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Letters from our readers

Issue: "On the road again," May 9, 2009

Reality, not rhetoric

I appreciated the article emphasizing the emergence of Iraq's legal system as a sign of stability ("Ready or not, here we go," March 28). However, I would also have emphasized that the November 2008 Status of Forces Agreement, not Obama's speech on Feb. 27, 2009, defines the endgame for U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Pragmatic evaluations of conditions in Iraq led talks for disengagement, not U.S. election cycle--driven timelines or presidential campaign promises.
-Nolan Nelson; Eugene, Ore.

The efforts of Professors Newton and Scharf in assisting the Iraqi Bar and judiciary to bring justice to Iraq were very important. Also, the fact that the timing of the trial was connected with the success of the surge clearly shows how important justice is to our efforts throughout the world.
-R.B. Davis; Jasper, Fla.

Can't take

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Thank you for a candid and insightful column ("Boastful dunces," March 28). I am a professor at a Christian liberal arts university and often bemoan the fact that my students cannot write, cannot summarize, cannot synthesize, and cannot take "C" for an answer. The column was encouraging and challenged me to ask, "What is my role in facing this problem?"
-Mary Flickner; Mansfield, Texas

As a 2007 graduate of UCLA, I did not feel that "Boastful dunces" accurately described my classmates or me. For many young people, the bar is high and it gets higher each year as college diplomas become ubiquitous and more students take advanced courses and SAT prep classes. It's like an arms race.
-Gabrielle R. Schaefer; Fullerton, Calif.

As a college faculty member who teaches English composition and literature, the column strongly resonated with me. My only quibble is that Janie Cheaney noted that although college students are "saturated with movies and TV, they lack a basic notion of cause-and-effect and logical consequence basic to stories." From my standpoint, it is because of such saturation that they lack solid logical reasoning.
-Terry Mathias; Carbondale Ill.


I am a classical music addict and the articles you've had on the subject, especially "Forward motion" (March 28), have been very welcome. The sheer ecstasy of Mozart's and Beethoven's symphonies is unrivaled by pop music.
-Lori Jones; Bryan, Texas

As a composer, I applaud WORLD for promoting new releases of classical music in reviews. However, I was disappointed to find no mention of contemporary or recent classical music. To be fair, some modern music is inaccessible on the first listen, but good music will give back whatever you put into it, and more.
-George Anderson; Stow, Ohio

Easy cures, quick fixes

Well said ("Expert nonsense," March 28). Another aspect to these nutrition fads is that some Christians use their relationships at church to sell health food, vitamin products, or dietary supplements, with outlandish claims of benefit. Shame on those taken in by such bogus claims of easy cures and quick fixes. More shame on those who profit financially using trusted relationships. And the most shame on those who pretend to offer Christian hospitality for their own gain.
-Matt Anderson; Lino Lakes, Minn.

Too many Christians think we have no control over our own health. By changing my diet, along with a few supplements, I no longer have psoriasis, sinusitis, ear infections, and my bad knee is vastly improved. We pray for healing when it is often within our grasp to bring it about ourselves and then wonder why God doesn't seem to answer.
-John Bandow; Stratford, Wis.

Really far

After reading "Health concerns" (March 28) about Obama's choice to head HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, I was very disheartened. Gov. Sebelius is yet another contradictory, unethical, aggressive politician who wishes to use our tax dollars to fund abortion. This is just another example of how far away our country has wandered from its foundation.
-Kelia Kawahara; Kaneohe, Hawaii


Producer Michael Green seems to think that viewers who watch his new series, Kings, have become "really sophisticated" ("Too much to tell," March 28). I have two words for Green's creation: postmodern drivel.
-Betty Alia; Richland, Mich.

Retelling the life of David will also involve retelling much about the God who chose him to be king of Israel and promised him a dynasty to be permanently occupied by the Lord Jesus Christ. I suspect that Green's 21st-century version of the story will update God as well, making Him suffer the same perversion as David himself.
-Robert J. Hughes; Monroe, N.C.


Russell Board had a good analysis of President Obama's poor excuse for lifting restrictions on federal funding of stem-cell research ("Hypocritical oath," March 28), but writers should distinguish between research on embryonic stem cells and that using adult stem cells. Not making this distinction helps perpetuate the idea that those who want to protect the sanctity of human life are anti-science.
-Kathryn Hendrix; Knoxville, Tenn.


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