Reader Mail

Scoundrel Time

Starring... J.F. Kerry & Co. Also: Labor's losses. Connecticut Joe. Blood lines. Plus much else.

6.30.06

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RUN, FRENCHIE, RUN
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s The Kerry Brigade:

Leave it to R. Emmett Tyrrell to introduce an underused word. Shall we expect Kerry's military record to be repristinated about the same time that Madonna is revirginated?
-- GnuCarSmell
Jacksonville, Texas

Reading the article on Jean-Francois Kerry's desire to run for the Presidency again leaves me hopeful. I cannot wait. I sit here in East Texas, the proud owner of a full size cardboard cutout of Mr. Kerry. It was given to my husband as a birthday gift the year Kerry lost. My husband, a Vietnam Veteran, felt his service to his country was vindicated when Kerry lost.

Attached to Mr. Kerry's Frankenstein pose is a bumper sticker I had printed up. It reads, "John Kerry is an idiot." I had several printed last election and look forward to handing them out to my friends, should he run. I think his nomination will bring back all the comedic double-talk speeches and foolish statements. We can look forward to many jokes at his expense.

As for the attack on the Swift Boat Veterans, they have been through worse and because they walk with integrity, unlike Mr. Kerry, they will stand firm and truth will be told. Justice will be served once more for the generation who came home from war to be dishonored by the scoundrels like Kerry and Jane Fonda.
-- Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher, Military wife and mother

Perhaps one reason that members of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are having trouble getting officials to believe their stories of harassment (by HuffPost?), is that it is so well known that Swift Vets traffic exclusively in LIES.

Remember the story of the little boy who cried wolf so many times (told lies), that when he REALLY did have a problem, no one believed him, no matter how loud he shouted? Sounds like karma to me. Peace. No threat from me here, let's leave that to the Divine Power you so facilely profess to believe in.
-- unsigned
P.S. Is that Spectator, as in "advocate that others are sent to die while I sit in safety at home as a spectator"?

It is very sad when people indulge in hate speech and threats, as against the Swift Boat veterans. I spent two years in Vietnam. In the military as in any organization there are ways of doing things. Standard operating procedures. One thing you do not do in the corporate world or in the military is put in charge some newly hired clerk with no experience. Matters not if his father is admiral, general or candlestick maker.

With John Kerry's rank and experience the only thing he would have been in charge of would have been the details of men burning human waste from the latrines. No ferrying CIA agents on secret missions.

I believe Kerry to be a liar. I spent eight times longer in Vietnam than him. So if he or his gaggle of spokespeople wish to talk about it, call me. I will set them straight.
-- Gaylord Cooper

Mr. Tyrrell writes, "Well, I for one shall delight in reviewing the Swifties' corpus delicti once again. There are his Purple Hearts that his officers deny authorizing."

I am a Vietnam veteran. I have to say that a leader that gets three purple hearts in four months, is scary. Either he takes extremely dangerous risks for himself and his men, or he is extraordinarily unlucky. Either way, I would be reluctant, not to mention fearful, to follow such a "leader."
-- John Christopher
Sunland, California

Thank you for aptly describing Kerry's bizarre ongoing campaign. It is indeed a comedy routine. If only he had a unicycle and a seltzer bottle it might actually be funny.

But don't work against him too diligently as he does have the potential to deliver some hilarious one-liners (i.e. "…I married up..."). Meanwhile his competition in the adjacent Vaudevillian theater, Madam Jezebel and her House of Horrors, is nothing but scary.
-- R. Trotter

Having seen two articles in two days about Senator Kerry's renewed efforts at polishing his Vietnam record, I find myself confused. I know that the Senator promised to release his service records and signed something, but for some reason all the pertinent information has not become available. He is thus able to go on making self-serving statements and have leftist web-sites disparage the Swift Boat veterans.

Perhaps your staff can track down the exact scenario surrounding the non-release of the records and publish it? This seems to be another case of a botched investigation and missing records at which the Democrats and lap-dog media are so adept at spreading the notion that all has been revealed and acting as if it had.

