Re: Francis X. Rocca’s Worthy Opposition:
As per usual Francis Rocca makes valid points, and does so lucidly. But I would dispute his assertion that many on the Right look at Clinton merely as a “hick and a callow bumbler.” In fact most people on both sides of the political spectrum know Clinton to be both intelligent and clever, and possessing of formidable political skills. The fact that he managed to get himself impeached doesn’t belie that.
I would similarly contend that many people regardless of political persuasion know Clinton to be, as George Will elegantly put it, “an unprincipled and deeply dishonest man.” And for these reasons those on the Right properly understood that while president he jeopardized the country’s security with his cavalier attitude toward, and feckless conduct of, foreign policy, and imperiled the office of the presidency with his wretched and dishonorable behavior.
Many on the Left deep down probably agree with this assessment, but they will never admit it. This is the essence of the difference between the Right and the Left: The latter ignored the danger Clinton represented because they were and continue to be so ideologically blinded in their raw pursuit of power that what might best for the nation simply cannot enter into their thinking. For this reason the Democratic Party cannot be entrusted with the security of this nation.
— Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, NJ
Re: Thomas Pearson’s Party Crashers:
Perhaps the most effective weapon that the WTO could use to discourage the protesters would simply be to hold the conference in the same city two years in a row. Imagine how differently these people would be received by local law enforcement on their second visit …
— Randy Gammon
Well, the Cancun Fanatics certainly did not help Cancun or the rest of the world with their fanatical garbage…..
— A concerned American Citizen
CASH AND TELLER
Re: Paul Beston’s King John:
The deaths of Johnny Cash and his uncle, Sheb Wooley, in Tennessee — I think that was their relationship; for those of us from the south kinship used to get complicated and you might end up through fortuitous marriage being “your own grandpa” — both of whom did a fair amount of film and television acting, has reminded me of Hollywood’s casting blunders. They have marred classics like Shane, in which Alan Ladd should have been disqualified for the lead by his age and short stature; didn’t director George Stevens notice that the perfect Shane was Ben Johnson, who was playing the ultimately decent cowboy whom Alan Ladd improbably beat up in the saloon fight? And in Fred Zinneman’s High Noon(Sheb Wooley was one of the gunmen waiting at the railroad station for the sheriff’s nemesis), Gary Cooper should have been Grace Kelly’s grandfather rather than her husband. But what I especially remember was that a still boyishly slim Johnny Cash sang the theme over the beginning and credits of the “Rebel” television series — “Johnny Yumaaaa road through the wwwwest” — and he would have been the personification of Johnny Yuma, as Nick Adams, a smallish, bowlegged, little man with thinning hair, was not.
— J.R. Wheatley
Harper Woods, MI
Readers, over the decades, who contributed more to America — to its very survival — than Dr. Edward Teller?
From the fawning news accounts, it’s evidently one of the Johns (Ritter or Cash).
Children, want to join America’s pantheon? Learn how to make us hum or giggle. That’s what matters. That’s what we Americans value.
— David Govett
Re: Steven Martinovich’s The Ever Evolving Brain:
It was not long ago that The American Spectator was the proud home of George Gilder and his idiosyncratic brand of technological optimism. How times have changed. Is the Spectator now simply another member of the crowded field of neo-luddite fear mongers.
Every technical and scientific advance inheres risk. Pointing at those risks is blindingly easy and putrifyingly boring. Steven Martinovich’s review of Dr. Richard Restak’s The New Brain is just one more piece in a long, long, wrong-headed campaign to predict the harmful effects on society of some new technology.
The irony is Martinovich ignores the issues of personal liberty and subjective choice when degrading the “medicalization” of shyness and somber philosophic personalities. Should it not be the individual themselves that decide whether a “condition” is a “problem” needing treatment?
As an adult with ADD, I have heard many experts pontificate on the topic. The experts refer to population studies and brain chemistry and the full regalia of technocratic expertdom. Rarely, however, do the experts refer to the people themselves. Empathy and respect are not the tools of such experts. They would impose their judgment over mine, their expertise over my experience. A classic example of Virginia Postrel’s “disenchanting of the world” by people who cannot tolerate the risk of change.
The real ever evolving brain has evolved exactly the capacity to rapidly adapt to technological progress. It is the very constitution of our humanity. This is to be celebrated. Instead, Martinovich and Restak want to slow down the pace of change so they can better understand and control it. They want to rob us of our humanity in the name of saving us from ourselves. In truth, they just want to complain and demand the world comfort them.
Fortunately, the world will do what is has always done — ignore them and keep evolving.
— Paul Philp
Re: Bill Croke’s Sparks Flying:
Bill Croke really has a handle on the western U.S. As an Oregonian, I find it refreshing to see some local color and history of the west that does not include the dreary area called Southern California.
I have a couple of in-law relatives who recently moved from San Rafael near San Francisco to Sparks. They seem to like it because of the golf courses and the fact that they are out of California. I’ve never actually been in Sparks, but I have spent a bit of time in Reno. Anyone who wants my share of Reno is very welcome to it. I have found it to be too dry, windy and dust ridden for my tastes. In a word, it is a dirty little town. Unlike Las Vegas whose Strip actually glitters day and night, Reno to me is a down-at-the-heels second choice. The only thing I miss about Reno is the now destroyed Mapes Hotel. It was a grand old place as I remember it from a 1952 visit and overnight.
