Liberty at Stake | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Liberty at Stake
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HAVING A NICE DAY
Re: Shawn Macomber’s I Am Not a Criminal:

It’s always a good day when there’s an online article from Shawn Macomber. Today’s was excellent.

This part bears repeating: “[That] is the core problem we face right now vis-à-vis civil liberties in America. Only half the population is ever interested in protecting our rights at a given time.”

I came to realize years ago that there are no longer any liberals. Except for the odd Nat Hentoff or two, they are now left-wing fascists. On top of that realization came another disappointment. The conservatives who were trying to defend civil liberties against the onslaught of the Clintons all of a sudden changed their tune when Bush came to office.

In elections, I never vote Democrat, even if they run a good individual candidate here and there. The individuals don’t matter in that organization — they are all just cogs in the hate machine. But I’ve also drawn the line at voting for Republicans who failed to do their part to bring the Clintons to justice. And that means I don’t vote for Bush. The same character flaws that led Bush and other Republicans to say “I’m glad it’s over” when it wasn’t over with the Clintons, also lead to things like Shawn Macomber experienced in New York.

I don’t know about Mr. Macomber, but I’m going to vote for whatever buffoon the Libertarians are putting on the ballot this year. (And I’m definitely not a libertarian, either.)
John Gorentz
Battle Creek, Michigan

I understand why Shawn is upset and I sympathize with what he went through; but, enough already. Save the pathos for the book and the sure-to-be-blockbuster film.

The police in NYC had a tough time with all the wackos that came to Manhattan to protest whatever it is that they needed to protest. Some of the protests were out of control. Sorry that the civilized group that you were with were unfairly treated. Too bad. I would rather that a few (yes, a few) individuals who came to cause trouble get locked up for less than a day than to have an out of control situation. Shawn, do you remember the policeman who got his head kicked-in that same week? Also, to compare your situation with Waco and Elian is so ridiculous as to cause us to treat your whole gripe as not serious.
James Siegler
New York, New York

Perhaps Shawn should vote Kerry-Edwards. He might be able to get a pro bono lawsuit against the NYPD, or if he’s real lucky, a Purple Heart out of it. Shawn, do what my parents used to tell me — stay away from the troublemakers.
Anthony Mastroserio

Kudos and thanks to Shawn Macomber for stating the obvious and using his own experience as an example that state power needs to be restrained. Liberty always needs a boast, and his example and article is instructive along the “eternal vigilance” line for protecting liberty.

While I ordinarily am thankful for the service and presence of Police as a deterrent and an aid to protect my life and property, we of course need to criticize without apology when their reasonable mandate is exceeded, as it clearly was in Macomber’s case and in the case of NYPD at the Convention. An old leftist slogan is true: “The abuse of power comes as no surprise.” Which makes the case for restraint of government power rather nicely.

Macomber’s criticism is valid, just, and welcome, and I again thank him for saying so.

Now friends, back to the ramparts on other idiocy under which we still suffer.
James N. Ward
Paris, France

COGNITIVE DISSIDENTS
Re: James Bowman’s Hare Brained:

Thanks so much for Mr. Bowman’s insightful anatomy of the vitriolic hatred of President Bush by the leftist elite.

I am not an intellectual — I am, however, an academic, having recently received a Ph.D. despite the fact that I do not cotton much to the liberal elite who ran my program and who run the majority of higher education programs in the country.

It was, shall I say, not exactly difficult to co-exist with my peers as I pursued my degree, but it was quickly plain to me from a social point of view that I ought to keep my “ideas” to myself. Which I did.

Still, I successfully wended my way through the program, despite the fact that I was aware that any number of slips might submarine my chances of getting my degree. I made it by telling myself, continually, that it was important to come to understand what motivated liberals to accept what it was they professed to believe about the world, about people, and about that ever more nebulous concept sometimes still called “the truth.”

I learned a great deal.

