Sunday, March 19, 2017


David Billet <> wrote:

Dear Mr. McMillan,

Many belated thanks for sharing with us the "minutes" of your extraordinary brainstorming. I will be giving them out at our editorial meeting this week.

David Billet

On Oct 28, 2007 8:24 PM, John McMillan <> wrote:

Dear "Commentary" Magazine Editors in New York City, New York,

Thank you again for the friendly reply E-mail letter that your conscientiously wholesome magazine sent to myself earlier this year.

Some additional proposed story ideas and column ideas I would like to share with your publication include the following:

(1) Who are the leading opponents of biological determinism in the United States of today? I raise this question partly because I cannot find any wholesome non-profit organization on the Internet that pursues lawsuits and other lawful actions opposing biological determinism in any context.

(2) Years ago, Saul Bellow reportedly visited New York City and loudly declared, "I own New York!" this according to Professor Solotarov, an English Department professor at The Universtiy of Minnesota-Minneapolis, in one of his classroom lectures of the early 1980s. Today, which cultural leaders are believed to "own New York," or has that entire culturally proprietary outlook toward New York City been abandoned in recent years?

(3) How can the American tradition of trusting one's neighbors or loving one's neighbors be pursued in a big city like New York City? I raise this question after recalling today that one attorney based in New York City stated to me in 1984 or 1985 during a brief in-person conversation I had with him in Maryland, where each of us was attending a wedding at the time, that he would like to get to know his Manhattan neighbors better, "but if I invited them into my apartment, I'm afraid that they would steal items in my apartment that they like" (approximate quote), he said.

(4) An Austin-area woman told me recently she would never vote for Senator Hillary Clinton for President, since Hillary Clinton had allegedly killed someone from a motor vehicle accident in Mrs. Clinton's younger days. Is that story about Mrs. Clinton true? If so, does it carry any implications about Senator Clinton's ability to conscientiously and humanely and in a life-affirming manner honor the human rights of others?

(5) The virtual absence of any recent non-Christian criticism of the so-called gay-rights movement or of the gay community in the United States, poses a concern. It often seems as if virtually all of the public criticism of gay activists or gay groups or the gay community in the United States comes from fundamentalist Christians. Why is it that non-Christians' critical vantage point toward the gay community generally has not been publicized much in the United States?

(6) Are President George W. Bush and the United States Congress doing enough to prevent perderastic sex crimes in the United States? I raise this question after recalling several examples of adult men I've met in the Austin area who indicated in my presence that they are willing to pursue pederastic involvements with underage youths, based on those adult persons' expectation that any such crime would not be prosecuted. 

Particularly troubling is the failure of American society to protect underage youths at the workplace from predatory coworkers or predatory work supervisors who physically harass and sexually harass and sexually proposition those youths, often in a "quid pro quo" context that puts additional financial and career-related pressure on the underage minor to agree to or acquiesce in that illegal sexual involvement initiated by the adult coworker or adult work supervisor.

(7) Boston, Massachusetts, appears to be emerging as the Capital of Sports in the United States. Despite this, I don't know of any sports athletic-theme museum anywhere in the Bosotn area. Nor do I myself know of any particular academic program in the Boston area that pursues research on sports and athletics.

(8) The relationship between New York City, New York, and Boston, Mass., appears to have undergone a shift in recent decades. In one of her Hollywood movies, a New Yorker portrayed by Jennifer Aniston stated that she had mixed feelings about visiting Boston, "since Boston is so provincial (sic) compared with New York City," she said (approximate quote). 

One Washington, D.C., resident, herself an official of the federal government at the time, stated to me in 1992 that she regards Massachusetts as being a "provincial" state, she said. An article could explore other northeasterners' perceptions about the Boston area and about Massachusetts, and any major transformation in other northeasterners' outlook in that way that might have occurred in recent decades.

(9) Some Americans might regard it as ironic that while First Lady Laura Bush reportedly promotes literacy as a favorite charity cause of hers, Mrs. Bush has never been interviewed by any media company about which books have, in fact, been Mrs. Bush's (personal favorites) thus far. Or if she has been interviewed about that subject, I don't recall having seen or read that media report about First Lady Laura Bush.

