While doing some clean up today at the old Garnet Valley Press office in Concord Township (Pa.) Fred Mitchell stopped by thinking the office remained open and looking for a recent paper with a story about him written by Eileen Shomo.
Fred revealed he had been a 17-year-old sailor manning an anti-aircraft gun aboard the destroyer USS Drexler which was sunk by a kamikaze plane on March 27, 1945 off Okinawa. Out of crew of 336 there was 158 dead and 52 wounded, one of whom was Fred.
Fred said he nursed an enduring hatred for the Japanese to the dismay of his wife and parents. He said he wished we had dropped three atom bombs on the country.
His wife noted he said the Lord’s Prayer at church and wondered if he wasn’t being a bit hypocritical when it he said the part about “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others”.
Fred said he caught a documentary on TV regarding three Marines who fought on Iwo Jima and had, had the same hatred with regard to the Japanese. He caught them questioning whether they wanted to die with that hatred. He said the Marines decided to try to meet with Japanese who fought them there. They found three and they met on the island where they had been trying to kill each other. What died was their hatred. The Japanese also confessed to fear dying with hate.
Fred said before a reunion of Drexler survivors his group had been contacted by a Japanese-American woman who made documentaries and wanted to interview them. The ensuring film led to a visit to Japan for the survivors and their wives sponsored by the Japanese business community.
The hatred died.
Fred said they were treated like movie stars, and ever a sailor, was quite taken with the loveliness of the Japanese hostesses.
Fred said he plans to return.
Fred was also quite complementary of the health care he was receiving in the VA medical system.
Kamikaze Survivor Visits Us
In mid-June there was a flurry of reports about President Obama’s firing of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin without regard to a legally mandated waiting period after Walpin found financial shenanigans with the organization highly favored by Obama.
There hasn’t been much since.
I guess the media gate-keepers figured the priority was Michael Jackson’s death.
Of course, if he hadn’t died, I suspect another priority would have been found.
Inspector General Obama Fired
Gov. Ed Rendell has challenged Republican lawmakers to come up with a budget that doesn’t require a tax hike. How about just pass last year’s budget? Granted a lot of state workers won’t get the raises they expected. OTOH, did you last year?
Or how about this: eliminate the laws requiring governments to pay for legal advertising (which is being done); eliminate the prevailing wage requirement which hikes the cost of state and local construction projects by at least 10 percent; and return to school boards the right not to hire back teachers and other public school union members when their contracts end. Since 1970, school districts have not not been able to replace union members upon the expiration of their contract which means they keep paying them without being able (practically) to discipline them when they fail to perform to standards.
If this was done, the state could end a goodly bit of municipal and school subsidy and let the windfall the locals get from the reforms cover it.
But that would mean a lot of angry drones and they are Rendell’s constituency.
I just got back from the Springfield Fourth of July celebrations. I missed the parade but caught the party at Memorial Park. There was a fire juggler, a jazz band, pony rides and lots of friendly people and friendly dogs.
And it was great to see a lot of flags flying at homes on Springfield Road.
Once things were pink for the Aston Republican Party. Joe Possenti was captain and his first mate was the always entertaining Keith Crego.
But things change. Joe has now followed in the footsteps of Arlen Specter and become a Democrat, and Crego, well, I really don’t know what he’s been up to.
I’m sure Possenti’s reasoning was solely a matter of principle and sour grapes for his losing the GOP chairmanship had nothing to do with it.
Nor did the end of his tenure as President of the Board of the Aston Commissioners in December.
I’m certain it was principle. He must have seen the light about global warming and came to understand that the infliction of economic suffering on those not connected to the power structure is only way to appease the anger of Gaia.
Possenti, who remains Third Ward commissioner, took Second Ward commissioner Jeffrey Pilla to the Dem side with him.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, Sarah Palin stepped down as governor saying that since she wasn’t running for re-election it was in the best interest of her state that there not be a lame duck in the office.
Some people want to hold office for the power and ego. Others want to serve.
Joe Possenti Aping Arlen
The Washington Post is marketing to institutional executives and lobbyists dinners with congressmen, Obama officials and its own reporters, according to Politico.com.
The “salons” will be held at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth.
Price for access ranges from $25,000 to $250,000, according to the flier.
So much for the role of watchdog. At least now, there is no excuse for doubting everything you read.
The new service was made known to the general public by a health-care lobbyist offended by the policy. The flier baldly said the dinners would provide access to the paper’s “health care reporting and editorial staff.”
The Post has finally wised up. It was always in bed with those wanting big government. Now they have figured out they could get paid for it.
Well the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times follow suit?
Ray Murphy of Middletown (Delaware County) will be one of the presenters at a gardening seminar at Winterthur this fall. It is sponsored by Horticulture Magazine.
Ray knows his stuff.
The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee, yesterday, gave its stamp of approval, with an 18-6 vote, to a bill letting state and local governments put legal notices on website rather than pay for newspaper advertising.
If the HB1757 becomes law it would save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and put just about every newspaper in the state out of business — a little sooner than otherwise anyway.
The bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee.
The bill is sponsored by Tom C. Creighton, a Republican from Lancaster County.
There are several similar bills being pondered by the State House.
For information about HB1757 see: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2009
Also, see How To Find Dollars In Tough Times.
The Agora Cyber Charter School based in Devon is fighting in three different judicial arenas to keep its charter that the Pennsylvania Department of Education is trying to revoke.
It has filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg and Chester County Common Pleas Court to stop the state, which is accusing the school of hanky-panky by contracting management services in violation of its charter including $2.8 million to Cynwyd Group LLC which is controlled by the school’s founder, Dorothy June Brown.
The school, which opened in 2005, serves 4,400 students statewide on a $41 million budget.
Even if the hanky-panky turns out to be true that $9,318 per student price will still beat Marple Newtown at $17,142 ($60 million for 3,500 students); Garnet Valley at $17,021 ($80 million for 4,700 students); William Penn at $15,716 ($86 million for 5,472 students) and every other public school in the area.
Agora Cyber Charter School
The folks from Greenbriar Lane and environs pledge to continue the fight to keep a Sun East Credit Union– and I suppose anything else new — from opening at the Springfield Square East Shopping Center at Woodland Avenue and Baltimore Pike in Springfield.
The big issue has become the parking lot, namely the one that Woodland Avenue has become.
The Springfield Planning Commission, June 4, recommended 4-3 (dissenting Melanie Cook, Beth Burkhart, and Jim Base) that the Board of Commissioners reject the plan. Sun East and the owners of the shopping center — the most visible stores of which are Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond — are not giving up, however.