Fight for the Illini | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Fight for the Illini
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TEARING DOWN TEEPEES
Re: Andrew Cline’s Racist Paternalism at the NCAA:

The NCAA ought to keep its nose out of college nicknames!
Jack Hughes, Class of 1959
Fighting Irish University

I have heard about the nickname rulings by the NCAA but Mr. Cline’s article really put it into perspective. I thought it was an idiotic PC move to start with but to ban the name Illini is insane. Of course the target here is not the name Illini but Chief Illininek himself. This website provides a very good background and defense of the Chief and his dance. To quote from the page, “The Illini people… spoke a dialect of the Algonquin language and used the term “Illiniwek” to refer to “the complete human being-the strong, agile human body; the unfettered human intellect; the indomitable human spirit.” What better symbol can a team and school have?
Wallace Vaughn, 1984 and 1988 Graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Yorktown, Virginia

I wonder if the university presidents in charge of the NCAA would object if someone re-names their teams the PC Bozos or the Loony Libs. Don’t these over-educated idiots have anything better to do? Besides, are they really going to keep Florida State out of a bowl game? I don’t think so.
Gilbert R. Ohlson
St. Joseph, Missouri

The way to stop this crap in its tracks: withdraw from the NCAA. If the Florida State Seminoles led the way and approached oh, say, Donald Trump and put together something similar to the Bowl Coalition (which is outside the NCAA) and eliminate the biggest cash cow these pantywaists have (March Madness) this buffoonery would go the way of, lets see, Black English, whole learning, Soviet-U.S. relativism, creative math and all the other boondoggle hoisted on the non-offended sports fan.
Rick Hiteshew
Columbia, Maryland

We might as well get it over with and extirpate every reference to American Indians, in case someone, somewhere, might be offended. Once the qualities that these mascots represent are forgotten, American Indians will be remembered as the People of the Casino. I’m part Cherokee but perhaps I should never again proudly mention the fact. Some things are best forgotten.

(By the way, it’s not about Indians, it’s about the feminization of American males. Masculine traits such as bravery and stoicism are repugnant to women’s groups, so I think you’ll find the low-testosterone sex behind the complaints, yet again.)
David Govett
Davis, California

How does the NCAA justify its racism? Really, what is the difference between the “Fighting Sioux” of the University of North Dakota and the “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame? Yet in their eyes, one is racist and the other isn’t? What about the ancient people who have no one to speak up for them — depicting them as hostile and abusive — who stands up for the Trojans (USC) and the Spartan (Mich. State)?

The NCAA should be more focused on the things that they can really deal with in athletics — not grandstanding.
Rich Baikie

I wonder how long it will be before PETA folks begin to bemoan the use of animal names because it is somehow offensive to animals?
Richard Woitowitz

As Andrew Cline pointed out so well in today’s column, “Racist Paternalism at the NCAA,” politically correct academia now seeks to protect those who are essentially unoffended and does so selectively and without much regard for reality or history. Before long teams will be limited to calling themselves such colorless names that we’ll be seeing the Ohio State Empowered Persons taking on the Michigan Matriculated Students or taken to its (il)logical conclusion the Arizona State Wonderful Mosaics versus the LSU Socially Conscious and Inclusive Athletic Consortium.

But let’s go further; are there not some who could potentially be “harmed” by some of the following?

Blue Devils, Sun Devils, Saints, Deacons, Friars, Cardinal — Mascots invoking religious themes (particularly Christian ones) should be off-limits lest some of the public money enjoyed by institutions be construed as fostering religion.

Cyclones, Hurricanes, Storm, Tide, Tornadoes, Green Wave — Mascots referring to natural disasters are particularly insensitive to those who have lost property or family members as a result.

Trojans, Horned Frogs, Gamecocks, Beavers, Flashes — Thinly veiled, crude sexual references also seem outside of the realm of true sensitivity.

Cadets, Rebels, Spartans, Raiders, Commodores, Musketeers, Volunteers, Privateers — These mascots invoke war-like violent themes or images which are clearly outside the peaceful aims of modern higher education.

