Reader Mail

Haylie’s Comment

Is she really 15? Reactions to a Democratic provocateur. Also: Profiles in airport security. How do you provide relief? Michael Fumento replies. Plus more.

8.17.06

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GIRLIE GIRL
Re: Haylie Renae's letter (under "Fan Mail from the DNC") in Reader Mail's Nature Wars:

Please tell me that Haylie Renae's letter was actually a satire dreamed up by an intern working for Karl Rove. Her mix of English and Spanish is precious. And if she really does flip through magazines eloquently, then this one-woman hootenanny is in rarefied company, right up there with Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story.
-- Patrick O'Hannigan

While I'm impressed with 15-year-old Haylie Renae's ability to express herself on the issues, and go so far as to write the Editor of The American Spectator, in typical liberal fashion she:

Uno: Takes a selfish viewpoint and ignores the wider implications of redefining marriage and the corrosive effects on society's moral standards that would result. (Conservatives are not trying to separate people who love each other.)

Dos: Couldn't care less that abortion is the killing of a human life.

Tres: The flap over The Da Vinci Code centers around the supposed marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, a story that was based on fraudulent documents in France which Brown admitted using for his source.

Quatro: "Global Warming is a joke and should not be taken seriously." Who said that? The criticism is that it is not as conclusive as the left implies, that "man" is responsible for global warming, or that the extent of the warming is as bad as they say, nor even unprecedented. (There are scientists who disagree with the whole liberal global warming theory that are not given the same amount of press exposure.) Haylie, reading that The American Spectator magazine may have been your first step into the light out from the "dark side." Keep reading.
-- John Nelson
Hebron, Connecticut

TAS has come through again with a lot of food for thought in its articles and especially the letters section. That letter from the 15 year old was a real hoot. (Hellooo, anyone home dear girl? I would suggest she educate herself on global warming and stop parroting the liberal screed of doom.) Interestingly enough , a military history magazine, this month, has a fine article about appeasement which goes against popular perception of the issue, especially as it pertained to the Second World War. The article states that Chamberlain had no choice but to appease Hitler since the British were pretty well bled dry in the First World War and had not yet recovered militarily, while France had adopted a policy of "containment" with its Maginot line and wasn't about to commit itself to another bloodbath without being ready for it. The article also stated that Hitler could have kicked both nations butts if they had interfered with his reoccupation of the Ruhr. I would say the article puts the argument about appeasement on its ear pretty good, though I will not say I entirely agree with it.

Yes, I have to agree the Republican party has cut it's own throat but will the Democrats take over in November? That remains to be seen since while they may sense victory, it does depend on how upset the conservative faction is and if we really want the loon party in control of Congress, even with George in the White House. Let's remember, we still have troops in danger and having the cowards in charge won't bode too well for them. This brings up the recent conflict Israel is having against the other terrorists and the fact they were stopped again by the UN from wiping out the scumbags, with help from the Bush administration. Once more, defeat is snatched from the mouth of victory, IMO.

Lastly, Miami vice? I would say the corruption in politics there is symptomatic of the moral corruption prevalent in this nation today, not only in government but within society itself, especially in the area of the acceptance of homosexuality as a protected right, that supercedes all other rights. We are witnessing the destruction of the "great experiment" that took root in 1776. We didn't need an enemy storming our beaches to defeat us, rather we rotted out from within.
-- Pete Chagnon

...and so what's the point of printing a letter from an arrogant 15 year old kid who thinks the adverb "eloquently" can describe flipping through a magazine?

I shudder to think of the printed tongue-lashing this girl is going to get for simply reciting the half-baked, puerile beliefs taught by your average middle school teacher, who, by the way, would surely praise her "courage" in speaking out.
-- Deane Fish
Altamont, New York

Haylie Renae's letter to TAS show us several things.

Numero uno: Our education system is now totally in ruins. The idea she has been given any facts on global warming instead of left-wing propaganda is laughable.

Numero dos: I hate to inform you of this simple fact, young lady, but men (and women) make laws all the time that take away your choices. You can't legally take illicit drugs, engage in prostitution, or even save your money for your retirement as you see fit.

Using your illogic anyone, including myself, that wants to choose to kill someone I don't like should be okay because, hey, that's the decision I've come to.

Numero tres: Based on her age her parents are likely in their early 30's to mid 40's. Probably as uneducated and ignorantly liberal as she or they'd have stopped the indoctrination already (of course, maybe that's why TAS is lying around the house).

Numero quatro: For every Haylie Renae I'm happy there are one, or maybe two, intelligent individuals to counter her future vote. Those will be the ones fighting and dying against the extremists in the world that I'm sure Miss Renae thinks are on the side of the righteous.

Otherwise I'm afraid we're doomed.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

Here is the result of liberal control of education in the United States. Your tax dollars at work! Or maybe it was written by Howard Dean, who thought that the Vermont state motto was "something Latin."
-- Ken Lizotte
Bristol, Vermont

Reading the letter to the editor from this young girl really made me laugh.

I'm still laughing. Wow. Brings back many fond memories when I too was young and stupid.

