Dec ’04 NY press conference transcript:
Q: What do you think the tsunami is going to do to the international war on terrorism? … how concerned are you that donor money, or some of it, may end up flowing into what some Governments call the “wrong pockets” there?
SG: I think the essential thing is, as I said, not only to be generous and coordinate the efforts, but also to monitor and ensure that it goes to the people who actually need it and it doesn’t get into the wrong hands. That will be the responsibility of those of us and the Governments who are involved in this relief operation.
Irony alert: can anyone recall the U.N.-administered Oil-For-Food program in Iraq? Perhaps Kofi’s son will be in charge of delivering the stingy West’s money to the people in Indonesia and Sri Lanka who really need it. (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.)
— Newt Love
In regards to your piece about the Bush humiliation bandwagon spurred by the Tsunami tragedy… I would bet the overwhelming majority of conservative Americans (we voted, remember?) see the international scorn prompted by anti-Americans like Bill Clinton with wry amusement. I know that I couldn’t care less what the internationalists think anymore. Bill, Hillary, Chirac, Schroeder, all of them, they are losers. Their false philosophies will never succeed, and there is an unmistakable movement towards capitalism and conservatism in this country. Nationalism, not internationalism.
There, I said it. Let the world’s America Haters defend themselves at their own costs, heal themselves at their own costs, feed themselves at their own costs, cloth themselves at their own cost. I know I speak for a large number of Americans when I say, I am sick to death of the internationalists abroad, and HERE in the Democratic Move On party, and wish we would all speak up louder than CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NYTimes, LATimes, so the voice of reason can be heard by all. We don’t care about those who hate us. We tried, but they are mostly jealous idiots who don’t understand this country was built by morals and extremely hard work (not including do-gooder journalism students with misguided and ill-informed philosophies). Thank God for Fox News Channel and ABC Radio, our voices are finally starting to be heard by the majority. Socialist Liberalism will never succeed as long as there are patriots, and if the Dems/Libs are offended by such a statement, GOOD, they have been offending me for a long time.
— Dave Jones
I sincerely hope Senate leftists try their best to embarrass President Bush by rudely jostling Alberto Gonzales and Condoleezza Rice during their upcoming Senate confirmation hearings. Such tactics should only hasten the political decline of these hapless socialists/pacifists since, while Hispanics and Blacks are still widely aligned with the left, their estrangement from conservatism may be reduced drastically by the spectacle of two of their most accomplished members being savaged. In fact, this could lead to that inevitable time in history when these minority groups have their epiphany that their Democrat patrons have in mind only to keep them down on the plantation, on the dole, victimizing each other, aborting their progeny.
— A. A. Reynolds
Chula Vista, California
MOORE THE MERRIER
Re: Enemy Central’s Enemy of the Year:
Was amused to hear ABC Radio News 7:00 CST day after Time‘s announcement of Person of the Year. Excellent illustration of a bias that insidiously seeks to inculcate false impressions in ways that would make Orwell blush.
Bush was the POY, and all they said was, he “was the first Republican president to be re-elected since Ronald Reagan.”
The intended impression is obvious: Republicans have trouble being re-elected. And Democrats do not, why, look, the last one served two terms. Never mind that he was the first one since Truman. And never mind that Bush’s old man, the only Republican since Reagan, was the first elected Republican not to be re-elected since Hoover. This is ingenious, and it is evil.
— George Wolfe
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Methinks we can do without slurs against the Boston Red Sox. Boston teams may not always win, but they’re far superior, on average, to anything coming out of the state of New York, or anywhere else, for that matter. And they don’t buy their wins.
I sent a similar letter to John Derbyshire (are you related, perchance?) when he was making similar noises regarding the Yankees/Red Sox. There’s nothing more ludicrous than an immigrant overenthusing over his new country’s national sport. What hey, Manchester United?
“Anyone, for instance, seen John F. Kerry lately? Check your duck blind. Or the forest where deer once rambled. He could be in there, crawling on all fours, in camouflage, ready to fire his big bertha at anything still twitching. He obviously expects to windsurf again in 2008. We shall see.”
Pretty sure he has a chalet in Cambodia where he runs secret ops for the Nixon White House.
— Mike Shears
Thought your Enemy Of The Year was going to be the supercilious Terry McAwful. But, there again, he’s only a clown…..
