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New Intelligence

Big talk about Mason & Felder. Marriage counseling. Jeb Bush in 2008? Real liberals. Plus much more.

4.28.03

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FLOWER POWER
Re: Michael Craig's The Hidden Divorce Tax:

Coming from a divorced male, there are many ways to limit divorce in America today. Of course I'm not going to state the obvious one. I agree with the underlying tones that divorce is a bad thing and lawyers for the most part fall also into that category. No, seriously. (Fortunately I found it amicable to do the paperwork without a lawyer.)

I also believe that using guerrilla tactics to get your way is deceitful, dishonest, revolting, and not used enough, by the male sex (not gender). LOL. The one thing I have kept through divorce is a sense of humor, I highly recommend it. Good reading, Mr. Craig, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am passing the article along.
-- Quentin C. Holtz

If I give my wife flowers, she wants to know what the heck I screwed up. Again!
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

JEB WHEN?
Re: The Washington Prowler's The Vision Thing:

Jeb Bush in 2008? Spare me. The man will not fight. First, Ward Connerly shows up in Florida to discuss true equality some time ago, and Jeb Bush runs for the hills (TAS did a cover story on it). Second, Elian Gonzalez is kidnapped by Janet Reno in Jeb's home state, and everyone with half a brain saw it coming. Jeb Bush could have saved the boy from life in Castro's prison and endeared the Republican Party to the Florida's Cuban community forever with a courteous invitation to Elian to live as a guest in the Governor's Mansion while his fate was decided. The INS goons (yes, goons!) would not have dared to do to Jeb Bush what they did to Elian's uncle. Remember the photo? Third, during Al Gore's attempt to steal the 2000 election, since he forgot to win his "home" state of Tennessee, Jeb Bush recused himself, when no one asked him, and hid behind Katherine Harris's skirts, letting her take all the heat. I will not vote for Jeb Bush.
-- David Shoup

SMART TALK
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Plain Speak:

In their otherwise spot-on article "Plain Speak," New Yorkers Mason & Felder say, "If you were to say that President Bush will be recorded in history as one of America's greatest Presidents, three out of four people would either laugh, smirk, or break out in a sweat." Three out of four in NYC perhaps. And not this one. Thank goodness so very many Americans have not succumbed to the standards of the news media's talking heads and the cult of image, cool, and glamour of the entertainment industry of which the news media are a still more willing and integral part than journalists and reporters admit or recognize, even as they go on desperately seeking the next charismatic JFK and deriding the President for his plain language and his not keeping encyclopedically current on who's who in pop culture. Thank goodness Americans choose among candidates seldom on the Blazing Saddles basis of which of them uses his or her "tongue purtier than a twenty-dollar whore!"

Verbal intelligence is not the whole of intellect. "An eloquent mathematician must, from the nature of things, ever remain as rare a phenomenon as a talking fish." -- the mathematician James J. Sylvester.

Intellect is not the whole of intelligence. There are also things like imagination, the senses and intuition, and common sense and wisdom.

Intelligence is not the whole of merit. There are also things like will and character, ability and competence, and feeling and sensibility. We have a President who certainly has enough of all these things. And he has a way of putting things together that flies clean over the radar of most of the glittering, gesturing, wailing and chattering mass media.
-- ForNow
New York City

Fantastic humor by Mason/Felder. Thoroughly enjoyed the piece about "the talker" and the "doer." I like President Bush's plain talk and I resented the deceptive answers of "It matters what is IS and I can't remember. It may be the way she said- I just don't remember. " Our former president got a pass all the time for evading a direct answer. I think Mason and Felder have high intellect -- as evidenced by their humorous writing.
-- unsigned

The article "Plain Speak" was outstanding. Too bad is hasn't been picked up by the talk media. Mr. G.W. Bush suffers from the same problem as I: the inability to bull s..... people with the gift of gab and influence people. Since the United States operates on just two things: paperwork and B.S., accomplishments run in second place. I stutter and have accomplished much: raised a family, successful business with employees, educated etc. -- however still have Mr. Bush's problem.

