Reader Mail

Salt of the Earth

Rediscovering the world of Beverly Gunn. Also: Whooping Kofi. Talking back. Unmasked politics. Sore neck links. Plus more.

8.29.06

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TALK BACK LIVES
Re: Beverly Gunn's letter in Reader Mail's See and Hear No Evil and Philip Klein's No Terrorism To See Here:

Regarding Philip Klein's "No Terrorism To See Here" and comments by Beverly Gunn, whose son is serving this country in the cause of freedom. How is it that her voice and that of countless proud, albeit concerned mothers across the United States is drowned out by one caterwauling psycho, Cindy Sheehan? I wish to thank you for the times you include her well-reasoned insights from a segment of society we do not hear from often enough. I believe I once referred to it in a phrase no longer in use -- salt of the earth.

Beverly Gunn, I salute you on behalf of millions who may never hear your voice but share your patriotism, though you may doubt it in the maelstrom of doomsday talk currently swirling across the land. in this dark time of having few places to hear your message, in addition to the prospect of the barest chance of a Democrat in the White House, we might give serious consideration to the state of news coverage of the war in Iraq. Every newspaper that falls on every doorstep in America is undermining the effort to stop jihad. Form a committee -- see the editor -- demand fairness. In short we have an enemy or a saboteur beat right here at home. I am surprised it hasn't occurred to us.

I think conservatives read the letters column in liberal newspapers, conclude their conservative views would not be given the space. Editors think when they never see the other view, it doesn't exist. We may have no one to blame but ourselves for not trying to have your opinions know in a liberal leaning paper. Find some conservative friends, buy a block of space to say they cannot get published in their own hometown paper, It can be done. For all that TAS is -- for the most part we are preaching to the choir and converting no one. You can't intimidate a lib website, but you sure can your hometown newspaper. Go to a sympathetic advertiser, ask him to pull his ads if you are not treated fairly. Or ask him to included a patriotic theme to support our nation. It seems Republicans are courtly and correct to a fault. People no longer proudly take their
son's picture and a story of his Iraq service and war experiences to their local paper. If papers are regularly confronted about the dearth of such coverage, they will capitulate. Or we could cancel subscriptions en mass and picket the plant. Newspapers are on the downhill chute to oblivion right now -- a boycott would be disastrous. Mrs. Gunn says we should sacrifice -- how about sacrifice by twisting the tails of our local newspapers for better reportage no We could ask for Monday, Truthday, Wednesday. etc.

Get advertisers to sponsor a Servicemen's page. We need to get rid of that ambiguous "support" word and start calling it honoring those who serve. Ask folks to fly the flag again daily -- and not just on special days.

Americans are a complacent bunch. They have always lived in freedom and regard it as their birthright - something that will always be there. We saw Oprah Winfrey following September 11 in her big tearful, huggy, prayer/peace rally with some entertainers who now disavow the Iraq War. Oprah flipped soon enough too. We saw flags on every house and pick-up truck. Then we fell back into our old ways. Interesting that we have FOIA - Freedom of Information law suits for everything but Dick Cheney's pacemaker readings, but the actual carnage following 9/11 has never been aired, for those not too squeamish to view. We briefly see some pretty graphic footage on TV from Iraq but we'd rather keep it under wraps that people actually jumped to their deaths here. It would be a grisly wake-up call for those who now recall it mostly as the day of soot, dust, getting dirty and having their flights cancelled and planes grounded and the subways stopped.

Maybe it is time. Maybe past time.

Were it not for the chaos attendant to the farce, it would be comical to see a "mock" band of terrorists emerge in a crowd at a Stop the War Rally. A little street theater, so to speak. Protesters would be slipping and sliding in their own excrement in their panic to escape (perceived) danger.

