Someone with get-it-doneness; Let the axe fall; Experiencing the wall; Wall 'whitewash' — Letters to the Editor, April 13, 2019

Today is a gift

Someone on Lane ESD with some get-it-doneness

Well another May election is coming up. May elections have always been a bit of a mystery to me. It always appears I’m voting for a person or a proposal I know nothing about.

I decided to do a little advance research on the upcoming 2019 May election. One issue is to elect a representative to the Lane Education Services District Board of Directors (Lane ESD). I’ve talked to educators and discovered how important Lane ESD is to Siuslaw Schools. This is the District that covers Siuslaw Schools. It’s been my experience living on the Coast for 16 years that any organization based in Eugene treats the Oregon Coast like an ugly stepchild.

We need a “homey” to further our interests. Leonora Kent is that homey. She has been an educator at Lane Community College-Florence Campus for over 14 Years. She is an activist and community leader for the coast.  I’ve worked with Leonora on several non-profit events. She’s an incredible lady — creative, focused, organized and blessed with an abundance of energy and get-it-doneness.

The Siuslaw School District needs what the Lane ESD can do for it. I’m given to understand that Leonora is running against a person from Elmira.

We need Leonora as the District 4 representative on the Lane Education Service District… desperately.

Do it for the Siuslaw kids.

—Eric D. Hauptman


Let the axe fall where it must

The Mueller investigation seems to be at an end. I say “seems to be” because many on the left side of the aisle are already looking for an out from their non-stop demonizing of President Trump.

After almost two years of turning over every rock on the planet, one commentator appeared that he couldn’t believe the President was not in chains going to the dungeon for life. Another made time during her vacation to go on the air while barely able to hold back the tears of travesty that the president will not be flogged in Times Square for his crimes. Another was in complete denial lining up guest after guest who were also in denial, ending it with the obvious explanation that “it must be a cover up.”

This is what passes for competent commentary on our times?

Maybe my characterization is a little over the top. But in my defense, compared to their so-called reporting, I think I’m pretty close. Going forward from here, we must brace ourselves for Projection and Rationalization. After all, these were all good and honest journalists looking out for us. If they made mistakes, it was all in the name of good journalism, right?

What you will hear is a characterization of anyone who does not see it their way as covering up for this administration. This is called Projection.

After all, we were told the administration and the president had evil intentions and aren’t good Americans, which is why the former head of the CIA told us his own actions were treasonous. This is called Rationalization.

If you think I am carrying water for the Trump administration, you would be wrong. I don’t see angels on either side. What I do see is, after years of a stalled economy and sluggish business health, is a resurgence. I see our little town sprucing things up for a bright future; I see and hear my children looking forward, not backwards.

I think there is a good future for my grandchildren if the lessons of the past are not repeated. I also see danger in those who in their quest for power push ignorant, illogical and dangerous ideals on our country for their own benefit.

I say let the axe fall where it must. Just make sure you’re not doing it with a smile on your face. For no matter which way it falls, sooner or later the roles will be reversed.

I pray that what needs strengthened will be, and what needs to fade does.

— David T. Eckhardt


Experiencing The Wall

I was not able to view the Wall That Heals that came to town this past weekend but have memories of the “Wall.”

I was in Army from 1962 to 1965 and stationed in Germany. At that time and like most Americans we did not know anything about what was going on in Vietnam. It was not until the ’70s that protests became forefront because TV exposed us to what we were to discover was an unjust war where our young men were being killed.

I was against the War but what I  could never understand is the animosity from the general public against our returning vets. In 1982 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, designed by Maya Lin, was dedicated. Around 1987, I was working on an archictural project and was fortunate to spend a weekend in D.C. where I visited museums and the “Wall.”

I did not physically lose anyone so there were no names on the wall for me but have a few friends that were psychologically damaged. Just to walk down the wall, read names and touch the wall was overpowering.

Then seeing Vets touching the wall and crying and seeing the momentous placed for lost ones caused me to sit down, take a very deep breath and wipe the tears from my eyes.

Yesterday was the past.

Tomorrow is the future.

Today is a gift.

—Win Jolley


Wall partly a ‘whitewash’ over fuller Vietnam truth

Did we learn anything from the recent siren-and-flashing-lights appearance in Florence of the traveling Vietnam “Wall that Heals” ?

The Wall portrays a list of U.S. service personnel who died as a direct result of the war — a number overshadowed by those who committed suicide upon return, some estimates reaching 300,000.

Significant concealed U.S. financial and military support for Vietnam actually began well before 1955. Daniel Ellsburg, in his monumentally detailed book, “Secrets,” shows the extent to which US Administrations funding of the French was made without disclosure to the US Public or Congress. Costs ultimately reached, in current value, trillions of dollars.

As to Vietnam, Robert McNamara, Secty of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, who in 1965 arranged the first major troop placements over 50,000 into Vietnam, concluded in his 1995 book, In Retrospect: The Tragedies and Lessons from Vietnam: “We were wrong, terribly wrong...”

Resembling later orchestrated U.S. leadership deceptions concerning Iraq and “weapons of mass destruction,” as to Vietnam the American public was not honestly informed nor consulted about Vietnam from the inception in 1950.

CIA sabotage missions into North Vietnam in the 1950s, including bombs, agricultural poisons and falsified information to create panic in the population, were never publicly revealed. Nor was the fact that U.S. field commanders were asking for consideration of tactical nuclear weapons.

Nor was the extent of civilian injuries, US-supervised torture programs or assassination squads, or intentional, systematic village destruction or killings. This includes My Lai, in 1968, where 150 U.S. troops killed over 500 civilians — mostly women and children — as revealed by Seymore Hersch in 1969. Original military reviews suppressed actual findings.

This pattern of deception continued through to Nixon’s hidden massive 1969 B-52 strikes into Cambodia. Those wide-spread systematic hidden bombings, revealed with his 1970 invasion into Cambodia, ultimately helped prompt the National Guard killings of Kent State students.

I interviewed Hersch weeks before he released the My Lai story, a short time before I was drafted, ultimately becoming an 11-B infantry sergeant, then editor of the 2d Infantry Division newspaper.

The 1968 Tet offensive finally opened the window onto Vietnam reality — in conjunction with such ‘leaked’ resources as the “Pentagon Papers” — revealing the years of broader lies and myths for what they were.

In light of this larger reality, it’s regretful that the “Wall” can be used or seen — in part — as a “whitewash” for a fuller story about Vietnam: how US military and political leadership hid reality from the public, and the resulting true costs to the American public, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos — and how the U.S. media and public repeatedly appear willing to celebrate and embrace military mobilization without accompanying moral mobilization.

—Rand Dawson

Siltcoos Lake


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