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The Dowd Chromosome

Was Maureen insensitive? Plus much more, including a Democratic power shortage, Tiger McCurry, Al Gore's deletion, and a Burning Man's desire.

8.20.04

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POWER SHORTAGE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Power Outage:

Fantastic piece, "Power Outage"!

Your conclusion that the Democrats are solely driven by regaining power is exactly my conclusion. They don't care how many American soldiers lives they cost by undermining our war effort as long as it improves their odds of regaining power. In fact, their breath is bated waiting for the 1,000th American death, which they will (privately celebrate and) publicly lament in hopes of harming Bush. John Kerry has a history of undermining foreign wars and costing American lives. Let hope he is not rewarded with the presidency the way Massachusetts rewarded him with his Senate seat for his (treasonous?) actions.
-- Charles Lloyd

I agree 100% with your article. I would only hasten to add that should the Dems lose this election cycle it might be either their undoing as a party or at least a long walk in the Mojave till they find a Moses to lead them back.

The Dems have to know that if Bush wins, the troop redeployment will go forward. The redeployment has consequences of which the Dems surely must be aware. One being, had Bush pulled the trigger on the redeployment year one of his administration, Kerry would not now be suggesting engagement with the French and Germans. For how could those two erstwhile "allies" be able to commit troops to Iraq? They would be fully committed to their own countries' defense with none to spare for dalliances abroad. Hence a rapid pullout scenario would not be possible politically or otherwise.

The EU's rapid deployment force will remain largely at home after the realignment. For the Democrats it is a political bomb. Try as they might, they will be unable to use diplomacy as a means to achieve their aims in this arena. Should any saber rattling occur near the EU sphere in the near term we might just find them a bit more compliant. The Germans are already making noises of their concerns over Iranian nukes. With no Pershings to provide a reaction umbrella they might get down right vocal.

My only question is what took you so long, Mr. President?
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

RESCUE TIGER
Re: The Washington Prowler's What's the Big McCurry?:

Re: this quote from the McCurry article:

"All of our internal numbers are good. That's b.s.," says a Washington-based Kerry adviser. "Everyone wants to help us win. Most of these folks are coming to us wanting to help. We're not going to them. It's not desperation at all."

An excellent illustration of the sorry state of affairs that exists within the mainstream media these days is the fact that when I read that paragraph I immediately pictured "these folks" as:

Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Mike Wallace, CEO's of ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN; publishers of the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, and virtually every other major press organization.

Sad, isn't it?
-- Russ Vaughn
Lakehills, Texas

We know that Kerry's presidential bid has caused him to relive the Vietnam War. Well, it has caused me to relive college years.

Back in those silly days, my fellow girlfriends and I would head over to Harvard Yard on week-end husband-hunting missions. It did not take us long to realize that many of the boys contained within the Yard enjoyed and came to expect the perks associated with being a "Harvard Man." Many a fellow was left frustrated by my band of sisters who did not comply with the ethos of "You must, because I am." The life-changing experience of witnessing that frustration has been forever seared into my memory. (I did not marry a Harvard Man.)

I see that same frustration today in the Kerry Campaign. The news of the possible arrival of Mike McCurry, a Princeton Man, to cure what ails Kerry sounds enticing. But if I were Kerry, I would do what the Royal Family does whenever they've stepped in it : get an infusion of good, steady, middle-class blood. But wait... forget it: The middle class are supporting Bush.
-- Mrs. J. B. Jackson III (Janet)

CHOPPED DOWN
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Iranian Judo and Other Oxy Morons:

As an Iranian and a conservative, I deplore Mr. Miresmailli's actions, and that of the regime that spawns them. However, it is very likely that he was forced to make those statements, or risk his life and that of members of his family.

That is the nature of the regime that rules Iran right now.

The Iranian people are no Arabs, and in fact were the only people in the Middle East to defy their rulers and burn candles in solidarity with the American people in the streets of Tehran and other major cities right after September 11, 2001. Contrast this with the dancing in the streets of Palestinians.

Should you choose to print this, I request that you withhold my name, as I understand the security service of the Islamic republic browses sites like yours for information on anti-regime individuals, which they may use against me or my family members still in Iran.