I'd be grateful to have the record set straight and brought up to date in your trusted pages. You can hardly tell the liars without a scorecard.
-- Mark Fallert
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Editor's Note:
Mr. Fallert is quite observant. The public record is confusing. Mr. Kerry did sign his Form 180 so that specific reporters could view his records. The Boston Globe and the Kerry campaigns have said the form is signed, the public is informed. In fact, until the public has full access to Kerry's full records (active duty and reserve), major questions about his record remain. Thomas Lipscomb had a fine column on the subject at the time. You can view the pdf's of Kerry's Form 180 here.

SAME OLD LABOR
Re: Dennis C. Vacco's Labor's Desperate Measures:

I was very relieved to read this article. During the Clinton administration I was a management labor negotiator. While the union with which I dealt was as straightforward as politically sensitive folks can be -- who wants to give up a cushy office job and go back to the toolbox -- the American labor scene was one of extortion, theft, strong-arm elections and generally criminal behavior. This behavior was obviously in synch with the morality of the Clintons' years.

However, it has been many years since any press has been given to union misdeeds. I was given to contemplating whether unions had "gone bad" and started to comport themselves in a lawful manner. I surmised that since their numbers have continued to plummet and even did so during the anything-union-goes days of the Clintons' presidency, perhaps they were trying a lawful approach to conducting their business. Happily, I was able to pinch myself this morning and be reassured that time, tides, and unions never change. At my age any constancy is a wonderful thing!
-- Jay W. Molyneaux

As a former U. S. Attorney and New York State Attorney General, Mr. Vacco should know that nothing is against the law, if you do not intend to enforce that law. If you do not take steps to enforce a law, it is obvious that you act this way because you do not intend to enforce that law.

We have seen this principle play out at a national level in the current immigration fiasco. Businessmen hiring illegal aliens were nine times more likely to be investigated, charged, and fined during the Clinton administration than they are during this Bush administration. George Bush does not want the immigration laws enforced, so they won't be.

Obviously, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, and the New York legal structure, along with the U. S. Attorney for New York, do not want the various labor, charity, and tax laws enforced against ROC-NY, otherwise they would be. Mayor Rudy articulated it and then proved it, when you let "little" things go, you engender a climate that forces larger and larger holes or gaps in the legal safety net upon which society depends. You breed contempt for the law.

In this case, I would say the same thing to Mr. Vacco that I am currently saying to the Bushophiles regarding the NY Times flap: Put up or shut up. Don't talk tough and then not bring charges and prosecute. If you ain't gonna walk the walk, then don't talk the talk.
-- Ken Shreve

FAIR DEAL
Re: J. Peter Freire's How to Court a Connecticut Yankee:

Thomas Sowell said it best: "The Republicans should trade John McCain and a future draft pick to the Democrats for Joe Lieberman."
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

Senator Lieberman is a fraud! He lacks the courage of any convictions yet puts on a good show with his smarmy smile and constipated speaking voice. Unlike the rest of the media I recall how he suddenly got a phone call during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings and had to leave the hearing room. Twice! So that his vote wouldn't be the deciding one. Twice! You can look it up. The Democrats' man of courage and conviction. Yeah. A truly fitting Gore sidekick candidate.

Lieberman is just a Democrat in RINO clothing. No more. Probably less.
-- Wolf Terner
Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Lieberman, Sean Hannity's favorite liberal/Democrat, is just one more reason why conservatives need to rally around the GOP and elect more Republicans in November. Lieberman may be right on Iraq and GWOT, but he's more wrong than right on everything else. The Copperhead Democrats even if they do re-elect Lieberman still want to give terrorists civil rights and see the U.S. lose the war against Muslim terrorism.

Want a more conservative Supreme Court? You won't get it with Lieberman and Democrats. Want lower taxes? You won't get them with Lieberman and Democrats. Want fewer abortions? You won't get those with Lieberman and Democrats. Want the deficit (now predicted to be 2.5 percent of GDP this year) to continue going down? You won't get that with Lieberman and the Democrats. Want border control (Republicans in the Senate are moving closer to their House colleagues)? You won't get that with Lieberman and a Democrat Congress.

Everything conservatives supposedly want will not happen if the Democrats retake Congress. Even in Iraq and GWOT Lieberman is not going to make a difference if his party takes over in Congress. The only thing that will benefit conservatives is an overwhelming Republican victory in November. Conservatives need to recognize they have flexed their muscles and the GOP is listening even on the hot topic of immigration reform.

Conservatives, don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

Oh, Mr. Freire, you might be a Connecticut native, but you've obviously haven't been back to the ol' homestead recently. Your article contains some elementary basic mistakes. In the first instance, Lieberman is not from Stamford, he's from New Haven. The former governor of Connecticut is John Rowland, not Jim Rowland. I'm afraid you've been in D.C. way too long.

Additionally, your analysis of Lieberman's plight starts off woefully shoddy, primarily because you begin your analysis quoting an equally clueless pundit, Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times. Brownstein has absolutely no understanding of what is propelling an unknown leftist kook to perhaps an astonishing victory in August against this once invincible three-termer. Contrary to Brownstein's assertions, Lieberman, has never sought to provoke his base. He has always been the consummate protean, calculating politician, ever since those days in the late '70s, when he decided that being Attorney General of the state would propel him to greater heights. It failed then, but only temporally. Fortunately, you begin to draw away from Brownstein's analysis and ask some redeeming questions about what is actually happening here. The hard left is indeed in full anti-Lieberman mode; they are rabid and angry against anything that smacks of support for the war in Iraq and any policy proffered by the Bush Administration. Talk to them, which I have, and you walk away wondering how MoveOn has managed to take control of these seemingly intelligent people. Their anger is palpable, driven by mostly irrational dogmas. You can see it like heat off the pavement on a hot summer's day. You are right about Lieberman's religiosity on pro-choice issues, but it fails him now with the base, due to the uncomfortable fact that many within his base are both anti- Israel and anti-Western Civilization. They parrot the MoveOn pro-Palestinian, Hamas mantra. Lieberman, for all his faults, has always been faithful to Israel both because of his deeply held religious views and his appreciation of this modern (western) democracy surrounded by 11th century fanatics.

I have no sympathy for Lieberman; in many ways he is a victim of the adage that you reap what you sow. Lieberman has for years stoked the fires of the hard left in Connecticut when it suited his purpose. A confluence of events, that he could not have imagined, has now propelled an unknown hack to the very edge of victory. Lieberman knows, but will never acknowledge, that he and others in his party, have spawned an irrational force that cannot now be controlled.
-- A. DiPentima

J. Peter Freire replies:
Mr. DiPentima will forgive me the error of going from Jim to John (the difference between myself and my brother, as luck would have it), I hope, as I'm forgiving Mr. DiPentima the error of forgetting where Joe was born. On his website, it says:

"Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut on February 24, 1942, and attended public schools there. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale College in 1964 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967."

My impression was always that he spent a lot of time in Stamford growing up, though I'm aware he lives in New Haven currently. I forgive him the relocation only because the architecture is better.

That said, any politician knows when to stoke the fires for his own advantage, and Lieberman's no different. I don't exactly agree with Brownstein's assessment, so I'm confused why you nitpick there. What I'm pointing out is that the national pundits don't seem to understand Connecticut politics, which is generally difficult to understand. Joe is a Democrat, pure and simple -- some lefties are just mad because he's not a socialist.

HEALTH QUESTIONS
Re: Robert Seidenberg's Gay Behaviors vs. Public Health:

What makes you think that gays would say yes to the question have you had sex with a man? If they know the question is there and that a yes will disqualify them, then why even bother to try and donate? To me this is like asking at the airport do you have a bomb in your bag.

Did anyone else notice MSM can also stand for the dangerous MAINSTREAM
MEDIA?
-- Elaine Kyle

I hope Mr. Seidenberg is wearing his flak jacket as this article is sure to spawn a torrent of hate mail. Anyone with the temerity to challenge the dangerous propaganda emanating from pro-homosexual interest groups will surely become targets of their wrath. The risks of engaging in this type of sexual activity have been known for years, yet the general public remains largely uninformed. This will continue to be true as long as ideology trumps public health concerns. This is yet another example of our mainstream media ignoring reality because it does not conform to their preconceived notions about the nature of human sexuality. Once again they have failed us. Worse yet, this failure to report the truth will result in preventable suffering and could cost lives.
-- unsigned

In the article entitled "Gay Behaviors vs. Public Health" by Robert Seidenberg, he cites "the well-known Bell/Weinstein study."

