Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Civil War by Shelby Foote

Mr. Shelby wrote a monumental highly detailed account of the Civil War in three volumes. Volume 1- Fort Sumter to Perryville Volume 2 - Fredericksburg to Meridian Volume 3 – Red River to Appomattox Each book contained over 900 tightly written pages. I learned of these books from a Civil War class I took in OLLI. I only read the last two. Being a hardnosed Yankee I had no interest in reading about the first two years which were filled with stunning defeats of the Union. It took me two months to finish reading the last two. I will admit reading was very difficult. The fighting was savage and the thought that these were all Americans killing each other was very depressing. Many parts of our beautiful country were mutilated. Not until the very end did the killing finally stop. The Confederacy gave as well as it got. Time after time after a victory by the Union, it was followed by one for the Confederacy. It seemed like a broken record repeating over and over without lasting effect. The war on the seas was equally devastating. The South built high speed raiders and steel warships which were able to sink or capture hundreds of merchant and warships of the North. The Confederacy knew they were outgunned and had less manpower but their goal was to make it so painful that the North would give up the struggle and allow this new country to exist. The only reason they attacked the North such as at Gettysburg was to that end not to conquer additional territory. They exerted maximum pressure before the re-election of Lincoln. If a peace candidate could be elected they would have won but when Lincoln was re-elected they knew their cause was lost. They fought on but desertions and mounting losses overwhelmed them. In particular, after Atlanta was taken, General Sherman led his Army across Georgia destroying large swaths of countryside. Then going north through South Carolina they took particular pleasure in destroying buildings and railroads in the State that started the rebellion. Over 640,000 blue clad and 450,000 grey clad soldiers and sailors were casualties. These figures include dead and wounded. There were more than 10,000 military actions, including 76 full- scale battles, 310 engagements, 6,337 skirmishes, and numerous sieges, raids, expeditions, and the like. In many ways it was like reading a novel due to the names and conversations included throughout the books. You must have the interest and stamina if you decide to read these monumental books. I have not made the attempt to list events or persons as only by reading can you understand and appreciate the monstrous agony forced on our country to remain a complete country while eliminating slavery which was a curse to both sides. I will share a comment about the Confederate President Jefferson Davis. At the conclusion of fighting, with only a few exceptions all soldiers and civilians were welcomed back into the Union by pledging allegiance to the United States of America. Davis was the lone holdout. While he was released and not tried, he died a man without a country. Jack B. Walters May 30, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Letter to the editor

Enough is enough Ruth Marcus in her two column article on the editorial page was offended because men on an elevator were joking about “ladies lingerie”. A female professor took offence. Give me a break. All we hear about is how crude men are in your paper. This is not about equal pay for equal work. You want to turn us into something other than men. We have the right to kid among ourselves as we have done since the beginning of time. You will not succeed in feminizing men. Nor I hope you will not masculinize women. There are serious issues to address today. This is nothing but a distraction. Jack B. Walters May 4, 2018

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Darkest Hour

I went to see this new movie today. I went with trepidation as I was so disillusioned with the movie Dunkirk. I am relieved to tell you this was done correctly. The theater was filled to capacity and at the end there was applause. This gives me hope that all is not lost. The people of today that did not live through those years and are poorly taught cannot possibly understand how critical that time was. The movie covers the fateful days in May 1940. Europe was falling nation by nation. The Army of Briton was trapped at Dunkirk. Churchill had just been appointed Prime Minister by a reluctant King. His military leaders were mostly defeatist in nature. The War Cabinet strenuously pushed for making peace with Hitler, threating to resign if he wouldn’t seek peace. With all of this pressure Churchill rose to the occasion and gave his famous “We will fight them on the beaches, we will….” The overwhelming response from Parliament and the British people kept England in the fight. Churchill was the right man at the right time. The whole world owes him a debt of gratitude. Who knows what the world would be like if he had failed? I urge you to see this movie and take others with you. I am attaching my book review that I have sent out before entitled “Five Days in London” by John Lucas. Jack B. Walters December 26, 2017

