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Green States

Vermont Fox country. Un-Sahhaf at any speed. Feminists' new eye on the military. Plus much more.

4.10.03

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FOX VERMONT
Re: Bill Croke's The Red Green Mountain State:

I'm a native of Plainfield, Vermont, writing to comment on Bill Croke's "Special Report" entitled "The Red Green Mountain State." Perhaps you employ "special" rules for journalism, but Bill's "reporting" seems to have begun and ended at the Fox website.

Outside of Bill Croke's computer it is now acknowledged that Fox and other media outlets, including one major Vermont television station, picked up on an early, unsubstantiated, and inaccurate report and ran with it. For verification of this point, see any of the many followup stories in the local papers via their websites. (I have several URLs here but I will leave finding them as an exercise.)

The differing details are not particularly significant, though the truth certainly appears to be much less dramatic than Croke suggests.

It's no secret that Vermont is a largely -- though by no means completely -- liberal state, and it's clear that Croke has a grudge against the state's liberalism. Regurgitating the erroneous Fox News report is merely a hook on which to hang a generic and dull anti-liberal rant.

If there is a hate crime to be prosecuted here, of course Vermont's Judiciary will take it seriously, and it's needlessly disrespectful of Croke to imply otherwise. The fact that there are no charges, no witnesses, and no evidence are really the salient points. Even the ladies in the beauty salon across the street with a good view of the parking lot -- red diaper babies in Croke's book, no doubt -- say they didn't see any attack.

Ultimately, the really astounding thing is how many others around the country have parroted the initial report just as Croke did. In a sense I am responding to that at well. Surely if liberalism is such a threat there is better material to work with than erroneous reports about a handful of teenagers in a tiny town?

I knew one of the men on Flight 175 who lost his life on September 11. And right now my nephew is stationed overseas, waiting to be shipped to Kuwait to support this war. We all have a stake in this. Croke's reactionary politics and inadequate reporting do nothing for our country, the world, or the cause of freedom.

I hope that you are honest people capable of hearing my message -- I hope that these words do not fall on deaf ears.

Sincerely,
-- Paul Bissex

I was alternately amused and appalled by Bill Croke's article about the state of affairs in Vermont. We can all be grateful, from his description, that the state has only one vote in Congress. I found it interesting that Mr. Croke's current residence is listed as Cody, Wyoming. I would bet the farm that he faces none of the lefty-loony antics there.
-- Warren Mowry

I thoroughly enjoyed Bill Croke's piece on Vermont, the California of the Northeast.

Only in a Vermont can an admitted socialist like Bernie Sanders win re-election year after year without folks even batting an eye.
-- Chris Lilik
Duquesne Law School
Pittsburgh, PA

MICHAEL KELLY, R.I.P.
Re: Jeremy Lott's A Principled Man:

Here's something from my favorite Kelly dispatch. Shortly after Sinatra died in '98 he wrote a column about American cool and how Archie Goodwin, not Sinatra, was the embodiment. Name me one single reporter today who would (could) reference Archie Goodwin.

Re Kelly's life? Archie's boss, Nero Wolf, says it all: "Satisfactory"
-- Tom Spongberg
Alexandria, VA

STRICT REGIME MAN
Re: The Washington Prowler's Regime Change's Little Dictator:

Am I behind the history power curve or is it just Sen. Kerry? I believe that a regime change has started and is still in progress in this country. It started in Congress in 1994. Since there are three branches of our government (still working on the Judicial regime change), it will take more time than if we had a monarchy/dictator. Oh yea, I guess we'll have that (dictator) once Hillary is elected queen. God save the country from that.
-- Quentin C. Holtz

POLITICALLY HOT
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Saddam's Malvolio:

Should Mr. Al-Sahhaf not be killed or indicted for crimes against humanity I submit he has an excellent career ahead of him as a spokesman for any of the Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination or even as chairman of the DNC. Consider the following:

1. No ties to Enron, Global Crossing, Halliburton or any other (American) corporate interests.

2. He has never defrauded a American union of its pension fund.

3. The candidate he campaigned for most recently obtained 100% of the
vote.

4. He is ethnic.

5. His ability to say anything with a straight face would serve him well as John Kerry's spokesman as Kerry flip-flops his way through the nominating process.

