Reader Mail

Winter Takes All

Ice Pick Kerry. Dean’s RN’s. SOTU media. Cell drivers. Belgium’s Noam Chomsky. Plus much more.

1.22.04

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ICE MAN
Re: Shawn Macomber's Cold Kerry:

Thanks for this great column on John Kerry, the man is as cold as ice -- and his wife is the same! You have the inside scoop on this Kennedy follower.
-- Ginger Rose

NURSING DEAN
Re: Shawn Macomber's Deaniacs.com:

I read Shawn Macomber's piece on the Web sites that serve constituencies of supporters of the Dean campaign with interest. He writes, "one wonders how they will take re-entry into civil society if their hero crashes and burns."

Obviously, he has not done his research because we have a mission statement, a vision statement and a statement of purpose that clearly explains that our goal is to promote and achieve positive change in healthcare:

This encompasses all areas of human existence that impact health and well-being. Specific goals within this larger mission include access to healthcare for all residents of the United States, equitable distribution of healthcare resources, a healthcare system that both reflects and respects the diversity of American society, and an emphasis in healthcare policy and planning on health promotion, disease prevention, adequate housing, and healthy lifestyles.

I suggest that we are not a "bizarre website" as described in the article, nor do we see a halo around Dr. Dean's head. As nurses, we've worked with too many doctors to think that M.D. stands for Major Deity.

We are a diverse group of nurses who work hard, pay taxes and have seen the inequities in the current healthcare system. Since Howard Dean has made healthcare work in Vermont, we know he understands the issues as someone not in the trenches of healthcare simply cannot, and we support his candidacy. Period.

If you are interested in writing a true profile of "Nurses for Dean" we would be willing to set aside time for an interview.
-- Patricia Carroll
-- Teri Mills
Nurses for Dean

Shawn Macomber replies:
I appreciate the note, and now better understand your vision. Nurses for Dean obviously has an important role to play in Howie's campaign, especially if he goes on to lose in New Hampshire and has another cataclysmic episode. Where were all of you on caucus night?

CONCURRENCES
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Bush in Charge:

I have to concur with much of what Wlady says -- I watched NBC's coverage and it was similar to that on ABC. Tom Brokaw et al. could not even let the President out of the Congress before they cut to Senator John Kerry in New Hampshire in an attempt to debunk the speech just concluded. But as the Senator tried to squelch the message with a trail of "no's," all I could think of was the "Officer Barbrady" character on the TV show "South Park" -- "Nothing to see here, folks, move along, move along" (against a background of things like a Mecha-giant Barbra Streisand fighting it out with a Mecha-giant Leonard Maltin).

But I also concur on the Democratic response being not only cheesily sequestered but cheesily presented. Representative Nancy "It's time for my closeup, Mr. De Mille" Pelosi and Senator Tom "It's only got 30,000 miles on it, honest" Daschle were the most ill-suited presenters that they have used in many years. Even the great bloviator, Senator Ted "I can still wiggle like a five-year-old in church" Kennedy could have done better.
-- Cookie Sewell
Aberdeen, Maryland

Wlady Pleszczynski observed that, during the State of the Union speech, Peter Jennings' ABC News network decided to focus (twice) on Senator Kennedy, who most disapprovingly smirked and on Senator Hillary's playing the New Democrat in support of the president regarding our forces in Iraq without even once rolling her eyes or feigning a yawn.

My own reaction was similar: Teddy looked like the dismal "before" part of story board layout for a Pepto Bismol ad. Queen Hillary appeared to be suffering from a similar case of gastrointestinal distress before she hastily plastered what can only be described as a sickly smile on her puss when she realized she was on camera. True, it was better than her sucking-on-a-bag-of-lemons appearance during President Bush's speech in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 -- but just barely.…
-- Thomas E. Stuart
Kapa'au, Hawaii

HOW I WON THE WAR
Re: The Washington Prowler's Uncivil Behavior (Rank Puller):

What war did Wesley Clark win ("I won a war")? There are still troops in Kosovo, Milosevic has just been elected to the parliament -- what the heck did Clark accomplish?
-- Mitchell Kaufman

PRIMARY LESSONS
Re: Reid Collins's Able Was I Ere I Saw Iowa:

Interesting. How many primaries did Johnson win before he dropped out of the '68 race? And did Dems at the time consider Nixon's win attributable to LBJ's late withdrawal? Potential fodder for a retrospective ...
-- Len Price

Dean implied he had Jimmy's endorsement and the former president said he hadn't endorsed anyone. Dean said he had been invited to church with Carter and Jimmy said he hadn't invited anyone. Did the folks in IOWA notice this? I think many did and thought "Unpresidential."

