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Heil and Hardy

The German question -- and many others.

9.13.02

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PRO SPIRO
Re: John Corry's Moving On and Jerry Carter's In This Corner...:

Thanks for John Corry's piece on New York and Washington -- as usual, highly intelligent and acutely perceptive. As for Jerry Carter, all writers on deadline know what it is to try to make something out of nothing or to round off a trite observation with strained wit. But please, no more gratuitous whacks at Spiro Agnew. Conservatives may not always retrieve their wounded. But we don't need to shoot our dead.
-- John R. Coyne

GERMANY'S SLOW RECOVERY
Re: Hans Nichols' An Anti-American Election:

Those topless billboards sound Weimar-ish; this is all the more reason to be concerned, for after Weimar comes the reaction.
-- Jim Stevenson

I was very interested to read Nichols' article. Here is Hans Eichel's reaction to Bush's UN speech today:

"In Germany -- where the government has been Europe's staunchest opponent of an attack on Iraq -- Finance Minister Hans Eichel warned that a military campaign on Baghdad was the only thing that could wreck Germany's economic recovery."

The only thing, huh?
-- Brian Hoffman

While your article raises many good points, there is one element in the current mix that the author passed over. The impact of the conversion to the euro on the average German cannot be underestimated. My parents, both of German birth (and now proud Americans) recently visited their kin. One of the bits of news they brought back was the near-universal anger (at least amongst their friends and kinsmen) over the euro's impact on their pocket books.

To put the problem into the simplest of terms, imagine waking up one morning and finding your paycheck slashed in half, and the prices for everything you need suddenly 10-50% higher. To put it mildly, they're p.o.'d big time. It'll be interesting as the election gets closer to see if either candidate plays the "euro card" against the other.

And you thought Florida was fun.
-- Charles D. Ahner
Cincinnati, OH

SO SIOUX ME
Re: Lawrence Henry's First Name, Last Name:

I read the thing twice, and I still don't know if Mr. Henry is in favor of the use of last names for adults by children or not.

Personally, I abhor the current "friendliness" because it seems that everyone, particularly some snot-nosed little kid, starts addressing me by my first name the instant he/she finds out what it is, and that, in my humble opinion, is a sign of disrespect.

Sorry, Mr. Henry -- if you like it, I don't, and I find at the age of 63 that it is simply another way to bypass etiquette. I correct it every chance I get, and I will continue to do so. My kids aren't going to address me by my first name, and even other adults aren't going to, unless I allow them to do it first.

It's well past time to get back to basics.
-- (Mr.) Alan R. Huber
Sioux Falls, SD

PUT GOOD THINGS TO LIFE
Re: Michael Craig's Jane Welch's Sour Grapes:

Right on.
-- Alfred Stanbury
(Non-whining GE investor)

The Prowler must be hard up for subject matter if we have to suffer through such a long-winded defense of good old Jack Welch. I hope Ms. Jane take the deep thinker for all he's worth. Let's stick to the enemies of America, native and foreign.
-- Gary Hannah
Shalimar, FL

CONSENSUAL CONFIRMATION
Re: The Prowler's Judicial Despair:

I know this idea is not new, but why can't Bush insist that his nominees get the benefit of a full Senate vote? They get to advise and consent, not the judiciary committee, according to the Constitution, I think.

What the heck, I could be wrong.
-- Eugene Hauber
Meshoppen, PA

COLD TURKEY
Re: Jed Babbin's The EU's War on NATO:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Jed Babbin claims in "The EU's War on NATO" that Turkey is made to jump through hoops before it can become a member of the EU. This is not the case, there are clearly defined criteria for all candidates. The most important of these criteria are those concerning human-rights. Use of torture is even today not uncommon in Turkey, and it was even more often used in the past. Those responsible have not been brought to justice.

Turkey's parliament has just ratified some laws to reduce human-rights abuses and to abolish the death penalty. If they are put into practice, there won't be a serious obstacle for Turkey's membership, even though income per-capita in Turkey was below that of Mexico's even before the current crisis and is even lower now.

Turkey and the EU have had a tariff union with each other for some years now. Turks will probably be able to enter and leave the EU freely even before membership. I can't deny that this causes some trepidation in Germany, because millions of Turks are already living here, many of whom are showing no signs of assimilation or at least integration into our society. When their children are put into schools, they are quite often not fluent in German or they don't speak German at all. Even worse, their command of Turkish is also insufficient, so they won't be able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them by Turkey's entry into the EU.

Regards,
-- Ralf Goergens
Munich

Greatly enjoyed the subject article. I completely agree with your suggestion of admitting Turkey to NAFTA. But why stop there? Wouldn't it be to our advantage to also extend invitations to England, and of course Australia and New Zealand, along with Russia? Not only would such a course be good for all involved, the EU would then merely collapse of its own weight. Its members have never gotten along, and never will. The French and Germans alone are enough to make the EU unworkable.
-- Douglas L. Allen

"EUnuchs": Whoever thought of this word is brilliant.
-- Michael Greenberg

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