To David Petrie, (“Promises to postal workers,” Dec. 1 Letters to the Editor), brother, I feel your pain. Or I should say WE feel your pain. This happened to National Guard retirees (and reservists and maybe even active duty) with no fanfare about 20 years ago.
Promises of 100% covered health care for retirees and spouses for life under the old Champus program were a large part of what retained guardsmen until retirement in the ’80s and ’90s. Guard and Reserve veterans receive limited benefits after retiring until age 60, when the promised health care and retirement pay begin. It was quite a shock when I hit 65 and I was dumped onto Medicare (with the $100+/mo premium each for my wife and I).
Congress cutting costs at the expense of military retirees. These benefits were not only promised, but earned, with many, many training days away from young families, long weekends and summer training, while the vast majority of citizens played, worked and slept, knowing there was a ready force available for national and state emergencies. Now, the military commissaries (another earned benefit) are in trouble because Congress and the Pentagon think they should be “profitable.”. It’s not a business, it’s an earned benefit for service to the country. Sen Roberts and Moran, will you be part of the solution?
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Tom Swan, Wichita
Are we smarter now than we used to be? That is what many believe today. We have easy access to information using technology that is now as simple as asking the smartphone. While our knowledge gathering and retention has improved greatly, our ability to make decisions from this information has not changed. Because of this I submit that we really are not smarter, just more knowledgeable.
On average, each member of the U.S. House of Representatives represents approximately 733,103 people — or about 10 NFL football stadiums. How important is it for that one representative to understand what’s going on in their society? Career politicians become removed from the people they represent after being in Washington, D.C. for too long. For every major man-made disaster, this kind of complacency played a crucial role.
Politicians won’t put term limits on themselves. Surveys indicate the public overwhelmingly agrees about this need, but no group has been able to organize enough people to overcome the establishment’s resistance to this change. The Convention of States is a bi-partisan organization dedicated to bringing this much needed change. I urge you to support the Convention of States at www.conventionofstates.com.
Shawn Comstock, New Strawn
I am a Wichita State University graduate (Class 1988). Dates me, but some of the core principles of students paying for tuition haven’t changed. I read “WSU’s campaign to raise fees has a new name and logo — but it could be a tough sell” (Dec. 6 Eagle). While I think it’s great to have more campus infrastructure for roads, study rooms and core academic needs — I question the wisdom (or rather ill-advised concept) of essentially “taxing” all students for a proposed $50 million Woolsey Hall with coffee and snack bar.
In other words, I’m a great supporter of academic upgrades and keeping up with vital infrastructure. However, keep fees as low as possible, so students can graduate and earn a living. The slogan “Shock the future and leave your legacy” needs to be a return to the sacrifices made by the original Wheatshockers.True, Kansas isn’t totally agricultural anymore, but to a large extent still is. It, innovation and industry seems a lot more important to me than coffee and donuts.
James A. Marples, Ebson