First daughters and right-wing hypocrisy

Your June 4 article, "Legitimate news ... or tabloid topic?" on the press coverage of the recent Bush twins' escapades had one telling omission: hypocrisy on the part of the right-wing press. There has been a deafening silence on the part of right-wing moralists in the press since this story broke.

Can you imagine the outrage among our moral mavens had the presidential offspring involved in illegal activities been named Chelsea Clinton instead of Barbara and Jenna Bush? Bill Bennett would be on all talking-head programs spouting that Chelsea's arrest was a product of her parents' 1960s narcissistic generation. Pat Robertson would tell us that the first daughter's negligence to obey the law was directly connected to the Supreme Court's Engle v. Vitale (1962) prayer-in-school case, which took God out of the classroom. Godfrey Sperling would write that the misdeeds of the first daughter are an embarrassment to all Americans and would claim that Bill Clinton is a poor leader since he cannot control his own daughter.

However, with the Bush girls, our moral pillars seem to be all on vacation. The only arguments made by the right wing is that the law needs to be changed!

Just when you think that a new low in hypocritical reporting cannot be achieved by the right-wing media, they surprise you once again.

Jeffrey W. Birdsong Miami, Okla.

Of course President Bush's daughters have received media attention for their underage drinking. Their father's example shows that he doesn't consider alcohol violations to be serious.

Although he fought for anti-DUI initiatives as governor of Texas, he himself was once cited for drunken driving. According to the polls, the American people didn't consider this infraction large enough to impact his bid for the presidency.

Chris Colvin Richmond, Calif.

Whose Ten Commandments?

Regarding your May 31 editorial "Moses and city hall": Posting the Ten Commandments on government property is even more constitutionally objectionable than the separation of church and state you cited. Any such posting is inherently sectarian, hence discriminatory.

Christian ways to display the Decalogue are very different from Jewish ways, and maybe still other ways. Even the choice of numerical symbols is fraught with sectarian differences. Christian posting of the Ten Commandments use Roman numerals one through 10. Jewish postings use the first 10 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

David J. Steinberg Alexandria, Va.

Can't see the forest ...

In your recent reporting of the major drought situations in the Southeast and the Northwest, you have neglected to mention the other major aquifers which have been drastically depleted by our human race - the forests. Each tree retains hundreds of gallons of water in its root systems underground, and in and under its leaves. This water evaporates slowly into the air, creating rain clouds above those forests that provide water for miles around them - thus "rain forest."

Developers consider those trees enemies and obstacles to the making of money. Loggers consider the supine corpses of those trees to be money itself. To farmers, trees create shady areas where their monster tractors cannot cultivate and their monoculture crops do not grow.

So they kill all the trees, eliminating great storages of water. Then they pity themselves when the rains do not come.

Elizabeth Reshower Pisgah Forest, N.C.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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