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Wiser Heads

Peoria in play. Sorority sickos. A Brock contingent. An Irish lilt. Plus more.

5.7.04

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NOT PLAYING IN PEORIA
Re: Paul M. Weyrich's Queen of Liberalism:

Mr. Weyrich's comments about Mary McGrory are interesting from the standpoint she reached a point where she could not "attack" him since there was something the two of them agreed on. One of the most disappointing things for us out here in "flyover" country is the glee with which both conservatives and liberals seem to enjoy the "game" of politics. Yes, it is fascinating, but when we see reputations impugned, maligned, destroyed for the sake of the "game," it is very hard to not develop contempt for all involved. At that point, it doesn't matter whether the individual is on the left or the right.

If the people involved in the game ever took a week to sit and analyze all the talking head shows, I think they would be surprised at how self centered and ignorant they look. The very idea that it is ok to "attack" someone because of disagreement in mainstream political philosophy is really kind of ridiculous. Disagreement sounds so much more reasonable.

Al Hunt, Robert Novak, Margaret Carlson, or Joe Scarborough, what's the difference? If you don't know what they are going to say about a particular issue, you are a very dim bulb, indeed. Sadly, these people are considered to be pundits, that is to say, some of the "thinkers" in the epicenter of American power and culture. They are among the supposed great commentators of our time that see and reflect upon the actions of our leaders. Yet, their last original thought occurred years ago when, by some disaster they were dining at McDonald's, rather than Sans Souci. Using all their brainpower, they decided to "supersize" the order for the first (and last) time. What a monument to their ability to garner up originality in thinking!

If Mary McGrory's death was hidden, how many of us in the hinterlands could write her column commentating on Washington without anyone being the wiser? Since I'm conservative, let's hold the estimate to about 10,000,000 of us.

And if you don't think that's true, you better take that week and watch the shows.
-- Norman Astwood
Peoria, Illinois

SORORITY ROWS
Re: Shawn Macomber's Mean Girls and George Neumayr's Thelma and Louise in Iraq:

Based on your last two exposes of the modern American woman, one might conclude that these days a good woman is hard to find. Take heed, gentlemen.
-- Blue Ballerina

About halfway through my undergrad days I transferred from a small private college to a large state university that had all the national fraternities on campus. Since my father was a member of a major and well known fraternity, I pledged as a legacy. I was very naive about fraternity life and, as one who had worked his way through both high school and college, I was likewise very independent. Five months after pledging, I depledged myself -- a horrible crime in university life. I was not to become one of the "elite." Oh, the shame of it all. It was such a serious act that I was called before the #3 man in the school's administration. Seems I was the first one in five years to commit such a crime. After all these years I still think that it was one of the best moves I ever made.

The inner workings of large and famous fraternity are living proof that a "Clockwork Orange" attitude abounds within the Greek society. Lying, cheating, forgery, scapegoating and deceptions were the norm. A son from a very wealthy and famous California family would hire fraternity brothers to enroll, take classes and pass tests under his name and registration number. He "earned" his college degree through proxy with the full knowledge and approval of the fraternity. While many of us struggled to make our way, his college days were a four-year vacation of parties and a life of ease. I wonder just what kind of businessman he turned out to be. Most likely a CEO who ripped off the pension funds and would leave the company bankrupt like the ones we read about today. I can't help but think that the college fraternity life fosters such attitudes and behaviors. As an aside, one brother poached a deer out of season and had it hung up to bleed in the tub in the basement of the chapter house. The tub was used as a cold water torture device for those who did not follow the rules. The poor victim was dumped in the icy water that wrapped in a sheet mummy-like which was terrifying.

The urge to become part of some special society or cult is very strong. My problem is that I simply cannot turn my life over to the control of a group of any sort. It is no wonder that the sorority sisters are acting like a mindless mob at times.
-- Al Martin
Depoe Bay, Oregon

This absurd behavior of some young women doesn't surprise me anymore. Just look at what those females did to those in Iraq. The attitude is, "It's fun, screw the consequences."
-- Melvin L. Leppla
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Thanks for the insightful column by George Neumayr. The sad fact is that this behavior could have reasonably been called "un-American" fifty years ago, but now is very much American, and the inevitable result of America's sex obsessed porno crazed society.

It is also very much the result of U.S. government policies, eliminating the differences between men and women, and encouraging feminists to live out their wildest power fantasies.

Moreover, many feminists will be delighted of the idea of women in power abusing men, but will be too clever and too dishonest to say so.

