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Counting Our Losses

Prevailing after Nine Eleven. Chuckles the Junior. A Dean backer. Heavenly cats. Plus much more.

9.12.03

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STIRRING AND POIGNANT
Re: the Special Report, "We Shall Prevail":

The remarks by Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson -- whose wife was brutally taken from him in the 9/11 attack two years ago -- are both stirring and poignant.

In commenting upon the depth and intensity of the inhuman rage that propelled the attackers is simply incomprehensible to us, Mr. Olson calls each of us to duty: "We must commit ourselves to [eradicating] the disease that killed [the victims], wherever it is and however long is takes ... [to seek] the end of blind, ruthless, random brutality, and the tears of orphaned children, the screams of hideously burned bodies, and the numbing grief that terrorism delivers.... We do not have to be a president, soldier, attorney general, prosecutor or intelligence agent to wage this battle and win this war. Everyone of us, in little ways, in thoughts and words and spirit, can pull an oar, however small or seemingly slight. Each of us can make a difference." Indeed we can.

Much of the terrorists' propaganda edge overseas derives from the ease with which they impale our cultural degradation over the last forty years. Maybe it is time for American men to encourage American women to focus their efforts on a return to the modesty, dignity and self respect of an earlier era.

Most of the currently glamorized excesses -- self-mutilation, trashy public conduct, and clothing choices typical of a prostitute -- can be traced to influence deliberately exerted by the Cry Baby Boom elite. Clearly they were wrong to walk away from responsible behavior beginning in the sixties in the fatuous pretense they were somehow "liberating" themselves. That infantile, self-centered nonsense has lead directly to increasing hatred of America abroad and a fertile recruiting ground for terrorist extremists who continue to get a lot of mileage portraying America as "the great Satan."

Women are naturally heroic. They guard the gates of a society's morality. When they abandon that heroic duty, everyone suffers.
-- Thomas E. Stuart
Kapa'au, HI

DEAN MARKING
Re: Andrew Simmons's Phoning It In:

Andrew is correct, there is not flash and dash from these teleconference calls. Dean is the no personality candidate. We are voting for a person who will do what he says he will. A person with good ideas, A person with a proven track record. A person who can balance the budget. A thinker, A doer. Not an empty suit or a professional politician. He is a Chief Executive Candidate. Go on line, read his résumé, view his past record. He is a little slow on the draw sometimes, stutters a little. Sometimes he is a fire breathing dragon, sometimes he ain't. He is not canned, not practiced, not well rehearsed. He is an Honest old New England Doctor. An EX-governor of Vermont. A solid true American boy done good. How could he possibly be the wrong candidate?
-- Jerry Stone
Merced, CA

CHOOSE AGAIN
Re: Paul Weyrich's Practicing School Choice:

Of course there is an elitist attitude in Congress for school choice. Just as there is an elitist attitude when it comes to health care. What is good enough for Congress and thousands upon thousands of federal employees (and apparently works) is not good enough for the general public which will get another dose of distorted Medicare -- including enough incentives for companies to withdraw benefits they now offer to their retirees.

It would be good for you to elaborate on this, too.
-- J.V. Reed

JUNIOR CHUCK
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Butchered by Schumer:

We all know what Schumer is all about. But he is only one Democratic Senator. There are 48 other worthless, non-thinking, lockstep "leaders" who do not question the position. Not even one of these great Democrats has the smarts or integrity to honestly address the Estrada nomination as it actually is. The really dangerous aspect of this is that this represents the thinking of one of our once great parties of the American two-party system. Can the Democratic Party survive run by such appalling stupidity.
-- Bill Kiehl
Mt. Vernon, VA

I applaud Mr. Tyrrell's clear observations on the Estrada lynching. The solution is twofold:

(1) Vote rascals like Schumer out of office. That is the best approach, or (2) Under Article III Section 1 Congress has the power to enact lower courts, including appellate. That also implies that Congress has the power to eliminate the same courts. I would suggest that the House initiate such an action. The Republicans hold enough of a majority there to make the Dems squirm. The bonus is that this puts the Judiciary on notice that its current imperialism can be checked if only the Congress has the guts to do it.

Some may decry this as naked power politics. But quite honestly, what is the difference from what we just experienced for Mr. Estrada?
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, TX

I often wonder why Schumer's knickers are in such a twist and then I remember that he is in the back seat of the two-seater from New York and he's playing second fiddle to a legal whiz that can't find billing records and loves to stand by her man and is headed for the White House (in her own mind).
-- Stu Margrey
Denton, MD

Right on. Please refer to this nut as the junior senator from New York. He knows it, the Senate knows it, the press knows it, so we should brand him with his accepted title.
-- Bill Freeman

POLE SITTER
Re: Jed Babbin's Lessons Learned and Not:

I'd caution Mr. Babbin not to see the Zogby poll on President Bush as "approval/disapproval" or positive and negative since it asks those participating to register their view as excellent, good, fair and poor.

The other polls usually ask definitely or somewhat approve/disapprove. Many other pollsters and pundits have pointed out that in the approve/disapprove model the "fair" in Zogby's poll would be in the approve column as "somewhat approves."

