We see public service announcements daily on American Forces Network TV about “What right looks like.” There’s a situation where something is wrong, and a noncommissioned officer will walk out on the screen and announce that that is not “what right looks like.” The situation is resolved and the NCO then will announce, “Now that is what right looks like.” So why is it that we need to watch these? Is that the only way to teach and mentor our junior leaders? And what about our senior leadership, don’t they need to know what right looks like too?

From my perspective, our leadership does not know. I have yet to see the TV spot where President Barack Obama suggests sequestration, Congress agrees and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey or any of the others walks out and says that “that is not what right looks like.” And then balancing the budget and controlling spending replace that and our leaders then announce that “that is what right looks like.”

Seeing our leadership stand up and do the right thing and actually back their employees and do “the right thing” is never mentioned. Why? Is that because stopping the pay on nearly 1 million middle-class employees while they continue to draw full pay plus spend more is the “right thing”?

If you are a federal employee — or an active-duty military member who has federal employees working for you or providing a needed service to the government, or even know a middle-class federal employee who will be punished under this plan — and you have not written your members of Congress, you are wrong. You are not doing the “right thing.” You should demand they do the right thing. They need to take responsibility for their mess and fix the deficit and budget.

No more politics, no more posturing or lies. Just fix it.

Not paying the middle class is the answer? That is not what right looks like!

Buddy R. Van Fleet

Hohenfels, Germany

AAFES shouldn’t still use VHS

Regarding the article “Projection technology brings reel change: As some AAFES cinemas receive digital upgrades, others will close” (Feb. 17 in Mideast edition, Feb. 15 in Europe and Pacific editions): As a civilian employee working alongside U.S. Army soldiers here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, we are grateful for the moral support-boosting we get from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service providing us with copies of current movie releases for weekly showings in our training room. This is especially appreciated being in a country where movie theaters are banned. But I would like AAFES to consider changing its policy of providing us with the current stone age VHS tape copies and go to a watchable DVD format.

When I checked into this matter recently, I found servicemembers at frontline bases in Afganistan are provided with the same substandard VHS tape copies. So we’re not so much worried about where the stadium seating is going yet as much as seeing a viewable movie.

George Mulhern

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Unholy speculation on Vatican

The “hit piece” titled “Fractured Vatican revealed in pope’s leaked documents,” which was given the grace to appear in Stars and Stripes’ Jan. 18 editions, is replete with hearsay, innuendo and suppositions. The reporter does not have facts, portraying what his imagination dictates is going on with jaundiced disregard for any real input.

If he is so sure of himself, where are the names and dates of the sources of his projected tapestry of intrigue? There’s not one bit of source information upon which to base a judgment of the facts because, in this piece, there are no facts. Where are the documents in the title of this story?

Not one quote or documentary rendition exists here. The real story behind Pope Benedict XVI’s near unique choice to leave is only his to tell, and reams of speculative blubbering bring readers no closer to knowing that. The tabloids The Inquirer or The Star should be interested in such “reporting” It’s amazing to see it surface here — well, maybe not so amazing, given your devotion to mainstream output.

Chief Master Sgt. Alan F. Schechter (retired)


Stripes in 7

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