Reader Mail

Losing It

Conservatives in denial. Al Gore flashes. Olbermann reinforcements. Plus much more.

10.29.06

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NORTH SOUTH
Re: Florence King's Dixie in Denial:

Regarding Florence King's review of David Eicher's Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War, I would add that this article could have been re-titled "Conservatives in Denial." In my experience, far too many conservatives in this country, including numerous Southerners of course, maintain an unhealthy intellectual and emotional attachment to the Confederacy. The Confederacy (as distinct from the South) did not, and does not, stand for anything honorable in American history. While there were honorable Southerners who lived and fought under the Confederacy, their virtues should not be conflated with the Confederacy itself. The Confederacy, as a political body, was founded in treason and dedicated to slavery (and, as a government, was incompetent and corrupt). Indeed, the Confederacy goes against everything that is noble and good about the United States. And had the Confederacy succeeded in its divisive designs, the subsequent history of the western world almost certainly would have changed for the worse. We all should be grateful, not resentful, that the Union defeated the Confederacy.
-- Steven M. Warshawsky
New York, New York

TEMPERATURES RISING
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Warming Under the Collar:

It wouldn't be too difficult to cut ALGORE down to size. Simply take moving footage of him descending from his privately leased Gulfstream, or being escorted in one of his limos, or entering or leaving one of his 2 Tennessee mansions, or his Georgetown condo. As a backdrop play cuts from many of ALGORE's speeches which demand that Americans sacrifice their jobs, incomes, automobiles, and homes in order to save the world.

Perhaps the final part of the footage would be ALGORE cashing in on his shares of Occidental Petroleum.
-- JP
Indiana

Al Gore, whom I like to call Horatio Algore, is a shameless professional fear-monger of the worst kind. I would hope that one day soon, in the throws of one of his tirades, he might spontaneously combust. I saw Boris Karloff do it once in a movie, and it was quite impressive. He started glowing and as he jumped off a balcony, he burst into flames and floated away into the ether. I can envision Algore doing the same during a tent meeting when his old divinity training brings his oration to a fever pitch. I will believe him when this happens. It is the least he could do for a faithless world.
-- Steve Hayes
Utah

Meaning no slight to the estimable Jay D. Homnick -- who once called my home to thank me for a pithy little play on words I had submitted (pardon my lisp, BTW) -- I can foresee a veritable torrent of indignant e-mailings from Gore supporters "correcting" (what they have perceived to be) Mr. Homnick's "misstatement" that Albert Gore, Jr. doesn't have a college degree.

My own educational background is checkered, but part of it was with the Good Jesuit Fathers. And, prior to that, I was under the stern tutelage of Sister Mary Holywater and Sister Diesel Locomotive -- both of whom wielded a wickedly-effective 18-inch ruler. I was force-fed sentence structure until I could diagram sentences in my sleep. That being the case, I am fully aware that Mr. Homnick employed "science" as an adjectival modifier of both "background" and "degree." Unfortunately, it's like that the Gore crowd will read an "a" into the space between "or" and "degree" -- and, subsequently, will holler "foul!"

Take heart, Mr. Homnick -- some of us get it!

BTW, did you hear the story about how Mrs. Gore, early in their marriage, took up bird-watching? On a day trip, she had observed a nest of raptors and was very excited by her find -- so much so that she prevailed upon Al to drive her and the kids to the site so that they, too, could enjoy the soaring birds. Like all children, the kids soon grew weary of the coloring books and started the usual "are-we-there-yet?" pester-ploy. Finally, after one of them had demanded "why is it taking so much time, Daddy?" Al was forced to reply -- and he sang "It's a long waaaay...to Tipper'r aerie!" (I'm leaving now.)
-- David Gonzalez
Wheeling, Illinois

It is sad to see Mr. Homnick, the eminent Human Events humorist, remonstrate with the worthy Rep. Reichert for failing to keep faith with his publication's views on geophysics, which one gather's are slightly to the underside of Rush Limbaugh's. It seems to vex Homnick that Reichert has been looking at thermometers, and accomplished practitioner of forensic science that he is , has decided to be governed by what they say, as opposed to what Senator Inhofe and the staffers lent him by Rush believe. His eminently reasonable view -- according to his website -- is that he will pursue "an environmental and energy agenda that assumes global warming is affected by man’s activity" and that he "will continue to aggressively pursue and advocate for an environmental agenda that assumes it is caused by man’s activity and works to counteract it."

Whisked into the deep rose tinted twilight of Homnick's scientific high spin zone , this comes a out as: "Unfortunately the politico-cultural winds blow in such a way that Reichert is embarrassed into backtracking and double-talking. In twenty or thirty years from now, Gore and his ilk will be exposed as charlatans and mountebanks of the first order.... It is time for Republicans to find the courage to scoff at the likes of Al Gore, who persist in warming the globe with their hot air."

