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Tributes and Thanks

Bush: Why not? Jim Baen's many kindnesses. Crunch time. Plus more.

1.10.07

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THANK BUSH: WHY NOT?
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The President: An Appreciation:

What a terrific essay by Jeffrey Lord. Many thanks.
-- Thomas Paulick

Jeffrey Lord has to my mind pointed up the most important characteristic of a great president. Mr. Bush has confronted a major problem that has troubled the Middle East and, by extension, the rest of the world, for hundreds of years. None of his predecessors even attempted such a feat.
-- Dr. Sam Martin
Connellsville, Pennsylvania

Honest Abe would be turning in his grave if he knew about Mr. Lord's comparison with the current president. I'm afraid that none of the Bushes, past or present, have much of a handle on "the vision thing." Abraham Lincoln's vision concerned the unity of this country, not the unity of a country on a different continent that was formed for expediency by foreigners after World War I. And what is the president's vision exactly? Is it to capture weapons of mass destruction? Is it to remove a brutal dictator from power? Is it to promote democracy in a region where it never existed? Abraham Lincoln's stature as president was so phenomenally greater than that of George W. Bush that I consider Mr. Lord's column an un-American sacrilege.
-- Abe Grossman
Pleasantville, New York

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Jeffrey Lord. This is exactly my sentiment but you found a way to express it in perfect verbiage. Now if the rest of the world will just "get it" we'll be in great shape!

Thanks again,
-- Veronica Redmond
Cathedral City, California

STAR WARS STORIES
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's James Patrick Baen, 1943-2006:

Thank you for the article about Jim Baen in today's American Spectator.

One contribution not mentioned in the article is the publication on the web of the full text of Fallen Angels by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Long before "global warming" became fashionable, Niven and Pournelle wrote about a world destroyed by misguided attempts to control the climate. To quote from the online summary:

"That government, dedicated to saving the environment from the evils of technology, had been voted into power because everybody knew that the Green House Effect had to be controlled, whatever the cost. But who would have thought that the cost of ending pollution would include not only total government control of day-to-day life, but the onset of a new Ice Age?"

Having passed this link to countless friends over the years, I'm delighted at the opportunity to pass it on to still more.

Your readers may be interested in the dozens of other books available in the Baen Free Library.
-- Harry M. Kriz
Blacksburg, Virginia

I want to thank you for publishing Hal G.P. Colebatch's Memoriam to James Patrick Baen. I have been an avid consumer of Baen Books, with their beautiful full color painted paper back covers, for a number of years and yet I had no idea about the life of its publisher. The piece is a fine example of memoriam writing, expounding upon the quiet contributions each of us make with no expectation of worldly glory.
-- Partha Mittra

I'm happy to see the late Jim Baen commemorated. I always knew he did a great deal for science fiction, and, thanks to this article, I now know how much he did for the United States and the world.

Also, I'm sentimental about Jim Baen for personal reasons. Long ago, when he edited an SF magazine and I was a teenaged reader, he was kind enough to print a badly written fan letter I sent him -- making me, in a way, a published writer.
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

WE WIN, THEY LOSE
Re: Quin Hillyer's Listen to Lieberman:

Quin, I believe you're right, although my stomach is trying to tell me otherwise. We can win, but there have been so many "if only" moments with this President, I've about lost hope. You mention some of the most important ones, leveling with the American people about the scope of this war, including a little history lesson, what's at stake, and the consequences of failure. The most important one to me, though, is "if only" he would aim some criticism directly at the national Democrats who have barely been challenged to defend their asinine position. It's crunch time, Mr. President, brass tacks brinksmanship crunch time!

Remember Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D-S.C.) telling us several years ago, about how there was "too much consuming going on out there"? Well, there's been too much ASSUMING going on at the White House about getting along with the Democrats! This isn't about some Kennedy "education" fetish, Social Security, drilling in Alaska, or even immigration (although, I cringe when I think of that one), etc., this is ultimately about the survival of the West, and whether or not we will still have a free forum, like the United States, in which to even debate our favorite domestic issues. I know, I know, I sound alarmist. You're #$% right, I am!
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas
P.S. I don't know how you guys do it. The artwork has Hillary in the immediate background, laughing. What a nightmare!

The "problem" with Iraq and the GWOT has never been can we win, but whether the American people (the majority of whom like George Will have sacrificed nothing) have the will to support the protracted war that is necessary to win. Not surprisingly George Will and company do not. The issue for the defeatists has never been the number of Americans killed -- that is merely a handy excuse to justify accepting defeat and all that portends for the country. So what is the real issue?