6. His stance on the U.S. war with Iraq makes him ideologically compatible with Howard Dean.

With all the sincerity due the suggestion,
-- Robert Metzler

I'm sorry, but Mr. al-Sahhaf already has many employment opportunities. He is not as shrill -- but certainly as well informed -- as Eleanor Clift and may well replace her. Further, the DNC, ever looking for folks of al-Sahhaf's talent and caliber, may be first in line with a large bag of cash. They'll need many more people with al-Sahhaf's facility with the language. There may be opposition (of course, the Dems oppose I>everything), because al-Sahhaf and his colleagues have made Dem leadership look, well, even sillier than usual. So, following up on a recent theme, if the DNC doesn't hire al-Sahhaf, I hear that he is a sure thing to be hired to ghost write Senator Clinton's novel.
-- unsigned

As the wanna' be agent for "Baghdad Bob," my first choice wouldn't be "Crossfire." It would be: "Live from Baghdad -- it's SATURDAY NIGHT..."
-- Mike Horn
Tracy, CA

BRING ME MEN
Re: Jed Babbin's Stalingrad and Tailhook's Daughter and Francis X. Rocca Standing for Old-Fashioned Etiquette:

Your indulgence please as I comment briefly on two seemingly distinct yet, as I hope to demonstrate, related American Prowler articles in the same letter.

I appreciate Signor Rocca's disappointment in the dearth of manners exhibited by so many men today. Yet despite the dirty looks often sent my way by other men when I offer a seat to a lady on a bus, I remind myself of the rule I learned many years ago: Unless he be elderly or infirm a gentleman never sits while a lady is standing.

My instruction in this rule began at a very early age, but was reinforced by Mrs. Gail McComas, Social Director for Cadets at the Air Force Academy during my time there some thirty years ago. She taught us to be gentlemen. Now, in reference to Secretary Babbin's article, any genuine sexual misconduct toward female cadets is to be excoriated; the Academy does not tolerate unlawfulness. But the zeal with which some critics are approaching the issue needs to be tempered with a calm assessment of all the facts surrounding these allegations. Unfortunately Secretary Roche's reactions have been excessive, and I don't understand General Jumper's eagerness to embrace them. Photographs of the removal of the "Bring Me Men" sign over the main entrance to the cadet area are making their way over the Internet to many of the alumni. It is not going over well. To me, it just seems so cowardly and craven, so...unmanly.
-- Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, NJ
(USAFA '75)

The hell of it is, the same sense of honor and propriety that motivated PFC Jessica Lynch's rescuers is likely to deny us access to the lessons that might well be learned from this incident.

In deference to Private Lynch and her family, we will almost certainly refrain from the honest, detailed public discussion of the thing. As Mr. Babbin suggests, the account that is woven into the public consciousness will likely be the political, feminist account, a brief for more women in combat assignments.

I know I don't want to talk about what really happened, and I am a famously hard-hearted, callous, bloodthirsty man : I've even voted Republican ! One supposes that her captors were less than completely respectful of her person. The argument has been made that a female soldier signs on with full knowledge of the special risks she faces in captivity, and this may indeed be her business and none of ours. I have no need to know, But there is more. I can ask myself, for example, why it is that PFC Lynch was allowed to live whereas her male comrades were not. But I would never ask PFC Lynch.

Mr. Babbin looks to the military's civilian masters for leadership in the coming war of attrition between the military and the Left, but is not terribly optimistic that such leadership will emerge. Neither am I. It is unreasonable to expect exceptionality, especially with of civil servants.

In my heart of hearts, I hope that PFC Jessica Lynch, who by all accounts is an excellent, excellent person, finds it in her heart to stand up and lead her nominal leaders, and with them the citizenry, to the truth of this matter. Her story is a source of rare data which addresses a consuming controversy: the role of women in the military.

I simply lack the spine to demand that she be required to do so.
-- Paul Kotik
Plantation, FL

EXCESS OF WEASELS
Re: A. Simmons' letter in Reader Mail's Fighting Logic:

A. Simmons (a.k.a. Dick Vitale) might want to remember that older doesn't necessarily mean better. The world is always changing and if one does not change, he does not survive. I don't see any wooly mammoths rumbling down Wilshire Blvd. I don't see any raptors running down 5th Ave. If I'm not mistaken, these two species existed before humans did and at the present time (cloning attempts and Jurassic Park notwithstanding) these creatures are no more. Since nations can exist and change over periods defined by millennia, I think that an evolutionary viewpoint of nations is a more accurate one than that of a comparison to a single person getting "older and wiser." Over time different types of government have come and gone, the better ones lasting longer. It is in this case that the USA has one of the oldest and most stable governments in the world. The French republic (democracy) is much younger than ours. From an idealistic viewpoint, therefore, it is conceivable that we are "evolving" toward a utopian (no not Marxist) or perfect government that could last forever (or at least until our galaxy collides with another or our sun becomes a red giant, consuming Earth entirely). In the meantime we must suffer the socialists, narcissists and megalomaniacs (a "triple threat" worthy of defining the French government) until nature can weed them out.

As for his Russia, Germany, France "trifecta" -- give me a break. The ruinous economies of these countries, as bad as they already are, would be complete disasters without the massive trading surpluses they enjoy with the USA. Without our economy buoying them, civil unrest would likely lead to massive demonstrations, riots and a revival of rampant anti-Semitism (oh wait, I just described France).
-- G. Mitchell
San Diego, CA

Re: The French, The French: More specifically, the letter written by A. Simmons regarding the above-referenced article. France, Germany, Russia indeed! The Axis of Weasels couldn't put two and two together and get four. Especially if they had to find an economy, a true leader, and a military before they arrived at four. One and a half, maybe.
M. Webster
Dallas, TX

SELF-REVELATION
Re: B. Labin's letter in Reader Mail's Fighting Logic:

When somebody on the left makes an accusation, it is amazing how many times the accusation is an obvious quality of the accuser. B. Labin of Brisbane accuses George Neumayr of substituting meanness for a flat writing style, hatefulness for in-depth understanding, lies to cover laziness for lack of research just after saying that Mr. Neumayr is a racist Nazi who could use a refresher in Creative Writing 101.

Rachel Corrie and David Duke actually had a lot in common in that they had taken to hanging out with Islamo-fascists and attacking their native country from foreign lands. B. Labin seems unaware that he and Mr. Duke are now on the same side and what a cute couple they make. It is sad that the young woman would fall into the hands of a group of hateful adults (anti-American college professors ) and be so thoroughly poisoned. This naive girl found herself in the middle of a culture that celebrates indiscriminate murder of civilians while claiming that she somehow supported peace. Her death should weigh heavily on the adults who used her to satisfy their delusional fantasies.
-- Clifton Briner

SUMMING UP
I was reading through the submissions today [Tuesday], including the Reader Mail section, when a thought occurred. I can always tell when this happens as it is accompanied be a stabbing pain in the cranium.

I read the Jed Babbin piece and addressed some concerns with it separately. Being in New Hampshire, I was particularly pleased with the article on Vermont, totally agreeing with it in its entirety. I do remember thinking that a companion piece is due on the Socialist Republic of Maine and another on wither the direction on New Hampshire.

I read on down to and including the "Letters." The thought first occurred when reading the reaction to the Jackie Mason piece on France and Italy. The defenders of both states were out in full cry. When I finished reading, I realized that there was a counter-offensive/defensive missive from virtually every criticism previously expressed. Then I realized that every one tended to fly in from a starting point on the Left. I thought, don't these folks know that Mason is a comedian specializing in irony mixed with sarcasm. Where is their sense of proportion. The critiques of the other pieces also seemed to have a leftward bias. Upon reflection, it occurred that aggressive, even nasty, critiques of opinions seem to come overwhelmingly from our tolerant Left.

I have noticed this trait of aggressive, in-your-face, activist, mean-spiritedness comes almost exclusively from the Left. It seems they constantly are sitting on go, ready, willing, and even anxious to be offended and defensive about anything and everything. It seems to me that you can demonstrate this trait with every proposal/position/law not proffered by another Liberal icon. It truly must be an awful existence. There is no joy in Liberalville (except when bashing the Right). There is always something to rail against, to demonstrate against, to decry, to be saddened by. (Do husbands of Liberal wives always have to get their own dinners since the wives are always out protesting something?)

Gosh, I am glad to be a creature of the Right. Life is so much more pleasant and enjoyable and peaceful. Finally, remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive. This applies to ulcers and high blood pressure as well as everything else.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

FROM LEFT FIELD
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s A Message to France:

"Actually, though Hitler's reputation is dreadful today this has not always been the case."

I guess the same could be said of Saddam Hussein's reputation among conservatives. Good 'ol Rummy thought he was worth a personal visit and Reagan thought enough of him to support millions of dollars of loans to Iraq, provide him with chemical weapons, and even CIA intelligence to make sure he hit his target.

And then there's the Saudi billionaire's son slumming in Afghanistan as a mujahedeen (sp?). Once upon a time he and his brothers in arms were considered great assets to American foreign relations.

You guys ought to be the last ones throwing stones....
-- Jordan Carswell

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