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Shock And Awe

January 19, 2010
Now that "Avatar" has been named the best motion picture drama by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., making it a front-runner in the Oscar sweepstakes, does it mean the terrorists have won? Judging from the anger the movie has generated in some conservative circles, one might think so. Filmmaker James Cameron's science-fiction epic, which is on track to be the highest-grossing movie ever, has been widely derided as anti-American,liberal propaganda. That's funny, we thought it was just formulaic -- if incredibly artful -- escapist fantasy.
November 15, 2003
Mouthing words like "democracy" and "freedom," our president prods Congress into approving $87.5 billion more for his Middle East adventure. Meanwhile, funding for the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, the American symbol of democracy and freedom, depends on what amounts to a national bake sale by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (Nov. 9). Shamefully, this gives a whole new meaning to the expression "shock and awe." Stephen C. Lee La Habra
July 21, 1991
A letter from Tim Grace of Northridge regarding "The Truth About Ron Howard" proves once again that too many people try to read too much into some very simple statements. Just because Ron Howard states that John Burroughs High School didn't have any blacks when he was there doesn't mean he disapproves or may be racist. He's pointing out how times have changed in the neighborhood. The same principle goes for Howard's shock and awe that there was a biker living in his old house. Unfortunately, Grace's need to decode these quotes bruises an interesting article.
January 15, 2004 | Susan Carpenter
The site: www.your dictionary .com/about/ topten2003.html Top 10 lists are one of the media's favorite year-end pastimes. What makes this one interesting is that it takes the top-10-new-stories concept one step further, listing not the news but the terms it inspired. Topping the lists of new words, names and phrases are, not surprisingly, "embedded," "Saddam Hussein" and "shock and awe." The site: banished/archive/2004.
April 27, 2003
Re "Last House in Bunker Hill Razed," April 23: If a young man was caught spraying graffiti on a house, prosecutors would file charges against him and he would face jail and/or a fine. On Bunker Hill, developer G.H. Palmer Associates didn't merely deface a dwelling, it demolished the last remaining Queen Anne-style house without obtaining the requisite city permits to clear the way for its development. This appears to be a deliberate act to enrich itself. Corporate arrogance and misconduct should be punished just as a wrongdoing individual would be punished.
March 27, 2003
Are we witnessing a war or tuning in to the broadcast of a high school football game? An admiral talks to his pilots aboard a carrier in the Mediterranean: "We're going to hammer them -- hammer them"; TV announces the game plan of "decapitating" Saddam Hussein's presumed bunkered-down leadership; and a headline reports that "U.S. Pummels Baghdad as Troops Push Toward City" (March 22). We are hammering them? Decapitating them? Pummeling them? Sounds barbaric to me. Or is it just boyish play?
July 11, 2007
Re "Amid the din of drums and bugles, a disturbing silence," column, July 9 Who but Al Martinez can paint a word picture of the human condition and of the plight of our young soldiers today? They grew up in peaceful times, when war was something you saw in the movies. Some joined to see the world, others to earn a college education. And then men who never saw the savagery of slaughter assigned them to invade a country that never did harm to America.
March 19, 2004 | Roger Vincent, Times Staff Writer
You're cheeky! New York developer Donald Trump, who is apparently trying to corner the market on chutzpah as well as real estate, is seeking to trademark a common expression: "You're fired." As millions of NBC TV viewers know, Trump has been saying those two words a lot lately. The payoff of his unscripted show "The Apprentice" comes when Trump narrows his gaze, jabs his finger and barks, "You're fired," to one of the young applicants competing for a job at his firm.
February 20, 2005 | Andrew J. Bacevich, Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of international relations at Boston University and author of "The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War" (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Americans of a certain age will recall Douglas MacArthur's pithy aphorism: "There is no substitute for victory." The remark captures an essential element of our military tradition. When the United States goes to war, it fights to win, to force the enemy to do our will. To sacrifice our soldiers' lives for anything less -- as MacArthur charged was the case in Korea and later unambiguously became the case in Vietnam -- smacks of being somehow un-American.
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