Commission Imaginings - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Commission Imaginings
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SIZING UP
Re: Enemy Central’s The Fat of the Land:

Why is everyone pointing their finger at Sandy Berger when it was actually his alter-ego, Inspector Clouseau, who committed the dastardly deeds?
Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

The recent op-ed piece “The Fat of the Land” is an embarrassment –when do members of this community of thought stoop to catty remarks about left-leaning fallen musical entertainers? The entire piece is bush league and beneath the standards your readers expect of you. Shame on you.
Unsigned

POWER HEALTH
Re: David Hogberg’s Kerry-Krugman Health Care:

In his excellent piece David Hogberg asks, “What is it about liberals and health care?” If the question isn’t entirely rhetorical, I’d like to suggest that liberals don’t care a bit about health care. In a brief exchange with a liberal colleague of mine in academia, I ticked off the problems with the Canadian system, and he responded with astonishing frankness that he just didn’t care. What was important, apparently — under the guise of eliminating every conceivable possibility of injustice to the sick or lame — was that his class of people be in charge of the medical system, so that they could dispense medical justice as they saw fit.

Hogberg’s concrete points are well taken by me and untold millions of others who do not want a socialized system of medical care. But forget about raising such points with the liberal policy wonks and the Kerry-Krugman-Hillary lumpenintellectuals. They don’t care about medical care. They care about power.
John R. Dunlap
San Jose, California

Amen. I agree whole heartedly with most everything you said about health insurance. However, you left out an important component that you may not like to hear about.

Rather than universal care, what the government really can do for the health care industry is to install some price regulations. The drug companies, insurance companies, and medical providers are conspiring to make a fortune at the expense of the American public. No, universal care is not the answer. A solid antitrust suit against key companies of these three industries needs to occur, because it’s pretty obvious with pricing and recently enacted legislation that nobody seems to be balancing the power of this conspiracy.

Otherwise, your defense of HSA’s is admirable and on-point. Thank you.
Scott A. Becker
Lakeville, Minnesota

NO LACK OF IMAGINATION
Re: George Neumayr’s Out of Commission:

“…the ‘U.S. government should offer to join with other nations in generously supporting a new International Youth Opportunity Fund’ to finance ‘primary and secondary schools.’ Liberals who would condemn Christian missionary activity in Muslim countries don’t mind sending apostles of liberalism to them. ‘We must encourage reform, freedom, democracy, and opportunity,’ the Commission says…”

Hold the phone, Mr. Neumayr.

Exporting liberalism to Islamic countries makes a ton of sense to me. The mad Mullahs trying to organize midnight basketball instead of blowing us up is a real winner.

Unfortunately, the Jihaddists are pragmatic enough to understand that liberalism is a failed theology and less efficient than hacking off some innocent electrician’s head at winning hearts and minds.
John (please withhold my last name, I’m not liberal enough to put my family at risk)
Somewhere in Illinois

This is another example of George Neumayr’s extraordinary insights –concerning matters that seem obvious, but only after he has limned them. Imagine a World War II movie in which Errol Flynn, Ronald Reagan, Arthur Kennedy and Gig Young are parachuted into Germany and they begin blowing up bridges and buildings, while traveling German roads in their U.S. uniforms and staying in public hotels and speaking English. The Germans they encounter are too polite to ask them what they’re doing. Audiences would, probably correctly, have assumed the film was a comedy or fantasy. Really evil people aren’t foolish enough to imperil their schemes by observance of such political correctness. On the other hand, it is quite likely that other really evil people, both inside and outside our country, are capable of imposing such a system of political correctness on our citizens, for their own purposes of our eventual subjugation. I fear so and too many of us are willing dupes.
J.R. Wheatley
Harper Woods, Michigan

I worked for the government for over 35 years, as a subordinate and later a supervisor; and I have to say this criticism for a “failure of imagination” is nothing more than a sick joke. It doesn’t reach even the level of dark humor. Your assessment of the Dulles guard’s situation hit the nail right on the head.
Gordon Paravano
Sedona, Arizona

Finally, somebody that says it like it is, concerning the 9/11 commission.

