A SECOND OPINION
Re: P. David Hornik’s Ten Pearls of Jewish Wisdom:
“Ten Pearls of Jewish Wisdom” by David Hornik is a truly effective moral and political statement. It was a great pleasure to read it .
— Dr. Shalom Freedman
Re: William Tucker’s We Lost Round One:
Good and straight to the point. Bush had a dozen openings to get Kerry but was unable to think on his feet. He came across almost as a cartoon of himself, and that, more than anything, can do him in.
— Art Boozik
Boca Raton, Florida
Mr. Bush better awaken to the reality that he’s in a street fight with not just Kerry and the Democrats, but also the mainstream media and, if Jim Lehrer’s questions were any indication, even the debates’ moderators.
He also needs to see when he’s been thrown a home-run pitch by John Kerry and then knock it out of the park.
How could he let slide Kerry’s how-many positions on Iraq and his $87 billion flip-flop on funding of Operation Iraqi Freedom? Or not drilling into the senator’s uneventful Senate career and his opposition to defense measures and systems? What about Kerry’s buddies the French and Germans saying they won’t participate in Iraq?
Also, the president let Kerry escape when the Democrat said Mr. Bush made a mistake by initiating war with Saddam Hussein and his thugs, but then told Jim Lehrer that, no, soldiers weren’t dying for a mistake. That’s some pretty cruel, ridiculous logic.
It’s time the president takes off his gloves, rolls up his sleeves and
acts like he’s commander-in-chief, not flailer-in-chief or
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
What surprises me about the statement, repeated over and over and unchallenged by the media, is John Kerry’s “We had Osama Bin Laden ‘cornered’ in the mountains of Tora Bora” and didn’t move in on him. Cornered means no way out. My understanding is that it is honeycombed with tunnels. Moreover, Tora Bora is not the Poconos or the Big Rock Candy Mountain. “Tora Bora” probably translates to “Double Rubble Tunnel-Riddled Rat Maze.” Of course it could be argued that if we had had the bomb power on a given day to reduce the rubble to pea gravel, we could have had Osama bin Laden and his faithful pushing up daisy cutters in short order. Considering OBL’s front door is just another boulder on the rockscape, you can roll away a lot of rocks and still come up empty.
The other “Hide in plain sight” option favoring OBL is the burka, still favored by some women, post-Taliban. As we have our DON’T VIOLATE THE VEIL” rule regarding that Muslim King’s X territory, OBL could be sashaying to market daily in Kabul peering coyly through his tiny lattice work window at all the men admiring the tall, willowy new babe in town.
Just look how long Elizabeth Smart moved freely about Salt Lake City, wearing that head garb that revealed only her eyes. And when you think about it, we never found D.B. Cooper.
— Diane Smith
So. San Francisco, California
William Tucker is very much correct in his evaluation of President Bush’s performance in the first debate last week. As much as I wanted “W” to bury Kerry in this head-to-head, and essentially put the contest between the two out of reach, I knew that, when it had finished, the debate was Kerry’s and that he’d live to fight another day. Unfortunate, but true. Bush was far too repetitive on certain points (as indicated by Mr. Tucker) and pulled his punches when he touched on subjects like Kerry’s vacillations on key issues.
My wife and I were fortunate to be at the President’s rally in Cuyahoga Falls (our community’s next-door-neighbor) last Saturday, and after we withstood a 2 1/2 hour rain, we were treated with clearing skies and sunshine when the President arrived. We were not disappointed in what he had to say, as he was focused and clear about every item he espoused. Yes, it was a prepared speech, but it still embodied what “W” is all about, and had he made use of these points during the debate, the outcome would have been much, much closer, possibly even a victory in his case. Simply put, you may be a smooth and slick (“oily” is the word that readily comes to mind) debater, capabilities honed and polished through high school and college, but it certainly doesn’t turn you into a capable leader. As a debater, one learns to be able to argue one side of a theme, and then turn around and argue the opposite side within a matter of moments. And it’s this trait that has allowed Kerry to establish himself as a gold-plated flip-flop artist and not as a leader.
— Jim Bjaloncik
Re: Paul M. Weyrich’s Senate Uncertainties:
I was disappointed to read how close to losing control of the Senate we are in Paul Weyrich’s piece online today. I experienced the briefest twinge of guilt at my decision to support Constitutional candidate Jim Clymer in Pennsylvania over Arlen Specter (R), who is running for re-election. It was very brief, however. Had President Bush and Senator Santorum not campaigned heavily for Specter, Pennsylvania Republicans appeared about to nominate conservative Representative Pat Toomey over Specter. Now we have Specter running against a Democratic opponent who is virtually indistinguishable from Specter on everything from partial birth abortion to his views on judicial activism.
