Bonus Coverage - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Bonus Coverage
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FILE AWAY
Re: Amy Welborn’s Kook Bestseller:

“The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen …”

Surely, Miss Welborn, this saying of Paul of Tarsus would seem as a yoke around one’s neck. The four Gospels differ, at times, hopelessly on the matters of the death and resurrection of Christ. To the question, “Art thou the Christ?” some think he said, “Yes, I am,” and others say , “Ye say that I am!” But any history of organized, or better, institutionalized Christianity should be disclaimed. With the notion that Jesus had no thoughts whatsoever in that direction. There is only a basic doctrine of a universal loving God and a brotherhood of man. Jesus had no knowledge of the Annunciation (which is in other religions, and mythologies), nor the trinity, nor original sin, nor the worship of Mary. A very erudite, and non-conforming sage by the name of Albert J. Nock had this to say of the history of organized Christianity:

“I came away from it with the firm conviction that the prodigious evils which spot this record can all be traced to the attempt to organize and institutionalize something which is in its nature incapable of being successfully either organized or institutionalized. I can find no evidence that Jesus ever contemplated either; the sort of thing commonly alleged as evidence would not be substantial enough to send a pickpocket to gaol. By all that is known of Jesus, he appears to have been as sound and simon pure an individualist as Lao-tsze.”
Edward Del Colle

SELLING JOBS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Job Growth Description:

I agree with most of what you wrote about the job situation in the U.S. But I do have some reservations. Maybe there are lots of people starting small companies, but I would say that the bulk of those people are people who may have lost their jobs during the slowdown and setting up as consultants etc. My guess is that most of them would love to get a full paying job with benefits rather than having to work a little harder as self-employed. My bet is with the current growth rate jobs will return in the U.S. in the not too distant future. My fear however is that it may not help Bush.

Presidents need to articulate their opinions conveyed in clear and thoughtful language to the electorate. Bush is not capable of doing this and it’s a real problem for the Republicans. Given that the mainstream press is against the Republicans at all times, Bush has to be able to speak well so that he is heard over the heads of these people and it is here where I see the President’s problem. Tell me if you had any problems understanding what Reagan said, or for that matter what Clinton was trying to convey (all crap, but at least he was clear). Bush can’t do that and it’s a real problem for us all.
Joe Cambria
Melbourne, Australia

KING KERRY
Re: David Hogberg’s His Royal Highness :

David Hogberg has stated my feeling exactly. Well, actually he is a little kinder than I can be. There isn’t a day goes by without hearing John Kerry. My one savior is the remote control which is getting more use than ever. I saw him again this afternoon giving what he called a speech I guess, but all I heard was more slander against George Bush. And there were Kennedy, Daschle and Leahy, among others, nodding their heads in agreement as if Kerry had given the State of the Union address. It was no more of a speech than any of his others in the last few months. I sometimes wonder if he really believes what he is saying. It’s hard to tell with that boring tone and no expression on his face.

John Kerry has done more to disgrace the election process in this country than anyone I can remember. He has spewed so much hate throughout his campaign. The more John Kerry talks the more it becomes apparent that he is not fit to run this great country. Hate will not bring this country together and neither will John Kerry.

Maybe another eight months of his hateful slandering speeches will finally wise the voters how low the character of this man really is. What a “pandescending whiner” is right!!
Jane
Connecticut

Without a doubt, this is the ultimate in hypocrisy. He (Kerry), above all others in the world, is the one person who should NOT say such things — clearly describing his and his despicable liberal friends’ very own actions. I am so sick of the lies and cheating with no accountability.

GWB’s problem is this country doesn’t want a decent person in the White House. If Kerry somehow steals this election, I fear greatly for our very existence since we’ll need U.N. approval to protect ourselves. Can’t the “sheeple” on the left understand this? Can’t minorities see they’re just a vote? Of all the promises made to them over so many campaigns, why are their issues still issues? Should not the lying, cheating liberals have corrected them by now? It’s not rocket science…just criminal action.

Thanks for listening.
C. R. Duvall
Allen, TX

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LONELY?
Re: George Neumayr’s The Bolshevik in Kerry:

I am happy you guys are the only ones exposing the real John Kerry. These stories of his foreign policy blunders (Sandinistas) are amazing. My only worry is that we are getting no traction. No one is talking about this. Only you guys. I hope come November people will read through this fraud. Keep up the good work

Best regards,
Matthew Baiamonte

Why doesn’t some reporter attending one of Kerry’s rantings ask him, “Mr. Kerry, you and your wife are worth mega millions, are you going to voluntarily going to give more or you money to the tax collectors? Are you going to stop sending millions on tax accountants to avoid paying your fair share of taxes? How about are you going to drop out of your Senate retirement program and voluntarily going Social Security like the rest of us? Just asking.”
J. Kosar

