After Live Earth: What did the global event mean?
In response to the July 5 article, "Live Earth / a briefing,": which addressed celebrity promotion of the global-warming threat, I think it is unfortunate that these millionaire celebrities think that young people will believe in a cause only because some trendy rapper or rock star is behind it. As a young person, I find it incredibly insulting to my generation's intelligence, and I feel that this kind of superficial campaign only reinforces the extremely deprecating stereotype that young people are fickle.
It's easy to promote an issue that is hip and cool and what young voters like, but it's not easy to champion an unpopular cause for completely selfless reasons. That's the difference between things like the civil rights movement and this little bandwagon.
La Verne, Calif.
The July 9 article, "Live Earth concert: Was its message heard?," listed only three performers working on global climate issues. What about the rest, such as headliner Madonna? Can we take performers like her seriously when they hop on yet another public-cause bandwagon? I believe Madonna and other musicians saw this concert as another chance to perform and to boost their popularity. People are unlikely to make the sacrifices necessary to tackle global warming unless they see attention-getters taking real action.
Are we regular folks recycling a few cans and bottles and riding bikes to work to make a difference while major celebrities continue to live extravagant lifestyles? In combating global warming, we are all supposed to modify our lives to save the planet. I wonder if that message came through to the people who were part of the concert. I would like to see some real action on their part, too.
After reading your July 5 article, "Could this be the global-warming generation?", all I could think to myself was when will this pseudocult cease?
Global warming has taken on the image of some crazed cult with its own babbling clergy.
I believe that in 10 years, we will be laughing about all the "hot air" as the left wing moves on to the next cause.
The forgotten storm
I appreciated the July 10 article, "As recovery lags, spirits sag in Gulf," which gave coverage to the struggles Katrina survivors face. However, as a resident of the Texas Gulf Coast, my family was quite relieved when Katrina swept back northward and away from our town. We felt that we had dodged the big one for the year. Little did we know that hurricane Rita would follow less than a month later.
This storm didn't swerve. It bore down on the little niche of the Texas-Louisiana border. Only a slight, late wobble prevented the storm's eyewall from bringing total devastation to the nearly 400,000-strong "Golden Triangle" of southeast Texas, let alone sprawling Houston.
My rudimentary understanding of the role of the media is that it may occasionally act as a form of government oversight, a check on government's excesses and missteps. I understand that this story is meant to share the plight of Mississippi's forgotten town and its often overlooked Katrina survivors; however, there has been little to no national media coverage of 2005's forgotten storm.
The recovery of Texans and Louisianians from hurricane Rita continues, though it has been little noted and not long remembered.
Bush administration is not above the law
After reading the July 5 article, "Leniency for Libby and '08 presidential race," I was again shocked by the tactics employed by the Bush administration. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will continue the appeals process even though his sentence has been commuted. This means that President Bush and Vice President Cheney, when questioned by the press, can continue to refuse to answer, using the excuse that they should not comment on an ongoing legal proceeding. If Mr. Bush had pardoned Libby, there would be no need for an appeal and Bush and Cheney could no longer use that rationale. As to Libby's fine, it will probably be covered by some political or defense fund and before leaving office, I believe that Bush will issue a full pardon.
I read that the Department of Justice guidelines specify that to apply for a commutation, a convict must have started to serve their sentence and have abandoned all appeals; Libby did neither.
Members of the Bush administration have put themselves above the law and its guidelines. Obviously those in this administration not only do not need to answer subpoenas, they can perjure themselves, be found guilty of obstructing justice, and can be sentenced within guidelines of the law, yet serve no time. Hopefully our congressmen will not abdicate their responsibility to hold this administration accountable.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Boosting prosperity in Pakistan
In response to the July 9 article "With US help, money flows in Pakistan," the piece assumes incorrectly that US financial assistance to Pakistan is bringing prosperity to the Pakistani people. Pakistan remains a semifeudal country with per capita income equal to Sudan (around $2,370) and a literacy rate of around 51 percent.
The existing dictatorship has weakened if not destroyed all forms of protest. Civil institutions are nonexistent, and lawlessness is a rule, not the exception, especially in rural areas. What Pakistan needs is a return to democracy and the strengthening of law and order. The military needs to go back to their barracks, and the Islamic preachers to their mosques, and allow secular institutions to strengthen their presence in the political sphere.
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