Reader Mail

Mall Rats et al.

Who's afraid of teens? Democrats and Republicans -- how was their week? Justice Kennedy's purposefulness. Beyond the anti-Bush groupthink. Those were the days. Diane Smith returns. Plus much more.

4.23.07

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LOCATION, LOCATION
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Kids Are All Right:

It is amazing to me that people of our generation seem so afraid of teens. I live in a wonderful small city in central Virginia and on nice and not-so-nice days there is a walking mall that has become the major hangout of teens of all stripes. You see hip-hoppers, kids with multi-colored hair and a lot of piercings, and kids in all black... Yet whenever I find myself entering a store or coffee shop behind or ahead of these young people they invariably hold the door. It always makes me smile, especially when one of these polite young people is dressed in jack-boots, spiked hair, leather--that somewhere a mother or father has taught them politeness which they choose to practice. These strange looking and acting teens appreciate politeness from others as well. There is a very successful dumpling store on this mall that has an incredibly loyal following of teens (as well as the rest of the city that knows about them) primarily because they are inexpensive and also they treat these young people as people and not annoyances. Do we not remember our own childhood and that terrifying transition between childhood and adulthood?
Regards,
-- MarthaJoy M. Spano

The second paragraph of this web posting indicates the Mayfair Mall is near Detroit, however the Mayfair Mall is in Milwaukee, WI.

There does happen to be a Fairlane Mall outside of Detroit (in Dearborn) that enacted a similar curfew on teenagers.
-- Ian

There is now a mall in Milwaukee that will only let teenagers in if they are accompanied by a parent.
-- Frank Gizinski

OPPORTUNITIES WON AND LOST
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Many a Silver Lining:

I believe Ms. Rubin has shorted the list of gifts that the GOP collected from their Democrat colleagues. She cites the abortion decision and allows that the voters will be appreciative of the judges nominated and confirmed in the last few years to the Supreme Court. She says nothing about decisions at the Court of Appeals level, such as but not limited to, the 2nd Amendment decision in the Washington D.C. gun ban case.

Ms. Rubin suggests that the elected Democrats kept their heads down on the gun control issue as given momentum by the Va. Tech. murders. Well, several high profile, elected Dems did shoot their mouths off, including such as Chuck Schumer, DiFi, and others. Even though Bloomberg in New York has an "R" behind his name as mayor, most are aware that he was always a "D" until he noticed that he could change parties and have a better electoral chance. Also the NRA can be counted on to beat the drums as to each and every group, organization, or individual that screeches for more gun laws, and what their political orientation is.

The tax increases that the Dems are determined to pass could be a huge benefit to the GOP, except that so few Republicans of any note are beating the drum to notify the public about what is coming.

Hillary's negatives will be increasing. She has tried to triangulate regarding her stances and votes on the war. All she has, in fact, done, is manage to increase her negatives among Dems on both sides of the issue.

Additionally, it is simply folly to leave out the war issues. The influential and activist Left is forcing the Dems farther and farther out of the mainstream, and the Dem elected leadership is determined to give them everything that they want. Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, Webb, Kennedy, and others have abandoned all caution and gone all anti-war, all the time. Pelosi, Murtha, et al. have pushed the envelope to the point where they are hanging by a thin thread. I believe a case can be made that Reid has gone farther and actually broken the thread. Many in the military, and their families and loved ones, have become more and more disenchanted with the way Bush has pursued the war. I believe the Dems in general, and Reid in particular, have brought these people back to the GOP. The Dems' anti-war radicalism is the gift that keeps on giving. Of course that presupposes that there are GOP candidates with enough backbone to take advantage of this gift.

Ms. Rubin notes how McCain and Mayor Rudy should receive increased support because of their brownie points on domestic and foreign security issues. I would opine that Fred Thompson should also benefit, as soon as he get in the race. I was convinced that the GOP's hopes, virtually across the board, were extremely bleak for 2008. The action of the Democrats now have me believing that the GOP should be able to retain the White House, and either switch control or narrow their minority status in both houses of Congress, if they don't screw it up.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

Silver lining? Lets see now, we have Nancy Pelosi negotiating on her own with a terrorist state, we have Harry Reid saying the war is lost and we have Harry Reid and the boys and girls on the left holding up funding for our troops in harm's way.