I look forward to more letters from Beverly Gunn and mothers like her. It would be interesting for TAS Magazine to seek out a few to interview and do an article for your magazine of a cross section of this country. I am a subscriber and I know I would enjoy reading interviews with them. Just go find her! How hard can Quitman TX be to find. Heck, you know where Cindy is. We would enjoy a break from the Russet Potato Nose Queen. Let the Liberal media and Kos and MoveOn know we are here, too.
-- Diane Smith
San Francisco, California

KOFI DROPS
Re: Jed Babbin's On the Road Again:

Excellent article, summing up the treachery of Mr. Kofi. May he soon retire and be doomed to spend the rest of his days in complete anonymity.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Get the U.N. out of the U.S., and the U.S. out of the U.N. This organization serves no useful purpose in the world, and has been a constant source of mischief in its entire existence.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

It seems to me that Jed Babbin is spot on as regards both Kofi Annan and George Bush. From the time of the George Bush "Mission Accomplished" speech to his re-election, one could take either side of the Bush has gone wobbly debate and argue it pretty well. Since his re-election, George Bush has buried the moderate, almost conservative that stood up to the world. He has not gone completely mushy middle of the road yet, there is still one more election cycle to get through, but he dang sure is working on it. Why, Bush and Rove even support a Liberal Democrat in Connecticut for re-election because they haven't the testosterone to whip a Liberal Republican from Rhode Island into line with the administrations agenda. *sigh*

I listened intently while being told that, after Colin Powell, Condi Rice was going to kick butt and take names at the State Department, that she would whip them into shape for sure. Well, she and George couldn't even get John Bolton confirmed to the UN. Thank Heaven that someone had the stones to give him a recess appointment, maybe he will get another one this year. He and Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, along with two Supreme Court picks,(and he tried hard to mess up one of those) have been the bright spots of this administration for sure.

As for Kofi, I am sure that he will want to end his tenure at the UN on a super high note, so of course he is messing in the stew that is the Middle East. I think that it is beyond doubt that he will over-season the stew and make it inedible. I maintain hopes that Israel will force new elections and get a more credible government on matters of her own security. They need to rehab the IDF, because the next war for them is going to be in the very near future.

Oh, one more thing, will you folks please listen carefully to Beverly Gunn. She, too, is spot on. For the first time in a long time, no one in my family is in the military at the moment, so she has the "street cred" to do the instructing. When Presidents ask nothing of the general citizenry, that is exactly what they get. Bush is reaping the fruits of telling America to go about it business as usual while he and our military take care of the mess.
-- Ken Shreve

REGISTERING A SHOT
Re: Reid Collins's Novus Decisis:

Sixty days in jail for firing two shots (with an automatic weapon?) in the streets of DC and this is being held up as a bit of good news for law and order types? It is in indeed a sad day. If only liberals would be as upset about the crimes people commit with these weapons as they are about the weapons themselves. But of course an inanimate object has no root causes.
-- Dave Beruh
Hockessin, Delaware

PLANNED POLITICS ARE PERSONAL
Re: Peter Hannaford's No Sex, Please: We're Teenagers:

Perhaps, that "Unplanned Parenthood" representative was judging all teens by her own sexual history. Did you ask her if that was the case? (Probably not as you appear to be a gentleman -- unlike myself who would have asked that question of her...)
-- James Pawlak

GRIZZLY SCENARIO
Re: James G, Poulos's Who Lost Earth?:

Mr. Poulos should go back and read why Theodore Roosevelt felt the grizzly bear would have been a better choice than the bald eagle as the symbol of America.

Way back then, the Europeans hated us for multiple reasons, mostly because of our explosive rise to international prominence, without the benefit of proper respect for our European forebears. They still resent us for our successes, and the fact we refuse to be like them, even though this seems to be the goal of our liberals.

As for the rest of the world, it all boils down to envy, pure and simple. We don't have a perfect society, but, by dint of hard work, ambition and talent, people can still succeed in pursuing their dreams in the United States. This example scares all the leaders of the non-democratic nations of the world, who fear that their citizens will demand the same opportunities.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

CHANGE OF CLOTHES
Re: Scott Collier's letter (under "Shop Chops") in Reader Mail's See and Hear No Evil:

Mr. Scott Collier blames women for the number of fashion changes women's clothing has gone through. In my experience (about 40 years of buying my own clothes), it is not women, but men who decree what women's clothing will look like and how often that look will change. Men design almost all of women's clothing -- particularly gay men, which is why so much of fashionable clothing appears to be designed for teenaged boys or transvestites, I suppose. Men decide which of a woman's body parts should be emphasized this "season" and woe to that woman from the Ally McBeal school of "I am nothing without A Man" thought if she's caught revealing or hiding the incorrect body part du jour!