Too bad that candidate Howard Dean is going down, I really wanted to see him debate President G.W. Bush and for the American people to see where the Democratic Party is at this point. Right now, it looks like Kerry and if so can we say, "Boring ..."
-- Scott Merrell
Acworth, Georgia

DOWD AND OUT
Re: Jed Babbin's One Finger or Two?:

Maybe it's just me, but this is the first time I've finally seen someone ridicule "Mo" Dowd for her cutsie knack for assigning nicknames. She has always struck me as that annoying-little-know-it-all-at-the-front-of-the-class that you'd just love to hit but you don't because you're mom taught you better. Keep up the satire!
-- T. Grass
Delafield, Wisconsin

TALK RADIALS
Re: Eric Peters' Hang Up and Drive!:

A friend of mine recently told me that his insurance agent told him that 34% of auto accidents are caused by cell phone use. If you are gullible enough to believe that, then you have to be willing to believe that auto accidents have increased 50% since cell phones became common.

They haven't.

Your column made me so mad that my knee slipped off of the steering wheel, and I spilled the coffee in my right hand on the newspaper I was reading in my left!
-- Randy Gammon
Drexel, Missouri

Piffle. Sure, some people can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Some folks can't eat a hamburger and drive at the same time, but with a little practice, most can. (Extra points if you have a manual shift.) Many out there apparently can't talk and drive at the same time, but I guarantee you I can, and I do. If Mr. Peters gets confused or distracted when he talks on the phone while driving, then he certainly shouldn't do it. But he, and NPR's Click and Clack (who started this Nosey Parker crusade on their taxpayer-funded radio show), should leave the rest of us alone. We've got places to go, and things to talk about along the way.
-- Doug Welty
Arlington, Virginia

Wrong, Wrong....

There are a lot of excuses for all the deaths on the Highway, and yes cell phones may contribute to the toll, but they are not the only thing. In fact there is another study that shows that women and their makeup is extremely high in causing accidents. But to ban cell phones is just another step in government control in everything. How about the DVD players that are very common in all the new cars? Hey, it all comes down to common sense, but another law is something we do not need. You want to do something about cells use your eyes and common sense to drive defensively. The facts are not all there to make this judgment to ban cells. Why not ban radios, food, makeup, electric shavers, dash note pads, drink holders, DVD players, children? Only allow one passenger to a car (no chance of arguing with your spouse or anyone else), no animals in the car, etc., the list goes on and on. Bad article -- same old whining.

Thank You.
-- Peter Mazon

BIG SPENDER IN CHIEF
Re: John Tabin's Leaving Things Unsaid:

Liked John Tabin's article, right on the mark.

Title should have been different -- "Leaving Things Unpaid" would have been more appropriate.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

GRADING CURVE
Re: Brandon Crocker's One More Academic Fraud:

Just to let you know I thought the article by Brandon Crocker on academic frauds from political science and sociology masquerading as economists was a great piece. I taught economics at a state university for many years and echo his sentiments. I recall only too well how when I was in grad school at the University of Wisconsin, one of my fellow students, now deceased, looked at all the pretty girls filing into a large lecture room in the Sociology department of our building and said, "I wish I were dumb enough to be a sociologist."
-- John S. Evans

THIS PROUD FARMLAND
Re: Bill Croke's Homecoming:

Thanks for another small town story by Bill Croke. Sometimes I get so fed up with nonstop politics that I just want to pull the plug on my computer and go watch the History Channel. Mr. Croke's snapshots are a like a breath of fresh air that clears the brain cells and returns me to what is really important -- our America and what it was and what it is. I'll be a year shy of 70 next month and my personal history is important to me as the past years stack up like old books. His little essays remind me of my past and what has been lost, hopefully not forever. I have a thing for rural America as it encapsulates much of what this nation stands for -- independence, self-sufficiency, freedom and neighbors who share those values.

The majority of the articles here at the Prowler are about the phony cardboard cutouts who populate the political scene. A gaggle of liars who are in step with criminal con men trying to take us everything we are worth. Most of this comes from the big cities where life has become a frantic scramble of survival and trying to outdo the other liars and crooks. For me, one of the greatest crimes is the paving over of prime farmland. We thus move farming from close in prime soil to some outlying marginal scrub where one can hardly raise a ruckus let alone edible crops. This results in higher prices for basic food with lower quality and for what? Perhaps a great wall of warehouses, shopping malls (mauls) or acres of asphalt parking lots.

Now I am not touting for an Amish like existence with no electricity, telephone or other modern developments. But, why can't prime farmland be set aside for what it does best -- the production of basic foods? When food production is dependent upon transportation rather than the weather, water and farming skills, we are headed for trouble. Already we are importing "fresh" vegetables and fruit from third world pest holes where sanitation is a futuristic dream. Unless I can peel it or cook it, I do not buy any "fresh" items raised and packed from anywhere south of the Rio Grande.

