To the editor:
Attorney and judicial candidate Jacob Hafter called District Judge Valorie Vega a racist and an anti-Semite because she denied his May 23 request for a two-day recess during an ongoing trial (“Judge called ‘racist,’ anti-Semite over trial delay,” Tuesday Review-Journal). Mr. Hafter requested the recess because he is an Orthodox Jew who is required, according to religious custom, to celebrate the two holy days of Shavuot by observing his religious commitments. Among other things, this means not working.
While I respect Mr. Hafter’s religious convictions, he should understand that deeply religious firemen, emergency medical technicians, armed forces members, doctors and surgeons, nurses, students taking final exams and others often have obligations that conflict with or override their religious beliefs.
I don’t begrudge Mr. Hafter’s request for a two-day recess. He certainly had a right to ask for one, as Judge Vega had the right to deny his request. But one thing I do begrudge Mr. Hafter: he should never decompensate and call people terrible names. To do so constitutes unprofessional conduct.
Hopefully this episode will draw a rebuke from the State Bar of Nevada and force Mr. Hafter to offer Judge Vega a public apology. Voters should remember Mr. Hafter’s childish outburst as they go to the polls to vote for a candidate for Department 22, District Court judge. Fortunately, there is more than one candidate to choose from.
Reid and shady money
To the editor:
The Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday began a long-shot bid at a constitutional amendment that would limit deep-pocketed political campaign donors’ influence (“Amendment push exercise in futility,” Wednesday Review-Journal). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the free flow of “shady money” into politics the biggest threat to democracy he’s seen.
The biggest threat to democracy he’s seen? Has he not looked in a mirror lately?
STEVEN G. HAYES SR.
Veterans can fix VA
To the editor:
Monday’s article about the problems at Veterans Affairs highlights a bill introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that outlines how to fix the broken VA medical care system (“Overhaul for VA proposed”). Among the ways Sen. Sanders wishes to do this: expedited hiring practices, making it easier to fire nonperformers; leasing buildings; and moving care to outside facilities.
I believe there is a different way to approach the dysfunction in the VA that can take care of the problems while solving another one by providing jobs for returning vets. Military personnel are coming home to a crippled economy and a lack of good-paying jobs. Give returning medics and corpsmen jobs to triage returning veterans. They can be treated as reservists and given active-duty status. That money is already budgeted, and these employees already have the training and discipline and would be motivated to help fellow military personnel.
Veteran medics and corpsmen also could report to the local Disabled Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion posts, which can be found in most small communities. Medics and corpsmen could use their honed skills or be given advanced training to test into physician assistant jobs, at which they could work in the next level of care. A veteran needing medical help could then first see volunteers at one of these organizations, who can help with determining what benefits are applicable.
Then the vet could go to the next room and be triaged by a peer, who would do an evaluation and determine the care needed. If the condition is combat or tour-related, a set window of 48 hours can be given for the veteran’s first appointment. This is where vouchers for outside care should be used. For staffing, the government could get new doctors outside of the system by agreeing to help with the massive student loan debt most doctors have incurred. Doctors on reserve status should report for their reserve duty at a clinic that sees returning veterans.
This approach will allow returning veterans to know that, if they want it, there is a job waiting for them that they have done under far worse conditions. Most of all, injured and ill veterans would be taken care of.
Tasteless comic strip
To the editor:
In wake of the tragic killings at the University of California, Santa Barbara by the ostracized Elliot Rodger, cartoonists Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler — drawers of the “Wumo” comic strip — seem to find humor in mocking the bachelors of this world. The pathetic example of a lonely date-seeker in their Monday comic was sickening.
The fact that newspapers such as the Las Vegas Review-Journal and others around the nation allowed the publication and circulation of this vicious badgering of men is unpleasant and repulsive. I find this not a joke, but a tasteless and humiliating attack. I wonder what Mr. Wulff and Mr. Morgenthaler would say to the victims’ families from the UCSB shooting after they viewed this crude portrait of humor?