HONOR, LOSS, AND DIGNITY
Re: Christopher Orlet's Crocodile Tears:
Regarding Christopher Orlet's editorial on Cindy Sheehan: I am nonplussed as to why he would have the paranoid conviction that Sheehan "figured out that an American defeat in Iraq would increase the Democrats' chances in the next presidential election." Other than to rid this country of an immoral president, Sheehan does not seem to have any political aspirations at all. I have also pondered Orlet's statement that Sheehan is "more antiwar protestor than grieving mother" and I continue to arrive at the conclusion that his argument does not pass the "so what?" test. Many grieving parents are driven to action as evidenced by MADD, the Amber alert, and numerous cancer foundations. The moral conviction of Cindy Sheehan has clearly driven Christopher Orlet over the edge. We parents everywhere applaud her courage.
-- Pam Harms
I'm a Marine's mother and I want to speak out against Cindy Sheehan. I know she is grieving and I am truly sorry for her loss, but I am convinced she is using her son's death for her own political agenda. I grew close to some other Marine mothers last year during my son's Battalions Iraq tour and some of those mothers lost their sons. I know exactly what Bush does when he meets with gold star families, he cries with them, prays with them, takes time to talk with each family and answer questions. Cindy Sheehan is a liar and dishonoring her son's memory. I really wish someone could get her positive grief therapy -- she is having a breakdown.
-- Lisa Lattea
In the classic Good-bye To All That, Robert Graves prints a tearjerking and treacly plea for pacifism from a maudlin little Edwardian grannie. It provided levity even in the trenches. It has been remarked by Sheehan's maternal concern has beaten swords into schtick!
Unless she plans to mount Lysistrata in Crawford, please go home and light a candle, Mrs. Sheehan.
-- The Revd. William H. Marchl, III
Smithfield, North Carolina
Your comments and editorials regarding a grief-stricken mother whose son has fallen in Iraq serving his country are sickening to my stomach. I hope someday you will have to deal with a beloved dying for a war you believe is useless and unnecessary.
Sheehan is a grieving mother, wondering why her precious son died for a war that is completely useless. That's right -- useless!
Your magazine is as vicious, slanted and bad as Rush Limbaugh's blathering "media empire." The conservatives were envious of the network's power, so Rush had to "even the score," giving confidence to the religious wacko right.
-- Barbara Adams
Cindy Sheehan is really starting disgust me. She is obviously using her son's death to push an agenda he would want nothing to do with. I am a National Guard Soldier and Marine veteran. I have told my wife, mother, and every other member of my family that if I die in combat and they ever pull a stunt like this, I will haunt them every day for the rest of their lives.
-- Chris B.
I wish all the media would point out who these groups are. Code Pink is a far-left group that is pro-CASTRO. Ben Johnson has a column in Frontpagemag.com, July 14, that lists some of the Communist groups that are against America and the war. If the American people would pay attention to what is going on in America instead of all crap that's on T.V. we would be better off.
-- Luonne Dumak
You must inform people that this Cindy Sheehan is the very same woman mentioned in an article on June 14, 2005. This article was printed in the Lexington Herald Ledger, and written by one Frank Lockwood. The entirety of it can be read here. The article created a mild furor when it was profiled in the DRUDGE REPORT that month, but the media, being rather fickle, let it die out when it didn't produce any anti-Bush impetus.
In this article, Lockwood writes, "Since her son's death, Sheehan has made opposition to the Bush administration a full-time job." Among many other rants against Bush, Mrs. Sheehan actually said that "Beating a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life".
This woman is an avowed Bush-hater who has no object in her mind besides destroying President Bush. She has been traveling from state to state attending various anti-war and anti-Bush rallies, saying: "we're going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people," saying the war in Iraq is "unjust and illegal," and using these rallies as a springboard to "riducule Bush."...
-- Greg Fisk
One can understand a mother's grief-induced insanity, but she should know that she has denied what her son lived and died for. Perhaps one day, with a clearer head, she will understand the enormity of her betrayal of her son.
-- David Govett
Not many folks could afford to just pull up and camp outside a ranch gate for an indefinite period. It would be worth looking into exactly who and what Ms. Sheehan is and does. Personal Background? Education? Job? Family? Support? Political Relationships? She is sounding more scripted every day. What's up with her, exactly?
-- Gene Wright
Ever Suspicious in Laguna Niguel, California
Cindy Sheehan's power and credibility derive only from her son and his sacrifice. Her unspoken message is, "I speak for my heroic son, and he would have supported my message."
We need to know what her son thought about the War on Terror and our mission in Iraq. What would be especially credible would be his written record on the issue. Also enlightening would be more anecdotes from fellow soldiers and civilian friends back home who knew him well. His father's perspective should be broadcast widely to balance Mom's.
