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The Good Life

The Rev. Wright in retirement. Prodigal Yankees. Cole comforts. Plus more.

4.3.08

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SUBURBAN LIKE ME
Re: George Neumayr's McMansion Marxism:

Jeremiah Wright, like all anti-Americans, is the classic "biter of the hand that feeds it." I wonder if his flock sees the irony in Wright's indulging lifestyle among the hated rich white folks. Perhaps Wright should use his sabbatical as Eldridge Cleaver (who was on the lam), and actually live in a Marxist state. (I read the entire Reason interview with Eldridge Cleaver; it was very candid and very interesting, a good remedy for any aspiring Marxist /Socialist in this country.)
-- John Nelson
Hebron, Connecticut

The home was the church's to give and Wright's to receive. No problem.

But building it smack dab in the middle of the upscale America he's called on God to damn, the very one that he says has oppressed his race?

Can anyone -- and I don't include Barack Obama who apparently heard nothing, saw nothing or said nothing during his decades at TUCC -- at that church spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e?
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

I'm reminded of a send up of the radical chic icon Joan Baez, recorded on National Lampoon's Radio Dinner" album back in the 70's, wherein the singer enjoins the Black Panthers of San Francisco to:

"Pull the triggers, n_____s, We're with you all the way!...Just across the Bay."
-- Richard Meade
Bayside, New York

No mention of the frosting on the retirement cake for Dr. Wright. That would be the $1 million line of credit the Church bestowed upon him, now that he is no longer in close proximity to the collection plates.

If this keeps up, us middle income white folks are going to be engaging in the same hateful class envy Dr. Wright has made his living goading his flock on about, his long career.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

From Paul Johnson's book Modern Times: an Indian prince whines about the expense it takes to fund a messiah's message: "It takes a lot of money to keep Gandhi in poverty."
-- Aaron Jones

THE HOUSE THAT JOE D BUILT
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's There Used to be a Stadium:

I've been a regular at the Stadium since 1965, though not much in the last few years. Since the Yankees began pulling 4+ million a year, getting in and worse getting out of the Stadium by car [I've lived in NJ since 1969] is pure torture.

Pardon my nitpicking, but I've never heard the Stadium referred to as the "Big Ballyard." It's always been the "Big Ballpark." Also, my recollection of the old field dimensions are different. Dead center was 461. Left center, in front of the bleachers, was 454. And one foul pole was 298, the other 302, I forget whether left or right.

Abandoning and even worse demolishing the Stadium is the ultimate sports sacrilege. A few months ago, I was driving down the Harlem River Drive, and saw the army of construction cranes, large and small, just north of the Stadium on the other side of the river. I almost cried.

The greatest moment for me in the Stadium was the 1967 Old Timers Day game and the regular game that followed. 1967 was the last year DiMaggio suited up and played. Joe D retired in 1951. I was born in 1952, so the only live Joe D I'd ever see was the Old Timer. He hit one into the seats just fair of the left field foul pole. The SRO crowd went completely nuts, me included. In the regular game, the Mick hit a grand slammer right handed into the upper deck in right field. Steve Whitaker, who some hoped was Mantle's heir apparent, also hit a grand slammer into the right field porch. It was great.

Also in the old days, the crowd was allowed on the playing field, i.e., the running track, after the game. You could walk all the way around, stand in front of the scoreboards at the base of the bleachers, visit the monuments which were on the playing field, just in front of the dead center 461 sign. Not anymore!

I had some e-mail exchanges with sports writers in NYC. The ones I communicated with had zero sense of tradition. They could not care less about the old Stadium. Surprise, surprise!
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

Although I'm a member of the Red Sox Nation, I enjoyed reading Lisa Fabrizio's article about Yankee Stadium ("There Used to Be a Stadium"). I feel that Yankee Stadium is an important and historical place and I don't understand why there wasn't a hue and cry about its destruction as there was in Boston a few years ago when there were plans to replace Fenway. I get the feeling that the Yankee will lose a certain something. "The House That A-Rod Built" doesn't quite ring as true as "The House That Ruth Built."
-- Joe Hedio
Salem, Massachusetts
P.S. Ms. Fabrizio missed a couple of Yankee Stadium moments such as the 2004 ALCS, the greatest playoff comeback of all time and Carl Yastrzemski Day in 1967.

IT'S MILLER TIME
Re: George H. Wittman's Limp Olympics:

I have just one question: Who watches the Olympics in the 21st century? Aside from rewarding a repressive, Communist nation, it is boring, time delayed and not very interesting.

I stopped watching quite a few Olympics ago, because I think they have come to be represented by the likes of Bode Miller, a talented, self-indulgent, spoiled child who needed a real job.
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

STUCK IN A CONE OF SILENCE
Re: Shawn Macomber's Return to Sender:

I'll see you at the Convention, Shawn. I got the same letter. Haven't given the RNC a dime since $25 got me a Christmas Card from Dubya, Laura and Barney. Perhaps that is what piddlin' donations go for.

I have a better idea about questionnaires. Instead of asking us loaded questions about whether we want our guns confiscated -- how about we just stop all this campaigning, put Obama, Clinton and McCain in separate "Cones of Silence" onstage, give them each a written test:

Start the Ominous Music as they chew on their pencils and furrow their brows. And sweat buckets.

1. Define "Thuh Economy"
2. Specifically, describe what is wrong with it and why?
3. Who/what caused it?
4. How would you fix it?
5. Would you do it unaided, or seek advice and assistance?
6. Who would you ask to help?

Then we reject all three test-takers and elect one of the ones they would ask to help -- if we think Thuh Economy can be fixed by a president. Personally, I do not.

If you really wanted to see them drown in their own sweat, you could ask for a 200 word summary of how they would have handled a country paralyzed in the aftermath of 9/11 -- no air travel, no auto rentals, hotels vacant, and wide economic ripples we are still unaware of -- AND finance a war. Of course, they would airily say they would not have gone to war. How do you let the events of 9/11 go unanswered? Why can't the whiners at the gas pump be thankful we are in as good a shape as we are?

There is probably good reason George Bush did not ask us to sacrifice. He knew what the answer would be.
-- Diane Smith

You wrote the letter that I wished I had the talent to write. I also received Rep. Cole's (many) surveys with invites to dine with the President (please send $500 for costs associated) and I finally wrote back to him (his staff) that the survey was an insult to me and every card-carrying Republican.

You nailed it -- you should reprint your entire letter in a full-page WSJ. Now that's something I would be happy to contribute $'s.
-- Bob Brogan

COMPASSIONATE NUMBERS
Re: Neal B. Freeman's Giving a Damn:

Let me see if I got this straight. I think Mr. Eisenberg needs some math lessons.

If an individual or corporation donates 2% of a 1 million dollar profit, that's 10 thousand, right?

If that individual or corporation the next year makes a 2 million dollar profit and donates 2% of that, that would be 20 thousand dollars. Am I right?

So how is that less? I'm confused.

Or maybe Mr. Eisenberg is confused.
-- Anastasia Mather
Staten Island, New York

A FINE ROMANCE
Re: Jennifer Rubin's More Reporting, Less Tingling:

Often when one is burned by one paramour, one turns back to a former flame, if only out of a sense of familiarity. Senator McCain and the (liberal) press were once very sweet on each other. In the beginning of the romance, he could do no wrong. He was their type of conservative (i.e., more liberal than his opponents) and running against the "Compassionate Conservative" foe. They again flirted with him when he was down and out during the early part of this very campaign season. But like an ingénue or starlet, once they put their gaze on a younger (much younger) and prettier suitor, the capricious ways of youth took wing.

Obama, playing his part, wooed well and wisely. His rhetoric was sweet and soaring. ("He uses all the great quotations/Says the things I wish I could say/Whoa, but he's has so many rehearsals
Girl, to him it's just another play," to quote from the Tony Orlando and Dawn classic.) OBH forgot that if she is betrayed the kitten becomes a tiger. The youthful senator from Illinois is still ahead of Hillary, but only because when Clinton goes negative, her screeds remind even hardcore Democrats how unlikable she truly is. While she is the spurned party (once again), she would welcome back the press in a heartbeat. (Sensing a habit with Ms. Clinton?)

Since the Wizard has been revealed, can we ignore the man behind the curtain? Will the press leave him on the way to the alter and return the loving (and quickly moving to the soft center) McCain or can they live with a (badly tarnished) tin man?
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

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