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Matters of Life
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SMARTER THAN YOU THINK
Re: The Prowler’s Innocents Abroad:

I have a different take on the event. Though I may be giving him way too much credit, perhaps old Joe was being crazy like a fox. It’s not Biden who will be remembered for offending the Iranians. It will be the Americans. And of course everyone knows that George Bush sets the tone for America’s relationships.
Mark Bidwell

I am shocked, SHOCKED, to hear that Joe Biden was NOT a class act at the Davos summit. If he cannot remember his personal academic record on the campaign trail, then he probably has trouble with protocol as well. Unfortunately, from time to time people like him end up in charge of American foreign policy, e.g. Madeleine Albright. A foreign officer once said that the problem with helping the Americans was that one never knew when they were going to stab themselves in the back.
David Shoup
Dublin, Georgia

ROCKIN’ THE CHOIR LOFT
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Where Would Jesus Advertise?:

So sad Mr. Brownridge knows not of the roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll that a Bible advertisement is rejected. Considering that the likes of Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Little Richard, among others, owe much of their talent to participation in church related activities the Rolling Stone would have little to cover. Nor does he seem to see the opportunity to expand his audience reach by letting the ad run.

I guess Mr. Brownridge would find little to move him from lyrics like “In the Ghetto’ (Presley, 1969, #3 on Billboard). The religious/social backdrop of which is fairly powerful even 35 years later. But such oversight is the media’s loss.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Hypocrisy aside, it is quite curious that Rolling Stone would refuse a paid-for ad from anyone. I think that this is more of an image driven rejection than it is an ideological one. Rolling Stone still likes to think of itself as ultra-hip, even though the sun has long ago set on its mystique. The magazine has taken to substituting glitz for content, and toeing the liberal line for independent thought. Ah, but there was a time, a heady celebratory time when one could find a multiplicity of viewpoints and ideas between its covers. But who can blame the magazine for prostituting itself when virtually every other media organ in the mainstream has done the same. Whenever I see one of those 60-year-old hippies, bald dome shining in the sun, gray disheveled pony tail flowing down his shoulders, I think of Rolling Stone and the glory it used to represent. Now it has to make do with articles in which John Kerry uses the F-word to show what a cool guy he is. Sad!
Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio

PERPENDICULAR PARALLELS
Re: Andrew Cline’s The Lessons of Reconstruction:

This is a tortured attempt to show something that really was not the case. Iraq was oppression by a very small minority. Even many of the Sunnis were part of the oppressed. The South was oppression by an overwhelming majority and reconstruction of the South was in great part removing minority oppressions. In essence, reconstruction in Iraq should by all rights be much easier than reconstruction in the post Civil War South as now the majority will have the opportunity to govern hopefully without too much abridgment of minority rights.
Roger Peele

The parallels of Iraq as the Reconstruction South is an astute observation. There are differences, of course, but the point is well made and well taken. The Confederate cap of this Yankee born Civil War reenactor is off in salute to Mr. Cline. A bright future to the decent people of Iraq. Honor to the Americans who paid in blood for it. No place is as solemn as a military cemetery.
David Shoup
Dublin, Georgia

Additional point about the lessons of Reconstruction: neither liberals nor conservatives mention in defending laws against posse comitatus that the laws were part of a crooked settling of a national election and that they made resegregation possible by keeping the federal troops out of needed domestic law enforcement. Why would anyone defend such laws given their history? Why not at least mention why they were passed?
R.L.A. Schaefer
Dubuque, Iowa

LEFT COAST ETHICS
Re: George Neumayr’s Hollywood Homicide:

I have bookmarked spectator.org for about a year now. Hardly a day goes by that I do not read at least one article from the site. I greatly appreciate the conservative voice in the midst of liberal media. This is the first time that I have responded to any of the articles. I enjoyed your article on the new Eastwood movie. I especially appreciated the way you presented the sanctity of all human life. I have not seen Million Dollar Baby, and after reading your review I am not sure that I will. I agree totally with your position, as presented, on the value of all human life, including the handicap. Truly we are all “human beings made by God.” On the other hand, I have seen The Passion of the Christ. I understand what the point to all the violence was in that movie. You made several references to Christ or his claims and I was wondering what your spiritual beliefs are (i.e. Are you a Protestant/Catholic? Do you consider yourself to be a Christian/ Deist? To you, who is Jesus Christ?). From your article, you seem to have a good understanding of why Jesus came to earth. Why do you think that the Hollywood crowd cannot accept the approval that the American people gave to this movie?
Woody Chipman
Greenville, South Carolina

George Neumayr’s “Million Dollar Murder” ought to be raised to the level of “must reading” by all high school and college students! It tells it like it is.
Allen O’Donnell
Wayne, Nebraska

Personal matters such as the quality in which one chooses to live their life, can not be tidily packaged in the set of rules your article conveys. Struggling for every breath would be difficult for anyone. It’s obvious from your article that you would chose to endure that pain and suffering for decades, it’s also obvious that you yourself have never been (nor have had a loved one) in that predicament.

Wishing that you never have to make such a difficult decision,
Jody Wynnyk
Portland, Oregon

The truth of The Passion of the Christ, coupled with what’s probably close to being historically accurate with respect to the scourging and what ensued until Christ’s death on the cross, is simply unsuited the liberals’ goals. Could it be that Million Dollar Baby is just another propaganda film for the liberals’ favorite subject: taking someone’s life, whether the person is born or unborn, and glorifying or sensationalizing that action? They consistently choose death over life, fiction over truth, sentiment over reason, don’t they?
C. Kenna Amos, Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Thank you for using the word “expiate.” For those of us who know, and care, we appreciate the true depth of what you are communicating.
Bill Needle
Bonner Springs, Kansas

The fighter (in Million Dollar Baby) didn’t want to live — she’d already suffered sufficiently. So, you judge that she/he is wrong because of an assisted suicide? Or call it “Die With Dignity”? Just like John Ashcroft lecturing the Oregon folks about the law they passed, and then the Bush administration filing a lawsuit to overturn the will of the folks?

Damn.

As a “small-l” libertarian, I want to have the ability to CHOOSE — and not have the government poke its nose where it isn’t warranted. God knows, it has enough to do without expanding its scope even further.

Same goes for what I read, watch, listen to; the abortion issue (pro-choice isn’t necessarily pro-abortion, as so many zealots claim — remember, the woman can choose to have the child); the morning-after pill; the anti-homosexual crap coming from Pat Robertson, Lew Shelton, et al. They’re as demented as Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson and Pat Leahy on the other side. Really, all this judgmental posturing has become quite tiring. Legislating morality stinks. So, please, stay out of my life, and stop laying your “guilt trip” on whomever might have the temerity to think differently.
slg

Hollywood is always trying to shove their immoral behavior on all of us. Good for you for telling the truth. This movie will probably make millions, but that doesn’t change the fact that euthanasia is a grave sin. Thanks again.
unsigned

Thanks so much for ruining Million Dollar Baby for me by revealing the ending. I hadn’t seen it yet. Now I guess I don’t have to. The least you could have done was to give a SPOILER ALERT, telling people
not to read if they didn’t want to know the ending.
Stephen Berg

APPARENT STABILITY
Re: P. David Hornik’s The Other Elections:

Just remember the old Communist axiom, “There are always two events in every revolution. The one that brings down the old regime and the one that follows that brings about the true revolution.” Which ironically appears historically accurate but does not necessarily give rise to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Arafat’s death might just follow the same pattern. Hamas appears to be in control. The question is for how long? If the above pattern is to repeat then either an internal Hamas struggle will occur or an external Fatwa might cause Palestinian revolution against it. As if they need more revolution.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

THOSE WHO FORGET HISTORY…
Re: Steven Martinovich’s When Genocide Is Not Genocide:

Sudan again shows that no one should say, “Never again!” unless it is meant.
R.L.A. Schaefer
Dubuque, Iowa

KERRY PULLS A 180
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Bad Kerry Day:

Since Senator Kerry’s appearance on last Sunday’s Meet the Press program, most of the attention has focused on his pessimistic comments regarding the situation in Iraq. Little noted, in fact not at all, at least as far as I’ve seen, is the fact that Kerry told Russert — not once, but twice — that he would sign DOD Form 180, which is the form authorizing release of all of one’s military records, and which Kerry has long resisted doing.

Twice since Sunday I’ve emailed Senator Kerry asking if he has yet signed the form, and if not, why not. So far no reply…and no surprise.

You’ll recall that throughout the campaign Kerry was asked time and again about his military records: whether they had all been released; whether he had signed Form 180; whether he would sign. His ducking, juking and jiving, avoiding and evading the questions were masterpieces of deception and diversion.

But after Sunday’s program he is clearly, definitively on the record saying that he will sign the form. So why not sooner rather than later? I’m certain that a powerful senator like him can simply pick up the phone, call the Pentagon, and have one of the forms sent to him within the same day; or for that matter, I’m pretty sure he could simply download and print the form from the Pentagon’s website. So I see no justification for any delay in making good on his promise to Russert, and by extension to the American people.
Charles R. Vail

PROFILES IN EXTINCTION
Re: Enemy Central’s A Boxer’s Dozen:

A small minority of small-minded people with a small (and ever decreasing) voice.
Jay Ciastko
Clinton, Connecticut

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