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Real Economies, Real Freedom

To the Editor:

I want to congratulate Jason Stern and Larry Beinhart both for outdoing themselves last month. I thank Jason for addressing the issue of fear, and the consequent loss of conscience and common sense. But I would ask, how, in concrete terms, can those that are still on the treadmill gain any assurance that a path and a gateway and an assembly preparing to ascend the Mountain of Freedom actually exist?

I congratulate Beinhart for his brilliant exposé of how status and money corrode the university. And especially how "physics envy" has corroded the humanities—especially that most humane of all subjects, economics, which, from the Greek, means "household management." As the son of a professor who got his PhD at Cambridge University, England, and dined on the prestige that degree conferred, I can attest to the high school cliquishness of the halls of academe. And how long tenure narrows the mind.

But I especially congratulate him for exposing the fraudulence of so-called "free" markets, and for recognizing that every issue is about power. We argue incessantly about what government "should" do, forgetting that the real question is how to recover the power we have surrendered to those whose only consideration is profit—which is to say, power. We the people are in the middle of a war, getting shot at from every side, and we don't even know it. It's called class war, but no one is allowed to say it. Instead, we are told we live in a democracy.

Therefore, granting that contemporary economics is propaganda—as contemporary pundicators pundicate upon it—how can we develop a real economics that actually describes how we earn our daily bread, educate our children, and prepare for the future? In other words, that actually describes real household management? And how can we create centers of study, where those who have a desire for real learning can gather?

Thomas Wanning, New Paltz

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Body of Christ

To the Editor:

Carl Frankel presented readers with a whopper of historical fallacy in the October issue when he asked where all the current sex negativity came from and answered, "You guessed it, Christianity. We've been taught: spirit good, body bad." Well, if that's what Frankel and some readers guessed, it was a poor one. Such stark dualism was never taught by orthodox Christianity. It came from elsewhere. To begin with, wouldn't it seem to anyone with some historical knowledge of the subject that picking the only world religion that teaches the resurrection of the body was probably not the best choice? Who would want to resurrect something that is evil, something "bad?" In the Judeo-Christian view anything from God is good, indeed "very good," and that includes the body. A much better guess would have been the Eastern religions that see the body as a despised prison or shell or husk to be escaped, shed, and discarded like trash for another and another, etc. Or perhaps various forms of Gnosticism, and definitely Manichaeism, including its Western variant, Albigensianism, condemned by the Catholic Church because they held precisely to that kind of spirit good, flesh bad dualism. They certainly taught that the body and the flesh were "bad," in fact so bad that Jesus could not possibly have embraced them fully and become a genuine human being. But he did, and so in Christian teaching the body, flesh and blood, of themselves could never be considered "bad." If there is any "bad" at work in them or the uses to which they are put including sex, the ultimate source is the will—not the body. The flesh-and-sex-hating asceticism and Puritanism of some of these groups had to be officially condemned by the Catholic Church more than once. All this is documented history and easily checked, and the writer should have done so

Christianity holds that the human being, evolved body plus spirit together as one, is no evolutionary flash in the pan destined for the trash heap or grave or oblivious absorption into an unknowing cosmos but a creature of great dignity, love, and learning capacity, made for that reason and for eternal life with its loving Creator, destined to rise like Christ did, and much too good to be left to ultimate and permanent demise, death, decay, and oblivion. Only the will, and not the body nor its functions, can wreck this promise. Yes indeed, very bad guess.

Dick Murphy, Beacon

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Not a Fighter

To the Editor:

Avid Reader. Love the publication, being an artist. Having said that, I must draw your attention to a mistake in your current issue, in the Community Pages section, "Double Life: Warwick and Orange County." The photo of the Cessna on page 32: It is not a fighter. It is, however, the Cessna L-19 "Bird Dog." Observation and liaison aircraft. Crew 2, power plant one 213 HP Continental C-470 4-Cylinder horizontally opposed air-cooled. Max speed 151 mph at sea level. Service ceiling 18,500 ft. Max range 530 miles. Wingspan 36 ft. Length 25ft. Height 7 ft, 3 in. Weight 2,400 lbs. Armament 0.

Rodni Hardison, Newburgh

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  • The Books They’ll Carry: Operation Veteran Admission
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    David Carrell is a solid man with tightly-cropped blond hair and a heavy Texan drawl. When we meet in a Starbucks on Route 9 just south of Poughkeepsie, he's just come from his post-traumatic stress disorder therapy. He has nightmares. He has flashbacks. "You just can't forget it," he says.
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