Among the Mountebanks - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Among the Mountebanks
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MORE, PLEASE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s A Post-Pulitzer Coogler:

It is for this quality of writing that your devotees in foreign lands read TAS.

It is also a great pity that Bob does not unleash himself on scoundrels and mountebanks like Al Franken more often.
Martin Kelly
Glasgow, Scotland

Kudos to RET’s decision to confer the vaunted J. Gordon Coogler Award on Mr. Al Franken. Other than the brain-damaged psychotic Michael Moore (aside to RET — I thought possibly you stole my idea about Moore’s book Stupid White Men being his autobio, but I guess that is rather self-evident to everyone), I can think of no one else more deserving of this accolade! Bear in mind that Mr. Franken is the same moron that, along with his partner Tom Davis, used to drop LSD before their script-writing endeavors during their halcyon days at Saturday Night Live. Certainly was the pinnacle of their careers, which took a plunge faster than David Caruso’s.

And as far as Ann Coulter is concerned — HOO HAH!! And what I wouldn’t give to see RET and AC team up on CNN’s “Crossfire” in place of Carlson and Novak (both nice guys, but hey, we got a war to fight here). The liberal bloodletting would be monumental and I’d pay good money to see the “Ragin’ Cajun” crying “MOMMIE” after he got shredded. Ah, my fantasy for the week…month …year …
Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

AMERICA HELD HOSTAGE
Re: William Tucker’s Call It a Democracy and the Hell With It:

There are many truths in the article, “Call It a Democracy and the Hell With It,” written by Mr. Tucker in the April 12th issue. He leaves out a great consideration. If we get out of Iraq, there’s a great chance Iran will move in. If we let that happen, Iran will control most of the oil fields now in production. Iran may have nuclear technology now. If not, they’ll soon have them and enough cash to buy missiles that can reach our golden shores. If we find out that Iraq cannot adapt to democracy, the only practical thing to do is use the Kurds as our military force just as the British used the Sikhs to control India. Either that, or follow Ann Coulter’s advice and christianize them like the Moslems did to the Christians fifteen hundred years ago.
Mike McCoy
Central Point, Oregon

ONE SHINING MOMENT
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Wrong Man for the Job:

That little spectacle involving the confirmation of Justice Thomas was one of those defining moments in American politics, and I definitely remember which side Senator Specter was on. Senator Specter may be a lot of things but he is no Jeffords, and loyalty and “distinguished service under fire” has to count for something.
Paul Milenkovic
Madison, Wisconsin

THE UNREPENTANT
Re: George Neumayr’s The New Saintliness:

OK, so the US Catholic bishops are about to fold again — this time regarding Kerry and abortion…. With due respect to Neumayr: In what sense is this news? In spite of their decades of “cheap grace” baloney about “concern for the poor, and the weakest of society” I cannot imagine any single group of Americans less likely to extend themselves on behalf of others, or less willing to expose themselves to the smallest amount of criticism by the “smart set” for their supposed beliefs. (Even when it comes to the bishops’ vaunted liberal “social justice” ideals, it’s never THEIR asses or wallets on the line. It’s always some scheme to increase the tax burden on the poor schleps out there who are working and supporting families. And don’t even get me started on how badly they are screwing over African Americans by abetting the importation of cheap labor from Mexico and the Third World. McCarrick is a “labor” bishop? What does that mean? He likes to watch On the Waterfront? You cannot simultaneously call yourself a supporter of labor and abet illegal immigration, unless you are either moron or a fraud — or a poseur, like McCarrick.) The bishops pack their National Review Board (and meet in secret to discuss policy) with prominent pro-abortionists and dissenters. They blow off Catholics who are committed to their faith. Always. Wait till you see what they (don’t) do about gay marriage. This incompetent and (let’s face it) largely effeminate flock of sheep has for all intents and purposes consigned itself to irrelevance. My only question is: Why do guys like Neumayr even bother to cover them anymore? Quit wasting your time…
Thomas J. Wronski

Many of the Democratic politicians who claim to be Catholics are indeed trying to confuse what is and is not Church teaching. Bringing up a list of social issues as being morally equivalent to abortion or human cloning is the latest tactic. There is no Church teaching on such things as minimum wage, welfare benefits, or progressive taxes. The Church even recognizes the validity of the death penalty (Catechism 2267). The bishops comment on these issues, but their comments are not Church teaching.

