Scrutinize the Experts - Not the Heroes

You cannot libel the dead because they have no standing in civil court, but you can destroy your own journalistic integrity by printing such sour commentary as "How Closely Do We Look at Our Heroes?" (Sept. 25). Your writer reports "a leading German drug expert, Werner Frank, says he has no doubt" that Florence Griffith Joyner's "death was caused by steroid abuse." The fact that he holds that opinion does not make it a fact. How can a so-called expert thousands of miles from a death scene and with no evidence from a post-mortem be given such credibility by your publication?

I agree with your writer that "Truth is a very good thing." But his apparent dislike for the late Ms. Joyner doesn't make his beliefs true. The public does want to know the truth. Why not print it instead of opinion presented as fact?

Charles Donaldson

Santa Monica, Calif.

The public's signal rings clear

In "C'mon People, Try Harder!" (Sept. 25), Daniel Schorr claims that the public isn't giving a clear signal on Clinton's punishment. Yet in the same article Mr. Schorr acknowledges that Americans "preponderantly" don't want Clinton impeached, don't want him to resign, but favor censure. The public's voice is and has been unmistakably clear. What seems to be muddled is the Republican Congress's and Mr. Schorr's hearing!

Lynne N. Lawson

Peacham, Vt.

When a guest, conform

Trevor Corson's experience in China in "Stuck in a Mao Jacket, Abhorring His Ideals" (Sept. 25) was indeed a confusing situation. But he acted correctly because when one is a guest of another country, one must conform to that country's activities. It is best not to become a target for possible questioning, arrest, or deportation by the majority with whom one is with, 24 hours a day.

Our friendships and business relationships would be unrealistically limited if we did not rub shoulders with our sisters and brothers who have different lifestyles than we have.

We conform on the surface, but our thoughts remain our own.

Henry G. Rutledge, Jr.

Davis, Calif.

A word of caution about oil supply

Regarding the article "World's Oil May Soon Run Low" (Sept. 23), my vote would go with oil industry geologist Colin Campbell on the approaching peak in world oil and the calamitous effect that peaking will have.

At the heart of his prediction is the concept of oil production taking the form of a bell-shaped curve. As global consumption rises, the peak on that curve must be on its way because the peak indirectly measures the total amount of easily tapped oil in the world.

If the world presently uses a vast amount of petroleum and that figure continues to grow, then denying that the peak is on its way is denying reality.

The world is not an enormous reservoir of oil waiting for another pipeline to be stuck in it; the reservoir has limits. Mr. Campbell's point is that we are not preparing for the transition when production begins to decline. It will be like hitting a brick wall. Mr. Campbell deserves credit for warning us.

Marvin Gregory

Renton, Wash.

Columnist is 'on the ball'

This is being sent to let Godfrey Sperling know that he is "on the ball" in every one of his columns. He may be criticized, but the truth is the truth, and he tells it as it is!

Dorothy and Glenn Hood

Rogers, Ark.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. 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 oped@csps.com

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