Regarding “Tell me why” (Your Views, June 25): Why George Will? Because he offers an opinion many find clarifying, especially in these times of numerous issues and scandals. Keep up the good balance, Mother Trib.
The right choice
I have always been a big fan of Howard Altman, the Tribune’s first-class reporter, and reading Howard’s article on June 24, “Votel tapped to lead SOCOM at MacDill, replacing McRaven,” was music to my ears. I am not sure how many people have gotten to know up close and personal those at or near the helm of SOCOM, but there are no finer seasoned military leaders, as well as compassionate and caring people in uniform, than Gen. Doug Brown (2004-2007), Adm. Eric Olson (2007-2011), Adm. Bill McRaven (2011-2014) and Lt. Gen. Joe Votel.
Altman ably points out that most military commanders would probably single out one particular mission. This was the case with McRaven when he planned and executed the taking out of the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden. This was at the pinnacle of his career. But McRaven, like Olson in Mogadishu and Brown in Vietnam, always sought to ensure the well-being of the force.
Votel, the former chief of staff at SOCOM and now the Joint Special Operations commander at Fort Bragg, which executes special operations missions worldwide, follows the Brown, Olson and McRaven model: compassionate yet battle trained.
My hat goes off to President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for selecting Votel to be the next SOCOM commander.
Babies and votes
Not too long ago in our country, married couples mostly decided to have children when they could afford to. Now, with half of the babies in the U.S. born out of wedlock, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., thinks the general public should support these occasions and provide assistance for 12 weeks out of Social Security. And she gives this as a reason: Eight out of 10 workers cannot afford to take leave. How in heaven’s name can they afford to have children then?
Incidentally, when did our SS entitlements become a “government-provided benefit,” and for that matter, when did a “welfare check” become known as “earned income?”
I’m not entirely sure what direction our government is taking, but I cannot silently stand by and let our elected representatives fail us at every turn. Look around, folks. Your freedoms are being wrenched from your arms at every turn, and the only people benefiting are our politicians and greedy corporate executives.
We need to get out the vote!
Roger H. Oddson
Sun City Center
Leave Middle East alone
The Middle East has been, and always will be, in conflict and full of civil strife. The USA, with its involvement today, is the laughing stock of the world. We left Iraq and claimed victory in that we left it a more stable country with a trained military that could take care of its country. The fact of the matter is Iraq is worse off now than it was under Saddam Hussein, a strong dictator.
The USA must leave the Middle East and stay out of conflicts there. Solving the Middle East’s problems is simple. Just ignore them and leave them alone. They will eventually work things out on their own with the loss of far fewer lives from both sides.
Regarding “New Hampshire run is just 1 hill, but it’s a doozy” (Nation & World, June 22):
It’s 1950. I’m 16. I just got my first car from my grandmother, a 1933 Plymouth. My buddy and I wanted to drive to Canada from Connecticut. We got to Mount Washington’s Cog Railway but didn’t have extra cash for the ride up. We drove around the mountain to the auto road, at that time a narrow, dirt road. The guy in the ticket booth told us we could not drive up the road, as he didn’t think the car would make it.
So we left the car at the bottom and walked to the top. We got a ride back down from a nice couple.
Your article brought back some memories.