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The Vietnam “Era”

Blumenthal. Kagan and the Ivy Leaguers. C02 and more.

5.21.10

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NO MARINE
Re: George Neumayr's Richard Blumenthal's Recovered Memory:

Having proudly served in peace and war with the U.S. Marines (as a sailor in the Fleet Marine Force), I can safely say Marines are not prone to bragging. They let their actions and integrity speak for themselves. So, Mr. Blumenthal, I will say to you, I served with marines, I knew marines, marines were friends of mine. Dick, you're no Marine.
-- I.M. Kessel

Your article brought to mind Admiral Jeremy Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations during the Clinton Administration. It is widely believed that he committed suicide because he had been accused of wearing a "V" device (V for Valor in Combat) that he was not entitled to wear on two of his medals. By all measures it was an honest mistake, but so strong was his sense of honor that he killed himself to atone for his error.

This past Tuesday I had an in-person meeting with the income beneficiary of a trust account that I manage. I noticed that he had difficulty with his left hand. I asked him why, and he explained that he was in the invasion force on Iwo Jima in 1945. One Japanese bullet grazed his right arm, another one his legs, but a third one went through the two bones in his left forearm, severing the nerve. During our conversation he asked about my time in the Air Force, after which he expressed his deep disappointment with one of his sons who is close to my age and had fled to Canada during the Vietnam war.

Who would have thought 35 years ago that serving in Vietnam would be so deservedly hailed the way it is today?
-- Paul M. DeSisto

QUESTION TIME
Re: Aaron Goldstein's Miss PC-USA:

A more appropriate question for the Muslim girl might have been if she, unlike members of Obama's cabinet, can call those who brought down the Trade Towers in an ultimate act of hatred "radical muslims"??
-- R. Mandraccia

TOO COZY TO FAIL
Re: Peter Ferrara's Liberals Gone Wild:

There are 3 types of U.S banks: (1) too big to fail; (2) too cozy with the White House to fail; and (3) all others. It's clear the Chicago thugs who run everything in our country forced Goldman, Citi, GE Capital, et al to put up this money or else.
-- Jim

Mr. Ferrara states that the amount of man-caused CO2 in the atmosphere is .12 percent. However, my understanding is that .038 percent is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and that human activity accounts for only about 3 percent of all CO2 released annually. If so, .12 percent considerably overstates human impact.

Very good article.
-- Steve

JUNK AND STORAGE SPACE
Re: Eric Peters's Democrat Double Taxers

While I have mixed emotions on converting highways to toll roads (it's similar to a home equity loan -- better be careful or you will blow it on something useless) with either a public or private partner, I get exercised about the effectiveness of HOV/HOT lanes.

After you deduct the extra costs to segregate these lanes, the annual electronics and patrolling costs, and account for the safety in those lanes "semi-segregated", the value begins to seriously wane. Also, if those lanes were open to all traffic, the average speed on the entire roadway section would rise. [and lots of fuel saved!]

This is just a typical use of public infrastructure to obtain social engineering to get folks out of their cars, not energy efficiency. Usually, the marketplace will handle the commute misery. With the exception of the emergency services, driving is a privilege, not a right. In Texas, we the citizens made an enormous error by allowing the Transportation Department to stand separate from legislative control -- it sounded like a good idea to get politics out of the road industry, but now we have no leverage over the Department, and they are dropping billions.

Sure, more lanes are nice, but it's like storage space at home -- "junk expands to exceed the storage space available."
-- Scott H. Johnson

A BUNCH OF THUGS
Re: RiShawn Biddle's Broken Promises:

Late in the 1970s and early 1980 we lived at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. The post was next to the town of Sierra Vista. One fall the local teachers wanted to strike. Their reason was their desire for collective bargaining to be a part of any decision concerning wage increases. The entire idea was to encumber local taxes with the national union's desire to impose whatever they wanted upon local taxpayers, or in other terms ... taxation without representation. What followed was a scene none of us expected to see.

First off, the Commander of the Post allowed his wife to call all officer's wives and also among enlisted wives to seek university graduates. And we were called upon to go in and substitute and keep the local schools going, not allowing local students, mostly from military families, to have their education shortchanged. As a Texas girl in schools where striking was not allowed (the state of Texas makes teacher's strikes against the law), I found myself teaching a 5th grade class. And I also found myself crossing strike lines to get to school each day.

The local teachers' heckles were quite disturbing but by about the end of the first week of the strike everything changed. NEA brought in union thugs, who looked more like they belonged on a dock working forklifts, than like teachers. Then things got really ugly. From simple cat calls the protest became increasingly more complex, with names of substitutes being obtained from schoolchildren, then the teachers would call our homes to harass us (or whomever answered the phone). From there crossing the line each day felt more like being under fire from live ammo. The union thugs used profanities and obscenities, and compelled the local teachers to do the same....and those local teachers also campaigned their own students by planting ideas and messages. Many students were told by their own homeroom teacher to cause havoc and trouble for the substitute, with the implication that we didn't deserve to teach them.

One day however, one of the students in my classroom came in rather quietly, and he had usually been a real behavior problem. When I asked him what was wrong he replied that his "teacher" out on the strike line told him she knew I was really teaching subject matter, not just holding a seat and she had told him to "mind" me. I was pretty flabbergasted. And before the 3 week strike was over, several of us were asked to stay on and teach for the district.

The teachers and union thugs failed in their efforts of collective bargaining as they were shown that school COULD go on without them and it might even be beneficial to students. But I have never forgotten my experience of seeing what the NEA really was, a bunch of lousy, hot tempered, power grabbing fools. The taxpayers of Sierra Vista might still be rejoicing that collective bargaining did not get imposed on their local taxes.
-- Beverly Gunn

East Texas Rancher

WRECKAGE
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Newsweek: The Canary In The Liberal Coal Mine:

Mr. Lord begins his piece noting the consequences of the failure of Newsweek to the staff and their families. I wonder though, to use his metaphor, about the miners who refuse to run when the canary passes. Most liberals I know are staunch Darwinians, so "refusing to run from the mine" is not terribly surprising and fits their world view. If there is anything to lament about the failure of Newsweek, it is that it's wreckage could not have been limited to owners and staff.
-- Reid Bogie

IVY TO WASHINGTON
Re: Ken Blackwell's Elena Kagan: Estranged From America:

I regard this as a serious flaw in the theory and practice of government in the United States. Can't anybody -- conservative or liberal -- find someone to sit on the Supreme Court whose job resume doesn't involve going from the Ivy League to Washington to the Ivy League to Washington to the Ivy League and then back to Washington?
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

SMIRKING
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's The Governor, the President, and the Race Card:

Nail-on-head observation about Obama's reflexive smirking. That exposes, I think, an attitude that allows him, as he wears one of his many egotistical hats, Lecturer-in-Chief, to chastise all of America about its incivility while he points fingers, demonizes critics, dismisses public opinion and, generally, depreciates anything outside of his ideological and morally agnostic bounds.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.

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