Man Without Qualities

Friday, May 14, 2004

Gandy v. Smith

NOW says it doesn't like single sex education:

But the National Organization for Women disputed the data and said separate classrooms are a dangerous step backwards — reinforcing stereotypes and breeding sexism.

"I think it's very difficult to make separate equal, even if you were to have the same teachers and the same curriculum, you don't have the same lively exchange and debate that you have if you leave out an entire gender," said Kim Gandy, NOW's president.

This NOW quote refers to primary and secondary education, but lively exchange and debate seems to be a lot less significant in primary and secondary education than it is in college, where students are supposed to have more knowledge and sophistication with which to engage in meaningful exchange and debate. And Ms. Gandy's observation obviously applies to both private and public education - as long as the student is able to choose whether to go to a co-ed or single sex school. (Ms. Gandy does not concern herself with choice or the ability of the student or anyone making a choice for the student to chhose wisely - her assertion is independent of choice.)

So isn't Ms. Gandy's argument a lot more applicable to single sex colleges than it is to primary and secondary education? Doesn't what she is saying imply that single sex colleges like, say, Smith College, are lacking in lively exchange and debate?

If so, Smith College, for one, doesn't seem to agree:

Today, of course, women have many options as they choose a college, but we have only become more convinced that, for many women, a women’s college is the best option. Providing the academic challenge, personal attention and wide-ranging opportunities you’d look for in any college are still our most important goals, but, as a women’s college, we think Smith offers some special bonuses. ... At Smith, women are the focus of all the attention and all the opportunities. ... Having a wide variety of female role models tends to boost the aspirations and career achievements of female college students. ... At Smith, faculty and alumnae offer outstanding role models. Leadership experience in college provides training and encouragement for leadership positions in your life, your community and your profession. At Smith, all of the leaders are women. ... At Smith, women can have a great social life. (Really!)

At Smith, there are no stereotypes about what women should do, but there are unlimited expectations about what women can do. Smith is a great training ground for careers that might still be considered non-traditional for women. At Smith, any career choice is an appropriate one. ... Even the Ivies can’t boast a network of thousands of successful women willing to share inside information about their professions with both undergraduates and other alumnae. It’s a lifetime guarantee!

At Smith, the “old boys’ network” becomes an “ageless women’s network.”

Of course, the world is coeducational. But Smith women enter it more confidently than women graduates of coed schools.

After Smith, the future is wide open.

Is Ms. Gandy saying Smith is bunk?

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Thursday, May 13, 2004

It Was Strange ....

... passing strange.

U.S. officials say the FBI questioned Berg in 2002 after a computer password Berg used in college turned up in the possession of Zaccarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative arrested shortly before 9/11 for his suspicious activity at a flight school in Minnesota.

The bureau had already dismissed the connection between Berg and Moussaoui as nothing more than a college student who had been careless about protecting his password.

But in the wake of Berg's gruesome murder, it becomes a stranger than fiction coincidence -- an American who inadvertently gave away his computer password to one notorious al Qaeda operative is later murdered by another notorious al Qaeda operative.
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Oddly Coy

I'm not exactly sure why the stories about Nick Berg are being so coy about his ethnicity. This one and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one don't even mention it. And this one is oddly coy: Nicholas Berg, the American who was filmed being beheaded, had been arrested by Iraqi police earlier and held on suspicion of being a spy because he had a Jewish name and an Israeli stamp in his passport, it has emerged. ... "He said: 'They arrested me because I had a Jewish last name and an Israeli stamp in my passport.' Then the Iraqi police put him with the US military because they thought he was a spy. .... In the Arab world, any indication that someone is a Jew or has links with Israel can be potentially fatal ...

But Nick Berg's ethnicity is no mystery at all:

Berg's father said his son was a practicing Jew and that "there's a better chance than not" that his captors knew it. "If there was any doubt that they were going to kill him that probably clinched it, I'm guessing," he said.

