Letters to the Editor

June 10, 2014

Letters to the editor on VA scandal, cop cameras, gridlock, prisoner swap, Honor Flight, seat belts

Reading “Wichita VA ‘placed veterans at risk’” (June 3 Eagle), I could already see the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals attempting to place blame on anything and everything other than those who are responsible.

Do right thing on VA scandal

Reading “Wichita VA ‘placed veterans at risk’” (June 3 Eagle), I could already see the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals attempting to place blame on anything and everything other than those who are responsible.

Trying to say a veteran being delayed treatment for 90 days or longer is because of the antiquated computer system at the Wichita VA is ridiculous. I don’t see how an old DOS system computer can generate “secret lists” of patient names that are then hidden from view. This is an intentional act implemented by one or more individuals, not a computer issue. Blaming administrative hurdles for how long it takes to hire a doctor or terminate an “unproductive” employee is also a load of hogwash.

What needs to happen is very simple: If those who participated in intentionally delaying treatment for our veterans are identified, at a very minimum they should be terminated and never allowed to work in a health care setting again, with a loss of all benefits, bonuses and pensions. Those who caused actual harm to veterans by making them wait for care far beyond an acceptable norm should be prosecuted.

I am tired of there seeming to be two sets of rules – rules for those in government jobs and rules for citizens on the street. How Washington responds to this scandal will speak volumes about how we perceive our military veterans. Step up, Washington, and do the right thing.



Wear cameras

It is disastrous that the city of Wichita caved in to the Fraternal Order of Police on the issue of cameras on cops. The city has been played by the worst elements of the Wichita Police Department – those with the most to hide.

Cameras on cops protect citizens from bad cops, and they protect cops from bad citizens. This action by the FOP is designed to nip cameras in the bud and does nothing good for the citizens of Wichita. The department is already sadly lacking in accountability. This will make it much worse.

Working people do what the boss says or they are out the door. The same thing needs to happen to 13 cops who refuse to wear the cameras. To allow this to prevail signifies a grave deficiency in the leadership of the department. At the rate we are going, Wichita will be like New York City and Chicago at their worst.

We need cameras on cops, and we need a citizens’ review board. Only then will we be able to flush the bad actors out of hiding and get rid of them.



Wrong solution

Columnist John Dickerson argued that the return of the Senate to the Republicans might crack the gridlock of the Congress (May 30 Opinion). But the only chance to avoid more gridlock is to return the House to Democratic control. If that happened, we could anticipate laws that would create more jobs, address our declining infrastructure, reverse the evils of the Citizens United court decision, provide for needed immigration reform, assure no more expensive delays in ensuring the payment of this country’s debts, and protect the rights of women, the handicapped, workers, the middle class and children.

To believe that the Republicans will change their obstructionist tactics of the past five years if they are given another venue of power is viewing life through rose-colored glasses – or simply stupidity.

If the American people and the people of Kansas want two more years of gridlock, they need only vote for the Republicans who have given us the past four years of same.



Missed the boat

I enjoy reading The Eagle’s Opinion page for its variety and the many well-stated opinions. Kathleen Parker’s recent column presented several facts but ignored the facts covered by many news stations (“Obama faced a hard choice on prisoner swap,” June 5 Opinion). But most significantly, she asked: “Did the United States want (Bowe) Bergdahl back and what were we willing to trade?” She then said that “the answer had to be ‘yes.’”

Parker offered not one bit of reason for why the answer had to be “yes.” And she never mentioned why the United States wanted him back. It seems that it was mostly the president who wanted him back, which is a bit different from the United States wanting him back.

You have to read columnists’ opinions closely to see if their conclusions match fact, logic and consistency with the rest of their commentary. Parker missed the boat.



Great greeting

I was one of the veterans on the Honor Flight who returned from Washington, D.C., on May 30. I would like to thank the airmen, American Legion Riders, and the people who were at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport to greet us. It was totally unexpected and very heartwarming to all of us.

There were 28 veterans on that flight. This sort of thing made up for the greeting they did not receive when they returned from Korea.

Thank you all for being there for us, and for the great greeting we received.



Seat belts required

The article about people not using seat belts really surprised me (June 9 Eagle). People are really being careless. I have to fasten mine in order to stay in the seat of my pickup driving on these horrible streets.



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