Reader Mail

Beyond Good

Among the elitists. Bill Maher expelled. The Clinton coronation. Pelican feathers. Plus more.

4.23.08

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HISS MAJESTY
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Alger Hiss Democrats:

Lord's Hiss essay is beyond good. Chambers' Witness ought to be required reading for a seat in Congress. Lord's analysis of Bush is right on. But what makes all of this deeply unsettling is the fact that so few understand the nature of this threat to our freedom and security.
-- Jim Chandler

People like Alger Hiss, John Francois Kerry, Barack Obama, and Bill Maher, elitists all, unquestionably. People of their ilk feel free to bash the very people that provide them the comforts and security they know and take for granted. Chambers was correct in his description of common folks as people who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but the resentment goes deeper still. The elitists resent that the common folks are the ones who mined and smelt the ore, then built and laid the tracks as well. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel opined that if he had to choose between being a slave or a master, he'd prefer to be a slave because the slave remained in touch with what is real; the slave was the one who produced something. The slave was essential while the master was superfluous.

We, the common men and women, do not ask the elite for thanks. We do our work and draw our pay; that is enough. The elitists once had gratitude for what we do; it is expressed in their writings and philosophies, but gratitude leads to a feeling that a debt is owed, and this sense of indebtedness transmutes good will into resentment: since the elite are neither able nor willing to repay what was freely given, they grow resentful of presence. The common man is not the cause of their resentment; no, it is the elites' own twisted sense of conscience. Our very living reminds them of all they believe they owe us. Our working reminds them of all they are not.

The saddest truth about elitists is they have their beliefs backwards. Yes, meritocracy can lead to some people being held more valuable than others, but that value system, unlike the elitist's caste system, is based on God given talents, not the luck of the draw of being born (or Kerry's case, marrying into wealth -- twice!). All men are created equal but some strive to be even more than that.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

Bill Maher is not an intellectual. He's a failed actor and comedian whose most noteworthy achievement prior to re-inventing himself as a social gadfly and talk-show host was a starring role in "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" (1989). Safely ensconced on HBO, Maher utters his idiotic pronouncements completely free of the dreaded Nielsen ratings that would surely consign him to oblivion on network TV.

In the future, please don't insult the memory of real traitors like Alger Hiss by comparing them to Bill Maher. Hiss was the genuine article, a true dyed-in-the-wool, Harvard-educated elitist snob who sold out his country to Communists in Moscow. By comparison, Bill Maher is merely a pretender, an intellectual lightweight with a big mouth and an undeservedly large ego. In short, Bill Maher is a moron.
-- Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey

What I find most curious about Obama's supporters, liberals, and their media sycophants these days is their utter indignation when examining the results or critiques of liberal policies. Like American Idol contestants, Obama and his supporters want on the "fast track" to that alleged easy utopian-life. They want to be instantly vetted, rather than filling out applications, polishing the resume, and otherwise going down similar roads that all others must tread to gain experience, develop a method of survival, and earn their keep.

Since these Idol elitists think that; "we are what we have been waiting for." All those elitist Idol-Americans demand that we; read the liner notes, look at the pretty posed pictures, and view the edited video footage but GOD FORBID; don't listen to the music on that record.
-- Aaron Jones
Detroit, Michigan

In thinking about the "elite" discussed by Jeffrey Lord, I am speculating as to the future cabinet appointments by the President B. Hussein Obama:

1) Secretary of State -- Reverend Jackson
2) Secretary of Education -- Reverend Wright
3) Secretary of the Treasury -- Reverend Sharpton
4) Secretary of Defense -- Reverend Farrakhan
5) Director of CIA -- William Ayers
6) Director of FBI -- Bernadine Dohrn
7) Vice-President in executive charge of globaloney warming -- Al Gore

8) .... sorry, I'm out of breath -- you can continue if you feel like it. One can think of Pelosi as our UN Ambassador, Harry Reid as Energy Czar, Biden as Attorney General, another ACLU General Counsel (or two) for the Supreme Court, and let us not forget Carter, Reverend Lee, Rangel, and who would be ideal to be in charge of resolving the Middle East crises by negotiating honestly with bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, Hamas, Hezbollah... now I really have to stop before I get a heart attack.
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

For all the verbosity and pseudo-intellectualism, Jeffrey Lord's article can be summarized in a syllogism:

1. Senator Obama said some folks in the mid-West are bitter and cling to their guns and religion as a consequence. Ergo, Senator Obama is an elitist. (If you doubt this, remember he graduated from Harvard Law School).

2. Communists of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were elitist.

3. Therefore, Senator Obama is a communist.

This would be a LOL moment if the idea were original. Alas, it is a re-hash of an article by William Kristol in the New York Times. Mr. Kristol, who has become something of a laughingstock because of all of his incorrect predictions about Iraq and the Republican primaries, has one of the great jobs in the world. I would love to earn big bucks as a bloviator irrespective of my accuracy in predicting future events.

