Letters to the Editor

May 6, 2013

Letters to the editor on police lawsuit, misleading cartoon, Israel, Medicaid expansion

Why do people feel the need to sue the police department for using excessive force? When you point a gun, knife or any other weapon at an officer, there should be no such thing as “excessive force.”

Police shouldn’t face lawsuits

Why do people feel the need to sue the police department for using excessive force? When you point a gun, knife or any other weapon at an officer, there should be no such thing as “excessive force.”

I’ve had good friends killed in the line of duty, mostly police officers. They were doing the job the taxpayers paid them to do. Why should taxpayers foot the bill for a law firm to defend officers when they were only doing the job they were hired to do? They were doing their job so they could go home to their families at the end of their shift. How many people are willing to go to work each day knowing they might have to stare down a gun barrel?

A police officer’s peace cannot be disturbed. But given the right situation, it can happen. Can the police officers or their survivors sue the people who harmed their loved ones? No, we say, “They were just doing the job they were hired to do.” Again, would you do that job for the pay they get and the stress of a lawsuit, or worse?



Misleading cartoon

An editorial cartoon equated the Westboro Baptist Church with Muslim terrorists (April 29 Opinion). I found this misleading for two reasons.

Though I agree with the sentiment in the cartoon – that a religion should not be judged by the actions of a few of its followers – the problem is the example proffered. Westboro members are hateful and callous, but according to the U.S. Supreme Court, their actions are within the letter of the law and protected by the First Amendment. So it’s unfair to compare them to the likes of the Tsarnaev brothers.

The second problem is that the cartoon plays into the hands of Westboro’s enablers. If you strip them of their hateful rhetoric, Westboro members are merely useful idiots for those with subtler prejudices. Their flamboyant bigotry allows those with covert bigotry (a fair proportion of the state) to engage in wholly undeserved self-righteous posturing. Thus, the state government can condemn Westboro members for their actions while tacitly endorsing their beliefs – keeping antiquated sodomy laws on the books and passing draconian anti-abortion restrictions. The cartoon was merely another instance of The Eagle contributing to this facade.



Also not reported

A letter writer imaginatively described perceived evils of the Israeli government’s security procedures (“Occupation injustice,” April 25 Letters to the Editor). One of his main points seemed to be that these were not sufficiently reported in the news.

On March 11, a mother and her three daughters suffered serious injuries when Palestinian stone throwers attacked Jewish motorists on a highway. On April 23, Evyatar Borowsky, an Israeli Jewish man and father of five, was stabbed multiple times and killed by a knife-wielding Palestinian Fatah operative who had just been released from prison for other attempts on the lives of Jews. The man then grabbed a gun and fired at nearby border police officers, who succeeded in subduing him. Later, Fatah party leaders praised the man as a hero. Also during April, at least 17 missiles were fired into Israel by Palestinians or their supporters.

These and many other Palestinian terror acts receive little or no coverage here. But they illustrate why the Israelis need the security measures they have.



Expand Medicaid

State lawmakers should vote “yes” to expand Medicaid. A “yes” vote would mean more jobs in their districts and more jobs in the state. It also would mean expanded health care for their constituents and many other Kansans. A “no” vote could cause some health care institutions to close their doors. At least vote “yes” for a three-year expansion as a study period, when the entire investment would be paid for by the federal government. There is no valid excuse for a “no” vote.



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