But Mr. Bowman has hit the nail on the head in identifying the self-fulfilling prophecy of the elite’s self-congratulatory behavior. It should come as no surprise to their penetrating minds that their philosophy guarantees that they should remain in the minority — after all, a heck of a lot more people are dumb than smart, right? Why they rail that the mundane majority continues to, in their minds, elect rubes like President Bush, is something of a paradox. It should compliment their own sense of superiority that the low outnumber the high.

Their problem is that they have bought their very own sausage. They’ve forgotten the first rule of vanity: never believe your own press. They’ve believed and taught for years that there is no such thing as truth, only manipulation. But what the CBS fiasco has just demonstrated to them is their failure to convince the majority of their own way of thinking. Hence, their response will be to go back to the drawing room and try to figure out, like Ahab, just where their “program” failed. What they ought to do is question the truth of their program.

But they won’t and, perhaps, they cannot.

It is for this reason that liberals always hate representative government — because a representative government necessitates participation by that segment of the population with whom the elite are always loathe to identify. It is also for this reason that the bubble has burst, finally, on the strangle hold that the elite have had on the “fourth estate” at least since Walter Cronkite froze everyone in their tracks when he announced that John F. Kennedy had, indeed, been assassinated. It was at that moment that the major media elite stepped into their majority.

The Internet’s recent bursting of the institutional media’s bubble in terms of the CBS “memogate” story constitutes another such moment. The major media had, by 2004, become what it hated — a monolithic source of the very “truth” it despised.

Luckily for the rest of us plain crewmembers on the ship of the world, major media will probably choose not to go down with the ship, but to go down with the phatasmagorum of their own making — a great white lie — leaving the rest of us to go on with our mundane lives, doing practical things like believing in reality and electing honest, practical men to be president.
Gregory A. Borse
Peru, Indiana

That which is the most obvious is always hated by the intellectual class. What can be gained by these intellectuals by saying, “I concede, it is as it appears”? The obviousness of Bush’s presidency is that Bush is, as Mr. Bowman writes, an “ordinarily decent guy.” He speaks in plain language about liberty, justice, duty, family, good and evil. To most people, these concepts are ordinary, simple, and obvious; they are precious concepts which happen to hold our world together, but they are targets of scorn for both the seasoned intellectual as well as the know-it-all college freshman. The Democrats have forced on themselves the need to be cynical to a degree that is difficult for me to comprehend. The various conspiracy theories of the Left are both interchangeable and indispensable to the Kerry campaign. Democrat voters, who would not ordinarily subscribe to such rumor, gossip and innuendo, have been left with no alternatives. It is sad, but not surprising, that cynicism, which has its place in any political debate, has become the whole of the Democrats’ argument.
Rob Sutton
Dallas, Texas

The disdain with which anyone not subscribing to the world view of the snobs (I will not reinforce references to them as the elite or as intellectuals) is subjected is truly amazing. Their hatred for George W. Bush is based on the simple fact that he chooses not to march in lockstep with them. One wonders if they ever have an original thought or insight. Sadly, their domination of all forms of media makes the drumbeat incessant and almost unbearable.
Jenny Woodward

Who was it that said “to believe something so stupid requires a very expensive education”? How can anyone regard as a mark of intelligence the belief in something that has no basis in fact?
Bill White
Great Mills, Maryland

UNFROZEN JOHN
Re: William Tucker’s Gone Missing:

William Tucker’s essay on populism, trial lawyers, and John Edwards’ inability to translate his courtroom talent on to a broader stage brings to mind to my favorite Phil Hartman “SNL” sketch: Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. And it is Mr. Kerry who comes across as the lawyer.

The classic Southern plaintiff lawyer portrays himself as a “simple country boy” primitive contrasted with the “suits” and “city slicker” sophisticates representing the corporate defendant. And who can be more primitive and better able to get the sympathy of a jury than Phil Hartman’s Unfrozen Caveman? And who looks more like an unfrozen caveman than Mr. Kerry with his craggy visage?

