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Playing Ball

Roger Maris resurrected. Cynthia McKinney benched. V dots and other vendettas. Doomsday talk. Plus much more.

4.5.06

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NO ASTERISK
Re: Paul Beston's Shadows Past and Present:

One of the greatest tragedies of the steroid plague is Roger Maris. Never acknowledged, and often scorned, he is the man who broke Ruth's record, and now it's been stolen from him. I often wonder where his monument in Yankee Stadium is? Ruth may have built it, but Maris perpetuated it. He was no beloved drunk like Ruth or Mantle. Just a great home run hitter.

Now Barry Bonds will probably eclipse Hank Aaron's all time HR record. How much of it will be steroids? Shame here too. Hank Aaron was not only the greatest all time HR hitter, but a profile in courage and made a statement about race relations as great as Jackie Robinson's. When you compare their achievements in baseball to today's so called super stars you would have to pay them about $50,000,000 each. Neither of them ever got much more than $50,000.

Baseball really needs a Kenesaw Mountain Landis. They just about killed my game. Maybe it's time for a fans union. Steroids are not the only problem. Over expansion, outrageous prices, and over paid and under performing players Even with steroids today's players are for the most part pampered underachievers just look at the record book.

I love baseball, and always will. There's still pick up and sand lot. Major league ball better clean up their act now or they won't have a franchise.
-- Lee Shaw

GOTTA BE THE HAIR
Re: The Prowler's Mount McKinney:

Let me join most Americans in saying how silly and arrogant U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney has been in the past several days, a total embarrassment to all, especially to black Americans.

For the past 30 years, I've worked as a federal employee on Capitol Hill. Since 9/11, EVERYONE is required to show their identification each and every time they enter a government building, so why should a Congressman, or woman, be treated differently, especially if the Capitol Hill police officer doesn't recognize them? After all, there are 435 House members!

As for her screaming racism for this minor infraction, I kinda understand why many white Americans are tiring of black leaders abusing this excuse. Perhaps Rep. McKinney needs to channel her energy towards other important issues, like the fast-rising price of gas and the fact that, for the past two decades, in most inner cities across this great nation, a young, black man kills another young, black man almost every night.

As for her new hairdo, speaking from a black woman's perspective and no disrespect intended, she needs to get a new stylist. Thanks for listening and may God bless and protect our children and soldiers everywhere!
-- Pamela A. Hairston
Washington, D.C.

With due respect, Georgian Cynthia McKinney is not just a poster child for the loony, paranoid left, but she's also a shrewd calculator who plays the race card whenever convenient.

Wonder if that'll get her past this run-in with law enforcement? Whether it does or not will be a measure of how well she continues to extort her own party into turning its head when she says or does something outrageous. Too, her success or failure will also be measures of the guts the Republicans have or don't have in pressing the matter.

Regardless, the lady proclaimed in her July 2003 speech at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem: "As I have said before, I won't sit down and I won't shut up." Wonder how many Democrats on Capitol Hill and elsewhere wish she would change her mind -- immediately -- and do both, now and forever?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

"Let's be honest, the only reason that she was elected was that there were no better Democrats to put up against her last time out."

If McKinney is the "best" the Democrats can come up with then they are in worse shape than I thought.
-- Elaine Kyle

Is there any doubt who the racist is in this story?
-- Charles LeBlanc
Metairie, Louisiana

SERIOUSLY FANTASTIC
Re: David Hogberg's A Surprise Happy Ending:

What makes me laugh about V is the number of moonbats discussing the significance of the movie in hushed and serious tones. How it's an important work which discusses the means necessary to take back the people's government from the evil, fascist, Christian, BushCheneyRumsfeldRice junta. The "protagonist" V wears a Guy Fawkes mask throughout. If memory serves wasn't said Guy a Catholic terrorist whose goal was blowing up Parliament in order to establish a papist state? Not sure how this squares with the Left's fantasy worldview. But then that's the point isn't it? It's all a fantasy.
-- Ron Pettengill
London, United Kingdom

There's one problem with David Hogberg's premise of the film's declared righteousness of overthrowing a "murderous regime." It's that the Wachowski-lefties only want the regimes they dislike overthrown.
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

Interesting that Mr. Hogberg observes a "conservative"-despite-themselves quality about the Wachowski brothers --I thought The Matrix was profoundly (and probably unintentionally) pro-life with its horrific portrayal of all the babies being grown in vats so that their body heat could be siphoned off by the robots.

