Road Scholars | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Road Scholars
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FOUR LANES, GOOD LIFE
Re: Peter Hannaford’s You’ll Get Your Kicks on, er, I-40:

I agree having driven across the great country of ours many times. What we need now is a way to take our cars on the train, or at least, sleeper cars on every train, everywhere in this country. My wife, four kids, and I will be taking the Zephyr with two sleeping cabins from Chicago to Oakland next month. I wish we could do the same from L.A. to Maine.

By the way, Rick Weber and I drove from Daytona, Florida, to Mountain View, California, in 48.5 hours (road time) in 1985. Sixty-seven hours isn’t non-stop. If you can’t do your business while the car fills then you get to drive the next round.

Also, if it can’t be seen from the highway then it doesn’t exist. See you on the road…
Mark Andreasen

Poor Mr. Hannaford. Route 66 was slow and two-laned; stopped in every little town with Mom-and-Pop motels and seedy bars. Those small towns were where real America lived and to an extent still does. Not the America of Barbra Streisand and ill-educated louts like Mr. Sheen who sees conspiracies around every Republican, but people who loved their families, their country, and their visitors. In the early 1960s I rode my motorcycle to Chi-town for the purpose of riding Route 66 all the way to L.A. It was scenic and filled with interesting people. There was time to stop and talk to strangers. Learn from them and they from you. I remember Middle American men with thick, knurled fingers and massive hands, hardened from work sipping ice cold beer in small smoky taverns. I can still see families dressed in their best leaving churches, children running and laughing on church lawns. I was invited to share meals at people’s homes — no cost, just neighborly and nice. My Harley drew small lumps of the curious wherever I stopped, and I stopped frequently, to savor small town America. Incidentally I didn’t make it all the way to L.A. due to an unfortunate coming together of my motorcycle and a deer, in which neither of the livening creatures was much injured, but my steed was much worse for the wear.

Interstates: a car 18 inches from you in each of the four directions on the compass, traveling at 80 or 90 miles an hour; people cocooned in a sterile $35,000, climate-controlled, soundproofed steel box which saves the riders from “outside.” No Mr. Hannaford, interstates have no soul, nor do I suspect do the people who extol their virtues.
Jay W. Molyneaux
Wellington, Florida

I enjoyed Peter’s article about traveling the interstates. My wife and I take one or two trips every year and drive every time. We’re flying this year (first time since 1974) to accommodate our two-year-old granddaughter’s first trip to Disney World but it will be back to driving after that.

We know our favorite places to stop and even have favorite “rest areas” that we pull off on when we need a break. However, I cringe at his mention of the large chain fast food joints. For our trip there is one major rule — no eating at fast food chains that we have back at home. Yes, it’s unfamiliar territory, but how else would we have found Clyde’s in St. Ignace, Michigan? Or General Pickett’s Buffet and the small diner in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? Or the Battlefield Diner at Fredericksburg, Virginia? And on and on. Or discovered that no matter where you hail from, the pizza on vacation is never as good as your home town’s?

It was a beautifully written essay and I hope it encourages Americans to get out and enjoy their country.
Larry Eischen
Joliet, Illinois

In the summer of 2000 I decided to see some of America from the saddle of a motorcycle. The latter part of that year’s journey took me along Route 66 from Barstow to New Mexico. From Baghdad Cafe in Newberry Springs (the building was used in the movie) through Oatman, Arizona (and its wandering mules), and Winslow’s “Standin’ on the Corner” intersection to Gallup’s El Rancho motel, that stretch of road is as fine an example of historical Americana as you’ll find anywhere. Those interested in how it looked to this heat-crazed biker can peruse his ramblings here.
John Trudo
Harker Heights, Texas

WET SCIENCE
Re: David Holman’s Schweitzer’s Folly:

Thanks for your continuing effort to tell the truth about glaciers and global warming. The polar ice cap once covered Canada and extended into the U.S. It has been melting for a very long time.

