Letters to the Editor 

Postscript

The Bird is the Word

To the Editor:

Seldom have I been so enthralled by an article as I was by Leslie Peacock's cover story ("A Bird Named Elvis," July 7th issue) about the rediscovery of the "extinct" ivory-billed woodpecker. It had all the elements of a great novel - interesting characters, unexpected twists, and even a literary allusion ("13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird").

Thank you for publishing this wonderful tale. It made my day.

Marcia Worley

Memphis

To the Editor:

All I can say is, "the bird is the word." What a great story your article on the ivory-billed woodpecker was. I read it twice. And I still can't figure out how a bird that big disappeared for 60 years, only to show up 70 miles from Memphis. (Gives me hope that maybe Elvis himself is still out there somewhere.) Thanks, Flyer.

Nancy Roberts

Austin, Texas

True to Form

To the Editor:

In his recent address to the American people, President Bush remained true to form. He seized every opportunity to nurture the heroic image of himself as a great liberator, but the evidence does not support so grandiose a posture. His recycled rhetoric can no longer hide costly mistakes and a dogged refusal to rethink his administration's strategy.

When Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt took the nation to war, they called on all citizens to make real sacrifices, such as a military draft and higher taxes. In contrast, Bush places most of the sacrifices being made on the families of the volunteer soldiers, while asking Congress to make permanent his imprudent tax cuts for the wealthy.

Vietnam and the two great wars of the 20th century provide the true model for wartime leadership. President Lyndon Johnson assumed that our wealthy economy could sustain both "guns and butter," that is, fight a war abroad and build a "Great Society" at home. Bush's "conservative" alternative is to wage a costly war while allowing the budget deficit to skyrocket, jobs to be outsourced, and the ballooning trade imbalance to further weaken our economy.

Being decisive, as Bush boasts he is, is not the highest political virtue. As Socrates observed, the thing that matters most is the quality of the decision.

M.L. Wilson

Memphis

Nuke 'Em!

To the Editor:

The latest Gallup poll showed that only 39 percent are in favor of continuing the war in Iraq. President Bush and his advisers are repeating the predictable and incredibly expensive failures of the Vietnam war.

Only Presidents Roosevelt and Truman knew how to fight a decisive war against terrorism in modern times. For example, President Truman did not hesitate to approve the strategic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a devastating manner. If Bush had been decisive enough to order similar bombings of Baghdad, Fallujah, and Mosul in 2003, the Iraq war would have ended long ago. And Iraq would have already blossomed from its ashes in the way that Japan did after 1945.

Phillip Stephenson

Memphis

Challenge 'Em

To the Editor:

Thank you for speaking the plain truth about the Downing Street memo (Editorial, June 23rd issue). It's about time the media start a real discussion of this horrible war of aggression that has killed or wounded 20,000 American soldiers and upwards of 100,000 Iraqis.

We must press and encourage our leaders in Congress to challenge this administration, which has destroyed any moral credibility our nation had and threatens continued wars and even new ones to protect the wealth of its friends in the oil industry.

Bronson Rozier

Louisville, Kentucky

The Wisdom of law

To the Editor:

In the "Fly-by" (July 7th issue) it was asked: "How many times are people going to leave children in hot vehicles? ... What will it take? A leash law?"

Some people think that when there is any problem to solve, all you have to do is pass a law about it. Laws may be helpful in some cases, but in other cases, they may do actual harm. Whether a given evil can be remedied by law is frequently a difficult question, depending on the nature of the evil and the wisdom of the law. Moreover, if the people will not obey the law, particularly in a representative democracy, the law is futile and its failure may even weaken respect for other laws.

Arthur Prince

Memphis

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