Emails to Brad and

This is a log of emails going back over 2 years. They were compiled by me based on topics relevent to neti2i or directly adressing postings of neti2i contributors. Some are short and easy to read. Others are challenging because they delve into complex subjects. Some are just a one item post, others are a series that you will be reading in reverse order. If it is a series, the last post (the first you will encounter) will be marked with this symbol ^^. The start of the series (scroll down) will be marked with this symbol *^^ You might find it easier to follow if you start down at *^^ and work up to ^^, then go back down to the next article. Do not let the length of some prohibit you from simply skiping them and going on to others. I wanted to put things on the record that show the wide range of opinion and documentation that has been generated. This is not the entire list, but rather represents what I think is the better half of exchanges that have taken place. Our new blog site, will allow users to directly respond to postings or author their own ideas. Emails that you send to a commentor are private. Neither I nor any others will have access to those exchanges. Nor are any address books available to anyone else. I have worked diligently to protect the privacy of all subscribers and commentors on the site. If you get an "unsecure" notice when entering the site, it is because of my picture. The server makes no guarentee of content, That is my job and it will be watched closely. Other than the presence of my picture, the site is secure, so feel free to use it. I hope you enjoy my email sampling and watch us grow! ... Brad 7/17/2005


7/10/05 ----- To Brad ---- From Ron Korutz ---- RE: :Batory Post Letter to Washington Post and Live 8

Joe Batory for Secretary of Education!!! 

6/18/2005 ----- To Brad ----- From Ron Korutz -----Re: Batory -No Child Left Behind - My Rising Temperature:

You go Joe!  You also share something else with Joe.  I'm sure with that article he made a list and is considered a subversive by the government

^^61/2005 ----- To:Brad ----- From: Elizabeth Rible ----- RE: Gough- Memorial Day

Go ahead and use my e-mails.  I have often considered living in other countries, but I know I just love these United States.  I consider us the "best of the worst" as far as governments go as we schlep, at least, in the correct direction.  Apathy is what is going to kill us.  I have noticed in the young men and women a certain nihilism.  They know so little, they can't even rebel against anything therefore giving them no reason to do anything and likewise no reason not to do things.  So many are on daily drugs, legal and illegal.

   What an incredibly rich life they are missing!  In "Mame", the movie, she states "Life is a banquet and most of the people are starving to death!"  My poor daughter (who has been raised arguing politics and religion, we are Episcopalians (she is currently an existentialist), can't even pick an argument at the university because her peers are so vacuous.   She is desperate!

      Tell me your thoughts on the current required testing.  Irene told me that in the high school tests many of her friends would bubble in the "finger" or bubble in words such as "f___ this" on their tests.  Can there be any commonality between the kids in say, New Hampshire and the students in Silicon Valley CA where a huge percentage of them don't go home to English speaking families?  What a lot of money to prove.....what?  Do the legislators ever go into a classroom before they make rules about something they know nothing about?  I would love to see them teach everyday in Compton, California.....that would be an eye-opener!  I love the kids who are world-wise and many of the alternative kids who probably see the system for what it is.  Anyone can teach the top 10%, they could learn if you only show them the way to the library.  What are we going to do with the reality of the other 90%?  That is the question.......

5/30/2005 ----- To: Elizabeth Rible ----- From: Brad ----- Re: Memorial Day Email

Dear Elizabeth,

    Thank you for taking the time to send me the kind words and to update me on what is transpiring with you.  My main point is one that I have often thought about.  If patriotism came in only one side, then our coinage would be minted on only one side. Both G. Washington on one side and the Eagle on the other side of the traditional quarter are symbols of patriotism, but they take very different forms.  In my political espousals, I am fine with people believing I am uninformed, misguided, even biased.  If all of those were true, I would still consider myself patriotic.  Indeed, The founders of this great government believed it was a duty for a responsible citizen to speak up even to espouse unpopular views.  Hamilton disagreed with Jefferson, and Jefferson with Hamilton and both disagreed with John Adams on vital issues, yet each regarded the others as patriots.  That is a concession that different sides of this factious red/blue state country of ours needs to make today if we are to make lasting progress for both ourselves and our future citizenry.  Thanks again for writing -- Brad

P.S. I am attempting to set up a web page where emails could be read and responded to as "discussion groups" on topics in neti2i.  Would you object to my using any/all of your previous emails and posting them for neti2i readers?  I think they are terrific.  Brad

*^^5/28/2005 ----- To Brad ----- From: Elizabeth Rible ----- Re: Memorial Day Posting

Dear Brad...thanks for the very inspiring words.  Because I have traveled so much and lived in communist Prague in 1967 and 1968 when the Soviets invaded, I can fully appreciate our country, warts and all.  I am currently learning more about the Patriot Act led by the ACLU because I want to make sure this country remains true to our original philosophy.  I often donate to veteran causes to show my appreciation for those who served and came home crippled or didn't come home at all.  Again, I appreciate your correspondence.     Elizabeth Rible

P.S.  My daughter is going to study at Charles University in Prague in August '05 and in June, a young man from the Czech Republic will stay for 6 weeks with us here in Santa Cruz.  My husband and I will travel through Bulgaria, Romania, see Vienna and Budapest ending up for a week in Prague.  I still have friends from the 60's, so it will be great fun.  We will be taking a bus to see all the sights because the cruise didn't allow us to see the religious monasteries and artifacts we didn't want to miss.  Wish us through Bulgaria.....pretty daring for people in their 60's!

