LETTERS: Obama’s Cuba decision based on virtue, not politics

To the editor:

I was disappointed by the comments by one of my favorite writers, Rich Lowry. He feels President Barack Obama was wrong in loosening every economic sanction possible and offering diplomatic relations to Cuba. He wrote “it is quid with no pro quo” (U.S. gets nothing for something on Cuba,” Dec. 26 Review-Journal).

Does there have to be quid pro quo in dealing with human relations? One does not do good deeds to aid their fellow man in anticipation of what the reward will be. Virtue is its own reward.

It may not play so well in politics, but allowing innocent children to maintain a family structure, as was recently promulgated, is reward in itself, as well as creating a way for all people to have medical care. It seems hypocritical to me to be in bed with Red China yet ostracize your neighbor. It seems duplicitous to encourage investment to create jobs and commerce, yet deny our farmers the ability to sell grain to the Cubans, as well as some medicine.



Outrageous comparison

To the editor:

Maybe Richard Pratt needs to understand the difference between police going into neighborhoods to fight crime and keep them relatively safe and the Nazis who went into Jewish neighborhoods, destroyed business, burned down temples, beat people and hauled them away to concentration camps never to be seen or heard from again (“Context for comment,” Dec. 29 letter).

In comparison, the stop-and-frisk policies in New York aimed to fight violent crime. The policies succeeded in reducing crime. In essence, it is the police officers’ goal not to kill, maim, or destroy, but to keep their citizens safe. The “final solution” of the Nazis was quite the opposite. If Mr. Platt wishes to pursue that information he would learn that many New York neighborhoods were a lot safer after policing. Again, argue the policy, but respect the goal and what was achieved.

To compare this to the “final solution” is an insult to all people, and he should be ashamed and apologize to those who suffered under that tyranny. We have police for a reason, many who are family men and women who place themselves in danger on a daily basis. To compare any one of them to a Nazi is ignorant.



Expert testimony?

To the editor:

In the Dec. 31 Review-Journal, an article headlined “Clark County sees dip in traffic-related fatalities in 2014” contained some information that needs to be examined.

Erin Breen, director of UNLV’s Safe Community Partnership, said the Las Vegas police policy to not respond to non-injury accidents has been a key factor in reducing fatalities. Ms. Breen’s basis for this statement is that, “With officers no longer tied up by those types of crashes, they can better enforce traffic laws and, in turn, give out more tickets.”

While Ms. Breen has the right to her opinion, it’s dangerous when her personal opinion is portrayed as an established fact. When examining traffic fatalities, three main areas need to be considered: education, engineering and enforcement. The slight, 10 percent reduction in fatalities in 2014 can be attributed to myriad factors. Some of these might be completed road construction projects; law enforcement directed activities regarding seat belts and texting while driving; increased media efforts to educate the public; improved emergency response and numerous other sources.

Whenever “experts” give statements in support or opposition of any policy, they have an obligation to the public to ensure validity. In this situation, Ms. Breen never offered legitimate premises to support her conclusion. This logic is similar to the old man who claims that the reason it’s raining is because he had his car washed. The non-response policy could be the reason the decrease was not more substantial.



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