Grow That Money

Your Nov. 4 editorial "The Growth Gorilla" contained a bit of specious reasoning. To say that "to limit growth is to sacrifice some of the revenue needed to cope with its past consequences" is among the more creative arguments I have ever seen. In other words, we need to keep growing in order to collect more taxes to pay for the consequences of continuing to grow?

--Ken Burton

Handgun Horror

Your Nov. 4 editorial "Legal Guns Kill Too" was frightening and yet gratifying. For the 10 years I lived in the Washington metro area before moving to a state that still values and fiercely protects individual freedom, I read your constant harangues on behalf of "reasonable" gun controls.

At last you have defined what you have danced around for so long: Your concept of "reasonable" includes a total ban on handguns, and I suspect you would even go further. This is horrifying to those of us who value our constitutional rights and our liberty.

You should seriously reflect upon Benjamin Franklin's admonition: They that give up liberty for security shall enjoy neither liberty nor security.

--Dennis O'Connor

Silent on Sri Lanka

In recent days, intense fighting in Sri Lanka's civil war has resulted in the deaths of hundreds, and possibly a thousand, soldiers. This has been the fiercest battle in Sri Lanka during the past year, with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam reclaiming a vast area of territory from the government forces. Yet despite this enormous loss of life, your paper does not seem to feel the events merit coverage.

More than 55,000 people have lost their lives to the 16-year civil war. According to the United Nations, Sri Lanka is second only to Iraq and Yugoslavia in its numbers of "disappeared" people. Up to 1 million people have been displaced by the fighting. Human rights abuses continue by both the rebel and the government forces. And yet the war rarely makes it even into your "News in Brief" section.

--Colleen Malone

Abortion Myth

In asserting that for two centuries, abortion was not a right under the Constitution, Charles Krauthammer ["Federalism's New Friends," op-ed, Nov. 5] has misrepresented historical fact.

Although it is a common myth that the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision made abortion legal for the first time in American history, the fact is that abortion was legal in the United States from the time the earliest settlers arrived on our shores until the mid-to-late 1800s, when some states began passing laws that made it illegal. At the time the Constitution was adopted, abortions were openly advertised and commonly performed. Abortion was something that the Founding Fathers would have been aware of and presumably would not have remained silent about had they intended the government to involve itself in this aspect of the private lives of its citizens.

--Susan Dudley

The writer is deputy director of the National Abortion Federation.

Real Dream World

The real point is missed in Paul Farhi's article "The Spin on 'Real World' " [Style, Nov. 4]. While Farhi rattles on about how staged all the conflicts and romances are, he never touches on how unrealistic a bunch of twenty-something young adults living on the beach in a $10,000-a-month house is. Or how they just got $50,000 to start a business. Gee, how realistic.

These people have no jobs, no experience and no real world know-how, but they are living a dream. Kids across the nation are watching this, thinking how great the real world is, and that is the main problem with the show, if not society--not the staged antics, fake relationships or cheesy arguments.

Reality is bills, mortgage payments, crime and fighting traffic every day, not how a bunch of spoiled brats are arguing about the correct way to weave baskets out of palm fronds on the beach in Hawaii.

Who's in touch with reality? Not the folks at MTV.

--Michael P. Salmon

Earned Windfall

Richard Cohen leaves out a few facts in his column on why George W. Bush's windfall of the Texas Rangers baseball team is not pummelled as Hillary Clinton's futures-trading expedition was.

(1) Clinton's $1,000-$100,000 profit was made with little to no expertise or work on Clinton's part. (2) She made 100 times her investment in a very short time. (3) Bush put up $606,000 and made $14.9 million, 24 times his investment over several years. (4) In addition, Bush actually worked at the Texas Rangers before becoming governor.

You might just say Bush earned his millions by helping to increase the value of the Rangers, and Clinton allowed her windfall to be earned by others.

--Ambler M. Blick