US carmakers should learn better skills

In response to the Feb. 15 article, "Can US auto giants cut their way to health?": American carmakers are facing a problem of their own making. Aren't they the masters of marketing – of telling people what they "need" and "want"? "You need and want an SUV," the ads implored. People believed them and bought them up.

What if the message had been, "You need a small, safe, well-built, economical car?" Given the power of persuasion, I suspect that people would have believed the message and bought up smaller, more efficient cars. And the US carmakers' story would have been very different today.

Is it fair to suggest that these carmakers have been irresponsible to their shareholders, employees, clients, and society in general by pushing SUVs and other such products?
Michel Boyle
Sydney, Australia

In response to the article about American car companies such as Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors: In 1967, my father bought a beautiful red Plymouth Barracuda. Soon, we found out that it had electrical problems that no mechanic could solve.

In 1999, he bought a Chrysler Concorde, and it has the same problem. As I write this, I have the car in the shop because the brake pads are worn. And the car has less than 35,000 miles on it. As long as Chrysler ignores its customers' needs for reliability, they will continue to lose sales.
Keith Carey
Pasadena, Calif.

Bias against Mormons is misplaced

Regarding the Feb. 15 article, "Can Romney rise to top of GOP presidential pack?": I am dismayed regarding the erroneous ideas and biases that folks express regarding Mormons. I lived in America's intermountain West for several years and experienced on a daily basis the integrity, care, generosity, and support of my Mormon neighbors, bosses, friends, and acquaintances.

I received my master's degree from Brigham Young University and feel blessed to have been a part of that institution. I always note with pride when I'm traveling in Africa that Latter-day Saint Charities help everyone, even projects headed up by Evangelicals. (By the way, I am a Democrat, was reared as a Southern Baptist, am married to a Catholic, and, of course, have the highest regard for Mormons.)
Barbara Hood
Louisville, Ky.

Want to fly green? Stay home

Regarding the article, "Flying the cleanly skies," from Feb. 12: Having grown up in the 1930s and 1940s, I am still amazed at how many people today fly so far and so often, barely appreciating what exists closer to home. Our politicians set the worst examples, polluting the skies for meetings that could best be served by conference calls.
Helen N. Hanna
Sacramento, Calif.

Saving wolf dogs is admirable work

Regarding the Jan. 31 article, "Wolf dogs find haven in New Hampshire sanctuary": My wife and I are animal lovers. We have 56 acres here in central Pennsylvania. We feed the deer and hire armed guards during deer season to keep hunters off our property. When we lived in South Carolina, we had friends who raised wolf dogs. I was unaware of the potential for problems in keeping wolf dogs as pets. I can put myself in the shoes of the wolf dogs' benefactor, who runs the New Hampshire sanctuary. He is to be admired.
J.V. Gosselin
Schuylkill Haven, Pa.

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