Thanks
-- name withheld

MO WORSE BLUES
Re: Hunter Baker's Dowd Syndrome:

"In effect, she slandered an entire religious community in the United States. This type of mindless repetition of an obviously untrue stereotype is a sign of professional laxity and ill will."

What Maureen Dowd did divulges much more. She reveals ignorance, bigotry, intolerance and mean-spiritedness all packaged in secular liberalism, particularly the Northeast metropolitan variety.

And her assault extends far beyond the "evangelical world"-in itself and as used, a pejorative phrase-into anyone, of whatever faith, but especially Christianity, who believes in God and not in, among many things, the murder of unborn children, regardless of their condition.

Of course, because it is Christians she belittles and smears, she gets a
free ride, except for articles like Mr. Baker's.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Not to stick up for the egregious Maureen Dowd, but I seriously doubt she's knowingly making a witticism about Down's Syndrome. Al Gore was the first to get in trouble for this one -- remember? -- describing Oliver North supporters as the "extra chromosome" right wing. Critics at the time assumed it was a Down's remark, Al apologized without explaining what he meant. I'm guessing he was referring to the old extra-chromosome theory of crime. Prison populations show an above-average number of men with an extra Y chromosome (XYY) and it was believed in the sixties that these "super males" were dim, aggressive and inclined to criminality. The theory fizzled years ago, but had a second life as an insult. I doubt either Dowd or Gore would recognize a chromosome if it tap-danced naked into the lobby and introduced itself, but I'm sure these two foot soldiers of compassion wouldn't dream of mocking the afflicted. Not in front of the cameras, anyway.
-- S. Weasel

Ms. Dowd pinned the chromosome line on Lee Atwater (who after all isn't around to defend himself). But lest we forget it was a favorite laugh line of Al Gore's too.

According to the Media Research Center: "October 28, 1994: In Virginia, Gore attacked Oliver North's Senate bid supporters as "the extreme right wing, the extra chromosome right wing." Advocates for those with Down's Syndrome, caused by an extra chromosome, were outraged. TV coverage? Zero."
-- Sean Higgins
Alexandria, Virginia

Let me be one of the many will write to correct Hunter Baker's misguided attack on Maureen Dowd.

Loathsome though Dowd and Maher are, his article is based on misinterpretation of the "extra chromosome conservatives" remark.

The "extra chromosome" in question is an extra "Y" (male) chromosome. It is does not cause mental retardation but there was a time (Lee Atwater's time, in fact) when it was thought to produce extra "male-ness"; i.e. violent pugnacity. That science has since been discredited, but the association of ideas remains alive at least in feminist minds.

Dowd was indeed appealing to prejudices, the standard liberal prejudices against fundamentalist Christians, conservatives and maleness in general; but not against the mentally handicapped.

In this light, Baker's high dudgeon at Dowd's remarks appears more than a little foolish. In any case this kind of pseudo-outrage at the "offense" given to some group of victims is a sad liberal trick that conservatives should avoid.

And, oh yah, he should get a sense of humor.
-- Terrance Tomkow

I learned that the "extra chromosome" syndrome was when a man had an extra Y chromosome. His sex-determining chromosome set was XYY, not XY. That extra chromosome makes men more aggressive and prone to violence.
-- Steve Black
Charlotte, North Carolina

Notwithstanding the Dowdy One's attempts to attribute this charming phrase to Republicans, I can tell you where I first heard it: from Al Gore. And -- to the credit of the media, for once -- they picked up on it and he was roundly chastised for it.

Unfortunately, I am completely incapable of telling you when or where he said it: perhaps someone with Lexis-Nexis access can find
-- David G.D. Hecht

Memo to Bill Maher: By profession, Laura Bush is a graduate-degreed (MLS, UT Austin) librarian -- which is probably how she knows about "something so technical."

