Re: Mary Grabar’s Little Girls in Headscarves:
I’d imagine more than a few letters will be written to the editor about the “Little Girls in Headscarves” piece by Mary Grabar, and I’m guessing those will be of three types. Those who fully support Grabar’s thinking, those who think she’s politically incorrect and needs a good dose of multicultural thinking, and those, like me, who think that it’s none of her business. As Christians, my wife and I have certain standards that we hope our daughter will follow. If she chooses not to when she’s an adult, that’s her choice. If she chooses not to while she’s still a child, we’ll just have to muddle through the same as parents and children always have. But when Grabar ends with “It may be too late for the woman swathed in black, but we need to reach her daughter,” I can’t help but wonder, who is “we,” and will I be able to keep “them” out of my home? The beauty and horror of our great nation is that such decisions rightly, constitutionally, belong to adults and parents. If Professor Grabar wants to help others assimilate, she’d best focus on fostering a culture worth adopting and defending. Perhaps instead of ranting against other cultures and multiculturalism, she should put more thought into her own culture.
— Christopher B. Hayes
I, too, wonder how Muslim oppression of girls and women is tolerated here in a country which “invented” the worth of the individual. I left Florida and now live in North Carolina where the sight of one of these poor creatures is an occasion for whispering and stares, they are so rare.
In Florida my liberal Democrat friends offered a progressive’s explanation. It was that “just because you choose to live in America doesn’t mean you become an American. It is not realistic to expect immigrants to adopt our language, culture, mores, or religious beliefs.”
I think this is how the United States will end. Detroit will become a Muslim city state ruled by sharia and fatwa. The West Coast will become a province of China; New England will become one large, collective farm that provides milk for Ben & Jerry’s. The South and Southwest will become part of Mexico known as Provincia de Dinero. The United States will be no more, but its values will go on in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska.
But, as always, I digress. There is a much simpler explanation of why little Arab girls and women were their hideous clothes: if they don’t their husbands and fathers will kill them.
— Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina
Several years ago (or was it in the 1980s?), there was a controversy here in Hoosierland between many fundamentalist parents and some of the reading requirements for English some Junior High Schools. The parents objected to the “colorful” and sometimes blasphemous language in some of these assigned books along with some of the more “unedifying” plotlines. These parents were not asking their children to be excused from schoolwork. Instead, they requested alternate book selections for their children. They did not demand that children of other parents also be required to read to same alternates as their children. For those who did not have a problem, the original reading plan could stand. What these fundamentalists were asking was a civil accommodation so that they may follow the laws of their religion.
As one would imagine, the faculty and school board reacted rather forcefully and insisted either these children complete the assignments as planned or receive “F”s — it was their choice. One teacher was interviewed stating with some self-satisfaction that it was time these children get broken out of their restrictive, small-minded world of their parents — the undercurrent being it was her right as a teacher to do so.
One’s first reaction is at the apparent discrimination in accommodating the religion of immigrants and not the religion of some citizens. However, on deeper reflection, the discrimination as such should have gone in the other direction. Immigrants must make some accommodation to their new country in order to assimilate and share in the common bread of one’s neighbors. Whatever can be said for the length of dresses, covering one’s face is offensive except under unusual circumstances. For all our faults, we do not accept restricting our young girls to be servants and we hold it as a social obligation to bring up all children to mature into a life of freedom. On the other hand, our fundamentalist neighbors are a part of American life — many if not most of us have similar Christian forbearers on our family trees. We may not agree with them — in fact, we may be keeping as much distance from them as possible — but they are recognizably American.
For myself, I do not consider anyone educated if they do not understand (I am not saying necessarily agree with) the theory of evolution. I also believe it is impossible to understand Western Civilization without an understanding of Catholicism. In a similar fashion, one cannot understand the founding of the United States or American history without an understanding of Protestantism. Nevertheless, if we are going to listen to those who object to a literary classic because it may offend a minority group, then we should at least lend the same generosity to those who fear some work of literature may offend their God.
— Mike Dooley
What a wonderful article! I really enjoyed the arguments, and look forward to using them in debates!
— Anne Powers
Re: Doug Bandow’s Secret Ballots for Me But Not for Thee:
Doug Bandow is quite right in arguing that the “card check” system that organized labor is pushing is an open invitation to deception and coercion of workers to get them to sign.
His closing comment that there isn’t any good reason why union representation has to be a matter of majority rule is extremely important. Nowhere in American law can an individual be compelled to accept another as his agent, except when it comes to labor. A true “Employee Freedom of Choice Act” would repeal the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and allow individuals to choose to join, or not to join, labor unions based on their own beliefs. In a free society, no one would be coerced into accepting representation he didn’t want. Getting rid of the NLRA would also have the virtue of eliminating another bit of governmental coercion — that employers are compelled to bargain with certified unions and only with them.
The backers of this legislation aren’t the least bit interested in freedom.
All they’re interested in is augmenting union power.
— George C. Leef
Raleigh, North Carolina
The secret ballot is what separates a democracy from a Banana Republic, whether at the national level or the micro level of an assembly plant. There is no other way to insure that votes are cast through force of conscience, not thuggery.
We must also recognize that the right to privacy is at stake here. Neither union activists nor management have any business knowing who voted how. Such disclosure only invites abuse from all sides.
— Doug Roll
ST. GEORGE GALLOWAY?
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch’s Rebranding Saint George:
Maybe it would help the proponents of St. George if they changed their story to suit the multiculturalists who oppose them. First, point out that Richard the Lionheart was gay – that’s bound to help the cause. When King Richard was returning from the crusades, he tried to take a short cut by passing through Austria in disguise. Richard had inflicted an egregious insult on the Duke of Austria during the crusades and when the Duke found him in his domains, he had him arrested and imprisoned in a suitably forbidding alpenschloss and demanded payment of a huge ransom. Richard sent a messenger to England to raise the money from the aristocracy and to ensure that the fat cats coughed up, he demanded that they send their sons to join him in Austria as hostages. The fats cats rebelled, “we will send our daughters but not our sons,” was their response. Very modern indeed.