4/23/2005 ----- From: Elizabeth Rible ----- To: Brad ----- Re: Prof Luda post – A Biography of Putin

Dear Brad....thanks for the article about Putin.  My daughter is now in a Russian History class and we often discuss these topics.  She will be studying in Prague in Fall '05 and we will be taking a tour from Athens through Bulgaria, Romania, Budapest, Vienna and onto Prague for a week.  Whew!  It will be on a bus, but we will see many monasteries, Dracula's castle (wow!) and little villages away from most tourists.  It will be in late October, so it should be nice weather and beautiful foliage.
Hope you and your wife are well.  I am now retired from teaching, but will teach summer school.  Not many teachers work with autistic and severely handicapped students, so I can still work whenever I want to.  Happy Spring and keep those e-mails coming, I really appreciate them!

11/10/2004 ----- From Brad ----- To Jerry Hall ----- Re: NY Times Article

Jerry, I am curious what your reaction to this is.  When traveling in Russia in July 2002 I read a book called The Clash of Civilizations And The Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington ( I think it is one of the most important books I have ever read.  Huntingdon talks about the next wars being "culture clashes" and identifies 7 cultural "fault zones" where he warns of clashes among fanatics of both left and right being the critical issue facing our world -- especially if left/right fanatics of any "fault zone" gain control of nuclear weapons.  Seems to be happening in Neth. in miniature.  Brad

In Mourning Slain Filmmaker, Dutch Confront Limitations of Their Tolerance

November 10, 2004

AMSTERDAM, Nov. 9 - Anger percolated through the crowd gathered Tuesday night outside the funeral for the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was killed a week ago on an Amsterdam street by a man the police described as a Muslim extremist.

That anger is adding new fuel to a public debate over conservative Islam in Europe's most liberal society, one that had already become a no-holds-barred affair even before the killing of Mr. van Gogh, who had repeatedly used epithets against Muslims. His killing has polarized the country, giving the rest of Europe a disturbing glimpse of what may be in store if relations with the Continent's growing immigrant communities are not managed more adeptly.

Officials suspect that a fire at an Islamic elementary school on Tuesday in Uden, in the south, was arson, part of what the Dutch authorities fear are reprisals after Mr. Van Gogh's killing, The Associated Press reported. It said the authorities had reported that Muslim sites had been the target of a half-dozen attacks in the past week.

In what seemed to be retaliation, arsonists tried to burn down Protestant churches in Rotterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort for the bombing of a Muslim elementary school in Eindhoven on Monday, The Associated Press quoted the police as saying.

The attacks have scratched the patina of tolerance on which the Dutch have long prided themselves, particularly here, in a city where the scent of hashish trails in the air,prostitutes beckon from red-lighted storefront brothels and Hells Angels live side by side with Hare Krishnas. But many Dutch now say that for years that the tradition of tolerance had suppressed an open debate about the challenges of integrating conservative Muslims.

Jan Colijn, 46, a bookkeeper from the central Dutch town of Gorinchem, who was at the funeral, complained that the generous Dutch social welfare system had allowed Muslim immigrants to isolate themselves. Because of that trend, "there is a kind of Muslim fascism emerging here," he said. "The government must find a way to break these communities open."

Another man, who declined to give his name, was more succinct: "Now, it's war."

For many years, such criticism of Islam and Islamic customs, even among Dutch extremists, was considered taboo, despite deep frustrations that had built up against conservative Islam.

Many here say this began to change after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when the Netherlands, like many countries, began seriously to consider the dangers of political Islam. The debate fueled an anti-immigration movement and helped propel the career of Pim Fortuyn, a populist politician who was killed by an environmental activist shortly before national elections in 2002.

By all accounts here, Mr. Fortuyn's killing removed any remaining brakes on the debate surrounding immigrants.

"After Pim Fortuyn's murder, there were no limitations on what you could say," said Edwin Bakker, a terrorism expert at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations in The Hague. "It has become a climate in which insulting people is the norm."

He and others said the public discourse, even among members of government, had reached an extraordinary pitch and included language that went far beyond the limits set for public forums in the United States.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, member of Parliament and one of a handful of politicians threatened with death by Islamic extremists, publicly called the Prophet Muhammad a "pervert" and a "tyrant." She made a film with Mr. van Gogh condemning sexual abuse among Muslim women, who were portrayed with Koranic verses written on their bare skin.