I searched Google and Wikipedia and found no reference to this study. I found one reference to a Bell, Weinberg and Hammersmith study at Indiana University in 1981. See here. Did I miss something?

Not that I dispute the position taken by Mr. Seidenberg, but in referring his article to others, I want to be prepared for a defense of his position.

I am sending this question to you because there is no email address for Mr. Seidenberg.

Thank you for your always good reading!
-- Jim Brylinski
Orchard Park, New York

Editor's Note: Mr. Brylinski is correct. The "Bell/Weinstein study" should have read the "Bell/Weinberg study." Mr. Seidenberg's original manuscript included a footnote at mention of that study to the following source: "A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg. Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978), p. 308, Table 7."

MORE ACTION, LESS TALK
Re: Michael Reitz's Unions: For the Children?:

Mr. Reitz writes an extremely compelling article. As an ex-union worker, and one that has done academic research on unions and their role in politics, I would like to say that unions, in general, have long ago abandoned the rationale for their coming into being. Promotion of their members' benefit is the last thing that they are interested it. Politics is their reason for being. Since they promote and believe in a socialistic system whereby the government determines ALL economic decisions, including life's winners and losers, the unions see political activity as their number 1 business.

I totally agree with Mr. Reitz in the instant case about which he writes here. I have just one question of him. What are he, and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, doing to help this teacher, other than the publishing of this article? Are they providing a pro bono attorney to file suit against the Vancouver teacher's union? If not, why not? Sir, for you and your organization to simply enable the public to learn about a bad situation and then stand back while others attempt a solution is not a real good way to win brownie points, in my book. Do something tangible to help this teacher, Sir. Invest some of your own organization's time and treasure in righting this wrong. Do not start fights that you do not intend to dirty your own hands participating in.
-- Ken Shreve

...AND MORE ABORTIONS
Re: Jay D. Homnick's You Can Buff It, But You Can't Make It Shine:

If only one of these two extraordinary men, Gates and Buffett, would run for President. Their efforts to contribute to a better world have been noted. Now if only those committed Christians within the American body politic could find a charitable bone in their bodies and help contribute to a better America, i.e., affordable health care, higher minimum wage, better schools and hospitals, instead of pandering to the selfish "me, me, me" boomer generation.
-- Nathan Maskiell

RUDY'S POLICE STATE
Re: "Surviving the Social Cons" letters in Reader Mail's Rudy Awakenings and Philip Klein's Giuliani and History:

I am somewhat discomfited by the allegedly conservative enthusiasm for Rudy Giuliani. ("Giuliani and History") and ("Rudy Awakenings"). Here we combine a politician with a history of activist law enforcement and a commitment to a strongly liberal social agenda. Am I the only one who finds innovative social engineering backed by the vigorous power of the state reason for concern? Would a President Giuliani use his powers to defend or borders, or to enforce acceptance at bayonet-point of a North American Union? Federal enforcement of political sensitivity? Or the vigorous FBI investigation of congressmen who refused to vote for his tax increases? Be careful, you may get the Duce you think you want.
-- George Mellinger
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

RUNNING ON ETHANOL
Re: Eric Peters's Flex Fuel Fuzzy Math:

A study last year determined that it requires slightly more than one gallon of oil to make one gallon of ethanol. Also, there was much discussion in the '90s about tests showing that ethanol pitted engine cylinder walls over time. I have seen nothing since to refute those studies; it simply disappeared from the news.
-- Lawrence James
Lost City, West Virginia

ENERGY NEGATIVE?
Re: "Sniffing Policy Fumes" letters in Reader Mail's Buffett's Billions:

Not being a fuels expert, I nevertheless suspect that the "energy-negative" argument being deployed against ethanol proponents is specious and dishonest. Sure, ethanol production uses "diesel-powered tilling machines...diesel-powered planting and harvesting machines," etc. at the present time, but that wouldn't necessarily be the case in the future, after these vehicles were themselves converted to ethanol use. Similarly, if gasoline can be used to fire an electric processing plant, there would seem to be no reason why ethanol couldn't be used in its stead. As for the "subsidies" objection, the same answer applies: this is the situation at the present time. Subsidies are currently being offered because the government desires more ethanol use. However, were ethanol to ever become widely used, the subsidies would presumably end (I say "presumably" because one can never discount with 100 percent certainty the stupidity of our Congress).