So Nick Berg was jewish and Nick Berg's father, at least, suspects that the lunatics who killed his son knew that and were motivated in part by anti-semitism - and what Nick's father suspects makes a lot of sense. Nick's earlier incarceration may also have been tied to his ethnicity. That's all significant. That all matters. Why be obscure on the point?

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Kerry's House of Ketchup #11 ...

... is up and running on The American Mind.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Not Like The Old Days

German troops serving with the KFOR international peacekeeping contingent in Kosovo have been accused of hiding in barracks "like frightened rabbits" during the interethnic rioting that erupted in the province in March.

A hard-hitting German police report sent to the Berlin government last week criticizes the troops for cowardice and for their failure to quell the rioting in which 19 people died and about 900 others were injured. ....

So far, the German government has refused to acknowledge publicly the complaints made in the police report.

On the other hand, this story suggests that it's probably better that Germany didn't send troops to support the liberation of Iraq.

Of course, it could have been worse. They could have sent Forklift Driver Klaus!
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Well, The "Horrible Act" and "Overshadowing" Part Is So Very True, Even If The Rest Is All Wrong

But it's still amazing that they said it at all:

"Hizbollah condemns this horrible act that has done very great harm to Islam and Muslims by this group that claims affiliation to the religion of mercy, compassion and humane principles," the Shi'ite Muslim group said in a statement. ... Hizbollah said Berg's killing had diverted the world's gaze from an escalating furor over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by occupation soldiers. "The timing of this act that overshadowed the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in occupation forces prisons is suspect timing that aims to serve the American administration and occupation forces in Iraq and present excuses and pretexts for their inhumane practices against Iraqi detainees."

One need not pause for a moment to wonder if Hizbollah cares a bit about Mr. Berg's death or its "un-Islamic" nature. They don't. Instead, what better proof could one need that the horrible murder of Mr. Berg has been a public relations disaster and setback of historic proportions for all arms of Islamic militancy. That's not much of a consolation for the Berg family. But it is at least possible that Mr. Berg's death will mean that the ability of Islamic lunatics to inflict at least some future deaths will be curtailed. The civilized world can only hope.
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About Those Tax Returns

Theresa Heinz Kerry has been offering the peculiar argument that she need not disclose her tax returns because the financial affairs of her son, Chris Heinz, are intertwined with hers - and would be disclosed in her tax return forms. She now says that she is planning to make some trivial pseudo-disclosure, arguing that: "What I have and what I receive is not just mine, it is also my children's, and I don't know that I have the right to make public what is theirs," she said. "If I could separate it, I would have no problem."

In addition to the general policy arguments (such as those made in the linked Washington Post editorial) for not allowing candidates to use the financial privacy of their children as an excuse for withholding disclosure of tax returns, why should anyone take the financial privacy of Chris Heinz seriously anyway? Chris Heinz is politically active - indeed, he recently reestablished residence at the family estate in the Pittsburgh area, supposedly for the benefit of the Kerry campaign. He's been a guest of honor at Democratic labor events in Pennsylvania. He is widely believed to be preparing to walk in the footsteps of his late father, Senator John Heinz. And Chris Heinz is a candidate of the type Democrats have been stocking up on in recent years in their supposed quest to represent the ordinary citizen: campaign financing copiously included. Just ask populists like Senator John Corzine.

Chris Heinz is a big boy who has deliberately intertwined his life and political affairs with those of John Kerry and the Democratic Party (see Skiing With a Kerry Surrogate, for example). No one should take seriously his mother's argument that she can't make obviously appropriate tax disclosure because Chris Heinz needs to maintain his financial privacy. Of course, that Chris Heinz is allowing his mother and John Kerry to abuse his financial privacy for his stepfather's political gain does not speak well of Mr. Heinz's own political judgment or prospects.

It's now or in October, Senator. Now or in October.