In point of fact, the majority of women who work in business offices have invested in classic designer business suits which they wear to work, have made our peace with the skirt length that suits their legs, and generally wear plain blouses under our suits. Those of us who attend business functions and networking events have standard issue clothing appropriate for the event.

Yes, frou-frou is available if you are Paris Hilton or one of the Hooter Girls, and plenty of women like to have this stuff for holiday and vacation wear if it suits their particular style. But as the average age of women in North America is now 40, and as women don't generally have this delusional vision of ourselves that allows us to say "I'm 60 but I look 40" with a straight face, the way men do, a lot of the frou frou is soon going to fade away from the public eye.

And as for shopping? Nowadays a lot of us have standing agreements with shops we particularly like, that carry things that will fit our bodies and our lifestyles, and when they have something in they set it aside for us to look at over our lunch hours. Most of us aren't ladies who lunch anymore.
-- Kate Shaw
Toronto, Canada
P.S. When I bought my Ferrari Dino I took two mechanics and a Ferrari specialist with me. There were a lot of those cars thrown onto the market during the run-up in price that are held together with spit and Bondo.

DECONSTRUCTING SIOBHAN
Re: Siobhan Kolar's letter (under "Pointing Shame") in Reader Mail's See and Hear No Evil:

Siobhan Kolar's response to Doug Bandow's "Liberalism Unbound" made me wonder if we read the same words. Nowhere did Mr. Bandow tell women that they should be demonized for having an abortion. He merely stated that he could not understand why any woman would want to celebrate having one. He pointed out that the destruction of life should never be a cause for rejoicing. Ms. Kolar chooses to ignore the point of Mr. Bandow's comments and instead lashes out against those whom she perceives as oppressors of women. Translated, that equates to anyone opposed to abortion. Missing from her angry denunciation was any acknowledgment that each and every abortion terminates the life of an unborn child. Why is it that rabid pro-abortion advocates begin hyperventilating the moment anyone mentions the a-word and immediately go into attack mode? Her attempts to justify this practice by shifting the blame to, I assume, religious leaders who "don't talk about domestic abuse and violence towards women" is nothing more than a diversionary tactic used to mask the fact that killing the unborn cannot be defended. The irony in Ms. Kolar's comments stem from her ignorance of the motivations of those who are pro-life and her own hypocrisy. She is quick to judge people who do not believe that abortion is the great panacea for women victimized by abusive men or their own poor choices, yet she decries any attempt by her opponents to reduce the incidence of abortions as a harsh and judgmental condemnation of women. Only in the minds of strident abortion proponents does working toward ending the practice of slaughtering innocent human beings constitute "verbal and emotional abuse" of women.

Ms. Kolar's appeal to Jesus Christ is particularly disingenuous and offensive. Once again, she reveals her ignorance. While it is true that Jesus reached out to the oppressed and downtrodden, He did so because God's love extends to all people regardless of their circumstances or station in life. That does not mean, however, that everyone is given a get out of jail free card because God is merciful. Jesus never condoned the actions of those living a life of willful disobedience or granted forgiveness to those who refused to repent of their sin. He promised judgment and eternal torment to those who reject Him and what He taught.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

UNMASKED POLITICS
Re: Nathan Maskiell's letter (under "Reader Mail Corner") in Reader Mail's The Eyes Have It:

Having been on vacation, this is a late response to the August 23 rants of Nathan Maskiell -- Australian myrmidon of the first order -- under Reader Mail Corner.

