‘To serve and infect’

To police officers who complain that the long-term effects of COVID-19 vaccines “have not been determined,” I’d point out that no such studies preceded the introduction of the typhoid vaccine, the smallpox vaccine and the polio vaccine.


Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

If the Chicago Police are serious about defying Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate, they should modify their motto to “Serve and Infect.” To them and others who insist the long-term effects of the COVID-19 vaccines “have not been determined,” I’d point out that no such long-term studies preceded the introduction of the typhoid vaccine, the smallpox vaccine and the polio vaccine.

I suspect that police disaffection with the mayor is so profound that officers are inclined to reject out of hand any directive from City Hall, destructive as that may be to themselves and the public.

Douglas Susu-Mago, Highland Park

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No respect for Nazi comparisons

I agree that the police should be respected. It doesn’t help, though, that the president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, John Catanzara, elected by officers who complain they are not respected, has equated vaccine mandates with Nazis forcing concentration camp victims into showers to be gassed.

Vaccines are saving millions of lives. The Nazis put million of people to death.

Kevin Coughlin, Evanston

Nation-build at home

It has been reported that the president of Afghanistan fled the country with $169 million dollars. That money came from U.S. taxpayers.

Those funds could have been used for greater police protection, anti-violence programs, educational initiatives, job training and community development here in Chicago. 

During the past 20 years, the Taliban sought refuge in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan, while U.S. forces maintained a policing presence in the urban areas of Afghanistan. Under the protection of the Pakistani Intelligence Service, the Taliban was able to rearm and grow stronger.

The United States cannot fight wars for governments that are unwilling to fight for their own freedom. There remains a strong possibility that we’ll have to return to Afghanistan to suppress terrorist activity in the future. A saner strategy, though, would be to commit to military operations that not only protect American interests but also have clear strategic objectives. Among those objectives should be an exit strategy with a well-defined timetable. 

After 911, we had to eliminate Osama Bin Laden’s organization. It was a mistake nonetheless to remain in Afghanistan and support an Afghan military that was shaking down its own civilians and warlords, who were producing opium. American deserves better than that.

As for nation building, let us begin with the United States of America.

George Bridgeforth, Bartlett

Biden gets a pass

President Joe Biden and his administration have been grossly neglectful in the withdrawal from Afghanistan; they were responsible for the deaths on Thursday of 13 Marines. The evacuation has been poorly planned and executive.

If Donald Trump were president, Democrats and the media would be calling for his impeachment, and that’s a fact.

John Moravecek, Naperville

Importance of fathers

In a recent letter, a Sun-Times reader wrote that we “cannot allow mass shootings to become common occurrences in city.” The writer correctly stated that oppression, poverty and unemployment are parts of the problem. But there is one important factor he left out: the role of the nuclear family. Gang members often have no fathers in the home and they look to gangs to learn how to behave. Boys need fathers to teach them how to become men, not single mothers or grandmothers. 

Michael Lorenzi, Oak Park

Suicide prevention

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It’s a time for each of us to reach out to those around us and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is “Together, we can help #StopSuicide.”

One action I’m taking is contacting my public officials and urging them to prioritize funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and our local crisis call centers.

In July 2022, the new 988 number will be fully operational as the universal phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This easy-to-remember three-digit number will increase access to vital mental health and suicide crisis supports. Calls are also projected to increase substantially when the 988 number goes fully live. Now is the time to provide the funding to support our local crisis centers to meet the needs of more 988 callers.

Together, we can ensure that everyone in crisis has access to care should they need it.

Stacie Miller, Valparaiso, Indiana

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