ronbutters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Thu May 20 18:30:22 UTC 2010

Well, no, it seems pretty clear that Blumenthal was not and is not "trading on the sacrifices of others." Obviously, there are people who set out to do so, for a wide variety of reasons. There are also politicians and ideologues and journalists who want to make a name for themselves in "investigative" reporting who have agendas that allow them to profit by creating images of ducks out of finger shadows. They are the real charlatans who are trading on the sacrifices of others" by using really phony charges to create outrage in those who did the sacrificing, their loved ones, and anyone with a sense of the injustice that was done in this country to Viet Nam veterans.

If nothing else, does it not really make sense to ask oneself, "Why would a politician set out to deliberately deceive the public about something that was so obviously easily discoverable--especially since he himself had made it clear in unequivocal public pronouncements that he was not a war hero?" And "Why would someone who had served honorably in the Marines wish to discredit his fellow Marines by claiming that he had taken the same risks that they had taken?"

I have no connection whatever with Mr. Blumenthal. I have little understanding for what he stands for politically. But I do have a strong distaste for the sort of gotcha-bashing that goes on in politics and journalism, and it seems patently clear that that is what is going on here.

On May 20, 2010, at 1:24:31 PM, "Bill Palmer" <w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET> wrote:

From:   "Bill Palmer" <w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET>
Subject:    Re: [ADS-L] Vietnam
Date:   May 20, 2010 1:24:31 PM EDT
There are numerous examples of individuals masquerading as combat veterans,
war heroes, etc. In fact, it happened in North Carolina earlier this month,
when some pathetic individual living near Camp Lejeune went around speaking
to veterans' groups claiming credit for having won 2 Navy Crosses, 8 purple
hearts, and gone from PFC to bird colonel in 8 years (truly impossible, and
the vets groups should have known that). One supposes there are many
reasons anyone might do this, and it seems certain that a politician who has
served his country in combat (or is thought to have) is sure to earn some
votes from those who respect that kind of experience.

Isn't it obvious that Blumenthal is trading on the sacrifices of others? Is
it possible that he could have just made an honest misstatement crediting
himself with combat duty, when actually he could have avoided such a
misrepresentation by not speaking extemporaneously? Why bend over backwards
to find some circumstance which allows the possibility that he's not a liar.

This thing walks like a duck and talks like a duck.

Bill P

----- Original Message -----
From: <ronbutters at AOL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: Vietnam

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: ronbutters at AOL.COM
> Subject: Re: Vietnam
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The dfference between saying "when I was in Viet Nam" and "When I taught"
> at Harvard" is so great that the comparison is useless. There was no
> "Harvard Era" in American History.
> A more apt comparison would be "when I taught at the University of
> Tennessee" (which JL may have done) and "when I was a professor at U of T"
> (which JL may well technically not have been). It is not hard to imagine
> someone saying the latter several times over the course of several years,
> though some might find it misleading and even duplicitous if isolated from
> context and reported en masse.
> JL seems to think that all politicans' speeches are carefully crafted and
> (apparently) memorized and read to audiences word for word This is just
> not true. Mr. Blumenthal's putatively offending comments appear to have
> been presented off the cuff in extemporaneous contexts.
> Reading the most despicable motives into a politician's every word is a
> favorite "gotcha" trick of political and ideological opponents of every
> stripe, but linguists should know better.
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 09:33:00
> Subject: [ADS-L] Vietnam
> AFAIK, most members of the armed forces during the Vietnam War who were
> not
> actually in Southeast Asia (or on Guam in the case of B-52 crews) were
> either eager to be sent or else thanking their lucky stars it wasn't
> happening. Either way, the fact that one *wasn't* in Vietnam was a
> salient
> reality.
> For a politician who is only a Vietnam era veteran to say, in a campaign
> speech, as a simple, unnoticed slip of the tongue, "when I served in
> Vietnam" seems to me about as likely as my saying, "when I taught at
> Harvard." And then not noticing or caring that I said it.
> My skepticism only grows when I read the reports, accurate or not, that
> Mr.
> Blumenthal had received a number of draft deferments before enlisting in
> the
> Reserves (the units universally perceived as least likely to be sent to
> Vietnam).
> Ron seems to assume that political addresses by professional politicians
> just naturally follow the dynamics of unrehearsed, even inattentive,
> discourse. I believe that assumption is unwarranted. I expect I'd have to
> be
> semicomatose before I'd say, "when I taught at Harvard" and not notice it.
> The record shows that Mr. Blumenthal has never tried to "palm himself off
> as
> a war hero." Quite the contrary. On occasion, however, he seems to have
> been ready to allow people to draw that erroneous conclusion. How sleazy
> or
> decisive that may be is a matter for individual judgment.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -


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