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Return of Winter Soldier

The John Kerry in "Scott Thomas." Also: Martin Luther's new guise. Pleading the First. Tending the avocado orchard. Plus more.

7.24.07

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GLASS SLIPPERS
Re: John Tabin's Doubting Baghdad Thomas:

This sounds a lot like somebody dusted off the hit pieces written during the Vietnam war by the John-Kerryesque types to discredit the troops serving there. It plays only to the DailyKosite mentality that all American military personnel are someplace between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon man in the evolutionary order.

I've talked with a number of troops who have been and come back, and some over there now, and this really smells of the Left running recycled hit pieces to fire up their base to "support the troops" (e.g. "they're too stupid to know any better") and "bring them home now."

The only demeaning term that seems to be in use is "Haji" (i.e. one who has been on a Hajj to Mecca) for the true believers who want to see us out or more commonly Iraqis in general. Pretty tame stuff compared to "gook," "dink," "zip" and some of the less printworthy terms used in Vietnam.

What the Left will NEVER admit is that our troops in many cases are brighter than they are, better trained and thanks to Liberal largesse more considerate of the ramifications of their actions. We still fight for the most part with the gloves on, and the regular forces are extremely well disciplined (Abu Ghraib was an anomaly, not the norm, and most of the culprits were not regular Army soldiers.)

Par for the course.
-- Cookie Sewell
(Vietnam Vet -- 1970-71)
Democratic Peoples Republic of Maryland

Apparently Stephen Glass has resurfaced, and is up to his old tricks at the New Republic.

You'd think that a magazine that was so publicly humiliated for false and shoddy journalism would know better. Then again, shame is not an emotion that resonates with the left.
-- Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey

JUST WAIT AMENDMENT
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Fred and the First Amendment:

Jennifer conveniently and entirely omits mention of the report that claims no First Amendment freedoms were infringed upon. (I thought about providing the link but, what for, this is obviously a hit piece.)

She also glazes over the fact that Romney's entire political life is a flip-flop and no amount of "explaining" could hope to excuse his sociopathic lying, especially when he blatantly reinvents his positions on such subjects as the Second Amendment.

She also finds no reason to stop at those examples to whisk over what Fred had said on Chris Wallace's interview three months ago as she ignored that McCain had actually said he was "happy" to infringe any rights Mc-F might have taken in order to limit political influence...Unfortunately, no one with a brain was there to ask him how George Soros managed to create a media network to perform the same exact purchase and punishment of representatives nor did Jennifer remember that it was through Fred's efforts that the SCOTUS finding was made possible in the first place.

How quickly personal political agendas shorten our long and short term memories, eh, Jennifer?
-- Chris

HEAT SHORTAGE
Re: Paul Chesser's Republican Governors Who Wilt:

Reading the article by your Paul Chesser I wonder why nobody mentions the Petition on Global Warming (see Internet) signed by over 19,000 independent scientists and professionals to the effect that any climate change occurring is not due to human activities. This petition is backed up by research performed by independent scientists, not by government hacks sponsored by the United Nations. These same government hacks, or the professors of today's hacks, 30 years ago predicted catastrophic globaloney cooling (see Newsweek of April 25, 1975), calling for massive airplane fleets to spread carbon black or soot over polar ice in order to increase heat input to the planet.
-- Marc Jeric
Las Vegas

BEST AT BEING BAD
Re: George H. Wittman's When Spy Games Turn Nasty:

The Russian/Soviet intelligence services have not "turned nasty." They've always been nasty.

Moreover, from the tiny slivers of information about their tactics that have slipped out from under the iron veil behind the Iron Curtain over the decades, they are the nastiest and very successful as a result.