Now I ask you, folks, which political party is the best friend of the terrorists and which political party is the domestic enemy of our troops at home and which political party is enabling the terrorists to fight on? And just where in the hell is the outrage on the Republican side of the equation and where in the hell is the public outrage?
-- Jim L
East Sandwich, Massachusetts

LOST CAUSE
Re: Christopher Orlet's Turkey at the Crossroads:

Turkey is a lost cause, if not now then tomorrow. This is due to, among other things, demographics. The urban secularists are being overwhelmed by the high-birth rate of the rural Moslems.
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

IS THE HORROR ENOUGH?
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III's Justice Kennedy Documents the Horror:

As you say, Kennedy's opinion included a surprisingly graphic and detailed description of D&E. I hope a great many of its readers were as shocked by the methodical process of Partial-Birth Abortion as the Justice's explanation warranted. I don't see how one could be unmoved by it. As it often happens with evidence of a disputed truth, one must dismiss it as false or be converted.

Whatever the reader reaction may be, you are very right to congratulate Justice Kennedy for providing information to the public that Planned Parenthood and NARAL would have liked to remain unknown. My reaction was that Justice Kennedy seemed to intend this shock. Yet, while it could very well be a point of conversion, or at least re-thinking, for some readers, I think that conversion was not his intent, nor a re-thinking of the issue at large. Justice Kennedy continues to be the elusive one. I'm sure you have much more of a finger to his pulse than I do. I have no idea what his intent was, but I have an inkling as to why he included the grotesque, medical description of D&E. The bottom line is that he needed to include it. Without it, the emptiness of his argument is much more exposed.

It seems to me that Thomas's statement that "the Court's abortion jurisprudence has no basis in the constitution" is the only tenable angle that can be taken in this case. Thomas (and Scalia) does not try to distinguish partial-birth abortion as something essentially different from all other types of abortion. Kennedy tries. I couldn't help but scoff at his explanation (or the Ban's wording) regarding the circumstances that make D&E either legal or illegal. Killing the fetus is illegal if it has been delivered "until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother." In other words, if 99.9% of the head has been delivered, green light to Dr. Haskell. Somehow he tries to boil this immense issue of life down to a question of millimeters. The exact location of the fetus in the birth canal is the determinant of legal abortion/unlawful killing. And who knows where the "trunk" begins and ends. The ambiguity is laughable, the loopholes enormous.

Kennedy does not fail to remind us (and D&E practicing doctors) that "if a living fetus is delivered past the critical point by accident or inadvertence, the Act is inapplicable." This is not legislation from the bench, but jurisdiction from the surgeon's chair. With that small clause, the doctor (and only the doctor) may determine his culpability according to the Act. Kennedy upholds the ban, but he demonstrates its weaknesses. Abortion is killing; partial or non-partial. Kennedy shocks the reader with the gore so as to draw attention away from the absurdity of the distinction. He masks the holes of the ban (or his argument) by appealing to the visceral reaction of the reader. Notice how the ins and outs of the ban follow after the much lengthier ins and outs of the D&E procedure. "Look," he wants to say."Look how horrible this is. Psst...but don't worry, Dr. Haskell." Elusive, or disingenuous? In the end, Kennedy rests the decision of the Court and the Act on that ridiculous distinction between illegal and legal abortion, and so, rests it all on very thin ice.

In any event, it is helpful and good that he included the full truth of the terrifying procedure. People needed to know that. But, though I am encouraged by the Court's decision, I am not hopeful that it will serve as a catalyst for the movement of Life. I fear that Kennedy's opinion (that of the court) will incite a pro-abortion wrath that could knock this Act right off the very small pedestal it stands on and right on through that thin ice. As you say, Kennedy's decision was "firmly grounded in the deformities of Roe," and so, not firmly grounded. I would be encouraged to see the Act find some surer footing.
-- Colin Gleason

APOCALYPTIC DECLINE
Re: Reid Collins's And a Little Child Shall ...:

In his article pursuant to the Virginia Tech tragedy, Mr. Collins poses the question "so where do we go from here?" Where, indeed? I wholeheartedly agree that attempting "to recapture civility" is a wonderful place to start for, during the fifty-odd years that I've observed the evolution of American society, I have certainly noted a saddening and frightening trend away from what once were common, every-day values: morality, compassion, and the willingness to assist even a stranger in need. That said, though, I believe that Mr. Collins' call for kindness, in and of itself, will do little to prevent horrifying acts such as those committed on the campus of Virginia Tech. What we really need to recapture as a society are traditional American values and the courage to act upon them.

