Subject: Dick Cheney, Common Man
Re: " Moneybox: Is Cheney's Business Career a Qualification for Office?"
From: C.J. Aguilar
Date: Fri Aug 4 2:36 p.m. PST
Why is Rob Walker the only journalist to point out the extreme unlikelihood that Dick Cheney packed and drove a U-Haul from D.C. to Wyoming when he left the Pentagon, as he indicated in his convention speech? Let's see, which size U-Haul is best for packing up a nine-bedroom mansion in McLean, Va.—would that be the 10-footer or the 15-footer? Did he get his boxes from the grocery store on Sunday night, or did he buy them from U-Haul at the marked-up, let's-gyp-the-desperate-guy rate? Did he call up James Baker and Brent Scowcroft? ("Hey, guys, I'm movin' on Saturday—there's a six-pack and a pizza with your names on it if you'll be at my place around ten.") The American people demand a full investigation into this highly improbable, and seemingly mendacious, claim. Or at least I do. Gore: Here's your red meat. Get on it, man!
I think that David Edelstein is a little too easy on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, whose contribution to the dumbing-down of Christianity was considerable. I suspect that Edelstein (and maybe the filmmakers) is far enough removed from white-trash culture that when he looks at the ruins of the Bakkers' Christian Disneyland, Heritage U.S.A., he sees it as something novel and exotic. But I see the ultimate expression of the church ladies I grew up with who believed that we could achieve universal understanding if only everything were made cute enough. That said, Edelstein is spot on in his suggestion that Jim Bakker was a much more harmless character than a number of his rivals—Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson—who have managed to stay out of jail.
Subject: Greek Philosophy Is Not Eco-Philosophy
Re: " Chatterbox: Plato, Aristotle, and the 2000 Election"
From: Edward Brynes
Date: Sat Aug 5 10:20 a.m. PST
Mr. Noah might want to actually present evidence that Aristotle was an environmentalist and Plato wasn't. Because I've read, I've translated both writers and off the top of my head I can't think of a single thing to support that claim.
Hear, hear. The point of environmentalism is to preserve ecosystems exactly as they are, not transform or domesticate them. Can anyone show me a passage from either philosopher supporting "wildness" for its own sake? The "deep ecologists" are very clear about all Western philosophy being the enemy. As for the Judeo-Christian tradition, the familiar passage in "Genesis" has God saying to humans "be fruitful, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over ... every living thing that moveth on the earth." How can "having dominion" be read as caring for the earth in the environmentalist sense? "Replenish" must be a reference to agriculture. Gore/Noah ought to concede that environmentalism has very little to do with traditional Western values of any kind. Perhaps this explains why activists are always trying to promote their point of view on traditional grounds of public health. They know that wildness purely for its own sake wears rather thin.
Subject: The Ultimate Player To Be Named Later
Re: " Explainer: What Is a Player To Be Named Later?"
From: Elliot R.
Date: Thu Aug 3 4:03 p.m. PST
In 1985, the San Francisco Giants traded for an unremarkable shortstop named Jose Gonzales. Gonzales then changed his name to Jose Uribe. Coach Rocky Bridges described Uribe as "the ultimate player to be named later."