A Ruinous Loss
Re "The Walls Tumble Down" [May 26], it was devastating to see thousands of schoolchildren buried alive when a powerful earthquake reduced whole towns in China's Sichuan province to rubble. Children are innocent and their lives so utterly precious; the images we saw on television and in the press of lifeless young bodies lying in piles within the remains of their schools sickened me. As an overseas Chinese, my heart goes to the bereaved families who have lost that which is most dear.
McCain's Health Report
Hey, as long as you're doing pieces on candidates' health-related issues, why don't you do one on the possible effects of Barack Obama's smoking [May 26]?
Steven D. Smith,
Centennial, Colo., U.S.
What no one seems willing to mention when discussing McCain's health is that 11% of American males 71 or older have dementia of one kind or another, according to a comprehensive study published late last year. This is not a partisan statistic. If Hillary Clinton or Obama had a decent chance of having a heart attack or stroke in office, would this be something the electorate would have a legitimate interest in? Signs and symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulty with language and trouble learning new things. As a health professional with years of experience in the area, I call on Senator McCain to undergo testing to verify his cognitive fitness for office.
Yuma, Ariz., U.S.
Portrait of the Artist
Richard Lacayo's on-target homage to the late Robert Rauschenberg mentions the artist's old friendship with John Cage and his romantic relationship with Jasper Johns but not his vital love-hate-play relationships with Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock [May 26]. Leaving out that dynamic part of his life is like leaving the subject's nose off his portrait. Rauschenberg would have loved it.
New York City
Imagine if, when we bungled the relief efforts in New Orleans so badly after Hurricane Katrina, the Burmese army had stormed ashore in Louisiana to put things right [May 26]. Whether it's conservatives spilling our young people's blood in Iraq and Afghanistan or liberals clamoring for intervention in Kosovo and Darfur, it's awfully easy to finish your breakfast coffee and harrumph that something must be done when you're not the one to put your life on the line.
Huntington Woods, Mich., U.S.
Cyclone Nargis' death toll is astonishing. Over 100,000 people ought not die from such a disaster. In Bangladesh we deal with floods and cyclones every year. But the Burmese junta is blind and deaf and selfish. Burma is our neighbor, but the generals have sealed themselves off. News from halfway around the world comes to us faster than whatever trickles in from our eastern border. Let's hope that the horrors of this disaster will lead to the opening up of this country more and a respite for its millions of suffering people.
The Clintonian Revolution
Your article on Obama's debt to the Clintons discredits Obama [May 26]. Whether you like him or not, he deserves the credit for his success, not the Clintons. Let's stop praising the Clintons at any cost and move on. The Clinton era is over.
Acworth, Ga., U.S.
The person who made Obama was George W. Bush.
New London, N.H., U.S.