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The Evergreen Syndrome

The tragedy of Rachel Corrie. Plus: Leapfrogging the French. So long, U.N. Go Army -- or Marines? Oscar weenies. Plus more.

3.19.03

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SHE WAS SO YOUNG
Re: George Neumayr's Self-Inflicted Tragedy:

Great writing -- but you might have cited the picture of Rachel Corrie with a facsimile of a burning American flag, "teaching" Arab kids, with an absolutely ungodly facial expression contorted full of absolute rage and hate. And they call her a peace activist when she's sponsored by the Palestinian groups?

Oh, yeah, another thing: one-third of the Evergreen College seniors couldn't find the Pacific Ocean on a map or globe -- 50% couldn't find the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean. Sad commentary.
-- Geoff Brandt

It is totally true about Rachel's models. Every man of integrity must feel a twinge of guilt that he may inspire others to like foolishness. Luckily, soulless drones like you will always be in the majority, beating the drum of rational self-interest, terse American prose, and representational art to draw the rest of us back and keep us safe. I envy the disambiguity of your self-assuredness and the assertive, thoughtless clarity of your vision. The Buddha also, as a child, lived in a world without awareness of the weight of personal responsibility or the fact of human suffering. May your ignorance bring you untroubled sleep, and your cowardice a long life.
-- James D. Newman

I respect and appreciate what you are doing for our country by giving us clearly written wise writings during these difficult and chaotic times. I am angered by what Corrie did, although I am more angered by those who were guiding her, as you pointed out. What a tragedy to lose her life at such a young age for such a silly purpose. She obviously had courage which could have been used to much better purposes. It truly is a tragedy. I think she was too young to realize what she was doing. Too young and sheltered from the hardships of life enough to realize that she really could get hurt.

I can relate to her, in a way. In my early 20's I went to live in San Francisco for a quarter of school. I was surrounded by gay people. Guess what, many of us students (approx. 1/3), came to identify ourselves as gay as a result of the exposure to open acceptance of homosexuality we experienced there. It was all around us and it was talked about all the time. I ended up living that lifestyle for approximately four years. It became a living hell. I got into therapy and got out. I joined the Catholic Church several years later in response to the healing I experienced in therapy. Ironically, the Church is more liberal than any Protestant church I ever attended here in the Pacific Northwest, but that's another story. In retrospect, I wish someone had told me that it was possible to transcend homosexuality during the time that I was struggling. Everyone just told me that it was "who I was." I think Corrie's situation was similar. She was so young. It makes me very very sad. She didn't know what she was doing. Like me, she was surrounded by suffocating narcissism so that she could not see it in herself. She had not lived long enough to come to the end of herself so that she could search for a deeper way to live. Now, she will never have that chance. I hold those who misguided her more responsible for her death.
-- Mary Grace Miller
Tacoma, WA

LEAPFROGGERS
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's The French, The French:

I always enjoy reading the Mason/Felder columns, but this one on the French was absolutely the greatest!!!! Keep up the good work.
-- unsigned

When you think about it even France has at least one redeeming quality. Were it not for Chirac and company a lot of people might still think the U.N. was an organization worthy of some respect. We should be grateful that France has done such a good job revealing what the U. N. is all about because it might motivate us to get out of that immoral, anti-Semitic swamp land.
-- Dick Melville
Ozone Park, NY

U.N.-AMERICAN
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s The Last International:

What's next for the U.N.? The Internationalists should do a condo conversion of the property located at the East River and 42nd Street.
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, IL

It is about time that the irrelevance of the U.N. is plain for all to see, and the perfect time for Bill Clinton to be named Secretary General.

The only downside is that Boy Bill will be prowling the streets of NYC with diplomatic immunity!
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, PA

OSCAR WEENIES
Re: The Washington Prowler's Motion Pinko Arts and Sciences:

I'm glad to see that the Hollywood pinkos are being overt in their plans to protest the war on the Academy Awards program. I wouldn't have watched it anyway, but this may convince many who would have watched it to change their mind. Thanks, Hollywood, for the pre-warning. I wish you would be that honest and forthcoming in stating that you are left-wing commies and always will be. I also vow to never watch any movie that any actor or actress makes if I can identify them as communists.
-- Bobby Cackler

"On Sunday night, the Academy Awards will allow all winners to make a political speech -- if they choose to do so -- of between 45 seconds and one minute in length."

Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, NY

Those uneducated and misguided folks just do not recognize the mindset of the American people. You know, those of us who don't throw tantrums in public -- the "little" people. We are supposed to listen to individuals who make their living by pretending to be someone else, and who may have completed high school -- but rarely hold a degree from a university. They use their notoriety as a forum and try to force us to listen to their inane media rantings.

