Illinois is to be commended for addressing the issue of criminals living in nursing homes, but there is also a need to address the failure of care in far too many nursing homes in this country.

There was a time when a family member who was not considered community-worthy was placed in a back room of the house and left there to live out his or her life. Tragically, too many nursing homes have become the back rooms of our time.

The fear of living in a nursing home looms larger for far too many people than the fear of dying. It shouldn't be this way. It doesn't have to be this way.

Illinois and other states have a responsibility to assure that there will be no more "back rooms" where the most fragile among us live lives of quiet desperation.

Those of us who care about the 1.6 million vulnerable people living in nursing homes in this country must do all we can to assure that they receive quality care, that they are treated with dignity, and that physical death is the only death they will know.


Jane Marshall

Dover, Tennessee


"Trade" Agreements Would Erase Borders

A massive two-part scheme is being perpetrated on our citizens by the federal government. Very few citizens are aware of it because the feds are quietly promoting it.

Part one started in 1994 when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was sold to the American people as a simple trade agreement. It had nothing to do with free trade because it entangled us in a foreign bureaucracy that actually controlled our trade and forced us to modify some of our laws. Also, NAFTA caused many citizens to lose their jobs.

Now the feds want to build a NAFTA Super Highway throughout our country from Mexico to Canada. It will cost many billions of dollars. The right of eminent domain will be used to condemn private property for this highway. Also, customs-inspection stations will be moved from the borders to hundreds of miles inland. Cargo will be checked only electronically at the borders. Go to ( for details of this plan.

Part two began in 2005 when the feds wanted to entangle us in the Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) with Mexico and Canada. If we enter this partnership, our borders with Mexico and Canada will be permanently erased.

Obviously, the federal government has no interest in securing our borders or we would not have many millions of illegals here today. The fed solution is to eliminate our borders using the SPP.

Concerned citizens need to contact their U.S. representative and their two U.S. senators to demand that this planned highway be stopped and the SPP be rejected.


Nancy B. Brennan

Camarillo, California


Gibson Lives in "Two Realms"

The current brouhaha over Mel Gibson's infamous "anti-Semitic" remarks is tied up with two things: (1) Gibson's image as a powerful Hollywood icon; (2) his vulnerabilities as an alcoholic, drug addict, and unapologetically traditional Catholic.

Gibson thus occupies two realms simultaneously: (1) the ambiguous realm of stardom, which both invites scandal and buffers him from its ravages; (2) the realms of sinner struggling for inner enlightenment and violent polemicist, capable of alienating exacting Catholic theologians, as well as Jewish political watchdogs.

The controversy around Gibson is noteworthy not because we can reduce the rhetoric surrounding him to whether or not he is anti-Semitic, but because his work, particularly his Passion of the Christ, gets at central anxieties concerning race, sexuality, and power, and shows the disturbing proximity between depictions of violence, monstrosity, and transcendence, as is evident in the complex connection between Holocaust and horror films.


Kay Picart

Tallahassee, Florida

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