We have a couple here today, the first a bit less dopey than the second. William E. Anderson of New Castle is a bit miffed at "right-wing gun nuts" who deify the Founding Fathers:
When these right-wing gun nuts attempt to justify their opposition to reasonable criminal background checks at gun shows, they always seem to refer to the Founding Fathers of our country as if they were gods. Well, let me enlighten you.
The Founding Fathers believed in freedoms for some, but not all Americans. Black Americans were not included in the liberty for all declaration. Let’s take a good hard look at some of the Founding Fathers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry all owned slaves. They were all great men in some ways, but keep them in prospective. They were products of their time, and when we give them credit for our freedoms, please remember those freedoms were not meant for everyone ...
First, learn the correct vocabulary.
Next, Bill, if the Founders were products of their time, then why do you also simultaneously judge them via modern values and mores? There's a plethora of material regarding the Founders and slavery; perhaps you need to become a bit more enlightened. The true greatness of the Founders is that the system they set up is still with us well over two centuries later. Of course they weren't perfect; that's why the Constitution they devised includes provisions to allow changes.
And as for the whole "gun nuts/reasonable background checks" stuff, I'd really like to know who exactly is claiming that the Founders would be aghast at reasonable checks and/or restrictions. That said, many anti-Second Amendment types (and even some who support it) scoff at the notion that arms in the hands of ordinary citizens are still needed to prevent government tyranny. I find this fascinating. Part of these folks' argument is that the government "has all the heavy artillery" which your average joe "has no chance against." This is a silly point. It presupposes 1) that the people in the military will support a tyrannical government, and 2) even if most in the military did go along with what the government wanted, they'd have an exceedingly difficult time against an armed populace.
And to those who don't believe the government would ever act tyrannical, well, just check the latest headlines about the Boss Obama administration!
Second, there's William Boyle's moronic letter where he attempts to "correct the record" about a previous letter writer:
I can fully imagine his anger building as he spends his morning gratifyingly stroking his favorite firearm while watching “Fox and Bimbos.” Of course this would be followed by an hour of “ditto-head” regurgitated bile from his idol, the great bloviator “Druggie Limpbaugh.” Following an afternoon and evening of being force-fed right-wing, tea-party lies and propaganda by the rest of the squawking heads on the “False and Bigoted” network, I would suppose his anger has reached volcanic levels.
My suggestion to him would be that he quit watching “faux news” for reaffirmation of what he already believes. He could then broaden his knowledge base by first admitting he needs rehabilitation, and then by learning from the “leftist mainstream print and broadcast media” he denigrates. If you glean every iota of your information from one source, how can you possibly think that people that use many sources are the “low-information voters”?
Boy, Billy, what good original stuff! "Faux News!" "Druggie Limpbaugh!" How do you do it? The thing is, natch, that those very outlets ARE the "other sources" of news to "broaden one's knowledge." The mainstream media are all the same by what they cover ... and how they cover it. But I won't bore Colossus readers by what I've covered a thousand times before ...
Here's what the hyphenation of Americans and group-think have led to: dolts like Anthony Marquez stating that Marco Rubio "had it too good" to represent other Hispanics:
The vast majority of immigrants come from Mexico and other Central American nations who were running away from starvation. I suggest that although Hispanic, Sen. Rubio’s privileged birth and upbringing make him a poor choice to relate to and understand the needs of the other Hispanics.
"Privileged??" Marquez has a ridiculously skewed view of the term (and I'm being nice). Rubio's dad was a bartender, and his mom worked the night shift at Wal Mart (source). He had to take out $100K worth of student loans for college.
What Marquez is doing is what cretins like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson routinely do regarding African-Americans -- claim anyone who doesn't think as they do "aren't authentically black." By this insane standard, Mitt Romney and/or John Kerry aren't "authentically white" due to their real privilege/upbringing.
Oh, and if you check out the comments section of this letter, perpetual commenter (and stalwart dopey "progressive") Mary-Lee Lutz seems to think it's significant that Rubio's parents fled Cuba before Fidel Castro came to power (1956 to be exact). Indeed, they did flee the authoritarian regime of Fulgencio Batista hoping, like many Cubans of that time did, that post-Batista Cuba would be better. They returned to the island in 1961 only to find ... that Castro-led Cuba was infinitely worse.
Clarence Clayman of New Castle wonders when the US will declare an all-out war on ... meat:
We have sacrificed the lives of 10,000 American personnel and trillions of dollars in waging two wars to avenge the deaths of 2,600 Americans in the 9/11 attacks. When will we wage a bloodless, low-cost war on the killer meat-based diet, potentially responsible for as many as 1.3 million American deaths annually?
Clayman notes the usual studies in favor of an all-vegetable diet, like "vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease than people who ate meat and fish." But y'know what? So what. I like meat. I'm certain my chances of dying are greater, too, because I drive a car (accidents), play golf a lot in the summer (skin cancer), and play in the ocean and river in the summer (drowning).
Genetics play a significant role in heart disease, too. Can't do much about that. Certainly, eating healthy and getting enough exercise are just smart things to do for anyone. But you can live long -- and eat meat, too -- in doing those things. Again, just be smart. Bowing to the will of a radical vegan isn't worth the time or hassle.
Add Jeanette Robinson to the dopes who think climate change means the end of the planet:
This reckless [Keystone XL] project is designed to carry tar sands, the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fossil fuel on earth from Canada across the U.S. to the West Coast to likely be exported to China. Of course the air circulates around the planet so this carbon will affect the entire world.
The President’s bold advances in clean energy and vehicle fuel efficiency are critical steps in holding off climate change. But this progress will be canceled out by developing tar sands.
NASA’s leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, said that tar sands development means “game over for the climate.”
*Sigh* Once again, these same scientists like Hansen have stated that there's very little we can do to decrease the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere for one. Thousand. Years. Which means there's little we can do to prevent climate change. Which means Boss Obama has been wasting our tax dollars -- tax dollars which are more precious now, than ever.
For the umpteenth time, I do believe there is climate change; however, since our global warming alarmist scientists have themselves stated that climate change is inevitable due to the concentration of carbon dioxide already present -- again, for a millennium -- why the f*** should I drastically alter my lifestyle to "negate" such an effect? It's utterly pointless. Much more likely is that, in the intervening 1,000 years, we'll develop a means to decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, not to mention a revolutionary new power source (like fusion). Since climate change has been a planetary phenomenon since, y'know, the birth of the Earth, just give me a royal break already. And read this counter to Hansen.
UPDATE: Steve Newton is trying to horn in on my action (just kidding). Be sure to read his eloquent take-down of a couple of anti- gun nuts.
Tom Koval Sr. of Bear is adamant that the government keep its hands off his Social Security:
I know I am tired of politicians calling Social Security an entitlement. Politicians from Obama to Carney have called Social Security an entitlement. Enough already.
I have paid into Social Security since I began working. It is my money.
While I sympathize with the rest of Tom letter regarding the government, here's some facts about paying into SS ... and what you actually get back:
The answer largely depends on when you retire and how much you've earned over your lifetime. Consider a single man who earns the average wage throughout his career ($43,100 in 2010 dollars), works every year from age 22 to 64, and then retires at age 65 in 2010. Over his lifetime he has paid $345,000 into the system. But he is likely to get back $72,000 more than that, or $417,000 in Social Security and Medicare payouts, according to recent Urban Institute calculations. A single woman with the same work and tax history will come out even further ahead due to her longer life expectancy, likely netting $464,000 in lifetime benefits, which is $192,000 more than she paid into the system. These amounts are in constant 2010 dollars and assume a 2 percent real interest rate.
Married couples will make out even better. So, yeah -- Social Security is an entitlement ... after a certain point. Which makes reforming it necessary if we ever want to get the hell out of the financial mess this country is in.
Raphael Rosa of Wilmington makes a strange comparison:
One must wonder whether or not, in their zeal to prevent abortion, these men would volunteer to cede control over their bodies to society, as they ask women to do. For example, would they agree to vasectomies after having frozen and secured their semen (for future reproduction)? Would they concur that this be made mandatory for all men after reaching puberty? With future reproductive ability assured by freezing gametes, but also making unintended and unwanted pregnancies impossible, wouldn’t this eliminate all abortions?
I understand the point that doing the above would do away with any unwanted pregnancies. However, in his letter he also engages in the usual "it's the woman's body" (so she can do what she wants with it) stuff, as if the man had nothing to do with any pregnancy. The way the system is set up now is inherently unfair to men. That's right -- the man has absolutely NO say in whether his baby should be born or not. If he doesn't want it but the woman does, tough sh**. The man is liable for child support. If he wants the child but the woman doesn't, tough sh**. The woman just gets an abortion.
I tell 'ya what, Raphael -- if "choice" is the word of the hour, how about choice for the man, too? Let him have the choice to financially support the child. We hear so much about equality and all, stuff like "equal pay" these days -- despite the fact that much of the "pay gap" is complete fiction -- so what about complete equality when it comes to reproductive "choice?"
Newark's Raymond Magnani perfectly exemplifies the idiotic arrogance of the gun control crowd. In his letter pondering why gun rights advocates are skeptical about restrictions on the size of magazines, he writes:
1. “It’s my right.” Actually our rights are defined by the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court, not by us as individuals.
Nope. We are all endowed by our Creator with certain natural rights, most prevalent among them being life, liberty and property. No piece of paper -- even the Constitution -- grants us anything. To quote Thomas Paine,
It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few. ... They...consequently are instruments of injustice. The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a contract with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.
Even the Supreme Court cannot "take away" our rights, even on the premise of "interpreting" the Constitution.
2. “I need it to hunt.” You should spend some time learning how to aim.
Oh! What snark there, Ray! So let me get this straight -- limiting the size of magazines means people who want to shoot more (when hunting) can just ... buy more magazines. So, a proposed law which restricts the size of magazines effectively ... does nothing.
3. “I need it to protect my home and family.” Only if your gang is involved in a turf battle with a rival gang.
Ah yes, more arrogant snark. Indeed, it's a good thing we have omniscient arbiters like Ray who "know" what limit we need on magazines in order to protect those most precious to us! Nevertheless, if there's a size limit on magazines, what prevents one from ... purchasing additional magazines? If there's no law against multiple purchases, then, again, magazine size restrictions are basically useless. All they'll do is make "progressives" feel good about themselves for "doing something." (Remember, intentions are really what count to them.) If there are concurrent purchase limitations, then here we are again where people like Ray would harm law-abiding folks at the expense of criminals -- who, y'know, don't follow laws. That's why they're CRIMINALS.
3. “I just like shooting lots of bullets. It’s fun.” Give me a break.
You actually heard this "argument" as a reason to not limit magazine size? I doubt it. But if you did, no argument here.
4. “I need it to protect myself and my family from the government. That’s why the Founding Fathers added the Second Amendment.” Really? This is the underlying argument? To wage war on our own soldiers?
Yeah, Ray, really. That was [one of the] underlying arguments for the 2nd Amendment. I always love it when "progressives" mock folks who bring this up -- as if, if an administration decided to gun grab, police departments and US soldiers in the military, would blindly follow what the president ordered. Does anyone really believe that would happen? And sensibly theorizing that it wouldn't, consider how an armed populace -- in conjunction with dissenting police and military forces -- would struggle against that "tyrannical government."
(Note: Either Ray or the News Journal can't count. One of them did indeed use the number "3" above twice, not yours truly.)
David Mage of Newark jumps in as our latest constitutional scholar on gun rights:
The Second Amendment says, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It does not say “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms for shooting innocent children shall not be infringed.”
If the Second Amendment was interpreted to mean that only anyone who is a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard or a military reserve unit had the right to bear arms, then almost all these terrible shootings would be prevented.
Well, Dave, all I can say is that the First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech ... It doesn't say "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech of complete idiots who spout off out of emotion without knowing the lightest bit of history.
Patricia Morrison of Wilmington oozes emotion ahead of common sense and facts:
Over the past 30 years, America has seen an ever-increasing rise in gun violence and mass murders by assault weapons. The effect is ruining the fabric of society. People seem to have given up in trying to make America safer because of fear of the political power of the National Rifle Association. Once a respected organization promoting gun safety, the NRA has been highjacked by an extremist vision that verges on paranoia. Now, without real restrictions, anyone can purchase assault weapons and ammunition. These are truly “weapons of mass destruction.” Meanwhile, our constitutional rights of life, liberty and happiness are lost because we cannot go to the movies, to the mall, to a political rally or school without worrying about being killed.
1) There hasn't been "an ever-increasing rise in gun violence and mass murders" in the United States:
But the fact is that, while mass public shootings always tend to galvanize massive media coverage, they are becoming increasingly less common, falling sharply in the last decade compared with the previous two.
Although mass public shootings may seem to be on the rise, newly compiled data show that there were 24 such incidents in the past decade. While that’s still significantly higher than the average of the first eight decades of the 20th century, it does mark a significant decline (nearly 50 percent) from the 43 cases in the 1990s.
Highly publicized shootings often renew the call to either loosen or tighten gun laws, but the availability of guns doesn’t appear to be much of a factor. Right-to-carry concealed firearms laws do not have a significant impact on mass public shootings, according to a peer-reviewed study I co-authored with Tom Kovandzic and Carl Moody. And rates of gun ownership remained relatively constant in the last several decades of the 20th century, when mass public shootings were on the rise.
Note, Patricia, the part about "mass media coverage." It seems you have been sucked into just that, and haven't thoroughly thought things out.
2) Exactly how has the NRA been "hijacked" by "extremists," and how is its vision "paranoid?" I guess we'll just accept your word. Not.
3) Actually not anyone can purchase assault weapons and ammunition. It's possible this could occur -- between private individuals at gun shows -- but the vast majority of purchases require background checks.
4) Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not constitutional rights. They were in the Declaration of Independence. The right to bears arms, on the other hand, is a constitutional right -- most recently affirmed by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago.
Peter Schott of Rehoboth has drunk the Kool Aid:
It [the rally for fair taxes] was a gathering of working people, parents, teachers and retirees who believe the budget deal that emerges from the current “fiscal cliff” negotiations must include revenue increases as well as spending cuts. Wealthy corporations and multimillionaires can afford to contribute a fairer share of taxes, allowing us to pay down debt while strengthening middle-class programs like Medicare and public education.
Look, once and for all, this so-called desire among "progressives" like Schott (he notes the rally he was in was a "progressive" one in his letter) for spending cuts is utter nonsense. Medicare is but one program that needs serious reform (i.e. this includes cuts along with other bloated entitlements), and the federal government shouldn't even be involved in education. Just ask anyone involved in education how "well-spent" Race to the Top monies are, eh! But the kicker is that raising taxes on "wealthy" Americans won't even begin to put a dent in the country's debt! In fact, as Andy Dean said on his radio show last evening, taxing every American who makes over $66K per year at a 100% rate wouldn't even raise enough to cover the current US budget!!
Do you understand NOW what a pipe dream this yammering for higher taxes on the wealthy is? Unless these revenue increases are SERIOUSLY accompanied by SERIOUS spending cuts, nothing will get better. NADA. And since actual spending cuts in the federal government are virtually non-existent (if anything -- and rarely, at that -- any "cuts" are reductions in the rate of growth), the tax increases will be for naught. Literally. All they will do, as Warren Buffett recently admitted, is "raise the morale" of the middle class. In other words, it's all about feeling good ... and that is it. But nothing gets solved.
This week's winner is Hockessin's Patricia Cavender who says that in order to "rise from the ashes," the GOP must change its platform:
The women of the 21st century are not meekly going to go back to the 1950s. And women vote.
If the Republican Party wants to rise from the ashes, they need to drop the anti-abortion and restricted birth control planks of the party platform. While it is perfectly Constitutional to adhere to one’s own religious beliefs concerning abortion and birth control, it is not Constitutional to force those beliefs on other people who do not share those beliefs.
No one is forced to have an abortion or use birth control if their religious beliefs are against it. However, trying to force those beliefs on others by law is no different than the Taliban trying to institute Islamic law in the Middle Eastern countries. Our founding fathers were all too familiar with having a state religion and voted to guarantee freedom from that kind of spiritual, intellectual, financial and physical mandate.
OK, enough with the bullsh** hyperbole already. First, anyone who believes the GOP would "take women back to the 1950s" is either an MSNBC 24-hour viewer or suffers from some serious delusions. Second, why isn't being anti-abortion a legitimate point-of-view, be it personal and political? These so-called "pro-choice" cretins throw that moniker around at will, except that the "pro" part comes apart when the topic turns to education, taxes and even speech. It astonishes me that so many "progressives" fail to realize that abortion frequently involves another living human being -- y'know, like a convicted heinous multiple murderer on death row. The difference is, these same "progressives" scream to high heaven about capital punishment!
Third and lastly, stop already with mindless comparisons of the GOP to the Taliban. For all the talk about "overturning" abortion rights, the best the GOP could ever hope for would be Roe v. Wade being overturned. And guess what? That in NO WAY means that abortion becomes outlawed. It means the decision goes back to being that of the individual states.
Hey, look -- I was right there saying that the GOP needs to modify its views, especially its social ones. But this mostly means they don't have to emphasize them, not drop them altogether. Again, being against Roe doesn't mean you want to outlaw abortion. It is an entirely valid viewpoint to believe in the limited government aspect that the states should handle that matter.
Is there a bigger Boss Obamanaut than this dope? Probably not ... the letter's dopiness surpassed only by, perhaps, the letter writer's own name. (Reminds me of the "Seinfeld" episode featuring Todd Gak.)
Oh, and this letter is chosen with the tacit approval of Hoagie, who believes it deserves a Pulitzer Prize for dopiness.
Today's entry comes from Jeffrey Cochran of Elkton, MD who claims, like many far left radicals do, that voter ID laws are "disenfranchising":
This week, we the public, are seeing and hearing more about voter suppression being upheld by state governments that are controlled by right wing zealots, that were voted into office to destroy the 1965 Voting Rights Act and to defame the Constitution.
What is disgusting is that a republican would deny the rights of this country's citizen to vote and the walk around and say they are a patriot and forgetting that all the deaths from wars by our citizens was to insure we have a democracy in electing our representatives.
Notice that this dope Cochran doesn't even mention "voter ID" and there's probably a good reason for this. And that's because it would show that he is in the distinct minority on this issue, not the "right wing zealots" he speaks of. That's right -- 75% of the American public supports showing identification at a polling place, yet radical left wing zealots like Cochran think this is "voter suppression" and "disenfranchisement" affecting mainly seniors and minorities. The public, however, think this is just plain common sense. Y'know, since the public needs a photo ID for myriad other aspects of everyday life. Not to mention that countless other countries require showing an ID at polling places.
The "supression" argument doesn't hold a lot of water, especially when the [ultimately losing] lead plaintiff against Pennsylvania's voter ID law ended up ... getting a photo ID. Imagine that!
Seemingly filling in as a member of the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers, David Pody of Middletown jumps right in to blame the Tea Party for the white supremicism that led to the killing of several Sikhs in Wisconsin:
It is no wonder that the drooling morons who fester on the roles of the Klan, the Neo Nazis, and the white supremacists can't fathom the concept of e pluribus unum, but the rantings of the fringe members of the Tea Party whose insistence that America is only a Christian country founded by Christians, for Christians, has given those hate groups a feeling of legitimacy.
We rail against the countries who seek to control the religious beliefs of their people, but we don't see it in ourselves, and we forget the lessons of our forefathers.
First of all, when/where did the Tea Party "insist" that America is "only" a Christian country? Pody did include the word "fringe" in there, after all; who are these "fringe" members? How many of these fringe members are there?
Oh, and how do these fringe members stack up to the mainstream elements of the Occupy movement, hmm?
Spare us all, Pody. You're just yet another moonbat "progressive" who seeks to thwart those with whom you disagree by assigning blame to them -- based on their speech -- for the actions of a lunatic. It's beyond pathetic.
Lloyd E. Elling of Ocean View takes it upon himself to speak for all those of Native American descent in calling for the Indian River School District to ditch any Indian (Native) logos, mascots, names, etc. Now, yours truly recognizes that this is a delicate subject; however, Elling makes it seem as if Native Americans as a whole are uniformly opposed to such logos, etc. This is not the case. Indeed, it is highly possible that opposition is more a figment of elitist liberal "we know better" political correctness rather than popular Native American opinion. Gee, isn't it possible that [quite a few] Natives just might think that such logos and mascots are a tribute to their culture? A tribute to Native American strength and bravery (among other attributes)? A poll in 2002 by Sports Illustrated found that
81% of American Indian respondents do not think high school and college teams should stop using Indian nicknames. As for professional athletics, 83% of Native American respondents said teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots, characters and symbols.
What's more, Elling includes the name Bartolome de Las Casas in his letter as if he was some paragon of virtue via his advocacy for the Indians in the face of Spanish mistreatment. But Las Casas was a prominent advocate for African slavery to replace that of the Natives. (In his waning years of life, it is said he regretted this position. Well gee, don't we all have last moment regrets?) In addition, many historians point out that Las Casas either exaggerated or simply was ignorant of the effects of Spanish violence and war against the Natives, at least when it comes to figuring the population decrease of that group as a result of conquest and colonization. It is now widely established that European diseases were responsible for the vast majority of Indian deaths during the colonial era, accounting for upwards of 90% mortality.
I certainly concur with Elling that our history shouldn't be whitewashed. But it also shouldn't be "cleansed" in the other direction -- the PC direction -- which lionizes certain figures who don't necessarily deserve it, ignores facts which may be "uncomfortable," and this history shouldn't be "spoken for" by folks who want to make themselves feel good, most especially if it contradicts the opinion of those for whom they're supposedly advocating.
Harold Minkwitz says that a "strong central government is the solution":
Form a government to “promote the general welfare” is in the first line of the Constitution. That empowers the “Affordable (Health) Care Act.” Sorry, all you “confederates,” your idea has failed twice in this country.
A strong central government is the only system that works. Look at Afghanistan, a loose system of “ungoverned tribal territories.” “The Articles of Confederation” really worked well for this country.
Where to start? A strong central government is also a feature of North Korea, Cuba, and the old Soviet Union. And they worked out really "well," too, didn't they, Har? Not to mention, the Founders themselves recognized that the government under Articles of Confederation was too weak; this, as any civics student knows, led to the creation of the Constitution. But this by no means created a "strong central government" -- it created a stronger central government, one out of necessity stronger than that under the Articles. But the Founders would be aghast at how their Constitutional system of federalism has been so incredibly weakened over these many decades.
Harry, by ludicrously claiming that the line about the "general welfare" in the Constitution permits the legality of ObamaCare shows himself to not be a very good student of civics.
I'd recommend Harry read the superb alternate history story "The West is Red" by Greg Costikyan to assist him in discovering how ass-backwards his contention is.
George Silberzahn of Wilmington wants to "thank" the Republican presidential candidates for helping him "know" who they are. Numbers are mine:
(1) I now know to expect a conservative Republican to believe my decisions need to meet with the dictates of their religion, (2) that those who live in McMansions have the right to a better life than others, (3) that those who can pay for medical services have the right to better medical care than those who cannot, (4) that corporate workers who get the highest salaries deserve to keep most of it while those who make the least deserve to keep less of theirs, (5) and those who have taken advantage of their advantages through their working life have little obligation to help those who have not.
1) Nonsense. Nevertheless, you mean like the Obama administration dictating that Catholics (and others) have to violate the dictates of their religion?
3) It's not a "right," so the point is moot. That's the problem with "progressives" -- they believe practically everything is a "right" ... like health care is a "right." It is not. (At least, not yet.)
4) Who, precisely, has said this?
5) Nobody has an obligation to help anybody. And when "progressives" continue to demand that people help others -- via higher taxation -- then private charitable assistance wanes.
And this Colossus segment may be endangered due to the News Journal online pay wall which has begun to take effect. Stay tuned.
Or, I'll just chalk it up to poor English. For, as Dover's Joseph Bianchini writes,
I've been following the National Popular Vote bill with interest since its passage in the Delaware House of Representatives. The House did the right thing and the State Senate should follow.
Under our current system of awarding electoral votes, a presidential candidate could win the popular vote in all 50 states by a large margin and lose the Electoral College (therefore losing the presidency). This isn't just a hypothetical theory. It has happened in four of our 56 presidential elections, one being as recent as the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election.
No, Joe, it is 100% impossible to win the popular vote in all (each of the) 50 states and lose the election via the Electoral College. What I believe you mean is, a candidate could win the national popular vote -- meaning, the total of all votes cast across the country -- and still lose the election. Like what happened to Al Gore as the most recent example.
At the very least, the editors (such that they are) at the News Journal should have picked up the poor sentence structure.
Thomas Reynolds of Wilmington, while reflecting a good sentiment, makes a whopper of an error:
The United States of America was founded as an Anglo-Saxon country with English as the official language and Christianity as the dominant religion.
Sorry Tom, the United States has no official lingo. Never has. English is the dominant language. Only.
William Knowles of Wilmington thinks private organizations who donate their money should continue to do so, even if they don't wish it ... because, y'know, it's all about "women's life and death":
Has the Komen group become so greedy that they felt that they had to hire someone like Handel to keep the money pouring in from anti-choice groups? These groups are relentless in their war on women's rights in America.
Groups likes these and the American Center for Law and Justice have won, since now I will shift all my resources to Planned Parenthood, encourage my friends to do the same, since Komen can no longer be trusted to do the right thing concerning women's health and rights.
Well good! That's how America works, Bill. You don't like what a private entity does, you fill the void and encourage others to do the same. However, that's not what happened to Komen; after their decision to pull funding to Planned Parenthood, they were bullied by the Left (and the MSM) and eventually relented. It will continue funding P.P.
And you gotta love Bill's "progressive" use of euphemisms -- "anti-choice," "women's rights," and "women's health." Right. Komen's funding to PP was around $680,000 per year, even as PP sits on a worth of about $1 billion. Komen is dedicated to breast cancer, and "it preferred to focus on organizations that are 'providing the lifesaving mammogram.'” Planned Parenhood does not provide mammograms. It does, however, provide abortions -- lots of abortions. In fact, it "constituted 91 percent (329,445) of Planned Parenthood’s services for pregnant women."
If Komen's focus is breast cancer, why doesn't it make sense for them to concentrate on groups focused on that? Not to mention, why doesn't it make sense for it to stay away as much as possible from the prickly political issue that is abortion?
But, again, it's all moot now. The Bully Left wins again, contrary to what Bill writes.
RELATED: Check out the American Life League's 2011 Moloch Awards.
Brought to you this time by Wilmington's Daniel Neff who questions Mitt Romney's patriotism:
I've been an Republican and Democrat, and an uncommitted.
But if Mitt Romney cares about America, Americans, and our economy, why does he have so much of his vast fortune parked in Switzerland and other points offshore where its investment earnings cannot be taxed or otherwise used here to stimulate our economy and create jobs?
I'll tell you why: Because the federal government wastes so damn much of our tax money that no one should begrudge anyone who tries to keep more of his money. Period. End of story. When or if the feds get their financial house in order, only then would sentiments like Neff's (and idiot Rachel Maddow's) be valid.
There's also the fact that Romney hasn't violated any law(s) unlike these folks, 36 of whom work in Obama's executive office owing a combined $800,000.
Newark's Richard Bernardo invokes the specter of the Communist boogeyman:
I'm fed up with those who say "separation of church and state."
It does not appear in the Constitution of the United States of America. Most Americans think it does, but they have never bothered to read our Constitution.
The phrase comes from article 124 of the Constitution Of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, issued in 1918.
It reads as an "Order to ensure to citizen's freedom of conscience, the church in the USSR is separated from the State, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of anti-religious propaganda is recognized for all citizens."
As you may know, the phrase "separation of Church and State" actually is derived from Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists (of Connecticut). It is indeed true that this phrase does not appear in the US Constitution; however, Jefferson is merely reiterating (in his view) the concept behind the First Amendment. You can debate whether Jefferson's words have been "over-interpreted" by the courts over the decades, of course.
And Richard? Do you really think the old USSR "recognized freedom of religious worship?" Right.
Presented without comment, another obviously anti-Semitic historical revisionist in action.
Bonnie J. Marshall of Newark is delusional:
I support the Occupy Delaware movement in all of its incoherence. They are trying to complete the work left to do from the 1960s and '70s.
With the success of the civil rights movement, remember there were several groups of Americans out there during that turbulent time. Much good came out of it, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The liberal Supreme Court gave us Roe v. Wade, which allowed women the privacy to have an abortion. Many of those involved in the Occupy movement are old enough to have been around during that magical time in the country.
No wonder Marshall likes incoherence. What else would you dub it when you call the right to abort your baby a "magical time?" Not to mention comparing the 50s-60s Civil Rights Era to the unkempt OWS cretins?
Ye gad ...
Jean P. Skibinski of Newark thinks we need to "take back" our nation, and that the Occupy movement is the way to do it:
Occupy Delaware is the epitome of democracy in action. Groups in all three counties are cooperating and supporting one another. I applaud the members across this nation for standing up to the greedy banksters and the corporatist manipulators who have taken over our democracy and turned it into a plutocracy.
Those we voted to represent us have become traitors and have been bought by the almighty dollar. We need a revolution to take our country back for its citizens. The choice is a violent revolution or peaceful and intelligent revolution promoted by the Occupy movement.
Hey, who remembers when the usual "progressives" and MSM asked derisively about the Tea Party "Take the country back from whom?" with the implication that it needed to be taken back because a black man is president? So ... from whom do we need to take it back now?
And so it goes ...
Joe Pulgini of Newark makes a bad analogy:
Over the past few months our President Obama has been taking a lot of grief for the way this country is today. Americans forget who got us in this mess. The president and vice president have been working hard to redo what it took the last president eight years to create.
