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Smell Tests

Re: George Neumayr’s People Who Mislead People:

I found George Neumayr’s article on the People magazine interview with Howard and Judy Dean fascinating. As a practicing physician, I think I may be able to shed some light on two very interesting statements made by Dr. Judy Dean. The first is, “We both worked there (Planned Parenthood) when we were residents.” The implication is that this work was an official part of the residency curriculum. But was it? Or were the Deans, like many other residents, “moonlighting” outside of official medical training? Most residents do it to earn extra money, but I have my doubts that Howard and Judy Dean were hurting for cash.

My suspicions were further aroused when Judy Dean said “we were there basically to get GYN experience because you don’t generally do it on hospitalized patients.” Oh come on, Dr. Dean! When I was in medical school at Johns Hopkins, I did all sorts of GYN training on hospitalized patients from pelvic exams and PAP smears to delivering babies. (I am a Rheumatologist today, but I still remember how scared to death I was the first time I delivered a baby, and how gratified I was that I didn’t screw up.) Furthermore, her use of the word “hospitalized” is curious since training programs also use hospital outpatient clinics. The Deans are acting very defensively, and when someone does that, there is usually a reason.

There is a great line in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof when Big Daddy asks “do you smell that odor of mendacity?” I think I smell something here. A good investigative reporter needs to find out whether or not the Drs. Dean were performing in an officially-sponsored training rotation during their association with
Planned Parenthood.
Timothy L. Huettner, M.D.
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Thanks for your article about the Deans! I just love the way the man answers questions that were not posed but he is supposedly “anticipating.” Other then looking remarkably like a Hitler boy pounding the pulpit, “I am not for the war,” “I am not doing abortions,” ” I am not for old style politics,” I am not for that because I have not said this or that but I have anticipated this or that.” Your article was great! DO find out more “dirt.” Hopefully this man will be forgotten faster than Dukakis!

Wonderful article. Now, it might be good to take on Dr. Dean’s comment (as reported in The Corner) that doctors don’t perform abortions on “live fetuses.”
Michael Becker
Phoenix, Arizona

It’s time to bring a medical consultant on-board for articles about Dr. Dean and abortion. Internal Medicine docs are not surgeons. They don’t do invasive procedures like abortions. They aren’t trained for it. They aren’t qualified for it. Internal medicine is a diagnostic discipline, not a procedure driven specialty.
Hunter Baker

George Neumayr replies:
The point I was making is that NON-physicians are doing abortions in Vermont. That means an internist could do them. He’s not qualified? Okay. But a lot of non-qualified people are doing abortions in Vermont. You don’t have to be a surgeon to do abortions in Vermont.

Re: Reid Collins’s Because It’s There:

As with other bloated, government-funded entities, it would seem that a major purpose of the aerospace industry is to sustain the aerospace industry. Thus the president’s Mars/Moon proposal is politics as much as it is anything. Something to keep the Democrats off-balance, perhaps, as if they needed anything more. I see too many conservatives falling in line behind this, a matter that deserves far more scrutiny.

Reid Collins might like to see the Star Trek scenarios come about (although I’m more of a Babylon-5 kind of guy), but I just don’t have any reason for such optimism. Some would argue that the technological progress of the 20th century must inevitably continue, that the curve of scientific development should be approximately exponential. But I think this is at best wishful thinking. At this point, I doubt that people will ever leave the planet in significant numbers. Maybe my objections are merely visceral, as I’ve made too many long international flights in economy class ever to like flying again. But I can’t get past the economics of spaceflight, for one, currently some $10K/lb. for orbital payload. Even if you reduced the cost by 99%, that’s still a c-note per pound. Admittedly some hardware launches are cost-effective (e.g. weather satellites) and others (e.g. Hubble) have a cultural value that can’t be judged solely in monetary terms. But without a compelling reason to do otherwise, such projects should be judged on the same terms as any other big-science investment. At least the Cold War gave us some military justification for the Apollo expenditure. I have never bought the “imagine the spinoffs” argument. Spaceflight should be justified on its own terms. Any large technological project is liable to generate spinoffs.

Unless much cheaper ways to loft payload can be developed, the space age is essentially over. Outer space offers several things of material value: orbital “real estate”; high vacuum, microgravity, extraterrestrial minerals, extraterrestrial land. (Did I miss any?) The first of these has been exploited successfully. The others remain only potential. What El Dorado awaits us that would make large-scale human spaceflight worth our while now? I don’t know. As Gertrude Stein said of Oakland: “There’s no there, there.” The other, intangible goals that spaceflight could help us to achieve have to be compared with the goals obtainable by other large-scale research investments. I’m willing to be convinced otherwise, but unless spaceflight becomes cheap enough that something there can pay for it, I don’t see how space exploration will ever be much more significant than current worthy efforts in Antarctica, that hardship post.
Mike Walsh

Re: Shawn Macomber’s Wilsonian Regime Change:

Why is this man [Joseph Wilson] still blithering on about how his CIA operative wife was outed by the Bush administration? Unless the CIA is even worse than many suspect, it would have removed Valerie Plame from covert operations after her little episode with PPD — something she acknowledges as so important in her life that she runs seminars at her local church on how to move on after being laid low by post delivery hormonal stress. But even after losing time due to her famous PPD downing, she must have been out of the loop for a good deal of her pregnancy which considering her age and the fact that she was carrying twins would have been considered high risk and not the sort of condition recommended for covert operatives required to bop about the world doing great things for national security.. So here we have a high-risk pregnancy followed by a bout of post-partum depression. Are we to assume considering this scenario that the CIA has given her anything serious to do in the intervening years? If indeed they have, the organization is truly spooky.
Millie Woods

Re: Enemy Central’s Night Watch:

Regarding Enemy of the Week: How can Al Gore claim that “global warming” causes frigid weather, or Wesley Clark contradict himself and be utterly unruffled? The reason is simple, and it goes deep into their personality types: These guys are socialists who come not out of the productive sectors of society (manufacturing, mining, agriculture etc.) but out of academia (Clark was a Rhodes Scholar). In academia, anything is possible and thus nothing is certain. Therefore you have intellectual chaos, which is why so much psychosis exists among intellectuals. In chaos, anything goes. There is no up or down, no black or white. This disorients people, and they

Chaos rules all of leftist thinking, which is why doctrinaire socialism (communism) fails to provide citizens with even their most basic needs. Communism works perfectly on paper, and in the minds of its creators, while the rational person sees its failures immediately.
Steve Nikitas
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Re: Brandon Crocker’s One More Academic Fraud:

Regarding Brandon Crocker’s article about Michigan Today and the university’s tendency to be arch-liberal, I have to tip my hat to Brandon for even reading that paper. I get the same paper delivered to the house from time to time and I can assure you that there is not much there for a person of the real world to take from. I recently returned to Ann Arbor for a reunion of my Architectural School class and the whole town seemed to be in a biosphere of liberalism. There truly are two world views being contested in today’s political realm and the universities are the centers of the “loyal” opposition.

And then we can get into the feminists who are also doing their mischief if you have some time.
John Wilson
Chicago, Illinois

I’ll gladly take up the research project to expose the “purposes” of academic institutes and centers. Along the way, I’ll research if there’s any colleges or universities left in America with a conservative slant that I might encourage my young children to attend some day. But this’ll take time away from work, so I need to find a university or institution that might fund such a research project. Oh, wait — never mind.
William H. Stewart
Boston, Massachusetts

Re: Ken Shreve’s letter (“Rush Hour”) in Reader Mail’s Adult Behavior:

I really don’t want to belabor this, but am I the only one who finds it ironic that, after stating that “it behooves Conservatives to know what they are talking about before they publicly opine as to others’ opinions,” Mr. Shreve impliedly describes me — with no knowledge of me beyond a couple hundred words of reaction to his first letter — as a country-club Republican and imputes to me a belief in Rush’s God-like infallibility?

Buried in the mass of irrelevancies in Mr. Shreve’s reply — come on, what does Mr. Limbaugh’s outrageous 1992 election prediction have to do with Mr. Shreve’s assertion that Rush is a knee-jerk GWB defender? — is an admission that he listens to Rush only “sporadically” these days. I rest my case.
Bob Boyd
Galloway, OH

Wow. Rush Limbaugh has sometimes made predictions that didn’t come true, hence he is a Bush sycophant and not worth listening to.

Isn’t there a logical fallacy that covers that?
Kevin McGehee
Coweta County, Georgia

Ken (and other like-mindeds): please, please PUH-LEEZE think again.

I agree with you whole-heartedly about Limbaugh. There, I said it. I might as well mea culpa about any other doggone conservative pundit while I’m at it.

THEY don’t run for state houses, nor Congress, let alone the White House. Our leaders do. If you think a particular leader sucks, well — that’s OK.

I simply caution you (and any other good conservative) to re-consider what you set as your “cutting-off point” when one of “ours” gets in, and the consequences of said cutting-off!

Dubya is not Lincoln Chafee, much less Jim Jeffords — only the truly schmuckified could confuse George W. Bush with a RINO. Get on the bandwagon and STAY there. This is not the ’90s, when it was only a matter of somebody’s stocks and bonds. This is about real peoples’ lives, yours and mine, our kids, et cetera. We have got to stick together.
Jeff Kocur
Milford, Delaware

Re: George R. Shelley’s letter (under “Forever Young”) in Reader Mail’s Adult Behavior:

Condi Rice as Vice President? The first black woman Vice President? Candidate for President in ’08? Hillary running against her? The Dems would go potty in their pants. Oh, baby, what an election campaign year that would be. As GWB said, “Bring ’em on.”
Mike Webster
Dallas, Texas

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