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On the Edge of Excess

Cashing in on trauma. Too hard on Hanania? More on Latin, Oregon, and Mahony. Plus much else.

9.9.02

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VULTURE CULTURE
Re: John Corry's Scaredy-Cats:

John Corry is correct in bemoaning the devil's marriage of leftist ideology and supposed "help" for the trauma victims of 9/11. Seems pretty clear that the NEA and the psycho-vultures (you know, the "mental health professionals" who jet around looking for something bad to happen so they can be "of service") are using the tragedy to simultaneously fatten their wallets and dispense propaganda.

To make matters worse, over the past eight years or so there has been an increasing body of scientific literature that indicates such "debriefings" are at best of no help, and may well exacerbate trauma symptoms in many cases. Yep, that's right -- doesn't do any good, and probably causes some harm.

People in charge of such activities (e.g., mayors, police chiefs, etc.) would be well advised to take a good look at the scientific literature before calling in the trauma tourists.

Don't get me wrong; not all psychologists and therapists are so misguided, and I think most of the trauma tourists sincerely believe that what they do helps, scientific evidence notwithstanding. Nor would I indict the entire mental health profession (yes, I'm a Ph.D. child psychologist myself). It's just that the combination of poor science and liberal activism is toxic. But then again, hasn't that always been the case?
-- M.B.S.

CUTTING REMARKS
Re: Raoul Felder's T'ain't Funny:

Mr. Felder would have been better served if he stopped his article six or seven paragraphs earlier. His philosophy, like so often happens with many of the opposite persuasion, i.e., liberal writers, got in the way of a good factual response to Mr. Hanania's poorly conceived PR/marketing efforts.

Otherwise, I enjoy both Mr. Felder's and Mr. Mason's contributions to the Prowler as I have in the past with their humor and insights in the Spectator.
-- Joseph G. Procopio

DEATH SENTENCE
Re: Jed Babbin's Saddam Esse Delendum:

The sentence with which Cato the Elder ended each speech was Ceterum censeo Carthaginem delendam esse: "Also, I think Carthage must be destroyed." Delendam is the feminine singular accusative of the gerundive of deleo, I destroy. It is feminine because it modifies Carthago, which is feminine, and it is accusative because it is the subject of a sentence in indirect discourse; the infinitive "esse" is used for the same reason. The phrase as a stand alone sentence would be "Carthago delenda est" -- a more familiar version of the quote.

"Saddam has been destroyed" would be "Saddam deletus est," using the past participle of "deleo." "Saddam delendum est" would mean "Saddam must be destroyed" only if we assign the neuter gender to Saddam, an insult equal to Bush I's deliberate misaccentuation of the name.

Maybe you can borrow a Latin proof-reader from NRO....
-- Mike Bates

Jed Babbin replies: Thanks. Your correction is much appreciated, but your version differs with other scholars we've heard from. I have already deleted the reference book from which I got the quote from my library. All I know is that Saddam must be destroyed. Or, as you might put it, "Saddam delenda est." That's what we'll use for now

Errare est humanum.
--Matt Bartle

CLEAN-UP IN PROGRESS
Re: Bill Croke's Outré Oregon:

Dearest Prowler: It is with deep regret that I came upon your site today, to learn that my home state had taken a right bashing at the hands of one of your writers. My regret is not regarding the article's merit, as it was dead on the mark -- or almost -- but that I had been negligent in checking TAP more often, and thus missing out on such gems.

Now onto my comments on Mister Croke's piece. I have only a few observations. First, Medford does not belong on that list of craziness -- that fair, er... (city? whatever) is one of the few thee-and-thou towns left.

And secondly, it is of interest to note the "rioters" who greeted W and contrast them to our previous experiences with the likes of Squirrel Nutkin, a.k.a. Tre Arrow, aka Micheal J. Scarpitti (sic no doubt, but who cares?) who once perched on a ledge downtown for many days as a protest to a timber harvest, regularly defecating in a bucket in full public view, and now is a fugitive from justice on terrorism charges, presumably unconnected to his excretory antics.

