UP FOR GHRAIB
Re: George Neumayr’s Avant-Ghraib:
Ironic, isn’t it, that the humiliation of a group of Muslim terrorists is a ghastly sin against mankind, but the dismemberment and skull crushing of seven and eight month developed fetuses is not only accepted, but also preferred by the pro-abortion crowd. We should all take a good look at our children and grand children. After all, their pain is “irrelevant” too. This may very well be the saddest thing I have read in my entire life. We are truly a country gone mad in a world spinning out of control. How can we survive on that only thing left in the Pandora’s box of the ’60s and the ’70s — Hope. It is becoming very difficult to sustain.
— Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio
Despite Mr. Neumayr’s strained efforts to deflect attention from the degradations of fellow human beings at Abu Ghraib, we will not forget this unspeakable national shame. And no, Mr. Neumayr, I am not a frothing-at-the-mouth leftwing fanatic, I am a Rightist Catholic.
What has been going on in those prisons — and, indeed what has been going on in Iraq since day one — is a crime the stench of which will fill the nostrils of the rest of the world (and the noses of sensible Americans) for decades, if not centuries, to come.
Give it up, Mr. Neumayr. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
— Dan Guenzel
George Neumayr has nailed it again. His biting logic regarding partial-birth abortion indicts the abortion industry as morally and intellectually corrupt.
From my point of view, I honestly don’t know which is worse, an abortion doctor who, for money, readily commits unspeakable violence against the unborn, or a federal judge who, for whatever reason, finds the pain of an unborn baby “irrelevant” to whether the U.S. Congress may prohibit partial-birth or other late-term abortion. For God’s sake, inflicting inhumane pain on animals is a crime nationwide. How can it be that an unborn human baby’s pain is “irrelevant”?
Of course, for a court to find otherwise would upset the whole underpinning of legalized abortion: that an unborn baby lacks legal rights or protection as a person. So, I would expect no other conclusion from a court upholding legalized abortions, partial-birth or otherwise.
But this judge went much further by offering a wholly gratuitous, illogical, and intellectually corrupt finding that “it is grossly misleading and inaccurate” to say partial-birth abortion is very near to infanticide. How can it not be, when a viable baby is completely outside a woman’s body except for its head, at which point it is mercilessly, viciously, and violently killed?
Such a situation obviously approaches infanticide and anyone saying otherwise can only be a fool or corrupt. I doubt this federal judge is the former. Rather, she must be intellectually and otherwise corrupted by her wicked political ideology. In that regard, I expect her unnecessary comments (what lawyers call dicta) were for the consumption of her political soul mates; and her way of hurling personal barbs toward those who seek to have the abomination of partial-birth and other late-term abortion banned.
This kind of immature and hateful conduct by a federal judge illustrates very well how badly the federal judiciary needs reforming.
— A. A. Reynolds
BA, JD, LLM
The pain caused by partial birth abortion techniques “not relevant”? I wonder if the pain would be relevant if partial birth abortion techniques were used to administer capital punishment.
— D. Kennedy
THE VOTE SNATCHERS
Re: John Tabin’s Too Close to Call:
I wouldn’t get my hopes up for Thune to beat Daschle come November. Never forget that Democrats are above ANY laws, which means they will always find a way, or two, or MORE, to stuff the ballot box. It just strains credulity to the breaking point that Bush got 60% of the vote in 2000 in South Dakota while Daschle got 62%. The Law of Large Numbers tells me that there can’t be enough South Dakotans who are politically schizophrenic to bring about such an outcome. My bet is that the Democratic machine is confident that it has enough leeway to snatch any REAL victory Thune may honestly earn by dipping into their devilish handbag of ‘DEAD’ votes. Chicago’s graveyards, à la “The Body Snatchers” movie, are everywhere.
You could say the Democratic Party’s theme is, “Make Every VOTE Count, and then some.”
— James Crystal
Re: Ben Stein’s Happy Bush Country:
I have been a subscriber to The American Spectator for nearly twenty years. I have laughed with you through the good times, and cursed with you as the vast left wing conspiracy tried to take you down. Through it all I have always been able to count on Ben Stein to provide common sense, personal commentary that at once enlightens me while making me feel like a part of the family. God bless Ben Stein, and God bless The American Spectator for giving him this forum for so many years.
