THE DARKEST OF KNIGHTS
Re: Michael Brendan Dougherty’s Anger Management:
I live in Iowa and being a Hawkeye fan, I had little or no respect for Bob Knight when he coached in the Big 10. He “cheated” by intimidating officials for many years as they became scared to call games evenly in Bloomington, Indiana. If you dismiss this, so be it, but it was a tactic he employed very successfully. He threw a vase at a secretary along with many other immature outbursts along the trail he blazed for many years. To Indiana University’s discredit, they tolerated him as long as he won many Big 10 championships and 3 national titles. Once he stopped winning the Big 10 title, he became expendible as the behavior they overlooked for so long became his downfall. He used terrible profanity and showed little respect for people in his own administration. The book “Season on the Brink” details his use of foul and abusive language directed at the president of the university and others in a practice session. Sorry, there are more civil ways to tell someone to leave practice. He was a bully that was a very successfull basketball coach and yes he graduated most of his players. His out of control behavior will be remembered more in regards to his legacy and rightly so.
— Dwight Walker
Michael Brendan Dougherty seems to believe that thuglike behavior by coaches who win a lot and have high graduation rates can therefore be justified. It cannot and he is very much mistaken.
He also neglects to mention Bobby Knight’s truly shameful behavior years ago at the Pan-Am games in Puerto Rico, an incident for which Knight was convicted, to the best of my memory, in absentia for assault or some such charge. Vince Lombardi never assaulted anyone under any such circumstances, nor did Bear Bryant, to cite two famed disciplinarians. Both could, to the end of their days, spend their leisure time relaxing on Puerto Rico’s beaches if they so chose. Bobby Knight, in the specific moral framework of that Pan-Am games incident, is about as “brave” and praiseworthy as Roman Polanski has proved in his own nasty little life.
— Richard Szathmary
Clifton, New Jersey
Bobby Knight may have been one of the greatest X-and-O coaches ever, he has the most wins by a men’s coach at the D-1 A level, and he has an Olympic god medal…but he was still a horse’s rear end! You can try to slice it any way you like it, but he was and his actions prove it.
Remember, this is a man who:
1. Refused to speak to Coach K for years after losing to Duke in the Final Four.
2. Gave a player a head butt on the sideline during a game.
3. Slapped a Texas Tech player upside the head for messing up in a game.
4. Kicked his own son in a fit of anger during a game at IU.
5. Wouldn’t even send a former player Luke Recker a get well card after he was almost killed in a car accident after transferring from IU.
6. Choked player Neil Reed during a practice, lied about repeatedly, and tried to make Reed out to be the villain…until the videotape of the incident surfaced.
7. Defied the administration at IU and blew off a scheduled meeting with the school president to go hunting.
For all of his accomplishments as a coach, he would not be anyone that I would entrust my son to. How can you teach young men to behave like adults, when you act like a petulant child when you don’t get your way? Men like John Wooden, Dean Smith, Lute Olson, and Lou Henson all managed to be successful without being such boorish jackasses as Bobby Knight.
I for one will not miss his temper tantrums, his belittling the press, and his acting as if the university administration worked for him…and not the other way around. And, for the record John Wooden also said that he didn’t always agree with his methods…not just that Knight was one of the best teachers of the game. I think it means something when John Wooden makes that type of statement about Knight’s methods and how he didn’t quite agree with them.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s not such a bad thing that there aren’t any more Bobby Knights out there in college coaching.
— Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
Correction: Knight was born in Massillon, but grew up in Orrville, Ohio.
— Bill Martz
WE CAN WORK IT OUT
Re: George Neumayr’s The Elephant in the Big Tent:
Concerning the article by Neumayr. I am a Conservative. You can go on and on, but they are all Liberals except Fred. I think Romney would have stayed closer to Conservative princples as a President than any of the others because he would have appreciated the support of conservatives. I stopped giving to The Republican Party after the 06 Elections. I have now quit The Party. I will wait on a Third Party.
— Joe Atkinson
I enjoyed the first two paragraphs of G.N.â€™s article, after that he lost me because he seeks to follow the same path as the liberals, albeit along a different path and by a constitutional method. The Constitution prohibits the establishment of an official religion. The Liberals have, through numerous unconstitutional court decisions, established Secularism as the official state religion. Neumayr, by constitutional amendment, wants to establish some other religion in place of Secularism. This is not progress. What we must do is appoint judges who will strictly construe the Constitution and overrule the aberrant rulings that have accumulated over the past seventy odd years.
Here is an analogy. Think of the government as an automobile. The Constitution is the system of roads the automobile may follow. Everything that is not “road” (the fields, mountains, streams etc.) is left for the people and state governments. The automobile (government) may not go “off road.” Conservatives say the government car must be kept on the road at all times. Liberals say that since the car has the ability to go off road, it may do so whenever the government (which includes the judiciary) chooses. (A Constitutional amendment is tantamount to the construction of a new road, but the “road” to amendment is strictly defined and the definition does not include amendment by court ruling.)
The Constitution as first written was an”â€˜issue free” document, strictly limiting the governmentâ€™s powers (it must stay on the road) but with unlimited power to exercise its limited powers, i.e. it may take any road it wishes. (The choice of road is left to the legislative and executive branches with the courts to make certain the legislative and executive branches stay on the road.)
Neumayr would amend the Constitution (by correct Constitutional procedures) to add issues. This is in effect exactly what the Roe v. Wade court did albeit unconstitutionally and in the opposite direction. A majority on the court embraced abortion and put it into the Constitution without any constitutional power to do so (and even undemocratically — that is without popular support). Newmayr would like the Constitution to say “we hate abortion, it is not ok and there shall never again be debate.” We know from bitter experience that locking an issue into the Constitution only leads to bitter strife. Consider Prohibition and consider the centuries of religious conflict in countries with official religions. It was to avoid such strife that the Constitution was “issue free” and why it prohibited the establishment of an official religion. Come to think of it, Roe and other recent decisions establish Secularism as the official religion. Neumayr’s suggestion is close to the establishment of a religion by the Constitution.
Liberals have used the courts’ the power to determine whether a road exists to enable them to “find” roads almost everywhere merely by detecting emanations from penumbras. Even the fiction writers at CSI who routinely invent non-existent technologies to solve crimes donâ€™t have the brass to “invent” a machine that can detect such insubstantial imaginings. Unfortunately conservative justices tie their own hands with the doctrine that says that once an issue has been decided it must be followed. This means conservative judges can stop the liberal movement but cannot reverse it so there is a ratchet effect constantly adds the issues of the left to the Constitution.
A better solution than that suggested by Neumayr, and one which should be adopted by him is to strictly construe the Constitution we have; to keep it “issue” free and reverse the unconstitutional decisions of the past.
— Jim Thompson
It used to be that we used simple word equations to differentiate Republicans from Democrats. For example: Democrats look to government to solve problems, while Republicans believe that government IS the problem. I guess this simplified way of identifying the differences between the two is no longer going to be effective. If John McCain is a Republican, then there is no Republican Party. I read somewhere that, in an election, when Democrats must choose between a Democrat and a Democrat, they will invariably choose the Democrat. In the general election, John McCain will be that “Democrat” who is not chosen by the Democrats. Some hard core conservative Republicans are consoling themselves with the idea that after the Clinton/Obama ticket accedes to the White House, and after the introduction of Hillary Care (forced subscription to Federal health plan financed by increased taxes, and instituted under pain of Federal crime) the nation will react by swinging its pendulum toward the conservative point of view. This may be true, and it may play out like that, however, it will be far too late to undo the damage done. It is possible that there will be a catastrophe of great enough proportion to propel the nation rightward, but I wouldn’t put my New England Patriot money on it.
The McCain nomination closes the coffin on the formerly moribund but now deceased Republican Party. May it rest in peace.
— Joseph Baum
So looks like the “choices” in the up coming Presidential Election are for Lewinski’s boyfriend’s wife who is unqualified to be dog catcher, (she lets him off leash enough). A northeastern liberal RINO who believes in global Marxism — excuse me, warming. Or a maybe Muslim “black” candidate who is nothing but a political rorsch test whose church worships Louis Farrakhan and his “white devils'” bred by evil scientists ideology?
