Reader Mail

Hogberg Day

Is TAS wobbly? A return to Hogberg-Coulter. Also: Socialized medicine kills. Brilliant Jackie Mason. Hamas mess. Plus much more.

2.14.06

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Please catch all Reader Mail regarding Lawrence Henry's "Elementary -- and Appalling" on the Vice President's unfortunate quail hunt as a separate document, "Announce Yourself."

THE STATE OF TAS
Re: GB's letter ("Smitten") in Reader Mail's A Show of Hands, Mark Gauvreau Judge's Right-Wingtips Revisited, and Lawrence Henry's Elementary -- And Appalling:

Dittos on Diane and Elaine. Down-to-earth common sense. I really enjoy the columns, but the Reader Mail is what really gets me going. As for wingtips, I don't own a pair. Pain toed, lace up army shoes are as far as I go, and I will probably never wear them out. As for me, I am more comfortable with a flannel shirt, camo jeans, a face that ain't seen a razor for many years and the same hat everyday. Course I bathe everyday, my wife launders my clothes very often and I have to admit that I am disgusted with the filth found in most public restrooms nowadays. I came home from Nam, and went to cleaning restrooms for the State of New Hampshire. Among other entry level opportunities. When my shift was over, the toilets were spotless. That was almost 40 years ago. Times have changed. I avoid state run restrooms if at all possible. I think Americans should have a lot more pride in their Country. Last time I was at Niagara Falls, the American side was disgusting. Trash thrown all over the place. Canadian side was a showcase.

As for culture, God didn't make the cookie cutter. Man did. God made us all different. Had God made us all the same, there wouldn't be trash haulers, sewer workers or other occupations that are rather hard to perform in a suit and wingtips. At the same time, I value preachers, pilots and presidents.

As for Vice President Cheney, I am very sorry that his hunting time was marred by an accident. A friend of mine cut himself badly with a chain saw years ago. Kick back right to his neck. Almost got his carotid artery. Didn't make the news. My father cut his leg rather badly many years ago with an axe. I can still see it. That is way over 50 years ago. That didn't make the news either. Not too many years ago, I drove three nail gun nails into my left thumb. With an old nail gun that requires dragging around an air hose with it. That didn't make the news. But the minute that Vice President Cheney has an accident involving a firearm, the anti gunners come out of their corners with so much excitement that they got a new hairdo for the occasion. I have yet to hear one reporter offer VP Cheney any sympathy for what is a very hard time for him. God warns us about tongue waggers. Much of what passes for news today is nothing but pure gossip and tongue wagging.

Fifty years ago, you would not have heard anything about it. We had some privacy. Some things were none of anyone else's business. Due to the fact that God gave us a free will, we are not all alike. There are tyrants in this world. I was in battle a short time. If I had to ever go again, I would rather follow Dick Cheney than any person ABC, the antigunners or the left has to offer. God, guts and guns made this country free. That combination will keep it free. Without that combination, the free press is in the toilet.
-- Martin N. Tirrell

Within the last four days The American Spectator has scored a real trifecta. Last Thursday there was the return of the elegant metrocon, for one more attempt to teach the savages proper style. Sorry, Mark, in a culture war, like any other war, you occasionally get a little rumpled.

Yesterday, we got a missive from Mr. "Unclean-animal-berg" (to purify his name for the religiously sensitive), warning Ann Coulter (Blessings be upon her) and us, once again about manners, this time about showing proper respect to our enemies. Please, sir, remember that "good columnists write safely because rough women stand ready to speak violence in their behalf."

Today we have the estimable Lawrence Henry from Massachusetts on gun safety, hinting, though not having the nerve to say directly, that Mr. Cheney is unfit for office. I notice that Mr. Henry, though he posed numerous relevant questions at the start of his article, had not given clear answers to any of them by the time he came to his conclusion. Was it possible that the blunder was made, not by Mr. Cheney, but by the victim wandering absent-mindedly in front of a shooter?

What has happened? Did you catch a dose of bird flu from your beloved American Turkey? Methinks it is time overdue for The American Spectator to evacuate the miasmic swamps and Kultursmog of the Beltway and return to your native Midwest, where once you were strong and sensible.
-- George Mellinger
South Dakota

First (regarding Cheney) the MSM blended news (Who, What, Where, When, How) with the editorial, (Why and What We Think about It). Now they have added the gossip column into the mix they call still call news. What else will they add next?

