Letters and Comments

September 2007

Ruminations on Iraq

The two competing u.s. strategies as to Iraq—either withdrawal or "staying the course"—are flawed and destined for defeat ["What Now?" September 17].

 We cannot afford to withdraw and give huge victories to international terrorism and to a belligerent, nuclear Iran. However, we also cannot afford to ...

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Prostate Cancer Options

In your article on prostate cancer, you seem to promote the watch-and-wait option ["Prostate Cancer's Prognosis," September 17].

This is not an option; this can be a death sentence. Why take a chance on leaving a known cancer in your body? Five acquaintances and I have been treated, and we are all ...

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Economic Insight

"Obsessing Over a Recession" [September 17] left me entertained, educated, and more able to decipher economic concepts.

Was it the alliterations, colorful descriptions, or the writer's ability to actually impart understanding to the reader that sets this piece apart? I'm sure it was all that and ...

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Religious Experience

"On Israel, a Generation Gap" [September 17] was a timely article for my family.

We're in the midst of raising money to send my son on a trip to Israel over his winter break. His older sister went two years ago, with the same group, and was awakened to the roots of her faith in a way all the classes ...

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Just Saying No

Silly me! I always believed it was a primary responsibility of parents to restrict children from acts that were dangerous or unhealthy, that were detrimental to the learning process, or, most important, that violated the rights of fellow occupants of this planet ["It's Tough, but You Can Do It,"

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More Trains, Fewer Planes

There is no question that we need a complete revamping of our air traffic control system ["Fixing the Air Traffic Mess," September 17].

But the roots of the problem are far too many flights in traffic patterns and taking off and landing at major airports. With the exception of the Northeast ...

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The Influence of Israel

How can George Shultz write acommentary of considerable length about "The 'Israel Lobby' Myth" [September 17] and not mention the American Israel Public Affairs Committee?

I look at this organization's website frequently. AIPAC's stranglehold on Congress is no secret. While I'm in favor of financial ...

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All Shook Up Over Elvis

In the September 24 issue, a letter writer fan of Elvis Presley complains that Elvis was not given suitable attention in the retrospective of 1957 events and then, as proof, quotes John Lennon as saying "Before Elvis, there was nothing" ["Looking Back on 1957"].

Before Elvis there was popular music ...

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A Weighty Kids' Issue

"How To Win the Weight Battle" [September 10] is doomed to failure when schools focus attention on screening and educating kids according to body weight.

Florida and Pennsylvania have now made it acceptable to be unkind to the fat kid. I speak from the experience of a woman in her 50s who has ...

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Abbreviated Aria

How ignoble of U.S. News to give the incomparable Luciano Pavarotti such short shrift in your "Arrivederci to a Divo Larger Than Life" [One Week, September 17].

We found the basis of your article, with the inclusion of James Brown, sadly lacking and unworthy of the great performer.

Bertram and ...

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End of a Golden Age

In "Islam vs. Science" [September 10], the "something mysterious" that happened "toward the end of the 13th century" that quelled the scientific spirit of the Islamic world was probably the sustained Mongol invasion.

Hulagu, grandson of Genghis Khan, and his troops entered Baghdad and began 40 days ...

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Rebuilding the Big Easy

"To recover and rebuild their beloved New Orleans, [residents] will ultimately need to pull themselves together and do the job themselves" was a superb conclusion to "Down and Out in New Orleans" [One Week, September 10].

In the same issue, White House Week features a picture of President Bush ...

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"How to Win the Weight Battle" [September 10] stated that 17 percent of kids are now obese, which means they're at or above the 95th percentile for weight in relation to height.

The reason that a greater percentage of kids now fall into the "top 5 percent" category is that the standard measurement ...

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Working-Mom Trends

We're delighted to see "The New Mommy Track" [September 3] getting the attention it deserves!

Three years ago, in search of a better life/work balance, we started our own management consulting company. Not only has it allowed the three of us to create a lifestyle that suits our needs as moms, wives,

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Terrorist Threat Levels

The gist of retired Air Force Col. Randall Larsen's view of our homeland security is that we should not be scared of regular terrorist attacks that may kill a few thousand people against the background of more than 800,000 who've died of natural causes like car accidents, food poisoning, and ...

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In Search of a News Fix

I have subscribed to U.S. News for years for the bona fide news content.

Now, nearly every issue has become an endless list of various best this and that: schools, hospitals, etc. If I wanted a consumer magazine, I would have subscribed to one.