The well-worn seventh addition of Webster's New Collegiate dictionary which sits shelf-bound above my computer defines "cowardice" as a "lack of courage or resolution." To my way of thinking, the lack of courage and resolution has become an insidious disease, whose cancerous filaments have permeated American society to such a degree that incidents like the Virginia Tech shootings are quickly becoming the norm. It is no surprise to me that this is occurring, for if one compares the values inherent in Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" with the values of the generation they spawned, it is readily apparent that strength of conviction has now given way to moral relativism. Likewise, courage has now been largely displaced by fear-oriented thinking and the determination to accomplish good has dishearteningly deteriorated into the desire to not become involved.

In the small-town America of my youth, there was no moral relativism. There was right; there was wrong; and there was nothing in between. The gentle and fatherly friends of my own father, nearly all of whom were veterans of the second World War, spoke openly to me about the difference between them. Always, I was reminded of my moral obligation as a "man" to conduct my life with honor. Around the campfire in those deer camps of my childhood, I was taught that an honorable man stands up against the forces of tyranny, darkness and oppression, wherever they might be found. Any one of those men, upon discovering a criminal intruding upon the sanctity of their home, would have first confronted that intruder at gunpoint. Only after the safety of his family was ensured would the police have been summoned, and the same would hold true if a criminal was discovered entering the neighbor's home or the local school instead. Any one of those veterans, whether armed or not, would have instantly come to the defense of any man, woman or child, stranger or otherwise, in any situation, whose safety or personal freedom was in some way endangered. Why? Because it is the "right" thing to do; because men of honor always use the tools of self-discipline, determination and courage to always do the right thing; and because one's personal safety is always of secondary importance to that. I was taught to revere the ideal of personal freedom as being a blessed, sacred thing -- something vastly more important than my own, insignificant life -- because freedom alone allows the uniqueness inherent in each human being to flower to its fullest potential. Defending it was always the "right" thing to do because ensuring its passage to the next generation was a moral obligation which every honorable man owed to those who'd sacrificed before him. In those days, we children were not merely encouraged to respect adults and the sanctity of human life -- it was demanded of us. After all, it was the "right" way to live. Insolence, sassiness, profanity or aggression towards others was not tolerated, especially if directed towards women, and I always knew full well that the inevitable consequence of inappropriate behavior was swift and certain punishment. I cannot recall being spanked even once, but I do recall knowing full well, at a very early age, that every adult in my life -- my parents; their friends; my teachers; and even the local shopkeepers -- had the expectation that I conduct myself as a gentleman at all times. I also knew that any one of them would mete out consequences for disrespectful, disorderly or destructive behavior, and I also knew why. It was because they loved me enough to instill within me the qualities of morality, self-discipline and self-determination, in order that I might day earn the right to love myself. Had a rap music "artist" of today tried performing on our local stage back then, he wouldn't have been allowed to even finish the first song. Upon uttering their very first "motherf-----r," or upon uttering their very first phrase advocating drug usage or violence towards women, the adults of my small town would have dragged him off-stage and thrown him out of town. His fear would have kept him from every coming back. In those days, there was no ambiguity between right and wrong and no lack of resolution to stand up, take action, and do the "right" thing. Back then, freedom of speech did not include the right defile womanhood or to warp the minds of children.

