Reader Mail

Tear Down That Statue

Red liberators or occupiers? Fact-checking the media. Examining our modern Chicken Littles. Career advice to Greg Gutfeld. Horse sense. Plus much more.

5.3.07

Send to Kindle

SOME LIBERATORS
Re: Shawn Macomber's Another Red Square Bites the Dust:

Congratulations on Shawn Macomber's excellent article on Estonia! It deserves the widest possible readership.
-- Hal G. P. Colebatch

Regarding your latest masterpiece: As promising as it is to see that the word "apologist" has finally entered your vocabulary, I want to point that it is you, in fact, who's playing this role -- specifically, of a Nazi apologist. Those depictions of "endlessly overflowing basement interrogation cells" (wait, did someone just say "Abu Ghraib?") and "forcibly collectivized" farms are powerful, of course, but somehow this just doesn't compare to the tens of millions killed by the Nazis, I am sorry.

Perhaps you should tell your readers about the SS memorials the Estonians erect when they're not too busy hating everything Russian -- I'd like to see you spin that one! Oh, and by the way, your level of Russophobia is bordering on pathological, too. Too much time spent at the "occupation museum"?
-- Alexandre Renaud

Greetings from Estonia. I wanted to commend you on your excellent article in The American Spectator. That is exactly the kind of balanced representation of this issue our tiny country needs when faced with the PR leviathan of the Russian Federation. In the past, we have lost countless PR battles of this sort simply because we don't have the resources to counter the flood of half-truths and lies being pumped out by the increasingly aggressive neighbor of ours.

A couple of points from a rather neutral (i.e. I'm an ethnic Estonian who respect toward the Russian culture and I did not initially support the relocation of the statue) point of view:

(1) The statue itself was not so much an issue until recently, but it was made into an issue by the blatant use of it for rallying anti-Estonian sentiment and creating ethnic tensions by ... guess three times by which foreign nation's embassy.

(2) The goal of this escalation of tensions probably served the goal of dividing the local Estonian population while uniting the Russian-speaking minority. In reality, it turned out the opposite. While almost all of the Russian speakers in Estonia did not approve of the relocation of the statue, the more intelligent part of that community clearly does not understand the looting and pillaging by the marauders in late April. The other possible goal was probably to show Estonia as a backward, Nazi glorifying country where a Russian minority is routinely discriminated against (this has been -- on and off -- the main rhetoric of the Russian Federation for the past 16 years towards post-Soviet Estonia) and thereby create tensions within the EU. Clear and simple divide-and-conquer politics by the newly Imperialist Russian regime, which uses stacks of dollars instead of guns to expand its influence.

However, luckily for us, the image of Russia has started to shift all over Europe and Western European governments have started to understand the ruthlessness and in general see the true face of that regime. This is evidenced by the rather neutral or outright supportive statements from European governments towards Estonia, which must be a grave disappointment for the Russian Foreign Ministry. Especially the expression of support by the German government (in neutral wording, but it's rather clear that the Russians were expecting much more), considering that Germany starts to do gymnastics whenever the Kremlin feels it necessary to bring up issues (to pressure Germany) remotely touching on the subject of Germany's painful past.

This is an indication above all else, that the European heavyweights at the least see that the appeasement policies and bending over towards Russia do not work. The culture is just too darn different. The concept of mutual gain is rather foreign to the rulers of Russia. If someone wins, it must mean that someone else loses. This is the defining character of Russian foreign policy and has always been, just that with the concentration of power in the hands of the ruling clique, it has become much more aggressive and multi-faceted than before.

(3) Also, I'd like to emphasize, that local Estonians don't hate or discriminate against local Russians and vice versa. Those violent protesters don't represent the majority of Russians in Estonia and are more of a liability to their community than to our tiny republic.