Finally, the Arabs are delighted to have a chance to ridicule America's boasts of "democracy," but they know what happens in Syrian or Iranian prisons, what happened in Saddam Hussein's prisons, and are not as shocked as they pretend to be.
-- Joe Keysor

"Trainers at the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training center at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, acknowledged to Donnelly and others that women in combat would require a conditioning program for average Americans: 'If a policy change is made and women are allowed into combat positions, there must be a concerted effort to educate the American public on the increased likelihood that women will be raped, will come home in bodybags, and will be exploited.'"

Mmmmm...yeah...just like men do. That isn't an argument for women not being in the military; it's an argument for ANYONE not being in the military. It seems as though people loathe the idea of women crouching in the front lines, getting shot at, captured, tortured, and killed. Oh, but it's okay if that happens to men?
-- Brian Gillin

BROCK TRIO
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Brock's Content:

Wlady: What's the matter, wimpy boy? Can't take a little heat from David Brock? Can't stand the fact that liberals are now doing the same stuff you morons on the right have done for the last 10 years, pointing out all the bias of your supposedly "fair and balanced" right wing house organs (i.e. butt boys for Bush?).

Cry me a river, wimp.
-- Adrian Dater
Denver, Colorado

I find it interesting that, in the midst of an incredibly biased article you attack other media sources of bias. It is not enough that your whole basis for attacking Mr. Brock's new website is its entertainment value. Apparently that is all that matters to "unbiased" journalists such as yourself, is the entertainment value and not the facts for which you base your opinions. I would ask that before you write your right wing propaganda, and attack other media outlets for being liberal, you first take an honest look at yourself, oh wait a minute, you obviously don't believe in honesty; otherwise you wouldn't support the lies of people like Rush Limbaugh. It is really disappointing that people in America, especially media personalities such as yourself are so blinded by ideology that you no longer can look at anything objectively.
-- Dave Rechtenbach
rechtdg@netscape.net

I read your piece "Brock's Content." You use the strategy of the Bush election machine, i.e., indict the opposition for attitudes, ideologies and actions that are your own standard operating procedure.

You are simply terrified that your political opponents are (finally) building an effective antidote to your disinformation-all-the-time infrastructure.

You dismiss Brock and the "fledgling liberal radio talk shows" he's presumably going to assist. Let me assure you I and the vast majority of the sentient public would never have heard of your profoundly obscure, if self-absorbed, eminence had we not been seeking Brock's new web address.
-- John Puma
Lebanon, Oregon

INTEREST IN STOCKS
Re: Lawrence Henry's Can't Carry the Carry Trade Anymore:

I was wondering if you could help me. Are you implying that interest rates are not going to go up because of what your contrarian friend said or you don't like growth stocks?

Thanks in advance.
-- Joe Cambria

Lawrence Henry replies:
I included the comments from contrarian friend for some perspective. No, I'm in cash right now because interest rates surely will go up, and the market knows that. In particular, the big banks and investment houses know it, and they are taking risk off their balance sheets, even if they're not quite bailing on the sure-thing carry trade just yet -- and that risk includes growth stocks. No sense bucking that tide. Growth stocks can't grow without growing institutional sponsorship.

SHOWING EIRE
Re: William Dean Freeman's letter (under "Mary Not Contrary" )in Reader Mail's The Human Factor:

While reading William Dean Freeman's letter on Irish Republicanism (May 6), the lilt of an air from the ould sod, taught me by my Irish granny by the blazing hearth, wafted back to mind like the smell of turf. With a tear in my eye, I'll give it you. It goes to the same tune as "The Mountains of Mourne":

"O, Wlady, this TAS is a wonderful sight,
Where Will Freeman spouts garbage by day and by night,
He forgot the results of Good Friday debates,
When the Irish all voted for two separate states,
Because when I asked them, that was I was told,
As their interests now lie East, in Brussels and gold,
But the old greencard lotto's still coming up sweet,
And the Irish continue to vote with their feet."

GOD BLESS ALL HERE!
-- Martin Kelly
Glasgow
SCOTLAND (home country of James Connolly)

WEASEL WATCH
Re: Justin Vorhees' letter ("It's Over") in Reader Mail's The Human Factor:

I know you guys print letters like Justin Vorhees just to get the readership riled up, don't you? Well here's one response to Mr. Vorhees: You arrogant little weasel. Why is it that if the left doesn't like a conservative posture on an issue, it's all about us being duped by lies? Lefties think they've got it all figured out, and for anyone on the right to think otherwise, it's always some planned subversion by the "them" of the right. You can't just let go of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" thing can you? Yup, we all get e-mails from "Rummy" et. al. telling "us" how to think and react to the issue of the day.