I don't mean to demean editorials or gossip columns. The Washington Prowler being outstanding for D.C. gossip. I just don't believe that so called "news" organizations such as CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, and newspapers should mix them and still call them news.

BTW. Thank you for having this letter section where I can rant and read the views and rants of others. Also thank you for bringing John Batchelor to your blog. He is excellent.
-- Geoff Bowden
Battle Creek, Michigan

COMPARATIVE RELIGIONS
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Insult Law:

Love Jackie Mason and his associate writer. Great!!! Excellent read! What a great comparison of peoples and religions!
-- Carol Milanese

It has long been of interest to me how mainstream Jewish Democrats stay Democrats. Mr. Mason and Mr. Felder make the obvious point that Muslims wish only death and destruction, not just to all the world's Jews, but all the world's non-Muslims. They very well illustrate the mass insanity that the world's Muslims exhibit and their easily aroused murderous rages.

With virtually every leader of the Democrat party wishing the U.S. would apologize for building skyscrapers where young boys-being-boys Muslims wanted to fly their stolen airplanes, it is impossible for me to see how Democrats get a single Jewish vote much less the vast majority of them. We have the footnote, Al Gore, spewing his anti-American filth at a rally sponsored by the bin Laden family, Bill Clinton coercing Israelis to give the Palestinian terrorists land that provides them easier access to the school buses full of Israeli children they delight in warring against and still the Streisands and Spielbergs and thousands of American Jews vote against the interests of Jews worldwide.

Why?
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Wellington, Florida

There is no other religion in the world that takes no quarter. Peace, there is no peace unless you are dead. Mohammed went to the Jews in Messina and was turned away and because of this all Jews are to be exterminated. The spread of Islam was by force not peace. Yes, they allowed the peaceful co-existence of other religions but would not tolerate letting these people teach their children their own faith, it had to be Islam or nothing. I don't feel that I should subjugate my Quaker faith to a harsh, insensitive religion that condones violence.
-- Tom Alexander

The "insult law" Messrs. Mason and Felder so appropriately named comes, I think, from the fundamental spiritual and social anxiety of Islam and far, far too many of its adherents.

Too, such intimidation harkens, regrettably, to this man-made religion's founding and subsequent spread by the bloody edges of swords and other instruments of violence.

So, though "insult law" is genuinely detestable and ungodly, it's not really new behavior, is it?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Splendid, absolutely SPLENDID.

Thanks,
-- J.R.

ANYTHING FOR PEACE
Re: Philip Klein's Hamas Leader to Win Nobel Peace Prize:

This article is the first honest assessment of the elections in the Palestinian state that I have read anywhere in the media. What is really pathetic is that liberals in the U.N., Europe, and liberal American politicians will fall for the lip service that Hamas will give to attaining peace, who will of course at the same time continue to pursue terrorism and justify their murderous acts. And yet liberals will live in a dream world of the Clinton-'60s era, believing that they are actually "winning the hearts and minds" of Hamas leaders, all the while these liberals are being led around by the nose, being played like puppets by the terrorist barbarians, who will never renounce violence.
-- G. Sorrentino
Enterprise, Alabama

Perhaps, in that darkest of hours when a Hamas leader does win the Nobel Peace prize, President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan can present it to him.

On that day, I can only imagine George C. Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., Andrei Sakharov, and Mother Teresa, among some other departed Nobel Peace Prize recipients, rolling over in their graves.

Oh, yes, perhaps Yasser Arafat, peacenik that he was, will be exhumed for the ceremony so he can be stood next to Carter and Annan.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

COULTER CONS
Re: David Hogberg's Not Funny and his reply to "Not Your Father's Conservative" letters in Reader Mail's The Great Coulter Debate:

I had sent a private message to David Hogberg supporting him but I would like to make a public comment also. I agreed with David. He is correct that we have to rise above the type of name calling that Ann Coulter seems to revel in. It is not the left we are trying to convert but those out there who are ambivalent politically. I, myself, have been guilty in the past of excessive vitriol but there really is no excuse for it. Ann Coulter's whole persona seems to have devolved into a confrontational adverbial manner. That's fine if you want to sell books, get yourself recognized, and so forth but does nothing to swell the ranks. One of my heroes is John Wayne. The Duke was tough on screen and off it also, however, he was a gentleman of the highest caliber, even to his enemies. During the '70s, I believe, he appeared at Yale. This was at the height of the anti-war period and here was a man who represented everything these people stood against. John Wayne took the stage and by the time he was done talking, he may not have changed any opinions on the war or government, but he earned the respect of the people there. He did this not by calling names or spewing out slogans, but by being a sincere person who projected a respect to even those he disagreed with. We need more Dukes and less Coulters.
-- Pete Chagnon

