FACE="New York" SIZE=5> Name Withheld, Manhattan
Insert Obvious Pun Both of his friends often warned Alexander Cockburn that constantly jerking off would have disastrous consequences. But of course he wouldn't listen. Now, with the publication ("Wild Justice," 4/26) of his proposal to nuke Cuban Miami, he confirms the accuracy of those friendly warnings. Cockburn can barely see the tufts of hair sprouting on his palms; and his brain, never sturdy, always generating praise for murderous communist tyrants, has turned into a green slimy mass. Dr. Kevorkian, do your duty.
David F.X. Mandel, Manhattan
Caribbean Mist Cuba, a "force for good," as Alexander Cockburn writes in his 4/26 "Wild Justice"? Reading such typically American-leftist b.s. raises my adrenaline level, especially if it's right in the middle of an otherwise accurate article. Sure, in communist Poland, where I grew up, the kids weren't starving. They had food to eat and "clean" water to drink. (Though how do you know it's clean in Cuba?) Plus we were all literate, so we could read all the propaganda the government force-fed us. Great. We were better off than Guatemala, too. Believe me, that was no reason to celebrate. Every now and then they would reassure us on tv or in the newspapers that the brotherly Cuban nation is committed to upholding their great leader's unending rule.
To most of the people, however, Fidel was a Kremlin serf, eternally bowing to the Darth Vader in Moscow. You can holler about the CIA's trying to murder him. In reality, it was one intelligence agency trying to get rid of another's agent. Simple as that.
Now, I really couldn't care less about whatever happens to the kid. It's a clear case of media and politics supporting each other in another effort to distract the public's attention from what really matters. But when I hear again of the "many plusses" of Fidel's regime, it takes me back to the good ole commie days and makes me realize how blind the left of the West has been all this time.
Maciek Waclaw, Manhattan
Hey Marc, Next Time... Re: Marc Cooper's "Better the Devil Cubans Know" ("Opinion," 4/26). Please tell Mr. Cooper that the next time he goes to Cuba he should stay there. Maybe the Cubans will enjoy the crap he writes. He sounds like a literary communist?or, should I say, another asshole.
J. Mori, Manhattan
The Nation and Us Marc Cooper? I thought the name rang a bell, but I wasn't totally convinced until I read the last line of his piece:
At least he'll get free health care in Cuba.
What a fuckhead!
Frankly, I get a kick out of far-left hacks, so I have run across his musings before, but this is appalling.
Only The Nation would have someone like that dipshit on the payroll! (I guess The New York Times has enough room for just so many portsiders.)
Oh, wait. Does The Nation actually pay its staff or are they philosophically opposed to money too? (Of course, pissing yours and mine done down the drain is another matter completely.)
You don't suppose Victor Navasky is going to make a pilgrimage to Havana the next time he needs a tooth pulled, do you?
Nah. Didn't think so.
Name Withheld, Phoenix
Green with Anger Okay. I'm furious. I'm Mike Green. I'm a local talk-radio host in San Diego, on KCBQ, and the only black conservative on the air in all of Southern California. In your 4/26 issue, you printed a long letter to the editor from Norman Kelley of Brooklyn. It disparaged black Republicans in the same manner in which Al Gore's campaign manager, earlier this year, disparaged them when she launched a character assassination of all black Republicans. (She mentioned J.C. Watts and Colin Powell specifically in her debasing remarks.)
Kelley believes that the Democrats are the "chosen" party, and that blacks must act, walk, talk and think as a group (of sheep, I'd imagine). But he left out a few details in his revisionist version of history.