That I feel embarrassed for The American Spectator for publishing this rubbish is a testimony to the fact that I still respect (generally) the standards (I hope) of this online publication.
-- Mike Roush
North Carolina
P.S. I'm still waiting for Marc Jeric's citations concerning the statement that "no human activity" has contributed to global warming and the statistic concerning government scientists. Mr. Wladyslaw Pleszczynski: Ball is in your court, I guess. Sadly, I do not expect this letter to be published nor do I expect a response to this e-mail.

Jeffrey Lord is pouring gasoline on an already hot Democratic party. Not that I disagree, or even think it's a bad idea. I have friends and family in PA and one fits the politically elite moniker to a T and supports Obama. I was actually told this week the bitter infighting between BO and HR is...wait for it...all the fault of Karl Rove. Actually I was disappointed in that because I thought everyone knew it was Lee Atwater's fault.
-- Roger Ross
Wisconsin

Despite Jeffrey Lord's assertion that "plain men and women" will get to the "core" of Barack Obama, it only matters if they do it prior to his election. If he becomes president, bet the farm elitist liberals will cover his back at every turn. Even now, despite his conviction and the ensuing release of damning evidence, many liberals continue to insist that Alger Hiss was innocent.

Why would they be any less conniving and contriving for an elitist president?
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Thanks to Jeffrey Lord for this analysis ("Alger Hiss Democrats"). His conclusion about the cost to those who challenged Alger Hiss and his ilk might also have noted the cost caused by Hiss and his fellow travelers to their country.
-- J. Mark Davis
Houston, Texas

OH, IF ONLY
Re: Philip Klein's What Happens in the '90s, Stays in the '90s:

I must confess to a certain sneaking admiration for the Senator from New York. Like for those other American originals, Willie Sutton and D.B. Cooper.

She is to politics what Madonna is to music: No particular talent, but a will to power that would fade Lucrezia Borgia, backed by discipline Prussians would have admired.

Is her campaign going down again? I for one don't believe it. She has ridden out more wakes than all the Swift Boaters put together. And she will keep on as long as anyone will let her.

She will continue to campaign, win or lose. She can't do anything else. She will demand the delegates she won by voting. She will demand the delegates not committed. If she leads in the polls she will demand the nomination by right. If she trails in the polls she will demand the nomination anyway.

And the grand climax of the convention will be Hilary, screaming for her due as security guards physically peel her away from the podium the night the nomination is announced. I'm getting a new TV just to see it.

Oh, if only that talent and force of character could be applied on America's behalf!
-- Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

Indeed, Messrs. Klein and McCain, hopefully, indeed. Yet, somewhat, eerily indeed. It ain't over yet. So, here's to what might have been?

Where's My Coronation Gone? (with thanks to Pete Seeger)

Where's my coronation gone?
Long time expecting.
Where's my coronation gone?
I won't let go.
Where's my coronation gone?
"C'mon folks, we're not half way done."
By August it's gonna turn.
By August it's gonna turn.

Where have all my donors gone?
Long time stashing.
Where have all my donors gone?
Thar's bills to pay.
Where have all my donors gone?
Charlie, Mark, Johnny, and Norman
Oh, where can I get a loan?
Oh, where can I get a loan?

Where have all my "Super Ds" gone?
Long time schmoozing.
Where have all my "Super Ds" gone?
Please don't say no.
Where have all my "Super Ds" gone?
"He can't win guys, pick me to run."
In November, they're gonna learn.
In November, they're gonna learn.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

CORPORATE GOING GREEN
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III's Mail's Earth Day: Corporate Edition:

It is a fine thing to be recycling but to have cap and trade deals is going to be a night mare for the consumer as the small amount of Co2 that we put into the air is very small some where around .3 % not three but point three. This global warming hoax is going to cost us dearly and will do nothing to change anything. Al Gore is the slickest snake oil salesman to hit this earth . None of what he states is true he even uses computer models showing ice breaking off and the polar bears are not decreasing in population . I have found no truth in his movie and I fear there is no truth in him.
-- Ken Roberts

PELICAN BEEF
Re: Iain Murray's The Truths Shall Set You Free:

Mr. Murray mentions the sordid tale of DDT which was declared illegal in 1972 on the main basis that it is a) not biodegradable, and b) that it kills pelicans. The environmentalist theory was that DDT ends up in the sea where it is eaten by fish, which are in turn eaten by pelicans whose egg shells are then too weak to support the weight of pelican mothers and are therefore crushed. In addition, it was said that it well may be carcinogenic.

1) DDT was eventually found to be biodegradable;

2) the pelican population has varied up and down over the centuries in a natural cycle as follows: a) an abundance of fish causes pelican population to grow, with many strong eggs resulting in many more pelicans; b) a growing pelican population eats a lot of fish whose numbers consequently diminish; c) smaller fish population leaves a lot of hungry pelicans producing weak egg shells that get crushed; d) the resulting smaller number of pelicans lets the fish population to increase; and so on, for centuries on end, without any reference to DDT.