With regard to David Hogberg's response to his interlocutors... I can only ask, "How ever did we win World War II?"
-- unsigned

I would like to make a comment about both points 2 and 3 of David's editorial reply, especially because no one else seems to have made a similar comment in yesterday's letters:

I don't think Ann's remarks give liberals or Muslims the slightest bit of ammunition to use against conservatives. The reason is that both groups have considered her to be a racist, right-wing nut job for years. If they want make a federal case out of her remarks, it won't work because they've cried wolf once too often. If the MSM reports her comments, (and they don't seem to have caught on to them anyway) who's going to be shocked? Who's going to lose credibility? Conservatives don't have credibility with liberals anyway, so why worry about it? And just how is the Muslim world going to react to these comments, fly some planes into the Pentagon?

But as many of the other letters have pointed out, and everyone knows, our PC sensitivity is out of control. Reminds me when one of our battle groups was dropping bombs on Afghanistan in 2002: Carrier sailors were forbidden from writing anti-Islamic insults on the bombs; leading to the sardonic Navy comments that you could kill them but not insult them.
-- Paul

After reading Mr. Hogberg's points at the end of the Reader Mail I can envision him sitting across from WFB with cigars and brandy at some chi-chi men's club providing the same type of conservative leadership that got Goldwater elected in '64... Whoops, forgot.
-- Tom McGonnell
Alexandria, Virginia

Please tell David Hogberg to lighten up. His wimpy whining tantrum over Ann Coulter's use of the term "Rag-Head" to describe the enemies of civilization is beneath your fine publication, which is known for resolute toughness and rejection of all things politically correct.

Perhaps Mr. Hogberg should read a biography of Churchill so he can rail against Old Winnie's racist use of the word "Hun" in describing the Germans circa 1941.
-- C.J. Cheetham
South Carolina

Did it ever occur to you that Ms. Coulter had people just like you in mind when she uttered the words you found so offensive? I think she did. Trust me, she knew exactly what she was saying, who was "listening," and what the reaction would be. If what she said, or says offends you even just a little bit, then please quit your whining, get out of the way and let us who understand her message enjoy it without being harped at by sissies who are so afraid to offend that they never say much of anything worth listening to (come to think of it, that sounds a little like a review of your column).
-- Bob Martini
Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey

Miss Coulter's speech at CPAC did not make me uncomfortable at all. Nor does it now, though Mr. Hogberg has explained why he thinks it should.
-- Paul Kotik
Plantation, Florida

Lighten up, Mr. Hogberg. It's called "shtick." There can't be a group on the planet, however dense, that doesn't know what to expect when inviting Ann Coulter to speak. She has a trenchant wit and is fearless in what she says. When Coulter finally steps over the line and no longer draws an audience, the problem is solved. Meanwhile, you should have known before attending, what to expect -- and if you are faint hearted and easily offended, you could have stayed home.

I would not go to hear Al Franken speak with the expectation of hearing a polite and reasoned speech devoid of Bush hatred. And I wouldn't be dumb enough to go and then write an article complaining about the level of Franken's vituperation. Ah, but Franken only insults the sensibilities of conservatives. Coulter has used a racial slur against those Middle East Mischief Makers of 9/11.

How many were in attendance at this CPAC event? My guess is that if her
remark has any resonance at all, it is because you have chosen to get miffed and write an article.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

Hooray for Ann! Once again she tells it like it is without mincing words. So many Conservatives are like Mr. Hogberg, so afraid of offending the enemy. Wake Up! They are the enemy. Apologize? For what, recognizing the enemy and stating it plainly? Read The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by Robert Spencer and then explain to me how we should have anything but disdain for the practitioners of this (so-called) religion.
-- Andy Grego
Richland, Washington