MORE: The Viking is on a raiding party for the Heinz tax returns! Lots of good thoughts there - and follow the links to his earlier posts and sources.

STILL MORE: And on the subject of Theresa Heinz Kerry's political judgment, this succulent, vintage Newsweek morsel is well worth the calories:

A student at a small gathering of college Democrats in Lacey, Wash., asked Teresa Heinz Kerry why her husband had waited so long in the Senate (almost two decades) before deciding to run for president. The candidate's wife suddenly recalled something her mother had told her: that the Devil was powerful not because "he's so smart--he's so smart because he's so old." John Kerry as the Devil?

Teresa Heinz Kerry, who Newsweek calls a demanding, somewhat unpredictable 65-year-old demi-billionaire is living proof that sometimes people don't get any smarter when they get older ... and that demanding people aren't always demanding of themselves, especially if they're very, very rich by inheritance.

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Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XLI: He's Making A List, And Checking It Twice!

Just how bad is John Kerry's political judgment? Well, with about two-thirds of Americans convinced that Donald Rumsfeld should remain as Secretary of Defense, Senator Kerry is running around with his silly list of replacements.

But Senator Kerry's bizarre lack of judgment and smarts doesn't stop there. Most on his list would not be appropriate in the best of times. Senator Kerry suggests the likes of Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich - who was one of the very few who actually voted against the Senate resolution authorizing the Iraq war after first trying to gut it with an amendment requiring further Security Council approval. That suggestion sure shows Senator Kerry's mettle. Or how about another Kerry pick - William Perry, who served as defense secretary under President Clinton while the whole al Qaida mess festered for years? Now there's an idea.

Is that what the candidate presumptive or his campaign staff think constitutes staying "on message" for the day?
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Abu Ghraib II

What if you gave an OUTRAGE! party and nobody came?

Worse, what if you were part of most of the mainstream liberal media, you grossly overplayed and sensationalized a pedestrian story about some prisoner abuse in Iraq that you admit (but bury the admission) is pretty much like what is going on all the time in US prisons every day - and then the Administration and Republicans generally right away figured out how to neutralize the political effect of all your hard work and your guy sinks like a stone in the polls in comparison to the Republican President you're trying to hold "responsible" for the OUTRAGES? And suppose on top of all that, Rumsfeld basically tells you to get stuffed.

Well, if you're the New York Times you'd be hopping mad and run an absurd tantrum-cum-editorial like this one:

The administration and its Republican allies appear to have settled on a way to deflect attention from the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib: accuse Democrats and the news media of overreacting, then pile all of the remaining responsibility onto officers in the battlefield, far away from President Bush and his political team. That cynical approach was on display yesterday morning in the second Abu Ghraib hearing in the Senate, a body that finally seemed to be assuming its responsibility for overseeing the executive branch after a year of silently watching the bungled Iraq occupation.

Translation from the Newyorktimesese:

The domestic economy and war on terror are both pulling away from us and our candidate and party strongly - and now this Iraq thing doesn't look like it's going to do us any good, either. We're so mad we could spit - and here it is!


Hmmm.. sex between consenting US soldiers? No doubt enquiring minds will want to know: What kind?

UPDATE: And now those enquiring minds will have additional reason to watch for the pics!
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In 2002, while a prisoner of one of her many whistleblower tizzies, Maureen Dowd wrote in the New York Times:

Nancy Drew, ... teen-age detective, a plucky strawberry blonde with a blue roadster, emboldened millions of little girls to think they could outwit the world. The successors of the pretty young sleuth who always tripped up the bad guys are legion: Sarah Michelle Gellar in "Buffy," Jennifer Garner in "Alias," Jill Hennessy in "Crossing Jordan" and, most famously, the crackerjack F.B.I. agent Clarice Starling, the dot-connecting nemesis of Hannibal Lecter.

If the spirited Nancy Drew had grown up, she would probably have ended up a dispirited whistle-blower.

