Reader Mail

Religious Differences

Enviros, health addicts, Democratic obstructionists, Deists, and supporters of Pius XII. Plus more.

1.29.03

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FRESNO STATE'S HOT DATE
Re: Bill Croke's Eco-Terrorist Academic Chic:

Thanks for putting this out there. We at the local Clovis Chamber of Commerce have been sounding the clarion call about this terrible seminar. Plus, it's being held at the same time as the World Ag Expo in Tulare (one hour away), which is the largest gathering of agricultural people in the world. Talk about laying out the candy store for these terrorists.

I've e-mailed O'Reilly, Savage, Hannity, Fox News and Rush but haven't heard anything. Any suggestions???
-- Fran Blackney

Hope the FBI or BATF can make it to the seminar. Keep the faith. Man is sovereign over all species, plant and animal.
-- Mike Sereda

MSA'S IN THE USA
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Health Care Conundrum:

Regarding "The Health Care Conundrum," there is a place for insurance: to cover catastrophic illnesses/events. The real alternative to a nationalized system to ration health care is a mix of medical savings accounts (MSAs) and major medical insurance.

Instead of paying insurance companies or managed care outfits to act as a broker between consumers and health care providers, employers (or individuals) should fund accounts that could be used for pay-as-you-go, fee-for-service treatment. Under the current system, those with employer-provided insurance or HMOs look at what they can get out of the entitlement and don't care about costs; they regard the care as free because it's already paid for.

Looking at a system of MSAs, we could figure out a reasonable way to fund partially such accounts and major medical for the poor and unemployed, making sure that the rate is low so that there are no incentives to remain poor or unemployed.

At the major medical level, insurance companies and regulators could engineer a book that makes sense for regular folks as well as those suffering life-long debilitating diseases or illnesses that are genetic in origin.

One overlooked reason for skyrocketing medical costs is that people are buying more health care. More folks are getting more diagnostic and corrective procedures -- colonoscopies, body scans, laser eye surgeries, knee/elbow tune-ups, replacement hips -- whether traditional insurance covers them or not. Heck, I know one large family where the successful siblings decided to chip in and get their dad a new set of knees -- he was a retired bricklayer who was getting along okay, but the kids wanted to do something special to improve his quality of life. I'm waiting for the radio ad for the combo body scan / laser eye surgery / colonoscopy while you're waiting for your car repair.
-- Mike Cakora
Columbia, SC

Lawrence Henry replies:
True, true, I say, 'tis true. However, MSAs do not answer the essential conundrum I wrote about: How do you continue to insure -- lay odds on -- something which non-discrimination laws prohibit you from underwriting accurately? Mr. Cakora's admirable proposals still do not answer that.

DEAD CATTLE
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Bush in Command:

Here in Texas, there used to an old story about a winter in the 1800s so cold that you could walk from Abilene, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas on the backs of frozen dead cattle and never touch the ground. You can almost do the same thing today, only its from Texas to Washington, D.C., and now its on the backs of members of the Left who have underestimated George W. Bush.
-- Mike Webster
Dallas, TX

Perhaps Pe-tah is trying to grab the sour-puss anchor award from Dan Rather. Are the Big 3 switching strategies and having a race to the bottom of the ratings? Matters not to me -- they all stink -- but I commend Mr. Pleszczynski for being able to stomach any one of them, Rather, Jennings or Brokaw for an entire program. I'm not up to it anymore.
-- Roger Ross
Tomahawk, WI

I simply don't understand the Democrats' strategery. How can treason and obstructionism advance their interests?

We have been attacked once and most certainly will be again. What will have been learned/gained by waiting until after the next blow? In fact, the only disappointing part of Mr. Bush's speech was his failure to close the Mexican border. The next attack will come via Cuba, through Mexico and across the border along with the 200,000 tons of drugs and 800,000 illegals who came north last year.

And, the obstructionism! Will the Dems do nothing but block and obstruct?

Finally, can Ted and Jack Kennedy really have had the same parents? Jack must be spinning in his grave over his brother's pro-Iraqi support.
-- unsigned

UNEASY INDEPENDENCE
Re: The Washington Prowler's Dean of the Democrats:

No, I wouldn't ever be in any way likely to ever vote for Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, nor any of those other known Democrat candidates -- Bob Graham, maybe. But I'm an Independent who feels just a tad more like a "Small-L" Libertarian, one who takes great exception to Ashcroft's visit to Oregon about its anti-suicide law, the Anti-Choice rhetoric and the GOP's Morality Police.