Thanks Bill. Keep those western U.S. articles coming.
— Al Martin
Depoe Bay, OR
Re: The Prowler’s Reply to Buzz Brockway’s letter (“Senate Splash”) in Reader Mail’s Courting Disaster:
I’m not privy to Sen. Allen’s thinking but I’m afraid there’s more to the effort to get Herman Cain into this campaign than his money.
As of right now there is no serious Democratic candidate for that Senate seat, and experienced observers (including commentator Bill Shipp, who I believe is still a Democrat despite the 2002 election results) expect that if former UN ambassador Andrew Young enters the campaign he will not be running to win — he is said to be not in good health and his ability to energize support outside metro Atlanta is thought to be very weak.
At this point Rep. Johnny Isakson is considered the frontrunner both for the GOP nomination and the victory in November. Both he and Mac Collins are experienced fundraisers and should have no trouble mounting a serious campaign even if Young does make a serious effort on his own part. (Full disclosure: Mac Collins is my congressman and I would very much like to see him in the Senate.)
No, I really think the calculation here is that both Young and Cain are African-Americans. As a Virginian and therefore nominally a Southerner, Sen. Allen should know better than to play such obvious racial games.
I have no problem with Herman Cain being in the campaign and I wish him well. If he should win the nomination I will show up at the polls bright and early on Election Day to vote for him, and depending on how he campaigns in the primary I could very well vote for him then.
I fear, however, that if Mr. Cain is the nominee the role of Sen. Allen in urging him to join an already solid field of Republican candidates might backfire on the party — in a state where racial tensions have been artificially kept inflamed for the last few years over such flimsy issues as the state flag and the name of Atlanta’s airport.
— Kevin McGehee
Coweta County, GA
IN THE MONEY
Re: Brandon Crocker’s Euro Envy:
Brandon Crocker hits one over the fence with, “Howard Dean and his ideological friends in the ‘Democratic wing of the Democratic Party’ are hoping that we no longer care about our heritage and that we are willing to sacrifice our liberties for the promise of more European-style paternalism. “
But aren’t these the same Democrats that accuse John Ashcroft and the Bush administration of trampling on our individual rights and civil liberties?
The same Democrats that applaud the Ninth Circuit Court, and judges like Judge Pregerson, for ruling with their conscience and “what is right” rather than with the law while filibustering qualified Bush nominees for that same reason?
If hypocrisy were money, the Democrats would be trillionaires!
— Greg Barnard
Re: Paul Beston’s Have We Forgotten Yet?
I found your website someone posted to the Syracuse.com forum section on 9/11. If I could be so crass as to answer Paul Beston …
What about the Revolutionary War? Civil War? WW I, even? People forget, they cannot keep anger, pain, vengeance inside long if they were directly connected.
It’s not forgetting. It’s the return of life. Return to monotony, such as myself being on disability because of Parkinson’s Disease. It’s not healthy to dwell on the past, nor is it healthy some of the routines of life are either really if it is lived outside the moral, clean American way of the 1950’s really. But, it is living.
Ask a Vietnam veteran, real or imagined, about “his” war. It is over, just textbook history if they have written much about it.
The History Channel seems to be “living” more in World War II, since it was the last real “good” war. Sixteen million went to war that time, nine million stayed home. Vietnam, the figures were reversed. Supposedly, we are to continue into the 22nd Century fighting little, dirty, continuos wars unless we hit the jackpot — WW III.
I served during Vietnam, in the Navy, at a European post. I missed Vietnam duty by eight months since the Air Force had just taken over our missions before I left the states.
We “era” veterans were sidelined from discussing war because the “in-country’s” were so maligned when we got home. Nobody wanted to greet any returning veteran just because of hard feelings about Vietnam. There was an inner anger about the war whether one fought there or not. Yet it was the first “segregated” war — not by color but by where you were.
WW II vets didn’t suffer the ignominy of having two veterans’ distinctions as did Vietnam…have you heard of a WW II “era” vet?
There are atrocities of all types from war. Thank God we don’t have to dwell on them.
Unfortunately “Patriots’ Day” will soon degenerate into what has become a sore point for veterans … only a “big sale” day such as happens when a special remembrance day comes around.
— John L. Simson
Greenbriar Home for Adults
A hearty “Amen!” to Mr. Neumayr’s column, “The Oui Republican.” This has been my personal battle with other conservatives. The fact that people continuously say “Well, I would vote for Tom M, but he’s not winnable” means to me, that if we all actually committed to voting for him, he very well could win. But Republicans have conceded the loss already, instead of defining the race. We looked at the early numbers of Arnold and Bustamante and gave up. We heard the Republican leaders say “well I’m voting for Arnold” and we gave up.
I will not give up. The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy, not my friend. I will not sell my principles in order to get a Democrat in the governor’s mansion, even if the Republican leaders like Drier and Cox have.
— Denise Grimes
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