Memorial Day is a very sad day for me. Im a military veteran (Army infantry, Vietnam) and as I get farther down the path, my grasp of life and humanity increases.
We are all on this planet together and we are all related. The Golden Rule applies to everyone. They are not the enemy. The leaders tell us that if we (the working class) send our children to kill all of them, then we will be safe and our children who die or are physically and/or mentally wounded are heroes. The words of the leaders are hollow. They sell fear and we buy and become the pawns.
Two-time Medal of Honor recipient Marine Major General Smedley Butler said War is a racket. I agree. Weapons are America‘s #1 export product. To keep our weapons industry going we promote conflicts and wars. We have over 700 military bases in over 140 countries. Our military is the largest violence educational institution in the world.
On this Memorial Day think about the death and destruction that is being perpetrated in our name all over the world. Its not about freedom or democracy, its about profit. Its for U.S. interests. As I read about Memorial Day events I get sad. I suspect many of the people who attend are thinking like pawns.
Arnold Stieber Grass Lake
Eye of the beholder...
A question for Ted Rall (re: “Oprah‘s Book Snub,“ 5/18): Would he disregard Picassos Les Demoiselles dAvignon as art because it doesnt follow the conventional image of a woman? Why should Cormac McCarthys The Road be exempt from good book status because it doesnt meet Ralls definition?
While I completely agree that the New York Times Bestsellers List, Oprahs Book Club and other such standard-setters shouldnt be credited as finding the best literature of our time (can we say Twilight?), I do believe that the reason we all read what we do is a matter of personal preference, be it escapism fiction to (cough-boring-cough) U.S foreign relation tomes.
And Ted, bad and dishonest writers are as much to blame for the books floating around in the market pond as the publishers, reviewers and consumers. After all, we couldnt be accused of reading the crap if it were never written to begin with.
Kristy Phillips Interlochen
Don‘t blame unions
For all you folks who blame unions for the loss of jobs, you need to educate yourself on the realities of criminal manipulation of funds allowed with assistance from some of our government officials.
Let‘s start with the $10 billion a month invasion of Iraq: then the $12 billion airlifted on a skid packaged in $100 dollar bills to Iraq with NO accounting controls; $18 billion for reconstruction that was not properly used, allowing an Iraq defense minister to steal $1 billion and fly to London. Halliburton, Bechtel, Blackwater Brown, etc. have raked in billions of U.S. taxpayers dollars undeservingly.
America, wake up. The administration on both sides of the political aisle continues to have a blind eye to our white collar felons. The unbridled greed of economic elites were all enabled by our political structure in Washington.
These profiteers are still looking for more. Remember the attempt to privatize Social Security and transfer funds to Wall Street?
Were going to have to pull together and stop the attempt to continually invade pension plans, Medicare, the UAW/GM VESA Contract which was negotiated in good faith, and Social Security.
Those of you who continue to knock labors effort to negotiate fair wages and benefits, which allow workers to maintain their dignity of contributing to a healthy economic society, educate yourselves. Look at our politicians retirement, health care coverage,
and many other perks. They all seem to be above the economic turmoil.
Chairman NW Lower Peninsula UAW Retired Workers Council
Calling the kettle black
Americans who are quick to criticize Israels treatment of Arabs would do well to first examine our own treatment of the indigenous peoples here.
Americans called the natives savages, slaughtered them, stole their land, and drove them out by forced march (The Trail of Tears) to inhospitable, arid lands, reducing their numbers to a mere remnant.
Still not satisfied, Americans seized the children of the native peoples and forced them into missionary schools to convert them to Christianity, then forbad them from speaking their own language or eating their own tribal foods. Though given quasi nation status, Americans did not bestow U.S. citizenship on those native born residents until 1956.
When Mark Twain visited Jerusalem he found a nearly deserted city populated by a few Orthodox Jews, some donkeys, and a few impoverished Arabs. When the Zionists fleeing pogroms in Eastern Europe moved to the area to set up socialist agricultural settlements, the area began to prosper. This attracted Arabs from neighboring, feudal lands.
Since the 1967 war, the Israelis have expropriated some land from the Arabs, but Arab residents are citizens, vote, serve in parliament, and are exempt from military service. Their children are not kidnapped and forced into missionary schools to convert to Judaism, learn exclusively Hebrew, forbidden to speak Arabic, or forced to eat only Jewish foods.
Instead of being given blankets infected with smallpox, the Arabs in Israel enjoy the best national medical care in the Middle East. Arabs have not been driven on foot to reservations in the Negev desert.
If Israel followed the American model there would be few surviving Arabs in Israel. Before Americans leap onto the anti-Israel bandwagon, they should first consider our own behavior.
Harley Sachs Houghton