Since I have no hesitance to publicize my disagreement with the AmSpec offerings, I wish to comment that this [Friday] edition is one of the absolute best you have done. There are always articles I like and those I don't. There are always views I agree with and those that I don't. There are always articles I read and those I don't. Today, however, you have snatched the brass ring. That is not to say that I agree with every view and nuance of every author in every article. I don't. But top to bottom, first to last, this has been a truly first rate edition of the AmSpec online.
— Ken Shreve
P.S. May I take just a moment to congratulate youse guys on the new blog. The color scheme (background, highlights, and text) are easy on my eyes and the contrast makes for easy reading. The size of the written text is great. Please never change it. So many blogs, including the new TownHall web site, are going to a type size so small that I literally have to hold a magnifying glass up to the computer monitor. You guys did damn good. Now please leave it alone and don't keep tweaking to make it better. Thanks, guys. KS
In regard to John Tabin, please — throw him overboard!
Fantastic reader response to Tabin's “The Delay OpportUnity”! I also had some of the same gut reactions to the article, but these great letters said it better than I possibly could have. I only hope some Republican office holders were reading them too !
Caneler, North Carolina
John Tabin is doing the Republican Party a great service. Intentionally or not, he is showing just how ugly a public backshooting looks. Tabin's backshooting looks worse for the Republican Party than Tom DeLay's indictment. Tom DeLay might be replaceable, but backshooting a hard working, effective Republican is just despicable. How many more loyal Republicans will be thrown to the Democratic wolves before we say enough?
As for Tabin's rationalization for “hanging DeLay out to dry,” Tom DeLay was doing the bidding of the President of the United States and the Speaker of the House. Will George W. Bush be Tabin's next target? Laugh if you want but Tom DeLay has told the truth as he sees it. At the time of DeLay's remarks offsets had little congressional support. Can John Tabin backshoot the truth? I think he did. Has the RSC “Operation Offset” identified $250 billion in offsets? No. Has the RSC identified congressmen who will vote for even $50 billion in offsets? No. I've known reality, Mr. Tabin. Reality is a good friend of mine. You don't know reality, Mr. Tabin!
— John Scherwitz
Clear Lake, Texas
If the conservatives throw out Mr. DeLay as written in the Spectator it would be simply the worst action they could take. It is time for the conservatives to stop letting this blackmail by the liberals be paid at the expense of someone's position and reputation.
What is needed now is a loud and outspoken defense of Mr. DeLay, he has paid his dues and is a fighter which the conservatives need more of right now.
Come on conservatives, show the liberals they cannot win against a united conservative group!
— Carole Graham
If we cannot stand by our people when they are lied about and tramped upon by the liberals and the likes of Earle, then we are no better than they are. Why don't we just throw all conservatives into the hole the devil-crats want them in and give up our nation to the Democrats and the devil they have set up house with. What a stupid idea not to stand behind Tom DeLay!
— Billie Herring
Gentle readers, he is not nicknamed as “The Hammer” for his disinterested thought and neo-platonic instincts! I don't think he has had an original thought in his life. He is a down and dirty politician. However, the other side of the aisle has a plethora of rascals, windbags, and very tedious fellows. Ergo, he must have some use. One of the very good ideas from the “Contract With America” in 1994 under Gingrich's leadership was term limits for these rascals from both parties!
— Edward del Colle
Re: The Washington Prowler's Filibuster Fools:
Regarding the Washington Prowler column of 9-30-05, what ever happened to the story regarding the Senate Democrat memo detailing how they would attack Bush judicial appointees, even those who are minorities?
That entire issue should be brought up again as a preemptive strike.
I believe the disgraceful Sen. Dick Durbin from my state of Illinois was one of the primary players involved.
The Democrats are devoid of class.
— Ray Watt
The Democratic Party, from the DNC to the flakiest looking staffer sitting behind Ted Kennedy, all suffer from “tin ear syndrome” and an insurmountable language barrier, separating them from “Real” America.
The Dem. Judiciary Staffer who is quoted in Prowler as saying they must “frame the argument with real impact on real Americans, in language they can understand,” assumes the Dems have an argument to frame, and insults real Americans as unable to understand any but the simplest language. This way lies another smashing defeat for them.
John Kerry bemoaned from the day he got nominated that he could not get his message across. As he had already had as his theme how brilliant he was, it must have been us! Actually, he got it across just fine, and that's what got George Bush re-elected.
Leave it to the unutterably obtuse staffer who thinks Americans are dolts and we will have no problem getting George Bush's SCOTUS nominee confirmed.
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
If you are going to use term like SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] please give a translation. Most people outside of Washington, D.C. don't know these terms.
— Dave Goforth
CORNERED ON THE BORDER
RE: J. Peter Freire's Mr. Simcox Goes to Washington:
The President had better start listening, this is the number one issue with me and many of my friends. The border should be closed so illegals can not get in. I am not against legal workers, but the magic word here is illegal and the Minutemen have done a great job.
— Elaine Kyle
HOLD YOUR HORSES
RE: J. Peter Freire's Morons on Message:
“Mentally disturbed organizers”?
Mr. Freire, your little essay is nothing more than lambast and bombast. These are not anarchists by any stretch of the imagination (except yours). Your pathetic remarks are untrue. These people have shown intellectual honesty about a mendacious and mentally disturbed administration.
Get off your high horse before you fall off.
— M.L. Squier
El Paso, Texas
Re: James Bowman's Complete Unknowns:
“Nobody has any very clear idea of what to do about poverty…”
I have a very clear idea of what to do about poverty, it is really very simple.
Are you ready? Really? For sure?
Well here it is: It is called, get your lazy butt off of welfare, and get an education and a job!
See how simple it is? Not that hard at all! I did it myself without a nickel's worth of help from anybody, the government or my parents included.
BETTER OFF ABSENT
Re: Doug Bandow's Break Up the Congress!:
Thanks for saying what I've been thinking lately. Always a reliable Republican vote, I've recently decided to sit the next election out. If the party, controlling the presidency and Congress, can't control our borders or its spending, then who needs them? The Dems have always done a swell job of ignoring my interests, and were at least honest in their contempt for me and my values. I'll take a declared enemy to a covert one any day. Viva la Dems.
— Scott Stambaugh
Murphy, North Carolina
Heavens! Just yesterday I had to beg Mr. John Tabin not to seem so eager to speak ill of fellow Republicans, and today, I'm reading Mr. Doug Bandow's angry article stating it would be better for Congress to be run by Pelosi, Rangel, Kennedy, and Schumer than by the current Republican leadership. Do you honestly prefer a Congress that would pass ever more onerous tax laws, make it easier rather than harder to kill unborn children, approve more justices who agree with Kelo, and defer to the UN and Europe on matters of US security? Is your zeal for perfect conservatism, or libertarianism, so powerful that you donâ€™t see that half a loaf is always better than starving to death?
As I mentioned in my letter of yesterday, we've got to stop shooting at each other on purpose. Some friendly fire is always expected in battle, but please! Even if the current leadership isn't as committed to smaller government as you'd like, isn't it still true that the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Do you really want Mr. Rangel to chair Ways and Means?
Weâ€™ve got to stop barking at each other so fiercely. Cindy Sheehan doesnâ€™t need your help.
— Tim Jones
Mr. Bandow has captured my thoughts exactly. I am fifty years old and have never voted Democrat (from the moment Lyndon Johnson announced his “Great Society” policy to extort money from those who work and give it to those who don't, I have opposed anything and anyone Democratic), but I am also now through voting Republican. I have been betrayed for helping to put Republicans in the majority (illegal aliens and runaway spending have done it for me), and I will never be part of such a travesty again. For the rest of my life I will vote and support third party candidates only. And Mr. Bandow has eloquently stated my reasons. The ONLY sitting congressman or senator we have today worth keeping is Ron Paul of Texas, because he obviously reads the Constitution, and actually attempts to suggest the government stay within its bounds as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.
— Craig Bondy
Kernersville, North Carolina
And who cares about baseball at all, it is full of beefed up player who just scratch and spit.
— Elaine Kyle
Your readership (some of 'em at least) are so swift! Victoria and Elaine from Texas nailed it! So did Ken (is he really from New England?). DeLay's quote that they “cut all they could” makes him very expendable. In fact, most of the Republicans rival the Democrats in the “ugly spending” category, they're equally pathetic because we expect more, or, hoped for better representation. And we're not getting it. Again, as a “small-L” libertarian who can't accept the “lesser-of-evils” premise, I again ask, where's (the next) Barry Goldwater when we REALLY need him!?!
— Geoff Brandt
A brief explanation, for the “perplexed” Dan Robbins:
Yes, Ronnie Earle has “indicted plenty of Democrats for corruption” — back in the days when Travis County was practically devoid of Republicans, and most of them were *conservative* Democrats who had the temerity to oppose their more-liberal LEPP (Long-Eared Plow-Puller) brethren. (For instance, when Jim Mattox got uppity and ran against “Maw” Richards.)
— David Gonzalez
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Google and the Guild:
The issues of authenticity and source identity can be dealt with easily. You can make the electronic files difficult to alter, requiring a password to edit. Also, they can be watermarked to indicate the source. The distinction between libraries and Google is only in the size and type of the enterprise; since many colleges charge for public access to their stacks, and libraries are not for profit or government.
— Steve Cushman
I believe I read somewhere that while Google is indeed scanning and digitizing all the books in five of our biggest libraries, they do not intend to make the entire contents of all those books available on line, at least not in the same way their regular search engine operates. Rather, for each book one will get a small sampling of representative excerpts, or something like that.
If my understanding is correct, I think it is an important distinction to make vis-a-vis copyright infringement issues.
— Charles R. Vail
Greetings, sir. This is Roderick from Long Island, N.Y. Last night, while reading your most recent column, “Google and the Guild,” I turned to my wife and said, “You know, this guy, Tyrrell, is a really good writer. Every time I read his literature, it's easy to read, it flows and keeps my attention.” I went on to tell her that, in fact, most of the time I don't even pay attention to the column title, simply knowing that it will have the attributes stated above. Thank you for being a rose among thorns.
— Roderick Breem
Long Island, New York
LASERS FOR IRAQ
Re: James G. Poulos's Ego Tripping at the Gates of HEL:
I'd like to point out that our Marines could have used directed energy weapons during the house-to-house fighting in Fallujah. Because the terrorists were holding civilian hostages, the Marines were prohibited from throwing grenades into the houses before entering. They had to charge into point-blank gunfire and suffer great loss of life. Blame the rules of engagement all you want; it doesn't help the Marines. They have to accept the rules and like them. If the missing grenades had been replaced with non-lethal DEWs in Fallujah, lives would have been saved.
— Dave Raker
Lake Orion, Michigan
re: Reid Collins's Stop Already and Howard Hirsch's letter (“Hurricane Hayworth”) in Reader Mail's Happy Dispositions:
Mr. Hirsch claims to be 55 and “barely” remembers Rita Hayworth. I am 47 and her career highs were gone by the time I was born, therefore, memory is not an issue.
At the risk of appearing to be Priapically preoccupied with Ms. Hayworth, I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint. Yes, Rita was labeled the “Love Goddess of Hollywood.” This title was bestowed upon her primarily due to her erotic and promiscuous performance in Gilda, the first of the movies in which she starred that I had watched in its entirety, only months ago. One must delve more deeply into her performances, and her life, to fully understand her appeal.
Although Mr. Collins does not expound upon the fact that Rita “married five of them” (strong men), not one of those marriages was based upon mutual admiration. All of her husbands sought to exploit their relationship with her, including Orson Welles.
Margarita Carmen Cansino (who later took her maternal Grandmother's maiden surname Haworth, alternatively spelled), began dancing lessons under the tutelage of her father, Eduardo, at the age of 5. She replaced her paternal aunt in her father's act at the “ripe old age” of 13 (yes, also in Tijuana, Mr. Collins) — such was her talent. In Gilda, she performs precious little, and not extravagant, dancing. Although most of her movies featured her character singing, she is well known as one of the best lip synch performers ever to appear in movies.
I first saw Rita's WWII pinup picture, probably when I was on active duty in the late '70s. I was enthralled by her beauty. I remain so today. While recovering from two back surgeries this past spring and summer, I embarked upon a personal mission to watch, without interruption, some of Hollywood's classics (In the Heat of the Night, The Dirty Dozen, The Magnificent Seven, The Maltese Falcon, and many of Rita's among the them). Two of those are the only movies in which Rita performed, where she starred/sparred/danced with Fred Astaire. Those are You'll Never Be Rich and You Were Never Lovelier. The execution of choreography in both of those wartime movies stands among the finest ever committed to film.
Just last week, I watched You Were Never Lovelier with my younger (13 year old) daughter (I am divorced). The sounds of cackling she emitted were even more beautiful than the music and lyrics laid down by Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer. The beauty is in the simplicity and the innocence. I also watched with her the dance scenes featuring Rita with Gene Kelly, and Gene solo, in Cover Girl — can ANYONE recall the groundbreaking cinematography of Gene dancing with himself/his alter-ego on the street late at night?
I am struggling, as a divorced father, to stay involved in the lives of both of my daughters (the older of whom will have her Sweet 16 in October), and to focus them away from popular culture. I desire to imbue within them an appreciation for the more pure and simple things. In a gratuitous moment of self-focused reflection a couple of years ago, I commented to a coworker that “I must be doing something right when my daughters' favorite entertainments are Victor Borge, Bill Cosby (his recordings from the '60s), and Oldies Radio, to all of which I was responsible for introducing them.
To watch Rita and Fred tapping “The Shortie George” and ballrooming “I'm Old Fashioned” in You Were Never Lovelier are simple, pure, and almost metaphysical joys that can never be surpassed by Snoop Dog, Kanye West, Lil' Kim, Paula Abdul, Britney Spears, or anyone else who made a movie (or video) after Pal Joey — and Kim Novak's performance in that classic is just a too little racy for me to comfortably be displaying to my daughters.
No Mr. Hirsch, I don't “remember.” I also do not think that Mr. Collins was kidding. Rita recalls an innocence in this country long gone and much needed.
— Joe Minkiewicz
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
P.S. Rita Hayworth died from complications due to Alzheimer's. Her daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, remains an active supporter of fund raising and research to this day. My admiration for her is boundless. As my own mother is currently disintegrating from that condition, I request readers' support for the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
WE THE PEOPLE
Re: Jed Babbin's J'Recuse:
I read Mr. Babbin's article (9/26) about Judge Ginsberg — what can “we the people” do about these extremely biased comments? Don't we have a say on her hearing possibly future cases? Is there anything we can do? Thanks for your time.
— Kathy Fenton
READER MAILER EXTRAORDINAIRE
Re: John McGinnis's letters in Reader Mail (most recently here (under “Unadulterations”) and
Give John McGinnis a job. I enjoy reading his informed responses to your articles as much as I enjoy reading the articles themselves.
— Chuck Lazarz