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Top 10 Letters

Animal rights, Dick Gephardt, Howard Dean, and more.

11:00 PM, Feb 1, 2004
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I'm curious about this quote from Wesley Clark: "My parents couldn't have afforded to send me there. I went to West Point. I paid my own way through college. I worked my way through". (David Tell, Revised Predictions)

Clark and I are about the same age, so we must have been at West Point about the same time (I was class of '67, but attended only 18 months). My recollection is that I got a paycheck from the U.S. Army while I went there. In addition I got room and board, and 30 days vacation each year. The point is, I never had to pay anything to attend West Point. They paid me. After all, I was on active duty in the Army while a cadet.

--Dave Davis

*7*

David Tell calls John Edward's populist message repellant, and in the same sentence remarks "but it always goes over big with crowds." A bit of a non sequitur to say the least.

What an absurd idea Edwards proposes, that companies like Enron and Haliburton have more influence than ordinary folks. What demagoguery to suggest Halliburton--who in a "60 Minutes" piece was shown to be doing business with Syria and Iran, funding their terrorist activities--might be profiting from the Iraq war.

If Edwards were more responsible, he'd stick to scolding athletes for using steroids.

--David Blum

*8*

Irwin M. Stelzer hits the nail on the head when he points out that the Household and Establishment surveys cannot be reconciled (The Book of Jobs). A couple of thoughts:

(1) The Establishment survey also won't pick up self-employment: A common phenomenon in recent years when a highly-paid technology worker gets laid off is that they may become self-employed, either as a contractor/consultant in their own field or in a different industry. How many new real estate agents have come into existence in the past 12 months? That, or they join a startup, which won't get picked up by the Establishment survey for a long time.

(2) Small businesses provide more new jobs than big businesses. When recoveries happen, small businesses do the heavy lifting, creating more jobs that don't show up on the Establishment survey radar screens.

--Roger Snowden

*9*

I'll tell Fred Barnes what Dick Gephardt has forgotten (The Last Populist): He's forgotten that in St. Louis we have two police unions, one for whites and one for blacks.

--Mark Howell

*10*

Jonathan V. Last almost gets it (World Wide Dean).

We are America and we will prevail.

--Preston White