Put it this way: Say you have a favorite NFL team, and for eight years they may have won two games, so you get a new coach. Would you expect that new coach to bring that same team to the Super Bowl in two or three years? Of course not, especially when he is going up against the best defense in the country, the Republicans.
Hey Joe -- I know of a team that did precisely that: My team, the St. Louis Rams.
Check it: From 1990 to 1996, the Rams never had more than seven wins in a season. Then, in 1997 a man named Dick Vermeil assumed control of the team. His first season was 5-11. He went down a notch in 1998, going 4-12. Then in his third year, 1999, he and the Rams went 13-3 and won the only Super Bowl in the team's history.
How 'bout that? Oops, Joe.
Sorry, Joe -- you're just another Obama apologist who refuses to recognize that the guy ain't all we (well, some of us) were led to believe he'd be.
The Rev. Horacio Delano Lewis of Newark, like way too many "progressives," likes to talk the talk about violence and the value of human life; however, a certain thing called abortion never seems to enter into that equation:
With the rampant disregard of human life exemplified by wars, gang activity, animosity, revenge and greed, I ask for detente and the acknowledgement that only God decides life and death. I am indignantly appalled to read of global disrespect for what God has designed. The thought of hurting or in any way destroying a fellow human, even when attacked, unnerves me, since we are all unique, sacred spiritual beings who exist through the will and grace of a supreme power I call God.
People are not given the right to harm God's children; only he decides who lives and dies. Local incidents of homicides are alarming and out of control; we can take a small step, at least in Wilmington, in honoring God, by reminding ourselves that we do not have the authority to disrupt the purpose for which we were created. "Will harm no one today, no one" should be our motto.
Now, just because the rev didn't specifically make note of abortion in his letter doesn't mean he is pro-choice. However, he is indeed just that -- he believes, as noted on his personal website, that the procedure is "a personal issue."
Hey rev -- you just wrote above that "People are not given the right to harm God's children; only he decides who lives and dies." (BTW, shouldn't "he" be written "He"?) Except for abortion, though, right? In that case, it's OK to let a woman usurp God's decision of about life and death!
Figures. Dr. Lewis is, unfortunately, just another "progressive" hypocrite when it comes to the issue of life.
They use an old movie with Anthony Hopkins as Hitler talking to his Nazi generals and add captions to make it Obama talking to his advisers. It really is repugnant. Tea party supporters need to stop this kind of propaganda.
Not only does it trivialize the evil Hitler and the Third Reich, it's just not right to show the president as Hitler.
Hey Bill -- where were you when these were all over the blogosphere:
And that's just scratching the surface. So, in other words Bill, spare us the whining.
Awwww. Poor Pat Engelhardt of Hockessin is upset because people aren't "respecting" President Obama ... and in the process of complaining totally contradicts her (his?) thesis:
It is so upsetting to me to see the lack of respect for the office of the president, always calling our president "Obama" and not "President Obama."
Lowering the sound of the health care bill is another shot at the man: Obamacare. The reader probably knows the reason. Why has this practice begun with this president? Newspaper articles do the same.
He's not a "hail-fellow well-met" like President Bush; he is a thinking, intelligent planner who is heads above the common man, and does not say anything without thinking it through and meaning what he says.
Yeah, there 'ya go -- it's upsetting, that lack of respect for the office of the presidency ... as long as it's a guy you like in there, right, Pat? Not some "hail-fellow well-met" dude like our last president. And as for not saying anything without thinking it through, well of course -- that's easy to do when you never speak without a teleprompter.
Wilmington's Paul Donohue takes global warming paranoia to a whole new level:
The facts: Earth is warming and atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing. The proof that CO2 is the cause of the warming are warmer nights and poles. Because CO2 traps heat, nights are hotter and polar ice and permafrost is melting. On the planet Venus, extreme warming from CO2 makes night as hot as day and poles as hot as the equator. Mercury is closer to the sun but has no atmosphere; heat is not trapped, and night is colder than any place on Earth. Venus was once like Earth, but suffered extreme warming due to feedback releases of CO2.
Continued warming could make Earth like Venus. I worry this will gradually become serious in the lifetime of my grandchildren.
As you might text someone, "OMG." To seriously claim that Earth could become like Venus anytime within even a few generations is beyond insane to the extreme. To claim Earth will become like Venus in a few millennia is similarly insane. Now, in millions of years time? There's the possibility, as the sun grows cooler but expands -- thereby heating up the Earth to a degree never before encountered since the Solar System's earliest days.
After all, gee -- 'ya think the fact that our second planet is almost 30 million miles closer to the Sun than Earth has anything to do with its climatic conditions, hmm?
Rep. Gilligan should read Article 2, Section 1 and the 12th Amendment of the Constitution.
He will find the procedure for the “electoral votes,” and to change that would require an amendment to the Constitution.
Murphy is correct -- Gilligan should check out those passages ... since they actually support HB 55!! Again, Article II, Section 1 states that [state] legislatures decide the manner by which Electors are appointed. That's precisely what HB 55 does! And there's nothing in Amendment 12 which contradicts this. Indeed, check out the note attached to Amendment 12:
These electors meet in their state capitals after the general election and cast votes for President and votes for Vice-President. Though electors are pledged to the candidates of their party, there is nothing in the Constitution requiring them to so vote — and, in fact, every so often an elector defects from his party's candidates, though the effect on the election is usually nil. Some states have laws against electors casting such "faithless" votes, but it is unclear if anyone could actually be prosecuted under such laws, since the electors are protected by the Constitution (though not in so many words).
What this means is that, even if HB 55 passes -- which would direct Electors to vote for the national [presidential] popular vote winner -- these Electors probably would not even have to abide by this [state] law ... based on the wording (or lack thereof) in the federal Constitution.
So, once and for all: HB 55 would NOT be unconstitutional the way it is worded. I still think the bill is a bad idea, but it would not be a "law-breaker."
Even though I agree with the sentiment behind James Glenn's letter, he's unfortunately quite incorrect about the specific details:
The Delaware House Representative recently passed House Bill 55 (again). This bill could in some cases make null and void the will of the voters in Delaware. This bill is admittedly an attempt to bypass the Electoral College as provided in the Constitution.
The last sentence in the Delaware Oath of Office states: "In doing so I will always uphold and defend the Constitutions of my country and my state, so help me God."
Members who voted in favor of H.B. 55 have violated their oath, by attempting to bypass rather than amend the Constitution.
Article II Section 1 of the Constitution states:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress ...
Delaware's HB 55 does not violate the Constitution of the United States. It merely is exercising the clause in bold above. There's ample reason not to back this bill; however, unconstitutionality is not one of them.
Joseph Bianchini of Dover thinks the effort by several states, including Delaware, to grant their states' electoral votes to the national popular vote winner of the presidency ... benefits smaller states:
I hope that our state Senate recognizes that this bipartisan supported common-sense legislation will level the playing field for small states like ours to have a greater role in choosing our country's future presidents.
Despite potential questionable constitutionality (although, based on my non-lawyerly reading of Article II Section 1, I don't see much of a hassle), how precisely do these state measures "benefit" small states? On the contrary, that's what the [traditional] Electoral College does -- it makes candidates have to pay attention to states like Delaware, especially in potentially close elections. Under the plan Bianchini likes, exactly what incentive would candidates have to even visit Delaware?
Understand: the plan Bianchini advocates means Delaware would automatically give its three electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, not the winner of Delaware's popular vote. Thus, candidates could concentrate on large metropolitan areas during a campaign even more than they do now. Delaware's entire state population doesn't even get close to that of many large cities across the US. It's one thing to advocate moving to a more popular vote-oriented scheme, but don't blow smoke up our butts saying this will "level the playing field for small states."
What is it with these supposed "peace-loving" people and their predilection towards utter buffoonery? This time it's the Rev. Robert D. Stoddard Jr., chairman, Delaware Churches for Middle East Peace who writes,
How disheartening that in addressing a “cheering Congress,” Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to offer meaningful steps toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
His willingness to “cede land for peace” amounted to token relinquishment of only a few outlying settlements. Otherwise, he refused to even consider stopping new settlements and ending the occupation, which has left the Palestinians in control of less than 13 percent of their original land, determining Jerusalem's final status and justice for Palestinian refugees, and agreeing on land swaps based on the 1967 armistice line.
It is simply mind-blowing how people who talk of "one-sidedness" absolutely cannot grasp the position that Israel is -- and was -- in. They are surrounded by people that want to destroy them. Utterly and totally. If you want a good glimpse of how people like Stoddard think, just check out this -- the Presbyterian Church USA's "Israel/Palestine Mission Network's" statement on their so-called Middle East Study Committee. I won't dissect the inanity of much of it; check it out for yourself. But here are some highlights:
Yeah, gee, it's hard to see why the US has consistently favored Israeli governments against its enemies which wish to see it obliterated! How "unfair!" And once again, land acquired via a defensive war is perfectly legitimate from a security standpoint. Maybe the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors should have pondered that in 1948, 1967 and again in 1973. Lastly, there is no "virtual end" to a two-state solution. US and Israeli governments favor it ... based on one prominent contingent: That the Palestinians rescind their call for the destruction of the Jewish state, and renounce (and cease) all terrorist activities against Israel.
Ah yes, the 'ol "comparatively speaking" argument. Using this "logic," the United States should have only retaliated for Pearl Harbor by killing approximately 2,000 Japanese. Or, the US should have "measured" its response to the 9/11 attacks by making sure no more than 3,000 al Qaeda/Taliban were killed.
Just imagine what the US response would be to Mexico constantly lobbing rockets into, say, Arizona or Texas. This section also mentions the infamous "Goldstone Report," since discredited.
It's a very good thing that views towards Israel like Stoddard's are in the minority here in the US. For if they weren't, Israel might not be around today.
Michael Heyman, son of a Holocaust survivor, is severely misguided:
Mr. Netanyahu is adept in his efforts to manipulate America’s foreign policy to be the same as the Israeli policy and oppose anything more than a token Palestinian state. It was disingenuous for him to leave unsaid that the president’s words were a reaffirmation of the U.S. position for the past 20 years – to carve out a Palestinian homeland from territory Israel appropriated in the Six-Day War. “Arab Spring” set in motion a thirst for democracy that came in like a tidal wave and spread throughout the Arab world. Any country that resists the inevitable will be swept away.
If America is going to be a leader of the emerging democracies, President Obama will have to show that America treats Israelis and Palestinians as equals – and he needs to do it sooner rather than later.
Two things. One, aside from perhaps the events in Tunisia, the evidence that there is a "democracy-loving" Arab Spring is simply foolish. What we've witnessed in Egypt, for example, may lead that country backward as the radical Muslim Brotherhood may be poised to win elections there, and the populace may be inclined to rescind the 30+ year old peace treaty with Israel. Two, to state that the US should treat the Palestinians and Israelis "equally" is akin to saying that the US should treat the Taliban and, say, the Italians equally. The comparison is ludicrous. How can you treat "equally" a population that, [hugely] by and large wants to decimate and eradicate an entire race of people?
But Heyman deserves respect as a descendant of a survivor of the previous attempt to eradicate the Jewish population. He deserves respect, even though I vehemently disagree with him, much like any American serviceman deserves respect ... even though I may disagree with him. I just pray that Heyman's misguided idealism wakes up before another major tragedy befalls his people.
Presented without comment, as it certainly needs none:
... Obama has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he was born in America, I wonder what the haters will come up with next. Maybe because the president has Irish blood from his mother’s side of his family the haters will accuse him of belonging to the IRA. Nothing would surprise me as to the lengths the Obama haters will go to discredit the president.
President Obama has done a great job of cleaning up the mess left by the Bush administration, but of course the haters will never give Mr. Obama credit for anything positive, they even attempted to give credit to Mr. Bush for the killing of Osama bin Laden. It is time for all Americans to come together and give President Obama the respect he deserves.
Wait, I do have one comment: BWAHAHAHAHA!!
Elizabeth Ito of Wilmington says it was WRONG -- WRONG, DAMMIT! -- that the US killed Osama bin Laden:
The killing of bin Laden on the orders of President Obama is both murder and an outrage. Why? Because I believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. And not even the President has the right to declare someone guilty and order his execution – no matter how many heinous acts he is suspected of committing. How do we know Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11? Because our government said he was? I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. Either you believe in the concept that all human beings have a right to face their accusers in a court of law, to hear the evidence against them, and to defend themselves in a fair and open trial – or you don’t.
You can’t have it both ways.
You gotta love people like Ito, 9/11 Trutherism aside. For one, they believe wholeheartedly in the "innocent until proven guilty" mantra ... except that when the exact opposite applies with our own IRS, you never hear a peep from these "progressives." (Because, after all, that's a power that "progressives" MUST have, so y'know, we can overlook the legal premise here ...) Next, as most people with common sense realize, when you're in a war the laws of jurisprudence are altered. People do not read Miranda rights, for example, to potential POWs on the battlefield -- they kill their opponents.
Thank God people like Ito are way out on the fringe.
Idiot Phil McDonald Sr. of Dover thinks it "speaks volumes" of George W. Bush for not joining Barack Obama at Ground Zero today:
Since the comeback of Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon and his Southern strategy, the Republican Party has taken a backward flip-flop in the political mud, and to the detriment of America. And, what happened to that "hater?" The ditherer, President Obama, cleans up ignoramus George W. Bush's mess.
And yet "W" refuses to accept President Obama's invitation to stand with him and honor Ground Zero in New York City in the wake of Osama bin Laden's capture and death.
This same George W. Bush, who stated rather emphatically that he leads from the gut, now refuses the hand of friendship from our president, a "thinker" who makes decisions based on reasoned intelligence.
Y'know, I first heard about Bush's "thanks, no thanks" to Obama via ABC's Jake Tapper on Twitter. I thought it was rather lame of Bush too, based on the required small amount of info Twitter allows per individual post. However, Tapper later added to his first Tweet saying that the former president is retired now, and prefers to remain out of the spotlight (which is something his 2000 challenger and predecessor certainly have not done, eh?). While I still think it would have been a nice gesture for Bush to have gone to GZ in a show of American unity, I certainly can understand his view on the matter.
Now, as to McDonald's idiocy, perhaps in his next letter to the WNJ perhaps he can ponder, in exclaiming the virtues of the "thinker" who "cleaned up" George Bush's mess, the following:
So, yes -- Obama is a "thinker." Once in office he realized he was now in the real world and thought that "Hey, y'know what? That guy in office before me actually knew a lot of what he was talking about."
And it's by Iris Gonzalez of Newark regarding the continuing basketball hoop imbroglio:
Here we are fighting obesity, trying to get kids active and away from the TV and electronic games, and there is a law restricting the positioning and use of hoops?Moreover, having kids play at home is a lot less expensive to the state than setting up community centers and playgrounds!
She also wonders what "grinch" passed that Free Space law, the law that was violated in this case.
Earth to Ms. Gonzalez: The law in question does not specifically target basketball hoops. It pertains to anything within a certain distance of a "common" area like a street. And while yes, having kids play at home is a lot less expensive than the state building another park, the obvious solution is to either set up portable hoops which can be moved at will, or put in a basketball hoop adjacent to your driveway so that it doesn't violate the law.
Ann Nolan of Lewes falls for a ridiculous "study" that concludes that watching Fox News makes one "misinformed":
A recent University of Maryland study has discovered that those with the most exposure to Fox News were more likely to be misinformed, and more likely to believe lies and rumors about national and world affairs.
Fox is making us dumber. If people are content to listen to lies, content to listen only to what conforms to their already uninformed positions, they will continue to vote against their own best interests. Fox is not providing news, folks. It is propaganda.
The "study," as a rational person might expect, is total garbage.
Nolan also complains (as does the obviously like-minded LGOMB) that FNC DC bureau chief Bill Sammon had alerted the network's news people "to cast doubt upon climate change" ... except that he didn't. Here's what Sammon wrote, immediately after the "Climategate" scandal:
Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data, we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.
Imagine that. Sammon wanted his news people to act like JOURNALISTS.
John Dente of Wilmington think that Tea Party "way of thinking" brought us trouble during our recent snow storm:
Well, the anti-government, anti-everything folks who elected Chris Christie had their way, then the snows came and they experienced what they thought they wanted – no government. They should have rejoiced and had a tea party as the snow piled up, the airports closed, and travel became next to impossible.
By Thursday 95 percent of state roads were cleared and the state Department of Transportation received no requests from mayors to help clear local roads.
Christie also noted that it'd be difficult for him to get back to NJ due to major airline delays, and that he was in constant contact via telephone with the appropriate officials during the storm.
In contrast, let's take a gander at what transpired in New York City, the epitome of "big government":
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is facing increasing criticism over the slow pace of cleanup following the sixth-largest snowstorm in New York City history, which has left roads unplowed and public transportation struggling three days after the storm hit. "We're hearing reports from all over of people not even having seen a plow by the afternoon of the day after," [New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn] said. "This is a level of lack of cleanup that I really can't recall."
City Councilman Dan Halloran went public with the complaints earlier in the week, telling news outlets that workers in the Sanitation Department told him that supervisors had urged them to slow down the snow removal. "They're saying that the shops that they worked in ... basically had the go ahead to take their time, that they wouldn't be supervised, that if they missed routes it wasn't going to be a problem," Halloran told Fox News.
So there 'ya are, Mr. Dente. A perfect example of unionized big government -- the antithesis of your despised Tea Party -- in action when it's needed most.
Harold Minkwitz of Dover seems to like playing the moral equivalence card when it comes to fundie Muslims and fundie Christians. No additional commentary is needed; just savor his utter dopiness.
Linda Haring of Newark wins the trophy this time out with this brain fart:
Last Saturday’s letter comparing the tea party movement to a cult is on the mark. But, I also wish to add Fox News, with Glenn Beck, as leaders of this cult movement.
The people who buy into these ideas are nothing more than brainwashed sheep, following mindlessly, to the preachings of these cult leaders. They preach doom, gloom and hate. Above all, they are against anything President Obama says or does.
That’s anti-American, if you ask me. But, alas, the sad part is how many seemingly smart people become cult followers!
Right. As one commenter to the letter wrote, "Insert "Obama" where you describe "Beck" and you have national politics 2 yrs ago." Indeed.
Look, there are some nuts among the Tea Partiers, but Haring is simply nothing more than what she claims the TPers are -- a brainwashed sheep. All she regurgitates is what the MSM and lefty pundits spew every. Single. Day. No, there's NO possible way the general public could be miffed at the country's hard-left turn over the past couple years. I mean, gee -- it happened in 1994, after all, and remember the result. At least, then, Bill Clinton wised up -- he followed the advice of advisor Dick Morris and moved back to the center. That, in concert with the new GOP Congress, resulted in some pretty good outcomes.
I suppose it was inevitable after this week, and here we go! Janet Elwood of Glen Mills, PA, is REALLY angry about Fox News:
It is disturbing indeed that the Sherrod snafu failed to mention that the whole shenanigans started with Fox News and its micro-mangling of the facts – and I might add “as usual.” That this was another foxy ploy to trap the Democratic Party, and more explicitly, the president himself, is proof of the clever though mephistophelian machinations of this one-sided medium.
Except, of course, that the Sherrod "snafu" did NOT start with Fox News. FNC didn't even air the [edited] video (originally posted by Andrew Breitbart) until AFTER the Obama administration had already fired Ms. Sherrod.
But, y'see, such a dopey letter makes it clear that Ms. Elwood doesn't even watch Fox News. She obviously gets her information from one source -- far-left blogs and other outlets that engage in the exact type of behavior that she ascribes to Fox. Botching the whole premise of her letter is proof of this.
In addition, I bet Ms. Elwood has written complaints about the "snafu" of the reporting on the Tea Party. Or the non-existent racial slurs shouted at members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Or the "reporting" about the "documents" regarding former President George W. Bush's National Guard service. Etc.
Yeah. I bet.
Clarence Clayman of New Castle thinks that, in order to save the planet, we all have to turn vegan:
If we want to save the world from starvation, fuel shortages and the worst impacts of climate change, then we need to adopt a vegan diet. That’s according to a United Nations report just published. Prepared by the International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management, the report notes that agriculture, particularly meat and dairy production, accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater consumption, 38 percent of total land use and 19 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Sorry, but since the UN climate change "experts" can't be trusted any farther than we can throw them, I ain't gonna change my diet 'cause some other UN "experts" say so. And aren't humans omnivores? That means we eat both vegetables and meat, Clarence.
Sorry, but a healthy diet is composed of both items. Over-indulgence of red meat certainly isn't a good thing, but in moderation it's just fine. So stick your nanny state paternalism where the sun don't shine.
Well, there's one dopey line in an otherwise sensible letter. But ... WTF is the deal with the [News Journal-made] headline? It has nothing to do with the letter! Headline: Legal immigrants have need to fear Arizona's law.
Now go read the letter. DOH!!
Alas, here is letter writer Vincent Ruff's dopey line: "... since when do people who break the law have rights?"
Um, like since the founding of the Republic, Vince!
Robert Vanella thinks Tea Partiers are stupid:
A recent letter writer talked about socialism in the recent health care reform bill. Unfortunately, nowhere does she explain what makes the bill socialistic.
Nor do I imagine she could provide an accurate definition of its philosophies. Social Security is much closer to a socialistic provision but no mention is made as to its constitutionality. On April 15, I visited a regional tax day tea party demonstration attended by almost 15 people. I suggested that everyone burn their Medicare cards as a show of disapproval of progressive government. I got no takers.
Social Security, as opposed to the new health care law, doesn't mandate that the public purchase a particular private product. In addition, the constitutionality of Social Security has long been settled. Sure, Tea Partiers could complain about the SCOTUS' decision, but ultimately to what avail? The high court has spoken. Congress opted to use its [already constitutional] taxing power as a powerful basis for SS. Justice Benjamin Cardozo applied his reasoning for the constitutionality of unemployment insurance to Social Security:
Arguing that the unemployment compensation program provided for the general welfare, Cardozo observed: ". . .there is need to remind ourselves of facts as to the problem of unemployment that are now matters of common knowledge. . .the roll of the unemployed, itself formidable enough, was only a partial roll of the destitute or needy. The fact developed quickly that the states were unable to give the requisite relief. The problem had become national in area and dimensions. There was need of help from the nation if the people were not to starve. It is too late today for the argument to be heard with tolerance that in a crisis so extreme the use of the moneys of the nation to relieve the unemployed and their dependents is a use for any purpose [other] than the promotion of the general welfare."
Now, certainly, should the high court have to ultimately decide on ObamaCare they just may use some of the same reasoning -- the operative word being "may." There certainly are differences between SS and ObamaCare; in addition to the previous one noted, the feds will not be using their taxing power, at least explicitly. (Obama, by giving the IRS power to levy "fines" against those not purchasing insurance appears to be a hat tip to Cardozo and the 1937 court.)
But this is all beside the point. Vanella states that Tea Partiers need to "educate" themselves, but as I've shown it sure seems they have good reason to not protest Social Security! Not to mention, since it's safe to assume that most if not all of the Tea Partiers have already paid into SS fairly substantially, do they not thus have a right to collect their money back? This equally applies to Medicare -- people have already been obligated to pay into the system, so why would they burn their Medicare cards? Vanella might have a point if Medicare were an optional program. Or, he could have asked that once they got their money back would the Tea Partiers get out of Social Security and/or Medicare (if it was possible to do so).
By the way, so far considerably less than half of the stimulus has been used. Most of those funds have been used to lower taxes of 95 percent of our citizens.
And precisely how has that stimulus been spent, Bob? In phantom congressional districts? And how precisely have these funds been used to lower our taxes? What will happen when ObamaCare takes effect?
Clearly, the people have their right to express disapproval with Washington. But please, first educate yourself on the issues and stop watching TV.
Sound advice, Bob. Y'ought to take it yourself.
Bob Vanella: DOPE.
L. Eudora Pettigrew begins by complaining about how the GOP is obstructing Barack Obama and the Democrats' efforts with regards to health care, but then inexplicably falls into the usual, tried and pathetically lazy tactic of "racism":
Where were those Republicans and their supporters when health care costs escalated during the George W. Bush administration and many Americans were denied health care coverage?
The reports that the new health care legislation is not clear is ridiculous; but perhaps those who make those charges don’t have the skills or the ability to read the legislation, which is on the Internet.
Racism takes many forms. Practices of racial prejudice and segregation that were overturned by U.S. law decades ago still abide; they simply have evolved into underlying behaviors that are being used by the Republicans, who are intent to take over the Congress and block any conceivable advances that can be made for the American people by the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership.
I see. The Republicans have differing views on health care, and are apt at playing politics (just like the Democrats), and this all ultimately boils down to ... RACISM!.
Pettigrew might wanna have a glance at this offering by James Taranto from yesterday:
The political left claims to love racial diversity, but it bitterly opposes such diversity on the political right. This is an obvious matter of political self-interest: Since 1964, blacks have voted overwhelmingly Democratic. If Republicans were able to attract black votes, the result would be catastrophic for the Democratic Party. Even in 2008, the Democrats’ best presidential year since ‘64, if the black vote had been evenly split between the parties (and holding the nonblack vote constant), Barack Obama would have gotten about 48% of the vote and John McCain would be president.
To keep blacks voting Democratic, it is necessary for the party and its supporters to keep alive the idea that racism is prevalent in America and to portray the Republican Party (as well as independent challengers to the Democrats, such as the tea-party movement) as racist. The election of Barack Obama made nonsense of the idea that America remains a racist country and thereby necessitated an intensifying of attacks on the opposition as racist.
L. Eudora Pettigrew: DOPE.
George Silberzahn thinks that the News Journal -- wait for it -- shouldn't print letters to the editor ... from conservatives.
I have been reading The News Journal for quite a while and have seen an effort to print letters to the editor which present all sides of opinion, for which I laud The News Journal -- but, and it's a big but -- recent letters have been filled with statements about politics and the health care reform law which are the result of talk radio bias and simply not correct.
I think The News Journal has the responsibility to either not print letters which are ignorant of facts or outright lies, or point out which statements are not true, and why they are not true, in order to properly serve those like me: The reading public that buys The News Journal.
Indeed. Let's leave it to the illustrious News Journal to determine the accuracy of folks' letters ... the near-monopoly on print media that won't even print the race of a criminal suspect for fear of "offending" someone's politically correct sensibilities. Just so Mr. Silberzahn will be spared from opposing points of view. As if there hasn't been a copious quantity of misinformation in the letters column from liberals -- not to mention the dang paper itself.
George Silberzahn -- DOPE.
No elaboration necessary; just look at the author. Yep, it's 'ol Mr. "Never Put In A Hard Day's Work" himself!
I suggest that they also remember, while they’re at it, who put us in this mess to begin with.
A circulated internal memo states that the Republican Party’s main goal is to bring the president down. They’ve chosen to do that by insuring that President Obama’s programs to save this nation fail. Unfortunately, that approach brings us all down as well. It appears that they are Republicans first, Americans last.
WTF is this "internal memo?" Is it that "health care is Obama's Waterloo" stuff? Oh, puh-lease.
Look, Bob -- every party in opposition to the president will do what it can to get political advantage. Period. But the GOP has been in opposition to Clinton-style national health care since, well, Bill Clinton! Obama's plan is much more sweeping in scope and at least as expensive, so why wouldn't the Republicans be against it, hmm?
Did the Democrats "do all they could" to bring down George W. Bush? They were for the Iraq War when all seemed to be going well; they became vehemently against it when things turned sour. Their "Bush lied about WMDs" directly contradicts many of their own party members' comments and testimony before GW Bush took office -- and during his tenure. Were the "Democrats first, Americans last," Bob?
Bush is indeed responsible for his share of what the nation currently faces -- economically and even moreso in terms of foreign policy. But it sure doesn't absolve Obama of his responsibility (or that of the Democrats) -- especially when their policies arguably are making things much worse!
Voters upset about this are right not to forget who's in office when election time rolls around.
Paul Keffer of Newark thinks he's another Alan Grayson:
It seems that for most Republicans, they would rather anyone who doesn’t have private health care should just up and die and not be a burden on the taxpayers.
Really? Quite interesting. And demonstrably false.
Next, it seems Mr. Keffer has a case of cognitive dissonance:
I have been a registered Republican for many years, but as I get older, I’m coming to the conclusion that society would be better off with more Democrats in office.
I would rather vote for the person and the office they want to fill rather than what the “party” wants me to vote. And this should be the case for those already in our Congress.
Unfortunately, most of them, Democrat and Republican can only conceive of voting what their party wants them to vote. They really don’t care about their constituents once they get into office.
Oh, so even though both parties apparently are more loyal to party than constituent, Keffer thinks the country would be better off with more Democrats in office. Democrats who're, again, y'know, more loyal to their party than the voters.
Yeah. Sure. Makes "sense."
Bruce Dudley thinks that both Fox and MSNBC are "outrageous and opinionated" ... but of course Fox is just worse:
One would be remiss, however, not to focus on the serious shortcomings of Rupert Murdoch’s conservative news organization and its devotees. It ought to be noted that Fox News, as personified by the often supercilious Sean Hannity and a frequently ranting Glenn Beck, go overboard in their blatant appeal to raw emotion.
As opposed to Keith Olbermann's "Special Comments," Ed Schultz's baby-like name-calling and/or Chris Matthews' outlandish metaphors!
More damning, though, are numerous findings, including a study conducted by the prestigious Annenberg School of Communications, that viewers of Fox News are among the most misinformed and uninformed citizens in the body politic.
