Re: John Corry's Nieman Harvard:
As a Harvard guy who graduated in the early sixties (BA 1963, MBA 1965), I found Corry's article a "trip down memory lane." I, too, had tea with the Schlesingers; his son, Steve, was in my class. I, too, withdrew from Ken Galbraith's tedious course with his insufferable moralizing. A great article! Keep up the good work.
-- Robert V. Holton, Jr.
Re: Lawrence Henry's Imagine There's No Israel:
Good point. Just like Israel is galvanized into a unified course of action when its enemies strike, so it would appear the Arab nations use Israel's existence to divert their own populations from their sorry own plight, and justify the Palestinian cause.
-- David Travers
Re: George Neumayr's Getaway Weakland:
Excellent article. The only thing I do not agree with you about is that Weakland has succeeded. I think his flagrant actions (and subsequent exposure) will awaken the $20.00 donor in the pew.
-- Annette Cwik
Kudos to Mr. Neumayr for succinctly and brilliantly exposing the rank hypocrisy of liberal clerics like Bishop Weakland who for years have ridiculed their own Church while posing as progressive, compassionate "reformers." The press has been relatively easy on him, though (no surprise there -- it would be too much for them to turn on someone whom they fawned over for years). Thanks again for this bracing, honest evaluation of the whole sordid Weakland story in the Prowler.
-- Vickie Albright
Thousand Oaks, CA
Thanks for the hard-hitting piece on that kidneystone of a bishop. I'm glad we passed him. I put a copy of your story on our rec-room table (I'm in a religious house) and one of the aging liberals got so mad he almost flipped out.
-- identity withheld
(Aw heck, just search for "unusual clergy" at Yahoo)
Great Great Article about Weakland. Thanks.
I would like to know the reference for the statement that before Vatican II, the Holy See proscribed the ordination of a member of religious orders who was "afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty."
-- K. McMahon
George Neumayr replies: That quote appears in The Canon Law Digest (Officially Published Documents Affecting the Code of Canon Law 1958-1962). The website diocesereport.com has posted the relevant section.
Re: Jed Babbin's Let's Immanentize Their Eschaton:
I thought I had a mind for trivia, remembering that expression from Buckley in the '60s, during my political awakening.
Then he was writing about the impatience of the New Left, and I was thinking of the term about an hour ago while listening to Sean Hannity talking to a conservative caller who was whining about compromises made by President G. W. Bush.
Then it was the New Left wanting instant gratification, refusing to recognize the need for compromise, salami tactics, etc. As a college conservative in the sixties (Iona, '68), I was repulsed, in at least part, by this immaturity. I also remember cartoonist Al Capp being quite caustic about this viewpoint, putting down members of what he called SWINE (Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything).
Democrats, however, seem to have learned in these decades the lesson that, if you want something in the political arena, you have to expect a little at a time. Many conservatives, since hearing that character Perot in 1992, have become the whiners, complaining about the need for compromise, demanding the immanentization of the eschaton.
These dogmatic conservatives should grow the [heck] up, already!!
-- Walter Johanson
Jed Babbin replies: Mr. Johanson makes a good point. No president is perfect, even a conservative one. I think he's discovered another version of the Punk Conservatism I decried back in March. All we need to do with Dubya is stay the course, and jab him a little when he does things like sign the "campaign finance" reform atrocity. Hey, he's still our guy.
I usually love your website and read it frequently. I do, however, have to take exception to your current home page sports comments about the NBA playoffs -- regarding the Lakers and the Kings. You mentioned that the Lakers did not "whine about the refereeing (as the Kings did)." What you overlooked is that the Lakers, particularly Shaquille O'Neal and Coach Phil Jackson, spent the first five games of this series in constant WHINING about the refereeing. There were constant gripes coming from Jackson for the refs to "just let Shaq play his game." Most fans (except for the most partisan Laker fans), of course, see Shaq's game of brutally knocking defenders out of his way as highly illegal. The only "whining" that Sacramento players, coaches, and fans did was when it became apparent that Phil Jackson's whining had had an effect on the officials, especially in Game 6. I've heard many players and broadcasters say all that the players want is "consistent officiating." There was no consistency in the way this series was officiated. Game 6 was very, very different from the preceding five games. Ask anyone! So while I have no complaints over the way Game 7 was called, Game 6 was scandalous. Shaq was allowed to push and shove at will, while his defenders were whistled for almost any contact at all. This series should have been over in six games.
