Letters to the editor on Syrian children, newborn screening, women Shockers, executive orders, Democrats

03/20/2014 12:00 AM

03/19/2014 6:36 PM

Children of Syria need world’s help

The children of Syria need help. Living in squalid encampments, steeped in abject poverty, 5.5 million are suffering. One million live besieged by government forces. Soldiers routinely block relief workers, doctors and trucks of food from entry.

These kids have lost families, friends, freedom, schools and more. Some are starving and injured; all are deeply scarred. They are dubbed “the lost generation” because without parents, proper health care, shelter, education and love, they are vulnerable to a host of dangers including disease, exploitation and malnutrition.

These little veterans deserve more than unimaginative international denial. Sadly, instead of learning about the world, they are learning that the world doesn’t care.

For now, they are voiceless, though their weary faces say everything. Their greatest challenge will be to heal from all they have endured and all they do not yet fully understand.

A recent report from UNICEF called Syria “one of the most dangerous places on Earth to be a child.” This is why they surrender childhood so prematurely. How tragic, for childhood is a time of big dreams and building bridges. Syria’s future needs both.

AMANDA HANSON

Wichita

Require screening

As a mother, I am shocked and upset that Kansas hospitals aren’t required to perform a simple, noninvasive test that detects life-threatening heart conditions (March 11 Healthy Living). Kansas lags more than 30 states on this lifesaving newborn screening. Why? Unfortunately, I know all too well what it means to have a child with a congenital heart defect. In fact, I have two such children.

My eldest daughter was born with a heart murmur. Everyone told us not to worry, that lots of babies are born with them and they close up soon after birth. Had it not been for one diligent nurse, I would have been sent home with a very sick little girl.

Enter my son almost five years later. He had all kinds of tests before he was born. He had no heart defect; but at 24 hours old, one developed. The nurses blamed it on dehydration and, again, the normal murmur a newborn can have. This time I knew better, and so did one nurse.

My kids were lucky they had extremely knowledgeable medical professionals who decided to err on the side of caution. What about the kids and their parents who don’t know and who take home a very sick child? What about all the damage done to these kids because they don’t get early intervention?

Kansas should require pulse-oximetry screening on all newborns.

POLLY GIEBLER

Wichita

Deserve better

I understand that women’s college basketball isn’t as popular as the men’s game. After watching the Wichita State University women smoke the Missouri Valley Conference championship, I’m not sure why, but that’s up to the audience to decide.

What I don’t understand is why, the morning after the NCAA championship women’s brackets were announced, the front page of The Eagle’s Sports section featured “news” that the Shocker men were still practicing, the University of Kansas Jayhawks were still confident, and columnist Bob Lutz had decided he was wrong about the Kansas State University Wildcats.

Those were all fine stories that I enjoyed reading. But none of it was news. The sports media spent hours Sunday and Monday broadcasting a never-ending lineup of talking heads considering every possible nuance of the men’s scheduling. It seems to me the women’s tournament and our conference-winning Shocker team deserved better than Page 4C placement. Not because that would be the fair thing to do, but because the women playing the game today are good at what they do.

BOB HAMRICK

Wichita

Orders aren’t new

Columnist Cal Thomas, as disingenuous as always, recently lamented President Obama’s use of executive orders (Feb. 19 Opinion). The tradition of executive orders goes back to George Washington, who issued eight orders in his eight years in office. William Henry Harrison was the only president to have issued none. Franklin Roosevelt issued a whopping 3,522 executive orders. Ronald Reagan had 381. Dwight Eisenhower had more than Bill Clinton, who had more than George W. Bush’s 291. Obama has had 171 to date.

Why didn’t Thomas’ column conclude that every executive order, in no small part, represents the same situation, that of a “president taking the law into his own hands”? It is one thing to present a conservative’s view. It is quite another thing for Thomas to garble reality to support how he thinks things ought to be from where he sits in la-la land.

JOHN R. MAXWELL

Wichita

Set house in order

Many liberals are mystified that more working-class people are voting Republican. The answer requires some self-examination.

I don’t see many blue-collar workers at Democratic functions anymore. And I don’t blame them for not going.

There appear to be more yuppie types taking over who are rude and discourteous and who likely have never done any type of work that requires sweat. As for the feminist element in the Democratic Party, I don’t think they care about women who do manual labor or any kind of menial work.

Something is definitely wrong when the most you can say about liberals is that they are relatively better than Republicans. Democrats, set thy house in order.

TROY COX

Wichita

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