Mr. van Gogh himself was one of the most outspoken critics of fundamentalist Muslims and favored an epithet for conservative Muslims that referred to bestiality with a goat. He used the term often in his public statements, including a column he wrote for a widely read free newspaper and during radio broadcasts and television appearances.

The cumulative effect made Mr. van Gogh, a distant relation of Vincent van Gogh, a kind of cult clown on one side of the debate, and a reviled hatemonger on the other. The debate became so caustic that the Dutch intelligence service issued a report in March warning that the unrestrained language could encourage radicalization of the country's Muslim youth and drive people into the arms of terrorist recruiters. The conservative Islamic revival that has swept the Arab world from the Middle East to North Africa in recent years has reached Europe, where frustrated second- and third-generation Arab immigrants frequently say they feel rejected by European society.

While only about 20 percent of the estimated 900,000 Muslims in the Netherlands practice their religion, according to one government study, officials say as many as 5 percent of Muslims in the country follow a conservative form of Islam. Most, like Muhammad Bouyeri, the 26-year-old arrested by police in Mr. van Gogh's killing, are from the country's Moroccan community.

There are about 300,000 people of Moroccan descent in the Netherlands today. The ratcheting up of the anti-immigration debate has alienated many of them from Dutch society and, many people argue, helped fragment Muslims here.

Jean Tillie, a professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam, said the debate had broken down a network that connected even the most extremist Muslim groups to the more moderate Muslim voices. He cited an Amsterdam government advisory board that brought together Moroccans and fostered communication and cohesion among all Muslims.

"Those groups participating didn't agree with each other, but they met together with the collective mission of advising the city government," he said.

The board was abolished a year ago, he said, as a result of the anti-immigration debate. He said that financing for other ethnic organizations had shrunk and that outreach policies had also been abandoned.

As a result, Mr. Tillie said, there has been a sharp decline in political participation and trust among Muslims in the Netherlands and between Muslims and the broader Dutch society.

"That worries me," he said. "When you break the networks, the extremists within these communities become isolated and become more radical and more violent."

At El Tawheed mosque, considered by many people here to be the epicenter of militancy in Amsterdam, Farid Zaari, the mosque's spokesman, argued that pressure from the debate has hindered the Muslim community's ability to control its militant youth.

"If we bring these people into the mosque, it is possible to change their thoughts, but few mosques dare to because if you do, you're branded," he said.

Dutch news reports say that Mr. van Gogh's killer attended the mosque, and though Mr. Zaari said the mosque has no record of him ever being there, he said that political leaders and the news media should encourage the mosque to reach out to militant Muslim youth, rather than stigmatizing it for doing so.

"If they come now," he added, "everyone says, 'Look, the mosque is extremist, and they are plotting something there.' "

Bearded, robed men file in and out of the lobby of the modest brick building that once housed a school. The mosque has been under intense scrutiny for years, suspected of harboring an anti-Western agenda.

It was previously associated with a Saudi-based charity, Al Haramain, which American and Saudi Arabian officials accused earlier this year of aiding Islamic terrorists. The mosque has since severed its ties with the charity, but more recently it has been criticized for selling books espousing extremist views, including female genital cutting and the punishment of homosexuals by throwing them off tall buildings.

Several legislators have called for the mosque to be shut down, but under the Dutch Constitution it is difficult to do.

Mr. Zaari admits Muslims have been slow to respond to the fears within Dutch society. "We didn't feel it was our responsibility to bridge the gap, but now, with the murder, the gap has gotten wider," he said.

"All of us want to begin a dialogue now, but the language of the political right is too extreme, and that's preventing discussion," he said. "We all have to cool down and be careful what we say."

The problem is how to bridge a gap that has yawned dangerously since Mr. van Gogh's killing.

The Amsterdam Council of Churches published paid notices in some Dutch newspapers pledging solidarity with Muslims. But the government's response has been to promise more money to fight terrorism and to adopt stronger immigration laws.

"Islam is the most hated word in the country at this point," said Mr. Bakker, the terrorism expert.

11/4/2004 ----- From: Joe Batory ----- To:Brad ----- Re: Election 04


What a downer…the reward for an unjustified war and the subsequent loss of so many innocent lives on both sides, unparalleled deficits, no plan to address health care improvements nationwide, mediocre financial markets, mechanistic educational misdirection and social security on the edge of a cliff is a presidential coronation!!!!  Too many Americans have become a herd of sheep, easily manipulated by false patriotism, terror around every corner and a Christianity that isn't very Christ like. How are we ever going to survive another four years of this stuff?

Anyway, I just sent the attached article to the Fresno Bee in California. Perhaps you want to use it to refresh the web site.


^^10/28/2004 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Jerry Hall ----- Re: Budget

LOL, guess you have identified the guilty (in your own mind) .