— Geoff Brandt
PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL
Re: David Hogberg’s Incremental Conservatism:
David Hogberg is probably right about the wisdom of incrementalism. However, I think the reason most conservatives are apt to desire the Big Bang strategy has less to do with a fear we may not stay in the majority long, and more to do with the all too often fulfilled fear that it is quite likely we cannot count on two Republicans in a row to actually be conservative. It is at least as likely that any incremental conservative gains will be reversed by a succeeding Republican rather than extended. Liberal Democrats never have to worry about such a problem. As Tom Bethell likes to put it, they constitute a hive. Republicans on the other hand are more like a pride of lions. Conservative Republican lionesses do the work of catching the food and rearing the young while spending their free time fending off the liberal Republican males who prefer to eat not only the food but their own young as well. Republicans could use a few more worker bees and a few less prideful old lions. Old Republican lions seem to be the only animal in search of what Bethell calls Strange New Respect and there’s no better way to get it than reversing some tiny hard won conservative advance.
— Brian Bonneau
ROOT CAUSE CODDLERS
Re: Ilana Mercer’s Coddling Killers:
Ilana is right (as she usually is!).
The real root causes of all actions are choices and decisions born of self-determining will. Even the story of the fall of humanity in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures support this.
Adam and Eve were not raised in poverty nor neglect and Eden was no ghetto. They said no to God–his will and way–and chose their own will and way in the midst of blessing and plenty.
Then (after rebellion) came impoverishment, ghettos, and dysfunctional, amoral societies.
Granted, folks raised in cultural ruins cannot help but be affected by them to some degree, but it needs to be asserted and re-asserted as forcefully and logically as Ms. Mercer has done. While cultural and sociological climes may make the right decisions difficult, they do not drive them.
Every terrorist incident and every murder is nothing less or more than Genesis 4 all over again. Men and women choose to say no to God, choose to murder their own brothers, sisters, and fellows, then choose to brag about it.
— Ray McClendon, Minister
Petaluma Church of Christ
ATTICUS FINCH IN HOLLYWOOD
Re: Carey Peck’s letter (“All Stand”) in Reader Mail’s Gentlemen’s Disagreement:
Upon reading Ben Stein’s description of the scene in the movie To Kill a Mockingbird where Atticus Finch stares down the mob in front of the jailhouse, I was reminded of the difference in the portrayal of the scene in the movie versus the portrayal in the book. In the movie version, Atticus renders the mob impotent and harmless simply by virtue of his willpower and righteous indignation. The movie leaves out a very, VERY important detail which was in the book version. In the book, the sheriff was sitting in the second-floor window with a double-barreled twelve-gauge shotgun, ready to blast the first mob dude who stepped out of line. Furthermore, Atticus knew that the sheriff was there and his actions were affected accordingly. One can only wonder how brave the Atticus in the book would have been had the sheriff not been there with the old “smooth-bore alley-broom” at the ready. I have often wondered if the avowedly liberal Gregory Peck insisted on a re-write of that scene which excised the presence of a firearm to more closely jibe with his (likely) anti-gun views.
— Bryan Frymire
It was generous to call the scene in which Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird shoots a rabid dog a shooting at a great distance with open sights.
The distance, as I recall the scene, couldn’t have been more than about 50 to 75 yards, the rifle used appears to be a sporterized M1903 Springfield, caliber .30/06. Shooting a target the size of a medium-sized dog at 75 yards isn’t a very difficult shot, especially for “the best shot in the county.”
I like Gregory Peck as an actor too, and even am willing to give him credit for being an activist in various areas of human rights. But I doubt that the Academy was awarding him its award for what he actually did, but what he represented in the movies he played in.
— Bill Speers
Gregory Peck’s son’s criticism (Dec 30) of Ben Stein’s piece was beyond the pale. I consider Peck to be one of the very greatest film actors over a period of fifty years. It is still a pleasure to watch the frequent re-runs of his movies. However, I lost all respect for Mr. Peck’s personal character when he made a TV commercial opposing the nomination of Judge Bork. Don’t you remember the surprise it was seeing and hearing him vilify Bork? I’ve never forgotten, particularly because I have been such a fan of Peck for so many years.
— Brooks Hughes
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Re: Brian Bonneau’s letter (“An Extra $3 Billion”) in Reader Mail’s Gentlemen’s Disagreement:
Mr. Bonneau concedes then denies the point. He (and others) will pay less (or none) now, but will pay more later. This is not a theoretical point. Whatever he earns now, would he be indifferent if his employer withheld his check for a decade or two and then paid him the same amount? Of course not, future dollars are not worth the same as current dollars. He would have to receive more later to compensate for the postponement. Discounted to the present, the future payments of $6 Billion are worth $3 Billion now.
— David Sisk