Letters

Use military's model - but not its troops - in relief effort

Regarding the Sept. 19 article "Disaster relief? Call in the Marines": As the wife, daughter, and mother of military men, each now retired or returned to civilian life, I join those opposed to changing our laws to have the active-duty military take on civilian law- enforcement roles.

I do however, believe that those in government, whether local, state, or federal, would do well to emulate the military's practice of plan, plan, and plan again. The failure to plan ahead and have multiple contingencies in place has exacerbated the hardships faced in the Heartland after Katrina. While we scramble to meet the present emergency, we must resolve to plan better for the future.
Linda H. Bassert
Being ethical pays off
Fairfax, Va.

Thank you for the Sept. 19 article, "For investors with a conscience, options grow." The article raises the question of whether investors must sacrifice financial returns for social benefits. I would argue that just as socially responsible investment (SRI) mutual funds have shown, well-managed SRI venture capital (VC) funds can achieve market-rate returns. They can do so by focusing on unique strategies for rapidly building value in private companies - such as workforce or environmental innovations - just as other VCs may focus on a biotech or infotech edge. By backing teams that have a unique strategy in large markets where responsible companies can win rapid customer acceptance, such as organic consumer products or clean technology, SRI VC funds can deliver ethical investors financial returns they can be proud of - on all fronts!
David Kirkpatrick
Founder and managing director, SJF Ventures
Durham, N.C.

Kudos to Donna Brazile

What a great commentary from Donna Brazile ("Hurricane politics aside, a Democrat sees solidarity with Bush as constructive," Sept. 20)! It cheered me up to no end.

I'm a lifelong Democrat, and I voted for Clinton twice and Gore in 2000. But I voted for Bush in the last election because I felt the Republicans had at least demonstrated their willingness to tackle some hard issues with new ideas. I was also deeply turned off by the Hate Bush crowd and the whining, irrational negativity of the current crop of Democrats and their most visible supporters.

It's great to see someone from my party actually say something sane, responsible, and constructive for a change. Keep up the good work, Donna. Build some bipartisan bridges, get something done, and you guys might get my vote back in '08.
Mary Ellen McCarthy
Brookline, Mass.

To infinity and beyond

Regarding the Sept. 20 article, "A retro look to next US spacecraft": I applaud NASA's plans for a new spacecraft to return humans to the moon.

While some may be concerned about the high cost of the program, we must remember that the cost of $104 billion will be spent right here on Earth, providing jobs, fostering economic growth, and inspiring a new generation of explorers.

While many politicians carp about having job programs, they forget that NASA provides contractors with work that needs highly skilled, well paid workers to design and build space hardware and develop technology that can be extremly valuable to the economy.

To infinity (well, the moon, anyway) and beyond!
Dan Roberts
Burkburnett, Texas

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

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