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Left in the Cold

Dean done, how come? Massachusetts’ long weekend. Founding Bork. NRDC’s apple victims. Plus much more.

1.20.04

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YANKEE DOODLE
Re: Lawrence Henry's Cold Day:

One point Lawrence Henry doesn't dwell on enough is WHY? Lucky for him, Bud's missing school was covered by his Dad's working out of the home. But why did Massachusetts crumble to the weather like Washington, D.C. on a three-inch snow day? I'm embarrassed. The "Hearty Yankee" theme is replaced by total wussification.

The most common explanation was that Dick and Jane might freeze their keisters off waiting for the bus. That might be true, but the -10 degrees that morning was preceded by -3 and -6 the two previous mornings. If anything, we all figured out after two days of practice. So, who made the decision? Bus companies? Teachers? Certainly not the working parents that had to take the day off to watch their kids.

Meanwhile, a local radio station and sports bar ran a contest that afternoon where Patriots playoff tickets would be awarded to the man and woman who could stand outside the longest only in a bathing suit. The EMT's on hand had to call it off after 15 minutes, worrying that someone might seriously hurt themselves. Now that's the New England spirit. The powers that be that started the 4-day-weekend school cancellations should be ashamed of themselves. They probably rooted for the Colts anyway -- their call was very Peyton Manning-like.
-- William H. Stewart
Boston, Massachusetts

BORK AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
Re; Tracy Robinson's Bork's Law:

Must point out to the author of this piece -- the Honorable Robert H. Bork is not alone in his hermeneutic for interpretation of Constitutional Law. But Robert H. Bork rightly reflects the views of such founding fathers as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, James Wilson, and later Justice Joseph Story -- and I dare claim many others residing in and active in our government and judiciary prior to FDR's reconstruction of the Supreme Court 1937-41. This was prior to the fraud of Everson v. Board of Education, 1947, when fellow travelers of the Soviet Communist system (ACLU attorney Leo Pfeffer, and Jurist Felix Frankfurter) worked with the Ku Klux Klansman Hugo Black, and a majority of jurists appointed by FDR to change the Constitution by changing the Court. Fraud was instituted as legal precedent and America lost sight of our Constitution. Can it be restored? I do not know -- but not without a struggle.

My position is gleaned from Robert Bork's works The Tempting of America andSlouching Toward Gomorrah and Philip Hamburger's Separation of Church and State; John Eidsmoe's The Christian Legal Advisor and Christianity and the Constitution; David Barton's Original Intent; Bernard Bailyn's Debate on the Constitution; Joseph Story's A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States and similar works.
-- unsigned

LOSING IT
Re: Shawn Macomber's Rumbles in the Granite State and David Hogberg's A Night at the Caucus:

Sitting up here in the cold north and just starting to thaw out, I must say I derived great pleasure by the trouncing of Dean in Iowa. It is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak winter. Sadly, I was unable to watch his descent into the absurd due to having to work nights to pay my Dean imposed state taxes (after all, I am retired from IBM and one of those "rich" people he likes to target, that is I make more than $10,000/yr.)

Is Dean finished or is this merely a bump in the road for him? As Shawn McComber pointed out, the key was how Dean handled defeat, especially a bad one like this. Dr. Dean is done, tout fini. It isn't the fact he lost the primary, it is the way he handled the loss. He has shown the nation what a lot of us thinking Vermonters have known for a long time up here. Dean is a very irrational person when things don't go his way. Just think of this person as having his fingers on the buttons of the biggest nuclear arsenal on earth or with the ability to affect the economy with a single mismove or statement. Imagine him in sensitive talks with another head of state and losing it. I think the Democrats in Iowa thought about that too and they sent Dean a message. That message is, "Get lost."
-- Pete Chagnon
Vermont

I have a feeling that Dean's scream may become his equivalent of Muskie's tears. If he can't control himself when he hits a bump on the road to the White House, how can he possibly control himself when he hits his first crisis as President?
-- Elizabeth Knott

