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Letters to the Editor
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Sober Truths and Pabulum

I would like to thank letter writer Chris Jolley for his cogent and concise commentary in the June edition of Columns (“We Did What We Had to Do to Win”). He made me proud to be a UW alumnus.

I learned that, as a liberal, I put myself ahead of my country. I also learned that there is no subject—even a sober and thoughtful examination of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II—that cannot be enhanced by the inclusion of standard right-wing pabulum, even if such references lack relevance to the purported topic. I was reminded that it is “anti-American” to question our government, that it would be a “logical sacrifice” for Christians to go to an “assembly center” to avoid beheadings for practicing their religion and that high-income Americans are “singled out to pay higher taxes” in the interest of national security.

Additionally, I’m guessing the Japanese Americans who were relocated to internment camps will be buoyed by Jolley’s assertion that “other regular citizens” also were asked to sacrifice during the war effort. Reduced speed limits? Rations on gasoline, rubber and steel? Oh, such deprivation!

Mark Wardlaw, ’81
Santa Rosa, Calif.

Patriotic Threat?

Excoriating “anti-American” liberals for their reluctance to sacrifice for their country, self-styled “conservative” Chris Jolley proclaims that he would be willing to be interned—like Japanese-Americans were during World War II—if he “belonged to a group that had members who threatened the security of this country.” The irony of this hollow declaration is that many clear-thinking conservatives and liberals alike believe that pseudo patriots like Jolley do belong to such a group.

John Dumas, ’66
Gresham, Ore.

Humor or Non-Sequitur?

“The Stolen Years” is a job well done! Both issues [now on the Web] are available to those who want to know about this shameful period of American history. I fear that we are traveling this xenophobic road again.

Griffin’s historical account has emotional impact for me. While growing up I remember my parents speaking with quiet anger as they recalled how they were forced to leave behind their home and grocery store with only the personal items that could be carried in two suitcases. They were taken to the “assembly center” at the Puyallup Fair Grounds and then to Minidoka, Idaho. As hard as it was living within barbed wire, starting over again after the war was tough for them too.

Regarding the letter from Chris Jolley, his tangential discussion of liberals and conservatives came off as non-sequiturs. Or, did he attempt humor by reversing his definitions? Hmmm…

Jean Miyake, ’64
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Internment, Income Taxes, Insults

Chris Jolley’s letter (“We Did What We Had to Do to Win”) ignores historical fact and liberties that are the foundation of the Constitution. The letter’s contention that “liberals always put themselves ahead of their country and conservatives put their country ahead of themselves” is not borne out by the resumes of the current Republicans in power: Dick Cheney’s numerous draft deferments and George Bush’s failure to complete his National Guard service during the Vietnam era are matters of public record. Their smearing of John Kerry’s war record during the campaign was beyond belief. Japanese Americans were forced to give up their livelihoods and property while being interned; comparing their plight with “people with higher incomes ... singled out to pay higher taxes” is an insult.

Nancy Anderson, ’69