I give up, pass the scotch and load the rifles behind enemy lines…
— Craig Sarver
George Neumayr writes a superb analysis of the unintended consequences of the “Big Tent” that Republicans have embraced. However, his assertion that “The natural law is the philosophical core of conservatism” is perhaps an unwarranted conclusion. Surely “that hick”, as Mr. Neumayr correctly suggests many Republicans characterize Mike Huckabee, would with perfect conscience insist that natural law requires the favorable treatment of Latin American illegal immigrants and their families that he and Senator McCain clearly plan to continue and expand. Similarly, as Senator McCain articulated when he voted against the Bush tax cuts, complaining that the cuts favored “the rich”, both of those men would insist that natural law requires a zero sum view of wealth and thus requires the “redistribution” that is the fundamental plank of the Democrats. And worst of all, both men would insist that natural law requires what has increasingly been referred to as the “stewardship of the planet” a/k/a concern over “man made global warming” and thus the continued strangulation of domestic American oil and gas production, and gasoline refining, and the consequent increases in fuel costs and their unintended consequences on the American economy.
I am as God fearing a man as Mr. Neumayr, and worship at the same Church.
But there must be another explanation for the marginalization of American conservatives. I fear that the electorate has long ago reached the big government tipping point. The war is lost.
— Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey
Fascinating beginning to your article, Mr. Neumayr and right on the money. It is abundantly clear that McCain is just Bush-Lite. It’s a shame your article devolved into an apologia for the soft-on-crime, soft-on-borders, soft-on-small government Hickabee. Sure, he is pro-life and that has certainly kept him in the race far longer than his hayseed, aw-shucks, Gomer Pyle stylings deserve. We need more than one leg in the conservative 3-legged race.
— Ralph Alter
Why McCain? H. L. Mencken explained it decades ago: “The average man doesn’t want to be free, he wants to be safe.” In an era when head-chopping, clitoris-cutting, honor-killing, skyscraper-burning oligarchs are crushing in on Western Civilization, do Americans want someone in the White House who will nuke the SOBs, or do they want someone who will wring his (her) hands and say “we just need to talk to them and try to understand them”? American minds — and the chatterers and pundits who help them keep their heads in the sand — will endlessly go over and go over ‘politically correct v. politically incorrect,’ ‘good v. evil,’ ‘tolerant v. intolerant,’ ‘higher taxes v. lower taxes,’ ‘wealth redistribution v. status quo,’ etc., all spring, all summer and half the fall. Then on Nov. 4, for those few seconds in the voting booths, American minds will cast all the blather aside and become concentrated on the one real issue: life or death. Immediately afterward, the blather (and what it will mean in the McCain Administration) will resume.
— Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan
In regards to Mr. Neumayr’s column, while I am in general agreement with him re: the flexibility of the Republican Party; I must add one other point. Much of the problem the conservatives face has been created by us. There has been no viable national conservative candidate because of our own expectations. We want another Ronald Reagan and there will never be another Reagan, yet we consciously or sub-consciously compare all our folks to that test. Thus there has been in this election cycle no viable charismatic conservative to rally around that has a chance to win yes win the presidency. We need to identify, nurture and promote those whose philosophy come closet to ours and not just sit around and complain when we are left with a McCain, Bush et al
— Stephen J. McCann
Huckabee is not a conservative except on religious and right to life issues. He does not oppose amnesty. He favors free benefits for illegals. His “fair tax” is an abomination. He is naive in stating he will eliminate the IRS. Who would collect the fair tax? He is for closing Gitmo and against waterboarding. Give me a break.
— A. Petralia
Rochester, New York
I did vote for poppa Bush in the 88 primaries. So I was young and dumb. I am no longer young, don’t know about being dumb, but I refused to vote for Dole or Boy George in their primaries. Mr. Neumayr is off about it being too late by about 3 generation. Our Freedom was sold for a pottage of New Deal. That great socialist Ponzi scheme called the welfare state is going to collapse with the retirement of the baby boomers. And everything our rulers will do after the next election will only magnify the magnitude of the economic dislocation that will erupted with its collapse.
We are so major league screwed. When I was a kid my parents sponsored a Middy. He did two tours in ‘Nam and retired as a full bird Marine colonel. I saw him for the first time in years when Bush 43 was pushing his pathetic Socialist Security reform. I could not convince this decorate veteran that SS would become insolvent with the retirement of the baby boomers. He argued so vehemently that SS was the best thing since sliced bread that I began to questioned his sanity.
I held my noose and voted for Dole. I held my noose and vote for Boy George, twice. I could hold my noose and vote for Romney. If I could find a big enough clothespin I could vote for the Huck. I will not vote for McCain.