I don't normally respond to self-effacing articles in your magazine, but Dave Hogberg's criticism of Ann Coulter's speech at this year's CPAC was just the latest in the self-flagellating responses we've come to expect from the spineless "conservatives" we seem to have too many of who claim to speak for us. You feel "rag head" is too insensitive, Dave? How about the term "diaper head," the term I and many others have used who have had to endure the garbage spewing from the mouths of most of the spokes persons representing the Arab point of view?... You don't like Ann's way of commenting about our enemies? That's fine in our country of diminishing liberties, but don't be surprised that Ann speaks for many of us conservatives! Maybe you would be more comfortable at the NYT???
-- Bill Beebe
Lilburn, Georgia

...I too am "uncomfortable" with some of Ann Coulter's comments. I have also lived my life in peace, never had to lay cold and wet and filthy in some shallow foxhole in the snow wondering whether I was going to get my head blown off in the next few minutes, and thankfully by chance or by God had no relatives in the Twin Towers on that day of 21st century infamy. Maybe Ann Coulter knows something that George Patton knew that most of us have forgotten, or never knew in the first place. Maybe getting the job done sometimes requires crude, vulgar and savage language.

As many readers noted, we sure seem to have an excess of overly sensitive writers and commentators.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

The common military slang term for Arab Muslims (at least these days) is not "rag head" but "Hajji." It's a term of respect in the native culture (meaning one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca), though it's not always meant that way when used by coalition troops. Miss Coulter's use of "raghead" struck me as rather phony -- like those people who learn their lingo from war movies and throw it into conversation to sound hard-core, but can't quite get it right. (B.G. Burkett says you can always tell phony Vietnam vets, for instance, by the way they mispronounce names like "Bien Hoa.")
-- CPK (Deployed in Iraq 2003-2004)

...Rather than denigrate Ann Coulter, David Hogberg should seek to emulate her articulate, witty writing style. She is hilarious, and she realizes we are in both a culture war and a terror war and is willing and able to defend us verbally. (Note to David Hogberg: The left hates conservatives because they are conservative, not because we give them "ammunition.")

Drop the PC stuff David, we are winning. We have Ann Coulter.
-- Regis Dansdill

It is unclear to me why calling Islamicists "raghead" is any worse than RET's epithet, "dirty necked galoots." If it is offensive to the sensibilities of Muslims, so be it. We can't care too deeply, in fact we can't care at all, if we offend those who despise us, who root for their brethren who try to kill us, and who can't handle our freedoms. Anyone who objected to the use of "krauts" for Germans during WWII, pointing out that he thought most Germans disapproved of the Nazis, would have been missing the point, i.e., a war was being waged against us by people who couldn't stand to allow us to live as we wished.

By the way, is David Hogberg quite sure that the younger generation of Muslims in Iran don't make fun of the head-gear of the ayatollahs who rule them? They probably do it in secret, but we don't have to. Isn't it likely that some of the women in Muslim countries forced to wear the cha-dor, burka or hajib have derisive names for the puritanical retards who keep them in chattel status? With all the death and destruction they have caused, the least we can do is mock the clothes of the would-be caliphs who seek to bring us into dhimmitude.
-- Robin Corkery

Personally, I find it all quite amusing -- the musing about how others are going to interpret western words...
-- Jack

...Ann Coulter is a beautiful, intelligent, well-informed, sharp-tongued woman. I have always liked women of this type and will continue to do so even though they are likely to speak intemperately from time to time. Those who feel otherwise are welcome to hang Ms. Coulter in effigy at their leisure, however, I must warn you, I'll be there to cut her down.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

I think you need to dissociate yourself from this writer. Maybe he can travel with Al Gore and write his speeches.
-- Lou Leggett

I may not always agree with what Ann Coulter says, but hats off to her for pushing that envelope.

By the way, are her sentiments any different than that of our soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan? I don't think so, at least based on what I heard from a dear friend who survived a year in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 150th Armor Regiment of the West Virginia National Guard. The "rag heads" to which he referred were the very ones that tried to kill him and his buddies with rifles, machine guns, mortars and rockets.

So, yes, you bet: post-9/11, Islamists and any other Muslims who talk of doing harm to our citizenry, including its soldiers, and our homeland or sovereign property elsewhere should be prepared for serious retribution.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

How sad is it that we find ourselves attacking our own and some damn newspaper for publishing a cartoon instead of attacking the Democrats and the RINOS that are tearing apart our national security. God help us.
-- David P. Busby
Torrance, California

WHERE'S THE MUSLIM OUTRAGE?
Re: Jed Babbin's The Cartoon Intifada:

Everyone is missing the point of these cartoons.

