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Mailbag

"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "Nifty 50 Books," July 1, 2000

The $5,000 rule

Regarding "Environmentalism" (June 3), in which Mr. Olasky ponders whether affluence helps or hurts the environment: In my experience as an environmental chemist in Asia, when people rose out of basic poverty they started thinking about the quality of the water and air they consume. The rule of thumb was that once a country's GDP per capita reached around US $5,000, people started thinking about basic environmental issues in regards to their health. In Taiwan I watched citizens rally to protest a waste-burning incinerator in their neighborhood, while in extremely poor Chongqing, China, pollution, litter, and waste were largely ignored. Once in central China we encountered an errant factory owner dumping phosphoric acid (extremely dangerous) into water that poured into a rice paddy less than 100 feet away. - Shannon Stowell, Monroe, Wash.

Nonsense

"Another lawyer joke" (June 3) quotes University of Arkansas law professor Howard Brill as saying that Mr. Clinton is unlikely to be disbarred because he was not "acting like a lawyer" but like "a private party." That's nonsense. Once licensed, an attorney's standard of legal care to himself, the courts, and to society is raised a notch. Mr. Clinton, as an attorney, has no wiggle room to misrepresent his statements before any court of law, be he president of the United States, representing a client's case, or defending himself in a private matter. - Larry Snow, Placentia, Calif.

Excellence illustrated

I think the job that illustrator Krieg Barrie is doing is excellent. It was heartening to see his work on the cover recently. I hope he continues to provide striking, thought-provoking images for WORLD for some time to come. - Paulette Flemmens, Glen Rock, Pa.

Homer's offer

After years of "contempt prior to investigation," I decided to watch The Simpsons for myself ("Doh! The Simpsons is back," June 3). I've found it to be witty and intelligent as well as-surprise!-affirming marriage and family. Yes, the writers poke fun at Christian hypocrisy, as well as that of environmentalists, homosexuals, feminists, union members, and politicians of every stripe. And they do it well. Count me among the growing number of conservatives who find The Simpsons has a lot to offer-especially to those of us who tend to suffer from self-righteousness. - Barbara Curtis, Petaluma, Calif.

No prohibition

You stated that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s highest court ruled that its ministers can't carry out homosexual marriages but can do "holy unions" ("Ups and downs," June 3). The problem is that there is no prohibition in the Presbyterian Book of Order for such things. Marriage is understood in that document to be between a man and a woman, yet the Book of Order is silent on holy unions if they avoid the language of marriage ceremonies, as they often do. Those of us in the denomination with conservative leanings covet the prayers of our sisters and brothers in the faith as we approach our General Assembly in Long Beach, Calif., at the end of this month. - John R. Kerr, Buhl, Idaho

Good for what wasn't

I disagreed with the negative review of Dinosaur (The movies, June 3). I loved it. The main character was willing to sacrifice himself, and the movie showed that by standing together the enemy can be defeated. It was also good for what it lacked-cuss words and "adult" jokes, although the meat-eating dinosaurs may be scary for young children. - Sheryl E. Miller, Clarksville, Tenn.

Correction

The ship in the June 3, page 23 photo is the U.S.S. Constellation, not the U.S.S. Constitution. - ,

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