A few years ago, I read a book by a Canadian climatologist who specializes in glaciers. He wrote that the weather conditions necessary for glaciers to form and maintain their size are extremely rare: The ocean during the winter must be unusually warm in order to generate the necessary precipitation; the winter air must not be too cold or it can’t hold the moisture; the summers must be unusually cool to prevent the snow from melting; these conditions must exists for decades. Those conditions could occur only if something blocked the sun for decades. He speculated that such blockage might occur in an era of frequent, large volcanic eruptions that spewed dust and ash into the atmosphere.
Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Great post. Earth’s ecosystem has existed and protected itself from all comers, including some sizable meteorites, for about 80,000,000 years that we know of. The notion that a temperature trend can be discerned from 125 years of weather data is preposterous to the 10th power. Even if this is a trend, what proof is there that 1) humans were (are) powerful enough beings to have caused it and did cause it, and 2) humans are powerful enough beings to reverse it. It takes a big head (or hidden agenda) to believe either.
Ty Knoy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

I am always interested in anything that comes down the pike concerning global warming regardless of position. Full disclosure, I like being warm, I like to sweat and look better with a tan. God never intended Man to wear anything more than shorts and a polo shirt.

Seriously, I am of an age when Earth’s geological ages were taught in grades K-12. Don’t ask that I list them — I would have to Google each one to get the formidable spellings. Just think protoplasm to Man, continental drift, volcanoes…now there’s serious air quality degradation, ice ages, dinosaurs in Montana, Greenland green and not that long ago, an axis shift. I could go on but you get the picture, monumental fluctuation in climate, geography and specie over the past millions and millions of years. Our precious little selves have been around for what amounts to less than a blink of the eye relative to the age of Earth, and let’s say a nanosecond for the Industrial Age.

All of that said why do I read so little about Mr. Sun? Periodically I will come across an article about solar activity…one the other day positing an entrance this year into a lengthy increase in solar storms and flares and apparently we have just concluded an unusually long period of same although of lesser intensity than now projected. Stars tend to heat up and then cool over their lifetimes. Even a marginal increase in the Sun’s temperature, given our proximity is going to affect Earth. Another article recently read indicted that the polar ice on Mars was retreating. No one there to cause that! Does any man made warming advocate ever consider the Sun as a variable?

Another variable. Since the ’70s we in the U.S. and Western Europe have made tremendous strides in cleaning up automobile emissions as well as power generating plant emissions. Now with a cleaner and clearer sky we come back to Mr. Sun and…heat. Of course I’m sure all those warnings we get each summer about skin cancer and use sun block and don’t stay at the beach too long aren’t related either.

As to carbon dioxide, I was always taught it was one of the building blocks of life and a key element of photosynthesis. Without it green plants aren’t. So why are we allowing all of our western forests to burn down? That’s a lot of CO2 uses up in smoke, did I say smoke… particulates?

As a final thought: allowing politicians as well as the MSM to opine on science is…well, can we stipulate, with rare exception, they’re NOT the sharpest knives in the drawer?
Jim Woodward
Fruitland, Maryland

Does anyone think without the global warming hoax, these “experts” would be getting money? They have to keep this alive or fold up their tents and get real jobs.
Elaine Kyle

I read David Holman’s article “Schweitzer’s Folly” with interest.

Reading the article here in the UK, it shows just what a force for good the Internet is. Reading the U.S. media shows people like me just how irresponsible large sections of the U.S. media are being in covering up the truth about climate change from the public.

Man has nothing to do with it, they tell us, when it is clear to most of the rest of the world that this is simply not the case.

CO2 levels are at their highest level for 600,000 years, mankind’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are exploding, weather patterns are changing worldwide, hundreds of thousands are already dying as a result of climate change*. Any attempt to decrease CO2 emissions should surely be welcomed and reported fairly by the media.

The Spectator is a conservative publication. What is it in favor of conserving?
Huw Peach
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom

David Holman replies:
Messrs. McKinney and Woodward contribute excellent alternate causes to the decline of Glacier’s glaciers.

