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Success Stories

In waging war, making peace, computering, trapping, provoking the left, and penetrating predestination.

5.9.03

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THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s The Whiff of Grapeshot:

Thank you for adding a new and perfectly descriptive phrase to my vocabulary: "whiffer sniffers." Though not as descriptive as the time-honored "whipper snappers" in my Southern lexicon, it will, however, be used at every opportunity to describe the latest converts to the wisdom of diplomatic cooperation with the United States.
-- Doc Watson

IMB CONCLUSIONS
Re: Michael Craig's Nano and the Professor:

In my opinion, Mr. Craig draws a wrong conclusion from the history of IBM and ignores its current marketing message.

IBM maintained a solid leadership in personal computers as long as it adhered to open standards: IBM PC, XT, and AT were the pacesetters and bestsellers of their day. IBM lost this leadership when it attempted to lock the market with proprietary architectures of PS/2 and MicroChannel and with its OS/2, a $1.2 billion flop.

IBM has survived as a respectable business only because the Internet age forced it to support open standards that allowed its PCs, midrange and mainframes, to talk to each other. That lesson apparently has not been lost on them: IBM has not advertised its proprietary midrange iSeries for two years now but its ads and TV commercials promote open source LINUX. (TV commercials also promote WebSphere; however, by selling WebSphere IBM in fact sells its consulting services.)

Microsoft and Intel became leaders because they did not think and behave like IBM. IBM is now borrowing pages from their playbook.
-- Jan Machat

OUT OF LUCK
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Luck Be a Lady:

I think Mr. Bennett is the new Dixie Chicks, Pee Wee Herman, Michael Jackson, etc. He depends on the "public" liking, admiring, agreeing with him. But I think he will lose many of those backers in the future because their perception of him will be altered. I for one say ho hum. For a long time I considered him gutless. Anyone who would defend a brother like "Bob" during the impeachment process is no leader.
-- Annette Cwik

ROCKY ROAD
Re: The Washington Prowler's Sinking Fast (scroll down):

Sen. John Kerry had better find a way to step up and put a few insurance runs on the board. If he allows the America-hating Howie Dean to take New Hampshire, the "Old Man In The Mountain" won't be the only one to "Lose Face" in the Granite State!
-- Scott Wright
Poland Spring, ME

It is interesting that you mention Kerry's wife and use her "new" name, Teresa Heinz Kerry. Until recently, as I understand it, she has gone by Teresa Heinz even though she is married to Senator Kerry. With his name, the reason appears obvious. Her friends must call her "Terry," short for Teresa. Thus, she is now Terry Kerry. So, I guess, at Christmas, she'd be Merry Terry Kerry. If Boston Harbor names a boat after her, it'd be the Ferry Terry Kerry. Not to worry, none of the old line, stodgy media would ever poke fun at the wife of a Democrat Senator.
-- unsigned

TRAPPED BY HISTORY
Re: Bill Croke's Crossing Paths:

Bill Croke is fast becoming your in-house expert on the American west and other regional snapshots. His insightful writing is a joy to read and he adds little snippets of informative, if obscure, facts which add color to his articles.

This latest effort opens with a reference to the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park and struck a responsive chord with me. A few years ago, my wife and I spent a full week traveling and staying in the park during a wonderful September. During the last couple of days we came across the Lamar Valley which was a wondrous vista. I felt as if I could have driven that road forever because of the vast overwhelming beauty of the hills and mountains that framed the green landscape. That was one of many high points of the trip.

As a history buff and a native Oregonian, I have read much about the characters who made up the fur trappers and mountain men history. Raw, stubborn, independent, tough, uncivilized and quite strange -- they were the stuff of legends and tall tales. One of my high school teachers was Harvey Tobie who wrote No Man Like Joe, a biography of Joseph Meek. The book sparked my interest in the mountain men and fur trappers of the west that has lasted to this very day. I wish that our schools offered more classes in American history, as it is filled with such adventure, daring, bravery and excitement as to capture the interest of anyone who has a pulse. Their adventures sure beat any cartoon garbage that currently pollutes the TV networks aimed at children.
-- Al Martin
Depoe Bay, OR

RUINATION
Re: The Washington Prowler's Homeland Security, Waxman Style:

Just when I thought the Democrats couldn't sink any lower, they hit bottom. Our troops are so proud of their Commander in Chief and I am sure they will remember how shabbily the Democrats have treated him in stark contrast to their adoration of the ex-president for whom the military had no respect. Rep. Waxman evidently has nothing else to do in his meager role other than try to find something that he can say he accomplished before he fades into oblivion. Senator Byrd has already faded into oblivion and there is nothing left for him to do but babble. The Democrats have nothing to offer, they are still whining about losing the last election.

Senator Lieberman made that clear in the debate of May 3 -- he still believes that he and Algore should be running this country and it gives me the horrors. I have not heard one single issue that the Democrats claim to have a solution for -- only their claim that the current administration is doing everything wrong. What a sorry group I saw at the debate of last Saturday. We should all bow our heads and thank the good Lord none of them is dealing with the important issues today. The Democrats claim President Bush can't concentrate on two issues -- the war on terrorism and the economy. Well, their ex-president concentrated on two issues in the Oval Office, which it could have resulted in breakdown of security of our country, and they still praise him. I don't know how they can expect to accomplish anything when they are so busy trying to ruin the Republicans.
-- Jane
Connecticut

GUNPLAY
Re: The Washington Prowler's A Specter of Dust (scroll down):

As the Prowler says, Senator Specter now finds himself having "to endear himself to the conservative communities in northern and western Pennsylvania." He voted in favor of 2nd Amendment Right restrictions in 1994. Gun owners have long memories.
-- David Shoup

SPRING OFFENSIVE
Re: Jed Babbin's Slap the Donkey:

I have monitored Jed Babbin's screeds for quite some time now, and I must say, I see no mystery behind his hatred for John Kerry. Kerry fought in Vietnam; Babbin stayed behind to go to college and law school. Like most right-wingers, such as the President (Guard slot arranged by father before going AWOL), the Vice President ("other priorities"), the Speaker of the House (deferments), the House Majority Leader (would have loved to sign up to go to Vietnam, but those pesky blacks and chicanos took up all the slots in his recruiting district), the Attorney General (deferments), the Deputy Secretary of Defense (deferments).... Babbin preferred to have others fight the war he so eagerly supported in his youth; he demands that those others' children fight the wars he so fervently lusts after today. Kerry put his ass on the line. Babbin and his ilk frown upon doing that. No wonder they have spent the past 35 years working themselves into an oily patriotic lather: self-loathing does that to some people.

I recall Babbin once calling the president a "fighter pilot" and himself a "ground pounder" (perhaps even within the same sentence). Well, the president once flew planes, sort of -- not exactly Robin Olds or Stan Arthur, but apparently Rightists must do with it what they can. As for "ground pounder" -- I suppose Babbin and his fellow JAGs pounded ground walking (something even pilots do from time to time) from courtroom to courtroom, but as for getting out and humping it in country where bullets flew and bodies stank, well then, I guess in this instance he hopes that those among the citizenry who cannot spot bulls--t a mile away will indulge him this fantasy.

Pro athletes refer to the potbellied, beer-guzzling, cigar-chomping CEOs who clamor to hang out with them at celebrity golf tournaments as "jock sniffers." No telling what Babbin's favorite soldiers at Delta Force and elsewhere call him as soon as he walks out of ear-shot, but I wager that, more often than not, it hews to that tradition.

Finally, let me never again read Babbin applaud the fine members of the U.S. military while simultaneously praising his hero Oliver North (to whom I will not grant the designation "Lt. Col." -- an honorific forfeited long ago). North, we may recall, loves to pontificate endlessly and sanctimoniously about his beloved Marines. He also eagerly sold arms to a regime that sponsored the killing of 241 of those Marines, nay, after the killing of 241 of those Marines. Whilst campaigning for the Senate in 1994, North met up with one of those hostages freed by his largesse (Hezbollah, of course, no dummies they, took more hostages immediately after releasing the first batch). Cameras caught him making fun of the man just minutes before he dissolved into his on-cue set of tears upon meeting the dumbstruck hostage face to face. Clinton himself could not have done it any better.
-- Tom Till

OF MICE AND MICE
Re: John R. Dunlap's Identity Crisis:

What a terrific article Dr. Dunlap has written! If he dares, a worthy book could come of his insights on human(ist) education under Church aegis: something like, "The City of Mice." Notice I can't dignify the ungodly with the title Man... These tares among the wheat constantly try to choke the fruit production of the real Christians. For reference see the great Presbyterian scholar J. Gresham Machen's "Christianity and Liberalism," just as current today as when he wrote it in 1923 (and got defrocked for his effrontery).

I first clicked on the on-line article because the topic mentioned Aurelius Augustine. I admire the great Doctor immensely Dr. Dunlap, I would love to take your course on the Bishop of Hippo.

What Ex Corde Ecclesia promulgates I confess I know only secondhand. But I can read the Bible. In His inscripturated Word the Lord God declares that the foolish, humanist notions of "academic freedom" have no part in Him. To the contrary, Christian people, students and professors included, must "have the mind of Christ"; to "take every thought captive" to Christ; to "have no other gods before Me"; to "love the Lord your God with all your ...mind". Christ declared "He who is not for me is against me" and again, "He who is not against us is for us." No autonomous "neutrality" or "freedom" there!

Your use of the word "autonomous" hits exactly the right note, in describing supposedly "christian" educators rebelling against their Church and its Head. That's original sin showing itself in the Land O Lakes declaration. Just like all other false gods, Humanism shows itself fiercely antinomian in standing against the Triune God.

Augustine's doctrine on predestination may have some application to nominally-"christian" human institutions, educational or otherwise, that fall off the orthodoxy wagon. God the Holy Spirit has preserved, does and will preserve Christ's "one holy catholic church," for the glory of God the Father. On the evidence of history, no institution created by men has ever survived as a truly Christian institution honoring Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. No matter how godly the founders were or how good their intentions, every single human Christian institution eventually drifts into error, stumbles into heterodoxy, falls into heresy, and ends up pagan. Evidence? Harvard College, founded 1636 to train Puritan ministers ... Yale ... Princeton ... Duke ... Notre Dame ... Howard ... Wilberforce... And even those many schools that haven't yet bowed the knee to Baal...will someday. Call it a natural law principle of Divine entropy. "I am the Lord God; I will not give My glory to another." I suspect that God will never allow any humanly-created institution to survive more than a few generations.

While we're on that point by the way, Dr. Dunlap, you may count me as joining Augustine on predestination. By that Biblical term we recognize God's destining, in His sovereign grace, each and every element of His creation for His own purposes, logically prior to any element ever existing. My first encounters with Saint Augustine came via his 16th century heirs: magisterial Protestant Reformers Martin Luther ("The Bondage of the Will") and John Calvin ("Institutes of the Christian Religion"); all of them appear to "rightly divide" God's "word of truth" on this issue of "control."

On reading The City of God some years ago another insight struck me, one which is reflected in Dr. Dunlap's close. That mighty book ought to be rewritten and republished today. Augustine makes a perfect critique of today's pluralist, licentious, selfish, post-Christian and quasi-pagan, Western society (which so resembles the declining Roman Empire of the 4th century). Dr. Dunlap?

Thanks again for a fascinating article.
-- David James Hanson
Fayette, Iowa

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