Letters to the editor
On child abuse and the court, the Air Force's $35 billion tanker, Massachusetts healthcare, and the Berlin Wall.
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The California Protective Parents Association works with nonabusive parents in custody disputes. Our research of 362 cases shows that 81 percent of protective parents (mostly battered mothers) had primary custody when they asked family courts for safety for their children. Each mother spent an average of $100,000 on her case. The outcomes are horrifying. In the end, a scant 5 percent of mothers retained custody while the abuser had supervised visits. Most children who were ripped from their protective mothers continue to report abuse. Their desperate cries, present-day echoes of the "lost children" of Francoism, go unheard by family court.Skip to next paragraph
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Policy director, California Protective Parents Association
The Air Force's $35 billion tanker should raise flags
Regarding your recent article, "Air Force gets back tanker contract": It mentioned the recent World Trade Organization's ruling that European countries have illegally subsidized French aerospace company Airbus, but neglected to note that Airbus's bid for the tanker contract was itself financed with $5 billion of these illegal subsidies.
This should be setting off alarms within the Obama administration. First of all, Airbus is clearly flaunting fair federal contracting rules by leveraging its illegal subsidies; coming on the heels of the president's speech to Wall Street about adhering to strict ethics and regulations, Airbus's tanker bid stands out as an obvious abuse. Moreover, 44,000 jobs are at stake: If the Air Force hands Airbus the contract, it will manufacture its aircraft largely overseas.
Last year at a Pennsylvania campaign event, then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama said he would be surprised if the Pentagon didn't choose an American company to build the next tanker. Now, American workers will be unpleasantly surprised if President Obama doesn't take a stand for US jobs by requiring Airbus to divest itself of its illegal subsidies or walk away from all government contracts.
General vice president, The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Upper Marlboro, Md.
Massachusetts healthcare example
Regarding Paul Hsieh's Sept. 30 opinion piece, "Healthcare in Massachusetts: a warning for America": While Mr. Hsieh lives in Colorado, I am a western Massachusetts resident and an extremely grateful former beneficiary of the state's subsidized health plan, Commonwealth Care.
I admit that it did take me a few tries to find a provider that was accepting new patients, but I chalked that up to the thousands like me who were newly able to afford basic care. The service that I received through the state plan was affordable and excellent.