Really? Let's see. What I found after surfing around for a while was this consistently linked poll. Check out the graphic below:
In it, yes, Fox News Channel viewers in general do not rank very high based on the study's criteria. However, viewers of FNC's most popular program, "The O'Reilly Factor," rank near the top as do listeners of -- uh-oh -- the Rush Limbaugh program. NOOO! I wonder what Bruce thinks of that? Further, the "knowledge" percentages of major network news viewers and ... readers of blogs(!) are just a tad higher than FNC's.
Noticeably missing from the study? MSNBC. How convenient.
Bruce might also be interested in (or, I could say, "I would be remiss if I didn't note") a Center for Media and Public Affairs study that said Fox News was the most balanced in its coverage.
Sorry, Bruce. Your letter is just yet another example of purely partisan hackery maquerading as thoughtful opinion.
Bob Zembower seems to think that Jesus Christ and communism are connected:
Recent posts regarding the dialogue about Christ and communism fail to display the remotest understanding of either.
It is easy to understand, given the teachings of American history in our schools and the same type of limited truth promoted in most churches.
The fact is, communism was practiced quite successfully by the American Indians and other indigenous peoples worldwide for 10,000 years without conflict or failure.
There is no doubt that if you read the words of Christ, not the Bible, or the heretical rantings of mega preachers living in luxury, Christ did believe in “from each according to his capabilities, and to each according to his needs.”
The problem with attempting to link Christ to communism is that I really doubt Christ would be in the habit of forcing people to do things against their [free] will. And ultimately, this is what communism requires -- force. A comment left by "hawk66" in response to Zembower's letter perhaps says it best:
When speaking of communism and defining it as small communes that agree to share chores and rewards it is a different thing than The Communism that is defined as government control of production and distribution. And while it might be true that Stalinism can be distinguished in some ways from communism, it is also true that for communism to work there must be a strong dictator; otherwise the natural inequalities of people with regard to innate abilities, drives, and motivations will manifest themselves. In short there cannot be equality and freedom at the same time; to have equality is to give up your freedom to excel and rise above the rest. This contradiction is one of the reasons The French Revolution failed (equality, liberty, fraternity) and the American Revolution -- which recognized equality only before the law -- succeeded. And even small communities have not been successful in establishing equality without some tyype of dictator like Jim Jones. Most, failed.
President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was predictably met with derision among so many of his hate-mongering critics. Yet, I’ve talked to more than 20 Obama haters since the award was announced, and not one of them was able to offer a single semi-coherent thought on who they felt was more deserving of the award.
Countless scientific international polls show that respect for this country plummeted around the globe in the first eight years of this century. That respect is gradually being restored, largely thanks to the Nobel recipient.
For once, it would be refreshing if the most severe Obama haters could have their opinions drawn from objective perspectives rather than from irrationally visceral and emotionally driven vantage points.
I am sure that by "semi-coherent thought" Toomey really means "reasons I didn't agree with." And, using the principle of Occam's Razor, the simplest answer to Toomey's question is "Practically anybody but Barack Obama." Why? So what if international opinion about the US has increased since Obama has been president? Isn't the Nobel Prize intended for someone that has actually DONE SOMETHING??
Ralph D. Stampone thinks those who scoff at President Obama's Nobel Prize are just plain meanies ... or worse:
Sen. Orrin Hatch is one of the few Republican voices thus far praising the nomination.
What’s going on here? Doesn’t this posturing suggest that any stance by the president, whether for the good of the country or not, will be criticized by Limbaugh and his sycophants?
Or is the latent racism coming to a head? I’ll never forget the statement of a tennis pal, “Ralph, I'll never get used to having a black man in the White House.” Isn't this what many short-sighted Americans are?
When will the U.S. mature into an all-inclusive nation?
Maybe the US will "mature" when people like Ralph can be a little more objective and perhaps realize that just because a [half] black man is now president, criticism of him does NOT have to be race-based.
The fact is that Americans across the political spectrum thought it was, at the very least, premature to award the Nobel to Obama. The president himself even said that he really didn't deserve the award. What else can be said to that? Those who think the award was ... deserved are as ideological as those Stampone laments (like Rush Limbaugh).
David Thomas doesn't like the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons, and thinks it's wrong for the country to complain about others -- like Iran -- who want them:
A recent new report states that for years, Israel has warned that Iran was not being honest about the size and nature of its nuclear program. Really? Because this is an example of Israeli hypocrisy to a degree that is staggering to my imagination and should appall the conscience of the international community. The state of Israel itself has a stockpile of nuclear weapons that it refuses to allow inspection of. It refuses to even declare that it has nuclear weapons.
What is staggering is the degree of moral relativism that Thomas possesses, on par with that most staggering of hypocrites, [former] serial commenter Perry.
1) Why would Israel even consider allowing "international" inspectors inside its borders when the "international" community continually, and appallingly, criticizes the tiny nation for daring to survive and to defend itself. 2) What is it about Thomas and other Israel critics that they fail to understand that all the tiny wants to do is to be alone and live in peace? The country, itself a creation of the UN (which has since been its most vocal critic), has been under constant assault since its inception as a nation. Three major wars (1948, 1967, 1973) and constant terrorism? And the [Muslim] countries that surround it constantly evoking doomsday terminology when mentioning the Jewish state?
Not only that, Israel has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is specifically designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Iran has signed it. But Israel has refused.
Funny, that. Israel thus is not breaking any treaty, whereas Iran clearly is.
And Israel wants to point fingers at Iran? Why the double standard? And why does our president, who claims to believe in fairness for all, take part in this deplorable policy?
Why the double standard? Maybe it's because double standards are applied against Israel all the time. "Fairness," in a better world, would NOT permit a country to acquire nuclear weapons if it constantly threatened the destruction of another country merely because its main religion was different from their own. "Fairness" would understand the morality of the perpetual (but never helpless) victim possessing nuclear weapons as a deterrent to its annihilation. Annihilation from regimes that, again, constantly espouse such, and who have demonstrated the insanity to actually make use of such WMD if they come to have them.
He is bowing down to pressure from the Israel lobby and by doing so, he damages Americas credibility with our allies and enemies alike. We can't expect one standard of behavior from Iran and turn a blind eye to even worse from Israel and expect to be taken seriously.
Ah yes, the 'ol invocation of the "Israel lobby." I think we know what that ultimately boils down to with most folks ...
I wonder if Mr. Thomas would be so concerned about double standards if Israel continually threatened to "wipe [Iran] off the map"? What about that double standard, you pathetic moral relativist?
Excuse me now while I go hurl.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty highlights Fareed Zakaria's myopia, which is similar to that of Thomas:
Fareed Zakaria's latest cover piece assures us that the Obama administration is handling Iran properly. His piece is entitled, "After Iran Gets the Bomb . . . The World Won't End."
The country does not yet have even one nuclear weapon, and if and when it gets one — something that is far from certain — the world will not end. The Middle East has been home to nuclear weapons for decades. If Israel's estimated arsenal of 200 warheads, including a "second-strike capacity," has not prompted Egypt to develop its own nukes, it's not clear that one Iranian bomb would do so.
You know, if Israel's leader talked about green auras and world leaders not blinking in his presence, and if they chanted "death to," well, anybody every Friday, and if they talked about wiping other countries off the map, and if their regime used children to clear minefields, I'd be worried about them, too.
(My emphasis above.) To which I say to Geraghty: Precisely.
Remember how the Left [rightly] despised the 'ol "America -- love it or leave it" slogan? Unfortunately, Rehoboth's Andrew L. Herrick reminds us that such sloganeering doesn't apply to the Left:
I have a very short response to the letter writer from Lewes if she is embarrassed by Vice President Joe Biden and his coverage from the media.
My response: Move back to Maryland, plain and simple.
As one commenter wrote, when you're the Veep, you're an embarrassment to folks no matter where they live!
Michael Smith of Wilmington writes:
With the shortage of teachers in the area, Teach for America will offer a helping hand to Delaware.
Our kids deserve every chance to excel in high school and beyond. They shouldn’t be caught up in politics or power struggles.
Some may claim that Teach for America will hurt our schools or displace teachers looking for jobs.
But intelligent, creative, ambitious young teachers will only help strengthen our school system here in Delaware, especially in districts struggling to find qualified teachers.
One question: What shortage of teachers? Where does this shortage exist in Delaware -- especially in this economy?
Rudy Peel of Wilmington thinks columnist Charles Krauthammer's views shouldn't be welcome in the News Journal ... because:
Krauthammer is as thoughtful to President Obama as Colonel Sanders is to the plights of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
His constant attacks on President Obama are about as unbiased as David Dukes’ assessment of the NAACP, or Osama bin Laden’s love for the pope.
I read the newspapers each day and weather the tirades of hate from “journalists” like Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Patty Buchanan and Bill O’Reilly. I see the airwaves polluted with unchecked venom from these bigots.
Now the new monger on the scene is Dick Cheney, who I consider a war criminal. I suggest Krauthammer go on a duck-hunting trip with the former vice president with John Boehner and Newt Gingrich as guides.
The shorter Peel: Anyone who disagrees with me is a bigot and a hater. I mean, c'mon -- David Duke and OBL?? (Funny then that Krauthammer is Peel's target -- maybe Peel can be brought up on "hate crimes" charges since Krauthammer is confined to a wheelchair. Oh wait, it IS politically correct to make inappropriate comments to such people ... if they're conservatives/Republicans.)
See DE Libertarian for another idiocy regarding Krauthammer.
Jack Dalton of Bridgeville shows how he is yet another who "knows" everything about what it means to be a teacher:
I read with interest about the teacher complaining about how the governor’s cost-cutting is going to hurt her. She worked for so long to get National Board Certification because the state promised her a 12 percent pay raise. Wait a minute. She is going to retire in two years and she is just now getting her certification?
Bring the dunce cap! Hey Jack: National Board Certification is a rather laborious process by which teachers study for, and prepare, the latest and most effective classroom lessons and methods. It's akin to getting a masters degree, essentially. Overall, there aren't all that many teachers in DE that have achieved NBC.
I don’t know the details but I would assume the state would incentivize her to get certification to improve the level of education she provides for her students, which is a benefit for all.
A mouthful. 'Cuz that's precisely what NBC is.
What this sounds like to me is the same as the “overtime hogs” we heard about last year who only work hard in the last two years to build up their retirement.
Your letter sounds to me like you haven't a damn clue as to what you're talking about. You even admitted it in the previous quote. So why did you bother to continue if you "don't know all the details?" Idiot.
I’m sorry, I have no sympathy for this teacher with her defined benefits pension and lifelong health coverage.
Oh, sure. Aside from the fact that teacher salaries are hardly anything to write home about, the bennies should suck, too!
Robin Alexander of Magnolia writes:
Why do you print Charles Krauthammer’s columns? Now he’s for torture! I don’t care to read or understand his twisted thinking!
There are so many other thought-provoking writers who have credible views. Please consider sharing someone else?
Here's a simple solution for your simple mind, Robin: Don't read his columns, then! It's like turning the dial if you don't like the radio station. Or changing the channel when you don't like the TV show. Krauthammer is one of the more intellectual conservative writers out there today, and it's actually RARE for the News Journal to feature such a voice.
Good for them.
Dixie Boucher of Lewes thinks state government is terrific:
I am standing up today to chastise those people who don’t want their private world touched.
The situation in this state (not to mention the country) is bad and drastic measures must be undertaken to help correct what we can. Everyone in this state must do their fair share.
Some of us must endure a reasonable tax rate increase in property taxes. Stop complaining about it. The tax rate in Sussex County has not gone up since the 1970s and you have reaped the benefits of this low tax structure for many decades.
Now it is time for you to give some back.
But what’s this got to do with thinking that DE’s government is “terrific,” Hube? Well, it must be, since Ms. Boucher can’t fathom just HOW the situation in the state became so “bad.” We all should just “suck it up” because, well, the situation is just -- somehow ... bad.
Of course, those people have elected are the ones responsible for mismanaging the state’s (and nation’s) economy, but we should just shut up and “suck it up.” We entrusted the concept of good government to these clowns, and they've run the state’s finances like a spendthrift who has to quickly file for bankruptcy protection. Which, just happens to royally tick off the majority of folks who actually manage to balance their own books and maintain good credit. ‘Cuz, y’see, these responsible folks now have to bear the brunt of the mistakes that the elected morons made: Paying higher taxes. Enduring pay cuts and/or layoffs. Having cut benefits. Etc.
So screw you, Dixie. I will NOT just “suck it up” and not complain. You act as though our state (and nation) are the victims of some disaster, natural or man-made, and if that was the case we would indeed be acting like whining gutter snipes. In such a situation, everyone should do their part and bear the burden of sacrifice. But in this current state crisis, there IS someone (plural) to blame and ‘tho we’re all going to have to “give back” whether we want to or not, it is due to completely avoidable situations. So, again, I will NOT shut up and “suck it up.” Got it?
It’s time for the citizens of Delaware to grow up and face the facts. It no longer matters who you want to blame for the problems, remember you voted to put the very people back in office election after election. Don’t fuss because the current legislators must clean up the mess. Let them do their jobs, be fair and do your part.
Who’s “you,” Dixie? I never voted for Ruth Ann Minner or anyone else that holds elected office that served her. And I only get to vote for one state rep. and one state senator. Remember, this is the state that put idiot Minner in office twice, and most recently elected a guy for Attorney General merely because of his name over a clearly superior candidate. Be specific and address THESE morons, those for which party trumps all.
Not those with just even a little common sense.
Skip Paulman thinks that just because Barack Obama "went directly to Republican members of congress to plead for their help in passing his economic recovery efforts," the GOP should just say, "Yeah. No problem."
They completely rejected him out-of-hand. Included in this insolent bunch was our so-called moderate Republican, Mike Castle. He has shown his true colors to me. He’s aligned himself with the far right and their demonstrably bankrupt ideas and agenda. I, for one, will remember this vote when election time rolls around. The working people of Delaware should remember too and oust this roadblock to prosperity once and for all.
So, the House-passed "stimulus" package is the way to "prosperity!" Who knew?? But the dopiest part of this letter (besides the notion that the GOP should just agree with the president because he engaged in "outreach") is that Mike Castle is aligned with the far-right, not to mention that his vote was a "roadblock to prosperity."
With all the praise heaped upon George W Bush since Jan. 20, one would think he actually did something positive for the country.
My response is simple: Enough. There was one attempt at a major act of terrorism on this country in the last 200 plus years and it was successful. That’s right: successful, successful during the Bush administration. A president does not get to bookend his administration wherever he wants. He didn’t become president on Sept 12, 2001. Evidence and research clearly reveal that the Clinton anti-terrorism team was far superior to any Bush team. There is no evidence that any other potential attack reached the operational stage or was even aspired to reach that stage after Sept. 11, 2001. So from what were we kept safe? Bin Laden got what he wanted; three thousand dead here and five thousand dead overseas. Safe doesn’t just mean not dead. When you lose your job, your home, your healthcare, your opportunity for a decent education, you are not safe. When you lose your right to privacy and protections afforded by the constitution; you are not safe. Nothing; I mean nothing, good came out of the last eight years.
There 'ya go. George W. Bush, on the job for not even eight months, is entirely cupable for the September, 11 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. And Bill Clinton's team was "far superior" to the Bush team? As a commenter on the letter's page notes, let's see:
1993 - The first World Trade Center bombing
1993 - Battle of Mogadishu
1993 - Waco
1995 - Attempted crashing of plane on White House
1995 - Oklahoma City bombing
1996 - Khobar Towers bombing - Saudi Arabia
1998 - U.S. Embassy bombings Kenya/Tanzania
2000 - USS Cole Bombing - Yemen
Yep! That sure is "successful!" Not to mention the opportunity to outright KILL bin Laden, which, well, Clinton sorta didn't take advantage of. That's that "far superior" for 'ya, folks.
The rest is the usual "progressive" talking points prattle, similar to Vanella's previous letter. *Yaaaawwwn*
A couple locals are anti-American. Yep, they've come against that 'ol mantra that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." First up is Ralph D. Stampone:
Last Tuesday, we welcomed, Democrat and Republican, our new president. We were filled with euphoria and hope that President Obama would deliver us from the economic morass we find ourselves in and restore our stature in the realm of international relations.
But conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, epitomizing the sore loser, came forward on his show and categorically stateed, “I hope Obama is a failure.”
A huge majority of the American electorate demonstrated that your old, lackluster ideas are passe. When will he and his ilk try to be a loyal opposition instead of slavishly following your outdated ideas?
Indeed. We were "euphoric." Wow, some hyperbole. And Obama won by a "huge majority?" What was it again -- five percent? Five percent is now "huge?" And if Limbaugh is "passe" and his ideas are "outdated," why does he still reign supreme in the world of talk radio?
Next there's Julie Cavalca:
Rush Limbaugh recently stated that he hopes President Obama fails.
This is an appalling stance from such an influential voice, and demonstrates his complete lack of comprehension, as well as calls into question his true patriotism for America.
His partisanship has greatly transcended his desire for this country’s success, and should be treated with repudiation from even his most ardent supporters.
An "appalling stance" from a hardcore conservative ... against a hardcore liberal? And shouldn't Julie praise Limbaugh's patriotism for daring to speak out against Obama?
I wonder: Does Barack Obama wish the Republican Party success? Or would he like to see it fail? Does Barack Obama wish conservatives success? Or would he like to see them fail?
I think we know the answers to these, and thus the ridiculous hypocrisy of folks like Julie, Ralph, the MSM and other Obama worshippers.
That's why we call 'em "Dopey Letters."
Jane Wingfield of Wyoming is angry -- her doctor's office refused to turn the channel in their office to The Messiah's inauguration!
I did not cancel my Jan. 20th appointment with the nurse in my cardiologist’s office since there is always a cable news channel on the TV in the waiting room.
I planned to enjoy watching the festivities and swearing-in ceremony right there.
Imagine my shock when I learned the doctor (not mine, she wasn’t in the office, but her partner) had turned it to a health channel and refused to let anyone turn it differently.
I was outraged, but there was nothing that I or anyone else could do. The doctor had the remote.
I thought nothing could mar the joy, excitement, and hope, the whole country was experiencing; I was wrong.
*GASP!* Imagine that!
Silly doctor's office -- having the TV tuned to a health channel??
The power assumption is a dangerous thing, Ms. Wingfield. #1, why did you assume that you'd "enjoy" watching the inauguration in a place like a doctor's office? #2, why do you assume "the whole country" was experiencing "excitement, hope," yada yada yada? After all, didn't almost 50% of the country not vote for Obama?
No need to comment on this rubber room rant from Wilmington's John Dente. Just shake your head and think, "There really ARE some looney folks out there ..."
The Bush/Cheney/neo-con axis of evil was like a plague that spread, infiltrated, and destroyed the fabric of America.
The once noble medical profession was corrupted by participating in the torture of detainees; the legal profession was used like a sword to justify torture, dissemble and reject the Bill of Rights, and bring trumped up charges against political enemies.
The churches with the insane concept of the end times , yet proclaiming themselves as pro-life cheered as cluster bombs engulfed and consumed women and their babies.
All this while the media not only remained silent but morphed into a propaganda network that supported the atrocities.
Yet this was an administration twice elected by the people throwing into question the very concept of democracy.
In the end George Bush will retire in comfort to Texas, when justice would demand he be arrested, made to answer to American courts for the many violations of American law then be sent off and tried as a war criminal.
Hitler, Stalin, Pol-Pot, Genghis Khan, Tojo and their kind rejoice in hell and wait to be joined by Bush,Cheney and the neo-cons.
Perhaps the financial collapse that these same people brought about is some small measure of justice. but America's moral collapse and Bush's dark legacy is a stain that can never be lifted.
Dopey Letter Runner-Up: Luretia Orazietti of Newark has dubbed Barack Obama -- even though he has yet to serve a single day as our president -- one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history.
(Can't be too harsh on Mrs. Orazietti, though. She's 85 years old.)
In an astonishing – and preposterous – bit or moral equivalence, Dennis Madeleine of Wilmington thinks the Gaza crisis “requires equal empathy for Hamas’ view”:
In speaking to the latest violence in Gaza in a story last Tuesday, Rabbi Chuni Vogel was quoted as saying, “We in Delaware have to put ourselves in the place of those who are living under the constant threat. It wouldn’t take more than a couple of missiles to hit Delaware, and we would be jumping up and down.”
Fair enough. Mr. and Mrs. Delaware, let’s follow the rabbi’s advice, except let’s put ourselves in the place of the Palestinian. Consider your reaction if you were robbed of your land, house or farm, were forced to live in a refugee camp, or watched as your family was dispersed and destroyed.
Our country fought the British over fewer indignities than those suffered by the Palestinian people at Israel’s hands.
My emphasis. Madeleine might have a point if the Jews (Israelis) were actually responsible for that happening. The original UN partition plan required both Arabs (Palestinians) and Jews to move to different areas as said plan divided the former British Mandate into two countries, one primarily Jewish and one Arab. The land allotted to the Palestinian Arabs was not accepted by them. This was primarily due to the influence of the surrounding sovereign Arab states which did not want a Jewish state as their neighbor. Once again, the Palestinians HAD their state back in 1948 with the original UN plan. After the Arabs attacked the new Israel, much of the land given to the Palestinians by the plan was gobbled up by Egypt and Jordan (namely, the West Bank and Gaza).
How is Israel “responsible” for this? Why wasn’t these lands – as originally planned – given to the Palestinian Arabs? Why did Egypt and Jordan maintain control of these areas? (See here.)
Then, in 1967, the surrounding Arabs states again went to war with Israel. The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) won the war in six days (hence the name “Six Day War”) and in the process captured the West Bank , Gaza, and the Sinai Peninsula. (Again, keep in mind who was administering the two former areas prior to 1967; it was NOT Israel.) It’s maintained control over these areas since, including during an additional all-out war with its Arab neighbors in 1973 (the "Yom Kippur War"). Israel had offered the return of the West Bank, Gaza and the Sinai shortly after the Six Day War in return for peace – but the Arab countries refused at the  Khartoum Conference.
Now, based on these factual historical events, how anyone can say “at Israel’s hands” when describing the historical neglect of the Palestinians – without even mentioning that of [the much more] prominent role of the Palestinians’ Arab neighbors – is just beyond disingenuous. The only grievance I can even consider that requires empathy towards Hamas (actually, the Palestinians in general) from an Israeli perpective might be the settlements Israel has constructed in the territories (since dismantled in Gaza … and look what that got ‘em).
Have some IDF mistreated Palestinians over the years? Sure. Have some Israeli settlers done same? Yeah. But this is what happens when you’re in a de facto state of war. The simple fact of the matter is that the Palestinians can have a state any time they wish. All they have to do is renounce violence against Israel and Jews in general, and recognize Israel’s right to exist (the complete opposite of which are in the Hamas Charter, by the way). Gaza is – was – already back in their hands. An acknowledgment of peace and Israel's existence would get them most of the West Bank, as well.
As I said, it’s really quite simple.
Daniel Taylor of Wilmington rips The Messiah's choice of inauguration invocation speaker by getting his main "fact" ... well, wrong:
Why did President-elect Barack Obama pick Rev. Rick Warren to give his inaugural invocation? Why not Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his pastor of 20 years who married him and baptized his children? Sen. Obama is pro-choice and for gay and lesbian marriage. Rev. Warren is on the opposite side of both positions. This choice seems like a blatant political ploy to gather support from the evangelical and moderate conservatives (an oxymoron on the later).
David Dagenais of Milton engages in the usual yawn-inducing nonsense:
With regard to the article “Global warming reports exaggerated,” the writer Mr. Broncelet’s employment by the University of Delaware is in no way relevant to his “expertise,” and is meaningless in the context of his opinions regarding global warming, so why include it? Use of this information is perhaps misleading.
Secondly, the writer’s facts are carefully sorted to prove his point; a wider study of the issue may prove he is absolutely wrong. In fact, most scientists disagree with him.
The letter contains at least one really basic error: its discussion of the effects of sea ice on sea level. There are way too many variables left out of the author’s simplistic explanation to give it any validity.
There is really no good reason for The News Journal to publish purported “scientific” information on an opinion page.
Oh Lordy, where to start. First, notice Dagenais' use of the conditionals "perhaps" and "may." Of course, those who believe that global warming hysteria is, well, just that could likewise claim that the Al Gore-ites MAY be wrong, and PERHAPS their hysteria is ridiculously misplaced. In fact, the latest opinions -- and facts -- demonstrate that this is precisely the case!
Second, Dagenais blasts the article writer for leaving out numerous variables?? Hel-LO! This is exactly what the Al Gore-ites revel in! Yeesh!!
Lastly, how stupid is the statement that [contrarian] scientific info should NOT be printed in an OPINION section? Here Dagenais just engages in what way too many Al Gore-ites do -- the propensity to want to shut down any debate about the global warming issue.
Sorry. Ain't happenin'.
Maryann Pike of Claymont wins hands down:
I am totally confused. Except for U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald grabbing the opportunity to call attention to himself what is all the fuss about?
Exactly what crime did the governor of Illinois actually commit?
He spouted some foul mouthed comments in private that were only overheard because there were bugs present. The governor attempted and talked of various deals which if he had succeeded in carrying them out would have been considered corrupt, but he wasn’t successful.
And most important of all, the President-elect assures us that he was totally unaware of any of these goings on in Chicago.
In my opinion this whole affair is “Much ado about nothing,” perhaps tweaked a bit by the Bush Administration for whatever benefit it might bring them.
My emphasis. "Confused" is an understatement, Ms. Pike. Your BDS infection now has you blaming the outgoing president ... for Chicago corruption that has been going on since time immemorial!! (All the while taking the President-Elect's word at face value.) But hey, even those in the MSM are shrugging their shoulders at it -- "Y'know, it's the 'Chicago Way!' What's the big deal?"
But at least (so far) no one in that arena has insinuated that George Bush is to blame for Rod Blagojevich's troubles!
Mary Nicklaus of Lewes thinks that Sarah Palin as VP is a scary prospect:
One essential criteria for a vice presidential candidate is readiness to be president.
Sen. John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin proves that politics came before the good of our country. McCain hasn’t released his medical records. What is he hiding? We know he has had four malignant melanomas. He is 72 and has high cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis. If elected, he will be the oldest person to become president.
Our country is in grievous trouble. We need the most intelligent, honorable and qualified person to lead us. After seeing Palin’s TV interview with Charlie Gibson, the thought that she would become president terrifies me. Can you picture her being able to negotiate with Russia’s Vladimir Putin or any world leader?
The investigation into abuse of power in Alaska, accusations of fraud and questions about Palin’s husband’s role in her decision making also scare me.
Based on what I highlighted in bold it must be safe to assume Mary is not going to vote for Barack Obama, right?
I wonder if Marion Derr of Wilmington is an Obama supporter?
Sarah Palin is attractive, witty and energetic, but unprepared for the role of vice president just a heart beat away from a 72-year-old president. Her inconsistencies, lack of experience and knowledge of foreign policy present a picture of a trophy vice president. (Link.)
Based on this, Ms. Derr must be voting for a third party candidate. After all, if she is this concerned about Sarah Palin's "lack of experience" as a vice presidential candidate, she must be spastic about Barack Obama's same ... as a presidential candidate!
Blanche P. Messick of Rehoboth thinks that because Sarah Palin has a pregnant daughter, her decision to accept the veep slot on the GOP means she has bad judgment:
Of course, Sarah Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy is off limits. It should be. What is not off limits is Palin’s decision to accept John McCain’s offer to be vice president knowing she would be exposing her child to the world’s scrutiny. I question the wisdom of that decision. No matter what else she has going for her, this decision brings her judgment into question.
Did Bill Clinton's running for the presidency mean he had bad judgment -- because it "expos[ed] h[is] child to the world’s scrutiny"? Chelsea was a very young girl at the time. How 'bout Robert Kennedy running for president in 1968? He had eleven children. What about the "exposure" of that almost-dozen to world scrutiny? Did that say something about RFK's judgment, Ms. Messick?
So much for feminism.
David Thomas of Warwick, MD thinks the Iraq War came about only because ... Israel would benefit from it:
How has the Iraq war benefitted America? We have spent over half of a trillion taxpayer dollars. Are we safer? Iraq was never a threat to America. This war has benefitted only one country: Israel. Israel now has one less enemy in the Middle East.
America did the dirty work because the Israel lobby pulls the strings of foreign policy. Why America has to do the dirty work for another country I will never know.
An old and tried "last refuge of the scoundrel": When in doubt, blame the Jews.
Maria Wells of Garnet Valley, PA thinks that Gen. Wesley Clark did not disparage GOP nominee John McCain a week or so ago on a Sunday pundit show:
Gen, Clark did not question John McCain’s patriotism. Gen. Clark praised John McCain’s service for several paragraphs before and several paragraphs after the sentence that was pulled out and paraded around.
I know Wes Clark. I’ve exchanged e-mails with him, talked to him on the phone and argued with him in person. He would never question anyone’s patriotism or denigrate anyone’s military service.
That anyone would think otherwise is a sad state of affairs caused by the Republicans who started the witch hunt, the media who perpetuated it, and the Democrats who refused to defend General Clark.
Um, baloney. Once again, you can say "you honor" someone's service all you want, but when in the next sentence you denigrate said service it makes your previous statement(s) worthless! Clark said of McCain:
Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.
It's not disparaging to say that a pilot was merely "riding" in his plane? And impugning that "getting shot down" makes one less of a candidate? Not only that, Clark praised John Kerry as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004 for a lot less in his military background.