It is impractical for a typical family to raise its own basic foods. However, to have truck farms and dairies close by is a damned good idea. We used to go out to a close in u-pick farm and get super fresh and ripe fruit and vegetables. Today that u-pick farm is an Arco gas station or a 7-Eleven. Fresh sweet corn just minutes from stalk to pot is only a memory. Truly ripe fruit has gone the way of the buggy whip. It seems that most of today's crops are raised for transportation, not for taste or ripeness. Consider the supermarket tomato. I swear that an entire World Series could be played with a single modern tomato with not a bit of damage to the veggie. At least I can raise sweet, ripe tomatoes in my own containers on the back deck. I never buy tomato in the winter as they are too crunchy for me. A crunchy tomato? Yikes!

Again, I want to thank the Prowler and Mr. Croke for a look into the past and the small towns that are able to preserve what was good about America.
-- Al Martin

Welcome home, Bill Croke! I've missed your columns and I've been wondering where you've been. Don't be such a stranger!

As to the Recycling Gestapo: A high school friend of mine and her husband have a waste disposal business (NY State), which was running along very nicely, thank you -- everyone was happy, until, that is, their local liberal thugs became involved and set new rules for waste disposal. Suddenly, people were required to not only separate, they had to put the rest of their garbage in clear bags so it could be easily inspected for its correctness. My friend began receiving frantic, sobbing calls from their elderly customers who wear adult diapers who were mortified at the thought of disposing them in such a way so everyone could see. My quick-thinking friend, who had carefully read the new rules, told their customers to hide them inside smaller colored garbage bags and then put those inside a regulation clear bag with the rest of their garbage. If the thugs wanted to know what was in those little bags, let them paw through the garbage themselves. I never did learn if there were any repercussions. Kinda makes you pine for the days when the Sopranos ran waste management.
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, New York

BELGIAN AWFUL
Re: Jed Babbin's Truth Takes Another Beating:

But was it not America and its puppy dog (UK) that were responsible for installing all those despicable regimes in the middle-east? Almost every single one of them. Did they not support these ruthless regimes for selfish reasons (mainly for plundering oil)? The only regime that seems to resemble democracy in the Middle East seems to be Iran, which is reviled by the crusading coalition and Israel (America's darling) that is occupying Iraq against the wish of the UN and the international community??
-- Nazim Idroos
Belgium

Jed Babbin replies:
Dear Mr. Idroos: Your statement is simply ignorant and anti-historical. The Middle East map was redrawn by France and Britain in the 1920s, and it has been France, Germany and Russia which have built and maintained the despotisms of the region precisely for the reason you blame America: for the oil. Iran? A democracy? Have you read any newspapers since 1979? Iran is the mother of Islamic fascism and terrorism. I wonder: when will Old Europe stop blaming America for all the world's ills and become responsible again for its own defense? I'll make you a deal. The next time we have to fight the Germans, the loser has to keep Belgium.
-- Jed Babbin

Nazim Idroos replies:
Hmmm! So is it not thanks to America that the Saudi regime has survived all this long even though the British installed the Wahabbis. Was it not because of America that the terrorist state of Israel still exists? Was it not because of the CIA that Reza Pahlavi, the hated Iranian Shah came to power 1n 1956? Is it not because of America that the hated regime of King Hassan (Morocco) managed to survive? Was it NOT America that was involved in the contra-affair supplying arms to Iran via Israel while openly supporting a brutal dictator in Iraq. And the Jordanians, whose friend is that? And the dictators who run Turkey with a democracy for cover? Who supports them? And Egypt who sustains the brutal dictator? The world will learn how brutal Hosni Mubarak is only when he falls out of favor from his American handlers. Tell me of a single American newspaper that brands Mubarak as a dictator? This is American hypocrisy at its best!!

Tell me of a regime that has killed more human beings than America since 1940, starting with the massacre of the Japanese (innocent ones mostly) through Vietnam(innocent ones mostly), South America, Africa and Asia (innocent ones mostly) and Afghanistan (newly married couples mostly), the rotten juveniles cannot even shoot straight)! Stalin's purge of all the Jews and unfriendly elements in the Politburo was peanuts in comparison.

You should read Noam Chomsky. Nice man and says a lot of good things.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. So it depends. America and Israel rub shoulders in that matter. Mother of all terrorism, and the spoilt child. It seems that it is you who seemed to have a lost touch of reality. Sleep well (because it makes you recall events more precisely)!
-- Nazim Idroos

P.S. Sorry you guys are soaked in blood!!

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