First of all, his foundational argument is that the Republican party is "probably" filled with many of those old-line Democrats who were once the terror of black America. Then, as have many before him, he cited the example of Barry Goldwater. It would seem prudent that anyone making this argument would do his homework and come up with the names of all, or at least most, of those known racist Democrats who have switched to, and now supposedly "fill," the Republican Party (leaving, of course, only good-willed individuals on the Democrat side). It seems to me irresponsible and unintelligent for anyone to cast aspersions across the board in order to taint an entire political party with a broad racist brush based upon a limited knowledge of a few people. I don't believe either political party is racist. But there are racist people of all races acting politically in both the Democrat and Republican parties. They think and act as individuals, not as a part of a group. It is far wiser to judge the parties on their platform issues and their perspectives on various topics. In my opinion, it is unintelligent for any racial group, in particular blacks, to walk lock-step with any political ideology or party, following along and voting according to orders while black Democrats are hand-delivered to whatever white man bought them. (Even Mr. Liberal Al Sharpton would agree, according to his statements on BET.) And by the way, as usual, they are hand-delivered by whatever black man sold them.
Nevertheless, it is the ignorant and apathetic people, regardless of race, creed, color, gender or economic class, who get bought and sold daily in politics.
I would suspect (based solely upon his written remarks) that Kelley is one such person. Some of us black Republicans believe in capitalism, rather than in the Democrats' version of socialism. Some of us believe in the Constitution and in smaller, limited government. We believe that the constraints of the Constitution were meant to bind the government and maintain the freedoms of the people. We believe that morals must be the foundation of good governing. I believe you might find that that idea underscored many of the thought-processes of those who designed our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
But black liberals aren't the only ones who can do research. We black Republicans also know history. And we know that all whites did not believe in, nor participate in, the racial horrors that rocked this country, and therefore do not deserve to be unfairly lumped together with the guilty, even as all their various nationalities and histories are ignored by our referring to them all as "white."
We also know that not a single southern Democrat voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That includes Sen. Al Gore Sr. But most black Democrats will put his son in office as president, not knowing or caring much about how his vision will affect this society and their wallets.
We do know that from 1940 until 1965, blacks had a rapidly growing population with a very low percentage of out-of-wedlock births. But in 1965, after Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson introduced his 400-plus government social programs, the numbers of married births in black America plummeted, while the illegitimate birth rate skyrocketed. These phenomena began within the first 12 months of the introduction of the American Socialist Welfare State. In less than ten years, beginning only one year after the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this government had reversed trends in black America.
By 1975, black illegitimate births outnumbered births to married couples. And the trend became a silent epidemic. Today, 69 percent of all black babies are born out of wedlock. Couple that with the general degradation and moral decay of this society, and you have a complete genocide on your hands. The destruction of the black family is nearly complete. Add in the redefining of marriage and the acceptance of sexual relationships of all forms, and you have your Democratic ideology. Democrats will not stand on principle; they'd rather pander to the people. Divide them, and conquer each group as a separate entity. Promise them whatever they want, just to get the vote. And once in power, increase government control and oppression through rising taxation. Oh, by the way, don't worry about the people getting wise. Just tell them it's for a good cause?or, if all else fails, that it's for the children. They are uneducated enough and apathetic enough to allow government to provide.
The next target for the Democrats is god. Because, after all, government should be the only true controlling authority. Just ask Al Gore Jr.
I am a Republican not because the Republicans are perfect, which they are not. I am a Republican because they understand the battle for the soul of this country. They recognize the freedoms we've lost, and are willing to be called names when they disagree with liberals. They take courageous stands in defense of the unborn, the rights of the family and the care of the elderly. They know that high taxation is oppression, and they fight hard to eliminate the welfare state that imprisoned black America for the second time in this country's history. Once again, some whites are fighting alongside blacks (and others) in order to regain the freedoms that so many have handed over to the federal government. I would hope that even Democrats would want freedom rather than dependency. If not for themselves, at least "for the children."
Mr. Norman Kelley from Brooklyn: you place your vote in the hands of those who have destroyed your family and your culture. They are now coming after your god. But don't worry, the Democrats will provide. After all, they're the party of the poor and oppressed, right? And the more poor and oppressed there are, the more constituents they'll have.
You figure it out. After all, we black Republicans are just stupid.