Mike Taylor of New Castle thinks the News Journal ought to ban conservative columnists that, well, don't agree with him:
I respectfully request that The News Journal stop carrying commentary by George Will. He constantly writes right-wing nonsense under the guise of being informed, intellectual and correct. Actually, he succeeds in being pompous, uninformed, one-sided, misguided and pseudo-intellectual at best.
We have enough conservative bigots expressing their views in this country. The News Journal should not play host to them any longer.
Ah yes. George Will is a "bigot." That's certainly straight out of the "progressive" playbook. But "uninformed," "misguided" and "pseudo-intellectual" he is not. As for "one-sided," well duh -- that's what opinion writers are.
But the important thing to note here is the irony of "progressive" thought expressed by Taylor. He wants to halt speech merely because he disagrees with it. He, like other "progressives," will use excuses such as "the speech in question is 'bigoted' or 'hateful.'" Etc. It's a concept that is easily picked up on the average American college campus.
To quote from a recent Eugene Volokh post (my emphasis),
Simply asserting that some speech is unprotected under current First Amendment law because it's "hate speech" doesn't demonstrate much of anything -- except that it demonstrates to those readers who are familiar with First Amendment law that the speaker isn't making a sound First Amendment argument.
One word: Judges.
As National Review's Jonah Goldberg writes,
Consider the stunning decision handed down from the Supreme Court this week.
The court ruled that the state of Kentucky may continue to use lethal injections when administering the death penalty. But that’s not what’s shocking. Nor was it surprising that for the first time Justice John Paul Stevens admitted he thinks the death penalty is unconstitutional.
What is staggering, or at least should be, is that Stevens freely admits that he no longer considers “objective evidence” or even the plain text of the Constitution determinative of what is or isn’t constitutional: “I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty” is unconstitutional.
You can be sure Stevens is Obama's type of judge, for here what's important to Obama for potential Supreme Court judges: “One’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.”
Not historical precedent, not legal knowledge, not the text of the Constitutional and its actual meaning. But one's feelings.
Supreme Court justices must “solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God.”
Note the bit about doing right to poor and rich alike. Feeling sorry for the poor guy who violates the Constitution or the law has no role in how a Supreme Court justice is supposed to make a decision. Legislators can write laws based on empathy. They can invoke their pet theories about “how the world works.” They can even, as Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg are fond of doing, consult foreign laws and court decisions in their efforts to make a more perfect union. But Supreme Court justices are supposed to decide what the written law requires, not pick winners and losers based upon some sense of noblesse oblige. That’s why all of those statues of Lady Justice show her standing blindfolded, not bent over kissing the boo-boos of the unfortunate and the downtrodden.
Speaking of High Court judges, Cynthia Armour of Milton in today's News Journal believes that the SCOTUS Catholics are hypocrites for upholding the death penalty:
As a Catholic, I am appalled that the so-called "devout" Catholics on the Supreme Court all voted that execution by lethal injection is not cruel and unusual punishment.
Pope Benedict has stated that capital punishment is against Catholic belief, so how can these hypocrites vote that any kind of capital punishment can be acceptable?
The answer is, Cynthia, that these Catholic judges are going beyond their personal feelings and beliefs and doing their job as required. Oh yeah, and as far as I remember, there is a thing in our country called "separation of church and state." Would you want Supreme Court judges imposing a religious test on each case before them?
If anything, the bigger "hypocrites" are Catholic lawmakers like John Kerry and Ted Kennedy who are as pro-choice on abortion as they come. After all, it is they who MAKE the laws which the Supreme Court has to then interpret and rule on. In the almost 40 years since Roe v. Wade, it would take a constitutional amendment to totally outlaw abortion; as good Catholics I wonder if Kerry and Kennedy would support such an amendment and gather support for it to pass the senate.
Eugenia Nichols of Newark makes "the case" for throwing in the towel and living on the dole:
I agree with Dwayne Wickham’s column about the dire consequences of a developing underclass. I grew up in a shoe factory town where people without an education and recent immigrants could make a decent living and support their families. The factory has been closed for many years and there are no comparable jobs for uneducated workers. This has happened throughout America.
A growing underclass makes a mockery of the American belief that this is the land of opportunity.
Or, perhaps, a growing underclass might mean that a growing sense of entitlement among Americans means people feel they deserve something for little -- or no -- effort. In addition, if the US is not the land of opportunity, why do immigrants continue to flock here as if there's no tomorrow? I have a hunch -- it's because Ms. Nichols has no idea what she's talking about!
(And may I ask: What excuse is there today in 2008 for one not getting an education?)
This week's offering comes courtesy of University of Delaware associate professor Alan Fox, who defends the university's "revamping" of its Residence Life program:
As president of the University of Delaware Faculty Senate, I was extremely disappointed in the editorial that rushed to judgment regarding the University of Delaware's Residence Life program, while remaining ignorant of the issues involved ("UD should outright repudiate student indoctrination efforts," March 23).
The fact that the program was pulled and changes are being made is evidence that we repudiate the past program. The University of Delaware is definitely not going to be telling freshmen what they should think or say about gender and race.
One student was quoted as saying, "It's basically going to be the same crap, different people" – as though an embittered student is now the expert.
You just gotta love the elitist attitude of Fox. He totally dismisses a student's viewpoint of the program because he's not an "expert." In other words, the student is somehow incapable of recognizing that the crap spewed in the "new" Residence Life program is merely a regurgitation of the same previous refuse. And Fox's attitude has already been on display. Keep in mind that the university isn't "revamping" this program out of some sudden altruism; they're doing it because they got caught and called out on it, notably by the libertarian-leaning free speech group FIRE.
One telling item on Fox's "new and improved" list is the note that Shakti Butler's materials -- on whose program the UD one was modeled -- shouldn't even have been mentioned on the UD website. In other words, Fox and UD are saying "We're fearful that parents of UD students are not enlightened enough to fully grasp Butler's source material." Or, to put it another way, "We're worried that people will think that Butler's program is total crap, and thus allowing the public to view it may result in parents saying 'No way my kid is going to UD!'" Just take a quick gander at Butler's background: she has a PhD from the School of Transformative Learning and Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Riiiiiiight.
Fox notes that the revamped program "also are emphasizing citizenship and strategies for living together, rather than focusing narrowly on diversity and gender." Oh. Or, more likely, "We've merely switched the vocabulary to make it all 'more palatable.'"
I really do hope Fox is sincere. But the dogma and philosophy of those in [university] academia is what got UD into hot water in the first place (not to mention too many other universities across the country). The "improvement" about not including Shakti Butler's program on the university website, and merely changing program vocabulary to me indicates a less than forthright effort. Sunshine, as they say, is the best disinfectant, and it still doesn't seem UD likes a lot of sunshine.
This week's winner is Carole Last of Newark who isn't proud of the US, just like Michelle Obama apparently:
A recent letter writer said that she was not proud of America. I feel the same way. The country is like one's family. You can love it, but you're not always proud of it.
To maintain pride in my family, we can't invade and kill our neighbors, secretly tape each other, assault each other's civil liberties, ignore our health problems, run up our credit cards beyond belief, or torture people we don't like.
These are our rules, so please don't suggest we leave the country, we couldn't sell our house.
Let's take 'em one at a time, shall we Carol?
1. I assume you're referring to Iraq. While I personally believe it not worth it to essentially act alone to enforce UN mandates on Saddam Hussein, the "invasion" was certainly not without merit.
2. Who is "secretly taping each other"? What the Bush administration wants to do is to give intel agencies the right to listen in on calls that have at least one foreign party. The Left, which is so fond of Europe, would do well to emulate it in this regard.
3. How are we "assaulting" each other's civil liberties, pray tell? By implementing the above? Get a clue -- this president, among all others, has done the least in terms of "rolling back" civil liberties in time of war. And this is a whole new kind of war, Carol.
4. Who's ignoring health problems? Are you? I'm not ignoring my health. Why should I be concerned about yours, Carol? Or anyone else's? There is no health care crisis, Carol. It's a health coverage problem. Getting the government out of the "business" to begin with is the best start.
5. Again, I don't run up my credit cards beyond belief, so why is credit card debt my problem? Do you run yours up, Carol? If so, why should I care? I don't even care about high interest rates as I pay of my monthly balance in full. Why should I feel guilty about others' lack of self-control, Carol?
6. "Torture people we don't like"?? Are you serial? Is that what you really believe the US has been doing -- torturing people because we don't LIKE them?? Sheesh. The US has waterboarded three people -- well-known terrorists who had vital information that could prevent further killing. The use of such techniques is a legitimate debate; however, simplifying it to "people we don't like" makes a total mockery of how we should deal with a whole new kind of enemy.
Julie Cavalca of Newark agrees with Barack Obama's wife:
Cindy McCain has spoken out strongly against Michelle Obama's occasional lack of pride in the United States.
In my opinion, Mrs. Obama was putting it mildly. Most of my friends and relatives not only feel a lack of pride in America, they are ashamed of America.
First of all, Michelle Obama did not say she was "occasionally" lacking in pride for her country. She said "for the first time in her adult life," which is most of her life (she's 44), and she said it twice. Since Mrs. Obama's undergraduate thesis was on race relations and black self-concept, I find it incredulous that Mrs. Obama doesn't feel that the United States has progressed substantially in those realms since the early 1980s. Not to mention myriad other aspects of our country.
America is far from perfect, but unfortunately people like Ms. Cavalca fail to realize that without the United States, the world would be a far more dangerous, and incredibly less generous place. If America is something to be ashamed of, maybe Ms. Cavalca can ponder just why in the hell so many people want to come here. That always pops that proverbial radical chic bubble pretty quickly.
Zai Stevens' letter from the same day (today) is, well, chuckle-inducing since one of the complaints is against supposedly incompetent teachers. Looks like Zai might have had one him/herself:
How about a testing for the teachers? Since the kids have to be tested constantly (DSTP, MAP, midterms, finals) to assess their grasp of subject material, shouldn't we make sure the teachers are capable of imparting that knowledge to them.
I want to my tax dollars going to textbooks, technology improvements, supplies for art and science labs, educational field trips and presentations, and other things that directly impact the child's education.
Anthony Robbins of Newark (couldn't be that self-help guru, could it?) is yet another of the myriad numbskulls who think that, just because one pays rent instead of a mortgage, they shouldn't have a say in public school referenda (my emphasis):
Other than not liking how my money has been misused, my biggest reason is that I don't like to pay for other people's children's schooling. Especially when they don't have to pay a cent.
As a homeowner, with no children in school, I am taxed. But those parents who rent, and have one to who knows how many children, are not taxed.
I am surrounded with apartment buildings filled with children and know they do not pay these fees.
What should be happening is that if you have kids in school you should pay a part of their education as well as the homeowners in the area. When you put everyone on the same playing field, then I'll do my share to help the village raise the child.
Like another past Dopey WNJ Letter winner, Robbins fails to grasp that renters will pay for a passed referendum -- in the form of higher rent. Or does he believe that the landlords will just eat the higher tax cost? Right.
And also like that past letter-writing ninny, I wonder how Robbins would feel if we had a referendum on those Social Security taxes that I -- and others -- pay ... the taxes I pay to support folks like Robbins.
We have three in one, today. First, Middletown's Bill Keinath has a rather interesting way to view unborn children, and why there really should be little hesitation to exterminate them in order to control population:
It concerns me how those who oppose the destruction of a human fetus try to make their point by using human beings as their examples.
A human fetus is not a human being. It possesses no knowledge of its existence.
Oh. It's "not human" because it simply hasn't learned yet. How convenient.
The same principle applies to animals. We kill them and eat their flesh as food, and consider this morally acceptable because they too possess no knowledge of their existence and suffer no anguish upon their deaths.
There are some animal rights activists that would take issue with that last part. But consider: Bill is comparing unborn human children to ... food animals. FOOD ANIMALS! And Bill -- most consider it OK to slaughter animals for food because animals do not possess higher order thinking skills. They only exist on an instinctual level, whereas humans operate on the rational level. By killing an animal, we're doing just that. For food. By killing an unborn child, we're offing a potential Einstein. Or Madison. Or Gandhi. Etc.
This does not apply to human beings who possess knowledge of their being. That we rightly condemn as murder.
Based on this definition of "possess knowledge of their being," it would then be "murder" to execute a condemned multiple murderer.
For these reasons I believe abortion can and should be used to regulate population. I respect and applaud the Chinese government for using this method to try to control population. Abortion in this instance is a matter of applying a practical solution to a practical problem and is within the normal parameters of morality.
Speak for yourself, Bill. Your morality, maybe. Not mine. I'll never grasp how "pro-choicers" will decry the execution of heinous killers, but will fight to the death for supposed "reproductive freedom."
Next, Carol Lynn of Wilmington is another of those senior citizens who believes society has to attend to her needs, but she doesn't have any responsibility to the younger generation:
I have no problem with paying school taxes for books, paper, teachers etc. Where I have a problem is having to pay for after-school activities and sports.
Senior citizens and those without children should not have to pay to entertain other people's children. Those with children who wish to participate should pay the expense.
Aw, how "generous" of her! She "has no problem" paying taxes for books, etc.!! I tell 'ya what, Ms. Lynn: If you get your wish, let's also means test your Social Security payments. If you're making over a certain amount (of S.S.) in order to live comfortably, your payments should then be slashed. After all, to paraphrase a certain letter writer, "I have no problem with paying Social Security taxes for seniors who need it; where I have a problem is having to pay for well-to-do seniors who have no reason whatsoever to take my money."
The seventh letter on that same page has a really "unique" take on "no taxation without representation." Hockessin's L. Eudora Pettigrew believes that no one should pay taxes if their ethnic group is not proportionately -- or, rather, "appropriately" -- represented in various fields of endeavor:
It is absolutely amazing that after more than 40 years of approval by the United States Congress of landmark equal opportunity legislation that Attorney General Beau Biden, who has been in office for a year, is still pledging to diversify his office by the appointment of just" one" black woman as chief of staff.
There has not been any legislation or declaration by legislators to inform me a black woman, or others that we do not have to pay taxes to support the state or national government because we, and those like us are not appropriately represented.
State attorneys general swear to uphold the law when sworn into office. Apparently, there has not been any real attempt to do so in the past by the Delaware. I suspect the same is true in other states.
I wonder which law(s) mandate(s) that government officials have to hire a certain number of people based on their skin color or ethnicity.
That being said, if we buy into Ms. Pettigrew's "appropriately represented" nonsense and not having to pay taxes, I suspect one heck of a lot of people would want tax rebates based on how they've been represented over the last 40 years.
We have two winners in one day. First, there's Anne Gildea of Wilmington who says "Women's right to choose is not up for discussion":
Abortion seems to have become a recent topic amongst some of the younger guys at work. A couple of guys have recently decided that it is flat out wrong. This angers me to no end.
A woman's right to choose is sacred and no one, especially, a man, has the right to challenge that.
Respect a woman's right to choose her own path and wake up to the fact that you don't know what's best for anyone other than yourself.
"Sacred"? Wow. I'm curious though -- isn't there just someone else involved here besides the woman and man ... especially after a couple months? And how 'bout this, Ms. Gildea -- if no one, "especially a man," has a right to challenge your "sacred" right to an abortion, then YOU have no right to make the MAN responsible (for any child you may conceive) for child support if HE decides HE doesn't want to support the child! Fair enough? GOOD!
Next, there's Newark's Greg McGill who blames -- you guessed it -- racism for Barack Obama's loss in the New Hampshire primary:
Despite polls showing Obama an easy winner, he somehow still lost to Hillary Clinton after the returns came in. It appears Obama is the latest victim of the "Bradley Effect." That is when white voters tell pollsters they would vote for an African-American candidate but don't do so in the privacy of the voting booth.
The Bradley Effect is named after former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley who, when running to be the governor of California in 1982, polled way ahead of his white opponent but still lost the election. This has happened to several black candidates in the years since.
And, of course, it also hasn't happened to black candidates in years past! Like, most recently, in a place called Iowa in their caucuses!
There are myriad reasons why Obama lost, the most likely of which is women voters breaking for Hillary Clinton at the last minute. Y'know, her "crying game" and all. Or, if you ask people like local moonbat Liz Allen, it's because voting machine magnate Diebold fixed the vote for Hillary.
Suzanne Gallo of Hockessin, who claims to be a feminist, writes the following in support of Hillary Clinton (my emphasis):
As a feminist, I wanted to like Hillary Clinton. But I just couldn't warm up to her. Hard-pressed to make an alliance, I like John Edwards. I like Ron Paul, but for not the right reasons to elect him president.
This week, I heard Hillary respond to a question from a 65-year-old woman in New Hampshire: "Is it hard for you, as a woman, to get ready for this type of everyday political exposure?" It was clear to me that this woman meant how Hillary had to bathe, dress and make up her aging self to be broadcast from here to Timbucktoo [sic]. Hillary's response was honest and heartfelt.
Of course it takes her more time than her male counterparts to prepare for public consumption. But I got a deeper feeling that women take more time to prepare their responses to critically important decisions. Women are peacemakers, not warmongers. Women support family values at the basic level. Women are compassionate level-headed supporters of sharing power.
I'm sorry, but I thought the main tenet of feminism was that there is fundamentally no difference between men and women! Y'know, "anything a man can do, a woman can do." But suddenly, Ms. Gallo would have us believe that there are inherent differences between the sexes! I wonder on what basis she concludes that "women are peacemakers," and that they support "family values" more. (Is having the unencumbered-by-the-father right to abort one's pregnancy "family values at the basic level"?)
And how does she know Clinton's response was "honest and heartfelt"? Remember, this is the wife of a guy who faked tears for the media after one of his closest advisers was killed.
Newark's C. Alan Hogle demonstrates the effects of his BDS (that's "Bush Derangement Syndrome"):
As the ACLU constantly says, "the ACLU's only client is the Constitution of the United States." Without the ACLU, most of the writer's freedoms would have been taken away by George Bush.
We have lost some freedom of speech and assembly, we have lost the separation of church and state, we have lost habeas corpus, we have lost the privacy of our telephones which are regularly invaded by the the CIA and the National Security Agency. The list is endless.
The writer should be grateful that the ACLU will last longer than 2008 and George Bush won't.
Anyone else notice the irony of that last sentence? Yes, the ACLU will last longer than George Bush. That means ... *GASP!* ... the Constitution works!! Despite what George Bush "wants to do with it"!! It's way too easy, but let's point out the all-too obvious here:
Over and out.
Edna Moore of Landenberg, PA has a beef with the Journal. She says it doesn't "treat African-Americans with dignity they deserve":
Just reading the headline of the survey article that appeared in The News Journal Dec. 13, "Poll: U.S. blacks, Hispanics, Asians wary of one another" by a writer for the Washington Post, served as another harsh reminder that African-Americans' struggle for respect is far from over.
It was unfair and bias [sic] to use a low-case noun "blacks" to refer to African-Americans and the proper nouns "Hispanics" and "Asian" to address other ethic groups.
The newspaper has a responsibility to support the rights and dignity of African-Americans. You must put an end to the daily doses of inequality and racism that lurk in many articles in The News Journal.
I'm curious as to how Edna "knows" that "African-American" is the preferred term to use when referring to bla, er, um, African-Americans. I've read myriad articles and journals that use "black" (lower case), "Black" (upper case) and "African-American," just as I've read myriad articles and journals that use "white" (lower case), "White" (upper case) and "Caucasian." Capitalizing "Hispanic" and "Asian" is merely making use of proper grammar while doing so with "black" and/or "white" is actually one of choice -- and of political correctness. (The publication that is most consistent with such capitalization is the NEA Today, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise.)
I do find it fascinating, however, that the [ridiculously] PC News Journal didn't capitalize "black" or better yet, use "African-American" in the article that Ms. Moore references. After all, this is the paper that refuses to publish the race of police suspects due to the PC notion that "race is such an unreliable descriptor." When the Journal does print the race of a suspect, the article writer has to get "special dispensation." The whole ... "process" is so nutty that even lefties like Nancy Willing are fed up!
All of the above serves to undermine Ms. Moore's point about the News Journal being "racist" and "unequal." Couple that with the quantity of positive human interest stories about local African-Americans (see here for one of the latest), and I think Ms. Moore is raising a beef when there's really no reason to. Indeed, some past News Journal human interest stories have stretched the meaning of "interest" to almost glorify criminal behavior.
But Ms. Moore is not alone, at any rate. A letter writer from back in March feels similarly.
You know, you really have to wonder about the mental health of some people. Steve Ward of Bear demonstrates his BDS (that's "Bush Derangement Syndrome") in today's WNJ (my emphasis):
It was a breach in national security and unconstitutional behavior from day one that put him [George Bush] in office in the first place. The spread of democracy internationally in Russia, Pakistan, Venezuela, and ours included has led to a list of leaders who do not want to relinquish their hold on power. Isn't this a contradiction of democracy, and if so what kind of an example do we set.
*Sigh* I'd love to ask Steve exactly what "breach of security" and "unconstitutional behavior" "put" Bush into office, but I just know I'd probably end up pounding my head into a brick wall over the extreme inanity of the answer. And sheesh, even if Bush didn't want to "relinquish" the presidency, what could he really do? Further, isn't it the public's fault for re-electing him, after all? Not so, says Steve:
The American people are no longer in control of their own destiny. Our inability to contain our leaders politically, on an economic level, and even spiritually becomes more evident daily as our culture continues to decline. It has only taken less than eight years to realign the lives of millions for an excuse which there is no excuse for, greed. Our president has put a new face on democracy at our expense. Not only is he giving us no hope to reverse a global warming trend due to non-compliance but also no hope to reverse the damage done to our country.
Hey Steve -- how does the public have an "inability" to contain our political leaders? We have the ability every four years (president), two years (representative) and six years (senator) at the friggin' ballot box, you lunkhead. To blame President Bush (or any political leader) for the public supposedly "not being in control of their destiny" is only BDS (and derangement in general) at its pinnacle. Blame the public for their virtually complete apathy and their refusal to do anything about it, not the leaders THEY freely choose.
Oh, and lastly, the tired old canard about global warming and "non-compliance" is pure fantasy when it comes to blaming George Bush. The Senate passed a resolution (by a vote of 95-0) informing then-President Clinton that the Kyoto Treaty would not be passed if he signed it. This resolution included the votes of noted liberals Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Barbara Boxer.
(I know, I know ... but it's still Bush's fault!)
Bruce Dudley of Camden just doesn't get it. The issue isn't his mild BDS; it's his lack of basic historical knowledge:
In an almost farcical attempt to salvage something of his presidential legacy, our lame-duck president convened the Annapolis Middle East Conference to restart negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
With Israel's continued occupation of territory that rightfully belongs to Palestine, a long-overdue implementation of the 2002 U.S.-initiated "Roadmap Strategy" for an enduring peace between these two nations remains nothing more than an illusionary hope.
There is no independent "Palestine," Bruce. There are "Palestinians," and there could have been a independent Palestine state back in 1948. But something happened when the United Nations -- you know, that international entity that all good liberals feel we should consult and whose advice we should heed -- partitioned the land of the former League of Nation's mandate that was overseen by Britain: The Palestinians in that region as well as the Arabs from surrounding states attacked the newly created Israel, which was also created by the UN plan.
It's all quite easy to understand. There could have been a Palestine if the Arab states (and Palestinians) had agreed to the UN plan. They did not. But the important thing is that Israel is under no obligation to give back any land that it won in a defensive war. They are not occupying the land they won out of some "conquering" drive. The surrounding Arab states have demonstrated time and time and time again why Israel has refused to vacate the gained 1967 territories. It's called "terrorism." And the solution is simple: Commit to and demonstrate a willingness to leave in peace with the Israeli state.
Once again, it's funny that the brain-strainers over at Delaware Neanderthal haven't commented on this important topic.
We have two winners this week. The first is Newark's Michael Bower who writes:
Thank goodness the United States has finally decided to torture detainees. Otherwise, Iran's overlords would use their future nuclear bombs to force us to wear burkas and speak Farsi. And this country, which spends almost 100 times more money on its military than does Iran, would be helpless to stop them.Ah yes, "torture detainees." No context given whatsoever and the clear implication that this is a regular practice in the War on Terror. Again, as I've written a bit about recently, just compare how the United States has reacted in conflicts past to this entirely NEW type of war, the War on Terror. If waterboarding is the worst the United States does to prevent hundreds or thousands of Americans from being slaughtered, then we have little to worry about from the elitist moral judges who would rather see their fellow citizens murdered than inflict a bit of pain on a TERRORIST -- someone who will kill women and children without batting an eye.
As for Iran, the point isn't that the US is in danger of being defeated by that country; the quite legitimate fear is that even ONE nuclear bomb (which, let's see ... can kill MILLIONS of Americans) can be used against us. A crazy regime doesn't CARE that we can retaliate and turn their country into one large plane of glass.
The next winner is Philly's Aldustus Jordan who argues that the University of Delaware's thought-control program is "needed":
I was disheartened to learn of the University of Delaware's decision to cancel its diversity program. A decade ago I attended the university. While I had an overall wonderful experience, as a person of color I also have some unpleasant memories, as when one prominent fraternity decided to hoist the Confederate flag at its frat house in the middle of campus.
In the past year a group of honors students held a "spic and span" party where students dressed in costumes that reflected the worst stereotypes of Hispanics. In both cases, students were unaware of the inappropriateness of their actions.
Confronting our biases is always an uncomfortable self-discovery process. However, it is not until we take a hard look at our sometimes unconscious beliefs that we begin to bridge the racial and ethnic divide that is still pervasive in our society.
I hope that school administrators reconsider and reinstitute the diversity program. A failure to do so sends an unintended message to students that the university is willing to accept a climate of indifference at best and intolerance at worst.
Gosh. Mr. Jordan witnessed a Confederate flag when he was a student at UD. Some students held an insensitive Cinco de Mayo party OFF campus earlier this year. Therefore, the university MUST make sure its students are "thinking correctly."
Please. The university already has a mandatory multicultural course(s) requirement for undergrads, and its humanities and education departments are riddled with courses that are guaranteed to assuage the "one-must-think-correct-at-all-costs" crowd. And undergrads STILL must be indoctrinated in their friggin' resident halls?? Just take a gander at the questions and the terminology of the program.
What a more perfect example of "progressives" not really desiring free speech and freedom of thought. They really only want speech and thought that THEY consider "good" and "just."
I really can't figure out how liberals get their panties in a bunch because of conservative political views getting air time. Not only that, but the misbegotten view that the American media is "center to center-right." David Martin of the Delaware Association for Humanism is obviously one of the them (my emphasis):
... as Phillip Bannowsky succinctly puts in his Community View column, the conservative viewpoint is heard and seen more often than not. Print and electronic media have positioned themselves in the center or right of center and talk radio is dominated by hosts who make Barry Goldwater look like a socialist. The contemptuous vitriol Coulter spews forward would be laughable were it not amplified by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Dobson, Medved and others of their ilk.
It’s easy to hate. It’s difficult and takes effort to transcend the differences between us and reach that level of understanding and compassion inherent in us all.
First, so what if the conservative viewpoint "is heard and seen more often than not"?? It never ceases to amaze me how folks like Martin fail to realize just why [conservative] talk radio has flourished. Like, maybe it's precisely because -- contrary to what Martin believes -- print and electronic media ARE NOT positioned in the center/center-right! Y'know, people who've just maybe said to themselves, "Hey, I never heard this point of view before. I wonder how come?" The same goes for the massive growth of Fox News. God forbid a major news outlet actually cover conservative political views on major cultural and political matters.
As for the usual canard of "hate," stick with Coulter, Dave, and you'll have more credibility. Limbaugh, Hannity, et. al. aren't any more "hateful" than Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and all of Air America.
Larry Lambert of Claymont obviously got sucked in to the "Bill O'Reilly is a racist" garbage because he relied on the ridiculously biased and out-of-context coverage provided by numerous MSM outlets. He says O'Reilly "has absolutely no intention of understanding black people as anything more than the one-dimensional gangsters and prostitutes the mass media portrays us to be." Hey cretin -- that's precisely what O'Reilly's message WAS in the entire CONTEXT of his conversation -- that too many people have only the perception that blacks are gangstas, etc.
THIS is why the preposterously biased coverage of this whole matter was so poisonous. It sours race relations worse than any group of true racists can. Biased "news" outlets pick a completely out-of-context quote and disseminate it, making it look as if one of cable news' top talking heads is a racist. Guys like Larry obviously rely on newspapers and other news outlets for the "news" (which is reasonable, after all), but this is what he "learned." As Felix wrote when this whole ordeal began, "How many times have you heard MSM-types clamor for 'an honest discussion' about race in America? (Many others do, too.) But here's the sad truth: They don't really want one."
And there's no better proof than what they did to Bill O'Reilly. And just keep in mind -- if Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson aren't miffed at 'ya, chances are You're "in the clear."
Fatimah Ali adds to this ignorance in the Philly Daily News. She actually has the nerve to title her article "The Great Race Debate." Debate?? DEBATE?? Hardly.
Simon Miller of New Castle rivals Gary L. Francione from over a month ago in utter inanity regarding the cessation of eating animals. He compares the killing of animals for food to the Holocaust and those who kill/eat animals to Nazis (my emphasis):
We are rightfully outraged by visiting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's taunting denial of the Holocaust last week.
Yet, at every meal, we deny the daily abuse and slaughter of millions of cows, pigs, and other innocent, feeling animals in U.S. factory farms and slaughterhouses.
There is no life before death for these animals. From birth, they are caged, crowded, deprived, drugged, and mutilated. At the slaughterhouse, they are frequently dismembered, skinned, or scalded, while fully conscious.
Like the "good Germans" of the 1940s, we have a fair idea of what goes on behind those walls, but we reject any reality checks. We fear that the truth might offend our sensibilities and perhaps even force us to change our diet. (Link.)
