Your correspondent, D. Kelly Jones, has plagiarized me in his postings of 21 and 31 March 2006. He has lifted, word-for-word, 25 lines from pages 3, 4, 5, and 10 of my book, France in Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
— Timothy B. Smith
Department of History
Queen’s University, Ontario
D. Kelly Jones replies:
Professor Smith is correct. The passages he cites in my two articles are indeed from his book, France in Crisis. I read Professor Smith’s book shortly after it appeared and took copious notes at the time because it is an excellent work on the subject. In preparing the articles, I referred back to those notes, but failed to return to the original text as I should have.
That of course is an explanation; it is not intended as an excuse. I can only express my deepest apologies to Professor Smith and to the editors and readers of The American Spectator.
Wlady Pleszczynski replies:
I am grateful to Professor Smith for bringing this outrage to our attention. Unattributed appropriation of intellectual property is inexcusable, unacceptable, and unforgivable behavior, to put it mildly. Mr. Jones will not write for us again.
THE RESURRECTED CHURCH
Re: Mark Gauvreau Judge’s Catechism’s Comeback:
Just a short comment that will attempt to bring things in perspective. St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church, once stated (I am paraphrasing here) that the beginning of all heresy (false doctrine) lay in the desire to have the Church conform itself to the time that it is within. John XXIII stated that his reason for calling the Second Vatican Council was to bring the Church into the modern age. Sound familiar? Anyone with a smidgen of true humility would realize that it is up to us to conform to authentic Church teaching, not the other way around.
— Bob Schwartz
Buffalo, New York
I hope you send a courtesy copy to Father Jenkins at Notre Dame, who has just said academic freedom allows The Vagina Monologues and the Queer Film Festival at Notre Dame. My own feeling is that he chickened out over a revolt by his goofy professors and sold the students “down the river” as the slaves used to say.
— Annette Cwik
For anyone who really wants to get to the “meat and potatoes” of traditional orthodox Catholicism, I would suggest the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the result of that dogmatic council in the 16th century, which reaffirmed a millennium and a half of Catholic belief, and the Catechetical Instruction of St. Thomas Aquinas. I would stay away from the drivel of the past 44 years, which purports to be Catholic and is a perversion of a pastoral council, i.e., Vatican II. The fact that Mark comments on his alma mater’s contention that the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church was “over the heads of freshmen and sophomores” speaks to the constant dumbing down of our education system over the same 44 years. My semi-literate ancestors had a better grasp of their faith than most people today do.
— Daniel A. Moroco
Good article. I was born and raised Catholic myself. In the 1960s. I stopped going to church because of its leftist leanings in the pulpit and in the ’70s, I left the religion completely. Now I am considering returning to the faith of my ancestors because I see the Church coming back to its original teachings (which I was taught). The author has pointed out some very disturbing truisms concerning the Catholic Church of the ’70s thought (aside from the homosexual issues) and that is the Church’s complicity in the dismantling of Christian belief, as the one true religion. Even further is the fact of brethren within the Church aiding in the abortion holocaust such as Sen. Leahy (a “devout” Catholic) and of course, Ted Kennedy. However, in Vermont, we had a member of one of the religious orders (Sisters of Mercy) who, as a director of Social Services (under a Republican Governor), oversaw minors getting abortions (without parental knowledge). Now, those very people can be subject to excommunication, as they should be, but more important is that young Catholics are once more being taught the real teachings of the Church concerning moral issues. I would like to see the Mass done in Latin again myself, but we can’t have everything. It’s going to a long hard process though dismantling so many years of leftist ideology and re-educating the youth as to what the Catholic Church really stands for, but it’s time to get started.
— Pete Chagnon
Thank you for the article by Mark Judge. I too went to a Jesuit Prep School and they now teach the same nonsense.
