EDITORnThomas FlemingnMANAGING EDITORnKatherine DaltonnCONTRIBUTING EDITORSnJohn W. Mdridge, Harold O.].nBrown, Samuel Francis, GeorgenGarrett, Russell Kirk, E. ChristiannKopff, Clyde WilsonnCORRESPONDING EDITORSnBryce Christensen, Odie Faulk, ]anenGreer, Andrei Navrozov, John SheltonnReed, Joseph Schwartz, Gary VasilashnEDITORIAL SECRETARYnLeann DobbsnEDITORIAL ASSISTANTnMatthew KaufmannPUBLISHERnRichard A. VaughannART DIRECTORnAnna Mycek-WodeckinPRODUCTION MANAGERnGuy ReffettnADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVEnGeorgia L. WolfnCOMPOSITION MANAGERnAnita FedoranCIRCULATION DIRECTORnCarol BennettnA Publication ofnThe Rockford Institute:nAllan C. Carlson,nPresidentnEditorial and Advertising Offices: 934 NorthnMain Street, Rockford, IL 61103.nEditorial Phone: (815) 964-5054.nAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5811.nSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800, MountnMorris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-435-0715, innIllinois 1-800-892-0753.nU.S.A. Newsstand Distribution by EasternnNews Distributors, Inc., 1130 Cleveland Road,nSandusky, OH 44870.nCopyright © 1989 by The Rockford Institute.nAll rights reserved.nCHRONICLES (ISSN 0887-5731) is publishednmonthly for $21 per year by The RockfordnInstitute, 934 North Main Street, Rockford, ILn61103-7061.nSecond-class postage paid at Rockford, IL andnadditional mailing offices.nPOSTMASTER: Send address changes tonCHRONICLES, P.O. Box 800, Mount Morris,nIL 61054nThe views expressed in Chronicles are thenauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect thenviews of The Rockford Institute or of itsndirectors.nChroniclesnk MAGHZIHE OF iHERICtN CUITUIEnVol. 13. No. 5 Mav 1989n4/CHRONICLESnOn ‘Declinenof the West’nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnRichard Lamm, in his “Decline of thenWest” (February 1989), has put hisnfinger on something that I call GIRAn— acronym for Good Intentions RunnAmok. GIRA arises from the desire tonmake life easy, safe, long, and pleasant.nIts symptoms include permissive childrearingn(mustn’t bruise a tender ego —nlet ’em mn wild), schools that graduatenhalf-educated students (mustn’t hurtntheir feelings by making them repeat angrade), “revolving-door” justice (don’tnjust lock up criminals, find a way tonrehabilitate them), and liability-suit verdictsnthat reward fools for the consequencesnof their own actions (mustn’tnwaste those nice deep pockets that theninsurance company has).nMechanisms for implementingnGIRA include “value-free” ethics, freedomnof speech pressed beyond the pointnof license, and the substitution of “socialngospel” for personal morality. Theynmake the tender-minded among us feelngenerous, tolerant, and compassionaten— at little direct cost to themselves.nBut James Thurber put it well: “Younmight as well fall flat on your face asnlean over too far backwards.” Thesenshort-term gratifications have perniciousnlong-term effects, which Lamm hasndescribed. They have discredited —nindeed, they have nearly obliterated—nthe old virtues of work, excellence,npersonal responsibility, and an outlooknthat goes beyond instant selfindulgence.nI don’t have any pat remedy fornGIRA. If there is a remedy, it will havento reflect a few realities about the woridnas it actually works. And it must start innthe home, even in the cradle. “Too littienand too late” simply will not serve.n— Charles H. ChandlernMaiden, MAnOn ‘Epitaphnfor Tombstone’nI read with admiration and interest OdienB. Faulk’s well-written account (Februaryn1989) of what the town of Tombstone,nArizona, was really like, strippednnnof its lovingly (and avariciously) cultivatednpatina of Wild West folklore. Insubmit the maverick opinion, however,nthat Professor Faulk’s overiy fastidiousnconclusion does not necessarily follownfrom his well-marshaled facts.nWhy, one wonders, couldn’t thosenwho like to invest a bit of romance and,nyes, hype, into their visions of the WildnWest be doing so not because there isn”some dark strain . . . that attracts us tonevil men,” but simply because they seensomething uniquely American in thatnaura of lusty, straight-shooting, fiercenindependence that marked the earlyndays of the great frontier?nJeane Kirkpatrick once remarked innan interview that one of her chiefnobjections to current political trends innAmerican colleges is that many studentsnare being cheated out of the simple butnprofound right to feel proud of theirnown country. Surely Professor Faulkncan find a more worthy outlet for hisnrighteous indignation than to demandnof Jane and John Q. Public (vide RobertnFrost) “better bread than can be madenfrom flour.”n— O.M. Ostlundjr.nState College, PAnOn ‘Hard Livingnon Easy Street’nI became addicted to Chronicles as anresult of my two sons reading it. TonightnI found two letters from Murfreesboro,nTennessee (February 1989):nwill wonders never cease. I wasnstunned to discover there were twonliterate people in Murfreesboro, muchnless two who read Chronicles.nAnd a social worker yet! SuzienTolmie, I’m awed. You both have anpoint: one has to keep the alligators atnbay while the more sophisticated ProfessornMcMurry drains the swamp.nThe Galilean commanded those whonwould aspire to be his disciples both tonsolve the short-term problem and tonredirect the heart to a redemptive lifestyle.nDear folks, keep talking —nserious communication on the subjectnis rare.n—John AcuffnCookeville, TNn