I don’t understand what all the hullabaloo was about anyway, for the commission didn’t do anything but state the obvious. I mean, anyone who has flown on a commercial airplane at any time during the past 20 years already knew that airport security was lax. It was obvious that the government didn’t take the threat of a terrorist hijacking an airplane very seriously. At airports in Europe I saw professional soldiers with machine guns at security checkpoints; here in the USA I saw minimum wage employees who didn’t give a damn about their jobs going about their business in a half-hearted manner. There was once a time about five years ago that, because of a unique and spontaneous incident (my luggage got hung up on the conveyor belt as it went through the machine) I ended up not even passing through the metal detector.

I believe that political partisanship is a far greater danger than any terrorist threat to our country, and I shake my head in a combination of dismay and amusement when people try and point fingers and say that one political party is more to blame than the other for the 9/11 attacks. Lets face it, we as a collective nation, screwed up and we are all to blame.

Am I the only one who thinks it might be wiser to modify our foreign policy as a way of combating the terrorist threat than to continue down the current path. Or, at the very least, how about a national discussion on what our foreign policy ought to be.

Mr. Neumayr is dead on target with his analysis of American political correctness and its results. Pun intended, but it isn’t funny.
David Shoup
Augusta, Georgia

Another “failure of imagination” was the failure to imagine how useful the 911 Commission hearings have been to al Qaeda.
Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

It’s a good thing the Israeli security forces don’t go in for political correctness. Remember their instant, decisive reaction to that Arab who attacked the ticket line at the El Al ticket counter. Within an instant Israeli guns were out and into action and the terrorist was on the floor dead or dying, and the friendly casualties were limited. Transfer the scenario to the Delta ticket counter, or the X-ray counter, or the metal detector.

It would have been a bloodbath.

In one recently reported event, 14 Middle Eastern males fitting the profile of the 9-11 attackers, boarded with no trouble, pretended not to know each other, then milled around, and did everything but hijack of bomb the airplane, in what had to be a dress rehearsal.,

There were marshals aboard (who didn’t break their cover) and the plane was met by the FBI after the pilot reported what was taking place.

In another case a Middle Eastern man was discovered trying to peel away the wall between the lavatory and the Cockpit.

There was more such behavior on a Puerto Rico flight, but no reports of any arrests or detention. One can only hope this is a ploy enabling the FBI to keep tabs and follow them back to the nest.
G.B. Hall
Marietta, Georgia

Back in the 1970s hijacking seemed rather commonplace but no one ever required an impenetrable cockpit door design. Why? The most basic of all security measures, a door with a lock, was never added. Why? This one simple measure, a door with a lock, would have prevented 9/11. Exactly how much imagination does it take to put a door with a lock on a cockpit to prevent a known threat? Obviously, way more than the 5 million plus employees of the federal government.
RW

SELECTIVE REDUCTION
Re: Doug Bandow’s Choice Uber Alles:

Mr. Bandow’s article on “selective reduction” is just another truth to the abortion horror that shadows our land. A woman’s right, privacy, and choice pale when compared to the actuality that abortion is murder, plain and simple. The handwringing libs are indeed fortunate, they have made it full term past the potassium injection, or the vacuum cleaner.

These same “right to choosists” foam at the mouth when speaking about the abortionists who have been killed or threatened. Yet they remain silent about the millions of unborn — who will never be — that were not even given a chance to live.

Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” He undoubtedly told the world that youngsters had a special place in his heart. He also said, “If you have done it to the least of these you have done it to me.” Do you not think the “least of these” includes the unborn?

It is a wake-up call. Are the right to choose proponents going to listen? I realize that Jesus is pretty unpopular these days, but he was the Son of God. I’d take his word any day over that of abortionist or a right to choice proponent.

Mr. Bandow tells us that clean, pretty, language is used for a hideous deed. Jesus told man that little children, even the least of them, are sacred and should not be harmed. Shouldn’t new life be sacred to all of us?

Thank you, Mr. Bandow.
Louis Jenkins
Shelby, North Carolina

I think that this case, which I had heard about earlier this week, really shows where this society is going. No one wants to take responsibility for their actions, we devalue human life, yet, some from this same group of “pro-choice (anti-responsibility) are proponents of animal rights where they equate the life of an animal to a human.