The only "energy-negative" objection that would seem to have any merit is the fact that crop fertilizer is petroleum-based (I'll take petroleum proponents' word on that since I don't know). But the objection itself is absurd. The fact that, in an ethanol-dominated world, there would still be some uses for petroleum products is hardly a scandalous thing, is it? In an ethanol-dominated world, there would still be uses for iron ore, too. So what? Our petroleum consumption would be greatly reduced; that's the point. We could easily supply whatever remained of the petroleum market from our own domestic wells.
In short, none of these objections appear to be objections to ethanol in principle>/I>, but only to ethanol as a minority-status fuel -- which the oil interests and their apologists clearly would like it to remain.
-- Jim Newland, Jr.
Santa Clarita, California

BIG GOVERNMENT MODERATES
Re: Patrick Hynes's Hurting the Ones You (Ought To) Love:

What Mr. Sager asserts about religious conservatives and the growth of big government doesn't fit with the results from the 2004 Presidential exit polls. In those polls, given the choice between identifying as liberal, moderate or conservative, 21 percent self-identified as liberal, 45 percent as moderate, 34 percent as conservative. Eighty-four percent of those who described themselves as conservative voted for Bush, 45 percent of moderates. Forty-one percent of voters said Bush tax cuts were good for the economy. Of those, 92 percent voted for Bush. When asked if government should do more to solve problems 46 percent said yes, 49 percent said no. Of those who said no, 70 percent voted for Bush. As much as any group (probably more so than libertarians) it is probably safe to assume that religious conservatives would self-identify as conservative. If this is so they must also compromise a significant proportion of those Bush voters who believe tax cuts are good for the economy and those Bush voters who believe Government shouldn't do more to "solve problems." It appears religious conservatives are largely socially and fiscally conservative.

Bush himself may be categorized as a conservative with moderate big government, big business inclinations, and atypical religious conservative. The big government appeal that emerges from the Republican Party is not an outgrowth of religious conservatives, but is aimed in part to appeal to the moderate center (a moderate center that in many instances may be socially libertarian) and also in part aimed at the fusion of big business, globalist utopian free traders (including some libertarians) and the insular left-wing government bureaucracies. The massive treaty agreements such as NAFTA, WTO, permanent normal trading relations for China are quintessential big government, but libertarians may favor them any way in the furtherance of the promotion of a world-wide, areligious social libertarianism.
-- Martin Vaala

DIANE SQUARED
Re: Diane's letter ("The Shopping Warriors") in Reader Mail's Rudy Awakenings:

If I may say this once, lest anyone think I have recently gone semi-sub rosa and have dropped my last name and city to avoid taking the heat for my opinions, I haven't. "Diane's" viewpoint on George Bush's undermining the war effort by advising a shopping spree, while interesting, is not mine. Although I will say the sacrifices of WWII are seared in my memory -- "shoe stamps" for one. We got one pair of leather shoes a year. The rest were just awful cloth fabric. Plastic, as far as I know, had not been invented. Ask your mall crawlers to deal with that today! Or, try to get folks driving RVs and double wide mobile homes from Michigan to Rockport, Texas, on $3.00 a gallon gas to tolerate gas stamps. Maybe George Bush picks his battles wisely.

Oh, and no, I don't think I have an exclusive on the name "Diane," but I'll bet I have had it longer than any living female on the planet! I nearly flunked geometry because of that name. Every other girl in Dallas was named Betty Lou or MaryLizabeth. When Mr. Taylor used the word "diameter," as he often did, I jumped like I was shot, fearing I was being called on to participate, a task for which I was perpetually unprepared. My abysmally tenuous grasp on the subject, coupled with stark terror guaranteed me a "D."

I hope Diane writes often and it would be nice to know her neck of the woods. Lord, if I can admit to South San Francisco anything else should be easy.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

COMMON STEIN
Re: Ben Stein's Greetings From Rancho Mirage:

I came across Ben Stein's column from April 5 on your web site while researching subjects concerning our military's work and our country's history on June 28. I have been trying to put a few quotes and facts together to write a Fourth of July column for our newspaper, with much difficulty finding the right impetus.

