Letters to the Editor

(August 13, 2007)


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Not Just About Canines: Senator Robert C. Byrd's Dog Fighting, Barbarity, A Common American Practice

To the Editor:

Thank you for bringing Senator Robert Byrd's speech to our attention.

His testament has forever defined the character of a benighted America ruled by criminal and immoral masters.

If anyone thinks this speech was only about dogs then they missed the point of Byrd's impassioned indignation.

Cruelty is cruelty. Barbarity is barbarity.

There is no difference between those who pit dog against dog and those who pit human against human to satisfy their evil lusts.

This speech by Senator Byrd deserves to be immortal.



Robert B. Livingston
San Francisco, California, USA - July 30, 2007


Let Them Drink Beer

In our naiveté we console ourselves with the president's low approval ratings. We're barking dogs distracted by scraps. The president continues to win all along the line. A permanent US presence has been established in Iraq with a subservient government in place. At home he continues to triumph. See the August 1st Chicago Tribune.
Rebuffing bipartisan pressure from members of Congress, the Bush administration's top environmental regulator on Tuesday declined to stop the BP refinery in northwest Indiana from dumping more pollution into Lake Michigan. Stephen Johnson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said he saw nothing wrong with the permit Indiana regulators awarded in June to BP, the first company in years allowed to increase the amount of toxic chemicals pumped into the Great Lakes.
Chicago's drinking water comes from Lake Michigan into which BP has always poured various poisons. Now it's exempted "from meeting stringent mercury limits for at least the next five years." That other aristocrat had a suggestion for the starving French: "Let them eat cake." I suppose thirsty Chicagoans, while gloating over the president's defeat in the polls, can drink beer.

Peter Byrne
Lecce, Italy - August 1, 2007


To do what, Destroy the Human Race and the Earth??? Come on again.

To the Editor:

May I ask do you think Hillary is anointed one by powers to be?


John Cameron
Politician - Former member of human race
Sydney, NSW, Australia - August 2, 2007


Questions, Questions: Gilles d'Aymery's The Essential Significance Of Ralph Nader

Hey Monsieur d'Aymery,

You are taking Barack Obama to task, throwing a whopping whipping to his tender ass and then you turn around and praise the ol' Senator Byrd, a "geriontrac" who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a segregationist in his youth. Is this a representation of the Deux poids, deux mesures paradigm? And don't you see the risk of being accused of racial prejudice?

What happened to the Kossack at Daily Kos? Did whatever his name is come back to you and answer your questions, or did he cleverly (and cowardly) ignore you?

Since I am in a questioning mood, let me ask what happened to the double R fox? That animal, a female, which is a feast to my own leggy pride, is so creative...and yet you let her go. What a pity.

Abandon, abandon. There is no ship to steer any longer. Only a body to lay put in the summer sky, basking under the sun, legs spread wide, pussy gorged with lust. Abandon. Go on vacation.

Allez, bon vent. Give 'em hell.

Alouette Arouet
Paris, France - August 9, 2007

Gilles d'Aymery responds: The Kossack was eminently clever. He did not respond in spite of two polite reminders. Instead, he basked into his own little fame at whatever Democratic-sponsored convention. Double R (that would be Marie Rennard) has been busy -- the translation of a book; her struggle with an apartment building known as Providence, which requires all the energy and time and money she can spare to salvage, and more. She'll be back. I'll ignore the basking-in-the-sun part of your short letter. As to Obama and Byrd, this deserves a longer examination than this space permits. Check the Blips #56 and this article for answers to your questions.


Rhetorical vs. Heresthetic Campaigns: And they tell you that American Academe is "Liberal..."

Dear Gilles d'Amery, [sic]

By way of introduction, I am the publicist for the University of Michigan Press. This autumn we will be publishing a book that we think you could potentially be interested in. The Strategy of Campaigning : Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin by four esteemed authors that have been wholly involved in the writing of this book, Kiron Skinner, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Serhiy Kudelia, and Condoleezza Rice.

A short description follows and if you are interested in receiving an advanced reading copy of the book please be in touch with me directly, my contact information follows, many thanks.

The book began as a casual conversation in Condoleezza Rice's office at the Hoover Institution many years ago.

The book probes the logic of how campaigns persuade voters and at the same time examines its central arguments in light of Ronald Reagan's campaigns for the presidency between 1968 and 1980 and Boris Yeltsin's campaigns for political ascendancy first in the Soviet Union and then in Russia between 1986 and 1991. The authors identify two fundamental styles of campaigning: rhetorical and heresthetic.

Rhetorical campaigns rely on arguments about relative competence to convince voters that political rivals are bad choices who do not know how to solve the problems of the day. In conjunction with appeals to relative competence, these campaigns also rely heavily on negative arguments by candidates who emphasize the grave risks associated with choosing any of their opponents over them.

Heresthetic campaigns are different. In such campaigns the heresthetic candidate argues that political foes have not understood what the actual issues are and so the question is not who is more competent at solving problems but rather who is more competent ar recognizing what the problems are. For instance, while rhetoricians in 1980 who sought the Republican nomination for president argued about how best to manage the cold war relationship with the Soviet Union, the hersthetician Ronald Reagan argued that the cold war should not be managed; it should be won.

Rhetorical campaigns are reminiscent of normal market competition among firms producing very similar products. Heresthetic campaigns are more like the entry of an innovator with a technological breakthrough into the marketplace. By redefining the competitive domain, a heresthetic candidate like Reagan or Yeltsin just put their political rivals out of business.

Yeltsin and Reagan learned to exploit the changing institutional structure of competition in their respective political systems and they learned how to return from the political wilderness of defeat to redefine political competition, to construct previously unforeseen coalitions of supporters, and to rise to the highest office in their respective lands (with Yeltsin creating the office and the country first). In the process of this skillful, strategic maneuvering, they also put into motion policy changes that ended the cold war and transformed international politics. Through archival research and exhaustive study of secondary sources, the authors show how each of these politicians evolved from a rhetorician to a heresthetician and how what they did (and did not do) fits into a general perspective on the study of campaigns.

Kiron Skinner is Associate Professor of History and Political Science at Carnegie Mellon University, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a member of the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel and the National Security Education Board.

Serhiy Kudelia is an adjunct lecturer and Ph.D. candidate at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

Bruce Buenno de Mesquita is Julius Silver Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics at New York University, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Condoleezza Rice is on a leave of absence from Stanford University, where she was a Professor of Political Science and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is currently serving as United States Secretary of State.

Many thanks.

My best,

Mary Bisbee-Beek
Trade Marketing, Publicity and Foreign Rights
University of Michigan Press
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - August 10, 2007

GA: Sure, send an advanced copy my way. Rubbish helps my intestine to function.


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Published August 13, 2007
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