Re: George Neumayr's Chuck McHagel:
As a conservative Nebraskan, I'd like to thank you for the spot-on article on Hagel. The move to more moderate social views are bad enough, but he acts like the "International community" elected him. It's all he talks about anymore. I'm sure that the rest of the world is a nice place, but I live in Nebraska. I'd like a Senator who will work to make my little slice of the world a little better.
Anyway, thanks. Please re-run this piece in 2007/08 when the campaigns are heating up. We need to make sure people know what they're getting.
-- Russ Bader
I would love to see a grass roots effort to un-seat Sen. Hagel, and replace him with a REAL Republican.
-- Rick Bradley
Columbia, South Carolina
YOU WILL REAP
Re: Jed Babbin's The Gitmo Girls:
As a conservative, I dislike sending our women into combat. I dislike the pornographic cesspool into which our culture has descended. When I see our women sent into combat so that they may behave like porn stars, I start at "dislike," proceed quickly to "abhor" and go on from there. What sanctioning this sort of interrogation does to American society is the real issue. As to Iraq, this gross insult to Islam, and indeed Christianity, is known to the average Iraqi, and he will not forget it. We have planted a seed that might yet bear bitter fruit.
-- Gary Martin
Assuming that the Washington Post story is correct, I am horrified by it and the thesis of "The Gitmo Girls," by Jed Babbin.
What worries me is not the moral implication of our relationship to the prisoners; it's the moral implication for the interrogators.
For a woman to use her body to buy information is prostitution. The military and our government should not be pimping, period. The president was re-elected partly on the premise that he would uphold Christian values.
It's not enough to say, "Should we require female interrogators to do these things? Certainly not." Like all of us, soldiers also feel peer pressure and want to advance in their careers. We are tempting them to behave immorally. Jesus said: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea."
For our government to permit such techniques is to condone them. Any person of faith and most secularists would be appalled that such behavior was being done in their name.
Besides, it's a stupid strategy. Far more effective would be for these military women to use their role as professional soldiers to challenge the prisoners' concepts of America. The hyper-sexualized America of the media just supports the "Great Satan" mythology, and it's not accurate. Why play into it?
-- Carol L. Douglas
I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read about the hellish conditions in Gitmo, being questioned by chicks wearing t-shirts and rubbing up against the suspects. Civil liberties groups and the New York Times seem completely unaware that prisons around the world are packed with men begging for the opportunity to be abused that way. Coming to mention it, there are plenty of men outside of prisons who don't mind that that as well. Terrorists who are so easily offended and who complain so loudly about so little don't even come close to being fearless warriors -- whining, sniveling poltroons is the description that comes to my mind.
Contrary to popular opinion, it looks to me like the madrassas have been doing an awful job of turning out combatants for the faith -- no need to worry about beating these guys, they can't take a hit. The madrassas would do a lot better by recruiting school girl hockey players, because I have regularly seen them take much more punishment without complaint than the whining, gutless cowards in Camp X-ray. Compared to what POWs had to put up with from the Japanese and from the North Vietnamese, the complaints about Gitmo are worse than ludicrous. It's about time somebody said so and stood up to this silly nonsense, instead of making out there is something to be ashamed of. There isn't -- Gitmo sounds as threatening as an open plan office that employs a lot of young women. And if Osama bin Laden thinks he can destroy Western civilization using snivelling weaklings like those in Gitmo, then he doesn't even begin to understand the world he lives in.
-- Christopher Holland
In re the use of sex for interrogations: Think about sex in terms of its purpose. Sex was made for marriage because marriage is an institution the primary purpose of which is the begetting and raising of children. Therefore, any sexual expression outside of marriage is intrinsically immoral. Which obviously includes titillating prisoners by sexual means. Mental coercion and some degree of physical force are not inappropriate, because violence during wartime interrogations is an extension of what must happen on the battlefield.