Nothin' like just slightly overdoing it, eh? Needless to say, comparing the purposeful, systematic genocide of an entire people to the killing of animals for food is simply execrable. Again, just check out Felix's previous post (noted above) for a bit of reality and common sense.
Don McHugh of Felton has a, er, rather "unique" idea about how to handle illegal immigration (my emphasis):
The immigration situation has to be re-examained from a new set of perspectives and prerogatives. Borders, boundaries and regional lines are essentially European concepts.
The people living in the western hemisphere, prior to the landing of European explorers, had no or few needs for territorial identifiers. The land was as vast and open as the oceans and the sky to the sparse human population of more than 500 years ago.
On a regular basis the news media touts the flow of people into the United States, most dramatically across the southern border with Mexico.
Most or possibly all of the people coming north from Mexico, Central America and South America are of European ancestry. The inequity and injustice, in nation's south of the American border, are the results of ruling (generally minority) populations of people with lineages outside the Americas.
The majority of people oppressed are pre-European descendants. An effort should be made, from the Arctic Circle to Cape Horn, to identify, by DNA, all persons who have blood ties to the original Americans.
Once these persons are classified they then should be recognized as citizens of the Americas and given the rights of travel, employment, education, etc., in every nation of North, Central and South America.
Obviously there would be a tremendous population shift to Canada and the U.S., but these people could be absorbed by the fabric of these nations if adjustments were made to immigrant populations from the rest of the world.
As fortunes would shift, an All-Americas Union of a United States of the Americas could be established to assist in world market participation.
Sure! Everyone in line for their DNA test!
Yeesh. Hey Don -- after some 500 years of racial mixing, who exactly would "qualify" as having "blood ties" with original Americans? And why not take the concept even further? Since the original Americans actually came from Asia, why not give any Asians the right to immigrate to the Americas if they so desire?
Don seems to have that typical misconception that before the Europeans came, the Americas were some sort of an idyllic paradise. In some cases, this may have been close to accurate. But just don't tell that to the victims of the Aztecs. Or those of the Maya and other tribes. Don's "plan" is absurd on its face and belongs in one realm only: That of mildly interesting alternate history or science fiction.
Frieda Berryhill thinks nuclear power ain't worth it:
Billions of dollars are being invested to solve the nuclear waste problem with no end in sight. There are contaminated sites throughout the country waiting for cleanup. This administration has to appropriate billions in government subsidies to carry on the myth that nuclear power is still a viable source in the energy mix.
After beginning her letter with a sensical concern over building a nuke plant on land that is not exactly suited for such construction, Ms. Berryhill just HAD to get some Bush-bashing in there, eh? And even though there is a nuke waste "problem," why does this then make the power source not "viable?" More usage of current fission nuke plants would help to alleviate Al Gore's global warming "disaster," after all. Ms. Berryhill's logic also would dictate that every power source we've utilized since the Industrial Revolution "isn't viable" since they've all had some sort of waste product.
Nuclear power also includes the not-yet-realized fusion power. Once commerically viable fusion is available, humanity's energy needs will be essentially solved forever. Fusion only needs water, and it burns completely clean. Does this fact make viable nuclear power "a myth," Ms. Berryhill?
John Flynn of Wilmington serves up an oldie-but-a-goodie today. He says that the 3000 dead due to the terrorist attack of 9/11/01 doesn't warrant all the money spent on the War on Terror (remember -- that's just a "bumper sticker"!) because there's no way we'd spent all the cash we have if 3000 were killed by, say, disease or traffic accidents on that fateful September morning:
What if terrorism were a disease? What if that disease killed 3,000 people six years ago in the United States? Would we spend $500 billion plus $12 billion a month to control it? Would we tolerate 100 young American lives a month lost, thousands injured or traumatized in experiments?
If terrorism were a disease, 9/11 would be a dim memory in a country where 1,200 die a day from smoking, 100 from murder/suicides, 6,000 teens die every year in vehicle accidents and there are 100,000 hospital mistakes a year.
The odds of dying by terrorism are tiny by comparison.
Certainly the money John cites in his figures includes that delegated to the Iraq War. It is well-known that I've been against that war from the start, though obviously not for the same reasons as John. But I digress. I recalled reading a while back other such comparisons similar to those made by John here -- y'know, that disease, smoking, alcohol, car accidents etc. all kill more folks per year than the 9/11 terror attack did. With the exception of some diseases, these comparisons are just laughable -- the principal reason being that they are voluntary actions and/or accidents. You can prevent your death by smoking by -- get this -- NOT SMOKING. And car accidents? Sure -- let's compare the number of people killed by a purposeful terrorist act to that of people commuting to work or vacation via the main method of transportation in the world today. Y'know, we can change those car deaths right now -- all it would take is drastically altering the economies and cultures of just about every society on the planet! Ye gad, the inanity. How can people not make the distinction between the planned, purposeful deaths of people, and voluntary actions/accidents/mistakes?
Back in April, James Taranto blasted a sentiment similar to Flynn's expressed by the LA Times' Rosa Brooks. He noted (my emphasis),
According to this table, 4,742 people were lynched in America between 1882 and 1964. That's an average of but 57 people a year, and the number of annual lynchings peaked in 1892, at 230. By the standards Brooks applies to 9/11, lynching was not a big problem. It killed far fewer people than war, disease, accidents, etc.
Yet if someone were lynched tomorrow, would we shrug it off because the number of deaths is only 1/43,000th of the annual car-crash toll? Of course not. It takes a stunning degree of moral obtuseness to treat a murder in the furtherance of a hateful ideology--be it white supremacy or Islamic fundamentalism--as the equivalent of an accidental death.
Indeed. See my thoughts in the preceding paragraph. And can you imagine a major newspaper ever making the comparison of the number of blacks lynched ("not that bad" in the overall scheme of things) to those killed in car accidents? Or smoking? Absolutely not. It would execrably insulting.
So why do it with 9/11?
The Delaware Sierra Club's Carol Taylor makes the following statement in a letter today:
As stewards of our planet, we are faced with an undisputable challenge that no human has ever before faced. We're running out of pure breathable air, potable water and, in the case of Delaware, vital farmland to feed us.
Really? According to the Index of Leading Environmental Indicators for 2002, things are actually improving:
It's not surprising the groups like the Sierra Club have to resort to scare tactics. This is how they operate in order to get needed funds and members. After all, how much money would be flowing in and how would membership increase if the S.C. put out a press release stating what it says in the bulleted list above? The dopiest line in Taylor's letter is where she says "and, in the case of Delaware, vital farmland to feed us." This is misleading on two levels: One, it presumes that we who live here in Delaware need to have our own [state] farmland in order to eat (or, at least, to have an adequate food supply). Nothing could be further from the truth. Second, she asserts that the planet as a whole is in danger of running out of food (as a result of land loss). Even the frenzied United Nations realizes that food production isn't a problem in and of itself. It's how it's managed.
Carol ends her letter by stating "We cannot afford skepticism. We must instead have hope, faith and optimism." We do have hope, faith and optimism, Carol. We have faith that we can solve any problem that comes our way, as we've demonstrated countless times over the centuries. The skepticism comes when people continually hear the cries of doom from folks like yourself.
Anita Lohinecz of Newark thinks that the recent [congressional] immigration reform bill failed because of "hate."
I watched CNN's Lou Dobbs square off with La Raza's Janet Murgia. Murgia attempted to make the point that immigration reform failed because there is a "wave of hate" against Latinos. She was right.
Want more secure borders? You "hate" Latinos. Want stricter control over illegal immigration? You "hate" Latinos. Don't want another blanket amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants? You "hate" Latinos.
Weird, then, that I pretty much want (or don't want) all of the above ... and I'm married to a Latina. Anita would claim that I hate my wife.
Eric Wilhelm of Wilmington spouts the usual canards about there "not being a liberal media," and wants proof that "Senators Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer advocated the return of the fairness doctrine."
Ever hear of Google, Eric? Check it:
[Host Chris] WALLACE: So would you revive the fairness doctrine?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I'm looking at it, as a matter of fact, Chris, because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side. And unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way.
The simple fact of the matter is that we are only hearing cries of "revival" from Democrats.
The concern is that large numbers of radio stations are owned by a few media conglomerates. These companies are interested in promoting a conservative or corporate agenda. This has severely limited competition. No attempt is made to promote or include liberal talk in many major markets.
Again, Wilhelm claims the media are "not liberal" because the owners of the media outlets are large corporations. As if this automatically means that a conservative agenda is their goal. If liberal talk radio could actually make a buck, you can be assured that these "dastardly" corporations would be snapping up the popular hosts as quickly as Ted Kennedy swam away from Mary Jo Kopechne! As for major network news, as media critic Bernie Goldberg has stated, since these outlets do not make a lot of revenue (as opposed to their network entertainment programming), these "dastardly" corporations do not have nearly as much interest in the direction the Courics et. al. take. And newspapers? With the advent of the "new media" (Internet, etc., which offer more conservative points of view), readership has plummeted, to put it mildly. Like major network news, they are no longer [news] monopolistic behemoths, and their readership (viewership) now has myriad other options.
How long did it take for Limbaugh and Hannity to have a large following? It took several years. At one time Fox was a fledgling company. Air America was born only two and a half years ago.
The problem with this comparison is quite simple: Limbaugh, Hannity and FNC all GREW and grew substantially in two and half years. Air America was, simply put, a total disaster.
Wilhelm obviously holds the view like that of far-left Eric Alterman, who thinks that since the American media isn't as politically left as Hugo Chávez, that it is therefore "conservative."
My view on the current regime exercising military control over this nation is they're traitors, and I'll be damned before I give my vote.
Military control? Um, like how, exactly, Mike? And how is the "current regime" traitors? What precisely have they done to warrant that crime?
I think it's safe to say that Mr. Dalene is the latest example of those afflicted with BDS.
David C. Martin of the Delaware Assn. of Humanism has the mistaken belief that the First Amendment has been abused over and above what the Founders had intended:
Our society is based on the rule of law derived from the Constitution, a document encompassing humanistic thought. Our Founding Fathers were inspired by the philosophers of the Enlightenment, which embraced humanism as the way to a more perfect world in which individuals are free to determine their destiny without fear of state imposition.
Religion is mentioned once in the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to worship freely and forbids Congress from establishing a particular religion. Over time the intent of the First Amendment was ignored by overzealous politicians who catered to constituents to maintain power. The Constitution protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority, With this abuse, it's not surprising people are under the impression that we are a Christian nation.
Despite this, humanistic emphasis on the freedom of the individual is woven into our society. The secular nature of our Constitution has stood the test of time.
My emphasis. While David's first paragraph is undoubtedly true, his second runs into trouble. In actuality, the Founders would be appalled at how religion has been shunned from the public sphere over the last two centuries. If the Founders were "so" intent on eliminating religion from the public arena, why did state (as in Delaware, Maryland, etc.) chrches continue to exist for years after the ratification of the Constitution? They did not cease to exist because of legislative or judicial mandate; they simply withered away due to lack of interest and participation. The 14th Amendment, which has historically been interpreted as applying the Bill of Rights to the individual states, would have made this a moot point anyway, certainly. But back to my point: It is plain silly to posit that politicians have attempted to subvert the Founders' original intent regarding religion. Religion has, simply, become less and less of a factor in American government -- and life -- since the Revolution, and in reality politicians and the judiciary have overcome what the Founders originally intended.
The Constitution and the Republic have survived not despite assaults by religion; they have survived despite radical attempts to transform what the Founders had originally desired for religion and its role in [public] life.
William Donovan of New Castle is proud to be a liberal these days. And while he rattles off some points that make sense -- President Bush being a spendthrift, going into Iraq -- he has to sink to the inevitable nonsense that too many "proud liberals" do, usually thanks to BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome). In this case, it's the US is quickly becoming a "police state":
We are very close to becoming a dictatorship. States are following the federal government in taking personal freedoms away from its citizens. Delaware like many states is on the way to becoming a police state.
When a man like Derek Hale lies dead and the killer goes free, the word liberal doesn't sound so bad now. I thank God for giving me the good sense to use my mind, to have the ability to think for myself.
As a liberal I could never goose step behind Bush and his troop of profiteers.
Oh ho! Bill even got in that little hyperbolic "goose step" comment! If "proud liberals" like Bill had any historical knowledge, they'd realize that the great liberal presidential icons of the past dwarf our current president in so-called [wartime] "dictatorial" actions. Try FDR and Woodrow Wilson, for starters.
Two winners who virtually say the same [dopey] thing. First, there's Gerrit van Burk of Rehoboth who writes
After watching thousands of innocent lives lost among the U.S. and allied military and Iraqi civilians, as well as billions of dollars squandered to enrich Bush and Cheney friends and allies, it is time for Congress to impeach the president and vice president.
So, obviously to Gerrit, there's solid evidence that Bush and Cheney have "enriched" themselves as a result of this war. If this was so obviously the case, it is beyond belief that the Democrats would not have already begun impeachment proceedings; indeed, that they would not have begun them the day the took over Congress!
Then there's John Dente of Wilmington:
Those who support George Bush in his decision to commute Scooter Libby's sentence insist there was no underlying crime. In fact there was more than one crime.
Bush lied and manipulated intelligence to bring the United States to attack a country that was no threat to us. This is a war crime.
When the manipulated intelligence was revealed by Joseph Wilson to be fraudulent, the White House set out to discredit Wilson and exposed his wife, Valerie Plame, who was a covert CIA agent. That was another crime.
In order to cover up the conspiracy, Scooter Libby perjured himself. This is obstruction of justice, another crime.
Wrong, John. There's no evidence that Bush "lied" about intelligence before going to war in Iraq, despite what Keith Olbermann says. Indeed, just about every intel agency believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs right up 'till the time the US invaded. Of course, if you'd bother to check it out, President Bush also layed out numerous other reasons why the US was invading the country; were those "lies," too? As for "manipulation," that's a loaded term if there ever was one. This can be construed to mean virtually whatever anyone wants it to mean. As for the "no threat" part, that too is a loaded phrase. "Direct threat"? Probably not. "Threat"? Yes, as Saddam would remain a source of international terrorism as long as he remained.
Wilson's information was far from sacrosanct and the White House had (and has) every right to challenge his assertions. To this day, British intelligence -- on which President Bush based his now [in]famous words in the State of the Union Address about "uranium from Africa" -- stands by its assessment, contrary to Joe Wilson's report. The law in question which pertains to supposedly "outing" Valerie Plame requires having knowledge that she was indeed covert. If Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald believed that she was "outed" WITH such knowledge, why didn't he then continue the investigation -- going after the man who leaked her name in the first place, Richard Armitage? Could it be that he believed that Armitage had no knowledge of Plame's status ... or even if Plame's "covert" status met the requirements of said status as required by law? Besides, I could never understand just what the White House stood to gain by merely "outing" Plame as retribution for Wilson's report. What purpose does it serve? It doesn't serve to refute Wilson, and any harm to Plame would easily come to be worse for the WH. What the WH was trying to do (according to many GOPers, and it does make sense) was to discredit Wilson's credibility by attempting to show that Plame used her influence to get her hubby -- Wilson -- the Niger travel gig.
There was no conspiracy, John. If there was, again, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald would have been all over it.
Dawne Keen of New Castle wants Bush and Cheney impeached NOW, DAMMIT!
President Bush and Vice President Cheney have made a mockery of the jobs entrusted to them. It looks as if they are serving themselves and their friends, and not the people.
We can’t count on the legislative branch because it is so busy fulfilling the wants and needs of lobbyists. The legislative branch is not coming together and making the hard decisions that need to be made. The judicial branch has done great harm. We can’t even count on judges to make people accountable for their actions. I am disgusted with all of it.
It’s time that Bush and Cheney were impeached. The Scooter Libby fiasco was the final straw. Americans listened to the evidence, convicted him and he was sentenced. That should count for something.
Emphasis mine. Wow, this is almost as "well thought-out" as Randall Miller's letter from yesterday! I just checked the Constitution: Nowhere in its text is "making a mockery" of the presidency (or vice-presidency) an impeachable offense. But, I'm confused -- if Bush/Cheney aren't doing their jobs appropriately, and Congress and the judicial branch aren't doing theirs either (according to Ms. Keen), why is it that only the president and veep need to be ousted from office, hmm?
The epitomy of "dopey."
Randall Miller of Ocean View is this week's winner with this really thought-provoking and well backed-up screed:
The editorial “Supreme Court has two interpretations regarding free speech” should have ended, “It wasn’t a good day for the United States.”
Yep. That's it. No reason how or why. Just take his word for it!
Michael Dalene of Wilmington is this week's winner because he feels Iran has every right to develop nuclear weapons:
Why should the United States deny Iran or any nation or employ terroristic means against those wishing to ensure their independence through weapons of mass destruction? Only impotent nations with schemes of global domination would fear and deny any nation the means to defense.
I wholeheartedly support Iran's desires to procure weapons that provide some deterrent to invaders. And for those petty-minded enough to think Iran or others would launch aggression against the United States, remember we have a missile defense system defending against such attacks.
First, the US did not deny India or Pakistan the development of nuclear weapons, did it?
Second, the US missile defense system is hardly foolproof, mainly since it's so new. But the worry isn't that Iran would be silly enough to launch an ICBM at the US (mainly since it wouldn't even have that capability for some time), but that it would use its nukes against Israel. And despite many protestations on the Left that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been "misquoted" about his statements regarding the Jewish state, the official Tehran broadcast network IRIB recently provided their very own English translation of Ahmadinejad's remarks. Here it is: "Ahmadinejad: Israel Must Be Wiped Off the Map."
This is actually a very good reason to deny Iran nuclear weapons. A regime as crazy as the one that currently rules that country -- one that supports suicidal terror groups throughout the mid-east -- would have a LOT less compunction about using nukes than the countries that have maintained their own stockpiles for decades.
You just gotta shake your head at the irony of Sharon Heath's letter today (my emphasis):
My 20-year-old son parked along a side street in our neighborhood, having driven his brother to the bus stop. Unfortunately, they had parked on the wrong side of the road.
Two New Castle County Police officers noticed this and stopped to inquire. As my son explained, the bus arrived and his younger brother boarded it. Next, the officers requested my son's license, proof of insurance and registration, which he provided and which checked out. Seeing that his explanation was truthful, the officers did not give him a ticket, nor did they let the matter drop.
The officers began interrogating him about whether he had anything in his car they "should know about." My son answered truthfully, "no." An officer asked if he were to bring a K-9 to the car, would the dog find anything. My son answered "no." This dialogue continued until out of exasperation my son said, "Why don't you just look for yourselves?"
The officers had him step out of the car, thoroughly searched it, then patted him down including between his legs. They found nothing.
The neighborhood is Collins Park, which has a bad reputation. I am tired of that sort of harassment. There are good families here and the police are supposed to protect us, not harass us beyond what is required to determine whether someone poses a threat or danger.
I would be willing to bet that in a better neighborhood, officers would have ignored the car or questioned the driver and moved on.
My house has been broken into four times and my car was demolished by a hit-and-run driver right in my own driveway. The police have never solved those crimes.
Until that day I never had anything but the utmost respect for the New Castle County Police and their efforts to do a very hard job. That day my feelings changed.
OK, let's see -- we have an admitted lousy neighborhood where Sharon's son admittedly violated a traffic ordinance (parking on the wrong side of the road). Sharon herself states why this neighborhood is lousy (house broken into FOUR times, car demolished), yet she is irate about police going about their business of trying to make the neighborhood better, i.e. checking traffic violators for any sort of contraband, weapons, etc. Why? Because it was her son. (Keep in mind that the police did not arbitrarily stop her son -- in other words, for no reason. He had committed a traffic violation.)
I bet if it were someone else, Ms. Heath would have a different perspective on the matter.
Jeanette Gibson of Hockessin didn't like the "bite and switch" tactics of an article that lampooned Al Gore (my emphasis):
It's sad to see that the pathetic level of debate has extended to young students. David Fairchild's May 28 article about Al Gore uses the "bite and switch" tactic: If you can't discredit the idea, attack its proponents. This approach appeals to those who don't want to accept an obvious truth, especially an inconvenient one.
Gore's personal habits have nothing to do with the fact of global warming. Profligate use of fossil fuels and disregard of the resulting pollution are already disrupting the Earth's climate. Diversionary criticisms only serve to postpone honest discussion of what we can do to remedy the situation.
Instead of sarcasm, let's get down to the business at hand. We should be discussing the breakup of the Antarctic ice shelf, the retreat of glaciers worldwide, volatility of weather patterns ...
*Sigh* Needless to say, she lists a few more things all good Americans should be aware of.
But, first, what the hell is a "bite and switch"? The proper term is "bait and switch," you dolt. Second, why aren't Al Gore's personal habits relevant to what he preaches? If his sole reason for existence at this point in time is to preach about how other people should live because of the supposed danger of global warming, then his personal behavior is MOST relevant. (For more, see here.)
What would Ms. Gibson say if Gore flew all over the world clamoring about unions and workers' rights, but refused to hire union labor for his own business ventures? What if Gore flew all over the world promoting the "greatness" of diversity," yet had not a single minority on his staff or employ? Or, what about one of the Left's current faves -- people who preach in favor of the Iraq War, but refuse to participate in it personally (the so-called "chicken hawk" argument)? Etc. etc.
Rose M. Riley of New Castle is this week's winner courtesy of this "well thought-out" screed:
President Bush should be impeached. He has ruined our country. Young men and women are dying in a senseless was. Doesn't he know history of war? It is a tragedy to those who have lost their fathers, sons and grandchildren.
They wanted to impeach former President Bill Clinton for much less, and he was a good president. Yes, I am a liberal Democrat.
Y'see, it says in the Constitution that the president can be impeached for "ruining the country." It says it right here ... wait, doesn't it? Right?
Yes, men and women are dying in the current war. However, that is not an impeachable offense either, nor because the war is deemed "senseless" by some people. You can sure feel free to disagree about Bush's take on the war, but this doesn't make it "senseless" nor does it make it impeachable.
The one sensible sentence in Rose's letter is that impeaching Bill Clinton was a ridiculous undertaking.
Ernestine Dunn of Wilmington thinks US immigration policy makes racial distinctions, particularly when it comes to Haiti and Cuba:
The senators in Washington who promised reform should live up to their promises. The 2008 election is approaching. Senators John McCain and Edward Kennedy should resign, to be replaced with new people dedicated to real change.
Regarding immigration, Haitians are sent back or held in camps until they are deported, depriving them of a better life for themselves and their families. Why can't they be given citizenship through applications legally? I see blatant racism in the treatment of Haitians and Cubans. Skin color does make a difference.
The actual distinction, Ms. Dunn, is a political one, not a racial one. It was established long ago that Cubans would be given "special" consideration due to Cuba's communist dictatorship. The policy is a product of the Cold War and it surely can be debated that it is an outdated relic of a bygone era. But considering that almost 100% of Haitians are black, it is disingenuous to state that the difference in US asylum policy between Cuba (and every other country in our hemisphere, not just Haiti) is a racist one. Indeed, a rather substantial percentage of Cubans themselves are of African heritage (11% are black and 51% are mulatto).
Winsom Alvares of Wilmington offers the usual senior citizen canard that they shouldn't have to pay public school taxes like everyone else:
There are a lot of voices berating the way school districts keep having referenda to raise taxes. I add mine. Since last summer, Delawareans have seen a 60 percent electric rate hike, higher gas prices, looming New Castle County taxes. And now Red Clay School District once again wanting to siphon money from our pocketbooks.
Seniors are blamed for failing referenda. If that is so, then take us out of the equation by not levying any school taxes on us. With fixed incomes and high medical bills along with all of the above, we cannot sustain every other entity draining us of our life source.
School taxes should be used only for core classes. Costs for all extracurricular activities should be shouldered by parents on a sliding scale. There are a lot of affluent parents in the Red Clay district who can pay for their children's after-school activities. On the other hand, kids in Wilmington should not have to pay for activities as the majority of them are poor. These kids should be in extracurricular activities to keep them out of trouble and enrich their often sad lives.
As I've said before, it'd sure be nice if all us working people could vote on whether we wanted a hike in our Social Security taxes now, eh? After all, why are seniors permitted to keep receiving Social Security payments long after they've gotten back what they paid into it? That's pure welfare, ain't it? Why do seniors believe that they should get some sort of special treatment?
Former DE resident John Ramirez, who now lives in San Diego, CA, thinks the apology of those UD students who attended that notorious Cinco de Mayo party isn't enough:
I would like to see the President of the University of Delaware take an active approach to the racist party fallout on campus.
("UD won't discipline students over garb mocking Mexicans," May 16). Just saying they're sorry is not enough.
The participants should submit a plan of action on how they will work to understand other minority groups. (Link.)
Ah, the old "an apology isn't enough" made recently [in]famous by Al Sharpton's refusal to accept Don Imus' apology. We need a "plan of action." Like what, exactly, John? Should it be what another John stated previously, in this case Jonathan Martinez, who wants the offending students to attend mandatory sensitivity training? As Felix and I have noted incessantly here, these sensitivity seminars are a joke, usually led by faux experts whose only credentials are that they are members of a minority group.
Hey, do you think the offending students can use an excuse like that of Brentwood Middle School in South Carolina? They could argue (like the school district did in that case, where they defended black students' racial epithets and profanity) that "it's just our culture" to dress insensitively at theme parties!
Donald "Stan" Olson of Wilmington has decided that he will vote against the Brandywine School District referendum because ... of an article in the News Journal stating that human-caused global warming is being taught as scientific fact:
Both of my boys went through Brandywine schools from kindergarten through graduation. I voted for all of the referendums over the years, and in a couple of cases was directly involved in helping to get them passed.
There are a number of questions in my mind regarding this latest referendum, but I was leaning toward voting for it until I read in The News Journal that human-caused global warming is being taught as scientific fact. But if that is the current state of science education in Delaware, I refuse to support it. The issue is not whether there is global warming. The issue is what's causing it.
Hey "Stan" -- I noticed the little qualifier "if" in your statement there. Have you bothered to check out whether Brandywine schools are teaching just this in its science classes? Have you contacted the district office to see if what the science curriculum is? Have you gone to a board meeting to ask about it? I bet the answer to all these is, in my educated estimation, a resounding "no." And here's a another bit of advice: Relying on the News Journal exclusively for "facts" isn't exactly the best idea.
Wilmington's William A. Stoddart inadvertently makes the case against hate crimes legislation all the while excoriating black preachers for being against them:
I read that American black bishops, at their annual national meeting, will oppose gay hate crime legislation pending in Congress. The pending bill would add gay-motivated physical attacks to other protected minority groups.
If blacks or Jews are attacked or murdered, under present law this constitutes a hate crime. Higher penalties are accessed.
OK, now you might think that Mr. Stoddart is just using blacks and Jews as mere examples here. But read on further (my emphasis):
Hate crime legislation is not tied to freedom of speech. It simply targets vicious attacks on minorities based solely on their minority status.
And there you have it! The very reason hate crimes are, while perhaps a good idea, politically passed and then selectively enforced -- for minorities only. So, for Mr. Stoddart, it wouldn't be a "hate crime" if a bunch of blacks targeted and then beat up a white guy solely because he is white. After all, he is not a minority!
I initially was completely against any notion of hate crimes legislation; however, I was swayed by the arguments using the notion of "intent." Intent plays a role in every crime, and helps to determine severity of sentence. If intent can play a role in "standard" crimes, why cannot mere "hate" towards a person (or group) merely because of their race/ethnicity also play a role?
But the problem -- not unlike the mainstream media's own bias -- is that hate crimes statutes are selectively enforced. As Stoddart says, the perception (among people and law enforcement) is that hate crimes laws are only for minorities.
That's "equal justice"?
Sharon Desmond Griffin of Wilmington thinks that since neither she nor her husband went to public schools, she shouldn't have to support them. Not only that, she thinks "bloated" families take "advantage" of the public school system, and those who don't own property shouldn't have a say in referenda:
Just days after the latest money grab was defeated in the Brandywine School District, these grasping parasites are trying to wear us down by sneaking in yet another referendum on the heels of the last one. When are they going to learn that "no" means "no"?
I am disgusted by the sense of entitlement of people who have too many children or own no property, yet expect the rest of us to subsidize their bloated families. It should be the law that referenda can be held no more frequently than every two years, and that only property owners can vote in them.
Neither my husband nor I attended public schools. Although we have paid heavy taxes all of our working lives, we have no children in the school system. Our parents scraped by, working hard to pay for our educations themselves, while still paying income and property taxes.
These taxes are an especially cruel burden on older folks trying to live on fixed incomes, and now deserve a break from legalized thievery. I urge everyone who resents multiple attempts to pick our pockets to defeat this referendum on June 4.
Hey -- let's go even further! How 'bout only white male property owners be allowed to vote! THEM would the "good 'ol days," eh? Once again, it is ludicrous to assert that only property owners be allowed to vote in property tax referenda. Don't cretins like Sharon realize that the apartment owners will only raise their rent if property taxes go up? Does she really think these landlords will only eat the extra cost?
And, as I've queried in the past, I wonder how Sharon would feel if we were allowed to vote "yes" or "no" on the "legalized thievery" that is Social Security. Since it's fairly safe to assume Sharon collects it, I'd ask her for how long she's been collecting it. Studies have shown that people get back what they actually paid into the system in about three years time. Therefore, people like Sharon, after this approximate three year span, are being supported by current workers like me. Why does Sharon think it is OK to "pick our pockets" to support her -- or anyone else's -- retirement? Sounds like "legalized thievery," eh?