Thanks for hearing me.
-- Allen Nyhuis
CORRECTION OF THE WEEK
Re: Enemy Central's Frog Eat Frog:
Amusing piece from Enemy Central. Meantime, I think I should let you know that dommage -- as in quel DOMMAGE -- meaning what a pity -- is spelled with two m's.
-- Paul Kellogg
New York, NY
CASTING PEARL BEFORE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Gaudy Grandstanders:
Bob Tyrrell hits the nail right on the head with his limning of the past "intelligence failures" and our American historical amnesia. In a piece in last Sunday's Washington Post Outlook section, James Bamford, the preeminent U.S. expert on the workings of the National Security Agency (the primary gatherer of signal intelligence), details our country's problems in deciphering the billions of bits of information it gathers, and the problems are eerily reminiscent of the same failures before Pearl Harbor:
"But of all the problems, lack of trained linguists is probably NSA's greatest. Last September, the number of linguists fluent in the primary languages of Afghanistan -- Pashto and Dari -- could be counted on one hand with fingers left over, a senior intelligence official told me. The problem is not new: When U.S. troops went into Haiti in 1994, for example, the NSA had only one Haitian Creole linguist. There are more than 6,500 languages spoken around the world, according to Renee Meyer, the agency's top linguist. The NSA has trained linguists in about 115 of them."
Recent years have seen the publication of several books (most notably Robert Stinnett's Day of Deceit) suggesting that FDR knew about the Japanese attack from intercepted Japanese naval radio traffic but let the attack happen to draw us into war.
Stinnett's thesis is fatally flawed, however, for the following elementary reasons as set forth in Stephen Budiansky's recently published Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II :
"...JN-25 was the most recent descendant of the Japanese Navy's Red code; like its predecessors it was an enciphered code. At the time the new code first appeared on June 1, 1939, the U.S. Navy's Washington code breaking staff had grown to about thirty-six hands. By this time the 'research desk' had acquired the official bureaucratic designation of OP-20-G....The staff of thirty-six included translators, clerks, radio direction-finding experts, intelligence analysts, and officers responsible for the security of the Navy's own codes; only a handful were trained cryptanalysts, and of these only two or three could be spared to work on the new code, which was initially given the designation AN-1.
"...Conspiracy theorists continue to weave elaborate scenarios 'proving' that America had advance warning of the Japanese attack, with one branch of the 'FDR knew' theorizers insisting that AN traffic was in fact being read in 1941. Yet month-by-month progress reports, internal histories, war diaries, logs -- some declassified only in 1998 -- are all in agreement: Not a single AN message had ever been read currently by the time of Pearl Harbor, and not a single AN message transmitted at any time during 1941 was read by December 7. Five years later, with the war safely won, a few of OP-20-G's cryptanalysts were tidying up loose ends and decided to go back and try to crack the unread AN-1 traffic that had piled up in the months just before Pearl Harbor. What they found was enough to break an intelligence officer's heart. Over and over, the orders to the Japanese fleet during October and November 1941 repeated a single theme: Complete all preparations and be on a total war footing by November 20. Several messages referred to exercises in 'ambushing' the 'U.S. enemy.' And one signal, dispatched November 4, ordered a destroyer to pick up torpedoes that Carrier Divisions 1 and 2 'are to fire against anchored capital ships on the morning in question.' None specifically mentioned Pearl Harbor, and indeed many other intelligence indications in those critical months pointed to the Philippines, or even the Panama Canal, as possible targets of Japanese naval action if war broke out. Yet the pre-Pearl Harbor AN traffic, had it been broken at the time, would certainly have conveyed heavy hints of what was to come. "
Sound familiar? As I type this the showboating, leaking, borderline traitorous Patrick Leahy hectors Robert Mueller and continues his tirades of invective against John Ashcroft. Let these Solons of the Senate read a little history first lest they be condemned to repeat its blunders.
-- Bill Harrison