Re: Ben Stein’s Father’s Day Perspectives:
And I thought I was the only person left in our country who enjoys the Victory at Sea music CD. I also save it for special days. God Bless America, George Bush, our servicemen and women, and Ben Stein.
— Joe DeLalla
Garnerville, New York
I too, recall sitting with my ol’ man, watching both Victory At Sea and World At War and appreciating his insights. He served in the Navy, first in a PT boat patrolling off of North Africa, then on two sub-chasers in the Central and South Atlantic. They got one U-boat and one whale (by accident, oops!) Or listening to my grandfather, who saw action on the Western Front in 1918 with the U.S. Army.
I served in the Navy in the early ’80s, although the closest thing to action I saw was playing cat-and-mouse with Soviet cruisers in the Sea of Japan who were following us. More of an annoyance than the danger my two paternal ancestors saw.
I am extremely proud of my father and grandfather, for the service to our nation and to our family. Most of the guys I grew up with had dads that served in the Second World War or Korea. It was a fairly normal thing, taken for granted. Now? A rare thing indeed, to find men who served.
Perhaps the next generation will find that unique pride from their father’s War On Terror service, when they begin a neighborhood bull session with: “Well now, my ol’ man was at Fallujah, see and…”
— Paul Austin
Thanks for all the great tributes to the military.
A word of fatherly advice, if I may: Stop writing about your son. He probably resents it more than you know. I know my son would be furious with me if I told the world what I thought his problems were. Although interesting for us to read about, for the sake of your family, this area of your life and his should be off limits in your “diary.”
— Paul H. Doolittle, CDR, USN
Another poignant piece. I sympathize with you about missing your dad, and feel very fortunate that my war hero father (39 B-24 missions over Axis territory, a Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals) is still going strong at 85, though he would chastise me severely for calling him that. According to him the heroes are the guys who didn’t return.
My father is the oldest son of the oldest daughter of 13 children. He had four uncles and a cousin serving in WWII, making a total of six sons and grandsons that my great grandmother had in the war at the same time. Uncle Angelo was on a navy warship that got hit by Kamikazes; Uncle Tommy was at Anzio; Cousin Richard flew on a PBY sub-chaser out of Brazil; Uncle Francis served under General Patton in France; Uncle Vito was in Army Air Force maintenance in the Pacific; and of course Dad in B-24’s. Too, my father-in-law was an A-26 gunner in France, and his brother fought with the Marines in the Philippines. (And Dad’s dad was with Pershing in France in 1918!) To all this I add my own very modest contribution in Desert Storm.
Today’s soldiers, sailors, Marines and airman who are fighting for us now are the inheritors of the legacy of people like Colonel Dale Denman and Ensign Herb Stein (and his father before him during the Philippine insurrection) and millions of others like them. But it was a different time then, sir. The country pulled together and was mostly unified. Crackpots like Sens. Durbin and Kennedy and the America-haters who today disparage our soldiers would have been silent, or if they did spout their hateful rhetoric would have be shunned by society. Sadly, now we tolerate such buffoons, even celebrate them. Yes, it was a very different time, so different that even the horrors of September 11, 2001 could not bring us back to that time. And as a nation I fear we can’t ever go back.
— Paul M. DeSisto, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Ben Stein is a hunk and his son will come back to him with apologies like my daughter did, and she said worse. Enjoy Malibu, you lucky man. But the attack on Iraq was wrong, cowardly, criminal, and accompanied by a Goebbelian campaign that still goes on.
— Dr. Maria Eugenia Mayer
Tommy’s behavior is normal; it’s how teenagers prepare to leave the nest. Someone explained it to me that teenagers find it almost impossible to leave a comfortable home, so they stir things up.
— Kitty Myers
Painted Post, New York
Re: Jed Babbin’s Enemy of the State:
It is suggested that Mr. Babbin is missing the point in suggesting that Dick Durbin is morphing into another Hanoi Jane; Durbin HAS MORPHED. By any norm Durbin, as a public elected official, makes Hanoi Jane — an unofficial, unelected, pretty-face ditz of her era — look like Mother Teresa.
— Seamus Muldoon
I apologize for continuing to harp upon this topic, but I have to make some points here. Senator Dick Durbin and the other Fools on the Hill are, potentially, causing great damage to this country and the rest of the free world with their out-of-control demagoguery.
The war is not over and America and Americans are not yet safe in their homes. The radical anti-American terrorists are still out there and are continuing their efforts to destroy the U.S. and the free world.
While it is true that there have been no new attacks against targets on U.S. soil, this does not mean that planning is not continuing. It has to be remembered that our terrorist opponents are not illiterate goat herders or date merchants or some other derogatory stereotype. The leadership is composed of intelligent, educated, experienced men.
They have been engaged in this activity, as their sole reason for existence, for decades. They not only won’t stop, they can’t stop.
At the moment, two things make it difficult for foreigners to attack U.S. targets. The first is tightened restrictions on legal immigration and the second is the conflict in Iraq, which is siphoning off the cannon fodder upon which the various terrorist organizations rely.
This will change as long as the leaders of these organizations remain at large. Already, reliable reports have been received that Middle Eastern terror organization operatives have illegally entered the U.S. via the southern border. This could indicate that probing operations are ongoing, with the logical conclusion being that men and materiel will enter the U.S. via this route. The recent arrests of low level native or naturalized Americans could indicate terrorist recruitment of current residents of this country to act as agents. Add to that released information from these suspects that targeting may switch to a more mundane public venue, supermarkets and shopping malls. Therefore, there is still reason for grave concern.
Now to the Fools on the Hill. In their over-zealous quest for power, and whatever other motives are driving them, their ill-conceived rants are squandering the blood and suffering that this nation has spent to guarantee our safety. They are, for want of a better term, Quislings. They undermine the determination of the populous of this country to continue prosecuting this war. This, in turn, sends a message to the international community that the U.S. is, once again, going to retreat behind the oceans and leave the rest of the world to their own devices.
Based upon this message, many of the countries that we need, such as Pakistan, Indonesia and some of our softer allies are doing as little as possible to aid us and even to obstruct our efforts. And those who would actively oppose the U.S., Syria, Iran, and North Korea, feel free to do just that. They also serve to inflame anti-American sentiment among ordinary men and women abroad.
Military men and women are dying in Iraq because of these messages and it is entirely possible that civilians within the US will die as well unless these fools wake up and deal with one opponent at a time, starting with the most dangerous, international terrorism. Now is not the time for selfishness.
The ME generation in Congress, through its actions and rhetoric, has proven that they are indeed the Fools On the Hill.
— Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Senator Durbin is quite plainly out of his mind.
If need be, the statutory prerequisites for involuntary commitment to a psychiatric institution should be discovered, in the appropriate jurisdiction, and applied in the matter of this Durbin. He is very, very ill and should be confined to such a facility for his own sake as well as for the safety of those around him.
As for conditions at Gitmo, I reckon they’re a hell of a lot cushier than those at Parris Island. I say, open another one! Franchise ’em: there’s no shortage of folks who need locking up.
— Paul Kotik
Jed Babbin’s Loose Canons article was brilliant. He is dead-on about the liberals. They at middle and late middle age are making one last stand — a last gasp to pollute the minds of youth and create another ’60s. They really long for those days.
Call the cretin for what he is. Senator Richard bin Durbin (D-Al Qaeda).
THE ROVE SYNDROME
Re: The Prowler’s Downing Street Downers:
Isn’t it amazing that every time something goes wrong with the out of control, left-winged Democratic Party, it’s blamed on Republican operatives, that vast right wing, religious zealot conspiracy?
Maybe if the Democrats had the gumption to stand for “something,” and then stand up responsibly when things got a bit out of hand, and take blame for their own left whacked zealots, they might gain some respect.
Right now, they’re too blinded by the “Hate Bush” campaign that has been ongoing since the 2004 election primaries, looking for ways to bring our country down, and discredit the military. You wonder for whom they really care. When they advocate giving lawyers and civil rights to “illegal enemy combatants” and “terrorists,” they give you the answer to that loudly and clearly. Success for the U.S. doesn’t interest them, because they’re not in the White House.
— G. Harrison
Oh, how nice, the Dems are playing dumb-show congressional Investigation with the usual suspects.
When will they let the Republicans have a similar dumb-show that presents the impeachment of all of the congressional participants in this farce for much more palpable sedition?
I hear that John Conyers is a Korean War veteran. Anybody ever figure out for which side?
— Cookie Sewell
Re: George Neumayr’s Blind, Deaf, and Dumb:
George Neumayr is right on regarding the socialist liberals in this country. Their glee last week over the release of Terri Schiavo’s autopsy was literally evil. I actually heard Blatterball Chris Matthews say on Imus, “Didn’t you just love it when the (autopsy) report came out.” He was of such good cheer, that I could picture him wringing his hands as if in anticipation of opening a new gift!
As for the dangerous and destructive words of Durbin. I remind all, these liberals are sly and cunning. I truly believe that their agenda is to destroy this country from within. They are what Stalin said in his lifetime of his lackeys, “Useful idiots.” I consider what Durbin said sedition; and I would challenge the Republican Party to have some guts and call on him to resign his seat in the Senate. He is a menace to the safety of our military men and women. And let’s not forget Newsweek — they too need to be held accountable for their distortion of the truth, solely to fulfill their agenda to bring down the President.
2008 will be upon us before you know it. Now is the time to reveal the utter contempt, and their driven hysterical to destroy this country.
— Joellen M. Arrabito
Let’s get real. If you want more of a certain type of behavior, you have to PAY for it. What could possibly be morally wrong with people signing over their organs before death, and receiving a payment NOW? If they die and their organ is usable, then it goes, and the family, church, state, or other irrelevant body should have no say.
This way, people would not donate organs while they are alive (although that, too, is morally unobjectionable). The payment would likely be nominal, but the loss to the dead person or its family is precisely zero. If they have some superstitious objection, then the wishes of the deceased override.
— Ed Goldstein
I’LL BE SANCHO
Re: Mike Spencer’s letter (under “Sacrificed to Lawyers”) in Reader Mail’s Life Sharing:
Tort reform is certainly high on the “to do” list of any rational person. My current employer (not in any way shape or form a company that would seem to any non-trial lawyer to be connected to asbestos) is presently looking at over 10,000 complaints for asbestos “damage”, merely on the basis that at one time we had a product line of small electrical appliances that had electrical extension cords that contained the “carcinogen in question”. Actual damage? None proven. But the case law in asbestos provides for “prospective damage” which is an open check book for sharp dealing. We have an entire section of the law department that does nothing but work on our defense in those cases.
In my humble legal opinion, asbestos litigation is a racket, as are most other massive tort actions.
As far as moving forward and the question of our respective roles, I’ve always had a fondness for Sancho Panza. You may sing “the Impossible Dream” with all the relish and verve you can muster while I will gladly hold your shield.