Letters to the Editor

RE: Conspiracies - the Play
The play was indeed fun thank you. I am very glad it was all Fake News and that Conspiracies are all Theories and it is no longer the White Man's fault! Whew! For a minute or less I almost felt there was some reason for vague associations with responsibility! I am particularly relieved that Steiner may be wrong about much and I can now be further "normalized"...such a relief...
Best Wishes or something, perhaps "thoughts" ? To all or few or somebody!

Robert A. Pittman


RE: Slouching Toward Mar-a-Lago


Bacevich's piece is thoughtful and erudite.  Though there is much that is missing, through no fault of his.  What is missing is the perception that "history" is living - an organism of remarkable potency.

Abstract thinking can't grasp this, for example his frequent use of the word "Americans" as a mere abstraction, that is acted upon, but really has not much weight in the course of events.  History arises, according to most of the academic thinkers, from centers of power, whether economic, political, scientific, or even religious.

To see what can be seen requires of thinking that it think-with and within the course of this living history.  If we turn the traditional view inside-out, as it were, we find that the individual biography is the central object of the Love that is the true Genius of History.   These individuals are the periphery, and the centers are a kind of secondary effect.

In addition, to give more "bite" to this more living view, the real action takes place in the human being's inner life.  That's where the main effects take place, and recent events give us considerable phenomena from which to appreciate this spiritual fact.

The Hopi Prophecy called our Age: the Day of Purification.  Cataclysmic events force individuals to make choices, and these choices make stark the questions of what do I, as an individual do, that is either right or wrong.  Individuals are being guided by events into choices, and the effects of those choices upon our eternal existence is the point.

Another Way to see recent events, so as to compliment Bacevich, follows: The 60's and 70's involved a change of consciousness, which for some involved what they called: the culture wars.  People in urban areas in America seemed to be the winners of these wars, and if there are losers, then we find those mostly in the rural and suburban edges of the great cities.  Red and Blue maps show the details.
The New Age was set against the resistance of traditional Christians.  Neither side was right or wrong, simply different inwardly.  When the Tea Party first appeared it was ordinary people, with a traditional Christian orientation, that generated it.  The Koch brothers soon took that impulse over, but it was basically a search for what had been great in America's Past - a yearning for the slowing down of change.

Simultaneous with this, was the gradual degeneration of American Public Life, which Bacevich also captured in an abstract way.  Neither Party served the real needs of the American People, and their passivity in the face of this failure of a sacred trust worked like a bad meal in the gut.

So in 2016, when the Republicans ran the Clown Car, and the Democrats ran the shills for Goldman Sachs, there was only one voice that seem to catch the hearts of those who felt they lost the culture wars - the only allegedly candidate who was not a professional politician. 

The main Effect of Trump was to wreck the two main political Parties.  They just haven't accepted it, and probably never will.  All Trump did was be a far better liar.

The secondary effect on ordinary consciousness was to up the level of anxiety.  Again, a necessary element of the Day of Purification -  without tension and social chaos we remain asleep. These effects are the deeds of Gods and Goddesses - who never left the situation, except to gradually give human beings more powers through their moral choices.

The Hopi Prophecy also predicted all manner of chaos, and we've just seen one result: the devastation on American southern and southeastern coasts, we attribute to Climate Change, no longer recognizing that the Holy Mother rules the Beings that make the "weather". We see destruction, while She and Her Son see a great gift of challenges, that has been answered as ordinary folks step up and help each other outside of the influence of governments, banks, corporations, universities, or the vain religious. Bacevich, via his abstractions, offers remedies, but even there fails to keep in mind that history does not teach the reordering of societies as coming from pre-planning sanity.   The house has to burn down first, before the people find what they need, in themselves, and from each other.

Years ago I caught my self in a very false logical thesis, which was not just from me, but common to many, such as Bacevich.  It goes like this:

If only X would do Y, than Z would be the result.  That's the logical core of Bacevich's proscriptions for change.  It is false, being full of dependent elements.  "If only" requires an actor (X, the government, the citizens) to do a specific set of tasks, which may in fact not be within the capacities of X to actually want to do, or to accomplish.  No real Z results, and history clearly teaches this.

In the light of these comments I hope your adopted People are doing - with each other - goodness, for the world needs all the goodness we can create.

Joel Wendt


RE: Passing Away in Boca Raton

Passing away was really good. The first third to two thirds was kind of a masterpiece of controlled rhythm and space capturing such a spirit of the interrelationships.
I'm more fuzzy on the last third, the outcome was a bit unexpected...... actually I quite like it after a little consideration

Jeffrey E. Moeller


RE: The Poor Samaritan

The Poor Samaritan” was not written by the founder of the Catholic Worker. See below:

From: Runkel, Phillip
Sent: Thursday, September 7, 2017 2:35 PM
To: 'The Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts' <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: Further information on New Yorker contributor Dorothy Day - archival query for NYPL

Dear Ms. Mann:

Thanks so much for your prompt response. This confirms what I’d long suspected. “Our” DD hadn’t lived in Chicago since 1923. The New Yorker contributor was Dorothy Day Wendell, with whom the Catholic Worker Day was confused during their lifetimes and since. If you have the opportunity, please convey this information to the New Yorker’s archivist, Erin Overbey. I’ve attempted to reach her by email, phone, and twitter, to no avail.

 Archivally yours, 

Phil Runkel

From: The Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, September 7, 2017 2:06 PM
To: Runkel, Phillip <[email protected]>
Subject: Further information on New Yorker contributor Dorothy Day - archival query for NYPL

Dear Phil Runkel,

Thank you for contacting us with your question about the New Yorker records.  I looked in the general editorial correspondence "Daw-Daz" folder for 1936 (box 249) and located correspondence between Dorothy Day and New Yorker staff regarding "Poor Samaritan."  The author does not seem to be the same Dorothy Day who founded the Catholic Worker movement, as her address is listed as 240 East Delaware Place, Chicago, Illinois.  However, I'm attaching a photograph of the letter, in case you would like to compare the signature.  Please note that this image is for personal research purposes and should neither be published in print or online nor further disseminated without the proper permissions.

If more information would be helpful, or if I can assist with anything further, please let me know.


 Meredith Mann



RE: Spiritual Cosmology

Steiner volume GA 89 - great work Frank, there are some very important lectures in that volume, many thanks for translating some of them.

David Wood