Readers write: North Korea a different situation?, Stephen Curry not alone

Letters to the editor for the June 6, 2016 weekly magazine.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (l.) drives to the basket as Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook defends in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif.

North Korea a different situation?

Regarding the April 23 online article “North Korea tests submarine-launched ballistic missile: Is that unusual?” ( The United States claimed that it attacked Iraq because of the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein denied that Iraq had such weapons. In addition, there was no clear evidence that Iraq was preparing for war.

North Korea openly admits it has weapons of mass destruction and is preparing for war. There has been little discussion of a US attack on North Korea. Why the difference? Iraq had oil. The evidence is clear that obtaining control of Iraqi oil was the real motivation for the US attacking Iraq. North Korea has to import oil from China. 

This suggests that the US does not go to war to defend itself. It goes to war for oil.

Stephen Krashen

Los Angeles

Stephen Curry not alone

Regarding the April 18 cover story, “The Curry phenomenon”: I was very impressed that you had a story about Stephen Curry. I’ve been following basketball for quite a while and appreciate what this player brings to the sport. Fine story. 

However, I thought the subhead on the cover, “Stephen Curry has become a virtuous superstar – just when sports needs one,” was terrible. The implication that sports needs a superstar is a false opinion and provides a false impression to those seeing that subhead.

Perhaps there are players who have problems. Other media may well be carrying those stories over and over again. However, the percentage of those problems is not very high. Take a look at what many NBA players give back to their community in time and money.

How about a story about hero superstars at some point? Surely the NBA players aren’t the only ones giving back, either.

Let’s not buy into the view that more virtuous superstars are needed. Let’s share the view that virtuous superstars are out there.

Roberta Sperling

Corvallis, Ore.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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