-- Kenneth A. Cory
I had an interesting thought reading Jed Babbin's report on women interrogators at Gitmo. Wouldn't it be ironic if you could show these detainees that Mohammad Atta, the night or two before the 9/11 attacks, visited a strip club?
Talk about a big "mufsidoon." But knowing how warped the thinking of these terrorists is they'd probably regard him as a hero for his resistance as he "endured" many lap dances.
-- Greg Barnard
HUNG OUT TO DRY
Re: John Corry's The New York Clothesline:
Right you are! I took one look at those bedsheets flapping in the wind, listened to the gushing N.Y. Times critic saying this was "art," and almost fell to the floor laughing. Do you think Liberals are just born gullible and stupid, or do they gradually morph into that condition from too much inhalation of city bus fumes?
-- Ron Ribman
IT'S A TAKE
Re: The Washington Prowler's Animal Kingdom:
As a result of their long-standing dalliance with Hollywood the Democrats have morphed into Sunset Boulevard.
The down and out Howard Dean has driven his failed presidential bid into the garage of the DNC. The aging -- but not silent -- screen star Nancy Pelosi is poised to make or break him. He must play her game. Harry Reid is wandering around muttering to anyone who will listen that the running of the DNC is a shared role.
How will it end? Who knows? But we do know Bubba Von Stroheim will have the film rolling as his wife prepares backstage for her close-up.
-- Mrs. John B. Jackson III (Janet)
Howard Dean is called a former "governor" by his supporters. Governor? Of a state the size of Vermont? Dean was mayor of Vermont County, and as counties go, it is a small and narrowly focused one. The mayor of Indianapolis would have a far greater base of experience, I think, on which to claim qualifications for any sort of national position.
Dean is so full of himself, and he's full of bull. Oops, I'm being redundant.
Why hasn't the media picked up on his "I hate all Republicans" statement?
-- Russ Spreeman
La Porte, Indiana (and 12 years a Vermont resident, having fled back to America in 1997)
As I continue to sit in utter amazement that the Democrats have elected Howard Dean as their new strong man, I also had to chuckle my way through The Prowler's latest illumination of the on-going shenanigans of that party. It leads me to an old Al Capp line (of "L'il Abner" fame) from many years ago -- "The inmates are running the asylum."
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Re: George Neumayr's Professors of Stupidity:
1. His qualifications aside, if Ward Churchill lied on his resume (about his Indian heritage) isn't that relevant and just cause for dismissal since it seems to be the reason he was hired?
2. If he isn't an Indian, and there seems to be no doubt that he is not, AND if he is such a great professor of Ethnic Studies (and his supporters say he is), then isn't the notion that only a "person of color" can teach Ethnic Studies a false one?
3. What does he really mean by placing "little Eichmanns" and "the profit machine" in the same context? Are capitalists Nazis? Where does that notion come from? It speaks volumes about his inability to think clearly, and his propensity to emote. The Nazis were many things evil, but "a profit machine" they were not. Is he implying that anyone who works in business is an instrument of the state? Why not just say so, whoops, he can't, he works for the state.
4. Why isn't he asked about his poor scholarship? He has been accused by those he uses for reference in his "research" of plagiarizing their work and of using them as references for ideas they never claimed. One can find this information on the Internet, but neither he nor his defenders are asked about his lack of scholarship by reporters.
Shock sells for Madonna, but should it be the basis for hiring and keeping a university professor? This is another stain on the University of Colorado, something is could hardly afford at this time. As if it wasn't embarrassing already to be a CU graduate and resident of Boulder with the sex scandals, now the quality of the education is hung out in the papers for all to see.
Thanks for the good article and keep up the good work.
