The gift ...
There is one sure way to know when it is election time here in America’s Dream Town. It’s when The Telegraph becomes The C. Jack Gazette. Get ready, folks. It’s time to get back, C. Jack. No more racist statues. He did away with those horse riding Macon police, now it’s time for that Confederate statue to dismount, too.
The Honorable Hakim Mansour also vows to change the names of all streets having any Civil War connotations. Guess that means Cotton Avenue is a goner. I’ll assume, however, that Grant’s Lounge will be allowed to remain. Ellis is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Problem is he has a history of being the mayor that keeps on taking as well. Don’t worry, it’s just for eight years.
-- Tommy Parker
Casualty figures inflated
The Aug. 6 editorial on the bombing of Hiroshima perpetuates a myth, claiming, “The Allies determined that an invasion force might suffer as many as 800,000 killed and another 600,000 wounded.” This is simply not true.
By 1945, the United States had a fair amount of experience with amphibious invasions. The Joint War Plans Committee, which advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff, estimated that a full invasion of Japan would result in somewhere between 25,000 and 46,000 deaths on the American side. These are the numbers American military planners would have been considering in the summer of 1945, a tragically large number of deaths but considerably less than 800,000.
After the war, casualty estimates underwent a great deal of post hoc inflation, starting with former Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s claim in a 1947 Harper’s article that an invasion would have resulted in 1 million casualties (including both dead and wounded). Subsequently, Harry Truman used the Stimson figure to claim in his memoirs that half a million Americans would have died in an invasion of Japan. These later claims get cited a lot, but they don’t match what military planners and President Truman were actually considering in 1945.
For more information on plans for the end of the war in the Pacific theater, the CIA has an excellent unclassified monograph available online.
-- Tom Ellington
After the comics section of The Telegraph, the highest entertainment value is to be found in “Viewpoints.” I always delight in turning to that section of the paper to see what the good souls in Middle Georgia are not thinking about, but writing about nevertheless.
Wednesday, July 29, was a good example. One of the local geniuses, no doubt a brilliant professor of neuroscience from an alternate universe, warns us of the mythical dangers of high-powered Wi-Fi signals. I wonder which blog he has been reading?
And, on the same page, an expert on political science hopes to help make us “high information voters” by reeling off 11 right-wing talking points. If knowledge of right-wing talking points qualifies one as a “high information voter,” she should get an award. She did forget the one about President Obama making the milking cows go dry.
Friday, July 31, is another treasure trove of fun, with the return of the professor of neuroscience, this time in a long, rambling letter concluding that America is indeed “Satan’s playground.” The same issue also includes a letter predicting the destruction of the Statue of Liberty, and another predicting a coup by President Obama.
When my wife reads these letters, she asks, “Do you really think these people mean what they are saying?” My reply is, “They must. I don’t think they do it just for my entertainment.” So, dear letter writers, put that foil in your hats, stick your head in the echo chamber, and don’t go back on your meds -- just keep the letters coming.
-- Charles J. Pecor
Looking to tax not help
The ink has not even dried yet on Gov. Deal’s new transportation tax law but the Macon-Bibb County Commissioners are already seeking a new 1 percent regional sales tax for their pet projects. What they should be doing is reducing Deal’s blow to the poor by looking for ways to help them and not make the situation worse.
-- Fred Gunter