Reader Mail

Mixed Blessings

Deathly, murderous polygamy. Joe Morgan's chicken-wing swing. Sudan interventions. Red Lobster digs. Plus much more.

3.26.06

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THE LITTLE THINGS
Re: "Hired Gunns" letters in Reader Mail's Human and Divine, in reply to Beverly Gunn's letter (under "Seizing Defeat") in Reader Mail's Bales of Hay:

This note is from Beverly Gunn, East Texas rancher. I have had a hard day at the doctor's. I am losing my ability to walk and that is a story for another time. A friend called and said I needed to read American Spectator and see something. To my surprise I found the "Bales of Hay" title and that you had seen fit to publish my small contribution in thought to your online mag. Thank you. Then I found the two letters back from others who had seen my tongue in cheek letter and laughed with them.

After all the news I got it brought laughter to my heart. And we all know that laughter is the best medicine. Thank you.
-- Beverly Gunn

THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY
Re: William Tucker's Polygamy and Me and "One Man, Many Headaches" letters in Reader Mail's Human and Divine:

Concerning Polygamy: Jesus taught that the divine pattern is that "the two [not three, four, etc.] shall become one flesh" (Matthew 19:5). Polygamy mars the "one flesh" ideal. The New Testament takes for granted the relationship of one man for one woman in the marriage arrangement (see 1 Corinthians 7:2; 9:5; Ephesians 5:23ff).
And on another plane... isn't one spouse bad enough???
-- Kevin W.
Morgantown, West Virginia

I was interested by Mr. Tucker mentioning that he had wanted to do a book on terrorism and polygamy because that would certainly be upheld by reality. Mormon off-shoot polygamists under a kind of honor killing called blood atonement have killed more than 50 people in the United States since about 1970. These included the assassination of a 7-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl, an 18-month-old girl who had her throat slit and also the torture deaths of a 3-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. These crimes have been perpetrated in the states of Ohio, California, Utah, Texas, Colorado and Nevada. But even more interesting is the fact that Timothy McVeigh was involved with a non-Mormon-based polygamous group in Elohim City and committed the bombing on the day that a polygamous member of a white racist party was put to death by the state of Arkansas, I believe. Racism and violence or threats of violence is a vital part of off-shoot Mormon polygamy and Aryan race polygamous groups. Swapp and Singer bombed a Mormon church and killed a law enforcement officer in Utah. Jim Harmston of the Manti group in Utah built his following around racism, guns, and sex. Without even looking to the Middle East one can easily see the connection between the radical religions/cults polygamy and terrorism.

I hope that Mr. Tucker finds someone to support his book so that more people understand that polygamy is not just a group of people playing slap and tickle under the covers, but a belief system that encourages breaking the law, sexual abuse in the form of marriages involving incest, stepfather/daughter marriage and sexual relations between teenaged girls and older married men because the need for females for marriages is unending but the supply of those willing to engage in polygamy is small, and coercion involving threats to women (often of eternal damnation if not death itself). Boys and men, as well, have been the victims of abuse in the effort to keep the ratio of males to females unnatural. Threats of violence also extend to people who are critical of the lifestyle and its inherent abuses. Sometimes those threats are realized.
-- Lorna Craig

Mr. Tucker is right to notice a cultural elitist warming to polygamy, like the trial balloons that liberal elites float every few months in the press that teenagers need more sleep, therefore school should start later (instead of making the kids go to bed earlier, as people have been doing for five millennia). This past week there was a reference in the blogworld reminding (or educating) the world that the Republican Party was established in opposition to both slavery and polygamy. Guess those Republicans are much more current than the Democrats give them credit for.

As a practical matter, polygamy is a disaster and no coddled, comfy bunch of spoiled brat ivory tower film-makers should glamorize something that produces weak families, a hive of half-brothers and sisters who learn at an early age to scramble and compete amongst each other for scarce family resources and the patriarch's attention. How bizarre to have this other peculiar institution be suddenly attractive to well-fed and self-indulged women who have spent the last forty years whining about patriarchal societies!

Real women who live under polygamy must support their own offspring, competing against the other wives. First wives HATE the second wives and enlist the third and fourth wives against the hapless woman who spoiled the monogamous fantasy and dream that the first wife had, for a little while, with the man who'd promised her that she would be the only one.