Finally, the harmful and outmoded practice of keeping score at NCAA athletic events and declaring one side a winner and the other the loser suggests a hierarchy that is likewise inappropriate and potentially damaging to youthful psyche. After all, isn’t EVERYONE a winner?

Perhaps the NCAA should be more concerned about how many of their student athletes arrive on campus ready to learn and actually graduate than imposing their foolish sensitivities on the real world.
Deane Fish
Altamont, New York

Andrew Cline’s look at the loony left in “Racist Paternalism at the NCAA” forgets just how dedicated and loony the politically correct crowd can get. In his well written article Mr. Cline asserts, “Athletic teams wish to associate themselves with qualities valued on the field of play: courage, valor, strength, endurance, bravery. Hence they choose names and mascots they believe emblematic of those qualities: Sioux, Vikings, Seminoles, Celtics, Bears, Tigers, Yankees, Pirates, etc. No one names his team the Pigeons.” Thereby Mr. Cline forgets the depths of lunacy to which truly dedicated politically correct activists will go. You need only look to the University of California at Santa Cruz “Banana Slugs” to see that if we make any assumptions about just how loony the Intellectually Elite will push cultural norms we will always underestimate them.
unsigned

Bravo!! From a University of Illinois alumna (and yes, I am white). We have truly become a culture of the ridiculous.
unsigned

One of the best op/eds I’ve read in a long time.
Michael Kline

A TRIAL FOR LIBERTY
Re: Christopher Orlet’s The Orlet-Nanny Trial:

Philosophically I agree with Mr. Orlet 100%. Government at all levels is indeed a leviathan that must devour more and more, whether it be tax dollars or citizens’ freedoms, to sustain and justify itself. My favorite example is the U.S. Congress mandating that our toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. And politicians wonder why we behold them with such disdain.

Three other examples of federal overreach are the 55 MPH speed limit (now rescinded), mandatory 21-year-old drinking limit, and .08 blood alcohol level to determine if one’s driving is impaired by alcohol. These had been state issues, and legally still are, but Congress allows the Department of Transportation to threaten to withhold highway maintenance funds from states to force them to comply. (And Elizabeth Dole, a Republican, was Secretary of Transportation during the drinking age battle. Thanks, Liz, for your devotion to smaller government.) So much for federalism.

At the state level, consider the mandatory seat belt laws some states have implemented. At first noncompliance was only going to be an incidental offense, i.e. a driver would have to be stopped for a more serious offense before being cited for not wearing a seat belt. This was how the laws were often originally “sold” to the public. But anyone with an IQ anything above room temperature could see the inevitable change to making noncompliance a primary offense — there’s simply too much revenue that could be raised for the politico’s to waste for them to resist. In New Jersey we now have roadblocks to check seat belt usage. Given the reputation of our assemblymen and senators in Trenton one should not have been surprised. And it doesn’t stop; in the Garden State there are two assemblymen submitting legislation to make smoking while driving an offense.

Counties and municipalities have their own style of arrogance, most recently seen in anti-smoking ordinances. From big cities like Boston (once the “cradle of liberty”) and New York (the “city that never sleeps”) to tiny backwoods hamlets, local two-bit politicians cynically use overwrought rhetoric about peoples’ health to trample on property rights of owners of bars and restaurants and the personal freedom of their patrons. And we’ve just witnessed the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision regarding eminent domain. Now local governments can take your property and sell it to the highest bidder.

So I applaud you, Mr. Orlet, for fighting what will almost certainly be a losing battle. Your judge will say that the law is the law, or some similar banality, and you will pay the fine. And the government assault on liberty will continue.