While I did not personally support the relocation of the statue (I am an ethnic Estonian, but I understand the important role of the victory in WWII to the identity of an ethnic Russian) in fear of ethnic unrest, I think the aftermath of the situation is rather interesting. The internal political situation in Estonia is probably going to remain tense for some time, but concerning foreign policy on the European level, it seems that the arrogance of the Kremlin has to some extent backfired and a process has been set in motion (Poland has declared they're going to remove Soviet monuments) that might mean the "glorious" history of the Soviet Union might become a subject of debate in (especially Western) Europe.

Again, thank you for your excellent article.
-- Reio Vare
Citizen of a supposedly Hitler-loving, Russian-beating, Nazy-glorifying, un-European, history-rewriting small, evil nation (aka Estonia)

MYTH STREAM MEDIA
Re: Quin Hillyer's Out of the Mainstream:

Mr. Hillyer's column is an excellent summation of what we constantly see from the real agenda of the so-called mainstream media. He implies that there is more. I feel certain there is and I'd like to see his list. Thank him. Thank you.
-- Paul Bunker
La Moille, Illinois

Excellent, just excellent. The best (short) summation of what's wrong with the "mainstream" media. You nailed them, but they won't listen.
-- Buck Donham
Little Rock, Arkansas

Mr. Hillyer does an admirable job enumerating conservative gripes about the "mainstream media." If any of the 16 points are demonstrably wrong, serious refutations would require some homework. But in taking a defensive stance against the liberal press, Mr. Hillyer isn't seeing any of its positive attributes -- and there are some.

For example, even if you give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt on honesty and civility, there is no sweeping under the rug the questions of its competence. As time goes on, the decision to invade Iraq is looking increasingly poor, and the handling of the Katrina disaster certainly left a lot to be desired. There is no shortage legitimate questions that journalists are expected to ask in the course of doing their jobs.

Ironically, Frank Rich, the nemesis of conservatives, just complained that the press has been in bed with the Bush administration, i.e. they have been more interested in hobnobbing with the power elite in Washington than in pounding the pavement and informing the American public about government actions in which they have a stake. This is the opposite of Mr. Hillyer's position, but I think Rich is right. Any conscientious reporter should have raised flags about the decision-making process leading up to Iraq, but they didn't, and here we are four years later finding out from self-serving books like George Tenet's that the so-called evidence was always questionable and that it was never the driving force behind the decision to invade. This country would have been better off if these facts had been exposed and George Tenet and Colin Powell had resigned before the UN presentation.

I must also mention that the "mainstream media" is increasingly dominated by conservatives like Rupert Murdoch, who may soon add the Wall Street Journal to his collection, which already includes Fox News.

To quote Abraham Lincoln (a worthier idol than Ronald Reagan):

"You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time."

Without the open discussion of dissenting ideas, this democracy may stagnate and die.
-- Abe Grossman
Pleasantville, New York

The article was a excellent start; it needs an excellent ending.

To round out the "Top 20 Issues that Define the Mainstream's Agenda":

Point 17: The direction spelled-out in the liberal cabal's "power grab" playbook (Government control) is in direct inverse to the direction that guarantees the increased wealth and health of the American people (free markets). Of course, the mainstream media will never report that what's good for liberals is not what's good for America.

Point 18: It's called the Democrat Party, not the Democratic Party -- it is listed as such with the IRS. In fact, there is nothing democratic about the Democrat Party.

Point 19: Blue dresses aside, it was all about lying under oath -- nothing more and nothing less. Actually, there is one thing more -- a victim was denied her rightful day in court.

Point 20: The results of a poll taken 9 months out from the first primary is not news. Who raised the most cash in the last reporting period is not news. And, how much someone paid for a haircut is certainly not news -- however, according to the mainstream media, whether that same individual wore boxers or briefs could be considered the lead story.
-- Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Yorktown, Virginia

Points well made. Touche. If I may add another few other points, though.

One, "In God We Trust" offends far, far, far fewer people that the MSM suspects, will admit or desires.

Two, the Pledge of Allegiance remains meaningful.

Three, Old Glory's still red and white alternating stripes, and white stars on a blue background -- not the white flag of surrender, France's tri-color, Germany's black-red-and-yellow or the former Soviet Union's hammer and sickle.