— Gene Deveney
Many thanks to TAS for publishing the articles submitted by Messrs. Macomber and Warshawsky on what may likely be the Hobson’s Choice presented to us conservatives in the ’08 presidential race. After a lively discussion on McCain in the AmSpecBlog last night with Dave and others, today’s articles only serve to increase our anxiety over the unpleasant prospects of a McCain v. Clinton race. We can only hope that the primaries will offer up salvation to relieve us of this nightmare scenario. But even with all this being said, since sitting out an election, or moving to New Zealand is not a choice for me, McCain gets my vote. Can somebody please hand me the aspirin?
— A. DiPentima
NO BOOK TOO LARGE
Re: Steven M. Warshawsky’s Just Being Herself:
I will buy the book! Although “small book” of “Hillary’s lies” doesn’t seem possible.
The hackneyed phrase that warns me immediately not to vote for a candidate is “I want to make a difference….” A Milquetoast aspiration if I ever heard one. What does that mean, anyhow? If I don’t make the bed in the morning it makes a difference in the appearance of my bedroom. If I make a left turn in the path of an oncoming car, I have made a difference, not only for myself, but at least one other person, not of my acquaintance. But, I’ve made a difference! And that is what all politicians claim is their goal. Hillary, by her own admission, believes that in order to make a difference she must acquire power.
Bill Clinton acquired the most power possible for any human being on this planet and look what he did with it. Recall how he degraded it. Made a difference by doing nothing when terrorists rammed the U.S.S. Cole with a boatload of explosives, blowing 17 sailors to bits, injuring others and endangering the lives of military assigned to rescue the damaged ship. This act of statesmanship brought to us by a cheap, draft-dodging, amoral sexual predator. If that didn’t send a clear signal to terrorists around the world that with Bill Clinton at the helm of the Ship of State, “anything goes” — unnoticed, I don’t know what did. The whole world knew from Day One where Bill’s priorities lie, lay, laid — take your choice…
If this harridan, by some grotesque quirk of fate winds up president and we again get “two for the price of one,” as a party and as a nation we deserve what we get. And our country will never recover.
I know what she is — having as I do, my priceless collection of TAS magazines, covering the entire disgusting eight Clinton years, but I’ll still buy the book.
One lingering thought, do they still roost somewhere in the Carolinas annually for Renaissance Weekend? If so, the festivities must be funereal, at best.
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
Let’s not forget another famous Hillary moment: Her namesake. “Hillary” once stated she was named after Mt. Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary. The real “Hillary” was a beekeeper in New Zealand at the time of Hillary “Rodham’s” birth. The summit of Mt. Everest came after the old battle axe was already out of the chute.
Sadly, the “alternative” media has only been able to rebut charges of Hillary’s (and those who have) made similar outlandish statements, while the “old media” still foist her high upon their pedestal. Any self-respecting Republican has fled their office under similar or less pressure.
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
The Hildabeast must be stopped in 2008 — Steven Warshawsky is 100 percent correct in writing that “Hillary Rodham Clinton is a power-hungry utopian socialist who dreams of ‘remolding’ American society into something that looks just like the sclerotic, dying polities of Western Europe.”
She could have been dealt with in 2006 except for the complete disintegration of the GOP in New York State under RINO Gov. Pataki, but that’s another story.
— Peter Skurkiss
Re: Shawn Macomber’s McCain’s New Tact:
Shouldn’t that be “tack”? Am I the one-millionth person to point that out? Am I missing the thrust of the piece? Frankly, I don’t see where either “tact” or a “new tack” is the point. It’s just more McCain being McCain.
I hope it’s the Web transcriber’s issue and not Mr. Macomber. It’s one of those cringe-inducing errors.
— Adam Cunningham
McCain is using the liberal talking point about “rounding up” 11 million ILLEGALS. If Senators would allow INS to do their job we could slowly get them sent home or they would just pack up and go, when employers stopped hiring them. Just look how many could have been rounded up at the protests. They are ILLEGAL and should not have any rights and the parasite label is very good. Immigration is a wonderful thing if our laws are respected. I see the signs “We are NOT criminals”… well just what part of ILLEGAL do they not understand.
— Elaine Kyle
McCain got his “pardon” when he took part in the Keating Five. That is it Senator, we only give one pardon. You have already used yours. Don’t give us any more hardship!