After viewing several days of the ongoing circus and the clowns I pray more than ever than George Bush is reelected in November. The hate and vicious rhetoric that has been the sole platform of the democratic candidates is beyond understanding. John Edwards has been much more civil. Dean acts like he has gone over the edge and does not seem to be able to control his emotions. Kerry cannot be himself -- he has to rely solely on his past record in Vietnam. Yes, he is to be commended for his service record but that does not make him a better candidate for running the country. Clark is clueless. If Clark were ever to occupy the White House he would have to rely on his benefactors -- the Clintons -- to tell him what to do. Maybe that is the whole plan there. It just seems to me that they are more interested in occupying the White House than how they get there. It's too bad they couldn't run a clean, fact focusing caucus instead of the hate word-mongering and lies that show their true colors.
-- Jane
Connecticut

ROTTEN TO THE CORE
Re: Neil Hrab's An Apple a Day:

Neil Hrab's "An Apple a Day" brought back a lot of sad memories for me. Fifteen years ago I was a young agricultural economist working for a consulting firm when the Alar '"scandal" hit. A juice manufacturer hired our firm and I was assigned to do an economic impact study of the apple portion of the domestic fruit industry. It was an ugly scene.

Alar was an expensive product, and as Hrab pointed out, made apples look nice, and was used only by those farmers intending to put apples into the table fruit market. But the Natural Resources Defense Council's report, and the subsequent media coverage, cited again and again that children drank so much apple juice they could get multiples and factors of more exposure to this "dangerous" uhhhhh… "pesticide." (I actually saw it called that most of the time. For a while I even kept track of those media outlets that made, and then bothered to correct, this error. Few ever did.)

During this scare, parents stopped giving their children apple juice. It was months before "Certified Alar Free" stickers were distributed on apple juice bottles nationwide, but by then the damage was done and habits had changed. Parents no longer bought their children apple juice.

Most folks now are too far removed from farming and the way nature produces her delicious bounty to know the ins-and-outs of apple farming. So most do not know that the vast majority of apples are, well, ugly. Apple juice is made from "culls," the ugliest of the ugly apples. These still delicious apples are pressed to make equally delicious juice. Astute readers of The American Spectator can see where I am leading here.

Farmers who grew for the juice market did not spend money on Alar, a finishing product. The amount of Alar in apple juice at the time was in the parts per trillion. You'd have to drink an Atlantic Ocean of apple juice to get an exposure to Alar that would have made you slightly nauseated, even if you weighed five pounds.

The combination of people being bad at math and lacking common sense had terrible consequences, sadly not just for shareholders of Uniroyal, the manufacturer of Alar. Hundreds of small "mom and pop" farms in the states of Washington and Oregon went belly-up on the Alar scare. In addition, the small local banks that served these farmers as customers also had a few failures and near-failures. The economic wreckage was horrible.

I wrote my report, but no one ever read it. None of the media ever called me about my findings, always preferring another quote from some lunkhead at the NRDC. It was my first experience of Washington zeitgeist over reason, and left me cynical indeed about the cesspool on the Potomac.

I remember going to cocktail parties for months all over town and explaining to doe-eyed earnest young women over and over again that it was okay to give their pre-school students apple juice. But I was met with 100% open hostility and mistrust because the television reporter had said otherwise. Arguing from facts only raised incomprehension because the chain of logic was not reducible to the triumvirate sound bite Hrab identified: "apples, children, cancer." It was just horrible to keep discovering people you thought were otherwise intelligent could be so damn dumb. It was even worse when you were a bachelor trying to find dates. "Who is that guy?" "Some creep who want to kill our four year olds with apples. Keep away."

Since the NRDC held up the children as their "victim," I will respond in kind. For more than two years parents wrongly substituted less nutritious products for healthy apple juice when making choices for their children's diets. We are speaking of marginal health benefits in the aggregate here (I can't help this, I am an economist), but it still was a sub-optimal choice based on incorrect information and mis-handicapping of risks. Children would have been healthier drinking apple juice, and the NRDC is responsible for the diminution of their lives because of their spurious report.

I just pulled out a file copy of my report, and I think about those small independent farmers that had to sell out their apple orchards to a juice conglomerate at fire-sale prices and start life over again as someone's employee. All this after struggling to build a business, and following the part of the American dream of being their own boss and growing a product that is so innocent and so good for you, and for children too. They got whacked by the thugs at the NRDC just as thoroughly as by any hit man.