That's what happens to women of ingenuity and integrity in macho organizations -- from Sherron Watkins at Enron to Coleen Rowley at the F.B.I. -- who piece together clues and ferret out criminal behavior and management cover-ups.

To Big Mo, it matters that these were - to her mind - women of ingenuity and integrity in macho organizations. Big Mo carefully skirts analysis of what happens to women who lack ingenuity and integrity in macho organizations - giving her thoughts their customary tautological whirl. Don't blow the whistle? Sorry, you have no ingenuity and integrity. And, of course, she needs no examples of what happens to men of ingenuity and integrity who blow the whistle on macho organizations. Indeed, while she doesn't say so expressly, she seems - to my mind - to suggest that no such examples are needed for comparision because that almost never happens.

The significance of gender - especially the association of women with integrity - is by no means peculiar to Big Mo. The sensible Peggy Noonan, for example, tasted the same tonic - albeit without Big Mo's fruity flavoring:

We should study who these men are--they are still all men, and still being turned in by women--and try to learn how they rationalized their actions, how they excused their decisions or ignored the consequences, how they thought about the people they were cheating.

Well, things sure change fast - indeed, these particular things had changed well before Msess. Dowd and Noonan comments were written. We have had the Martha Stewart trial and conviction, which revealed what might be called a "macha" personality and the organization it spawned, and now we have all those images of Army Pfc. Lynndie England, seen worldwide in photographs that show her smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, [who] said she was ordered to pose for the photos, and felt "kind of weird" in doing so. The face of Spc. Sabrina Harman can also be seen smiling in news photos over piles of naked Iraqi prisoners. And let us not forget that Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski was the person in charge of Abu Ghraib when the abuses occurred. So perhaps it is appropriate that some have suggested a less wholesome cultural significance for the Nancy Drew series ("There seems to be more bondage in the books than in all of the Marquis de Sade") than the one ventured by Big Mo.

Significant time has passed and we have seen no ruminations from Big Mo or even Ms. Noonan on these latest exemplars of the "female" moral hegemony - including the facts that it was investigations by macho organizations (the SEC, the DoJ, the Army) that rooted out the irregularities and, to the extent there were whistleblowers, they were all men. Will these two scribbling worthies hold Army Pfc. Lynndie England, Spc. Sabrina Harman or Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski responsible for their respective acts or failures to act? Or will we see some reversion to the assumption that women are not responsible for their own acts while around men - especially macho men: the Hillary Clinton "pink-suit-interview" approach. Will the gender aspect be discussed by these two scribbling worthies, and other women commenters, at all - or will we see it all put down to some genderless "these-guards-were-just-untrained-losers" dismissal? Or will one or more of them come up with something containing a bit more ingenuity and integrity?

I haven't seen anything yet.
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Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XLI: One Senator AWOL ...

... Don Luskin lays it all out.

Inside word from the Senate (word not specific to this vote) is that John Kerry is one of the most intensely disliked people in that body on either side of the aisle. Do his fellow Democrats in the Senate despise Senator Kerry so much that they didn't even tell him that this was about to happen? Are Senator Kerry's aides and campaign staff so incompetent that they don't monitor Senate upcoming votes that might embarrass the man? Can't the Democratic National Committee or MoveOn or some other Soros patsy organization keep track for him - like a kind of nanny?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Abu Ghraib


I tell you, we must express outrage!

What has happened at Abu Ghraib is bad, bad, BAD! Naked prisoners with or as dogs! Sexual humiliation! Quasi-torture! Amateurish photography! Bow-wow!

Yes, my reaction was one of deep disgust and disbelief that anyone who wears our uniform would engage in such shameful and appalling acts! I'm disheartened! I'm OUTRAGED! OUTRAGED, I tell you! I tell you that just like the President and media talking heads are telling you that they are OUTRAGED! Just like all those members of Congress who say they are reserving judgment until they learn more facts. "More facts" presumably being facts about how the whole thing is playing on the domestic political scene, of course, not facts about treatment of Iraqi prisoners directly.