I also never see a breakdown from Zogby as to how many responded "fair" so I can better judge for myself if those saying "fair" are still approving of Bush's job performance.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

PURRING WITH THE ANGELS
Re: Lawrence Henry's Genie, the Bi-Coastal Cat :

Your story about Genie made me smile and then made me cry. Our family has lost pets that have been our pals for many years and we all were depressed for some time.

Cindy was my oldest son's cat, a black sweetie who could change into a tiger if another cat or dog sat in her place. She lived for Mike, he was her person and everyone knew that, but sometimes when he was not home for a while she would lower herself to sit on another's lap.

At the age of eighteen, she was failing and Mike had spent a week giving her liquid by I.V. and then on Thursday decided that the time had come for Cindy to rest. He phoned his sister, who is a vet tech and asked if she would help him on Saturday to let Cindy go. She said, yes, of course.

Then on Friday night, Mike was lying on the couch and Cindy crawled up to his neck and snuggled in, and passed away. He was so upset, he phoned his sister and she came over and got Cindy to take her to the vet's for cremation. He was sobbing and felt terrible that he had not known she was so bad, but Chrissy, who has been at the leaving of many, many pets at work, told him he had been honored with the greatest trust an animal can give a human as animals go hide away to die, and to have her give him the trust and love to quietly leave while being stroked and talked by him was a gift she gave him. We still look for her when we go to his house, the silly black character!
-- Carole

Mr. Henry reminded me of the loss of my own beloved cat, Elliott. I was in tears for three weeks. Somewhat shamefacedly (is that a word?), I confess to having wept more over the loss of Elliott than the loss of the human members of my family.
-- Jenny Woodward
Bloomington, IN

Please send Mr. Henry my condolences. Losing a loved cat is a grief unlike any other. The only consolation is that we withstand bereavement better than they do, and it is better that we outlive them.
-- Alexandra Haropulos

Thank You. Your story reminded me of two dear old friends Skeeter and Bunky. Both were useless lumps of fur and I miss them both greatly.
-- Karl G. Bergquist
Indianapolis, IN

Lawrence Henry replies: Thanks for your lovely letters about Genie. I'm off today to get a new cat, the best possible therapy. He's a great big (21 pound!) male with a sweet temperament, but as unlike Genie as possible otherwise.

NATIONAL DAY OF HORROR
Re: Paul Beston's Have We Forgotten Yet?

The lesson of 9/11 was simple enough to conservatives and libertarians outside of Manhattan, DC, and Hollywood: A wholly incompetent trillion dollar central intelligence apparatus, despite numerous warnings from the forefathers, was revealed to be yet another gubmint boondoggle. It was the federal government who insured 9/11 when the FAA made passenger planes defense free zones in the 1970s. And rather than strip pensions and fire incompetent national security employees (just what is it that you do for work, Ms. Rice?), the entire establishment blamed it all on minimum wage baggage handlers.

The thirty-year campaign by extra-Constitutional Executive Agencies to wrest the responsibility of self-defense from the citizens, culminated on three airplanes, where the passengers simply hoped it was "just a hijacking." Just as jocks and teachers ran for the lives in the halls of Columbine (as the federalis' SWAT teams hid in the parking lot) rather than tackle two skinny shot-gun wielding teens, the disarmed passengers were led to their own slaughter.

Well, as usual, the guilt of the establishment will be paid for in the blood and treasure from the citizens of the country and boys and girls from Wisconsin and West Virginia (how noble.)

National Day of Horror? Perhaps to the feminized members of society. To the Americans in fly-over country, 9/11 is a reminder that the spirit of real America was alive and well on Flight 93 9/11/2001, in a farmer's field somewhere in Pennsylvania -- never to be forgotten.
-- C. Bowen

Paul Beston replies: I'll stick with "horror" as my descriptor, as I had a closer view of the events that day than television could provide you hardy souls in fly-over country.

THE OTHER IRAN
Re: Jed Babbin's Two Burning Fuses:

While much of your editorial piece contains useful reviews of the current situation in Iran and N. Korea, I feel that your over-simplification of Iran's quest for nuclear weapons does a disservice to your readers. Don't forget that much of Iran is educated and fairly middle class and views the West somewhat favorably. The CIA engineered coup in 1953 led the way for Islamic fundamentalists to capture the governing in Iran. We cannot make the same mistake again. We must judiciously support the rise of a secular government in Iran to counter the current Islamic-based government and then let Iran become a beacon for freedom and liberty in the Middle East (much as we should have done in 1953). N. Korea is, unfortunately, a very different case. I have no real ideas of what to do other than to marshal Russia and China to help the U.S. contain N. Korea's nuclear plans.
-- Jerry Wonnacott

ACT LIKE A PATRIOT
Re: Paul Weyrich's The Assisi Cabal:

Unfortunately for the Attorney General, we must make do without the so-called "Patriot Act."

What a name! What an illusion. In fact, what a lie.

For twenty five years as a Officer of Marines I pledged my solemn oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States ..."; the contents of this act fly squarely in the face of our great Constitution.

If used properly, our laws, our military and our police forces will protect us. That is, if we have the will.

This "Patriot" Act offers us little more than the slippery slope to an
Orwellian police state.
-- Mark E. Medvetz
Henniker, NH

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