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It’s Too Late

The niqab has landed on American shores. Also: Bush-Libby: Just do it. Searching for Bartok. Consonant games. Plus more.

6.29.07

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SIGHTINGS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Designer Slits:

Even a cursory reading of "Designer Slits" by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is thorough enough to discover two revealing errors that demonstrate The American Spectator's lack of journalistic integrity. Tyrrell claimed that Jack Straw barred the niqab from his offices. In fact, he did no such thing; rather, he suggested that being able to see the faces of his constituents may allow for better communication. While many in the British Muslims did take offense to this suggestion, it was by no means a ban, and Tyrrell's misrepresentation is pointless, prevaricating, and easily fact-checked. Even more basic an error than that is his misspelling of "hijab" as "hajib." Is there no filter whatsoever for a front-page article in The American Spectator?

Cordially,
-- Mok Bang

Mr. Tyrrell is too late. The niqab is already here: I recently saw one on the New York City subway. The [presumed] female inside was wearing glasses and several large (vulgar) expensive-looking rings.
-- C. Michael Mellor
Brooklyn, New York

The possibilities are endless, Mr. Tyrrell, but you overlooked the most probable inhabitants -- a man and a goat.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sorry, I do not know where in America you live, but niqabs are here too. I have seen them in malls and other public places in suburban Maryland between Washington and Baltimore, in Northern Va. and in highway rest stops along I95

I leave the vicinity as soon possible; for some reason I associate masks with bank robbers or bombers.

I would like to see wearing full masks in public outlawed but don't expect that to happen for a long time.
-- unsigned

I took pause by your comment that the niqab won't ever be seen in America; I've seen them on three different occasions in the city of Chicago alone this past year. I would prefer this type of dress, and the people who accompany it, not appear on our shores at all, now or in the future, however I live in the land of confusion that's lost its collective soul; i.e., its identity, sense of purpose and most of all its desire for self-preservation as a culture. I suspect there will be plenty more flotsam and jetsam floating in from the Middle East as we march towards the inevitable clash.

Tell me though, how do we explain to our children and grandchildren that we let the enemies of Western Civilization plant roots and spread in our land? I grieve for the future of America.
-- David P. Bennett
Chicago, Illinois

Are you kidding? The niqab is already here. Go to Tyson's Galleria in McLean, VA. There are always women (I'm assuming) hiding under these tents with just their eyes exposed. Sometimes they even have their Filipino or Indonesian slaves with them walking two steps behind. They do like their luxury goods. Why is this allowed?
-- Louise S.
Maryland

In Virginia at the Richmond County Fair about two years ago, a group of niqab garbed persons were observed by myself and my children. What was strange, aside from being completely covered from head to toe in black robes on a very hot Virginia day, was that they were also all crouched on the ground inside the fence surrounding the County Fair grounds eating their lunch, with unused picnic tables a short distance away.

I didn't think of the KKK, I simply thought they were silly, hot, sweaty, miserable, and uncomfortable; determined to make their lives a misery where misery didn't need to be so diligently worked for. Which may well be the essence of their mindset.

They are here in America.
-- K.T. Eakins
Virginia

May I suggest a slight variation to Mr. Tyrrell's intriguing idea? It's indeed time for cutting edge American liberals to show solidarity with their fellow anti-American jihadists. What better way than to don a burka or niqab (are they one and the same?) as visible rejection of Western Culture, the excesses of 21st century American life, and conservatives in general. Why it would be as hip as having one's own carbon footprint. Imagine driving in your $40K hybrid @ 70 mph mouthing obscenities to fellow drivers without their suspecting anything!! Hey, why not? After all, if John Edwards can join a hedge fund and make a cool couple of million $$ to learn about poverty in America, then American liberals should be willing to wear 7th century garb as their 401K's grow fat with capitalistic lucre. Perhaps the Constitution-hating, infamous Duke "88" faculty and president can, in the fall, don their niqabs with graduate school colors added for just the right touch of academic snobbery. Finally, imagine Paris Hilton, Rosie, & Al Gore cocooned and concealed. Oh happy days!!
-- A. DiPentima

"It is my hope that the British authorities will ban the niqab and return to a celebration of the miniskirt. I personally admire a woman who has nothing to hide."

...a Paris Hilton man!