OK, that's over. Can we now get on with our lives?

Yes, those on the Abu Ghraib staff who have violated military protocol and/or abused prisoners should be punished. And in what seems to be the very few cases in which the actual torture is involved should be examined more carefully and more resources allocated to inhibit repetition. Here's a link to the actual 53-page investigative report for those who are interested.

But few people will download that report, because few people are really all that seriously interested in - or OUTRAGED! at - the "abuse" and "torture." Part of that lack of interest lies in "abuse" and "torture" now being wildly abused and tortured terms themselves - stretched to include everything from use of electrodes on genitals for interrogation to forcing men to walk around in ladies' panties. (And, to the International Red Cross, "insults and humiliation to both physical and psychological coercion.")

But mostly the lack of interest flows from the simple fact that what has been uncovered at Abu Ghraib is just a boring administrative problem in prison operation of the type everyone running a prison has to deal with every day. Is it going to "inflame the middle east?" or "play into the hands of al Qaeda?" or "radicalize the Iraqi people?" Please. No. None of that will happen. None of that will happen because this kind of thing happens all the time, everywhere there are prisons, and doesn't result in any such nastiness. Indeed, even in the United States the big "prisoners' rights" effort launched by various civil rights organizations some years ago essentially died as a homunculus. Even the New York Times, whose coverage of Abu Ghraib has been at least as OUTRAGED! and idiotic as that of most of the mainstream media, buries this little gem deep in the bowels:

Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates. In Pennsylvania and some other states, inmates are routinely stripped in front of other inmates before being moved to a new prison or a new unit within their prison. In Arizona, male inmates at the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix are made to wear women's pink underwear as a form of humiliation. At Virginia's Wallens Ridge maximum security prison, new inmates have reported being forced to wear black hoods, in theory to keep them from spitting on guards, and said they were often beaten and cursed at by guards and made to crawl.

Of course, the front page of the Times is cluttered up with breathless OUTRAGED! headlines like President Backs His Defense Chief in Show of Unity and Head of Inquiry on Iraq Abuses Now in Spotlight and blah, blah, blah. In the mean time, California's Democratic attorney general Bill Lockyer joked that he would like to introduce Enron's Ken Lay to California prison conditions just like those of Abu Ghraib - thereby simultaneously admitting that the state's chief law enforcement officer was fully aware of the problem and thinks it is worthy topic for joking. All to no particular political consequence. Why? Because everyone who matters already knows this kind of thing goes on in prisons and everyone who matters has already decided that the resources needed to keep it from happening are just not going to be deployed. Those resources have better uses. The result is that some studies have revealed that on the average about 48 hours will pass before a young man consigned to an adult state prison in the US will be raped. It's a problem. It's a problem the political system has agreed to do nothing much more about to practically solve - even though politicians and the media must all express OUTRAGE! at the existence of that problem when it is called to their attention, and call for those responsible to be called to account.

Especially if there are pictures.

And exactly which state or federal election can the reader remember being driven - or even influenced - by such considerations?

The fact is that it is very unlikely that the Abu Ghraib story would have received anything like the attention it has received except that we are in an election year and the Democrats and much of their media establishment have become increasingly desperate as both the domestic economy (Strong Growth Continues into 2004, Unemployment Rate Declining, Over 1.1 Million Jobs Created in Past 8 Months)and the general war on terror issues have aligned so strongly in favor of the president and Republicans generally.

But the main consequence of all this fussing will probably be the same main consequence of other such prison scandals: It will be harder to take pictures inside Abu Ghraib in the future.


George Melloan notes in the Wall Street Journal:

Opinion polls suggest that Americans approve of the way Mr. Bush has handled the Abu Ghraib affair. His expressions of outrage and his explanation to Arabs that the behavior of the guards at the prison camp was not consistent with American values, seemingly went down very well.