No shrinking violet Congress in holier-than-thou oversight, you see.
-- A. C. Santore
Pennsylvania

ANACHRONISTIC CHRISTICS
Re: Mark Tooley's Martin Luther Comes Out:

So, Ms. Stange believes that all the dead Protestant reformers would embrace modern attempts to re-write Scripture and enthusiastically affirm homosexuality in all its permutations if only they had lived in our benighted and enlightened age. It appears to me that she and others pushing this nonsense are using the following logically fallacious reasoning in order to make their case: (1) The old reformers were rebels. (2) The new reformers consider themselves rebels. Therefore, (3) the old and new reformers are in agreement in all matters of faith and practice. Or, maybe they are hoping that the people they are trying to convince are as ignorant of their own church history and source of authority as they are. Martin Luther never sought to undermine the orthodox teachings of Scripture as Ms. Stange seeks to do. Originally, he desired to clean up the distortions of the sacred text and end the corruption within the hierarchy of the Roman church leadership. That is hardly the same thing as attempts by liberals within mainline denominations to make Scripture conform to their preferred view of sexuality. Martin Luther risked everything to preserve what they are trying to re-interpret.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

We Lutherans are well known for our theology of "properly dividing Law and Gospel." Many Lutherans, however, have dropped the Law in favor of an open-ended Gospel which accepts everyone -- especially those who are purported to be society's outcasts. "Gospel freedom" is said to mean accepting and affirming homosexuals and their "lifestyle." Anyone opposed is cast as ready to don the white sheets and firing up the ovens. In anticipation of the adoption of "liberated" policies for homosexual Pastors and same-sex unions, the leadership has appealed to orthodox Lutherans by saying the ELCA is inclusive and so they still could share in the wonderful fellowship of the ELCA dispute their differences. The orthodox are not buying it. They know that it would not be long before any dissent from the pro-homosexual policy would be ruthlessly suppressed. The orthodox also know the real question is what will our children and grandchildren in Sunday School and catechism classes be taught? Very few have any illusions of what would happen.

All Lutherans believe the Gospel is the very meaning of Christ and that which is the only thing which will save us. But Luther clearly taught that the Law is also the Word of God. While the Law cannot save, it is good. In Luther's fine distinction, the "Christian" does not need the Law; but the "creature" does. In this world and until His return, Christ's disciples live both as "Christian" and "creature" at the same time. Luther also said faith is a funny thing. Those who boast of great faith often have none while those who despair of little to any faith often have much. Many homosexuals (as many others in the deepest of sin) will walk into heaven before us because as Christians their love of Christ was more pure. As we taught to say in catechism, "That is most certainly true." Even still, that doesn't make sin right. When Jesus turned away the crowd that was about to stone the woman caught in adultery, He said ".".neither do I condemn you." He also ended saying, "Go and sin no more."
-- Mike Dooley

Lutherans especially should be familiar with Protestantism's founder and his Bible 1545 translation (BibleGateway.com) which has a revolutionary (for today) translation of Leviticus 18:22 -- the only Bible verse that could be used to condemn homosexuality. He translated it as "Man shall not lie with a BOY as with a woman." Obviously, this condemns pederasty, not loving relationships between consenting adults. Jesus defines sin as lack of love. What is unloving about homosexuality?
-- Fred Conwell

Martin Luther, based on his belief in sola scriptura, would not have endorsed homosexual marriage or gay rights. The Bible identifies homosexuality as a sin. In love Luther would "speak truth to power" and condemn the gay rights movement and those championing it as promoting sin. While post-modernist thinkers may believe traditional values and ideas on "lifestyle" and "orientation" are no longer valid those who recognize the immutable nature of God's word understand that fallen humanity is in need of Christ's grace and salvation more than 21st century moral pabulum.

I wonder what Mohammed, American liberalisms favorite cleric, would have to say on the subject of homosexual marriage? Why doesn't Stange put pro-homosexual propaganda in the mouth of Islam's "prophet?" I'm sure madrasah trained Barak Obama would be an awe inspiring source of information on the subject. No doubt the response from the international Muslim community would be lively and spirited.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

FAST TRACK
Re: W. James Antle III's Credibility Gap:

The current crop of Republican Leaders in the Congress should be proud of their accomplishments.

