The Human Factor - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Human Factor

Re: Wlady Pleszczynski’s Brock’s Content:

I love when an article tells me how to feel. That is brilliant. In “Brock’s Content” I am reminded over and over again that I am bored and that I must be near coma. I have an idea. Let the READER decide what is boring or not. I happen to be very entertained by

Bottom line here, when you have no story, you have to make one up. You have no angle, you must create one. The angle you have employed here is that is boring. What a scathing report. Nowhere do you mention where is wrong or incorrect in their statements. Yes, the lies being told by the right may not be top of the fold news, but they are still lies subverting the truth … in the media, the one tool people have to make their decisions. If our only choices on how to decide how we feel are filled with inaccuracy, how can we expect the population to ever be wise enough to make those decisions? Oh … we can’t. So, until you can refute the arguments made, beyond just calling them names, please refrain … or more directly, shut up.

Your game is over. Seriously. And you know it too, otherwise we would not have the need for personal attacks. So enjoy your long slumber back into obscurity. If you listen closely enough, you can hear your impeding doom.

Justin Vorhees

I’m always amused by people’s attempts to refute the notion that there is a liberal bias to the media. A local letter-to-the-editor writer denied a liberal bias and cited Fox News as evidence. I should have sent the letter to Fox. I’m certain they would have been pleased to know that their efforts outweigh those of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, etc.
Jenny Woodward
Bloomington, Indiana

Re: Paul M. Weyrich’s Queen of Liberalism:

Though I wasn’t familiar with the writings of Mary McGrory, I’ve read quite a few eulogies in the past week. None were more heartfelt than this entry by Paul M. Weyrich. Some of our longer term elected representatives, on both sides, should take note — or take retirement.
Mark Hessey
Belmar, New Jersey

Be nice. Give them respect and they will show you the same. They are a minority. Are you kidding me? Paul, this is no longer the ’70s, where humans of all dissenting opinions exercised some self-restraint, self-control and some form of decency. I do not advocate disrespect but to propose the notion of equal respect is ridiculous. The liberal left in the media believes that manipulating the reporting of events, no matter how devious, is acceptable if it promotes the liberal ideology. They believe conservatives to be ignorant and unworthy of opinion. Wake up, Paul!
Peter Amato
Palm Harbor, Florida

Regarding Paul Weyrich’s North Ireland reference:

I do not know why it is more common for conservatives to side with the UK in regards to the Northern Ireland problem. I am an extremely conservative Irish American and am absolutely dedicated to reuniting the 32 counties. My involvement with Republicanism has seen me cooperating with Socialists even. It’s odd, but it happens. Truth and what is right is not partisan. It is (usually) non-sectarian.

However, many in the Republican movement in Ireland (particularly Kerry) are members of Fianna Fáil, not Sinn Féin, or SDLP, or IRSP. Fianna Fáil is very conservative domestically (compared to other European political parties). My friend John makes no secret of the fact that he is NOT liberal AT ALL. These people are against the EU, against high taxes, pro-Catholic and traditional. Sure, some are relatively irreligious.

The point is that it is not fair to mark Irish Republicans as a bunch of liberal communists. Many are not. I know I am not, nor are any of the guys on the other side of the pond with whom I am acquainted.

However, that I hold high regard for James Connolly despite his being more Red than Green/White/Orange while having a poster of Senator McCarthy, and that cooperation between individuals on both “sides of the aisle” speaks volumes about the ability of people to come together to do what is right.
William Dean Freeman
Constitution Party of Virginia

I strongly agree with Paul Weyrich’s article concerning the importance of relationships in dealing with political opponents. My favorite roommate in college was a Democrat, a real Democrat who believed in taxing inheritances over $100,000 at 100%. We had a great time because he did not assume that since I disagreed with him on almost everything, I must be bad or dumb. The Bible says that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. I was forced in our many discussions to really THINK about what I believed. It was a very good experience. Sadly, I have lost touch with him, but I learned from our friendship that political differences do not rule out being good friends.
Michael Bergsma

Lovely article, Mr. Weyrich.
John Schuh

Re: George Neumayr’s Thelma and Louise in Iraq:

I was glad to see Mr. Neumayr say some things that needed to be said about women in the military, at the risk of him being called a misogynist, or worse. As in most everything in life there are trade-offs. Having capable women in the military in itself is a good thing. In America we want all citizens to have the freedom to reach their potential, whether in politics or business or athletics or science or the arts, or virtually every field. But does this hold in the armed forces? Does it justify women being exposed to abuse by the enemy when captured; mothers with young children killed in battle; numerous instances of male abandonment of chivalrous behavior toward women (which I saw first hand while in the military myself); watching female three star generals with decades of service make dubious claims of sexual harassment; the “coarsening” of women, as Elaine Donnelly accurately said? I fear that we have gone too far. It has not been worth the damage to the ethos of the honorable warrior.

