Reader Mail

America, Africa, Florida, Montana

Letters from all over, about old fights and new.

4.18.02

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TRYING HARD
Re: Dave Shiflett's Mo Needs a Man:

I am trying to maintain decorum as I respond to Mr. Shiflett's April 12, 2002 column on New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. This was a sexist personal attack. Mr. Shiflett could not possibly know what it is like for a potential mate to feel threatened or powerless because of the other's salary or career.

He writes "....all those aggressive female primates, after a busy day of dominating their jungle, were primed for sex, not for the withholding of it." Why does everything comes down to sex?

Mr. Shiflett makes it worse by equating Ms. Dowd to a primate at the Bronx Zoo. This is disgusting.

I will not bow down to his level by commenting on the author of the article, even if he comes from a small town as Midlothian, Virginia. Obviously, there is not much to do in this town!

Thank you.
-- D. Derow
Philadelphia, PA

Dave Shiflett replies: The line D. Derow quoted in her letter was not my line, but from Ms. Dowd's column: "....all those aggressive female primates, after a busy day of dominating their jungle, were primed for sex, not for the withholding of it." She should complain to Dowd, not me.

LADY CYNTHIA
Re: John Corry's Cynthia McKinney in the Twilight Zone:

Good article, I came across it on Free Republic and followed the link here. Just one thing I'd like to complain about, though, is the word "gentlewoman." This and "gentlelady" are PC creations to avoid using the proper term, "lady." The female counterpart to "gentleman" is "lady." That's all.
-- Jay Howell
Dunedin, FL

I liked John Corry's piece, though I was a little surprised at his mention of blasting Kofi Annan as evidence of her being a loose cannon ("...McKinney, ever the loose cannon, denounced the award as 'an insult to the millions that died at the hand of the U.N. in recent years.'") McKinney's a nut, no question here (and her dad, who is a longtime Georgia state legislator, is even kookier). But she was right about Kofi Annan, who as much as anyone in the international community (even more than Clinton), is responsible for doing absolutely nothing to stop the slaughter in Rwanda. One could even make a case that, in many ways, he abetted it. For Annan to win the Nobel Peace Prize is every bit as outrageous as Arafat. It's an Orwellian world we live in.

Frankly, the real surprise is that McKinney is right on that point.
-- unsigned

Mr. Corry's column on Cynthia McKinney -- EXCELLENT!!!!
-- unsigned

CLEAN AIR SMOKE
I thoroughly enjoyed Lawrence Henry's The Big Lie and the Big Lawsuit. I too lived for three years as a boy in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park and remember the Southdale "mall" well (I slipped and fell into the goldfish pond they had there in the entranceway on a -15 deg. night when my folks had gone to buy a hi-fi).

Now as a mostly lifelong Virginian and smoker I can only decry the Puritanization of this country as exemplified by the Smoking Nazis and their generals in the trial lawyer lobby. It's one reason I refuse to attend any Baltimore Orioles, Ravens or Redskins games where in the People's Republic of Maryland one cannot even smoke in the open air. Thanks, Mr. Henry, for a wonderful piece.
-- Bill Harrison
Arlington, VA

THE REAL McBRIDE
Re: The Prowler's Carol, Janet, and the Groucho Gals:
Read the Prowler piece on the Florida race between Bill McBride and Billy Bob's former horse-holder, Will-do Wanda (name pinched from Jed Babbin's novel -- I just love to use it) for the privilege of running against Jeb in November. The race is getting national attention; glad you're on it. I pray that in your coverage you'll resist two canards (of many) the McBride camp will be promoting, to wit: (1) McBride is a centrist Democrat, and 2) he is a great businessman, witness how the Holland & Knight law firm expanded while he was directing partner. (1) is flat-out nonsense, and there's reason to be suspect about (2).

McBride is centrist like George McGovern is centrist. He's been a limousine liberal lawyer and has not held public office. So he has no voting record. But the man has spoken out on many subjects for years, and he's two steps left of whoopie! He's never met a left phantasm he doesn't like. He looks solid enough: small town Florida native, combat Marine, good ole boy drawl. But here's a case where you have to play the man, not the ball. Bill is a standard-issue lefty. He's wrong on EVERYTHING.

It's instructive to read through Holland & Knight's website to get a feel for the environment Bill has prospered in. The material on the site gives all manner of clues and code words to demonstrate that furthering the liberal agenda is extremely important at H&K. The firm has coughed up two ABA presidents -- Chesterfield Smith in Watergate days and Martha Barnett more recently. Hard to find a liberal hobby horse that these two haven't ridden hard and put up wet.

Bill is fond of saying on the campaign trail that he's the only candidate in the race who's run a business. The thrust of a recent long piece in the Miami Daily Business Review is that Bill may have nearly run that business into the ground. H&K went from about 275 lawyers when Bill took over as managing partner in 92 to about 1,275 lawyers when Bill left in 01 to begin his political career in the governor's mansion. (Sort of like Bobby Kennedy beginning his legal career as Attorney General, nicht?) But while all those lawyers were moving in, profits were moving out. The firm is now at the bottom of the heap of law firms in profitability and there's an internal struggle going on in the firm between the eat-what-you-kill lawyers who just want to make money and the social workers who want to save the world from conservatives. Makes interesting reading.
-- Larry Thornberry
Tampa, FL

SPENDING IN THE AFFIRMATIVE
Re: George Neumayr's Affirmative Backdooring:
The numbers don't seem to add up -- or if they do, the author missed the real story. A UC official is quoted as talking about spending $250m annually on "outreach."

Let's say as many as 1/3 of the 43k students admitted to the UC system are in need of specialized programs to get into UC.

Expenditures for the outreach would seem to indicate that nearly $20k per admitted applicant is being spent.

If the $20k expenditure per successful applicant is correct, the story is the scam being run on the taxpayers.
-- Chris Harley
Oakland, CA

George Neumayr replies: Missed the story? I brought this scam to your attention.

JESSE EXEMPTED
Re: Bill Harrison's The Mugging of Jesse Jackson's Biographer:
An interesting article about the review of Timmerman's book. While on the subject of Jesse Jackson isn't it odd that there has been no word of the IRS launching an audit of his tax exempt foundations despite lots of red flags. This is a great website. Keep up the good work.
-- Dick

TEDSTER TURNER
Re: Bill Croke's Sir Ted's Excellent Western Adventure:

I work in the valley where Tedster has two of his ranches. One being the Snow Crest ranch and the other being the Red Rock ranch south of Dillon. If you'd like to know a couple of other fine features about how things are on Teddy bears ranch I'll give you some small examples. For instance if the hired hands pick up any shed horns on Ted land they should split the profits with Teddy at the time of sales. He probably needs the cash to buy barbless hooks.

He calls on retired game wardens to patrol his Snow Crest ranch during rifle season because the state game wardens aren't adequate enough to do the job.... I don't want to sound like a whiner so I'll stop where I'm at. All I can say is that I moved to Montana about eight years ago to hunt and fish and to enjoy the wide open country with my family, horses and dogs. So I guess at this time I'd also like to thank Teddy bear for absolutely not one thing. Except No Trespassing!

Yours truly,
-- A Ruby Valley Resident and Outdoorsman

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