Reader Mail

Sizzler of the Summer

Doings at the ditch in Crawford. Plus much more.

8.16.05

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LONG PAST HONOR
Re: Christopher Orlet's Crocodile Tears and Reader Mail's Everyone Knows It's Cindy:

I wonder how Ms. Sheehan feels about the 18 dead in Mogadishu when an utterly cowardly administration without qualm failed their mission of protecting U.S. Troops in country. Did Mr. Clinton visit the families of the fallen?

This administration has the heart and soul to honor our fallen heroes and it is obvious Ms. Sheehan is long past honor.
-- Jay Corzine
Port Lavaca, Texas

As Cindy Sheehan, the dusty road warrior sits in a ditch in Crawford with her scruffy pals, one wonders why the infamous DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS anti-litter law is not being implemented.

If any other traveler just decided to stop at the side of the road and pitch a tent, get out beach umbrellas and deck chairs to enjoy the pastoral view, how long do you think it would take for some highway patrol officer to advise them it is not a rest stop and certainly not a camp ground and bid them to move on? But when "protest" is the motive, apparently the law is no barrier.

It would be fitting if George Bush could bestow the Medal of Honor on his neighbor, who, in typical Texas style disturbed the "peaceful" assembly by firing off a few blasts from his shotgun -- just "practicing for dove season." And who also demonstrated his fealty and his goodness when he said, "I love George Bush because the Good Book tells you to love your neighbor."

Now I know why George Bush really chose Crawford -- because of the folks who live there.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

She seems more and more like just another anti-Bush anti-war hatemonger than grieving mother. I wonder if her son felt this way? I wonder if she is really dishonoring his memory -- after all, he died fighting this war. As a mom and as a mom of a son who was recently considering going to one of the military academies (considering applying). I can understand how she may be crazy with grief but I would want to honor my son's wishes and not use his death as vehicle for my own political propaganda.
-- unsigned

Re: "Everyone Knows It's Cindy": Great title! I caught "The Association."

With how strenuously the chattering classes are pushing George to meet with Cindy, I am convinced that someone has a damaging photo-op plot up their sleeve that they wish to spring on the President. I predict that they will have several score photographer's lenses trained on the moment, so that whatever the embarrassing moment is, that the worst possible picture(s) and footage will be ready for the New York Times, CBS, and ABC to try and ruin his presidency. I rest assured that it will be distasteful.

By the way, since when did the Commandant of Camp Sheehan get to start dictating:
(1) a pull-out of U.S. troops from Iraq.
(2) a pull-out of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip.
(3) the return of Taiwan to China.

Oh, Cindy hasn't issued ultimatum (3)? Where does she stand on Tibetan independence? I'm sure the world is waiting. Perhaps South Korea could use her skills right now. If not, Iran could use her help in getting the international community to allow then to have a nuclear weapons program. California moms sure are smart!

Send in the second string clowns! The first string is tired.
-- Newt Love, former U.S. Marine and son of a highly decorated U.S. Marine
Annapolis, Maryland

Like most people, I was prepared to give Cindy Sheehan some slack for her behavior after the loss of her son.

Now, it looks as though she's become an embarrassment not only to herself, but also to the leeches who jumped onto her display of grief.

Israel out of Palestine? No taxes for her and others in her situation? What's next? First in line at Disneyland?

That ol' black magic just ain't working for the folks who thought themselves so good at managing the news cycle. Instead of a debate about goals and means, they've latched on to emotionalism or "right bellyfeel" as Orwell described it. We're watching the intellectual bankruptcy of the Age of Aquarius. Is this the best the left can do?
-- William L. Roughton, Jr.
Wall, New Jersey

Mr. Orlet states that Cindy Sheehan "is more anti-war protester than grieving mother." Since I suspect Mr. Orlet has never lost a child in combat, I don't think this is a judgment he is capable of making. Rather, I suspect that he disagrees with her insistence that President Bush has not satisfactorily answered two questions about the war in Iraq:

1. What is the core reason justifying the war in Iraq?

2. What is the plan to deal with all of the predicted contingencies now part of the war in Iraq? Protesting an unjustified war seems a natural thing to do when you have lost a son. Protesting a war being waged without including plans for known contingencies seems a natural thing to do when you don't want others to lose their children.

