If this is success, what does failure feel like?
Matthew Meinkin (Letters, May 2) writes pure fiction about President Bush's foreign policy "success." Bush's lies have cost hundreds of American lives and thousands of innocent Iraqi lives and wasted billions of dollars and caused untold destruction. His wanton arrogance has turned the world against us and made us more vulnerable to terrorism.
Bush is, by far, the worst president in our history. If he is allowed to lie and cheat his way to another four years, it will be a disaster for us and the world.
Nancy Bey Little
Where was the outrage for slain Americans?
I am really angered by the continuing coverage given to the poor Iraqi prisoners who were tortured by American GIs. Is it shameful that this happened? Yes! Do these atrocities need to be exposed? Yes! Should we be reading about it day in and day out? No!
A few weeks ago four truly innocent Americans were ambushed, tortured, maimed (testicles cut off) and dragged through the streets of Fallujah. Their bodies were hung from a bridge and burned while throngs of Iraqis watched and cheered. Did we see coverage of that scene? For a couple of days. Was there an investigation? A demand for justice?
These were American civilians working to help restore services in Iraq. The tortured Iraqis were prisoners, and while that does not excuse the actions of a few soldiers, these guys were in prison for being bad guys. The Americans were decent, hard-working people who were killed simply because they were Americans.
This morning I watched members of Congress condemn the soldiers for their actions and demand justice; I almost jumped through the television to strangle these America-haters. Where were they a few weeks ago? It sickens and angers me that we are so quick to forget American lives but are just as quick to demand justice for Iraqi prisoners of war.
Harassment of gays likely underreported
I'm afraid Vivian Ah Sam (Letters, April 30) has been misled by Board of Education member Carol Gabbard's rosy conclusions regarding harassment of gay students. As in the case of heterosexual rape and child abuse, incomplete raw data don't tell the whole story.
We cannot determine whether the reported 16 cases of anti-gay harassment represent a disproportionately high or low incidence unless we also know how many gay students there are and how many cases of harassment were never reported. How will we learn what the facts are if we'd rather jump to unwarranted conclusions than do the necessary research?
Since gays constitute a despised minority, they have strong incentives to underreport harassment. A student who reports such harassment is engaging in an act of desperation. The actual number of cases of anti-gay harassment is probably much higher than 16.
In Nobozny v. Podlesny, a federal appeals court ruled that schools can be sued if they deliberately ignore anti-gay harassment. The Wisconsin school which allowed Jamie Nobozny to be harassed paid a penalty of nearly $1 million, and this was for just a single case of harassment. Do we want Hawaii to learn similar painful lessons?
AARP benefit decision will hurt retirees
The American Association of Retired Persons is deeply disappointed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's approval of a rule that will allow employers to reduce or eliminate retiree health benefits that they offer to older, Medicare-eligible retirees. More than 12 million Medicare beneficiaries currently receive benefits from their former employers. AARP is concerned that this rule may jeopardize those benefits.
However, EEOC Chairwoman Cari Dominguez has suggested an opportunity remains for further discussion on the rule to ensure that older retirees' benefits are protected. AARP will seek a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties and protects the interests of all seniors. However, there is only a narrow time frame for such discussion before the rule takes effect.
We hope this letter provides your readers some insight as to how it may affect them.
Associate state director
Kerry's view on Iraq is no improvement
I'm extremely disappointed with John Kerry. He has not given the Democratic Party a clear choice in November regarding the war in Iraq. In fact, if he wins, he will be just another war president.
In a recent Washington Post story, Kerry said, "We also need to renew our effort to attract international support in the form of boots on the ground to create a climate of security in Iraq."
This is an attempt at a military solution that is impossible. He advocates keeping military control in Iraq. Didn't he learn his lesson in Vietnam? A subjugated people will never give up. We need to get out of Iraq completely and let the Iraqi people rule themselves.