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Human Capital Regimes

Re: Patrick Hynes’s The Atkins Cult:

If this article was intended to be a serious piece, it failed miserably for its promotion of false and offensive stereotypes. As a humor piece, it fails even worse, because it tries to hide ignorance and rudeness as humor.

The article is full of factual errors, but I’ll just point out the problems at the highest levels — calling “cultists” the many who have successfully lost weight on the plan (which, by the way, is no fad, as it is over 30 years old) and spreading PETA nonsense about the death of the plan’s founder.

Between taking PETA’s side and promoting the FDA’s one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition, I had to double check to make sure this appeared in a conservative publication.
Kevin M. Krom
Gaithersburg, Maryland

There are few creatures more scary than the newly converted, so last year when I started the induction phase of the Atkins Diet, I did try to not annoy everyone around me. However, it amazed me how accommodating people were. While ordering dinner when my husband and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, our waiter volunteered that if we were “doing Atkins,” the chef would be glad to replace the potato dish with extra vegetables.

This way of eating allowed me to drop 19 pounds, which I have maintained easily. I occasionally venture into Carb Hell, but then I’ll do penance in Low-Carb Purgatory. Atkins works for me because I’m a meat eater by nature, though the thought of Diet Coke and a steak for breakfast turns my stomach. By the way, strict Atkins adherents would frown on the Diet Coke. It’s all that caffeine, you know. If the key to losing weight and maintaining that loss were to follow a vegetarian diet, which is typically high in carbohydrates, I could not make that change and stick to it.
Evelyn Leinbach

Re: Martin Sherman’s Redefining the Palestinian Problem:

One of the pieces of the puzzle that is rarely mentioned is that the Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1949 were the fedayeen — those serfs, really, who were kept illiterate and tied to the land by Arab landowners. It isn’t a surprise, then, that they haven’t developed all the mechanisms to support a modern state during the 50 years of existence in the refugee camps, being used as pawns in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

While I see merit in the proposals in this article (and Palestinian Christians have been emigrating at such a rate that the Holy Sites may soon resemble a religious theme park instead of a living religious culture) I think that efforts directed at building the human capital needed to be a responsible citizen in any modern state would not be wasted effort.
Chris Fletcher
St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, UK

I’ll grant Mr. Sherman’s idea of reparations for relocating is novel as I have never heard it before. But there is a problem with this plan. Any host country that would look at the history of this little band will note that they have been kicked out of Lebanon and Jordan. Why would any reasonable leadership in any host country accept such a risk being the third one at bat? Regardless of the capital infusion it represents most, I think, would decline such an offer due to the downstream consequences of having to kick them out at some point.

Look, from where I see it the majority of the Palestinians are a productive people. But they have been hijacked by a small elite that usurp their future by taking profit from it. Do they deserve statehood? Probably. As the wall goes up around Israel it is a de facto admission of such by the state of Israel. And as Arafat can no longer divert the people’s eyes by blowing up children the populace will look inward and start to question. Until the Palestinians themselves flush Arafat their travails will continue.

One last observation. I find it interesting that given Jewish history that a plan would be proposed that essentially cast the Palestinians to the corners of the earth like chaff from wheat. Given Israel’s birth and history it is an ironic parallel that does not resolve the underlying problem that only the Palestinians can solve.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

The solution to the “Palestinian” problem reminded me of E-mails I sent to President Bush a few years ago.

After visiting Israel several years ago (my mother was born in Jerusalem in 1901 and many of my relatives live throughout Israel) and discussing the political situation now and when the country was under British mandate, I reached the same conclusion you did — that although native Arabs may want a “State,” their corrupt leadership’s sole intent in the demise of Israel, for a Democracy in the area was intolerable. Also, even though Jews and Moslems worked together during British rule, they never trusted each other.

I proposed to the President a solution that included a land buyout and resettlement of the Arabs to a new area in south Saudi Arabia complete with new housing constructed jointly by the Israelis and Arabs. The benefits include a fresh start, modern facilities, employment in building a new country, and elimination of a political cauldron. The Israelis could assist in providing technology in science and agriculture. Of course, this proposal requires the cooperation of the Saudis and competent leadership among the parties.

I have visited and observed the relocation of millions of people today in China as part of the Yangze Dam project. The people are objecting but have no choice. Nevertheless, the people will benefit in the longer run.