No One Gets It

Over and over I have read or listened to opinions about the tax plan approved and slated to begin in February 2018. The Corporate rate drops from 35% to 21%.This is referred to as a giveaway to large corporations with trickle down to the little people. I state that this is not true. The whole premise is to lower the tax rate from the highest in the world to a more reasonable figure. I know it is difficult for the Socialist people among us to understand Capitalism but the basic premise is to be profitable. Should a company not be profitable it will cease to exist. It is just as simple as it can be. If you can accept this as fact then you might understand that taxes, labor, material, transportation and other factors are part of the decision maker’s process when considering location of faxtories. For the past thirty years under Republican and Democratic governments the factors have been overwhelming to relocate jobs from America to lower cost countries, China being the outstanding recipient. Lowering the corporate tax will remove that factor from the process. The hope is that companies will return but at the very least perhaps companies considering moving will decide to remain. The beneficiaries of this tax cut therefore will be willing workers not corporations. I have pleaded for this for over 15 years in my “Last Angry Man” books. I can’t wait to see the results. Trump gets the credit. The Republican Party just went along with him. He cares about displaced workers as I can remember FDR always did. Jack B. Walters December 26, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

Washington's Crossing

By; David Hackett Fischer This book was a gift from my daughter Amy who knows of my extreme interest in history. This is an excellent book covering 1776, the first year of the War of Independence. It starts with our crushing defeat in New York and ends with the tide turning against the British. By then it was beginning to be understood that England could not conquer colonies that were about three million in population with the men owning accurate long rifles and willing to fight. In a bitter cold December, Washington was able to garner enough able bodied men to cross the ice filled Delaware river in the night and stage a surprise raid on the Hessian soldiers in Trenton, New Jersey, defeat them in an overwhelming victory. Washington returned to his base camp and decided to attack again. He returned to Trenton and was attacked by a superior force from Lexington. He won the first day’s battle and slipped away during the night avoiding the British troops and attacked a smaller force at Lexington which was defeated. He then returned to his base to recoup his Army. For the rest of the winter, partisans attacked small patrols sent out to find fodder for their horses severely weakening the British forces. An important aspect of this war was the brutal treatment of American prisoners compared to the positive treatment by our Army. Washington, John Adams and the Continental Congress determined to establish an American tradition completely different from Europe’s. At the end of the war over three thousand Hessians stayed in America rather than returning home. I was feeling cold as I read of the nearly shoeless soldiers, poorly clad in the bitter cold. Their courage and devotion was a testament to their love of country and of General Washington, a man they respected and followed thru hard times. I hope you will be interested in reading. You won’t be disappointed and it might rekindle love of country which appears to be weakening, in my opinion. Jack B. Walters December 15, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Clinton Cash

By; Peter Schweitzer (The untold story of how and why foreign governments and businesses helped make Bill and Hillary rich) This is a small book, only 184 pages. It is a compilation of events that occurred at the same time very generous contributions were given to the Clinton Foundation. I am taking a lazy approach to reviewing the content. There are many examples given, enough to convince me that this should have been investigated for fraud and conspiracy but then those of you who know me would not expect me to think otherwise. It is available at the Tucson public Library should you care to read for yourself. Jack B. Walters December 7, 2017

Jerusalem-Israel's Capitol

The United States in 1947 was the first country to recognize Israel as a country. We can thank President Truman for making this bold decision. For the intervening 70 years most of the nations still question their right to a homeland. The United Nations on a nauseating frequency writes condemnations of Israel for any and all reasons they can find to do so. Any reasonable person regardless of their religious beliefs should have at least a little sympathy for the few Jewish people existing today. There are six and one half million Jews living in Israel today. That nearly equals the six million who were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime in WWII. The total worldwide population in 2016 was estimated at only 14,410,000. Yesterday President Trump made a bold decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capitol of Israel. He was immediately condemned by not only Muslim majority countries but also our so-called Allies in Europe as well as Russia and China. If this wasn’t so tragic it would be humorous. Every other country on Earth has the right to choose the location of their Capitol. The reason most often given is that Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians. That is not true, nor has it ever been true. Three thousand years ago it was the Capitol of the Hebrews. After being expelled by Babylonia, they were finally allowed to return. There was a time when it was part of Jordan and later a British Mandate but always the Jews considered Jerusalem as their Capitol. In my opinion there are two reasons why the nations refuse to recognize this fact. I- They have not ever accepted that Israel is a nation. They consider them as conquerors of Palestinian lands and therefore illegitimate. 2- They fear the response of Muslims around the world and the chaos that might result. We are holding our breath over this. My thoughts are that if they do they will be showing their true nature as religious intolerant people who hate the Jewish people going all the way back to when they refused to convert as Mohammad demanded and were slaughtered as a result. I have done everything I can to read and learn about Islam. I have just finished two semesters of OLLI classes on this subject. The more I learn the more I am convinced that it is time to put these ancient beliefs and conflicts aside and start working together to create a just and equitable society for all people while allowing everyone to worship as he or she desires. Jack B. Walters December 7, 2017