Show the president due respect when referring to him in articles

Regarding the Nov. 2 article, "Bush outlines first US steps against bird flu": I am so completely disgusted with the way mainstream journalists continue to show lack of respect for our president. Please stop referring to our president as "Mr. Bush." He is to be addressed as President Bush. He holds the highest office in this great country. Even when the Prince of Wales visits this country we extend to him the title of Prince. The least we can do is show the world that we have the ability and the intelligence to show the leader of the free world the proper respect he deserves.
Kathy Miller
San Antonio

Editor's note:

Ms. Miller raises a concern occasionally voiced by other readers as well. It is certainly not our intention nor our practice to show any lack of respect for the office or the person of the president. Our style rule, established so many decades ago that its origins are obscure to those of us here, is that the first reference uses "President [last name]." The second reference in the same story is to "Mr. [last name]." References after that in the same story, and most headlines, simply use the president's last name. That style has been consistent for presidents Republican or Democrat, popular or unpopular, one-term or two. It represents, we believe, a balance of formal respect and informal efficiency.

Votes don't always mean freedom

In his Nov. 2 Opinion column, "Tough days ahead for Bush, but how will history rate him?," John Hughes seems to equate Iraqi voting with "freedom." I find that provincial and offensive. By what rationale do we assume that our choice of government is better for someone else? As someone who was part of the Vietnam War, I resent the attitude that we can impose our will on anyone we choose.

Our invasion of Iraq, and the killing of Iraqi sons and daughters have no justification. I believe President Bush used trumped-up evidence to defraud us into a war of aggression. That, and our staggering debt, will be Mr. Bush's legacy.
George Kamburoff
Pleasant Hill, Calif.

Old books bring new joy to a small town

Dear friends of - literally - my lifetime: I read the Oct. 12 article, "Used books start to shake off their second-class image" and was not surprised at the new-found popularity of used books. I live in a teeming metropolis of less than 1,000. I volunteer at our local library and can attest to the popularity of used books.

People read the bestsellers and pass them along to us at the library - along with many more lesser known titles. We have a huge section of books for sale in the library, plus our "book cottage" out back is chock a block full of used books - none of them costing more than a dollar. In fact, you can fill up a bag with books, pay for them, read them, and then bring them back and exchange them for another bag at no cost!

Our librarian, the only person at the library who is salaried, has an office so filled with orphaned books we can scarcely find him. We have added on to the building once (entirely done with donated community help), and we have no trouble finding volunteers or readers. All libraries should be so fortunate!

As a final aside, I read the Monitor as a child and continue to read it now. And I take copies of the paper to our library when I'm finished with them.
Marina Rauh
Peeples Valley, Ariz.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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