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Critic must have bias against 'Caspian'

I have before me the review of the movie "Prince Caspian" (Entertainer, May 15).

The reviewer, Roger Moore, gives the film only one and a half stars, and has nothing but negative criticism for the production. It is apparent that he must have had a bias against the movie, for various reasons, before he even saw it, and is trying to keep the public from seeing a very good story.

Maybe Moore expects entertainment on the level of "Star Wars" or "Spiderman" before he will bestow his approval on a movie, or maybe he just doesn't like a story with a good, clean, moral plot line in it. "Prince Caspian" isn't trying to compete with "blockbuster" productions - it's just trying to tell the story that C.S Lewis wrote, and it performs that function very well.

I might add that this is not just a "kid-flick" - for Pete's sake, I never heard of the "Chronicles of Narnia" until I had spent some years as a "grown-up." I'm willing to claim that that adults will thoroughly enjoy the movie - probably more than children can.

Go see it for yourself, and be prepared for a wonderful time.

Larry Roland, Missoula

Learn how to avoid bear confrontations

Kathleen Clary Miller (column, "Learning how to shoot," May 23) ought to be ashamed.

Our newest Southern California transplant glories in getting a handgun to protect herself from "Mrs. Yogi foraging through last night's leftovers." This article might be cute in the LA Times, but Montanans have been working hard to educate each other that bears are not cartoon characters, and that leaving last night's sushi outside will habituate them to raiding the area's garbage cans. And guess who loses? A fed bear is a dead bear!

Please, Miller, when you move up the Ninemile Valley, invest in a bear-proof waste container. And if you want to carry a gun, I hope you see it as the awesome and deadly weapon it is, not just another fashion accessory.

Douglas Webber, Missoula

Bush veto of measure is ridiculous

Congress recently reauthorized the valuable and successful State Children's Health Insurance Program with broad bipartisan support, including that of all three of Montana's congressional delegation.

Now President Bush has vetoed the measure, claiming excessive cost, and that it would lead to more "government sponsored" health care. Never mind that his veto deprives millions of children of the health care they lack. Never mind that Bush cheerfully spends on his misbegotten Iraq war - in just 41 days - more than the entire SCHIP program would cost for an entire year.

Bush uses the old bugaboo about "socialized medicine" and how terrible it would be for our country - which in fact spends more on health care than any other nation, while delivering some of the poorest health care to our people (47 million of whom have no health coverage whatsoever). Perhaps he has not heard (he doesn't read much, you know) about all the "socialized" programs that form the very backbone of efficient, high-quality service to our citizens every day - like Medicare and our schools, roads, libraries and parks; like our police and fire departments; and so many more tax-supported programs that benefit us all by our mutual consent.

Our president actually claims that God talks to him and guides his decisions. Could it be true that there is a God who tells our president to spend billions to kill tens of thousands of people in his dishonest war, meanwhile advising him to save a little money by neglecting our poorest American children? That wouldn't sound like a very nice God to me. I wonder … you don't suppose Bush would have made those "God" claims just for the votes of his right-wing conservative base, do you? Naaahhh.

Congress must vote to override this benighted president's misguided and cruel veto.

William Boughton, Missoula

Plan will be great for all involved

As a longtime resident of the Blackfoot Clearwater Valley, I am excited to see another opportunity to move forward with the stewardship of this special area of Montana. Our family-owned outfitting and guest ranch depends equally on both the quality of our natural resources and the ability to access and enjoy them.

Two years in the making, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project builds on the same cooperative spirit as other successful projects such as the Blackfoot Challenge, the Forest Service's work in Seeley Lake and the Montana Forest Restoration Committee. The project also is entirely consistent with the Lolo National Forest management plan.

It is a collaborative effort by local Montanans, including the wood products industry, outfitters, recreation groups and conservationists and would create 45 to 50 new jobs in the woods, promote forest restoration, advance renewable energy development, provide a wide range of both motorized and nonmotorized recreation opportunities and protect Montana's backcountry and wilderness traditions.

The project's balanced approach to the economy and conservation will have tremendous benefits to restore our forests and benefit Montana's rural way of life. Now we need Congress to help us cross the finish line.

Over the last 40 years, the Blackfoot Clearwater Valley has been a role model for a number of grass-roots and community-based land use planning efforts. I hope that the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project will become another successful example of these ongoing efforts.

Jack Rich, Seeley Lake

Administration has defaced democracy

Bush was right when he talked about appeasement.

We allowed a gang of thugs to take over a democracy and turn it into a dictatorship. We allowed it to spy on its own, to suspend habeas corpus, to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" (the Nazi's definition of torture) and invade a country under false pretenses.

The appeasers were Nancy "Impeachment is off the table" Pelosi and Harry "Wa wa I don't have enough votes" Reid.

What audacity! Bush, don't you realize that Israel hasn't forgotten that your grandfather made millions doing business with the Nazis? Remember, most of the Nazi sympathizers were Republicans.

Thank you, Wanda LaCroix. I now have three of your letters taped to my locker!

Rick Wheeler, Missoula

Games are about sports, not politics

Jian Rong, Suhen Chen and J. Wang, in the guest column "Foul Play" in the May 12 Missoulian, remind us, regarding the Olympics, that, "We need to be farsighted and open-minded."

I think what they mean, in summing up the issues China has faced, is that politics of particular countries should have no role in the Olympic games, and I agree.

The word is "sports," not "politics." Political differences between countries have no place in the games. It's about sport; it's about young athletes from all over the world coming together to compete on the field, the track, the court, and in the pool, simply to see who's the best in the world.

The games originated in ancient Greece, full of warring city-states that laid down their arms and differences for a time to determine the best athletes among them. Why can't the world, now, do the same?

It's when countries use the games for political purposes that they are corrupted, cheating the athletes who have trained so hard to compete in them. Nothing is gained by playing politics with the games. What did Hitler gain in the 1936 Olympics? What was gained by the boycotts of 1980 and 1984? What was gained by the Munich massacre in 1972? The only points that count are those the athletes achieve in fair competition, in the tradition of the original games.

The games are the celebration of human achievement in sport, no more. That China is the host country this year is beside the point. Issues about Tibet, human rights, defective consumer products, etc., are serious concerns. But the games are no place to express those concerns. The leaders of all competing nations should show up at the opening ceremony, not only for this Olympics, but all that follow.

David Werner, Missoula

Fairgrounds must stay where they are

We fully support the Missoula Country Fairgrounds and the Western Montana Fair where they currently are located and we participate in several events held at the grounds throughout the year.

We are proud of our fairgrounds and do not want to see the fairgrounds moved or closed down. The fairgrounds are a historical and cultural fixture in Missoula and we want to see it stay that way. The fairground buildings need to be repaired and painted; we would be happy to volunteer to help see this happen.

Yes, by all means bring back the horse racing.

Michael and Sharyl Ackley, Missoula

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