In Praise of Ranting
To the Editor:
A good rant [Letters, 12/10] is a lot of fun and all too rare. So thank you, Ed Fertik, for having one, and thank you, Chronogram for publishing it.
The best rants quickly signal the detonation level of the ranter—hopefully, he or she is close to self-immolation. Ed met that standard.
The rant should be focused only on the ranter’s viewpoint. A high-five to Ed, he made the grade. We learned he is a Tea Partier who hates Mr. Obama and “Obamunism.” (Top-level ranters are always good at innuendo.)
A good ranter displays virginal shock at other’s views. Ed does it well: “This is terribly offensive,” he coyly says of Larry Beinhart’s comment on Republican philosophy.
The best ranters use good, strong insights to support their views. Ed is clear: “ass whipping”; “failed presidency.” These insights meet the grade.
Top ranters diminish what is real: “Your so-called magazine,” Ed says.
The finest ranters wrap their argument with an insult: “They [your so-called magazine] make fine mats for mud rooms.”
On this one I’m not so sure. Chronogram’s pages are varnished; the New York Times would perhaps be a more practical choice.
But my compliments to Ed. He met every standard.
—Michael Littler, Highland
To the Editor:
Please let Mr. Beinhart know for me that if he had done nothing else this year except get under the skin of Teabaggers, he has done the rest of humanity a great favor and to please keep it up.
—Everett Cox, Warwick
Should the Wealthy Fear America?
To the Editor:
It was disturbing to me as an American to read Larry Beinhart’s rant against financially successful people in the December issue of Chronogram. Why admitted liberals would want to take such a discriminatory stand against other Americans is hard for me to understand. And make no mistake, class discrimination is as disgusting and morally wrong as race discrimination, age discrimination, or religious discrimination. It appears that Beinhart feels that as long as liberals feel that a form of discrimination is okay, then it is.
Let me ask Mr. Beinhart to tell us where philanthropy would come from if we beat down the wealthy as he wishes to do? Who would buy boats, jewelry, luxury cars, fine food, world cruises? In fact, who would employ people? Larry—the average person on the street does not hire people. They are not employers. Financially successful people are the employers. Do you want to punish employers to the point that they just leave America for a place where there is no class discrimination? Do you want unemployment to reach 20 percent? Maybe you do, so that socialism has a better chance of taking hold. Is that the master plan? Do you want to punish success and reward things like unemployment in America? Are we becoming a country where money is used to cause shame and getting money without working is the new dream?
Sure, there are many wealthy people that try to rip off the system, and I believe we need much stronger enforcement. But the sad news is that there are far more regular people involved in unemployment insurance fraud, Social Security fraud, Medicaid fraud, Section 8 housing fraud, and tax fraud. There is a whole group of Americans who farm government regulations as if it were a crop. Take it from me, because I’m a “Fed” and I’ve seen it firsthand for the massive problem it is and the waste of tax dollars that it is.
On the first trip of Albert Einstein to New York City in the 1920s (to raise money for the Hebrew University in Palestine), he remarked at how beautiful it was that New Yorkers showed no envy or dislike between the classes. Is America becoming a country that well-to-do people should fear? Readers of Chronogram hopefully see Beinhart’s discriminatory behavior, which may be directed at them. I think that most people who shop at Asia Barong or retreat at Omega Costa Rica (two of Chronogram’s advertisers) are affluent!
We should applaud honest people who earn lots of money, and by the way—the wealthiest 3 percent of our country already pay 90 percent of all income taxes. That sounds more than fair to me.
—Ed Fertik, Philmont
- Catherine Winkler Rayroud's "Global Warming! Stop Messing With Us!" appeared on the cover of the December issue of Chronogram.