Build Up This Wall - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Build Up This Wall

Re: The Washington Prowler’s No Class:

There’s good reason that John Kerry failed to credit the original JFK for his “watchman on the wall” comments: his comments weren’t so much a plagiarization as they were a repudiation of Kennedy’s view of America?s role in world affairs. It is George W. Bush, to the great disgust of the party of JFK, who has carried on America?s role as the lone watchman on the wall of freedom. It is George W. Bush who has stepped up to the plate — in the Kennedy tradition as well as the tradition of most American presidents of the 20th Century — to pay any price, bear any burden in the cause of freedom. Kerry’s remarks are shameful for their lack of resolve, not for their lack of attribution.
John Shirvinsky
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

On “No Class” — plagiarizing is not the worst thing about Kerry’s theft of Kennedy’s final speech. The more troubling aspect of what Kerry did was how he twisted the original. The contrast is between Kerry’s “the UN must lead otherwise we won’t man the tower” worldview and Kennedy’s “we are called by history to lead and to mount the watch tower alone” world view. To paraphrase Senator Bentsen, I remember John Kennedy and Kerry is no John Kennedy.
William Perry Pendley
Evergreen, Colorado

What a shocker! John F. Kerry lifts another line from John F. Kennedy.

Remember after his Wisconsin primary win, he thanked his wife and then went on to rhapsodize how everywhere he traveled, everyone wanted to see TeRAYsa? Then he stole a line from John Kennedy and further patronized his wife by saying, “I’m getting to be the guy who accompanies TeRAYsa around the United States of America, which is fine by me.” Now, I’m not quite old enough to remember when Kennedy said “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it” — but I remember it well from clips –and when I heard Kerry that night in Milwaukee; I just laughed out loud as I witnessed Kerry channeling his hero.

I remember firing off e-mails to Brit Hume and every member of his “all-star” panel the next day hoping they would contrast the remarks of the two JFKs as the funny little tidbit at the end of “Special Report” — it didn’t happen — but I felt vindicated several days later when Howie Carr wrote a column about the whole thing ? which finally got it mentioned on the Fox News Channel.
Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

I truly wonder where the Democrats have been for the last twenty years for I remember another speech by another President.

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

It is of course President Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate address, June 1987. (Full address here.) By all accounts we abandoned the watchtowers that protected Freedom on that day. Reagan assessed correctly, that now in this time, it was Freedom and not the watchtowers that truly protected the West. (Not that a few armored divisions aren’t useful.) The real wall came down several months later torn down by the people themselves.

That Kennedy would have delivered his speech harks of a different time. Soviet expansionism was in its ascendancy. Freedom for Western Europe was still a fragile thing and the watchtowers were needed. But it is 2004 not 1964. Am I to nuance (to coin a liberal verb) by Kerry’s reference that we, America, should in time-warp fashion go back and build the walls and man the watchtowers yet again against the Jihadists? Or are we better served by sowing Freedom through out the Middle East? The answer I believe is here:

“we shall divert through our own Country a branch of commerce which the European States have thought worthy of the most important struggles and sacrifices, and in the event of peace on terms which have been contemplated by some powers we shall form to the American union a barrier against the dangerous extension of the British Province of Canada and add to the Empire of liberty an extensive and fertile Country thereby converting dangerous Enemies into valuable friends.” — Thomas Jefferson, private communiqué¬ December 1780.
John McGinnis

Re: Editor’s Desk home page posting of 5/28:

Funny or ironic you shoulder mention the late Armand Hammer and former VP Al Gore in the same column.

Al Gore, Sr. had a long-term close relationship with Hammer which continued after Gore, Sr. was defeated in his last Senate race. That long term relationship is well documented and was very lucrative for the Gore family.

Seems like that part of Al Jr.’s past is often overlooked.
John Langston
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

We need no EOWs this week, not even Algore as much as he deserves it. It is time to honor and remember those who stood and defended against real enemies and those do so still. I for one have my own small way of remembering those who sacrificed and do not care what Weird Al and his ilk do this time of the year. Let us so honor and remember and rededicate, not acknowledge the hand-wringing self-haters so exemplified by certain prominent leftist, self-flagellating weenies.
G.M. Strong (a vet)
Media, Pennsylvania

Re: Lawrence Henry’s A Perfectly Rotten Time:

A perfectly rotten time? Au contraire! Sorry. I mean, “Al Contrario!!” As a former frequent visitor to Boston, I appeal to those who work and live around the “Democrat Danger Zone” of their convention to remember that life is all about opportunity. During this time when the scene of Bostonians heading out will seem like the 17-year cicadas coming out of the ground, just a few short miles away in the wonderful town of Manchester, New Hampshire, there’ll be a real convention with real significance: The Alfa Romeo National Convention celebrating the 50th anniversary of a motor masterpiece — the Alfa Romeo Guiletta.

Nowhere else can one pause and reflect upon these DaVincis of automobile art. Nowhere else can one pause and reflect upon why a small town is shipping in truckloads of Peroni’s. And, nowhere else can one pause and reflect upon why the tech sessions are so much a part of getting home.

If you must go to a convention that is attended by a bunch of dinosaurs whose 50-year-old broken down ideas are considered progressive, by all means, stop by Boston’s Fleet Center for French-style waffling. But if you want to have the time of your life, you know where to go?

Rick Osial
Montclair, Virginia

Re: George Neumayr’s Dé´¥nte With Terror:

Exactly. Bravo.
Paul Rhoads

Well done. I just don’t understand how liberals can be soft on most things. No, I don’t propose that we be governed by thugs and bullies but we do, quite often, have to take a firm stand. Gore’s recent remarks are beyond belief. And this man was almost our President!

I think that Mr. Neumayr’s notion that “Gore’s advanced stage of political dementia is a metaphor for the mindlessness of his party?s defense policies,” is a bit off the mark. If we have learned anything about the modern Democrat Party it is that they are methodical in their approach to regaining power. When the Democrats are in the minority, they fall back to the theatrical rhetoric they picked up in the ’60s and modify it to fit the current situation. They are like a jealous suitor; they will tell any lie and distort any truth to get the girl. These recent statements by Mr. Gore are simply the new equation. Unfortunately, his comments are actually a metaphor for a party that is completely without a moral or intellectual foundation. They are not liberals, but are instead a group of technocrats who became interested in politics after being fulfilled by the radicalism of their youths. When they are weak, and faced with principled and capable opposition, they gain false confidence by regurgitating the same type of inanities that inspired them in the past. This is the real Democrat Party; politically unserious and incapable of leading in desperate times, but intensely mindful of their need for power.
Garron M.

Algore indeed stands out in a rain forest of dwarfs, but I also hold particular contempt for the likes of Nancy Pelosi, whose crocodile tears over the photos from Abu Ghraib were shed despite the fact that the activities depicted therein represent “the perfect evening” for over half of her constituents. She even failed to take note of the fact that those photos exposed the only known incident of feces smearing that was not paid for by the National Endowment for the Arts. If the American people turn to these not-so-useful idiots for leadership we will richly deserve to lose the war against terrorists. Keep your powder dry, folks, its going to be a long, hot summer.
Guy Green
St. Paul, Minnesota

Re: jimi izrael’s Bill Cosby’s Show and Reader Mail’s The Cosby Cause:

I read the original article and all the letters with great interest. How is it that nobody mentions Chris Rock? It was years ago in his routine that he first told the same truth as Cosby. Rock said it better too.
Fred Z

I think Jimi Izrael has lost his mind, because he is missing the whole point of what Cosby said. As for his using broken English, slang, ebonics or whatever you want to call it in his comedies, that’s just it, it’s a comedy. As a high school special educator, I see students come in and start asking questions like Who that is? or Where he/she be at? Their not understanding the time and appropriate place to use slang, which is not in the classroom. I can’t tell you how many students are failing high school and parents don’t even show up to parent-teacher conferences, but let their child be expelled from school for beating another student up and they are there wanting raise cain.

Moreover, students are coming to school with no books, pens or pencils, but they have the latest Tommy Hilfiger outfit with matching shoes, hat, watch and socks.

