My stance on public-place breastfeeding (breastfeeding good, public breastfeeding fine but please cover up!) continues to draw letters, especially after I appeared on National Public Radio on Aug. 22 to criticize a recent “nurse-in” at a Starbucks in which some 30 moms peeled off their blouses while other patrons tried to look the other way while they sipped the latte that came from the steam machine. I also debated the merits of a new Illinois law that forbids private businesses and organizations from barring bare-breasted breast-feeding on their premises. (See The Double Latte Wars, Aug. 11.) Here are some sample e-mails:

W.W. of Palo Alto, Calif., writes:

“Some folk are disturbed by the sight of a woman breastfeeding, and I for one demand something be done about it. Anyone offended by such a sight should be either offered blinders that will obstruct the offensive view; be given a blanket to eat under; or have his table moved into the bathroom.”

W.W., welcome to Illinois.
And here’s G.F.

“I wanted to mention how happy I am to read some ‘ew, gross’ commentary on public breastfeeding.

“My parents are/were hippies, and I was raised in an environment that was very, very pro-breastfeeding before it became de rigeur among certain types of people. And in spite of my familiarity with the benefits of breastfeeding and the extent to which I was exposed to it as a kid (and continually), both my mother and I do not approve of the assumption that breastfeeding is appropriate and acceptable in public. Of course it’s good for babies, and that’s great, but changing diapers is good for babies, and even Starbucks (I hope) wouldn’t allow that in their cafes. When I go to nice restaurants….I notice that there is often a nice bench in the ladies’ room, and frequently a nice mother is nursing her nice baby in a place that is appropriate, relatively private, and quiet. Which sounds infinitely better than the hustle-and-bustle of a Starbucks or the dinner table.”

Svetlana Khorkina, the silver-medaled, sour-tongued Russian Olympian gymnast was criticized on this blog for poor sportsmanship (see Sore Loser Svetlana, Aug. 20). Here’s an anonymous e-mail:

“Actually I thought [individual gold-winner]Carly Patterson and the whole [U.S.} team [losing the gold to the Romanians]…were dull and listless. The tumbling skills were on point but they lacked grace and style. The dance elements were severelely lacking. Even when she messed up I much preferred watched Khorkina over Patterson. Khorkina was wrong to behave so sullenly but I can’t blame her for being irked to losing to such a robotic opponent. I hope Team USA takes a look at what the Romanians did and follows their playbook.”

But the point is: Carly didn’t mess up. And Svetlana’s a big girl of 25 who ought to be able to lose without sulking, especially to a 16-year-old. I agree, however, that the Romanians as a team were superb–and far more sophisticated in their presentation than their American counterparts.

Reader S.D. hates that we hate lefto-nasty cartoonist Ted Rall for hating us, Condoleezza Rice, the widows of 9/11, and many others. (See The Other Charlotte’s It’s the Hatred, Stupid, Aug. 20, for links to many other instances of Charlottean Rall-bashing). So S.D. writes:

“Wow, must be a pretty slow week if you give so much de facto power to a cartoonist….Ted Rall is no more the leading mouthpiece for the left than Mona Charen is for women’s views.
“When will conservatives stop griping and actually get their own party? I guess its a lot easier to sit back and whine and ridicule the left’s ridicule than it is to get off your a–es and actually
do something.”

Well, actually we at the IWF just love Mona Charen and we indeed regard her as, if not the, at least a “leading mouthpiece…for women’s views.” And TOC and I will gladly get off our shapely backsides and point them in your direction any time, S.D.

And now, a nice e-mail from “Suzanne,” who’s just discovered our site:

“Just found your website, so glad I heard about it on the radio. I am the oldest of four daughters and one son in our family. All of my siblings are militant [G.W.?] Bush-haters, and so much more liberal in their ideas than I am. I don’t know how it happened, but it is distressing.  they don’t necessarily like [John F.] Kerry as much as they despise George Bush. I will be checking out your website as much as possible. I don’t have a lot of time to read or peruse the many and varied websites available, but I will certainly make time for this one. Thanks for giving ME a voice.”

And we’re glad you enjoy the site, Suzanne. As for your sibs–is there anyone out there in the Kerry camp who actually likes Kerry?