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Mourning in America

Sweet memories of Ronald Reagan. Plus: Spinning for Soros. Kerry nation defenses. Eyeing the wrong horse. And much more.

6.8.04

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FOR THE MAN WHO WANTS EVERYTHING
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Man Who Has Everything:

Mr. Lawrence Henry is a true Renaissance man and I find new reasons to stand in awe of him with each new contribution. May I commend to his attention and other like-minded collectors of the bizarre the redoubtable Archie McPhee whose catalogue and online site contain the same sort of preposterous oddities and trifles in which he delights at Brookline News and Gift.
-- Bill Lannon
Rockland, Maine

THE PITY AND THE SOROS
Re: Enemy Central's Tender Resignations:

George Soros did not draw a moral equivalence between al Qaeda's attack on WTC and the torture at Abu Ghraib. He noted that the U.S. had the sympathy of the world after it was victimized on 9/11, and that now the U.S. had the enmity of the world after the discovery that it had victimized Iraqi prisoners. He pinned the blame for this reversal of fortune where it rightly belongs -- on GW Bush. A simple point that doesn't in any way resemble the slur from the NRO that you link to.

Regardless of the prisoner scandal, Soros's point is correct. We lost the respect and support of the world community as soon as we stopped fighting the Islamic fundamentalists who attacked us and began the process of making war on a country that was well contained -- as evidenced by its immediate neighbors' declining to join the coalition.

This is why GW Bush has about as much chance of being re-elected POTUS as Saddam Hussein has of returning to power in Iraq -- as documented by the Wall Street Journal.
-- Kyron Huigens
New York, New York

Enemy Central replies:: Kyron Huigens doesn't spin too smoothly: All the NRO story did was report first on what Soros said that morning. It did so by quoting Soros's actual words, which is more than Huigens can bring himself to do. So now quoting someone accurately is the equivalent of a slur? For the record, Soros said that Americans because of Abu Ghraib had moved from being "victims" to "perpetrators" -- the latter being the term once reserved for the attackers of 9/11. In case the moral equivalence was missed, Soros added that "there is, I'm afraid, a direct connection between those two events..."

OUR RON
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s A Great Gentleman, Wlady Pleszczynski's America Loves Reagan, and John Tabin's He Changed the World:

Thanks for the articles. I was a Reagan delegate to my state's Republican convention in 1980. I was a new Republican at the time and Reagan offered all of us hope. We were in the middle of unreal inflation, prime rates were sky-high, gas was out of sight, and all you heard was gloom and doom from the liberals. Ronald Reagan's optimism was a breath of fresh air to the Carter policies of incompetence and a hope for ending the Iranian hostage crisis. Reagan brought about the biggest tax reform in American history with his endorsement of the Kemp-Roth tax package, along with his defense posture, which resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union. The articles are right. There will never be another Reagan. Our nation has lost an icon. I am glad and privileged to have been a part of the Reagan "Revolution."
-- Pete Chagnon

Wlady, how right you are. My college student daughter commiserated with me on the phone Saturday over the loss of our beloved Ronaldus Magnus. She was born in 1985, so some of her affection for him was inherited from her parents. Some results from the emanations of the man's greatness through history. Eyes still well over at the thought of his passing into a world where death no longer matters. He liberated millions with firing hardly a shot.
-- David Shoup
Dublin, Georgia

Thank you, Mr. Tabin, for the eloquent piece on the effect President Reagan's legacy even on those born too recently to remember him in office. I was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1980. My family left Romania and came to the States to escape that murderous tyrant, Ceausescu. My friends never really understand why I profess such a strong admiration and love for Reagan, since I was only eight when he left office. However, this article clearly explained why the legacy of Reagan will live on forever; because of his determination to transcend communism by extolling and promoting freedom everywhere he changed the face of my home country. I cherish the freedom my family has here and, because of President Reagan, I have hope that the people of Romania will fully realize those same freedoms. God bless Ronald Reagan.
-- Alex Tomescu

Once again the TV newspeople have overlooked the opportunity to end the TV obituary with a film clip of one of Ronald Reagan's goodbye scenes.

Surely in all of his movies and press conferences there must be one scene where he wishes us well, waves goodbye and then exits. Why haven't we seen it?
-- David Hamilton
Aumsville, Oregon

More of what the media won't show us was relayed to me by my daughter who is in the Air Force Academy band. When the president was there delivering the commencement address and was announced 29,000 people arose as one and wildly cheered him. But the best part was that after his speech he stayed for almost two hours and shook the hand of EVERY SINGLE graduating cadet!!! Some did not want to shake his hand !!!! they wanted a HUG! and he hugged them!! Now isn't that a nice patriotic heart warming little story that uplifts your spirits and makes you smile. But all the major media had to say about that day was that president gave the commencement address at the Air Force Academy.... Maybe you guys can get it out to the public... it just goes to show the affection and admiration that 99.99% of the military has for this man. Of course the major media doesn't want to show America anything like that...
-- John Gardner
Buffalo, New York
Proud parent of Tech SGT. Crystal Lynn Proper USAF academy Band

FROM THE KERRY WAR ROOM
Re: The Washington Prowler's No Class:

Sorry to break the news to you guys, but in accusing Senator Kerry of plagiarism in using the "watchman on the walls" line in a recent speech just as President Kennedy did in 1963, your illiterate staff missed the fact that in both instances it is a quote from the Bible.

