Re: Wlady Pleszczynski’s Borzoi Ballet:
My wife and I raise and show Tibetan Terrier dogs so maybe I can answer a few of your questions about what happened to the natural ferociousness that dogs normally show in congested situations.
First of all, if any dog shows any aggressive tendencies at a dog show, that dog would be banned from AKC shows. Rules of the organization forbid aggressive dogs and any breeder who keeps showing up with aggressive dogs could be banned too.
All show dogs are socialized to not show aggressive behavior toward other dogs. We socialized our dogs by taking them to the local nursing home and other public places so they would get used to meeting strangers. Also, we took them to places like Petsmart, Petco etc. to meet other strange dogs. They learn not to be aggressive toward them. They will, however, be aggressive toward any strange dogs that wander into our yard so they will still protect the home. However, I doubt they if are any good at fighting. That is why we keep other big mutts outside to protect the show dogs!
— Ken Penner
THE WINNER OF OUR DISCONTENT
Re: Enemy Central’s White Mischief:
Kudos, Kudos, Kudos — superb! Why oh why can’t articles like this appear “all over”? And the press wonders what happened to American morality. Just take a look at themselves, and their sixtyish life style and values and they will find the answer. They all think and have the same morality as the Clintons, Fondas, Brokaws, Rathers, Begalas, and on and on. They, and only they, have taken this great country tom its new low! Keep up the good work, maybe, just maybe others will follow — and oh yes, add the entire staff of MSNBC to the above.
Wow! What a week, With the assertive running of John F’ing Kerry and his EOW well earned, Ms. Rodham Clinton Rodham has real competition. The Red Queen has been silent so far. Perhaps the Clintonistas should have left Moe Howard Deane alone as he was good entertainment, but the new JFK/ Slick Willy persona may prove to blow (sorry) away any chance she has for EOWs any time soon.
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Moronica in America:
Hello and thank you for your insightful article on Moronica in America. There is an irrational hatred toward President Bush that isn’t justified. I think voters need to wake up soon, or they’ll regret not being involved in the voting process. I remember when I first heard of the Land of Moronica. It was in an old episode of the Three Stooges. The stooges were using a map with Moronica on it. I think the Three Stooges were smarter than some of our fellow voters and leaders. Keep up the great work.
— Marc Handelsman
I appreciated very much your article “Moronica in America.” You were precisely accurate in your definition of what these people should be called. I have been calling them “morons” for years. Your article was refreshing. Keep up the great work!
— Janene Greene
CASHING IN TAIWAN
Re: Lawrence Henry’s The Weak Dollar Summit:
My guess is that China (just 1.4 billion happy friendly people we are told all the time) will threaten to dump its dollars for Euros this September and force the U.S. to recognize Mainland China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. President Bush will beg them not too for OPEC will have driven gas prices the highest in 12 years. President Bush will be boxed in and the U.S. will sell out Taiwan (due to the dollar and North Korea).
— Jeff Brownell
Lawrence Henry replies:
Mr. Brownell’s scenario has been envisioned by Tom Clancy in Executive Orders. Mutually Assured Destruction fairly well assures that this will not happen. The U.S. could retaliate too easily by cutting off imports from China, as also envisioned by Tom Clancy in The Bear and the Dragon. Who needs what worse? Does China need our dollars worse than we need cheap shoes? Note: If anything like this does begin to happen, you might want to short Wal-Mart (WMT). The retailing giant’s foreign purchases amount to 10 percent of the U.S. account deficit.
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Dr. Florida’s Fever Swamps:
I can’t imagine how wrong an economist can be:
* The creative classes he advocates, about half of the occupations, sit like predators at the top of the food chain. Adding little economic value other than ethos (musicians, artists, lawyers). They represent extractive diversions that add little to GDP.
* The other half of the occupations (programmers, IT geeks, etc.) first require few in number to have large economic impacts as the product they produce can be cloned to infinity with little operational cost per unit produced. These occupations also have the disturbing attribute of collapsing supply chains and organizational cycles requiring fewer workers as the automation takes hold. So in a sense they become net negative job creators even though they add tremendously to the overall GDP.
* Generational preferences are overemphasized. When I was 25, I loved living in the city. The lights, glitz and lifestyle was fun. Now I am in my 50’s and you could not get me to live there for I see it as cramped, noisy and expensive. A majority of Americans go through this same shift in their lives. Which leads into:
* The generation gap. I am the tail end of the baby boomers. My son’s generation that would be part of the creative class is approximately 2/3 the size of the boomer generation. In sheer numbers, and issues related to multiplicative economic impacts, my son’s generation will have less economic impact per transaction even though their income level maybe higher.
* Corporate decisions don’t seem to be a factor in Dr. Florida’s analysis. If you look at Microsoft, Oracle, Level 3, and the rest of the high tech sector, they invariably locate in suburban locales with ready interstate access. Ironically the “old industries” that Florida shuns — banking, automotive, professional services — are located where he does not expect them — urban centers.
* Finally Dr. Florida needs to take a course in History of Cinema. My gut says that the number of films done outside of the U.S. in this decade is on par with previous decades. Most of the Oscar winners every year are peppered with blockbuster films filmed elsewhere. Nor should he worry too much. The U.S. has almost a virtual lock on digital film generation. The major production tools, not the studios, are U.S. based. The diversity of landscape here in the U.S. is nearly unmatched anywhere else.
Maybe the Dr. should update his thesis?
