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Re: The Digital Spectator:

I was very pleased to read the announcement of the digital edition of The American Spectator — I have been considering subscribing for some considerable time, and would have done so already. However, I see that, as a British subscriber, I would have to pay double for the privilege (I presume that this is an error in your subscription system — the postage on the web is the same for Tunbridge Wells as Toledo or Tallahassee, after all). Once this is fixed (or a convincing reason is supplied for the eye-watering mark-up), I will subscribe immediately.
Robert Dammers
Tunbridge Wells
Kent, England

Re: John Tabin’s Tone Poems:

Mr. Tabin got it mostly right. I especially like to watch the snide White House press corps to see who, in solemn tone, will manage to ask the most vacuous and inane question. It’s always a toss-up. Why watch “American Idol” when you can get the updated version of the “Ted Mack Amateur Hour”? But seriously, since the MSM will not give serious discussion to the issues and all that the cable channels care about is who scored political points, it’s incumbent upon the President get above the din and make his case, which he did rather forcefully. Frankly, we need more prime-time press conferences, if for no other reason than I can at least avoid watching the lackluster Yankees drop another one, while doing my civic duty.
Anthony F. DiPentima

When the President has lost my wife on his quest to begin the healing of Social Security, as he has, he has probably lost the battle. Hearing Juan Williams comment Sunday morning that W has the right idea is enough to cement her opinion that the President must be wrong. The road will no doubt get bumpier from here on out.
Roger Ross
Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Re: George Neumayr’s Center-Left Republicanism’s Collapse:

Neumayr has it right. The Democrats always win if you argue from their premise. If Republicans in California want a future in there, they will reign Arnie in, or he will do them all in.
P. Aaron Jones (A real person, not unsigned!)
Huntington Woods, Michigan

I think the Rush (as usual) has the last word on moderate Republicans. His question to callers who identify themselves as “moderate”: “Okay. What is it that you are moderate about?”
Greg Richards

Arnold may have alienated his base by showing his true left-of-center colors, but at least he has the guts to come forward praising the efforts of the Minutemen and not calling them “vigilantes” as the President did. The illegal immigrant issue has reached critical mass and, as governor of California, Schwarzenegger has seen this firsthand and realizes the absolute necessity of securing the border. For the life of me, I do not understand why President Bush does not follow his lead on this matter.
Rich Holt

Arnold’s is one of the biggest canards going. You cannot out-liberal a liberal; there is no sense in trying.

In actuality, for you lose three conservative votes for every one moderate vote you garner by so doing. And in order to maintain the status quo of your new “voting bloc,” you have to continue to do unconservative things, with each such successive endeavor costing you more and more conservative votes, all the while merely (barely) breaking even with said new “bloc.”

I utilize two Republican Presidential candidates as comparative examples. George W. Bush runs as a “compassionate (read moderate) conservative” in 2000, and has to go to the Supreme Court to win the election. Ronald Reagan runs as an unapologetic Conservative in 1980 and wins forty states.

Another brilliant analysis piece, Sir.
Seton Motley
Editor in Chief

Re: Lawrence Henry’s David and Vinnie:

Lawrence Henry is a very understated man.

Charlestown is a very unusual place. It was not only the home of David and Vinnie but of Old Ironsides and John Harvard as well. The architecture ranges from excellent examples of late 18th century single dwellings to post WWII housing developments. I lived there in the late ’80s in a gentrified 19th century flophouse for sailors from the nearby Navy Yard.

The boys Lawrence Henry worked with were very tough. They also had a serious axe to grind about us yuppies moving in to their territory. It was said at the time that Charlestown raised the largest number of bank robbers per capita than any place else in the country.

David’s experience echoes Margaret Thatcher’s recipe for success : hard work, education and opportunity. In David’s case it also required people like Lawrence Henry to care enough to do what they can to help.

Thank you, Mr. Henry.
Mrs. John B. Jackson III

Re: Christopher Orlet’s Where’s Ratko?:

Mr. Orlet needs to know that since the fall of Milosevic, there has been no government in Serbia with sufficient staying power to be found complicit in the apprehension of Ratko Mladic. Such is the strength of the Nationalist movement in Serbia and the dilemma facing any of the successor governments since Milosevic. So unless a ruling coalition comes along in Serbia that values the apprehension of one man more that its own power, Ratko’s whereabouts will have to remain a something of a mystery.
Jerome Brick
Beaver Dam, Arizona

Re: Judd Magilnick’s Who’s Got Appendicitis Now?:

