Readers Write: (May 20): VA, "limited government,” charter schools and segregation, campaign finance, Nicollet Mall

  • Updated: May 19, 2014 - 6:11 PM

Support for VA benefit limits must mean that war is winding down.


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Limit benefits? Perhaps, then, peace is upon us

The May 17 letter writer who suggests that the way to improve VA services is to deny medical benefits to those “with a mere two years of service (or less)” must be referring to those of us who were drafted into involuntary military servitude during the Vietnam War and managed to survive it (relatively) unscathed.

I realize that I’m not in this undeserving group, since I suffered enough hearing loss from gunfire during my two years to be rated for VA disability benefits. But I would like to note the salutary implications of the writer’s suggestion: Our war efforts must be winding down.

History has shown repeatedly that support for military benefits is the greatest when war is the hottest. When the conflict subsides it is inevitably followed by calls for “serious review” of the promises made to those who put their lives on the line.

Who knows? Maybe peace is coming.

David Hawley, Edina

• • •

It is hard for me to hear of fellow veterans dying while waiting to be treated. It is also hard to hear of VA employees manipulating waiting list times to cover up the problem. What is worse is to hear members of Congress dumping the blame on them. I don’t wish to indicate that these employees have no fault, but I want to point out that the problem didn’t originate with the employees, but rather with the refusal of Congress to properly fund Veterans Affairs so that it might have the staff, equipment and facilities to meet the needs of our veterans. For those who may not know, the VA — like all government agencies — only has the resources that Congress grants it.

If members of Congress truly want to correct the problem, I suggest they stop having hearings berating VA administrators and get to the work of fulfilling their own responsibility.

Ed Janes, Eden Prairie



Refinements are just that — not failure

Craig Westover’s commentary “Limited government — as a principle, not pandering” offers a skewed view of legislative efforts.

Redefining those forced into sex trafficking as victims is an attempt to change existing laws to better address a criminal enterprise and the casualties it causes. It is an example of making laws more practical and responsive.

Gradual loosening of food vendor restrictions is an effort to promote expansion of those services, while preserving a level of standards that define food quality, storage and preparation to ensure public health.

Carefully monitoring and restricting the use of marijuana for medical purposes is entirely reasonable when balanced against how little we know about its benefits as well as the significant dangers the drug presents.

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