Mike Green, San Diego
Bilingual Edition ¡Hola! Mi nombre es Rene, y leí en su periódico edición de avril 26 del 2000 (número 17), página 52, sección de empleo, segunda columna, un clasificado titulado "HIGHEST PAYING ALASKA JOBS" y me intereso mucho, pero lamentablemente no tuve el area code. Podrían ustedes enviármelo para comunicarme la dirección? Gracias por su atención.
Rene Ramirez, Manhattan
We Don't Fold Easily I've heard your broadsheet/tabloid two-size format called a lot of things, but "elegant experiment" ("Message to Readers," 4/26) was never one of them. Welcome back, all-tabloid format.
Howard Hyman, Manhattan
The Inevitable "Cute" One with The Perm and The Karmann Ghia I just read Laura Moser's "Prepped in Texas: Life at the Rushmore School" (4/19). Having taught Laura at St. John's School in Houston, I was delighted to see her in print, not surprised (considering her talent) that she is a writer extraordinaire and amused to read a piece about our quirky institution that is at once critical and affectionate. Thanks for the pleasure.
Theo Coonrod, Houston
She Got Mad Skills I just read Laura Moser's article about her high school, and I must say, I laughed out loud quite a bit. I am a 1999 graduate of the school in question, St. John's School, and I even remember Laura. What she says is totally true. Many of us miss those days of rigid structure and forced etiquette. Rushmore really showed us what fun we could have in the seemingly stuffy private school atmosphere. Our uniform code alone is hilarious, but the general intellectual atmosphere and its effect on the character of the students are truly entertaining. Moser wrote about what many of us SJSers are experiencing in the first years after our departure from the storied cloisters. There is a real world out there, and we actually get to wear non-uniform jackets on cold days! What luxury. I think Laura Moser's article was excellent, and I thank you for printing it.
Meghan Whitmore, Houston
Passed Note Laura Moser's article "Prepped in Texas" was just forwarded to me by a fellow St. John's School alum. What a great article! Please pass my compliments on to Laura Moser for her excellent writing skills.
Mandy Riseden Giles, Houston
Hard Time Like Laura Moser, I am a graduate of St. John's School, that venerable institution on a respectable corner of Houston's posh River Oaks neighborhood. I first attended the school in kindergarten (although I had taken kindergarten before, it was not quite up to the St. John's standard) and graduated 13 years later, a certified "lifer." I experienced the same irrational love for my school that Moser describes and still do today, nearly ten years after my graduation. Despite our school mascot, the Rebels, we were anything but, raised in the image that our parents wanted for themselves, sent out into the world to discover all we had missed in life, yet knowing we would never trade our experiences for anyone else's. Kudos to Moser for putting into print an article that I can use to help explain to others what my own childhood was like.
Robert Lane, Manhattan
For Pete's...Etc. Thanks for the great article by Laura Moser. Now you're getting the idea. Unpretentious, thoughtful and fluid. Love to see more from her in the future.
Peter Wilson, Tokyo
Hungarian Pastry Chump I am the protester in the bicycle helmet from p. A7 of The Washington Post, whose "spindly legs" Christopher Caldwell makes fun of in his 4/26 "Hill of Beans." I was quite amused by his depiction of me as a 48-year-old Swedish professor of vegetarianism. Actually, I'm a 20-year-old Columbia student who eats meat and enjoys it. However, I was not amused by his portrayal of what I had "probably" been doing "two seconds before." I was not throwing anything at the cop, nor was I calling him a "faggot" (as a militant bisexual, that would be very hypocritical of me). Rather, I was dancing and singing. This infuriates the police more than anything else, to see oppressed people taking their liberation into their own hands. More than "rabbit shit" or "jellybeans," they hate to see us reclaiming the streets as a safe place to celebrate our humanity.