THE COLOR PURPLE
Re: Washington Prowler’s Kerry Schemes and Lies:

The deeper one looks into John Kerry’s Vietnam war record the more one begins to question his decorations. Which is why Kerry refuses to release his military file (as George Bush has). Who wrote Kerry up for his medals (and was there reciprocity, as was common in Vietnam — you write me up, and I’ll write you up). We already know his Purple Hearts were bogus, so what’s the rest of the story?
Punch

WHAT’S THE POINT?
What’s with all these Anti-Kerry articles? Conservatives should not have such a pressing interest in bashing Kerry. This rush to man the barricades is puzzling when there is no Conservative alternative to defend. This election is also about George Bush’s failures to explain and advance the Conservative cause. In fact, it’s about his success in advancing the liberal cause. It’s about the time we waste supporting Bush and other Republicans while time is running out. These aspects should at least demand the same amount of attention.

Many Conservatives are worried about foreign policy. But, if you don’t trust Bush to handle our domestic policy after re-election, why would you trust him to handle our foreign policy after he is no longer threatened with replacement? Afghanistan was to strike back for 9/11. Iraq cleaned up the mess his father left behind. Why wouldn’t a reactor like Bush go back to the pre-9/11 policy with no immediately visible threat or unresolved actions to take? Will we soon be watching him take foreign policy steps to enhance his “legacy”? Is bringing the UN back into Iraq one example we already have?

Kerry is ineffective and believes in nothing but his own advancement. In other words, he will move toward the center after the Democratic convention and the threat he poses is over-stated. So dwelling on his past actions while Senator from Massachusetts is not sufficient.

Conservative should stay focused on both problems, Bush and Kerry.…
Mike Rizzo

I fervently hope I’m wrong with the following observation re the conduct of today’s political debate.

Watching and reading the comments of the political opposition to President Bush, the underlying theme of that opposition has become pure unadulterated hatred for the man and the office he holds.

In my fifty plus years of observing/participating in political campaigns, I have seen some pretty tough pro and con debating tactics. However, until this date, I have not seen such personal hatred so dangerously poisoning the well of civil discourse. If this hate rues the day, our nation will pay “dearly” for that bitter victory.
Ken Wyman
Huntsville, Alabama

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY BIAS
Re: James Bowman’s The Blame Lame:

I think it’ll take awhile for Personal Responsibility Bias — i.e., the deep-seated instinct that people are responsible for the consequences of their own behavior — to be bred out of people. I think it’s one of those moral instincts that C.S. Lewis wrote about in his proof of the existence of God (like “playing fair”) that is inherent in all but maybe a few mentally disabled people. Trial lawyers have PRB like the rest of us, but know it can be a liability when it comes to collecting big paydays, so they try to work around it the best they can, hence the citation by Mr. Bowman from the trial lawyers’ handbook. Like most other reprobates, they know what they’re doing is wrong and turn flips to rationalize it for the sake of winning.

Winning is, of course, everything. You can’t lead the country in the right direction, gain favorable footnotes in the history books, leave a lasting legacy and have eras named after you if you don’t win first.

For trial lawyers, money is all important and is worth laying aside PRB. For Kerry, it’s beating Bush. Kerry (along with most of the rest of his partisans) is so bent on winning at all costs that he will suspend what he knows are the right and wrong things to do and say, and he will override his own sense of moral absolutes, until after November. Until then, even if Bush does something that is obviously right (for instance, if Osama Bin Laden is caught), Kerry will find a way to bash Bush for it. The lens through which he sees everything is, “If Bush did it, it was wrong. If Bush said it, it was wrong.” Can’t possibly be right, under any circumstances. Then he must come up with reasons Bush is wrong. It can’t be Bush is OK, but I’m better. That’s too risky. The economy must be the worst since Hoover (FDR, by the way, had some much worse years than Hoover, but we won’t mention that), our foreign policy is the worst in modern history (Vietnam?), and Bush has stupidly and arrogantly alienated the rest of the world (forget about most of the known countries on earth).

Making the most money is top of the list for trial lawyers, and they know they can’t do that if they don’t go where the pockets are. Therefore, it isn’t the fat guy who is responsible for his heart attack — he doesn’t have enough money — it’s McDonald’s. Same with Kerry. It wasn’t the terrorists responsible for the terror — can’t risk alienating all those Muslim Democrats — it’s Bush. And some voters (hopefully not enough for Kerry to win) suffering from Personal Stupidity Bias will go along with that line of tripe.
Bill Nesbitt
Little Rock, Arkansas

PUTIN ON THE REACH
Re: Jacob Laksin’s Saving Saddam:

The Al-Mada list that Mr. Laksin refers to is a source of burning shame for the media in the United Kingdom. It has received no reporting despite its being of critical national interest.