The inclusion of such issues among the criteria for judging a candidate’s “Catholicism” is a smoke screen, possibly designed to counter other guides, such as “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.”

This guide lists five non-negotiable issues. The Q&A for the guide addresses secondary issues, such as capital punishment, health care, tax codes and the environment, and leaves these to individual voters to decide based on their conscience — after they have applied the list of five non-negotiable criteria.
Pat Birmingham
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Your “New Saintliness” commentary “hit the nail on the head” re the Bishops bow to Kerry.

This pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic has watched the Bishops of the American church once again demonstrate their liberal penchant for the denigration of church doctrine.

So what does it matter that Senator Kerry has no objection to “Partial Birth Abortion,” the bloody extraction of the brain from a new born baby? His vote against a bill opposing that sick action falls into the left’s cultural revisionism led by the likes of the heretical theologian Richard McBrien of Notre Dame.
Ken Wyman
Huntsville, Alabama

I was raised a Catholic — Catholic schools from K to 12, altar boy, married in the Catholic Church, and even my first two children were baptized Catholic. I have mostly good memories of the priests and nuns that I knew then. They were genuinely faithful believers as well as patriotic Americans.

I’m no longer a Catholic; I’ve been attending Presbyterian Churches since the ’70s, mostly for theological and biblical reasons. But it was the implosion of the Catholic clergy in the late ’60s that helped push me out of the door. This clerical emphasis on the “social gospel” and left-wing political positions has subverted the Catholic church in America. I have a deep ecumenical attitude for what C. S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity.” So I wish the Catholic church well as a group of fellow Christians. I’m an ex-Catholic, not an anti-Catholic. But these bishops are an abomination. I hope the next Pope will crack down on them and replace a lot of them with real shepherds of the faith. Cuomo, Kerry, and McAuliffe have nothing to worry about from these wanna-be-Marxist-bishops — they’re cut from the same political cloth: Liberal politics prevails over Christian doctrine.
Mike Novak
Ellicott City, Maryland

A superb article by Mr. Neumayr which really shows the Bishops for what they are. Mr. Neumayr should be required reading for all Catholics everywhere. Perhaps his articles could be included in the Sunday church Bulletins. His work would certainly enliven the Sunday homily and perhaps awaken the “Pew Potatoes” who are sleepily drifting toward Salvation while their Church is deconstructing all around them, as they slumber. Thanks, Mr. Neumayr.
Gene Brennan
Chatham, Massachusetts

With respect to your discussion of Mr. Kerry, and the backboneless Catholic Bishops, the fact is that these self-styled “Catholic” politicians are no more Catholic than Osama bin Laden or Yassir Arafat. And, whilst there are some Catholic Bishops who have at least said that they would refuse Communion to these anti-Catholic politicians, these sorts of Bishops are too few and far between.

It has been apparent to me for years that the likes of Kennedy, McAuliffe, Kerry, Cuomo, et al. are frauds when it comes to their alleged Catholicism. They work actively against the Faith, but expect all the little old Catholic ladies, especially those of Irish ancestry, to vote for them, in fact, to damn near worship them! Their behavior regarding the religion that they do not practice is analogous to a person who states that he is a Vegetarian, but makes up his own mind about eating meat, which in fact he does. Nonetheless, he demands that he be considered to be a Vegetarian. Now any politician who actually took such a position would become a laughingstock faster than it takes a Kennedy to get drunk. But, when if comes to their religion, these despicable fools get a free pass, from the press, and, sadly, from the Church (non)leadership. I long for the appearance of Priests and Bishops with the courage to turn these hypocrites away when they seek to take Communion, in defiance of the basic tenets of the Faith. There would be the usual uproar from the press and other mindless yahoos that the Bishops, or the Pope, were trying to “impose their beliefs on the people,” yet this is totally false. What the Church, through all its Clergy, should insist upon is that anyone who professes to be a Catholic actually be a Catholic. It is the choice of the individual, after all, to support or oppose abortion, euthanasia, homosexual acts to include the pairings of perverts in a travesty of “marriage,” and other areas that defy the teachings of Jesus and the Church. The individual can choose to be a practicing Catholic, or to support these so-called “liberal” initiatives, but cannot do both at the same time. The Bishops would not be telling the politician, or voter for that matter, what to do, but merely acquainting them with the reality that, if they choose to act against the Church, then they are no longer Catholics, and, indeed, are placing themselves in a state of sin.