John McCain will always and forever be the [one] who foisted campaign finance on us. That simply denied us our right to free speech when it is most important, during a campaign. John McCain is no good as a hero; he only did what he had to to stay alive and no good as an American because he delivered us all into the realm of ignorance prior to elections. We would all be better off without him. Any tyrant does the same thing.
— Gene Hauber
SCIENCE SHOW TRIAL
Re: David Hogberg’s Kyoto Kiddies:
Global warming alarmists are obviously Lenin-Stalin wannabes, but it’s hard to believe they will ever get enough traction to do us harm. We Joe Six-Packs out here know that we might lose our jobs and/or have to park our pickups and SUVs, so we won’t be signing up for Kyoto. The liberals of the Coasts may voluntarily crush and melt their Volvos, but if production of goods and services plummet (and even we aren’t so stupid to be convinced it wouldn’t), millions more in the Third World would starve than already are. Suppose the nose-wipe parties do take over all the governments of developed nations, and then try to force green house gas rules on us. We’d have their politicians crying “uncle” and “pour on the coal” in no time.
— Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mr. Hogberg has got it exactly right. “Doing it for the children” is now the phrase of choice for the last resort of scoundrels. Global warming has not only been used by unscrupulous “scientists” to scare us into supplying them with more research money (and hence, pay raises, bigger research departments, promotions, and especially, more power and influence over others), the mainstream media has now swallowed the global warming bit, hook, line and sinker. The fear mongering of the Time magazine cover a few weeks ago shows that the media has already decided that the scientific debate is over. A few clarifications are in order:
* Scientific debate is never over. Good scientists always continue to question the mainstream “beliefs,” trying to poke holes in every accepted theory. Scientists who say the debate is over have jumped the shark from the scientific method to dogma.
* Mathematical models, which have been used by scientists to “prove” that we are on a one way trip to hell on earth, are based on many assumptions, and as the professor in the Paper Chase said, when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Make other assumptions, with equal probabilities of being correct, and your model can predict another ice age cometh.
* Mathematical models do not “prove” anything, until you can prove that all your assumptions are correct. Nobody is even close to doing this. World climate is too complex — maybe in another hundred years, we might start to get a handle on this…
* In the hundreds of millions of years of the history of life on earth, there have been natural warming and cooling. Analysis of trapped air bubbles found in bubbles in amber that are many millions of years old show higher oxygen (50 percent higher) and carbon dioxide (1000% higher) levels than today — and yet life flourished.
* Why must global warming (natural or man-made) be such a bad thing? More carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures means more biomass (plants and animals) and more habitable and agricultural land. Isn’t this what environmentalists want? But instead, the media only focuses on the Chicken Little scientists who cry about rising ocean levels, increased malaria, etc. We have a name in the Midwest for people like this — pessimists.
— Mike Spencer
GUEST DICTATOR PROGRAM
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Why Simper to Fidel?:
This article is something so refreshing and accurate; evidently, Mr. Homnick knows what he is writing about. Please, translate my opinion to the author.
— Eduardo Aleman
I am very impressed both by the substance and the style, the wit and the truth of this article. I am bewildered at the “why” of it all…by what goony gestalt does not the majority party encourage resettlement in the U.S. of:
1) Voters who will enhance their majority.
2) Industrious hard working, mostly honest folks.
3) People from a land of some culture, marvelous music, a bit of important literature, baseball fans, I love Lucy, Xavier Cugat, Perez Prado and that El Duque baseball player — and simultaneously favour the absorption of unskilled workers by the tens of millions — for Wal-Mart? For GM? For a bunch of Texas cattle guys?
So where are the howls of outrage by the public??
— Claudia Monteverdi
At least Castro has a better record of keeping his economic refugees home. Maybe the CIA could arrange some kind of guest dictator program for Mexico.
GOOD OL’ DAYS
Re: Jed Babbin’s Fighting for a Ticket on the Titanic:
Years ago I termed the ’90s as “The Age of Arrogance.” Jed Babbin has termed the Clinton years as “The Great Period of Neglect.” I like Jed’s description better. I always thought that Boy Clinton behaved much as a class president might — and no more. The country was always second to him — for eight years, he was class president, king of hearts, and star orator! During those eight years, the safety and security of the country was neglected!
