It's a Wrap - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
It’s a Wrap
by

LAUGH IN
Re: Paul Beston’s Last Thoughts on Michael Richards:

To me the biggest irony of the Michael Richards episode was the big sign “LAUGH” in the background of Richards’ tirade. The loss of laughter at our common human foibles is one of the biggest sacrifices on the altar of political correctness. Without laughter what remains? Tension, suspicion, animosity, hardness of opinion that pits one group against another. People should just get over it and not take it so personally as to feel victimized. Especially in a comedy club, it’s not personal, it’s strictly business. And you’ve paid good money to be stretched, provoked, challenged. Enjoy it and laugh with it, you might find some Truth in the outrageousness that might be surprising. Political Correctness sucks. There, I’ve said a truth that needs to be told. Ooooooh.
Patrick Garrison
Ithaca, New York

Paul Beston’s wrapup on Michael Richards highlights the most egregious factor in this episode. The disturbing part of the video is not what was said (because “Kramer” obviously has problems) but that some audience members were tittering as he said it. That this type of trash could be expected as part of a modern-day “comedy” act is a most troubling, and revealing, aspect of the Culture War.
Steve Nikitas
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Just because some of our young black Americans choose to abuse certain words does not mean that black Americans that are 40 and older appreciate it.

Young black Americans, have no idea of the pain of hearing those words spoken in modern times. It’s like replaying a bad memory or seeing flashbacks of past history. It was and is still real to me. So don’t put everyone in the same stereotypical category with “some people.” How would you feel if I said all white people are just alike because I have had bad experiences with some?
Catherine Revel

I don’t know how you let this article go to print. Poorly written, filled with inconsistencies and makes assertions out of thin air.

“It seems to me that people who attend such venues expect this kind of material and this kind of treatment…” On what planet?

“They liked dishing it out, but didn’t care for taking it.” What?? What exactly did the audience members dish out that was anything remotely similar to what Richards was spewing?

“Gangsta rappers and their ilk have made the word more casual and less taboo, while also insisting that only they have the right to wield it.” Provided no context — those rappers do not usually use the term pejoritively and do not conjure images of lynching, etc. that Richards mentioned. Argue the merits of doing so, but don’t compare it with what Richards said.

Overall, my impression of the article is that it is poorly written, panders to the self-righteous and affirms those who are quietly racist. Adds to my disgust of mainstream media.
BW (Biruh Workeneh)

“Meanwhile, the men in the audience who were the targets of Richards’ insults have retained legal representation to seek damages.” Oh, please.

On this molehill-turned-mountain, Black America cannot have its cake and eat it too. Will its leaders and luminaries publicly and immediately demand that it purges the despicable and offensive epithet from its own vocabulary — and then actually do what it takes, no matter how long it takes, to get that result?

Given that hell likely will freeze over first, let’s just ban public speech altogether, so that no one can ever potentially or actually be offended. Preposterous as that is, is it any more harebrained or outrageous than this current commotion created by an insincere has-been seeking who-really-knows-what and this politically correct, double-standard lunacy, fueled by opportunists?
C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

A very clever attempt at spinning this rather tragic outburst by Richards, but your less than subtle insults to Black American cultural leaders is even worse, and far more mean spirited: If Richards’ outburst can be blamed on everything from rap artists to the self-interest of Jackson or Al Sharpton — then why don’t we all just shake hands with O.J. Simpson and accept his spin on matters: to hell with how clear the evidence may be! If Richards can poke fun at the brutal mistreatment of Afro Americans and you try to spin it as the way comedy clubs work, may I suggest it’s high time these clubs clean up their act?…Let’s face it: your spin attempt is sickening.
unsigned

I will be offended by Richards’ comments when the black comedians and rappers stop using the “n” word and stop talking about doing women and showing them the ultimate disrespect.
Mike Barbour
Naperville, Illinois

To all the apologists for Mr. Richard: if he had verbally used the “c” word to a table of women and used images of rape to attack them, would anyone be debating whether he was a sexist pig?
Devin Alford

KRAMER
It’s the Racial Divide made me say what I said.
I’m not responsible. Don’t rain on MY head.
Iraq made me do it.
Katrina cried through it.
I was just healing wounds. I was sadly misread.

Mea culpa? Surely, you must be in jest.
I’m Kramer! With exquisite timing I’m blessed.
My fame had diminished.
You thought I was finished,
But I’m back in the headlines. On those laurels I’ll rest!
Mimi Evans Winship

DEMOCRACY AND DEFEAT
Re: Christopher Orlet’s What the Neocons Got Wrong:

In “What the Neocons Got Wrong,” Christopher Orlet mysteriously lists Yakubu Gowon among “the genocidal dictators of the last century.” In fact, Gowon is, and was, quite a decent man. As the Nigerian head of state at the end of the civil war in January 1970, he announced a policy of “no victors, no vanquished,” and welcomed the Ibos back to Nigeria. Mr. Orlet’s characterization of genocidal dictator must have been lifted from an old wartime diatribe by a Biafran PR man.
John Corry

Sadly, your article “What the Neocons Got Wrong” sings like the idealess criticism of the modern day Defeatocratic party. Do you dispute the idea that the spead of Democracy in regions that have known nothing but brutal dictatorship rule for the last thousand years will lead to a better world? Or is it impatience and pessimism that forms your opinion?

