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by Inlander Readers & r & & r & Why War? & r & Thank you for providing a firsthand perspective of the war in Iraq ("Postcards From Hell," 5/25/06). It's a shame we don't see this in the mainstream media. The relationships of the soldiers brought back to mind a study I vaguely remember from years ago. They looked at why a soldier sacrificed himself or volunteered to do something that would probably cost him his life. It wasn't God or country. It was to save his buddies. What a shame such sacrifices must be made again in an illegal war.


I have two observations about the photo where the caption states, "A paid informant led North Idaho soldiers ..." The two "soldiers" in the photo are not Army, but Air Force airmen. One is doing something we were always taught never to do -- touch unexploded ordnance.





Hank Greer & r & Spokane, Wash.





Pull-Out Time & r & I wish Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice would read the article "Iraq and Back" (5/25/06). Maybe then they would order the immediate withdrawal of our troops.





Donald H. Head & r & Spokane, Wash.





Un-Real TV & r & I am writing about my dislike for reality TV. Reality television isn't the unscripted, raw footage it used to be. When reality television was first shown, it was new, and it was a creative way of giving the public entertainment.


Such shows as The Real World, produced by MTV, were among the first reality TV shows even broadcasted to the public. There were no scripts, just raw footage of seven people forced to live half a year of their lives together. It was a refreshing new genre of television to watch.


Now, as the popularity of reality TV has disgustingly escalated (including The Real World), it is now becoming scripted and less, well, real. Much of the MTV reality dating shows are all scripted, and such shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette all are a joke.


I feel that many of the shows today truly show how shallow and back-stabbing people are. And it doesn't at all reflect women in any high fashion, either.


I just feel that TV has lost much of its creativity. We need more shows like Will and Grace, That 70's Show and Grey's Anatomy. I feel the entertainment we are getting on a daily basis has no substance, and it is really hard for me to watch television anymore.


Oh well. If the people want fake reality, then they sure as heck will get it.





MEgan E. Foland & r & Cheney, Wash.





The Trust Fund & r & Thank you for your June 1 issue's commentary, "Earning Trust." It was balanced and fair, realistic and stretching. Your evaluation of how government, business and religious institutions (notably the Catholic Church) have let us down as trustworthy agents of civilization in recent days, months and years is on target. Likewise is your observation that these same foundations of a just and moral society are peopled with virtuous, honorable and outstanding individuals. May the latter become more emboldened.





Dan Morris-Young & r & Spokane, Wash.





Flirting With Bad Taste? & r & I just came across an article on your Web site by Cortney Harding called "Flirting with Albini" (6/1/06). I was struck with how poorly it was written and how ill-informed the writer is. The practice of simply regurgitating information straight from the band's Web site and sprinkling in inaccuracies and ridiculous grammar school opinions of how things work with a professional studio/engineer and band are a disservice to the band (who I am sure are embarrassed at how they were represented), the reader (I certainly was embarrassed in reading it) and your own publication (which I assume you want to be thought of as a proper news and arts source).


I suggest raising the standards of your output. Music writers should know something about music. The terminology and references used in the article show the writer to be either 12 years old or just someone completely in the dark. In an Internet-led world where anyone with iTunes previews and an e-mail address can call themselves a "music writer," it is up to you, the editor, to keep standards high or you are just muddying the waters.





Mark Greenberg & r & Chicago, Ill.





The 51st State? & r & Presently, all of Mexico seems to want to come to America in the worst way. Advantaged Americanos seem to want it in the worst way, too By these portents it becomes obvious to me that Manifest Destiny is still with us and, felicitously, about to be thrust upon us.


Presidents Bush and Fox have recently met over the illegal and out-of-control immigration woes, without coming to any publicized conclusions. But I want to think they have already crafted plans for Mexico to hold a national referendum there before summer that will see Mexico applying for admission to the Union before our next election. Already Bush and Tom Delay have each obliquely suggested that they are holding out for something they expect Congress will be doing in that time frame that would cast a different pale on their present administrative pall.


Should Congress grant statehood to Mexico, what surges of economic and societal energies would burst forth! And what a lessening of anxieties over what is legal or illegal would result! "Democracy for all" and not a shot fired. What a turnaround from Iraq, where democracy is going down in a hailstorm of bullets and flame, with insurmountable costs mounting ad nauseum. The administration of America owes it to itself to wind up these last eight years with some great accomplishment of hope for their vision of their world.


And now, I see Presidente V. Fox has come to Washington state to draw strength from and inspire his diasporic citizenry here in our agricultural midlands, in what Gov. Gregoire declares to be a great sign of good things to come of all this, before his visit to Washington, D.C. Mr. Bush has so cleverly engineered this all on his own, I am sure. If he pulls it off, America should give him that next term to show what he can do with what's left of the Iraq vision he has. Come on, Congress, you can do it if you dare.


Get ready, America: We are about to see a most momentous event in the history of Manifest Destiny since the heroic assault by the U.S. expeditionary forces against Chapaultepec, and the aftermath known as the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, and not a shot fired. Surely Mexico's territories will amount to several more stars in our flagging destiny. From sea to shining sea -- and next, to Guatemala, Cuba and dear oiled Canada.





Harry Bright & r & Spokane, Wash.

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