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Although drug use is perhaps morally reprehensible, it should be legalized. Making drug possession criminal is a hydra, begetting yet more crime. Through legalization, huge savings can be realized from crime reduction. Revenues gleaned from taxing legal profits can be used for antidrug research, and standardized products will reduce drug deaths. Governments formerly beneath the heel of drug cartels can once again begin to function for their own constituents. DONALD H. RUDICK, M.D. St. Marys, Pa.
I disagree that the information highway had a "construction error" exploited by the authors of the Code Red virus [TECHNOLOGY, Aug. 20]. The fundamental structure of the Internet was not the problem in this case. It was Microsoft's error that resulted in a security hole. Perhaps it is time that Microsoft stop focusing on swallowing yet another segment of the electronics market and instead make sure its 300 million-plus current customers will have secure, uncompromised computers when they wake up tomorrow. ABE JELLINEK Newton, Mass.
Three Clinton Authors
I wouldn't spend $30 for either Hillary or Bill Clinton's book [NOTEBOOK, Aug. 20]. However, I could be talked into buying one by Chelsea--the only Clinton with class. AUGUSTA LITWER Seattle
Out of the Niche
Like your critic James Poniewozik [ESSAY, Aug. 20], I am a hipster from the '80s who took pride in my knowledge of alternative rock. I proudly bought import records at the "cool" record stores and knew all about the right bands and songs. And though I genuinely liked the music, I also liked what it wasn't: accessible. People like me are the ones who now get to put that music in movies and commercials. But in doing so, we've taken away the edge, the hipness in simply knowing it. Somewhere, right now, a 15-year-younger version of myself is listening to 2001's equivalent of How Soon Is Now? I wonder if the listener knows it will be used to sell cars in 20 years. PAUL GIORGI Los Angeles
Larry Adler was one of the great musical virtuosos of the 20th century [MILESTONES, Aug. 20]. In the item on his death, you stated that "by the late 1930s he was performing in Carnegie Hall." But that was only the beginning. In 1942 Darius Milhaud wrote Suite Anglaise for Adler, and in 1952 Ralph Vaughan Williams composed Romance for Harmonica and Orchestra. Ravel left provisions in his will for Adler to be allowed to play Bolero whenever he liked, without paying royalties. When George Gershwin heard a youthful Adler play Rhapsody in Blue, he said, "The goddam thing sounds as though I wrote it for you." THURSTON MOORE Madison, Tenn.