Since Judd Magilnick chose Lehrer’s line, “nervous as a Christian Scientist with appendicitis,” to make his point (“Who’s Got Appendicitis Now? 4/28), I thought I’d add my two cents. For the record, I think it’s a healthy sign that more folks are questioning “empirical reality” and developing spiritual understanding to help solve crises. I’m speaking as a lifelong Christian Scientist who suffered a severe case of appendicitis as a teenager and managed to have a complete, prayer-based healing. That healing had a profound impact on how I deal with physical and emotional challenges today. I think anyone studying the mental nature of disease and the power of God to heal all kinds of difficulties can do it without being nervous. Living Biblical principles and practicing the scientific system of divine healing called Christian Science has given me a confidence in facing real problems that nothing else can.
Linda K. Paardecamp

“In April 1965, the ‘All-Americans’ were alerted for action in response to the civil war raging in the Dominican Republic. Spearheaded by the 3rd Brigade, the 82nd deployed to the Caribbean in Operation POWER PACK. Peace and stability was restored by June 17, when the rebel guns were silenced.”

From the History of the 82nd Airborne Division website.
Steve Hubbard
San Diego, California

Regarding the 4/27 column “Condi and History” by Mark Goldblatt; our 527 group “Americans for Secretary Rice” celebrates his statement for Madam Secretary Rice to be the Republican nominee for 2008. Her service to our nation would be out of duty not to boost her ego, and we agree Condi in 2008 is the natural choice.

Now how do we achieve that goal? Our first step was to find like-minded people to form “Team Condi” and send our paperwork to the Federal Election Commission to authorized us to raise money to promote “Condoleezza Rice for President in 2008”. We knew it would have to be a draft movement since she is currently working full-time as head of the state department. Our organization created campaign buttons, bumper stickers, and T-shirts to sell in our plan to raise funds for radio ads and display tables at political events across the nation. Since we are volunteers devoted only to our vision of “President Rice”, we paid for our own airline tickets to Washington DC to attend CPAC, (Conservative Political Action Conference) along with 4000 other people. Since all the tables were sold out, we could not sell any of our items which put us into “message mode”; give the CPAC people information about our website by handing out freely all the literature and campaign items in our suitcases.

This action was noticed by the national and international media. Interview requests and microphones surrounded us. “Condimania” was launched and we rode the wave. Our website was bombarded with supporters but also by hackers who tried to destroy our website with virus and shutdowns. Only Democrats full of venom could attack a federal authorized group since Democrats love destroying the free speech of others who disagree with them. So, we have been forced to upgrade to a more secure computer system and keep focused on building a nationwide group of support.

We are still in Phase #1: building “Condi Clubs” to gather support in key primary states. These activists will put the name of Condoleezza Rice on the ballots starting in January 2007. The lessons of Dwight Eisenhower have provided us with our plan of action to urge a reluctant candidate to serve her nation.

Yes, we hope those conservatives who begged Mark Goldblatt find us. We want their energy and we ask them to visit to donate money and purchase items which financed a 6-week ad buy in Iowa for $3,600. It was the first 2008 campaign ad and it was not the last.
Crystal Dueker
Acting National Co-Chair

Re: “A True North Strong and Free Ally’s” letter (under “Yankee Friendly”) in Reader Mail’s Keyed In, “Our Erstwhile Ally” letters in Reader Mail’s Cautionary Verses and “Protecting Even Canada” letters in Reader Mail’s Partial Political Abortion:

There are many Canadians who admire and respect America. We do not feel as the press tells you in a constant refrain that we are anti-American. Eastern Canada, Ontario and Quebec are the liberal bastions of Canada and that is the news you see, not the news of real Canadians. As with the red and blue states in America we have quite different attitudes and are more conservative in our thinking.

Our press and main news stations are like your MSM and we have learned to ignore them, but get frustrated when their opinions are sent to the world who believe them as many Americans believe in what is said or written about conservatives in America.

There are very few happy western Canadians with the situation with the prime minister at this time, but then we were not before he was elected. If you read the papers and watch our news on CBC and CTV… don’t trust it anymore than I trust ABC or CBS. There is much more to the story and like you, we must fight to get the truth out to the world.

Right now we are terrible shape, if you have seen any of the news regarding Adscam here, you will know we are in a real crisis of faith in our government. Well, in the west we are ready to work for a conservative prime minister and then things will change. He is pro-American pro-President Bush so it is not an easy road for him in the east.

We want honesty above all; we want a prime minister who says what he means and does what he promises to the best of his ability. A person who really cares about their country. Hey, that sounds like President Bush to me, ah if we could only have him up here for a few months it would be lovely.

So, count your blessings, President Bush has brought honor, honesty and a love of America to the world. You deserve all of this with your loyalty to his vision of freedom. You have given a lot, and it is only the liberals who whine, not the families of the heroes who are in the real war. Thank you to them for showing the world freedom can be won even with the terrible conditions the Iraqi and Afghanistan countries were in, to me this is what the war was about and it is now and will continue to bring hone to America. The perseverance shown by the conservatives in going to war in Iraq is really one for the history books. But, President Bush and his administration did not blink; they just kept going while your MSM worked against them each and every day. I guess they are not as important as they think they are, right?

