Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the Nobel Peace Prize and Al Gore, the discrimination that accompanies Chief Wahoo, and the honesty behind Congress's earmarks.

Did this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners do enough?

Regarding the Oct. 15 article, "Nobel prize renews calls of 'Run, Al, run'": To those who want to draft Al Gore as candidate for the US presidency, I say that Mr. Gore has a higher purpose than leading one nation.

He has become a magnanimous spokesperson for the salvation of all life on this planet, and saving Mother Earth is the most important endeavor anyone can make at this pivotal time. History will recall Gore as one of the greatest leaders of them all – the man who pulled the wool off our eyes and saved us from ourselves.

Richard Barrett
Lakewood, Colo.

In response to the Oct. 15 article, "Alongside Al Gore, an Indian 'climate control' engineer": The expansion of the definition of "peace" by the Nobel committee is timely. Still, awarding the peace prize remains a political process. Paradoxically, the apostle of the nonviolence movement, Mahatma Gandhi, never received any Nobel "peace" prize. So be it. Sometimes glaring omissions are equally fascinating and are a telling commentary on the political intonations of the times.

No doubt global warming is a clear and present danger. The award recipients would have been justified if, in their individual capacities, or even jointly, they had managed to persuade the United States and Australia to adopt the Kyoto Protocol. This would have heralded a new chapter in the international consensus on saving the planet.

Alas, without this obstacle removed, it looks like a slightly premature and undeserved celebration.

Vissa Venkata Sundar
Hyderabad, India

Discrimination is never acceptable

In response to Jonathan Zimmerman's Oct. 15 Opinion piece, "Cleveland Indians' mascot must go": This piece struck a bit of a chord with me. I was transferred to a federal lab in Cleveland 10 years ago, where my Cleveland employees were shocked that I found the Indians' mascot, Chief Wahoo, offensive. Several even worried that I'd force them to take the mascot's picture off their office walls. I assured them that, personal feelings aside, I wouldn't do that. But I also informed them that if some other folks were to start a team called, say, The Sambos, in nearby Akron, with a black (instead of red) Sambo as their mascot, they would get the same treatment from me. One rule for everyone.

While no one would think of using the derogatory black Sambo image because of the reaction it would generate, attempts at pointing out the similarity with Chief Wahoo are sometimes pooh-poohed. I've seen no difference in sensitivity – or lack thereof.

Apparently, discrimination remains OK, provided the group you're insulting and demeaning is too small in numbers to cause you any harm.

Dave Huntsman
Bay Village, Ohio

Congress isn't honest with earmarks

In reading the Oct. 5 article, "In first test, Congress narrows scope of ethics reform," I have come to the conclusion that as long as Congress allows earmarks, or congressionally directed spending, we will not have an honest government.

It seems that our senators and representatives are not able to face the idea of being honest with the people. Too many of the earmarks have a very heavy amount of pork in them. I am sure that there are many who would support a move to eliminate all earmarks. It is the first step to honesty in government.

Marshall Bush
Brooklyn Park, Minn.

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 may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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