Shortly after I had graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1975 I was pleased to learn of the decision to admit women to the federal academies, as I hoped it would “humanize” the institutions and reduce of the abuse and hazing of new cadets. Well, that didn’t happen; instead the Academy has reaped sex scandal after sex scandal; even a murder case where a Naval Academy midshipman teamed with her Air Force Academy cadet boyfriend to kill his former girlfriend. Disgusting. Again, has making the Academies, like the wider military, available to women been worth it? How far are we prepared to go in the interests of fairness?
Paul M. DeSisto, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

I see another irony in the female humiliation of Arab prisoners:

As I’m sure all Spectator fans know, Liberals consider themselves to be paragons of open-mindedness and cultural tolerance. And it’s of course well known these same Libs have resisted all pragmatic arguments against the use of women in certain military roles.

Now in this case, one pragmatic argument against women guarding male Arab prisoners is that nothing could legitimately outrage Islamic cultures more than such humiliation of Arab men by women as did occur. But since political correctness prevents the reassignment of women from sensitive roles that might offend the cultures we are trying to help, “tolerance” for Arab (or other native) culture is completely squashed in favor of the modern feminist military ideal. So as usual, the social policies of the Left have prevented us from doing the practical things we need to do to win “hearts and minds.”

Another example of how little Libs really do understand about the world and human nature.
— CDR P.H. Doolittle, USNR

Had the situation involved sexual harassment of U.S. women soldiers by their male counterparts, the women would have been portrayed as delicate flowers in need of protection and the military’s culture would once again have been indicted in the press and elsewhere. We’ve seen this double-standard in the recent Air Force rape scandal and in the on-going scandal surrounding the rape/harassment of women soldiers abroad, and we saw it over 10 years ago in the Tailhook scandal.

The broader point about this aspect of this particular episode is that discipline has declined in all elements of the coed military, something amply documented by various organizations including Ms. Donnelly’s organization. Feminists argue that men and women are interchangeable and then demanded special treatment for women. The resulting double standards (in discipline and training methods and standards) are inherently prejudicial to good order and discipline. The soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in the Iraq come across more like undisciplined teenagers than professional soldiers (just as Jessica Lynch came across as a girl in a soldier’s uniform). We wanted a military that looks like America, and now we have one that looks like the average American high school.

Only the all-male infantry and armor units retain traditional standards of military professionalism, and they’re the ones carrying the brunt of this war (and as a matter of fact, male casualties are running at something like 30 times those of women even though women make up 20% of the force).

It’s also worth noting that Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training was watered down (after women taking part complained the rape and sexual abuse elements were too realistic) while at the same time the men were expected to become de-sensitized to torture and abuse of women. Looking at the Air Force Academy rape scandal, I’d say the training succeeded, at least as far as de-sensitizing the men was concerned.

We need to re-examine the role of women in our military. Their patriotism, intelligence and dedication may be the perfect equal of their male comrades. Almost without exception, though, they are physically weaker (in some cases 100% of women were unable to perform certain standard combat, damage control and casualty evacuation tasks), have higher rates of injury, are four times less deployable than men (mostly due to pregnancy), leave at higher rates, fail basic training at higher rates, are more limited in the roles to which they can be assigned, and cost more (particularly in medical and family support). And, none of that includes the effects of fraternization and sexual misconduct by both sexes. In fact, for the last 30 years, the military has totally failed to control the effects of sexual misconduct and fraternization, for no other reason than that one cannot prevent fraternization except by keeping the sexes apart.

By any objective standard, an all-male military, otherwise identical to the current one, would be more combat effective, more cost effective, trained to higher standards and better disciplined. It is time to recognize this and make the appropriate changes.
Anthony Mirvish

Whatever the stated reasons for allowing women in combat, the real reason was career opportunity. If a woman does not have all the same squares punched on her record (including combat) she is not able to compete for promotion with men who do. The issue is promotions and careers, not combat effectiveness or any other issue.
Lee P. Rodgers

I can find no fault with the contention that the ruinous concept of sexual interchangeability of the roles men and women fulfill in the military and society as a whole have lead to a coarsening of women to more predatory behavior. However, I would like to bring out a point Mr. Neumayr may have missed.