Second, point out that Richard was French and not English, it is highly unlikely he even spoke English. Richard’s mother was French, he was born in France and lived there all his life, save for two short stays in England. He spent about ten days in England during his coronation and he returned for a few weeks after the Duke of Austria released him from captivity. Richard the Lionheart was as English as a string of onions and a pack of Gauloise.
Personally, I don’t think these things mean anything at all, but when you are dealing with silly people, telling them silly things that might make them stop from being even sillier is not such a bad thing.
— Christopher Holland
For some reason after reading Mr. Colebatch’s column on the absolute ridiculousness of certain Brits’ reactions to St. George and the wonderful flag, my first thought was: “Stupid is what stupid does.” Truly, “normal thinking” politically correct Brits are much stupider than any Forrest Gump.
If a country will no longer fight for its heritage, is embarrassed by its heritage, hates its heritage, then sadly, that country will fade from existence. The left is succeeding in tearing down the great democracies. Have we bred all fight out of our people? Is it all just a “la dee da,” live for today world? Well, no wonder the birth rate is low. No sense in bringing children into this non-future.
God help us — or is it just too politically incorrect to say that? We need a few more St. Georges to slay the politically correct dragon or we can kiss our heritages goodbye.
— Deborah Durkee
Indeed, down with anything having to do with “arrogant flag-waving”! Up with humble flag-waving!
What’s the next target of the British political-correctionists? Trafalgar Day? Is it time Admiral Lord Nelson gets belated comeuppance for being too much of a national hero?
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
Thank you for the article. I am in wonder having read accounts of the Jervis Bay and the Germans whether we have the strengh, courage, and duty to fight as they did back then. I really don’t know.
Thank you again,
— Lee Phelps
Why all the fuss over Saint George? In another generation or two the Britain like the rest of Europe will be Eurabia and praying towards Mecca. If Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Imam Obama get their way we won’t be far behind.
— Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Does this mean that Henry’s “Once more into the breach, dear friends” speech (Henry V, Act 3, scene 1) must now be redacted to end with the stirring words “Cry ‘God for Harry, England and…Puff the Magic Dragon'”?
— Gretchen L. Chellson
Re: Happy Feder’s Elvis and The Gipper:
Looks like Happy Jack Feder is on a “role.” If ever we needed a dose of President Ronald Reagan…it’s now!
— Richard Bastian
Note at the end of the article says that Jesse Garon Presley was the “twin brother mistakenly thought to have died at birth.”
Most accounts say he was stillborn. I have seen several accounts saying that he died six hours after birth and that Elvis was the older twin.
What’s the real story?
— Richard Cuculo
Happy Feder replies: Jesse was stillborn.
I recommend Peter Guralnick’s excellent biography of Elvis, Last Train to Memphis. Regarding the home birth, Guralnick writes: “At about four in the morning of January 8, he [Dr. William Hunt] delivered a baby, stillborn, then thirty-five minutes later another boy. The twins were named Jesse Garon and Elvis Aron, with the rhyming middle names intended to match…..The dead twin was buried in an unmarked grave in Priceville Cemetery, and was never forgotten either in the legend that accompanied his celebrated younger brother in family memory. As a child Elvis was said to have frequently visited his brother’s grave; as an adult he referred to his twin again and again, reinforced by Gladys’s [Elvis’s mother] belief that ‘when one twin died, the one that lived got all the strength of both.'”
However, I’ve also read that Elvis rarely visited the cemetery. Also, that Elvis’s middle name, Aron, was supposed to have been spelled with a second “a.” Elvis preferred the two-a spelling and was gladdened late in his life when he discovered documents relating to his birth using that spelling. Just one of the thousand bits of Elvisiana that keep Elvisyians awake at night with excitement.
STOP FEEDING THE BEAST
Re: The letters under “Broadcasting’s Broadsides” in Reader Mail’s Dirty Harry:
I presume all the angst and complaining about the Media has some therapeutic purpose and many hope such will bring about change in the Media’s character but I think all this is like complaining about what Venomous Snakes and Tigers do. The Nature of the Beast is what it is.
I stopped watching Network News during the First Gulf War. I didn’t need to watch the enemy’s propaganda. By the end of that decade I was down to two Network TV shows, then one and now none. I don’t have cable or Satellite TV either but am not uninformed on those things that are important to me. I haven’t taken the News Paper for over two decades and anything of value that might be in my local paper I can get out of the trash can by 9:30 AM each workday morning. The NYT recently sent me an offer to take their paper. They sent a postage paid envelope and I sent them a note saying I wasn’t interested in supporting their treason and to remove my name and address from their database. End of story.
There are plenty of things on both Network TV and Cable that I would get benefit from but it would require supporting the larger evil that controls both so I’ve made a choice. I don’t feed the Beast and then complain about what it does. If more people embraced this concept maybe the Beast would go away and be replaced by something of value. As long as you feed that Tiger or Venomous Snake it is going to keep doing what it does. That’s all it knows how to do.
— Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia
MASTERS OF DECONSTRUCTION
Re: Abe Grossman’s letter (under “Artificial Intelligence??”) in Reader Mail’s Dirty Harry:
I have always believed that it is a cheap shot at liberals to say that they don’t believe in good and evil. How can anyone not believe in good and evil? Now along comes Abe Grossman to write that “good and evil…are clearly human constructs”. Does Mr. Grossman really exist, or is he a fictional Spectator construct?
— Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey