Reminder of LASFS outings:
If you're one of the ten or so signed up for the "Yeomen of the Guard" party, don't forget that it's this Saturday, at 8:15 p.m., at the Robert Frost Auditorium in Culver City. (I think you've all been there at least once.) Tickets $3.00, reserved in the LASFS' name. If anyone who hasn't signed up for this theater party wants to get in at this late date, you can probably buy tickets at the door, but I don't guarantee you'll be able to get seats with the rest of us. We can all get together for coffee afterwards, anyhow. If you haven't discovered Gilbert and Sullivan yet, this is an excellent opportunity to do so.
Next Saturday, November 11th, is the party/picnic to the L.A. County Arboretum, for flower, peacock, and picnic lovers. Don Fitch says you should get there around 8:00 a.m. if you really want to see the Arboretum before it gets too crowded. If you want to, you go ahead, but the picnic doesn't start until 10:00. Everyone's welcome on this outing. A map will be provided in next week's Apa L, for the benefit of those who don't know how to get to the Santa Anita Race Track, which is reasonably near it. In the unlikely event that it's raining that day, the picnic will be adjourned to my house, the Sour Flower Tower in Santa Ana, which is only 30 or 40 miles further away from downtown L.A. (This wasn't my idea.) Come and enjoy yourselves.
LASFS outings have been suggested to such places as the Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Cactus Garden, and the new L.A. Zoo. These may or may not be arranged, depending on the interest shown in the Arboretum jaunt. Other suggestions will be welcomed.
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Sally Crayne -- I seem to be developing a taste for the Beatles after seeing their movies. Not much of a taste, but I did enjoy the movies, while I had absolutely no interest in the Beatles at all before that. And I was at least curious enough by this point to listen to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" all the way through, even finding a couple of songs there that I like -- "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" being the best. I wish I'd remembered about "Hard Day's Night" being on TV; I would've plugged in my set and watched it again.
Ken Rudolph -- All right, I'll grant that no economically or politically healthy country has ever fallen to Communism, by my definition of economically and politically healthy. What's yours? Do you consider any of the Indochina nations to be econ., etc., healthy? How about Burma? Or Indonesia? Thailand's stronger than any of these, but it's not what I'd call really healthy. And don't tell me that India doesn't have big problems along those lines. The only neighbors of Viet Nam that might be called really healthy are Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, and I could name you at least "minor" problems in each of these states. So if we let a "sick" country like Viet Nam fall, just who are those healthy neighbors around it that would be immune to Communism? ## "Wouldn't we be better off spending American lives fighting for the freedom of a country who wants freedom?" This is a tough one to answer. In the first place, and I realize that this is selfish of me, I'd rather see the Communists stopped before they get to our good friends, such as Malaysia or the Philippines, rather than turning our good friends' homes into a battlefield. I'm afraid this means fighting the Communists where they are now, on the home ground of some people who aren't such good friends of ours. In the second place, you ask if we shouldn't fight for countries who want freedom? Well, who doesn't want freedom? We want freedom, Viet Nam wants freedom, Red China wants freedom -- it all depends on what you mean by "freedom". I dare say the VietNamese would really rather be free of both us and the Communists -- and as far as the man in the rice paddy is concerned, he'd rather be free of any kind of government, including (or especially) his own. As things stand in South Viet Nam right now, assuming that the national government isn't too far removed from the consensus of the people, what they want in the way of freedom is closest to what we can provide, which is why we're invited to stay there and help them. Some questions we might all ponder are: Which government is more corrupt, that of North Viet Nam, or South Viet Nam? Which government provides for more individual freedom for its citizens? Which government takes the best care of its citizens? Which government has the most popular support from its people? Which of these points is the most important? ## As to whether or not this is a popular revolution we're trying to stop, my opinion, as I say, is that the people are probably saying, a pox on everybody's house. Yes, many South East Asians may not want their governments, because they're corrupt, not economically or politically healthy. On the other hand, in countries where healthy governments have been established, such as Malaysia and the Philippines, these popular revolutions have faded away -- without genocide. Would we be better off letting the sick countries go, and turning our healthy friends' homes into battlefields, or should we try to cure the sick countries while there's still time? I think this can be done -- short of genocide. ## "Freedom" in terms of Red China is hard to figure out. It can't be denied that many of the Red Chinese, such as the Red Guards, are free -- this is what they want they fight if someone tries to make them change. But Maoism looks to me to be almost a religion -- a fire-and-sword religion, like early Islam. Should Red China, or any "true believer", have the right to proselytize, when the non-believer had better convert or die? Where is freedom here?
Don Fitch -- The trouble is that I can't think of that many places I'd enjoy hiking to in the time I've got. I'd love hiking through the Redwoods, Death Valley, etc., but they're too far away to hike to; you'd have to drive there and start your hiking once you get there. Unless you have more than two weeks' vacation a year.