Regarding “A Trump military parade would be worth the cost, Duke professor says” (Feb. 9): When our drill instructor asked each man in my basic training platoon why they enlisted, “I saw a cool-looking parade” never came up. Retired Maj. Gen. Dunlap’s notion that troops marching in review is a less “filtered” view of military life, where “Drill and Ceremony” isn’t 1/10th of 1 percent of any soldier’s life, is one of the dumbest things I’ve read.
We are in a “forever war” that has kept our military in continuous combat around the globe for nearly two decades, and our commanders say it will never end. It is bleeding our country dry, and 17 straight years of stories about wounded and psychologically damaged men and women who struggle to get help from a government that increasingly rations their care is a message that’s gotten through, and has more than a little to do with lack of interest in serving.
I suggest instead of spending tens of millions on a vanity parade so “Cadet Bone Spurs” can receive the salutes of better men and women, spend it on care and assistance for the soldiers and veterans who need it. It’s not remotely enough to show the nation’s gratitude, but it’s better than nothing.
Ronald M. Garrett
“Meredith Poll of NC voters finds support for GOP” (Feb. 18) presents further evidence of the evils of gerrymandering. The poll showed that in congressional races 45 percent folks favor Republicans and 43 percent favor Democrats.
That is a far cry from the 10 Republicans and 3 Democrats who represent all citizens of North Carolina in the US House of Representatives.
Larry D. King
Board Member, Common Cause NC
Regarding “Flu death toll hits season high in NC” (Jan. 27): Reports nationwide confirm that we are amid one of the worst influenza outbreaks in more than a decade. As a forensic pathologist here in Raleigh, when I diagnose my patients with influenza, it’s too late. To prevent illness and possible death related to influenza, I offer some beneficial information.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that flu activity typically extends through March and can sometimes run as late as May, so it is not too late to get vaccinated with a flu shot. And while vaccine effectiveness can vary, the CDC stresses that the flu vaccine not only reduces your chance of getting sick from the flu, it can also impact severity and reduce the risk of hospitalization due to influenza.
Talk to your doctor early-on if you suspect you may have the flu. If needed, a pathologist will perform tests in the hospital laboratory to distinguish an influenza virus from other bacterial causes of respiratory illness. This helps your doctor select the most effective treatment for you.
Michelle Aurelius, MD
Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Division of Public Health
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Aren’t we tired of Trump’s reality show? The American people have systematically borne witness to the dismantling of their democracy, in spite of record numbers of constituents protesting, writing letters and endlessly trying to get the attention of their representatives in Congress.
Trump has been singularly focused on removing all evidence of President Obama, pro and con. However, we should realize that Trump is not dismantling Obama’s legacy, it’s the democracy, its institutions and our way of life that he is dismantling.
With these objectives and characteristics, how has this happened? There is only one response, there is no longer three independent co-equal branches of government – the House and Senate have effectively abdicated their power, and have actually become co-conspirators. The Nunes memo, the latest episode of the Trump reality show, intends to keep the focus solely on Trump, on his priorities of the moment and ultimately protects him from the Russian investigation and so much more.
Where are our leaders, the ones who were elected and took an oath to represent the people and protect the Constitution? Always under attack, the fourth estate is the only option we have left, that and Robert Mueller and his team. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell need to do their jobs and stop this destruction. It’s time to stand up to Trump, and protect our democracy and its institutions.