Mr. Peach will take solace in the fact that most of the American media have also been duped into uncritically accepting global warming theory without much in the way of evidence. Speaking for myself, I am in favor of conserving a reasonable burden of proof for those who advocate incredible economic disruption because they think something may be happening. Mr. Peach fails to meet this burden: carbon dioxide emissions are currently high, weather patterns are changing (when aren’t they?), and many people are dying (ditto). Those dots don’t automatically connect for me.

INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT
Re: Jed Babbin’s Rebuilding the Welfare State (Illegally):

Another excellent article by Mr. Babbin. I have nothing to add to what he had to say, but I would like to expand it in one direction, social economics of the guest worker program.

The basic reasoning behind a guest worker program is two fold. First, people come here, and are already here, to make money. Second, that there is a category of jobs that American workers either won’t do or that employers can’t afford to pay them to do. To fill these jobs, employers look to immigrant labor as a source of unskilled bodies to perform these jobs for minimal compensation. It sounds good, on the surface, but it is rotten, both economically and socially.

Most Americans do not fill certain unskilled labor positions because they cannot afford to. To sustain a marginal lifestyle in this country, a household income has to be at least $18,000 (poverty level for a family of four). In actual fact, most families making that much are still dependant upon some type of social welfare assistance. Undocumented aliens who come for employment will work for much lower wages. Wages which are, as a practical matter, significantly below the minimum hourly wage in this country. This is feasible, for the worker, because he does not intend to live in the U.S., where the cost of living is so much higher than in his native country. He intends to make his fortune and return to home and family. This system leads to abuses. The worker is often in a state of economic slavery. The employer has a tremendous amount of power and control over the worker because of the worker’s illegal status. In most cases, an illegal immigrant has no recourse to institutions in this country that would force an employer to live up to his obligations. It also exposes the worker to the predations of unscrupulous labor agents who demand significant “fees” for procuring jobs for illegal workers. And the illegal immigrant has no future, in this country, as his status can lead to arrest and deportation at any time.

The potential societal and economic ramifications of legalizing guest workers are significant. First, legitimization of the status of guest workers would force a rise in labor costs for employers as minimum wage statutes and other labor laws would have to be adhered to. This would offer no benefit to employers who depend upon cheap labor. Second, the social services available to guest workers would be, essentially, the same as to illegal immigrants or citizens. So there would be no savings to the taxpaying citizens of this country. And third, there would be created a sizable, legitimate underclass in this country. One that would have no legitimate political recourse (unless one considers the very real possibility of voter fraud). There are others, such as dependent immigration, failure to observe limited stays, the lack of a firm commitment to the host country (us) and, finally, the matter of monitoring of individual guest workers and enforcement of laws dealing with the status of the worker. The bureaucracy necessary to manage this program would be so staggering as to not only negate any economic advantage to the citizens of the United States, but would divert significantly more tax revenue from other programs than the guest worker program would bring in.

Taken in its totality, it appears that the only one that would benefit from this program would be the foreign worker and possibly certain politicians. And it is unlikely that it would significantly curtail illegal economic immigration. The employers currently employing illegal immigrants would continue to do so to maintain their economic advantage and there would always be more applicants than visas. No matter how it is set up, this country could not afford to enforce guest worker visas. No matter what standards are passed, illegal immigration will not abate. In short, any guest worker program is doomed to failure without strict border interdiction. With strict border control, it is no longer needed. Workers can apply for entry as they do now. Visa numbers can be adjusted as seems advisable for various national groups. And, a small increase in immigration staffing can handle the monitoring chores. A more important benefit would be a strong possibility that legal immigrants would seek citizenship. And someone with a stake in this country is of greater benefit than someone who is just passing through.

The most important factors in a successful immigration policy are interdiction and interior enforcement. As it stands now, we can only speculate on who is entering our country and what their intentions are. In this day and age, this is something that we need to know for sure. New laws are not necessary. A desire to enforce the current laws is all that is needed.
Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

It has been more than one year since Tom Bethell described in these pages the on-going spectacle of what has happened to the institutions of this country due to illegal immigration. Since then, the situation has worsened. Jed Babbin now joins the chorus of the disaffected, after having, apparently, an epiphany: illegal aliens are breaking the bank and clogging up the court system in locales where they are numerous. He might also add the educational and public health facilities, too: in Fairfax County, where I live, the school budget’s second largest expense — after salaries — is the English as a Second Language program. Further, to use the late Madeleine Cosman’s phrase, the U.S. has become, “hospital to the world.”

What, I ask, does it take to alert nominally conservative organizations and the voters of this country to the fact that we are clearly on the path to self-inflicted destruction? The president and most of the Senate, supported by the financial power of the agricultural, restaurant and construction lobbies, apparently are tone deaf: they are indifferent to the overwhelming numbers of the vox populi who clearly want something done to stop the invasion. Make no mistake: if either Snarlin’ Arlen Specter’s bill or that of McCain-Kennedy is ever passed by the Congress, the President will sign such legislation with glee. And few, including many of those on talk radio, will see this act as contradictory to our “war on terror.” Hypocrisy truly is the homage vice pays to virtue.

The first line of defense is knowing the truth: the 12 million illegal aliens figure given by DHS is pure hokum, because the real numbers are much greater: closer to 18-20 million. If you estimate that the Border Patrol catches one in four illegal aliens, then you project from there, but what if that number was one in seven? Or eight? DHS does not know how many actually walk or drive across our non-existent border with Mexico, and that is a recipe for disaster.

Albeit a late entry, Mr. Babbin’s excursus does raise other points to ponder. Not the least of which is this: how can DHS, or its Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) Division, cope with screening 20 million illegal aliens when they admit that they cannot trace more than 5 percent of the cases that they are currently presented? Or that such an amnesty — in my dictionary if you break a law and are absolved by decree, that is an amnesty — will prevent further invasion by more illegal aliens certain that they, too, will be amnestied?

Such indifference to national sovereignty will clearly reap predictable results: the word is out throughout the Third World that anyone can arrive at anytime and immediately improve his standard of living, with or without the necessary papers. Free schools, medical care and welfare benefits, guaranteed to illegal aliens and their families on arrival, will immediately improve a Mexican’s living standard by 10 percent. And that indifference is not lost on other regimes: last week ICE reported that there are 39,000 illegal aliens from China who are being detained at U.S. government expense. As of this writing, the Chinese government is refusing to take them back! Don’t hold your breath about our telling the Chinese government that we’re going to send them back, or charge them for expenses incurring while holding them. In the meantime, the crowds gather to demand “rights” for illegal aliens. It should be noted that organizations such as La Raza and MALDEF are subsidized by U.S. government funding, as well as by U.S. charitable foundations. And I would bet that Mexican consular authorities are inextricably involved in these demonstrations, a clear violation of their diplomatic limitations, but I wouldn’t hold my breath about a formal complaint by the State Department. A paper tiger, indeed!

There is no turning back. The events of the next several weeks in Washington will, in my judgment, determine the way this country’s future and destiny are to be reckoned. I am not sanguine about the prospect of this “new” America following in the footsteps of the old, including our cherished respect for law. There is an Italian proverb that is appropriate here: Whoever forsakes the old way for the new knows what he is losing, but not what he will find.

Pax tecum,
Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

MAD AS HELL AND NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE
Re: Leighton M. Anderson’s letter (under “Just How Illegal?”) in Reader Mail’s Immigration Truths and Jed Babbin’s Rebuilding the Welfare State (Illegally):

About that letter from Leighton M. Anderson of Whittier, California. You know what, I’m tired of people making excuses for why we have all of these illegals in this country and trying to make the rest of us “feel bad” because we want to stop the invasion. Because that is what it is — an illegal invasion of our country which is supported by the president, those who hire illegals and their bought-for politicians, liberals, and writers at the Wall Street Journal.

No Americans want their neighbors to the south to suffer, but we also do not want our country taken over by those waving Mexican flags, speaking Spanish, and acting like they have a right to be here. They have no rights here, and Americans should not have to pay for their health care, their schooling and their criminals to stay in our prisons. Now, I know many want only to work and live peacefully, and that’s fine with me — but, they must be here legally, must pay taxes, must learn the language and become a part of the fabric of our nation, not an outside group waving foreign flags and openly defying our laws.

This problem has been created over a long period of time, but since 9/11 it has become an urgent problem, and those who do not see it that way don’t want to see the truth. Tunnels, gun battles at the border, drugs, gangs. Something must be done. We need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff without being called names.
Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

I must take exception to your comment — “An argument I’ve heard from others (Jed wisely avoids it) is that immigrants drive down prevailing wages. …” The issue is not protectionism. Labor policy has similarities to monetary policy. One of which is bad labor will drive out good labor. The fact is many employers know they are hiring undocumented personnel even if official looking documents have been presented. With that as a given the following tend to occur:

– Concerns on workplace safety tend to lessen. Employer has discontent on the issue? Tip off INS, who initiates a raid and then hire new workers. The word gets around not to complain.

– Social Security payments. Are you kidding? If I know I have ten undocumented workers but keep them do you really think that money will ever end up in Social Security? More likely the employer is pocketing the money. Remember the employer gets to pick who he lists as an employee. Those ten workers could be listed as day labor on the books, have SS & FICA withheld but the money never transferred to the appropriate agencies as they are not listed as employees were an inspection to occur.

– The let’s-grab-some-more game. Labor Ready one of the larger temp day labor firms in the country has the following gambit going on. Person works for them. End of the day the temp is given the choice of either a check or pay in cash. Near 80% are paid in cash as they have no ID to get bank accounts. Here’s where the game comes in. Labor Ready tells the temp, “We round down to the nearest dollar and deduct a dollar for processing”. No big deal you say. Well take 1 million temps times 220 days a year times a $1.50 average and you have a nice handsome profit.

Anecdotal? Yes. But I have seen this in action.

I agree that we should get the illegals some means of legal status just to prevent what I mention above. But before we do that I would suggest that all those people who have been patient, legal, and law abiding by waiting for a visa be placed at the head of the line. And they stay at the head of the line till the visas are filled. To do otherwise is to praise the unlawful at the expense of the lawful. As a consequence we get the outcome we accept for our actions.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

BECKWITH BACKGROUND
Re: Graduate Student “X’s” Tenure Denial as Revenge:

For a bit of perspective and history check out this article from the Lariat (Baylor’s on campus paper) when Beckwith was hired.
unsigned

PALEOPHLOEMICS
Re: Quin Hillyer’s Going Ape in Politics:

An “admittedly amateur study of Cro-Magnon anthropology” has led Quin Hillyer “to posit that the flowering of great civilizations is due to the ingenuity of the lowly cave dwellers of the pre-crustacean period? (Or is that post-crustacean? When I’m crabby, I always get my eras and epochs and xylums and phloems mixed up.) “

It would be a great thing if TAS were to stop basing its phloemics on the sappier texts of the Discovery Institute and move its scientific views forward to the upper crustacean epoch. Mr. Hillyer’s debut is a great, indeed evolutionary step back from the brink of metaphysiology Feith-based foreign policy and pee wee hermeneutics towards which post-paloeconservatives have lately staggered. I can only applaud his efforts to increase the Cro Magnon presence among the science editors of the Washington Times and the President’s Council on PG13 Bioethics
Russell Seitz

Quin Hillyer replies:
Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! (Or is that a monkey’s nephew? I’m still a little mixed up.) You’ve taken my insights and gone one better! Your letter made my day by making me laugh. I have a feeling the whole day is gonna be phloem really well, phloem like a river, because of it.

LUNCH WITH JACK
Re: Morton C. Blackwell’s Some Thoughts on Jack Abramoff:

A couple days ago I read Morton Blackwell’s remarks, “Some Thoughts on Jack Abramoff.”

I saved it, and have re-read it. It was beautifully put, almost like the reading of a parable. Well done, Morton!

And to Jack, sorry about your self-created problems. And the same goes for your bitter clients. As they say, “caveat emptor.”

I recommend that at some point in time, the tribes involved devise a healing ceremony — to assuage the psychic wounds of all concerned. And Jack, at some point in time, I suggest that you participate in that ceremony — on their territory.

Life seems to present such train wrecks from time to time. And yet, “there’s nothing new under the sun.” Solutions can be found from such wreckage.

One of the roots of this evil was money found through gambling — a form of disease confronted by those who are weakest to its incessant draw, its pull. It’s practically everywhere. Banking, the stock market, insurance. Credit cards with usurious rates. All forms of gambling. Somewhat sinful. Yet part of everyday life.

To rely so much, on revenue derived from a vice, “just ain’t right.” But that’s the way a lot of government is financed these days. The taxation of vices: Lotteries, tobacco tax, liquor tax… For Native American tribes, like many others, the draw of gambling is irresistible. And corrupting. So much cash. So easy.

But answers to the biggest problems involving sovereign Native Americans — or people in general — are not easily solved by paying the highest priced, hired hands in Washington, D.C. Throwing around big money does not necessarily buy you what you truly need. Another folksy saying: “Jump in mud, you’re going to get splashed.”

In this storybook tale, Jack’s hand simply went for the big cheese, and it snapped on his mitts. Like in a mouse trap. “Ouch!” And in turn, the tribes yelled “Hey!” “Who stole my cheese?”

And yet the providers of the big cheese, tribes A, B and C are no further ahead in solving their problems. There must be other ways for the tribes to solve their particular social problems and build for a better future, than hiring another Jack.

Any suggestions? Food for thought!
Joe Quinn
P.S. The last time I remember having a personal chat with Jack Abramoff, was in the White House West Wing cafeteria, sometime around 1985. I was Morton Blackwell’s lunch guest, along with Amy Moritz and Jack Abramoff.

I had lamb chops. They were good!

COUNT HIM OUT
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Message to Tony Blair:

Your emphasis on “Capitalism/Democracy,” is sadly being replaced with Socialism/Non-democracy, as politicians discovered long ago that giving away taxpayer dollars to their powerful special interests, created from capitalistic enterprises, was in their best interests, a.k.a., their job security.

Unfortunately, the silent majority of taxpayers don’t vote relative to their numbers, and those who do, won’t vote the pandering politicians out of office. Plus the millions of underage taxpayers who can’t vote, yet have their minimum wage paychecks confiscated, to help keep the political slugs in office. Whatever became of no taxation without representation?

Let the revolution begin…American taxpayers first: they pay the freight.
Harry Thompson, Socialist Insecurity retiree
Tucson, Arizona

ANOTHER BEN WAVE
Re: Ben Stein’s Missed Tributes:

Loved “Missed Tributes.”
Peter Hawkins

Ben Stein has finally and become completely out of touch with reality as per the following quote: “The brave guy in Hollywood will be the one who says that this is a fabulously great country where we treat gays, blacks, and everyone else as equal. The courageous writer in Hollywood will be the one who says the oil companies do their best in a very hostile world to bring us energy cheaply and efficiently and with a minimum of corruption. The producer who really has guts will be the one who says that Wall Street, despite its flaws, has done the best job of democratizing wealth ever in the history of mankind.”

Can gay people marry in the United States? The answer is “NO!!” So much for equality. Are black people routinely racially profiled and subject to unnecessary and unwarranted searches and arrests in America? The answer is “YES!!!” Are government investigations and secret files kept on innocent Americans worse than even in the McCarthy era? The answer is “YES!!!”

Ben Stein — give your head a shake. The people should pay tribute to the brave soldiers but not for the reasons you mention. I cannot expect more from a man who has consistently minimalized Nixon’s crimes and continues the pattern with Bush. You, sir, are the problem with America when you fail to recognize the real America and not the “B” movie version spouted by Bush and Reagan.
Murray Eaton
Brampton, Ontario

Hallelujah! Finally! Someone willing to stand up and say, “Enough!” Way to go, Mr. Stein!

We need more of your kind in Hollywood. I’m so sick of these bleeding hearts that use their fame as a platform from which to dishonor our President, those who have died, and those who put their life on the line every single day to try to make this world a better, safer place for EVERYONE, including the very ones who mock and degrade them! Our Founding Fathers are most likely looking down from Heaven, with tears in their eyes, saying “what happened to our great country?” It’s a sad day when a terrorist, who, by his own admission PLANNED an attack on our great country, is sitting in one of our prisons, eating food paid for by those he helped to kill, instead of 6 foot under! I’m sorry, I know that’s getting pretty radical, and it’s certainly not a very Christ-like attitude, but that’s the point at which I find myself these day, post 9-11. These days, criminals, terrorists, etc. have more rights than the victims. And we are ALL victims after 9-11.

Anyways…THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP AND STANDING OUT! God bless you and your wife!
Theresa McDonald

I agree with a lot of what you had to say, however in squelching Hollywood it appeared you were indeed attacking the gays who you say Hollywood is worshiping. Making that statement about gays is as uncharitable as Hollywood thinking they have the true speech of the American people concerning all that they say. The truth lies somewhere in between Hollywood and your impassioned script. How about the heroes (aside from the military which we totally agree upon) being the thousands of Americans who go to work each day pay taxes, support our government, vote in elections, send their children to school save for their college and come from all walks of life black white yellow and brown, gay and straight that have given service to and send children to give service to our military, who through their work and taxes make it possible for our country to continue to thrive, and whose taxes pay the salaries of the politicians who represent them. Let us look at them as our heroes.
Bettylou Vollendroff
Mt. Shasta, California

When did we gays ever ask anyone to worship us? While I agree with virtually all of Mr. Stein’s article I see no logic in this statement. I suppose I shall worship Mr. Stein for being Jewish from now on since I am a German citizen. It makes just as little sense.
unsigned

I’ll agree with Mr. Stein in his 3/6 article entitled “Missed Tributes.” Most of the vocal Hollywood types do live in a fantasy land and do nothing but spout off as if what they say is important. I have to disagree though, when he says that the people we are fighting don’t want peace. We purport to fight terrorists and terrorism worldwide. In actuality we are an occupying army in Iraq fighting the people whose land we occupy. Whether Christian or Muslim, it is false to claim that people fighting for control of their own country and fighting to expel an occupying army are terrorists, regardless of the tactics they use. After all, in the late 1700s, the patriots who fought the British army were also thought of as terrorists by the British. Destruction of private property, sneak attacks on barracks, guerilla attacks on military convoys — all of these are tactics used both by the continental army and by the Iraqi so called “terrorist.” The difference is that this time we ARE the British.

Besides, when was the last time you saw a news article where we or captured a REAL terrorist? You know, the guys who blew up our world trade center and killed thousands of Americans. I don’t remember. All I see is attacks on mosques, and attacks on Iraqis who never harmed an American until we showed up on their doorstep with Shock and Awe and then forgot to leave when we were done.
Peter Linder

May I ask you a question? Are we better off in the U.S. today than we were six years ago?
F.M. Corr

Thank you Ben Stein for saying what millions of AMERICANS are thinking (with it seems the exception of Hollywood). Hollywood actors sure can rant and rave about the war and how wrong it is, as they say is their right, well it is my right to tell them to shut-up or put-up and to all the brave soldiers keeping us safe here at home, I THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART and GOD BLESS YOU.
V. Casto
California

MURDERERS, POLYGAMISTS, AND SINNERS
Re: “The Gods Must Be Crazy” letters in Reader Mail’s Mixed Blessings and “One Man, Many Headaches” letters in Reader Mail’s Human and Divine:

I enjoyed reading the diverse set of opinions expressed on the subject of polygamy. I’m really amazed, though, how people selectively quote the Bible to support the “one man one wife” paradigm. Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Solomon, David… the list goes on and on: prophets and polygamists all.
Jeff Lawrence
Troutdale, Oregon

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