Mr. Orlet also states that Ms. Sheehan's organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, "seeks... apparently to convince the U.S. government to surrender to Muslim terrorists." Based on my review of the web link provided, Mr. Orlet seeks apparently to convince his readers that here is no distinction between surrender to Muslim terrorists and working to quickly end the unnecessary, unjustified war in Iraq in order to do the necessary work of marshalling our limited resources to root out Islamic jihadists worldwide.
-- Jim Engler
Boston, Massachusetts

THE FULL STORY
Re: TAS Subscriber's Bullish on Iraq:

Thanks for that article from the person in Iraq. Yes, we are not hearing the full story there though it is most obvious that the Iraqi people are fighting alongside our own with vigor. It's also obvious the country is getting back together pretty much in spite of the attacks. In our own country, we are faced with the most serious threat to our freedom ever imagined, a hostile press coupled with fear and ignorance of the masses. From insane bitter people like that Cindy to the most obnoxious power hungry politician, this nation (U.S.) is under a jihad (without the bloodshed) not unlike that faced by the people of Iraq, except our al Qaeda weapons consist of words rather than bombs.
-- Pete Chagnon

One day, sir or madam, you will be able to stand up and show your face and be proud you did what had to be done. God bless you.
-- Paul Filler

SURRENDERITIS
Re: Pam Harms's letter (under "Honor, Loss, and Dignity") in Reader Mail's Everyone Knows It's Cindy:

"The moral conviction of Cindy Sheehan has clearly driven Christopher Orlet over the edge. We parents everywhere applaud her courage." -- Pam Harms

Indeed she does... or, at least, tries to -- by offering aid and comfort to the politically-opportunistic Cindy Sheehan, who dishonors her courageous son's memory.

Shame!
-- David Gonzalez, USN, Ret. (and Blue-Star Dad)
Wheeling, Illinois

In the spirit of free exchange of thoughts, I would like to pose a question to Ms. Harms. I would ask that she explain to me the relationship between grief over a lost child, who by the way, VOLUNTEERED for the U.S. military and consequently was a casualty of the war, and courage. Does it take courage to pander to an already dishonest press (and getting more so each day) and make ridiculous public statements implying that the war is immoral because the daughters of the President are not in the trenches? Is it courageous to enlist a public relations firm to hype up one's own personal tragedy? Does one need the heart of a lion to dishonor one's fallen child, a child who died bravely doing his duty? All that this woman is doing, not treasonous but merely stupid, does nothing to advance the cause(s) in which she says she believes. It is pure theatre. Once again, a liberal shows us the bankrupt philosophy that is liberalism. Once again, a liberal treats us to a spectacle of style over substance, beating the hollow drum of surrender so loudly that we are deafened by its empty cacophony.
-- Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio

HONKY-TONK BARBER ASSOCIATION
Re: Clinton W. Taylor's The Outlawed Josey Wales:

If Mr. Taylor is ever in the Western New York area, I have the perfect barbershop for him. He will find a TV, C&W music on the radio, mounted deer heads and pictures, and all the issues of Field & Stream, The American Rifleman, and various hot rod magazines that he would ever want to read. Not only that, this barber has a picture on the wall of a Hillary look-alike dressed in an S&M outfit, complete with whip.

A left-leaning woman with young son in tow came into the shop. Apparently, she had been warned by her husband to not speak to the barber and just get the kid's hair cut. Well, she couldn't resist the temptation to comment to the barber that she found the picture offensive. His response was, "well, if you find that picture offensive, you must be just as immoral as she is." Her jaw must have dropped a foot, and the rest of the visit was stone cold silence. Needless to say, they haven't been back since -- but she can't say she wasn't warned.

Americana still lives on- even in deepest, darkest New York.
-- Bob Schwartz
Buffalo, New York

I'm a mother of a daughter, but a sister to five brothers -- so I love "guy stuff."

My neighbor in North Carolina had two daughters before she had her son. She was a psychology major in college during the time when the "big" idea was that if you kept boys away from all that violent stuff, they wouldn't have an interest in it. She changed her mind once she had her rough and tumble boy -- her new philosophy: if boys don't have guns they'll make them out of a stick, a shoe or anything else around the house.

