Bolton nomination: Do Americans want UN reform?

In response to the June 22 article "Bush faces hard choices over Bolton": What is concerning to me in the Bolton nomination is the absence of any recognition of the damage to the US image in the world today.

This administration thinks the world is centered on Washington, D.C., when the reality is D.C. is but one of many powerful influences.

Our lack of clear policies and our arrogance in dealing with countries much more sophisticated in diplomacy puts us at a great disadvantage. Washington D.C. is starting to talk of the possibility that diplomacy can supplant our military power.

This "new idea" just reinforces the administration's lack of understanding that with John Bolton at the UN, the US will take a long time to recover influential leadership within the world.
Frank Pauly
Clemson, S.C.

Both Democrats and Republicans are critical of the nomination of John Bolton for US ambassador to the UN.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee did not recommended him, nor could the Senate pull together a sufficient number of votes, after two failed attempts, to confirm him. So why should sending a new nominee to the Senate be seen as an unlikely next step?

Who says that Americans want reform at the UN other than the Republican majority? What specifically is it about the UN that Americans want to be reformed? And is John Bolton the man to make those reforms? Surely the Senate has had enough time and debate to have answered at least one of those questions.
Randy Smith
New York

Dog parks offer escape from urban sprawl

I'm writing in response to the June 22 Peter Harnik and Cerise Bridges opinion piece, "Creating dog parks - without rancor." Mr. Harnik and Ms. Bridges overlooked considerable cause and effect with regard to these issues, including the psychology and physiology of dogs and exercise.

Dog owners are not interested in areas for off-leash recreation because of "changing mores and a rising enthusiasm ... for much more active play." They are concerned that urban sprawl and increasing development mean less parkland for all park users, including those without dogs.

In a concrete, urban environment, where else would people take their companion animals for proper exercise? Good socialization for dogs requires regular exercise, and interaction with other dogs and people. These needs aren't a luxury, they're necessities for any urban dog to remain well-adjusted and socialized.

Surely Seattle is a great example of those with and without dogs alike working well with the city, and creating an incredible program. But by criticizing the San Francisco process in its infancy, you're not doing any of our residents (dog owners or not) any favors.
Susan Zuckert
San Francisco

Appalachian music from my hometown

In response to the June 23 article "A pocket of Appalachia pulls itself up by the banjo strings": I grew up in Floyd, Va., and experienced firsthand the rich musical heritage the article described.

Although, as mentioned in the article, it is music which at times is subjected to ridicule, I can attest to the camaraderie and friendship it can bring to a community.

The heartfelt expression of the joys and sorrows of everyday living by self-trained musicians is a moving experience not to be forgotten, and it is gratifying to know that this homespun music can bring some income to a small but deserving town.
Brenda Evers
Westlake Village, Calif.

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