Stop blaming vets
The author of a June 5 letter titled "VA misconduct" must have one last axe to grind on the backs of Vietnam veterans.
We have tried to stay away as long as possible. Some injuries you received as a teenager didn't seem like much, but as you get older they get worse.
We quit fighting that war many years ago, or at least most of us did. At best we went to the back of the employment line and the back of the education line, and by the time we were ready for work we were still behind those who did nothing.
The public must be aware that not all current problems should be borne by Vietnam veterans. Enough is enough. We owe them some respect instead of disgust because of their need. They came home broke and battered and despised for their honorable sacrifices. Not all were whiners or malingerers.
And it's too late to make amends. I often see ads saying, "Vietnam vets, it's OK now." After 45 years of water under the bridge it's hard to put the water back upstream.
If I am due a bed, medical care or any help from the VA and it cannot find room, please take my place in line. I pray I will never need it. These gouges, scars and holes are part of my fabric and my very soul.
The only pain inflicted upon me is by those who have never come to terms with the reality that they were just too full of themselves and they didn't like our war or us.
Amon H. Shumate
Commemorating the D-Day invasion provides a reason to reflect not only on the heroism of our armed forces but on the unity of purpose and willingness to sacrifice demonstrated by our civilian population at that time.
During the 1940s our non-military population supported the rationing of gasoline, luxury items and even some basic foods. They planted 20 million victory gardens, and families of all economic classes sent their young men and women to enlist in the armed forces.
Government bonds were sold to finance the war with the debt held by U.S. citizens. Significant tax increases to support the war were passed by Congress.
These higher tax rates, many more than twice today's rates, remained in place for 35 years as we gradually paid down the war debt and reduced the debt-to-GDP ratio from 117 percent in 1945 to a low of 32 percent in 1980.
WWII united our country in a way that we haven't seen since. It stands in sharp contrast to how we and our elected leaders reacted to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to how we the public now react to almost any proposal that involves personal sacrifice.
Would we cast our votes today for a candidate who stated that some sacrifices will be necessary in order to reduce our debt or secure Social Security for future generations?
America after Pearl Harbor vs. America after 9/11. Maybe this deserves a course of study in our schools (and for our politicians and captains of industry) so future generations will not forget what this country did and could do again if it demonstrated shared sacrifice, deferred gratification and a willingness to give second priority to political party or personal gain. Those qualities gave us victory and prosperity during WWII and post-war years. We need them back.
Deer Point Drive
There has been much speculation about what caused Malaysia flight NH370 to change course and altitude, while the aircraft had no contact with ground controllers. Most of the speculation focuses on the cockpit crew being unable to act due to suicide, incapacitation or hijacking. There is, however, another possibility.
If the windshield were shattered due to an external event such as a lightning strike or a series of large hailstones, it would result in a blast of air at 30 to 50 degrees below zero and about 500 miles per hour in the cockpit. A surviving crew member would initially focus on getting away from the storm by changing course and climbing. As soon as they were clear of the storm, they could have set the autopilot for a low altitude in an attempt to get to a survivable temperature.
At this wind speed and temperature, the crew could remain conscious for a very few minutes, leaving no one to communicate the situation after taking these actions. (Tissue freezes in less than one minute.) By the time they reached a survivable altitude, the crew would have been permanently incapacitated by hypothermia, leaving the plane to fly at the low altitude until out of fuel.
The question remains as to what could have shattered a windshield, since these are very durable. One possibility is a very large hailstone or hailstones.
The largest hailstone recorded was almost two pounds, with hailstones the size of tennis balls fairly common. Striking the windshield at 500 mph would seem to have the potential to cause major damage.
I have heard enough about the Marine confined to a Mexican jail because he made a wrong turn at the U.S.-Mexican border and because he was carrying guns as he had the right to do in the United States, but not in Mexico. He made the wrong turn because the pathway was apparently not properly marked.
So why is Mexico holding him? Do Mexican authorities want an exchange of prisoners? Good. Let's give them back, say a million or so of the ones in the United States. It seems like a fair trade to me. A million illegals for one U.S. Marine.
If the president or our State Department wants to really solve this problem, I see no reason not to do it. It's a fair and equitable trade, and a simple solution to boot.
I'm responding to recent letters and editorials supporting the global warming/CO2 theory.
I have a question for supporters: If emitting CO2 into the atmosphere causes global warming, where is it? Between 1998 and 2012, the world pumped more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Yet, there has been no discernible increase in aggregate global temperatures in 15 years. It's obvious that computer models predicting significant atmospheric temperature increases due to carbon emissions are wrong.
Freeman Dyson, world-renowned physicist and Einstein's replacement at Princeton; physicist William Happer, former director of energy research at the U.S. Department of Energy; and Nobel Prize winner physicist Ivar Giaever charge that global warming hype resembles religion, not science.
John Coleman, award-winning meteorologist and founder of the "Weather Channel," calls global warming "the greatest scam in history." Many scientists are on record stating the following:
We're living in an ice age interspersed with periods of warming. Before industrialization, a renewed period of warming began at the end of the "Little Ice Age" (about 1800). Temperatures have risen roughly four-fifths of one degree Celsius. Life has thrived at warmer temperatures and higher levels of CO2.
Global warming, blamed on human activity, is a shameful hoax driven incessantly by billions of dollars of government spending for academic research and green-energy development.
I would add that it provides Democrats the opportunity to raise taxes and expand the power of the federal government.
High utility rates
Gov. Nikki Haley expressed concern that the new EPA CO2 regulations may cause utility rates to rise in the future.
Perhaps she should show the same concern about our current ever-increasing utility rates that are already the highest in the Southeast.