10/28/2004 ----- To Jerry Hall ----- From: Brad ----- Re: Budget

I agree, the premium was mandated by the budget agreement and had the budget itself not been so terribly mismanaged by the current administration, the premium increase would not have needed to be nearly so great.  Brad

10/28/2004 ----- From Jerry Hall ----- To: Brad ----- Re: Medicare -----

Thereby negating the claim by Kerry that GW raised Medicare by 17%...... I rest my case.

10/28/2004 ----- From Brad ----- To: Jerry Hall ----- Re: Medicare Deficit

I am willing to take your word for it ... like I said, was not 100% certain .. so Democrats put through the balanced budget agreement!  those Liberal radicals who just spend, spend, spend!

Huummm.. on second thought I will check .........


May 2, 1997

The Balanced Budget Agreement of 1997:

The Right Thing to Do for America and Its Families

WASHINGTON - The President and Congressional Leaders announced an historic bi-partisan agreement which will benefit Americans of today and tomorrow. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici, R- NM, called the landmark deal "an agreement that promises the first balanced budget in thirty years -- marks a great victory for American taxpayers and America's working families. During the past year, we have heard a lot about the bridge to the 21st Century. We are here today to suggest that this agreement serves as a solid underpinning for that bridge."

 "Moreover, we have done just what the American people asked us to do last year. We have worked together to make this happen. We have worked in a bipartisan spirit. Each side has had to compromise on what they want, but neither has had to sacrifice their fundamental principles.

 This agreement includes $250 billion in tax cuts over ten years, helping Americans through the $500 per child tax credit, death tax relief for small businesses and farmers, capital gains relief, expanded IRA's and relief for parents who send their kids to college. The plan also saves over $850 billion over ten years to achieve the first balanced budget in over 30 years.

 Additionally, Americans will benefit from a stronger economy which will produce more and better jobs for our workers. Lower interest rates mean more affordable homes and education for families across the country.

  # # #

 1997 .. didn't Congress switch to Republican control in 1994 under Contract With America?  And aren't Committee chairmen from the Majority Party  -- Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici, R- NM -- and I think he is lauding the impact this agreement will have on the future!  Oh well, I guess he didn't foresee a Republican President incurring the largest deficit in the history of any administration.

10/28/2004 ----- To: Brad ----- From Jerry Hall ----- Re: Budget

No, it was a Democratically controlled Congress. Check the facts.

10/28/2004 ----- To Jerry Hall ----- From Brad ----- Re: Medicare

Haven't seen the ad, but agree that the premium increase was part of balanced budget agreement passed into law I believe by a Republican Congress. Not 100% certain of that, but do know that it had wide bi-partisan support. Is it possible the premium increase would have been less had less money been taken out of the system to faineance the deficit? Brad

*^^10:28/2004 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Jerry Hall ----- Re: Medicare Ad

Have you seen the John Kerry commercial in which George Bush pledges to help Seniors on Medicare and "the very next day imposes a 17% premium increase - the biggest in history"? That ad is a stoke of genius on Kerry's part and will surely gain him many votes among the uninformed.

I found it so amazing that I did some homework on the issue. As it turns out the 17% increase was not imposed by President Bush but was mandated by the "balanced budget agreement" signed by President Clinton, voted into law by Senator John Kerry, and was scheduled to come into effect during the Bush administration. President Bush had no authority to reverse what had been voted into law by Senator Kerry during the Clinton administration.

Once again Kerry is counting on the ignorance of the American people. Don't be duped by his mendacity.

10/27/2004 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Rita Giovenella ----- Re: The View From Crawford, TX.

Thanks, Brad. This was a great article! Even better if you agree with it. 8-))

Did you happen to click on the "Aftermath Of Last Week's Editorial" link? It is well worth the read in case you didn't.

^^10/27/2004 ----- From: Brad ----- To: Chris ----- Re Edwards and Flue Vaccine

Jonathan Alter

Alter's award-winning "Between the Lines" column examines politics, media and society at large, offering a left-leaning perspective on how the media interact with politics. Available through the Newsweek Commentary package. Once a week.

Jonathan Alter, a Newsweek Senior Editor, has written the widely acclaimed "Between The Lines" column since 1991, examining politics, media and society at large. Alter is also an originator and author of the weekly "Conventional Wisdom Watch," which uses up, down and sideways arrows to measure and lampoon the news. As an editor, he helps shape the magazine's overall news coverage.

Alter has covered the past five presidential campaigns for Newsweek and frequently interviewed American presidents and other world leaders, including, most recently, Mikhail Gorbachev. In recent years, he has written extensively about the crisis of America's at-risk children, drug abuse, weapons of mass destruction and a wide variety of other issues

Since 1996, Alter has also been a contributing correspondent for NBC News, where he appears regularly on all NBC broadcasts including "TODAY," "NBC Nightly News," NBC News specials and MSNBC. In spring 1997, Alter was the Ferris Visiting Professor of Press and Politics at Princeton University.

