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Dunces of the Universe

Bonfire of more than the vanities. The war of revisionist aggression. Martin's humor proves abortive. Plus more.

2.13.09

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WHAT MORE TO SAY?
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Wall Street Imbecility:

For once I have nothing of substance to add.
-- David Bonn

Interesting piece.

However, can you really call these Wall Streeters imbeciles? They raped the world for exorbitant fees while they could, and then left the taxpayers holding the bag. That's why they donated to Obama, not because they believed his ideas on the economy. He offers them a guaranteed short term payoff, as long as they don't get too upset with all the labeling.

As economists like to say, people respond to incentives. I believe you make a classic mistake: you assume the goals of the Wall Streeters -- and the big governmenters -- are the same as yours, a prosperous nation. The Wall Streeters are looking after their own wallets and the politicians seek power; judging by what is happening now, it's hard to say either is incorrect in their beliefs. I just wonder how they sleep at night. However, since most everyone is taught these days that there is no right and wrong, they're probably sleeping like babies in their giant mansions.
-- George Pazin

INTERNECINE THRUST
Re: Doug Bandow's Completely Useless:

Re: "Completely Useless," we shouldn't over-estimate the authority with which three retired Royal Army generals speak for the Ministry of Defence or Whitehall.  That statement was more of an internecine thrust at the Royal Navy from three major institiutional foes of the RN and its predominant role as the British nation's nuclear deterrent.

It's as though the late General Curtis LeMay (architect of our nation's air victory in the Pacific in World War II and of the old Strategic Air Command), Gen. William Westmoreland and Gen. John Singlaub were to issue a joint communiqué declaring that the US Navy's submarine nuclear deterrent was "completely useless" -- their intent to build up their old branches' influence and funding at the USN's expense would be obvious and would be regarded accordingly.

The British understand battles between branches of their defense establishment, as some of the letters following publication of the British generals and elsewhere in the Internet indicate.
-- Vance P. Frickey

HOW INCONSIDERATE
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Right Man for the Job:

How dare Israel want to survive! The chutzpah!

Doesn't Israel realize resistance would blemish Obama's presidency?
-- David Govett
Davis, California

The only times the United States had strong, principled leadership when Clinton was president was when Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope John Paul II arrived for visits.

Also, when was that Conservative Chronicle article by Ralph de Toledano written?  I'd like to take a look at it.
-- Michael Skaggs 
Murray, Kentucky

KEEP IT CIVIL
Re: Matthew Kenefick's Shades of Gray:

I found Mr. Kenefick's review of Mr. Crocker's Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War to be quite valuable: now I don't have to read the book, and I certainly won't buy it. I have read books like it before.

Mr. Crocker's is just another extended whine by one who wishes the losing side had won: Lincoln was a Big-Government Maniac, the War was a Northern Aggression against the poor ole South, the war wasn't fought over slavery, yada, yada yada. What is new in Mr. Crocker's version is his claim that the Catholic Church supported the South because the Church's natural law principles justify a regime which denied to millions the most basic natural law of all; viz., that every man has an unalienable right to freedom.

A couple of years ago you ran another essay by Mr. Crocker extolling the manly virtues of the Southern leaders (especially Saint Robert E. Lee). Therein Mr. Crocker advocated a national holiday celebrating the birthdays of Lee and Jackson. Sure, Mr. Crocker. Right after we have a holiday celebrating the birthdays of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs.
-- James F. Csank 
Seven Hills, Ohio

SARCASM UNDETECTED
Re: Dan Martin's satire (under "Satire...This Is Satire") in Reader Mail's Car Pools:

Regarding Dan Martin's demand that we should never refer to a child in utero as a "child" but a "fetus" is ignorant to the max. He acknowledges that once out of the womb, the child is in the image and likeness of God. Does he not know that it takes almost nine months for a child to develop? He must believe that a child in utero the day before delivery is somehow less human than on the day of delivery. What hogwash. At conception, a child has its own distinct DNA. As God tells us, He knows us before we are ever in our mothers' wombs. And Dan, I believe fetus means "young one."
-- David Tomaselli

The Margaret Sanger Dan Martin relates is a sanitized version of Margaret Sanger. Like most progressives of her time, Sanger was a champion of eugenics. To say that she advocated contraception and abortion out of the goodness of her heart for the unfortunate women trapped in tragedies of life misunderstands history.

Sanger frankly advocated "more children from the fit, less from the unfit...that is the chief aim of birth control." To put a not too fine point on it, she added that society should focus its attention toward "creat[ing] a race of thoroughbreds." While today these words carry the stench of Nazism, during her time eugenics was regarded as a forward-looking, "progressive" concept. The cleansing of the "human stock" was thought as something any rational and fair-minded individual would be in favor of. (Indeed, today, you can easily find mild versions of eugenics bouncing around among family, friends, and strangers.)

However benign one tries to view eugenics, we cannot help but recognize the evil it spawns. In spite of whatever good intentions one may assign to it, eugenics is a malevolent drive.

But leave that all aside, no society; no government should have that much power. No entity should ever have the mandate to attempt to mold the future shape of humanity. Yet it was the very progressives such as Margaret Sanger who believed that in the right hands (i.e. theirs), government can and should be used to fashion more rational arrangements in human associations.
-- Mike Dooley

P.S. Mr. Martin: Whatever motives one might suppose for it, abortion remains a profound evil. Plus, to say: "But sometimes there is contraceptive failure, which leads to products of conception, which is also known as a fetus, but which should never be referred to as a child" is just plain tedious.

JUDDGMENT DAY

With Judd Gregg resigning from his Commerce position before it started a rumor has been initiated that his resignation was a result of pressure from Obama. Since this Republican has paid all his taxes, he cannot in  good conscience be said to "belong" in an Obama administration!
-- Al
Lemon Grove, California

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS HILLARY?

What has become of Ms. Hillary?
Have the mighty fallen so low?
Where is that voice heard round the world?
Is it now just a mere echo?

For so many years we listened
To a woman we thought of as shrill,
But the silence is becoming eerie.
We're not even hearing from Bill.

At the forefront one day, full of strength and power,
But in an instant diminished like a twilight hour.
For years I couldn't wait to dismiss her,
But believe it or not, I think I miss her!
-- Mimi Evans Winship

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