Reader Mail

After the Sniper

What makes children special? How unmanly Virginia? Plus much lots more.

10.27.02

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CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN
Re: Bill Guentner's letter in Reader Mail's Clowns and Frowns:

Bill Guentner doesn't like "Clinton Bashing." Mr. Guentner, Bill Clinton is to bashing as Mt. Everest is to mountain climbing. We bash him "because he is there!"
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, TX

A ROSE IS NOT A ROSE
Re: Enemy Central's For Pete's Sake:

There are many players of "rotten character" in the baseball Hall of Fame. The same is true of football.

I did not realize that character was the criterion for entrance. Pete Rose was and is a crude person who let gamboling destroy his life, but without a doubt, he was a great baseball player!!!!! He played three positions with great ability and showed more enthusiasm for the game than any other player then and now.

He may be your enemy of the week, but, as much as I dislike the man, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
-- J.M. Craig

NO KIDDING
Re: Jerry Carter: Children and the Sniper:

While I agree with everything Carter said about the hypocrisy involved in the overwrought anguish about the sniper's young victims, he missed his opportunity to go for the jugular by pointing out how such "concern" does not extend to protecting their right to be born in the first place.
-- Howard Hirsch
Carson City, Nevada

Jerry Carter's article on the sniper and the children was, to use the phrase, right on target. The Horndog president and his fright of a wife made a career of pushing their socialist programs by using the mantra of "for the children" to give us an eight-year nightmare of the Clinton administration. If they were truly "for the children," they would have pushed for more tax cuts, less government, giving real meaning to the rights as outlined in the Constitution, ended welfare, rewarded hard work, cracked down on criminal behavior at all levels, become champions of the free enterprise system -- in short, adopted the principles of conservatives and self-sufficiency.

Now, the sniper case becomes more important because a kid was hit with one of the shots. Why is this any more important than a middle aged man or woman being shot? At what age does someone move from "innocent childhood" to nondescript adulthood? I worked my entire professional life in the government schools so I know about doing something "for the children" is all about. One thing for sure that is a waste of time and money is focusing on and pampering the children. This inflated self-esteem movement running amok in our schools is a disaster because it results in spoiled brats who expect that the world owes them a living rather than buckling down and doing the hard work necessary of be successful. Those who push this nutty self-esteem program are doing it, again, "for the children."

Finally, there is the hypocrisy of the feminazis in the left who regularly castigate those women to choose to stay home with their kids and those who choose life over infanticide which is called abortion or, in their warped sense, choice. Hillary and company tout the "village" in child rearing which is nothing more than a shadow of the communist collective view of state-controlled parenthood. Did those kids grow up to be the promise of tomorrow? That concept has spawned such fiscal black holes as Head Start, a program that has not had any lasting positive long term effects. All of this under the mantra of "for the children."

Instead of short term feel good nonsense programs, we need to focus on the end result. My idea of the goal of public education was to produce fully-functioning self-sufficient adults. Not pampered, spoiled and phony self-esteem filled brats. Kids are important but they are only part of society; they are not society.
-- Al Martin
Portland, OR

Way to go, Jerry! I'm sure you will receive all sorts of flack about this, but it's the unvarnished truth. A life is a life is a life. To see just how gullible the "great unwashed" is about this "children" appeal, one has to look no farther than Hillary's It Takes A Village.
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, TX

So Jerry Carter can't understand "this mysterious hypersensitivity to 'the children,'" and the resultant over-reaction (in his opinion, no doubt) to the sniper's threats to children. In this Carter shows himself less a student of human nature than was the sniper. What a pathetic substitute for a man he must be!

I read this article three times to be sure I wasn't missing the deliberate use of satire or black humor. But no! This "man" is evidently serious. Get this paragraph: "Screw the children. My first thought is that the note's a little off. I am not safe anywhere, any time." And this one:

"Am I missing something? Sure, the sniper winged a kid on his way into school. But by that point he had also killed six innocent adults, who had been engaging in similarly mundane tasks like pumping gas or sitting on a bench. By some perverse logic in our culture, children's lives are deemed to be more worthy of consideration than adults.'" (My italics.)

Humans no less than bears or tigers are genetically programmed -- GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED -- to protect their offspring, even at the risk of their own lives. It's what assures the propagation of the species. The only difference from animals is that we humans generally expand this protectiveness to all children not just our own. With all of history open to study, how much of a jackass does it take to fail to understand this? And how much of a coward does it take to put his own life at higher value than that of some child's?
-- Richard Donley

NO, SANTA CLAUS, THERE IS NO VIRGINIA
Re: Dave Shiflett's Forget -- Hell, We'd Like To:

I'm curious what the kids did while the schools were closed. Did teens and pre-teens clog the malls and the shopping districts? How many parents stayed home to "protect" their children? In our area, whenever kids get a day off from learning (which seems far too often for educational purposes), they roam the streets and malls in massive throngs. With precious few exceptions, they're shrill, slovenly, disruptive and obnoxious. The only time they stayed home was 9-11-01.
-- Kitty Myers

Dave Shiflett's essay on the reactions to the sniper in the Richmond area compared to the D.C. area was the wrong interpretation. He charges that the D.C .area held firm by keeping their children in school, while the part of the state that hasn't been tainted by Yankee-carpet-bagging liberals "wet their pants" and pulled their children out of schools.

