NO ORDINARY JOE
Re: George Neumayr's Kerry's Dirty Diplomacy:
I'm an Ohio native who attended college in Massachusetts and have resided here for three decades now in spite of the dreadful political climate. As follow-up to your column of Tuesday, March 2: Perhaps you're aware of the brewing debate and dispute here over the disposition of John Kerry's Senate seat in the event (heaven forbid) of his election to the Presidency. The wildly Democratic state legislature is considering legislation to block Republican Governor Romney from appointing an interim successor to the Senate seat, as the state constitution allows. And further: guess who is the current favorite among Massachusetts voters, according to a new survey, to succeed Kerry should his seat become available? Why, the moronic Joe Kennedy! Yikes and double yikes!
-- M. Young
HARD TO SWALLOW
Re: Shawn Macomber's Bitter Pill:
The California courts condone illegal acts by the mayor of San Francisco but punish those who follow the law. In order to comply with the ruling of the California Court and to stay true to Catholic beliefs, Catholic Charities could eliminate their health care benefit plan for all employees and provide each with a monthly payment equal to its present contribution to the plan. Using this money plus their own contribution, if any, the employees could enroll either in private plans as individuals or band together and seek a group rate from a health care provider.
-- E. Patrick Mosman
Pleasantville, New York
I agree with Shawn's article, although, I would like to take it a step further. We truly are on course to a state-imposed religion -- self gratification. This is a capitalist nation with employment at will; therefore, if you do not like the health benefits provided to you by your employer, then GO FIND ANOTHER JOB! No one says you have to work for a company that does not provide birth control pills free of charge. I find it absolutely reprehensible that any judge can order churches, religious organizations, or any company to provide benefits that are against their beliefs. What's next? That the Catholic Church is required to pay for abortions? I am beginning to think that the constitution, both federal and state, is a figment of our imagination. How else can you explain this flagrant disregard for the First Amendment?
-- Jennifer Johnson
As a Catholic who accepts all of my Church's teachings, I am appalled by the California Supreme Court's decision to force Catholic Charities to offer contraception coverage as part of its prescription drug benefit. I say: the Church needs to "just say NO!" Come and get us if you dare! If the goons of our nascent dictatorship come after us with guns, then I say we have every moral right -- indeed the duty -- to defend ourselves, our families, and our properties in like manner as these [so-and-so's] come after us. They shoved us into a corner, then we need to shove back, and get into a knock-down brawl if necessary.
The usurpation of power by the courts all over this nation these last 30 to 50 years constitutes a slow-motion revolution by the Left. And I do mean revolution, in the sense of a forcible power-grab. My feeling is that it's way past time to start a counter-revolution. For starters, let's ignore the courts: the executive and legislative branches need to reassert their co-equal status within a government of three branches.
Private citizens and organizations such as Catholic Charities need to commit multiple, massive acts of civil disobedience. Judges' homes need to be picketed; they and their families need to be confronted by vociferous, angry citizens wherever they shop, or go to school, or (gasp!) go to church or synagogue. The aggrieved leaders of the Catholic Church need to speak up, take out ads, march in picket lines, and preach that the Church WILL NOT OBEY these illegal diktats from the robed Caesars. We must be prepared to go to jail for our beliefs. We will NOT knuckle under to the robed dictators any longer! The judges themselves are outlaws and ought to be arrested and jailed for betraying the Constitution. Who sits in judgment of the courts? It's time that WE THE PEOPLE did!
Unless and until the leaders of the Church learn to shove back at these [so-and-so's] on the courts, they are just going to keep pushing and shoving us until there won't be any freedom left in America.... All conservative Americans have a stake in this battle, because all believers who don't want to hide their faith under the mattress will one day be in the same situation. Indeed, such is already often the case when it comes to open practice or showing of religious faith in the America of AD 2004.
-- John G. Boulet, M.D.
BEN IS RIGHT
Re: Ben Stein's Riefenstahl Madness:
I just read Ben Stein's article mentioning the recognition of Leni Riefenstahl at the Oscars. I too was thoroughly disgusted. Having spent five of my teen years under German occupation (1940-1945) while living in Norway I was probably too forgiving of the gaffe. I attributed it to youth and short memories. I am almost 82 years old and the memories of those years are nothing to memorialize, except as the scary lesson that if we do not learn from history we are bound to repeat it. I do not hear much about the fact that we are fighting WWIII.
-- Edith S. Payne
While I can empathize with Ben Stein's howl at Riefenstahl's recognition at the Oscars, I had a different reaction.
This was an uncharacteristically honest moment for Hollywood. Yes, Riefenstahl's politics were abominable. (As is the case for many current stars.) But not only was her filmmaking effective, it was seminal. The dirty secret in Hollywood is just how copied Triumph of the Will is. Including her in the salute was almost a tacit admission of how influential she still is. Just because you're on the wrong side of history doesn't mean you don't know how to use your medium.
To see Hollywood admit in public how important Riefenstahl is to them was, in a perverse way, refreshing.