Interestingly enough, I was also one of the "few hundred kids" who were arrested on M St. the next day in a "clever police trap." For the record, although we were mostly young, there were women and men as old as 70 who were arrested with us, including one 50-year-old homeless man who happened to be sleeping on the wrong block at the wrong time. We were arrested not because the police outsmarted us, but because they infiltrated us. Two "anarchists" dressed in black and carrying protest signs, claiming that they knew "the best way to go," had suggested that we march to this corner. Interestingly enough, when we were surrounded and arrested, those two individuals were released immediately, as soon as the police opened their wallets.
Finally, I would like to object to Caldwell's portrayal of the police as such an efficient fighting force. They may have been in better shape than your average "Offissah McCahthy," but they certainly weren't any smarter. After the cops chased us out of the intersection, we went right around the block, came up behind them and occupied it again, surrounding them and cutting them off from their reinforcements. They retreated with their tails between their legs, and we held the intersection undisturbed for another half hour, dancing and singing and drumming, until we stood down?not because we were afraid, but because the site was no longer to our strategic advantage. On April 16, our lines of communication were as good as those of the police, and our flexibility was far greater. Not everybody was impressed by the professionalism of the MPD, especially not the tens of journalists and photographers who were beaten, teargassed, pepper-sprayed or arrested for trying to get a good shot.
Just wanted to clear up those misperceptions. Now, I'm off to the local boozer?not to "whine [into] my glog about how repressive capitalism is," but to prepare for the party conventions in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The movement isn't over, it's a revolution that's just beginning.
Name Withheld, Manhattan
Off the Pigs It is appalling that New York Press would run such an offensive and idiotic advertisement as the 4/26 issue's "Consistency in Compassion Campaign" (Section Two, p.7), which equates the slaughtering of six million Jews with the slaughtering of farm animals. I am a vegetarian and animal lover, but a photo of a man with a gun to his head definitely evokes a stronger sense of outrage in me than does a photo of a sad pig in a small pen. My suspicion is that the creators of the ad are too tunnel-visioned to understand their own stupidity and anti-semitism. I wonder how many of them, if starving in a Nazi death camp, would turn down a piece of meat?
Samantha Harvey, Brooklyn
This Week's Stupid Anti-Armond Letter Re: Armond White's 4/19 "Film" column:
So, I didn't see Keeping the Faith but?c'mon?a priest-girl-rabbi flick involving interfaith karaoke does not deserve a half-assed two-paragraph slam, particularly if you're focusing on cinematography. Gee, Ed Norton's no Terrence Malick! Shame on him! And I can't understand how you missed Jenna Elfman's glow. Oh, she glowed and, like all good Angelenos, becomes progressively darker in skin-tone while in New York.
And why compare Return to Me and Keeping the Faith, anyway? I mean, if they direct, they're directors. That's it. You might as well compare them to Scorsese while you're at it. Side-by-siding films is dumb. It doesn't work. It's not a game, Armond. Nobody wins later. Did you know that?
The "actor who directs" title is pigeon-holey. (As are your across-the-board talent slams. You jealous?) God, that's like calling yourself a "film critic who writes," which just might be the most ridiculous title in the world, right? (Pssst, everybody, go see Return to Me. It's funny.)
I'm challenging Armond White to the proverbial throwdown.
Name Withheld, Los Angeles
Can't Do, Can't Vote Taki's ill-defined voter-roll criteria in his 4/26 "Taki's Top Drawer" column?"Who decides who among us is selected to vote? Easy. The useful ones. Drug dealers, rabblerousers, deadbeats and Hollywood types need not apply. Nor professional politicians like Clinton and Gore"?are presumably facetious.
One simple, almost feasible, non-arbitrary voter-roll criterion?which would immeasurably improve the quality of the voter rolls?would be to exclude anyone who receives more than 25 percent of his income/support from government. This would exclude a few "desirable" groups (the armed forces, for example), but the payoff in excluded "undesirables," like teachers, would be huge.
John Connolly, San Diego
WASP Wasted John O'Sullivan ("Taki's Top Drawer," 4/19) mentions me by name, and I ought to reply.