Can you imagine, in years to come, if this woman, Amy has to tell her son, “well, you were going to have siblings, but because I wanted to avoid going to Costco and living on Staten Island, I decided to get rid of them.” Imagine growing up knowing that you mother could have as easily decided to get rid of you. One has to wonder, will this “mother” who was so willing to kill two babies for her selfishness at wanting to keep her lifestyle, is really fit to be a mother.

Kerry, with his views that life begins at conception, is condoning murder, as long as it’s the mother’s choice. He wants to have this both ways, like he does on every other issue he spins about. Just this issue alone makes me ask, is this man fit to be a leader of anything, let alone President. But at least he is a Vietnam Vet, in case you didn’t know.
Jim Nelson
New York

I commend Doug Bandow for the manner he approached the subject of abortion. And would like to add just a bit of a personal perspective. After years of infertility, my husband and I were fortunate enough to adopt, twice. Both of our children were born to unwed, college girls who accepted responsibility for their action in a most thoughtful fashion. It is a great sacrificial love for a woman to give life and then give that life over to someone else — and I write to you about this, never knowing who might read it, and desiring to say: Never a day goes by that my husband and I aren’t mindful of that fact, and it is something that is conveyed to our children at every opportunity that presents itself. I shudder the thought that they could have easily had their heartbeats “disappeared.”
Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

“Selective reduction” sounds a lot like the Nazis’ “selective breeding” of their new Aryan race. And it’s dangerously close to their “final solution” or “systematic slaughter” for those they didn’t like or were afraid to let live or be born.

Wonder if the child that wasn’t murdered in vivo some day will have some recollection about his or her womb-mates? What if he or she asks mommy or daddy, if they’re still around to ask, “Something’s missing from me. Can you tell me what’s wrong?” Wonder what the kid’s parents would say? Or wonder what they’ll say if the survivor of her womb turns out to be a rip-roaring monster. Wonder who’ll point which finger at the other and start the blame game?

There’s a choice this couple could’ve made that Bandow doesn’t suggest: Leave Manhattan or wherever you live in New York City. Find a place elsewhere to raise your kids. Go where the cost of living isn’t galactic, the air is better, etc. Grow up. Be responsible.

By the way, Sen. John “Life begins at conception” Kerry has nuanced his approval of abortion yet once again. Last night, responding to question from ABC’s Peter Jennings — “If you believe that life begins at conception, is even a first trimester [abortion] not murder?” — the senator said, in part, “No, because it’s not a form of life that takes personhood in the terms that we have judged it to be in the past.” Oh, really? What exactly does personhood and the right to live mean to him? He’s faced now with explaining his Clintonesque “Well, that depends on what murder is” position on life and abortion.

What this couple did and Kerry’s explanation of how he supports abortion are spiritually ghoulish. And they put new meaning to “self-absorbed” and “morally relativistic.”
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

I wonder how Amy Richards’s surviving child will feel when — not if, when — he reads of his mother’s callous “choice” that “selectively reduced” not just one but two siblings. Will he be appalled at his own mother’s cold-heartedness? Her Costco rationalization? Will he count his lucky stars that she figured that she didn’t want to raise twins any more than she wanted to raise triplets? (There were twins and the boy; had she opted for twins, he, the odd man out, would be dead.)

Or will the mother’s — Lord, I am sickened just having to call her that — philosophy of self-absorption be passed on to the next generation? Will he be grateful that he never had to split his non-Costco-tainted loot three ways?

Her disgusting essay on the subject should pursue her like avenging furies for the rest of her days.
Stephen Foulard
Houston, Texas

Hi, I just wanted to convey to Doug Bandow that I, and a number of other people I read his article to, think he did an outstanding job. One young person that heard it suggested that it would be excellent to present at our schools. Thanks.
Audrey Neuharth Ponaski
Kalispell, Montana

DOUBTING HELEN THOMAS
Re: Mark Goldblatt’s Impeachable Sources, Impeachable Offenses:

Somebody needs to clue poor old Helen Thomas in. She is out of the loop, over the hill, and an idiot. But mostly, she is a die-hard, dyed in the wool liberal who lets her politics color and finally, overwhelm her reporting.

Wait a minute! I just described 80% of the mass media. Oops!
Mike Webster

Long ago, Helen Thomas stopped being a reporter who asked questions. Now, she’s a press-credentialed Bush-hating speechmaker. About President Bush, Ms. Thomas said, “This is the worst president ever. He, George W. Bush, is the worst president in all of American history.”