Memo to Hunter Baker: The "extra-chromosome" gaucherie (referring to supporters of Ollie North) was uttered by Albert Gore, Jr. in October of 1994. Better tell Lexis-Nexis!
-- David Gonzalez
Wheeling, Illinois

I was surprised when I reached the end of Hunter Baker's article, on Maureen Dowd's reprehensible attribution of an extra chromosome to the basis for social conservatism, without seeing any reference to then-Vice-President and presidential candidate Al Gore's use of the same phrase in the same way.

I, for one, do not see anything congenitally defective in our political opponents on the Left. They are intelligent, articulate, and sophisticated people who have consciously chosen evil and manifest this by their delight in every American setback on the world stage and will not rest until they have installed in law everything that repels normal, decent people. Though they call themselves "progressives", they are better described as "transgressives", and their logic is thus: not only did societal norms once include oppression, but because they still cause distress to someone -- anyone, anywhere, no matter how perverse -- they are still oppressive and must be overthrown. Embryonic stem-cell research and same-sex "marriage" are just two such arenas: when they achieve these, something new will arise. Challenge them on any of it, and you are either a fascist or an idiot.

And "new" is always better, right? So, you must be stupid if you resist it. QED.

Right.
-- Stephen Foulard
drooling uncontrollably in Houston, Texas

Another terrific article. More Hunter Baker, please.
-- Lee Davis
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

I hope Hunter Baker is not a doctoral fellow in biology at Baylor University Medical Center. There exists more than one extra chromosome disorder and Down's disease is probably not what Lee Atwater and Maureen Dowd were thinking of.

In some chromosomal studies on prison inmates there were some XYY men, these guys were extra-aggressive. They may have mostly been mosaics and it has disappeared as an interesting condition. There is not much that science can do to help the situation.

Maureen Dowd needs some humbling, but the Hunter Baker essay won't do the job.
-- James F. McMurry, Jr.

Hunter Baker replies:
More than one reader has made this objection, but it certainly isn't clear from Ms. Dowd's usage. She is applying that label to opponents of stem-cell research, who aren't all men or even necessarily majority male. She has certainly not made the connection the challengers suggest. The "supermale" extra chromosome idea also fails in light of the fact that Al Gore incurred the wrath of the Down Syndrome community several years ago for using the "extra-chromosome" line. He ended up issuing an apology. As a political commentator, I'd expect Dowd is aware of the bad taste and hurt feelings and just doesn't give a fig.

The Editor replies:
It's our fault Al Gore wasn't mentioned in the shortened, posted version of the Baker column. The longer, original version of his column include this observation: "If challenged, Dowd would likely defend herself by pointing out that she was merely using a derogatory phrase employed earlier by toney GOP types who felt threatened by the early emergence of Christian conservatives. Al Gore was supposedly fond of throwing that label around, too. So, the defense is what…somebody you knew made a crude and tasteless remark so you can repeat it with a smirk?"

MODERN PROCTOLOGY
Re: Shawn Macomber's Beyond the Valley of the Groovy:

Shawn Macomber's review of This Is Burning Man by Brian Doherty seemed a little out of place, don't you think? I mean, who would think that the target demographic of The American Spectator would have the slightest interest in Burning Man? Macomber's take on it seems so grumpy, snooty and truly (as he admitted) curmudgeonly....but fine, Shawn, go spend all your time doing big serious things in the straight world and leave the freaks to their primordial pastimes. No surprise that your review lingers on salacious stuff like fingers in anal orifices and such. You might want to check to see what's stuck up yours.

You know, I bet you don't have a problem with the commercial innovations which tend to come from the computer geeks and their psychoactive forays into the outer limits of human expression. Sorry, Shawn, that you'll never know the freedom and exhilaration of being far away from anything resembling civilization, in a zone where the human spirit is free to express itself in the most surreal, colorful, uninhibited ways conceivable. Meanwhile, those who actually "get" Burning Man will be experimenting with exotic visionary drugs you've never heard of, getting in touch with the bare bones of nature's wild ways, and above all, celebrating life. You are encouraged to remain in your serious, bland, inhibited, grumpy little box of a world and sneer on the sidelines at something you will never understand. You will not be missed.

