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Weapons suppliers all guilty

In the July 22 Free Press, Oksana Bashuk Hepburn says a "dire lesson for the world" was learned when the Malaysian airliner was shot down by Russian-led terrorists (Time for West to stand up against Russian president, July 22).

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It's disingenuous of U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin -- any country selling or providing weapons to other countries is guilty of the same crime.

Providing such weapons may be good for business, but surely washing machines or microwave ovens could be made instead.

All sellers or providers of weapons to those who kill civilians are guilty of crimes against humanity. The Russian terrorists are no different from other individuals who can't or won't distinguish between civilians and combatants.

The key issue is to stop providing the weapons or the money to buy such hardware. Until such time, peace is out of reach.

All nations that sell or provide weapons to others are guilty of murder. Business does not pre-empt humanity in these situations.

Barry Hammond


Trust chief's experience

It seems to me that the situation between police Chief Devon Clunis and the police board is a confrontation over who is really in charge (Time to turf police turf war, July 24).

Gordon Sinclair Jr. quotes from the Police Act that states that the police board will "direct the police chief and monitor his or her performance."

Chief Devon Clunis deserves respect as a professional, honest man trying to implement, for the first time, a positive program for our community. Let him continue to do so.

He is not a clerk to be directed by a civilian board -- he is in charge of our police service, and we should trust his experience and common sense. That is the role of a chief.

There are other ways the police board can contribute.

Francisco Valenzuela


Lack of info frustrating

One can sense the frustration, possibly even anger, in Mary Agnes Welch's analysis regarding the lack of basic information concerning the latest death on the Peguis First Nation reserve (Culture of secrecy allows repeated shameful tragedies, July 24).

Off the reserve, we are informed when murders are committed in the city within a day or so, once it is clear that family of the bereaved have been informed. One can be sure family on the reserve, because it is such a close-knit community, know of a child's death within hours.

Who is causing the stalling of information released: the family, the police, governments or CFS?

Maybe these deaths occur because of the living conditions on the reserve. If so, and if we knew more, we might be more proactive pressuring governments to provide the proper and improved conditions that might alleviate them and save innocent children from these all-too-early deaths.

Chris Kennedy


Heath-care system flawed

Dr. Ryan Meili is absolutely correct when he says that we cannot improve our health-care system by simply following the Dutch model without also copying their social system at the same time (False comparisons don't serve health-care analysis, July 23).

However, he did not get to the base of the problem in both systems: the "fee-for-service" method of remuneration for doctors. This system demands that doctors keep us sick so that we keep coming back for more prescriptions, increasing the profits of the pharmaceutical companies.

If we changed to a capitation system, where a doctor receives a fixed amount per annum for having you on his/her books as a patient, then doctors would be encouraged to promote wellness so that they could spend more time on the golf course.

If the Dutch were to adopt this system, they would save millions of dollars on health care. They can support their present system because, with a minimum wage of $20 per hour, "poor" is a relative term.

Bill Rolls


Not fit to be premier

The Free Press editorial $150,000 to prove the obvious (July 23) emphasizes the obvious inability of Brian Pallister to qualify as premier of Manitoba.

His own hubris squandered money that could have been directed into countless other, more appropriate causes, and demonstrates what other outright foolish moves he would undertake if voters are naive enough to give him that chance.

Don Halligan


Writer misses the mark

Rather than Winnipeg police or the RCMP, it seems to me that Mike McIntyre is the one who has truly missed the mark (City police, RCMP missing the mark?, July 23).

McIntyre's breezy caricature of trigger-happy American police and their comparatively gun-shy Canadian counterparts illuminates nothing and forgets too much -- Sammy Yatim, for instance, whose young life was snuffed out on a Toronto streetcar by nine police bullets.

Where is the sense of relief that police in Winnipeg are apparently attempting to refrain from the terrifying role of judge, jury and executioner?

Scott de Groot


Buzz over bug guru

After steady improvement in the annual mosquito scourge, the city went and fired the chief entomologist.

Now we have the worst plague of the pests that we've had in years.

Coincidence? I think not.

P.C. Hodge


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 25, 2014 A10

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