Reader Mail

On the Ball

Comments on a Jewish GOP, USA Today and tomorrow, metric soccer, California's latest blackout, and much, much more.

5.24.02

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STEADY PROGRESS
Re: Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder's American Jews and Israel:

I for one, gentlemen, and my nephew for another, and perhaps my son, too -- are avid Jewish supporters of the Republican Party -- and I am optimistic that we are among a growing group of converts from Democratic Party idiocy.
-- Robert Kirsh

FREELY AVAILABLE
Re: Jeremy Lott's The Real Paper of Record:

Outstanding piece on USA Today. One addition about distribution: You mentioned that readers in your small home town can buy USAT at various outlets. My parents, who live in rural western Pennsylvania, actually have it delivered. This supplements our local daily, which is ambitious but unable to focus any resources further afield than the county level.

I might add that although me an' the kin are simple yokels, the folks would probably prefer the WSJ or NYT. Despite being ensconced in Red State wonderland, they know all about the foibles of the various national offerings. Unfortunately for them, any of the others would be prohibitively expensive -- and probably arrive days late. Kudos to USAT for providing a product that people can actually track down -- even if the coast-bound elites look down their noses at people who would dare form their world-view over a double-meat sausage McMuffin with egg, two hash browns and extra-hot coffee minus the -ccino/-latte conceit. I'll point your article out to them -- they will be glad to hear that the rumors about USAT's inferiority are mostly just silly exaggerations. They were beginning to suspect as much anyway.
-- Sam MacDonald

USA Today is given free at nearly every major hotel chain in the country. I would not buy the paper as I still think it leans to the left, however when someone gives me a copy I tend to page through it. I wonder how this free distribution affects the legitimate readership numbers.
-- Skip Davidhizar

SOCCER TO ME
Re: Jerry Carter's Meet Philip Anschutz:

I'm a conservative and I'm not suspicious of soccer. It just bores my
backside off. I don't find the game un-American. I just find it narcoleptic.

Soccer is the metric system of sports. It's a game for people who visited Europe once and should have stayed there. I guess the game is all right for women, children, and the clergy. But I can't imagine why grown men bother with it.

An otherwise sound friend of mine who played soccer in college is fond of telling me that more people in the world play soccer than any other sport. Perhaps so. But I'm just as fond of pointing out to him that they play it so they don't have to watch it.

OK, I'm being uncharitable. The games we love are the games we learned when we were children. I love baseball (the real beautiful game) because my dad had a baseball glove on my hand before I could stand up. That's why for me baseball is still the most fun you can have with your pants on. So, if there are grownups who get actual pleasure from watching 10 men (or is it 12?) with unpronounceable names dash about in their underwear for hours kicking a checkered ball to determine who wins 1-0 (while their low forehead fans maim each other in the stands), well, there's just no accounting for taste. Heck, I understand you can buy sushi in some major league ball parks (most of them on the planet California). Life is nothing if not mysterious.
-- Larry Thornberry
Tampa, FL

P.S. Speaking of soccer moms -- let us all pray that they never stop worrying about their weight long enough to realize what a complete lock they have on the political process in America.

SILENT TREATMENT
Re: George Neumayr's Momentum Stopper:

Mr. Neumayr's article is pretty much on target, except for one omission: the state's press outside of the Los Angeles Times. I'm a resident of California's middle portion and therefore have the McClatchy family's (NYT Sulzberger wannabes') Sacramento Bee as my primary print media news source for state and local happenings.

In this organ of the Democratic Party William Simon seems to not exist, except as a peripheral to Davis. Just today, an article, based on a Simon accusation of incompetence and malfeasance on the part of the governor and his cronies, had one paragraph, out of dozens, with Simon's name in it. All other paragraphs were spins by Davis appointees and consultants.

To read this paper, the only major daily for the 4th largest metro area in the state (after L.A./Orange County, S.F. Bay Area and San Diego), one would think Davis were running against the Invisible Man who had also become mute.

I'm certain the politically egregious L.A. Times and S.F. Chronicle are pretty much in step with this. As for the local TV news, Simon is an even greater nonentity. What a wonderful preview of the benefits of the Feds' CFR.
-- Mike Daley
Jackson, CA

RIGHT ON
Re: Jed Babbin's Why I Hate Hollywood:

Mr. Babbin has Noam Chomsky pegged. He could also have noted that Chomsky's prose is unreadable.
-- Lee H. Arten

GUNS ALOFT
Re: Reid Collins' Flying Blind:

"Flying Blind" by Reid Collins almost captures the absolute idiocy of DOT's decision to prohibit airline pilots from arming themselves while on the job. Is it only the pilots who realize that our flights are not much safer today than they were before 9/11?

In place of armed pilots, only a knucklehead would suggest aerial acrobatics to keep determined killers off their feet. Did no one at the hearing remember the crash of Flight 587 and the NTSB's warnings about abrupt maneuvers causing a plane's tail to fall off?

