IN HIS OWN WORDS
I would like to express my deep gratitude for the Special Report “A Pat Tillman for Wall Street” written by Paul Beston on November 29, 2004. I am the father of Dimitri and both I and his mother are learning new things about our son, from letters he has written, from his friends in New York, and now from his friends in the Marines. One letter that he sent on November 2, 2004, to a Michigan GOYA (Greek youth organization) in thanking them for packages sent to him and his unit, was just sent to us. I am attaching a portion of it, typed from his handwritten letter, which further supports the article that Paul wrote for him.
In the midst of our deepest grief, we are appreciative of the honor your paper bestowed on him. The legacy of my son and so many other fine young people, who really show us what heroism is, needs to shine as a bright beacon for all of us who take things for granted.
Thank you immensely for your contribution to him.
— Chris Gavriel
…..I moved to a small apartment next to Central Park in New York City and began the long hours of the “grind” of Wall Street. I remember those years as some of the best of my life, surrounded by close friends and good times. So how, after all this, did a guy like me end up in Iraq? The answer is pretty simple when I look to the young Marines at my right and left. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to do something, no, give something, to deserve all the good things we, as Americans, enjoy and sometimes take for granted as we move through the years of the good lives we lead under the safety and freedom of our flag. Everyone lost something on that terrible day of 9/11. I lost my close friends, brothers you might say. Guys I grew up with, team mates, pals, mentors, and confidants. I watched the towers fall, helpless, from a block away in the streets of New York and made a promise before God that I would do all I could to keep something like this from happening again. I left a job I loved, said goodbye to a circle of close friends and joined the Marines, the perfect place for a guy who wants a front row seat to the sweeping changes the world is currently experiencing. No man can know just exactly how much his effort has changed the world out here, but together we have chased much evil away from power and have shown those who, for one reason or another, hate our way of life, that we are a nation of people who refuse to live under the threat of terror. We are out here for the things we miss most, green grass, football games, flowers, and the fresh cool breeze of home. Most importantly, we are out here for you, the people who make our land so special.…
Re: Ben Stein’s Christmas Peace:
Your article really hit me where I lived. I lost both my dogs last month from cancer (within two weeks). Millie, an exuberant 10-year-old yellow Lab who wagged her tail from the shoulders, and Nick, a shy 14-year-old Lab cross you’d swear was not a day older than 8.
A dog’s life is so short. They give you all they have to give, heaped over and overflowing. Then the bill comes due and you pay it with heartbreak and tears. It would be a poor return to regard the anguish you feel as less than you owe. Only someone whose cupidity I can’t even imagine could think this was anything but a tiny price to pay for so much.
I’ve had a dog in my life ever since I can remember. I am a widow now, and you cannot imagine how horrible it was to come home to a house where there was no other sentient being.
I again have a dog — an 8-year-old darling amalgam of Chihuahua and Cattle Dog that fills my life. As an old woman it would really be unfair to adopt a puppy, or even a very young dog — I don’t really have the energy to give. An older dog is just my style. If the thought might pass that my girl due to her mature age might seem to be an undesirable adoptee, I dismiss it. I cannot think so badly of the human race.
— Diane Hallett
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Blue State Party:
The Wilton Democrats, like most liberals fantasizing about secession, seem unable to grasp the mechanics of their proposal. The people they want to secede from own all the guns. (I personally have about a dozen and would consider a lend-lease program if hostilities erupt.) What makes them think they will get to choose San Diego or the Pacific Coast if they begin an insurrection? To crib from a couple of their mentors, political power comes out of the barrel of a gun and just how many divisions does George Soros have anyway?
California is the nation writ small. Most of the coast is blue, the rest of the state is as red as South Carolina and we reds are not inclined to have our state turned into even more of an Animal Farm than it already is. If the left is really serious about a civil war we have plenty of room for them in the desert out back of the Sierra Nevada. FDR had the same idea in WWII, the only difference being most Japanese-Americans were a lot more loyal than today’s leftists. Maybe if the Hollywood goofballs were behind barbed wire in Manzanar I could afford to move in next door to Ben Stein in Malibu. My wife has always wanted a house on the beach; I just never thought I would have the opportunity to acquire it as plunder.
Incidentally, how did the pinkos get labeled “blue” and the normal people “red”? Does it refer to the color of our blood?
— Brian Bonneau
Two of the items from the list of things to do before the inauguration: “Get that abortion you’ve always wanted” and “Pass on the secrets of evolution to future generations.” Aren’t those mutually exclusive? I mean, if you’re getting those long-craved abortions, then to what future generation are you figuring on passing those secrets? Abortion is a self-selected evolutionary dead-end: failure to reproduce has a pronounced deleterious effect on any influence you hope to exert on future generations. Between that and emigration to Canada and Syria, there won’t be anyone left in New England but the Kennedys.