With this article, Mr. Mason has shown that there is hope. He is a guy with a good gift of gab and has proven to be a very intelligent person.
-- Martin Schaffel

I loved your article on intelligence vs. speaking ability. It is right on. I remember many years ago when Jane Fonda was protesting Vietnam, she was a guest on the Dick Cavett late night talk show. Dick, having an above average IQ, actually tried to probe not only her opinions, but her knowledge of history which might have supported them. I would love to see this interview reprinted or re-aired. She was soooooo ignorant that Dick was hard-pressed not to laugh out loud. Anyway, good job.
-- Dede Courtine
Ashville, NY

Your assessment of actors is true. It is truly the people behind the scenes who possess the creative talent. The Master Puppeteers Behind The Cameras Manipulate The Strings And The Puppets Take Credit For The Puppeteers' Creative And Sometimes Brilliant Work. Almost anyone can act on film given a talented team behind the cameras. Thanks,
-- Michael Pifer

What a relief that someone out there has written (so beautifully) what I wish I could scream from the highest mountain. But we should remember that the same people who are complaining are the same people who were supporting Clinton's behavior saying his actions were a "private matter" and wanted Al Gore rather than President Bush. God help us if either of them were in power at this time. Again, thank you.
-- Dill Arabians

I once read a book by Aissa Wayne about her father, John Wayne. It was titled, "John Wayne My Father." She stated that one day when she was with the Duke on a Movie Studio backlot she overheard him say while he was looking at Clark Gable, "I think acting is the only thing he is smart enough to do." Right from the Duke, he put it like it is.
-- unsigned

The points you make I would largely agree with. One of the things my parents turned me on to when I was younger were the old movies with Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant. In fact my middle name is Stewart after the actor. My father worked with Cary Grant, Paul Newman and later on-with Harry Belafonte. Back in those days my parents lived off Beverly Glen Boulevard and my older brother and sister used to play with Steve Allen's kids. Politically speaking, although they were Democrats, my parents were conservatives. They haven't voted for a Democratic candidate since John Kennedy and I am a Republican. After years of seeing a lot of bad directing, bad acting and bad scripts, dad cultivated a respect and a relief for viewing the good stuff. It does take talent and ability to be a good actor and not all actors are airheads. Ronald Reagan is a good example and so was Jimmy Stewart of actors who knew the issues. All I wanted to say to you is that a lot of patriotic and gifted actors have served our country. Not all of them are as looney as Marlon Brando or as treasonous as a John Wilkes Booth. As for the noble snow shovelers, they often come to the City of Angels to be actors and well, maybe they should just shovel snow!!
-- unsigned

Thank you, Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder for saying what I would like to say to the " Hollywood anointed " but do not have the platform to do so.

Thank you. Thank you.
-- Terry D. Marx

SILENT ON SANTORUM
Re: The Washington Prowler's Catholic Teaching:

Does anyone think it is time for some senator to stand up in the Senate and defend the basic right to free expression, guaranteed by the First Amendment. To my knowledge, speech that is offensive to some people is also protected.
-- J.S. Boedigheimer
Minneapolis, MN

LIBERAL BUSINESS
Re: George Neumayr's When in Rome:

I just read your article "When in Rome."

Concerning your opinion, please, consider that most Italians do not have any anti-American sentiments: We just were frightened by this warfare so strongly announced, round the clock, by the U.S. and Italian media. Many Italians demonstrated against the war in Iraq because they believed they were involved in it (psychiatrists call it, "warfare psychosis..." ) (sic!).

Only false Italian pacifists have some anti-American sentiments (usually communists and their supporters ), but they do not represent the opinions of any Italian liberals concerning the allied coalition's intervention in Iraq. The Vatican State, the Pope and Catholic Church have their own opinions concerning any war as well.

Vendors in Rome still continue to sell the rainbow antiwar flag
because... BUSINESS IS BUSINESS!

Thanks for your attention.

Best regards
-- Giovanni Serra
Rome, Italy

Really, you use the phrase "European Liberals" a total of seven times in your latest article. European Liberals? Don't you really mean Socialists,...or Fascists? In Europe, the word Liberal means more like what Liberal really means; as in 19th Century Jeffersonian Liberalism; or how about Classic Liberalism. I really can't understand why all of we "so-called Conservatives" persist in granting all the Socialists/Fascists of this world the honor of an up-front lie. First of all, the only liberal thing about them is their mouths. Secondly, since when have they tried to give us limited self-government, or responsible individualism, or free trade?

Seriously, you might wish to reconsider your description of a Collectivist by some other means. If it looks like a Socialist, than it must be a ... you know what I mean. And if you just can't bring yourself to state the truth, or you accidentally get back in the habit, try "illiberal." Another added result from this is that you will get others' attention more readily.
-- John Kelly
Cary, NC

SOLID GRANITE
Re: Bill Croke's Where's Sacagawea?

"There is another controversial theory that she lived nearly a century, died in 1884, and is buried at Fort Washakie on the Wind River Reservation in western Wyoming. In the next grave lie the supposed remains of her son Jean Baptiste. Or so the Eastern Shoshones who live there would have us believe.