Remember, the seeds of democracy in these regions was boldly, courageously and forthrightly planted a mere 3 1/2 years ago by President Bush, despite the obstructionism and cowardice of the United Nations and its similarly cowardly cohorts of Europe, particularly France. Your impatient, pessimistic, and solutionless point of view underestimates the historical significance of President Bush’s political courage in ousting Saddam, enabling the enactment of an Iraqi Constitution and the establishment of Rights (especially those involving voting rights where Iraqi’s voted at % rates that put ours to shame, despite the very real threat of being blown to pieces as opposeed to those in the U.S. such as having to wait in a line for 20 minutes). Despite the sectarian violence, this all has occurred in 3 – 4 years — after 2,000 years of backwards and brutal rule of lunatics like Saddam. For someone claiming to be a traditional conservative, you are off target in asserting the lofty ideas and ideals of so-called “neocons” are wrong or we were wrong in asserting them. On the contrary, you are wrong for having no ideas and backward looking views which you claim are those of a realist. They are those of an impatient pessimist with no forethought and, as such, will advance conservativism not one iota.
Franz P. Frechette
Rollinsville, Colorado

Thanks for the article “What the Neocons Got Wrong” from Christopher Orlet. We often need to remind ourselves of the importance of humility as a component of wisdom. High political office and PhD degrees can lead intelligent people into hubris, the opposite of wisdom.
Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

At least, the Bush family has taught true conservatives to throw up when one hears the term “compassionate conservative.”

Our problems with two current regimes in the Middle East, Iran and Syria, could both be resolved by a protracted campaign of unrestricted bombing until they sued for peace. Then, no occupation, no “foreign aid” to rebuild their infrastructure, or to speed their progress toward democracy. Islamic nations in the region would notice this change and adjust their foreign policy and support for terrorists accordingly.

The only friends we have in the entire region are the Kurds, because we prevented Saddam from eliminating them. While free from his yoke, they managed to develop their own brand of democracy, and their own security, through forces loyal to their homeland.

People really do want to be free, and safe. That also includes citizens of the United States. Now, if only we could convince our elected leadership of that fact.
R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

Extreme Makeover: World Edition requires demolition before a new edifice can be constructed. The U.S. skipped that step and tried to build without a foundation. One must be willing to destroy to create.
David Govett
Davis, California

THE WORST IS YET TO COME
Re: Jed Babbin’s Aces and Eights:

Excellent article. Too bad no one in what passes for leadership in our current government will pay any attention to it. Since the Democrats won the congressional elections this month, the media and the White House have all begun to wring their hands and concede defeat.

At this point, about all we conservatives can do is hunker down, and wait for the inevitable blow which will come from abroad. Think 9/11 was bad? We haven’t seen anything yet! Our “leaders,” both executive and congressional, can’t see clearly enough to do anything about the looming dangers. They are too busy playing games and mouthing talking points and platitudes. History is going to deal very severely with them.

They have all violated that part of their oath of office, “To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Respect is something that can only be earned, not demanded, or bestowed upon assumption of the office. I have no respect for our “leadership,” which is allowing world events to drift along toward another national disaster for this country.
R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

NEWER TESTAMENT
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s A Vote for Change:

You’re just talking about compassion and wisdom — and, yes, genuine forgiveness — which seem, these days, to be in such very short supply inside and outside of the Beltway.

You’re also speaking directly to what Jesus said and what far too many people either don’t know, don’t want to know or reject, if they know: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The Christ did not say, “Harden your hearts, laugh at the fallen, shoot the wounded.”
C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

TEX MIX
Re: Lawrence Henry’s To Accent or No:

Mercy, I guess “To Accent or No” will have a lot of folks thinking twice before saying anything to Lawrence Henry in the future. But he does have a point, a Henry Higgins point, but a point nevertheless. Apparently education has nothing to do with it or we would not have had to suffer JFK’s “vigah” for vigor and “Cuber” for Cuba. My son has a friend who reminds us on the quarter hour how things are done back home in Bahsston, which I pronounce “Bawston.” It wouldn’t surprise me if we were both wrong and Mr. Henry knows the really correct pronunciation.

Being a native Texan, I was surprised that Mrs. Henry feels threatened by a Southern accent. Bewildered, amused or mildly exasperated, I can understand. But not threatened. Can it be that she expects Paula Deen to force-feed her hush puppies or that she may encounter that service station guy on the Nextel commercial who says menacingly “Whudjew call me?”