And while the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer looks primitive and talks primitive, he has every modern convenience (cell phone, BMW, tailored suit), making him sound phony. And who sounds more phony than John Kerry when he talks about … just about anything! And just as we are constantly reminded “that I am just a caveman unfrozen by your scientists, and your world frightens and confuses me,” Mr. Kerry reminds all of us that his entire world view is shaped “by the time I spent in … Vietnam.” Maybe it is just me, but every time I see Mr. Kerry on TV, all I can think of is the late Phil Hartman in that goofy “caveman” makeup.
Paul Milenkovic
Madison, Wisconsin

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE
Re: George Neumayr’s Fixed Panel:

Mr. Neumayr overlooked one possibility in his excellent review of the CBS “investigative panel” — the entire fake documents episode could have been an elaborate publicity stunt to promote Dan Rather’s new book: “Burning Down My Glass House.”
M.J. Whitney
Bonita Springs, Florida

There are two avenues that CBS must pursue. The first is to get to the facts about how the bogus story made it on the air. The second part is just as important. How did CBS react to the various professional challenges to its story? It is a sad fact that they reacted in a less than honorable manner. Does anyone think this will be covered?
Richard Chaitt

In 1991 Dick Thornburg lost a $170,000 lawsuit to his consultant Karl Rove but I am sure he will be impartial. Ha Ha.
unsigned

PIGS IN A POKE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell’s Brute Control:

Great article! Israel had to put pig parts on their bus lines to keep the terrorists from suicide bombing them. It worked! What should we do? How about grinding up pig parts and air dropping them on the terrorist controlled cities like Fallujah! They would then have to stay in their holes and buildings. Rounding them up or bombing them should be a lot easier. On the other hand, that is a lot of money on pork, but Congress should not really have a problem with pork spending. A bonus would be the stocks and other gains in the pork industry.

On a serious note, putting the terrorists in jails doesn’t help any because they talk in there and spread their “love” to other inmates who may be released one day to share their “love” with us by bombings, killings, and the like. This I know is a problem here in the States as well as abroad. Islam is not a religion of peace and has never been, in its entire history. However, I do understand that we cannot afford to offend the entire Arab population at once.

We faced Communism and it has many faces and forms. We call Socialism a political party here in the US and in the Russian, Chinese, and South Asian empires it ruled or rules now. We call Islam a religion and in many places it rules. When they are in power, they are in total control, and when they are not in power, they are scheming to be in control. See “The Islamic States of America?” by Daniel Pipes at FrontPage magazine. See also “When the Candidate Was a Terrorist” by Terence P. Jeffrey at Human Events. See also: Jihad Watch by Robert Spencer.

These articles declare the truths that are being covered up and silenced. Communism is still alive and well and unfortunately, perhaps is in cahoots with Islam. We must fight intellectually, morally, and even physically, as we are in Iraq. By the way, it is better to fight there than here in the US.

Thank you so much for allowing me to express my opinion!
JN

I found Mr. Tyrrell’s article informative and interesting. I had come to believe the anecdote about General Pershing and the Islamic terrorist story to be a fable. I hope it is true.

I have a quibble with Mr. Tyrrell, though. He would not resort to dipping bullets in pig fat. I would. As to the Russians 2 for 1 ratio, I believe it should be 100 to 1. The Islamofascists are evil but, presumably, OK at basic mathematics.
John Sorg
Indianapolis, Indiana

I agree with the point that Mr. Tyrrell has made in Brute Control. However, to the best of my knowledge the story of Gen. Pershing using pork-soaked bullets on Muslims (Philippines, 1911) is an urban legend. I hope I’m mistaken….
RRd

BEWITCHED
Re: Sheila Monaghan’s Britney Blowback:

What evil spirit have you familiarity with?
— None.
Have you made no contract with the devil?
— No.
Why do you hurt these children?
— I do not hurt them. I scorn it.
Who do you imploy then to do it?
— I imploy no body.
What creature do you imploy then?
— No creature. I am falsely accused.

Dialogue based on the examination of Sarah Good by Judges Hathorne and Corwin, from The Salem Witchcraft Papers, Book II, p.355

By October 8th, 1692, the town of Salem, Massachusetts had executed twenty of its most vile criminals in just under six months. Some were hanged. Some were crushed. One or two were even (allegedly) burned at the stake. The scandalous sods in question were of varying means. All, however, were guilty of the most heinous treachery. It seems each was in league with Satan, himself.

Most frightening of all, these dark dealings would never have come to light if not for the illicit behaviors displayed by nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams. The two were oft subject to blasphemous outbursts, mysterious spells, even promiscuous conduct. Within a short time, other young girls began to partake in similar unclean activities.

It was quickly decided that the girls must be under the influence of some evil. Surely no child of God would behave in such a manner. Luckily, we’ve evolved as a species in the last three centuries. We’ve progressed as a people. We’ve matured as a society. We no longer believe in such foolish nonsense as witchery as a cause for unsavory behavior. We’ve learned far too much to even consider entertaining the notion of repeating such a travesty. We now know the cause of promiscuity in young girls to be Britney Spears.

I am amused.
J. Leo Sobolewski III

The Pop Tart/ Strumpet Songbird has shown herself to be a shallow sad case. The core is missing and she is a Hollywierd manipulated faux personality. Sad that this is becoming typical of the glitterati. Her manipulations with matrimony are another travesty that only contributes to the image of the beautiful people’s lack of any sense of basic institutions of morality and dignity. It is also getting tough to sort out all these blondie, makeup enhanced look-alike dullards. Act like a slut and soon become one. Between Britney and Paris, what is there that any of our kids would want to emulate? Soon enough these people will soon be nothing more than Blonde jokes.
GMS
Media, Pennsylvania

HONORARY AMERICANO
Re: Daniel Teeboom’s letter (under “Amsterdam Dame in Reader Mail’s The Dutch Lady and Fransje de Waard’s letter (“Dutch Threat”) in Reader Mail’s The End Is Nigh:

A Dutchman named Daniel Teeboom responded to the article noted above with the most complete, crystal clear response addressing why Europe is so “indifferent.” Man! Let’s make this man a U.S. citizen. We need more of him.

Thanks, Daniel, and God Bless you.
Mike Smith

God Bless Daniel Teeboom! I can only hope and pray that other Europeans adopt the same sensible perspective that Mr. Teeboom appears to have. I realize that the majority of Europeans do not share his sensibility and that is to their shame and eventually, to their great regret.
C.D. Hill

While it is good to weep for the dead, it well to rejoice for the free. That seemed to be the general feeling when the Netherlands was freed from the boot of Nazi oppression. Would you deny that boon to others or do you think life would be better without our interference. One would think that a country with the history of the Netherlands would also recognize that war is better played as a visitor than on your home field.

I should also point out that the last time your foreign policy failed it took the 101st and 82nd Airborne to remedy the situation. Your native Orange is forever tainted with the red of American blood.

By the way, we’ve had some pretty nasty weather here lately. How much aid is your country going to send us?
Scotty Uhrich
Glyndon, Minnesota

SELF-SERVICE
Re: Harry B. Turner’s letter (“Abilene Sleuthing”) in Reader Mail’s The End Is Nigh:

Your reader, Harry B. Turner, raises a good question about how the Burkett documents passed to Mary Mapes/CBS News came to have a fax footer from the Abilene Kinko’s. Unfortunately, he overlooks the most logical (and least dramatic) explanation, namely, that Mapes in her haste to get the ball rolling faxed the document(s) to her own office, so they could be copied for review by Emily Will and others.

But, anyway, how ’bout that de Waard lady? Talk about your “righteous rhetoric”!
Leighton M. Anderson
Whittier, California

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