THE NEW JOURNALISM
Re: The Washington Prowler's What's To Like?:
I read your piece on how unlikable John Kerry was and I found it interesting that not one person used to demonstrate Kerry's alleged miserable personality and alleged slacker work ethic were willing to be named. Did you really talk to any staffers -- either one of his or of Senator Edwards? Or did you simply make up this whole story? Without names it is impossible to find out if your magazine truly talked to anyone. A cynical reader like myself sees stories such as that one as a propagandist use of your pages to attack a candidate who might be able to unseat the president. Finding sources willing to put their names on their opinions used to be, and should be again, a basic practice of Journalism.
-- Elisa Cohen
Re: Andrew Simmons's Weakling Afternoon in San Fran:
This was a wonderful article. Very well written, I was able to clearly picture the zany scenes the author describes. It was wonderful to read something about the Super Bowl this year that was actually about football, rather than cultural decline.
I am another person who also rejected the idea of rejecting football, but my perspective is a little different from Mr. Simmons'. When I was growing up my dad watched football all weekend, this drove my mother nuts. What my mother failed to understand was that there was nothing else on TV that was worth watching. My mother never really understood TV, and it was pretty primitive back in the 1960s, I think she'd like it a lot more today. Well, being daddy's girl, of course, I took his side, and therefore I was never one of those women who "hate" football.
I never understood the game until a few years ago. My daughter was old enough to play outside by herself, and I found myself spending many Sunday afternoons with her dad, one eye on the football game, and one checking out the window. After three years spent this way I suddenly realized I understood football. It happened effortlessly, and unnoticed until comprehension was suddenly complete. It was such an amazing mental event that I actually remember the exact moment it happened, it seems to me it must be what Buddhist enlightenment is like.
So I would tell Mr. Simmons there is hope for his friends. Being there and being open, with that combination, amazing things can happen.
-- Jessica O'Connor
Bayonne, New Jersey
BETTER THAN AARON BROWN
Re: Shawn Macomber's Nomentum:
I just want to let you know that I thoroughly enjoy Shawn's coverage of the primaries. He is obviously very knowledgeable about the candidates and his sense of humor keeps things in perspective. I hope he continues to cover the election.
-- Brian Peavey
There are many of us who remember how Lieberman's flip-flop on the Senate floor helped save Clinton's backside during the Lewinsky scandal. Also his flip-flops to get on the ticket with Gore. School vouchers was one and maybe abortion another.
It's always satisfying when these guys get their just deserts even if it's for the wrong reasons.
Now let us worry about a Kerry-Edwards ticket. Dippy women will vote for them because they are good looking and dippy veterans because Kerry got a medal.
-- Annette Cwik
Re: Reid Collins's Toiletbowl XXXVIII:
Mr. Collins was right in his assessment of the halftime show. However I thought he was a trifle harsh on the commercials and failed to recognize a "Zorch" for what it was.
-- Jim Hickey
With articles such as the ones that Mr. Collins writes, I can easily see why is no longer with CBS and CNN.
-- Ivan S. White
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Re: James Bowman's Mommy Democrats:
Mr. Bowman's parsing of the Democrat psyche is typically cerebral, lucid and morally serious.
Why aren't Democrats the same?
-- Martin Kelly
I read with interest Mr. Bowman's "Mommy Democrats" column. The "feminine" vs. "masculine" argument he makes is interesting. I believe a better summation of the interest in Kerry, and even that in the late-arriving Clark, is that here is a man who did make war, understands its horrors, and who has seen the light -- the need to act as the responsible global citizen.
It is sort of a Camelot moment, like Arthur realizing that the point of the round table is not that "might makes right," but "might for right." Of course, with Democrats that right is not what we in America believe, though the nation (read Democrats) has the right to a valid opinion; what is right is what the consensus opinion of the world (read U.N.).
And who better than a Kerry or Clark would there be to move that message, à la Arthur, forward to the unwashed masses?
-- Dwayne Baptist
I think a better description of Bowman's thesis would be the "teenager (spoiled)" party. Such a being exhibits wants and needs but shirks on the responsibility side of things. He and his cohorts think that they know more than their parents and many believe their parents are stupid. They want the adults to see the world according to their limited vision and they get frustrated and angry when the adults do not see it their way. Friends and associates are chosen in spite of the negative consequences of their thoughts and actions, because they lack all judgment skills. It's a muddled vision because it's between the phase of a child and adult. Its exponent might stand up to a bully depending on the sacrifice (boy gets his butt kicked while the girl becomes less popular) to be made (boy uses fists while girl uses words). The difference is the teenager eventually grows up and more or less assumes responsibility for his actions. The teenager party is stuck in the between phase. At times it behaves like an adult but then slips back into the child.
