Category: America

Amazing Grace

 Thanks for sending the review, it was very interesting.  To me, it sounds like the biggest beef the writer has is that the movie isn’t the one he wanted it to be.  He reminds me of someone who knows so much about the subject matter that he nitpicks every deviation from absolute historical accuracy.  Amazing Grace is not a documentary.  No doubt it occasionally distorts and compresses the facts in order to tell a good story.  That’s what movies do.  … [more]

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For your consideration

 Good letter, but the worst of it is the massive loss of Iraqi life, the mass exodus of Iraq’s best-educated and experienced citizens, the unending lack of basic civil infrastructure throughout Iraq, and (worst of all for us Americans who don’t really care about anyone but lily-white Anglo-Christians) the establishment of a “terrorism incubator” that will hatch horrific acts of violence for the next century or two.

The loss of our “best and brightest” is an abiding shame, but it … [more]

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Shift happens

 An unreasonable euphoria over the recent political shift was, I suppose, inevitable.  I’m sure the entire world breathed a little easier when we voted to hobble our emperor’s unchecked crusader impulses.  However, Nero still fiddles.  I see little abatement of Bush’s hubris in the face of the reemergence of an opposition party.  In fact, there is speculation that he will somehow double the size of the American occupation of Iraq before he leaves office.

Before we get too disappointed with … [more]

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Expert testimony

 Dear Friends:

(1) General Charles Krulak is a former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and his fellow Marine
General Joseph Hoar was Commander of CENTCOM (1991-94) and Chief of Staff of the USMC during the 1991 first Gulf War.

ALst week, these two old leathernecks co-authored a powerful op-ed piece that appeared in the Washington Post on 17 May 2007 entitled “It’s Our Cage, Too;  Torture Betrays Us and Breeds New Enemies”.

I have pasted a brief summary of … [more]

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How bad is it?

 If you’re wondering what Prince George has wrought in the hinterland, far from his royal throne, read the following guest editorial that appeared in our local paper last Saturday.  It was written by a federal government employee, the current superintendent of Hot Springs National Park (

I’m still mulling over a response, but I already know I’m going to ask her when the “Field Guide for Spotting Terrorists in Hot Springs” will be available.  Will it include a … [more]

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Pistachios and other nuts

 July 12, 2010 update:  This Haaretz article, titled “On one thing they agree: ‘Allahu akhbar’,” was the beginning of a years-long email conversation with Janna.   Sometimes heated but always interesting… or or

The article was about the interaction of Jewish and Muslim worshippers at an ancient shrine regarded as Joshua’s grave, located in the heart of the Palestinian village of Kifl Harith.  Despite the fact that it is a structure from the Mameluke-Ottoman period in the 15th … [more]

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 Dear Mr. Spencer:

I am tardy in responding to your interesting comments about the historical role of Gurkha units in the British Indian Army.

In referring to the Gurkha as “mercenaries”, I most assuredly did not intend to impugn their honor or integrity in the slightest — or, in particular, the steadfast loyalty that they consistently displayed toward their British comrades-in-arms.  I cannot recall that there has ever been a similar relationship historically that earned and deserved more lasting credit … [more]

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