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Making Sense of It All

Nutso conservatism. The coarsening of America. The Tour de Lance. A letter from deepest provincial Old Europe. Plus much more.

7.30.03

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HIGHEST ACCOLADE
Re: Enemy Central's Milkman and the Coyote:

Clinton's going to look at his EOW award and think, "I've still got it!"
-- Mike Baron
Fort Collins, CO

FILL IN THIS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Lack of Intelligence:

I am offended at your comparing me to H. Dean and other Democrats running for office. I would appreciate it if you could find a better adjective than "born blank."
-- J. Blank

NUTSO FAST
Re: Jed Babbin's Are You Nuts?

Mr. Babbin overlooked perhaps the central stupidity of the report: its basis. If you wade through the document (only do this if you are suffering from insomnia), you will note that it is basically a meta-analysis of previous studies and the overwhelming majority of those studies are surveys of the feelings of college students in the U.S. and in other countries. Only a moron or a Berkeley psychiatrist (the latter is a subset of the former) would believe that you could understand a political philosophy or the leaders of a political movement by examining the views of college students who probably couldn't spell psychiatry, let alone Adorno.
-- Joel Margolis

Jed Babbin's call on the UC Berkeley study as to what makes a conservative fits in well with Ann Coulter's recent analysis in her book Treason. All one has to do is mirror image the complaints and allegations and it's easy to see the real problems of the left. It's just scary that deluded people -- who think that educational institutions are logical and that people calling themselves Democrats are not really socialist operatives under false colors -- believe the drivel that comes out of Berkeley (I do like the epithet "Berserkley" -- makes sense to me).
-- Cookie Sewell
Aberdeen, MD

Jed Babbin's article on the Berkeley psychiatry professors' pseudo-intellectual analysis of conservatives was very entertaining and informative. Jed probably is aware of this, but before the Cal shrinks listed Hitler and Mussolini as conservatives along with Rush Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan someone should have reminded them of what NAZI stands for. Hitler and Mussolini were just as serious about the socialism in "National Socialism" as they were about the nationalism. The American leader whose political and economic philosophies most closely resembles theirs was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a figure who I believe is still rather admired in Berkeley.
-- Dennis M. Duggan
Associate Professor of Medical Physics
Vanderbilt University

The worst part about these Democratic candidates [discussed by Jed Babbin] is that there are people who actually agree with them. According to folks like Mr. Graham, there's nothing wrong with being anal retentive (AR) or obsessive compulsive (OC). In fact, if I was to train myself like Senator Graham, I could force myself to be AR/OC -- for the good of this country if I could get elected.

I too was raised on a farm but I guess I could never aspire to become an elected politician (at least a senator) since my daddy never taught me to write down which room I changed my drawers in or did my laundry.
-- Stu Margrey
Denton, MD

Her Royal Clintoness was correct, you know, when she once referred to us conservatives as the "vast right-wing conspiracy." We are right and we are vast, but only when compared to the half-vast left-wingers. Great article, JB!
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, NY

Thank you for making me laugh out loud this morning. You have made my day.
-- E. Sulecki

CRUZ CONTROL
Re: The Washington Prowler's You Heard It Here

NOT SO FAST!! Republican candidates for the top job in California are in a real bind. Davis has them in a corner. True, the Democrat code, demonstrated time and time again, has been never show weakness when faced with proof of dishonesty, lying, corruption, or incompetence, never resign, and just tough it out. If Davis breaks that code (as Torricelli did in New Jersey) and resigns, he can obviate the need for a recall election and do it at his whim. As soon as Davis realizes (if he hasn't already) that he can't win, he'll begin to negotiate his "severance" package. Once that is done and at a time when he any his party believe that the Republicans have committed maximum resources, Davis will resign. He'll turn the state over to Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who will continue to do to California what Davis has done except there will be many new replacement individuals who will be rewarded. The California constitution has provisions for succession which supersede any recall methodology. Bustamante will be governor long before any of the named Republicans.
-- unsigned

UNPRETTY PICTURES
Re: Reid Collins' Let's Not Go to the Videotape:

Reid Collins concludes: "...if the Iraqi beneficiaries of this don't want to believe the collateral proofs, let them maunder on in their fantastical world. We needn't have changed ours for this."

It appears to be easy for Mr. Collins to project his, and most of our, attitudes and values garnered from a lifetime of relative comfort in a free society, upon the Iraqi people and conclude that they live "fantastical" lives. All of us have fantasies and pleasant ones at that, that may even include five gallon bowls of Ben & Jerry's with a side of, say, one of the Fox news men/women, but I dare say the average Iraqi, during three decades of oppression, was happy to fantasize that today his family would not be visited upon by a member of the regime.

I think they needed and deserved pictures of the death of their nightmares and may they have fantasies as pleasant as ours in the future. In fact, as long as I used the Fox example, I seem to recall reading that many of them were quite elated to have access to Fox on their newly available satellite dishes. :-)
-- Mark Hessey
Belmar, NJ

Reid Collins makes one error in his description of the firefight in which Uday and Qusay were killed.

The room in which they held up for 4-6 hours was indeed fortified. It had three to four foot thick walls and it took 10 TOW missiles to whittle them down. If I'm not mistaken, FoxNews reported the walls were reinforced concrete.

They were also very heavily armed, had close to $100 million in cash and were carrying documents of some sort.

That's some "private home."
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

Gee, I dunno. I was pretty pleased to learn that Romania's dictator (my spelling of his name is so bad that I could not find it on my search engine) and his doxey had been greased live on national television in order to document their termination as Eastern Euro communism muted.

I am pretty sure that the Founders did not cast off Old Europe in order to end gaping at dead monsters, given that we had public hangings into the 1930's.

There is much to recommend public executions to this day: object lessons, commerce, and public satisfaction that the government actually does something useful.
-- Kirk Lockwood
Houston, Texas

TOUR DE LANCE
Re: Happy Feder's The Greatest Spectacle in Racing:

I have been trying, without much success, to explain to my wife the majesty and greatness of the Tour de France, especially this one, which is the most compelling one I've seen. Tonight, I will show her Happy Feder's column which has succeeded in putting into words feelings that I've had but been unable to express for so many years.
-- Elliot Ganz

The beauty of Ullrich is that he will not whine and demand a change in protocol as did the golfer who turned in the wrong score card.

Seems there is more honor among these competitors than the world media would have us believe.

Thanks for the story. I had read the details before, but you put it so beautifully.
-- Jan

TOO TRUE
Re: Rael Jean Isaac's Our Witch Trials:

My Father in Law was accused about fifteen years ago by three of his five daughters of sexual abuse when they were very small. They all had gone through "counseling" where they suddenly had recovered memories of abuse. Because the accusation was made by several women, many presume he was guilty. My wife and one of her sisters do not believe any of the charges. My wife thinks perhaps one of the daughters was possibly abused by a tenant at their house. One of the other accusers comes up with stories about sex with animals and also claims to remember my wife being abused.

The accusers tried to coerce my wife into supporting their claim with an ambush counseling session where they removed any voice, including mine, who might disagree. My wife is tough and can stand alone against a group when necessary, so their effort was unsuccessful. Now one of the accusers has recanted, one has hedged her accusation, and one is estranged from the family.

My Father in Law was a good guy. He died two years ago and had a huge funeral attended by the many people whom he had helped over the years. He may have been naïve about some of the guys he allowed to live in his house when he was trying to help them get their lives together, but he did not deserve the tragedy that the "counselors" brought to his family.
-- Name Withheld

TORPEDOED THOMAS
Re: Fortney's Complaint

Can anyone imagine Democrats apologizing for their lies and obstructionism? Can anyone imagine true bipartisan behavior by Democrats?

No, no one can! So what has Bill Thomas done that he should apologize for? Absolutely nothing, instead he should be lauded! As John Paul Jones said, "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead".
-- G.B. Hall
Montgomery, AL

DON'T GIVE ME LIBERIA
Re: John Corry's Why We Are Going to Liberia:

No. This is a bottomless pit. If a past connection to America is grounds for U.S. intervention, why aren't Marines patrolling the streets of Belfast, or Londonderry? Why are we supposed to care more about Africa than Africans do? The satisfaction of contradicting the loony left and the "civil rights" boo-hoo brigade -- who are immune to facts, let alone shame -- is not worth the loss of American lives.