(10) Some Americans may resent the fact that perhaps the most well-publicized Jewish political candidate for elective office in recent years, the Texan writer and Texan Gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman (himself a founding member of the "Texas Jewboys" musical band), was so eccentric that he appeared to convey the implicit message to many Americans that a Jewish background is synonymous with eccentricity. Candidate Friedman reveled in smoking cigars, for instance, despite the fact that the American Cancer Society urges Americans NOT to smoke cigars. What might account for the possible apparent dearth of logical, rational, non-eccentric, law-abiding, honorable Jewish candidates for elective office in the United States of today?

(11) Polarization of American society between those who DO consume illicit drugs and those who do NOT consume any illlicit drugs appears to be rather dramatic in recent years. 

One coworker of mine at a restaurant workplace where I worked as a waitperson during a period in which no publication in Austin, Texas, for which I would agree to work was willing to offer me any job, repeatedly demanded to know why I don't support legalization of marijuana. I was asked that same question on dozens of occasions by various male coworkers of mine at restaurant workplaces where I worked in the Austin area in the five-year period since I began working as a restaurant waiter in May of 2002.

(12) The phenomenal increase in the number of non-profit organizations in the United States suggests the possible need for an article offering guidance to your readers on how they can determine whether any particular non-profit group is honorable and law-abiding and successful in pursuing its cited goals. Is there a consumer group that monitors each of the various non-profit groups? An article could possibly explore the accomplishments of that consumer group.

(13) An article could deplore alleged harassment and verbal abuse and persecution of law-abiding Americans (myself, for instance) who themselves (myself, for instance) exhibit a significantly greater emotional and aesthetic and intellectual and political and religious and overall human affinity toward a signficantly higher percentage of all masculine and cleanshaven heterosexual or primarily heterosexual adult men, and toward a significantly higher percentage of all heterosexual or primarily heterosexual adult women, than toward all homosexual adult persons, all gay male adult persons, all facially hairy adult male persons, all effeminate male adult persons, all bisexual adult persons, all lesbian adult persons, or all transsexual adult persons.

(14) Has the Scholar Athlete Ideal tradition of American society been undermined in recent years? I raise this question after sensing that college football game announcers of today don't seem to call viewers' attention to the academic major of any particular player on the field.

(15) The emergence of Las Vegas, Nevada, as the Hub for Fraudulent Business Enterprises poses a concern. Based on unethical and dishonest E-mail solicitations and solicitaitons mailed to me via the U.S. Postal Service from obviously unethical businesses in Las Vegas, I have to think that there's a need for federal investigation into fraud in Las Vegas. Also, does it seem that the gambling industry in Las Vegas has brought with it many unethical and law-breaking business enterprises?

(16) Should there be special classes for laymen on how to identify the meaning of the most frequently used Hebrew or Yiddish words? 

I raise this question after recalling that during my junior high years in Austin, Texas, I was approached one day by Joseph Gerhardt, a schoolmate in the grade level just below my own at O. Henry Junior High of Austin Independent School District, as I walked outdoors from one wing of that public school to another. 

"You're (John K. McMillan) a Michuganah (sp?)," Joseph stated to me without any apparent context to his comment. 

When I asked Joseph Gerhardt what he meant by that, Joseph Gerhardt replied, "It means that you (John K. McMillan) were born in Michigan (sic)." 

(Joseph Gerhardt, incidentally, is a son of an Austin-based attorney, Mr. Louis Gerhardt. I did not keep up with Joseph Gerhardt after my graduation from Stephen F. Austin High School in 1975. Nor did I ever meet Joseph's father, from what I can recall, though I did meet Joseph's mother for the first time several years ago at a cultural event theater play in Austin's Zachary Scott Theater, where she and I were each volunteers that day, and she was polite and friendly toward myself).

 I later learned that the word that Joseph had used was, in fact, an insulting epithet.

I hope very much that some of these additional story ideas in this hastily-written brainstorming letter will also be useful to "Commentary" magazine.

Sincerely and Best Wishes,

John Kevin McMillan,
11411 Research Boulevard, Apt. 325, Austin, Texas, 78759.
Phone: (512) 342-2295.

John Kevin McMillan

David Billet
165 East 56th St.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 891-6734 (phone)
(212) 891-6700 (fax)

John Kevin McMillan

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