Reader Mail

In Search of Nuance

The search for meaning in Enemy Latin, the current Clinton, post-Dean Vermont, and Mr. Tom Till.

5.12.03

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FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT
Re: Enemy Central's No Picnic:

I'm sorry, I still don't why I'm supposed to hate Jacques Leslie? Is it because he put himself in harm's way during the Vietnam war, in contradistinction to our President. Is it some joke hidden in the bogus Latin. I'm sure you have some substantive reasons why Leslie and Senator Byrd are wrong. Is there some reason why you're keeping it secret? I mean, you're a publication, and all that. If you have some beef, please let the rest of us know. Here's a funny bit of Latin that happens to be true: Georgus fugit exercitum. Why not add that to your most amusing animadversions?
-- Eric Mankin

Whoever Enemy Central is, he is a talented writer -- much more nuanced than, say, Jacques Leslie. Love you guys,
-- L. Lovett

FRIENDLY PERSUASION
Re: John W. Whitehead's My "Friend" Bill Clinton:

My "Friend" Bill Clinton, now that is a hot one.

I read with rapt amazement the musings of the so-called "human rights attorney," Barrister Whitehead. God almighty, so much has fallen through the cracks in this man's perception of the reality of Bill Clinton. Clinton cannot do anything for anyone but Clinton, for that is all that is important to thankfully Ex-Prez Slick Willie.
-- Marvin Hill

I fondly remember John Whitehead's efforts to bring the rogue, Bill Clinton, to dock. However, he must be joshing, presenting Jimmy Carter as a model for former presidents. Surely, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush One have acted more seemly than the nincompoop of Plains. He has made a fool of himself in most of the venues and efforts referenced e.g. accepting a Nobel prize when the specific expressed raison d'etre was to embarrass our sitting president. Only in comparison with the priapic Clinton may he be seen as anything but a buffoon -- he only sat in the Oval Office "lusting in his heart,"
-- J. R. Wheatley

Among the suggestions about what Bill Clinton could do with his time is teach bible class. Now that's a real stretch. If he tries that though he might want to enlist the help of Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson. What a team that would be.
-- Dick Melville
Ozone Park, NY

What Bill Clinton should do is what every other disgraced Byzantine autocrat did: shave his head and retire to a monastery, and take a permanent Vow of Silence.
-- Jim Stevenson

Or Clinton could return to his natural habitat of Arkansas and shut up.
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, NY

DEANDOM COME
I enjoy reading the articles and reader mail on your site. Being a native Vermonter and true Yankee, I get a kick out of some of the comments about our imported former governor, Howard "the Coward" Dean. It's nice to see the rest of the nation having the opportunity to experience the arrogant fascistic "wisdom" of this former preppie and wannabe dictator. If any desire to see (Democrats included) what his view of being president is, come on up to our little state and stay a while. That is, if you don't lose your vehicle in some of our potholes and the bridges don't collapse when you pass over them. Oh, bring lots of money because it costs some to live in this workers paradise, unless of course you are a recent non-English speaking immigrant, then it's a free ride, especially if you are one of those "minorities."

You will need to have your own insurance (out of state) because, unless you qualify as the aforementioned, you will find that hard to get unless you are a pretty well off person. Forget about working for a living up here because the bulk of the jobs are of the domestic type or touristic. That way we can keep our environment pretty green. As for all those farms up here you see in the magazines, there are lots of old pictures available for purchase since the real thing will be hard to find and the ones still here are only for show. You see, cows and farms smell. Plus since expansion is not allowed, our farmers are losing in the marketplace. That's doesn't matter as far as tourists are concerned since they want to take pastoral type pictures only, according to our friends in Montpelier.

We have a beautiful lake on our western side but be careful. If the lampreys don't get you, the pollution will, since our former Governor could not agree with his friends over in N.Y. (his alma mater) on the best way to approach the problem without Him being the head honcho.

I could go on but all good things come to an end (like his tenure as Governor and his political career).

Oh, I forgot, for those with money, there will be lots of malls and condo's in the I-89 corridor, but only Moose elsewhere.

As you may have guessed, this is a satire, but then again, is it really? See for yourself. I am
-- Pete Chagnon

ONE'S FILL OF TILL
Re: Tom Till's "Spring Offensive" letter in Reader Mail's Success Stories:

Usually when I read something like "Spring Offensive" (which it certainly is) so "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," I try to attack the logic or lack thereof in it, but Mr. Till's screed about Jed Babbin's "screeds" is simply nothing more than mindless ad hominem attacks on someone with whom he apparently disagrees.

Meaningful discourse usually involves meaningful statements. That concept is apparently beyond Mr. Till's comprehension. I commend Monty Python's wonderful Argument routine to his study.

"An argument is more than a simple gainsaying of what the other has said."

"No, it isn't."

"Yes, it is."

"Isn't!"

"Is!"
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, TX

Because it is a slow day, I actually read the hate-mail that someone called "Tom Till" sent you regarding the writings of Mr. Babbin. I normally pay no attention to the sort of "screed" (to use his term) that Mr. Till and his ilk perpetrate, but one part of his rant is incredibly insufferable. In reference to Lt. Colonel Oliver North, Mr. Till wrote, "Oliver North (to whom I will not grant the designation "Lt. Col." -- an honorific forfeited long ago)." That, Ladies and Gentlemen qualifies as monumental ignorance and arrogance on the part of Mr. Till.

Ignorance? The military rank "Lieutenant Colonel" is just that, a military rank, not, pay attention, Mr. Till, not an "honorific." "Mr." is an honorific, "Lt. Col.," is not. And, as a related thought, designators such as "President," or "Senator," are actually simply job titles, which should only apply to a person during the time that he holds that particular job. I suppose that it is acceptable to refer to those out of office as "ex-President," or "ex-Senator," but the practice of continuing to call losing politicians by the titles they once held, is silly. Arrogance? Mr. Till states that he will not grant the designation "Lt. Col." to Lt. Col. North, as if he had any authority in that matter! Evidently Mr. Till is sufficiently ignorant of reality that he is unaware that the rank of Lieutenant Colonel was awarded to Oliver North by the United States Congress, after he was nominated for that rank, by the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Till had damn-all to do with it, and never will. Lieutenant Colonel North earned his rank, and attaining that rank in the Marines takes a lot more ability than it does to bamboozle a sufficient number of voters to place one in any political office. Lt. Colonel North is a Lt. Col., albeit with the designator "(Ret.)" after it, whether or not churls and boors chose to demonstrate their personal pettiness by pretending that he is not. Mr. Till seems to do hatred as well as most self-styled "liberals" whose blatherings get published. He seems adept at spouting out his hatred, against people who have done much more than he has. Again, typical.
-- W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

Thanks for posting Tom Till's ridiculous diatribe. I've never seen such a masterful use of DNC talking points. The errors alone were worth the price of admission.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

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