— Jack Hughes
Shades of “McPeak!!!” Thank the Lord we had a Ron Fogelman right after him. Too bad Fogelman WAS NOT a good match for the Clinton White House. There were way too many “careerist” officers that came to the top of the list under the previous administration.
— Sandra Dent
YANKEE GRAB YOUR GUN
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch’s Three Strikes and You’re… In Like Flint:
This type of information must be available to the public of the U.S. It proves that the need for an armed society is the only way to reduce crime. Why not have the news media post this? Oh, I know our free speech in not allowed on articles of this type. We must keep the 2nd amendment.
FEW WHEAT, LOTS OF CHAFF
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s The Stature Gap:
Our “stature challenged” contemporary culture seems to be a fair label when seen through the venal lenses of our supremely “stature challenged” media… as they force feed us our “daily reality” of endless tragedy, ultimate futility and, always, blame in abundance.
However, I am sustained with some effort that the passage of sufficient time will allow a statured, inspirational, enduring few to emerge from our chaotic slice of history… vindicated and clarified by events that have been allowed to play out sufficiently for fair analysis.
My own worthless prediction is that most current politicians, actors and anchors will be under-represented in future history book chapter’s covering “Stature”…
— John Curtis
Re: Beth Kennedy’s letter (“Hear Her Out”) and others in Reader Mail’s Hope and Sanity:
Ooooh, love those letters… BUT Beth Kennedy may not recall that the very confused/misled Ms. Corrie went to one of the most Marxist schools around, belonged to the International Solidarity Movement (a communist/anarchist bunch), and her parents were trying to sue Caterpillar tractors while accepting a plaque from the late Yasser Arafat. Those Palestinians don’t want peace — unless it means exterminating Israel/all Jews — just look who/what they elected!
And, Doug Welty — wasn’t James Coburn doing a satire as Flint? It was a happy, silly, fun movie, poking fun at Bond, James Bond, doncha think?
In the meantime, Elaine, Diane and Beverly — DON’T STOP.
Re: Diane Smith’s letter (“Paved Paradise”) in Reader Mail’s Hope and Sanity:
Tell Diane Smith there are redbud trees left in Texas. There is one blooming in the yard outside my window up by White Rock Lake and a whole slew of ’em along Easton/Gus Thomasson Rd. Bluebonnets didn’t do so well this spring but the redbuds did.
— Rebecca Mehan
MOMS FOR BEN
Re: Ben Stein’s Greetings From Rancho Mirage:
Thank you from a proud Army mom of Matthew.
I love ya man. I just read an article you wrote to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, National Guard, and reservists. My son is a Marine in Iraq right now and I am printing this article for his next care package. You are an amazing, brave American and I appreciate the respect you give our military.
— Dorothy Loeper, Proud Marine Mom of Lcpl. Cory Loeper, 1/7 Wpns. Co. CAAT Blue.
Just came across Ben Stein’s piece posted on 4-5-06.Wow! Talk about perspective. Humbling, is it not?
— Ron Kowalski
Thank you for your humble thoughts directed towards the defenders of freedom. Never has one American (except for maybe President Ronald Reagan) expressed gratitude towards the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines such as you continue to do. I have always enjoyed your humor, wit, intellect and grasp of the English language — along with the manner in which you deliver your thoughts.
You are unselfish in your deed as you don’t do it for recognition, although you could — you do it from the heart — where it matters most. You also “stand-up” — not on “high” moral ground, but on your own moral ground — where ever American should stand, unto themselves and their values; you do not pretend to placate anyone, you do what is right because it is the right thing to do. Thank you again for making your voice heard.