As for the titles of his article...well, we won't go there.
-- Gregg Calkins

I have seen it already in the U.S. To be precise, I have seen it in the Commissary at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
-- Ed Ahlsen-Girard

JUST DO IT
Re: Quin Hillyer's The Pardon of Scooter Libby:

Mr. Hillyer's "explanation of Pardon" by Pres. Bush is an excellent piece. It would be a grand day if the President would Pardon Mr. Libby and then give to the American people the detailed explanation. However, the chances of such an event occurring are nearly "none."

I have never been more disillusioned in a political figure I once supported than George W. Bush. He will, and does, go to the wall for Alberto Gonzales, but leaves in prison, Agents Compean and Ramos. He will leave Lewis Scooter Libby to prison also. It is beyond my comprehension what has happened to President Bush and his "advisors."
-- Kathy Ridlon
Dallas, Texas

This article appears to be a quote from a presidential press conference and press release.

I see nothing in other media about a Presidential pardon for Libby, yet this would seem to be more newsworthy than Paris Hilton's release from jail.

Is this for real? If not, I don't appreciate it.
-- name withheld

Having stopped donations to any Republican organization the past two years, instead giving to the Heritage Foundation, we have been inundated from calls, letters, phony surveys and census requests. Repeated desist requests have produced nothing except more of the same.

The RNC and Bush appear to be clueless. With the defeat of the immigration "bill," it might prevent his number dropping to single digits were he pardon Scooter Libby. The voters need a thread to hang on. God only knows! Based on past performance we expect nothing.
-- Dick Grogan
Yorba Linda, California

Clinton lies under oath and gets a slap on the wrist.

Libby lies under oath and is going to jail.

Yep that's justice in America. Guilt is now determined by what political party you belong to.
-- A. Hughes

Amen!
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

BARTOK SHOP TALK
Re: Christopher Orlet's From Car Talk to Bartok:

I assume that Mr. Orlet's lack of enthusiasm for Car Talk is more based on the rhyme with Bartok, but jeez, Can't We All Get Along?

The idea that Car Talk was the catalyst for (or should be the poster boy for) music stations dumping music for talk is loopy. I began listening to Car Talk when I was at Boston University studying painting in graduate school in the early '80s. Car Talk was on WBUR and not national at all. At that time WBUR was chock-a-block full of great music, as it should be since BU's music department is one of the best anywhere. (See Don Ellis.)

Both Car Talk guys graduated from MIT. One of them taught for years at MIT. They don't "guess" at car problems. Their humor is very broad shtick. Not everyone's taste, I'm sure. But I've spent many happy hours listening to Car Talk and listening to Bartok.

Mr. Orlet does put his finger on the real problem in pointing out that at some point 15 years ago a series of public radio stations got BBC envy. So now in Boston you can turn on one public radio station in the morning to listen to classical music only to get the BBC, whereupon you turn to the next big public radio station in search of music to hear ... the exact same broadcast of the BBC.

In sum: American Spectator good; Bartok good; Car Talk good

BBC bad.
-- Darrell Judd

The waxing and waning over Rush Limbaugh and providing "balance" on the airwaves makes the assumption that Limbaugh is not "high culture". When one listens, however, it sounds entertaining (and is), it sounds opinionated (it is), and it sounds factual (it is). Most Conservative talk shows also include a large segment of audience participation, a feature conspicuously absent on most NPR news programming or from any of their "feature" programs.

Detroit killed off the music portion of their public radio programming about two years ago. I don't even have them programmed in the radio anymore. A nearly non-commercial Canadian oldies station and "hard-core-bomb-throwing-fire-breathing-conservative talk radio" are my main listening enjoyment these days. I grew up listening to CKLW-AM here in south Michigan playing; Motown, Stax & Volt, the California sound, Chicago Blues, the sounds of the Mississippi Delta and many East-Coast rockers. Years ago we heard diversity, these days radio is more segregated than ever.

I like talk radio, but I love music. Why Detroit's public radio management thought they were doing us a favor is difficult for me to comprehend. They explained it away for months after, or just until the complaints subsided. But people aren't serious 24-7. We like our tunes, not because we're "low culture" But because music is part of the culture.
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

Today's Christopher Orlet column was great; said so much that needs saying about NPR etc. (Can't recall hearing anything by Bartok on WETA since they did their deal with WGMS and took over the station's Top 40 classical format.)
-- Gary Pastorius
Alexandria, Virginia

JUST ABORTION?
Re: James Bowman's review of Unborn in the USA:

"They're pro-choice," he says, "because the pro-choice movement has been telling us for decades that sometimes it's OK to end a life to solve a problem."