— John McGinnis
DISTINCT LACK OF RESERVE
Re: William Tucker’s Why Combat Matters:
There is a firestorm of Kerry bashing in my e-mails. I am a hard shelled conservative and I suspect that much of it may be true — but I’m hoping that proof will surface, i.e.:
1. His Vietnam tour was only four months long (not enough time to earn (or even process) a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, 3 Purple Heart awards, 8 total ribbons (several VN “area” awards required 6 months in theater). The recap of the action which earned his Silver Star award makes the award sound “fishy” to veterans who sent me e-mails
2. Numerous affairs cost Kerry his first wife
3. He has had a long affair (while married to his present wife) with an AP employee who was spirited away to Africa.
Note: Items 2 & 3 are from Drudge and on-line reports.
Perhaps you have resources capable of proving or disproving the speculation.
— Frank Baillie, an old ret. Navy (15 yr. enlisted) Officer from Port Orchard, Washington
I just got done reading a piece by a guy named Tucker. Talking about combat. Well, there are many stages of combat. I am not impressed by Mr. Tucker’s piece. Kerry didn’t spend the whole year. Got to ride in a boat. Boats go into port once in a while. Infantry stays in the field for months at a time. Without a bath. Sometimes without much support. Sometimes without nothing but old C rations. Sometimes without so much as a good drink of water, let alone a cold beer or soda. Something that you get in port. I saw Nam from several angles. Some were not so fortunate. I knew some that spent the whole year in the infantry, on the ground, most of the time moving from one hole to another, carrying everything they needed on their back. I knew some that spent the whole year in some cozy situation where there were hot meals, showers, flush toilets, cots, fans, stereos, and a host of other comforts.
I saw both sides. Kerry, it seems was somewhere in the middle. In view of his postwar activities, which I remember with some degree of clarity, and his voting record, I will go with President Bush. W. flew planes. He didn’t aid and abet the communist. I don’t think Jane Fonda is in his photo album. Never saw his likeness in the company of scumbag war protesting hippies. Never known him to vacation in the vicinity of Chappaquiddick. Never seen him with long hair.
I have grown to really like W.’s sly grin. I like his attitude. I like his associates. Specially, Rumsfeld, Tenet, and Cheney. I sleep well knowing W. is in control of the codes. I trust him to know where they are at all times. I trust him to honor his wife, and I know he is keeping the Oval Office clean. I am proud that he landed on an aircraft carrier, and I am proud that he was with my countrymen on Thanksgiving. I am deeply moved when our military demonstrates their respect and honor for W. when he is in their company. Brings back memories of Reagan. Patriotism was good then. Might be again. If we put an honorable man back in the White House come Nov.
I don’t like attacking Nam Vets. It was a very nasty time in history. But I don’t like revisionist history either. Being a Nam Vet has always been a burden. It didn’t count for s—. Part of the reason for that is on the hands of Kerry and Fonda. Part of it is the swill that came out of Hollywood. Part of it is just plain old jealousy. Some folks just couldn’t let us Nam Vets have our day in the sun.
I knew one guy in Nam that smoked dope. And he was not in the infantry. I never knew anyone that even remotely fit the part of babykiller. Never saw an officer get fragged either. I am proud of how my countrymen handled the enemy. The main reason us Nam Vets got such a bad rap, is fat-assed Americans sat in front of their TVs and watched the swill that came out of the mainstream media, and Hollywood. That problem remains. Requires only a TV, something to eat or drink, and an empty head.
— Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire
The brouhaha over Kerry and his anti-war shenanigans remind me of an incident while I was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. We had a boot come aboard ship fresh out of the Great Lakes. This guy was a basket case from the get go. In fact he was so bad, they discharged him with a Section 8 off the ship. About a year later, we were in port stateside watching a news cast about one of the antiwar demonstrations when lo and behold, this idiot (who was discharged) was being interviewed by the reporter. In the interview this person represented himself as a returning Vietnam Vet and he talked about how he was forced to fire on innocent women and children, etc. This fool was never out of the country, was discharged right after boot camp, and of course was never in Vietnam. The reporter, however, took his word as the truth.
The whole point of this is that there were a lot of lies back then against our fighting men by self-serving people in this nation and John Kerry was one of them. What is even worse, is that Kerry is sucking up to the very veterans he disparaged back then with his lies…
— Pete Chagnon
Both John Kerry and Bob Kerrey’s nominations for their medals should be reviewed. Who wrote up their medal citations, who approved them? I suggest that both were in the Navy for the express purpose of acquiring credits to be used in projected political careers. Both were highly decorated for a bare minimum of actual time under fire and neither were really very effective. To understand what I’m saying, please do this: Read the citations for the awards won by the Kerry/Kerrey duo and then read Force Recon Command, a book by a real hero, Lt. Col. Alex Lee, USMC (ret.).
The book is available, in slightly different editions, from both the Ivy Books imprint of Ballantine and the Naval Institute Press. It tells, in part, of young Marine junior NCOs who spent at least 12 months in the combat zone leading numerous missions that make the exploits of the K/K duo look pretty shabby by comparison. Lee, in the last two paragraphs of chapter four, “Lose Ends,” is very bitter about how these young men were treated by the medals award boards, especially vis-à-vis the Golden-Boy two-patrol wonders like Kerry and Kerrey. The same holds true for any number of real warriors in the Army and Marine Corps who spent month after month in the bush in real combat, but didn’t win the awards these two did. Vietnam veterans vote. And they know the truth.
My point about Kerry/Kerrey aside, Lee’s book is one of the best and most important to come out of the Vietnam experience. I recommend it highly.
— Paul Neuman
If the Kerry kerfuffle turns out to be true, he may learn first hand about the plight of the homeless: He’ll be making enormous mortgage payments on a house he’s no longer permitted to live in, and, next year, standing in Lafayette Park gazing wistfully at the White House …
— Steve Biddle
State College, Pennsylvania