There is a word to describe those who lie. There is a word to describe those who do harm to the honest and the hardworking. There is a word to describe people who exploit innocent children. There is a word to describe those who mislead the simple. There is a word to describe those who commit a sin of omission by not finding out the truth and instead repeat lies. That word is: evil.

The people at the National Resources Defense Council and Fenton Communications who engineered the Alar scare are evil. There is just no other word to describe them.
-- James N. Ward
Paris, France

CALLING JIM RUSSMANN
Re: The Washington Prowler's Friends:

I would like to know who made the call for the appearance on the campaign trail. The reporter on Fox was interviewing the man who was telling the story of seeing Kerry's book in a book store. He said he looked at the section about the incident, but did not buy the book(?!) He said he went home and at about 6 o'clock in the morning he suddenly.... But the commercial time cut off the segment.

You say that he contacted the campaign, but it sounded to me that he was about to say he received a call from the campaign. I hate these set up "surprises" that turn out to be just set up for show. Do you know more of what happened to get this man to Iowa?
-- unsigned

BOSS VOTER
Re: David Hogberg's Wising Up to Dean:

Dean, but not he alone, is making the cardinal error of American politics: Fear may only be used as a component of a campaign toolchest if the threat is real, and close to the electorate. That has happened three times, 1812, 1860, 1941. Though the War on Terror is a real plausible threat, the electorate does not feel it in the gut, but have a reasoned attitude of the need and methods. Pandering to fears of a disaster does not work when the visible evidence, so far, is to the contrary.

As to Dean's swings in delivery, should we be surprised? No. We all deal in different methods of delivery in our everyday lives. That Dean should do the same is not an earth-shaking observation.

I find it odd, that politicians having the opportunity to review the messages that produced the landslide victory of Reagan, refuse to learn a few salient lessons:

• Most members of the electorate respond to messages that resonate with them as Americans first. Not the component of some perceived group.

• The electorate is deeply concerned with the futures that its children. Candidates that expand such opportunities places themselves above the fold.

• Americans like the "vision thing" whether they understand it or not. But is has to be positive.

• Election years, the Boss has his say. Failure to listen is not an option.

That Dean is ignorant enough to shout down a voter is clear evidence he does not know who the Boss is.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

UNIFORM PARTY
Re: Shawn Macomber's Dude, Where's My Candidate?:

When will writers and editors begin to make the distinction between a uniform and say, a costume. A uniform is what one wears with others to express or display a common identity. What Mr. Moore is seen in may be more accurately (although there may be an even better term) described as a costume.

Thank you.
-- R. Cone

OB-GYN McCARTHYISM
Re: George Neumayr's People Who Mislead People:

Your article, "People Who Mislead People" by George Neumayr, reveals a basic ignorance of the subject of abortion and residencies. Abortion is a form of surgery or a surgical procedure. In order for the Deans to have performed abortions as residents, they had to have been surgical residents, not medical residents, as they clearly were to become internists. If any big named physician in the political arena today that probably had to perform abortions is the Senate Majority Leader, Dr. Frist. Being a surgeon, he had to have gone through a mandatory rotation through OB-GYN where abortion is one among many GYN-related procedures. Perhaps we ought to look at his background instead.
-- Junok Ahn
Los Angeles, California

I can never understand why the Democrats who universally proclaim proudly that they're for "a woman's choice" deny ever being involved personally. If Dean did perform abortions, why is he not calling attention to all those "choices" he provided? This is hypocrisy at its height! Americans deserve to know and he should be confronted, if indeed he (and his wife) are abortionists, with queries of why he's not proud of them. This is another example of media bias -- they'd never let a GOP candidate get away with belonging to some exclusive country club!
-- K. P. Winterer
Beaufort, South Carolina

WHO READS YESTERDAY'S PAPERS?
Re: David Hogberg's Paranoia at the Des Moines Register:

Commenting on paranoia, actually it's right-wing SPIN that takes the place of the following reality:

There are no WMD.

There was no 9/11 connection to Iraq.

500 troops are DEAD and the needless count continues.

We're rushing out of Iraq because elections are coming.

"No child left behind" left 43,000 third graders behind in Florida this year.
-- Loretta Dabbs
Orlando, Florida

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