Re: Reid Collins’ The Big Orange:
While I enjoyed Reid Collins’ column, I found it a bit one-dimensional. Yes, the major information gleaned from the captured computer was “old” in the sense that it had to do with bad guy planning in the past. What was the rest of the story, the other information they didn’t tell us they had; and I’ll bet they had some.
Most of the time, intelligence work isn’t about crime-solving technique; finding items of proof that fit together. It’s about looking for patterns based on small pieces of information that may (or may not) be or seem to be related or similar in nature. It is very much more an art than a science.
The other thing that comes to mind is that we also release information so that we can monitor the reactions of the known bad guys. That often leads to additional information or breakthroughs that help us against them.
I’m willing to give Homeland Security a lot of leeway. They have to be right 100% of the time, jihadis can screw up nine times out of 10 and still kill a lot of us the one time they succeed.
— Frank Stevenson
In the intelligence business, the slang term is “spoofed,” not “conned.” Thanks for the great article.
— CDR P. H. Doolittle, USNR
Re: Sean Higgins’s Democratic Signs of Pro-Life:
Sean Higgins’s July 28, 2004, article, “Democratic Signs of Pro-Life,” interpreted the First-Time Voters Survey research correctly, but misidentified the study’s authors. In fact, the survey was a collaboration between Pace University and Rock the Vote, and based on a representative sample of people who registered to vote after the 2000 Presidential Election. We will field the second and third parts of this study sometime after the Republican National Convention and Election Day, respectively.
— Jonathan Trichter
Director, Pace Poll
Re: The Washington Prowler’s Blocking Dummy:
In reference to the “Inflated Numbers ” part of this article I have a question about the attendee at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Monday. Did anyone ask her who compensated her employer for the lost “paid” time she received from her job to attend the Kerry rally? Did the union, of which she is a member, reimburse him or her as the case may be, or was it written into her contract that Democrat rallies are allowed? What about Republican Rallies?
— John Blackstock
AUF WIEDERSEHN AND SAYONARA
Re: Doug Bandow’s What Have You Done For Us Lately?:
The reason Germany, Japan, Canada (among other so-called allies) can afford their welfare systems is they don’t have to defend themselves. We essentially subsidize the welfare goodies of these countries. I wonder if they even put bullets in their rifles.
— Fred Edwards
All I have to say to your suggestion that we discontinue subsidizing and defending “allies” who turn their backs on us when we really need them is: Amen to that!
— Deborah Durkee
Re: George Neumayr’s Democratic Offshoreman:
This furnishes a clue why Kerry is so desperate to be elected — left to his own financial acumen, he would again be homeless and relatively impecunious. If he is not elected, does anybody believe Ter-raz-a will fail to remember John’s peculiarly tender mentoring of the young intern who fled to Africa after their relationship became public. The irrepressible polyglot will take a two-by-four to his dolichocephalic head and divorce what’s left — invoking the ever valuable pre-nup.
— J.R. Wheatley
Harper Woods, Michigan
“It might have been unconstitutional at the time, but he invented it.” –Mario Cuomo on Lincoln’s invention of the progressive income tax.
Doesn’t that just capture the liberals’ view of the Constitution?! When they can get an activist judge to overrule it, and a majority of the Supremes to lean their way (Roe v. Wade, etc.) they’ll change it! If it was unconstitutional then, it still is. The Constitution in not a living document to be changed by anybody, but a document that endures precisely because it is supposed to be very difficult to change.
— Glenn Develle
Re: Ralph R. Reiland’s Drug War Dirty Dealings:
Lets assume that your statistical observations are correct. What you failed to observe is the residual effects. As you allude drug arrests are must often the end result but not the precursor of what caused the police to intercede in the first place. Do you suggest that they stop patrolling to stop petty crime to prevent the “numbers” from escalating from drug use? Or worse yet attempt to adjust policing so that impacted neighborhood have no enforcement at all? Finally would it make it all right in your mind if the precursor event was the cause of their incarceration? The numbers would be the same of course.
But we are not serious about drug use. Fact is police departments now view the drug war as a funding channel with Uncle Sam footing most of the bill. So in places like North Florida with only a minor drug problem we have departments with choppers, APC’s, and SWAT teams more in tune with urban riot prevention in a county with 30,000 residents. The problem is some of these counties don’t even have jails as domestic disturbances are the number one problem, not drugs.
As improbable as the next paragraph will be it would solve the drug problem. Take our current drug flows that we are intercepting, take them to a lab. Dose these products with either lethal or nonlethal byproducts (your choice) that would make the consumer ill. Reintroduce the doped dope back into the underground distribution system. Televise the living begeebers out of that fact all over the country. Interview the survivors on Nightline. Casual use will disappear very quickly. Supplies will backup in the “channel” and street prices will drop like a rock. Dealers will find selling an unprofitable endeavor. Eventually the entire drug food chain goes into collapse as consumption dries up. Hardcore use would drop over time as well, it just takes some people time to get the message. No consumer will be sure that the next package they get is not doped dope. Better to forgo the “pleasure” than take the risk.
Now I realize in our form of governance the above will never fly of course. But there is a point to this. Do we wish an effective drug eradication or do we want a “program”? The above is eminently effective as it preys on the most human frailty — fear. Our current drug methods merely ensure that the supplies that hit the street has sufficient rarity that the prices for the product remain artificially high which only improves the profit margin of the dealer. And that, folks, is a much sicker outcome than what I propose.
— John McGinnis
Ralph R. Reiland replies:
Thanks, but too radical — imagine the lawsuits from parents whose kid was killed by bad drugs from the gov’t.