That's not Muhammad with the bomb in his hat, it's an Islamofascist masquerading as the Prophet and blowing up thousands mostly innocent men, women, and children, many of them Muslims, in Muhammad's name and that of Allah. Unfortunately, the cartoons seem to have raised far greater indignation than the terrorism itself.

Seems to me that hijacking Islam for un-Islamic purposes should be a head-chopping offense if anything is. Where is the mainstream Islamic indignation? This lack of complaint against terrorism on the part of the Muslim community implies consent or approval.

What are we to conclude are the values and ultimate goals of people who behave this way? Our differences may be irreconcilable. If so, it is time to start working on plan B. I'm not willing to become a slave in a 15th-century world.

Western tolerance and patience is large but not limitless. Ask the Germans and the Japanese. Perhaps Putin will show his Hamas guests some movies...

It is not clear to me how much of Islam is original revelation and how much has been cooked up along the way, or if it makes any difference. It seems to me that imams and ayatollahs have quite a lot of influence in adding most anything to religious teachings. Killing folks for "blasphemy" is a bit pretentious. Isn't the creator of the universe capable of doing that for himself? A "God Police" is a little easy to co-opt for earthly purposes.

I think we should require chapter and verse from the Muslims when they quote their scripture to us.

One of the hallmarks of Christian teachings is love. I don't see much love in the Muslims.
-- Toby
Cary, North Carolina

SOCIALIZED MED HORRORS
Re: Robert M. Goldberg's Hillary Health Care Redux:

Sir, your depiction of the Veterans Administration is more accurate than you can know. Just check out the horror that was (and is) the VA Hospital in Albany, New York. There, at on time, a fiend by the name of Kornak pranced about its hallways, merrily dispensing medications and prescriptions, conducting medical research, interviewing patients, consoling widows and family members, and performing surgery, and all the while being addressed as "Doctor."

The only complication was that he never graduated from medical school. In fact, he had once been convicted of mail fraud and impersonating a doctor in the state of Pennsylvania. Now, having been convicted of manslaughter, culpable in the deaths of several veterans at the Albany VA, he is serving a considerable stretch at the Steelbar Hotel. And the guy who hired him, one Dr. James Holland, was fired for his involvement as well. Holland rebounded, however, and is employed by, you guessed it, the oncology department, at a hospital in Thomasville, Georgia.

There is no need to believe at face value what I tell you. For corroboration, you have merely to go to the archives of the Albany Times-Union for the columns of its reporter, Mr. Brendan Lyons. Neither George S. Romero nor Ron Zombie could, in fever-driven nightmares, match his revelations.

What, you may ask, is my reason for writing to you? It just so happens that I spent countless hours holding the hand of a man who begged me to go out to the nurses' station to persuade them to inject him with anything to put him out of his misery. This was a man who had survived the Nazis at Normandy and liberated the wraiths at one of Hitler's death camps. That man was my father. Kornak had seared off his eyelids with radiation treatments. My mother, my sisters, and I spent the last five weeks of his life at his bedside, taking turns, in the desperate effort to moisten the sockets with eye drops.

May a special ward in hell be prepared for the do-gooders, liberals, socialists, and statists who ever manage to foist socialized medicine upon us. But, of course, we all know that when that happens, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and the callipygian Hillary beast will be off to private clinics in Switzerland.

I thank you for your article. Now I'm off on my quest to put the other monster, Holland, right where he belongs: in a cell with someone named Bruno.

A good day to you and your family.

-- Michael Leo McGuire
Monterey, California

THE PERFECT DEM DEMOGRAPHIC
Re: Doug Powers's Rock the Vote Crumbles:

Doug Powers' article on the unreliability of adolescents rocking the vote was no news to any parent of a teenager. "Clean up your room," "Mow the lawn," "Make sure you vote." They all have the same impact; that is to say, none at all. Get back to them when they are -- maybe 25. Maybe 32. Maybe never, in some cases. After all, we have a pretty low voter turn-out among adults.

Encouraging an uninformed vote is a dangerous undertaking, anyhow. Although, uninformed is what you'd have to be to vote Democrat, these days. Consider what might have happened if the orange ski-capped young Deaniacs had actually persuaded anyone in Ohio. The solid citizens there viewed them as impertinent upstarts even before the Dean primal scream heard round the world. If they had any impact at all, it was negative. We may be a youth worshiping country, but I doubt it has sunk to being influenced by them politically.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

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