FWIW.
-- Lucy Tucker

CLARITY AND CONFUSION
Re: Patrick Hynes's Burning the Republican Church:

Patrick Hynes has done the seemingly impossible. He has written about evangelical Christians and demonstrates that he knows what he is talking about at the same time. Bravo!
-- Hunter Baker

What Mr. Hynes wrote about the apparent gibberish penned by Mr. Phillips certainly demands a lengthy, detailed response.

But what the Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the church at Corinth sums up Mr. Phillips's confusion, as well as those other liberals and anyone else who has no relationship to Christ Jesus: "The man without the Spirit (of God) does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

So, of course, anything of Christianity, particularly that which opposes the liberal-leftist anything-goes mores and that which seems grounded in the certainty of one's faith in God, is foolishness. But it ain't foolishness to Christ Jesus, the author and finisher of a Christian's faith.

As for all that blather about predestination and pre-millennial dispensationalism coming from liberal pundits? More foolishness on their parts. For those who claim to believe in Christ Jesus? Those notions are simply distractions from what's most important. And that should be keeping our eyes on Christ and His Cross and doing the best we can to live, love, forgive and extend grace as He did.

And as for Phillips and his like-minded pundits trying to marginalize Christians, particularly those of us who they continue to label as "evangelical," let them continue their foolishness. It only serves to separate the wheat from the chaff, intellectually and spiritually. Maybe someday they'll have a real encounter with God and come to their senses.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Armageddon???

When Jesus was asked about the judgment day to come, he replied in Matthew 24:36, " But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." He gave no other answer. We are to be prepared for that day at all times, as that day will come as a thief in the night. 1 Thes 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

So here we have quoted, Jesus, Peter, and Paul, all stating there will be NO warning. Nowhere in the scriptures does it tell us to be on the lookout for "Chaos in the explosive Middle East, far from being a threat, actually heralds the second coming of Jesus Christ. Oil price spikes, murderous hurricanes, deadly tsunamis and melting polar ice caps lend further credence."

Why worry about these types of occurrences? We are commanded not to worry: Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Hmm, so who are we to believe, Jesus and his disciples, or modern day men? Research when premillennium theory began. You may be surprised! The word Armageddon only occurs once in the New Testament, Revelation 16:16. Here is a link to the history and meaning of the word...
-- Kevin W.
Morgantown, West Virginia

ACCOUNTING FOR SOX
Re: Alex J. Pollock's Time to Reform Sarbanes-Oxley:

Enjoyed the recent article in The American Spectator, and my only comment is, what an understatement!!!

My favorite section had to be "A Bonanza for Accounting Firms." The only thing SOX has accomplished is the greatest wealth transfer in the history of the world, from shareholders of publicly traded corporations to fraudster accounting firms.

As a long-term capital markets investor, and forensic accountant, that believes in Warren Buffet's philosophy of investing in "what you know" or "what you use," it's sickening to witness how much money is wasted on the accounting profession, when it could be paying additional dividends, or being reinvested in the company. When compared to corporate salaries and benefits, it's hard to determine if the public even has a chance anymore; when will integrity and ethics return to the capital markets?
-- Brent D. Berkman, CPA
Baltimore, Maryland

NATIONAL INSECURITY COUNSELS
Re: Jed Babbin's A Tale of Two Summits:

While it is personally comforting to read the increasingly critical reaction by most contributors to this website to the Bush administration's dismal failure to deal with the incalculable dangers of failing to protect our borders, and the idiocy of passing a guest worker/amnesty program, the overriding issue now is how to channel that criticism into action. In the words heard during much of the labor turmoil of the 1930's: organize, organize, and, well, you get my point.

Apparently, Mr. Babbin, aided by a former intelligence operative, has recently become aware of the perils posed to our national security by millions of illegal aliens crossing our borders. "Bienvenido," and welcome to the club: better late than never. But this is no laughing matter, for all who read this letter must eventually understand that we are at a crossroad, and there is no turning back. Hence, if the "pinata of platitudes" that emerged from the Cancun Conference by Larry, Moe and Curly, including the assertion by Mexico's leader that he will try to reduce the flow of illegal aliens into our country, riles Mr. Babbin further, I offer him two words: help organize. How? Keep exposing the hypocrisy about illegal immigration to this and any and all audiences.

There are just so many things that working people can accomplish in the course of the day, but one factor that may explain our quiescence in this national security matter stems from the belief that our elected representative would, at some point, hear the vox populi. Last week, Newsweek asked people to vote on what they would do about illegal immigration: when I cast my ballot (one of more than 122,000 at the time), 81 percent of the American people wanted it ended. Yet this Republican (not conservative) administration, and its supporters on both sides of the aisle, are tone deaf to this request; hence, we must keep up the pressure on congressional representatives and the White House.