Four, patriotism is alive and well.

Five, people still come from the world over to gain the privilege of taking the oath of citizenship.

Six, democracy isn't dead.

Seven, America did not create all the world's problems and may not have solutions to the same.

Eight, when it comes to what passes for news from the MSM, the public's individual and collective BS meters are more finely tuned and memories much longer than the MSM realizes.

And, nine, a backlash heads this way against the MSM and all others who comprise the politically correct crowd.
-- C. Kenna Amos

MONEY TALKS
Re: Peter Hannaford's Stopping TOOTSIF in Its Tracks:

It seems to me that, in this whole global warming fiasco, what we have is another prime example of the old adage, "Follow the money." If there weren't a whole lot of people, starting with Algore, making a whole lot of money within this whole global warming scam, there wouldn't be so many people so adamant that the debate is over and further discussion is prohibited. And just think, Mr. Hannaford didn't even get into the billions and billions of dollars of government contracts and grants, both here and world wide, that have been doled out to ivory tower types that can't make an honest living. But it will all be OK because the EU is going to come up with a change of diet for cows so that they do not produce so much gas.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

Since "carbon credits" are invisible, what is there to keep the same "credits" from being sold over and over? Talk about snake oil salesmen, this is a winner. This has got to be one of the dumbest things going.

Today I am not using A/C so I can sell what I am not using to someone that wants to keep their A/C on and it just comes out as a wash. How is this going to help anything? Not that I think anything needs to be done in the first place. Just remember it was not very many years ago that we were going into an ice age, at least if you listened to the wackos.
-- Elaine Kyle

I found Peter Hannaford's article very interesting, especially the part where he repeats Mr. (Dr.?) Gray's observation that the Earth may cool down in 5-10 years.

I've often wondered how close our observations "track" to what is actually occurring; are the supposed "effects" we see today caused by today's activities or "yesterday's" activities. In other words, is there some delay in what we observe and what caused it? Even better, are there "things" happening today (or even yesterday) that are already mitigating the problem, only we haven't yet seen their effect on the system?

This is a process called hysteresis: the delay between impetus and observation. The phenomenon can be observed in many scientific areas such as magnetics and the elastic behavior of plastics. I struggled with the principle while in Engineering school, as did many others. It's difficult thinking in terms of responses in days or even years, much less decades, especially to the "I want it now" generation. It could very well explain the disparities between temperatures and CO2 observations. Then again, as Gray points out, it could be that CO2 isn't even a player. But there's probably still some hysteresis occurring. After all, the Earth represents a DAMN BIG SYSTEM.

The other process, the one favored by the TOOTSIF, is called hysteria. That probably doesn't need much explanation, but I'll attempt one: it's the measure of the response by the ill-informed to any phenomenon that they've accepted as "bad." It's a differential equation defined as H=dR/dT where dR is the change in response and dT is how fast it comes. Hysteria is maximized when dT approaches zero.

There are a LOT of zeros in TOOTSIF.

Prior to anyone flaming me for this, please be sure to purchase some carbon offsets and offer up a virgin sacrifice to Gaia. I'm just watching out for you. No charge this time...
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

Peter Hannaford is thankfully helping to expose the 'global warming' fraud. Did you ever notice that when a 'warming' story comes on TV, they show chunks of a glacier dropping into the ocean? But those chunks break off and fall because the glacier is advancing into the ocean, not because it is melting and retreating. And glaciers advance because snow and ice are accumulating on them, forcing them forward. The whole 'warming' thing is a scam from top to bottom.
-- Steve Nikitas
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

I recall about 45 years ago there was a minor titter about a photo of Jackie Kennedy on horseback where the horse was displaying his, um, prowess... Two ad guys in NYC decided to see what they could do with it and started a campaign for "The Society to Preserve Nudity in Animals" (which should have been a tipoff) and ran photos of animals wearing clothing, best one being an elephant in a shirt and pants.

Sure enough, money started rolling in to "clothe those poor dears..."

