Reader Mail

Mind Games

Lying, cheating, and the admissions racket.

7.17.02

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PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Middle East War Nobody Knows:

Just read your article on Palestinian Resistance. I've been posting and commenting on it every time I come across a story on it. The estimates, by Palestinian Human Rights Groups, is that over 800 (or was it 1,800?) deaths in the First Intifada were collaborators killed by Palestinians. Of course the UN, EU and every other Israel-hating group with a soap-box to stand on include those in the numbers of Palestinians dead by the Israelis.
-- Zach Barbera
http://zbarbera.blogspot.com

THE ART OF LYING
Re: Bill Croke's Why Do 'Liberals' Lie? and Reader Mail's Misery and Missoula:

I have found it useful to adopt the perspective of the political scientist Hans Morgenthau, who in Politics Among Nations, stated that people could be categorized as realists, or idealists. He then explained that, whilst both types wish to improve our lot in this vale of tears, the realist accepts the reality that exists, and understands that, given human nature, which has never changed, and never will, improvements, changes, can be accomplished incrementally, and require both persuasion and compromise. The idealist, on the other hand, believes that man is "perfectible," that "education" is the answer to all problems, that we can attain "paradise" here on earth, and, most important, having envisioned the world as he thinks it should be, proceeds to act as if it already conformed to that vision.

"Liberals," and I place that term in quotation marks, because my experience is that those who style themselves "liberal" are virulently narrow-minded and intolerant of any dissent from their viewpoints, lie, Sir, because they are compelled to lie. These are people who attempt to deal with the world as if it were the way that they believe it should be, rather than the way that it is. Every time they are faced with what is to them an unpleasant fact, they deny the reality of that fact, which means that they lie. They lie, they quibble, they fantasize, and they condemn any and all of us who try to deal with the world as it actually is. They lie, because reality simply does not suit them.
-- W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

In reference to Mr. Croke's comment that "[a memoir] is not Art, therefore it should tell the truth," I would refer him to Florence King's Lump It Or Leave It, and her response to critics of Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady. To summarize, a memoir is an art form (though whether deserving of capitalization is another question), and therefore strict attention to factual matters can be a hindrance.
-- W. Picou

BACK, BACK, BACK
Re: Peter Hannaford's Strike Out:

Mr. Hannaford's column re baseball takes me way back to 1947. I remember a baseball reporter's column about Joe DiMaggio in which he told how he came upon Joe sitting at his locker after a hard fought game. He asked Joe why he looked "down" and the Clipper said he was thinking about his failure to help win the game. The reporter pointed to some younger players who appeared contented as they avidly read the stock reports of the Wall Street Journal and remarked that they did not show his concern. And Joe ruefully noted their activity with a sad concern for baseball's future if the players forgot what the game was about. -- at least the game Joe so proudly played. I remember sitting in the $1.25 center field bleachers of Yankee Stadium and watching a hurting Joe DiMaggio wincing from pain as he played his position. He felt that if he could throw one powerful ball back to the infield at the beginning of the game, he could fake out the opposition from trying to run on him during the rest of the game.

In my 72nd year, I have come to the sad conclusion that
baseball has forgotten the game it once was.
-- Ken Wyman
Huntsville, AL

U.C. IS WHAT YOU GET
Re: George Neumayr's A Liberal Fantasy Camp:

I am an alumnus of UC Berkeley. I got in in 1970, when the hot campus to attend was UC Santa Cruz. My how times have changed. Unless the situation has dramatically changed, if it is so important to have "Berkeley" on the diploma, then I suggest that one can go to Santa Cruz, Riverside, Davis, or Irvine for a year, get good grades and then transfer to Berkeley or UCLA, after the "life challenged" have flunked out, or otherwise left.
-- Roger Thompson
Hilliard, OH
(born and raised in the SF Bay Area).