Exactly. As long as the Administration avoids the obvious pitfall of claiming things like "Our soldiers did it and we're glad!" there is a well-established way of dealing with this issue. Contrition. Outrage. Assert distance of events from values. Punish the perps. Ask who is accountable. Establish a commission. Wait for the whole thing to go away - which it will. And, remember, this is a well understood issue and circus performing without a net is not necessary or encouraged - this means you, Senator Inhofe. Callow truth is no defense for taking unnecessary political risks. Outraged at the outrage? Too clever by half.

Just look at your colleague, Senator ("I-committed-and-saw-committed-atrocities-or-maybe-I-didn't.") Kerry. After first imprudently calling for Donald Rumsfeld to resign as defense secretary, Senator Kerry is now talking about healthcare and the plight of small businesses and, of course, his politically cretinous wife. At least the Kerry campaign is showing it knows where the Abu Ghraib story is headed.

Of course, not everyone agrees. Some people, like Howard Kurtz, think the world will have few things better to talk about than pictures from Abu Ghraib for a very long time. ("Andrew Sullivan is rethinking his support for the war, which he had viewed as "vital to reverse the Islamist narrative that pitted American values against Muslim dignity. The reason Abu Ghraib is such a catastrophe is that it has destroyed this narrative.") Who knew it was all about a "destroying a narrative?" Aren't "naratives" things writers - as in media writers - fuss over? Odd how all the reports of shenanigans at domestic US prisons seem not to have "destroyed the narrative" of US democracy over the years. Of course, now there are pictures - images. That makes it all different. Time will tell. Maybe Mr. Kurtz is right. Maybe all the rules have changed.

In that case, about that matter transmitter I saw on Star Treck last night ...


Maybe voters are thinking about what this mess would look like if we had a President Kerry (and First Lady Theresa!). That might explain why the latest Investor's Business Daily/TIPP poll shows that the president would win if the election were held today. The nationwide poll of 981 adults, taken May 2-8 (after the prison scandal broke) revealed that among 823 registered voters Bush leads Kerry 46% to 41%, with independent Ralph Nader getting 5%. In a two-way race, Bush leads Kerry 47% to 44%. In an IBD/TIPP poll taken April 16-22, Bush led by four points in a three-man race. In swing states, Bush widened his lead from 3 points in mid-April to 9 points in early May. He now leads Kerry in the so-called battleground states 49% to 40%.

Yep, George Bush has had a terrible week. Just terrible. A few more terrible weeks like this one and John Kerry might just want to drop out and prepare to spend the rest of his life shuttling among his wife's many mansions: "Ah, today is election Tuesday, so this must be Wyoming!"

[California poll link thanks to Kausfiles. Did Zogby see this poll before making his typically bizarre, trademarked, intended-only-for-attention-getting prediction? How nuts is he?]


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Monday, May 10, 2004

Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XL: ... May The Wind Always Be At Your Back ...

Oops, I almost forgot he isn't Irish.

Maybe that's why with weeks and weeks of steady gales from the media and circumstances blown at his back, including the blast of lurid pictures - and now, videos! - from Abu Ghraib prison, John Kerry still trails President Bush by a slim margin even in the generally pro-Kerry, sample-plagued USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll released today.

And yet the domestic economic beat goes on in the President's favor.

The significance being given to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal is wildly overblown from a political standpoint, as is the entire Sadr mess. In fact, the rise in gas prices is a much more threatening issue for Mr. Bush - and it's not that threatening.

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Sunday, May 09, 2004

Ramblings Of The Former Mrs. Heinz

Astute reader D.A. e-mails the following trenchant comments:

Teresa Heinz-Kerry - whose $500 millions dollar wealth is the DIRECT result of her marrying a wealthy man - NAMED JOHN HEINZ, (HEIR OF THE KETCHUP COMPANY) - has blatantly charged VP Dick Cheney with UN-PATRIOTISM for NOT HAVING SERVED IN THE MILITARY, and she said NO ONE WHO HAS NOT SERVED CAN CRITICIZE SOMEONE WHO DID.

