EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 20, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Obama passes on ‘ultimate power in universe’

To the editor:

After receiving a petition signed by 34,000 Americans, last week the Obama administration announced its opposition to building a Death Star like the ones in the first Star Wars trilogy. This decision came in spite of the vast numbers of jobs and technological innovations that building an object the size of a “small moon” in space would produce, as well as the obvious benefits to American power and prestige not only here on Earth, but in the much wider galaxy.

Democrats fought President Reagan’s “Star Wars” program, and now they oppose this one, too.

The White House said that the president “opposed the destruction of planets,” demonstrating once again President Obama’s willingness to sacrifice American jobs to his sacred environmentalist idol, not merely for trees and other lowly creatures here on Earth, but far, far away in other parts of the galaxy, too.

It seems very telling that the White House carefully concealed its opposition to building a Death Star until after the election. The current occupants of the White House either do not care about or are stubbornly blind to the military uses of a Death Star down here on Earth. A weapon that literally leaves empty craters the size of the Earth itself wouldn’t have any problem destroying Iran’s uranium enrichment program, however deep the Iranians have buried it. Of course, the very same blast that erased that threat would also wipe out all of our remaining al-Qaida and Taliban enemies in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere in the world, and take out the murderous Assad regime in Syria and as well as of Israel’s enemies to boot.

At a time when money is very tight, building a Death Star or two or even three shouldn’t bust any budgets. After all, George Lucas had two of them built in space for his first — obviously much better — trilogy, and he also managed to make those three sublime movies at a mere pittance, adjusting for inflation, compared to the budget of even the smallest federal agency.

Lest we forget, Lucas had the first one built using circa 1977 technology and had the second “fully operational” within six years after the destruction of the first. So America should be able to build one both cheaply and quickly. Given the vast advances in technology in the last three decades, an American Death Star would also be much better than the Empire’s two. Not only that, from the destruction of those originals we know, and can correct for, the vulnerabilities of Death Stars.

Bottom-line: The Obama administration is hopelessly craven and ideologically misguided, and of course, obviously, we should build at least one Death Star and probably an entire fleet of them.

Michael Christian


I’ve seen many changes in a long life

To the editor:

Let me identify myself. I am an 85-year-old WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) and a Republican in a Democratic state.

I was a grade-school student during the Great Depression of the 1930s. At the start of our school day, we stood and repeated The Lord’s Prayer then said the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag with our hand over our heart. Each day, we honored God and our country, then we proceeded with our education. During those days, hard lines were drawn between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Both were Christian with different interpretations, so we kids avoided discussion unless we were looking for an argument. In school, we accepted this ritual without question. We were honoring our country founded on the freedom of religion.

In my young adult years, I began working with teenagers through the Greater Haverhill Council of Churches in an ecumenical movement to better understand and accept the faith of others. Working with Brother Roger from Saint Rita’s Parish, who became a close friend, and youth leaders from other churches and the temple, we were able to attend their programs and services. Through understanding came an acceptance of other people’s journeys of faith.

Then along came Madalyn O’Hair, an atheist who pushed to strike God from everything, and the ACLU to fine tune things — like the Ten Commandments should not be displayed in government buildings. Some were looking to remove God from our currency and our pledge. A small percentage were successful in getting prayer out of the schools while others changed specific events to holidays instead of Christmas or Easter so as to be politically correct. To some, with the advent of the pill, marriage and the vows associated with it became meaningless. Divorce rose to nearly 50 percent in spite of the promise and vows taken at the altar. Both Catholic and Protestant churches began to close or consolidate their parishes while independent churches introduced a different worship style.

Our country was built on immigrants, even mine from 1638. From the potato famine to the Industrial Revolution, immigrants came from all over the world to settle in this great country and become citizens. Now I was suddenly awakened to another change.

I recently had a bout with pneumonia and spent six days at Lawrence General Hospital. My care was excellent. My doctor was from Brazil. Two of my nurses, one from China another from Africa. My dialysis technician was from the Philippines; the one who cleaned my room was from Puerto Rico. I had excellent care from the “League of Nations.”

But the real awakening came when I called for lunch and the operator said: “For Spanish press one; for English press two.” Has English become the second language?

Many changes have taken place in my life time. What’s next? Where do we go from here?

Harold L. Nelson