Observer forum: Letters to editor

In response to “Is nation mature enough to drop Victorian morality?” (Aug. 13 Forum):

Maybe ‘Victorian morality'

is manifestation of maturity

Having just celebrated my 50th wedding anniversary and a marriage of complete fidelity, I take issue with Bill Barnes.

If marital fidelity is merely “Victorian,” as he suggests, why then the need for any citizen, whether public or private, to go to great lengths to cover up infidelity and then to repeatedly lie about it? Why the need for the forgiveness of the spouse and of one's Lord, as John Edwards said he begged for?

Ann Marks Hough


There's good cause to hold

our leaders to higher standard

I disagree with Mr. Barnes that adultery is no longer a big deal because it has become so commonplace in our society. The New Testament teaches that our teachers and leaders should be held to a higher standard.

Stephen J. Dohl


In response to “John Edwards' affair: Is it relevant or not?” (Aug. 12 Young Voices):

Edwards is issue for adults,

not for Young Voices

Why did the Observer feel the need to question children about such an adult topic as the John Edwards affair? Let children have a childhood!

Emory Bass


Participation in Young Voices

helped me think critically

I'm tired of seeing Young Voices belittled in the Forum and the Buzz.

Certainly an 11-year-old can't fully understand all the ramifications of Edwards' affair, but it would be ridiculous to wait until someone is old enough to vote to start asking them to engage national and world issues.

Years ago, as one of the first students to take part in Young Voices, I learned to think critically and to express my ideas clearly and succinctly. Now I'm about to graduate from Duke University, where I've been an editorial assistant with an academic journal, written for the school newspaper, blogged for a national publication and started an undergraduate magazine.

If you don't get anything out of reading Young Voices, big deal – it's about preparing young thinkers to be responsible and contributing citizens, not about entertaining you.

Sarah S. Howell


In response to “McCain has own record of rejecting ‘family values'” (Aug. 13 Forum):

McCain's ‘family values':

Story of divorce isn't simple

John McCain's first wife's auto accident occurred while he was still a POW. She recovered from severe injuries with great determination, and the couple was married for several years following his return from Vietnam.

Sharon Matheny

New London

Washburn, at least, is in step

with Observer readers

Mark Washburn hits the nail on the head with “Stick a feather in this cap and call it baloney” (Aug. 13).

At least one writer at the Observer actually thinks like the majority of readers.

Who in their wildest dreams would think of such an expensive endeavor for the taxpayers during these difficult economic times?

Marleen Alexander


In response to “Wrong-way firetruck wreck partly tied to SUV” (Aug. 13):

Firetruck going wrong way

isn't free of responsibility

If firefighters are going to drive on the wrong side of the road, then it's their responsibility to anticipate the traffic turning right or left into their lane at intersections.

Drivers who are hard of hearing or elderly – or just have the AC running full blast – may not hear that truck barreling down the road. Let's not adopt a policy of taking a life to save a life.

Terry Chambers


In response to “Consumer victimized by credit card trickery” (Aug. 13 Forum):

Credit card practices are

getting deserved scrutiny

According to Parade magazine (Aug. 10), the Federal Reserve Board and Congress recently purposed rules to prohibit unfair practices by credit card companies. Obviously they don't see everything as the consumer's fault.

Phyllis B. Copley


In response to “Hope for universal health care?” (Aug. 13 Viewpoint):

Recipients love Medicare?

I don't think so, Mr. Krugman

Has Paul Krugman actually asked any Medicare recipients what they think of the government-run health care he claims is “immensely popular”?

Todd Sansbury


In response to “U.S. didn't lack for cause to go into Afghanistan” (Aug. 14 Forum):

Don't forget 4th plane used

in 9-11 hijackings

Many numbers from 9-11 aren't easy to remember. The official count of those killed by the 19 terrorists is 2,981. New York's death toll is 2,752. The total killed at the Pentagon is 189, including 125 in the building and 64 on the plane. The total killed in Shanksville, Pa., is 40, including passengers and crew.

But surely it is easy to remember there were four planes, not three. American 11 hit Tower 1. United 175 hit Tower 2. American 77 hit the Pentagon. United 93 crashed in Shanksville.

Before justifying war, please get your facts straight.

Kathleen Britton


In response to “CMS: Athletes who gave false info must sit” (Aug. 14):

Address-challenged athletes

have role model on board

It was OK for Vilma Leake, but not for high school athletes? Where do you think they got the idea?

Lewis Wolhar


In response to “College funding targeted” (Aug. 14):

Myrick on target with bill

to turn away illegals

Kudos to Rep. Sue Myrick and her bill to remove federal funding from colleges that knowingly admit illegal immigrants. Our colleges are already so overcrowded they're having trouble housing all their students. I'm all about America's melting pot and the opportunities we can provide to better people's lives – but only those who are here legally.

Lisa Hegarty


In response to “Not listening to generals has been costly to nation” (Aug. 10 Forum):

‘Not listening to generals'

often would've been wise

It was MacArthur who disobeyed Truman's orders, resulting in a devastating attack by the Chinese. As a result, we were beaten back to the 38th parallel and MacArthur got fired.

In Vietnam the generals, notably Westmoreland, kept feeding LBJ optimistic and falsified body counts, leading him to feed more troops into a bad situation.

If George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld had taken the advice of the commanders before the invasion and scraped up enough troops to sustain an occupation, then we wouldn't be in this quagmire today.

Henry M. Gordon


In response to “Dogma-burdened conservatives fall short of academic standard” (Aug. 10 Forum):

Reliance on dogma isn't

limited to conservatives

Conservatives aren't the only ones who “believe in dogma unencumbered by facts.”

A few examples from the liberal creed: Humans are basically good, minorities are incapable of prejudice, promiscuous sex hurts no one if done safely, men and women are the same and socialism will solve the world's problems.


K.G. Pilger