But the man who left his fortune to her, chose to become an AIR FORCE RESERVIST JUST LIKE BUSH, and - just like Bush - he did NOT see war-time duty - EVEN THOUGH - JUST LIKE BUSH - HE WAS IN THE RESERVES DURING THE VIETNAM WAR!

Here is an excerpt from the OFFICIAL JOHN HEINZ BIO at Carnegie-Mellon:

After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Heinz served on active duty from June to December 1963 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. For the remainder of his enlistment, he served with the 911th Troop Carrier Group based at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport. As an Airman Third Class, he received a U.S. Department of Defense citation for suggestions to improve the management of parts and supplies, saving the Air Force $400,000 annually. With the rank of staff sergeant, he received an honorable discharge from the Air Force Reserves in 1969.

This leads me to ask a few questions of Teresa Heinz-Kerry:

QUESTION #1: Does Teresa Heinz-Kerry think that her late husband served honorably? IF YES, then doesn't she think G.W. Bush did, too?

QUESTION #2: Does Teresa Heinz-Kerry think that her current husband - John Kerry - was UNPATRIOTIC for SEEKING a deferment - which he did do, but which deferment did not get? (John Kerry's request for a student deferment was turned down.)

QUESTION #3 - If John Kerry was NOT unpatriotic for SEEKING A DEFERMENT - but getting turned down - then HOW CAN SHE DARE CRITICIZE CHENEY FOR SEEKING ONE - or more - AND NOT getting turned down? In other words:

Why should Cheney have a lower "moral standing" than Kerry just because the DOD/SSS decided his request was MORE LEGITIMATE than her current husband's?

These are very uncomfortable facts and questions for the former Mrs. Heinz. It can't feel good to have essentially determined herself a hypocrite and to have implicitly called her dead husband (the one she calls her "real" husband, and who she publicly professes still to adore) an unpatriotic coward. And all that when she thought she was just smearing her current husband's opponent! Dear me, life can be so complicated!

But, then, she should get used to it. As she strives to place her husband in the world's most powerful office with her mouth stuck permanently in wide-open/brain-bypass mode, Theresa Heinz Kerry will be learning the hard way that life in the public glare is a lot less comfortable than the one to which her very private 500 million inherited dollars have allowed her to become accustomed. Of course, she'll always have her private jets to keep her warm!

Here's a suggestion for Mrs. Heinz-Kerry:

If you want to shoot your mouth off and have people take what you say on its own basis, instead of referring to your fortune and your husbands, get yourself an pseudonymous blog. In your case, perhaps blogging under the name "Marie Antoinette" would fit the bill. Also, you might want to avoid wearing hats that are quite literally half-cocked.

Just some thoughts.


Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry warned his political opponents on Monday against attacking his outspoken wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, saying, "They're going to have to go through me."

Er, yes, Senator Kerry. That's exactly the point. "They" are going to go through you and to you. You are going to be the candidate, many people say - even though you, personally, seem a bit unclear on the concept of just what that means.

Now, how about a look at those tax returns for a woman who gives away between $50 and $70 million a year and who allowed you to "borrow" over six million dollars on "your half" of a house whose entirety is appraised for municipal tax purposes at less than that and which is located in a neighborhood in which comparable houses don't sell for anything like that. Huh? How about just a peek? You (or, rather, she) can release them now - or in October, when the pressure becomes unbearable and the effects are the most excrutiating for your campaign chances.

See how that works, Senator? "They" will be going through you and your political needs to obtain release of her tax forms - and that's just what "they" want.

Wake up, Senator. Wake up. It's a lot later than you think it is.