Is it not likely that we've had no 9/11 takeovers of late because hijackers figure that pilots might be armed or that there may be an air marshal aboard? Today we know that the chance of the former is 0% and the latter 1%.

Today three or four or five guys could commandeer an aircraft by grabbing and garroting a flight attendant shortly after takeoff. They could use the attendant's stun gun and another passenger in a fishing-line or cable-tie noose to keep other passengers and crew members at bay away while they work the door with a composite crowbar. They could pile up enough bodies to prevent passengers from performing any heroics.

Meanwhile, the undistracted (because they are unarmed) pilots can watch the closed-circuit video of the murders in the back and barbarians at the gates. Should the pilots manage to land the plane safely before the bad guys break in, what happens? The bad guys are really screwed! They'll just keep on butchering until the cavalry arrives. Yes, and who will ride in to save the day on short notice at whatever podunk airfield the aircraft manages to put down at? The sheriff and his deputies? Will the airfield even have a set of passenger stairs?

Hey, should they survive, these pilots will never want to climb into the cockpit again.

Why are McCain, Hollings, Ridge, and Mineta so overwrought about guns in the hands of pilots who've undergone sky-marshal training? Their failure to think through this policy will cause needless deaths.
-- Mike Cakor
Columbia, SC

Let's see if I understand airline safety according to G. W. Bush. It's all right for an F-15 to blow a hijacked airliner and everyone on it to heaven or hell. But it's too dangerous for the airliner's pilots to carry guns in an attempt the thwart the hijackers. That about it?

Who the hell is setting the rules of engagement around here - the Queen of Hearts?
-- Larry Thornberry
Tampa, FL

NATIVITY SCENE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s PLO Revelry in Bethlehem:

Re: your commentary about Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity seizure, it would have been interesting to ask, "What if the church had been a mosque occupied by armed Israelis?"

I'd "bet the family jewels" that had that happened the howling voices of condemnation would have been mute if not missing. Much like it is in its deafening silence in reacting to the Arab desecration of the church proper and that extends to the White House's failure to forcefully condemn that disgusting action.
-- Ken Wyman
Huntsville, AL

WORKED AS BEST IT COULD
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski Lighting Up the President:

I'd like to say thank you for your article, "Lighting Up the President," which motivated me to ask: Is there really any basis for the allegations being made that 9/11 was the result of an intelligence failure?

Over the last week and half the news media, members of Congress (both liberal and some conservatives), and media pundits have engaged in this steady mantra of "the intelligence failure of September 11, 2001." I would argue that if there was any failure in the nation's intelligence apparatus, it came in the form that the nation's intelligence apparatus worked -- to the degree that statute, Congress, and Presidential Directive have allowed it to work. It should be clear to us all that despite the gutting, the political correctness imposed, and cuts in its budget, the nation's intelligence apparatus worked in spite of its being set up to fail. In an interview on C-Span's Book TV aired in February 2002, Tom Clancy expressed his views on this very point. Clancy observed that our post-September 11 level of expectation regarding the nation's intelligence apparatus was all out of proportion to the resources and actions allotted to it by Congress and the President. In other words, you get what you pay for. If the President and the Congress won't let the intelligence apparatus infiltrate the bad guys, spy on them, or remove them from the gene pool with extreme prejudice, but instead are more concerned with being politically correct in all its forms ... then it probably would be better not to have an intelligence operation at all than to have one that appears to be ineffective and useless.

David Horowitz, in his article "How The Left Undermined America's Security," presents the sad and tragic history of how liberals put this nation on the road culminating in the tragedy of September 11th. Horowitz's brilliantly documents how the liberals in Congress, academia and the media have waged a relentless war on the nation's intelligence, since the time of Senator Frank Church's committee investigation into the activities of the CIA until this very day.

One more observation needs to be made: the very fact that the CIA had operators in Afghanistan shortly before and during the time of our military operations against the Taliban, and they were from all appearances successful in their operations. For an intelligence apparatus that allegedly melted down, it performed as it should despite attempts to make it ineffectual....
-- Sam Dupree

BASH OF THE DAY
Re: The Prowler Pre-Timor Tremors:

"The former president, though, was well behaved. (Clinton) played golf during a layover in Hawaii ..." It depends upon what the meaning of layover is.
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, NY

RATE MAIL
Re: Reader Mail's Daze of the Democrats:

You know you folks at the Prowler "have arrived" when the Know-Nothing Bolshy Site Pests start sending you their diatribes. And congrats for having the balls to publish their tripe! Onward and Upward!!!
-- Gene Smith
Contoocook, NH

Re: "unsigned"'s remarks about J.C. the carpenter: I've always suspected Jimmy Carter chafes at being only the world's secondmost famous carpenter...
-- Kevin M. McGehee
Coweta County, GA

NO MORE BLUES
Nice to see you guys are "back." I was very disappointed in the demise of the TAS online site, and only heard about The American Prowler, and its relationship to TAS, recently on Hugh Hewitt's radio program.
-- Jim Phillips
Folsom, CA

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