EDITORrnThomas FlemingrnMANAGING EDITORrnTheodore PappasrnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSrnChilton Williamson, ]r.rnEDITORIAL ASSISTANTrnChristine HaynesrnART DIRECTORrnAnna Mycek-WodeckirnCONTRIBUTING EDITORSrnJohn W. Aldridge, Harold O./.rnBrown, Katherine Dalton, SamuelrnFrancis, George Garrett,rnE. Christian Kopff, Clyde WilsonrnCORRESPONDING EDITORSrn]anet Scott Barlow, Bill Kauffman,rn]ohn Shelton Reed, David R. SlavittrnEDITORIAL SECRETARYrnLeann DobbsrnPUBLISHERrnAllan C. CarlsonrnPUBLICATION DIRECTORrnGuy C. ReffettrnCOMPOSITION MANAGERrnAnita FedorarnCIRCULATION MANAGERrnRochelle FrankrnA publication of The Rockford Institute,rnEditorial and Advertising Offices:rn934 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103.rnEditorial Phone: (815)964-5054.rnAdvertising Phone: (815)964-5811.rnSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-877-5459.rnFor information on advertising in Chronicles,rnplease call Rochelle Frank at (815) 964-5811.rnU.S.A. Newsstand Distribution by Eastern NewsrnDistributors, Inc., 1130Cleveland Road,rnSandusky, OH 44870.rnCopyright © 1993 by The Rockford Institute.rnAll rights reserved.rnChronicles (ISSN 0887-5731) is publishedrnmonthly for $24 per year by The RockfordrnInstitute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford,rnIL 61103-7061. Second-class postage paidrnat Rockford, IL and additional mailing offices.rnPOSTMASTER: Send address changes tornChronicles, P.O. Box 800, Mount Morris,rnIL 61054.rnThe views expressed in Chronicles are thernauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflectrnthe views of The Rockford Institute or of itsrndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot bernreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressedrnstamped envelope.rnChroniclesrnVol. 17, No. 7 |uly 1993rnPrinted in the United States of AmericarnPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESrnOn ‘New Jersey’srnHelmet Law’rnAnne Robert Jacques Turgot, brilliantrnlaissez-faire economist of 18th-centuryrnFrance, said that interventions by therngovernment to protect consumersrn”would be like wanting it to providerncushions for all the children who mightrnfall.” If he were alive today, wouldn’t hernbe amused to learn that a sober (?) NewrnJersey legislature (Cultural Revolutions,rnMarch 1993), in mandating helmets forrnall children riding bicycles, finally tookrnhim literally instead of mistaking hisrnwords for simple ridicule?rn—Morgan ReynoldsrnDepartment of EconomicsrnTexas A&M UniversityrnCollege Station, TXrnOn’Walt Whitmanrna n d P . Crn1 was appalled to read of A.S. Ash’s “humanizing”rnof Walt Whitman’s poetryrn(Liberal Arts, March 1993) and perhapsrneven astounded that Ash left the poet’srnlast name intact instead of changing it torn”Whitperson.” Who is this Ash, anyway?rnHe/she/it has not “edited” butrnrather tampered with a work of art, in thernname of political correctness. Whitman,rnregardless of how one feels about his poetry,rnwrote in his own unique voice—rnand that voice, like the voice of any poet,rndeserves to be heard the way it was originallyrnpresented, not just for artistic integrityrnbut for historical accuracy.rnA self-styled “humanist,” Ash apparentlyrnhas no grasp of what poetry entailsrnor expresses. Poets choose their wordsrnnot solely for meaning but for soundrnand rhythm as well. For Ash to replacernany poet’s words “where appropriate”rn(and here one must ask: appropriate tornwhom and by what criterion?) is plainlyrnabsurd. One can just imagine Ash as arnmusic editor, reharmonizing the “incorrect”rnparallel fifths of a Beethoven composition,rnor maybe as a museum curator,rnrecoloring various faces in Leonardo’srn”The Last Supper” for the sake ofrnachieving ethnic balance.rnMore idiotic still is Ash’s introductionrnof “humanist personal pronouns” intornWhitman’s work “in cases where distinctionrnof gender is ambiguous, irrelevant,rnor misleading.” The pronouns who,rnwhose, and whom (rendered “humanistically”rnby Ash as hu, hus, and hum) do notrnconvey, and have never conveyed, anyrnkind of gender distinction, so what isrnAsh’s point in making these ridiculousrnsubstitutions? Ash has merely replacedrnthe traditional spellings with phoneticrnspellings, and not very good ones at that.rnAsh has the aesthetic sensibility of arnmule and the linguistic scholarship of arnhinny—animals that, fittingly enough,rnare almost always neuter. P.C. meansrnpolitical correctness, but in Ash’s casernthese letters might also stand for philosophicalrncowardice and philological cretinism,rn—Louis B. DelpinornPhiladelphia, PArnOn ‘Ancestry andrnHistory’rnAs Czeslaw Milosz has written, “Therntrue enemy of man is generalization.”rnIn his March 1993 column (“Capturernthe Flag, Part I”) John Shelton Reedrnwrites: “As Eugene Genovese, characteristicallyrngallant, observed during anrnexchange on the subject at a recentrnmeeting of the American Studies Association,rnno one .should be required tornspit on his ancestors’ graves.”rnWell if not required to spit on theirrnancestors’ graves then shouldn’t they bernencouraged to do so if their ancestorsrnare people like Lenin, Stalin, and otherrncommunist monsters, or if their ancestorsrnare Hitler or the Auschwitz camprncommandant? I’m talking about therngenocidists of the 20th century, the peoplernabout whom Ralph Raico was talkingrnin the same March issue. Professor Genovesernmay be “characteristically gallant,”rnbut if Professor Reed quotes him correctlyrnhe’s being—uncharacteristically—rnmorally obtuse.rn—Arnold BeichmanrnHoover InstitutionrnStanford, CArn4/CHRONICLESrnrnrn