Re: Adam Creighton's Australia Opts for Changeless Change:
I'm the oped editor of The Australian newspaper in Sydney and I just wanted to congratulate Adam on a splendid article "Australia Opts for Changeless Change" in The American Spectator. First rate piece of commentary that one rarely finds even here in Australia.
Thanks so much.
-- Tom Switzer
Opinion Page Editor, The Australian
LEGACY OF BLOOD
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Hillary and the Ghost of LBJ:
The orgy of violence [at the 1968 Democratic Convention] was engineered not by the Democratic Party (or even the liberal wing of the Democratic Party), but by extreme leftists such as Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and other now mostly forgotten luminaries of the lunatic fringe. This group dreaded the election of a (relative) liberal like Humphrey (as they had previously feared a victory by Robert Kennedy or Eugene McCarthy) because they well understood that if the Vietnam War were to end anytime soon, they themselves would be out of business. They needed the war, just as they needed a recognizable "villain" (Nixon) as a focal point for their 'rage' and their new age, neo-socialist gibberish. Sadly, they did succeed in their goal of bringing down the once great Democratic Party.
-- Gene Schmidt
Brooklyn, New York
Your article on LBJ and the Democrats is interesting and informative. But you're wrong on your assertion that the electorate eventually will get used to Hillary as President. A large number of voters, maybe something approaching 50 percent, will never become accustomed to her as their President. There is in this nation a deep and widespread dislike for her, unprecedented in American politics. She can be elected, and probably will be, but she will never be able to govern.
Let us not forget -- because the Democrats are fond of reminding people of it -- that Al Gore won the nationwide vote count in 2000.
-- F. Jasselin
But Jeffrey Lord's thesis is sound. 9/11 happened in 2001-- I doubt if Gore would have won this tight plurality if 9/11 had happened in 1999 or 2000.
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES
Re: The Prowler's Friends Amid Scandals:
Prowler, I think you're pushing the conspiracy envelope here as well. I scanned the attached story, and was under whelmed. Might it just be that Senator Lott is ready to cash in his "public service" chips for the gold that awaits on K Street? Being in the minority isn't much fun, even in Club Senate, especially in today's environment. If soon to be new senate rules place a two year prohibition on lobbying, well, as the old adage goes, "just follow the money."
No great loss here; Lott, as majority leader, was more interested in Senate collegiality than conservative principles, which got him zilch within the Club, as demonstrated when Strom turned 100. He's also another illiterate when it comes to the Constitution. His recent threat, that "talk radio" needed to be controlled, said it all. Frankly, I was hoping to see Mark Levin wipe the floor with Mr. Lott, but heck, there's money to be made, no time for unfinished business. Oh well, there's always Harry to take up the cause. Can't wait.
-- A. DiPentima
Trent Lott is a perfect example why the Republicans were savaged in the last cycle of congressional elections. They came to power on Mr. Gingrich's high minded principles embodied in "The Contract with America." They very quickly accomplished those promises.
America prospered mightily.
Then these Republicans began behaving just like Democrats. They enriched themselves. They abandoned ethics. They completely ceased doing the peoples' business. They spent like drunken sailors (I apologize to sailors everywhere) on doing things much better left undone.
Then, when the fruits of their venality ripen they quit. Just like Democrats.
Now America is faced with a combination of threats in numbers and danger never seen before. We have the Islamo-fascist desire it kill us all and they are striving mightily to accomplish that goal.
We have the most dangerous invasion ever from Mexico and south. We are rapidly becoming a state of Mexico. There are 15-20 million illegal invaders here now and probably another 4 or five million each year. They are not assimilated; they do not share our values; and worse they Balkanize us by not learning our language.
We have our economy held hostage to $100/ barrel oil. Our Saudi "friends" are flipping us the bird. A communist dictator in Venezuela is suggesting that OPEC shut off oil to the U.S. to "stop imperialism." He is also aiding hundreds of thousands of illegal invaders to come here each year. It also appears that Central and South America are reverting to the strongman governments once again and this time from the left. So more threats are probable from that quarter.
The dollar is rapidly falling to the economic cellar. If this continues the argument that OPEC countries can't live without the dollar rapidly look as foolish as the people who make it.
The military is just wrecked. It is too small to meet our global (self-imposed) obligations. It is desperately in need of expansion and modernization if we are to survive.
Finally and most dangerous, is the Democrat party. They have become the headquarters for mindless radical socialist pacifists. Look at John Edwards. It is beyond belief that he could know a whit about the world and say the things he says, much less believe them! Barack Obama perhaps can be partially excused, he has no experience at anything. Mrs. Clinton at least is being Clinton: lying, vilifying opponents and taking questionable contributions. She is a known quality.
Now pick any of these issues. Do you hear anyone, in any party, speaking forcefully and sensibly on a single one of them?
Be very afraid, America.
