Barone predictably writes an exoneration of the Bush administration and its use of intelligence that led to war in Iraq. Perhaps he could explain at what point we should hold our leaders responsible for mistakes. Most likely it will be when a Democrat is in the White House.
Taking a Flu Day
I read your interview with Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt with interest ["A Man With an Antiflu Plan," November 14] and agree that preparedness for a pandemic is a wiser course than "putting too much weight on antivirals." In preparing for a pandemic, schools can provide an effective means to counter the person-to-person spread by offering online teaching. The federal government and every school district should have a plan to keep the kids out of school but not out of class.
Falls Church, Va.
I think too much of the government's strategy to prepare for a flu pandemic is directed at stockpiling Tamiflu and vaccines with questionable effectiveness. If an influenza pandemic occurs, we should address the human-to-human disease pathways and educate citizens on how to block the virus from the respiratory tract or kill it. This should significantly lower infection rates from a potential virus that is certainly heading our way.
"Remembering the Dead and Waiting for Retribution" [November 21] was right when concluding that the success of "twisted men like [Abu Musab] Zarqawi" [the self-proclaimed al Qaeda leader in Iraq] and their "hateful causes" will "over the long term . . . become impossible." I believe, however, that the media and the leaders within the Arab world have a duty to help expedite the downfall of the terrorists by educating the misguided people who support al Qaeda. It is imperative that people like Zarqawi and bin Laden be viewed as demented psychopathic murderers inspired by Satan, not God. Only then will their support in the Arab world dwindle.
LT. COL. JAMES SCHMIDT (RET.)
U.S. Army Special Forces
Protecting a Domain
Your article on store owner Scott Mahan's fight in Ardmore, Pa., to keep his family's business from being bought by the local government's power of eminent domain ["A Man's Fight to Keep His Store--and a National Debate," November 21] concluded with some good advice: "Get a lawyer" and "raise a ruckus in the local media." In similar proceedings in central Pennsylvania, the owner of a small rental-car business is also fighting eminent-domain power. An airport, owned by the state, wants to take over the business and build a parking lot. The owner has fought back with petitions signed by supportive customers, hired a lawyer who has filed for an injunction in local courts, and received favorable media coverage. The outcome is to be determined.
A Good Night's Sleep
As a person who suffers from sleep apnea and has used a continuous positive airway pressure machine for 15 years, I have found the results to be a good night's sleep every night for myself as well as for my wife ["A Warning to Snorers," November 21]. I disagree, however, that the CPAP machine is "a contraption." I have numerous family members and friends who use the CPAP machine as prescribed by their doctors after learning about the positive results that I have experienced. Friends who have opted for surgery and not been satisfied have then changed to the CPAP machine for relief.
RAYMOND E. DAWSON