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Getting Away

Third World soaring. Kojo's slick retainer. Crime in the stands. Campus cowardice. Plus more.

12.2.04

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MALTESE FALCON
Re: Sam Dealey's Where Is My Camel:

Beautifully done, very funny story there by Sam Dealey. Really nice.

His cockpit visit also reminded me of a similar experience I once had flying to Malta on Air Malta because, despite that less raffish and better run airlines like Air France and Lufthansa service the country, silly me wanted the whole "authentic" Maltese experience from the very flight out of London. As soon as we were airborne, two-thirds of the other passengers, who were all male save for my companion on the trip, lit up. As did one of the flight attendants. It was thus a rough flight, only made worse by the single worst airline meal I've ever had in my life, which is really saying something.
-- Richard Szathmary

LIFE ACTUALLY
Re: S. T. Karnick's Cures That Don't Kill:

Stem cells that are working come not only from "adult" stem cells, but stem cell taken from the umbilical cord after the birth of the baby. How ironic, a live birth is required as opposed to destroying the life of an embryo.
-- Adriel Lam

LOW RENT U.N.
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s A U.N. Prodigy:

As someone who takes a backseat to nobody when it comes to contempt for the U.N., I still find myself troubled about the recent "revelation" about Kojo Annan's payments from Cotecna. If this is truly a bribe for services rendered, doesn't it suggest that bribes to U.N. officials are remarkably cost effective? After all, compared to the billions involved here, $2,500 a month for a few years seems truly paltry.
-- Rick Skeean

The story that Kofi Annan's U.N. was running an Oil Bribes for Protection racket in Iraq was out long before the 2004 Election, but only now is its embarrassing inevitability reaching the Obsolescent Media. But the best is yet to come for George Bush in this; for Team Kerry and the Dems could not have been clearer in their opposition to the Iraq war and in their assertion that only the U.N.'s multi-lateralism could deal with such international issues; and that, in such, we needed to regain the respect of our "allies." But now the facts are eking out. The players not only include Annan Père et Fils, as well as U.N. Members who sold their votes opposing military sanctions against Saddam Hussein in return for payoffs, but also now the name of Mr. Marc Rich, distinguished Swiss Resident and Clinton Pardonee, has surfaced in the midst of middlemanning a crooked deal. That is not the creative team of Saturday Night Live leading Democratic Strategy. Nor is it the moles of the evil "George Bush Deserves a Great Inaugural Party" insurgents. That actually is what has become of Harry Truman's party in daily conference with the ghost of Dr. Kevorkian.
-- Gene Wright
Laguna Niguel, California

THE STEM OF THE ISSUE
Re: Tom Bethell's Mengele Medicine:

Mr. Tom Bethell might be interested in reading a thread on an Irish political discussion board in which I have referred readers to his article on "Mengele Medicine" and have gotten back lots of bricks and rotten tomatoes!

The thread starts here.

I don't know if I am doing a good job in handling his side of the argument or not!
-- Tom F.
Galway, Ireland.

THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW
Re: James Bowman's Wise Guys:

James Bowman, in his commentary entitled "Wise Guys," leads to the conclusion that, in sports today, "it's time to bring back shame for all sorts of bad sportsmanship." On the face of it, I couldn't agree more. Yet despite his appeal that he not "be thought an apologist for poor sportsmanship," Mr. Bowman spends the rest of his commentary so completely missing the point regarding the Pacer incident involving Ron Artest and teammates that, ultimately, he cannot be thought of as anything else but.

With all due respect for Mr. Bowman's position as a "resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center," he apparently has yet to learn the definition of "poor sportsmanship." Ron Artest and teammates were not exhibiting "poor sportsmanship" during their now-famous rampage through the stands. They were, in fact, exhibiting criminal behavior and, more specifically, they were perpetrating the crime of assault and battery. Legally speaking, beer throwing and verbally abusive comments, even by drunken and disgustingly inappropriate fans, are not provocation enough to justify physically assaulting even the perpetrators themselves, much less innocent victims who merely happened to be seated in the vicinity. Should Mr. Bowman disagree with this assessment of what constitutes criminal behavior, perhaps he should punch out a few innocent folks sometime and discover how the criminal justice system reacts to those of us who are not over-pampered, multi-millionaire athletes.

I, for one, didn't need arcane statistics regarding the number of unsportsmanlike British football players removed from games over the years to tell me that team sports, both collegiate and professional, have grown increasingly violent during the course of my life. That is precisely why I have been boycotting sports for the last twenty years. I refuse to economically subsidize people who are actually stupid enough to commit felony assault on nationwide television over something as inconsequential as a sporting event. Beyond that, the greedy folks who pay those criminals million dollar salaries for playing a game and who subsequently make tens of millions from this don't get a dime of my money either. I'm afraid that their utter unmindfulness about the negative effect that violence in sports has upon our nation's children just doesn't sell well with me. Violence does indeed sell, to be sure, but until organized sports stops parading common criminals like Ron Artest and Mike Tyson across my TV screen, they simply have no product of value they can market to my family. Neither do their advertisers.