African-Americans are not taking responsibilities for their own actions, which means that this is trickled down to the children who blame everyone else for their misfortunes and present conditions. Yes, things are unfair and unjust in America, there is no doubt about that, but if you are not making any effort to make your situation better then you can’t holler discrimination because you haven’t done anything. That’s like going to the car dealership and wanting to get a car and you have bad credit, which is a result of you buying new outfits every week for your children and your man and you know that the phone bill, rent, and water have to be paid and you choose to make late payments because you are buying other unnecessary things. This is what Cosby is talking about and if you don’t believe it’s true, spend about 3-4 days in a public school and talk and look at the children who walk through the halls and you will see.

I disagree with your column on Bill Cosby. He said what needed to be said. All people need to take responsibility for their lives and the lives of their children. Being a victim gets you nowhere. Being proactive gets you anywhere you want to go. As long as the black community thinks it’s a victim, it will be a victim of its own creation. Yes, s–t happens to people. Life goes on. The winners pick themselves up and go on, rather than point fingers at everyone else. He’s right. You’re wrong. Enough said.
Monica Chadwick

As the Bush ad’s show, when you’re out of arguments … you can always go for the ad hominem’s.

Since Jimi Izrael’s critique of Bill Cosby is a long list of mere ad hominem’s … we have to assume Izrael was at loss for real arguments against Bill Cosby’s criticism of today young, poor black people.
Ivo Renkema

It is so unfortunate that when two Black men disagree, white people come out of the woodwork with there fogged viewpoints and opinions, We all know the answer to the problems in Urban Black America, it isn’t the NAACP or Black leaders it is slavery. The worst part of this is that we have a drug abusing white man exposing them while eating popcorn as if he were at a Friday night fight. I honestly believe that Izrael and Cosby need to get together and share wisdom and leave white America out of it.

Re: Eric Peters’ Keep Up — or Pay Up! and Richard Hardison’s letter (under “Power Driving”) in Reader Mail’s Life in the Fast Lane:

Eric Peters is wrong, and Mr. Richard Hardison (5/26) for Ohio is correct! The left lane is the passing lane, not the personal speeding lane for Peters and his fellow leadfoots who think they are above the law. The left lane “hogs” that Peters is so anxious to see eliminated are rarely driving below the posted speed limit, and they are rarely in the left lane simply to block it. More frequently, they are law-respecting drivers like me. To show “respect” for the law, I habitually set my cruise control for 3-to-4 mph over the speed limit. So, when driving 68mph, I sometimes have to use the left lane to pass a 66mph driver. So, in Mr. Peters’ twisted logic, is it my responsibility to speed up and violate the law, just because he is in a hurry? I think not. How about in a reduced-speed, one-lane construction zone? You should see how many middle fingers I see after emerging from such a zone, having led a pack of immature speeders through at 3 mph over the posted speed limit (set at the slower speed for the safety of the construction workers).

Peters’ belief that I should drive at the “flow of traffic” (or get out of his way!) is the logic that morality is defined by what the crowd does — or the “everybody does it” morality. Under that logic, our teens should engage in premarital sex because “all their friends are doing it.” I would guess Peters would thus approve of a poor ghetto kid using illegal drugs — as long as, in his estimation, “everybody else is doing it.” Ironically, it’s often these law-breaking speeders who look down their noses most harshly at the law-breaking drug users. Hmm, who was it didn’t distinguish between “sins” (crimes)? I recall it was a Guy who gave a Sermon on a Mount.
Allen Nyhuis
Indianapolis, Indiana

So many of the articles on the TAS site suggest that the Left is based on hypocrisy.

You are utterly mistaken; there is no hypocrisy on the Left.

The Left is Marxist-Leninist. To people who ascribe to that religion, Power is the only thing to be worshipped. (Full disclosure: my late Father was a lapsed Trotskyite; I heard all of this at the dinner table while a child.)

In pursuit of political power, it is entirely consistent for a John Kerry to praise the removal of Saddam one day, only to condemn it the next. Everything is to be done, or said, with political advantage in mind. We have always been at war (or peace) with (fill in the blank). There is no hypocrisy here.

At least, if you don’t believe in anything other than Power.
Jim Stevenson
San Diego, California

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