Reader Mail

Abandon Ship

Time to let the MSM sink. French victories. The Princess Diaries. Plus more.

1.9.09

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QUIN'S LAMENT
Re: Quin Hillyer's Profane Losers:

Good riddance, say I!

Quin Hillyer's lament at the decline of MSM newspapers is misplaced. He can't really believe that they will reform themselves into acceptable vehicles of real news and civilized features, as they are led by ideologues who would rather close them down than retreat from their sophomoric anti-Americanism. Gosh, even "Dear Abby" has departed common sense to embrace the liberal zeitgest. From the news pages to the obituaries (and certainly including the editorial pages, except for the occasional "house conservative"), all one encounters is liberal claptrap. My own city's Kansas City (Falling) Star becomes less consequential every day, what with the serial layoffs and continual shrinkage. The puzzle pages are still pretty good, but hardly justify purchase at the newsstand or by subscription. And some of the problems are self-created. As the MSM has beaten the drum for every harebrained educational idea to come within its purview, we have raised a generation of liberal illiterates, who are unlikely to bother with something as early twentieth century as a newspaper.

I understand that Quin is one of those "ink-stained wretches" with romantic notions of newspaper journalism. Remember that our Republic's earliest newspapers were competing organs of partisan communication, a function now performed by the electronic media. There is nothing particularly special about the newspaper as communication conduit. Should the blessed day come when such as the New York Times (all the news that fits, we print), the Washington Post (house organ of the permanent government), and the Kansas City (Falling) Star disappear from the media scene, I will pop the cork of a good Dom Perignon. If some sharp entrepreneur can figure out how to make a newspaper attractive to the majority who don't hate their country and their traditional American culture, well good then. If not, too bad and let's move on.

To say that "...the culture suffers if the newspaper industry falters or dies..." is really over the top. The culture has suffered because of the nonsense peddled by the newspaper industry for more than two generations. Time to allow the market to purge the excesses!

On another topic, I note with glee that our climate has been on a significant cooling trend since 1998, the global warming computer models off now for a decade. Can the global cooling scare of the '70s be ready for a comeback? After all, what is more concerning to most people: that we will have to build some coastal dikes to hold back water from the melting ice caps or that America is likely to be covered in perpetual winter? Since all right-thinking (or, should that be left-thinking?) people simply know as fact that man's actions create climate change, we will have to come up with a strategy to warm the earth. I know! Let's fill the atmosphere with increased carbon emissions to overcome the cooling! Hummers and private planes can become the tools of global salvation! We will need more cows to create more methane gas, so vegetarians will become ecological criminals! I can hardly wait...
-- Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri

Mr. Hillyer's article is spot on. But sadly the mainstream media, especially that of the eastern elites, i.e. the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and Associated Press, exert a powerful influence that goes beyond the subscription and readership numbers. The truth is that these news outlets, especially the Times, still bear the cachet of intellectual superiority. Those who wish to appear informed believe that to be seen reading the New York Times and parroting the views of its editorial page will confirm their superior smarts. Thus they can appear thoughtful without the bother of genuine thought or intellectual curiosity. Unfortunately this includes network news anchors, professors, and most other east coast media and college elites within one thousand square miles of Washington and New York. Therefore this homogeneous liberal political opinion is spread around the country as some sort of truth from the gods. It is safe to say that the New York Times and Washington Post are read by every senator and congressman in Washington and influence their world view far more than the opinions of their constituents. And it is equally safe to say that our nation would be a far better off if this was not the case.
-- Peter F. Killie
Ridgefield, Connecticut

Mr. Hillyer's article on the passing of print "journalism" struck a very responsive chord in me. About 30 or so years ago there was a weekly national newspaper from Dow Jones publishing called the National Observer. Perhaps some American Spectator readers remember it.

The National Observer was unique, in my experience, in the ability to turn the readership into a community. Every issue was as much a family newsletter as it was a newspaper. There were "best shaggy dog story" contests. A year or two the paper sponsored an entry in the Iditarod dog sled race and every issue carried a dispatch from the driver detailing the preparation and the race itself. Most important: good news was as much news as bad news.

Because such a quality publication is really hard to do, it's expensive and takes a lot of effort, I doubt we will see another like it. We should remember that today's newspapers are direct descendents of the 18th century "penny press." So, we will continue to be subjected to "if it bleeds it leads" headlines and "world ends: minorities, women, and children hardest hit" articles. At least until such time as we have to find other sources for fish wrapping and bird cage pan lining.
-- John Jarrell
San Antonio, Texas

FRANCOPHILIAC
Re: Bill Croke's Century of the French:

I enjoyed the book review on the French who founded so much of this country and did travel very far and wide before the Brits even thought about it.

One thing that does bother me though is not much is mentioned as to all the Catholic priests that traveled with other priests or explorers and trappers to so many places in this country before the Protestant ethic was set down in our Constitution.

Many priests had educated Indians before any kind of Thanksgiving Day. Many priests became martyred by fierce Indians who just did not want them in "their country."

I do get tired of hearing about the Protestants that founded this country and most times those Catholics who did fight in the Revolutionary War and who founded the state of Maryland get short shrift.

I thought the book review was well done with the few exceptions I mention above.
-- Jo Dermody
Little Meadows, Pennsylvania

SHE NEVER HURT ANYONE, Y'KNOW?
Re: Aaron Goldstein's They Don't Make Kennedys Like They Used To:

I think we ought to let Ms. Schlossberg alone. Aside from the fact that she will be just one more mindless liberal voter in a Senate now filled with that sort of person, Princess Caroline is just what the people of New York ordered.