No, I certainly am not pro-abortion, but I resent anyone -- especially those obnoxious and venomous loudmouths who would try to tell my daughters what they can or cannot do with their bodies.

And when the Republicans look ahead toward '04, '06 and '08, they'd be wise to not become too heavy handed in their overly sanctimonious morality position. I'm guessing that there are a few more like me around; folks who resent being lectured by anti-porn zealots, too, who retain no regard for the freedom of others.

Candidly, many of your letter-writers (and an occasional columnist) make my skin crawl with their demented view of any who may not subscribe to their ultra-right message. Their man-made dictates simply don't cut it. They're no better than Daschle, Falwell, Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Kennedy, James Dobson, Patrick Leahy or Pat Robertson. Joe Farah also seems to be pushing the boundaries of pomposity with his strong-armed pronouncements as well.

No, I won't have them threatening me or my views with their myopic vision of eternal damnation. Rather, I'll happily answer to God him/herself (if God, indeed, has a gender).
-- Geoff Brandt/Deist

NO REFUELING
Re: Reader Mail's The Art of Refueling:

After reading the bit on probe/drogue refueling in the Prowler I have a funny story and thought you might enjoy it.

I was a long time KC-135 pilot and went to SEA in 1967 for a tour in F-105's. I had one probe/drogue training mission at Nellis and that was a day mission in clear weather. My next probe/drogue refueling was during my SEA tour and was at night in and out of thunderstorms. That was probably as scary a mission as I flew over there.

After my 105 tour I went back to SAC and returned to SEA as a tanker pilot. As you know, the 105 was equipped with both the receptacle for boom refueling and the probe for probe/drogue refueling. A tanker that had a basket installed for probe/drogue refueling had a "P" added to the call sign. (Example: Blue Anchor 33 Papa.) Several times I had 105's on their way home call for a tanker but when they were answered by a "Papa" tanker there would be a long pause and then the reply, "Blue Anchor 33P, we recomputed our fuel and we will be able to RTB without refueling today, thank you very much."
-- Jim Register
Orange Park, FL

PAPAL PORTRAIT
Re: Jay Shuman's response to James Bowman's review of Amen in Reader Mail's The Art of Refueling:

It is fashionable now among the anti-Roman Catholic left to portray the Church as either passive or complicit in the Nazi actions against the Jews. If we look to what those in the know had to say, a different picture emerges:

"We share in the grief of humanity at the passing away of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII. In a generation afflicted by wars and discords he upheld the highest ideals of peace and compassion. When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace."
-- Golda Meir, 1958, written eulogy for Pope Pius XII

"A particularly regrettable irony that the one person in all of occupied Europe who did more than anyone else to halt the dreadful crime and alleviate its consequences is today made the scapegoat for the failures of others."
-- Jeno Levai, Jewish scholar from Hungary, Holocaust survivor

"Above all, we acknowledge the Supreme Pontiff and the religious men and women who, executing the directives of the Holy Father, recognized the persecuted as their brothers and, with great abnegation, hastened to help them, disregarding the terrible dangers to which they were exposed."
-- Dr. Joseph Nathan, 9/45, head of Hebrew Commission

"Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, but the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, but they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers…they too were mute. Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing the truth… I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration … and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly."
-- Albert Einstein, 1944

"All the arguments and writings eventually used by the Catholic Church against Hitler only provoked suicide; the execution of Jews was followed by that of Catholic priests."
-- Robert Kempner, Deputy Chief of the Nuremberg trials

"In a manner never known before...the Pope has repudiated the National Socialist New European Order [Nazism]. It is true, the Pope does not refer to the National Socialists in Germany by name, but his speech is one long attack on everything we stand for. He is clearly speaking on behalf of the Jews."
-- Gestapo report, 12/26/42.

"The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas...He is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all... [assailing] the violent occupation of territory, and the exile and persecution of human beings, for no other reason than race."
-- New York Times 12/25/42.

It appears that Mr. Shuman is the one who is attempting to rewrite history.
-- J. Donnelly
Grand Rapids, MI

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