I'm interested in Casey's personal philosophy, not the rendition presented by Cindy in his name. He was her son, but he was also an adult and an individual, who made different choices from a world view contrary to hers. She should not present her views as his.
-- Stuart Andrews
Cindy Sheehan is totally dishonoring her son, Casey, and she should be ashamed, but that is a Democrat for you. They have no shame.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas
When Cindy Sheehan had met with President Bush just shortly after her son was brought back from Iraq. Being a Marine myself I can somewhat sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. My wife and I had to always deal with the "What if you don't come home" issue every time I left on a deployment.
The "What if you don't come home" issue is dealt with by every United States Service Member who deploys overseas. It is never easy and gut wrenching to say the least, but being in the armed forces it is fact of life.
When Americans join up and go through boot camp and then go to they're first permanent duty station they are very aware and know full well what the rules of the game are. Mrs. Sheehan's son Casey knew the rules and he abided by them as all Marines do. Yes, Casey didn't have to volunteer for the mission, but he did, Casey knew his brothers were in harms way and did what all Marines do, rise up to the mission at hand and just do the best job at assisting his brothers the best way he could. Sometimes doing the best job that you can do as a Marine isn't good enough, and Casey paid the ultimate sacrifice to his country, family, and the United States Marine Corps.
As Marines we cannot pick and choose the wars that we have to participate in, we follow orders handed down by the Commander in Chief, and do our duty. There is no such thing as a good war, or bad war the way the media has categorized the war in Iraq. War is war and "War is Hell" and as United States Marines, we just fight the best way we can, and hope like hell that our country supports us, and that is all we ask of our fellow countrymen and women and that is all Casey asked.
By Mrs. Sheehan wanting to ask the President, "Why did you kill my son?" She should ask the leaders of Syria and Iran who support terrorism in why they are sending they're sons over to Iraq to kill our sons and daughters.
Mrs. Sheehan's protest which may have started out as a noble cause is now controlled by the very special interest groups who want our country to fail and further in-danger the United States military personnel who are currently fighting in Iraq.
If I could send a message to Mrs. Sheehan it would be, "Mrs. Sheehan if you want to memorialize Casey as a fallen Marine, please support his fellow Marines that are still fighting terrorists." By Mrs. Sheehan being used as an instrument of special interest groups to advance they're agenda Mrs. Sheehan's cause is no longer noble, but political.
-- Melvin L. Leppla
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Every other service member killed in Iraq had parents, too. What makes Cindy Sheehan so special that makes her think she deserves special attention? Then there are the estimated 400,000 (some of them children) killed by Saddam during his 30-year reign of terror. That's over 1,000 A DAY! Why doesn't she go to Iraq and tell their grieving parents that it was wrong for the U.S. to stop him.
-- Gordon Paravano
Gee, what a surprise, the "mainstream" media are pushing Cindy Sheehan for all she's worth. It reminds me how the media gave massive coverage years ago to a mother whose son had died of AIDS, because she blamed Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. for it. Ah, but then she started blaming Bill Clinton too, and the media dropped her forever.
A Useful Death
A mother's anguish turns to ire,
Her liquid tears to spears of fire,
A useful fool for the liberal Left,
All hatred now, no more bereft.
The honor which her son embraced,
Is now dishonored, now disgraced,
As his mother stands atop his grave,
From there to shriek, from there to rave.
Yes, some are maddened in their grief,
And grief can surely change belief;
But this woman's views, her family say,
Have long been held, long fore today,
Enabling Leftists to use her grieving,
For Moore deception, Moore deceiving.
I see this mother as a willing fool,
A useful Moorish Code Pinko tool.
As one who fought in another place,
I sorrow for this boy's disgrace,
By a zealot mother grafting grief
Stealing his brave deeds, an honor thief,
Usurping his valor to claim her share,
Five minutes of fame in Media's glare.
Her platform one you don't see often:
A dishonored, flag-draped, soldier's coffin.
I can hear Michael Moore muttering under his breath,
"Yeah, this was really a useful death."
-- Russ Vaughn
THE SHAM OF MORAL NEUTRALITY
Re: George Neumayr's Planned Politics:
The decline in the fortunes of the Democrats/Liberals/Socialist/Communist can be traced to a protracted period of moral neutrality. We keep waiting for someone to draw a line in the sand and say we will go no further in the definition of marriage, abortion, stem cell research and other public policy questions like property rights. To draw those lines is to admit that there is a calculus of right and wrong that is unaffected by political declarations and it does matter if the calculation is correct. This will leave offended and abandoned the Moral Relativist but, they were the builders of this trap in the first place.
-- Danny L. Newton
Re: James Rosen's Covering Crawford:
Check on the start-up date of the building of the scatter in Crawford. Texas. It is just possible that George Bush chose it not only because he enjoys the brutal hot weather as long as an air-conditioned pick up truck or his home are nearby, but also as the least likely vacation spot for reporters! After all, he has the family home at Kennebunkport, but you don't see him going there. This may be Dubya's way of telling reporters, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of Crawford." Bush can stand the heat.