-- Jay Molyneaux
Re: Jeff Emanuel's Betrayal in Annapolis:
I write not to dispute a thing in Mr. Emanuel's fine column. I would only add, perhaps, a bit of perspective, or reality, or whatever. I do not understand why anyone should be surprised at this upcoming fiasco. Certainly it has been coming since Rice took over the Dept. of State from Colin Powell.
In 1999 or very early 2000 George Bush conducted his first talks with Ms. Rice. He was impressed with her beyond mere words. She became his foreign policy guru, his teacher. During his first term Ms. Rice was winning her spurs as a hardliner and head of Bush's National Security Council. He shot his mouth off and she backed him up by illuminating the academic or policy wonk underpinnings for his policy. Apparently, she took a stand a good deal closer to the Cheney-Rumsfeld axis than to the Colin Powell axis.
After the 2004 election Ms. Rice moved over to become the Sec. of State. I read and heard report after report about how she would take hold of the State Dept. bureaucracy and shake it up, reform it, get it to bow to the wishes of the Bush administration. Balderdash and piffle. Almost from day one, the bureaucracy has grabbed old Condi by the throat and re-educated her. She became, like all her predecessors, a creature of that foreign policy bureaucracy.
Bush, in typical fashion, has stuck with Ms. Rice through the criticism from GOP/Conservative policy wonks, thinkers, and pundits. He has dug in his heels and refuses to consider, seemingly, the idea of telling Condi to get back to the person she used to be.
Now let us couple that with the undeniable and enduring friendship between the Bush clan and the sheiks and emirs in the vast Arabian oil region. He invites them to the Crawford ranch and walks around holding hands with them. I don't remember any pictures of such down home intimacy with the Israeli Prime Minister or other Israeli dignitary. A while back when Olmert launched his fiasco of an incursion against the jihadists in southern Lebanon, at least publicly, Bush had a hissey fit. Look how Bush refuses to do anything effective about getting Saudi Arabia to stop financing the expansion of Wahhabism in America. Look how he is always talking about how Islam is a religion of peace. Look how he has treated Syria almost with kid gloves. I could go on listing examples, but I will rest the list here, as I think that you take my point.
Come on, the signs have been there. Ignoring the signs just because it is George Bush is naive, stubborn, and silly. He is a friend of Israel and the Jews in so much as his Christian religious convictions and the Bible tell him that the Jews are the chosen people of God. In all other regards, he is right there with his Arabic friends from the Oil Patch.
-- Ken Shreve
One wonders if the Middle East peace process would now be different if President Reagan had not saved the PLO from eradication in Lebanon? By saving the PLO in 1982, ordering the State Department to negotiate openly with the PLO in 1988 and his announced policy of "even handedness" between Israel and the Arab states, President Reagan not only recognized the PLO as a legitimate partner in the Middle East peace process, but he laid the foundation for the meeting in Annapolis. While one can only be skeptical of the outcome based on the duplicitous nature of some of the Arab regimes involved if peace is achieved or at least more Arab states openly acknowledge Israel's right to exist (that would be a major milestone in and of itself), then years of both Democrat and Republican diplomacy have not been wasted. Whatever the outcome it can be argued after Annapolis that both the U.S. and Israel have gone the extra mile to resolve the conflict and that guilt for continued hostility rests squarely on the Arabs, Islam and their supporters in Europe who facilitate Arab interagency and thereby terrorism and death.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
You have hit the very heart of the matter with this statement: Mormonism wanders far from what Trinitarian Christians believe the Bible teaches about who Jesus is and how salvation is accomplished.
The apostle Paul was struggling with the church even in his own time regarding apostate ideas and false teachers. The problem is, and has always been, what some Christians "believe the Bible teaches." Peter said that the scriptures are of no private interpretation. In other words: they mean what the prophets and apostles intended them to mean, not what we necessarily would like them to mean, or what we guess they might mean. How can one know? James says if any lack wisdom, let him ask of God in faith, nothing wavering.
The fact that nearly all Protestant sects agree on what the scriptures mean, mostly, is no proof they are right. The fact that we LDS all agree on what they mean is no proof either -- not by itself. Some philosopher whose name I can't recall is quoted as saying: If 50,000 people say a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing. This is exactly why the Lord has always called true prophets and why he offers revelation to all people in regard to knowing the truth. We claim revelation and living prophets, the same as in ancient times. It should surprise no one that our understanding of the Bible differs from that of churches who claim there is no revelation today. Why do they suppose that God, through James, would tell us to ask of him and then refuse to answer? Salvation is not a game the Lord plays with us.
Here is my logic on the matter: God is either real or he is not. If he is not, then nothing much matters. But, if he is, then it stands to reason that there must be some correct way to relate to him. And how do we know what that way is unless he tells us? Now, you may say that the scriptures tell us, which they do, but unless he tells us what they mean exactly, how can we ever know we are on the right track? All roads may lead to Rome, which is okay if you want to go to Rome, but if the path is straight and the road is narrow to eternal life, it is vital to know how to find that road and stay on it.