Brent Grant of Kennett Square uses the VA Tech massacre as an excuse for "strict" gun control nationwide:
The events in Virginia emphasize the need for strict gun control laws nationally. If one wants to know what a future of rampant gun possession looks like, go to Iraq.
I shutter to think what the U.S. quality of life would be if everyone carried a weapon. It would be short and cruel, just as it is in Iraq and many other areas of our globe. Security would be impossible to maintain, as it already is in certain urban areas.
He'd "shutter"? What, is he a camera or something? Oh, SHUDDER!
First, not many Americans believe that everyone should carry a weapon. Second, anyone can pick and choose an "example" of what "rampant gun possession" looks like. For instance, I could say "What about Switzerland?" Exactly -- the number of gun deaths there is miniscule. There are also areas within the United States that allow folks to carry to guns and have very low gun crime rates.
There are those who purport that when women in Florida started carrying weapons, robberies declined. Did the same thing happen in North Philadelphia when many people there started carrying guns?
For every argument the National Rifle Association makes, one can find an equally valid counterargument. The whole issue comes down to values. Values are built by families and communities. Neighborhoods of families with high values will be safe.
But you've just made the NRA's and many others' argument for them here, Brent: You've proven that it isn't the guns, it's the people. Maybe we should allow federalism to work here? Let each state and locality decide what's best for them?
If people want to carry arms, they should be inducted into a well-regulated militia as the Second Amendment states.
Do we really think most of the people who use guns would also serve in a militia? Maybe every gun owner should be required to register with one.
Ah yes, yet another individual ignorant of the 2nd Amendment's history. I do not want to get into that history here; nevertheless, a standing army was frowned upon by the Founders, yet we now have one. But the clauses "being necessary to the security of a free state" and "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" also pertain to the citizenry's protection against government tyranny, not just protection against foreign invaders. It may seem an archaic concept today -- the citizens using guns against their own tyrannical government ... after all, the government has all the BIG weapons -- but would a [future] US administration [potentially] hesitate against infringing on the populace's rights if all guns were absolutely banned ... except for the military? I doubt it. Knowing that an average joe can get, and own, a gun will always make those in charge hesitate about extending their power.
Be sure to check out this opportune image.
David Arnold of Wilmington has a problem with school tax-increase referendums (specifically what must be the upcoming Brandywine District referendum):
I wish to come out strongly against any rise in school taxes. The district spends more than $15,000 per student, among the highest in the country. Under-utilized buildings and increasing numbers of employees in the face of decreasing enrollment are just poor management. In excess of 50 administrators making more than $100,000 a year plus benefits is ridiculous.
First, from where does Arnold draw that [more than] $15,000 figure? I have seen some figures from Allen Kemp, former head of "Citizens for Fair School Taxes" and now proprietor of the School Watch website that have Brandywine in the $14,000 + range. So, right away, the claim of "more than $15,000 per student," based on a referendum opponent's own figures, is incorrect. Next, Arnold claims that his own erroneous figure is "among the highest in the country." Kemp's website makes the claim that New Castle County's total cost/student is the highest in the entire country. But -- an examination of Kemp's site's bar graphs shows NO comparison to any other state's counties' per pupil cost! That, and Arnold's trying to mix Brandywine's per pupil cost to that of the entire county is quite disingenuous since, for example, the New Castle County Vo-Tech District (according to Kemp's figures) would be included in the entire county's figures -- and their per pupil cost is substantially higher than Brandywine's. So, from what evidence does Kemp (and then, Arnold) make that "highest in the country" claim? Next, Arnold makes no distinction in his diatribe against "administrators" between central office administrators and school administrators. This is a key omission, and I know of very few people who would argue that on-site administrators do not earn their money.
Now, granted, the above section of Arnold's letter is actually not all that "dopey." I don't really expect reference sources in what are frequently-edited readers' letters. He points out his figures and I've countered. What really classifies as "dopey" is the letter's second part:
Being single and having no children, I have grown weary of paying increasing amounts for the education of other people's children. Those with kids in schools should be paying not only any increase but all the costs. I have no say in how these children are raised or educated, nor should I, but my money is taken for this purpose. Oppression of a minority, through taxation, has become our tax system.
I have heard this argument before and it never ceases to make me chuckle. I've also heard that "only homeowners" should be allowed to vote in tax-increase referendums. As if renters won't pay higher rent if property taxes go up! The landlord will just absorb all the costs, right? Sheesh. And how does Arnold not have any say in how children are educated? The school board meets every month and allows for public input.
But more importantly, am I "oppressed" because I have to pay Social Security taxes my entire working life -- to support people like Mr. Arnold?? That Mr. Arnold will collect more in Social Security than the children currently in school will? The young must support the old, but the old must not support the children, is that it? And, do I get a chance to vote every so often on whether I want to raise my Social Security taxes? Hell, no! Yet, that is precisely what the public can do in Delaware when it comes to raising property taxes -- taxes which are the main source of school funding.
Nathan Field of Wilmington thinks that if the United States "extricated its interests" from Israel, American foreign policy would be oh so much better:
Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Syria and Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer's meeting with the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood should be commended as positive steps in the right direction for the future of U.S. foreign policy.
However, Pelosi's statement that there is no difference between the Democrats and the Bush administration toward Israel demonstrate that neither party has a viable vision for the future of the Middle East. As long as both parties are unable to extricate American interests from Israeli interests, the U.S. government will continue to pursue a disastrous foreign policy in the Middle East.
My emphasis. Ah yes, Hoyer's meeting (a meeting that Hoyer disputes, by the way) with that "reasonable" and "diplomatic" Muslim Brotherhood. This group just wants, you know, a[n] [eventual] world Islamic state and "liberation" of Muslim lands (let's see ... that includes Israel, maybe?). No wonder they despised Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.
Does "extricating" our interests in Israel, Nate, mean abdicating our interest in an actual democratic government? Does it mean abdicating our fight against radical Islamic terrorism? The fact is that Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood don't like Israel very much and wouldn't mind if it, y'know, "wasn't around" (to put tactfully). If the MB was opposed to a peace deal between Egypt and Israel whereby the former got the entire captured Sinai Peninsula back, do you really think that if Israel withdrew to its pre-1967 (Six Day War) borders that the MB (and Syria and other countries/groups) would be placated?
Sorry, but a foreign policy that defends the lone democracy in the region from radical terrorists, and doesn't appease those that sponsor and aid terrorism, is the right one to pursue.
Betty Smith of Wilmington, among way too many others, repeats the old canard that "Bush lied about WMDs" to get into Iraq, thus that's why Congress went along with him:
This administration fed us false information about weapons of mass destruction, so the Congress would support the invasion, and we are still given false information about this war.
Hey Bet -- as I've said many times, disagree with the war (I do), but WMDs not being in Iraq doesn't mean Bush lied about them. It means the intelligence was erroneous. Take a look.
All those folks must have been "lying" by your standards, right?
A close runner-up is Wilmington's Bill Knox who, as a disbeliever of [organized] religion, thinks it inappropriate for politicians to call on the nation to pray:
The call by lawmakers for all Americans to spend time praying for the nation is alarming. These lawmakers are elected to serve "We the People," not religion. As far a I know, there is no religious requirement to be an American. I am an American who is deeply opposed to all organized religion, especially in politics.
The politicians who propose this type of ruse use it to distract us from their failures and incompetence.
It is surprising that "We the People" have not marched on the White House yet with pitchforks and burning torches to remove the contemptible criminals led by Dick Cheney from office.
Ah, now we get it! Knox is your typical Bush-Cheney hater! Nevertheless, get your historical knowledge straight, Bill. The nation was indeed founded by deeply religious men who actually would be appalled at how religion has been excised from the public realm. And politicians asking for people to pray for the nation doesn't mean they're demonstrating that they were elected to "serve religion." That's just patently absurd. Yet you'd have The People violently fomenting revolution rather than utilizing -- GASP! -- prayer.
The issue of an apology for slavery here in Delaware has been debated the last few weeks in the News Journal and in local blogs. I've already addressed one WNJ letter writer's point about an apology and reparations; now we have Wilmington's Waldron H. Giles opining on the matter tossing some dubious figures around:
An apology would be a simple price to pay for a national debt of some $21 trillion owed for 400 years of free labor and 12 to 16 million deaths.
With $580,000 owed to each descendant of slaves; every black child could get a quality private education; parents could begin to believe that democracy and capitalism meet their legal and fiscal responsibilities.
I'm not sure from where Mr. Giles gets his information, but just a cursory review of it makes it appear dubious. But, first, 12-16 million deaths is probably an under estimate. 20 million deaths due to the entire Atlantic slave trade is probably more accurate. However, approximately half that number is due to wars and the trafficking of slaves in Africa itself. (According to David Stannard's American Holocaust, noted here on Wikipedia's entry.) Further, North America (where the United States eventually came into existence) accounted for "only" 500,000 of the slaves imported from Africa. The overwhelming majority of slaves ended up in in the Caribbean and Brazil -- over 4 million slaves respectively.
As for the $21 trillion figure, after quite a bit of searching (Googling, actually), I could not discover any source to back up this claim. The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations (N'COBRA) has assessed the figure at "a mere" $8 trillion, substantially less than Giles' claim. This pro-reparations article cites an upper figure of $4.7 trillion. Dalton Conley, associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Advanced Social Science Research at New York University, has more on the costs associated with slavery and reparations in this 2003 NY Times op-ed.
Perhaps, just perhaps, Mr. Giles is referring to the entirety of slavery in the Americas, but this is unlikely. Notice:
The huge burden of national guilt would be lifted off the shoulders of all of those many American citizens who reaped the benefits of the $21 trillion of capital that fueled the industrial revolution which subsequently employed the immigrants who flocked to American shores.
You see, "American shores" surely could imply the American continents; however, the use of "industrial revolution" and "American citizens" does away with that supposition. So, Mr. Giles, I'd ask from you garner the figures you cite in your letter. Picking artificial figures based on sketchy evidence does nothing to advance the case for reparations.
I am one of the people who believes Delaware (and the federal government as well) should apologize for slavery because it feels scandalous and scummy to me that we have never officially set the record straight that slavery was a great evil that should not have been legal. I can’t imagine how it must feel to some people who are actual descendants of slaves. Since this legislation will cause no harm, their feelings should be determinative. It’s that simple.
Thomas Bayard of Wilmington calls President Bush a liar because one of the reasons for starting the war in Iraq was that country's possession of WMDs (even though Bayard doesn't note that WMD was only one of the reasons for the war) -- and compares this "lie" to the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which began the Vietnam War:
Like another, older war, this one began with a lie. Before it was called "The Tonkin Gulf Incident." This time it was "Weapons of Mass Destruction." In 1964, the "Incident" allowed the president to get his resolution through Congress. There was almost no opposition. In 2003, another president got another resolution through Congress with even less opposition. In both cases, it soon became apparent that Congress and the American people had been lied to, bamboozled into supporting a president's desire to have a war.
The problem is, unlike Tonkin -- which was soon thereafter revealed to have been of quite dubious origin -- the belief that Saddam Hussein had possessed weapons of mass destruction significantly predates the current Bush administration:
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
So said President Bill Clinton in 1998, three years before George W. Bush took office in his place. Former National Security Adviser and recent National Archive Thief Sandy Berger once stated regarding Hussein that "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Were Clinton and Berger lying? Indeed, were all these famous (or infamous) Democrats lying too?
Face it, Tom, your analogy stinks. Bush didn't "lie" about Saddam having WMDs. What happened was that our intelligence (and that of many other countries) was flawed. This doesn't equate to Bush "lying." But if you still think he did lie, then you must also believe all those of the opposing party "lied" too.
Oppose the war all you wish. I do. But do it using something other than the tired old canard of "Bush lied about WMDs."
This week's winner is Hockessin's L. Eudora Pettigrew, Ph.D. who believes that the News Journal -- the News Journal!! -- is racially biased against African-Americans:
The recent article, "Delaware Women Wield More Influence Than Ever" is noteworthy in that with the exception of Lisa Blunt Rochester, former head of Metro Wilmington Urban League and who is no longer in Delaware, no woman of color is presented as having any influence in the Legislature of the state of Delaware. I am puzzled as to why Margaret Rose Henry, senator of the 2nd Senatorial District of the state of Delaware and an African-American female, was not included in the presentation. Sen. Henry was elected in 1994 to the Delaware Senate and provides significant contributions to the people of the state of Delaware. Did race play a factor in the presentations in The News Journal article?
African-American women have not struggled for many decades for equality and justice merely to be further oppressed by the press and media presentations about white women.
It can be debated as to whether Senator Henry's contributions are "significant;" however, does anyone really believe that the Wilmington News Journal is racially biased against African-Americans? To me, this is akin to the claims that universities are "racially insensitive," "biased," "prejudiced," etc. because certain percentages of enrollment may not have been met, or because there are not "enough" professors "of color" teaching. The fact that the modern university is possibly THE friendliest place for a minority (the prodigious amount of "sensitivity" and "multicultural" seminars for undergraduates, many which mandate attendance, not to mention speech codes of dubious constitutionality) is conveniently overlooked when the "bean-counters" look to complain.
If Dr. Pettigrew stopped for a moment to consider the totality of the News Journal's coverage, the contention that it's racially biased should become obvious: It's not. I think it's safe to say that virtually every MSM (mainstream media) outlet fits this bill. If anything, these mediums go out of their way to be as ... "politically correct" as possible -- so as not to be perceived as framing African-Americans in any sort of negative light.
Daniel Pritchett of Smyrna thinks the comparison made by a past letter writer of George Bush to Abe Lincoln was insane:
Abraham Lincoln, unlike President Bush, understood the difference between a just and an unjust war. After President James Polk invaded Mexico in 1846, falsely claiming that it was a response to a Mexican attack, Congressman Lincoln spoke out in protest and later voted for a House resolution that declared the war "unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the president."
Lincoln would be just as angered and opposed to the Iraq invasion, launched by another deception on the American people.
To attempt to compare Lincoln's leadership during the Civil War -- a war that was fought to save the United States and our Constitution, as well as to free people from slavery -- with George Bush's invasion of Iraq, which after four years has benefitted no one except the war contractor Halliburton, is the grossest form of political blasphemy.
You just knew a mention of Halliburton had to get in there! He also quotes radical leftist historian Eric Foner to make his "point."
*Sigh* Lincoln's transgressions against the Constitution -- again -- make anything Bush has done look like stealing a piece of Bazooka gum from a 7-11. What's funny is Pritchett's contention that Lincoln "fought to save the Constitution." Yeah -- he only had to completely disregard it in order to save it.
UPDATE (3/11 at 10:07am): Pritchett has another letter in the Journal today (2nd letter down); however, it seems like he had his best friend write about the Lincoln-Bush comparison (6th letter down)!
Gay Jones of Wilmington writes:
Virginia's General Assembly has issued a proclamation of "deep regret" for slavery in their state. For sure they aren't willing to compensate the descendants.
Are they willing to make sure black children get a good education? Are they willing to hire qualified blacks for jobs. Are they willing to allow blacks to move into white neighborhoods. Are they willing to cover black communities activities in their newspapers, instead of only printing pictures of black criminals. This would truly show their regrets for all the hangings, beatings, separating families and sexual abuse of black women and on and on and on.
Colossus' Felix already discussed this issue quite adequately here. But I'd add (re: ask Ms. Jones):
1. Define "willing to make sure black children get a good education." How are they not getting one now, precisely? Granted, there are some inner city areas around the country where school infrastructures are far from optimal, but even in those cases, whose primary responsibility is it "to make sure" [black] children get a good education -- the children's parents ... or [white] society's?
2. Where is the definitive proof that qualified blacks are being passed over for jobs they apply for? If this is an argument for blanket affirmative action, fine. But it is disingenuous to tie that into a reparations debate since many folks can be against AA but for strict and aggressive handling of INDIVIDUAL bias cases against employers. Blanket AA automatically assumes that all employers are prejudiced/biased against minorities (in this case, blacks) without any proof. If a claimant believes he/she has been discriminated against, let him/her bring an individual case against their [potential] employer with all the relevant facts.
3. Where precisely are blacks being prevented from moving into white neighborhoods? Sure, I've read about how some real estate agents will sometimes "direct" black clients to predominately black neighborhoods, but how does that mean that they have to select a house in that neighborhood?
4. If the News Journal is indicative of your typical daily newspaper (and there's little reason to not think otherwise), then the claim of not covering black community activities is pure hogwash. And regarding pics of black criminals (and/or the reporting thereof), it's now standard procedure in too many periodicals (including the News Journal) not to publish the race of wanted criminals in police reports. Why? Simply because it's politically incorrect to do so. That's why this last "complaint" is the dopiest of all.
Jack Alford of Wilmington wins this week with the following call for Americans to "be patriotic":
President George Bush says the economy is great. The workers for GM, Ford, and Chevrolet do not have any knowledge of the same, with all of the big layoffs and the obvious shutdown of Chrysler's plant in Newark.
I have had many automobiles, all of them American-made. I never had a lemon. Americans need to be more patriotic and buy American products for the good of this country.
"Buying American" makes one patriotic? It can also make one stupid, especially if they like spending a lot of needless money for repairs.
Sorry Jack, but as they say, "dissent is patriotic." If the car-makers want us to buy their product, they have to put out a good product. And while you personally may never have purchased a lemon, every American car my family has owned (including one -- and only one -- for my own nuclear family) turned out to be a piece of crap.
Robert Stachnik's letter today is Al Gore-inspired:
A recent letter argued that Gov. Minner played politics in directing David Legates to desist from using the title of state climatologist in connection with his attacks on the reality of global warming.
Documents leaked to national news media in 2003 make it clear that the Republican National Committee is aligned with efforts to discredit concerns about global warming.
Yes, global warming is a scientific issue, but it is also a public policy issue. Minner is right to clarify that.
Legates is among a handful of climate experts who dispute global warming. His long association with a conservative think tank substantially supported by ExxonMobil does little to enhance his credibility.
The question is whether Legates' assumption of his unpaid position as state climatologist amounted to a bait-and-switch deal. At the time of his appointment, state officials could be forgiven for believing he merely offered to log Delaware temperatures and rainfall for free, not realizing that might provide a platform to promote an agenda more rooted in politics than in science.
It's not even necessary to point how ridiculous this letter is. It's really too easy. As if global warming proponents cannot be (and are not) politically motivated. The science exists to support the basis for both beliefs, and the fact that David Legates may have received funding from a conservative think tank means means little, actually. If it is significant, then so too must be the millions in funding and grants that the global warming chicken littles get to support their "cause celebre."
The Rev. John McDonald of Dover writes in to the News Journal comparing President Bush to the "Great Emancipator," Abraham Lincoln. While history obviously cannot yet adequately judge the current commander-in-chief, consider the points Rev. McDonald makes:
President Lincoln and President Bush show several remarkable similarities. Both showed courage and resolve in the face of an unpopular war. Both faced a Democratic party that drafted a declaration of the war as a failure. Both determined to conduct the war on military knowledge and not political jargon.
Both saw victory in the fiery trial of history. Both saw that the Democrats chose a legacy of defeat.
Both presidents faced a struggling war, wavering polls, and weak politicians. History tells how true patriots of the Union rose up and soundly defeated myopic politicians who sought to break the will of the people.
Both presidents faced pressure to cave, yet both would not let the freedom issue go. Both fear how Republicans will be destroyed. The slave owners then and al-Qaida now could cheer.
Actually, Rev., look at it this way: History now regards Abe Lincoln as one of, if not THE greatest presidents the United States has ever had. Why? Because he "saved" the Union. But at what cost? Bush-Haters would have been going absolutely beyond insane at the actions 'ol Abe took to defeat the secessionist South. He unilaterally suspended habeas corpus, a power clearly reserved only for Congress in the Constitution. Abe had asked rhetorically: If "all the laws, but one, [are] to go unexecuted, and the government itself to go to pieces, lest that one be violated?" In other words, Abe thought "most citizens would favor the suspension of habeas corpus over the destruction of the government, given the choice." But ... the "destruction of the government"? The United States certainly would have continued to exist, albeit without the sessionist states which desired to form their own, new, government.
Lincoln had little compunction about jailing political opponents and even members of the media who disagreed with him. He had Federal soldiers intimidating and taking into custody Democrat dissenters. Can you imagine if President Bush had attempted even a minute fraction of what Lincoln actually did if radical Muslim terrorists had, say, set off a dirty nuke in some American cit[ies]? Good Lord, the rage among the Bush-Haters would be at such a fever pitch that there would probably be several deaths due to brain anyeurisms. And unlike during most of the past, in this case these Haters would have a legitimate gripe.
I would say that we have fewer icons than we think. Interning the Japanese was a monstrous act as far as I am concerned. When Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, Supreme Court Justice Tawney overturned it claiming that Lincoln was worse than any despotic king in England had been. Lincoln's response? He simply disregarded the Court's ruling and even came close to having Justice Tawney himself arrested.
Be sure to read all of Garrett's comment on that post. It's notable because it's one of the few topics on which he and I actually agree.
This week's winner is Smyrna's George Bespalko who thinks Delaware teachers are to blame for the increased violence and disruptions in schools today:
The News Journal editorial must be applauded again for its stand on leaving state retirement at 30 years, except for police officers and prison guards.
Now some are trying to make the case that teachers should be included because there are many incidents of violence, threats and disruptions. This did not happen over night, but over time with some teachers losing control of classrooms and maybe entire schools. Now we have some teachers with tenure, 180-day school years, a health and retirement package paid by the taxpayer and who now want to retire earlier.
Ah, yes. George is obviously of the "blame the teachers for everything" crowd. Indeed, just think about how ludicrous the claim is that teachers "lost control of classrooms/entire schools" as if they would willingly do so. The fact is that teachers' discipline and classroom management hasn't really changed much at all over the years. What has happened is that removing chronically disruptive students from class and/or disciplining them has become more and more of a legal tinderbox. That, and the changing attitudes of [too] many parents who will side with their children over the teacher at virtually any cost. You might imagine the effect these would have on teacher attitudes.
If anything, George, teachers (and administrators) have responded to these factors in obvious ways (see if you can figure 'em out, Sherlock) ... which may make it appear that they have "lost control."
(And keep in mind I'm not even addressing the 25 year retirement for teachers that George doesn't like. Maybe I will sometime in the future.)
Sometimes all it takes is one line from a letter to say it all. Thanks to Wilmington's Ernestine Dunn, we have such an example:
How would President Bush feel if a foreign country invaded the United States and tried to force democracy down our throats or run our country?
Meanwhile, it what has to be either the worst written letter in a long time, or the worst editing job, we have Evan Schilling from Newark:
The reason kids are getting obese is because residents of neighborhoods are telling kids to go play football, baseball and other sports other places than an open field.
So they don't have to listen to the clutter. After being turned away from many places to play. Kids are resorting to television and videogames for entertainment instead of playing sports outside. As a result, more and more kids are becoming obese.
Steve Dentel of Newark is this week's winner with this amazing bit of delusion:
The Jan. 28 News Journal had a front-page article minimizing the Washington peace march, an article focused on ridiculing Sen. Joseph Biden, and a column against Democrat state Rep. John Kowalko.
Instead, The News Journal could have reported a peace march that gathered a huge and diverse crowd against the war in Iraq; an article on the Senate resolution against Bush's Iraq policy that Biden shepherded through the Foreign Relations Committee; and a column praising Kowalko for not being deceived by Rep. Gregory Lavelle's bill which didn't even get unanimous Republican support.
The News Journal should tell the news like it is, and not filter it through conservative bias.
Anyone who puts the words "News Journal" and "conservative bias" together in the same sentence had better have their papers checked. Regarding Rep. Kowalko's pathetic vote, just check the excellent coverage of this debacle over at First State Politics and Delaware Watch. As for Biden's gaffe, it's actually a credit to the News Journal for covering an instance which would have drawn calls for a Republican to resign (re: comments directed at Barack Obama).
As for the peace march in Washington, it was appreciably smaller than previous [peace] demonstrations; what would be an actual example of bias (not conservative) is comparing the paper's coverage of that peace march and the pro-life march from a week before which drew substantially more people!
UPDATE: How dare he. Paul Smith Jr. swipes my intellectual property! He beat me to this earlier today.
I'll forgive you, Paul. This time. ;-)
Lewes' Ernest Marsh is this week's winner courtesy of the following nonsense:
Bush supporters admonish people for not treating the president with respect. The reason Americans don't respect Bush is because he constantly lies and deceives them.
He lied about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and about Iraq being responsible for 9/11. He has lied for the last four years about winning the war. Unfortunately, all Bush achieved in his speech about Iraq was to tell Americans he is going to expand the war to include activities against Iran and Syria, in addition to sending more Americans to die in Iraq and spending billions more dollars.
Let us hope that Congress has the fortitude to end the Iraq war and concentrate on getting Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida terrorists responsible for 9/11. And let us hope they can prevent the "decider" from starting a war with Iran and Iraq, even if it means having to impeach him.
Here we go again. It's like Ernie is lifting a page directly from the execrable "logic" of Delaware Liberal. Again, it's "Bush lied" about WMDs, yada yada yada, yet again need I point everyone to these inconvenient passages? And when/where did George Bush ever claim Iraq was responsible for the 9/11 attacks? This is just delusional fantasy. And more than a perfect reason why Ernie gets the award this week.
Bill Knox of Wilmington regurgitates the usual "Bush lied" to get us into Iraq swill ("The Iraq war was based on lies using the 9/11 tragedy as an excuse," he says; see again here) while recommending the president ask -- get this -- the United Nations for their assistance with the whole Iraq mess:
George Bush should go before the United Nations and ask for help in cleaning up his mess. Going to the United Nations or withdrawing from Iraq is not cut and run.
Earth to Bill: The United Nations was already there. They vamoosed at the slightest indication of difficulty. I think we should not have invaded Iraq in the first place and that it was silly for the UN to even attempt to go in when they did. But we did and they did (and then promptly left), so what exactly makes you think they'll do it again, Bill??
And then there's more lack of historical knowledge:
Bush betrayed more than 200 years of American ideals, noticeably in the USA Patriot Act and warrantless wire tapping.
Ah, yes. As if Abraham Lincoln did not "betray American ideals" by unilaterally suspending habeas corpus on ALL Americans. As if he did not advocate total war on the South, which just happened to include civilians. And then there's FDR who tossed Japanese-American citizens into the klink because they were ... Japanese. Some "crime" that, eh? And Bush has done what, exactly? Followed established presidential precedent with the wiretapping issue? And how exactly was the Patriot Act passed? I seem to recall the legislative branch having something to do with its passage. Nevertheless, the wiretapping and Patriot Act are a pittance against civil rights compared to what other presidents have done in time of war.
Joe Sudol of Newark offers the same tired complaints about Iraq:
There is a reason President Bush beat Osama bin Laden in a poll as the biggest villain.
George W. Bush is responsible for the needless deaths of more than 3,000 Americans and 600,000 Iraqis because he lied about Iraq's weapons program in order to get the approval of Congress for the war. We know he lied because he said Iraq was attempting to get uranium from Africa, after that allegation had been investigated by former ambassador Joseph Wilson and was found to be false.
Joe Joe Joe Joe JOE! If George Bush lied, so too did all of these individuals. Given that, Bush hardly had to lie about Saddam to get congressional approval to launch a military campaign against Iraq. Congress either knew this (WMD) to be the case already (and were proven wrong) or they were lying right along with Bush!
As for the "investigation" by Joe Wilson, you mean the one where he was "drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people"? That "thorough" investigation? What President Bush said about Iraq and uranium from Africa was the following: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." That statement was entirely accurate; British intelligence stands by that assessment. Indeed, Wilson himself supplied info that the CIA "took as confirmation that Iraq may indeed have been seeking uranium from Niger."
But this really all is water under the bridge. Tinfoil hatters like Sudol can continue to berate the president for "lying" when actually the smarter course of action is to criticize what a mess he has made of the post-war occupation. But wait -- we're not done! See where Sudol says there's a reason Bush outpolled bin Laden as a bigger villain? Here's Sudol's reasoning:
... there is no evidence that Osama bin Laden was involved in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The so-called smoking gun confession video is a fake. The person alleged to be bin Laden in this video does not look like him.
Joe Sudol, let me introduce you to "Professor" Craig Furlong and co.!
Alice Gantt of Hockessin is this week's second winner courtesy of the following diatribe:
Would reporters have asked President Franklin Roosevelt to apologize for the number of Americans dead and wounded in World War II?
Would they have asked President Harry Truman to apologize for bombing Hiroshima, which forced Japan to surrender?
Maybe reporters will think of the freedom they have and stop blaming the president.
What Gantt doesn't realize is that the United States didn't start World War II -- they were drawn into via Japanese sneak attack (and then the Germans declared war on the US the next day). And, of course, ending the war saving possibly up to one million American lives via use of the A-bomb ... why would he apologize? (He might have apologized, which some historians and nutty leftists would have him do, because of the bomb's utter destruction and number of civilian deaths; however, in total war you do essentially what you have to do to end the thing ... and win.)
Iraq, on the other hand, was not the "imminent threat" we were led to believe it was. Sure, Saddam could have instigated some shenanigans, but I for one do not believe it is worth the price of 3000 American soldiers' lives, let alone one. While any reporter that asks the president "if he should apologize" is just engaging in grandstanding, the president surely made a grave miscalculation in post-invasion Iraq -- and ordering an invasion that, on the whole, was NOT necessary.
Some analogies to World War II to the general war on terror may be apt; this one (to Iraq) clearly is not.
What "special knowledge or insight about a particular issue" does Christine O'Donnell have that qualifies her to write for the Delaware Voice column concerning the Miss America Pageant?