-- Mary Blades
In response to the question of whether Churchill could have been tenured for authoring a book on Intelligent Design, the answer is "Absolutely." The concept of intelligent design is so far removed from science as to be better housed under what it really is, a very conservative belief system, a religion if you will. The claims for a scientific basis have no basis in either experiment or experience. In part the acceptance of "Intelligent Design," insofar as it has been accepted, is based on a misunderstanding of the use of theory in science. In the usual sequence of events in the scientific method (apparently not taught in high schools anymore), theories are proposed only after much experimentation or the collection of many documented observations. Theory, in the hierarchy of the search for truth by science, is one step short of certainty. Theory usually includes the bringing together of a number of well-tested hypotheses into a coherent whole. At best, the proponents of intelligent design base their understanding of the origin and nature of life forms on poorly formulated and untested hypotheses. As I understand these arguments, the basis is not science, but a literal reading of the writings of various religious philosophers and historians, including the compilers and translators of the Christian Bible. Couching this in scientific terms is not science, as I have lived and practiced it for nearly fifty years as both student and university professor of biology specializing in studies of factors leading to diversity in specialized environments.
The choice of books to end this otherwise well-written essay is unfortunate. Could the writers of the Bible have been awarded tenure? Probably not: too vague, too disconnected in format, unfocused. On the other hand, maybe so, these concerns certainly characterize Churchill's writing. The essays of Ernst Mayer and Stephen Jay Gould on the same subject would offer a better example of the kind of science that should be awarded tenure.
-- Elzie V. Laube
While I find Mr. Neumayr's conjectures entertaining, they don't explain the ability of the universities to silence speech that doesn't fit within the rigid confines of political correct speech. Of course this problem isn't a problem that is confined to the teaching class. The court system that uncovered the right of privacy in the Constitution and then used it to uncover the right to abortion and homosexuality, last year, subverted the words of the Amendment I and supported Congress in abridging the freedom of speech. We live in interesting timesâ€¦ sighâ€¦
--Jason Kelsey Stewart
Sal Cantarella in his letter to Reader Mail asks, "Nothing is ever mentioned of the students who think this guy (Churchill) is some god." The frightening evolution of these fans (students) should be of concern to all of us. They generally graduate with degrees in the Humanities (Sociology, English, Anthropology, Philosophy, etc.). Upon graduation they must earn a living, and make a career choice. Since they have a sprinkling of Marxist anti-capitalist teaching, and they are too altruistic to sully their hands in the competitive capitalist/corporate environment, they enter the most benign employment they qualify for â€¦ teaching in public schools. The benefits are good, the pay is OK (especially if your spouse teaches also... combined wages are at least $75,000 per year). If you teach history or social studies you can promote your liberal-left point of view on your students (and not allow any dissent from the liberal-left ideology ). I believe this is what has happened in Canada and explains the outrageous hate-America polling among Canadian students. My son was a lonely voice throughout high school, and he was constantly belittled by a Marxist hate-America Government/History teacher. The predominant leftist point-of-view (politically correct) that permeates our public schools should be a cause for alarm.
-- Fred Edwards
Why is it that a large number of people including journalists seem to forget what the First Amendment says and does not say? It says "Congress shall make no law..." encumbering free speech, but nowhere does it guarantee protection from the consequences of what has been spoken. If I stand on a street corner and call another person a liar, and get punched on the nose, I am certainly not protected by the First Amendment; and if Ward Churchill were to get fired from his job his First Amendment rights would not be violated either.
-- Russ Hugi
FUZZY UNION MATH
Re: John Carlisle's Shrinking Union Labels:
The article on unions points out that they take in $17 billion annually, or $1,417 per member. It implies that they spend $3.4 billion on collective bargaining -- how that much is spent isn't clear -- leaving $13.6 billion for all other activities. Of those the article mentions only $0.16 billion for electioneering. That leaves $13.4 billion. Where does it all go? Over ten years that's more money than the Oil for Food Program.
These numbers don't "add up." Can Mr. Carlisle provide more detail or list other sources for elaboration?
-- Bob Reynolds
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Where's My Sand?:
Mr. Reiland: Let's you and I form an LLC and buy up all the Haddonfield real estate before it does beachfront. Whad'ya think? We could make a killing.
Arlington, Texas (Long Formerly of NJ)