I find it remarkable that a man of Mr. O'Sullivan's worldly accomplishments, a man who's now mature enough to contemplate God, or at least to publish an autobiography, should be so terrified at the improbable prospect of being mistaken for a conspiracy theorist. We all know that Mr. O'Sullivan is a cautious, urbane and politically sophisticated timeserver, loyal to his party and country, wherever and whatever they are. What he is not is an original thinker, brave enough to stare down an unpleasant political truth across the banquet table, possibly the very one at which my Yale chum Rick Brookhiser has wasted a life pushing the overcooked peas of platitude around his dinner plate. If "courage" is, as he believes, a "defining feature of WASPs," he is no more of a WASP than Alan Clark, with as little to fear from a Sioux brave. A guilty conscience is another matter, and let us remember that the judgment of posterity is sometimes more swift than a coward hopes.
Skull and Bones is the blackest and bloodiest stain on the history of the United States, and specifically on the history of democracy in America. That the film The Skulls, which Mr. O'Sullivan ridicules, is a fictional, popular, Hollywood reference to this perfectly real conspiracy is neither here nor there. It is one thing to laugh at the film Titanic, and quite another to claim that the only vessel with that name ever to set sail was an old sloop your wife's maternal great-uncle used to keep in the Hamptons.
Andrei Navrozov, London
NYC's Biggest Dope Dealers Whatever you change next week (and a tabloid would be easier on the subway), please don't get rid of "The Straight Dope."
Keep up the good work.
Adam Gregerman, Manhattan
Money Shot Your 4/26 editorial "Clintonite Savagery, Politicians' Hypocrisy," hit it right on the money. Both the right and left are to blame for the shameless action in Florida. This will not be the first nor last time someone's home will be crashed into and plundered. We have property confiscated without due process, and our drug laws facilitate the damage done against our right not to incriminate ourselves. The Cuban people may not have any constitutional rights. We, on the other hand, seem willing to hand these rights over for the lie of "law and order."
Laura Skamser, Elgin, IL
Chiang Mai Surprise Hey, what's happening over there, boys? New York City used to be a center of taste and sophistication, and now New York Press, in its 4/26 editorial, is worried because Janet Reno wants to force a few Cuban immigrants to obey the laws of the United States? Maybe you need to get out a little more and see that it doesn't make a damn bit of difference to the average joe whether his government is run by commie bureaucrats or capitalist bureaucrats, and a kid would rather be with his dad than with a shriveled up old uncle and a hysterical cousin. I say this having just spent a week in the Lao People's Democratic Republic where day-to-day life is indistinguishable from day-to-day life in Thailand, America's enthusiastic Pepsi colony.
You might also check your facts: the live photos show the bedroom door intact after Elian was handed over to the lady cop. The family members themselves apparently broke the door down to dramatize the situation.
One hopes Bush wins the election. He's indistinguishable from Gore anyway, and at least it might shut up Lott, DeLay, Robertson and Falwell.
Richard Roth, Chiang Mai, Thailand
She Ought to Be in Pictures MUGGER: I've never seen you on television. To me, you're only talking fingers, not a talking head. Please consider a foray into tv-land. Your perspective is refreshingly unique. Even if the odds were even (and they'd probably be around four-to-one against you), I'd bet on you against Clift or Carville or Davis or Estrich or Rangel or Waters or Jackson or Sharpton. You'd be the modern version of Jack the Ripper, laying out your opponents' organs neatly on their still chests after breathtakingly short exchanges. I've never seen you, but I guess you'd be a mix of the aristocratic Kudlow, the earthly Morris, the persistent O'Reilly and the pragmatic and direct Rudy. You'd be great.
The country needs you!
George Mikos, Concord, CA
Dan's Real Pissed Hey MUGGER, which part of your last online column ("e-MUGGER," 4/28) was more idiotic: even more wasted space on what a groovy time the sixties really were, or your beef with John Podhoretz over who outranks whom as history's most evil figure? What, no Pol Pot? Who gives a fuck? You used to be halfway interesting, with enough irreverence and lefty-baiting to make your column a fun read. Now you're just another cranky asshole with an opinion. You haven't said anything new in at least a year, and let's face it?your favorite targets (Clinton-Gore-Clinton, The New York Times) are hardly sacred cows, even though your commentary makes it sound like you're taking on the establishment single-handedly. You're boring, old man.