-- diamon sforza
San Diego, California
Interesting piece, but an analysis of force structures around the world or in the funds allocated to defense only the U.S., Great Britain and Red China are even close to par. The Euroweenies spend a paltry sum in comparison.
I would therefore make the observation that the U.S. should not be chastised for having and using the military resources to its advantage. The Euros should be ignored for their lack of resolve. And in light of the recent revelations of the Saddam payola their moral shores have been washed away by the wave of revelation.
That the Dems do not recognize that fact is pretty sad statement of the U.S. political scene.
-- John McGinnis
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY HATERS
Re: Jed Babbin's Kerrying On Regardless:
A tiny correction to Jed Babbin's "Kerrying On Regardless":
The war of cultures to which he refers is not that of "Islamic fascism against Christianity and Judaism." It is Islamic fascism against everyone else. Such things as the destruction of Buddhist art in Afghanistan, and, more generally, the terrorists' lack of concern for fellow Muslims caught up in their bombs' blasts, point to this reality. The doctrine they voice may indeed single out Jews and Christians as the prime objects of "divine" wrath. But the fact is that they hate everyone other than themselves.
Davidson, North Carolina
Jed Babbin replies:
Good point. But the terrorist threat isn't aimed at Buddhists or Hindus now. It is aimed at what the Koran calls the "people of the book" -- the Bible. It's true that if terrorism destroys the West, it would turn against other cultures. But right now, it's our turn and our war of cultures. Either we win, or our way of life will disappear.
LET'S WE EAT CAKE
Re: William Tucker's The Vaguely Dissatisfied Rich:
Wonderful column. Allow me to offer my thoughts. Let's for argument's sake look at the liberalism of the very rich (e.g., John Edwards, Teresa Heinz Kerry and husband) not as jealousy but, rather, aspiration -- the posturing of wanna-be princes(ses). These very rich Americans, elitist-populists, have designs on aristocracy, based on the age-old embrace of the opposite end of the economic spectrum -- those who put their hopes not in individual self-betterment but in favor from benign despots. To use a very old phrase, a "popular monarchy." In economic terms, the poorer classes might perceive an interest in supporting a lavish (but small) aristocracy, who in return suppress the income of the much larger (so potentially more expensive, in aggregate) middle class -- but of course at great expense of productivity in the industrialized world. This would explain a lot of the Democratic party platform!
Thus Republican talk of upward mobility does not resonate with (a) those who no longer need it or (b) those who don't intend to work for it. Consider the donor demographics of the Democratic Party -- the very rich and unions. Barbara Streisand, George Soros. Think of the arrogance of the Clinton/Gore families, or the Kerrys -- ensconced in their tax-sheltered palaces, proclaiming their righteous zeal to protect the powerless from rapacious businessmen. How anathema to this would have been to the freedom-loving, self-sufficient mercantile class that led the American revolution!
-- Fritz von Karp
William Tucker asks (rhetorically, I hope): "Seriously now, do you think there's anybody in America, no matter how rich, who 'gets whatever they want whenever they want'?"
I thought Mick Jagger answered that question about 35 years ago.
-- Howard Hirsch
Something a little more humorous than LIFAE. How about LAUGH --Liberals Against Usually Greedy Humans?
-- John McGinnis
Re: Frederick J. Schreyer's letter (under "Rush Prescriptions") in Reader Mail's Battle Stations:
This is in regard to Mr. Schreyer's letter to the editor about Mr. Limbaugh.
I am surprised, very much so. The Esq. after Mr. Schreyer's name indicates that he is an attorney. I am a law student myself and so far my study of the law indicates that any accused is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Did I miss the trial or is Mr. Schreyer simply forgetting his law education (and thus declaring Mr. Limbaugh to be "guilty, guilty, guilty") in order to show open hatred against a radio host? A close look at police and prosecution is also no witch hunt but merely an attempt to ensure that Mr. Limbaugh's constitutional rights are not violated.
Again, I would encourage Mr. Schreyer to retake his constitutional law classes.
In summary, I would like to respectfully ask Mr. Schreyer what firm he works for, so that I can make sure I do not send my résumé there.
Charles B. Garman
The Great State of South Dakota
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