I'm still laughing. A liberal hootenanny. Heh heh!
-- Jeff Ehler
Omaha, Nebraska

MICHAEL FUMENTO REPLIES
Re: B.J.M.'s letter (under "Ketamine Concerns") in Reader Mail's Nature Wars and Michael Fumento's Ketamine and Depression:

Dr. B.J.M. appears to be looking for an argument, a la the fellow in the Monty Python skit who keeps looking for the argument room but just ends up getting contradiction and abuse. For example, he says he had to click on the link I provided to see how many people were in the study (as if it were a major revelation) when I said so in the body of the article. (Curiously, it flits between saying 17 and 18 participants.) He also ignores my mention of a previous small study with similar results. There are also animal studies which had similar results and therefore led to the human ones.

I suggested that if ketamine be used in its present injectable form, it only be used for extreme cases. To this B.J.M. says the study at hand is of limited value because all the participants were extreme cases. Huh? It also obviates his argument about whether the results would apply to non-extreme cases although I can't imagine why it would only work on the brains of people who are resistant to traditional therapy.

When it comes to side effects, Dr. B.J.M. is talking about the much-higher doses used in anesthesia. Normally smaller doses lead to fewer and lesser side effects. Certainly in the aforementioned trials the effects he describes were not found. I don't think "glossed over" is fair.

Finally, I hardly implied a cure for depression is right around the corner for two reasons. First, the aforementioned trials were promising treatments but just that; a treatment is not a cure. Second, it would take at least five years to bring such drugs to the market unless by happy coincidence a company happens to have something sitting on the shelf that's already undergone safety testing for something else, as indeed is the case with injected ketamine. What should be around the corner is what I said: "What we need is for the pharmaceutical industry to take this tantalizing research and run with it." It will be too late for my brother-in-law but sadly there are many more like him that with current medicines will follow his fatal path.
-- Michael Fumento
www.fumento.com
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Washington, D.C.

GRIDLOCK LOOKS GOOD
Re: Philip Klein's The Republican Devolution:

Having spent 25 years observing who gets early political backing for office, I have discovered that most of the candidates emerge from planning and zoning agencies, people versed in land management get shoved to the front and supported.

Until this selection process is overcome, we will continue to get the spending mind set in our legislative bodies.
-- Richard D Volkman, Publisher
Nebraska Journal-Leader

We need a new party, the Gridlock Party! I'll be the first to sign up!
-- Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

HOW DO YOU SPILL RELIEF?
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Hurricane Greed:

I have spoken to many people who work for Wal-Mart in the area (my Mama is retired from Wal-Mart) and read much about what they did to get aid to people right away, with a bare minimum of the difficulty apparently suffered by those who rushed in from outside with no knowledge of the area and not disposed to ask any questions. My own conclusion is that Wal-Mart has resources in place nearly everywhere in the United States and the government could save time and trouble and cash by contracting most of the relief efforts out to them.

The other way to cut fraud is not to give anybody cash, and remain smilingly deaf to cries of "You a racist!" whether it comes from Anderson Cooper or somebody standing in the welfare line. Help should be given in goods and services only, and let the local Wal-Mart personnel, who know these people, decide who and where. No putting up "evacuees" in hotels; stockpile those metal warehouse buildings that can be raised in half a day, and put out a call for Amish and Mennonite and Mormon men and women to come down and help the Salvation Army put them up and run them. "Evacuees" get a bed in a dorm, three hot meals (good food without any variety, such as is provided at Gitmo) and a package of personal needs items including three plain outfits and one pair of shoes. Anything more than that they want, they can go out on their own and find.

Put the Mormons in charge of distribution and work assignments; they have one of the best social assistance programs in the world, and they are used to working with people who have millions of needs and no abilities they care to exercise, and they'll be able to put those "evacuees" to work cleaning up the debris and salvaging what can be salvaged, preparing food and serving it, doing laundry and minding kids, and whatever other work needs doing in payment for any goods and services they receive. It's my prediction that the majority of "evacuees" will get sick and tired of this in short order and find themselves homes and jobs, and the rest will certainly make a better life for themselves on the way to self-sufficiency.

In short, instead of re-inventing the wheel, put the people in charge who have already demonstrated that they know what they're doing. And don't give anybody any money for any reason at all. Most fraud artists will decide pretty quickly to move on if there's no cash to grab and if somebody makes them work.
-- Kate Shaw

LINE 'EM UP
Re: Doug Powers's Profilers in Discourage:

Right on, right on right on. I was seized by airport security and taken out of line once as well.

Standing there in a row while my fellow passengers milled on through the line to the boarding gate, I was subjected to the humiliation of removing my shoes. The real kicker was when the (female) security officer asked me to unfasten my belt my pants and flip open the clasp of my pants.

I felt so much safer.
-- Ric

Having been profiled several times both in the States and here in the U.K., I have come to conclusion the searchers have become adapt at choosing subjects who are most compliant and therefore make the task easier.
-- Donald Parnell
London, England

I agree that there are significant problems with airport security procedures, but they are not those given by Mr. Powers.