In reporting about California admissions into the state's university system, Mr. Neumayr writes:

"Meanwhile, Susana Pena is UCLA-bound with an anemic 940 on the SAT. 'Once in a while, they should give us a little break so we can catch up to them,' she said to the Journal. "

Maybe Ms. Pena should have spent the last 12 years keeping up with the other students. I doubt 4 or 5 more years of "higher education", that these days spend almost the first 2 years in remedial courses because of the horrible quality of high schools, will be enough time for Ms. Pena to catch up to anything beyond "see spot run."

And I would sure like to know how being "poor" automatically means you can't learn. Are school libraries closed to the poor? Are these people so "poor" they can't afford electricity to read by at home? Are "poor" students denied the use of school materials? Are the "poor" taught in separate classrooms with teachers worse than the average (inner cities notwithstanding)?

My wife and I are proud "white trash" from Arkansas. We may have not been "poor," but we sure weren't as near well off as most families. That didn't stop either of us from learning, achieving and moving into the good paying careers. Besides, our parents would have whooped us if we didn't!!!
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, TN

I am Hispanic, so it cannot be said that I am a racist. The blatant favoritism on the merit of race by UCLA and Berkeley, is an outrage. We are all Americans and we should be rewarded for our accomplishments and not for ethnicity or color of our skins. I find this trend a dangerous practice since it is designed to drive a wedge between Americans. The politicians gleefully pander to Hispanics now. It seems it is popular to be a Hispanic because illegal immigration from Mexico brings slave-cheap labor. I find this demeaning and terribly embarrassing to the rest of us Americans of Spanish descent. Because of the socialist Hispanic "leaders," politicians are under the impression that all American Hispanics are for illegal immigration. Not all American Hispanics are for special treatment either.
-- Haydee Pavia
Laguna Woods, CA

Same here in Texas, thanks to former Governor George Bush. This is why the state of Texas has to spend millions of dollars a year on remedial classes in the university system:

"List of Admissions Factors: requires institutions to consider 'all, any, or some combination of the following factors':

"1. the applicant's academic record;

"2. the applicant's socioeconomic background;

"3. whether the applicant would be the first generation of the applicant's family to graduate from an institution of higher education;

"4. the applicant's bilingual proficiency;

"5. the financial status of the applicant's school district;

"6. the performance level of the applicant's school as determined by the school accountability criteria used by the Texas Education Agency;

"7. the applicant's responsibilities while attending school, including whether the applicant has been employed, has helped to raise children, or other similar factors;

"8. the applicant's region of residence;

"9. whether the applicant is a resident of a rural or urban area or a resident of a central city or suburban area in the state;

"10. the applicant's performance on standardized tests;

"11. the applicant's performance on standardized tests in comparison with that of other students from similar socioeconomic backgrounds;

"12. whether the applicant attended any school while the school was under a court-ordered desegregation plan;

"13. the applicant's involvement in community activities;

"14. the applicant's extracurricular activities;

"15. the applicant's commitment to a particular field of study;

"16. the applicant's personal interview;

"17. the applicant's admission to a comparable accredited out-of state institution; and

"18. any other consideration the institution considers necessary to accomplish the institution's stated mission."
-- Roger Chaillet
Dallas, Texas

LOOKING BACK AHEAD
Re: The Prowler's Secretive Clintonites: Crossfire Jitters:

Last week the news report on the American Family Voices ad buy said that some -- If not all -- of the $100,000 came from a software executive. When Joe Lockhart's name popped up, Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, came to mind. Lockhart left the Clinton Administration to go to work for Ellison. WJC himself joined the Oracle Board and, in fact, his first speaking gig was to the Oracle annual meeting in New Orleans.

Now, this connection isn't all that exciting...unless...I started thinking about the Microsoft breakup and the taxpayer dollars spent on leveling the software playing field. Oracle was acknowledged as the heads-on competitor to Microsoft. Wonder how much journalistic investigating it would take to connect the dots. Just a thought...
-- Marsha Tucker
Houston, TX

LOOK WHAT I'VE FOUND
Man, am I glad to find you all out there. I was wondering what happened to some of the people from the the old TAS, and I am really glad to find your website. I'll be checking in regularly. Thanks for keeping up the good work.
-- Terrie in Dayton, Ohio

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