Sierra Club contenders are not 'anti-immigrant'

Your Feb. 20 article "A 'hostile' takeover bid at the Sierra Club" describes candidates for the Sierra Club board as "anti-immigrant activists." This does a disservice to those individuals.

There is a huge difference between caring about how many Americans the earth can support and being anti-immigrant. Many members of the Sierra Club, including myself, care deeply about the impact that US population growth has on our environment here and around the world. We are not against people or anti-immigrant, and neither are the individuals running for the Sierra Club board.
Marilyn Hempel
Redlands, Calif.

Bush's military record: ancient history?

On Daniel Schorr's Feb. 20 Opinion piece "The privilege of a 'war president' ": I agree that policies allowing the sons of the powerful to secure positions in the National Guard during the Vietnam War were a disgrace. But I disagree with Mr. Schorr when he dismisses questions of whether President Bush completed his military service and why he refused to take a mandatory physical examination.

It seems quite possible that the very same privileges that landed young George W. Bush a coveted position as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard's "champagne unit" allowed him to cut corners on his service, to choose when, where, and how he would serve and stop serving.

I doubt that the Texas Air National Guard would have allowed young men without the family connections of the Bushes to make the choices he did and still receive an honorable discharge. The press has a responsibility to ask these questions, especially in an election year.
Tony Anemone
Williamsburg, Va.

Why do we keep talking about what President Bush did or didn't do while he served in the Texas Air National Guard?

Instead, we should be talking about the bravery this president has demonstrated in declaring war on the terrorists who have promised to destroy the normal lives of those living in the free world. We should support President Bush's efforts and applaud his leadership, not deride him as a "protected" or "cowardly" youth.

Who did what during the Vietnam War is not relevant, and it's not a crucial line on a presidential résumé.
May Chin Haller
Scarsdale, N.Y.

Ethics of cloning, rights of gay marriage

Regarding the Feb. 13 editorial "Cloning and Same-Sex Marriage": I think your comparison of human cloning and same-sex marriage misses one thing: the fact that the former issue revolves around ethical considerations that can be considered somewhat a priori, while the latter issue still centrally focuses on the issue of individual rights and personal freedoms.

The powers to split the atom, put satellites (and weapons) into space, map the human genome, or actually clone a human should all be mitigated by the ethical considerations for the human race as a whole. These new abilities to wield the power of nature without restraint affect the quality of life for humans as an entire species. Same-sex marriage, however, does not pose the same questions.

The question of human cloning asks more significant questions than: "Will a cloned child be confused about his or her parent?" This is a macrolevel ethical concern that goes far and above those surrounding the life of an individual. The societal choice as to whether to allow same-sex marriage is a microlevel one that doesn't pose a same species-wide impact on human existence. The questions are decidedly different.
Michael Hurt

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