Re: The “Horse Sense” letters in Reader Mail’s Progressive Recovery:
Several readers have noted that America, principally the mass media/Left, seems to have completely forgotten September 11, 2001. I am convinced that a very large portion of the dedicated Leftists in this nation never even gave the attacks much thought, except to perhaps glean some future partisan points.
The Left has never successfully recognized the utility of nationalism. Their self generated cartoon of patriotic behavior places heartfelt love of country in the same category as violent jingoism. To them, the attacks of 9/11 were merely the predictable striking out by alienated socio-economically deprived men. The acts were worthy of a few tears but did not merit open warfare. Responses to such violent acts only beget more violence from the attacker.
The startling reality of where the Democrat Party stands on the “War on Terror” is becoming very clear. It takes a little parsing (Clintoon’s gift to the polity) and some quick assembly of the projection tactics and half-truths being told by the masters of agitprop. John Effing Kerry and his followers do not believe that there is a war going on. Nine-Eleven was a criminal act that requires police work, negotiation, and arrests. Their inability to treat captured saboteurs as irregular troops joins their chronic eschewing of land warfare as stark testimony to their particular world view. Buzz bombs are the perfect Beau Gestes for Leftists. Lots of noise, little damage to the target, and no loss of life on our side. Perfect for making statements. Pericles would be proud.
Kerry’s repeated accusations that President Bush didn’t take enough time with the UN, before invading Iraq, stands in direct contradiction of his equally baseless charge that the President is not acting in enough haste to implement the “Hindsight Inquisition’s” recommendations for more ineffective expensive bureaucracy. I firmly believe that five minutes into a Kerry administration, we would see the rapid disengagement of America from Afghanistan, and an abandonment of Iraq. After all it is the same tonic that Kerry types recommended for South Vietnam — which was left to the invasion and subjugation by the ruthless dishonorable North.
Kerry would kowtow to French badgering and limply go along with the reinstitution of the corrupt business practices by Chirac’s government. The petty despots of the UN would once again be faced with a weakling American president. An America in the hands of a Democrat Party (which is rapidly losing any contact with reality) would be disastrous. Clinton survived by being lucky enough to follow twelve years of economic prosperity. The Clinton administration’s one claim of success is even dubious. The Dot Com Boom was a three-year bubble built on borrowed money, hyped business fantasies, and executive pocket lining. Kerry wouldn’t even be that lucky.
The potential effects on our economy do not count even a tiny fraction as much as the fact that John Kerry and his potential administration would ignore the War on Terror. They would go back to bribery and tribute payments to put off despots, and present a weak face to the world. At some point in a bad dream of the future some ghastly structure will be erected in Manhattan to go with all of the other ghastly structures. There will be a ribbon cutting will occur, but few people will remember why the structure was even built.
Many folks don’t recognize the treat that we face. They definitely don’t acknowledge the need for a war. They will vote for Kerry, or Nader. We will know how many people have forgotten on November 3, 2004.
— John Schneider
Re: James Bowman’s review of The Bourne Supremacy:
I have enjoyed the Spectator‘s coherent and intelligent political and social commentary for a long time. More often than not, I agree with the opinions presented within. With that said, I have a request. Stay away from movies! Your writers so often point and laugh at the paranoid left when they advance their ridiculous conspiracy theories, and yet every time there is a new movie, you find some way to conjure up an anti-Bush message that is so “blatantly” portrayed in the film. (The Bourne Supremacy, The Village, The Day After Tomorrow) This is entertainment you goofballs! Well, okay, maybe not The Day After Tomorrow, but seriously, who cares that The Bourne Supremacy features remnants of Soviet Russia rather than Islamic terror, or that the antagonist is a corrupt CIA official? You point out that the CIA are the good guys in real life…yeah, no kidding, but they are used because they are in a position of great power that no normal individual alone can possess. Those overwhelming odds are what drives the moviegoer to cheer for hopelessly outmatched underdog Jason Bourne.
Government agencies and large corporations have been cast as antagonists in films, not because of some anti-American, anti-Capitalist agenda, but because of the tremendous power those entities wield. This is just interesting story telling, nothing more.
Please, come back to earth. Either lighten up, or stick to reviewing Michael Moore movies.
— Chuck Lazarz
Is there any truth that the king and queen of ketchup have plants in many Third World countries? That is going around on the Internet. Would make a good story. Almost as good a story as when you find out how much that girl in Africa had deposited in her Swiss bank account to shut up.
And what is the deal with Queen Ketchup getting off the hook with her famous “shove it” remark. Note how the liberal media focused on her saying “shove it” as if that was the big story, but the real story was she was caught in a lie when she denied she used the word “un-American”. Plus that testy attitude when she returned back to seek out the very polite reporter yet again. What you want to bet the kitchen servants have seen that attitude a time or two?
Well, gotta go. I am still in the lower half of the two Americas and want to get in the upper one like Edwards so I better find somebody to sue before the day is done.
— Brian T. Truehawk?
I have been listening to both Teresa Heinz Kerry and Laura Bush over the past week or so. Once again, Laura Bush has demonstrated that to be First Lady one must first be a lady. A lesson lost on Heinz Kerry.
— Robert W. Martin
Coral Springs, Florida
In the Vietnam of the mid-sixties, with which I’m personally acquainted, the bar girls had a favored greeting for any G. I. who entered their saloon. It was delivered with a total lack of sincerity and went like this,
“Hey, G.I., I love you too much!”
That’s exactly the message Vietnam veterans are getting from the Kerry campaign and with the same degree of honesty as it was delivered back then.
Just like then, I’m really believin’ it.
— Russ Vaughn
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