The more I thought about it, the more sense it makes; both she and Miss America are pretty on the outside but full of addle-headed fluff on the inside. As a former candidate for U.S. Senate, Ms. O'Donnell shows her political inexperience by jumping on a wedge issue that does not resonate with the citizens of Delaware.
This in itself isn't all that dopey; it's what Denny says at the end that is just all too typical:
I suggest Ms. O'Donnell seek employment out of state, perhaps with Fox News.
Oh, gee. The usual insinuation that Fox News' viewers are doltish and superficial. How quaint. The tired old tactic that has been constantly used against Republican candidates for decades now (Reagan, Bush[es], Quayle, et. al.) and it just proves the utter disdain and contempt people like Madeleine have for a majority of American voters ... and viewers.
Douglas Fish of Bear is our third winner this week courtesy of the following diatribe:
Police surround and kill an unarmed ex-Marine. Where is the outcry? Police shoot and kill a mentally defective citizen in a park. Where is the outcry?
Police routinely close major transportation routes for hours for incidents. Why does the public put up with it, and why is that necessary?
Our police have reached the point where every notable incident must result in a major response when a few common-sense measures would resolve many issues. Are they not trained properly?
It appears that police are out of control. A final irritant is the claim they can't discuss what is "under investigation." They can't even tell us what the rules of investigation are.
Let's get some new leaders in charge of storm troopers.
"Where is the outcry"? Are you serious? This is all the News Journal covered in the days following those incidents. In actuality, potential police brutality incidents get a TON of "outcry" coverage, especially when guys like Al Sharpton get involved (see New York, recently). At least Doug has the sense to say "It appears" that police are out of control. Because they are not. It's just that when they make a mistake, injury or death can result and obviously that's is a big deal -- so it gets more news coverage. But what's out of control is Doug's hyperbole.
As for Doug's "final irritant," maybe he ought to read this News Journal op-ed from today. Can we say "turnabout is fair play"? Maybe that's a bit harsh. But calling police "storm troopers" definitely is harsh. And dopey.
Grace Donovan of Middletown writes that she found the recent News Journal article about gay teens "coming out" was ... "disturbing":
Why treat wrong personal choices made by youth as morally acceptable? This trend should not be portrayed as a lifestyle to be emulated.
On the contrary, a point should be made that an homosexual lifestyle is a distortion of human relationships as it negates the fundamental family principle of union between a man and a woman in marriage for procreation.
If we accept morally objectionable life styles, we promote the destruction of the family, the fundamental unit of society.
Even though there is not yet definitive scientific proof that homosexuality is an inherent trait, the question could be asked "Why exactly would someone choose to be gay in a society that still by and large finds it objectionable?" Why would these teens "choose" homosexuality knowing it would lead to, at a minimum, verbal abuse ... and possibly worse?
If Ms. Donovan wants to make a case about preserving the term "marriage" for heterosexuals, fine. There's a case to be made for that; however, as has been debated on various [local] blogs recently, I find the "equal protection" argument compelling -- meaning, the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause could apply to gay unions. That's civil unions, folks, not "marriage." As long as civil unions come with the same [governmental] benefits as traditional marriage, I see little to complain about from either side of the issue. Traditionalists preserve the term "marriage," while gays get all the benefits associated with being a couple.
I recall one complaint from the pro-gay "marriage" side who claimed that not allowing the term "marriage" to be used for gays would be akin to "separate but equal." I am unpersuaded. Separate but equal doctrine held that the races must be physically separate in certain accommodations, such as education, water fountains, buses. What is "separate" about "marriage" vs. civil unions? Nothing but a vocabulary word. So, if it's just a vocabulary term, what's the big deal? Well, exactly! Allow the traditionalists to keep the term which has been utilized to describe the union between a man and a woman for millenia.
Henry Crick of Bear writes today:
Let's reinstate the draft. The question is: Was it done fairly in the 1960s and '70s? It seems to me that if your parents had money or power, you were pretty much immune.
Let's do it this way: Anyone with children between the ages of 18 and 32, and who holds or held an elected or appointed office in state or federal government, should go first. Then draft the rich, the upper-middle class and so on. Allow no loopholes like college.
Oh, I see -- let's replace one unfair system with another!
There's no reason for a draft. If you believe in freedom, then why favor a form of indentured servitude? The all-volunteer force works just fine, and it "represents America" much better than most people think. If you really want to thwart "unnecessary [military] adventures" (one of the reasons Rep. Chuck Rangel wants to bring back the draft) how about this: Do away with the standing army altogether (the Founders abhored the concept, after all), or mandate what is so plain in the Constitution anyway -- that Congress declare war, not merely give its "authorization."
This week's winner is Christine Endres of Wilmington who writes:
Look what's happening to our country, a Marine who served two tours in Iraq is tortured (shot three times with a tazer) and then shot in the chest. And we citizens are not allowed copies of the police department use-of-force policy.
Did I miss something, aren't the police working for us? I think the movie "V for Vendetta" explains it all.
No, what invoking "V for Vendetta" explains is that you're an idiot, Christine. "V for Vendetta"-style justice is coming to a verdict about guilt or innocence before there's even been a thorough investigation and/or trial. The officers in question here have been afforded neither yet. How 'bout that new movie, "I for Irony"?
Jason Young is the winner this week with his opinion that write-in senate candidate Christine O'Donnell "used sex" to promote her candidacy:
The irony that Ms. O'Donnell, who portrays herself as a "chaste" person who "talks personally with God," would use sex in her campaign in the form of billboards with large photographs of herself to garner write-in votes is not lost on this reader.
Ms. O'Donnell, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, thereby joins the ranks of other hypocrites, including elected Republican officials and members of the religious right, who have lately been exposed, such as Mark Foley and Ted Haggard.
Dude, are you friggin' serious?? She joins Foley and Haggard -- one who solicited sexual favors from young boys and the other sex from a man who provided illegal drugs -- because she used her picture on a campaign billboard?? And the pictures weren't even "racy" whatsoever -- Christine was quite conservatively dressed on them. That, and O'Donnell is hardly the first candidate to use their image on campaign billboards and signs. Stell Parker-Selby had her mug on campaign signs this time out, just one that I can remember off the top of my head.
What, does Jason think being a God-fearing conservative means one has to be butt-ugly? SHEESH.
It's been a while, but Jack Murphy wins a long-delayed entry with his comparison to a fence on the US-Mexican border to ... the Berlin Wall:
In the estimation of many Republican conservatives, one of the great declarations in U.S. history was Ronald Reagan's entreaty, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." When those words are repeated, conservatives fairly shimmer with pride.
They seem to equate it with "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead." Although in contrast to Adm. David Farragut's command, I don't recall that Reagan was sailing into the teeth of hostile fire when he delivered his scripted line.
Now, some two decades later, the new mantra of conservatives has become: "Mr. Bush, let's put up this wall." In my view, it's a pointless, expensive and embarrassing undertaking.
On the other hand, it's a delicious irony to contemplate.
Only to those who make ridiculous comparisons, Jack. Let's see: A wall that was put up to prevent people from escaping an oppressive regime (East Berlin/Germany) vs. a wall that [seeks to] prevent millions of illegal immigrants from flooding into the US because 1) the Mexican government doesn't give a damn, 2) the US didn't give a damn for way too long, and 3) local [US] governments near the Mexican border are becoming overwhelmed.
While building a wall might not be the best solution to the illegal immigration problem, Jack's comparison just misses the mark completely.
Russell Losco of West Grove, PA spouts the usual -- and decidedly tiresome -- "dictator" nonsense, sounding a lot like Jason:
With recent passage of the bill in the House and Senate to legitimize military tribunals and detainment of enemy combatants, this nation has entered a frightening period.
Now the administration can deem anybody to be an enemy combatant and immediately imprisoned without trial. They can be held without access to an attorney, without even knowing the charges against them. They can be tortured on the word of one person, George W. Bush.
American diplomat George Kennan, speaking of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, said, "The worst thing the Communists could do to us and the thing we have most to fear from their activities is that we should become like them."
Welcome to the dictatorship. Be careful what you say or write, because Big Brother is watching and listening and now has the authority to silence you and make you disappear.
Our rights are evaporating under the Republican-controlled Congress, Supreme Court and White House. We need a Congress that will safeguard our liberties and stand up to this president.
The mid-term elections are Nov. 7. We need to vote for a change. Vote Democratic.
Despite the fact that Russ' second paragraph is erroneous, it sure serves to send a "chill" down your spine, eh? I mean, come on -- we're becoming the Soviet Union, after all! And you just know pulling that lever for Democrats will put a stop to this -- and make our country safer! After all, that great Democrat icon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, sure put a stop to illegal wiretapping during WW II, military trials for illegal combatants, and halted the internment of American citizens in prison camps, remember?
Oh, wait ...
(Photo h/t to Duffy.)
This week's winner is Thomas Koval of Bear who writes the following (my emphasis):
In a recent letter a writer proclaimed the pride of being a liberal. The writer used former Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman as examples of stalwarts of liberalism. Both of these men have contributed significantly to the success of our great nation. What the letter writer failed to point out is that President Roosevelt, fearing for the safety of our nation, started interment camps for people of Japanese heritage, while President Truman, justifiably so, ordered the atomic bombing of Japan in order to save hundreds of thousands of American soldiers lives.
These strategic acts would be harshly criticized by today's liberals. I conclude that liberalism is not bad. It is today's liberals that have lost their direction.
OK Tom, I certainly have no beef with the decision to drop the A-bomb on Japan; however, interning American citizens merely because of their race/ethnicity -- in prison camps?? Without due process? C'mahn. This is one of the biggest blights on our country in American 20th century history. Should we extrapolate from your thesis that we should now intern Arab-Americans merely because they share a common ancestry with a current foe?
Absolutely not. It's bad enough that groups like CAIR (along with their absolutist pals on the Left) scream and holler about even using a term like "Islamic fascism," let alone mere surveillance of groups that may have some shady dealings with less savory people in the mid-east. But that would have been the just -- and legal -- thing to do in the 40s -- surveillance of any Japanese-Americans who were suspected of assisting the Empire during the war. Not throwing them in camps. FDR should not be venerated for that action whatsoever.
Our winner this week is Dorothy Sherman of Elkton, MD who ratchets up the hyperbole to the "danger" level:
If George Bush succeeds in his plan to turn justice over to the military, how long before his friends find ways to trump up criminal charges against his enemies that are as thinly disguised as this blatant attempt at a military coup?
Halliburton is running this country. If we don't wake up and try Bush, Dick Cheney and those in the shadows at Halliburton for treason, we might as well start looking for driftwood on which to escape, like cowardly rats leaving a sinking ship of state.
You just gotta love liberal "logic." First they'll point out how the military "despises" Bush, Cheney and co. for throwing them into Iraq "with no plan," and how military recruitment has gone down the crapper. Now, they think Bush's rationale behind terrorist internment and interrogation is merely the first step in a military coup! But there's a problem -- how do the civilian leaders of the country establish a military coup? "Commander-in-Chief" is just a title, one of many the president has. A military coup is established by -- surprise! -- the military!!
And, of course, there's 'ol "treasonous" Halliburton. Maybe Dot can fill us in on just what is so treasonous about that company other than its past affiliation with the vice-president. Ah, but for tinfoil hat/nutjob lefties, that's all that's needed, right?
Bill Knox of Wilmington thinks Beau Biden has the necessary experience to become the state's attorney general. But is this really what will lead Bill to vote for Beau in November? Doubtful. Check it:
I have been voting since 1974. Since the Reagan era I rarely have voted for Republicans because of the extreme right-wing Christian influence. I was going to make an exception this year and vote for Ferris Wharton.
Can you imagine someone writing "Since the Johnson era I rarely have voted for Democrats because of the extreme left-wing ethnic minority influence"? But, of course, Knox's sentence is politically and socially acceptable!
But what about Wharton?
But the state convention with its "Beau doesn't know" chant, talk of a state constitutional amendment to have only lawyers with 10 years' experience allowed to run for attorney general, and letters to the editor saying Beau Biden has no experience have turned me off.
Oh, I get it. Pointing out the vast disparity in experience between the two candidates, and favoring an amendment which would mandate a significant amount of said experience before being permitted to run for AG is a "turn off." Wow.
Then there's this bit of cognitive dissonance:
I do think the attorney general's race is just a stepping stone for Biden to eventually run for his father's Senate seat. I despise the American political aristocracy. Just take a look at what is occupying the White House to see how well this is working. But I intend to vote for Beau Biden this year.
This, that, this ... BUT.
"Great" argument there, Bill. Sure persuaded me to check that "X" next to Beau's name come November.
The award this week goes to Donna Seichepine of Wilmington who claims the belief that the media is liberal is a myth:
I have not been a regular reader of The News Journal for several years, although I do read and view a wide breadth of other news coverage from liberal, conservative and moderate sources. It's only while collecting a vacationing neighbor's mail over the past couple weeks that I've been reading The News Journal on a regular basis.
I've actually been amazed at the decidedly conservative slant the paper includes in its reporting, especially in Associated Press articles it chooses to run, even when there are easily identifiable factual discrepancies.
The myth of the liberal news media is no longer valid, although many still cling to the catchy phrase to express disdain. It's about as accurate as Fox News' claim to be "fair and balanced" -- clearly a clever marketing ploy and not a true indicator of its reporting.
"Amazed at the decidedly conservative slant ...?" The NEWS JOURNAL?? And I would guess that Ms. Seichepine believes that ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN are airwave versions of ... National Review?? As Bernie Goldberg (author of Bias and Arrogance) would say, such a belief is, quite frankly, delusional. But as I have said, it is changing. Liberals loathe Fox News for its conservative bias (which it does indeed have), but they'll never admit that it's the ONLY network that is right-leaning. Liberals have all the other networks. But given Fox's success, perhaps -- just perhaps -- the other news networks will give more credence to the conservative POV than they do now (admittedly, they have been doing so over the last 10 years or so). And Fox's straight news coverage is indeed as "fair and balanced" as any other network's; it's conservative bias is most evident on pundit-type shows like "The O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity and Colmes," "The Beltway Boys" and even the "panel" on "Special Report."
Kate van Horn of Newark wins this round with this dopey screed:
If immigrants were wealthy and gave enormous contributions to the Republican Party, we would welcome them with lavish banquets. When the poor arrive, they clean our detritus.
The poor are welcomed only to provide more fodder for the wars of the rich.
Let's see ... we're also "told" by the Kates around us that Republicans really don't want illegal immigration to cease because the "rich corporate types" can make even more money by hiring those whom they don't have to pay even minimum wage. And, of course, the significant distinction between legal and illegal immigration is once again conveniently omitted. Oh, and then there's the synonymity of "poor" with "immigrant." Ahh. Of course. But doesn't Kate know that illegal immigrants can't be "fodder for the wars of the rich"? Probably not. Just like she doesn't know that Democrats have as much reason to ignore illegal immigration as Republicans. Democrats will supposedly "fight for immigrant rights" (again, ignoring the distinction between "illegal" and "legal," but really meaning illegal) and then promise that the government "will take care of you" so that they can envelop a new permanent, reliance-based constituency.
This week's winner is Newark's Paul Keffer who writes:
Here we are watching another terroristic plot to destroy our way of life, just in time for the elections. I don't want to feed into conspiracy theory, but doesn't it seem strange that every time we are about to go into an election period, terrorists are going to blow something up in the world?
Here we go. Yeah, "I don't want to feed into conspiracy theory ..." But I'll go ahead and do it anyway! And Paul -- the 2006 election is over two months away. Don'tcha think it would have been much more effective for the "sly" Bush administration to have waited until, say, mid-October to "plan" this latest plot, hmmm?
Here's my recommendation, Paul: Watch "On Native Soil" which revisits the tragedy of 9/11, and then come back and complain that the administration is being needlessly and ridiculously preoccupied by terrorism plots. Watch how preposterously unprepared Americans were for what transpired that awful day, and watch the sad responses the myriad government officials gave to the 9/11 Comission when asked "What happened?" After the imbroglio that was 9/11, wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry, to coin a clichĂ©?
I would think that because no Middle Eastern country likes us very much, especially since Bush has been president, they would want someone else in office in this country who they can work with a little better.
Yes, Paul -- those Middle Eastern countries liked us all so much pre-George Bush era -- especially al Qaeda and like-minded terror networks -- that they attacked many US interests (including the World Trade Center itself) various times during the previous administration alone. Then, look at the two administrations before that, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis during the [Democrat] Carter administration. If Carter couldn't get Middle Easterners to "like him," especially after brokering the landmark Camp David Accords which brought peace between Egypt and Israel, then ...? (Actually, that deal in itself was reason enough for many Middle Easterners to hate him. The deal cost Anwar Sadat his life, after all.) The peace plan that Bill Clinton brokered between the Palestinian Authority and Israel was such a "success" that Palestinian splinter groups still kept up their suicide bomber attacks against the Jewish state, even as Ariel Sharon presided over the unilateral pullout of Gaza. Yeah -- "if only we'd just do more so they'd like us better ..."
Argh. I think I'm gonna spew.
Two winners from the same pot today. First we have James Farny of Newark who thinks President Bush should be impeached for ... "allowing" 9/11 to happen:
The conversations of Air Force officials taped on Sept. 11, 2001, during the 9/11 attacks prove that our air defense personnel were completely surprised by the hijacked commercial airliners.
We have known since the Aug. 12, 2002, issue of Time magazine that in January 2001, Richard Clarke and Sandy Berger of the outgoing Clinton administration had warned the Bush administration of the al-Qaida threat. The 9/11 Commission revealed that a White House security briefing in August 2001 warned President Bush of the threat of hijacked airplanes as weapons of mass destruction.
President Bush and security adviser Condoleezza Rice did not pass on this information to the American people or to Air Force commanders.
The president has never acknowledged his failure in 9/11. The resulting destablization of the Middle East is a disastrous threat to peace. We should impeach Bush for failure to take action before 9/11 and for lying to justify the invasion of Iraq.
Yaaaawwwn. Then, obviously, Bill Clinton should have been impeached not over the ridiculous Whitewater deal, but for not offing Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to do so. It was mighty big of the previous administration to "warn" incoming president George Bush about the threat -- when they did little to nothing to neutralize the threat!
Next we have Margaret Cassling of Bear who chastises a Washington Post op-ed that criticized Daniel Ortega's manipulation of the electoral rules in Nicaragua to make it easier to win ... because George Bush (and Republicans) "stole" the last two elections here:
Let's look at what happened in the United States in 2000. Al Gore won 55 percent of the popular vote. Florida ballots were contested because of many irregularities. When the case was sent to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia should have recused themselves because of conflict of interest, They did not. Our president was chosen by the Supreme Court.
What about 2004? Exit polls showed John Kerry ahead. Yet again it came down to one state, Ohio. Again, there were voting irregularities. Then a Republican victory was declared.
Reasonable people can disagree about the Supreme Court's decisions in the 2000 election, but conspiracy theories about the 2004 election are, frankly, over the top. And Ms. Cassling should know that the popular vote does not elect our president -- the Electoral College does -- so it's immaterial that Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000. And Ms. Cassling really should do a wee bit of research before spouting her statistics. Al Gore won 55% of the popular vote in 2000? Hardly, sister. The actual totals were Gore with 48.38% of the vote, and Bush with 47.87%. You weren't even in the ballpark, Ms. Cassling.
You cannot compare arbitrary changes made to an electoral system with the foundation laid in the United States Constitution that enables ours. Certainly things here aren't perfect, but the system works -- and has worked for over two centuries.
Doctor Philip Pollner of Newark praises Fidel Castro:
Fidel Castro chose the dangerous and heroic responsibility to oppose a ruthless, powerful and venal dictatorship in order to free his people from oppression and abject poverty. From my perspective as a physician, he should be rewarded for great achievements in health care and education -- the building blocks for any society.
Cuba's under-5 mortality rate, the barometer used by the United Nations to measure national health status, has consistently reached that of industrialized nations, a marvel for a third world country, even withstanding an evil and immoral U.S. blockade.
Cuba is approaching a 100 percent literacy rate. Universities flourish. Cuba trains and exports thousands of doctors and nurses to serve in Third World countries. Cuba is now training American medical students who will return to the United States to practice in underserved communities.
Fidel Castro is a true Latin patriot and liberator who put his life at risk to ensure a better quality of life for his people.
From my perspective as an average guy enjoying the freedoms that my country offers and protects for me, the doc has a screw loose. Sure, Cuba's healthcare is damn good, but when you have an absolute dictator presiding over an authoritarian communist regime, not much can't be accomplished that the ruler does not desire. The obvious question is, at what cost has Castro brought this "quality of life" to his people? The answer is: At the cost of their very freedom. "We're gonna give you universal healthcare whether you like or not! We just want you to give up every individual freedom in exchange!" Disagree with the regime? You're imprisoned. Perhaps tortured and beaten. Perhaps killed or "disappeared," never to be heard from again.
And then there's the always fun question to ask: If Cuba is such a "paradise," why do people constantly attempt to flee the island (for the United States) -- instead of the other way around?
That's always a monkey in the proverbial wrench!
UPDATE (11 Aug. at 9:40am): This must have been a letter so good, the News Journal printed it in the next day's (August 11) letters page, too!
Once more, we're treated to an astounding piece of moral equivalence, this time thanks to a couple -- Dolores and Alden Josey of Wilmington. They write (my emphasis):
In the meantime we are supplying weapons to Israel to fight a proxy war, the same kind of intervention we have deplored in Iran's support of Hezbollah. Does anyone in our government see in these events an ingenious trap, so far quite successful, set by Iran to distract the West from their nuclear goals, snare us in the endless Israel-Arab struggle and thereby cause us to become even more hated in the Arab world?
How many times does it need to be pointed out? Hezbollah are the aggressors. Their soul purpose for existing is to deny existence to the state of Israel. So, let me spell it out, AGAIN:
Furthermore, it is highly debatable that this current conflict is taking our attention away from Iran's nuclear ambitions. I'd be curious what the Josey's would have the U.S. do to prevent Iran from developing nukes.
Lastly, if helping to ensure the very survival of Israel continues to make the United States "hated" in the Arab world, then so be it. This is also a pathetic example of moral equivalence -- that, in order to "not be hated," we should cease defense of a staunch ally (which, by the way, just happens to be the only stable democracy in the region).
I can imagine similar letter writers back in the late 30s and 1940-41 castigating the U.S. for supplying Great Britain during its life and death struggle against Germany.
Meanwhile, chew on this courtesy of Stanley Kurtz (my emphasis):
The depth of the Moslem world's failure to adjust to modernity, the profundity of its need for scapegoats, the seeming boundlessness of its willingness to accept the death and destruction of its own in exchange for the 'honor' of 'revenge,' are difficult for Americans to acknowledge.
Meanwhile, short of a preemptive war, Iran is bound to get the bomb.
The entire Western world now stands in a position roughly analogous to that of Israel: locked in an essentially permanent struggle with a foe it is impossible either to placate, or to entirely destroy â€” a foe who demands our own destruction, and whose problems are so deep they would not be solved even by victory.
The West is on a collision course with Iran.
This week's winner is George Turner of Wilmington who thinks the United States' Islamofascist enemies are emboldened because we treat some detainees harshly:
The winning of a war requires both military and moral strength. Today, America possesses the greatest military strength in history.
Given the current administration's attitude toward the treatment of detainees, we can hardly claim any real degree of moral strength.
The Geneva Conventions were agreed upon many years ago, by most countries of the world, in a show of moral strength.
American failure to follow those rules of war are truly shameful.
Our current standards for treatment of foreign detainees is leading to increased resistance among the Arab populations. By taking back the moral high ground, giving true protection to the detainees, the U.S. has a chance to regain our standing as a true world leader.
Without such moral standing we are doomed to fall to the position of follower rather than leader.
Some news for George:
1) The recent Hamdan decision by the US Supreme Court, using the Geneva Convention, confers on terrorists rights for prisoners of war -- despite the FACT that the Convention clearly states they are not entitled to them. In addition, the SCOTUS made a huge legal leap when it utilized Geneva's Article 3 in its reasoning, which only applies to a domestic conflict. Does Mr. Turner think that the current war on terror is not an international battle?
2) The United States appears to be following Geneva to the letter. See #1 above. But since some terror detainees have received harsh treatment, we should "rise above" the plain wording of the Geneva Convention (of course, using the Geneva Convention as the basis for argument!).
3) Cases where torture or borderline torture have been revealed in the current war on terror, investigations and prosecutions have taken place.
4) The claim that "Our current standards for treatment of foreign detainees is leading to increased resistance among the Arab populations" is laughable. Gitmo detainees getting air conditioned cells with religiously appropriate diets? It's better living conditions than they've probably ever experienced in their lives. What awful treatment of foreign detainees led to the WTC bombings in 1993 and 2001? The Islamofascists don't NEED a reason for "increased resistance." They HATE us. Just like they hate Jews and the state of Israel (no doubt a subsequent reason for their hatred of the US). PERIOD.
Now, as the president has stated, we all must follow the SCOTUS ruling in Hamdan and implement the proper procedures. As I noted, checks and balances work! But this does not mean one has to blindly agree with the SCOTUS decision in order to follow its dictates, as WDEL's Gerry Fulcher blatantly informed co-host Rick Jensen this past week. When Jensen pressed Fulcher on the Geneva Article Three question noted above, and whether he accepts it, Fulcher kept evading, repeating that we all have to follow the SCOTUS decision. Jensen wouldn't relent, and eventually Fulcher stated that he agrees with the SCOTUS that the war on terror must NOT be of an "international character" despite the obvious reality to the contrary. Thus, in his zeal to "zap" President Bush for being rebuked by the high court, Fulcher set himself up as a believer in whatever the SCOTUS dictates; in other words, one must BELIEVE in its reasoning -- you can't just follow its legal decisions.
Hey Ger -- tell that to the millions of Americans who believe Roe v. Wade was a lousy decision. And, Fulcher, if he was alive back then, must have believed that people of African descent were mere "property," and that the doctrine of "separate but equal" was moral and legitimate.
John Huber of Newark writes:
The recent acts of Israel against Palestinians in Gaza are moral outrages.
Statements by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and President Bush that "Israel's restraint is positive" and "the release of the Israeli soldier is the key to ending the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza" are impotent and downright false.
There is absolutely no proportionality between the Israeli soldier's abduction and the havoc caused in Gaza by the Israeli army. Remember that a 16-month cease-fire ended because of the June 9 shelling of a Gaza resort that killed a half-dozen civilians. While the soldier is held captive, more than 1,000 Palestinians, including women and children, remain imprisoned by Israel.
Israel says it will not negotiate, but negotiation is the key. Much more is needed than the White House rubber-stamping Israel's deeds.
First, John, Israel has denied responsibility for the June 9th shelling at that Gaza resort. Second, your moral equivalence is mind-boggling: Because Israel has jailed (over time) some 1,000 Palestinians for crimes, this somehow justifies kidnaping an innocent man?? Unreal.
Next time you speak of "moral outrages," John, try considering why the Palestinians elected Hamas -- a group that has been continually dedicated to the DESTRUCTION of an entire people.
Almost equally dopey is a claim on the other side of this issue, made by Jim Ward of Middletown. Titled "Israel has an ancient claim on the lands of Palestine," he writes
The land now occupied by Israel should be much larger than it is. The root of the problem is that Palestinians (Jordanian and Egyptian refugees) don't want a peaceful nation alongside Israel. They want a nation instead of Israel. The truth lies in Bible prophecy, not in some land-for-peace treaty or violent extortion by thugs.
While technically Israel's current land holdings could be much larger than they are (they gave back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt after Egypt made peace with them), you cannot utilize Biblical prophecy or "ancient claims" in place of modern international agreements as justification to hold lands. While I concur that no more current land deals should be made by the Israelis until there's a fundamental shift in attitude by the Palestinians, if we start using the "ancient claims" philosophy, the vast majority of Americans should vamoose from the North American continent ASAP.
It's been a while, but we have one. David Thomas of Greenville writes:
America invades Iraq, and there are people in America that say it is an illegal war and occupation.
Israel has now invaded Gaza in, a land it occupied illegally for decades, and not one voice I have heard calls that illegal.
There are people who actually want me to believe that the United States has no bias towards Israel, and its actions cause no resentment in the Muslim and Arab world.
You need to get more, Dave. A lot more. I've opined on this matter enough times that regular readers know how ridiculous I think statements like Dave's are. The US should have a "bias" towards Israel, especially since the Jewish state's neighbors are pretty much dedicated to its destruction. Dave should check another Dave's (Bernstein's) analysis of international law, and how it's not a recipe for national suicide.
So, Dave, I'll say it again: The US should have a bias towards Israel. It should stand up for a democracy whose existence has been continually threatened since its inception. And yes -- this causes resentment among the Muslim and Arab world.
But it's not our position that should change.
Two winners this week! The first garners a "WTF?" honor as well, courtesy of Janine Hochberg of Landenberg, PA:
I'm a first-year student at Widener School of Law, and read last week's story on our new Fowl Division. I just wanted to point out that the mother goose is attended by not just one male partner, but two. The male geese work in tandem to maintain a defensive perimeter around the nest.
I realize that such alternative avian lifestyles may be controversial in these times. But this threesome is clearly committed to providing a stable family for its eggs.
Don't know 'bout you, but I'm going to sleep a WHOLE lot better tonight now that I have that info. And how is being a first-year law student relevant to the topic? Sheesh!
