I Like My Socialized Military!

I would like to write a complementary footnote to Mari Herreras' fine analysis of Jane Orient and her movement ("Tea Party Medicine," Jan. 7).

I had two flirtations with death while in the Army in World War II. In both cases, I was carried in a government-owned ambulance to a hospital built and equipped (in France) by the United States, and whose employees all were paid by the government. The treatment was excellent. In neither case did I choose my doctor.

This reminds me that our military is totally socialistic, run by bureaucratic majors, colonels, generals, etc. We could, I suppose, revert to private or tribal armies, but I prefer socialism.

The myth that our country has the finest medicine in the world is mythology. Among industrial nations, we are 41st in life expectancy. On infant mortality, we are 42nd.

Thomas J. O'Brien

Red-Light Cameras Screw Drivers While Making Money for The Man

Red-light cameras are nothing more than money-makers ("In a Flash," Currents, Jan. 7). A few years ago, I got a ticket on Thanksgiving while going out to the casino. The streets were wet, and the arrow had just turned yellow when I was at the intersection. There was no way I could make a safe stop, so I went through.

I fought it, and the kangaroo court-judge just looked at me and said, "Now, you can take the eight-hour traffic-school course," which was a warning to all others to just plead guilty and pay the fine. It's a money racket for the state and the traffic schools.

As for all the hype that photo radar has reduced accidents, I find that hard to believe. Driving to Phoenix, I have encountered a photo-radar van sitting on the side of the road. All drivers going 75 mph will slam on their brakes to drop down to 65, causing the rest of us to slam on our brakes. I have come close to rear-ending a car and was damn near rear-ended by others.

Clifford Breidenfeld

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