I spent half my life defending my drawl-less, twang-less self against my brother, who thought I was affecting a neutral no-accent speech. I have since wondered how he imagined a five year old could sanitize her way of speaking, but I distinctly recall his taking chalk to the sidewalk and printing COO — making me read it. “Coo, coo like a dove!” Then adding an L, and telling me “It’s not
coo-uhl, its cool — one syllable. Say it! COOL!” So much for tutoring by a seven yearl old. I still say coo-uhl, I don’t call it “bawlin’ wahtuh,” as my aunts did and I don’t know why. It is not cultivated. Reared in a hot-bed of Alabama-Texas accents and emerged accent-less and uncritical of those who possess them.

However, I did wonder at the “spot on” epidemic awhile back. Fell as jarringly on the ear to me as “au contraire” does for “on the contrary.” Some say “AW-Kahn-trare”, some say “OH! Cone TRERR.” Both sound afffected to me. Think about it, Someone is talkin’ along in perfectly normal English and suddenly bursts forth with “Au contraire.” It’s as though he has just discovered Maurice Chevalier’s boutonniere in his lapel.
Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

TURNING UP THE HEAT
Re: William Tucker’s Endorse Kyoto:

Mr. Tucker must be joking or ill informed. The last time I read the Kyoto Protocol it specifically denied, in two sections, credit for any reduction in CO2 emissions by virtue of a replacement of a fuel burning power plant with nuclear power. Have they changed that recently?

The premise that CO2 emissions is the prime culprit in whatever warming that we are experiencing is, in my opinion, subject to questions that have been ignored.

None of the pundits on either side of the issue seem willing to recognize the fact that an increase in atmospheric CO2 of 100 ppm cannot possibly add enough heat to raise atmospheric temperatures by anything measurable unless somehow the CO2 gets heated up to some absurdly high temperatures. For example; if you want to raise the temperature of one million pounds of air you will need to add 250,000 BTU. Air has a specific heat of 0.25 BTU per pound per degree F. CO2 has a specific heat of 0.20 BTU per pound per deg F. If you add 100 pounds of CO2 ( 100 ppm) you get 20 BTU for every degree of heated CO2. You can do the math to see how much CO2 needs to be heated to get to 250,000 BTU. This is not rocket science. Most students of thermodynamics and heat transfer can easily verify this.
Julius Blank
Los Altos, California

I don’t know where I saw this cartoon but it goes something like this:

Two cavemen are talking to each other. One says to the other:

” I don’t know what’s going on. The air is clean, the water is pure, and we eat organic food. How come we only live to be 35?”

I’m sure the cavemen also witnessed the glacier covering most of North America. That glacier is no longer there….Global Warming! Reindeer foraged as far south as Germany….Global Warming!

Has anyone considered the benefits of the so-called global warming?

Europe will be warmer with a longer growing season. The forests of Siberia will be accessible. The Northwest Passage may become a reality. Australia’s desert may get rain…There are unforeseen benefits.

All is not doom and gloom as the global warming nuts are pre-disposed to believe. Just think, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami will all be under water (each is a Democrat stronghold).

Nevertheless, you can count on the weatherman being wrong in trying to predict next month’s weather let alone next year’s weather or the year following.

Time magazine had on its cover (30 years ago) that we were entering a new Ice Age. All the pre-eminent experts on weather were in agreement.

There is always something that the Collective Conscious is called upon to worry about: SARS, AIDS, Ozone Layer, Nuclear War, Biological War, Pollution, Terrorists, Global Warming, Global Cooling, no more fish, on and on.

If I woke up each morning and considered all the scary things out there in the real world….I would stay huddled in the corner of my bedroom and not leave the house.
Who dreams these fears up?
Fred Edwards

LOST BY DEMOCRATS
Re: Joe Scaccia’s letter (under “Cut and Run Syndrome”) in Reader Mail’s Talking Words:

Mr. Scaccia may have been a couple of years younger than I to have overlooked this, but Vietnam wasn’t lost until after we had left combat there entirely. It was lost when the Congress cut off all aid of any sort to the Republic of Vietnam, which as long as it received resupply was in the process of defeating the People’s Army of Viet Nam and the (small) remnants of the Viet Cong.

The Congress took the position that if the RVN could not defeat the North with it’s own resources, it didn’t deserve to exist, despite its enemy receiving massive Soviet aid. That Congress didn’t just want us out of Vietnam. It wanted Vietnam to be unified under Communism.

It was, of course, a Congress thoroughly controlled by the Democrats.
Ed Ahlsen-Girard
Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

QUESTION TIME
Re: Mark Tooley’s Not Much Thanksgiving for Episcopalians and Terry Ward’s letter (under “Religious Slowdown”) in Reader Mail’s Talking Words:

Thank you for your solid response to BS (Bishop Schori) N.Y. Times interview … I wish they would print your offering as an example of “the rest of the story.”

God’s blessings,
Adrienne

SPOTTED
Re: Beverly Gunn’s letter (under “Tongue Tugs”) in Reader Mail’s Talking Words:

Under Tongue Tugs and letter from Beverly Gunn — with all due respect for a fellow Texan, Diane Smith has never said, will never say “Spot On!” She just has a little fun with those who do. And invites any who care to to poke fun at her choice of words.
Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

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