“The tree of liberty must be nourished from time to time by the blood of patriots.” — Jefferson
Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

I always wear my seatbelt, I ended up with a broken back by setting on my seatbelt when we turned over, but saying that I also don’t think the government should tell me I HAVE to wear it. Phones used in the car, even hands free are more dangerous. It is not the holding the phone that causes accidents, but the concentration needed to carry on the conversation. And what about the GPS screens? I could go on and on. Sure hope we get to hear the outcome of this trial.
Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

I agree with Orlet. While criminals, drug lords, terrorists and other perverts roam free our government has nothing better to do than criminalize folks going about their daily business. We are nitpicked and regulated from pillar to post. How long will we put up with this tyranny?
W. G. Wheatley
Worton, Maryland

Brad Pitt? He couldn’t hack it as Achilles, so how could he play Orlet? And Angelina isn’t worth being Brad.

By the way, was never tempted to not fasten myself to my ejection seat. Just felt naked when unstrapped. Feel the same in a car. For me the seatbelt laws are, if not irrelevant, at least redundant.

On the other hand, I don’t usually drive inverted.
Dennis Sevakis
Bloomfield, Michigan

THE BOUNDS OF LOYAL OPPOSITION
Re: John Connly Walsh’s Big Disappointments in Iraq:

John Connly Walsh’s article was an in-depth stunner to me. Unfortunately, I’ve also read similar reports elsewhere and I’m REALLY becoming concerned as to what is really happening in Iraq. I have excoriated the Main Stream Media for their obtuse and pessimistic news reports about the situations in that country, because of their political agenda. But when sources that I trust (i.e. TAS) start publishing reports that are beginning to state the same thing, I begin to shake my head in amazement and disgust. This sort of nonsense is playing into the hands of the Dummycrats, and I fear the worst.
Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

Quite literally as I read the second D in Baghdad I stopped reading this article. If I want the same old negativity about Iraq I’ll watch ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, read the N.Y. Times, Washington Post, and L.A. Times.
Chris Murray
Marietta, Georgia

You can’t make ’em want freedom. Some people are born to the lash. Over the next year of so, we’ll see whether the Iraqis are such people.
David Govett
Davis, California

Now this is something that should be investigated quickly. I would have to agree with the thoughts of the Iraqis about this, it is a disgrace.
Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

SOUR PETER MEMORIES
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski’s Death of an Anchor:

Jennings was a shameless, snobbish and elitist purveyor of lefto propaganda and lies throughout his career. If his father had not been a prominent broadcaster in Canada, he would never have gotten a start in the business. How many other high school dropouts get to go before a microphone or a camera? He may have been a good father and husband (to four wives!), a regular charmer, and a smooth deliverer of news — but, let’s not forget what he REALLY was, an enemy of the truth.

Here is what I remember most about him; his remarks after the election of 1994: “Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It’s clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It’s the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last weeks. Parenting and governing don’t have to be dirty words: the nation can’t be run by an angry two-year-old.” – Peter Jennings, Nov. 14, 1994.
Tom Halleck
Longwood, Florida

NET ANARCHY
Re: David Holman’s Internet Abductors:

Were the U.N. ever to get its hands on the existing Internet, I predict three outcomes: Widespread sport-hacking of the Internet. The formation of new, private webs open to anyone. Extensive dossiers on U.N. employees posted on the new webs.
David Govett
Davis, California

MODERN DATING METHODS
Re: Brian Dilts’ letter (under “Waking Up”) in Reader Mail’s The Last Gentleman:

Bryan Dilts writes: “Catastrophism (Noah’s flood laid down all the rocks and fossils on earth) doesn’t work either.” I would suggest to those who believe that to read Dr. John Baumgardner’s website to learn why it DOES work. Dr. Baumgardner is a geologist for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Another good resource is geologist John Woodmorappe’s book: Studies In Flood Geology. And while on the subjects of geological evolution and Noah’s Flood, John Woodmorappe’s other books — The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods and Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study — do excellent work at tearing down one of geological evolution’s greatest “proofs” as well as showing, from a scientific perspective, why Noah’s Ark is absolutely possible, by far. For all aspects of the creation/evolution controversy, I heartily recommend reading the articles found on these websites,here, here, and here.
Shawn Guthrie
Marshall, Minnesota

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