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Success story: Cuba and health care

To the editor:

In response to columnist Rich Lowry’s Thursday rant against Michael Moore’s film on Cuban health care: It is clear that Mr. Lowry prefers to focus on the absence of civil liberties in Cuba, and not on what the film is about: health care.

Mr. Lowry fails to point out that Cuban doctors are sent on medical missions not only in their homeland, but also around the world. They serve in the poorest neighborhoods and countrysides of developing and Third World nations. He doesn’t mention that vital Venezuelan oil supplied to Cuba is paid for by Cuban nurses and doctors providing quality health care in remote villages.

It is not until the last paragraph that he mentions the crippling 46-year embargo that has made life exceedingly difficult for average Cubans — and failed to bring down Fidel Castro. Further, he fails entirely to acknowledge Helms-Burton legislation which, in 1992, punished nations that traded with Cuba by refusing them docking privileges in the United States for up to six months.

It’s unfortunate that Rich Lowry and his employer, the National Review, prefer to ridicule the realities of Cuban success in the face of hellishly insurmountable odds rather than face up to the fact that hundreds of thousands of citizens of the wealthiest democratic country in the world live each day without health care protection.

john h. esperian


Judicial stench

To the editor:

Why does this Elizabeth Halverson circus go on and on (“Report pans Halverson,” Thursday Review-Journal)? Of two things, one is certain: Either this woman is totally demented or the rest of the world, without good reason, has decided to persecute her. The latter obviously does not make sense.

And why does she continue to fight on? Is it for the salary? Doubtful. She seems to have the resources to hire lawyers and bodyguards and it certainly doesn’t look like she has missed any meals. All of her dignity and respect have been lost. Any ruling she makes could certainly be appealed, challenging the competency of the judge.

This sordid mess is a distraction to our legal system and will only cause more harm the longer it is allowed to go on. There must be some way a psychiatric evaluation could be ordered for her to determine just how far off the wall she is. If she has any sanity left at all, she must realize things can only go downhill from here.

She should leave the courthouse, shut up and stay out of sight. This stench must be unbearable — even for the people who voted for her.

Hugo Riefstahl


Power bill

To the editor:

I am so happy that the power company has saved Nevada consumers more than $100 million on more efficient power plants (Review-Journal, Wednesday). I understand that the rate increase is necessary to pay for this new equipment.

But has anyone calculated how long it will take to pay for this equipment? I would like to know when I can expect an 11.5 percent reduction in my power bill.

This is the plan, isn’t it?

Darlien C. Breeze


Nuke dump

To the editor:

OK, even though Nevada has fought it all these years, it seems that Yucca Mountain is going to be some sort of nuclear trash bin eventually. I think the state should form a partnership with private enterprise and build 20 nuclear power plants deep in the heartland of Nevada (after the appropriate land swap with the federal government). That way, we Nevadans will have cheap energy and could export the huge excess for a tidy deposit to the public coffers. And we’d have a local repository for all of our needs.

Heck, with enough inexpensive energy, we could pump water here from the Mississippi. When life gives you radioactive lemons, make radioactive lemonade.



Hit the gas

To the editor:

Congress is preparing to pass legislation outlawing gasoline price gouging. This is a cheap way of appearing to aid the consumer and get votes. However, it is utter nonsense.

On several occasions in the past, congressional investigations have found no collusion of oil companies fixing prices. The definition of gouging is nebulous. Supply and demand is a basic concept of economics that cannot be repealed by Congress.

As long as there are several suppliers of any product or service, each of which wants to make a profit, and collusion does not occur, price gouging is impossible. What is possible and likely is the reduction of gasoline supplies, shortages, lines at the pump and calls for more ineffective government intervention.

Stan Ames


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