Same old, same old
Our drive for energy independence is hurting the poor here and in Central America even before we reap the benefits of the ethanol production ("Tortilla wars," March 10). In a 1772 letter, John Wesley protested a similar diversion of grain to distilleries and the raising of carriage horses, which drove the prices of corn and oats higher and hurt England's poor and middle class. It's sad to think that, 235 years later, we are doing similar things.
-Roy Richardson; Monroe, Mich.
WORLD made slight mention of the fact that Mexico has been very protectionist regarding its white corn producers. If Mexico had allowed imports of white corn earlier, instead of trying for political reasons to protect its farmers with quotas and import licenses, the shortage could have been averted.
-J.R. Peterson; Indianapolis, Ind.
I feel like the lone voice out here with all my neighbors benefiting from inflated corn prices. We buy corn and produce pork. The unsettling part for us feeders is that we are competing with the U.S. Treasury for the price of feed. Some think the government will phase out corn subsidies, but I predict the opposite. When ethanol plants are faced with production losses, the farm state legislators and environmentalists will nurse their lovechild with even more tax dollars. Equally distressing is the $.54 per gallon tariff on imported ethanol. While we are spending blood, bodies, and billions to ensure the free flow of oil from the Middle East, we are penalizing our poor, peaceful neighbors to the south.
-Les Rensink; Freeman, S.D.
Mexican farmers will soon notice the high corn prices and begin producing corn again. The real story is that the United States is taking active steps toward being energy independent.
-Dale Stigers; Issaquah, Wash.
I agree with the main point of Marvin Olasky's column, "Refining cruelty" (March 10), that we should continue "beating away" at the enemy in Iraq, but total war is "beating away" at civilians and civilian property and I cannot get past that. Gen. Sherman's policy: "There is a class of people, men, women and children, who must be killed or banished before you can hope for peace and order." This is not the kind of war we want in Iraq or that should ever be fought. When you start fighting a total war, you cease fighting a righteous war.
-D. Lee Dykstra; Honey Creek, Iowa
As a West Point grad and former Infantry officer, I say "Amen" to a Sherman strategy. President Bush also needs more of the tenacity of Lincoln, who fired several generals till he got Sherman and Grant. As my father, a retired Army chaplain and PCA pastor, says, "Give war a chance!"
-Matt Hutchens; Midlothian, Va.
Our side has passed up many opportunities to be harsh, although we have the weaponry to accomplish extensive destruction. Instead, we have put brave young Americans and allies on the field to fight the hardest way of all, by putting themselves in harm's way, and we have paid for this decency with blood. That makes me especially proud of our side. Olasky is asking us to consider the merits of taking our gloves off. It is a good question, but I do not think we need to approach Sherman's methods at this point.
-Joel Solliday; Otsego, Minn.
Thank you for "No spelling on Sunday" (March 10). Elliot Huck's decision not to compete toward the National Spelling Bee because it was scheduled for a Sunday is an encouragement to me and will be to other Christians in the same situation. I am a swimmer, and many important competitions are on Sunday. I have chosen with my parents that I won't compete on Sunday, and this article assured me that I am not the only Christian who has chosen to do the right thing.
-Joshua Menbere, 13; Elkhart, Ind.
I was captivated by Gene Edward Veith's "Single-issue politics" (March 10). I have read no other single source that so succinctly explains how a political candidate's moral philosophy is a solid indicator of how he will approach other issues.
-Larry Booth; Satellite Beach, Fla.
Many different factors go into a candidate's stance on issues, such as what that person, personally, has the strongest convictions about, what will bring popularity with voters, and what will bring in money from special-interest groups. Also, we cannot assume a person is a worthwhile candidate simply because he is pro-life. I think we need to look at more aspects of a candidate to find out if his worldview comes closest to one that we as believers would want to guide our leaders.
-Marianne Dean; Kunming, China
Three cheers for Susan Olasky for her refusal to keep reading Linda Berdoll's Darcy and Elizabeth because of erotic content (Noteworthy Books, March 10). Her review assignment notwithstanding, she chose not to be conformed to this world.
-David A. Peterson; Kincheloe, Mich.
The polls that seem to give conflicting results about Americans' attitudes toward the war are valid ("Surveys say . . . ," March 10). I feel both that the war is a virtually hopeless mess, and that pulling out now would make it messier still. This conundrum is evidence not that polls are skewed (although they certainly are) but rather of the monumental waste of finding ourselves mediating an alien tribal war.
-Nathaniel Osborn; Stuart, Fla.
I'm a little put out by Bart Campolo's assumption that if Christians aren't flocking to his volunteer service program then they "aren't out there in the same way" as the non-Christians are ("Year of jubilee," March 10). Has he considered the possibility that many of the people in the secular service programs are Christians? Within my now-adult children's small circle of Christian friends from high school, there are young adults in the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and the Navigators. Two others are in full-time mission work and another has started his own volunteer group to build houses.
-Marilyn Reed; Wexford, Pa.
Could be innocent
I'm a fan of WORLD but also a cyclist, and I'm disappointed in your statement that Floyd Landis is "disgraced" because of the positive drug test following the Tour de France and that he may yet "escape on a technicality" ("Close-ups," March 10). That's the conventional wisdom, but there are other possibilities, related to the potential mishandling of test samples, that could establish his innocence.
-Mike Vrchota; Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The crusade public schools are on to negate everything Christian was proved ludicrous in Jamie Dean's article, "Free speech fight" (March 10). The idea that Enloe High School policy allows only for "secular teaching about religion" made me laugh.
-Kathy Evernham; Port Orange, Fla.
Not like his movie
What a shock to see that Al Gore paid nearly $30,000 for one year in electric and gas bills (The Buzz, March 10). That is way more money than my wife and I receive annually in our pension checks. Gore is a perfect example of "Do as I say and not as I do."
-Robert Collins; Westlake, Ohio
Didn't sit right
Although I consider Nicholas Cage a good actor, something about all the satanic references in Ghost Rider didn't sit right with me ("Campy fire," March 3). Walking out of the theater, my opinion was that it would have been much better to have an archangel fighting the demons.
-Teagan Schmidt, 17; Lindstrom, Minn.
Samaritan's Purse was founded by Bob Pierce ("A long way from Capitol Hill," March 10, p. 21).