Since national security seems to engage Mr. Babbin's attention, may I ask him, since 9/11, how many millions of illegal aliens have entered this country? True, most are here for work, not to destroy America, but how does one separate the chaff from the wheat? Yet our leader insists that he "...doesn't want people sneaking into the country." Aside from being absurd on its face, has the administration done anything that will significantly reduce that number? If there is a crackdown on employers who illegally hire those unlawfully present, deportation will be self-starting. But this must also be joined with strict border enforcement, something the Minutemen are planning to restart, not, I assure you, with the support from the administration.

The hour is late, and if Mr. Babbin and like-minded Americans assume the position of the seagull's salute -- palms of both hands up -- we doom ourselves to indecisiveness. It will take is an energetic defense of our nation by its vox populi for things will change, but it must be done

Se puo...se puo -- you can, you can.

Pax tecum.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

By now, the obvious has not only stated itself, but has resounded from the mountaintops: With heroic rhetoric in defense of American security, George Bush can involve us in deadly...and dubious...conflicts thousands of miles from our shores; but, when our streets are filled with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators supported by seditious foreign groups, waving foreign flags, chanting slogans hostile to this country, convinced that this is not even the United States but THEIR COUNTRY which they intend to take back, we hear not one word from our President, save more ineffectual platitudes about how we can obtain still more amnesty for illegal immigrants without seeming to espouse it. To house more than 11 million illegals, American taxpayers give up hundreds of millions of dollars annually in support of schools, public administration, law enforcement and healthcare, so many of which systems are themselves already stressed to the breaking point. In so doing we indirectly, and unwittingly, subsidize countless American businesses who are in violation of our laws while also, in failing to enforce our own codes, subsidizing a corrupt and incompetent Mexican state which cannot begin to care for its own.

I voted twice for GHWB and his son, GWB, each time with the presumption that having their opponent of the moment in the White House would be unthinkable. Ah, hindsight. At least Al Gore is an obvious sort of mental case while Bill Clinton indeed may be a lying con artist, but at least he brings a certain charm to his schtik. But for me, the game is now over. I am tired of being played for a fool by a Republican Leadership whose greatest belief seems to be in getting re-elected while staying as far below the radar as possible. I, and so many of my friends and family, now find ourselves questioning both Mr. Bush's real capabilities as well as his real motives. And as for the party? Well I'll just let Arnold Schwarzenegger speak to that, if he can take time away from his workouts with Teddy and Maria. For, despite 12 years since the Contract with America, our national debt now is greater than ever, our military capability is woefully below a level necessary for post 9/11 national defense, government is larger and more inept than ever while issues such as real border security, urgently-needed energy independence, social security reform, and complete governmental housecleaning and reform, and many others, receive only the most perfunctory sort of GOP hand-wringing when they receive any attention at all. So, with considerable regret, I herewith acknowledge that the Republican Party has abandoned me and I shall no longer support it in any way shape or form. Better the damned fools who are at least honest about than the pretenders who, in the act or lack of it make Bill Clinton seem like the proverbial Boy Scout. Meanwhile, I have a message for Mr. Bush. It is from an old friend of mine, and I am just the messenger here: "know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth...be diligent and turn from your indifference...."

You brought this all on yourself.
-- Gene Wright
Former Republican in Laguna Niguel, California

WORTHY YOUTH
Re: Paul Chesser's Costly Refilling of the Labor Pool:

Now that you have succeeded in implying that American kids are unwilling to do the type of jobs that you were too wimpy to do when you were a callow youth. What do you think will happen when all of those illegal immigrants are granted amnesty? My guess is that they will start demanding higher wages and better working conditions. And, why not, the only reason they have to take the crappy jobs for now is because they are illegal. You know the old saying, "So you don't like your job or the working conditions, well guess what, there's another illegal waiting in line more than willing to take your position, so get back to work!"

And, do you think any of the children of illegal immigrants born in this country and now considered American citizens are working the same type of jobs their parents or other illegal immigrants are working? I think not, because, from my observations of the street theater that was put on in Los Angeles in the last week. All I saw was a group of people acting just as entitled, just as spoiled rotten, and just as ungrateful for the opportunities offered in this country as the so called spoiled American brats you have so carelessly besmirched. No, what did we get to see and hear? Gringo, this is our country, this land was stolen from us, get out, we are Mexicans not Americans and this country is ours.

