Eisenhower sent first U.S. advisers into Vietnam
Re: Sept. 7 letter to the editor, “Shades of JFK in Vietnam.”
I’d like to clear up an error by the letter writer. Although President John F. Kennedy increased our involvement in Vietnam, it was President Dwight Eisenhower that sent in the first advisers to the area in the mid-1950s. It was also Eisenhower who warned to “beware the military/industrial complex,” a warning which has gone unheeded. The war profiteers have a strong influence in government. The U.S. has been at war for more than 180 of our 237 year existence, with no end in sight. Only a few of these wars were fought for our survival. Whether the fighting is over differing ideology, religious beliefs or for power, our military personnel are deemed expendable regardless of the rhetoric to the contrary.
Help encourage reading
My seventh-grade classes visited the library today. But when the librarian asked them about good books they read over the summer, more than half of them proclaimed that all they read was video game instructions, or nothing at all. “I do not read,” they said.
I work hard to help my students develop a love of reading, but I can’t do it alone. Parents, please encourage your children to read at home — fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels — whatever interests them. Make teens earn electronics time by reading first. Visit the library or bookstore. Choose a book and read it together. All of the above.
Literacy and reading fluency are the keys to success across the curriculum. Kids who read have larger vocabularies and a greater understanding of sentence structure and spelling; this leads to a stronger ability to understand complex concepts in any subject area.
Please give your kids those keys.
Learn from past on Syria
According to recent news reports, the following groups, among others, support our attacking Syria: Israel, al-Qaida, President Barack Obama, Sunni and Gulf States Arabs, all major Jewish organizations and some congressional leaders.
According to recent polls, by a substantial margin, Americans of both parties oppose military action against Syria.
Possibly the American people have learned the lessons of Barbara Tuchman’s classic, “The Guns of August,” delineating the steps leading up to World War I, which resulted in the loss of more than 30 million lives.
Political leaders responsible for the gradually accelerating mobilizations and resultant holocaust later said, “But that’s not what we had in mind.”
Perhaps considerable reflection is in order.
Remove LCRA director
In her recent bid for appeasement from the city of Austin, Lower Colorado River Authority Director Becky Motal continues to put it all on the residents of Central Texas. How can this public official continue to shoot blindly in the dark? It was Motal who blatantly supported the 2011 second release of millions of gallons of water from the Highland Lakes to the gluttonous rice farmers. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that Central Texas was spiraling into a drought of record, she followed the money instead. If not for this horrendous action, Central Texas would not be facing an imminent threat to our economic progress and environmental stability. When are the citizens of Central Texas going to see the light and remove Motal and overhaul the antiquated LCRA? Their science is out of date and incorrect, their allegiance to the rice farmers is one-sided and their gross incompetence is evident.
Climate change not new
In response to numerous letters in the American-Statesman from hysterical people who want to reverse “climate change,” here’s a newsflash: the planet’s climate has been changing for billions of years and will continue to change, regardless of whether you ride a bicycle or use paper sacks or install solar panels on your roof. Take heart: Some scientists believe that the planet is entering a period of “global cooling” to be followed by another “ice age.” There’s more cause to fear global war than global warming.