Susan: Can you spell R-A-G-E?

The time has come for you who do not like the manner in which our nation defends itself to shut up or get out.

When you were all kissing up to the clintons (no mistake in spelling) we sat and took it. We walked out of some of your movies, but we were quiet about your behavior.

George W. Bush is now our President. (Thank God!) He is a fine man. He has integrity, moral fiber (I know you aren't getting this), propriety, is responsible, and is greatly respected by the majority of us out here in the real world.

Get over it!

We are beginning to opt to forego the cinematic appearances of those "stars" who do not love America and use the freedoms they enjoy to trash our President and our country, to cause division in these United States, to undermine our military, and to offend Americans. They also insult and vilify anyone who may disagree or question them.

We are fed up with their posturing and spewing forth of ineffectual, ignorant and infantile opinions which have nothing to do with truth or fact.

Many citizens will not watch the "Awards"; many will begin, and then turn off this disgusting "show" of disloyalty ; and in time the industry hiring such babblers will suffer.
-- Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Hawley
Corona, CA

DESERT STORMERS
Re: Jed Babbin Going Downtown:

This ol' former Marine -- Korea 1952 -- wants to thank you for your commentary re the Marines and their action past and present in Iraq.

Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are!
-- Ken Wyman
Huntsville, AL

While I certainly agree with the bulk of Mr. Babbin's sentiments in his article today, I am flabbergasted by the gratuitous and incorrect characterization of the role of the Army and Marine Corps in Desert Storm. He states that the Marines left the Army in its tracks and that is demonstrably and factually wrong. His comments are an unnecessary slur on the courageous men and women of the Army and did not contribute to the main thrust of his article. In Desert Storm, the Marines had a limited capability to maneuver and were it not for the Army's Tiger Brigade which did, in fact, have to wait repeatedly for the Marines, they would still be slogging through the sand. The rest of the Army forces, where I commanded a mechanized infantry/tank task force, fought a 300-mile battle against the Republican Guards and enveloped Kuwait just as planned and ordered. The services have great respect for each other and their respective strengths. It's a shame that Mr. Babbin allowed his apparent personal bias to impugn the courage and pending sacrifices of a large portion of our military force in the Gulf.
-- Col. (Ret) Stephen Smith

Jed Babbin replies: If what I said was incorrect, I will gladly retract it and apologize. However, I have been told what I said in that piece by both Army and Marine sources. I cannot claim first-hand knowledge, because I was not on the scene. I have no anti-Army bias, and am well aware of the courageous and rapid fighting that the Army -- especially the tankers -- engaged in during the Gulf War. As I recall, they had a 98% shot/kill ratio, which is probably the best any tank force has ever had.

GENDER LOCKS
Re: Kevin McGehee's letter ("Male Man") in Reader Mail's Mixed Signals:

Kevin McGehee misses my point. In discussing whether or not Hillary Clinton stood a chance of (a) getting the Democratic nomination for President and (b) beating George W. Bush in the election, I was not comparing Democrat voters and Republican voters. Rather, I was comparing female voters and male voters. Go back and reread my comment and see if this isn't the case.

As for the Democrats not being able to attract male voters, "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn" if the Dems lose all their male voters. There are quite a few responsible female voters out there who would more than take up the slack. But I'd take Kev's conclusion with a grain of salt, since he apparently based it on what he has learned from "Big Media." I wouldn't even rely on finding out what day it is based on "Big Media."

To restate my "thesis" for Mr. McGehee's benefit, and all others similarly situated, Hillary appeals to women voters in the same manner that Dubya repelled women voters in 2000, and it's possible, although perhaps not likely, that enough of them will vote for her regardless of party affiliation to slip her into the White House (again) in January, 2005, along with Slick Willie and hopefully all the silverware, dishware, and other "souvenirs" she swiped in 2001.

And finally, to assuage any member of the female persuasion who might construe my remarks as chauvinist, nothing could be farther from the truth. The problem isn't with the ladies, God bless 'em, but with the "gentlemen" who just can't seem to understand that women are different. Well, pardon my French, but "Viva la Difference!"
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, TX

FLY BY
Re: James Bowman's Air Force Academics:

Mr. Bowman states that in today's Air Force, women are not allowed to fly warplanes. Not so. Our unit, an F-16 wing of the Air National Guard, has a female fighter pilot -- who, incidentally, was first in her flight training class.
-- Neal B. Kirkpatrick, Lieutenant Colonel
Staff Judge Advocate
188 Fighter Wing
Arkansas Air National Guard

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