E R N I E ' S H O U S E O F W H O O P A S S
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Now I'm a pretty laid back guy, and few and far between are the events that really piss me off. Sure we all get frustrated or a little irritable every now and again, but I'm talking really pissed off.
So I'm sure you'll share my suprise when I opened my inbox and read this little exchange between a cadet at the Air Force Academy and a processor of history from Saint Xavier University...
--------- Original Message ---------------|
To: Peter Kristein
From: Cadet xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 13:16:20 -0700
Dear Sir or Ma'am,
The Air Force Academy is going to be having our annual
Academy Assembly. This is a forum for mainly but not only Political
Science majors, discussing very important issues dealing with politics.
Right now we are in the planning stage for advertising and we would
appreciate your help in the follow areas. Do you know of or have any
methods or ways for interschool advertising and or communications? What
would be the best way for us to advertise at your school whether it is
sending you the fliers and you making copies or by perhaps putting an
advertisement in your local publication? We would appreciate your input
and the cost of what you recommend. Thank you for your time and
Alright, not so bad so far, right? Just a college kid who attends the AF Academy and is asking for some contact information for another university. No biggie. But here's the reply he received.
To: Cadet xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Peter Kristein
Sent Thursday, October 31, 2002 146 PM
Subject: Re: Academy Assembly
You are a disgrace to this country and I am furious you would even think
I would support you and your aggressive baby killing tactics of collateral
damage. Help you recruit. Who, top guns to reign death and destruction
upon nonwhite peoples throughout the world? Are you serious sir? Resign
your commission and serve your country with honour.
No war, no air force cowards who bomb countries without AAA, without
possibility of retaliation. You are worse than the snipers. You are
imperialists who are turning the whole damn world against us. September 11
can be blamed in part for what you and your cohorts have done to the
Palestinians, the VC, the Serbs, a retreating army at Basra.
You are unworthy of my support.
Professor of History
Saint Xavier University
So that, as one might expect sent me into a fucking tirade. I mean I saw seeing fucking stars. I wanted to kick my dog. I wanted to smack my television. I wanted to drive to Chicago and take a great big shit on ol Peter's car. But instead, I cooled down and calmly came to the realization that this matter will need to be handled with diplomacy and tact instead of brute force and anger. So I wrote the following letter to our dear professor and cc'd the President of Saint Xavier University....
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 210815 -0500|
To: Peter Kirstein
Cc: Dr. Richard Yanikoski
Subject: Fwd Re Academy Assembly
This email was forwarded to me by one of my subscribers, and to say that I found it's content distasteful would, at the very least, be a booming understatement. You are walking proof that even the most well educated people can still be frustratingly ignorant of the happenings in the world around them, stumbling around through life with blinders on like a retired draft horse. You see I, as are many average Joe Americans, am under the apparently false impression that our nation's educators are a tolerant and enlightened bunch who foster thought and dialog with those they are charged with teaching. Your blatant hypocrisy in this area has proved that theory is no more than wishful thinking on an earth-shattering scale.
Christ, the kid came to you simply asking for some contact information not to overthrow the world, and certainly not to be subjected to a tongue lashing fueled by your political views regarding events that happened well before he even graduated middle school. But since you're so willing to open your big fat mouth and cast your ante into the political poker table, I'd like to call your hand.
Let's take a look at what we've got here. A young person came to you and very politely asked for your assistance and you not only rebuked them and refused to help, but further added insult to injury by attacking them personally. Why did you do this? Because you disagree with what this person does for a living? Could you not simply just ignore their request, or perhaps reply with a polite, "Sorry not interested." Or would that be too low key for you? Maybe you're not strong enough to deprive yourself from the personal gratification you get when tossing some venomous, unprovoked remarks at someone who doesn't share your same views about the world?
You Mr. Kirstein, are the real disgrace to this country, and I am appalled you would *not* supporting the soldiers, sailors, marines, and yes airmen -- who put their lives at risk so you don't have to. But hey, that's your right as an American I suppose.
Let us for the moment overlook the irony of the fact that if you were to criticize the governments of Palestine, Vietnam, Serbia or Iraq, you would be drug out of your house during the middle of the night; probably stripped naked before the eyes of your crying children and weeping spouse, beaten unmercifully in the town square, executed with a bullet to the back of your brain, all before having your rotting corpse serve as a warning to those who oppose the government's rule. Let us further overlook the irony that the only reason people like you aren't beaten and killed for voicing such idiotic fantasies, is because so many men and women of our military past have chosen to give their lives in place of yours.