With her, you’d think the White House would give one answer and then move on to someone else. They’ll never give her the answer she wants, so why try. The White House should also find a way to better rebut the Kerry spin on the war that Thomas espouses-if that’s possible.
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

REGIONAL CUISINE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Marchons, Marchons:

Although I can do nothing else then agree with most parts of the article written by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr on France, with regards to an apparent French chauvinism, I believe that something else also requires to be pointed out. I think that much of the recent “tension” between France and the USA is caused by the frustration that the American government has because the French are leading a pro-European front that intends to, excuse the word, “boot” or limit American influence in Europe. I believe it to be hypocritical to have this attitude, when a country is simply trying to have the regional influence another one has on the world. Also based, I believe, in this country leading other nations in “not getting with the American program,” which quite frankly is not in the best interest of every nation.
Alexandre Tremblay

My goodness, what a diatribe. Surely, Tyrrell doesn’t believe that France’s contretemps with the Bush administration will cause us to give up Camembert, and forgo visiting every patisserie and charcuterie fine within range? Are we supposed to adjust our appreciation for French culture because of Bush’s Cowboy behavior? You gotta be kidding. Vous vous trompez, Monsieur. I suppose it’s a good thing that we don’t have an, ahem, contretemps with China, or Tyrrell would urge no more Chinese food, and then where would I be on Saturday night?
Harry D. Fisher
Los Angeles, California

SHOE SHINE
Re: Hunter Baker’s Considering the Unthinkable and the “Showdown City” exchange between Messrs. Berry and Baker in Reader Mail’s Waco Wars:

Methinks Mr. Baker doth protest too much. Just because one categorizes some Baylor “scholars” as Catholic, liberal Democrats or Jewish doesn’t render them free from the label of being religious conservatives or extremists (think Opus Dei). It is puzzling, however, that there are men (apparently, yours truly) “not fit to shine Robert Sloan’s shoes.” A most decidedly unchristian notion seeing as how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. I guess Mr. Sloan’s pedestal is high indeed. Morrissey? How ’90s.
Ben Berry
Washington, D.C.

Hunter Baker replies:
If a man can be judged by the quality of his enemies and the lies they are willing to spread about him, then Dr. Sloan deserves a very high pedestal indeed. Despite a pathetic campaign designed to paint a gentle man of great learning (Princeton Theological Seminary, University of Basel) as an authoritarian, Dr. Sloan has always kept his wits about him and has refused to respond in kind.

As for Mr. Berry’s inclination to judge music or anything else by pointing to clock or calendar, I’m not surprised. This attitude is characteristic of the sort of intellectual philistinism that has captured many short-sighted opponents of the Baylor vision. (For the record, I’m no great admirer of Mr. Morrissey, who recently told a crowd George W. Bush should have died instead of Ronald Reagan, but in the case of Mr. Berry’s previous letter, a short quote from his catalog seemed appropriate.)

A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
2004 DNC Convention Official Program
6:00pm – Opening flag burning ceremony.
6:00pm – Opening secular prayers by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton
6:30pm – Anti-war concert by Barbra Streisand.
6:40pm – Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.
7:00pm – Tribute theme to France.
7:10pm – Collect offerings for al-Zaqahri defense fund.
7:25pm – Tribute theme to Germany.
7:45pm – Anti-war rally (Moderated by Michael Moore)
8:25pm – Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.
8:30pm – Terrorist appeasement workshop.
9:00pm – Gay marriage ceremony (both both male and female couples)
9:30pm – * Intermission *
10:00pm – Posting the Iraqi Colors by Sean Penn and Tim Robbins
10:10pm – Re-enactment of Kerry’s fake medal toss.
10:20pm – Cameo by Dean ‘Yeeearrrrrrrg!’
10:30pm – Abortion demonstration by N.A.R.A.L.
10:40pm – Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.
10:50pm – Pledge of allegiance to the UN.
11:00pm – Multiple gay marriage ceremony (threesomes, mixed and same sex).
11:15pm – Maximizing Welfare workshop.
11:30pm – ‘Free Saddam’ pep rally.
11:59pm – Ted Kennedy proposes a toast.
12:00pm – Nomination of democrat candidate.

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