-- Craig Good
LOOK WHO'S TALKING
Re: James Bowman's Repression Night:
James Bowman remarks in his Repression Night piece that "It would probably never occur to a plumber or a grocery bagger to take for granted his own qualifications to evaluate those of the leader of the Western world -- and to find them wanting." Bowman must not get out much if he believes this. Politics is the mother's milk of lively conversation among plumbers, grocery baggers, auto glass repairers, meter readers and forklift operators throughout the land. Very often they are as knowledgeable -- and at least as wise -- in their views and opinions as not only Hollywood's elite, but the media elite, the Ivy League elite or any other elite you can name. They are Americans, after all, and as Michel-Guillaume de Crèvecoeur wrote, in the far long ago, of farmers, fishermen and frontiersmen in Sketches of Eighteenth Century America, "... they carefully read the newspapers, enter into every political disquisition, freely blame governors and others." Nothing has changed in 250 years.
-- Chris Mark
A good piece. I would only point out that the plumber and grocery bagger will certainly evaluate the qualifications of the leader of the Western World. It happens this year they just need to step into a voting booth.
-- John McGinnis
Bowman may be a scholar, but he isn't smart enough to buy a television like mine -- one with a channel selector! I used mine and didn't suffer through a second of the self-serving Academy Awards. To quote George C. Scott: "The (Academy Awards) ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons." To expect anything else is truly dopey!
-- Tom Marcucci
RICH MAN, POOR MAN
Re: Brandon Crocker's The Immigration Things (Part II) :
Congratulations Mr. Crocker on your success! You obviously are fortunate enough to live in a section of San Diego that is rich enough not to be besieged by illegal aliens. Having lived for many years (including the year of the first amnesty in 1986 and several years thereafter) in several parts of town that are not so fortunate, I may be a little more familiar with the actual (as distinguished from official) immigration policies of the U.S. government and their consequences where most people live.
Mr. Crocker can't understand why so many people believe a guest worker program will be an amnesty in all but name. What he doesn't understand is that the government has always lied about illegal immigration and lied about the first amnesty. The real policy is to help rich people get cheap, obsequious laborers while forcing their less affluent neighbors to live with them. The job of the INS agents that rove the county is to see that the illegals are off the streets of the rich neighborhoods at night. The neighbors get to live with the trash, the crime, and even get to subsidize the illegals' children (which is the only reason their labor is so cheap).
The first amnesty sounded like a good idea when it was proposed. Illegals who had been here for a long time and had jobs and paid taxes would be legalized, while the government would actually start enforcing our borders and fining the rich people who would not stop luring more illegals here by offering them jobs. Once it got through Congress, the amnesty applied to illegals who could produce easily forged rent receipts showing that they had been here a few months during the preceding year. And it became extremely obvious in the next few years that the government had never intended to keep its end of the bargain.
In fact, where most of the illegals before amnesty had been single men, immediately afterwards there was a massive wave of entire families moving across the border. That was all during the first Bush administration; the problem got worse and spread nationwide under Clinton.
So those of us who have had to live with illegal immigration know that America's rich want an amnesty and that politicians of both parties are willing to engage in any deception to get one.
-- D. Duggan
NO KERRY TRIFECTA
Re: Enemy Central's Career Moves:
Anytime Naomi Wolf earns an EOW it is well. She being the arch feminist and Alpha male adviser to two metrosexual losers that she is. How this Feminazi is seen as credible to anyone with a half a brain is even more incredible. In this case, John F-ing Kerry lost his chance at a hat trick to a better man.
To the north, to the south, to the east, to the west: Hail John Kerry:
Standard bearer of the party of litigators, lay-abouts, and lotharios
-- John C. Driscoll
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Re: James Bowman's review of The Passion of the Christ:
Words fail me as I read Bowman's review of this powerful movie. I cannot believe his smugness in suggesting that Mel Gibson basically "overdid" the violence in his presentation of the sufferings of Christ, somehow exaggerating the bloodiness and horror of the experience. Having read through the years some of the forensic analyses of the events described in the Gospel narratives, as well as analyses of other ancient Roman documentation of how scourgings and crucifixions were performed, I believe that Bowman suffers from an extreme case of naiveté. (See here, for starters.) I, for one, believe Mel Gibson has stated in interviews (adhering to the accepted teachings of Scripture) that our salvation was purchased through the sacrificial shedding of blood, the righteous for the unrighteous. The significance of "the blood" can never be understated in Christian thought and teachings, and we are truly shown here that it was not merely a pin prick!
As for the garden of Gethsemane scene and the depiction of Jesus' agony in the hours immediately leading up to his arrest, the Scriptures themselves depict the fact that he actually sweated blood, a rare but not unheard of symptom of extreme stress. Our Lord knew full well what lay before Him and yet fully complied with the demands of God's righteous justice on our behalf even to death on the cross. I for one will always remember the powerful emotions and drama of what my Lord went through on my behalf in a way I never could have appreciated before seeing it openly displayed before my eyes on film.
-- Patrick A. Henry
OK, I've had it with your French words, quotes, whatever you call them. I'm just a simple IT person with a BS degree, but back in the sixties we didn't have to take a lot of liberal arts subjects if we were tech people. I have no idea what folie de grandeur, epater les bourgeois, or epater les mean. Nor should I have to. Why can't you people just get down to the common level of we grass roots conservatives and say what you mean without the French nonsense?
I know you're smart and intellectual or you wouldn't be writing for the Spectator. You don't have to prove it with your cute little foreign language references.
-- Robert Croft
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