The opinion-page column ``Clinton's Hard Work Earns Needed Respect,'' May 3, states that, in the case of President Clinton's unspecified questionable Whitewater-related dealings, there just isn't enough ``passionate drive'' behind the press's scrutiny of the Clintons' business dealings and associations.
I'm not certain why the press lets the Clintons off the hook on this one. What kind of ``passionate drive'' does the press need to accurately report the facts? When our country is in the hands of a president who does not come clean when asked direct questions, it is the press's responsibility to uncover the truth and to ask the hard-hitting questions that Mr. Clinton has been spared so far.
Hard work doesn't make up for missing morals, and there is never an excuse for shady underhandedness. Contrasting Nixon's and Clinton's foreign-policy accomplishments might have showed the true picture about Clinton much more clearly. Bill Protzmann, Laguna Beach, Calif.
No Lack of Passion From Public on Clinton
The opinion column was a pale, half-hearted good word for President Clinton's first 15 months in office.
Comparing Mr. Clinton's record, one still very much in progress, with that of Richard Nixon's, a life that now we consider in retrospect, is indeed a most superficial exercise.
It takes an inordinate amount of heart to try to turn around a nation long adrift on domestic issues. Such meagerly encouraging commentary only undermines our national resolve to work with our helmsman - a man of enormous spirit, reserves of energy, and a finely honed intellect - to forge the changes needed to steer us safely into the 21st century. Now is not the moment for nit-picking at every perceived flaw of our leaders. Janet L. Keislar, Los Angeles, Calif.
Change fuel, not engines
Regarding the front-page article ``In a Push for Electric Cars, Golden State Officials Take a Second Look,'' May 12: The internal combustion engine is getting a bad rap as the cause of pollution. The problem is the fuel. The technical solution to pollution and global warming is to use fuel that contains no carbon in its formula, such as hydrogen.
Manufacturers will not produce a hydrogen-powered automobile unless the fuel is available for its customers. Renewable hydrogen fuel must be made available at a price that is competitive with petroleum fuel.
This means building an infrastructure for producing and delivering hydrogen fuel. It will take a huge investment to make hydrogen fuel available at a price comparable to petroleum, since the mature petroleum industry invests more than $100 million per day in infrastructure to make petroleum fuel available at a low cost.
There are additional reasons for pursuing the renewable hydrogen fuel path. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are less expensive to manufacture than petroleum-fuel engines because they do not require the pollution-control equipment. Also, with battery-powered electric automobiles, we must consider that coal will actually create more carbon dioxide than using petroleum directly. And coal has sulfur pollution problems not associated with petroleum.
The renewable hydrogen fuel path can make us energy independent again while solving many of our most difficult environmental problems. It will be costly to follow a path that leads to a dead end. Charles H. Terrey, Phoenix
Beyond anger about crime
As I read your coverage of the problems regarding crime in the United States, I am perplexed that more prisons is seen as a solution. Even the most cursory studies of crime indicate a substantial recidivism. Prisons are universally recognized as training grounds of crime. If men are warehoused in overcrowded factories of violence and crime, the finished product is predictable.
The answers are there if we can look beyond our anger. Incarceration is not the answer unless it is tied to rehabilitation. I could give numerous suggestions, somewhat biased but based on experience from within. If you seek accountability in the ``crime war'' then you must ensure that you are not creating the enemy with the prison system. Arthur J. Curry, Pendleton, Ind. Indiana Reformatory