One might think that everything in the world revolves around politics…and they would be right. It’s not just the current campaign season, it’s every day in every city because politics, as defined by the dictionary is “the use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in government, business, university, etc.” So why would we be surprised when we see or hear some of the things being done or said in order to advance one’s position? The answer is, we shouldn’t. The test that one is put through is to make a choice based on their own belief system, and finding someone who most mirrors that system.
Now, let me tell you about Colonel Kettles. Nearly five decades after helping rescue dozens of American soldiers pinned down by enemy fire, a Vietnam War veteran received the nation’s highest military honor for valor on Monday, July 18th of 2016.
President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to retired Lt. Col. Charles Kettles of Ypsilanti, Michigan during a ceremony Monday at the White House. Kettles led helicopter flights carrying reinforcements to U.S. soldiers and evacuated the wounded after they were ambushed in combat operations near Duc Pho in May 1967. Describing how one soldier hung on to a damaged helicopter’s skid, President Obama said you “couldn’t make this up. It’s like a bad Rambo movie.” Kettles repeatedly returned to a landing zone under heavy fire. He is credited with helping to save forty soldiers and four members of his unit. During the final evacuation effort, he was advised that eight soldiers had been unable to reach the helicopters, so he returned without benefit of artillery or tactical aircraft support.
The Army said his helicopter was hit by a mortar round that damaged the main rotor blade and shattered both front windshields. Small arms and machine gun fire also raked the helicopter. “In spite of the severe damage to his helicopter, Kettles once more skillfully guided his heavily damaged aircraft to safety,” the Army said in describing his actions. “Without his courageous actions and superior flying skills, the last group of soldiers and his crew would never have made it off the battlefield.” The Veterans History Project launched a formal campaign to upgrade to the Medal of Honor Kettles’ Distinguished Service Cross for his actions that day. After the Pentagon agreed his actions merited an upgrade, Congress passed legislation waiving a time limitation for the award, and paving the way for Obama’s action. “I didn’t do it by myself. There were some 74 pilots and crew members involved in this whole mission that day, so it’s not just me,” Kettles says in a video on the Army’s website. “The medal is not mine. It’s theirs.” What the hell took so long to give this hero the recognition he so richly deserved? Thank you, Colonel Kettles, for your service above and beyond the call of duty.
Now and then it’s been noted that our school systems, all the way from kindergarten through graduation from college, seem to be less and less interested in real education, preferring instead to indoctrinate students to living some sort of zombie-like existence. The College Fix.com reports that Wayne State University dropped math as graduation requirement as it mulls new diversity requirement as reported by Jennifer Kabbany, June 13, 2016. A large, public research university in Detroit has done away with its graduation requirement that all students must take a math class to earn a diploma. Meanwhile, its faculty have called for the creation of a new “diversity” course. Wayne State, which enrolls some 27,000 students, is now “leaving it up to the individual departments to decide whether math will be a required part of a degree’s curriculum,” the Detroit Free Press reports. “We felt the math requirement was better left to the various programs and majors to decide and to decide what levels of mathematics would be needed,” Monica Brockmeyer, associate provost for student success, told the Free Press. “We still continue to support mathematics at Wayne State.”
Campus officials have said in an email to students that dropping the general education math requirement remains in effect until fall 2018 “or until a new general education program is adopted by the university,” the Free Press reports. As the university works to revise its general ed curriculum, a process expected to continue this fall, a memo outlining proposed changes calls for a new 3-credit “diversity course” for all students. In explaining that priority, the university’s General Education Reform Committee wrote in a May 2016 memo that “a clear message our committee received from the university community (faculty, students, staff, alumni, and employers) was that diversity is central to the nature of WSU, i.e., ‘Distinctively Wayne State.’ Thus we have placed the values and goals of diversity as a central component of the University Core program.” To that end, the committee called for mandatory “signature courses” to address diversity-learning outcomes such as “intercultural knowledge and competence, global learning, or ethical reasoning.” “Finally, we are proposing the creation of specific ‘Diversity’ courses, with students required to take one course in this designation,” the memo states. “These courses will provide opportunities for students to explore diversity at the domestic level and consider the ways in which it intersects with real world challenges at the local, national and/or global level.” What a crock!
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired
(aka The Old Alarmist)
Duty. Honor. Country
Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/28332025672/; CC by 2.0