I was pleased to read Cal Thomas's piece on the media coverage of the death of JFK Jr., his wife, and her sister ("TV grieve-a-thon an embarrassment," Aug. 7). All week I was astonished at the presentation as the press kept repeating the question, "Why is the country so fascinated with this family and their tragedies?" I kept wondering, too, and I'm not so certain that that many of us were, in this instance. We hear the term "tabloid TV" and we think of "talk" shows like Jerry Springer. However, the coverage of this crash proves that television magazine shows, like Dateline and 48 Hours, are truly the tabloids of television. JFK Jr. filled the pages of the paper tabloids in his life and death, and these television magazines are simply the heirs of the same type of sensationalism. - Tyrus Clutter, Nampa, Idaho
I agree that TV news is dead and has been replaced with the "Television People." I used to be one of those people and my wife still is. Irrational emotionalism has replaced the reporting of dispassionately gathered facts. However, TV news did not die after the Kennedy plane crash. It has been a cold corpse for quite some time, and now it's really beginning to stink. - Mark Mathis, Albuquerque, N.M.
The bright side
Yes, the coverage of JFK Jr.'s plane crash was disgusting, but look at the bright side: It wasn't any worse than whatever it replaced. - Donald D. Wall, Decatur, Ga.
Regarding "Is there no tomorrow?" (Aug. 7), it might be asked, "How can you blame people for not saving?" If those who levy income taxes would exempt a portion of income derived from interest or dividends people would have more reason to save instead of being penalized for being thrifty. - Norman I. Petzold, Schenectady, N.Y.
The personal savings rate, as the government and your story report, is falling and is now negative. But the national savings rate, which includes business and government, has been rising since 1992. Businesses are saving money by retaining earnings rather than paying dividends and the consolidated governments of the U.S. are running a surplus. Individuals are another matter, of course. Some are prudent and some are not, something that has been known since Aesop told "The Ant and the Grasshopper." - David Merkel, Ellicott City, Md.
We have boycotted Disney for several years, but after reading "Safe for kids" (Aug. 7) decided to give Disney another chance and went to see Inspector Gadget. What a mistake. Disney has not changed, and we are even more determined to stand against it. - The Andrews Family, Conroe, Texas
I was touched by Andree Seu's lament for her husband ("An hour at evening," Aug. 7). At a time when much Christian writing degenerates into sappy platitudes and automatic responses, the honest expression of her grief was a breath of fresh air. - Jack Burhenne, Leroy, Ohio
Andree Seu's loving musings upon the grave of her recently departed husband brought me to tears, not only for her mourning, but also for the way I often take for granted my dearest friend, my husband. I appreciate her sharing her deep personal grief, and in so doing, challenging us all to greater love and gratitude. - Beth Burgess, Greenville, S.C.
Right to grieve
All who have lost loved ones share in Andree Seu's grief. It is right to grieve, and it is right to trust the words of our Creator, who holds our lives in His hands. - David C. Massee, Germantown, Tenn.
Regarding "Security for the unborn or the recently bombed?" (Aug. 7): I have one word-disgusting. November draws near and our memories are not as short as our members of Congress would like to think. - Bill English, Arlington, Texas
Although we very much enjoyed his editorial about family portraits ("Sad family portraits," Aug. 7), Joel Belz (No. 85) incorrectly states that the Cross Clan is up to 166. As the father of 148, 174, and 186, I can assure him that we are beyond 166. I recently attended the wedding of 78 to 208, and my wife (127) is expecting 209 in January. - Earl Cross, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Rebels or not?
The article "Between malls & martyrs" (Aug. 7) said that today's teens are less rebellious. What do you mean by rebellious? Although our teens are not "politically" rebelling by burning flags and protesting at the White House, some are rebelling now more than ever. We see kids killing kids, kids killing parents, and kids committing crimes ranging from drugs to violence. Let us not think that our society is getting "better." - Jason D. Klohr, Charlotte, N.C.
I must take issue with the criticisms leveled at Alexander Hamilton and his cohorts in designing this government ("Governing government," July 31). To label the principles of our Constitution as "far too optimistic" misses the point. True, Hamilton misjudged the judiciary, the makeup of Congress is vastly different than it was originally, and a large republic has its drawbacks. But in the bigger picture, the first large republic ever created is still in operation, it is the richest and most productive nation on earth, and it helped defeat some of the worst evils this world has ever seen in Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Union. This country has more biblical backbone in its founding principles than any since the biblical nation of Israel. The Constitution does not contain every biblical principle, but the United States is not Israel and should not attempt to act like it. Fault belongs to all those who have helped pull us away from those founding principles. - Gregory M. Jones, Virginia Beach, Va.
Calvin Beisner's article "Sixpence none the richer" (July 31) on a millennium of human progress in economics was a timely reminder of where we used to be. We are raising our 10 children in a developing country where electricity, running water, and adequate medical care are still not available in many distant villages. But in most places, food, clothing, and medicine are affordable and abundant, often carried into remote locations on the backs of enterprising campesinos. The dismaying thing is how quickly we take good things for granted, and begin suffering the consequences of a different kind of lack-a lack of gratefulness. - Beth Ramirez, San Cristobal, Guatemala
An honest atheist
Thank God for an honest man among the secular ideologues ("Professor Death," July 17). Peter Singer, recently appointed to Princeton University, has the integrity to take two fashionable but irrational and unsubstantiated ideas-atheism and evolutionism-to their rational conclusions. Most other academics wish to maintain the comfortable illusion that goodness, meaning, and value can exist in a godless universe. Only a cowardly and dishonest inconsistency prevents them from arriving at the same conclusions as Mr. Singer. Mr. Singer is an unwitting asset to Christianity because he unmasks the brutality and callousness of a worldview that denies God. - Julian Wierenga, Neerlandia, Alberta
Better by a mile
Your reviewer of John Grisham's book The Testament ("Bigtime Christian fiction," July 3/10) commented that it was "not well-written," but I felt it was well-written enough that I picked up several of Mr. Grisham's other books at my library, none of which I had ever read. The reviewer was right when he stated that "it's a compelling story." I could hardly put it down. I think it's exciting to be able to purchase a book by an extremely popular author in the secular world, and find not only a great story line, but Christian characters who look better than any of the rest, by a mile. - B.L. Wiedenbeck, Arlington, Wis.
In the August 14 issue of WORLD you used the word bamboozled. I was ecstatic to see that word in there. You see, I'm on a worldwide quest to bring the words radical, stoked, bamboozle, and keen into prominent social use. You would do me a great favor if you used these words habitually. By the way, I'm a part-time super-hero, so if you ever need help I'll be glad to assist. - Flamin' Ames-n-Shoot Ferris, Norway, Mich.