Sun, Nov 5

1986—In a hijacked helicopter, ’Nam vet Ron McIntosh springs his girl from the prison he recently escaped. 1974—In New Hampshire, Louis C. Wyman gets 355 more votes than John Durkin. It ain’t over yet, though; 317 days later, Durkin’s a U.S. Senator. 1968—George Wallace wins five states in the deep South. 1964—A loaded KC-97 crashes on takeoff at Pease: five crewmen die. 1949—Deranged WW II veteran and daily churchgoer Howard Unruh (1921—2009) shoots 16 people, killing 13, in Camden, N.J. 1935—After buying the anti-capitalist game cheap, Parker Brothers markets a pro-capitalist Monopoly. 1930—Thinking the phone call is a hoax, Nobel winner Sinclair Lewis imitates his …

Read more

Let’s Meddle With Some Primal Forces

To the Editor: In a previous letter, I noted that ideological posturing both on the left and right are preventing collaborative action on serious issues. An example is the culture war over public education. The far right has mounted an organized attack on public education, criticizing educational content ostensibly based on critical race theory and gender identity. This strategy is facilitated by a campaign to ban books related to these topics. The focus on critical race theory is particularly disingenuous. CRT emerged from research in law schools and graduate programs to explain the lack of racial progress following the civil rights legislation of the Johnson …

Read more

Worst-Case Scenarios? Not Bad Enough

Extreme Weather Is Outpacing Even The Worst-Case Scenarios Of Our Forecasting Models by Ravindra Jayaratne In the wake of the destructive Hurricane Otis, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in the history of weather forecasting. The hurricane roared ashore with 165 mph winds and torrential rainfall, slamming into the coastal city of Acapulco, Mexico and claiming the lives of at least 48 people. The speed at which Otis intensified was unprecedented. Within 12 hours it went from a regular tropical storm to a “category 5” hurricane, the most powerful category and one which might occur only a few times worldwide each year. This rare …

Read more

“Only in America…”

Our headline today comprises a phrase which has long been used to preface anecdotes which cast the nation in a flattering light. That usage of the phrase, though, may soon become inoperative. In fact, as with the party once known for law and order, the meaning of the phrase “Only in America” seems destined for reversal. The House of Representatives just elected a new Speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson, of Louisiana. Citizens who have longed for a functioning national legislature may have been tempted to breath a sigh of relief. Those familiar with Hollywood tropes, of course, knew better. In well-done horror flicks, audience members may …

Read more

A Gordian Knot

by W.D. Ehrhart I was among a small unit of U.S. Marines who entered Hue City, Vietnam, on January 31st, 1968, at the beginning of what turned out to be the Tet Offensive. The city had been secretly occupied by Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army forces (VC/NVA), and it took us nearly a month to drive them out. By the time we were done, the city was largely in ruins. A year and a half later, and immediately after public revelation of the massacre of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians by units of the U.S. Americal Division at a place known as My Lai, …

Read more