I've never been to Crawford, but I've seen Waco and that is enough for me to know for whatever its presidential perks, Prairie Chapel is not the South Fork we recall from the TV series Dallas.
George Bush knew when he built it, its inaccessibility and singular lack of amenities. As reporters scurry about looking for a motel room, President Bush can loll on the sofa in his air-conditioned den, singing, "Home, home on the range... where never is heard a discouraging word... 'cause they cain't git close enough, heh, heh, heh...." I love it!
-- Diane S. Smith
South San Francisco, California
Mr. Rosen has always looked so irritated on television at being the designated press reporter to cover the President at Crawford. I now know why he so dislikes his job. I must tell him as my folks told me when I first married a military officer and began to move from one place to the next, "Find something to like and act as if you like the place and you will."
Personally, after living in a D.C. suburb for four of the longest years of my life and the only military assignment I chose to dislike, I now know why President Bush leaves Washington for five weeks once and year and why he goes there as often as possible. I left D.C. at least four times a year to fly to my Dad's ranch in the Texas hill country for the same reason. Washington is so false and so outside the real world that only congressmen and reporters would think it is special. By going to the ranch to do real work and to see the land we are fighting to hold free the President can review, relax, and recharge. This is something folks at the beltway have to go on a cruise ship to do. We Texans put on jeans and go work the cattle or chop brush.
The day we left D.C. for a Texas ranch and normal life we picked up the fabled Washington Post for the last time, not so we could read the news, but so my husband could read his precious comic strips for the last time. He pointed out a "Frank and Ernest" cartoon strip about two hapless sad sack fellows (now it is defunct as it became a problem for the pc bunch). The two hobos were standing at a crossroads. The sign over their head read Washington, D.C. one way and to the opposite direction it pointed and read, "To the Rest of the World." I remember thinking... they have that right!
We raise cattle now and life a simpler life. Still, we raised a son who would leave here and attend the Air Force Academy, another would head to dreaded Waco and matriculate from Baylor, and a third who became a registered nurse. Fine individuals all and not living at home now in their 30s like a lot of my former Washington, D.C. friends. In their Christmas cards they try to play it off but I can tell that they know they gave their children indulgence when they went to the preppie schools and when real life didn't match up they want to come live off the family again.
Mr. Rosen, when I drove through that area last week heading home to check on now elderly parents in the hill country, I saw the most beautiful sunset imaginable. I reckon you could learn to like the place and find some mighty interesting places that would enrich your life. Leave your D.C. attitude at the Beltway. You are out of falsehoods and in God's country now, and this would be true anywhere in the U.S., not just in Crawford.
-- Beverly Gunn
Love that pic of Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Condi!!!! Tell somebody to make a poster like that, before they forget about it. LOVE that photo! Says it all: no nonsense, an almost out of place group, (not the most fashion-minded) always down to business, and not one of 'em you'd want to [mess] with!
-- Scott Horn
MAMAS, DON'T LET YOUR BABIES
Re: Clinton W. Taylor's The Outlawed Josey Wales:
This was a great article, but the whole country has already committed Barbicide, I am afraid. Yeah, MAKE MY DAY. My heroes have always been cowboys.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas
Thank you Mr. Taylor!
I am the mother of three boys, all raised in the 1980s. They grew up having sword fights with big sticks, having shootouts with plastic guns and the proud owners of their own bb guns. They wrestled in the dirt and in the living room. They started out in the tiger cubs and rose to the ranks of Eagle Scout, where I might add, they learned to shoot guns and bows and arrows. They played little league and Pop Warner and went on to play football, baseball, track, and golf in high school. They had army men and He-Man and blasted down Darth Vader with their star wars battle ships.
They built model rockets and launched them. They heard war stories from the grandfather who served in Korea and Vietnam. they fished and camped and served as alter boys. They are musicians (bassoonist), travelers, and writers, and bankers. They are fathers and knights of Columbus and teach ccd.
They were not "robbed" of their male-ness (for lack of a better word) by any school or organization. I even had a friend who would not let their son play with mine because he had a "toy gun." My sons had video games and the truth be told, they played them at most, two or three hours a week. Others were critical of my boys because they were "too-hyper active." I even went so far as to take them to their pediatrician who promptly informed me that they were perfectly fine and healthy and did exactly what kids were supposed to do....play and have the imagination to do it!
I think my boys were well raised and came fully equipped with excellent social skills, including impeccable table manners. Yes, you can take them out to eat. Yes, they do own their own homes and are very successful and fully functional members of society and I am proud to say they are outstanding young MEN!
I could not be more proud of my three sons.
I thank you for your excellent article and your time.
