Reader Responses, August 4

Published on Saturday, 3 August 2013 21:16 - Written by


Many of us since youth have marveled at the stage magician. Where did the card go? Where did the bird come from? How did he know the card that the audience participant was holding? To a talk show host a performing magician revealed a bit of the secret of his trade — I assure you not much but a bit of the principles involved. First, it’s only an illusion and secondly it involved a diversion of your attention in some form.

The lesson is well known to politicians and one of the most reliable and widely used when some heat is being applied. Things have been a little warm for the administration in the last several weeks. Benghazi, the NSA surveillance issue, the IRS selective treatment of conservative groups, frosted with mega buck line dances and a “Star Trek” parody, and the beginning of a revelation of the things that could go wrong when a 2000-page bill developed by unelected bureaucrats and not read by elected representatives who voted for it, could go astray in its cost and implementation.

You may fault President Barack Obama on many things, but not on his political acumen. Along comes a much-publicized trial involving a young black and a white community watch member in which the black youth is shot and killed.

So at the NAACP convention the attorney general implies a racial animus even though the FBI in an extensive investigation issued a report finding no racial motivation or connection. Neither was this injected into the trial by the judge or prosecution. The president jumps into the fray, as do Al Sharpton of Tawana Brawley fame and Jesse Jackson, to stir up racial tensions with demonstrations in the streets.

Wala! The press is on the racial aspects of the trial. Tons of ink and airtime are devoted to the fairness of the verdict — gone are the NSA, the IRS, the incident in Libya and the glaring problems with “Obamacare.” Talk about illusion. Talk about magic. Move over Blackstone.

Hugh Goodpasture



Once again Congressman Louie Gohmert has found a way to get his picture in the paper without risking alienating potential voters.

This time he’s co-sponsoring a resolution condemning Iran’s persecution of Baha’is in this country. If you’re like me, you might not be familiar with the Baha’i religion; maybe never heard of it. That’s because their world-wide population is only about 6 million and they weren’t active in Tyler until the early 1990’s. Basically they believe in the oneness of humanity, equality of men and women, eradication of prejudice, harmony of science and religion, universal education and world peace. Nothing to fault there.

For the past 20 years Congress has passed resolutions condemning Iran for its persecution of the Baha’is. This, however, didn’t discourage Gohmert from taking the bold move of co-sponsoring such a resolution. As you know, “condemnation” is right up there with a “stern reprimand” or even calling something “unacceptable behavior.” Maybe it’ll work this time.

Ah, politics. Gohmert is thy name.

Hugh Neeld



I viewed with interest your feature about the Korean War, published on Sunday, July 27. I looked for some reference to the POW/MIA issue.

My tour of duty in Korea was scheduled to end in August of 1953. I was held over and made part of a debriefing team to take statements from repatriated POWs. We worked during the 14 day trip from Inchon to San Francisco taking statements and accusations from the repatriates.

A few POWs were subject to investigation based on statements of accusation. A few were later tried by courts martial for various forms of misconduct in the camps. One of those was from East Texas.

The early war was, from all data, poorly conducted. Troops with little training, poor leadership, and planning were thrown into battle. Most were young, poorly educated, and no match for the Chinese “brainwashing.”

Gerald W. Carson