I was heartened by her change and the way she honored her son's maleness. If only all mothers could learn the lesson my neighbor learned.
-- Deborah Durkee
Tampa, Florida

RUNNING LOW
Re: George Neumayr's Planned Politics:

Either Planned Parenthood is in big money trouble or they've got a terrible method of selecting recipients for their direct mail. I, a conservative, pro-life, Catholic Republican received one of their mailings last week for the first time in my life! I naturally sent back their postage-paid-by-them envelope with a piece of my mind, but their even contacting me who's more likely to give to anyone than them, is proof of their desperation!
-- Kit Winterer

ONCE UPON WASHINGTON
Re: Beverly Gunn's letter (under "Rosen Cavalier") in Reader Mail's Everyone Knows It's Cindy and James Rosen's Covering Crawford:

I enjoyed Beverly Gunn's letter regarding the Washington, D.C. versus the rest of the world mentality and attitude. I am in hearty agreement with Mrs. Gunn regarding the inside the beltway area and the general lack of any real world thinking there. I do know whereof I speak, as I was born and raised in the area now known as "Inside the Beltway" and subsequently lived and worked in the Southeastern U.S. and the Northeastern U.S.

I have one quibble with Mrs. Gunn, however. Washington was NOT always like it is now. My first few years of life, I was not aware what the area was like. I can testify, however, to the majority of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. I left the area in the 1971. There was a time when Washington was a lovely town. It was a genteel town populated by a large population of polite and civil folks like are found all across our fair land (except the liberal big coastal cities.) It is unfortunate that the White folk maintained an attitude and legal structure regarding Back folk that was distinctly of a southern tradition, but that took a big turn starting in 1954 and running through the 1960s, by which time enforced legal or de jure segregation was left behind.

Mrs. Gunn, it would take entirely too long to detail the differences between the Washington D.C. and environs that I knew and the Washington, D.C. of today. Yes, there was a distinct elite class of old money and old influence. Yes, there was a lower poor class containing both blacks and whites. Yes, there was a majority middle class of mostly just good hard working folks, and the majority of folks DID NOT work for the federal government. I ask you to trust me that you probably would have liked the Washington of my youth, say from 1940 to 1960. For a better sampling of our lifestyles at that time, you might read the novels Winds of War and War and Remembrance and, perhaps, some of the writings of Florence King.

Alas, it is mostly true that one can not "go home again." I will not even travel through Washington today if I can help it.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

SITTING IN JUDGMENT
Re: Doug Bandow's Bad Boys From Brazil:

Perhaps if Doug Bandow's son was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS he would not see the issue of access to AIDS medication in simply, purely, coldly, cruelly economic terms. Perhaps, as he stupidly suggests, the Bush administration should simply punish everyone in the world with HIV. That is the real bottom line. I support 25 boys who have HIV and I understand the issue pretty thoroughly and Bandow is not giving you the entire story. Imagine that. He simply spouts the drug company party line with all the lies therein. How convenient of him to simply not mention that Brazil rejected the Bush administration's stringent policies of also "punishing" countries who dare to mention the word condom in their public policies on AIDS. How dare he write this story like he's god's gift to economic sanity when he fails to even mention the cost of HIV transmission in the U.S. to taxpayers by prison rape. It is our public policies that are punitive and insane. The taxpayer pays and pays to punish and punish. This is a moral issue to this drug company public relations idiot. I suggest his son be deliberately infected with HIV so this brilliant drug company shill can study the problem close up. Maybe he would see the problem at another level but I doubt it. His contention that drug companies are doing the R & D on AIDS research is simply wrong and a deliberate attempt to mislead. The American people pay for that research and as such they own the copyrights he's so interested in making a buck from off the backs of people with a disease. Get your facts straight. Your rhetoric is not journalism. You and Bandow are pathetic.
-- Yinishye Nasdijj

FRIES WITH THAT
Re: James Rosen's Covering Crawford:

As a born and bred Hoosier, I too like things fried. I am especially interested in the "bacon wrapped bacon balls with bacon-fried stuffing." Could I prevail upon Mr. Rosen to get the recipe for me? Of course, I would enjoy the avocado salad with toasted walnuts also, but I'm sure I can find a recipe for something similar in my numerous cookbooks.
-- Jenny Woodward
Bloomington, Indiana

VERSE DIAGNOSIS
Re: Russ Vaughn's poem (under "Honor, Loss, and Dignity") in Reader Mail's Everyone Knows It's Cindy:

I vote for Russ Vaughn to be the Poet Laureate of TAS.
-- Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.

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