This is pretty sophomoric stuff . Before continuing, perhaps Homnick should catch up to Reichert, by reading a freshman atmospheric science textbook, perhaps the very one Al's mentor Mike McElroy has been drilling into him for the last decade. Not that all of it has sunk in ( I have plenty of unkind things to say about Al's film in this month's American Interest). But alas for the nation, unlike Homnick and his ilk, the well-tutored Gore at least got the sign right on climatic bracket creep, and has had only to stick to his guns and let the neocon ascendancy shoot itself in the foot for the last decade running. What you hope to accomplish by passing them yet more ammunition eludes me.
-- Russell Seitz
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Thanks for another article exposing Al Gore for the pretentious bore that he is.
-- Jan Wood

RIGHT ON, JAY! (That schmuck Gore...)
-- Alex Pinsdorf
Lake Success, New York

KEITH AND KIN
Re: Jeffrey Lord 's Olbermann River and Drew Evans's letter (under "Pounding Olbermann") in Reader Mail's Dangerous Liaisons:

Although the author to this article believes in President Bush, there are many that believe that President Bush has taken too far. This war on terrorism has gone on long enough. Tell where are the weapons of mass destruction that President Bush said were over in Iraq? He still has not found them, has he? So tell what right does your reporter have on bashing Olbermann? Olbermann has a right to say what he said about Bush. President has removed Habeas Corpus because of the 9/11 attacks, I don't think so. If Bush was really trying to protect us then he should have suspended Habeas Corpus not put it into law. Our Bill of Rights have been violated. Bush's new law is a violation of the Constitution. Nine out ten of our Bill of Rights have been removed and your reporter finds that Bush was right in his act. Before your reporter goes on bashing Olbermann, maybe he should realize that there are others that do not believe that Bush was right in signing that law.

Now they are able to just put in prison because he decides we are threat to society -- to whose society, his or ours? Obviously, it is his society that he is most worried about and not ours. It doesn't matter what anyone says, what were our soldiers doing in Iraq, dying in vain? Now even a soldier who risked his life to protect the "American Way" can just get arrested and he doesn't even have to know why. As much as your reporter wants to lay blame on President Lincoln, he can't because President Lincoln suspended, Habeas Corpus, he did not revoke it.
-- Nadia, An Irate Reader

That was an amazingly obtuse article. And I read about 4 hours per day.

Here's the best way I can summarize my opinion: Hang Mr. Lord upside down, lower him by the ankles into a bath of ice water, pull him out again, gently towel him off, and then say, "Have you still the same opinion?" Perhaps I'll start a website advocating this approach.

Bear in mind that I'm a die-hard Republican. Probably more so than anyone on your staff.

Jeffery Lord attacked the person of Olbermann. Olbermann had commented on the actions of Mr. Bush. By someone's methods they can easily be known, or as Jesus said, "By their fruits your will know them." And I hate quoting Jesus because people never take cognizance of the context. By publishing this, you are a greenish-red stain on the dignity of the Republic.

Please pass this on to "Jeffrey" whoever he really is.

Peace to you in whatever manner you can accept it.
-- Michael Vedder

Why in the world is so much space wasted on a failed jock sniffer who is neither informed nor articulate? The truth is he makes Michael Moore appear intelligent. Let's use the time for anything else -- watching ice melt?
-- Dan Calabria
South Pasadena, Florida

Reader Drew Evans writes, "I was beginning to think I was the only person in America who witnessed Olbermann's tirade last week". Given Olbermann's ratings, that is a quite plausible fear.
-- Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey

BASE BALL
Re: Quin Hillyer's Coming Home to the GOP?:

Quin Hillyer's article again proves a major difference in Republican and Democrat voters.

Republicans, having swept the GOP into office in 1994 with help from independents sick of Democrats, actually hold their elected officials accountable. They made promises and we actually expect them to keep them.

Democrats, on the other hand, don't care how many lies their representatives tell them. They ignore the promises that are/were broken for decades on taxes, defense, etc. If this isn't the case how do you explain why black voters keep putting Democrats into office that actually, in reality, make their lives worse?

If the Republicans had any brains they'd quit making their base mad and stop listening to the liberal beltway pundits (Rush warned them about this in after 1994) who will never like them anyway and just do what's right.

Given time the old, yellow-dog Democrats that still have portraits of FDR and JFK in their living rooms are going to die off and all the constituency that party will have is the far, far, far left wing nutcases. Independents (who I don't believe really exist except in the minds of pols and pundits) will have no choice but stick with the GOP.

But, as usual, the elephant party can't seem to govern since most of them just don't like to play the game of DC crap. They actually have real jobs and lives. And with what has been going on over the last six years I doubt decent Americans will even want to run for Congress.

But as long as the GOP keeps giving us nose-holding candidates (like Bob Corker who I am forced to vote for) that run away from simple conservatism they'll go back into the minority even with the left rising in the donkey party.

