Your article "In search for militants, Israelis blow up houses" (Dec. 17) stated, "Asked about the shelling of the Akhras house, Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said: 'When the US went into Afghanistan it caused a great deal of damage there that it did not intend to.' " Mr. Sharon is crazy if he thinks his war against the Arabs is the same as the US war against terrorism. Sharon is an occupier and aggressor. He targets civilians and uses American-made warplanes to attack. America did not occupy Afghanistan before Sept. 11. We never destroyed houses there or provoked violence. How dare he compare America with Israel. The US government should not support Sharon's actions and continue to use taxpayers' aid to kill people. Especially when the US has actually had to help Yasser Arafat try to get rid of Hamas. How can Arafat capture killers if Israel keeps weakening his position by destroying his security posts and infrastructure? I don't understand the final goal of Israel's government, or even ours.
Frieda Bazik Glendale, Calif.
Regarding "Rising optimism buoys hopes for economy" (Dec. 12): After the rich have bought all they want and the poor have bought all they can afford, the economy will slump. It does no good to put money in the hands of the rich, as the Bush-sponsored tax cuts and stimulus package would. The idea of a "supply side" economy was a fraud from the beginning to justify cutting capital gains taxes. It's obvious from the failure of repeated interest-rate reductions by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy that people are already too in debt.
The solution to the current slump is to put money into the hands of those who need it. It is not hard to imagine how; there is no limit to the needs of the poor and poor communities: Universal health insurance, affordable housing, and programs of job creation through public works of building better schools, repairing bridges, etc. It doesn't take much imagination.
R.E. Reinert Northport, Mich.
Where is the fuss over beer on TV?
In response to "Should liquor be advertised on TV?" (Dec. 17): Many years ago when I was in television, liquor and then cigarettes were banned from TV advertising. Unfortunately, someone forgot that beer actually contains alchohol and beer advertising continued.
Today's college kids don't OD on liquor. They OD on beer, downing a 24 pack on a Saturday during the game. People still drink and people still smoke, advertising or not. Yet, ask a person who drinks a six pack of beer a night if they're an alcoholic, and they will say no. I don't think advertising liquor will make it any more consumable. Many people don't like liquor. But call a spade a spade.
Cathleen Oblin Royal Oak, Mich.
A few days ago, I fired off an e-mail to NBC immediately upon hearing the announcement that you mentioned in "NBC puts dollars before sense" (Dec. 19, Editorial) that hard liquor ads would resume. We need to rouse the public to the need for seriously discouraging television executives from exercising their right to employ this particularly persuasive, and predictably harmful, commercial communication.
J. Manetti Tacoma, Wash.
Society has gotten along just fine for 50 years without liquor ads on television, and I would like to keep it that way. I would also like to see TV executives take pure fear-tactic advertising off the air, as is found in some medicine ads.
Phyllis Cline Spokane, Wash.
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