I received two standard “Thank you” E-mails from the President’s office, but was otherwise ignored.
David Smith

Your idea is as thoughtful as revolutionary and I thank you for beginning to have a different dialogue from what I have heard my entire lifetime.

Being a New York Jew transplanted to the Midwest I have some thoughts, not put quite as eloquently as yours nor with the finesse in which you speak to this problem but nevertheless hear goes. I had a project in college that said what if you moved all of Manhattan to California? What would happen? Would you be at a better place than you are now? Less killings, less garbage, less prostitutes, etc. etc. My thoughts were also of better MANUFACTURING PRODUCTION in a warmer climate, Better INVENTIONS being invented, a CALMER SOCIETY, BETTER EXPORTS, and so on. After thinking it out a little further I realized we would be the same New Yorker’s just set into a different place.

It is obvious where I am going.

1. What have the Palestinians invented? 2. What commodities have the Palestinians exported . 3,4,5,6, and so on.

You cannot change a society by moving them to more tranquil surroundings. They bring with them all that lacks in there homes now, all that lacks in there education, all that lack of future thinking. And I could go on forever.

They have to live out a generation or two to help pick up these needed skills needed in any thriving society.

We are trying too hard to undo a hardwire in that society. Sad to say.
Paul Filler

No other Arab nation will accept them, and probably for good reasons. Moreover, their first desire is the annihilation of Israel, not a State of Palestine. After all they had it offered to them on a silver platter. 95% of what they claimed to want. Their response was to start an Intifada.

If they had accepted Israel’s concessions and had disavowed terrorism in favor of economic competition just think where they could have been ten years later.
G.B. Hall
Marietta, Georgia

Re: Christopher Orlet’s Derrida’s Bluff:

I remember reading an epilogue to Derrida’s “ABC, Inc.” (I believe this was the work, but I regret that I am operating on memory and do not have the text in front of me) in which he railed against those who had “misunderstood” (yes, “misunderstood,” he stressed) his work. Perhaps the most amazing thing about philosophers who undermine the writings and philosophies of others is that they despise the same thing being done to their own work. Interestingly, many philosophers are unwilling to live — or suffer the consequences — of their own philosophies.
V. White

Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Execrable Edwards:

Well, Hallelujah. At last someone has nailed the junior Jubilation T. Cornpone for what he is. Not only execrable but excremental.

When we were all advised to start quaking in our boots because here comes that razor sharp millionaire trial lawyer who has never lost a case — and is going to have Dick Cheney’s lunch — I laughed. Look at the makeup of the juries Edwards argued before. Look at the cases he chose. Southern heartstrings are easily played. He was manipulating the easiest 12-man audiences in the world. Any of his cases would have been hard to lose.

But remember, too, what Robert Preston in “The Music Man” cautioned. You gotta know the territory. And John Edwards doesn’t know the territory, now. I can’t understand how Edwards is a threat to anyone (with the possible exception of himself). What kind of reasoning leads you to believe if you can’t hold on to your Senate seat, a good fallback measure is to run for president? The man’s delusional.
Diane S. Smith
So. San Francisco, California

To paraphrase Maurice Chevalier: Thank Heaven For Leetle Puns! Jay Homnick’s wonderful writing is a breath of fresh air blowing into an atmosphere of gloom and doom. Lord Almighty, if we can’t retain a sense of humor regarding this parade of fools trying to unseat our President, then we are truly doomed.

After what –two years? — of such buffoons as Sharpton, Dean, Clark, Kucinich et al. insulting our intelligence, we have but three weeks left to put up with The Johns and then they too will fade into obscurity along with Jimmy Cahtah and someday (hopefully) both Clintons. Until then, we have Jay Homnick to grease the rails with priceless prose! Mazel tov!
Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

The title says it all about John “The Rainmaker” Edwards. Is there anyone left who doubts there is no depth to which he and John Kerry will now stoop to get elected?
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

What’s worse than John Edwards saying that he and John Kerry would get the politics and Pro-lifers “out of the way” of real stem cell research is his belief in a faith that left of center-liberal politics will heal what ails not just the world, but many debilitating injuries as well. This kind of mysticism was just wiped out by our Marines and Special Forces in Afghanistan. Edwards’s “My Way or the Highway” belief not in a freedom for all, but the belief that liberals think they are God! And their beliefs, feelings, and the good intentions they (know they) have in their hearts should be practiced upon us, the true ignorant proletariat. Pray that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney cream these guys on November 2nd.
P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