The only subversion going on in the media is the constant hacking at the right by Couric, Jennings, Koppel, Brokaw and Rather who can't hide their partisanship. Then, as soon as Fox disrupts the scene with a modicum of success, it's the "right-controlled media"-- yeah right.

The game is hardly over, Peace-boy. When the NY Post, and Wall St. Journal circulations are up, with the NY Times and Washington Post down, it should be telling you something. When talk radio has become wildly successful with conservative formats, and liberal radio has to be government subsidized or be launched by big-name, big-lib celebrity money behind it, there's a message there. The pendulum has begun to swing the other way. The great liberal blast of the 40 years has reached its apex. And you and your ilk are the ones whose flimsy game is over.
-- William H. Stewart
Boston, Massachusetts

RUSHING
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Right in the Krischer:

I might agree that Mr. Limbaugh is getting railroaded. But the real travesty is the West Palm Beach Republican Party! Krischer is up for reelection and from last reports is running unopposed. If that is true, then what the @#$!@ is wrong with the Republicans? I can't believe that they can't find a candidate to run against this guy.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Small point, but Rush Limbaugh is not a criminal because he is a "recovering addict," noble as that is. He is a criminal because he, by his own admission, trafficked in controlled substances. That he is also a hypocrite is not against the law, but it does make his side of the story as credible as the "shady" couple's from whom he repeatedly and illegally purchased his own drugs of choice. That prosecutors, "watchdogs," politicians and other self-interested, self-righteous and self-important poseurs can also be hypocrites does not make Mr. Limbaugh less culpable; it only puts him in like company.

That said, of course it is highly objectionable to attempt to recover his medical records without his consent or his doctor's consent. It seems to me there is plenty of evidence to convict him without violating doctor and patient confidentiality. Every American should vigilantly resist the alarming and continuing deterioration of our civil rights. The ACLU deserves all of our encouragement and support for taking on principled causes, even in defense of Nazis, the Klu Klux Klan, and Rush Limbaugh. After all, even those who would deny rights to others deserve protection themselves. Don't they?
-- Ralph Warnock
Falmouth, Maine

MY BAD
Re: Dan Martin's letter ("Fallujah Finale") in Reader Mail's The Human Factor:

Yesterday, you published a letter of mine that was critical of Jeb Babbin's conclusions regarding the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. servicemen and women. When associating the progress our sniper teams were making with our intelligence-gathering methods, I was woefully ignorant of the timeline of these events, as the mistreatment of those prisoners pre-dated the Fallujah conflict by many months. My apologies to Jeb Babbin.
Regards,
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

DOUBT TALKS BACK
Re: Joel Wymer's letter ("There He Goes Again") in Reader Mail's The Human Factor:

Mr. Wymer, in responding to Edward Del Colle, attempts to use Mere Christianity as his centerpiece to demonstrate that Jesus was one of three things 1) The Messiah 2) a lunatic or 3) a liar. This is what I like to call "mere hogwash." First, while he may have been one of those three things, it's quite possible that we have more than three choices. Isn't it possible that he never claimed to be "The Son of God" but was quoted this way to advance the ideas of his disciples? Or quite simply, the authors of the four Gospels wrote stories much in the way Dan Brown does? That is, a little fact mixed with a little fiction? The first Gospel was most likely not written until somewhere between 70 and 100 A.D. (and sure this is debatable) but this would still be 35 to 70 years after his death. Why do the Gospels get this free pass of infallibility?

Mr. Wymer continues on to state, rather inexplicably, that Dan Brown's book "aim(s) to destroy the most basic of Christian doctrines -- the deity of Jesus Christ." First of all, "the deity of Jesus Christ" makes no sense. Maybe he meant "deification." Second, Brown does no such thing. His premise is centered on the true nature of the Holy Grail, not the divinity of Christ.

I would venture that much of the wrath directed towards Brown and his book is the heresy of suggesting Jesus had sexual relations that resulted in a child. While the idea has no little to zero support within the theological academia, certain readers hyperventilate at the mere thought regardless of merit. Finally, I would like Mr. Wymer to guide to the passage where Jesus supposedly claimed "to be the Living God." My King James version carries no such quote.
-- Brett

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