Can all the other churches be wrong, or let us say, not completely right? They can. The Lord told Joseph Smith they were all wrong, and the Lord knows something about such things. How do we know for sure that this is true? We have to ask in faith, nothing wavering. There is no question this is a big claim and one that is bound to raise a few eyebrows. We are for sure out of step with mainstream Christianity. I can well understand why many of our Christian brothers and sisters are uncomfortable with us. One should expect this. But, we don't worship the prophets Mormon or Joseph Smith any more than Baptists worship John the Baptist -- though their church is named after him and not Christ. We don't believe that Lutherans worship Martin Luther, and yet their church is named after him.
So, the long and the less long of this is that I think many Christians seem more eager to see Hillary elected, whose religion is Marxism, than a fellow Christian whose doctrines they don't believe -- and don't have to believe. This fear of we latter day saints is irrational. Don't vote out of fear.
Incidentally, I'm voting for Ron Paul myself. If you just can't bring yourself to vote for Romney because you fear him, vote for Paul. He actually uses the word "constitution" when he talks. It's a good trait.
-- Steve Hayes
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Mr. Bailey and Mr. Kennedy should take a deep breath and calm down. I have traveled in ecumenical circles for years now and I never met anyone who deliberately misrepresents another church or religion. When the talk about their differences with another church, they sincerely believe it is true. If Mormons think they are being misunderstood, then it is up to them to state their case. The old canard that priests fear loss of membership because they wouldn't be able to get their filthy hands on all that money is a sword that can cut ways. However that may be, what is clear is that the refusal to acknowledge Mormons as Christians really sticks in their craw.
The problem is discussing Mormon theology is much like discussions between Liberal Christians and Orthodox Christians is that both use the same words but with entirely different meanings. But for most Christians, the salient point is that Mormons do not subscribe to the three "ecumenical" creeds: The Apostles', The Nicene, and the Athanasian. While it is true a few Christian churches do not subscribe to these creeds, they do so because not because they reject their content but because they are against creeds of any shape or form -- believing the Bible is enough. Mormons do not have any such inhibition. The question becomes why reject them?
Mr. Bailey makes the snarky comment: "It is good though to see that the old Creed is still serving its purpose to include those who profess it and exclude those who do not." Well, of course, that is what the creeds are for. They hold professed believers accountable to the faith handed down by the ancient Church. In every age, heresies abound. The fact that Mormons rejects all three creeds is a huge red flag. Attempts by some Mormons to claim that they uphold the beliefs summarized in the creeds without actually subscribing to them are simply not sufficient. I am afraid this is just a bone of contention Mormons are just going to have to come to terms with.
Mormons are perfectly entitled to claim that they preach the Word of God in all its fullness. All other Christians are entitled to dispute that claim for what they believe are legitimate reasons. It is good for Mormons and Christians to have peaceful and friendly relations between them; but friendship should not obscure the profound differences in the Gospel each proclaims.
-- Mike Dooley
Alas, Mr. Bailey, theology is not for the "feint" of heart.
-- Mike Showalter
HIGH PRICE OF HOSPITALITY
Re: Mike Dooley's letter (under "They Will Come") in Reader Mail's Souls and Rolls:
The last sentence of Mr. Dooley's letter is pretty much on target. The stadium did not "loom large" in the election primarily because the one newspaper simply will not print anything negative about it. An editorial therein once raised the question as to how the city could pay for that stadium while letting other real needs go. I wrote the editor that it was because the citizenry was living in a fog of disinformation about the stadium's value -- a fog generated in great part by his paper. I got no answer. (As an example, see this morning's paper (11/27) for a front page article happily extolling the inclusion of two ultra-large replay screens in the new stadium at a cost of over $11 million dollars.) Nor has the paper ever raised the point that construction of the stadium took acres of very valuable land completely off the assessment rolls, thereby contributing to property tax problem.
The need for more convention space could have been filled at a fraction of the cost of the current project. The real "need" was for the Colts ownership to make more money. While expansion of the convention center may be a good economic investment, it simply became an excuse to tear down the current dome, which in turn became the excuse for building the new palace. And of course we couldn't expect the poverty stricken football franchise to take care of its own needs. As Mr. Dooley so accurately points out, we're now in a situation where we have paid virtually nothing on the cost of the original dome -- except more than two decades of interest -- and have taken on the cost of a new palace with a price tag of more than ten times the first one. Precedent indicates my grandchildren will already owe a pile of dough when the decision is made that the Colts still aren't profitable enough 20 years from now.
-- Fred McCarthy
P.S. This website can provide more information about both the stadium and the general tax situation in Indianapolis.
ONE MORE ENTRY
Re: Jeffrey Lord's A History of Liberal Disasters:
The author forgot banning DDT. We, in North Dakota, are losing more people to West Nile and other diseases carried by flies and mosquitoes then we ever lost due to DDT.
-- Glenda Thomas
Cando, North Dakota