"A University of Wyoming historian, Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, made this claim in her 1932 book Sacajawea (also the preferred Shoshone spelling). The book was mostly based on hearsay and the personal recollections of by-then elderly Shoshones, but caught on with the Indians themselves, and Wyoming boosters. In 1941, a rough granite marker was dedicated at the cemetery by state and tribal officials."

A most interesting article. My grandfather, Allen F. Space worked for the Department of the Interior as an engineer at Fort Washakie during the twenties and thirties. My mother was born there just prior to the 1932 date referenced in your article. It was their contention that the pastor who christened my mother was the same pastor who performed Sacajawea's burial service. Once during a trip through the area, my grandfather stopped along the road somewhere and pointed out the granite monument that he had been responsible for, dedicated to Sacajawea. As I said, a great article, brought back very old memories.
-- Al Koenig
Chugiak, Alaska

PROBLEMATICS
Re: Myron Lieberman & David Salisbury's Keeping the Nation at Risk :

First, I am not an educator, just an observer. We had two sons "get through" the public school system. Problem 1: the fact that it is a "system" controlled by wherever the money comes from (federal to state to county, etc.) and they all think they know what they are doing. Teachers are mired in guidelines and testing, not educating to the class in front of them. Students come from different backgrounds, economical and regional. You cannot jam a universal code of learning down their throats, it is a huge "hit or miss" concept.

Problem 2: This is largest in my opinion, kids have to enter into school ABLE to learn, not just mentally but socially. Today's children (I generalize) for the most part are socially dysfunctional, or are coming from non-English speaking families and have to have special handling, but are tossed into the mix. Teachers are now forced to be babysitters, referees, social workers, etc. everything but educators. More time is being spent keeping an semblance of order than teaching.

Problem 3: The students capable and desirable of learning are shortchanged because the schools are forced to teach to the lowest and slowest common denominator. Students that are able to learn at an average or above average level get bored and frustrated and they too become problematic.

We keep blaming our schools for not educating and yet we do not give the administrators or teachers any power or even respect to run their own regional districts as needed .

Our society has changed, but our educational system has not, except for the metal detectors, and police in the hallways.
-- Gary Warren

Don't antitrust laws apply to unions? Seems to me that "trust busting" is in order here.
-- Craig Reynolds

MORE BAD MEDICINE
Re: Robert A. Levy's Constitutional Malpractice and Michael Warner's letter in Reader Mail's Newt Understandings:

One thing Mr. Levy and reader Mr. Warner fail to mention is that much of the medical malpractice climate to day can be attributed to the lack of internal enforcement of doctors by the AMA.

They know which doctors aren't cutting it but to nothing police their own. As a result, the insurance companies passed the risk among them all and now they want a bailout by federal legislatures.

Again, accountability is thrown out the window for a government approach. That's sad.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

THE VIEW FROM MT. BLANK
Re: "The Shiites' Winning Picture" in Wlady's Corner (4/24):

Before the outbreak of the war in Iraq, you could watch any number of serious politicians, historians and media people in European TV panel discussions and they all were warning about the obvious risks of removing the Saddam regime without proper international preparation. In the USA, you could also hear warning voices, but they were smeared over by the "Axis of Evil" crap.

Now that neo-conservatives are rejoicing their victory, it is time to have a cold look at the preliminary results:

With high efficiency, secular Iraq has been wiped out, the civil records of an entire nation annihilated (apart from the oil ministry's files).

The cultural memory and national treasures of Iraq -- unique in the world, preserved throughout many thousand years against other invaders -- bombed, looted, destroyed completely with more success than the Taliban had in Afghanistan. Libraries, musea, everything.

The Islamic infrastructure carefully kept intact and spared from any "degradation".

A country awash with arms of all sorts, a giveaway supermarket for any criminal gang or potential terrorist group. You don't need to register your rocket-propelled anti-tank weapon, just pick it up, please, and take it home so the kids don't play with it.

Thousands of common families left without their men who were poor enough to be pressed into the ditches for "cannon fodder".

So what do you get:

An Islamic nation falling back into medieval times spiritually. Whoever believes that you can build a democracy worthy of its name with 60% of a people that revels in beating their backs with chains and cutting their bodies until the blood streams all over, is an ignorant fool.

A Kurdish faction, living much closer to modern times, striving secretly for an independent state after so many years of oppression. (And why shouldn't they? They can't live in a state based on the Sharia). A dangerous conflict with the Turks on the horizon.

A Sunni faction sponsored by the Saudis who are not a shining example of democracy either.

A country polluted with war chemicals, littered with cluster bombs and the like that will, long after peace is declared, maim and damage the population.

As I said: the French, the Germans, the Russians, many others warned in time. The neo-conservative Americans in their superiority mania were not willing to listen. They are going to pay the price.
-- Kurt Schori
Switzerland

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