NOW I know who Edwards reminds me of — Elmer Gantry!
Gretchen L. Chellson
Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Lawrence Henry’s Things a President Can’t Say:

Excellent article. Lawrence Henry’s “Things a President Can’t Say” is a good reminder of what we all should be aware of, especially the media pundits whose score cards inevitably chalk up Kerry debate “wins.” As I recall, Kerry’s hero and monogram-sake pulled a similar stunt in a 1960 debate with Richard Nixon: Both candidates had been briefed on the drawing-board plans for support for Cuban patriots planning to take down Castro (Kennedy subsequently moved the invasion site to the ill-fated Bay of Pigs, welched on the promised air cover, then made Allen Dulles the scapegoat for his own faintheartedness, but that’s another story). Kennedy tossed “Cuba situation” zingers into the debate mix and Nixon, like Bush, could do nothing principled except to stand mute.
Merry Whitney
Bonita Springs, Florida

Re: David Hogberg’s The Bush Recovery:

Contrary to what David may think at some of us Bush supporters maybe being a tad depressed, I am elated. That is because I think Bush is going to win big Nov. 2nd. I base this on a number of reasons but also on a gut feeling I have (no, I’m not on anything). There seems to be an undercurrent growing here, not only a backlash against the hate campaign the left has subjected us to, but an outright disgust at the way we have been jerked around for years by the liberals. Anytime we want to do something, there is a jerky liberal in the wings with a sleazy lawyer who knows an idiotic judge who will stop everything with a court order. Gay marriage, which is strongly opposed, keeps getting advanced in the courts. Partial birth abortion, on which a ban has passed by a wide majority, is kept alive by a two-bit judge in some little backwoods area. The list goes on from building a store or house where the liberals don’t want you to build, to praying in public. People are getting fed up with this and I believe we have reached the saturation point with our tolerance for it. There is an silent revolution going on, I believe. It’s silent only because the media refuses to acknowledge it may be happening and hasn’t given it any coverage. However, talk to ordinary people and you feel it. Whether they like Bush or not, they hate the oppression they have been under for years by judicial fiat and they know now is the chance to put an end to it. That more than anything, just might give Bush the big edge he will need in November to overcome the hysterical hatred of the liberals. In Iraq, the terrorists use guns and explosives, in this country, the domestic terrorists use judges. Probably not as bloody as the other method, but just as oppressive if we let it be.
Pete Chagnon

Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Label Avoidance:

It amuses me how the Democrats have turned “liberal” into a pejorative.

It also amuses me how it inspires in them the same fear as the death-inducing daylight and cross of Christ did for Count Dracula. Recall how, in the movies, the count would cringe in horror, screaming, shielding his eyes, melting into nothingness with only empty clothes piled on the floor if he didn’t make it back to the darkness of his coffin?

As Rudy Giuliani said in a post-debate-three interview on the Larry King Show-and I’m paraphrasing here-if you establish a record over a number of years, then the label begins to be reality. And that’s why Kerry deserves “liberal,” the mayor declared.
By the way, 368 economists — including six Nobel laureates, including this year’s winner in economics, as well as six former chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers — said in a statement that “John Kerry favors economic policies that, if implemented, would lead to bigger and more intrusive government and a lower standard of living for the American people,” because his policies “would harm U.S. producers and consumers alike” and the result of his policies “would be lower U.S. employment and real wage growth.”

More light comes Dracula’s way before the Election Day’s coffin.
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Liberals are paranoid about the label “liberal”? “If the shoe fits, it’s probably too ugly to wear.”
Carol Hoffman
Redmond, Oregon

Re: Paul Kotik’s letter (No Way, Jose”) in Reader Mail’s Rope Burns:

Mr. Kotik suggests that the left-wing letters from Charlotte Erickson-Rempfer and Fransje de Waard were made up. I am sorry sir, but I know folks like that. They can be very nice people who keep their yard picked up and love dogs, but there is a chasm between their understanding of the world and mine. It is pointless to argue with them. Instead, I try to just be pleasant to them and never, ever get angry with them (at least not visibly angry).
Michael Bergsma

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