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Fiery Defense
In the April 2 issue’s “Week” section, you comment that the Chevy Volt had an “annoying habit of bursting into flames.”

Two Volts did burst into flames, but both had been involved in destructive crash tests. The fires occurred because the agency did not drain the battery after the crash, which is required, much as crashed gasoline-powered vehicles must be drained of gasoline when stored.

I am a GM retiree. I opposed the government’s handling of the GM bankruptcy and oppose the current Volt subsidies. However, I also oppose the Right’s use of the Volt to attack the current administration on its “green energy” policies. GM made the decision to build and market the Volt long before the Obama administration entered the picture. The technological leap is awesome, irrespective of anyone’s political views.

The Volt’s commercial prospects appear dubious at best. But the “rub off” impact, according to GM’s engineers, is invaluable to the future of automobiles as we deal with restrictive and irresponsible government fuel-economy standards.

Joseph C. Tatham
Sterling Heights, Mich.

 

Word Count
In the April 16 “Letters,” Kevin D. Williamson calls Frank Fahrenkopf’s letter “adjective-heavy.” Mr. Fahrenkopf used 23 adjectives (including participles) in the course of 15 lines (counting his two incomplete lines as only one), for a frequency of 1.53 adjectives per line, while Mr. Williamson used ten adjectives in his five lines (again, fusing his two incomplete ones), for a frequency of 2.00. Though of course neither of these results is objectionably “heavy,” certainly Mr. Williamson’s is quite noticeably heavier.

William P. Wadbrook
Via e-mail

 

You Ain’t Heard?
What is TANSTAAFL? Or more specifically, what’s the “A” after the first “T” in the acronym headline on Jonah Goldberg’s article in the March 5 issue? I know that “TNSTAAFL” stands for “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” but I’m at a loss as to what the extra “A” is for.

Please advise, so I can get some sleep.

Jim Grodnik
Brevard, N.C.

 

The Editors reply: Rest well.


Contents
April 30, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, No. 8

Articles
Features
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Patrick J. Deneen reviews Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, by Ross Douthat.
  • Matthew Continetti reviews The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs — and Who Will Take It, by Sean Trende.
  • Allen C. Guelzo reviews Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy, by Andrew Preston.
  • Andrew Stuttaford reviews Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations, by Norman Davies.
  • Ross Douthat revisits Titanic.
Sections
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .