The Sept. 4 column in the Beacon Journal headlined “Identity crisis for a casualty of war” by a well-decorated retired U.S. Army Capt. Shannon P. Meehan, a veteran of the Iraqi war. should be required reading for everyone.
If you are shocked at the physical injuries sustained by the allied troops, imagine the hidden mental and psychological injuries sustained by so many, as described in his personal article. No prosthetic that can help with this, and the large, ever-increasing suicide rate is proof of the problem. Put yourself in Capt. Meehan’s place.
How much more are we going to subject the armed forces to, before we realize that this is a lost cause? We should be up in arms (figuratively speaking) against this terrible waste.
For what are we fighting in Afghanistan? The British lost three Anglo-Afghan wars between 1839 and 1919’ the Soviets were forced to withdraw in 1989 after 10 years of occupation, and the whole history of Afghanistan is about unsuccessful conquerors in between civil wars. Did not we learn from Vietnam?
Wars used to be fought for land possession. To the conquerors go the spoils. In most cases, the colonists provided something in return — forming stable political, legal, moral and educational systems. As with parents who raise children until they are ready to “leave the nest,” colonists “raised their young” then ‘granted’ independence when the countries felt that they were ready.
What are the wars being fought for now? Beats me. What have the allies gained in the past 11 years in Afghanistan?
Some people who have lost loved ones in these wars say, “Keep on going, because I do not want our loss to be in vain.” Why? So others can be killed or maimed, physically and mentally? We are slowly losing the cream of our youth and affecting others’ lives permanently. Enough is Enough.
Expand opportunities for Akron students
The Akron Public Schools continue to expand opportunities for public school students through increased emphasis on science, technology, (pre)engineering and math, in Early College, the STEM schools, Advanced Placement options and the International Baccalaureate program at Firestone High School.
The value of high quality K-12 education in a competitive global economy is that it sends students on to successful careers as engineers, doctors, nurses, professors, entrepreneurs and as science-literate citizens. Poor K-12 experiences reduce aspirations and leave positions in such areas as mining and corrosion engineers, polymer scientists and technologists, and medical researchers unfilled by enthusiastic Americans. Supporting the school levy in Akron will improve opportunities for students to take these roles.
Value-added business is the basis for all economic growth. Science, technology, engineering and math make a firm foundation for high value-added business. This was true in 1890 when Harvey Firestone formed a company to make buggy tires; and true in 1898 when Frank Seiberling formed Goodyear Tire and Rubber, both using Charles Goodyear’s rubber vulcanization (sulfur crosslink) technology.
New technology today helps us to use economically solar energy for hot water and electricity, to clean wastewater efficiently for environmental release, to safely explore for gas and oil and to invent new polymeric materials, perhaps even using carbon dioxide feedstock and thereby reducing greenhouse gases.
Support the Akron school levy to directly improve citizen opportunities and local business development.
Obama ignores the law
What has happened to the rule of law? The Justice Department sued Arizona for trying to protect its border and its citizens when Washington would not. The Agriculture Department is working with Mexico’s government to promote food stamps here. Meanwhile, Washington borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends.
The government takeover of General Motors ignored bankruptcy laws that give bondholders first claim on company assets. Why did the government cheat retirees and pension plans who had bought GM’s bonds and relied on that interest income?
Congress vetoed cap-and-trade legislation that could cripple the economy. The EPA is implementing cap-and-trade through regulations that have the force of law.
The 1996 welfare reform required recipients to train and/or look for work. It lifted 2.8 million from welfare into jobs. The President just relaxed the work requirement. Unaware that his microphone was on, he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to wait until after November’s election when he would “have more flexibility.”
What will President Obama do if he’s re-elected? Too often he has not upheld existing laws. Instead, he has created his own rules through executive orders.
Barack Obama is not above the law. He is president, not dictator. Not yet.
Mary Ann Sherman
Class act on the court
The author of the letter “Exit of an egotist” (Beacon Journal, Sept. 9), obviously is not a tennis fan. Professional tennis is a solo sport and by nature a very egotistical sport. Every tennis player plays within his own passion. If you have ever read or heard his interviews, and I have read almost all of them, Andy Roddick never blamed his losses on bad weather, not feeling well or any other reason than his own bad playing and always gave credit to the opposition. You cannot say the same for some of the other players.
Roddick has never once whined about playing against better players and always said that he was very grateful for the chance to play professional tennis.
As an example, several years ago before shot spot, he was playing a match and the umpire made a bad call and Roddick insisted the ball was in and made the umpire give the point to the opposing player. I don’t know of too many pros in any sport that would do that.
As for not getting to the top, with thousands of ranked players, I would say being in the top 10 for almost 10 years is playing at the top. I’ve watched him play in many tournaments in many cities, and I for one will miss him terribly.
Legacy of suppressing workers
American business historically has depended on slavery, indentured servitude and paying the lowest possible wage. It has never abandoned the trappings of the institutions of slavery and has looked with disdain upon any efforts to improve the lot of the working man or woman or child. So entwined values and practices of worker suppression are the blood and guts of American business historically. There have been exceptions, of course, but these are few.
Attempts at improving the lot of workers through organized labor are painted as radical and un-American. Most improvements have come as a result of workers’ efforts, not from government or from businesses having a moral or ethical base. The history of workers and unions wresting some dignity and livable wages for their labor is fraught with struggle and bloodshed.
This war has gone largely ignored in history books and in fact a demonization of labor has been offered as the view to be embraced by the culture. Business has kept watering this tree of deception. The people who built America deserve a new view, and the antiquated values tied to slave labor should be left by the roadside.
The thought occurred to me after reading the Beacon Journal on Sept. 7: What if … ?
What if I was furnished housing, and I did not have any mortgage payments, property maintenance, gas bills, electric bills or water bills?
Suppose I did not have any car payments and automobile expenses?
Just think if I did not have to maintain a wardrobe of suits, shoes, shirts or ties or could get by with a rather unassuming casual black outfit. Suppose I was not concerned about the dresses, gowns, shoes, slacks, makeup, hairstyling or other feminine needs for a wife of daughter.
What if I did not have any children to feed, clothe or educate? No ever-increasing grocery bills because most meals are provided? What about the honoraria for weddings, baptisms, funerals and miscellaneous cash gifts? I suspect those are tax free.
Over a period of 40 or 50 years, I think I might have been able to squirrel away a few hundred thousand dollars, perhaps a million or more.
Atta boy, Father Sam.
Word by word
As a retired teacher of language arts, I miss vocabulary lessons. I thought I’d conduct one today: The opposite of Progressive is Regressive.
Karen C. Mallison