Tough Crowd

From the Sept/Oct 2014 issue

We are disturbed by the slurs on American Indians in Ira Stoll’s article “Teepee Populism” (TAS, July/August 2014) about Elizabeth Warren—starting with the cover of the issue, with its caricature of Warren as a goofy Indian sprouting head feathers in front of a teepee. If you wanted to criticize her for being less than ingenuous about various aspects of her past, surely you could have done so without trotting out tired stereotypes of the Native people of this continent.

The article brings up many other areas in which you think Warren gives cause for concern as a possible presidential candidate besides the matter of her alleged Native ancestry. You could easily have discussed these without resorting to offensive stereotypes. The cover graphic—along with the article’s title, the sick joke about the Cherokee jeep, the reference to war path, etc.—perpetuates racist attitudes, which are echoed in some of the online comments. Why not cut the facile slickness and show a little respect?

Dorian Brooks & Anna Watson
Solidarity with American Indians


Proof and Consequences

By From the July - Aug 2012 issue

MR. DERBYSHIRE DEMANDS "evidence" of God and Heaven ("Heavens to Betsy," TAS, June 2012), but since there is plenty of evidence what he really seems to want is proof. Well, proof he will not get, but of course he can offer no proof either. And, as I say, there is plenty of evidence.

Consider, to give just the most obvious example, the Gospels, not to mention the rest of the New Testament and the Old. Now, you can attack their veracity, just as a lawyer in court can attack the veracity of some document, but you cannot say that it is not evidence. And their veracity actually holds up rather well, by the way.

Mr. Derbyshire also attacks C.S. Lewis, but offers little besides name-calling, and with that limited to Lewis's mythic and poetic children's stories, not his more forthright apologetics. Of these, Mr. Derbyshire apparently started to read, but never finished, only one.


UNESCO: Who’s the Rogue?

From the April 2012 issue

Joseph A. Harriss's recent article ("The United Nations' Rogue Agency," TAS, February 2012) expresses appropriate concern about certain recent events at UNESCO. At the same time, the piece mischaracterizes events that are portrayed as stains on the organization when they were actually triumphs for UNESCO—and U.S. interests.

For example, Harriss alleges that the election pitting Mubarak's corrupt henchman Farouk Hosni against other candidates was a black mark on UNESCO's reputation. On the contrary, due to intense and vigorous pressure by the United States, Hosni was defeated and instead the organization elected Irina Bokova, who in my view has been a superb Director General. Without U.S. active membership in UNESCO, this would not have happened.


Reviewing James Davison Hunter: An Exchange

From the September 2010 issue

In the interest of full disclosure, I provided limited research assistance for Mr. Hunter's book. In addition, Mr. Malloch considers himself a personal friend of my grandfather, the late Sir John Templeton.

Because of these personal connections, I was particularly disappointed to read Mr. Malloch's review ("Exile Chic," TAS, June 2010) of Mr. Hunter's new book (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World). Critical book reviews are warranted and Hunter's argument deserves to be debated. Malloch's review, however, renders substantive debate impossible. It was full of so many factual errors, misreadings, and veiled (or not so) slanders that one wonders if he actually read the book.

Here are a few of the factual errors and misreadings:

Hunter was raised in a Lutheran home, not as a "Fundamentalist" as Malloch asserts.



From the May 2009 issue

Having a Lousy Day

Your February issue discussed a book about American life by Justin Webb, a British journalist who actually lives here ("Finally, A Brit Who Gets It," by Joseph A. Harriss," TAS, February 2009).

The title of the book is Have a Nice Day, and your columnist asserted that the author "gets it," and not only gets it, is actually willing to admit, even to other Europeans, that under certain circumstances, Americans might not be absolutely awful. I've spent years in Europe, on the economy, and I especially know my Brits, and I had to physically thrust down my incredulity. I simply couldn't wait for the book to come out in the States, but scrambled to order it from my favorite London bookseller.



From the February 2009 issue


Thank you all for a truly exceptional issue (TAS, December 2008/January 2009). All of the articles were outstanding. Michael Novak’s and Roger Scruton’s were exceptional. Ben Stein and I have some significant differences of opinion, but his comments about Henry Paulson are right on. I just wish he wouldn’t whine so much about hotels and airplanes. We all suffer as business travelers. Thanks again and keep up the fight.
Via the Internet



Neal Freeman’s “Goodbye to Most of That” (TAS, November 2008) was outstanding. He beautifully summarized and clearly articulated so many of my own thoughts regarding the two presidential candidates. I wish it had been published earlier so that I could have used it in discussions with some of my iron-headed friends, who see things only through the eyes of the elephant or the jackass.

Hopefully, my own vote will ultimately prove to be the right one. Using the write-in option, I inserted the words “God Help Us”!
, Pennsylvania



From the November 2008 issue

Positive Pause

Bob Tyrrell’s lecture on the overarching virtues of candidate McCain was the single best-written argument I’ve read with respect to voting for this guy (“Captain McCain,” TAS, July/August 2008). I am biased, I suppose. Tyrrell is one of those conservative “warriors” I keep trying to locate. And at least a minor treasure. He actually brings passion and logic to his convictions. I’ve met the senator— and disliked him almost immediately; sometimes after listening further to the fellow I wonder why I didn’t dislike him sooner.