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Letters: May 18, 1962

7 minute read

Language & War


TIME’s otherwise brilliant article on General Paul Harkins and the Viet Nam war [May 11] overlooks a serious failing in our guerrilla warfare efforts-language. A U.S. Ranger in full combat gear seems far less like an intruder in a remote village if he can speak Vietnamese with its inhabitants. Yet even Special Forces troops in Viet Nam rarely receive more than a four-week cram course in local language and culture before beginning their assignments.

As a Korean linguist for the Air Force, I have seen the use of language produce amazing results in winning the friendship and approval of local populaces—:hence their support. This support is the crucial factor in guerrilla warfare.


San Diego

Testing, One, Two


In your May 4 article on atomic testing, a physicist is quoted: “There is more honest-to-God worrying on this hill than you ever find among the bleeding hearts outside.”

Well, outside the people are worrying whether they must spend the rest of their lives holding their breath because someone, in anger or in lunacy, may start throwing around some of these genocidal devices.


Berkeley, Calif.


As a military man with three children, I understand the problems resulting from nuclear testing, and all of the ramifications to my family in the event of another war.

Pacifists deem it immoral to test nuclear weapons. I deem it more immoral to abandon freedom and justice without fighting for them, and I say this because of my children, not in spite of them.


Kaneohe, Hawaii

O.K. for the A.D.A.


It seems rather self-defeating for TIME to have spent nearly two columns to try to say, in effect, that A.D.A. doesn’t cut much ice [May 4].

Quite obviously, many outstanding political leaders in this country and abroad feel differently. Accolades for A.D.A., on the occasion of its 15th anniversary, were received from Eleanor Roosevelt, former Senator Herbert Lehman, Hugh Gaitskell, Ambassador to Peru James Loeb, Mayor Robert Wagner, President Betancourt of Venezuela, Senator Paul Douglas, President Adolf Scharf of Austria, Walter P. Reuther, Senator Joseph Clark, Mayor Willy Brandt, James Carey, David Dubinsky, Roy Wilkins, Chester Bowles, Kenya Political Leader Tom Mboya, Senator Wayne Morse, Governor Hughes of New Jersey, Robert C. Weaver, Senator Maurine Neuberger, Governor Nelson of Wisconsin, Joseph Grimond, leader of the British Liberal Party, et al.

President Kennedy also sent A.D.A. a greeting that ended with “my best wishes for many more years of discriminating criticism—and effective service.”

REGINALD H. ZALLES Secretary, National Board

Americans for Democratic Action

Washington, D.C.


I strongly protest your cover-up story of A.D.A. activities and influence in the Kennedy Administration. More than 31 present and former members exert strong influence as holders of key policymaking positions in the Administration.

The domestic aim of A.D.A. is control of the economy through control of prices. As evidenced in the recent steel uproar, President Kennedy has taken the first giant step toward this A.D.A. goal. What better proof is there of A.D.A. influence than this un-American action by the executive branch of Government?


Oakland, Calif.

Marx as an Anti-Semite


TIME refers to Karl Marx [May 4] as a German Jew.

While it is true that his grandfather was a rabbi, Marx’s father was an outspoken deist, and Marx himself was a devout atheist and anti-Semite.


The Bronx, N.Y.

> Marx’s father, a lawyer whose family had produced famous rabbis for centuries, was converted to the Evangelical Established Church of the Kingdom of Prussia, for no apparent reason other than his intense admiration for the Prussian way of life. Actually, he disliked all organized religion and considered himself as a freethinker, at the same time warning his children about the dangers of atheism. Karl Marx, baptized in the Evangelical Church at the age of 6, wrote in the German-French Annals in 1844: “What is the worldly cult of the Jews? Bargaining. What is their worldly God? Money.”—ED.

The Meaning of Inkblots


Your treatment of the Holtzman Inkblot Technique [May 4] was excellent. Personality assessment through projective tests is tricky business even for those in the field. We hope that clinical psychology is slowly but surely growing up a bit, thanks to the careful, unhurried work of Wayne Holtzman and others like him.




Holtzman’s definition of a neurotic as one who “shows strong hostility toward conventional authority” is another example of the pompous twaddle peddled by these disciples of the normalcy of mediocrity.


Amstelveen, The Netherlands


Rorschach’s tests don’t blot out personality—they simply rub it in.


New Orleans


They look like inkblots to me is that good or bad ?


Maquoketa, Iowa



Please give Whirlaway more credit than you did in your May 11 issue. This famous horse had set a track record for the Kentucky Derby in 1941, not in 1951 as you stated; therefore, before Decidedly’s record-breaking Run for the Roses, Whirlaway had held off envious challengers for more than 20 years.


Peninsula, Ohio

Faith & Symbolism


As a participant in Laos* House weekends at the Christian Faith and Life Community [May 4], I found your article biased and incomplete. It is not cricket to state what they do without interpreting why they do it. The interdenominational staff is dedicated to communicating the Gospel as a living, working faith for contemporary man.

In my experience, the Community does not deny the Virgin Birth, Resurrection and Holy Trinity; it merely exposes empty symbolism.




The Austin experimenters have perverted the Gospel in denying the goodness of what is given in God’s world and in their resignation to live in despair with their own guilt.

Let them cry in their theological beer. Let them feed each other with their esoteric jargon. But let them recognize their theology of despair for what it is: abnormally introspective and unfruitful in its repeated affirmation of meaninglessness.

(THE REV.) VERNON BIGLER Methodist Chaplain

Syracuse University

Syracuse, N.Y.


I find your analogy of the Christian Faith and Life Community at Austin, Texas, to the Newman Club an obvious incongruity. The Newman Club, attempting to provide a balanced spiritual, intellectual and social program for its 50,000 members on 850 secular campuses, is hardly comparable to the isolated radical group covered in your article.



National Newman Club Federation


For Art’s Sake


My kitchen sink broke down and stayed that way for a week.

My prize guinea pig died.

I almost quit my job, because I am getting sick with air-conditioningitus.

And to top it all off, I get a TIME Magazine with no Art section [May 4].


Kansas City, Mo.

Abe & Wes


In the footnote to your story on New Hampshire’s Governor Samuel W. Powell Jr. [May 4], you state that Abraham Lincoln lost three elections. I should like to point out that only one of these was by direct vote of the people. I refer to his defeat in 1832, the first time he ran for public office (Illinois state legislature).


New York City

> Right. Until the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1913, U.S. Senators were chosen by the state legislators. Lincoln lost two close senatorial elections in the Illinois legislature, the last one, in 1859, to Stephen A. Douglas.—ED.

The Tired Farmer


In your People section [May 4], you quote Interior Secretary Udall as being shocked by the flabby handshakes of men in the farm states.

What Udall mistook for weakness in the farmers’ handshakes was only fatigue from writer’s cramp. This is a seasonal complaint we get after filling in tax forms, feed-grain sign ups, and applications for marketing quotas.

JOHN R. Ross

Noblesville, Ind.

My Father Told Me


My father always told me that all politicians were s.o.b.’s, but I never believed it till now.


Redondo Beach, Calif.

*Greek word meaning “people.”

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