Like Muslims taking over France, the fourth and fifth children of cheerfully breeding red-staters will migrate to the depopulated blue states, and the Democrats will never elect so much as another dog catcher. That’ll show ’em, albeit perhaps posthumously.
— Stephen Foulard
I visited the Wilton Democrats website and discovered that number nine has gone missing from their list of things to do before the inauguration. Could this be evidence of self-censorship or poor education?
— Jerome Sheridan
Shawn doesn’t own a vehicle! For shame. Does he think this is a third-world country or something? Shawn, put a hundred down and buy a car.
— Earl Wright
All I can add to Shawn’s fine article is that it’s going to be a long winter in the Granite state, looks like. BTW, I wonder if those loonies would be interested in reading Huckleberry Finn?
— Pete Chagnon
Re: Lawrence Henry’s Time to Be Rich:
I want to applaud Lawrence Henry’s recent article. As a “privileged” son of a corporate executive — funny, though, he made all his real money after my brother, sister and I all grew up — who had the benefit of a private school education — for which my mom and dad made great sacrifice as he was at that time still a middle manager — I know that there is nothing inherently immoral about privilege, money or ambition for that matter, if that is what one wants in life. I am smart, well educated and could probably be doing a half a dozen careers where I make much more money to buy all the trappings of a life of taste. Instead I am an ordained clergyman, who makes enough to pay the bills. I have a loving wife who is everything anyone could hope for in spouse and four wonderful children. My wife is a teacher. Her grade 2 class loves her — at least they did until her recent maternity leave. My youngest is not even two weeks old — he is sleeping in a bassinet right beside me as my wife catches up on her sleep — and my oldest is 12. He is a straight “A” student, not particularly athletic, but he takes after his grandpa — thank you Lord for forcing me to walk that Freudian journey with my dad twice — in that has real ambition for his life. He wants to be a lawyer. Recently he won a contest for impromptu public speaking at the Kiwanis festival and took home the third highest marks of the whole competition including all the grade 10 piano students. “How I Got Rid of the Monsters in My Closet” was a masterpiece, especially since he had two minutes to prepare and had to speak without notes. Did I say he was only 12? My middle child — I am still adapting to having the fourth — takes after his father and is likely to become an artist or a writer. He was using irony and sarcasm at age five, and is the only one who always gets the adult humor at the dinner table. My next youngest, my only girl, daddy’s girl, like all girls, wants to be a vet and work with dogs, although in her case I think she really means it. And even though I only drive a used Nissan minivan and my house will never be featured in architectural digest, I know my work is meaningful, I have a loving family, and good friends. I will not wake up some day in my late forties and wonder, “Why am I doing all this?” Thank you Mr. Henry for reminding us of the real in life.
— Rev. Steve Baarda
Re: David Hogberg’s Addicted to Liberal Media Acclaim:
Your article was right on the money. Although satirical it was a totally honest assessment of John McCain. What really put him over the top in my view was his denigration of the Swift Boat Vets. He as much as called them liars. This from a former POW. It was disgraceful. He could have made some noncommittal politician remark but instead chose to oppose these good men. This and his other comments and actions you outlined showed his true colors and his disgusting pandering to the MSM. This is a man truly worthy of my scorn.
Thanks for the article.
— C. Benson
Very funny (entertaining) article as well as right on target regarding McCain’s behavior.
I have a question, though, about this sentence, included as dialog by the future retired senator McCain:
“He reminded me that I was also running for reelection in 2004 and that federal law did not allow for me to run for both Senate and Vice President at the same time.”
Didn’t Joe Lieberman run simultaneously for VP and Senator in 2000?
— Rich Renken
Between Chucky Shumer and John McCain I’d love to see a match as to who can get in front of a camera faster. McCain is about as trustworthy as, well,,, he isn’t. The guy is a loose cannon. His big issues: Campaign finance reform disaster, Drugs in baseball and a National boxing Commission. No rational Republican should picture this guy as the next Presidential nominee. He is Capt. Queeg in the flesh.
— G.M. Strong
I emailed him yesterday and told him he was sounding more like a Dem every time he opened his mouth. I am making a list and will be checking it before I do any voting in the 2008 elections. He and Gore are sounding more and more alike.
Cut & Shoot, Texas
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder’s Kerik and the Sistine Chapel:
Yes, all that and more. The notion that the leader of a tough organization with a vital and hard job should have a flawless and pristine background is ludicrous. In fact, I would think you want a guy who’s been around the block a few times, scraped knuckles and all. I suspect this is why Nixon was unpopular (at least in polite circles). Of course, he was popular among the common folk.
— Bill Kamenel
Re: George Neumayr’s The River of No Return:
A very thought-provoking article. I am left wondering how I will tell my grandchildren about the fall of Europe, and how it came to pass. The years ahead will be very dark days for Europe indeed.