And how come we online readers have to suffer through two of your columns weekly, while there's still no Alexander Cockburn on your website at all? Which just proves you're no real revolutionary, Russ. Otherwise you'd have known that everybody's entitled to one before the greedy SOBs get two.
Dan Grunfeld, BostoN
What's Tom Think? MUGGER: I read your criticisms of John Podhoretz in your 4/28 online column, and could not help but agree. However, when I e-mailed it to two Jewish friends, they found traces of anti-semitism that I could not find.
Also, I agree with you ("MUGGER," 4/26) that the raid on the Gonzalez home was appalling. Too bad their skin was not just a little bit darker; Jesse Jackson would have been on their side.
I guess Jackson is too busy bailing out oppressed high-school hoodlums to take time to protest Gestapo police tactics. As Clinton has feminized the military, he has militarized law enforcement for the past seven years as some sort of compensation. He has also criminalized the Cubans.
The Cubans were a little overheated; they are Latinos, after all. Perhaps, next time they will have the foresight to hire either Howard Rubenstein or Bobby Zarem for their next public event. However, the creepiest of all was that witch Doris Meissner. I watched her smile and giggle dementedly as she said how happily the raid went because the government hired psychiatrists who told them to buy Play-Doh for the boy. The INS commissioner then related that this would ease the stress of the raid, because he could squeeze the toy. Next she blushed and giggled girlishly. I nearly vomited.
MUGGER, would you want Doris Meissner and Janet Reno out trying to "protect" your children?
This bothers me, not just because I am a spokesman for Generation X, but because I am an American.
Tom Phillips, Manhattan
Cuban Cigar MUGGER: Now that Bill Clinton and his ugly dyke hatchetwoman Mr. Reno have their tongues up Fidel's butt, it's only a matter of time before a red hammer and sickle will be flying in Washington DC in the waning days of this bad cartoon's eight years of flaccid, impotent "leadership."
Dann Thor Karma, Manhattan
Teach the World to Sing MUGGER: I only wish the whole world could read your 4/26 column. How has Bill Clinton become so strong? How does one make American citizens see what he is?
Janis Owen, Ft. Lauderdale
In Which Steve Fellates Authority MUGGER: "THE PHOTO" (4/26), my ass. You can see worse stuff?much worse stuff?every week on Cops. Or on the streets of Giuliani's New York, for that matter. The kid was rescued from kidnappers, nobody died, end of story.
Steve Simels, Manhattan
Arbor Bray Faithful readers of Russ Smith's vanity column were rewarded with a winner last week. Using Georges Bush and Will as moral guides (the latter, now appalled by the use of federal force, fully supported Reagan's wars in Central America and tap-danced atop the mass graves), Smith shakes his weak fist at the Castro/Clinton/Reno axis that "kidnapped" little Elian and returned him to his communist robot father. And to prove that he's really, really serious about this crime, Smith compares the raid to the shootings at Kent State and the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald. It is rare that overstatement approaches the level of satire, but Smith pulled it off beautifully, albeit clumsily.
To paraphrase one of Smith's star columnists (can you guess which one?), I yield to none in my sympathy to those prostrate beneath the Clinton/Reno jackboot, but if ever a community deserved an INS raid, it's Miami's Cubans. Filled with terrorists, political reactionaries and religious fanatics of every stripe, the Miami mob is as barbarous as its customs, and unspeakably cruel, too.
While I've long supported ending the U.S. embargo against Cuba (an embargo that the "pro-Castro" Clinton has tightened over the years), I now wish to see it go so that Smith and his family can visit Havana, and that we may delight in the Smith clan's attempts to get decent service amid tropical splendor.
