Friday, April 8, 2011

Letters: a Double Dose of Ryans

Two letters from the Friday Strib, both concerning someone named Ryan:

A truly serious plan would focus elsewhere

Three-quarters of Thursday's Opinion Exchange page ("A serious man with a serious plan") consisted of the reactions of nine mainstream newspapers and columnists to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's proposal to drastically reduce the deficit by cutting Medicare, Medicaid and other "unsustainable" programs for the poor.

The opinions were fairly well-distributed among Democrats and Republicans. What is outrageous is that except for a single sentence from the St. Louis paper, there was absolutely no mention of cutting defense.

Supporting our troops is such a sacred cow of the mainstream press that it dares not suggest doing what is really necessary to balance the budget: bringing them home, closing the 700 bases we have in more than a hundred countries, and drastically reducing wasteful defense spending instead of slashing aid to the old and needy.

Deharpporte is right: it's time for us to readjust our military commitments around the world. Not even mentioning the "wars" we've got going, but the constant presence in Germany, South Korea and many other places. The U.S. doesn't need to be in charge of the world, and the world doesn't need us to be.

The Pentagon and defense budget is completely unauditable, did you know that? We don't even know where the money goes, and haven't for a very long time, under both Democrat and Republican administrations.

And on the recent coverage of radio station KDWB's Hmong parodies during the Dave Ryan show, a gentle take-down of the over-used term "political correctness":
There are some matters that aren't for laughing

To the gentleman (Letter of the day, April 6) who feels that it is acceptable to "enjoy a good laugh" at the expense of others: I am also a senior citizen who learned political correctness at my mother's knee, except she called it "being considerate of other people's feelings."

The term "political correctness" has only been around for the past 40 years or so and was adopted as a pejorative by people who felt entitled to express themselves regardless of the consequences to others.

They weren't raised by my mother. Or, perhaps, they have forgotten or turned their backs on the lessons of their mothers.

Back in the early 1990s, while still in graduate school, the attack on so-called political correctness got underway (So Graham is a bit off on her 40 year estimate, in my recollection). I kept a file for years full of examples, intending to write about it, but I never did.

Now I wish I had that file not only because of the topic, but because it would be an interesting glimpse of life two decades ago. I wonder if it's still here in a box somewhere?

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