Can anyone be brutally honest about this topic? We ALL know that there are times when we decide it is okay to end a life to solve a problem. Self-defense, war, capital punishment... have long been legal ways to end the life of another. The question should rather be framed, "Does abortion on demand belong in that category?" Forget the debate over when life begins. We all know abortion is death. We just can't agree if and when this kind of death should be legal. The media needs to show the violence and bloodshed done to the aborted baby, then we can honestly debate the circumstances when an unborn baby's death is just.
-- Wendy Sandy

4CING THE ISSUE
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Naming Children in the Digital Age:

What fun! Jay Homnick outdid himself peppering his article with text msg-ese; the "40," presumably for forte doesn't work, though, as the pronunciation is "fort," mass mispronunciation notwithstanding.

I had a long-ago menopausal (she thought) friend, who, upon learning she was pregnant, mused that if it was a girl she would name her Onyx -- for onyxpected. Probably an old joke, but I had never heard it. And, spoken ruefully, sounded original to me.

Being named Smith, I pondered long and seriously on a first name for my first born that would not sound like John Doe. Settled on "Christopher," three syllables to go with a one-syllable surname. Oh, I had it all figured out -- until in waltzes a cheery nurse, lisping "Here is Baby Chris Smith -- Merry Chrissmith!" I could have died. I could have killed her.

In the name game you can't win. Or I would not have additional n's gratuitously added to mine. I spent a year in English Lit. having to answer to "Duane" because the instructor had typed a "u" for the "i." In Texas they say Doo-wayne, making it worse. Daily correcting never worked and I lacked the courage to grab her attendance book and correct it myself.

How often does anyone get enough ms and t's and r's and l's in Bob Tyrrell's name?
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

ALL CRACKED UP
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Ahoy the Entourage!:

So many books, so little time! I'm sticking with The Clinton Crack-Up. But did notice the rotund Carl Bernstein tonight on H&C, Fox News, flogging his cut-and-paste job on Miz Hil. Poor Carl -- still trying to capture the 7-1/2 minutes of fame he lost out on when Woodward "dwarfed" him (not an easy task) on Watergate.

Although my bookshelf groans with Clinton lore, I confess that nothing I have read in the past dwelled on the fact that Hillary failed her bar exam! The most important woman lawyer in America, Savior of Children -- and Black Panthers -- long suffering wife of Bill. Failed her bar exam. I think some right-wing conservative dog ate her homework.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

Given the acreage of Hillaryland -- actually, wouldn't Hillarywood be more appropriate? -- it appears the size of the entourage, in numbers, not girth, may be directly proportional to the mass of a politician's political ego.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

IT IS WORSE THAN PETERS KNOWS
Re: Eric Peters's Highway Robbery:

State Senator Albo is a lawyer whose firm makes money off of defending speeding tickets. The higher the fines the more likely he is to be hired.

How much does Mr. Albo stand to gain from the "fine fairy"? Albo is a conservative and a Republican but this is a travesty.
-- John J. Vecchione, Esq.
Fairfax, Virginia

SAUDI STYLE
Re: Brian's and Grateful Reader's letter (under "Cops or Robbers?") in Reader Mail's Shakedown Highways:

I have a solution for Brian and A Grateful Reader who derive sick pleasure upon seeing Saudi Arabian style cut-off-the-hands justice for speeders: You know those do-gooder law-and-order types who insist upon driving slow on an empty and open country road to the great annoyance of those behind them? Try this: Pass them at the nearest opportunity and then go even slower but just above the speed minimum. The lesson: Even law-and-order types have a pain threshold for driving slowly (it's just set a lot lower.) The problem is that I would rather just live and let live. Maybe the slow driver is having engine problems or they're just running low on gas. I'll leave the sadism to the do-gooders.
-- Mark Sobolewski
Falls Church, Virginia

THANKS
Re: Ben Stein's Our Founding Father:

Many thanks to Ben Stein for keeping alive the importance of honoring WFB, Jr. No man in the last sixty years has been more important or exhibited more class and character in the conservative movement or in all of American politics.
-- Jeff Young

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