You may wish to hire someone who has read the Bible or is capable of fact-checking before running something this stupid again. I will enjoy spreading the word on this to other news organizations. Let's see if you have the integrity to mention it to your readers.

Somehow I doubt it.
-- Denis Hauptly

The Prowler replies: "Watchman of the wall" is biblical in origin, yes, but the Kerry-Kennedy versions added the non-biblical "of...freedom" to the phrase, hence the obvious echo in Kerry's unattributed use. Better pluck next time.

WOMAN'S WORK<<BR>Re: James Bowman's Tina Bopper:

OK, Mr. Bowman's article is well-taken. But one can just go to www.Wonkette.com every week where A. M. Cox reads Brown ("so you don't have to!") and does a delicious slice & dice of her. Much easier and more fun.
-- Bill Marshall
Merrillville, Indiana

It seems Dear Tina misses the parallels and probably received an F in World History.

FDR ran for his third term on a promise to keep America out of the looming war in Europe. FDR did not, out of some great plan, keep us out of the war for two years. There was a very large peace movement roaming the country at the time that made it politically impossible to go to war. FDR saw the dangers coming but was unable to move due to the passive domestic scene. December 7th changed all that.

As to the Iraqi situation, how odd it is that one could make a connection between this war and WWII. But the parallel is not on the beaches of Normandy but in the steaming jungles and swamps in places like Rangoon, Mingaladon, and Tavoy. It is here that forces of division strength or less did battle with the Japanese. Supply lines were the air drop from a C47. And today the Coalition battles insurgents in like fashion at divisional level in places like Najaf, Fallujah, Kirkurk.

What Tina also misses is that there are those who will be the veterans of the War on Terror. They are serving today. Taking out the bad guys in Iraq. 40 years from now most likely there will be parades honoring those who served. No Gen. Sanchez will never be compared to Eisenhower. But then you don't see much said today about Gen. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell either.

And last, Tina could still get the feeling of unity of September 11th -- go enlist young lady!
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

THE WRONG HORSE
Re: Paul Beston's Get Smarty:

I hope that Mr. Beston has goose bumps as he watches the Belmont, as I had in '73 as Secretariat actually sprinted the mile and a half in a world record time of 2:24 flat. Big Red was hand ridden that day and came home all alone with any other horses more than a sixteenth of a mile away. As the, Turcotte, pulled the horse up, Secretariat managed to eclipse the record at one and five-eighths of a mile!!! This Smarty Jones is such a good-looking horse and has come back from almost being destroyed, but the ultimate triple crown horse is "Big Red," who eclipsed the track records at each event, though the Maryland racing commission won't recognize his clocking at the Preakness of 1:53 and 2/5! The best description of Secretariat is by his biographer, William Nack. In speaking of the horse in human terms, he advised readers to think of the greatest athlete in the world, oh, about six foot three, intelligent, kind and the best-looking guy to ever come down the turnpike!
-- Edward Del Colle

Great Story, wrong picture: Smarty has no blaze, only a small star on his forehead. I think that shot was of Purge.
-- Janis Johnson
Independence, Missouri

KERRY NATION
Re: George Neumayr's Your Mother's Army:

"A few more years of gender engineering ramped up under a Kerry administration, and Claudia Kennedy would be able to say: 'This is your mother's army.'"

An interesting quote, one that actually seems to have already come to fruition. Which is why, of course, when a young man of suitable masculinity reaches the age where he might consider joining the military, the one option that appears viable is the Marine Corps. Secondary to that would be a guarantee to attempt entry into a Special Operations or combat arms position. Other then that, the military has just become a nice welfare program, coddling most who enter.

Since the Army, Navy, and Air Force all blather on about education and job training with nice career prospects while the Marines almost dare you to prove your worth to THEM (what a concept...), it is no wonder that the Marines are still viewed as the service of choice for those who wish to go in harm's way. And as Special Operations have a schizophrenic need to advertise for good people while shielding their activities from undue publicity, few know how to gain entry and the option may be unknown to most 18-24 year olds.

Masculinity is no longer desired in most parts of the military. It has been systematically abolished as a virtue, even denigrated to a vice. Kennedy and her ilk did it to the Army, Pat Schroeder and Co. (O'Keefe and Boorda, most notably) did it to the Navy, and the Air Force did it to itself. Thank God for the Marines, the infantry, and the men of Special Operations Command. They may not be perfect (being human, none are, although the denial of that truth would be worthy of its own article), but they slug it out for the rest of us.

