Every woman needs to be able to be screened for breast cancer.

Please do not take away what could be a life-saving test. If breast cancer is caught early, it can definitely save lives.
Women will not go if they have to pay large amounts. There is nothing that can compare to being able to live a good life and enjoy your family. The longer a woman waits to take care of herself, the greater the chances of having that taken away.

Please do not take away the gift of life.

Carol Silberman, Newbury Park

Moomjean on Avatar — just about right
By happy coincidence, I read Moomjean’s Avatar critique (Right Persuasion, 1/21) literally minutes before seeing the film. To Moomjean, “It appears Cameron wants to create a sway in public opinion concerning U.S. imperialism, the evils of the military mindset, and to bash the U.S. role in bringing peace to the world.” We don’t really know Cameron’s intent, but to sway public opinion would be a good thing. Our imperialism/military mindset/peacekeeping role has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.

Moomjean states that, if you watch Avatar, you would think the U.S. is nothing more than a greedy, bloodthirsty, racist, inhumane place bent on destruction. I watched Avatar and was reminded that the U.S. appears to be run by a group of greedy, racist, inhumane leaders. That would be a group including Republicans and Democrats. 

Moomjean makes reference to the Third Reich. That’s the direction a society takes when there can be only one opinion. It makes no more sense to hate your country than it does to blindly follow the leaders who squander our resources on contrived wars rather than using them to rebuild a country that’s badly hurting. 

Paul Colletti, Camarillo

Speaking from experience…
I was provided with an issue of your VCReporter dated July 30, 2009, today, primarily to read your “Vicarious View” article titled, “A day in small claims court.” It was disappointing to have learned the writer’s negative perspective toward utilizing alternative dispute resolution, or as your writer described it, “watered-down justice.”

Mediation provides the litigants a final opportunity at resolving their dispute on their terms versus having it be dictated based on a 10-15-minute interview before the commissioner, who oftentimes is a pro-tem.

The writer, who was “unimpressed” with the mediator’s opening pitch must not have understood the “With us, every cases ends in a win-win situation.” That statement oftentimes should be taken literally. In 2009, the 1,416 that attended not only donated 5,664 hours but had an outstanding 75 percent settlement rate for the 466 cases they settled out of 620 which were mediated. There are times when the mediators have settled nine for nine cases in one morning’s visit. For the few that did not settle, it still ends in a “win-win” as they were given the opportunity to vent, explain, address questions they probably had not had the opportunity to do, resulting in the litigants walking away with some sense of relief and understanding which in turn, saves the court time and money that our taxpayers’ dollars pays for.

Perhaps the writer also could have experienced the many benefits of mediation had the writer asked the supervising mediator a few questions that day and fully learned the extent of what truly happens in “A day in small claims court.”

It’s unfortunate the VCReporter condoned such distasteful descriptions of the litigants. Perhaps the writer had an unsatisfactory experience personally in small claims court.

Sandra D. Rubio
Executive Director
Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement

Editor’s note: Vicarious View is a column for writers to opine about ordinary experiences as nothing more than “a fly on the wall.” The writer in question had never had a personal small claims court case.

Obama needs to walk the walk
In listening to President Obama’s State of the Union address, the thing that struck me most was the continued blame game mentality that comes through in most all of his speeches. Instead of speaking to the issue that is on most Americans’ minds these days (the economy), he spent a lot of time blaming the Bush administration for all the problems in the world. You would think he was still running for president, instead of leading the free world. 

I couldn’t help but chuckle when he vowed to continue the fight to pass health care legislation even though recent polls show it to be a top priority of only 12 percent of the American population. It seems to me that he’s more interested in making history or establishing a legacy for himself than actually following the will of the American people.

While it’s true that he did make some passing remarks about trying to get the economy back on track, I’ve got to say that the proof will only be in the pudding. While the man may be a master of speech-making and reading the teleprompter, most of his campaign promises have not come to pass, nor has he even made a sincere effort to accomplish them.

It’s always easy to talk the talk. What will impress me most is when he starts walking the walk.

Mike Gibson, Ventura

The public option exemplifies conservative ideals
Republicans claim to be Christians, so wouldn’t it be Christ-like to want to be a good Samaritan, aid the sick, and prevent 45,000 poor fellow Americans from dying each year for lack of health care?

Republicans claim to believe in “free enterprise.” Well, doesn’t free enterprise embrace the idea of competition? And why shouldn’t the government compete with insurance companies and keep them honest?

Our government already competes with the military by its fiscal support to privatized security companies, doesn’t it? Republicans don’t seem to mind that.

Republicans claim to be patriots, and that’s why they lead us into Iraq with such impulsive zeal. Yet our broken health care system has killed some 400,000 Americans since the war began. Why aren’t these deaths just as disconcerting to Repugnicans? And why aren’t they given urgent, equal weight?

And finally, Republicans claim to want to get rid of Americans “on the dole.”

Well, wouldn’t fixing our broken health care system help do just that, by insuring every American can keep out of debt, have access to health care, and use preventive medicine to keep from getting sick in the first place? Wouldn’t a healthy American be a more productive American? And by the way, not only would Americans be healthier, we would also be creating more jobs while we were at it!

Republicans seem more than willing to spend money on war and crusades, but seem far less willing to give real help to real people, We, the People of America.

I think its time Repugnicans get off their duffs and stop writing sneaky, dirty, illicit e-mails to their teenage pages, and start getting actively involved in supporting a public option. Doing so would instantly start saving American lives.

Are you listening Congressman Gallegly?

Grant Marcus, Ventura

Turning the country around isn’t like fast food
In America, if we can’t get a hamburger in five minutes, we start looking at our watches. If an Internet page doesn’t load in less than 10 seconds, we curse Bill Gates. If a theatrical show doesn’t start on time, we start calling for the director’s head. This same type of behavior permeates every aspect of the American culture. We want it and we want it now.

Unfortunately, this outlook also applies to government and politics. Those who demand a burger, fries and soda in five minutes are the same people who are vilifying President Obama for the “crime” (some uninformed Republicans want him impeached despite no criminal acts on his part) of not fixing the country after being in office for just over a year.

Despite their denials, a lot of these calls are racially motivated, while many are just lock-step, party line stands against anything he does. These types of people are, fortunately, a very small minority. However, a growing criticism is coming from Democrats and independents. These are the people who should know better, they should know that you cannot bring a country back from the brink in such a short time. And make no mistake about it, America was teetering on the brink when President Obama took office.

For eight years, the country’s finances were mismanaged by incompetents; lobbyists and cronies bled the country dry because they were friends of either Bush or Cheney; and a budget-busting fake war in Iraq was started for reasons that are yet undiscovered. (All the reasons given to date have been proven to be false.)

If President Obama has made an error, it is getting trapped into the mindset described above. He took over a devastated, nearly destroyed, country and he wanted to fix it all right away, so he loaded up his calendar with more tasks than any one man could ever expect to accomplish in such a short time. He realized how bad off we were and he expected, somewhat naively, to get at least some help from Republicans to help fix the problems.

What President Obama needs to do now is to back off on some things he hoped to accomplish in his first year, end both wars immediately, and focus on job creation.

These actions can be done in a short time, and they will help get the country back on its feet.

John Darling , Ventura