Defense shield wacky?

The only risk Democrats face on missile defense ("Democrats' risk on missile defense," Aug. 2, opinion page) is getting hoodwinked by the lie that there is such a thing.

Virtually any scientific evaluation by anybody not directly involved in the huge windfall of profits this wacky idea will bring has gone on record that it is scientifically and technologically impossible to design and build any credible missile defense at any time within the foreseeable future.

Isa Kocher

Tallahassee, Fla.

Sex-selective abortion

In answer to Seema Sirohi ("Vanishing girls of India," July 30, opinion page): Yes, I was aware of the phenomenon of gender-selective abortions. I just wonder if Ms. Sirohi understands the real ethical problem.

"Fetus" is latin for progeny, and if one's progeny can be killed for any reason before birth, then why not for its gender? How can that be wrong if any other reason is right?

The problem is abortion. Abortion is wrong because it is the murder of the innocent.

Brian Benner

Waldoboro, Maine

ANWR drilling preserves scenic vistas

It is more than a little misleading to show pictures of Arctic Village and thereby suggest that this scenic area of trees and mountains will be affected by the proposed drilling over 100 miles away in an area that is pancakeflat and void of trees ("Above Arctic oil reserves: old ways, satellite dishes," Aug. 1). Shall we avoid developing any area that is within 100 miles of a scenic vista? How about some pictures of the real place where they propose drilling? It is not nearly so scenic!

George Briggs

Leicester, New York

The great white hype

Regarding the Aug. 1 article "Clinton says 'I love this place.' And it loves him, partly," the residents of New York's Harlem should be ashamed to have Bill Clinton establish an office in their neighborhood. They weren't his first or even second choice.

What can he bring to the table for the average Harlem resident? Nothing but higher commercial rents for low-income people, according to the chairman of the New Black Panther Party and several tenant groups that heckled Clinton during his "coming in" ceremony in the uptown Manhattan area.

Bob Weir

Flower Mound, Texas

Mom stood on the endangered bridge

I enjoyed reading the article of June 28 on the Los Angeles River ("A river story: confined, but not contained"). My grandmother came to California as a mother in 1885 (Mom was 5 then). Soon after that, she was living in Los Angeles, near the Los Angeles River and one of its bridges.

One year during a big flood, my mother's stepfather was helping to try to save the bridge, when all of a sudden he looked up, and what did he see? Mom on the bridge! She had just come down to see what was going on. There is nobody I can ask for further details.

Elnora Young

Baldwin Park, Calif.

Fresh approach on Mideast

Thank you for such clarity in presenting a closer look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ("In Mideast, one weapon of choice is a loaded word," July 31). Such articles provide a context that impels the average citizen, as well as politician and statesman, to think constructively about international affairs, rather than shrugging their shoulders in disgust and refusing to deal with what seem like the same old, same old conflicts.

Diane P. Dailey

Los Angeles

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