First, I am not quite sure about your comment stating that it "took a while to get a response in the letters to the Editor." I have been replying to you and have had my replies appear in Reader Mail for at least the past six months. By the way, if "your city" is Melbourne, why did you sign your last missive Victoria?

You claim a deep affinity with your "American friends and allies, and their politics." It is obvious from your far leftist rants that any "American friends" you might have reside in the Pacific Ocean (extreme left coast of the United States). As to allies, surely you assume a great deal. Your country has America as an ally, I seriously doubt that you can lay claim to any ally to the right of Stalin and Mao.

You most certainly do have a right to "freedom of speech." Words have meaning however, and you must be prepared to suffer the consequences of those you offend. Your so-called freedom ends at my eyes and ears at which point such consequences might arise. As a left wing, blame America first, MoveOn.org and American MSM myrmidon, a large percentage of what you glean and offer as fact is tripe. Since you do not seem to evaluate what you write, your veracity goes begging. As to my gender, I do not see where it is germane to this discussion.

You claim you have had a discussion with the "thoughtful political commentator" Lisa Fabrizio about our upcoming elections. Since I have not been privy to these discussions, their content, and do not know where they appeared, I cannot comment on her view of Lieberman/Lamont. For the same reasons, your comments are suspect since your attribution cannot be verified and the bellwether may not be what you had hoped it would. Indeed, the voters of this country will decide who gets elected to what office and, since you cannot legally vote here, your opinion is not worth a jot!

The fact that you are "a big fan" of McCain, Schwarzenegger, and Giuliani should be a huge reason not to vote for any of them. Other reasons include that fact that McCain is a Republican WISH (when it suits him), Schwarzenegger the same. Giuliani did a great job in cleaning up New York City and in taking control after 9/11. While this makes him an exceptional mayor, it does not necessarily ensure that he would be a good president. I'm amazed that you did not agree wholeheartedly with Kitty Kelley's hatchet job and do not march in lock step with her, preaching her gospel as a good myrmidon should. You have a lot of gall accusing my president of comical and outlandish behavior with your larrikin comment -- yes we have dictionaries over here which include Australian slang words. I'm sure that President Bush has many more important things to do than to amuse you. By the way, he stopped drinking many years ago so your invitation is ridiculous as is most of your screed.

Tony Blair is a statesman with few peers and the world is indeed fortunate to have him and President Bush in office at such a dangerous time. Neither of these men permit their politics to affect their decisions. The Clintons are both about four steps to the left of Stalin, Mao and Lenin and, to have her in the White House while he rents out the Lincoln bedroom again, would be a disaster to the free world.

Your final paragraph alluding to America's "scorched earth" policy has me puzzled. To me, scorched earth describes the actions of the Germans in World War I and again in World War II, particularly the rape of Eastern Europe. The holocaust â€" estimated at six million Jews dead, with an equal number of dead non-aryans and Eastern Europeans also slaughtered is scorched earth. Japan and the rape of China and Korea in the first half of the last century is scorched earth as well as Stalin with an estimated twelve million dead in the gulags.

Scorched earth describes the homicide bombers and Muslim terrorists who claim to be "peace loving" Islamists. Other few examples of scorched earth policies: Fall 1972, the massacre at the Munich Olympics; November 1979, the takeover of the American embassy in Iran; April 1983, the bombing of our embassy in Beirut; October 1983, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut; April 1986, the discotheque bombing in West Berlin; February 1993, the first World Trade Center bombing; TWA flight 847, PanAm flight 103, Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the USS Cole, and 9/11. The list is endless -- see Ann Coulter's column of July 26, 2006, available on her website for a more complete listing.

Please cite examples of what you consider to be the American scorched earth policy. The divisiveness and polarization in this country is caused by those politically correct organizations which disseminate disinformation, misinformation, and outright lies, never publishing the good but headlining the bad. Myrmidons such as you accept their rants without question which adds to the problems of the world. For example, coverage of the recent Israeli/Hezbollah conflict was telling by that fact that Hezbollah rockets only killed and injured Israeli military personnel while Israel's response exclusively killed and injured Lebanese civilians, most of whom were women and children. Israel's barrage destroyed everything in site while Hezbollah rockets merely damaged military targets. Money is pouring in from all over the world to help rebuild Lebanon, with not a penny to aid Israel. Tell me again about scorched earth and, as several of my learned professors used to say, "provide specific examples with attribution."

