incoming (2006-50)

1,800 Words We’ll Never Get Back

Brains and Brawn

Positives, Negatives

Look West

Six Years Later

Mark McKinney

Editor’s Note: You’ve been disqualified from MP readership for lack of sense of humor. Thanks for playing. Kidding! Actually, you bring up an excellent point. The article was, in fact, factual, although the details were so odd that some assumed it was pure fiction. Having said that, our conspiracy theorist commentary consisted mostly of tongue-in-cheek speculation, aroused entirely by the unusual sign on the office door and subsequent bafflements from others. 

Brains and Brawn

It would be fairer to consider his collegiate academic record, and a single mention of his 3.11 GPA does not do this justice. I had the good fortune to have Mr. Schuler in my classroom several years ago when I was a teaching assistant for Western Civilization I at UT, where he returned to continue his studies following his professional football career. I’m sure that your readers will be amused to learn that I knew nothing of his athletic background until several weeks into the course. What I did know was that he was bright, thoughtful, and capable of thinking on his feet, as evidenced by participation in classroom discussions. Furthermore, he proved that he was a hard worker and a commendable student, while running a successful business and maintaining a happy home life. Thanks to your article I now know more about Mr. Schuler’s football career. Thanks to his performance in my classroom, I am quite confident that he will be an admirable Senator.

Scott Hendrix

Positives, Negatives

I don’t know what sort of civics class Mr. Cagle had in college, but in the Civics 101 course I participated in over a decade ago, we were taught that the executive branch of the federal government had to get permission from any state within the union (minus a U.S. Supreme Court decree) before federal troops or succor were allowed to come across that state’s borders. Once the Governor of Louisiana gave the OK for help, federal aid and troops came in full force to New Orleans. Now, President Bush could have invoked the Insurrection Act, which has not been used since 1861 to send federal troops and supersede the Constitution on this point, but I highly doubt that a self-styled libertarian like Mr. Cagle would have liked that either (nor anymore). But then when has knee-jerk Bush-bashing made coherent sense anyway?

This administration has made huge mistakes during the past couple of years concerning this war in Iraq. It should have made the case for eliminating the Baathist regime in Iraq on humanitarian grounds rather than WMD arguments (although people forget that David Kay, when he resigned from the Iraq Survey Group, told reporters that Saddam had been re-tooling his nuclear program in 2001/2002).

The President should have never appointed Paul Bremer to head the Coalition Provisional Authority after the deposing of Saddam in Iraq. Never leave the fate of a new democracy in the hands of a disciple of Henry Kissinger. Whether it is the Nixon White House, Cyprus, Chile, Tiananmen Square, Slobodan Milosevic or Iraq, Kissingerites will always be, by reflex, anti-democratic. Bremer delayed the democratic vote in Iraq for over a year, a costly year to say the least... .

However, let’s consider what this president’s so-called lack of leadership has accomplished. A psychopathic crime family no longer privately owns the nation of Iraq. The 35-year fascist Baathist regime is at an end… Likewise, Stone Age fascists no longer terrorize Afghanistan and give shelter and succor to al-Qaeda as a matter of state policy. More importantly, the Bush Doctrine has given Arab liberals for the first time in decades hope about regime-changes in their respected countries. Sexual equality, human rights, democratic pressure and freedom of speech/press/religion are more and more becoming a threat to the theocratic Arab world. Who would have thought we would see democratic demonstrations in Egypt, feminist pressure groups budding in Kuwait, or Syrian intellectuals challenging their own Baathist regime?

Another unsung accomplishment for this president is the exposure and destruction of the A.Q. Khan network, the clandestine nuclear weapons technology octopus that ran from Pakistan to Libya, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere. Once again, if you think the war on terror is a failure, ponder the “what ifs” if we had not uncovered Mr. Khan’s little group and a rogue nation or worse yet, al-Qaeda, had their hands on nuclear weapons technology.

I strongly disagree with this administration on many things, but just like Vaclav Havel, Adam Michnik and Jose Ramos Horta, it is all about priorities. We should all be anti-fascist before we are anti-Bush. Mr. Cagle spoke of the president’s inability to “bring people together.” Well, this President should wear as a badge of honor that the Noam Chomsky/Pat Buchanan axis in this country opposes him. For all his faults, President Bush understands that it is in the U.S.A.’s interest not to be a slumlord in the Middle East.

Andrew J. Murphy

Look West

That said, I can’t believe you have the gall to hold West out as an example of how Knoxville retailers should do business. It’s pretty easy to be “full of surprising ideas and energy” when your bottom line is secured by a couple of bales of contraband instead of a line of credit at the bank. And if you are looking for clever and innovative businesses in Knoxville you don’t have to look any farther than the advertisers in your own publication. There’s plenty of energy there and though they might be a little hidebound they are also bound by the criminal code. 

Jim Thompson

Six Years Later

Adam Whipple

Guidelines for Incoming Mail

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