Perfecting US products

In the editorial ``Buying American'' [Aug. 2] you used the word ``excellence'' (or equivalent) only once. I would always prefer to buy American, but the quality of US products has, in my opinion, gone downhill. In the past 10 years I've owned two American cars. Both were cars-of-the year, both were lemons, with constant repair recalls. I've just bought a Subaru, as the track record on maintenance is topnotch. It's a marvelous car at an affordable price.

Let's not cry over a trade deficit until the US can manufacture products that Americans want to buy. Meredith Brenizer Nantucket, Mass.

Bennett Karmin's ``The fast lane'' [Aug. 19] depicts California as a hot rod place, where drivers have the ``right'' to speed. I've driven in 48 states, including leisurely tours in California -- both on its freeways and back roads. Keeping to the posted limit (and keeping right, except to pass) didn't tie up traffic or endanger lives. In California, I haven't seen more hot rodders than in any other state. In the flat stretches of my native Midwest, however, I used to see some memorable hot rodding and high-speed chases. Jim Hastings Boston

Most people who complain about lyric content of rock-and-roll are really talking about ``heavy metal'' or ``pop'' music [``Washington wives use influence to target sex, drugs in rock music'' Aug. 23]. There is a world of difference between the music of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, the '60s ``folk-rock'' and the contemporary ``new wave'' scene, and heavy metal bands and pop performers. Most rock-and-roll songs are up-tempo love songs with a beat and there is nothing satanic or corrupting about them. What they should be complaining about is that commercial radio almost ignores this country's rich musical heritage of jazz, folk, rhythm and blues, rockabilly/bluegrass, and genuine rock-and-roll. Leonard Murray Methuen, Mass.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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