Tablet Opinion

Letters: Honoring Thomas Eric Duncan; don’t criticize clerk; camera alternative

Honoring Duncan

Last week my church held a memorial service for Thomas Eric Duncan. I want to bring comfort and justice for his family, not just in the U.S. but also in Liberia.

In Liberia’s capital, nine of Eric’s neighbors are dead or are dying. If Eric’s brother needed treatment, there’s a chance a hospital wouldn’t even have a bed for him. If his sister gave birth, there’s a one-in-five chance the child wouldn’t live until her fifth birthday — mostly due to limited clean water.

Before the epidemic, Liberia had 50 doctors for every 4 million people.

The returns on public-health investment are huge. In a globalized world, it just makes economic sense. Yet our contribution is staggeringly small.

Last year the U.S. spent the equivalent of 3 percent of our military defense budget on foreign aid — less than two-tenths of 1 percent of our GDP.

Eric’s death reminds us how connected we are. He died because he tried to save the life of a pregnant woman. It wasn’t because she had Ebola, it was because she was a fellow human being.

If we want to honor his memory, shouldn’t we try to save the lives of Liberians, too?

— Joan Gass, Dallas

Don’t criticize clerk

In response to the article, “Ex-justice joins case against clerk,” (Sept. 28), on the manner in which Tom Wilder’s office has handled court orders, based on my great familiarity with that office, which began when I represented former District Clerk Jim Boorman, the clerk’s office has done nothing more than obey orders signed by the courts.

The clerk’s office does not prepare those orders.

Those who obtained the orders prepared them. The clerk’s office has no discretion in whether to obey an order. Only an appellate court can set aside such an order.

Following the law an officeholder did not make and has no power to change should be extolled, not criticized.

Tom Wilder deserves to continue in office.

— James Shelby Sharpe, Fort Worth

Camera alternative

There is a way to increase safety at intersections without using red-light cameras.

It is a technique called “delayed green.”

In normal operation, when the street with the green goes red, the cross street immediately goes green.

Traffic starts to move and if anyone has run the light, accidents occur.

By delaying the green for three seconds, the intersection gets a chance to clear and accidents go way down.

Traffic engineers and traffic safety people have known this for some time.

Of course, this does not generate any revenue, and it’s free and easy to do.

We don’t need red-light cameras to make intersections safer.

— J. Michael Edelman, Fort Worth

A better life

Millions of people come to this country looking for things their country will never offer.

No one is responsible for the country where they were born, but they are responsible for the country where they have a future and a life for them and their children.

Not all immigrants come to this country just to use the benefits offered. Many people come to this country to pursue a future and then spend the rest of their life giving back from the blessings they received by living in peace, by having a profession and by having a decent job.

My husband and I, as an example, came to this country years ago in hopes of finding the respect and the future we did not get from our countries of origin (Venezuela and Colombia).

We reached the goals we had in mind from the beginning and now not only my husband serves many people in the community as a family-practice doctor.We also adopted a 4-year-old boy from CPS in Fort Worth.

We owe many of our achievements to this country. There are many others who come to the U.S. looking for a brighter future.

Please support their transition to a better life!

— Rosa Elena Curubo, Garland


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