I am no longer voting Republican to “help the team.” As President Reagan and Senator Zell Miller said about their party leaving them, the Republican party has left me. I’m shopping elsewhere until the RNC wakes up and smells the coffee. They are not going to win by sacrificing their base to win the middle. That’s a losing proposition, and I intend to drive that point home with my vote in the Pennsylvania Senate race.
— John P. Collins
At first glance, I was distressed at Paul Weyrich’s apparent mangling of the language when he wrote the following: “There are enough Senate seats at play that if Democrats get all the breaks, they could well end up controlling that body again.” I have always heard the usage as “in play.” However, upon reflection, Mr. Weyrich’s turn of phrase is probably more accurate.
— Patrick Burkhart
Re: Jed Babbin’s The Kerry Doctrine:
Mr. Babbin does a fine job of summarizing the dangerous and foolish “Kerry Doctrine.” I believe that what he stops short of saying is also very important. The burning question of the day is: Does Mr. Kerry really believe in this muddled self-destructive foreign policy that he is preaching? Is he that stupid, arrogant, ignorant of the way the world outside his privileged sphere works? Or is he a cynical charlatan who knows full well that his policy is a prescription for national suicide? Even if I granted Mr. Kerry the sincerity of believing, and the honorable intention of bettering the situation of all citizens, which I most emphatically do not, I would work ceaselessly against his election. If he is elected, the world and especially America, will become much more dangerous than they are today. I think that many Kerry supporters are aware of all this, even if their awareness is only peripheral, but they hate President Bush so blindly that they don’t care. What a sad sorry state Liberalism has brought us to.
— Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio
You are correct that Kerry doesn’t get it, but unfortunately neither does a large portion of our country. What baffles me, though, is how poorly the real reasons behind the Iraq war have been articulated by the President. When President Bush called for war on Iraq, he cited chiefly the possibility that Iraq’s WMDs could end up in terrorist hands, and then in turn be used on the U.S. I understood what he meant, but yet so many still do not. And at its essence, it is analogous to the following, more familiar, scenario:
“Every day, a person stands on the corner of your street and try’s to sell drugs to your kids as they go to school or play. After some time, the problem becomes apparent to the police and they begin to arrest the person when they try to sell their drugs. However, every time when one gets arrested someone else takes over and so on. Some are even so bold as to even come to your driveway. You finally notice that all of these drug dealers seem to be coming from a house on the other corner, and see vans and trucks delivering oddly shaped articles.”
Now the next step is obvious, right? Seize the house! Take a preemptive approach to removing to visible threat that created the problem to start with. This is what President Bush is doing. Now the Kerry doctrine would continue to arrest the dealer after they make the attempts to sell drugs to your kids. Kerry said in a speech, “Every attack will be met with a decisive and quick response”.
The next argument of the naysayers is that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 or al Qaeda. Believe what you want about these claims but that does not change the critical point of understanding; Osama, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, et al. are not places, they are insane ideologies that can only be eliminated from the inside. Negotiating is useless because we would be meeting with the very ones that operate under these fascist systems, and they would have to concede their power — not likely to happen. Again refer to the house scenario, it is not the house that is corrupt but the inhabitants, and you can stand out front and negotiate all day long, but do you really think they will turn themselves in? They must be forcibly removed and punished.
John Kerry’s doctrine is to play it safe, and not to go it alone, because he lacks the courage and character to be a leader. John Kerry doesn’t flip flop because he is unsure of what position he wants to take, he does so because he doesn’t want to be ridiculed for making the wrong decision, or supporting the wrong cause. In a coalition he has the safety of numbers in case of a poor result. In negotiations he can blame inaction on details and others. This man has been in politics for 20 years and yet he makes no references whatsoever to anything he has accomplished. He claims his approach is new and fresh, but in reality it isn’t. It’s the same practice that has been in place since the ’70s, and has proven to be a failed policy!
Now understand, I am not a Kool-Aid drinking Bushite, I’ve got some real concerns and issues about the Iraq war (which is a part of the war on terrorism, if confused, please re-read from the top), the security of our borders, and domestic spending. But, at least President Bush understands the real problem and has the courage and fortitude to commit to action.