The issue we face as a nation is not one of information, but character. As a people are we determined to secure our nation's freedom now and for future generations whatever the sacrifice? Be under no illusion. The enemy we face is committed and determined to win and force not only the United States, but the world to submit to their tyrannical form of Islam. Unless we resolve to not only resist, but defeat this foe America is living on borrowed time.

God bless our Commander-in-Chief, our military and God Bless America! Land of the free, because of the brave.
-- Michael Tomlinson

Brilliant. Love your work. Keep it going. I would have added only one other quote:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge; and more." --JFK

Again, well done,
-- MLG
Bristow, Virginia

SILENT MAJORITY
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Miracles Appear in the Strangest of Places:

Lisa Fabrizio's article is a tiny little ray of hope on a very bleak landscape. Yes, it is time everyone pushed back against the radical Islamists in our midst. But what will we do with places like Hamtramck, Michigan? The Muslim call to prayer plays five times a day on loudspeakers in that tiny city.

In many cities, (and Hamtramck, too, I suspect) Christians are not permitted to display Nativity scenes. Will the ACLU take the city of Hamtramck to court on "separation of church and state" charges? I doubt it. The ACLU is afraid of the populations of Muslims in the United States.
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

PILL PROFITEERS
Re: Doug Bandow's The Democrats' Favorite Target:

I realize the Pharmacy companies do real good work and if were not for them a lot of us could not keep going. I do realize they have to spend a certain amount on research.

That said, this does not give them a license to make a 200 to 500 % profit. They are taking advantage of people and it's about time someone stepped in and did something. My party, the Republicans, would not do anything about it. I do believe in fair enterprise but this just goes too far.
-- Jack Carroll
Cartersville, Georgia

AIR MALE
Re: Ed Ahlsen-Girard's letter (under "Aviation Men") in Reader Mail's No Escaping Iraq:

I will happily bow to Mr. Ahlsen-Girard's superior knowledge of the correct terminology for Swabbies that ride around in the air. LOL! I used that term because it is the term a retired SEAL used in referencing Adm. Fallon's new job. So often the general public hears Naval Aviator and automatically thinks of a heroic, Top Gun rated, ace combat pilot, that can achieve incredible feats of flight. You know, like the pilots in the Blue Angels. I merely wanted to distinguish the job that Adm. Fallon did within Naval Aviation, since he was not a pilot. Other than that, I thank Mr. Girard for his kind comments, and since I was an enlisted puke, Semper fi, Sir.
-- Ken Shreve

Commander, no less a personage than Captain Frank E. Dully, Jr. (remember "Super-Quack"?) used the term "Naval Aviator" to describe all of those who served in flight crews -- "pilot, designated or student, Naval Flight Officer (Yo, FOE!), Naval Flight Surgeon (which Dully was), officer or enlisted---we are all in this together!" (that quote is out of his famous "Sex and the Naval Aviator" presentation).

You see, for everyone except single-seat fighter jocks (for whom, every flight is an ego trip), the aircraft commander is little more than a chauffeur. He (or, sometimes, she) gets the bus where it needs to be to perform its mission---then, the BN, RIO, TACCO, ECO, (or even some lowly enlisted schlub) in the back of the bus does whatever is necessary to perform the assigned mission. During my Vietnam service, I was in photo A-3s. The enlisted crewman runs the radios, the electronic countermeasures, and services the cameras. No crewman, no mission. Later on, I was in P-3s. The two drivers up front take turns steering the bus to where it needs to be---but they need the enlisted Flight Engineer to monitor the engines and tweak the power-lever settings.

The TACCO might think that "the tube" is his personal fiefdom (a great many of 'em do!), but he needs the enlisted swine to operate the sensory equipment and evaluate the signals. He might want to drop a particular sonobuoy, but nothing happens when he presses the release button unless the enlisted ordnance man has loaded up that buoy in the appropriate tube. If his electronic gear goes TANGO UNIFORM, he has no idea how to fix it -- so the enlisted in-flight technician does what's necessary, wipes the TACCO's nose, hands him a lollipop, and tells him that "everything's all better now!"

Oh, by the way -- our A-3s had but one set of controls. The wise Whale drivers showed the other guys -- including the enlisted pukes -- how to fly the bird back home and land it. Arrogant fools who believed that only commissioned officers who were designated Naval Aviators should drive airborne buses could wind up in a big jam if they were wounded or became otherwise incapacitated. It's a team effort, Commander.
-- David Gonzalez, AT1 (AW), USN (TAR), Ret. Wheeling, Illinois

GUTT CHECK
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Why I?:

Toby Gutt's mistake was that he didn't make his flight reservation for Melbourne. This way he might have wound up in Melboune, Florida instead -- a little more bearable than Sidney, Montana at this time of the year.
-- Howard Hirsch
Dayton, Nevada

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