Maybe TOOTSIF is formed by their descendants...
-- Cookie Sewell
Democratic Peoples' Republic of Maryland

HORSING AROUND
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's The Denver Derby:

As I have said many times previously, I LOVE Ms. Fabrizio's commentary, both content and style. But this time she has just gone too far! I mean why in God's name use her column to demean one the earth's most beautiful creatures: the horse. How could she in good conscience compare the candidates of "The Party Looking for Someone, Anyone to Surrender To" to horses.

Horses are beautiful. There's not a decent looker in Ms. Fabrizio's field here.

Horses have heart. Not a one of Ms. Fabrizio's nags has anything resembling heart. They'll quit on anyone, anyplace, anytime.

Horses are dumb as bricks....

OK, never mind.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

DON'T DO IT, NEWT
Re: Steven M. Warshawsky's Newt's Unsual Walking Tour:

Toward the end of "Newt's Unusual Walking Tour," the writer goes out on a limb that Newt is busy deciding whether to run for president...

Unsolicited advice to Newt: PLEASE DON'T RUN. Stay a pundit and professor and author, that is where your value to the nation lies. We haven't forgot how you shamefully lost the political battle with bubba over shutting down the government as speaker of the house, how you went out on a shaky limb promoting Puerto Rico statehood, on the silly notion that this would bring Hispanic votes to the republicans, and how you got yourself blown out of the congress with little to show for it with a Contract with America in a shambles.

Newt -- politics, and most of all leadership is not your game, we need a hard charging Pattonesque candidate, not a tweedy professorial presidential wannabe; with war raging and a polarized and restless public. Your presence on the primary ballot will only serve as a distraction, so the right man cannot get the nomination and thereby cause a loss to the defeatocrats. History shall judge you harshly for greasing the skids to this double defeat.
-- Jack Foley
Buford, Georgia

CAREER COUNSELING
Re: Greg Gutfeld's What Do I Know?:

Loved Greg's column -- took a lot of guts (no pun intended) and love Red Eye Didn't want to like it but couldn't help myself -- too late at night (or too early?).
-- Jan

I have some simple advice for Greg Gutfeld on what to do to make his time doing TV much easier. These are the things I know:

* Regardless of who came up with an idea, trash it if a moderate Republican endorses the concept. Everyone loved Ted Kennedy's "No Child Left Behind" ideas until Bush got them passed. Ditto the Medicare prescription drug program.

* Always take credit for success regardless of your previous opposition. After the Democrats themed their 1996 convention "How we are going to pray to the Clinton god while demanding he fix the welfare reform bill that will kill millions of people he signed", they quickly changed the title on the re-issued DVD to "How Bill Clinton help people find work."

* For whatever reason, sneer and snort "Neocons" as much as possible. Heck, blame global warming on them! That's a twofer.

* Attack all Republicans except Chuck Hagel, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Gordon Smith, John Warner, and Arlen Specter. You will quickly get moved to a better dressing room with a nice fruit basket you'll have to declare on your taxes.

* Hire an illegal alien as your "hair person" and bring them with you to the studio. If the white unionized hair girl there complains called them a racist in front of the guy from La Raza you are debating that day and shame her for not letting Maria Perez help feed her family. Extra points if the white unionized hair girl is Irish.

So Greg, since you've already admitted that being on TV is rotting your brain, you might as well spew the requisite lines of ideological nonsense and go rent that tuxedo for your Emmy.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

NEW REPUBLICANS
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III's A Knife to the Throat:

In my opinion, American society is approaching the point where the Republican Party as we know it -- the party that's been hijacked by the SoCo's -- has run its course. If those of us who vote Republican want to win in 2008, we have to reflect this societal shift. Giuliani is the only candidate who has the broad base of support that can win a general election against the likes of Obama and Clinton. The favored and preferred "conservative" candidate, Fred Thompson is losing badly to the Democrats in head to head polling match-ups.