Don’t count us out. We are tenacious once we get going and hopefully we will get our conservative government next election, which may be sooner than the liberals think!
Carole Graham

Re: Bruce Thompson’s letter (under “Fundamentally Absent”) in Reader Mail’s Keyed In, “Atheist Theology” letters in Reader Mail’s Cautionary Verses and Bruce Thompson’s letter (under “Kung Catholics”) in Reader Mail’s Cut & Shoot Republicans and Jerry Rushing’s letter (under “Reforming by Conserving”) in Reader Mail’s Bolton’s Army:

In reference to the above, Bruce Thompson wrote: “Since I am admittedly not a Catholic theologian, can someone tell me where I can find the word “purgatory” in the Bible?” Bruce, search your Bible in those verses that discuss the Holy Trinity.
Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Regarding Purgatory, the Council of Chalcedon decided to use words not found in Scripture to define Jesus’ divinity and humanity. Fr. Bernard Lonergan, S.J., wrote extensively about how this meant the emergence of the world of theory as distinct from the world of common sense. That world of theory eventually blossomed into medieval universities. Not finding an exact word in Scripture is not a liability in the view of Catholics. However, the Catholic Encyclopedia mentions 2 Maccabees 12:43 (not found in Protestant Bibles), Matthew 12: 32, and 1 Cor 3:11-15 as containing the concept of Purgatory, not to mention early Church practice and a number of Church Fathers. Church actions and the Patristic Age are very important to Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans as authoritative Tradition.
R.L.A. Schaefer
Dubuque, Iowa

Mr. Thompson asks where purgatory is in the Bible. Some better questions are: Where is the word “Bible” in the Bible? Where in the Bible does it say that all the truths of the Faith are explicitly found in the Bible? Who decides which books are in the Bible and which are not? On whose authority? His question is a non sequitur. The Faith is more than the Bible. The Bible is one of the pillars of the Faith, to be sure, but the Faith rests on more than one foundation. (The other two being Tradition and the Magisterium. Remember, how else do we know what books are in the Bible, unless we all get to decide for ourselves, like Mr. Thompson’s Luther did).
Bill Murphy
San Jose, California

Mr. Bruce Thompson continues to refuse to comply with his own suggestion that we read about each other’s faith. As a self-described non-Catholic and non-theologian, he appears still not to have read much about the subject that appears dear to his heart: Catholic Church theology. Pity, that. Do I detect in his recent missive a covert effort at spiritual unkindness and/or hostility toward ecumenicism? Is he, perish the thought, engaged in “I gotcha!” interrogational hermeneutics? I pray not. Let me, then, attempt to answer and clarify his question.

Mr. Thompson surely knows that Luther, Calvin and others split with Rome over the issue, amongst others, of what served as the source of God’s final authority. Even today, most non-Catholic denominations cite the Bible and only the Bible — “sola Scriptura,” — as that source; the Church of Rome does not. To Catholics, the Bible is one, of obvious importance, resource, but there are others, often collected in what is called, “depositum fidei.” This “Deposit of Faith” includes, in addition to Scripture: ecclesiastical and Apostolic tradition, the decrees of Church Councils, such as Trent, ceremony and the teachings of what are referred to as “Doctors of the Church.” It is precisely these “non-essentials” that Luther and the others, including Henry VIII, sought to abolish. No, Purgatory is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but then neither are female priests, nor the Virgin birth. The Church embraces the latter while — at least for the moment — rejecting the former, on the basis of the aforementioned sources. The books of the Church Fathers represent to Catholics — at least to those of a traditional bent – Vere Digito Dei Scriptum: a book written by the finger of God.

Does this approach rule out the possibility of change within the Church of Rome? It might to some, including Hans Kung, but I cannot stress enough the role of the past that has been woven into the tapestry of the Church. That is why, institutionally, the Church is, and must be, despite the ranting of Church “progressives,” a conservative institution. Few have seen the danger that inorganic religious change would bring to the Church more clearly than an ex-Protestant: John Henry Newman. In his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Cardinal Newman wrote that a religious proposition “… is likely to be a true development, not a corruption, in proportion as it seems to be the logical issue of its original teaching.” To answer, then, Mr. Thompson’s inquiry: the Church’s belief in Purgatory is a classic example of how doctrine has come about relying on a multitude of sources, including, by the way, Scripture. (Matt: 12-32) Class over.
Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

The word “purgatory” is not found in the Bible, but its existence can be deduced from exhortations to pray for the dead, e.g. in 2 Maccabees 12. If the dead are all in Heaven or Hell then there’s either no point or no use in praying for the dead.

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