To the Editor:
The paradox of war — death, sadness, love, happiness — is not by choice. The controversy over Lt. Michael Behenna’s imprisonment for actions while sacrificing his honor and duty during combat offers no explanation for what is right or wrong. From World War II, Korea, Vietnam and presently, statistics indicate that only 17 percent of the military are ever involved in actual combat. Did Lt. Behenna’s judges or jury members ever experience combat? It would be interesting to know how they would respond facing the same hostile situation that Lt. Behenna encountered.
Civilian casualties are evident in all wars, but few military members have been court martialed other than a limited number of male and female Nazi war criminals. I’ve been back to Normandy five times. I’ve seen the 9,000-plus tombstones in the Normandy American Cemetery and at the Muesse Argonne near Verdun, France, where my uncle is among the 14,000 dead Americans from World War I. I’ve been to concentration camps — Auschwitz, Dachau, Amersfort and the Jeath site at the River Kwai Bridge in Thailand. Many of those dead, brave men would have been court martialed relative to today’s rule of war.
Wars kill more civilians than military personnel. Nineteen thousand French citizens died during the Normandy invasion. English cities suffered horrendous civilian losses. Allied bombers destroyed Dresden, Germany, shortly before the war ended killing nearly 100,000 German citizens. I’ve been to Nagasaki, Japan, where the second A-bomb killed thousands. While visiting with Col. Paul Tibbets, pilot of the B-25 that dropped the first A-bomb, a person asked if he had regrets. His answer was a strong “Hell no!”
Modern day war apparently is different. Lt. Behenna was court martialed and sentenced to prison for defending himself and his troops. I feel sorrow for the young man. As President John Kennedy said, “Life is not fair.” Lt. Behenna presently is a member of the “Life is not Fair” club. Hopefully, his membership will be canceled.
To the Editor:
Medicaid reform a necessity
Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
Remembering lessons from 1974
This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.
RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?
Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.
Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here
To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.
New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”
On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”
OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation
When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.
Holding government accountable for open meeting violations
A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.
GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices
A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.
HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech
The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.
We're raising a generation of timid kids
A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?
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- Medicaid reform a necessity