Alter has earned many awards for his political columns, including the 1994 Clarion Award from Women in Communications for Best Magazine Opinion Column, and the 1993 National Headliner Award for Consistently Outstanding Feature Column. In 2002, he received the John Bartlow Martin Award for his reporting on the death penalty.

His many awards for media criticism include the 1987 Lowell Mellett Award and two New York State Bar Association Media Awards. In 1995, Alter was selected as one of the nation's most influential media critics in a survey of leading media executives and scholars published by the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University. He also won the 1987 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business Reporting, and a Mentoring USA Award for encouraging mentoring.

Alter joined Newsweek as an associate editor in the Nation section in March 1983, and became media critic the following year. He was named a senior writer in February 1987 and a senior editor in September 1991. For two years prior to joining Newsweek, Alter was an editor at The Washington Monthly. He has also been a freelance writer for such publications as The New Republic, Esquire, Slate, Rolling Stone and The New York Times.

A Chicago native, Alter received his B.A. in history with honors from Harvard in 1979. He is coauthor of "Selecting a President" (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux) and the coeditor of "Inside the System" (Prentice Hall).

He is married to Emily Lazar. They live in New Jersey with their children.

(c) 2003, Newsweek Inc. All rights reserved

Questions or comments about the content of this site may be directed to the Web master at

Copyright 2004, Washington Post Writers Group

No doubt about it -- he definitely leans left. I guess despite everything above, that automatically disqualifies him -- as it must me as well. And all these years I thought I did get at least one thing right. Oh well. Brad

10/27/2004 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Chris ----- Re: Edwards and Flu Vaccine

By the way, this is Chris, not Kelly...

Next point, as for Newsweek's reporting (this from a fellow educator/professor at UCLA's "The Daily Bruin" - this even has a .edu address), ya' think Mr. Alter might have some not-so-hidden agenda?

Liberal slant of popular news skews public's view of issues
ZEAL: Reporting often reflects personal biases of journalists; neutrality needed in coverage

Journalists are supposed to be unbiased. They are taught to report events as they happen without slanting the reporting toward one side or the other. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Many journalists have obvious biases, specifically reflecting ideologies of the left. To find out whether there is a bias and what it is, there is no better source than to ask journalists themselves.

Walter Cronkite has stated: "Everybody knows that there's a heavy liberal persuasion among correspondents."

For example, when asked if there is liberal bias in the press, Evan Thomas, Washington Bureau News Chief for Newsweek Magazine, said, "This is true. There is liberal bias. About 85 percent of the reporters who cover the White House vote Democratic. They have for a long time. Particularly at the networks, at the lower levels, among the editors and the so-called infrastructure, there is a liberal bias. There is a liberal bias at Newsweek, the magazine I work for."

Bernard Goldberg, a CBS News correspondent, once wrote, "There are lots of reasons fewer people are watching network news, and one of them, I'm more convinced than ever, is that our viewers simply don't trust us. And for good reason. The old argument that the networks and other 'media elites' have a liberal bias is so blatantly true that it's hardly worth discussing anymore. No, we don't sit around in dark corners and plan strategies on how we're going to slant the news. We don't have to. It comes naturally to most reporters."

In a survey done of Washington-based Bureau chiefs and correspondents, 91 percent of those surveyed claimed to be either liberal or liberal to moderate in their political orientation, with 89 percent of them voting for Bill Clinton in the last election.

Considering what folks have Newsweek have said about their own publication and "journalism", er, op/ed, aren't they marginalizing themselves??

