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11.17.10

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Cut Military Spending

We cannot seriously address the budget deficit without cutting the military budget, which takes up 59 percent of the discretionary budget. That doesn't even account for overruns, including $300 billion above what Congress authorized for various weapons systems in the last five years.

Military spending is out of control, and it is the best place for deficit hawks to look for cuts.

Elisabeth Fiekowsky

Sebastopol


Alternative Communities

Thanks to the Bohemian for covering the back-to-the-land issue with a rousing call to action by Art Kopecky ("A Broken Record," Nov. 3). He is right about the unlikelihood of growing out of this recession due to environmental limits. Thanks to him, and other veterans of the '60s, new communities dot the land.

Some communities such as Twin Oaks in Virginia have survived for half a century. But questions remain: What about average families aspiring to college for their kids? We could have free college for all if we redirected our tax dollars from unnecessary wars abroad. What about seniors who need assisted living and on-site medical care? Many elders can exchange cash for care as well as contribute wisdom and guidance. How do we reach this demographic? We can't wait for government, but how do we preserve Medicare and Social Security and other promised benefits government can provide from the taxes we have paid if priorities are rearranged? These resources are an important base if the communities movement is to take off.

Intergenerational communities could be open to everyone, not just the wealthy and able-bodied. Democracy is not something we have, it's something we do.

Sue Reynoldson

Santa Cruz


Listen Up, Clint Eastwood

A great sage once said, "He who 'says' don't know, he who 'knows' don't say." The new film Hereafter tries to "say" but clearly "don't know."

From time immemorial, mankind has pondered what happens after physical death. All organized and disorganized religions "say," but do they really know?

Hereafter raises a hypothesis, and the heroine purports near-death experiences. Of course, there will always be skeptics who believe only in an endless void after physical life. I wish Clint Eastwood had researched this important work and added some details of the after-death experience, explained in beautiful, highly uplifting detail, to help make sense of the age-old mystery: "What happens next?"

We could all have left the theater less confused and much happier than we ever felt before.

Steve Rudinski

Soquel


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