Cost of war
What taxpayers are spending for the Iraq war this year:
$155.5 billion.

What $155.5 billion could pay for:
health care for
44,330,909 people.

Source: National Priorities Project

This is a highly tardy response to Paul Hill’s article “Psychologists equivocate on torture” (PWW 9/29-10/5). I’ve had the clip in a file and only now managed to get organized enough to respond.
I am a long time American Psychological Association member. Despite this appearance of conventionalism, I am an unconventional left-wing person.
In the long decades of being a shrink, the field seems to have become more and more of a business. Journals reflect this with numerous ads for how one can run an office and make more money. The motivations and efforts that some made in the 1940s seem to have disappeared.
Still, I have never considered that my resignation would make a bit of difference, and might close down what small amount of information that I do see in the Oregon Psychologist. “Life status” means that none of the connections cost a cent and I buy nothing and go to no meetings.
I agree that all progressives must struggle. Any more specific suggestions as to how to raise that red flag of warning against political and professional participation and support of heinous activities (call it torture or fascism) would be helpful.
What you had to say was greatly appreciated.

Jean Anderson
Via e-mail

Vote ‘yes’ on VA health care
On Feb. 5 (and on all the early-voting ballots), voters in Cook County and 21 other Illinois counties will have the chance to vote for full mandatory funding for veterans’ health care. We strongly urge all voters to turn to the last page of the ballot and vote for this important advisory referendum.
Veterans’ health care funding—already earned by their service to their country, often at risk of their lives—is not currently assured. In fact, it is funded on an annual discretionary basis like highway funding and pork barrel projects. The funding that does exist is not sufficient to cover all veterans and makes many veterans pay for their Veterans Administration health care. A recent Harvard study showed that there are 1.8 million veterans in this country go without health care. Excluded from the VA, these veterans do not or cannot get coverage elsewhere and are among the 47 million Americans without care.
This travesty must stop! We hope all Illinois voters in these 22 counties will vote for veterans and for full mandatory funding of VA health care.

Bruce Parry
Chicago IL
Bruce Parry is the chair of the Coalition of Veterans Organizations.

The Philippines and the Pomeroys
It was good to hear from Bill and Celia Pomeroy of London, England (PWW 01/12/2008). Bless them!
Recently I read Bill’s “The Forest, A Personal Record of the Huk Guerilla Struggle in the Philippines” having bought a copy in a National Book Store in Manila. I was visiting Luzon to do research for a Ph.D. dissertation I am pursuing at Walden University. The study involves mental health consequences on Filipino Amerasian children and adolescents, many now teenagers and young adults, abandoned in 1992 by American servicemen when the U.S. military withdrew from the bases at Subic Bay and Clark air base.
I would also recommend Pomeroy’s “The Philippines: Colonial, Collaboration and Resistance!” published in 1992 by International Publishers which I plan to cite in my dissertation as an informative reference. This account provides valuable insight and explanation into many of the reasons for the sharp class divisions and grinding impoverishment facing America’s former colony today.
P.C. “Pete” Kutschera
Albany NY

Nevada results
In your recent article covering the Nevada vote “A quick look at the Nevada caucus results” (Online eXtra, Teresa Albano wrote, “Mitt Romney, the only GOP candidate to campaign in Nevada, won.”
However, Ron Paul was also campaigning in Nevada and finished second, ahead of John

Jamey Rutschilling
Via e-mail

King legacy is for everyone
When Colorado Springs schools were invited to send 50 students each to the City Auditorium program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, some schools chose by lottery or by the first 50 to return permission slips. But one middle school principal specifically chose only Black students.
An anonymous parent objected saying “the school denied 90 percent of the students the opportunity to enrich their lives, learn about leadership and how the vision of one man can change history. Dr. King’s birthday is not a Black event and offends the dream he had.”
The school principal has apologized and in the future will send all students. The fact that space limited the attendance shows the need to increase the size of the venue chosen for holding the event.
Honoring and understanding the ideas and legacy of King is for all children to learn about and should not be another segregated event.
Children (and teachers) need to learn the history and struggle for civil rights included many brave people of all races and religions.
One way to end racism and segregation is to teach everyone to feel a part of King’s legacy and to proudly identify with him and his teachings.

Vivian Weinstein
Colorado Springs CO