It took the country 40 years to become fed up with the pork-laden, corrupt governance of the Democrat party. It only took the Republicans 12 years to accomplish the same results.

BTW, I went to the same high school (High Point Regional, Sussex, NJ) as Congressman Scott Garrett. I was a friend of his older brother, who was my classmate. Even at that young age, they were both conservatives at a time (the Watergate Era) when it was not exactly popular to be one. It is heartening to see a politician who has remained true to himself, and has resisted the temptation to compromise conservative principles in order to "get along."
-- Herb Kennedy
Jacksonville, Florida

STAR SHIP DOOM
Re: Thom Bateman's letter (under ("Diseased Liberals") in Reader Mail's Nice Work If You Can't Get It:

There is nothing described by Mr. Thom Bateman and many other thoughtful commentators about the U.S. dying out with a whimper not a bang that thousands of Roman citizens would not instantly recognize as truth of real world experience. Sad to say "we" will most likely not recognize the same reality until it is far too late. More likely only when "we" are reading the history of the decline and fall of the U.S. in some future history class, ala "Star Ship Troopers," Robert Heinlein correctly read the portents way back in the 1950s. Worse, the cure for this "disease" may be worse then the disease itself, although the final outcome might turn salutary for the vast majority in time. Even behind enemy line in Seattle there is a feeling of impending doom for our democracy. Course, in Seattle they look forward to and work towards its completion...
-- Craig Sarver
Seattle, Washington

AVOCADO ARTISTS
Re: The "Labor Balance" letters in Reader Mail's Nice Work If You Can't Get It:

Re: Labor Balance and the oft suggested "take everyone off welfare and put 'em to work in the fields and orchards" -- beautiful theory and I would hate to see the produce that comes to market as a result.

My backyard in Santa Barbara adjoined a beautiful avocado grove that covered acres, lovingly harvested by Mexican labor. When I say lovingly, I use the word advisedly. As I worked in my own small garden, I observed the deftness and speed with which they handled the delicate fruit. The laborers were probably fourth generation pickers who knew what they were doing, taught by their fathers before them. Where they got the lazy "manana" label, I'll never know. They were diligent without being supervised.

I asked the owner why he never employed college students -- Santa Barbara has many schools and an unending supply of summer help. The grower said, "Because I value my trees and I value my crop." Though menial, picking most any crop requires skill and speed and care for the produce being picked.

It is a Utopian dream to believe you can take a busload of people from the unemployment office, drop them off in a field of strawberries or artichokes and your (what is it -- 4%?) unemployment problem is solved along with stopping the immigrant invasion.

These people are not paid what they are worth, but they may be the only workers on the planet who earn every cent of what they are paid. And this is going to blow your mind. I worked one year at the local hospital in Admitting -- and, wonder of wonders, avocado pickers have medical insurance!

Before the anti-illegal immigration folks rain hell on me, this is not a Pro-Illegal stance. It is simply my observation of avocado pickers over six seasons and my certain belief that you can neither train nor force third generation welfare recipients who are born to be unemployed to pick up a short handle hoe and become "stoop labor." There is a segment of society that is simply not acculturated to work. Go to New Orleans and try to recruit some of those Katrina victims. IF you can get together a crew, bring them to California and AT THE SAME WAGE, see who will keep them on for a week. See who will stay for a day. They don't call it the "Big Easy" for nothing!
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

SWEET CHARITY
Re: Julian Lizzio's letter (under "Child's Play") in Reader Mail's Freddie and the Dreamers:

Mr. Lizzio could not be expected to know my personal history, but rest assured that I am not one to disparage the power of the Internet to do real good. It was in part through the Internet that I became an adoptive father.
-- Patrick O'Hannigan
(on vacation, else I'd have responded sooner)

CUTTING STAGE
Re: Lawrence Henry's Rip Stop:

Picture this, I am old with weak hands and am trying to open the package of denture cleaner tablets. Not going to happen. I now keep scissors in my bathroom drawer.
-- Elaine Kyle

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