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Still Entitled After All These Years

Woodstock. The Kenyan catastrophe. The Kennedy seat. Ben Stein. Respects for Bob Novak, and more.

8.24.09

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EXCUSE ME, WHILE I KISS OVERINDULGED HEDONS
Re: George Neumayr 's Woodstock Authoritarians:

George Neumayr writes: "Today, thanks to its (Woodstock's) ethos, a girl who accepts a "loosely tendered" invitation from a stranger is more likely to end up as an ongoing segment on Greta VanSusteren than a carefree attendee at a concert."

Bummer. Jeanne McManus didn't get laid at Woodstock. But Mr. Neumayr shouldn't segue from the misfortune of a dozen or so unshaven hippies to conclusions about the relative evil of our time. Just think what misfortune might have visited Mrs.McManus had she been on Chappaquiddick Island a few weeks earlier.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsyvlania

Your column was the best interpretation of the Woodstock wave that capitalized the generation of which I am a member. It was a silly era populated by upper middle-class, overindulged children, celebrated for nothing more than its youth and heedless recklessness. Though I did not participate in body or spirit, I witnessed the inanity and aimless posturing of too many contemporaries who believed that rebellion against anything was purpose enough. In spite of the fact that ninety-nine percent eventually embraced the morés of adult life and became productive, its original nonsensical take on how humanity should proceed infected national thinking, leading us to the mess we encounter today.

Celebrating wanton destruction of a once-proud nation is not the legacy that should be memorialized. Thank you for dissection and writing so eloquently about an era best buried.
-- Laney Bormel

I thought as a studying musician, I would sit down with Gimme Shelter, the Rolling Stones movie about their 1969 American tour and the free concert at Altamont Speedway outside of San Francisco.

My goal was to cop guitar licks, instead I saw the Clinton Administration in the audience and the Obama Administration as law enforcement.

The chaos of shirtless males and females (some of whom should be given free shirts upon request...FOREVER) stoned out of their minds (audience), being beat senselessly by the Hells Angels (law enforcement) but still wanting the concert to go on even after the bloody beatings and the shooting. They were oblivious to what their mayhem had caused without proper rules or codes of conduct. I saw all of the future protesters of the last eight years of the Bush Administration, I saw Cindy Sheehan (when war protests were "in"), I saw ACORN, Code PINK, ANSWER, and probably a hundred future college professors and faculty.

It was akin to government-run health care: the audience wanted the concert to go on at continued risk to the band even as the quality of the music declined.

My wife walked in at the very end, she said: "That looks just like Nancy Pelosi's Congress."

She's right.
--P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

Reading the subtext of Jeanne McManus' statement gives an indication of the mentality of the Woodstock generation and it does not reflect well on them. "We could show up without tickets to see The Who and somehow find ourselves at the front of the crowd, near the stage." Initially, Woodstock was, like most concerts, a venue for profit-making. Thousands of people did purchase tickets with their hard earned money (or monies that were hard earned by someone ended up in their hands to purchase tickets). Hundreds of thousands of non-ticket holders showed up; without any regard for people who had paid for the right to attend the concert safely and securely, the gate crashers showed up and usurped those rights. The free-loving, anti-establishment hippies felt an entitlement to the concert. They have not lost their sense of entitlement. The consequences of the party crashers' actions included a great time for the concertgoers but included measurable damage to the city of Bethel, New York. Further, while the concert promoters planned out security, sanitation, food and other accommodation for a set number of people, this was ignored by the masses. Fortunately, God takes special care of madmen and fools, no one was seriously hurt. (That would happen later at Altamont -- even God loses patience.) The majority of those who attended Woodstock did so with no regards to anyone who had a vested interest in the production. Their actions were selfish and demonstrated no concern for consequence.

The liberal thinking that went into hijacking the concert continues today. Want a new car? The government will subsidies that purchase. Free health care for all? Raise the taxes of the top earners in America. When people don't agree with the new Socialist in Chief, call them Nazis. The thought of consequence of these actions is absent.

Being anti-establishment was viewed as cool and hip in the Sixties, but now that many of those counter culture crew have grown up and have power, and they don't want people challenging their authority. To quote the Grateful Dead, "What a long strange trip it has been."
-- I.M. Kessel 

NOT SO DARK AFTER ALL
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s Robert Novak, RIP:

Bob Tyrrell's tribute to Bob Novak was the best of the many good ones and reflects credit on both parties. Like many others, I have enjoyed Bob's remarkable talents and wit ever since first getting cable television years ago, via first "Crossfire" and then the other productions on CNN and in the end, Fox News. He, of course, was not only well-informed and full of information but extremely entertaining and at the end of the day, despite his crusty persona, one just knew he was the type of person it would be great to be around. As it happens, my twin brother who shares not only my looks but likes and dislikes including our affection for the "Prince of Darkness," bought Bob's biography last weekend and, after devouring it on Saturday and Sunday, passed it on to me on Monday just before we heard about his expected but still shocking passing. What a treat this book is, especially the surprising fact that Bob was such a handsome young slim man who wound up with a beautiful and wonderful wife, Geraldine. I must confess to one indiscretion that up to this point I have shared with no one except my brother and my dear late wife. Some years ago I was in DC on business and was walking toward K Street on the way to our Washington Law Firm, Sutherland, Asbil, etc and who should I see walking my way but Bob Novak. Now I am not, I think, especially insensitive or garrulous but I could not resist walking up to Bob (perhaps I accosted him) and grabbed his hand gushing something or other but I quickly realized he was uncomfortable with such an encounter and withdrew as gracefully as I could which probably was not so graceful. My brother and I have laughed about this story a lot over the years but it never lessened our respect and admiration for this man. As you say in your biography Bob may you join your wonderful Jewish mother sitting at the "right" hand of God next to Jesus.
-- Jack Wheatley

Royal Oak, Michigan

THE JURY IS NOT OUT
Re: Ben Stein's Good Night, Sweet Rose:

As always, Ben Stein is a delight to read, and, as always, he has something good to say about everyone, even our Dear Leader. Regarding Mr. Obama, it would be nice to believe that he has America's interests foremost in his heart, but that one does seem to bump up against reality somewhat. From his "formative years" spent with the Reverend J. Wright and Bill Ayers to his various presidential "apology tours," from his ruinous national spending sprees to his reckless economic policies such as cap-and-trade and socialized medicine, from his lack of support for Israel to his tacit support for terrorist regimes around the world (which TAS has commented on in the past), if one looks at what he does and has done (only a small sampling of which is highlighted here), and forgets all the rest, one can only conclude that this fellow must want, in his heart of hearts, to put an end to this country as it has existed since the founding. There can't be much question of that. The only real question is what he wants to replace it with. But I have to disagree with Mr. Stein, who, I think, was just trying to be nice; I don't really think the jury is out.
-- David Reich
Auburn, New York

PUTTING YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE
Re: Philip Klein's Live or Let Die:

Most certainly I would opt to say let me go if there was no chance but what I fear and most others do is can a person 70 years get his battery replaced for their pace maker or maybe a new one, they do cost around 40,000 bucks but I think my insurance only paid 25,000 and they had to take it as they were in the plan. I can walk and go fishing and I feel my life is as important as the next person's life. To just be able to converse with someone and have a good conversation are enough. I agree that if they have no chance then they should have made arrangements before hand to declare to be let go, but when we put this decision into the hands of government we are stepping on shaky ground. If I do not trust the government to run the post office or any other concern why in the world would I place my life in its hands. If every one was on the same page and did not have a policy like the Senators and Congress do, then I would be more apt to trust somewhat. If the officials are not willing to be on the same insurance then I will not want it either. We may have a lot of repealing to do in the future. Right now I would not trust the government with taking care of my dog.
-- Ken Roberts
Lebanon, Ohio

STIMULATING TAXATION
Re: Eric Peters' Volt Sticker Shock:

The government will require a road/mileage tax imposed on your electric vehicle for highway/bridge repairs.
-G. Flacey

Well look at it like a car salesman I overheard say a few years back: "if you want economy you got to pay for it."
-- Lonnie

A LIGHT CONSCIENCE
Re: Daniel J. Flynn's Ted Kennedy's Last Will and Testament:

Having left a commoner to an untimely, watery grave, without a day in jail, claiming a United States Senate seat as family property has to be light lifting for Senator Ted and his heirs.
-- Reid Bogie
Waterbury, Connecticut

I ask that God forgive me for the following sentiment or I guess, blasphemy, but I curse each day that monsters such as Ted Kennedy walk the earth while my dear wife who was a real Christian in every sense of the word and deed died an early death of ovarian cancer. Surely, almost the entire Kennedy clan has walked with the devil for over four generations because they sure have not walked with God. Contrast the way Bob Novak dealt with success and adversity compared to the constant perfidy of fat, uncontrolled Teddy who never resisted any temptation put in his path by his patron the devil. Well, that is out of my system and I ask that God forgive this evil man because I surely cannot.
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan

PLAYING THE OPPRESSION CARD
Re: George H. Wittman's Kenya's Sad Safari:

I suppose the Powers That Be in Africa will be playing the "colonial" card for a long time to come. Corruption, violence, tribalism, they all go back to when the British Flag flew over their country.

After all, Haiti attributes a lot of its problems to having been a colony of France. So what if they haven't been a colony for over two hundred years?
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

The only thing most people know about African leaders, past or present, is that one of the leaders of Zaire, once and now again, the Congo, was used as the basis for the James Earl Jones character in the movie "Coming To America." I see the mess Africa is in and I want to say, "Please return, Rhodesia, all is forgiven!"   
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

POPULAR POLITICS
Re: Doug Bandow's Brezhnev in Dublin:

The Europe proposed by Lisbon is that of an "empire" according to a former EU President. We have no reason to doubt him on this.

The new weighting of the voting system, both in the Council of Ministers, and the EU parliament, will have increased by half for Germany and by a quarter each for France, Italy and the UK. This is due on the face of it to their "large populations," rather than their imperial pasts. Ireland's weight is being reduced from 2 percent to 0.8 percent. Other EU member states with small populations (and a history of being victims of the former group's imperial shenanigans) include Malta, Cyprus, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, the Balkan states, and the Baltic three. All have their voting rights reduced to irrelevance.

From an imperial perspective it finally looks as if the usual suspects are getting the band back together.

However the pièce de résistance has to be reserved for Turkey. When it inevitably joins the club it will have the largest weighting of all, given its rapidly rising population. Currently it's approaching that of Germany and, according to UN statistics,  will overtake that country in five years.

The empire that springs to mind is Ottoman rather than Wilhelmine.
-- Paul Cadier

MONEY ALWAYS WINS
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Who Will Tell Michael J. Fox He Needs to Die?:

I believe the way the new health plan will be
If you have the money you can pay and still get
What you want or need

Which will leave all of us poor/average
out and we will be the ones to go home and die

After all money always wins
--Brenda Lawson

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