Since you have stereotyped the youth of America as shiftless, lazy, and unconcerned with not only their futures but also the future of America. Well then please inform us as to exactly who in the hell are those callous young Americans serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and all the other outposts manned by our military around the world. I'll tell you who they are, they are the millions of patriotic and hard working young Americans more than willing to lose life and limb for ungrateful bastards like you back in this country for very little appreciation and pay. The last time I checked a soldier's pay wasn't exactly on par with the dough the likes of George Soros, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton rake in each year.

And, please explain how the youth of America can prove themselves to be more worthy of the very restaurant jobs, retail work, and physical labor positions that illegal immigrants are currently working in this country. Especially when those very same businesses looking for workers seem unwilling to hire American kids for those positions. Because if every employer holds the same biased view of young Americans as you do it's no wonder American teenagers and young adults in this country are unable to find employment at reasonable wages in the very cities, towns, and country where they were born and raised.
-- William Weaver
Mount Laurel, New Jersey

I had the HONOR of last year needing a lot of yard work and landscaping done in a short amount of time. We lived in California, and contrary to popular belief, I was able to hire an entirely LEGAL contractor/designer, and a totally LEGAL and mostly under-20 crew for the job.

Most of the young men were relatives' or friends' sons of the contractor. There was a smaller crew that was out of high school working doing the week, but the main landscaping jobs were on weekends, and it was a large (8-10 person) crew.

My concrete patio was done by a father/son team. The Dad had been doing concrete work for decades, learned the trade from his father, and was passing the skills to his son. My slab was the first one the young man did as the "lead."

There are several websites that list not only who hires "illegals" but also who hires only legal as well, and have all their insurance and state certifications/licenses as well. It was NOT an easy task.

Closer to home: My daughter worked at a local animal shelter back in California cleaning the kennels and cages for a summer. My son works as a packer on weekends and on school vacation for a moving company. My oldest niece is learning the food and entertainment industry from the mop bucket, to the cutting board from a friend of her family that hires her and other teens to work at banquets and formal dinners that their catering firm handles. She's been working for them for two summers, and maybe this year she will get to "dress" the plates.

It is much harder than when I was a teen. My daughter is having trouble getting a part-time job, partly because she is trying to both work AND attend classes.

Kids WILL do the work,
-- S. Dent

PLAYING WITH GUNN
Re: Beverly Gunn's letters to Reader Mail:

When I was a little girl I had a great-aunt whose highest compliment was to refer to a person she admired as "the salt of the earth." I have not known many salt-of-the-earth individuals of my generation, but if I were acquainted with Beverly Gunn, I am sure that description would fit her perfectly.

Maybe I will look her up and tell her myself. East Texas, hmm. How hard could that be? Long ago I had relatives who owned a tomato packing "shed" in Jacksonville -- a bigger operation than it sounds. Back in those days, I'll bet they ran it without employing a single "illegal," too. My uncle had a hotel in Tyler. I had "folks" in San Angelo, Canton, Rusk. Some of those towns may no longer exist. (I was a little girl a long time ago.) No ranches thereabouts anyhow. I'll have to keep going. One thing I am forgetting -- as Texas is big -- so is East Texas. Maybe I will call on Elaine instead. I know where Cut & Shoot is.

Thanks again for the wonderful contributions to your Reader Mail -- spiritually uplifting and informative. Without Mrs. Gunn, how many would know that there are still folks left in this world who get up in the morning and put in a real day's work and don't rest until it is done. And then do it all over again day after day, without complaint.

Beverly's Mama taught her well.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

AN UNJUST TIME
Re: C.K. Justus's letter ("Soak the Rich") in Reader Mail's Not in a Good Mood and Greg Barnard's letter (under "Another Round of TAS") in Reader Mail's Playing Labor Pool:

After reading C.K. Justus's letter in 4/3 Reader Mail, I want the last five minutes of my life back.
-- Angela Seeley
Clarksville, Tennessee

Mr. Bernard, I hold your letters and opinions in almost the same degree of high regard as those from Elaine, and Beverly, and Diane. For that reason, I will help you on one point regarding the letter writer Mr. or Ms. Justus. The sheriff in Smokey and the Bandit was named Buford T. Justice. I remember 'cause I always thought that movie was a real true hoot. I still watch it in re-runs today. Keep on keeping on, Greg, you make a whole mountain of sense to this TAS reader.
-- Ken Shreve

For a special Reader Mail section today on Brandon Crocker's "Be My Guest (Worker)" piece, click here.


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