Want to do the Africans a favor? Leave them alone to work out their own destiny.
-- Martin Owens
Sacramento, CA

THE VIEW FROM OLD EUROPE
Re: Lawrence Henry's We Used to Have a Deal:

Mr. Henry makes some very pertinent remarks -- but sadly, his historical analysis shows a small blind spot: the 35 year period between WWII and the 1983 attacks by Hezbollah in Lebanon. This gap is all the more noticeable, because it contradicts his thesis: "We Americans were merrily minding our own business, until, out of the blue, WHAM!!!! These evil Muslim/Hezbollah **** whacked us." The sad point is, that both the U.S. and Europe, after WWII, took sides in the war in the Middle East, favoring the fledgling state of Israel. Different reasons for this involvement exist, one of the most important ones being of course our sense of pity, yes of guilt even, for the Holocaust. In order for this not to happen again, the Jews needed a state of their own. Sad thing, of course, was that the land we so generously granted them -- I'm being sarcastic now -- was someone else's: the Palestinians. And so, of all peoples living in former European protectorates or colonies, the Palestinians were the only people who were expected to live with ethnic cleansing and a massive land grab, in which they lost 78 % of their country to Israel. These losses would have never taken place if it hadn't been for massive financial and military support from western countries, mainly the U.S. Even in the Six-Day War, in 1967, most westerners accepted Israel's reasoning for their pre-emptive "first strike." They did not, however, grant the state of Israel the right to keep its new conquered lands. The Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and the (Syrian) Golan Heights have never been accepted by the west. Until that time, both U.S. and European policies towards the Middle East conflict ran parallel courses.

Things changed from the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Both the U.S. and Europe went into that one with the same sympathetic mindset towards Israel. Both received a harsh wake-up call: the Arabs closed off the oil taps. So both now suddenly faced a similar problem. By that time however, there was a well-established and very influential Muslim minority in Europe, and an equally influential and very vocal Jewish minority in the U.S. So when the Arabs closed their oil taps, we see a different policy adopted in Europe and the U.S. In European countries -- also under the influence of the recent wave of decolonization -- governments made a simple maths exercise. On the one hand, there's 4 million Israelis, who bring us nothing, quite on the contrary, they come regularly cap in hand asking for money. On the other hand, there's 1 billion Muslims, who also control the oil wells -- which we can't do without. Mmmm? Hello? Why not give up our bias liking for Israel, and soften our -- indeed to some extent racist -- attitudes against the Muslims? The response the European countries took, therefore, was a change of politics, becoming more equitable.

In the U.S., however, not the political option was chosen. Instead, Henry Kissinger -- not coincidentally a Jewish American -- came up with a geopolitical strategy based on the expansion of military power of the U.S. in the Middle East. Or, as he put it: "Oil is too important an issue to leave up to the Arab world." That the U.S. militarily taking over and "pacifying" the Middle East also happens to be the wet dream of the state of Israel, and the worst nightmare of all Muslim countries, strangely did not seem to concern the "gentile" U.S. political world. Instead of softening its approach of the Muslim world, as the Europeans had done, the U.S. went instead to a hardening of its stance, being ever more dragged in besides Israel, and therefore, being perceived by the Muslim world as racist, biased, imperialist, and what have you. So in 1983, when the marines landed in Beirut, any initial naive optimism of local Muslims, that the Americans where there to drive the Israelis back to their own country, only took some days to unravel. From that moment onwards, the U.S. position has been one of a flight forwards.

Terrorism against Israel is viewed in Washington as terrorism against the U.S. Which causes bewilderment in Europe: since when is Israel one of the U.S. states? Did we miss something? Increasingly too, Europeans start to look down on U.S. foreign policy, which it fundamentally perceives as really stupid, not to say moronic. I mean, are you incapable of making the same arithmetic as us? 4,000,000 vs. 120,000,000 (in the meantime)? In Europe too, the U.S. reaction to 9/11 is perceived to be exemplary for what is wrong with the US: its FUNDAMENTAL inability, due to nationalism, to apply soul-searching, yes even auto criticism, towards its policies, and to learn from its -- and other people's -- mistakes. U.S. reaction against terrorism always seems to be exclusively repressive: "find terrorists -- kill terrorists," search-and-destroy all over again. Sadly, you tried that in Vietnam, and it didn't work, now did it? The Israelis too have been doing it since the 1970s, so for more than THIRTY YEARS -- and still, the situation does not improve, it only seems to worsen, doesn't it? But do you even reflect on those things? Hell no! Result? Yes, you will kill large numbers of terrorists -- but in fighting the Muslim world, you will only create more. You will chop of one head, only to watch 10 new ones popping up in its place.

Now we Europeans in general are NOT your enemies, and are NOT anti-American, whatever that **** idiot Rumsfeld might want to make you believe. We do NOT want another 9/11. And we're not wimps who say you may not kill terrorists, either. But the only way to stop new 9/11's is for you cretins to do something about your moronic foreign policy, doing Israel's dirty work, and exposing yourself to the entire world -- Europe included -- as beast in favor of an occupier. Occupying someone's land is wrong, whoever does it, even western-style democracies.
-- Roel Slachmuylders

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