Mounting a defense for the 21st century" (May 25) is a reasonable snapshot of the complexities and problems: The Department of Defense will continue to struggle with large inefficiencies commensurate to a vast world military presence, changing world political and military scenarios, and the political backing of continued world intervention. But as a federal civil servant, active reservist, and military service academy graduate, I would suggest that the DoD is not a business. It employs business principles and tools, but to compare it to commercial businesses is inane. Even so, the DoD must continue improving. - James Buck, Huntsville, Ala.
Thank you for the view from inside Warren Buffett's Berkshire-Hathaway investment group ("Bruised and Buffetted," May 25). This is the reason I left Newsweek. You never get this kind of information from the liberal press. It is too bad that Mr. Buffett cannot have any compassion for the 200,000 people that Planned Parenthood, which Mr. Buffett supports, kills every year through abortion. Lynn Vincent did an excellent job on the article, and I dropped GEICO insurance for my autos. - Jim Shannon, Columbus, Ohio
As I took up the May 11 WORLD today, I got a lump in my throat seeing the photo of that gorgeous Capitol dome in all its intricacy and splendor on the front cover. That's my capitol, my country, and I love it. - Susanne deZouche Reynolds Lopez, Wyndmoor, Pa.
A year ago I spent my spring break researching the Second Amendment for a political-science paper. John Ashcroft is correct: The way most textbooks present gun-control court cases is misleading. - Barbara Kubat, Nekoosa, Wis.
Thank you for your column on Attorney General John Ashcroft's declaration of gun rights ("Armed with facts," May 25). Although a member of the National Rifle Association, I learned facts about our gun rights that I never knew before. - Jared Juntunen, Shingle Springs, Calif.
Regarding the American Academy for Liberal Education's denial of accreditation to Patrick Henry College because it affirms six-day creation ("Give me accreditation," May 25): Young-earth creationists seem to be afraid Darwinian evolution might be found to be true if the earth really is billions of years old, but they have no reason to fear: The evidence shows that the universe really is "old"; this can be reconciled with the creation account in Genesis. Notions of the random origin of life and Darwinian evolution are on the ropes no matter the age of the earth. - Conrad Miller, Lakewood, Colo.
Marvin Olasky mentioned evolutionist David Hull's observation that 95 percent of DNA has no known function ("Summer's coming," May 25). As a medical scientist, that fact strikes me as awesome. God must have created the first man, Adam, to be a creature perfect in ways that we cannot know, with skills, intelligence, and the capacity to perform inconceivable feats (after all, he did live 930 years). Maybe those empty strands of DNA, those gaps, are silent reminders of how far we have fallen from our original garden-perfect state. - H.H. Culton Jr., Elkins Park, Pa.
The answer is no
Thank you for your column on ecstasy ("The hug drug," May 25). I hope I do not ever receive a request from my son to attend one of these "alcohol free" parties, but now I will know more about what goes on at these events. - Richard Hixon, Houston, Texas
TNIV: pro & con
Mr. Belz's use of the term pragmatic adjusters, referring to those who believe Bible translations should reflect cultural changes to get a hearing, is an affront to the integrity of serious translators ("Claim it-or concede it," May 25). Mr. Belz would hold translators to an impossible and outrageous standard-to avoid translations that might unwittingly advance the agenda of some undesirable group. - Charlie Coil, Bentonville, Ark.
Claim it-or concede it" was well done, but I think that Mr. Belz missed the heart of the problem-vanity. So long as men think that God's sovereignty is limited, we will continue to see such things as the TNIV. Churches will seek converts by attempting to flatter men's vanity and satisfy their fancies, pragmatism will rule the day, and men will try to make God relevant to men when they should be considering how to make themselves relevant to God. - Chuck Sims, Cypress, Texas
Mr. Olasky's rowing metaphor ("Rowing with the flow," May 18) brought back vivid memories of our daughter's four years on her high-school crew team. The T-shirts and bumper stickers we'd spot on race days ("Athletes Row, Everyone Else Just Plays Games" and "That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger") illustrate that, despite sometimes favorable currents, rowing is a grueling endeavor. I thank God that WORLD is committed to rowing harder than ever and eagerly anticipate the next 10 years of my all-time favorite magazine. - Eileen Arentz, Ventnor, N.J.
After reading "Rowing with the flow," I, too, am giving thanks to God. He is calling us to engage the culture, to always speak the truth, and to teach our children to do the same. WORLD is one of the most effective tools to help me do that. - Delinda Merry, Daphne, Ala.
I realize how much I look forward to receiving WORLD when an issue is late. It's a dark week when all I'm left with is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. - Elaine Neumeyer, Jasper, Ga.
I felt extremely uncomfortable after reading "Hard choices ahead" (May 4). I am recovering from acute myeloid leukemia and I realize that the treatment was very costly. We have never been "takers," but I felt like Mr. Belz was saying that we were "presuming on others" to cover the cost of a chance to see my grandchildren grow up, to continue to love and support my husband of 34 years, and to contribute to our local church. Is Mr. Belz suggesting that I should not have had the option of pursuing stem-cell (my own stem cells) transplant therapy? - Melinda Schroeder, Camarillo, Calif.
Northwest Medical Teams International is based in Portland, Ore. (June 1, p. 17).
Michael Morris's novel, A Place Called Wiregrass, is set in Alabama (June 1, p. 27).