— Ralph Diamond
ANOTHER RON PAUL SUPPORTER HEARD FROM
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell’s Missing Intelligence:
Tyrell’s assertion that “Rolling up our forces abroad and bringing them home will neither end nor ameliorate the threat” from “Islamofascists” is a nonsensical prognostication, without any substantiating evidence.
Bringing the troops home will ameliorate the threat in two ways. Firstly, such an action will reduce the incentive for hatred of the United States. Secondly, we can better protect our homeland with our Troops at home.
— Kevin C. Moore
If one makes the assumption that Islamic terrorists have some understanding of American politics, the time between now and Election Day is likely to be as safe as it gets. Any domestic attack in this period would do far more damage to Clinton and Obama than McCain, who, of the three, promises to be hardest on terror.
Why ruin a “good” thing?
— Arnod Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
YOU LOST US AT LINCOLN
Re: Jim Harper’s Rejecting National ID:
When I started reading Mr. Harper’s sky-is-falling attack upon national ID cards, I figured he must be a libertarian. Sure enough, at the end of the essay, information is provided linking Harper to the libertarian Cato Institute.
Some libertarians make Britney Spears look sane. I’ve heard of some who believe driver’s licenses are signs of creeping totalitarianism. For these people, anything government does to protect us is deemed little better than a fascist takeover.
Not surprisingly, some of these libertarians are Lincoln haters or neo-confederates. Others are so hostile to America they sound like Democrats.
We should all be in favor of limited government, but not when it interferes with our national security. Unfortunately, many libertarians have always been opposed to national security — for instance, criticizing William F. Buckley’s support of Cold War military build up, or opposing the Patriot Act, or of George Bush’s wiretapping of terrorists, etc.
A tamper-proof ID card could indeed help stem the tide of illegal immigration, not to mention terrorism on our shores. Because of problems, Harper would have us do nothing.
Despite problems, however, State driver’s license agencies would be the best administrators of the system, since there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. I hope the card will contain records of vaccinations, or that it could substitute as a passport. Convenience is key for me, just like debit cards.
Libertarians only discredit themselves with their hysterical reaction to even the simplest of government requirements. I know of one person who compared national ID cards to the Nazi’s frequent request to “see your papers.” The leap from identification to control is a large one, and goes against everyone’s experience with driver’s licenses.
The Chicken Little syndrome isn’t confined to global warming fanatics. I think conservatives need to distance themselves from all such nonsense, whether espoused by Democrats or by libertarians.
— C. V. Crisler
“(And) should law-abiding American citizens really have to carry a national ID to get at illegal immigrants?” If the answer is about the distinction between identification issued by the federal government (national ID) or the states (“local” ID) the answer is “no” on national ID. But this is one American who believes picture ID for voting is an absolute must.
As a well-informed conservative, it is merely annoying that my vote can be “canceled out” by a either a liberal or an ill-informed voter (or a combo of the two). To have my vote negated by an illegal alien? Completely unacceptable.
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
ICE AND SEA
Re: Christopher Holland’s and Tricia Carr’s letters (under “Water You Talking About?”) in Reader Mail’s Home Alone Conservatism:
Thank heaven Science Wars are not a soccer match. TAS has just scored two Own Goals, with letters from Christopher Holland and Tricia Carr attacking “George of Albany, New York” whose “argument is that the Antarctic landmass ice is breaking off and thus adding to the volume of ocean ice around the continent. Once in the ocean, over time melting ice will lead to a rise in ocean levels.”
Mr. Holland maintains: “Melting ice can never raise the level of the sea — its basic science. Ice is frozen water and when it floats in the sea it simply displaces its own mass. When it melts the mass of water remains exactly the same, there is no change in sea levels. Melting icebergs raising the sea level is junk science at its worst.”
Miss Carr that: “Once floating, ice has already increased the level of the water as much as it’s ever going to. Just think of the ice in your adult beverage; if it melts completely, your glass doesn’t overflow.”
Both are demonstrably wrong. Carr’s analogy fails because alcohol is less dense than ice, which sinks in it, while Holland forgets that sea water is denser than fresh — pure water floats atop brine.
The snow forming the glaciers that calve icebergs is distilled water, whose density is by definition 1.000 Seawater is some 2.5% denser. When a cubic meter of fresh water ice afloat in the sea melts, its melt water occupies 25 liters more volume than the seawater it displaced as ice. So a brimming cup of seawater on the rocks — not a bad tipple compared to the junk science spiked Koolaid TAS so often offers — needs to be bolted down before it runneth over.