As for being "possibly" carcinogenic -- if a child starts eating 400 pounds of DDT every day, these quantities "may" affect its health by the time it reaches the age of 80.

In the meantime, totally preventable deaths of Africans due to malaria and other deadly diseases by the use of DDT have accumulated to an estimated total of about 30 million. That mass murder of innocents should be attributed exclusively to our "environmentalists" and their bureaucratic co-conspirators in our government.
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas, Nevada

FACT CHECK
Re: Bob Keiser's letter (under "Moveable Masters") in Reader Mail's Monday, Monday:

In case you didn't know, The Masters cannot be held at any other club since it belongs to Augusta National. Further, it is not a PGA event but is recognized as one of its four Majors because of the historic significance of the tournament down through the years. As far as course changes, I have no problem with the rough not looking like a wheat field in need of harvesting; the course is beautiful and challenging, just as it should be. And there is no more storied and tougher stretch of holes in golf than Augusta's "Amen Corner" with a tough par-3, a tough par-4, and an even tougher par-5. It doesn't get much better than that, even if the tourney was practically wrapped up going into the final round this year. Just because the final round lacked a classic showdown on Sunday did not mean it was not a good tournament. Heck, I don't even like golf that much...but I watch the Masters every year!
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

UNDUE PROCESS
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Searching for "Sarah":

I was perturbed from the start because of the lack of evidence used to launch the raid on the polygamous "compound" and the attempts by the media and law enforcement to demonize the people there. I understand that polygamy is against the law, but shouldn't someone there be charge with that by now? And what did polygamy have to do with this raid in the first place, other than to paint these people as a weird sex cult that demanded law enforcement intervention?

What is equally disturbing is that the story that was used to smear these people and destroy their families seems to be falling apart at the seams, yet the only place I can get any real news about it is from TAS! It is always bad when law enforcement and the media get all chummy, and this situation just confirms it. The state has decided to treat these people as criminals, and worse than that as child abusers, with a willing media complicit in the smear campaign.

I guess when the story fits an agenda, the media watchdog morphs pretty quickly into a law enforcement lapdog, eh?
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

LIMITS TO COMMON SENSE
Re: Ty Knoy's letter (under "Limits to Limits to Growth Theory") in Reader Mail's Monday, Monday:

Mr. Knoy's letter is as good a place as any to talk about the diversion of grain into the manufacture of fuel. I have serious misgivings about the current practice; but setting that aside much of the concern about the diversion of grain away from the food supply is misplaced. A lot could have been done to ease the price shock before the sudden introduction of bio-fuels. It would have been more humane for the state to end its counterproductive policy to discourage crop production and allowed grain production to ramp up to increased demand. Still, we are not in static situation. We are in a transition period. As corn becomes more profitable, farmers will grow more corn -- as much as demand will allow. Unfortunately, the switch to farming corn will have an impact upon the growing of beans and wheat -- but that is a problem the free market will handle better than Uncle Sam trying to manage food production. Farming is one "industry" the government has most removed the free market and has stepped in and made its presence known in every phase. True to form, the government is the last to recognize that circumstances have changed. As it is said that military generals are always fighting the last war, likewise Uncle Sam's planners are always trying to solve yesterday's crisis.
-- Michael Dooley
Indianapolis, Indiana

NOT MY TYPE
Re: Florence King's A Man's Woman:

Per the article, Alice Roosevelt Longworth was, among other things, a power-hungry adulteress devotee of evolution, eugenics, and Social Darwinism who bullied her only child into having a stuttering problem, a "receding" personality, and, implicitly, death at 31 from alcohol and barbiturates.

It's not fair to men to refer to her as a "man's woman" and she's certainly isn't this man's concept of any feminine ideal. That she married a serial-adulterer is no excuse for her awful behavior; if anything it is but an example of one of her many poor choices, not a cause thereof.

I often enjoy Miss King's articles but on this one, respectfully, I think she missed the mark. Or else I misinterpreted her review. I did enjoy her earlier write-up of Mata Hari, though.
-- Richmond Trotter

TALKIN' TURKEY
Re: Bob Vogler's letter (under "Gobbler's Nod") in Reader Mail's Eagle Eyes:

I second that, Mr. Vogler. WE WANT THE TURKEY BACK!

BTW, what was it there for to begin with?
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

IS IT CONSTITUTIONAL?
Re: James M. Thunder's The Rules of the Game:

Sure, is it democratic? But now you're getting right into the question of "Is it constitutional to deny a state any right not left to the Federal Government?" :) Redo that article sometime and replace "Is it democratic?" with "Is it constitutional?" Even pick a different topic if you want, it will be an interesting article.
-- Timothy F. Ezell

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