Look there was a moment in the Sixties when the State of New York was not only relevant, but important. It had two candidates of high intellect, integrity, and learning as senatorial candidates: Mr. Buckley and Mr. Moynihan. New York sent one of the most competent men to the senate, Mr. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the likes of which do not live there anymore. Since that time New York has retreated into the vulgarity of celebrity politics.The Senate is now filled with little minds ruthlessly snarling and clawing their way into the TV lights to utter some perfectly moronic platitude in response to a question nobody asked. It is the perfect place for the likes of Alec Baldwin, Al Franken and Brangelina -- all mouth and no mind.

Qualifications be damned, Sir! Just look at that Chamber today. We have as its leader, the very modest, grey man, Harry Reid. Mr. Reid does indeed have a great deal about which to be modest -- one only has to look and listen to be cognizant of the that. New York had the opportunity to send someone competent to the Senate but choose instead to elect Ms. Clinton, a crass, opportunistic, ethically challenged, new born politician. Today, let them send America's, empty headed Princess, y' know. Does anyone honestly believe she will be a worse Senator than, y' know, Al Franken?

America is now aimed squarely at mediocrity. We seek not sound, but low risk solutions to everything. Children not learning? Don't scrutinize the education system, lower requirements. Recession? Borrow more. Ethics in politics crumbling? Pish tosh!  Politicians are crooks anyway who cares?

This is the age of the Kennedys! They and their ilk are Americas Goths and Vandals, come to loot our dream and destroy the institutions that sustained it. There are no Legions to defend us, the loyal opposition is without claws and fang. They are the lap dogs of Democrats; feeding happily on the scraps they are tossed.
-- Jay Molyneaux
North Carolina

WELL SAID
Re: Theodore Roosevelt Malloch's What Would Sir John Say?:

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Principal
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Chattanooga, Tennessee

FOOLS RUSH IN
Re: Peter Ferrara's Tax Cut Mirage:

Mr. Ferrara certainly has it right. And economists agree. The proposed tax cuts in the Stimulus Package aren’t going to do anything for the economy. In fact they are payoff, a bribe, to get the Republicans to vote for the proposal. The Republicans don’t care about jobs for ordinary people, and they don’t care about the economy. They just want their tax cut. As Ferrara points out, and economists know, tax cuts aren’t going to create jobs. Most of it will end up in offshore banks.

The only part of the Package that’s going to help the economy is the part that gives people jobs. And with jobs they’ll buy things they need, and only then will the economy be back in business. Put one million people back to work and they’ll be buying thousands of new cars. That’s what’ll bring GM back to life. 

Middle class and working class people would be fools to listen to the Republicans.
-- Ron Schoenberg
Seattle, Washington

FURTHER ON DOWN THE ROAD
Re: Gary Wolfram's Recalling Hayek On Responsibility:

An article a day late and a dollar short…. We have been on the road to serfdom for a century with no exit ramps in sight….not even a hope for one.

It’s not so much about moral hazard as about hedonism and juvenile delinquency vs. limits and adulthood (if you ignore the sinister elements in the drama). America is a nation of Paris Hiltons governed by children. The recent spate of articles in American Spectator about removing mark to market is exhibit A. Until there is a massive flush of the putrid economic filth floating over the land there will be no recovery.
-- David (Tony) Bonn

THE HUMANS ARE DEAD
Re: Chris Reed's Benedict Arnold:

Though unsure whether the politician is corrupted by the office or the office attracts the corrupt, I find solace in the knowledge that, sooner rather than later, we humans shall be ruled by robots. We had our chance; we blew it.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Non Compos Mentis:

I recall, immediately post-9/11, scenes of happy Palestinians dancing in the streets in celebration of the murder of thousands of people in the United States. Maybe someday I could forgive this expression of their opinions...but I can never forget it.

I think the only way to victory in the Middle East, for Israel, and probably for the United States, is to stop caring about Arab opinion, or world opinion. The former is almost universally negative no matter what is done or what happens, and the latter is not far behind.

Better, perhaps, to accept that Israel and the US are hated, and just act according to our interests.
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

The world has gone mad because it is corrupt and cannot tell the difference between good and evil. In the end, all of this groveling to Islam is about oil. What else could it be about? What else does the Arab world have to offer?  Sand? Ignorance? Grinding stupidity?  I sit in amazement every day that the civilized world prostrates itself before troglodytes and tent dwellers while the only sane people in the Middle East, Israelis, are vilified and never allowed to resolve the Palestinian menace issue.

But then, the world operates on the UN mentality, which is that whatever may happen, no problem should ever be allowed to reach resolution in the natural course of things.  After all, what would the UN do if it couldn't send peacekeepers everywhere?  Not that they keep the peace, but that they have some reason for being, and that is to prolong the idea that the UN has some meaningful purpose and credibility. 

The insanity emanates from the UN building in NYC.  The murderers of 9/11 hit the wrong buildings.
-- Steve Hayes
Utah

PAGING JOHNNIE COCHRAN
Re: W. James Antle's  The Battle of Burris:

Blago's appointment of Burris was a kind of advanced jury tampering...hoping for an OJ-type jury when he goes on trial, he has appointed someone to the Senate whom he hopes will appeal to future jurors. His predecessor Gov. Ryan did a similar thing when he commuted death sentences of prisoners as he himself was on his way to prison.
-- C. Baker
Ft.Worth, Texas

OUT OF STYLE
Re: Reader's letters in Reader Mail's Won the Battle, Lost the War:

Principles? How quaint.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

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