These reactions are in fact entirely consistent with the political and philosophical bent of the area. You see, the effete, panty-waisted liberals mistakenly believe that the government is responsible for protecting them. They were not told by the government to take any action, so they took none.

The reaction of the Ashland and Richmond area where many people pulled their children from school is a result of understanding that however good the intentions of the police, that in the end protection of their children is the responsibility of the parents. I'll bet that what Dave Shiflett missed is that in the D.C. area the ovine, liberal parents dutifully sent their children to potential slaughter pens, while the parents in "real Virginia" started carrying weapons to fight back if they encountered the sniper, at the same time that they removed their children as potential targets.

So, I would say that the spirit of rugged individualism is still very much alive in "real Virginia" and this event proves it.
-- Mike Rentner
Formerly of Virginia, but now in Austin, Texas

I don't live in Virginia, but given the real hysteria these sniper attacks created with real deaths, the fact that many parents were frightened for their children's safety is not "wimpy" but proper parental concern. Your making light of a tragic situation just demonstrates that (a.) you must not have children, or (b.) if you do I feel sorry for them, because you're too busy breaking your arm slapping yourself on the back that you are so witty, and have too little time for them. You are not the soul of Virginia, and you would bring shame to the heroes of the Confederacy for your cowardly, small talent attack.
-- unsigned

Dave Shiflett is soooooo right about the real Virginia wimping out. Even us liberal weenies up here in Merryland kept our schools open.

I can think of nothing more demoralizing than the announcement that the Richmond area schools were to be closed for not one, but TWO days. Merryland weenies are up here dealing with a serial sniper, in a state with the death penalty put on moratorium by our very corrupt governor, and the one state that gave us hope that should the sniper be caught he would get his due, CLOSES THEIR FREAKING SCHOOLS IN FEAR.

I've nothing, absolutely nothing, but contempt for mighty Virginians, once a state close enough for me to escape to for a dose of American values, and that stupid decision to close their schools.

And where did the kids go on their two free days off? Why to the malls, where the chances of taking a bullet were far greater than the school yards!
-- Pat Fish

As a former citizen of the former Holy City of the Confederacy and now a resident of Arlington, VA, I share Brother Shiflett's pain as to what came to pass last week. My brother and his family are residents of Midlothian and little bro' was incensed over the school closures causing him and my sister-in-law to miss two days of work as the authorities wet their collective pants. Shameful behavior. Everyone seems to have forgotten the president and vice president's admonitions that this would be a long war with casualties still yet to come both here and abroad. The watchwords should be, "stay alert, vigilant, say your prayers and go about your life, dammit." If the statues on Monument Avenue could emote I'm sure the heads of Marse Robert, Old Bluelight and JEB Stuart would be bowed in shame of what befell this once proud city.
-- Bill Harrison
Arlington, VA

It will be a sad day when Dave Shiflett moves to a more manly part of this great country. It will also be a sad day when Dave Shiflett realizes that no such place exists.
-- David W. Henderson

DOWN AND DIRTY
Re: John Corry's Even Worse Than Maureen Dowd:

I've written before to express my unalloyed admiration of John Corry's graceful English and erudition. Reading him is akin to my pleasures from the New Yorker and N.Y. Times before they were overwhelmed by the anti-Vietnam war, pro-homosexual, and minimalist cultures. Would that the Times and New Yorker -- formerly the "world's greatest newspaper and magazine," respectively -- still had room for someone like Corry.

He is, of course, entirely right about Krugman's alternative earth where America has been corrupted by traditional values rather than the counter-culture that seemingly rejected every lesson of civilization, including the ideal of romantic love and marital fidelity, the founding role and essential precept of Christianity in America, and proper hygiene.

(My bother reminds me of one of Gene Autry's co-stars who remembered "he was always so clean" -- she didn't mean in mind, although I'm sure he was that too. One of the counter-culture's prominent figures, Burt Reynolds -- and maybe its poorest actor and worst toupees -- blasphemed Gene's anthem "Back in the Saddle." I hope Gene's team, the Angels, wins the World Series; I haven't been as interested since Jim Eisenreich resumed his career after prevailing against Tourette's and played in the Series with the Phillies and Marlins.)

If Krugman, Dowd, Raines, Punch and the rest of that bunch really believe that nonsense, then they are better suited to edit and publish Hugh Hefner's house organ than the paper "Of Record."
-- James Wheatley

SAMMY HUSSEIN
Re Michael Craig Killing Saddam ... With Kindness:

WONDERFUL -- great column! Exceptional humor too.

Continued success!
-- Geoff Brandt (whose ex-wife still resides in Scottsdale 40+ years later...)

TO JED BABBIN
Re: Jed Babbin's Loose Canons:

Dear Sir: I would like to tell you that I have been reading your articles since my sophomore year in High School, I'm now a freshman in college studying Political Science. I must say that you are one of the best Op-Ed writers I have ever come across. Your straight talk, no BS approach makes me wish you were still in the Pentagon, and more so, in the West Wing itself. Keep up the great articles, and SGO's. :) Take care and God Bless America.
-- Dan Stefanowicz
Melrose Park, IL

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