Why does government need more of our money?

To the editor:

I have read the columns by Geoff Schumacher and Erin Neff regarding the projected “crisis” involving state government revenues. Their comments have been consistent with their belief that our government cannot handle current and future challenges unless we continue to fund the state like those “running” our government say we should.

From what I have read lately, tax revenues are at an all-time high. So why don’t Mr. Schumacher and Ms. Neff ask why our government needs more of our money? Why do our political leaders never ask us if we have enough of our money?

Why don’t they ask our leaders to spend less time asking for more money and more time addressing the fraud, waste and abuse in government?

In their infinite wisdom and with their wealth of experience as writers, I am not convinced they even know how to ask those questions.

John M. Zilliken

LAS VEGAS

Soldier’s tale

To the editor:

I read the Associated Press story about Navy seal Michael Murphy being awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.

Lt. Murphy earned it the hard way. But he didn’t have to die, and neither did his buddies. I remember the whole story.

Lt. Murphy and his men were waiting and hiding for a Taliban terrorist when they were seen by a 12-year-old shepherd boy who walked up to them.

In that situation they knew the right thing to do was to grease the kid so he couldn’t warn anyone. But they got into a discussion about what to do because they were worried that if they did what should be done, later on down the road they might be brought up on charges by some congressman or senator sitting in his ivory tower who knows nothing about combat situations or what it feels like.

So instead they opted to let the boy go, and he did just what they thought he would do. He ratted them out and a gunfight ensued.

So Lt. Murphy and 18 other men who came to their rescue were killed. Marcus Lutrell being the only survivor.

These honorable men all died needlessly. If Lt. Murphy and his men wouldn’t have had to worry about what would happen down the line, they could have done what they knew they should have and things might have turned out differently.

When are we as a country going to wise up and let the military do what they’re supposed to do and not let a bunch of know-it-all senators and congressmen tell them what to do?

How would you like to be a four-star general with 30 years or more in the military and have to listen to orders from guys like Ted Kennedy?

RODNEY T. ELKINS

LAS VEGAS

Armenian Genocide

To the editor:

I am the son of “survivors” of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. I was interviewed by Jason Green for an article that appeared in your Oct. 27 edition. I would like to clarify some points that were left out of the article.

— The Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, the first Genocide of the 20th century, is a historical fact, not only documented in the U.S. National Archives with more than 3,000 documents, but also recognized by more than 100 genocide scholars, including notable Elie Weisel, who was a survivor of the Holocaust as well.

— Human rights violations have occurred in modern day Turkey. Those speaking or writing about the Armenian Genocide are imprisoned. As recently as this spring, a Turkish national of Armenian descent, Hrant Dink, editor of an Armenian newspaper in Istanbul, was assassinated because of editorials pertaining to the Genocide. In fact, because of human rights violations, Turkey has not been admitted into the European Union (among other reasons as well).

The article included a statement by a Oya Bain, secretary-general of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, stating that, “The Turkish people do not believe this was a genocide. The records are open. There have been horrible massacres on both sides, but this was not a planned event like the Nazis.”

The fact is, this was a planned, premeditated massacre (later termed genocide), by the Ottoman Turkish empire.

A typical example of the powerful evidence in the U.S. National Archives is a July 10, 1915, cable to the U.S. State Department by the ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau: “Persecution of Armenians assuming unprecedented proportions. Reports from widely scattered districts indicate systematic attempts to uproot peaceful Armenian populations and through arbitrary arrest and terrible torture, to implement wholesale expulsions and deportations from one end of the Empire to the other, frequently accompanied by rape, pillage, and murder, turning into massacre.”

This was a July 10, 1915, cable.

JOHN DADAIAN

LAS VEGAS

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