Mr. Powers's biggest complaint seems to be the same given by most people who seek to critique passenger screening operations, his own inconvenience. While it is certainly true that most terrorist attacks directed toward airports and aircraft have been perpetrated by young men of Middle Eastern descent, this is not always the case. Remember the Lod Airport Massacre of 1972? Japanese Red Army members attacked the airport on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They didn't fit the profile. The upsurge of bombing, especially suicide bombings, perpetrated by women is also disturbing. They don't fit the profile either. They were chosen to defeat a security regimen that is based upon a terrorist "profile."

The point here is simple. When you make assumptions concerning who, or what, poses a security risk, before you examine that person, you have already lost the battle and possibly the war. It is fundamental that everything and everyone be screened to guarantee that dangerous items are not carried aboard an aircraft or into a secure area. Human beings are at the pointy end of the food chain because we are clever and adaptable. To overcome these traits, no assumptions can be made ahead of time, everyone and everything must be examined.

But, take heart. The security process will only become more tedious as terrorists continue their attempts to defeat the security procedures now in place. As more threats are identified, more procedures will be implemented to deal with them. Welcome to the
21st century.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Mr. Powers tackles an extremely important subject in an almost flippant manner. In my ever so humble opinion it is a national scandal the way that our military men and women, traveling in uniform, with written orders and an official military ID, are pulled out of line to be processed further.

There have been many reports of these military members having to remove their uniforms, as well as their shoes. Several times Marines on escort duty bringing home the body of a fallen hero have been harassed by the TSA screeners. These escorts are traveling under written orders and are in full class A dress blues. They are ordered to NEVER allow the casket out of their sight. Yet what are they to do when they are ordered out of line for a strip search by an airport security officer.

It has become positively routine for our military members traveling home for R and R from Iraq, or traveling back to Iraq after R and R to be pulled out for extensive search. The TSA screeners seem to take a delight in pulling as many military in uniform as possible. In one case, this procedure was applied to military traveling to Iraq, in uniform, on a flight that was 100% military people.

Numerous complaints have been made to the commanding officers of these men upon their return to their units, some in Iraq. Yet, it seems that nothing will deter these intrepid TSA screeners from their mission to embarrass as many of our military as possible. Apparently, Rumsfeld can not get Chertoff to issue the necessary orders to stop this charade. It is inconceivable to me that El Presidente Jorge Boosh will not issue an executive order to correct this indignity. His favorite people, Mexican illegal aliens, have less of a hassle getting across our borders, than our own military men and women traveling through our airports.

But hey, don't take my word for this. I am sure that several of your regular writers (Jed Babbin, perhaps) can come up with chapter and verse examples of this practice, along with the written memos from field commanders to the Pentagon, TSA, and/or Homeland Security. Why this has not become a national scandal investigated by both the MSM and the Congress is beyond me.
-- Ken Shreve

I used to be a frequent flyer during the eighties and nineties and haven't had a need to fly since then. Thankfully.

If I were still flying I might well share Mr. Powers frustration. Some points though, I think, are in order.

The recent revelation that two of the terrorist suspects in the UK airliner plot were apparently going to put a bomb in their babies formula bottle thereby sacrificing Mom, Pop and baby to kill the infidel means we can't just profile Muslim men. We do have to look at everybody. Even Muslim women as well as others.

Consider the non-Muslim kook fringe and useful idiots that have been among us since the Vietnam years. Some of these people are now grannies, graduates of the Weather Underground, who if memory serves used to blow things up at major universities. What about the environmental terrorists who have burned out car dealerships and housing projects? None of these freaks were or are Muslim. I don't think it is much of a stretch of the imagination though to consider them a potential recruited threat. Not with Bush Derangement Syndrome in full flower. Timothy McVeigh anyone?

A recent letter in the L.A. Times by a military officer lamented the secondary searches and wandings he had endured and witnessed with other servicemen, all in uniform. He considered it a travesty. At first I was appalled. I then thought back to recent articles I had read concerning the number of frauds showing up at VFW and Legion Posts as retired military along with medals and uniforms. Several years ago I visited a military surplus store in lower Delaware to buy an American Flag lapel pin. These stores have been around for ages. At this one, were someone so inclined, they could outfit themselves to what ever rank, service, unit, uniform of the day or decoration they wanted and apparently there are already a plethora of someones out there; at least now only for self aggrandizement.

Mr. Powers, I wish I had a solution. Unfortunately the Chinese curse applies, we live in interesting times.
-- Jim Woodward
Fruitland, Maryland

WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM
Re: Bill Croke's John Huston at 100:

I found your article on John Huston to be very interesting and informative. Huston was one of our greatest filmmakers and your article does him a great deal of justice.

But two not so minor quibbles. No list of Huston's great films should omit Key Largo or The Asphalt Jungle. And to describe The List of Adrian Messenger as a "turkey" is absurd. It's a fine thriller with George Scott and Kirk Douglas, among many, in great form.

Still I liked the article. One of the very few directors at the very top of their game for 40 years, from The Maltese Falcon to The Dead.
-- Vincent
Santa Monica

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