Next, Jerry Northington of Wilmington believes there's no difference between Muslim extremists and Christian extremists:
A reader wrote to criticize the recent article by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson. While criticism of Islamic fundamentalists is fine, the similar view of Christian fundamentalism is completely ignored. How much difference can there be between two religious views that both aim to eliminate the other? Is one right and the other wrong?
A better course is to look for peaceful resolution. Understanding a different culture leads to common ground for cooperation. Invading and destroying a country like Iraq to eradicate a religious view, as we have done under the leadership of President Bush, is unsupportable.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I really haven't heard of Christian extremists terrorizing and threatening anyone and anybody who doesn't share their worldview. I haven't heard of Christian extremists threatening cartoonists, for example, with death by beheading, nor where Christian extremists have flown airliners into buildings and/or set off bombs in subways and rail stations.
Extremism is indeed a detestable concept no matter the philosophy. But don't try to make a point with laughable morally relativist comparisons. (Oh, and just so it's clear, I am indeed talking about EXTREMISTS, in particular Muslim EXTREMISTS. Just so it's clear for those who are lightning quick with the "Islamophobia" epithet.)
Lastly, claiming that the president invaded Iraq to "eradicate a religious view" is so preposterous as to induce mindless head-banging against the nearest brick construct. (Well, to be fair, in the Scourge's case, this would result in a negative injury.) What, are the legitimate reasons for ripping Bush no longer "fun"? Now it's "religiocide"?
James Young's letter titled "A higher minimum wage would boost employment" is the winner this week -- not necessarily because of his conclusions, but because of the "definitiveness" of them (emphasis mine):
State Rep. Wayne Smith's comments on the minimum wage bill (Senate Bill 62) are a perfect example of why the Legislature is held in such low regard. Numerous studies show it is not true that job loss results from minimum wage increases. In fact, a recent study in New York showed retail employment increased after a wage increase.
Smith is certainly entitled to oppose minimum wage increases but at least get the facts straight. On too many issues, key legislators ignore reality. Delaware deserves better.
Does Smith have his facts wrong on the minimum wage? Enter the web surfer's favorite pal, Google. I've certainly read about studies that show minimum wage increases can lead to unemployment, so I doubted right off the bat that Young's premise -- that Smith has his facts wrong -- was legit. And violĂˇ: 50 Years of Research on the Minimum Wage demonstrates, among other numerous sources, that Smith does indeed have his facts straight. Dispute them if you wish with other studies, Mr. Young (to be fair, I found one here which may be the New York study Young was referencing), but the definitiveness of your statement is ... erroneous.
Interestingly, I discovered that the advocacy group ACORN once filed "a suit ... to exempt itself from Californiaâ€™s minimum wage laws." The group (which among other things advocates for a higher minimum wage!) said in its brief:
â€śAs acknowledged both by the trial court and California, the more that ACORN must pay each individual outreach workerâ€“either because of minimum wage or overtime requirementsâ€“the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire.â€ť
Maybe ACORN ought to contact Mr. Young.
Robert Molaison of Newark is this week's winner with his letter "State could make more money by taxing fast food."
Gov. Minner wants to again raise the tax on cigarettes. Delaware still has bad air pollution from industry here.
Let's work on fixing a bigger problem in Delaware. Obesity contributes to more health problems and death than smoking. If Minner was truly concerned with health, and not just trying to raise money by gouging a group of people, maybe she should levy a tax on fast food. There are more fat people in Delaware than smokers. She could raise more money.
Minner isn't truly concerned with the state's health? Hmm ... the entire state bans smoking in restaurants and bars (whereas Philadelphia cannot get such a measure passed for their city). Yeah, that's "gouging" people alright.
Instead of taxing fast food, maybe Minner could mandate an hour or two of exercise for people ages 7-50 once per day. Or, perhaps fast food restaurants could be allowed to be open for only certain hours of the day. Or ban "super-size" options at all McDonalds. Yeesh. Taxing the burger joints ain't gonna excise the obesity problem. Not unless video games, cable TV and the Internet are banned too. Get it?
It constantly amazes me how short a supply folks possess in common sense. Smoking is bad for you, period. Fast food, in too large quantities, is bad for you. Don't do the former; moderate the latter. Use your friggin' noggin, people.
UPDATE: Leo Terrell is on the Cavuto show (FNC) complaining about how fast food chains advertise more on black TV, and have more restaurants in black neighborhoods. He complained that there isn't a McDonalds in Beverly Hills, but they're all over South Central. Well, duh. What's the median income of Beverly Hills occupants/shoppers?
Of course, if McD's, Burger King and others didn't advertise on black TV and set up operations in black neighborhoods, well, then it's this scenario.
UPDATE 2 (20, April at 11:32am): Paul Smith writes that I should have waited one more day to write my "Dopey Letter" post. He's right, dangit!
... or vice versa.
WPHT "Big Talker" morning guy Michael Smerconish, while substituting for Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country," gave the Wilmington News Journal it's "Joe Schmoe" award for the night back on March 23:
SMERCONISH: Well, itâ€™s time for tonightâ€™s â€śJoeâ€™s Schmoe.â€ť
A newspaper headline out of Delaware grabbed my attention. Hereâ€™s what it said: â€śDover Police Seek Bearded Man in Rape.â€ť Now, I read the article expecting to find a description of the bearded one whoâ€™s on the lam. Is his white? Is he black, Asian, Hispanic, an Indian chief?
But there was no mention of his race in the article, only a brief note that he drove a blue car. Well, apparently itâ€™s the policy of the â€śNews Journalâ€ť not to mention a suspectâ€™s race in a crime story.
Hey, listen, â€śNews Journal,â€ť if youâ€™re going to have a real newspaper and write about real events, readers expect to read what really happened. Thatâ€™s why most people read a newspaper. So, because of that, â€śNews Journal,â€ť youâ€™re tonightâ€™s â€śJoeâ€™s Schmoe.â€ť
My last "Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week" entry contained a [secondary] sensical letter from Chip Irons that brought up this very point. Maybe Chip got the idea from Smerconish, since the latter voiced it first. Whatever the case, the point remains a good one, and the Schmoe award is well deserved.
This week's winner is Richard McAloon of Middletown who writes:
If your purpose in publishing columns by Ellen Goodman is to stir up the angst of your readership, congratulations, you succeeded!
Her latest column, "Gay couples can make good parents," is the latest in an overall promotion to normalize the gay/lesbian culture into our society. I don't understand why we have to consistently be told that this form of "family unit" is normal and to include it in our reasoning of "what's best for the child" when it comes to adoption.
C'mon, Rich. I highlighted the word "can" in the title of Goodman's column because that's precisely the point -- gay couples CAN make good parents!! Why is this some sort of revelation? Goodman does occasionally use over-the-top lingo, but she's absolutely correct in her title here.
While it may not be the ultimate situation for a child in which to be brought up, it certainly beats the hell out of [rotating] foster homes, and in many (most?) cases even single-parent homes.
In a more sensible vein, Chip Irons also of Middletown scribbles:
I must constructively criticize your policy of not including a person's race when reporting crimes. Your policy is especially disturbing when you report a crime where the suspect is not yet caught.
On March 1 you reported "Dover police seek bearded man in rape". You stated he drives a 4-door, blue Chevrolet. Without stating race, how can the public assist in locating the suspect?
Detectives are seeking assistance, but your policy makes this difficult. Is not a person's race part of the factual reporting of the news?
Regarding a criminal act, one would think so, Chip! But, you see, the News Journal has a nagging tendency to view things through a politically correct racial lens. That's the bottom line, sir. Unfortunately.
The solution to GM's problems is to ... buy more American cars? So says Susan Matthews of Newark. She continues:
I went to the bank the other day and there were nine cars in the parking lot. Seven out of nine of the vehicles there were foreign; two were American made.
I went to the mall and walked down one aisle and there were 38 vehicles and 29 out of 38 were foreign. So stop complaining and whining about what the government is doing to us, and start helping by purchasing American made and American owned.
We the people of the USA, are not helping with what is going on, if we do not support our own companies in America.
While I can appreciate the sentiment, I find it very difficult to believe that the American consumer is responsible for GM's woes, or those of any domestic car manufacturer, or that we should all just purchase American-made cars just to preserve [what may be] a flawed company (or at least flawed co. policies).
Recall what occurred back in the 1980s when Japan owned almost 50% of the American automobile market? Why was that? Were Americans being "unpatriotic"? Hardly. They were responding like typical consumers by purchasing a better product for a better price. Eventually, domestic car makers wised up and began making better cars.
Personally, I still believe most foreign car companies are superior to domestic ones (as I noted here). That being said, I think many, if not most folks, will pay a bit more for better quality. Some American cos. fit that description; for example, Converse shoe co. used to make all their sneakers in the USA. They don't anymore, but besides their prices being a bit lower, the quality has suffered tremendously in my opinion. There was a time when Converse "Dr. J's" were the only basketball shoes I'd buy. They cost a bit more, but they'd last for friggin' ever. I've yet to encounter a b-ball shoe to equal it since.
One bad experience is enough to keep a customer away. In automobiles' case, I saw my parents go through American lemon after American lemon when I was growing up (a Ford Torino, Dodge Horizon, some other Ford whose make I can't recall), and then my very first car was a Chrysler New Yorker. Ugh. Then my folks wised up, bought Japanese, and were content. My second car was a Toyoto Corolla. Ran like a dream. After "Dr. J's" were discontinued by Converse (and they began making their shoes abroad), I tried Reebok. The damn things fell apart after about four months. Never again, Reebok. And again, as noted here, I already got burned attempting to try an American car again.
Kate van Horn of Newark offers up this gem:
I recommend that all citizens with an annual income below $100,000, all women of childbearing age and their children, move to an enlightened country that respects citizen rights.
We are definitely devolving with the biggest apes in charge of our lives. I weep.
What else can one add, eh?
We got another winner this week. It's Joe Apostolico of Wilmington who writes
I'm happy to see that elected officials are attempting to control the increasing rates of Delmarva Power. Now when is somebody going to do something about the thieves at Comcast Cable, who raise their rates on a whim?
While I can appreciate the sentiment behind Joe's letter, comparing a necessity like electric power to an obvious luxury like ... cable TV??
C'mon, Joe. You can't call Delmarva and say "I want to cancel my electricity service." You can call Comcast and tell them you want to cancel cable TV. Just resort to pulling out those rabbit ears from the back of the tube and enjoy channels 3, 6, 10 and 12!!
(The best solution would actually be to introduce competition to both services, but I'm merely dealing with the present circumstances, natch.)
Brett Gofgosky of Georgetown says "Renters with children should pay school tax too." He writes:
The antiquated system of school taxes needs a major overhaul. This system was instituted when most families with school children owned property and renters were basically out-of-town visitors. In today's world, a large share of families with children are renters and do not pay school tax. Property owners pay for the education of children not their own. Renters with children should pay a per-child school tax, collected with rent. This system would force women and teenagers to think about birth control, instead of being a burden on society.
Um, Brett? When you say "property owners pay for the education of children not their own," you do know there's a thing called "rent," right? (You say "renters," after all, and "collected with rent," so that must be true.) And the rent includes things the property owner must pay off like ... property taxes? Or do you actually think the property owner won't raise his tenants' rent if his property taxes go up? (Or that his property tax rate is not included in his tenants' rent in the first place?)
That'd be one nice landlord, eh?
Equally as dopey is Lisa Platt of Wilmington who thinks universities should have a "contract ... that addresses affiliations with subversive groups, especially those in conflict with its 'zero tolerance' policy on hate crimes."
I've often noted that universities engage in neo-McCarthyism; Ms. Platt proves my point perfectly! ÂˇMuchas gracias!
This week's winner is Robert E. Vanella's Democratic talking points "letter" back on the 24th:
I attended St. Anthony's Church and visit Wilmington's Little Italy regularly. It comes as no surprise that citizens are too shortsighted to realize the depressing ramifications of installing cameras to record activities on city streets.
When phone calls and e-mails can be monitored without warrants, detainees can be held without legal representation or transported to other nations to be tortured, why not monitor city streets?
I wonder when the false feeling of safety will be replaced by fear at the bottom of the slippery slope.
Hmm. Speaking of "slippery slopes," today's News Journal notes how a Dover Post reporter was fired from his job for personal blog entries that were deemed offensive. DP Editor Don Flood was informed by the producer of the Dan Gaffney Show about Matt Donegan's blog entries, and when Flood confronted Donegan about it, he fired him after Donegan stated the blog was indeed his.
Flood said some of the blog entries "were extremely offensive and just contrary to what we believe here." Donegan believes his 1st Amendment rights have been violated: "What I wrote ... was rude, but it doesn't make it wrong." Donegan has contacted the ACLU, Public Citizen and the Electronic Frontier Foundation about his firing.
What say you? Is Donegan's case similar to that of Frank Calio? Can Donegan be axed from his job for personal comments made on a personal blog on his own time? Why or why not? Dana Garrett and I -- who are usually polar opposites politically -- came to agreement over Calio; that he indeed, if he so desired, would have won a legal case against the state for demanding he stop writing his occasional newspaper columns for which he was not even paid.
UPDATE: PolitaKid has more. He notes:
I certainly don't blame the Dover Post for firing him. By using his name and picture, as well as referencing his job, he reflects poorly on the paper. I can't imagine anyone sitting down for an interview with some one who spews such filth.
That certainly adds another element to the whole deal about the Post's right to fire Donegan. The first thing that comes to mind is when various women who had posed naked for Playboy were subsequently fired from their jobs -- because they had stated who their employer was in the magazine's photo spread. The employers did not want to be indentified with Playboy.
UPDATE 2: Mike at Down With Absolutes goes off!
UPDATE 3: The First Slate has much more, too ... in its inimitable manner!
UPDATE 4: Michael Crook chimes in in Donegan's defense.
This week's winner is Richard Bensinger of Wilmington who writes
Press reports of the facts get confused with opinions
President Bush is in trouble over domestic spying. And like clockwork, newspapers like The News Journal are being attacked. Journalism that reports the facts is not a liberal contrivance. Sadly, too many critics confuse reporting with editorializing.
The news will always be interpreted as biased when the press reports information that is different from the reader's own opinion. To a prejudiced reader, a newspaper report on the advent of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 would have been viewed as liberal propaganda.
No one ought to be afraid of the truth.
Actually Rich, outlets like the Journal are being questioned as to the depth of their "investigation." For instance, regarding President Bush and NSA spying, has the News Journal asked whether Bush's actions were merely a continuation of the ECHELON program from the Clinton administration? Why former Clinton Justice Dept. official Jaime Gorelick (also a later member of the 9/11 Commission) argued that the executive has the inherent right to order such surveillance?
An "archive" search of the online News Journal yields no such stories searching under "ECHELON program" and "Jamie Gorelick." It was up to bloggers to reveal this information, Richard. (See here, here and here -- and no, we didn't find this info; we got it from other bloggers.) Why is this?
If reporters reported about the Declaration back during the Revolution, a straight news report would cover all the facts surrounding the matter. That's not what has happened regarding the president and spying. At least not in the MSM.
The problem isn't people confusing facts with editorializing; it's with reporters confusing editorializing with facts.
This week's winner is David Quinn of Wilmington who writes the following:
Spying on U.S. citizens is a crime
It is amazing how quickly George W. Bush is investigating who leaked that he was spying on U.S. citizens to the New York Times. He has dragged his feet on so many other things, like the 9/11 Commission, creation of the Homeland Security Department, who leaked the name of a CIA operative, and responding to Hurricane Katrina.
Because what he is doing is a crime, he is basically trying to find out who reported a crime to the police. Will those who did it get protection under the law as whistle-blowers?
Regardless of what happens to them, Bush should be impeached.
It is amazing, really, that Mr. Quinn knows that Bush authorizing the NSA to listen in on calls (that involve a foreign connection) is a crime -- especially when great legal minds cannot quite decide on the matter yet! Even if Quinn is a lawyer himself, it is ludicrous for him to make such a plain judgment without knowing all the facts.
Oh, and the latest poll #s show that the public doesn't believe Bush committed a crime by his authorization.
UPDATE: James Taranto shows that even supposed constitutional "scholars" ain't all that bright when it comes to the NSA spy matter:
Yesterday radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Rosa Brooks, a professor who teaches constitutional law at the University of Virginia Law School and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, who has raised the idea of impeaching President Bush for spying on al Qaeda terrorists' phone conversations with Americans. Radioblogger.com has a transcript:
Brooks: I think it seems to me that the NSA surveillance program on its face violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and--
Hewitt: Now, you have read United States v. United States District Court, right?
Brooks: Uh, Hugh, you're pushing me here.
Brooks: Refresh my memory.
Hewitt: United States v. United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, in which the United States Supreme Court specifically says, Justice Powell writing, we are not going to consider whether or not the president can, in fact, conduct surveillance of this sort.
Brooks: What sort?
Hewitt: Foreign agents communicating with their agents in the United States, even if those latter are citizens.
Hewitt: So they specifically reserved the question to one side, and the foreign intelligence surveillance court appeals board, in In Re Sealed Case No. 2 also said no, the president has the authority to do this. So given that the federal authority--
Brooks: Well, you know, Hugh, I mean, you've got the case law at your fingertips, and I'm not going to challenge you on it, because I don't.
She then goes on to say that "quite a lot of Republicans" agree with her--but when Hewitt presses her to name them, the best she can do is John Dean, the Watergate figure whose views today are indistinguishable from those of the angriest of Angry Leftists. "He counts. He counts," she insists.
UPDATE 2 (8:03pm): John Rosenberg has still more on Hewitt's "bullying"(!). Ms. Brooks went further to say that
You know, I'm not an expert on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or the case law behind it. I don't know. It would seem to me that on its face, it violates it. I think clearly there have been people making arguments that it does not. I'm prepared to say that's one where, you know, close case. And I'd like to hear more arguments.
Rosenberg says "But at least Prof. Brooks is open-minded. She'd 'like to hear more argument' on a charge she's already made. Good thing she's only a professor (or a pundit; it's sometimes hard to tell the difference) and not a judge."
This week's entry comes from an "old pal" -- Philip Bannowsky, who won the "award" I think twice back on my old "Hube's Cube" blog. Phil writes back on Dec. 11 that
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is honored each Dec. 10, Human Rights Day. I came to know this magnificent document in Beirut, Lebanon, where from 1992 to 1994 I taught high school English and U.S. legislative processes. The Lebanese national curriculum prescribed the study of Human Rights.He goes on to list several of the Declaration's articles. They all sound very nice, of course, and hard to argue with. Of course, Phil blasts the current administration for "abandoning" the US's commitment to human rights by backing the Patriot Act, and for not granting captured terror suspects full Geneva Convention protections. Curiously, Phil states "It was a challenge to convince my Arab students that America had not abandoned our commitment to human rights ..."
Phil: how was it a challenge to convince your Arab students about these items -- when you yourself claim you taught said students back in 1992-1994 -- almost a decade BEFORE the Patriot Act was enacted and the War on Terror began??
At any rate, I do not believe the Patriot Act is "abrogating" human rights. It is a fairly sound measure designed to deal with a new kind of war. And, the P.A. is very mild in comparison with past measures the United States has instituted in times of wars past. Did you explain that to your Arab students (ten years ago), Phil? And why did the Geneva Convention(s) specifically delineate differences between prisoners of war ... and unlawful combatants? Did you explain that to your Arab students (ten years ago)?
It's virtually a tie this time out. First, we have William Persinger of Wilmington whose letter is titled "Union busters and trade agreements ruined industry" and says
How ironic that some Americans are blaming current economic conditions in this country on labor unions. Unions have done more to raise the standard of living than any other labor movement.
Let's put the blame where it should be placed. Start with union buster Ronald Reagan. By lifting import quotas and taxes on imports of steel and autos, he sounded the death knell for these once strong American industries. Steel towns have become ghost towns. Cities built around the auto industry are in a state of decay.
Blame politicians for passing every free-trade agreement that comes down the pike. The only things free are jobs shipped out of this country!
Blame the millions of Americans who are pumping billions of dollars into Japan's economy.
As a retired auto worker, I say thanks to all of the above. Many of my colleagues will not have the opportunity to retire as planned.
Bill, what a shame. You started off making some sense (about unions once raising standards of living) but then quickly fell off a cliff. In your own field of endeavor, automaking, when Ronald Reagan came into office US automakers were putting out some of the worst pieces of crap ever to be set on four wheels. The average American consumer thanks Reagan for lifting those auto quotas so they could drive reliable (mostly Japanese) cars to work and vacation. I saw friends and family alike suffer from the lemons you put out (anyone remember the Plymouth Horizon? The GM Vega? Ford Torino? Just wanted to cover all the Big Three, to be fair). And what did the government have to do to save Chrysler's ass, Bill? Boy, how 'bout them K-Cars, huh?
To be sure, US carmakers did get their act together; they had to because they were getting their asses kicked by the Japanese. That's the nature of competition, Bill. By the tone of your letter, you'd rather have had the Japanese kept out of the US market so your fellow Americans would have no choice but to purchase your lemons. Yeah, that's mighty nice of 'ya, pal. I personally stayed away from US cars until about ten years ago, when I took a chance on a Dodge Stratus. Conveniently, a mere four months after the three-year warranty expired, the head gasket was shot. Head gaskets should normally live the normal life of the car it's in. Hence, when I took the car to the dealer he informed me he would "cut me a break." It turned out that it was more like corners that were cut. A few weeks after a supposed "new" gasket was installed, the problem resurfaced. This time, I was informed I'd have to pay the full $800+.
Seeya. I traded the damn thing in -- for a Nissan Altima.
Our next winner is C. Norman Boehm Jr. also of Wilmington. His letter is titled "Palestinians didn't have say in original Israeli partition" and he says:
I feel a responsibility to react to a Nov. 22 letter headlined "Historically, Palestinian territories never existed."
The West Bank of the Jordan River was assigned to Jordan to administer, and the Gaza Strip in Egypt. The Jewish portion was contiguous. However, the Arab portion was in three separate areas. The Jerusalem area was assigned a separate permanent trusteeship, making it the fifth area.
On May 15, 1948, the Israeli war of independence began when Arab armies invaded Palestine. Israel won a victory and secured its independence. The war was horrific. Jordan annexed the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip. By the war's end, Israel had increased its controlled area from 44 percent to 77 percent.
Um, why exactly did the Arab armies invade, C? Why did Jordan annex the West Bank and Egypt Gaza -- instead of granting them to the Palestinians as originally planned?
The writer's statement that Palestinians refused this U.N. solution is misleading.
No, it's actually right on the money. According to the UN's own website on the issue, they state:
The Jewish Agency accepted the resolution despite its dissatisfaction over such matters as Jewish emigration from Europe and the territorial limits set on the proposed Jewish State. The Plan was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs and Arab States, on the grounds that it violated the provisions of the United Nations Charter, which granted people the right to decide their own destiny.
Unfortunately for the Palestinians and surrounding Arab states, that "destiny" was attempting to obliterate the new Jewish state and then setting up some kind of state on their own terms.
Palestinians never had the opportunity to express their majority opinion on this issue. Although Palestinians were not involved in the 1948 war (they had no infrastructure or nationhood), they suffered the start of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Arabs from their historic homeland.
On 14 May 1948, the United Kingdom relinquished its Mandate over Palestine and disengaged its forces. On the same day, the Jewish Agency proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel on the territory allotted to it by the Partition Plan. Fierce hostilities immediately intensified between the Arab and Jewish communities. The next day, regular troops of the Arab States entered the territory to assist Palestinian Arabs.
The writer's statement that "Israel gained more land only by defending itself in a war of annihilation launched against it by the surrounding Arab states" is incorrect. Israel won the Six Day War of June 1967 and gained control of the Occupied Territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip). At the war's end, Israel had increased its controlled territory from the original U.N.-awarded 44 percent to 100 percent.
How did the letter writer C is addressing contradict himself? Just because Israel gained a lot of territory in the '67 Six Day War doesn't mean it wasn't defending itself against annihilation -- 'cause that's exactly what it was doing! And, as it has continued to do so since it was founded. When the one adjacent Arab nation that finally made peace with Israel (Egypt) -- surprise! -- it got its Sinai Peninsula back.
C must be getting his "facts" from someone we've seen around Colossus from time to time.
This week's winner is David Quinn of Wilmington. The headline is "Invasion of Iraq has given terrorists reason to hate us," and he writes:
The debate over the Iraq war is supposedly emboldening the terrorists. Let's be clear that the single thing that has emboldened terrorists more than anything is the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They have been emboldened for generations to come by George W. Bush.
Right, Dave. There wasn't an invasion of Iraq on Sept. 11, 2001 and I seem to recall three jets slamming into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. And the bombing of the USS Cole and a couple American embassies before that. Oh yeah, and the 1993 WTC attack. Etc.
The Iraq War is a very debatable topic, but it's clear as crystal that the terrorists didn't -- and don't -- need a damned thing to be "emboldened" to attack us.
Byron Knight of New Castle believes that "those cheering execution reveal their animal nature."
I couldn't imagine we would celebrate the death of another human being by publishing a photo of cheering throngs (Nov. 5) at the announcement of an execution. How much lower can we go? Rather than cheering "an eye for an eye," our higher calling is to engender a deep sense of forgiveness. I recognize the difficulty of that, and at the same time know it is the only way we can know true closure and peace.Now, there are legitimate arguments against capital punishment, but referring to people as "animals" because they are ... happy a heinous, brutal rapist/murderer has been put to death is just plain ... dopey. Consider that the killer (Brian Steckel) was put to sleep for his death, while the girl he murdered ... didn't have that "luxury." (Steckel was sentenced to death in 1997 for the 1994 murder of Sandra Lee Long in her apartment near Wilmington. Long was burned to death in a fire Steckel set after strangling her into unconsciousness and raping and sodomizing her.)
Why then publish a photo that promotes our animalistic nature?"
Personally, I am against the death penalty but not for "moral" reasons. I do not believe, as Mr. Knight does, in "engender[ing] a deep sense of forgiveness" for a monster like Steckel.
Valerie Young of Middletown rips President Bush because he "said he would take action against anyone in his administration guilty of revealing the name of a CIA operative to the press, an act most agree involves treason." Jumping to conclusions, Val states that this "betrayal" was traced back to his aides, "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove.
Oops on a few counts. First, there is ample evidence that Ms. Valerie Plame, the operative in question, was not covert. Second, in order for a crime to have been committed, it has to have been known that she was a covert operative if her identity is revealed. Third, Bush adviser Karl Rove hasn't been indicted for anything (yet), so Ms. Young is either just wishing upon a star or picking up false signals on her tinfoil hat. Fourth, Scooter Libby was not indicted for revealing the name of a covert CIA operative -- special prosecutor Fitzgerald made that clear -- he was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. Serious charges, yes, but not the crime to which Ms. Young refers. And, Libby resigned his post immediately after being indicted.
There's a good chance that this whole matter may prove futile (Plame wasn't covert and/or if so it wasn't known to whoever leaked her name) or it may be what's been dubbed the "criminalization of politics;" White House aides, in their quest to rebut/correct Joe Wilson (who had told various media that he was sent to Africa by the Vice President's office and that the Saddam/Niger/uranium yellowcake story was bogus) revealed that Wilson was sent by the CIA and was recommended by his wife, Ms. Plame.
Whether or not you like the tactics employed by the White House isn't the issue. They certainly had a right to correct the record and inform who really was responsible for Wilson's trip. Fitzgerald's indictment only deals with Libby's alleged lying about the matter, which, at first glance, appears silly. Silly as in "why did Libby feel the need to lie." We'll find out soon enough.
Maybe Libby can make a deal like Sandy Berger did and just blame it all on "sloppiness."
Claymont's Deborah Grant gets the nod this week. Although her letter isn't technically "dopey," it is misguided in a couple ways. She says:
Scientific data has shown that mankind is directly affecting the Earth's climate. Our government is negligent in not addressing this issue and not informing the public of the danger if we continue to ignore it.
Actually, the scientific data is far from conclusive that mankind is directly affecting the environment. The data has shown that yes, the earth is currently warming. But whether man's actions are the reason is highly debatable. (There's even room for debate on the general warming issue as certain measures of the globe's temperature have actually shown cooling.)
She goes on to state
If the scientists are wrong, we have nothing to lose and will gain a stronger economy, cleaner environment and no longer need to get involved in foreign disputes with unstable countries.
But many of these same scientists were screaming about global cooling back during those killer winters of the mid-late 70s. If we followed Grant's (and the scientists') advice then, we'd be in an even bigger global warming pickle now as we'd have taken measures to warm the planet 30 years ago!
While Grant is correct that the economy will be cleaner and less dependence on foreign oil is a good thing, as witnessed recently, skyrocketing oil prices and the dwindling [finite] supply will move people (and governments) to other energy sources. It's called "the market."
UPDATE (9:43): Maybe Ms. Grant ought to check this post out.
It's back! The "Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week"! (That's the Wilmington, DE News Journal, Delaware's largest circulated -- by far -- newspaper, for those out of state.) I've heard from several readers saying that this was a favorite feature of my old site. There was really no reason not to restart it, so here is the first [re]installment. This week's winner is Richard C. Stout who wrote on Oct. 8:
Last night I had a dream. Superman swooped down, gathered up all the SUVs and tossed them into the Pacific Ocean, thereby causing gasoline prices to sink to 99 cents a gallon. It was sweet and exhilarating for a brief moment. Sadly, SUVs will be with us until the next fad. Let's hope it will be much more sensible and practical.'Nuff said.
I have a suspicion that Casey would be very proud of his mother and her crusade of telling the truth in a world of lies.
I thought our country had become civilized. We stopped killing American Indians, freed the slaves and permit women to vote. Genocide happens somewhere else, doesn't it?