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Whose Government Is It Anyway?

I was interested in "On Sale: Your Government" [July 12]. If lobbyists in Washington were banned and, as TIME says, "the legislative process [ground] to a halt," that would be good. Then, perhaps, Congress would again write clear, concise laws that would hold no loopholes for the rich and powerful to use for their own unfair advantage.

Laurence E. Thomson, RICHMOND, VT.

In order for our government to function, lobbyists have to digest the substance of pending legislation and feed it to our Congresspersons so they'll know how to vote? Why do we need Congress then? Why not turn the government over to business and industry and cut out the middlemen?

Richard Massey, COLUMBIA, S.C.

Insidious as the government seems to be, corporate America is worse. Through lobbying, corporations get out of paying their fair share of taxes, bend the law to protect their interests and pass the costs on to consumers. Their ads tell us what to eat, think and wear. Government and corporations alike rely on our stupidity and take our money for their own purposes. Corporations, however, do so with relative impunity.

Robert Jordan, CHICO, CALIF.

The next logical step for the Supreme Court, after facilitating our current system of legalized bribery by declaring that corporations have a right to free speech, will be to declare that corporations may bear arms.

Jim Gallagher, PETALUMA, CALIF.

Hello, Americans! You are free to learn anything you want and make demands about legislation. Trade in your video games for some legislative education and invest in our future by participating!

Robert Riddler, WILMINGTON, DEL.

Women and the VA

Thanks for the article "How We Fail Our Female Vets" [July 12]. I received VA "care" in 1989, one year after VA hospitals began providing medical services to women. Although I was a card-carrying disabled veteran on full active-duty pay, with a letter stating I was entitled to VA care at the Johnson City, Tenn., facility, the hospital administrator ejected me moments before a scheduled and necessary surgery--because I was female! To many of us who were already suffering, the VA has given what I call PISseD (Post-Injustice Stress Disorder). Can they work on a treatment for that?

The Rev. Laura Johnson, CLAYTON, N.C.

The VA fails because it has historically been isolated from the rest of the medical community. If VA facilities can work in conjunction with non-VA institutions, VA medical professionals will gain much needed exposure to the forces shaping the culture of our military. Treating only the medical problems of the war wounded allows for a high degree of specialization yet ignores progress already made elsewhere--setting us up to fail our soldiers once again.

Milind Shah, BROOKLYN

No Big Jump for Us

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