Mail, Cont.

by Jay Nordlinger

By now, you know the statement by heart: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that — somebody else made that happen.” (And you have to say it meanly, accusatorily, rebukefully.) A reader whose father-in-law was a dissident in the Soviet Union makes the following observation:

“When the Soviets denied people the right to emigrate to America or Israel, they often said, ‘The State has educated you, so your know-how is State property. It does not belong to you.’ These people had not built themselves, so to speak. The State, in its benevolence, had built them, and it had a right to all they produced.”

Too strong for you? McCarthyite? Well, you may enjoy the next item more.

In my column today, I mention an Olympian who has sworn off Twitter for the duration of the Games. (They used to swear off sex, I think.) I ask whether people will soon be giving up Twitter for Lent, if they haven’t already. Several readers have written to say that they or someone they know has given up Facebook for Lent.

I know a woman who once gave up NRO for Lent. The sacrifice seems to me super-human.

Finally, I publish near the end of my column a letter from a reader who was rejoicing in his first birdie — his first birdie on the golf course. You never forget your first birdie. Possibly not your first par either.

Another reader has written this: “Being an inveterate hack, who has yet to break 100, I experienced my first birdie with mixed emotions. You see, it was a two-inch tap-in on a par 3.”

For those uninitiated in golf, let me just say that the man’s enjoyment of his first birdie was slightly spoiled in that he had come this close to a hole-in-one.

The Corner

The one and only.