*^^ From: "Brad" <>
> Date: 2004/10/26 Tues PM 09:07:50 CDT
> To: <>
> Subject: Re: Fw: Flu & U -- An Untrue attack on John Edwards
> Hi Kelly! Good to hear from you. I hope you are having a decent year at school and that all is well with your family. Contrary to what you might think, I have not taken leave of my senses nor have I forgotten my colleagues.:)
> I think we should all care about the truth. And speaking the truth requires judgment. "And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment." ISAIAH 59: 14-15 Also, "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." JOHN 8: 32 So to me the truth is important. It is one thing to say "I don't like (trust) John Edwards because he is a Trial Lawyer and part of the malpractice insurance problem." and quite another to say "John Edwards won a lawsuit that caused the flu vaccine shortage." when the latter is simply not true.
> I do understand people's frustration with malpractice insurance. They find it hard to believe that someone who was a trial lawyer could also be a person of integrity who understands how the system can best be reformed. I think there is a misconception about Edwards and tort reform that needs to be cleared up. I note the following:
> a.. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek: Tort Reform Position "Goes Beyond Bush's In Sanctioning Lawyers Who File Frivolous Suits." Newsweek's Jonathan Alter wrote that the provisions of the Kerry-Edwards reform plan were more aggressive than Bush's in terms of standing up to lawyers. Alter wrote that Edwards had "a tort-reform plan that goes beyond Bush's in sanctioning lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits." [Newsweek, Alter, 2/16/04]
> I would also ask you to consider the following:
> Kerry and Edwards Have a Specific Plan for Medical Malpractice Reform. Kerry and Edwards have both included malpractice reform as a key part of their health care plan from day one. In his first major health speech Kerry said: "We need a national system in place that will weed out the meritless lawsuits without taking away patient's rights." And Edwards has consistently called for efforts to reign in medical malpractice insurance rates and also hold lawyers accountable. Specifically, their plan will:
> a.. Eliminate the special privileges that allow insurance companies to fix prices and collude in ways that increase medical malpractice premiums; Require that individuals making medical malpractice claims first go before a qualified medical specialist to make sure a reasonable grievance exists; Require states to ensure the availability of non-binding mediation in all malpractice claims before cases proceed trial; Support sanctions against plaintiffs and lawyers who bring frivolous medical malpractice claims, including a "three strikes and you're out" provision preventing lawyers who file three frivolous cases from bringing another suit for 10 years; Oppose punitive damages - unless intentional misconduct, gross negligence, or reckless indifference to life can be established.
> Bush's plan calls for $250,00 cap regardless of the merits of the case. Well, caps already exist in some states and we should carefully examine the effects:
> Average Premiums Higher In States With Caps, Premiums Risen Faster in States with Caps. According to Medical Liability Monitor, the average malpractice premium in states without caps was $35,016 in 2003. The average premium in states with caps was $40,381. In fact, while six states without caps are considered far below the national average, seven states with caps are far above the national average. Also, ten states with caps and ten states without caps are far below the national average. The Weiss Report found that doctors in states with caps generally fared worse than doctors in states without caps. The report stated: "[D]doctors in states with caps actually suffered a significantly larger increase in insurance costs than doctors in states without caps." [Medical Liability Monitor, 10/03;2001; Weiss Report, 6/3/03]
> I ask you to keep this in mind: It was Trial Lawyers who brought the Tobacco companies to acknowledge their many years of wrong doings. Those companies would gladly fight all cases if the max had been $250,000. It was trial Lawyers who first pointed out the fraud and abuse in the mutual fund industry ... fraud and abuse which may well have affected our pension fund. It was Trial Lawyers who first led the way in the emerging insurance industry illegalities that are the most likely reason medical malpractice premiums have risen at such exorbitant rates. This has much to play out yet, but some company practices may make Enron look pauperish.
> Now I do not want to toot their horn too much. The profession has its shysters and ambulance chasers the same as teaching has its incompetents and frauds. But that does not characterize the vast majority of the teaching profession. I am reluctant to lay all the responsibility for a very complex problem on one group which we may decry now, but should something terrible happen to someone near and dear to us, we would want a John Edwards on our side.
> Finally, there are many doctors who are supporting Kerry-Edwards. My own diabetes physician is one. I am not sure about my wife's gynecologist. But I know some are. If you are interested in reading what a few have to say, you can check them out at:
> Meanwhile, I'll keep hammering away trying to do what I think is right. As I said on my last day, I am leaving the classroom, but not Education. I care so very deeply about you and the children in your care. And I have not forgotten the travails of "due process" -- another example of a well intended law gone bad. I'm just not going to lay that at the feet of John Edwards. All my best, ...:) Brad

^^10/26/04 ----- To:Brad ----- From: Jerry -----

Brad, well said. May the best man win. Whoever it is, we will support him.

10/26/2004 ----- To:Jerry ----- From: Brad

A reasoned and well thought out commentary. As I said, there are good reasons to be a Bush supporter. I also believe there are good reasons to be a Kerry supporter. When either is wrong, as Edwards is in this case, they should be called on it, based on fact and merit, not something made up, unfounded and simply false. Spreading false information does more than hurt a candidate -- it demeans our electoral process, something John McCain took note of in the 2000 South Carolina primary. The request I received in the email was to "get it out on the wire" which I did, but noting its fallacies. I will vote for the Kerry-Edwards ticket even though there are many things I disagree with them. I will also continue to mail to any who care to receive it information about the issues which I believe to be true and informative. When Nov. 2 is over, whoever is elected will be My President and I will pray for him to have the strength, wisdom and courage to do what is best for the country, whoever he is. Brad

*^^10/26/2004 ----- To: Brad ----- From Jerry

Charles Krauthammer is frequently seen on Fox New Channel as a wise and discerning news commentator. I just found out this week that he is a medical doctor; and from this article that he wrote, that he is also paralyzed. It is not a surprise at his anger toward the accusation that Bush is to Blame for Christopher Reeve not being able to get up from his wheelchair and walk ! . . . What did John Edwards say last week? Kerry is the one who will allow a miracle.

