To The Daily Sun,
Sunday, July 20, was the 45th anniversary of humankind's landing on the moon. Everyone, it seems, remembers his or her whereabouts. Some of us sat glued to the family TV. Some of us were at movie houses or other gathering places to do public patriotism. Some of us were unborn. Some of us were unaware—it was the '60s, after all.
It was a great moment for national pride and an almost planet wide acclimation of American superiority in all things avant-garde. Science gave way to adventurism. Damn! The world really was round, and space was just a bigger ocean.
I was already on another planet and lost in time when Neal and Buzz strolled the alien orb. Rolled in a poncho, I was lying on a rice-paddy dike in a drizzly, 100-degree twilight. Thumb-sized mosquitoes assaulted, but bug dope kept their stingers at bay. Four guys kept vigil while the rest of us tried to sleep. We were winning hearts and minds sleeping on the family crop. In the morning, we would all pee on it. A few would defecate.
I had an earphone stuffed in listening to Armed Forces Radio. The broadcasters were ecstatic. Euphoria overwhelmed objectivity. It was no longer news. It was nursery-school xenophobia.
I grew bored and switched to Radio China. As far as I knew, it and Radio Hanoi were the only other stations broadcasting English to Greater Chu Lai. It was no use listening to the Hanoi station. Its message was always the same: "You're gonna die tonight, and even your mother hates you."
I caught it just right. The world news summary was about to begin, but first a word of wisdom from the chairman: "Plans without goals are roads without destinations. Now, the headlines: Workers in Qinghai Providence completed the something-something dam on the Yangtze River today."
Oh! A dam on a major river in a remote province was more important than a first step off the mother world. Perhaps I misunderstood. These were the top national stories. Nope. Headline two was a caricature of communism in the Soviet Union. (In the eyes of 1969 China, the USSR could do nothing right. Yet, here we were fighting the great monolith.) I listened for an hour or so, but heard no mention of Americans on the moon.
Back at Armed Forces Radio, jubilation continued until I fell asleep hoping to awake in the 20th century. It was a vain hope. While Neal and Buzz meandered, sunlight crept into Chu Lai. I rolled off my perch into the shallows: Another damn day in prehistory.
We set out looking for rocket launchers. If we found a few, they would be the only sign an industrial revolution had ensued 200 years earlier. Within the hour, someone shot at us from the jungles abutting the rice farm. Although finding rocket launchers was our job description, being shot at was our purpose. It was how higher echelons pinpointed Viet Cong positions.
It was horribly repetitious. We walk the dikes toward jungle. Some guy in black pajamas leans out and opens fire. We drop into the shallow bogs where rice thrives and call for airstrikes. A few minutes later, the United States Air Force — usually two or three bombers — shows up and wreaks havoc on pajama guy's position. The sound splits our eardrums. Trees and jungle parts fly over our heads and land a few feet behind us in the paddies. Wave after wave of that war's shock and awe unfold. (Hell hath made its presence known.)
When it was over, the jungle was wasteland. Jungle junk littered the rice paddy. We stood up. Pajama guy rose from the smoldering debris and started shooting at us again.
We had a choice: Confront a lone sniper who was likely more lure than threat with a web of tunnels and subterranean friends in waiting or endure more Air Force mayhem.
We turned around and sought an alternative exit from the bog. I could only hope Neal and Buzz encounter no angry vacuum-breathers in the world they invaded.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 09:51
To The Daily Sun,
The loss of life with the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine is tragic. But why expect anything better of war? War is chaos.
Thomas Mann wrote: "War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace". In other words, war is easier to turn to than peace.
Who models war a lot? We, the commercially-driven countries of the civilized world, do. We allow among us war profiteers. The more war, the more money is made. The worst of all possible human behaviors -- joining in the profiteering of war and carelessly strewing suffering.
A field of suffering — Ukraine. The most densely-populated stretch of land in the world, now suffering Israeli invasion — Gaza.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 09:46
To The Daily Sun,
President Obama recently asserted that a photo op at our chaotic southern border was totally unnecessary since he is well informed about the goings on in and around the Rio Grande. His "dreamy plan" is of course to wait for the Republicans to cave in to his every desire which requires $3.7 billion in aid to be sent to "secure the border". Right on Mr. President. We can keep our border, period, he assures us. So long as we send him bags of moolah to play with. His nose grows longer still. Inventor Gepetto created a wooden marionette who came to life and became untrustworthy in word and deed. It seems as though communists created a soulless Marxist U.S. president who is also eminently untrustworthy. How exactly could this have happened in this country?