The 2002 "Bash the Shrub" protest was much smaller in number than previous anarchist love fests, and it was painfully obvious that the organizers were trying to hide this. Protesters circled the nine square block exclusion zone repetitively, passing the cameras many times over, in an attempt to make their numbers appear larger. Having learned from previous encounters, the Portland Police brought in backup from neighboring jurisdictions to spread the blame of enforcing the law with, and successfully controlled the crowd. This left such a bad taste in the mouths of the protesters that they were back out there the next afternoon, long after W had "left the building," just to try to provoke another incident, interrupt the evening rush hour traffic, and get pictures of themselves being peppersprayed on the 11 o'clock news. Welcome to the cause, new initiates!

All in all, they are a joke, and the people of this state tolerate them less and less. Now, after we wash our hands of them at long last, can we please get a little help here? Our nominally Republican controlled Legislature needs a fund established to get them some vertebrae implant surgery.

Best,
-- Alexander B. Craghead
Portland, OR

PATCHWORK
Re: Dave Shiflett's The Real Dogpatch:

The Clintons in "The Real Beverly Hillbillies"? No, they're more of the "Deliverance" type. After all, they've been doing it to us all these years.
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, NY

Dave Shiflett is ahead of the curve again. I wouldn't mind seeing a few episodes of "Beverly Hillbillies From Yale" starring W.J. Clinton, the sorry culmination and disastrous end of the Snopes line, which clan, if you'll remember, rarely owned the homes they defiled and always lived by bamboozling others.
-- Larry Thornberry
Tampa, FL

EX-CATHEDRAL
Re: George Neumayr's The Cardinal's Superdome:

You are doing a great job. Loved the article on Cardinal Mahony's "cathedral" (?). Nothing Catholic about it. I see it as a way he expressed and paid homage to himself, thinks he is bigger than life. Tries to please every pagan god he worships including the almighty dollar. His job is to help save souls, but there is no evidence of that when you put him to the light, or compare him to an Archbishop Sheen. Mahony sold out long ago and continues to be a disgrace to the Faith and all that is holy (which the cathedral is not).
-- Mrs. Pat Scott
Houston, TX

MASTERY NOVEL
Re: Michael Craig's Masters, Misters, Missus & Misses:

This question was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts. A private organization is just that: a private organization. What would America be like without them? Certainly not a place where I would want to live. In short, leave my Morris Women's Club alone.
-- Annette Cwik

Michael Craig replies:
True enough, though there are some exceptions in which private organizations (which are protected by the first amendment's right of free association) become quasi-public by the nature of their activities. That's not the case here, and the NCWO is not, and probably would not, institute legal proceedings.

More important than whether what Augusta National is doing is legal -- it is -- is whether it is right. I come out on the liberal side of these issues more than most of TAP's readers or writers and I still think the NCWO is wrong and doing their legitimate issues a disservice by grandstanding on this one. (Notice how no women of the stature who might be invited to join are coming out in favor of this. I wonder how everybody would view this if Augusta National decided to invite a woman to join and it was Hillary Rodham Clinton. What would she do? What would liberals think? What would conservatives think?)

If Augusta National was some local enclave where the business and political bigwigs of the town hashed out their business, excluded businesswomen might be right to think they were at a permanent disadvantage because their competitors, customers, and suppliers engaged in the flow of commerce without them. Maybe they'd be cry-babies or sore losers or couldn't prove anything, but if they were right, shouldn't they complain somehow? As a proponent of fair and open markets, I'd like to see competition.

That said, membership at Augusta National does not fit that situation. It doesn't add up that the Carly Fiorinas and Martha Stewarts aren't getting a fair shake in business because they aren't members. The club is closed a fair portion of the year, the members rarely show up, and it's bad form to talk about business.

As far as the Morris Women's Club is concerned, I think you're safe. Men rarely push to get into women-only enclaves; it is more often our behavior than our gender that gets in trouble in those places.

WIRED
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Thanks,
-- Angela Costa

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