The Republican Ticket
"Bush is running as a compassionate conservative, Cheney as a Republican. The two together are a political oxymoron." LES TUSUP Willits, Calif.
The Republican Convention was a rubber-stamp, candidates-in-place and platform-all-but-cast-in-concrete event [CAMPAIGN 2000, Aug. 7]. The words in George W. Bush's slogan, compassionate and conservative, are mutually exclusive. Conservatism suggests that one must leave well enough alone. That is in total contrast to compassion, which requires a liberal approach to problems and sensitivity to other people's needs. DAN GOOR Colorado Springs
Regardless of where one stands on the various issues, one must concede that Bush and his family will return a level of integrity to the office of President. ROGER SHAFFER Canyonville, Ore.
For someone who wants the G.O.P. to be inclusive of minorities, Bush seems blind to how racism, class and privilege are entrenched in American culture and institutions. SHEA JUSTICE Jamaica Plain, Mass.
A Guide for Black Students
Jack E. White's commentary on my book Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America [DIVIDING LINE, Aug. 7] mistakenly depicted me as having written a callow screed rather than the constructively intended arguments I proposed. I do not call for blacks to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." On the contrary, I outline strategies for guiding young black students out of a culturally ingrained wariness of school. The claim that I was uncomfortable with my Stanford fellowship but "didn't turn [it] down" is insulting, misrepresenting a process I describe in which I began by agreeing with affirmative-action policies but gradually began to feel different as I got older (long after the Stanford fellowship). One may not agree with my positions, but ideally a reviewer would more carefully address what I wrote. JOHN MCWHORTER Oakland, Calif.
The Concorde Disaster
Your chilling account of the final few minutes of Flight 4590 [WORLD, Aug. 7] reminds us that we constantly live right on the very edge. LEALAND D. LUCK South Boston, Va.
The suggestion that the Concorde should be retired because of one accident is ludicrous. DUANE MANTICK Lafayette, Ind.
Who Gives to Charities?
The chart titled "The Poor Give the Hardest," which appeared with your report on the New Philanthropists [SOCIETY, July 24], misinterpreted the Independent Sector's most recent figures from a 1999 survey on giving and volunteering in the U.S. The data in the chart represent the average percentage of income only for those households that made contributions in 1998, not the average percentage contributed by all households in the U.S. at those income levels. SUSAN K.E. SAXON-HARROLD VICE PRESIDENT, RESEARCH Independent Sector Washington
Getting to Know Chickens
Joel Stein--man, reporter, large yellow bird--has a job waiting for him here at PETA anytime he wants to climb back into the chicken outfit and hit the road as he did when he joined us for a protest in the chicken section of a Delaware supermarket [NOTEBOOK, Aug. 7]. The PETA Commando Chicks that Stein traveled with were so impressed with his stint as a renegade feathered protester that they have offered to personally help him "chicken out" and go vegetarian. ALISON GREEN, CORRESPONDENT PETA Norfolk, Va.