Regarding Robin Gerber's opinion piece "Golf's grass ceiling" (Aug. 2): The political correctness police should not be so insecure as to feel compelled to attack every all-male institution. The US Constitution preserves the right of free association for individuals. That means people can pick their own friends. Liberal extremists preach diversity within clubs and measure their success by quotas. But life is more interesting when there is diversity among clubs.
Robin Gerber's opinion piece "Golf's Grass Ceiling" brought back memories of when African-Americans and Jewish men were not allowed to be members of a country club near my childhood home in Virginia. My family refused to join the club; instead, we joined the local pool, which had no restrictions on membership. Ms. Gerber's article gives me one more reason to play tennis and other sports instead of golf!
I can't believe Tiger Woods and other professional golfers haven't been more critical of Augusta National Golf Club's exclusion of women. And why hasn't the Ladies Professional Golf Association made this an issue?
Harbor Springs, Mich.
In their opinion piece "An unstable corner of Asia" (July 23), John Endicott and James Goodby claim that "totalitarian states don't threaten people, weapons do." This argument is both trite and outdated. The failure to ameliorate and end totalitarian regimes, not the absence of SALT-like treaties in Northeast Asia, is the cause of instability. The reason Japan is threatened today is that the totalitarian states of China and North Korea continue to develop long-range weapons of mass destruction.
Japan and South Korea were indeed failed by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, as the authors note, because totalitarian states ignored their commitments. Yet, the authors argue that what we need is more treaty commitments with totalitarian states along with mutual commitments from democratic, non-nuclear states.
The policy goal should be to end the North Korean regime, liberate the millions who live and starve under Stalin-like repression, reunite the Korean people, and terminate the threat from North Korean weapons forever. Ducking the most righteous policy because it is hard to achieve and advocating treaty regime sideshows (which have consistently failed) to claim progress in bettering the world is the absence of policy courage and moral clarity, not to mention usually counterproductive and misleading.
James Van de Velde
Regarding "Killing by elite soldiers hits home" (Aug. 5): First, this is not exclusively a military problem. It is a problem for families whose members are engaged in violent professions.
The law enforcement communities of this country struggle just as much with spouse and child abuse, and sometimes murder, as the military. When your job demands that you be in full control of all aspects and details of events in order to survive, to expect to go home and read the evening paper with slippers and a pipe is a recipe for madness.
Second, the Army, as well as most of the military and the community at large, has tried to turn this problem over to chaplains, social workers, or other health professionals. This is not a problem that can be addressed in this manner. With "zero tolerance" as a policy for domestic abuse, to check in with the social services is to risk your career and livelihood.
Sgt. Sankey Blanton
North Carolina Army National Guard
Chapel Hill, N.C.
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