The revenue inherent in the sports world today certainly contributes to its ever-more-violent nature, but moral relativists like Mr. Bowman must also share a big part of the blame. To suggest that the "outpouring of criticism" over the Pacer incident was "just a little overblown" is to further sanction such activity, as is his attempt to delude us into believing that what we all saw in the news coverage of the incident was merely "unsportsmanlike" as opposed to criminal conduct. Thankfully, the prosecuting attorney of Auburn Hills is not as self-delusional as Mr. Bowman, and Ron Artest will now face criminal charges just like you or I would. Finally, some accountability! Never once in his commentary did Mr. Bowman refer to the criminality of Artest's actions and, regarding the "loyalty" that led Artest's apparently unintelligent teammates to join him in televised criminal mayhem, well, he's "not at all sure that it is warped." Excuse me? Since when do we support team loyalty over civilized behavior? Until team owners, college coaches, media pundits, academicians like Mr. Bowman and the players themselves actually learn to differentiate between poor sportsmanship and criminality, sports will continue it's descent into ever-more meaninglessness commercial barbarism. Gee, what ever happened to: "It matters not whether you win or loose, but how you play the game?"
-- Thomas Donley
Remus, Michigan

A DIFFERENCE OF 15
Re: Christopher Orlet's Gene, Gene the Running Machine:

Wow! Christopher Orlet finds the 15 I.Q. point differential (or greater) between whites and blacks "slight," despite the hundreds of millions of subjects of each race so tested?

That "slight" difference engenders such trivial manifestations as, on the one hand, nuclear fission, moon-landings and Rule of Law or, on the other, never inventing the wheel or a written language.

I hate to be critical of a fellow conservative, but his politically-correct dismissal of what is an ENORMOUS disparity, with endless consequences for public policy, is only a slight improvement over the modern-day Lysenkoists of the left.
-- Earl Holt III
St. Louis, Missouri

RECRUITMENT EFFORTS
Re: Jeremie Arthur's Judges Ambush Military Recruiters:

A couple of thoughts about Jeremie Arthur's very provocative special report -- one comment philosophical, the other political.

From a philosophical standpoint, as has often been noted (especially since 9/11), it is not the college professor who guarantees the existence of the Academic (or any other) Freedom that we enjoy. The guarantor of our Freedom is the soldier who serves in our ALL VOLUNTEER force ready to put (and currently putting) himself or herself in harm's way in our defense. Thus the hypocritical behavior of the elitist scum at colleges and universities who would deny student access to military recruiters for our ALL VOLUNTEER force is best described with one word: despicable.

From a political standpoint, recent election results suggest that those of a Red State persuasion may finally be approaching the point where they are at last fed up with this nauseating nitpicking, notably on the part of emotionally retarded Cry Baby Boom elitists who dominate academia (especially schools of journalism, law and education), Hollywood, the so called "news" media, and our out of control, power corrupted Federal Judiciary. Those black robed mandarins who demand that we of the unwashed address them as "Your Honor" (but are in fact our shame) from their grand perch high atop the bench may at last discover that their power is not absolute -- that there may be some real By God consequences. Given that the checks and balances that were INTENDED by our founders to keep the Court in a subservient (i.e., useful) position -- rather than the tyrannical monster it is fast becoming -- have all but disappeared under a torrent of self-perpetuating decisions by the judicial elite, these haughty arrogant tyrants may learn anew the meaning of the motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia: Sic Semper Tyrannis...and of the accompanying picture of the bloody sword. My surmise, and it is only a wild guess, is that it would take no more than the mounting of ten million bumper stickers of a particular sort -- with arrest and incarceration for civil disobedience that would surely follow -- to blow out our wretched courts and overwhelm our limited jail capacity.

What sort, one might ask? Well, just for instance, "Resurrect Justice -- Elevate a Judge" punctuated with the drawing of a noose. I would further surmise it would not take some 21st century Nathan Bedford Forrest to breathe life into a now dormant, but newly ethnically diverse Ku Klux Klan (torching not crosses but judicial activists and law school professors) for the elite to get the message. At some point, one may suppose the level of outrage will rise sufficiently to ignite action on the part of ordinary, peaceable, working people determined to restore the benefits a once decent society, benefits that include a subservient, efficient system of justice that actually serves the people who pay the freight. Meanwhile, we shall continue to suffer passively as best we can until critical mass is achieved and the tyranny of the power-corrupted judiciary can be closed upon and engaged -- decisively. Until then, we shall remain in what might be thought of as the "target identification" phase.
-- Thomas E. Stuart
Public School Teacher (and Vietnam veteran)
Kapa'au, Hawaii

I remember cases in law school where clubs, mostly country clubs, were denied exclusionary privileges if they were granted liquor licenses from the state. The theory was that the license gave the clubs the sanction of government, and therefore, a club could not exclude membership without the threat of losing its license. It seems that these rulings should control where law schools receive funding from the state (in my opinion, even more so as a license paid for should have fewer conditions attached than monetary grants). So, under the Solomon Amendment, the schools, whether or private, should be free to exercise their discretion to not allow military recruiters, and the federal government should "restrict the provision of federal funds to institutions of higher education that prohibit or effectively prevent recruiters from the nation's military services from having equal access to students for the purposes of military recruiting." Simple, right?
-- Ted Lang
Plymouth, Michigan

GROWING PAINS
Re: David Hogberg's More Bad News for Dems:

It seems that people turn conservative more than liberal as they age except for those who do not, are unable, or refuse to grow up. Idealism is a great trait but without a sense of realistic practicality for implementation it just seems childish. If my hypothesis is correct than the overall demographics do not favor the regional, minority party known as the Democrats. Add to this conservative trend the increasing failure of the traditional Democrat campaign scare tactics to gain voters' support and it does get scary for them but not as scary as seeing Michael Moore clean shaven in a suit.
-- Diamon Sforza
San Diego, California

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