Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaves a Senate office building after meeting individually with some members of the committee that would vet him for the post on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaves a Senate office building after meeting individually with some members of the committee that would vet him for the post on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. AP

Jackson is wrong for VA

Veterans across Georgia and the Nation have serious cause for concern with Donald Trump’s nominee for VA secretary, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson. Jackson, by all accounts a decent fellow and trusted physician, is singularly unqualified to head an agency with almost a $200,000,000 budget and over 350,000 employees.

The VA faces a multitude of serious problems throughout the system, many stemming from long-term mismanagement, capital budget starvation and arcane rules that prevent serious review and reforms. Our own example locally is the Carl Vinson VA hospital in Dublin.

A 350 bed facility built in the 1940’s, the hospital has only 35 surgical/medical beds, or, the same surgical/medical capacity as the tiny hospital in Perry. The rest are dedicated to homeless vets and nursing home patients. While these are legitimate VA functions, certainly they can be carried out without a 75 acre campus and over a 1,000 employees. Further, a review of the over 40 staff physicians reveals doctors in surgery, geriatrics, medicine and a few psychologists. There is no listing for board certified orthopedist, neurologists or cardiologists.

While a VA Cabinet position is pitifully compensated, surely we could get a well-qualified retired executive versed in managing a large corporation to take hold of this ship’s rudder. We deserve better than an affable, thoroughly unqualified gent with a toothy smile who is sponsored by a patron infamous for poor personnel decisions.

Bob Carnot,

Warner Robins

Roads that are racetracks

We built a new home on Captain Kell Drive in Northwoods, attracted by T.D. Tinsley Elementary School, after moving from Atlanta in 1964.

This street is similar to many “old” residential neighborhood streets turned into cut-through hilly race tracts between two overloaded roads as the result of design and GDOT decisions.

The recent filling of pot holes with what appears to have been cold asphalt with minimal compaction could be of minimal surface improvement. That could be not all bad if the pot holes enlarge — creating significant speed brakes helping me and my neighbors avoid the so-near T-bone collision that I experienced this past week as I thought I carefully exited my drive, knowing the danger while entering this race track only to experience a pick-up truck bearing down on me at an estimated 50-plus mph.

If I had been less alert to this dangerous condition, this letter would have not been written, supplanted by my obituary.

Arthur D. Brook,

Macon

One World Government

Today, thousands of people are crossing the borders of almost every country in the world. We hear about people streaming into Europe from the Middle East and Africa. In our own country, thousands enter the U.S. illegally. President Trump is building a fence along the Mexican border to try and stop the illegals. There is a group of people who are doing their best to help those illegals sneak across the border. They call themselves Countries Without Borders. In reality, they are a splinter group of an origination called One World Government.

One World Government first appeared in the 1940’s after the Second World War. The United Nations had become very strong at that time. They wanted to be the world government and rule all of the nations. There was great discussion about a One World Government. The U.S. believed that if we joined then all nations would be as free as we are. All went well until the United Nations Charter was placed on public display. Under the U.N. our Constitution would be null and void. In other words, we would have last half of our freedom. The U.S. dropped the idea and many other countries did likewise.

Invade a country with the poor and displaced. When enough people are is place then demand a One World Government. Many other countries’ citizens are already in your country. What good is a border? An old saying is: “The only way to destroy the U.S. is from within.”

Brian T. Reid Sr.,

Gray

Pruitt should go

Scott Pruitt’s apologists want us to disregard his contempt of ethical norms. They contend he is doing such a great job as the administer of Environmental Protection Agency; therefore, he should not be held to the same standards as his subordinates. They maintain his acceptance of a cut-rate rental agreement from a lobbyist for the rental of a condominium is not a true ethical violation. They maintain Scott is entitled to fly first class because his efforts to reduce regulations have saved the taxpayers money. They claim he informed them that he was not aware that two of his staff received unauthorized pay raises; therefore, there was no wrong doing.

Through all of this, Mr. Pruitt has claimed that he has not done anything wrong. His staff books him luxury hotels that are not allowed by government standards. He demands to fly on an airline that is not on the government’s approved list so he can accrue frequent flyer miles. Without receiving authorization, Pruitt directed his staff to install a $43,000 soundproof phone booth.

How can supervisors expect employees to follow the rules, when the administrator does not. His demand for privileged accommodations force subordinates to ignore regulations and standards to accommodate his luxurious needs. They must process his fraudulent claims for reimbursement.

Scott Pruitt is the perfect example of fraud, waste and abuse in government. His firing would be a major step in draining the D.C. swamp. But President Trump likes him, so he stays.

Jim Costello,

Perry

Reminder to readers

Letters should be no longer than 250 words. Letters that are slightly longer than 250 words might be edited to a shorter length and run, but most letters longer than 250 won’t be accepted for publication.

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