An Edwards Outrage

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, October 15, 2004; Page A23

After the second presidential debate, in which John Kerry used the word plan" 24 times, I said on television that Kerry has a plan for everything except curing psoriasis. I should have known there is no parodying Kerry's pandering. It turned out days later that the Kerry campaign has a plan -- nay, a promise -- to cure paralysis. What is the plan? Vote for Kerry.

This is John Edwards on Monday at a rally in Newton, Iowa: "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."

In my 25 years in Washington, I have never seen a more loathsome display of demagoguery. Hope is good. False hope is bad. Deliberately, for personal gain, raising false hope in the catastrophically afflicted is despicable.

Where does one begin to deconstruct this outrage?

First, the inability of the human spinal cord to regenerate is one of the great mysteries of biology. The answer is not remotely around the corner. It could take a generation to unravel. To imply, as Edwards did, that it is imminent if only you elect the right politicians is scandalous.

Second, if the cure for spinal cord injury comes, we have no idea where it will come from. There are many lines of inquiry. Stem cell research is just one of many possibilities, and a very speculative one at that. For 30 years I have heard promises of miracle cures for paralysis (including my own, suffered as a medical student). The last fad, fetal tissue transplants, was thought to be a sure thing. Nothing came of it.

As a doctor by training, I've known better than to believe the hype -- and have tried in my own counseling of people with new spinal cord injuries to place the possibility of cure in abeyance. I advise instead to concentrate on making a life (and a very good life it can be) with the hand one is dealt The greatest enemies of this advice have been the snake-oil salesmen promising a miracle around the corner. I never expected a candidate for vice president to be one of them.

Third, the implication that Christopher Reeve was prevented from getting out of his wheelchair by the Bush stem cell policies is a travesty.

George Bush is the first president to approve federal funding for stem cell research. There are 22 lines of stem cells now available, up from one just two years ago. As Leon Kass, head of the President's Council on Bioethics, has written, there are 3,500 shipments of stem cells waiting for anybody who wants them.

Edwards and Kerry constantly talk of a Bush "ban" on stem cell research. This is false. There is no ban. You want to study stem cells? You get them from the companies that have the cells and apply to the National Institutes of Health for the federal funding.

In his Aug. 7 radio address to the nation, Kerry referred not once but four times to the "ban" on stem cell research instituted by Bush. At the time, Reeve was alive, so not available for posthumous exploitation. But Ronald Reagan was available, having recently died of Alzheimer's.

So what does Kerry do? He begins his radio address with the disgraceful claim that the stem cell "ban" is standing in the way of an Alzheimer's cure

This is an outright lie. The President's Council on Bioethics, on which I sit, had one of the world's foremost experts on Alzheimer's, Dennis Selkoe from Harvard, give us a lecture on the newest and most promising approaches to solving the Alzheimer's mystery. Selkoe reported remarkable progress in using biochemicals to clear the "plaque" deposits in the brain that lead to Alzheimer's. He ended his presentation without the phrase "stem cells" having passed his lips.

So much for the miracle cure. Ronald D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at NIH, has admitted publicly that stem cells as an Alzheimer's cure are a fiction, but that "people need a fairy tale." Kerry and Edwards certainly do They are shamelessly exploiting this fairy tale, having no doubt been told by their pollsters that stem cells play well politically for them.

Politicians have long promised a chicken in every pot. It is part of the game. It is one thing to promise ethanol subsidies here, dairy price controls there. But to exploit the desperate hopes of desperate people with the promise of Christ-like cures is beyond the pale.

There is no apologizing for Edwards's remark. It is too revealing. There is absolutely nothing the man will not say to get elected.

(c) 2004 The Washington Post Company

^^10/3/2004 ----- To:Brad ----- From: Rita

Perfectly said! If I ruled the world, I'd make everyone read it.


10/1/2004 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Sue Hall ----- Re: Ludmailla Selezneva

Hi Brad. thanks for the article. I agree.

On a different note, I am wondering if you are in touch with Ludmilla, the great speaker on out Russian voyage. If so, do you know what her thoughts are on what is going on in Russia right now especially regarding Putin and what appears at some level to be a slow return to the "old" ways. It really bothers me.

Sue Hall

Fredericksburg, Va.

[A Note From Brad -- Professor Ludmilla Selezneva published her thoughts on Putin now current at: ]

8/29/2003 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Ron Korutz ----- Re: Batory Post - 9/2003 - Pretending to Care

Joe Batory brings clarity to world of education. I miss his beginning of the year speeches. He got you pumped for the year ahead and was our greatest supporter!


To: Brad ----- From: NAK ----- Re:Batory Post - Pretending To Care

Thanks, Brad. As usual, Joe nails it!