In my estimation, the unbridled savagery unleashed upon the innocent at Virginia Tech that fateful day arose, in essence, from a lack of resolution in our society. We no longer have the resolve to stand up and do what is right. Cho's parents, quite obviously, did not resolve firmly enough to instill within him a respect for the sanctity of human life. Perhaps they also failed to shield him from rap music, the movie products of Hollywood, and the violent games of the video industry, all of which are contemptible abominations that serve no other purpose than to poison the minds of our youth. Likewise, we as a society lack the resolve to purge these scourges from our midst. The supposedly educated faculty at Virginia Tech, who had long been fully aware of Cho's deviant tendencies, lacked the strength of conviction necessary to physically remove him from the campus and thus, by doing so, protect the student body from an individual whom any uneducated fool could see was clearly a dangerous threat. The local police, who did know better, attempted to remove this individual from society and should be commended for doing so. Their efforts, unfortunately, were thwarted by a judiciary who, after declaring him mentally ill, failed to impose upon him a lengthy stint in a mental institution. How tragic that that utterly incompetent judge lacked the resolve to choose the only course of action which could have both protected the student body and gotten that troubled young soul the help he so obviously and desperately needed. Lastly, aside from a few, heroic instances, one sees little resolve within the victims themselves to rise up and accept their personal responsibility to confront a terrible injustice. Rather, they chose to cower in fear and allow one short, slight attacker to slaughter them by the dozen at will. Such would not have been the case if those classrooms had instead been filled with students who'd returned to school under the GI Bill after fighting the second World War -- the men who went on to become the citizens of my small town and mentors to the children within it. They knew evil when they saw it, and they also knew the "right" thing to do when confronted by it. Unlike the over-pampered and under-disciplined youth of today, they understood that bravery is not the absence of fear, but the refusal to be controlled by it. They valued individual liberty more than they valued their own lives and, because they did, they knew enough to choose altruism over self-preservation; to choose defiance over defeat; and to choose confrontation over cowardice. Had the poor students of Virginia Tech been taught to do the same by their parents, their teachers, and by the values of our society at large to do the same, many bright and promising young people now tragically deprived of their future would most certainly still be alive.
-- Thomas Donley
Remus, Michigan

Thirty-two. Now we now the number of innocents one must murder to get one's nutty worldview broadcast around the world by the carnival-barking global media. What a relief.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

RALLY ROUND THE PRESIDENT
Re: Quin Hillyer's Conservatives Must Rally:

In his piece, "Conservatives Must Rally," Quin Hillyer does a nice job of highlighting President Bush's successes. In general, this President has done a much better job than he is given credit for: no major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 911 and a booming economy are two enormous achievements, as Mr. Hillyer points out. To those I would add, no widespread prejudice or denial of civil liberties to Muslim Americans (something for which Mr. Bush, in striking the humane and reassuring tone he did following 911, deserves some credit and receives absolutely none); ending a genocidal war via a 2005 peace agreement between the Muslim North and Christian South of Sudan and thereby effectively ending a 22-year civil war that had cost millions of lives (and therefore possibly saving millions of lives -- something the U.S. press pretty much glossed over in favor of covering Bush-bash protests and Paris Hilton's sex tape); instituting improvements to airline security that have not only protected this country from hijackings and terrorism on planes, but seem to have improved airplane safety more broadly.

Mr. Hillyer's piece provides some perspective that is sorely needed if we are to rise above the unproductive anti-Bush groupthink that has seized this country.
-- Heather Robinson

I have been a Republican for over 40 years. I voted for Nixon over Kennedy in 1960, my first voting election so I've seen the party go through many hard times and I must admit that I've never been more disgusted with any Republican leader than with George Bush. I think a recent article from "First Things" by Joseph Bottum sums things up better than anything else I've seen. George Bush while he might be somewhat conservative in instinct and whatever "vision thing" he might concoct, is simply incompetent.

Everywhere you look you see wreckage: Iraq -- 6 years of mismanagement and all is left to a final crapshoot that is taking forever to materialize, Social Security reform left in tatters, No Child Left Behind, a truly insane immigration position (it's NO policy), hemorrhagic spending, blown chances to significantly affect the character of the federal judiciary, no improvement whatsoever in domestic energy sourcing and many other examples. Sure you're not going to win them all, but with strong leadership and a willingness to bang some heads, and play real political hardball, you'd win more than a few.

Add to this, the administrative tactical blunders where accommodation of its foes took precedence over support of the very people who worked for and elected them. What peace did it buy for Bush to sacrifice Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Libby, and now we see Snarlin' Arlen Specter, whom Bush supported, shredding Alberto Gonzales for the entirely legal firing of nonperforming federal prosecutors. What was Bush thinking in sending Gonzales up to testify?

Sure we have the tax cuts, but does anyone think they'll survive the next election, especially with the Republican party smashed, leaderless and demoralized? We also have Roberts and Alito, but the next 3-4 picks are likely to be made by a Clinton, Edwards, or Obama.

Bush has been an unqualified disaster for Republicans and he deserves the legacy he's likely to get, but unfortunately the country doesn't. Perhaps his greatest legacy is the crater that is the Republican party, which started his administration with such hope for the future, and now lies moribund for lack of principled leadership.

It's really hard to work up any enthusiasm for supporting Bush now.
-- John T. O'Connor
Wallingford Connecticut

EVIL CENTRAL
Re: R. Andrew Newman's Failure of the Secular Mind:

Mr. Newman leads off his poignant article with the commentary, "The secular world tries to make sense of the senseless, to understand the bloody massacre at Virginia Tech." But I believe he truly knows, as many of us do, that the secular mind, which is part and parcel of the secular humanist tradition, will not understand what has happened here. It has fostered and nurtured, for a number of decades now, the evil which has been allowed to grow within our society. It has done so by its own misguided thinking and its rejection of all basic ideas, religious and otherwise, that have until now formed the basis for common decency. It has turned a blind eye to that evil which threatens us more and more each day, and it ignores that threat.

Evil. I'm beginning to hear that word more and more amongst commentators and pundits, even in the mainstream media. A stunning revelation. I can't begin to remember when I last heard that idea dealt with at the pulpit. It's all been touchy-feely sweetness and light. It's as though this is something brand new in the world. Yet, evil has been there since time immemorial, as Mr. Newman indicates with the quote from Genesis. Until the secularists wormed their way into controlling far too many parts of our existence, evil existed, but it was dealt with and kept at bay, even defeated at critical times. Now, I fear, we no longer have that upper hand, and have not for quite some time.

We must heed the thinking of the great Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises. As a young man, he followed the tradition of determining a proper personal motto for himself, and selected the words of the Roman writer Virgil, who wrote "Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito" -- "Do not give in to evil, but proceed more boldly against it." These are words we need to start to live by, a concept we need to start to follow. We also need to confront and defeat the secularists. To not do so will only lead to our eventual destruction. Time is running out.
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

GENDER BUILDUP
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's I'm All Right, Jack:

Mr. Colebatch's article politely refers to the problems with Britain's armed forces in terms of political correctness, no doubt exacerbated by New Labor's general outlook. However, most of the things that he decries began ca. 1990, before Labor became the government. That was when Britain was forced to start changing a number of its military personnel policies in response to a ruling of the European Human Rights commission, to which Britain is subject as a member of the EU. The first of these policies to be changed, and the unmentioned elephant in the room concerned gender integration. To put it simply, the more your armed forces go coed, the more you have to downplay elements of military culture that are seen as explicitly masculine. This includes an emphasis on physical factors, aggression, and mental and physical toughness. To do otherwise is to draw too much attention to the differences between the sexes in these areas, and doing that would undermine the notion, central to the military, that everyone is being treated equally. It would, of course, also undermine the passionately held feminist belief that the sexes are interchangeable and that gender is merely constructed. The result is a kinder, gentler military. Its failings ought to be self-evident. If they're not, it's worth noting that Leading Seaman Turney was the first to crack and arguably looked the most scared of all of the RN personnel. Clearly, it didn't take much pressure to crack the men, either, but had they been more difficult, pressures could have been exerted on Turney that might have changed their minds.

Lest one think that the experience of our own armed forces disproves this argument, think again. Our military had blue stress cards introduced at basic training in the 1990s. Although the regime is still pretty tough in the all-male units, drill instructors throughout our military are severely restricted in terms of what they can do to recruits, including yelling at them. Disciplinary measures like extra push-ups have been banned or eliminated at the service academies, as are class rankings. When the court challenge that led to VMI being opened to women was underway, West Point's Director of Institutional Research was called as a pro-integration witness only to admit under oath that West Point had had to modify or eliminate many historic elements of his training lest they show the women in a poor light. More recently, of course, there's Jessica Lynch, who failed totally under combat and whose subsequent and horrific sexual and physical mistreatment have largely been kept quiet. Incidentally, her commanding officer, a man, ran away, too. Abu Ghraib, bad though it was, would not have acquired the overtly sexual nature that it did had not the guards been misbehaving sexually themselves. Although we have taken some steps to correct some of these problems, there is no basis for assuming that some of these problems aren't ready to happen in the most coed branches of our own military, no matter how tough anyone currently talks. (I'm sure that prior to their capture, RN personnel still saw themselves in Nelsonic "ready, aye, ready" terms, too.)
-- Anthony Mirvish

RATHER NOT
Re: Bev Gunn's letter in Reader Mail's Evil on the Tube:

Re: Bev Gunn's letter comparing members of Congress to an idiot who keeps a pet rattlesnake -- you entitled her letter "All Hat and No Cattle." That was one of Dan Rather's many "down home folks" sayin's. When referring to Congress, how about "All Snakes With No Rattle"? That describes perfectly the spineless whiners of the Left.