I’m a serving Army Officer — 19 years total Active Duty and an additional eight in the Reserves (I got out when the Clintons were “elected”… I’m a life member of the VFW and the American Legion. I grew up on a farm in Iowa and was in Boy Scouts, 4-H, FFA, Horse & Saddle clubs, etc. If you’d please allow me to express a few thoughts and misgivings, I’d like to pose a few questions to you, and maybe, just maybe, you could then ask them in a public forum; then maybe, just maybe, America may begin to take some positive steps toward change. I’m sure you already know these things, but here are my questions and misgivings:
1) How do we get America to do “what’s right”? How do “we” get them to do what’s right not only in supporting the defenders of freedom because we’re at war, but in all things important to the preservation of the principles of democracy — to return the country and its direction to the People of the nation — not the career politicians, the lobbyists and big business?
2) How do we get Congress on the same pay/retirement system as every American? Are the three branches of government so removed from the people? Why are they not forced to use the same pay/retirement system as the rest of us? I realize there are many complexities, but what’s the REAL answer?
3) How about health care? Are the three branches of government allowed special health care (for life???) while the health care of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines slide off of the actuarial tables of supportable defense spending — let alone the issue of the continual erosion of veterans benefits — healthcare being the most important… When I signed-up for the Army in 1978 I was guaranteed 100 percent health care for life (I won’t go into my personal health care issues). How can Congress vote themselves a better life (even if they only serve one term) while the majority of Americans fight for their daily survival, forced to live with and pay for the ever-growing greed and corruption of the three branches of government?
4) Speaking of the epitome of greed and corruption, I’m also concerned about why Senators (I use that word legally, as a form of proper speech) Kennedy and Kerry are even allowed to serve — but instead should be in prison (Kennedy, like his nephew — for at least negligent vehicular homicide, DUI, etc; Kerry for TREASON — for his transgressions when he was a serving Naval Reservist!!!). These fine examples of senior Senatorial “leadership” are why America is losing the war with itself! The government should be able to “police” itself — it isn’t. What’s being done about it? They’re “talking” about it. As evidence of the recent events of Tom Delay and the government in general — greed, corruption, power-brokering, etc., are running rampant in the government — all while the military is being called upon to do the bidding of not only the power-brokers in the White House and Congress, but also to actually defend the freedom of America and fight for the freedom for all those whom would have it.
In order to be fairly and justly governed, we have to have representatives of the people whom are fair and just — representatives whom do the people’s bidding. Albeit, there are times when the “right” thing to do is not for the majority, but for what is “right” and “just” — these are decisions which our elected officials MUST make on behalf of the people, no other influence allowed.
We have an “entitlement-based” government that is draining the future of our country. We are being forced to sell our “needs” for spending to foreign governments in order to maintain our internal appeasement of the entitlement spenders to maintain “balance” within writhing masses of politicians, lobbyists, judges, the welfare state, in addition to most all of non-self-starting Katrina “victims,” foreign aid, etc. included… Where does it stop?
I can only speak as a citizen as I’m not legally “allowed” to express a public opinion while serving in the military. You may do what you wish with the content of this e-mail, but please do not publish it in my name or give credit to me in any way — I only want our country to return to its core values in order that we may survive the trials and tribulations of our government.
— Name Withheld
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. While your words and thoughts are most appreciated I am wondering why only the Marines were listed with a capital letter. I know it is not your intent; however, lower casing the other Services (except the Marines) seems to marginalize the importance of our other Services. For the past five years or so the terms Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guard Members have all been capitalized. I was wondering if, in the future, all references to Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guard Members could be capitalized as they are within their respective departments. Thanks again for your very kind thoughts and sentiments. This is one article that should be shared with everyone! You are the best for taking the time to let us know how you feel.
We do not mean to slight the other services by referring to them in lowercase. “Marines” are grammatically exceptional because the group of individuals composing the branch is the same word as the entire branch, the Marines, a proper noun. As for the other branches, we capitalize the U.S. Army, but individuals in it are soldiers, not Armies. The same goes for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force. Soldiers, airmen, and sailors are not properly capitalized because they’re not proper nouns. Uppercase soldiers, airman, and sailors could be members of those branches in any country. Conversely, when one writes the Marines, readers understand that the writer means members of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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