I'm going to buy a cave.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

CASEY CLOSED
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Chris Lilik Is Being Heard:

Lilik is disappointed in pro-life Democrat Casey not drawing the Democrats towards the middle. Notice that in actual fact the Democrats are moving Missouri and the nation towards a more radical position by getting a constitutional amendment passed that legalizes embryonic stem cell research by pretending to ban cloning. Casey's father would have opposed the amendment; his son wouldn't. What we have in the deceptive amendment is the argument that it is wrong to clone a human being and allow it to develop into a born human being, but it is OK to clone a human being and kill it so that its cells can be used in a utilitarian way for research and medicinal purposes for another human being. By coincidence, a report appeared this week that indicated that the injection of embryonic stem cells into the brain of someone with Parkinson's disease produces cancer tumors. So Michael J. Fox could end up with both Parkinson's disease and cancerous brain tumors!
-- Richard L.A. Schaefer
Dubuque, Iowa
P.S. Casey is even worse than I guessed. This is from National Review Online. He'll be on the wrong side not only on cloning, but on other abortion issues, if only by his meekness. Meek Casey will strike out.

NATIVE SONS
Re: Yale Kramer's The View From Mt. Suribachi:

I'm an African American (the "white" kind).

Both my second cousins were in the Pacific theatre. Harold Cox was a B-29 pilot with 2 tours over Japan and shot down once. Brother Bill Cox, a Marine, island hopped (read: landed under fire) in the Aleutians, Tinian and Okinawa. They were proud, brave and patriotic. They were all HEROES! How dare Eastwood imply otherwise.

Here's the kicker. Both Harold and Bill are Native Americans from Oklahoma.

How did I end up in South Africa? My South African father married an Oklahoma girl.

Like many South Africans I have owned a real 357 magnum. Go ahead Clint -- make my day!
-- Marc de Jong
Johannesburg, South Africa

CHECK YOUR EVOLUTIONIST'S ID
Re: Rick Arand's letter (under "Check Your Evolutionist's ID") in Reader Mail's Dangerous Liaisons:

Mr. Arand makes in my opinion several statements about proof and it requirements in regards to the debate about ID vs. science with which I TOTALLY agree!!!

"Perhaps these exercises in wishful thinking satisfy those committed to preserving the reigning orthodoxy, but the rest of us need a better explanation..."

"All these...narratives had one thing in common -- they were based solely upon the conjecture of the author, no empirical evidence for their existence was ever cited.

"Not a single unambiguous example was given to augment their arguments. It was really quite entertaining to read what these defenders... concocted as explanations in their efforts to plug the holes in their beloved theory."

Such succinct comments about the lack of proof, trench warfare against perceived enemies and denial of any other explanation of existence except that which "proves" their own one true belief is some of the finest comments about the common superstition of religion I have seen for some time.
-- Craig C. Sarver

REMEMBER THE PRESIDENT
Re: Ken Shreve's letter (under "Iraq in Sober Focus") in Reader Mail's No Easy Exits and Jed Babbin's Rethinking Iraq:

Re: "Rethinking Iraq" and Ken Shreve's Oct. 24 letter responding to Jed Babbin's article. Shreve laments that his response was taking on doctoral dissertation length, so he abandoned it to his usual curmudgeonly fomentations wherein he refers to President Bush as "El Presidente" -- but then, as I recall Ken used to sign off with "Remember the Alamo!" so, quien sabe?

Sadly, shortening his letter did nothing to illuminate his thoughts, but as he suggested that "the regulars, Beverly, Elaine or Diane" could address the subject, I would like to correct one mis-impression (probably deliberate) of Mr. Shreve's, although I believe he has some kind of anti-Dubya burr under his saddle that nothing will dislodge.

He might go back and review the "Mission Accomplished" speech, given aboard the aircraft carrier "just barely over the horizon in San Diego." That particular aircraft carrier was returning home after an extended tour when the Middle East Dust-Up occurred and was immediately turned back out to serve a back-to-back tour of duty -- the longest in recent naval history, I read. That, according to what I read, was the context in which President Bush (you don't mind if I don't refer to him as I would Vicente Fox, do you?) was saying to the crew aboard the aircraft carrier who were at last returning home for a long overdue shore leave. Mr. Shreve makes it sound as though the carrier had been sent out to laze about in the sun awaiting Bush's arrival -- to act as backdrop for Bush's speech.

As to his reference to "the stables of Middle East" he might have more appropriately compared them to the Augean stables of Greek mythology. In those stables 3,000 oxen were kept and they had not been cleansed for thirty years. One of the labors of Hercules was to cleanse them. He did so by causing two rivers to run through them. I wonder if we could do that with the Tigris and Euphrates? I guess our rules of engagement which frown on waterboarding would look askance at drowning a population to start anew.

Mr. Shreve seems unduly exercised that George Bush cannot win the war on terror (we aren't fighting a country called Al Qaedistan), clean up the Middle East, find Osama bin Laden and keep America safe from that little maniac, Kim Jong Il. Oh, and keep gas prices down and wipe out that pesky % of a % unemployment we still suffer under. Nor, apparently, can anyone do anything to please Mr. Shreve. What's worse, when we go to hell in a handbasket, Ken's won't be big enough to hold his grudges. And how can he leave without them?

Gee, and all this time I thought Ken Shreve was one of the "regulars"!
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco California

A MODEST ASSESSMENT
Re: George H. Wittman's Israel, Iran, and the Bomb:

Congratulations on your George Wittman's articles. His clarity, knowledge, and trust that he extends to his readers -- and the unadulterated facts of what exists --make him a "must" to read.
-- Ralpha Senderowitz

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