Foxnews.com readers' responses to Mike Straka’s bittersweet article on saying goodbye to loved ones were filled with sorrow and compassion. Readers also appreciated Wendy McElroy’s column debunking Iraq’s reputation as a female-friendly environment.
Readers also considered the possibility that Freon insulation might have been responsible for the Columbia disaster, the issue of the internet being the preferred news source for younger generations, and a paranoia-inspired conceal and carry law in Ohio.
Here is a sample of this week’s mail.
In response to Michael Straka’s Before We Say Goodbye:
Michael D. Paley writes:
Dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one is a process that is different for everyone. But if you give yourself and the ones around you the chance to express love, hopes, fears and desires before leaving for an extended or potentially dangerous trip, it might just make it a little easier to find peace and understanding along the way. As time goes by and life goes on it does become easier to deal with the loss of a loved one. By reserving a small place for them in our hearts, their spirit lives on.
Rebecca Axline writes:
When death impacts us personally or as a nation, I am gratified that it still causes great sadness. This reassures me that our moral character continues to value each individual life as well as the incredible impact a single life has on so many others.
Chuck Long writes:
We can worry over the "would have, could have and should have" forever, but it will not be of any benefit to anyone. All it will do is zap your energy. You can learn from the past, but avoid trying to relive the past.
Nelle Rote writes:
The way truth is revealed to us can be painful and cruel. Consider that knowledge a privilege and make use of it for the common good.
Joseph Davis writes:
A more accurate comparison of your personal loss back then and a recent situation would be the emotions and grief felt by many of the spouses and other family members of people killed on Sept. 11. They had said the usual "see you later’s" in the morning when they saw their loved ones depart for a "normal" day at work, and returned home, in many cases, to find a last "good-bye" recorded on an answering machine. We must never, even under the most "normal" of circumstances, take those we love for granted. If they, or we, choose a profession or lifestyle that entails an especially high risk factor, this applies with even more urgency, since we must always be prepared for the worst.
Dave J. writes:
I believe we are creatures of habit, and its always easier to put off what we should have said or done with our loved ones, always assuming that they know how we feel towards them. When something does happen, we feel guilty and often sad. That can turn to anger.
Sharon Hehl writes:
Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, and we take so much for granted. I was very blessed. I saw my son the night before he died, and during the course of our conversation, I was moved to say, "I really love you." I got my last hug. We laughed together. Was it enough? In one respect, yes, it has to be enough. Had the conversation gone differently, I might not have gotten that much.
In response to ifeminists:
Charles E. Phillips writes:
Thank you for having the moral courage to stand up and voice an opinion which is not in line with current feminist dogma and to help all Muslim women in the world. No matter how much lip service is paid to progress in the Muslim world towards women, they will continue to be treated like property. The horrors will be inflicted on them by these teachings until these basic tenants of the Muslim faith are addressed by the world and especially by feminist organizations willing to focus on the hypocrisy of most modern Arab states.
Lisa Wilkerson writes:
I had wondered about the plight of women in Iraq on several occasions. I figured it wasn’t good, but there is nothing really stated in the media. Shame on any women's group that can turn their back on what is going on for their own political motives!
Billy Myers writes:
I could not help but be struck at the unbelievable self-centeredness of modern feminists. They are against the war, regardless of the danger Iraq may represent, because it might divert funds from "women's issue's." They would put their own short term and selfish interests above the lives and safety of their families, their country and the inhabitants of other nations? Compare this to the women of 60 years ago who not only took care of hearth and home in spite of rationing and shortages, but also worked 10 and 12 hour days in factories while their husbands, brothers and sons fought and died on the battlefields of the world. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The women of this generation aren't fit to polish their grandmother's pumps!
Jennifer Leslie writes:
It is unfortunate that because of their dislike for President Bush, many feminists groups are willing to let this issue be ignored. When will the people of this country wake-up and realize this "war" against Iraq is not about oil or money, but for the people of Iraq, the Middle East and women everywhere.
Majorie Kaye writes:
Feminist goals include independence from oppression, educational equality, professional and personal freedom, and an end to religious intolerance and persecution. How, then, is it reasonable to conduct foreign policy, ostensibly to support our own values and interests around the world, without considering the most fundamental concerns of feminists, concerns that are mirrored by so many Americans? Foreign policy is not the exclusive domain of men, and its relative success or failure hinges upon its consistency with the opinions of those whom it purports to represent to the world. The wholesale rejection of consideration of feminist perspectives in the development of foreign policy defeats the article's argument that we, as a nation, ought to champion the rights of Iraqi women.