— Joel Natzke
It can be comforting and cathartic, given the current political climate in the U.S., to single out the French for their inept handling of unfettered Muslim immigration into their country, and the consequences these demographic changes have brought to their political life. However, there is plenty of room to include other Western European nations equally in this indictment. Further, contrary to George Neumayr’s (“A River of No Return”) contention, even the Vatican has done precious little to help slow down or prevent the baleful impact of such immigration holds for much of the continent. This is important, because as the Catholic historian of Europe, Christopher Dawson, wrote in the aftermath of World War II, Europe’s problem was then, and, I suspect, is now, essentially, a spiritual one.
The story is familiar: slowly in the 1950s, but with greater speed following their defeat in Algeria, successive French governments began to admit their former colonials from the Maghreb “to do the work no Frenchman would do.” (Given the Bush administration’s guest worker proposal, this sounds familiar.) The Germans, with their “guest worker” program, attracted large numbers of Turks; the Dutch, and, later, the Italians, followed the same pattern of indifference to large Muslim populations in formerly Christian Europe. It was a recipe for disaster.
Western Europe today is imploding because of several factors: the suicidal decision not to re-populate itself, the adoption of the socialist god, and the concomitant decline of Christianity as a uniting force. What Neumayr notes, and should not be forgotten, is that at one time Christian Europe had the moral and inner strength to resist the earlier Muslim onslaught: first at Tours, and again at the gates of Vienna, but one can be justifiably skeptical that such an iron will exists today.
Neumayr is correct in placing much of the blame on European secularists for the current state of affairs, but I, for one, am not convinced that the Church, which previously rallied Christendom, is able and/or willing to carry on that battle today. Several years ago, Giacomo Cardinal Biffi, the leader of the Church in Bologna, thundered from the pulpit against allowing more Muslims into Italy. In his homily, he listed many of the problems that Islamic immigration, particularly the radicalized variety, had wrought in France — and would in the future create in Italy. Biffi was only saying out loud what most Italians believed. For raising the issue and for his candor, Biffi was silenced and forced to issue an apology. What Dawson wrote half a century ago is applicable today with this notable difference: in describing the problems facing Europe, little did he expect to see his Church amongst those in need of spiritual resolve.
— Vincent Chiarello
Another fine article by George Neumayr. Your readers wanting further insight into this problem might consult Oriana Fallaci’s The Rage and the Pride.
— Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
SENATORS REVEALING SECRETS
Re: Jed Babbin’s Don’t Play “Misty” for Me:
Why isn’t anyone surprised that our senators and congressmen/women will do anything for political gain, even reveal our nations secrets, especially if they are in danger of losing their seats? Senators take care of senators and congressmen take care of congressmen. Take for example the many allegations made against Senator John Kerry’s war record.
One of the most serious allegations was that he apparently claimed to be awarded a Silver Star with a “V” for valor, that is not given by the U.S. Navy. There is also the confusion of who signed off on his Silver Star award. Then there is the issue of his Purple Hearts. Allegations that he did not deserve these awards are extremely serious. Most servicemen and women who are awarded Purple Hearts are seriously wounded or at the very least spend some time in the hospital. Many receiving the Purple Heart in Vietnam, Iraq and past wars have lost limbs, eyes and other body parts. There is also a fair number of servicemen who refused the Purple Heart because they felt they were not badly wounded enough.
If the allegations against senator John Kerry are true, then he has seriously insulted past Purple Heart recipients and has belittled the medal. The clouds surrounding the Silver Star award are also very serious. If the allegations are not true, then the people making these allegations should be prosecuted for libel and slander as well as being publicly exposed as frauds and liars. The problem is that many making the allegations were proven war heroes who themselves were irrefutably awarded these honors. These incidents certainly call for an investigation by the Senate and particularly by the Department of the Navy. Were he not a senator, this would have been done long long ago.
— Ken Zwick
Sandy Berger and his president, Bill Clinton, were both actively giving top secret information to the Soviets and Chinese the whole time they were in office and no one dares send this information to a grand jury. do not hold your breath thinking Congress will go after any of their members for release of secret information to the public, not when so many of their staff members are on the payroll of foreign governments. Saudi Arabia alone is the largest benefactor, followed by China, in the release and use of American secret intelligence. They do this by hiring former government officials as paid lobbyists. These people knowingly pass what they have learned through their government service to the highest bidder. The really sad thing is knowing everyone who is anyone in homeland security and the FBI know full well what is going on and willingly turn a blind eye to this most lucrative form of treason. Why blow the whistle on the biggest payday of all once you leave federal service knowing you can earn up to a hundred times what you paid working for Uncle Sam?
— Warren Bacon
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell’s The Left Always Gets Its Man:
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s article about Pinochet says more about him than it does about those who wish to bring an accused dictator to justice.
— C.D. Mills