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Refuge Of Scoundrels

April 12, 2001
For months we have been hearing White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and other Bush administration functionaries invoke capital-S science in their pronouncements. The science isn't in on global warming. We need more scientific study on RU-486. More science is needed on arsenic in the water, coal in the air. When did science become the last refuge of scoundrels? KEVIN MARTIN Silver Lake
February 21, 2014
Barack Obama was first sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2009, and, from that day to this, a battle for the soul of America has been waged. The half-decade since has been one of the most politically polarized periods in U.S. history as conservative talk radio hosts, Fox News commentators, secretive billionaire campaign financiers, the NRA, the tea party movement and right wing celebrities such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck have all tried to delegitimize the...
May 3, 1992
Regarding John M. Newman's "JFK and Vietnam" (Feb. 23) and the possibility that, had he lived, Kennedy would have seen quickly the folly of America's involvement in Vietnam, there's an important point that's often missed, one that brings to light the greater tragedy: In 1963, not only arch-conservatives and hawks believed in "freeing Vietnam." Phrases like "liberating a nation from communism" did not have the naive ring that they do today. People really believed in that stuff, and not all of those believers were greedy capitalists, devils and liars . . . Before the Vietnam war, holding political office was considered a noble aim, a high calling.
September 25, 2007
Re "The conspiratorial highway," Opinion, Sept. 20 I don't know whether Shikha Dalmia and Leonard Gilroy represent the capitalist right or the socialist left, but anyone can plainly see that they employ the time-honored leftist ploy of pointing fingers and shrieking "xenophobe" or "racist" to quell any sane argument regarding the highway project. Simply beat down the opposition by affixing a label -- truly the last refuge of scoundrels.
June 26, 2005
Re "House Again Backs Amendment to Ban Desecrating Flag," June 23: OK, once again for all the Republicans who didn't get it the first time: Freedom of speech is not free unless it applies to everyone and everything. Got it? Tom Martin Los Angeles Salute the flag or burn it. Make a bikini of it. Sling it over a shoulder for a victory lap. Hang it until it is faded and tattered. Wear it in a lapel. Drape a coffin. Stomp it in the dust. It's my choice and yours, and some of our choices will always seem more reprehensible than others.
July 15, 2005
Re "A Nazi's Day of Judgment," Column One, July 12: I think it is a travesty that more cannot be done for Josias Kumpf. An old man is being held guilty for events that happened more than a generation ago. Even if he didn't participate in the mass murder of a single group of people, as he says, he must still live with the memory of so many being killed before his eyes, something that no legal proceeding or punishment can emulate. And if we can be forgiving of a former Nazi conscript named Joseph Ratzinger [now Pope Benedict XVI]
March 5, 2002
Re "Daschle Questions Future Success of U.S. War Effort," March 1: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is dead right about calling the so-called "war on terrorism" into question. This war has no clear purpose other than keeping the focus off of the administration's mismanagement of everything it touches--including the war. Its blunders on the economy, the environment, civil liberties, Middle East policy and relations with our allies are nothing short of embarrassing. The administration's only hope for maintaining public support is to expand a needless and ineffective war that will cost the lives of fine young Americans and explode the national debt beyond all reason.
August 26, 1994
State Sen. Don Rogers says he sees nothing wrong with his planned appearance Saturday night at a convention of alleged white supremacists. We do. Rogers, an Antelope Valley Republican, will be sharing the speaker's platform in Bakersfield with a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Texas and an organizer for the Aryan Nation. They and other kindred spirits will be there under the auspices of a newspaper called Jubilee, which is a national publication of the Christian Identity movement.
January 8, 2009
Re "The law is on Blagojevich's side," Opinion, Jan. 6 In his support for Ill. Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate, UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky argues that to deny this appointment would be a dangerous precedent that would "overturn the will of the people." However, I note that in previous arguments regarding Proposition 8, "the will of the people" is called "the tyranny of the majority." Jeremiah Flanigan Long Beach -- As an African American, I find Rep. Bobby L. Rush's (D-Ill.
August 14, 1990
Patriotism, as Samuel Johnson suggested in his famous dictionary, may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but in the Arab world frightened demagogues are more apt to invoke a ferocious anti-Zionism to distract from their sins. Iraq's dictator, Saddam Hussein, stung after his aggression was condemned by most Arab states, has begun playing the Israel card for all it's worth in an effort to appeal to credulous Arab masses. The ploy isn't unexpected.
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