Dennis Perrin, Ann Arbor, MI
Rolen Thunder Review MUGGER: Your 4/26 column was excellent. Right on?told like it is.
I can't stand Gregory Craig, aka Castro's pimp , formerly Slick Willie's pimp during the impeachment trial. Maybe someone can follow the money?from Cuba to the Democratic National Committee?
Where is an attorney to represent the boy? Where was Miranda? Where was a warrant?
Lady Waco needs to retire. I met her about 15 years ago in Miami, and man, has she slipped. Her thought processes appear to have gone way south. All she can do is run interference for Clinton.
Keep up the good work and thanks for not using profanity. Much appreciated.
Anna Rolen, Alexandria, VA
Twin Town MUGGER: Excellent 4/26 column. I've not read a better piece on the Elian Gonzalez fiasco. You covered every base, and now I can send the article to the dopes I work with who think Janet Reno was right. I have no idea why some people insist on keeping their heads where there's no solar illumination. Thanks for the excellent work.
Jeannie Woznak, Minneapolis
Yuppie Imperium MUGGER: Once again you are so right about Clinton, Reno, Gore, Gregory Craig, et al. I share your frustration and rage not only at what they did, but also at the brazen smugness with which they come right out and assert that they can do whatever they want, period.
I heard earlier today that polls show that two thirds of Americans support Janet Reno, and that she has been showered with cards and bouquets of flowers from well-wishers.
Unfortunately, you seem to be embracing the Bill Kristol/Grover Norquist brand of "just-you-wait-we'll-have-the-last-laugh" conservatism. And as much as I would like to do so as well, the sad truth is that we won't. The support for Clinton is as deep as it is wide, and doesn't come only from those who are indifferent, and who would rather not rock the boat as long as the economy booms. Rather, it comes from the huge mass out there who positively and actively support the Clintons. The idea of "Clinton fatigue" is ridiculous. If that scumbag could seek a third term he'd win easily, and by a bigger margin than he did in 1996. And he'd bring Hillary in with him.
Even Rush Limbaugh, whom I respect immensely not only for his views but also for his political instincts, no longer proclaims that we're winning. We're losing big time.
I can't wait to see what's ahead under Al Gore and a Democrat House.
Howard Hirsch, Carson City, NV
Hash Brownie Points MUGGER: This is no shit.
I've only read the first few paragraphs of your 4/26 column, but you've written the best commentary on the whole sad Elian Gonzalez affair. Before this, I would have said that William Safire had taken the prize, but your column contains the direct condemnation that this disgusting administration deserves, and you didn't make a hash out of it as others on the right have with mawkish breast-beating.
Derek Copold, Houston
Tell It to the Pod MUGGER: Have your many vacations over the past year taken the edge off your game? Have too many supersonic jet flights at mach 3 collapsed your once-mighty brain? Or has lounging about an exclusive Caribbean island turned you into a jellyfish? What seems to be the problem, my good man? Get the A game back! Your namby-pamby writing of late is very distressing.
When I first came to read you in September of 1998, you were the leader I needed so badly. The way you skewered the lefties?refreshing stuff, old bean. Know that I'm concerned, very concerned. I know this year has not been a pleasant one for you and your family, but grieve in your columns and use your sorrow. Turn it into full-bore attacks against the apparatchiks of the left.
Never let up on David Nyhan and the Phony Oliphant. They are treacherous and treasonous pigs!
Marc P. Pascucci, East Boston, MA
To-the-Minute Man MUGGER: I look forward to your columns every week. They've become a must-read. Instead of screaming at the tv at 6:30 p.m., I realize that I have you to say in print what I feel.
Bob Callahan, Durham, NC
Immodest Mouse MUGGER: Well, we disagree about the Elian Gonzalez affair, and it doesn't surprise me. But I think you're wrong about the future of this mess. At its root, while so many complain that this should never happen in America, the usual Republican minority has no problem denying a father the custody of his son, and for only one reason: his political affiliation or, more accurately, that he has the bad luck to live in a country ruled by Fidel Cast