Kick the bums out

Good that Jack Lessenberry is going after the toxic lawmakers ("SOS: Save our state," Dec. 9) in Lansing, but the sad fact is that too many run for office with no shame and an absence of knowledge of how to formulate public policy. They shortchange Michigan each and every day they report to work.

 Maybe it's time for The People to call a "no-confidence" vote and disband the House and Senate and call for new elections immediately? The overworked legislators could extend their bullshit two-week hunting trip well into the New Year and stop serving special interests so that a new Legislature will start serving constituents' interest. —Ken Hreha, Dryden

Bring 'em home

Regardless of the rationale/explanations ... this will utterly fail and I feel this issue will be Obama's undoing.

1) Occupiers always go home. Americans are the ADHDs of the world. The Afghans will just wait us out. Those Afghans (including the Afghan security forces) who support the U.S./NATO effort will have hell to pay when we leave.

2) Afghanistan is like no other country. It's all mountainous. You cannot win with troops in that environment ... ask the Russians. There are no roads to block, front lines to hold or cities to contain. Everyone's in the mountains ... including the enemy.

3) The No. 1 export is the poppy. Ordinary farmers grow this stuff. Bin Ladin can pay the people more than we or the Afghan gov can.

4) Although Obama did a good job getting the collaboration of the NATO forces to support his effort (far better than Bush's "go it alone" effort), the real key players and influencers are Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan. Pakistan is sandwiched between Afghanistan and India. Pakistan and India are rivals. Obama (the West) can't force democracy in that region. It's like oil and water.

5) Speaking of oil ... Oh, well.

Obama should grow a pair, take his medicine and get the troops out now. No more needless deaths of young folks. Concentrate our military and intelligence apparatus on protecting our borders by finding those within and without our country who are intent on doing damage. Redirect the billions allotted for war and design an FDR like jobs plan for the nation. —Ivory Williams, Detroit

Post Mortem

Regarding the review of 1969's Downhill Racer in Couchtrip, Bob Johnson posted: But I really wanted to say how much I agreed with John Thomason's review of Downhill Racer. This is a great movie, one of the very few grown-up movies to come out of Hollywood. Part of the reason, I think, was that James Salter was the scriptwriter. Salter wrote the powerful little novel A Sport and a Pastime, and I think he was the reason why the story is so good. And Redford deserves a lot of credit for being willing to portray a really unpleasant but vividly real character. Not many stars would take the chance and do it so well. Ritchie's direction is terrific. It certainly looked at the time that Michael Ritchie was going to be a great director. It didn't turn out that way, and I wonder why not. A drastically underrated wonderful movie.

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