What about men?

Men are, by design, emotionally compartmentalized creatures. We are capable of great feats of violence and sexual depravity because we are so absolutely capable of focusing on a single emotion at any given time. It is what makes men the more brutal sex of the species, but when properly nurtured it is what makes men willing to sacrifice themselves to provide for and protect their families. We will leap out of bed to confront a burglar threatening our families and we will endure the crushing grind of coal mines to feed that family; but it is only because of the tenderness of the women in our lives.

It is from the soft femininity of our mothers that we learn what it is to be loved. It is from wooing and courting the soft feminine that we learn to give, and not simply take love. When we have our own daughters we protect them — hoping they don’t meet boys like us — because we remember how much we love our mothers and wives.

If the feminists make women to be as sexually and physically aggressive as men, men themselves will progress unchecked into the realms of predatory behavior because their natural dispositions will be focused by the examples mothers and lovers. Then the true oppression of women will begin as men see them as nothing more than objects that are to provide whatever pleases the male self and the desires of the self should be obtained by violence if necessary.

Feminists have sought to exalt themselves, but in so doing they have neglected men and that will lead to the eventual undoing of everything they claim to desire for themselves. Whatever progress feminism boasts of has been born of men’s love for their mothers, wives and daughters. Men have willingly made room for women because we love our women, but it is our women that taught us how to love. It is foolish to try to compete with men in the realm of sheer brutality (and only a fool would want to try to out-brutalize someone just to prove a point) women are simply out-classed in this regard. If there are any women who doubt my point let me ask this: Wanna wrassle?
Rik Killeen
Sunrise, Florida

I am a female United States Air Force vet (22 years of service). I am so angry and appalled at these incidents, it is totally unbelievable!

I was raised to “be a lady” and my military training was before the “inter-changeable bodies” theory over-ruled common sense (1979). I was told in Basic Training and in Technical School that “its stacked against me (by being female), and I had to be tougher (as in able to withstand idiotic abuse) and work smarter, and “be” the expert to succeed as a female in the military.” There was no “You gotta be just like the boys.” There was “no lower yourself to their levels.”

I retired with the rank of Master Sergeant (had a successful career, was recognized as an expert in my field, and had men and women that not only did I supervise, but I was their leader as well, a very humbling responsibility), and I might have stayed even longer, except the service had so changed from what I joined I could no longer recognize it anymore.

These stories coming out are just another symptom of what I saw and experienced over a long military career. Where before, women in the “work environment” meant that the cussing and other “bad language” went in the garbage can, it was the women giving the men “sailor language” lessons. The men “wanted” to be fair, and there were women that abused it.

The “Queen Bee” clique queens once seldom seen since junior high school, were breeding like cockroaches, and they were becoming managers, supervisors and commanders. Do I believe someone had to “order” these women to abuse their charges? No, in fact I really would not be surprised at all if it was found that the whole “crazy” idea of this type of abuse came from the mind of a woman, wanting to prove (anyway she could) that SHE had the power, and could deliver results. That those under her “leadership” willingly followed.

Leadership by example and respect, or tyranny by an abuser on a power trip — neither sex is exempt.
Sandra Dent

This is the first honest thing I’ve read about the whole sordid mess!! Keep up the great work,
Leslie Hanks

Re: Jed Babbin’s Unacceptable and Un-American:

First Jeb Babbin bitches about the Marines’ pullback from Fallujah, after successfully cordoning off the city. Then he complains about the Iraqi generals’ failure to make headway against the insurgents, and then closes deploring the one thing that may have had a chance at getting results: the tactics of our military intelligence in dealing with POWs.

His allusion to a 12th century population comes close to the point. Our military is dealing with a culture that deserved Saddam Hussein; a culture that treats its women like barnyard animals, and its barnyard animals like women. If sexual humiliation inflicted by female warriors yields intelligence and decreases U.S. casualties, isn’t that better than the Saddamite methods of maintaining order? Doesn’t he suppose that our intelligence methods had anything to do with the relative success of our scout-sniper teams, vis a vis the Iragi generals?
Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I agree with all the Secretary’s observations, including his recommendation to destroy selected Fallujah targets with smart bonds after evacuating the citizens, despite my saying in an earlier letter that I would prefer flattening the city completely, because it would put fewer of our troops at risk and it would send the right message to all the troublemakers in the region. But the best part of Mr. Babbin’s article was that he actually come up with a well-thought series of steps to improve the situation in Iraq and fulfill our mission. Too many of the war’s critics on the Left and the Right do nothing but find fault, never offering any substantive ideas. “Going to the UN” is not substantive.
Paul M. DeSisto, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