-- Priscilla in Sacramento
GOOD SCIENCE, POOR ETHICS
Re: Hunter Baker's Gelernter and Dobson in the Public Square:
There's another sense in which James Dobson is right. As vile as their methods were, the medical experiments at the Dachau concentration camp were intended advance science. Ethicists don't debate the value of their research, the fuss over the morality of using it. In fact, the most important experiment done there is applied today whenever someone suffers from hypothermia. The Dachau experiments demonstrated for the first time the benefits of rapid warming. The evil of those experiments lay in the fact that the subjects were unwilling and often died as a result, precisely the situation with human embryos.
-- Mike Perry
Why don't you button your racist mouth and ask traditional Indians if they want a sports team "honoring" them? I am an enrolled Native American Indian, of the Mescalero Apache nation. As far as your racist, egalitarian attitudes sure show your bigotry, since you can't have you white conservative racist way.
We have dealt with people like you since Columbus landed; all you are is the coming of the same old cavalry, smashing our culture and spirituality under your blackjack boots.
Here's something to ponder while you continue to rave what you perceive as an injustice... we are still hear even after the American holocaust perpetrated by people with narrow minds like you .
In the struggle
An excellent article by Andrew Cline! Apparently he did more investigation for the article than was done by the NCAA. But with all of their more important issues already being solved, the NCAA just had to go after one more issue affecting the lives of every American.
-- Denis Lougeay
Thank you for your well thought out and researched article. I wrote an email to Jon Sarcone at USA Today for his ill-informed, knee-jerk "article."
As is always the case I spent much more time in criticizing him, than I do in applauding those who have done a wonderful job. I agree with your opinion. But what is more refreshing is your article is well researched, and supported. Mr. Sarcone article appeared to have been written 30 minutes before deadline after he read two or three wire service reports.
Thank you again for your well-written piece.
-- David Beshears
OK Folks, It's time to "ban" (as in dis-ban-d) the NCAA. It seems to me that the solution is rather a simple one. The member schools of the NCAA just need to create a new organization to oversee their (the members) activities, (RIGHT NOW via conference call). All bowl contracts can simply be played on the NEXT day in any cases where the NCAA tries to exert their fragile contract authority, and instead of having a bureaucratic staff to be paid from the efforts of the athletes of the collective membership, maybe a donation each year from the gate receipts to the various Indian Nations would be a very nice gesture I would think. Maybe the Tribes sprinkled across America would be interested in building and owning game facilities on their lands to perpetuate a handsome revenue stream for their people. These facilities might be better for them than gambling casinos that they do not operate, but only receive royalties from. This might enable a better system (because of additional game facilities available) to arrive at "National Champions" each year.
All this being said, the NCAA is an organization comprised of members. If they don't have any members, this budding crisis seems MOOT.
Thanks for your time, enjoyed your article on the subject.
-- Forest Preston
WHO'S SCALPING WHOM?
Re: Jeff Brownell's letter (under "Off the Reservation") in Reader Mail's The Party's Over:
Where was scalping found? Yes, from the indigenous peoples of this country. If you would try to study history, we Euro-Americans would only behead and spike the skulls on a stake. Try the Washington Skullsters on for size. Go Chief! Mr. Brownell read history, then bloviate...
What about those poor souls who were in North America before the "indigenous peoples." Who will rise to their defense? Have you not read the history of how the various "Indian" nations, for centuries, routinely warred against each other? The Indians learned scalping from the French. All was not wampum and peace pipes my friend!
-- Kevin W. (part Delaware, part Shawnee, part German, part Irish, and God knows what else!)
Morgantown, West Virginia
Re: David Hogberg's Ready for Round Two:
David Hogberg is probably right about avoiding the "Green Eyeshade" aspect of the first round of pleadings for reform of Social Security. Pointing out traditional and elementary accounting flaws could avalanche into expecting or demanding that the people who crafted this mess be held to account for their poor workmanship. Worse yet, it could call into question the theory that diversity makes us stronger since many major steps in the wrong direction were taken under the cover of bi-partisan consensus.
-- Danny L. Newton
Reform almost always calls for a piece-meal approach. Small steps are necessary to bring change to a bloated broken program like Social Security. Personal accounts would certainly make a great first step. But probably the single most simple step to break the backs of the opposition and make the snowball run fast, would be to require every American employee to receive an immediate 7.65% raise and then have all of us pay the full 15.3% Medicare and SS payment like self-employed people do. Then every American would feel the full weight of the burden of this Ponzi scheme.
-- Jim Whittle
In fact, Peter Jennings said the word "about" properly. He pronounced the "ou" diphthong correctly in a manner that was short, much the way you might hear it in the upper mid-west of the U.S. or in Virginia. And, of course, in Canada, the home of properly pronounced English.
-- Campbell Laidlaw