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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about Israeli ex-soldiers, the US labor market, athletes' boycott role, and body image.

May 2, 2008



Israeli ex-soldiers' testimony helps resolve corruption

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In response to the April 25 article, "Israeli ex-soldiers expose abuse": As an unbiased observer, being neither Jewish nor Palestinian, I think that the soldiers who have been brave and conscientious enough to report the abuses of power being carried out by the Israeli military should be hailed as heroes for peace.

I have many dear and close Jewish friends and I admire the Jewish culture, but I find it shameful that the Israelis have allowed themselves to be corrupted by the power they have exerted over the Palestinians.

There appears to be very little difference in the way Israelis deal with their "Palestinian problem" and the way Nazi Germany dealt with their "Jewish problem" prior to the time that Germany started to actually expedite the extermination of the Jews.

The good people look the other way and feel they can't do anything about what their government and military does, and the government and military have lost their sense of ethics, humanity, and fairness or lawfulness.

Amelia I. Voorsanger
New York

US job market does not look so rosy

Regarding John A. Challenger's April 10 Opinion piece, "Good news about the US labor market": Mr. Challenger undoubtedly had good intentions to calm anxiety with his piece. Yet to solve a problem you first have to admit there is one.

The Bush administration has reduced the tax burden on existing wealth, making the relative tax burden on productive effort higher. Rewarding existing wealth leads to stagnation. The last time tax policy was this wealth-friendly was from 1929 to 1933, under Herbert Hoover.

The proverb, "He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want" may have larger macroeconomic implications than commonly believed.

Denying the problem, as Mr. Challenger does in his closing, "...[T]he strength of the US labor market should bolster the confidence of our outlook" will only make the problem worse.

John H. Early
Amarillo, Texas

Athletes should boycott 2008 Games

Regarding the April 17 article, "For many US athletes, boycott is out": I don't agree that this summer's Olympics represent an athlete's only opportunity to be all they can be. If everyone, and I do mean everyone, boycotted, then China's government would change the way it treats its people, and the way it does business. Now, more than at any other time in history, is the time for all of us who are aware to come together, no matter what our differences are, and stand up to the powers that be. Athletes are no more special than anyone else.

Carolyn Newton
Carbondale, Colo.

Mixed messages on ideal weight

Regarding the April 17 article, "In Europe, a battle against ultrathin ideals for women": We women are forever getting mixed messages on the subject of our weight. According to the article, France's lower house of parliament recently "passed a bill that makes it a crime to promote 'excessive thinness' or extreme dieting."

In another article in the same issue, "She's got a date for you," about a matchmaking service in L.A., we read that one particular woman "will be an easy client, and not just because she's skinny and smart – but because she's happy." Should anyone worry about "excessive thinness" when being "skinny" makes you an ideal candidate in the dating world?

Judy Butler
Chicago

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