Military directive

To the editor: The Times-News’ July 7 front page showed grim-faced U.S. Army enlistee Panshu Zhao, immigrant from China, who had chosen to volunteer in the now-defunct program for foreigners seeking citizenship. Missing was a photo of Donald Trump with his stubborn expression as he signed the executive order banning a directive issued not by Barack Obama but by George W. Bush.

The mystery is not that complex to fathom: Trump has made it nauseatingly clear that he is conservative/military friendly, plus the program he so abruptly aborted was ushered in by a fellow Republican.

When I was an instructor of English as a second language (ESL) at the Defense Language Institute in San Antonio, I had the pleasure and privilege of teaching many foreign-born men and women intent on becoming U.S. citizens. Thirteen years ago, while serving as an ESL instructor to Afghan military personnel, I had the honor of serendipitously shaking hands with former U.S. Army students serving on the front lines.

Perhaps our Civil War would have ended tragically differently if Republican President Abraham Lincoln had not allowed former, antebellum slaves and Irish expatriates to serve in the U.S. Army.

 

Jamie Blount, Hendersonville

 

Censorship?

To the editor: In the June 21 Times-News, Star Parker wrote a very compelling column about the sad state of “free speech” today under the scrutiny of politically correct thought police. She dealt particularly with the LGBT movement, citing examples of overreach concerning the firing of people for the sin of, among other things, using the word “sin” and even eating in the “wrong” restaurant. She equated this sort of behavior to the Nazis’ infamous Kristallnacht. Not at all far-fetched, in my view.

Phil Bentley, in his June 27 letter, vehemently disagreed, calling Ms. Parker’s column hate speech, and even saying the Times-News should not print such hate messages. Mr. Bentley certainly has a right to his opinion, just as Ms. Parker has a right to hers.

I question Mr. Bentley’s views on hate since he authored a letter on April 13, 2017, extolling the virtues of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The FBI dumped it as a resource in 2018.

Unintentionally, Mr. Bentley provides stark proof of Ms. Parker’s theme of leftist/progressives’ censorship of any opinions contrary to theirs.

 

Bob Hoover, Etowah