At nutrition rehabilitation centers in Kenya, over 80 percent of children admitted with marasumus and kwashiorkor (in non-famine periods) were from second wives, rarely from first wives.

African woman have said that what woman invests much in a marriage if she knows her husband can ignore her concerns and come home with another wife? When one hears such heartfelt things, one understands just how important the marriage union -- as defined by the Bible -- one man/one wife -- is to the human spirit. Sons and daughters of mothers in polygamous marriages bitterly ask why their father took another wife, wasn't their mother good enough?

There is so much wrong with polygamy -- and so much wrong about the fluffy-headed and profoundly ignorant dismissal of polygamy as just another lifestyle. It's another lifestyle all right, but don't for a moment believe it's a good one. Go live in a polygamous society and witness its pathologies first hand. Polygamous societies do not produce families that work together and sacrifice together as monogamous societies do. Perhaps Hollywood and the liberal elite with too many multiple marriages and unhappy half-siblings considers polygamy not so far off what they are already doing. They would be correct, of course.
-- Cameron Gressly

I would like to thank David James Hanson for his response to William Tucker's "Polygamy and Me." Armed with the word in Iraq. Outstanding!
-- Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire

BATTING AROUND
Re: Lawrence Henry's World Baseball:

Enjoyed Lawrence Henry's color job on World Baseball.

Ever wonder how differently things would have turned out if young Fidel had really had a decent fastball with good movement and a breaking pitch he could locate? (Minnie Minoso would still have hit ropes off of him.)
-- Larry Thornberry
Tampa, Florida

The Cuban player, according to Morgan, braced on his back leg like a real major leaguer, and had a "real major league hitting style," while Suzuki "dragged his back foot" and simply "put the ball in play." Never mind that Ichiro Suzuki has been the most successful hitter in the major leagues for the last five years.

Ty Cobb wrote this hitting advice (in a 1938 letter to Sam Chapman): "Now, use a slightly closed stance, and keep a little more weight on your front foot than back....Keep your back leg straight. Of course, if you put your weight more on the front leg, then the back leg will be straight."

And Cobb's first item of advice to Chapman was "leave at least an inch or more space between your hands...." (See complete text.)

Ty Cobb's lifetime batting average was .366. Suzuki's is in the .330s. Joe Morgan's, you ask? .271. Maybe he shouldn't have been flapping that elbow like a chicken.

And Lawrence Henry should not concern himself with racial issues among the Cubans. There is no distinction between white and back for Fidel. A black, like Dr. Oscar Biscet, rots in the same jail cell as whites. But not to worry, if the team bus is a seaworthy '51 Chevy, and these players find themselves in Major League Baseball, they will be considered Cuban by our liberal elites, not black.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Your contributor, Lawrence Henry hit a "home run" with this piece -- because he underscored the "underbelly" of our dumbed-down society.

- The reason the likes of ESPN fawn all over Cuba whilst turning a jaded eye towards Japan -- in addition to the fact that the players on the Cuban team are black, has to do with catering to the lowest common denominator. Much the same way as rap music (?) caters to the LCD of our youth.

- You see, the Japanese are highly disciplined -- not that the Cuban lacks discipline. However, all truth be told and stereotypes aside, the Cubans are likely more physically "talented" than their Japanese counterparts. The Japanese however, make up for this disproportion in sheer discipline and teamwork. Ya know, come to think of it, kinda the same way they build cars -- Lexus comes to mind...?

- To aspire to be highly disciplined is in today's sound-bite driven, emotions-over-rationale, feelings-uber-alles society, frowned upon.

- I highly admire the Japanese team and hope some of their discipline will wear off on our culture (actually, we used to have it). As a matter of fact, I can't wait until a highly disciplined Japanese or Chinese football team arrives to completely humiliate our NFL/NBA franchises. Perhaps then, the end-zone dancing, hoop-hanging and general childish behavior that makes for professional sports in this country, will come to see its well-deserved death.
-- JC

GET IN LINE
Re: Mark Yost's Second Chances at Life:

Now you know very well that this is not important news. Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, and George Stephanopoulos have all told us so. Now may I opine that, if the news was that more GIs were dying of their wounds or more were losing limbs, it would be a huge story that would consume a majority of the time on newscasts night after night for weeks on end.

But, hey, the MSM are all straight shooters that are victims of mean, vicious conservatives like Laura Ingraham. Certainly none of the folks in charge at ABC are biased against Pres. Bush, right? How dare anyone criticize them? The 1st Amendment exempts them from all criticism.

Those of us that support Soldiers' Angels know much of this story and are grateful for each and every medical improvement and each and every one of the surgeons and medics risking their very lives to save our heroic military folks.
-- Ken Shreve

There is even better news for those wearing a prosthesis, including civilians: Biotech researchers are working on both growing replacement limbs and organs as well as growing them in place. Imagine being able to regrow one's hands, eyes, legs, etc. Put me down for a young heart.
-- David Govett
Davis, California

"Run two miles on a prosthetic limb"? Well, that's progress. Next thing we know, the Army will be recruiting guys in wheelchairs. The good news is, there'll be plenty of 'em. HOOYAH.
-- Cecilia Corbett

Of course, Code Pink and others who oppose the war but supposedly support our soldiers -- I suggest you can't do that because, alas, soldiers are instruments of war -- don't care what about what Army doctors, in and away from the combat zone, and military medicine, in general, are doing to save soldiers' lives, limbs and bodily processes and functions.

For the hypocrites to do that would mean they would have to acknowledge the very government which they so despise and ridicule has done and is doing something right and effective.

But for them to heckle soldiers who are amputees? That is truly monstrous and detestable. What else I may think you would not print.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

STAY HOME, YANKEE
Re: Daniel Allott's Strategic Compassion in Darfur:

Sorry, can't support you on this one.

The United States can and should act in its own interests. But that does NOT mean we have a bottomless commitment to defend, feed, clothe, medicate, educate, motivate, arm, train and entertain everything on two legs. Most of the African nations -- clearly including Sudan -- probably should not have been given independence so soon. But to go back in there and try to establish order over people who clearly don't want it would be a worse mistake. There is only so much that is physically possible for any nation.

It is said that "when Allah made the Sudan, He laughed." This time, let the joke be on somebody else besides the U.S. taxpayer and our men and women in uniform.
-- Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

It's about time the president awakened from his slumber.

But his to-date foot-dragging on the genocide -- "ethnic cleansing" is a particularly abhorrent politically correct term for it -- in the Sudan now makes Darfur his Rwanda.

Did he and his advisors consciously avoid grasping that what they were doing with their kid-glove treatment of the Sudanese government put another potentially indelible stain on America, right next to the permanent one created when Bill Clinton turned our backs on Rwanda? Did they even care?

And if, as you posit, that Darfur's situation is the most egregious humanitarian crisis in the world today, did he fail to act because of the criticisms he continues to get about Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and, in general, the war on global terrorists? In part, yes, I think.

Perhaps NATO nations will figuratively annex Sudan and offer assistance until the feckless U.N. responds, if it actually does so at all. Meanwhile, what will America really do? Will Mr. Bush have the stamina to follow through on his newly resurrected compassion for humans rights in Darfur?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

In approximately two weeks we will remember the 12th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, and promise one another that we will "never again" allow genocide to happen on our watch. Yet, in these weeks thousands will die in the on going genocide in Darfur, where the Sudanese government and their Janjaweed militias have successfully destroyed 80-90 percent of the villages. As the humanitarian crisis deepens and security collapses in the western region of Sudan, the genocide has expanded into neighboring Chad where the Janjaweed are systematically slaughtering targeted ethnicities.

The international community has a responsibility to protect people from genocide. The government poised to initiate international action is the United States, giving each of us a unique power to protect. Let us remember Rwanda by defending Darfur. The U.S. must take every step necessary to negotiate an international peacekeeping intervention. Without immediate action we abandon thousands, perhaps millions, to a massacre.
-- Kevin Roberts

TRANSATLANTICISM'S DEMISE
Re: Quin Hillyer's Going Ape in Politics:

Oh my, you Americans really are mad extremists. Until now I never really believed it. Thank God I'm European.
-- Toby Matthews
Gibson Hewitt Chartered Accountants, United Kingdom

Great piece. I was particularly impressed by the artwork, "Conservatives at Play." See, those cranially challenged monogamous conservatives are attacking a couple of RINO's! OK, OK, so they're Rhinoceroses. They're still herbivorous, and look as horny as Teddy at a campaign worker's "appreciation" soiree. Who can tell these days?