Betty Young

Calipatria, Calif.

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Messages From the Heart

I read "Makenna's Heart" [September 3] with great interest.

Thirty-seven years ago, our son Jeff was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He died two days later. The doctors asked if they could perform an autopsy. Although it was a difficult decision, we felt the only way progress would be ...

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Toy Safety Concerns

There have been many comments about the safety of products made in China; most of them centered on the consumers ["A Fresh Look in China's Toxic Toy Chest," August 27].

I wonder if anyone is worried about the Chinese workers, many of them youngsters. Those workers seem more "defenseless" than the ...

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Miner Disaster Relief

"Hidden Costs of a Plentiful Resource" [September 3] was a heartbreaker.

I feel very deeply for the survivors of the men lost in the Utah mine collapse. It seems the owner, Robert Murray, with his experience as an executive in the mine business, had to have known that workers were being sent into ...

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Ebb and Flow of Edwards Support

Enough with the John Edwards pieces ["A Populist in the Heartland," August 27].

Edwards and his ilk haven't learned from the past that poverty cannot be eliminated through social engineering and handouts. The welfare state creates a permanent subclass at the expense of others. It's time that those ...

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Reviewing Karl Rove's Role

It is ironic that Michael Barone in "Verdict on the Architect" [August 27] purports to take "a longer view" on the legacy of Karl Rove.

Rove's contradictory roles as political operative, whose myopic task was to win elections by pleasing factions, and policymaker, who should promote the long-term ...

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Looking Back on 1957

Thank you for the great issue "1957, a Year That Changed America" [August 13-20].

I was 12 years old that year, and like most people at that age, I did not have a care in the world nor a clue as to all the profound changes we would see in the years ahead of us. The story was an exceptionally good ...

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Iraq's New Report Card

"Home-Front Battles Over a Faraway War" [August 13-20] referred to the September reports by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

Congress should ask our coalition partners to assemble a team of military experts to submit a second report on the military situation and a team of political ...

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Damage Control Debate

Here we go again, bailing out not only homeowners but also lenders ["Bailing Out Homeowners," September 3].

With our constant bailing out and accommodating, we will never force anybody to be responsible. Both the greedy lenders and the irresponsible homeowners should suffer the consequences of their ...

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Losses and Gains

There can be no greater misguided position than urging the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates to contain damage ["Credit Crunch," August 13-20].

It was the ill-thought-out policy of low interest rates during Alan Greenspan's years as chairman of the Federal Reserve that permitted the ease of ...

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Academics or Athletics?

In response to the Michael Vick dogfighting charges, New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury's comment that "we don't say anything about people who shoot deer" is yet another example that college for rising basketball stars has nothing to do with education [Washington Whispers, September 3].

Paul H.

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GPS Update Blues

I am writing you in regards to "A GPS for Every Budget" [usnews.com].

In that article's section on the Magellan RoadMate 2200T, you mention that "for an extra $50, you can upgrade to include topographic maps." But while this update, billed as the "Crossover Update," was promised a year ago, it has ...

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Focus on Best Colleges

In looking over the rankings of "America's Best Colleges" [August 27], it is not difficult to discern why tuition costs are so high.

In the first 10 ranked Best National Universities, there is 1 faculty person for each 3 to 8 students. In the days of railroading this was called featherbedding. What ...

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Reads for the Race

For comparisons, "Campaign Bookmarks" [August 13-20] really performed a valuable public service by better acquainting readers and voters with books by and about candidates in the 2008 presidential race.

Some second-tier candidates actually produced as much written material as those judged to belong ...

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Magnet of the Gifted

"At the Head of the Class" [August 13-20] made a few good points in regard to what other schools could learn from magnet schools like Stuyvesant High School.

My problem lies with comments regarding how the admissions standards affect the self-esteem of students who applied to magnet schools but are ...

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Preserving a Resource

The examples cited in "One Fish,Two Fish, No Fish" [August 27] on the Bush administration's push to privatize publicly owned fishery resources don't tell the whole story of such programs.

New Zealand's extensive use of such programs has resulted in declining populations of orange roughy. It has also ...

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China Trade

Kudos on China's "Olympic Greed" [August 27].

So "China is keen to show herself to the world"? Only problem is the more it does, the worse it looks. Whether currency devaluations to dump cheap junk into our markets, poison pet food, or killer car tires, China's greed is dangerous. Worst of all, many ...

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