I read about Thomas Paine's "American Crisis" and later stumbled across Mr. Stein's column. After reading his words, simple and eloquent at the same time, I was just brimming with ideas, imagining how our soldiers must feel when encouraged by people like Mr. Stein or even a fifth-grade student who writes a simple letter of encouragement to them.

The gist of all the writings, from Thomas Paine's "American Crisis" in 1776, to Mr. Stein's piece in April 2006, is that freedom is not free and that while we labor along in our mundane lives, there are a number of dedicated military personnel who sweat, bleed and even die to protect our freedom to live calm, boring, even mundane lives, as free people.

Even when I walk to the mailbox from now on, I will appreciate it even more, thanks to writers like Paine and Mr. Stein.

Thank you and Mr. Stein for sharing those words with the world.
-- Eric M. Long
Feature writer, The Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Williamsport, Pennsylvania

GET OVER IT
Re: Mark Gauvreau Judge's Doubting Coulter -- At First:

After Mark Gauvreau Judge's essay "Doubting Coulter -- at First" appeared, it was to be expected there would be a spirited response from both sides (in which I participated) for a couple of days. Both sides made our arguments, denouncing or praising Ann Coulter and Mr. Judge for his defense. By now the points have all been talked.

But still, three weeks later, the haters of the left continue to write in, (latest -- "Sympathy Please" by Richard Shandross, June 28) restating the tired attacks again and again, every few days. To quote one of your favorite phrases, "Move on" people! You are exhibiting the very sort of obsessive hatred of which you accuse Miss Coulter. In fact, by your continuing attacks, even on her less significant champions, you demonstrate a vengeful sort of hatred that verges on the Stalinoid. Doubtless, if you ever again come to power, Miss Coulter will be shot in the basement of the DNC headquarters, and Mr. Judge will be sent off to one of those desert labor camps which the left regularly accused Presidents Nixon and Reagan of setting up.
-- George Mellinger
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

I suppose the writer also believes Ann Coulter's diatribe is non-biased and non-political. The truth is that she has a very average mind, at best, and has made a fortune as the purveyor of crap.
-- W. J. McGraw

It would be nice to keep these deaths "sanitized," how polite even. What happened was obscene on 9/11 and the hatefulness of A. Coulter is inexcusable. Those widows can say it realistically because they are living the loss every day. I think to keep photo's of the coffin's of American soldier's out of the news is disrespectful and 'ostrich in the sand' mentality as well. It is much more respectful to see and bear the loss collectively and not be hidden, like dirty laundry. We should be uncomfortable so that war is not entered into so easily.
-- unsigned

LESSON LEARNED
Re: "Poetic Injustice" letters in Reader Mail's Rudy Awakenings:

Re: "Poetic Injustice," Elaine Kyle's and Mike Showalter's letters. Yes, Elaine, I knew every Burma Shave rhyme from Dallas to Jacksonville when I was a child. Easy to memorize, as my aunt never drove over 25 miles an hour and always in second gear.

And Mike, you sound like one of those "Let's you and him fight" fellas! You are suggesting I use my limited -- well, in fact you are not even suggesting I have limited talent -- you wish me to humiliate myself against a pro â€"- while you and the world of TAS judge!

Nice try. I am re-thinking that fruitcake. But to let you know how low-brow a poet I am, my favorite is Ogden Nash's ode to a turtle.

The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
Which carefully conceal its sex
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix, to be so fertile.

I do some really painful parodies, even today -- which, in deference to political correctness, I will not include here. Once, in high school, I was ushered to the principal's office for my participation in a school "talent" show. Somewhere I had gotten a dress straight out of "Carmen" and had elbow length gloves. A really nerdy accordionist (is there any other kind?) accompanied me as I sang "Leprosy," to the tune of Jealousy. "Leprosy, My God, I have leprosy -- that must be the reason, I have this big lesion..." (Here I exposed something leprous I had painted on my forearm.) It went on about being shunned by society -- packed off to the colony... I did it on a dare, because I was considered "so proper." My mama dared me ever to do it again.

As I languish in the springtime of my senility, I think TAS is safer with the sonnets of others.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

STRONG ADVICE
Re: John Sperling's letter (under "Worse Than the U.N.") in Reader Mail's Buffett's Billions:

I believe the only response to John Sperling's rant about not needing any more people on the planet is, "Johnny, save the planet, kill yourself."
-- W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

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