— Joe Pratt
Ben Stein, as usual, uplifts as well as enlightens. As Mr. Stein notes, it becomes increasingly difficult to recognize the America we see on the nightly newscasts. Indeed, if they were our only sources of information (as opposed to our own, everyday experiences living life in these United States), we might well despair, and possibly believe in the inevitability of our impending downfall. Thanks again for the reminder of all that is good, and right with our own corner of the world!
— Mark W. Tinder
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Ben is wonderful, 99% of the time. However, saw him Saturday on FOX. Did he ever disappoint.
The disappointment? He made the incredible statement that Secretary Rumsfeld should resign. Hope he was watching yesterday when Mr. Rumsfeld was introduced at “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”
— H. Nicola
Wonderful article on America and our President. It was such a refreshingly positive escape from the incredibly negative media. Thanks for reminding me why I love my country and support our President. Again, great article.
P.S. I have to agree with the coffee drinker comments. We should do some research.
I have just read the subject article forwarded to me by a friend. After Mr. Stein soothed my heart and mind with his verbally picturesque description of the beauty of this wonderful country that I live in and its equally beautiful and wonderful people, I smiled and let this warm, fuzzy feeling of happiness and well-being flow through me.
I am happy and proud to be and AMERICAN, a CONSERVATIVE, and a SUPPORTER of our boy-next-door, ALL-AMERICAN President George W. Bush. (I cannot imagine this man “flipping the bird” in public at anyone, much less in front of the Vietnam Memorial at a veteran.) I have liked him since the moment I laid eyes on him and learned he believed in God’s goodness and mercy and America’s greatness in spite of her problems now. Mr. Stein’s article is a real keeper and truly depicts some of this country’s deeper more personal problems just now in a very direct and unique way.
— Linda Morris
Burlington, North Carolina
Ben Stein has touched my heart again! First he writes about Walla Walla, Washington, a beautiful spot where I worked summers for college funds, and now Pend d’Oreille, where I wish I could have retired rather than here in Texas.
I was born in 1933 in Lewiston, ID, one of two twin cities at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, so called because the Lewis and Clark expedition camped there at one time. The other town, Clarkston, WA, was my actual residence after being brought home from the hospital in Lewiston. Consequently, having circulated in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho for many years, I feel entitled to suggest to Ben that he not refer to that part of the state as North Idaho. The same applies to Eastern Washington! This naming convention agrees with the scheme generally applied to naming states. Whoever heard of Western Virginia, or Southern/Northern Dakota/Carolina?
I don’t know why we natives of that area are so finicky about this, but calling it North Idaho is like referring to San Francisco as Frisco. It’s a dead giveaway that the speaker isn’t a native.
As for the meaning of the term Pend d’Oreille (Not Pendoreille or any such distortion) the debate rages on as to the source of the name. The earring version is generally considered to be fiction, because the term was originally applied not to the natives, but to the lake, which when seen on a map, resembles an ear with a greatly exaggerated earlobe, ergo “Pendant of the Ear.” French explorers, mostly trappers, could be assumed to know enough about map-making to have noticed this. The native Indian Tribe was actually the Kalispell Indian Tribe, which has been subsumed by the Flathead Indian Reservation in Western (Not West) Montana.
— Bob Johnson
(Ben replies: Actually, most of the people I know from there do call it North Idaho….)
I can never get enough of Ben Stein. His insightful and yet gentle outlook on the world always uplifts my spirits. His 6/01/04 piece gives me hope that George W. Bush will be reelected by a larger margin than the left and east coast’s media would have us believe. I pray he’s right. We need President Bush and we also need more of Ben Stein.
— Barbara Hallowich
Re: Ben Stein’s Idaho: Every year, I take a mini-journey out into “depressed, deprived” Upstate New York, along the old Erie Canal and Mohawk River. It’s beautiful farm country out there, and the folks are great. They do not see themselves as the unfortunate rabble who have been left behind by the new economy, but just people living their lives, and yes there are problems, and yes what else is new. They see the glass as half-full. They are not angry idealists (anger and idealism always coexist) writing teary editorials in Manhattan, but people living as realists.
