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Views in brief

June 10, 2005 | Page 4

Missed the force of Sith, SW did
The insanity of "stop-loss"
A reasonable exit strategy

A sick health care system

I RECENTLY had to go to the emergency ward at my local hospital since I was having breathing problems due to allergies. There is medication that would control my breathing. I even have "decent" health insurance.

So why am I going to the emergency room? Because I gave the medication to my sister, who just lost her job along with her health insurance, and who also has allergies that this medicine controls.

So why didn't I just go to the local drug store and get more medicine? Because my health insurance company said that I should still have medication left for another two weeks—and this is even after my doctor gave me another prescription. We clearly live in a sick society when a health insurance provider is deciding on what dose a person needs over the person's own doctor!
Anonymous, From the Internet

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Missed the force of Sith, SW did

IN HIS review of Revenge of the Sith, Joe Allen does a fine job of setting up a straw man and then striking him down with a mighty swing of his lightsaber…er, pen ("Evil Empire USA," May 27).

If, as Joe asserts, George Lucas really "hopes his film will have the same impact as Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11," he certainly isn't acting like it. In fact, while he is openly critical of Bush and the war on Iraq, Lucas has said the film was written before 9/11, and that the similarities with Bush are only a happy coincidence.

True, there are similarities in Sith between Darth Vader and Bush. Joe left out one of the best—when Natalie Portman notes, "This is how liberty dies—to thunderous applause," as the Senate cheers on the Emperor's rise during a wartime crisis.

The original Star Wars also had similarities with Vietnam in its story of a rag-tag group of rebels taking down the technologically superior Empire. Should we criticize it for not having a greater impact on political consciousness?

Exciting Hollywood blockbusters that take a few pot shots at America's warmongers are fine by me, especially considering most of the garbage out there. And while Joe is right about some of the horrendous dialogue, that doesn't stop Sith from being the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back.

Socialists should critique popular movies based on their actual merits and shortcomings—not based on whether they meet some political goals which we impose on them. If Lucas is in fact trying to remold himself into a rich-man's Michael Moore, then he is failing miserably. If, on the other hand, he is just trying to make a damn good Star Wars movie, then he has succeeded.
Scott Johnson, Oakland, Calif.

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The insanity of "stop-loss"

I HAVE been puzzling with a question for some time now, which is a subject I have not seen examined the media. Inasmuch as there is no draft or compulsory military service, how can refusal to go to war become the subject for a trial? Even a charge of "desertion" is absurd under these circumstances.

Unless I am completely wrong, when an American signs up for service, he/she enters into a "contract of employment." As such, if you do not fulfill that contract, the worst-case scenario should be "breach of contract" which is a civil matter, nothing more nothing less. In that connection, the ludicrous "stop-loss" invention is not an enforceable tactic and downright illegal.

No employer can invoke a stop-loss clause on an employee—the entire idea is so ridiculous that it has to be a bad joke!

This administration is so completely illegitimate and comes up with the most crazed rules and ideas, which they use our tax money to implement and enforce. I don't know if they have thought about selling our Constitution to the Iraqis, them being hard-pressed time-wise to write their own, because we certainly do not seem to have any use for it—nor the Bill of Rights and other adherent documents which our country is built upon.
Hanna K. Jaeckel, Bridgeport, Conn.

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A reasonable exit strategy

U.S. REP. Lynn Woolsey's Resolution 35 presents a reasonable exit strategy from Iraq. It calls on the president and Congress to create and execute plans to withdraw United States troops and replace them with security forces from Iraq, neighboring states, the United Nations and the Arab League. Further, it calls for the reconstruction of Iraq and for returning to Iraqis control over their country.

The United States does not have enough boots on the ground to maintain security and those who are there are getting worn out. Recruitment of new troops is way down, and a draft would be political suicide.

"Staying the course" means spending $100 billion a year and depending on the development of an Iraqi police force that takes the job because it is the only one available. Further, the Iraqi police are reluctant to shoot their own people because they see the insurgents as patriots and the occupation as the enemy.

Polls now show that most Americans believe that the war in Iraq was a mistake. Resolution 35 gives us a chance to improve our image around the world, reduce the threat of terrorism and support our troops by bringing them home.
Jerry Bitts, Las Vegas

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