— Peter Amato
Palm Harbor, Florida
Re: John Sheehan’s letter (“Fit to Be Tied”) in Reader Mail’s Proud to Be a Canadian:
In response to Mr. Sheehan, I agree Bush lost this debate on style, but he won on substance. Some of the things you cite in your email are wrong. George Bush didn’t ignore any of his advisors, Mr. Kerry is referring to one man, General Shinseki who said we may need a couple hundred thousand troops, and in fact we have 140,000 there right now. There was not a lack of planning, as it is impossible to plan “perfectly” for war, the only good plan is one that is flexible, which we have demonstrated throughout this war. Iraq is not spinning out of control; we just regained control of Samarra and will soon mount an offensive to take Fallujah, again this is war, not everything is nice and neat. In fact, the operation in Samarra was a grand success since for it was the first time the Iraqis themselves really showed they are capable of defending their country. We are not of course at all, Saddam was a terrorist himself, and left alone to continue to develop weapons and train terrorists would almost certainly end up killing hundreds of thousands of Americans one day. After all, this was his stated goal in life, to kill as many Americans as possible to the point where America will crumble. Going the direction Kerry wants us to go would leave Iraq and allow it to become a haven for terrorists and their allies. This day will never come for Saddam and his terrorist friends because of the strong steady leadership of one man, George W. Bush.
— James Torrell
To all those readers who responded to Mr. Phidd’s email, please accept a humble apology from another Canadian who deeply admires the people of the United States. I know it is small consolation, but we have several problems in Canada similar to ones in the U.S.
A poll in Canada was done recently which showed that a majority of youths in Canada hate the U.S. Quite frankly, they learn this from the predominantly left wing unionized school teachers. I am also sorry to say that our children are subjected to the same “rather fine standard” of reporting exhibited by CBS, ABC and NBC broadcast across the longest border in the world. Canadians would not be this way if “the LEFT” did not hate the U.S. so much and teach Americans to hate their own country so much. It is contagious.
Canadians are not the most knowledgeable people on the planet. We tend to centre our lives on a case of Molson beer and Hockey Night in Canada. What we are usually unaware of is that the US provides about 70% of our defence through NATO and NORAD. Canada’s Navy is dwarfed by one of its province’s ferry fleets and the Air Force is using F-18A’s from you know where.
Some things I would humbly ask the fine people of the U.S. to remember is that Canada was not always like this. We were allies in both World Wars and Canada also was a major contingent in Korea. We supported the U.S. in Gulf War 1 with Army Medical and naval support (albeit modest compared to the forces of the strongest nation on the planet). In Afghanistan, we were also there. In fact, the Princess Patricias helped extract a battalion of Rangers from a death trap set up by the Taliban. Canadian snipers managed to bring enough fire to bear so that the Rangers could withdraw and save many wounded. We have lost troops by friendly fire and have tried to overcome the bitterness that can follow.
I am probably among a minority of Canadians who believe that Mr. Bush is the man the world needs at this time. Yes, mistakes have been made. Every war has its mistakes. Look at the ones Churchill made. But persistency is a quality in time of war that is of immense value. Be proud of your President. He has the moral high ground. Be patient with Canadians who don’t understand this. In the end, we all want the people of the planet to live in freedom and peace without the persecution of extremists from any avenue of religion, politics or deviant behaviour.
God Bless all North Americans.
— R. Clark
Seems Phidd fancies himself an expert on US politics as well as being a good Canadian. He’s neither. My roots are French-Canadian, my first ancestors having come over with Samuel De Champlain, with a touch of Ireland thrown in. My ancestors migrated south in the mid 1800’s to the U.S., so that makes me an “expert” on both cultures, wouldn’t you say? Mr. Phidd represents the Canada of today, a wimpy, self serving, bunch of whining pacifists, who want the government to hold their hands so the big bad world can’t hurt them. They also want the U.S. to protect their collective butts while knocking the fact that we can do that. In reality, they are an obnoxious, arrogant kind of people, pretty much what you would expect from welfare class individuals. However, that is not the Canada of history. Canadians were a resourceful, courageous people back in the days of old. They forged a country out of wilderness much like we did here. They stood tall against tyranny as evidenced by their service in both world wars. They stood with us during the Cold War, protecting our northern approaches. They were in truth a good friend, ally, and partner. This border between our countries was open and unguarded. We passed back and forth almost as you would cross the street to see an old friend. All that has changed. Why? Because the Canadians have listened to the pied piper of socialism. They have sold their souls to their government and have lost their freedom. Now all they can do is whine about their neighbor to the south like an old woman who is on her last legs in the nursing home. That is the Canadian of today. They are not the reckless, wonderful, Voyageurs of yore anymore. So when you go the polls in November, look to the north and think about people like Mr. Phidd, then vote for Bush, so we don’t become like him.
— Pete Chagnon
PROOF OF EVOLUTION
John Kerry mentioned we should check out his website. One must assume the site updates his positions at least once every 15 minutes.
— Matt Levine