I am however more deeply shocked that a publication purporting to represent conservatism should attract readers who put ice cubes in scotch; the very idea should make us fear for the Republic.
— Russell Seitz
I’m not sitting around in the dark just yet but I am working my butt off in order to; pay off all debt including my home in short order, build a business, and hammer down some neighborhood security issues at city hall before the county is over-run with the Federal government’s inaction on immigration. McCain is a “Republican” in name only with the most liberal record of any senator with an “R” next to his name. He calls it reaching across the isle, bull hockey, its called colluding with the enemy. Why he didn’t just change parties and run with Kerry back in 2004? McCain or Clinton is a wash but Osama Hussein Obama scares the bejesus out of me.
— Michael D. Coffel
I just have to wonder sometimes! I really have to wonder.
I read the dozen or so piteous letters about the fading of Conservatism in the Republican Party, and kept in mind the thousands of others like them, written and yet unwritten, but felt not one tiny dot of pity — only head-shaking irritation and a few muttered expletives.
What in the name of reason do they expect when the RNC allows our candidate to be selected by Democrats and liberal Independents? Let there be no doubt that that is precisely the case.
Voters in Republican primaries should be registered Republicans! How can that be clearer?
The rules must be changed — starting right now so they can be in place for the RNC to make it happen at the national convention.
No more starting the process with several single-state caucuses and so-called primary elections in which anyone can vote in the Republican contest. In some states, registered Democrats and Independents can vote, and in some states, anyone can come to the polls and register as a “Republican-For-A-Day.”
If there is only one change, that should be it.
Require states to allow only registered Republican voters who registered a significantly long period before the voting.
Require states to require that a voter’s registration cannot be changed until after the next general election after registration. No more “Republicans-For-A-Day.”
Divide the states up into, say, a half-dozen regions so travel within each region can be convenient; and rotate them every four years so that a different region is first to hold primary elections.
Require primary elections and forbid “caucuses.”
Let the states understand that any variation from these rules, although perfectly within a state’s rights, will result in their losing voting rights at the national nominating convention.
Let’s face it with candor. Just as each state has a perfect right to run its election as it wishes, so, too, does the Republican Party!
I can hear the cries now that doing this would result in the RNC dictating to the states. Well, as it is now, a handful of states are dictating to the RNC. Doh!
The RNC should learn something from the federal government. “We can’t tell you what to do, but here’s what you lose if you don’t do what we tell you to do.”
Works for the feds every time.
— A. C. Santore
I’m still staying home. It’s not only McCain, the whole Republican party is schizophrenic. Are these Republican turnips who put McCain over the top, the same ones who turned Washington on its ear during the last immigration debate? I got news for you folks!! What do you think will happen now?
And if it was Iraq that caused them to support this fraud, does it really matter in the long run if we beat the Islamists in Iraq in the short term, and lose the battle of our culture at home from the flood of illegals that will also break our economic back.
It will be easier for what’s left of the Republican Party, to focus on opposing whomsoever the Democrats nominate than turning itself inside out trying to support another “conservative” poseur. I’ve had my belly full of “read my lipper’s” and “compassionate conservatives” who take my vote and give me the business. Theirs is the road we have already traveled. Let’s try another direction.
— John T. O’Connor
Lisa Fabrizio replies:
I wrote my article to change no one’s mind, but to call some folks to the reality that is unfortunately the 2008 Republican primary season. My point is that, some of the folks who will be taking their ball and bat and staying home on election day are playing right into the hands of the liberal media and their political allies.
I am no fan of John McCain and am not the biggest Romney supporter either, though I feel he would be the best choice for conservatives. This season has been a strange mix of personalities and circumstances for sure. But if one wants to “blame” someone, try the veterans who are overwhelmingly supporting McCain or the Evangelicals who are keeping Huckabee in the race. That kind of finger-pointing and dissension of course, would constitute virtual suicide for the conservative movement; the left knows it, savors it and will glee in it should it come to fruition.
And please refrain from the Bush-bashing. He has signed more pro-life legislation, appointed better judges and used our military overseas for the benefit of our national defense as well or more effectively than even Reagan did. Were he on the ballot this year against Hillary Clinton, would the choice be difficult at all?