If the Republicans continue to run to the radicalized right, we will never win another major election. If you look at the numbers amongst the young 18-30 year old voters, over 60 percent identify themselves as Democrats. This does not portend future success for Republicans. Reagan signified a shift in societal thinking. It is now Rudy Giuliani's time to do the same.
-- Dan Waun

CIVIL RIGHTS, SOCIAL WRONGS
Re: Yale Kramer's Thirty-Three Dead:

I have for years felt that our civilization will be thoroughly condemned by posterity for our treatment of the mentally ill. I have a brother who is often a danger to himself and everyone else who has been repeatedly released from jail because he obviously couldn't help it when he attacked people, once with a knife, usually verbally. The hospitals won't hold him for more than three days, even when he sets fires, screams and rants, attacks people randomly. He is settling down with age, but for many years the thought of him being constrained in a clinical setting, safe, warm and fed, was a halcyon dream. It would have violated his civil rights to force him and he was too ill and demon ridden to submit voluntarily.

The horrors he has suffered because we are too squeamish to do the tough things that are necessary for adults who cannot care for themselves were a torment to him and to everyone who loves him. The streets of the city he lives in were significantly less safe because he roamed them.

To what end? How has he benefited from his "freedom"? He has been free to act out his nightmares in public, frighten family and strangers, be cold, hungry, ill and afraid. I am disgusted by the inhumanity of a culture that prevented his loved ones from caring for him, and threw him a few dollars every month to keep him from starving, but didn't really help him. He is finally a part of a very expensive program that has several social and mental health workers meeting with him daily to try to keep him stable.

It has been a detriment to him, his family and our society that we don't have the self-confidence and fortitude to make tough decisions on behalf of people who can't help themselves. Ironic that as we have created a culture dedicated to building fake self-confidence in kids, we have lost it ourselves.

Great article.
-- Ann Blumenthal
Buellton, California

CONSERVATIVES OF THE WORLD, UNITE
Re: PPemb's letter (under "Coalition Busting?") in Reader Mail's The Arrogance of Horsepower:

The letter from "PPemb" in response to G. Tracy Mehan, III's article "A Knife to the Throat" is a marvelous example of what has gone wrong with the Republican Party.

In their arrogance, the party masters and loyalists shake their fingers at America’s conservatives, deriding us for standing true to out conservative -- our American -- principles. American politics doesn't have a place for principle, they tell us; there is always a deal to be made, a compromise, a sellout.

Let's consider (again) what compromised principles have brought us:

John McCain
Rudolph Giuliani
Arlen Specter
Federally funded pharmaceuticals
No Child Left Behind
IAIA (Illegal Amnesty for Illegal Aliens)
And so on...

For decades, the GOP has told us that we must vote for the lesser evil they offer, while the margin between evil and lesser-evil gets smaller all the time. Finally, we see the Republican Party reviving the Great Society and having the GALL to represent it to us as good American conservatism.

I will not support a policy of keeping Marx out of power by voting Engels in.

If the party, in all seriousness, would nominate such revolting candidates as McCain or Giuliani, then they cannot frighten me with the prospect of Senator Clinton becoming president.

Conservatives do not have a duty to vote Republican. The Republican Party has a duty to uphold conservative principles. If they fail, they will lose, and deserve to lose.
-- Byron Keith

A CONSERVATIVE WARRIOR
Re: David Hogberg's Student Deindoctrination:

While reading your column published on the 27th of April, Mr. Hogberg referred to conservative student columnist Sukhmani Singh Khalsa as a Muslim. If I remember what he said in the movie, I believe Sukhmani is actually a Sikh. My wife was friends with a Sikh girl in college, and from what she described it is an amalgam of several religions, prevalent in India.

Hopefully I heard correctly.
-- Garrett M.
Louisville, Kentucky

MANCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Re: Thomas Cheplick's Churchillitis:

Who is this guy? He includes Roy Jenkins in the list of great Churchill biographers but not William Manchester. I am outraged, shocked and, uh, generally hopping mad. Other than that, Thomas Cheplick has a point. It used to be that Churchill nerdia used to be a delicious secret, but now anybody can do it.
-- Charles Mohseni
Seattle, Washington

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article