Instead let's look at website bio, you say you teach peace and freedom. And yet you call one of those who keeps you safe and defends your freedom a "coward" and a "baby killer" and even go so far as to suggest the military personnel of this country are responsible for the 3,000 terrorist victims of last year's attacks.
No, those aren't the words of someone who practices peace and freedom, those are the words of a grade-a certified ASSHOLE.
You want cowardly, Pete? How about the concept of flying a plane into thousands of innocent men, women and children is cowardly. Try that on for cowardly size and see how it fits.
But while we're on the subject of what pisses off who, I should confess I'm furious that you pretend to understand the situations in which these people fought and died because you read a few textbooks, snapped some pictures, and maybe even took the time to browse through a few tourist brochures, while other people -- people much better than you -- speak of these places with first hand knowledge and have the scars and nightmares to prove it.
These heroes of battles past that are the true teachers of our nation's wartime history, not some self righteous has-been with a fancy diploma and a lifetime subscription to National Geographic. But I think most of all, I am furious that someone who claims to be a well respected educator, would refuse to help a student from any institution of learning simply because of conflicting political views.
In my opinion, I don't think that person is teacher at all but more of a fraud, a fraud who damned well ought to be ashamed of themselves and offer that student their most humble apologies.
And I'd like to think that you'd be ashamed little Petey, but again let's be honest, that would just be more wishful thinking, wouldn't it?
You insulted all military personnel, past, present and future, you did it while acting in the official capacity as a History Professor of Saint Xavier University, and therefore have spoken on behalf of the University. That's very important because in this country Mr Kirstein, we don't publicly execute people for voicing their opinions against the government, we subject them to something far greater power: the court of public opinion.
Since you seem so eager to voice your political views on others, I'm going to make it easy for them to return the favor. In addition to sending this to the President of Saint Xavier University and his staff to see firsthand the calibre of intolerance they have representing them, I am also posting it, along with your contact information, to the front page of my website for all my daily visitors to see. I'm also going to forward copies to the editors of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times, along with a few radio stations in your area. Hopefully, you'll get a taste of your own medicine and won't be so eager to impose your warped moral code on others.
Yes you say you teach peace and freedom, but both the intolerance with which you seem to treat people that harbor different views than you and the enthusiasm with which you persecute them, is quite frightening. I hope that cadet not only doesn't resign their commission but instead continues on to serve their country proudly for a long time. You on the other hand, much like the old draft horse, should have been retired out to the back pasture a long time ago.
In closing, I want you to know that this evening while I'm sitting on my couch and watching the news to see which new terrorist scumbag didn't complete his morning coffee run thanks to a Hellfire missile, you'll be in my thoughts; I'll be praying you get hit by a big fucking bus.
God bless the USA, and woe to her enemies.
Ernie Stewart Jr
P.S. Nice picture. Keep the sweater. This way you look as bizarre and outdated as your sense of reality, you bow-tied schmuck.
I felt better. I vented, and it felt good. And then I received this auto-reply...
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 20:07:25 -0600|
From: Peter Kirstein"
Subject: Due to considerable off-campus interest in a private
Due to considerable off-campus interest in a private correspondence with a military person, I am posting this. The situation has been resolved on a personal level with humility, mutual respect and friendliness. May nations also learn differences can be overcome, disagreements bridged and that peace and harmony are possible.
I apologize for offending the countless men and women of the military who serve this nation with professionalism and dedication to their mission.
First off by noting the "private message" is a sly way of implying there was some breech of trust here. I don't think so. Did he send it from his work account? Yes. Did he reply with "Professor of History" in his email footer? Yes. Was the original question posted to him in an official capacity because of his position? yes. Then guess what Jack, that wasn't a private email it was official correspondence. not to mention if he didn't want to be famous for his controversial views he shouldn't have been so fucking anxious to share them.
Want to offer a real apology Pete? Why not post it on your page of the university website, maybe somewhere among the "challenge American unilateralism" propoganda and the plug for your new book, "False Dissenters: Manhattan Project Scientists and the Use of the Atomic Bomb".
So now I leave it in your hands, fair reader, the judge and jury in the court of public opinion. Personally, I think "oops I'm sorry" is something you say to someone after you step on their foot when the subway comes to an abrupt halt. I don't think it quite covers labeling generations of America's warriors as "cowards" and "babykillers". But that's just my opinion.
My hat is off to Dr Yanikoski and the rest of the staff of Saint Xavier University, for setting things right once and for all. Thank you very much.
And thank you to everyone who wrote in to the university and expressed their outrage, and for those who forwarded the story to various news services which helped get the word out even faster.
This I think we can certainly chalk up to "mission accomplished", especially since he was suspended on Vetaran's Day.