So cocksure is he that Republicans will cave in to his latest lust for money and power, that after his callous comment, he sped off to more fundraisers, barbecues and a night of billiards and beer. Even Democrats have begun to question his "bizarre behavior" and his aloof, detached demeanor. Yet even more bizarrely, disparate groups from La Raza to Christian churches are embracing some form of amnesty. Innocent children are being used as Trojan horses to create utter mayhem as our southern border dissolves right in front of our eyes.
All but the true blue Kool-Aid drinkers know that Barack Obama has created this tumultuous and sometimes deadly exodus with his implicit message of amnesty and that trying to put the blame on Republicans is patently absurd. And now we have children coming in with TB, chicken pox, scabies, lice, foot and mouth disease, bacterial pneumonia and who know what other diseases. Drug cartels, violent, international MS-13 gangs and other persons of ill repute are infiltrating this country. Ah yes, and the perfect opportunity for radical Islamists to infiltrate our porous borders with which to create more sleeper cells within our states.
Who is paying the drug cartel "coyotes" to transport Central American children across Mexico? If it is their parents, then where are they coming up with the $7,000? How much are the drug cartels paying the Mexican government to allow the transportation of these vulnerable children 1,800 miles to our border? What kind of pressure,if any, has our president placed on Mexican President Nieto to stop this illegal invasion of our sovereign nation? Perhaps he could also persuade President Nieto to have Marine Sergeant Tahmooressi released pronto. Does our president even know or care that this decorated war veteran with PTSD has languished in a Mexican prison for over three months and has spent $65,000 on legal fees. That would be all the money he has earned while serving our country with honor. Just where is the honor and leadership of our Commander-in-Chief?
Why does President Obama continue to lie about his deportation record? Why does he continue to lie about the security of our borders? There seems to be little doubt that something sinister or clandestine is going on. Is he trying to ensure that the United States is no more exceptional than any third-world country? Is he actually so power drunk and mentally unstable that he is deliberately creating pandemonium so that he can implement martial law? Rumors are growing that he has plans to go after our guns while ignoring the 2nd Amendment. These are indeed the times that try mens' and womens' souls.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 10:12
To The Daily Sun,
The Bristol Lions Club is grateful for all of the support that the Town of Bristol, the Bristol Fire Department and the Bristol Police Department as well as the Highway Department and the Water/Sewer Department gave the Club with this year's Fourth of July celebration.
Although the weather rained on our parade and pushed the fireworks to the following weekend, the Kelly Miller Circus arrived on time and in great form. The RS Fireworks Company from Londonderry gave us a great show that was witnessed by hundreds of spectators at Kelley Park. The Kelly Miller Circus in its third year of with us gave a spectacular two-day extravaganza that fit the time and the community. Over 2,000 people attended.
Most of all, you the residents and visitors of the Newfound Area came together to celebrate our nation's birthday. The people attending and supporting these events are appreciated by the Bristol Lions Club. Thank you for allowing us to serve the community once again.
Bristol Lions Club
Merle Lyon, President
Gerry Gagnon, Vice President
Joe Denning, Secretary
Theressa Butler, Treasurer
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 10:01
To The Daily Sun,
On Saturday, July 26, Laconia High School Band Booster organization will be holding its annual yard sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Laconia Middle School Gym. Funds raised through this endeavor help with the purchase, repairs and replacement of musical instruments.
Through this program, students of all socioeconomic statues are afforded the opportunity to learn an instrument and participate in the LHS Band and helps ease the pressure of obtaining their own instruments. Under the leadership of Ms. Debbi Gibson, the band and chorus have traveled to such places as Busch Gardens, Walt Disney World and most recently to Toronto, Canada.
We are still in need of donations to help make this event happen. We will take donations of everything except for clothing, shoes televisions and computers. Items may be delivered directly to the Laconia Middle School between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. up until July 25 or by contacting 491-4573 to arrange a pick-up.
The Laconia Sachem Band Boosters extend a warm and robust thank you to the community for being such strong supporters of the LHS Music Department and Ms. Debbi Gibson.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 09:56