The first is Russian in origin. One of the corporations named as a voucher recipient was the oil company Sibneft. Sibneft is the vehicle of a 37-year old oligarch named Roman Abramovich, since last summer the owner of London’s Chelsea soccer club. Because of the time he now spends in the UK, he is listed as the country’s wealthiest man. No newspaper anywhere in the country has reported his company’s inclusion on the list.

The second source of shame is, of course, the failure of any outlet to report the inclusion of the libidinous scoundrel George Galloway. For years a grasping pecculent who doubles his taxpayer-funded salary with a column for a Sunday tabloid, this stain on Scotland receives a free pass due to his history of suing newspapers who dare to tell the truth about him.

In regards to the Al-Mada list, Her Majesty’s Fourth Estate has been tried and found sadly wanting.
Martin Kelly
Glasgow
SCOTLAND

It would seem entirely plausible that Russia would want to assist Baathist Iraq as they were a client state. But I have to disagree with the following statement in the article — “…was tightly monitored by the state. Bearing in mind that little in modern-day Russia happens without a nod from Putin and his brass menagerie of ex-military personnel and KGB alumni.” Much in Russia occurs without the state’s knowledge, like whole freight trains of ethanol missing, 134 suitcase nukes disappearing, and military stocks for a front line division unaccounted for. That the Russian Mafia was involved is no doubt. But I don’t think the KGB is in the business of trading drug deals with the local “Roof.”

Reading the Russian version of Pravda will indicate just how loose things are in that country. In many cases the KGB may know but does not care or have been paid off. The political scene is a hodgepodge of Democrats, Communists, and anarchists. Regional Republic control and orientation is in many cases just the opposite of Moskva’s desires. Many of the formerly state-run enterprises, having been set free and survived the transition, have their capitalization base funded by Germany and Sweden, not the central Russian bank.

Putin sits on the back of the horses of a Troika without the benefit of sitting in the sleigh. Putin’s strength is in his popularity with the Russian people, the likes I have not seen in the many visits there. If that populist backing were to wane, Putin’s chances would be sharply curtailed, the Russian constitution requiring a majority to win election not just a plurality. But the horses are bucking all the time and Putin must either hold the reins tightly or surely fall off.

But daily events in Russia are more akin to Italian chaos than German punctuality.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

SHARKEY WRITES BACK
Re: Mark Hessey’s letter (“Scanned to Death”) in Reader Mail’s Permanent Scars:

“John Sharkey wants to save himself some money by controlling every aspect of our lives…” Mr. Hessey doesn’t get my point. I am not arguing for anyone controlling anyone else. The letters I responded to were focused on a nanny-state government passing laws to make us do what they think we should. I was specifically referring to safety-belt laws and being penalized for not using them.

There is an inexorable march to penalize us if (1) the driver is not buckled-up (2) the front seat passenger is not buckled-up and 3) the back seat passengers are not buckled-up. Of course, we are at greater risk of injury if we get in an accident. However, we are getting ticketed for not being in an accident.

The people, who support these laws, yes, including smoking and helmet laws, want to penalize us if we are not as cautious as they are. The most commonly used rationale is that society foots the bill for my choosing to not wear a seat belt or helmet. If there is an accident, society foots the bill through higher premiums or higher medical costs. States use the rationale that their medical expenses go up for smoking and thus tobacco companies need to pay.

My whole point was that if we are worried about increased medical cost to society, we could come up with other ways to handle the problem. I’m against government interfering in every aspect of our lives. I’m against government punishing us for actions that are not immoral, illegal or unethical. So, as an alternative to society accepting the burden placed on it by unbuckled motorist, society can choose not to pay. If I drive and never get in an accident, society bears no cost whether or not I wear a seat belt. If I get in an accident and I was wearing my seat belt, society could bear the unavoidable cost. If however, I didn’t wear a seat belt and the injuries were greater for not being buckled-up, society can choose to have me bear the additional cost of my choice.

This is just an argument against the simplistic choice of handing out tickets. A better choice for society to make is, whether we are going to foot the bill for individual’s stupidity. I agree not wearing a seat belt; not wearing a helmet and smoking are all stupid choices. If we don’t want people to make “bad” choices, then require them to suffer the consequences. Or, we can just foot the bill. This is a less oppressive solution than fining people in order to avoid the cost.

Just for clarification, I was not looking to control anyone’s life. I was not looking to reduce cost. I was just trying to argue against people using “cost to society” as a reason for ticketing people for not wearing seat belts.
John Sharkey
Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey

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