"Terrorism" is only one-half of a word. The first half of that word is "Islamic" (with thanks to Neal Boortz). The Islamofascists would have us believe that they are indeed a peace loving religion. In addition, it is a fact that, while not all Muslims are terrorists, ALL TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIMS! We hear precious little concern about these atrocities from the Muslim community or organizations like CAIR. Like the average German citizen and the Vichy French during WWII, they knew nothing and did nothing -- the slaughter continued unabated sans examples.
-- C.D. Lueders
Melbourne, Florida

BETTER VIBRATIONS
Re: Roger Scruton's The Music of America:

Interesting article. But one wonders, given the theme of A Star Is Born, why Esther, (Judy Garland) who endures the abusive treatment of her Svengali, the drunken Norman Maine (James Mason) throughout, is thought by Scruton to be "preparing the heart for the next man" while lamenting the loss of the lush that got away. The lyrics suggest otherwise:

The night is bitter,
The stars have lost their glitter,
The wind grows colder,
And suddenly you're older,
And all because of
The man who got away --

No more his eager call
The writing's on the wall --
Your dreams of love have all gone astray...

Good riddance, good-bye
Every trick of his you're onto
But fools will be fools
And where's he gone to?

With hope you burn up,
Tomorrow he may turn up,
The great beginning
Has seen its final inning,
There's just no let-up
The live-long night and day

No more that all-time thrill
'Cause you've been through the mill
A one-man woman
Looking for the man who got away.


These phrases are in no particular order of the song itself, but just as they occur to me, as I look for Esther's hope for the future. I don't find it.

Ira Gershwin wrote the lyric for this Harold Arlen masterpiece that turned out to be Judy Garland's comeback. But earlier Arlen had collaborated with Johnny Mercer, on the same song played in a faster tempo, which was never published. Obviously everything works out for the best. This is the torch song of modern times -- and as far as I can see, shows no hope in its lyrics for a replacement for the Man Who Got Away. Incidentally, in a time before the National Enquirer and other gossip rags, it was not well known that Johnny Mercer, though married, was involved in a serious love affair with Judy Garland. Mercer wrote "I Remember You" ("You're the one who made my dreams come true -- a few kisses ago..."), "That Old Black Magic," and "One For My Baby" during the period of their affair, all songs about Garland and their ill-fated love.

I look forward someday to an in-depth article about the contributions of Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, the Gershwins, Yip Harburg -- all the American popular songwriters whose writing from the late twenties through the fifties are "standards" today and will endure forever.
-- Diane Smith
San Francisco, California

CERVICAL DYSTONIA
Re: Jeremy Lott's Pain in the Neck:

I am a doctoral level psychologist who suffers from Cervical Dystonia -- or "torticollis" as
Mr. Lott calls it. In actuality, the disorder was first called Spasmondic Torticollis until recently, when neurologist's decided that Cervical (meaning of the neck) and Dystonia (one of a family of movement disorders) better described the condition. Cervical Dystonia is a very complex and rare disorder (only about 80,000 diagnosed cases in the USA -- although that number may be rising as it has become more well known and better understood). A Dystonia may manifest itself in symptoms quite like a number of other neurological disorders (which does include wry neck, another disorder that Mr. Lott mentions in his letter). Below I would like to note several resources that could help those who have been appropriately diagnosed as having one of the several types of Dystonia (eg., generalized dystonia, oramandibular dystonia), as well those who suspect that they may have some sort of movement disorder (such as Mr. Lott) or just would simply like more information concerning this family of disorders.