Again, the choice is entirely up to the individual, but, and this is something that too many people today refuse to recognize, choices have consequences. Thus, if a person chooses to oppose the Church, he ceases to be of the Church. The Bishops don’t make the decision for him, or her, they merely point out the inevitable consequences of pursuing certain courses of action. Step off a pier into the ocean, and you will get wet. If you cannot swim, you may well drown. Support abortion, homosexual “marriage,” or even “civil unions” for that matter, euthanasia or other evils, and you cease to be a Catholic. The choice is yours. Of course, for this to happen the Church leadership must grow some backbone, quit being concerned over “popularity,” and recognize that its duty is first and foremost to save immortal souls from eternal damnation. Nothing else that it may do is of any consequence if it fails in its primary mission.
W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

CLASSICAL GAS
Re: Eric Peters’ Bovine Intervention:

Since I had heard rumblings of this proposed tax before and given the date, I knew that Eric Peters’ essay wasn’t an April Fools joke.

Another contributor to this supposed emissions problem is human males. Why wasn’t this mentioned along with the dogs, cats, birds, and hamsters? Age is not a factor. It’s not just one male. It’s the effect of two or more males congregating and competing to produce the biggest methane output which would probably not happen if these males were not in close proximity. This is an example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I smell a synergy tax.
Evelyn
Colorado

Never fear, surely the Sierra Club will suggest this soon:

Dateline July 2005: In conference committee the US Senate passes the Methane Clarification and Reduction Act.

Dateline Jan 2006: Beeno Corp. develops a feed additive for cows. Product is federally mandated for all cattle in the US. Cattlemen’s concerns about herd depletion from constipated cows go unheeded.

Dateline June 2006: Meat prices rise sharply as beef cattle across the country die due to intestinal difficulties. Senate investigation is launched to look into the “Meat crisis.” Price controls are considered.

Dateline July 2006: EPA, in a recent study, is shocked to find that current enforcement methods are not meeting targets. Recommends more stringent methods of methane capture. A related study indicates that human methane production exceeds that of all nonhuman methane production.

Dateline Feb. 2007: Methane Digesters Inc. announces the development of a portable solar-powered methane digester that is attached to the point source to help eliminate the methane problem. After a serious run up in the companies stock, the SEC stops trading on fears of securities irregularities. SEC launches probe. In other news it is reported that the US Wildlife Service is having difficulty getting antelope, deer and buffalo to consume Beeno additive in the wild. Herd management schemes are being considered.

Dateline Oct. 2008: Matthew D. CitySlicker (D-NY) announces on the floor of the House, “Our country is currently floating in a sea of methane gas. ladies and gentlemen. This is a scourge on the country and must be eliminated! Agencies have been battling this for years but their efforts are wanting for lack of further enforcement measures. It is therefore incumbent upon us to provide the government the tools necessary to bring this problem under control from the source!” CitySlicker’s bill, the Methane Point Source Extension Act, mandates a 5% tax on any product that in its production, distribution or consumption produces any methane gas.

Dateline April 2009: Baked beans, Kidney beans and other legumes reach $5/lb. as value-added taxes take hold in the marketplace. In hard hit bean producing states the House approves emergency farm subsidy measures to assist the agricultural sector. Methane Digesters, Inc. announces a friendly takeover agreement with ADM to forestall bankruptcy. Men’s Health magazine does cover article that men should stop consuming baked beans as a civic measure. New toilets carry a $100 “use tax.”

Dateline June 2010: Drudge Report: “M.D. CitySlicker has been indicted on charges of accepting bribes from a Beeno Corp. subsidiary. Coverup charges are in the works. Developing….” CitySlicker, approached by Dateline is quoted — “No Comment. [Belch].” In other developments, scientists have discovered that the reduced methane emissions have increased the size of the ozone hole over the North Pole. One scientist is quoted saying that we may need to rethink our methane strategy in light of these developments….
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Why can Canada get away with only $50,000 to study bovine flatulence? The U.S. government paid $19 million for its study. What do the Canadians know that we don’t?
unsigned

CHOICE WORDS
Re: Greg Barnard’s letter (under “It’s Not Israel Either”) in Reader Mail’s Who’s the Boss?:

If everyone objects to the “assassination” of Hamas leaders, maybe we could describe their timely demises with something more palatable to the left. I suggest that we (shades of South Park), start referring to the targeting killing of terrorist leaders as “late term abortions.” Israel is merely exercising their freedom of choice.
Andy Metcalf

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