8/13/2003 ----- To: Brad ----- Fr om: Elizabeth Rible ----- Re: Gough posting- The New American Know-Nothings

Dear Brad....your e-mail newsletter is a masterpiece! I enjoy it very much and it gives a lot to chew on.....Iceland?!! Sounds very interesting. My daughter wants to visit there. I can only think of Bjork with a swan around her neck at the Oscars, but she is very, very cool! My 18 year old daughter will attend a very liberal college, The New College of San Francisco in September and I'm sure we will have plenty of conversations about the state of affairs in the US and the world. It is like the New College in Manhatten, do you know of it?
Just think, last year we were in Russia about this time. I still dream about Kizhi Island, I liked that best of the whole trip.
Well, keep up the good work. Elizabeth Rible


To Brad ----- From: Name withheld by request ----- Re: All Batory postings

Hi Brad, I enjoyed your web site. I especially enjoyed the section on Joe Batory. Why is it that there are so many slackers, political hacks and slugs as administrators and so very few really talented leaders? .... Keep me on you email list. I enjoy seeing what your up to. Say hello to Doris for me.

4/29/2003 ----- To Brad ----- From:: Sue Hall ----- Re: Your Mail list

Hi Brad. Jerry and I were also on the same trip you were on and were very impressed with Ludmilla. I think I used to be on your mailing list, but am not anymore. Would like to receive your emails again if you don't mind. We were traveling with the Rices and are from Virginia. Thanks. sue.

4/29/2003 ----- To: Brad ---- From: Annabel ----- Re: Dr. Luda Selezneva

Hey my favorite alaskan friend,
I just wanted to take the time to e-mail you and tell you that I
read that article from that doctor about her view on the war in Iraq.
I really found it quite interesting...... i think you may have passed on
your love of Russian history to me.....I just began reading Stalingrad...

You rule.
love always, Annabel
xoxoxoxoxoxoxxo P.s. hopefully this e-mail will be followed by frosh

4/29/2003 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Robert Witt ----- Re: A Russian View of the Iraq War

Brad -

great site - enjoyed the Luda article - from time to time I will return to see what's happening -

Bob Witt (from Russia trip)

4/29/2003 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Dotty Rice ----- Re: A Russian View of the Iraq War

Now that I know who you are ---I really do appreciate your emails. Just opened this one - and will read it later in the day when there is time to savor it. Thanks
Dotty Rice

4/29/2003 ----- To: Brad ---- From: Thomas ----- Re: A Russian View of the Iraq War

Dear Brad,

While I am happy that you thought to include me in your message, I feel a bit offended. After reading Professor Selezneva's article I can only think that the Russian people and government are more misguided than I originally believed. Please feel free to continue to include me, but understand that I may not agree with the Russian position on the war with Iraq. I will be happy to chat with you more on the subject at a later time.

3/20/2003 ----- To: Mike and Rita ----- From: Brad ----- Re: Prayer

Thanks Mike and Rita ... I agree and am forwarding to a large number of people as you can see. A few years ago, after completing my social studies unit on Gandhi/Martin Luther King, a student asked me, Mr. Gough, looking at what happened to them, how can you always seem so optimistic about the future? It was a tough question from a 7'th grader. I think I surprised myself with my answer. I told him, "I don't think it matters what religion you are. I think world-wide what people want and pray for most is peace, hope, and justice. I simply can not believe that the prayers of so many for such things can go unanswered. I truly believe that is the one constant history shows us." I do not know if it was the best answer, but it seemed to satisfy us both, so, I'll live with it and continue to let it guide my life. Brad

Email Address:
Brad's website is
AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! screen name is bgough

----- Original Message -----

From: Rita/Mike

To: Trudy/Carmen ; Sally/Walt ; Sally ; Pete ; Michelle ; Marco ; Madeline ; Linda ; Judy ; Jerry ; Gayl ; Fran ; Dawn ; Brad ; Barbara ; Agie

Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2003 9:50 AM

Subject: Spam Alert: Fw: This will work

I think this can only be for the good. What have we got to lose?

PS: This has been forwarded a lot, so I erased all of those lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng lists of names.


Subject: This will work


To: Brad ----- From: Mike/Rita ----- Re: Prayer

I had a feeling you were also a "Child of the Universe" (label taken from the Desiderata) like me, which is why I felt it was okay to send you the "pray for peace" message. Looking at the answer you gave to your student, we're pretty much on the same page. My comment when a religious question comes up - though not from students - is, "I have lots of faith, but no religion." Depending on the person/people involved, I usually follow-up by saying that I believe religions just divide people into categories and give each a different label which only separates and leads to conflict. (Just like this one!) I find all that to be anti-God, Who I believe sees us all as One.

So, Brother Brad, I'm glad you passed it along!

Hope all is well with you and yours. Please stay in touch.

1/21/2003 ----- To: Brad ----- From: Mike/Rita ----- Re: The Soldier

It's the soldier, not the reporter who gives you the freedom of the press.

It's the soldier, not the poet who gives you the freedom of speech.

It's the soldier, not the campus organizer who allows you to demonstrate.

It's the soldier, who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!

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