Dr. Bob Zozus' List of Internet Resources for those with Dystonias:

Neurologists specializing in movement disorders:

http://www.spasmodictorticollis.org/newsroom_Doctors.cfm
http://www.mdvu.org/tcd/adult.asp
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/DBSforDystonia/database?method=reportRowsandtbl=3
http://www.aan.com/public/find.cfm
http://webapps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/home.html

Here are the other message boards I know about for those with the Dystonias:

http://www.spasmodictorticollis.org/stBlog.cfm
http://p4.forumforfree.com/dystonia-vf4-parkinsons.html
http://www.stsupport.com/html/
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/DBSforDystonia/
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/pumpsters/
http://groups.msn.com/DystoniaFriends/general.msnw
http://www.chat7.oli.us/nsta/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=gen
http://www.dystonia-parkinsons.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPageandpage_id=6A8E9EB7-F6BC-6B82-3FC93DD6F0E4B739
http://www.dystonia-bb.org/
http://www.dysphonia-bb.org/forums/sd/http://www.dystonia-bb.org/forums/mwd/ (support group for those who are musicians only)
http://dystonia-dreams.org/ (support for only those with generalized Dystonia)

Here are sites which offer either face to face support groups, chat rooms, or phone to phone facilitation information.

http://www.dystonia-bb.org/forums/dystoniachat.html (Chat room)
http://www.wemove.org/chat/ (Chat room)
http://www.torticollis.org/ (under support group menu-face to face groups)
http://www.spasmodictorticollis.org/ (attempts to facilitate email to email, phone to phone contact -- $25 membership fee)

Here are cites offering Newsletters to members about Dystonia Related Issues:

http://www.care4dystonia.org/newsletter.htm
http://www.torticollis.org/
http://www.wemove.org/stayconnected/
http://www.dystonia-parkinsons.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPageandpage_id=1
http://www.spasmodictorticollis.org/stBlog.cfm ($25 membership Fee)
http://dystonia-foundation.org/newsletter.asp (must search site for newsletter periodically and download)
http://www.movementdisorders.org/publications/newsletter.shtml (published quarterly, must be downloaded)
http://www.rarediseases.org/

Sites offering comprehensive information about Dystonias (and other Disorders, as well):

http://www.care4dystonia.org/
http://www.torticollis.org/
http://www.dystonia-foundation.org/
http://www.drdcentral.com
http://www.tylershope.org
http://mdc.mbi.ufl.edu/
http://neuro-www.mgh.harvard.edu/ percent7Edystonia/
http://www.wemove.org/dys/
http://www.dystonia-parkinsons.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPageandpage_id=1
http://www.parkinsonsappeal.com/
http://www.spasmodictorticollis.org/stBlog.cfm (cost $25 to access all site info).
http://www.dysphonia.org/ (focused on Spasmodic Dysphonia -- often presents concurrently with the Dystonias)
http://www.tremoraction.org/ (focused upon those having Essential Tremors)
http://www.rarediseases.org/

If interested, my own experiences with Cervical Dystonia, as well as my take on the prognosis of the disease and psychological coping mechanisms used for it can be found at:

http://www.care4dystonia.org/pdf/June06IM.pdf

I have many other online resources concerning the mental health and medical difficulties and treatments associated with the Dystonias, as well as alternative treatments and resources to help those seeking government assistance as they cope with the Dystonias. i would be happy to share them as well for those who may be interested. Please email me at zozus@yahoo.com -- and I will send my complete list of resources.
-- Dr. Robert T. Zozus, Jr.
Clinical Psychologist
Wilmington, North Carolina

ONE MORE THING
Re: Philip Klein's No Terrorism To See Here:

There's another critical difference between those "ordinary" causes of death and terrorism. Terrorists -- whether IRA, Aryan, Leninist or Muslim - have a purpose and an intention. They are trying to change our way of life. They will stop when we go along with their purposes, or when we are all dead. Lightning and floods, and even reckless drivers, have no such intention. When we add a grounding rod to avoid lightning, or move to higher ground to avoid floods, we are not changing our civilization; we may in fact be helping it. When we avoid terrorism by negotiation or by (ahem) planting Shia governments throughout the Middle East under the guise of democracy -- we are ruining our civilization.
-- unsigned

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