When Hillary Clinton campaigned that she would help Upstate New York through her “contacts,” I knew that this was socialist-speak for the way that liberals think, that wealth is created by summons of some leftist regime dispensing easy patronage, rather than through hard work in a free-enterprise system. People in Upstate New York don’t buy Hillary-speak, however, and they know the difference between handing out a few jobs, and creating wealth and personal happiness.
When liberals visit Bush Country, they still think they are in the Peace Corps in the 1960s, with their sense of smug superiority. That is why it always will remain Bush Country.
— Steve Nikitas
I was heartened by Ben Stein’s “Happy Bush Country.” He sees a good middle America, not a bad one, and I respect his veracity. However, Mr. Stein is also obstinate because he just will not see this other America, from the book Candyfreak by Steven Almond:
“If you ever want to know what America really looks like… [t]ake a bus from Sioux City to Kansas City, via Omaha and Marysville. Here is where America lives, more often than not overweight, beset by children, fast-food fed, television-dulled, strongly perfumed, running low on options and telling their stories to whomever will listen, hatching schemes, self-dramatizing, preaching doomed sermons, dreaming of being other people in other lives.
“Or, as Charles de Gaulle said when he came to JFK’s funeral: Kennedy was America’s mask, but this man Johnson is the country’s real face.”
Our time seems to contain two kinds of people, those who agree with Almond, and those who see the America described by Mr. Stein. Sometimes I think they hardly share the same world at all.
— T. M. North
It’s always a pleasure to see articles by Ben Stein.
While is it true that the pockets of pessimistic liberalism (is there another kind?) tend to be urban areas saturated with coffee houses, I doubt caffeine intake alone is the cause of such sniveling behavior.
It is more likely that for people with such rotten views of America, and life in general, only bitter, burnt, overpriced coffee can get them to crawl out of their holes every morning for another day of whining and puling.
I am also one of those people that you talk about that sits on the beach at the lake or river. Only I don’t live in Northern Idaho, but I have been there many times over the years. I live in Central Wyoming and the friendly people that you describe also live here. We will also give the shirt off our backs and not think anything about it. Thank you for telling the rest of the world we are not Nazis or extreme right-wing militia types….
— Stan Brewer
Wonderfully expressed, Mr. Stein. Thank you for so eloquently stating what I’ve long thought. Your piece really described how things are in my neck of the woods.
— R. Bader
(Not many “beautiful” people here)
Take the frowning face off of Minnesota! The latest poll shows the President and the male version of Hillary in a neck-in-neck race — both around 45% with 10% undecided. The President can WIN Minnesota — we have an excellent conservative Republican Governor and Senator (we’ll get rid of the “Wellstone clone” Senator Dayton in 2006). Just emphasize what a loony leftist Senator Kerry is and tailor the message to appeal to the mainstream Minnesotans outside of the People’s Republic of Minneapolis. And don’t be afraid to visit, Mr. President!
Keep up the fight!
— Frantz I. Korfhage
Re: The Washington Prowler’s Wearing Out His Unwelcome:
In your discussion of EX-president Clinton’s “book tour,” you mention that taxpayer’s money is being expended for his Secret Service protection. My question, why does he have any Secret Service protection at all? He is now a private citizen, and I suggest that if he thinks he needs bodyguards, there are many reputable firms that he can hire them from, and pay the bill himself. He is an EX-president, so if some one were to visit grievous bodily harm upon him, who cares? For that matter, why does his wife have Secret Service protection? Do all Senators? If not, then she shouldn’t either. Why should the taxpayers foot the bill for Bill to have an office and a staff? Why should we do that for any ex-president? They have no duties nor responsibilities to us anymore, and they draw a healthy retirement cheque. If they want offices and staffs, and bodyguards, then let them pay the costs themselves. As ex-presidents, they are not our employees anymore, and I resent the fact that they continue to get money from the taxpayers over and above the huge pension that they draw.
— W. B. Heffernan, Jr.
KERRY ON ICE
Have you guys been watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
There’s a guy with a French sounding name (Lecavalier) playing for Tampa Bay. He bears a striking resemblance to a young John Kerry. Especially from the left profile. Seriously.
But this Lecavalier guy can skate.
— Dan Martin