Why do you think they get all the press?
-- Matthew C. Tritle
U.S. Navy, 1996-2003
(Surface Warfare, Special Boats)

Regarding the "back-door draft," leave it to opportunistic and flip-flopping John Kerry to call up, down-and even get that wrong.

For so long, he's been so busy being anti-defense and anti-military-and reversing and then reversing the reversal of his reversed positions on everything-that he either forgot or never bothered to learn that the U.S. Armed Services are now all all-volunteer and have been for decades.

You'd think his stable of retired brass -- Gen. Wesley Clark and two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Shalikashvili and Adm. William Crowe -- would've have briefed him on that. And while it may be truly burdensome on soldiers -- and their families -- to have their enlistments and/or tours now extended, is it something the soldiers thought couldn't happen?

As far as his picking a feminist, albeit a former Army General Staff officer, to advise him on military affairs: It fits, doesn't it? But has he picked any African-Americans or Hispanics of either gender to be part of his innermost circle of advisers?
-- B.C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Wow! That ought to stiffen some spines in the ranks to hear that Kerry's key military advisor is Hillary Clinton's favorite general. The prospect of having a Secretary of Defense in a Kerry administration, who's a hardcore liberal feminist, is a sure fire way to get the troops to rally round the Democrats' battle flag.

John Kerry claims that he is repeatedly approached by active duty military personnel who want change, but just as with unnamed world leaders who support him, he fails to identify who these military dissidents are. Well, I guess we have a better idea now, don't we?

Islamic terrorists must be quaking with fear at the prospect of a feminized American military.
-- Russ Vaughn
Lakehills, Texas

I've long believed that most liberals have selective memory, however, John Kerry exhibits what must be the politician's version of selective memory -- Selective Record. In 1984 Mr. Kerry proposed canceling the Patriot Missile System. He voted for the cancellation twice. He voted five times against funding the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (you remember this one, the one that Mr. Clinton refused our troops in Somalia, leading to the massacre there) and a whopping seventeen times against funding the B2 Bomber. Eight times he voted against funding the F-18 Fighter. He also proposed defunding the CIA. Here is the granddaddy of them all: Thirty-eight (that's 38) votes to decrease overall defense spending. This is the "strong on defense" war hero who would be our wartime president. As an afterthought, Mr. Kerry has supported 350 tax increases in his government career.
-- Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio

STILL STANDING
Re: Ben Stein's Happy Bush Country:

On the day of President Reagan's passing, I can't think of a better piece of journalism to have read this evening than Mr. Stein's piece.

Then again Mr. Stein is not a "journalist." Having been down the caffeine route and survived, I must say it is refreshing and inspiring to hear something positive for a change.

Here, Here, Mr. Stein, and Onward to victory, Mr. Bush.

America the beautiful still stands!
-- Brian Kelly

Thank you so much for expressing so beautifully my feelings exactly. I think behind the anger and pessimism are people with no spiritual grounding. This great country was founded as a Nation Under God. Not as a Christian nation as we often hear but a Godly nation that is inclusive of our people. The more we try to shut God out, the worse things get. I believe George Bush will win again because he is genuinely a godly man and sincerely loves his country and right or wrong does what he honestly believes to be the best thing. I totally agree with you that MOST of the people in this greatest of all countries are exactly the way you described them. I pray that they will be prayerful, speak out and VOTE come November. Thank you for the gift of your article. What a nice way to start the day.

Shalom,
-- Lynne Blackler

LET HIM EAT LOTUS
Re: Edward Del Colle's letter ("Eyes Wide Shut, Tightly") in Reader Mail's Quiet Car Noises:

Edward Del Colle says that "war is culturally destructive and personally degrading." I don't know where this lotus-eater has been whiling away but, HELLO!!! LIKE TERRORISM ISN"T?

Since he believes that "the true philosophy of our culture is a crass materialism for the acquisition and production of wealth," I suggest he relocate to one of the few remaining Marxist utopias like Vietnam or Cuba, but caution him to keep his "eyes wide shut" lest he find that they too are "culturally destructive and personally degrading".
-- Scotty Uhrich
Glyndon, Minnesota

STAY THE HECK AWAY
Re: Patrick Burkhart's letter (under "Stein Country") in Reader Mail's Quiet Car Noises:

I had a hearty laugh upon reading Patrick Burkhart's Reader Mail on the Inland Northwest. And then I got to the P.S. and really had a guffaw!

I've found a comrade in arms. Many times I find myself espousing the virtues of living in my humble but wonderful city to some outsider and I suddenly realize I need to shut the heck up less they move from their liberal hell-hole for the benefits only to want to change us to their utopia!

I applaud Mr. Burkhart and suggest we start a "Love where you live? Then SHUT UP!" campaign. lol
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin....oops, I mean somewhere in Tennessee

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