Peace,
-- Brian

PATTON CLASS
Re: Harold Reiman's letter (under "Kerry Creep") in Reader Mail's Keyes to the Kingdom?:

I was saddened to hear of the death of General George Patton's son, Major General George Patton, from Harold Reimann in Reader Mail. For several years General and Mrs. Patton graciously hosted a summer get-together on the grounds of their working farm in Hamilton, Massachusetts, for graduates of the five federal service academies. I remember attending one several years ago and introducing myself to the general. We had been given name-tags indicating our name, academy and year of graduation. General Patton, a West Pointer, looked slightly askance at my name-tag and said teasingly, "Air Force, huh?", proving that friendly but spirited inter-service rivalry was still alive and well, even among retirees. A class act, he will be missed.
-- Paul M. DeSisto, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Your correspondent who cited World War II's Gen. Patton as his hero should be aware that his full name was George S. Patton Jr. His son, who served in Vietnam as C.O. of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, was born George S. Patton IV (there was no GSP III, as the Washington Post's obituary pointed out). But the son (who addressed my Armor School graduating class when he was its commander at Fort Knox, Ky.) dropped the numeral upon his father's death in 1945 and himself named one of his sons George S. Patton Jr., the Post reported.
-- Michael D. Harmon
Lt. Col., Armor, USAR, ret.
Sanford, Maine

LESTER IS MORE
Re: Brock Yates's Ever the Wonderboy:

Having been born and raised in Georgia, I would certainly agree with Brock Yates that Jimmy Carter is a vindictive, mean, little poseur. However, I'm afraid Brock is just following the media line when he calls Lester Maddox a racist. From the beginning, Maddox always said his problem with integration was not integration, but the Federal government's intrusion into private businesses.

Maddox's service as governor certainly seems to bear that out. He appointed more African Americans to government positions than all previous Georgia governors combined, including the first black officer in the Georgia State Patrol and the first black official to the state board of corrections. He also backed significant prison reform, an issue popular with many of the state's African Americans.

Civil rights activist, Hosea Williams (no one's idea of an Uncle Tom) said repeatedly over the years, "Lester Maddox is not a racist."
-- Elizabeth Knott

BORDER LINE
Re: George Neumayr's The Thin Green Line:

Walls for the sake of protection and security make sense to me. On that subject, U.S citizens have every right to know why their borders remain open. I have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation.

I am a life-long Republican and conservative and I have a serious disagreement with President Bush's apparent lack of concern about illegal aliens.
-- Edward L. Williamson, Jr.

REGISTERED COMPLAINT
Re: Shawn Macomber's Send in Jimmy Carter:

I had to laugh while reading Mr. Macomber's article about the Democrats who wrote to the U.N. requesting that they monitor our Presidential election. I worked for eight years as a Deputy Registrar of Voters and I can assure you that if there was any attempt at election fraud Democrats were usually the culprits!
-- C. Rozas

ENCORE
Re: Thomas Lipscomb's Swimming From Cambodia:

Mr. Lipscomb's article articulately nails Kerry, as many of us suspected, as the consummate Walter Mitty/Bill Clinton hybrid. He can neither recall his own, personal history with any accuracy, nor can he explain his recollections with any concern for integrity. What I find equally disturbing is the hypocritical stance by most (and public alike) Kerry apologists demanding the Swift Boat Veterans group rescind their accusations and President Bush publicly and officially denounce their criticisms. This is based on their strained link to conservative politics (therefore they are corrupt!) and the perception that any veterans military service is beyond criticism. All the while, Howard Dean can routinely launch absurd assertions and character assassinations against the President, on the behalf of Democrats, completely devoid of responsibility and association with the Kerry campaign. Absurd!
-- Frank Novio
Mansfield, Massachusetts

Thank you for the brilliant article by Thomas Lipscomb on Kerry's lies.
-- George Klecan

Let's put this in perspective.

John Kerry called me a war criminal.

John Kerry voted against every weapons and intelligence system my troops operated.

John Kerry voted against dollars to train those troops.

John Kerry floated an amendment to cut intelligence funding after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

OH! I get it ... hold up the applause sign and we'll try it again?

Really?
-- Mike Horn
LTC, Military Intelligence
U.S. Army Reserve, ret

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