An Aug. 31 letter suggests more balance is needed in news coverage and analysis. An excellent goal, not just in newspapers but in television news programs and blogs. Most of us, and I am as guilty as anyone else, have lost our objectivity in our discussions of national politics. Accusations, rantings, and shoving false information down people's throats have replaced sensible, fair and factual discourse. Shooting our mouths off is much more fun than careful listening.
But seeking balance means we must stop watching CNN and/or Fox News like dittoheads. We must stop looking only for media sources that tell us what we want to hear. We must stop searching only for those commentators who stroke our personal ideologies.
Balance and objectivity require hard work. We must do our homework and dig for facts. We must look for news analysis that honestly examines all sides of an issue. We must be rational, reasonable, and thoughtful.
Balance is a fine goal. I hope we find it.
I was staggered to learn that there are 46 "recycling" enforcers in the Streets Department ("Avid recycler says his fine is trashy," Aug. 28). Are these full- or part-time roles? Can the department justify the expense? For the number of citations issued is there data to show level of compliance, the percentage of fines paid? Even if, as this article suggests, there are 12,000 citations issued a year at $50 each, with 100 percent compliance this comes to $600,000. How many city enforcers does $600,000 pay for?
Similar to Rip van Winkle, Michael J. Demain must have been snoozing for the last year and a half to suggest that President Obama hasn't had a chance to lead (Letters, Aug. 31). He's had a chance each and every day. Unfortunately, he has led us in the wrong direction. He's led us to an astronomical national debt. He has led us away from the rule of law, bypassing the Constitution to suit his outrageous programs. He has led us to a more invasive federal government.
The outcome of the 2012 elections is eagerly awaited and confidently anticipated.
Robert L. Cragg
Logic dictates that all war is the chaos of disorder. Logic also concludes that wars of folly are the actions of little boys with big toys. Well, George W. Bush was a toddler with a big toy bin. He fabricated the reason to go to arms for the pure joy of destroying the neighborhood bully. He showed his cautious father what John Wayne would have done no matter that the real varmint, Osama bin Laden, headed for the hills. This is what you get when you elect folks not of presidential timber.
In November, millions are preparing to elect many more children to some of our highest offices. Why does this sound like Animal Farm?
Anthony J. Frascino
I represent Ahmed Wali Karzai, the democratically elected head of the Kandahar Provincial Council. I strongly object to Trudy Rubin's column "Obama's detrimental deadline," in which she writes about Karzai: "whose corruption has undercut the long-awaited offensive in Kandahar."
Nothing could be further from the truth and the cavalier use of "corruption" when it comes to Karzai is totally unwarranted. He has endured years of false rumors and accusations concocted by political enemies. He has never been charged with any wrongdoing. To the contrary, two U.S. ambassadors conducted their own investigations and did not find any credible evidence to support allegations of opium trafficking. Moreover, a recent probe by the attorney general cleared Karzai of rumors of improper land seizure.
Finally, Rubin's suggestion that Karzai has "undercut the long awaited offensive in Kandahar" turns reality on its head. He has worked closely with the U.S. military, Special Forces, and coalition troops in battling the Taliban since 2001. No wonder there have been nine failed Taliban assassination attacks on him.
Ahmed Wali Karzai is on our side. He's one of the good guys.
New York City
Enough of this nasty controversy over a mosque or other houses of worship at ground zero. In the spirit of separation of church and state and following the worthy example of our fellow citizens of Gettysburg, let's erect a casino at ground zero and give it back to the descendents of the Wappinger Confederacy, members of the Delaware Indian tribe that first sold Manhattan to Peter Minuet in 1626. They will, of course, have to return the beads and trinkets which they received in compensation for the island, but for this they only get the rights to the casino; they don't get Manhattan back.