Unlike Mrs. Gunn, I long ago abandoned all hope of having any influence with a reasoned phone call -- I am "represented" by Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Tom Lantos -- how's that for triple lemons on the slot machine?

However, I haven't given up calling. Today I called Dick Durbin's office. Sweetly inquired if he was the Majority Whip? Perky intern said "Yes, he is." I said "Do you suppose he might do me a favor? Could you ask Senator Durbin to whip Harry Reid for me?"

Perky lady turn sulky -- didn't reply.

Mrs. Gunn is a brave woman who again and again demonstrates her faith in our country as she sees her son returning to the conflict even as the pathetic likes of Harry Reid undercuts the efforts of her son and the many like him, who see the worth of the mission.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

YOU CAN LOOK IT UP
Re: Mark Fallert's letter (under "Vile Viewing") in Reader Mail's Evil on the Tube:

I can agree with two points that Mr. Fallert makes in his comments to Happy Feder's "NBC Loses It." Sandy "Burglar" should have been most harshly dealt with for his treasonous crimes. And political correctness is beyond the pale in this country and most of the West.

Where I disagree is his interpretation of the First Amendment which states "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." Our legislators made no attempt to ban the publication or broadcast of Cho's ramblings. NBC made a business decision to air this material with the sole purpose of increasing profits (market share) due to its exclusive possession of the materials. The general public is certainly within its rights to complain and to boycott this network.

Does anyone think that NBC airs everything it gets in the mail? Does a newspaper print every letter to the editor? Does a book publisher print every manuscript it receives from every writer? Of course not, due to constraints of space, time and budget. This is not censorship. I certainly have the right to speak but I do not have the right to be heard. There is no law that says I can't speak and there is no law, thankfully, that says you must listen.
-- Bob Staggs

This is in response to the letter from Mark Fallert where he disagrees with Happy Feder's article.

Mr. Fallert, I agree with you that I don't want a "government bureaucrat" deciding what I should or should not see on television. However, as far as the "media mogul" is concerned, that horse left the stable a long time ago.

If I had been NBC, I would have told people what I had, what it contained and then put it on the MSNBC website. That way, only people that want to
see it will see it.
-- Jay Langan
Clearwater, Florida

RANDY SHOT DOWN
Re: Paul Milenkovic's letter (under "A Partial Defense of 'Duke'") in Reader Mail's Evil on the Tube:

I have to disagree with Mr. Milenkovic on this point regarding Randy Cunningham.

There's an old military saying that one "Aw, S***" wipes out 100 "Attaboys" and he certainly did do that with his price list for favors, free lodging on the contractor's yacht, and the dubious home purchase and sale.

I do have to make some corrections. The kill ratio of claims/losses in Korea is actually more like 7:1 or 8:1 in the cold light of today, but that is still very impressive on the part of the U.S. and UN pilots.

I had heard a lot of rumors about whether or not Cunningham and Driscoll actually had become aces in Vietnam, and as such had worked for four years with Dr. John Sherwood from the Naval Historical Center and Frank Rozendaal, a Dutch author, to prove or disprove their claims. NSA reporting pretty much verified that the VPAF lost a lot of MiGs on that date, and three of them disappeared from communications right at the times that Cunningham and Driscoll claimed them as shot down.

But before we could get the article ready for publication, the scandal broke, and "Duke" Cunningham's heroism became a moot point.

Please note that I also consider John Glenn (claimant of 3 MiGs in Korea, one-time Continental coast-to-coast speed record holder, and astronaut) and John McCain (POW and A-4 pilot in Vietnam) as schmucks as well. Anybody remember "The Keating Five"?
-- Cookie Sewell
Democratic Peoples' Republic of Maryland

FLITTING ABOUT
Re: Mark Goldblatt's The St. Petersburg Declaration:

The St. Petersburg Declaration, written by moderate Muslims, is like a butterfly in a hurricane. Islam will either succeed in dragging civilization back a thousand years, or explode like a dying star, killing millions in its wake.
-- Mike McCoy

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