Ooga booga,
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

The pre-crustacean period is defined as before the opening of the first Red Lobster restaurant. I think you were referring to the Pre-Cretaceous Period, the third and final phase of the Mesozoic (Dinosaur) Period.
-- Robert Davidson
Atlanta, Georgia

OUTFOXED
Re: Subheadline for Reader Mail's Human and Divine:

Re: "Reader Mail: Monogamy and its constructs. Plus: Tony, Jack, smoke, Mrs. Gunn, and more."

When I saw the subhead "Plus: Tony, Jack," I jumped to the conclusion that someone was writing to TAS about the show 24. But it was about Tony Blair and Jack Abramoff. My mistake, mid-season and the show is on my mind.
-- Geoff Bowden
Battle Creek, Michigan

IN THE GIAP
Re: Jed Babbin's Endgame Conservatives:

General Giap says America lost the Vietnam War in the newspapers and on television.

He was ready to throw in the towel after Tet until he read American newspapers.

BTW our strategy in Iraq is not too different from the one we used successfully in Vietnam. Let the locals deal with the problem with American support. It was only when American support was withdrawn in '75 that the North attacked with several divisions of their regular army.
-- unsigned

Jed Babbin replies:
I've read General Giap, and though that isn't part of what he wrote it is nevertheless correct. The lesson of Vietnam can be summed up in two words: Linebacker II. The on-again, off-again negotiations were stymied by North Vietnamese intransigence. On eleven days in December 1972, North Vietnam suffered 741 B-52 sorties. They came back, begging to negotiate. And LBJ pulled the bombers off. That, sir, is the lesson of Vietnam.

FREE MARKET GAS TAX?
Re: Eric Peters's The Real Gas Price Gouger:

Eric Peters tries to make a case against gasoline taxes, but it isn't a conservative argument. While conservatives prefer lower taxes and less government intrusion, we also believe in free markets to best apportion wealth. And from an economic viewpoint, fuel taxes are good for our economy and our society. They help to ensure that the costs of driving are borne by motorists and other fuel consumers, not federal income tax payers. Peters belittles infrastructure spending and completely ignores other costs to our society, such as increased defense spending to keep Persian Gulf waters open. Our Middle East troubles and our dancing around despotic Venezuelans are in part due to our fuel consumption. Environmental costs of oil use are also significant. New technologies will be slower in coming if we hide some of the current costs through de facto government subsidies that distort the real cost of relying on petroleum. If the market is to properly direct transportation policy, then all driving costs must be accounted for. The costs of driving, both tangible and intangible, should be reflected in fuel prices.
-- Mark Smith
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

SOFTBALLS
Re: Charley J. Levine's A Visit With Jonathan Pollard:

I read the interview of Levine with Jonathan Pollard and his interviewing ability is on the same level, or below that of Barbara Walters. Why not just have the person to be interviewed to submit the questions he/she would like to be asked and then they can give their slant to the news. A blank sheet of paper has more value than this interview.
-- Paul Lester

BEN STEIN'S AMERICA
Re: Ben Stein's Missed Tributes:

As the firstborn son of a U.S. Air Force Veteran, I could not agree more with your uncompromisingly strong statements about missed tributes on Oscar night.

I have a favorite uncle who proudly served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam. God knows that he has never spoken to me about his experience nor will I ever expect him to; that is between the Lord and my uncle.

It is sickening to even contemplate that we have such spoiled, self-centered, delusional, backstabbing, PERVERSE purveyors of golden-edged filth daring to BELIEVE that they have a pulse on what the rest of us REAL Americans think about the ongoing War on Terror -- and I haven't even begun to mention the politicians!

Please do not hesitate to keep standing up for what is right in the cesspool capital of the world, Mr. Stein. This country...this planet needs more shining lights of truth like you, sir.

May God Always Bless and Keep You and Yours In His Utmost Care,
-- Mr. Louis D. Casas
Houston, Texas
P.S. You are the 1,001st Point Of Light

JUST PLAYING DUMB
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s A Message to Tony Blair:

I have only one bone of contention with your "Message to Tony Blair." Last sentence. The press didn't miss it. In their efforts to damn Bush and Blair, they ignored it. But 99 out of 100 ain't bad.
-- Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire

IS PARIS BURNING?
Re: David Hogberg's Paris General:

Thank you for Paris General. Can you imagine resting comfortably in a Paris hospital while punks burn your car in the hospital parking lot?
-- Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire

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