America’s motive in Iraq is determined quite simply: If America wants to help Iraqis, we will stay and sacrifice our children and treasure. If America wants to hurt Iraqis, we will pack up and leave.
David Govett

Re: The Washington Prowler’s Slash and Bush:

You are critical of Michael Moore, which is your right, but suggesting that he’s an unsuccessful documentary filmmaker being propped up by powerful Democratic interests is either ignorant or a blatant lie. Moore’s shoestring-budget “Roger & Me” made the documentary marketable again, and his “Bowling for Columbine” was the most successful documentary in history, earning well over $50 million worldwide, a previously unheard-of income.

Miramax ‘s decision to invest a mere $4 million in his next documentary is simply good business. Trash Moore’s politics if you must, but don’t lie about his marketability to misrepresent him as an unsuccessful political hack living off the DNC’s welfare.
Kenny Herbert
Brooklyn, New York

Re: William Tucker’s Kerry’s Empty Secret:

I resent your blanket condemnation of the “Baby Boomer” generation in your article “Kerry’s Empty Secret.” He in no way typifies my generation. He is a liar and a fraud. I think he lied about his “heroics” in Vietnam. He negated any “hero status” when he came back and falsely accused his fellow soldiers of atrocities. I don’t see how any veteran can vote for a man who became a cohort of Hanoi Jane Fonda.

One of his wounds, according to the recollections of the doctor who treated his arm “wound,” was a metal splinter imbedded in the skin that anyone else would have removed himself and kept on going. The doctor says that Kerry’s mates in the incident reported that Kerry fired off a mortar at some rocks and he was hit by a ricochet –a tiny one at that. They disputed Kerry’s claim that it was a “fire fight” with the enemy. So that means that two of Kerry’s “heroic wounds” were patched up with a band aid.

This man does not represent my generation. All those self-absorbed articles about baby boomers Tucker cited are not representative of us. I have lived my life working hard to get an education, raise a family, and make a difference(36 years as an educator). I have not sought the limelight and have minded my own business while trying to be the best citizen I could be. Ninety-eight percent of my fellow boomers have done the same thing. I don’t think many of us will be voting for Kerry in November. I hope Bush carries all 50 states.
Mike Safrit

Re: Edward Del Colle’s letter (“Sure Doubts”) in Reader Mail’s John Chevy Chase Kerry:

My friend Edward Del Colle is at it again. His somewhat predictable mantra goes — the Gospels contradict each other. They were made up hundreds of years after Jesus’ death and are revisionist history to make a Galilean carpenter look like the promised Messiah, in order to further some kind of agenda that benefits those who made it all up…. Blah, blah, blah. While I certainly don’t agree with him, I do give him credit for being consistent. However, it is entirely possible to be consistently wrong.

Mr. Del Colle is rather clever in his criticism of religion (Christianity in particular). He lists several baseless superstitions but just happens to stick his own opinion about Hell being a fictitious place in the midst of that list. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though. Edward has learned well. Dan Brown does the exact same thing in his book, The DaVinci Code. Somewhere near the middle of his “fictional” book, he unleashes a diatribe of baseless lies directed at the very essence of Christianity. Its aim is to destroy the most basic of Christian doctrines — the deity of Jesus Christ.

Mr. Del Colle also quotes H. L. Mencken (of Scopes Monkey Trial fame, among other things) about the dangers of religion. Mencken didn’t believe in religion (especially Christianity) because he thought himself far too intelligent to fall for the myths and deceptions the rest of us blithering idiots are duped into believing. But, the reality is, Mencken (and I fear my friend Edward) was too proud to humble himself and bow down before a Galilean carpenter who revealed himself to the world to be God incarnate. Regardless of what religion or world view you ascribe to, whether you are Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, or atheist, at some point you must address Jesus of Nazareth’s claim to be the Living God.

C. S. Lewis, in his brilliant book, Mere Christianity, stated it this way. We can’t deny Christ’s deity yet claim he was some great moral teacher. Lewis said, “That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic –on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

My hope is that Edward will read the Gospels again (or maybe for the first time) with an open and humble mind. I think he will see that they can stand up to the toughest scrutiny. If he doesn’t want to do that, maybe he could start with Lewis’ Mere Christianity. I would even be willing to send him a copy. I want to end this e-mail by saying that I’m praying for you Edward, because I know that only God can change a person’s life. I won’t stop until He does a great work in yours.
Joel Wymer
Kent, Ohio

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