In response to Junk Science:
Patty Simpson writes:
I am not an environmentalist. I do not agree with the argument that global warming is a man- caused issue. However, for those who do, I can understand the concern. Many years ago I read an EPA report on ozone. In that report it stated that shuttle take-off’s did more to damage the ozone than almost all other man-made pollution. It said that it was not the amount of damaging chemicals that were released, but it was the placement of the release. It is released very high into the area experiencing the so-called problem, and the chemical reactions that took place were far more damaging than the pollution that filtered up.
Bob Greene writes:
I agree with you that NASA should have used the material best suited for the job, making no measurable impact on the environment. However, if the use of a poorer propellant for foam applications caused the problem, why is this the first failure? One would have suspected that in the time the inferior foam was used, there would have been more problems. Who would be better than NASA to do the technical evaluation of the incident?
Rick Marsh writes:
I concur with views on NASA's use of "PC foam." However, in this time of rampant political correctness, NASA was in a no-win situation. If they had continued to use the Freon based foam, they would have been criticized for not following the rules and promoting pollution, global warming, etc. So, they use PC foam and people get killed. Now they will be pilloried for that.
The real issue at hand is the absolute abandonment of common sense to PC. It is pervasive throughout our society. It is found in our military, schools, workplaces, speech, etc. Now, PC may have cost us the lives of 7 of our finest. Instead of being so quick to blame NASA for being a slave to PC (just as we all are), maybe we should use this as the starting point to rid ourselves of this ridiculous and dangerous social malady.
Shaun Johnson writes:
With the number of launch cancellations experienced due to mechanical failures and serious safety of flight issues encountered during routine shuttle phase inspecions (these are safety inspections that are scheduled in predetermined intervals), it seems obvious that the NASA shuttle safety is again being overshadowed by the "mission." This is somewhat reminicent of the tragic circumstances that led to the destruction of the Challenger in 1986. It is a shame that seven brave men and women aboard the Columbia had to pay for NASA's incompetence with their lives.
Peter Galicki writes:
The wheels of politically correct bureaucracy grind away every day at NASA and other government agencies. As a former NASA engineer, I have seen first hand how first and foremost NASA was a testing center for political garbage coming out of Washington, and the engineering and real science was always on the sidelines. With so much waste, only about 15 percent of the budget actually ended up producing engineering results. The rest was used up on feeding the hungry bureaucracy that seemed to be growing bigger every day. This foam incident should be viewed as powerful remainder of the politically correct waste that goes on inside government agencies every day.
Jackie Goss writes:
Having grown up close to the space program and close to those who worked in it, I realize that it's hard for people outside to understand the culture in that organization. I can't even begin to tell you how differently NASA approaches problems or challenges from the way most government (political) agencies do it. They have written the book on quality control, project management and change control that have become best practices in many companies and global enterprises. The level of commitment and drive for excellence is a way of life there.
In response to Fox News Watch:
Jim Russell writes:
The first step would be for all of the news media to admit that it is humanly impossible to be "objective" and that we all see the world through our own biases. Only if that is admitted is there a possibility of becoming accurate.
Mike Walsh writes:
I find it very interesting and revealing that representatives of the journalism establishment, such as Professor Hartman, believe that those of us under 35 are attracted to the Internet because we're attracted to tabloid-like news coverage that covers headlines, but not details. The opposite is true. Television news, particularly from the major networks, has sunk to tabloid levels. A two-minute story about complex military or financial news, featuring nothing but the usual bromides, slogans, and stereotypes does not cut it. The fact is that TV and print news is so entertainment-oriented that the internet and cable news networks are the only places to find in-depth coverage with the analytical and historical background required to educate oneself.
The lower the ratings for establishment journalism sink, the more media executives seem to scramble to accelerate their plight by pandering to the lowest common denominator, spurred on by the mistaken assumption that people under 35 are as brainless as they think we are. They seem to believe that we're all a bunch of MTV- watching idiots who only care about sex and violence. Granted, those morons are numerous, but they don't care about world events anyway, and would never consume real news, no matter what the manner of delivery.
David Vest writes:
I think there's a slight paradox there though, because the small internet publications are in such a rush to "post" that they often don't have time to put much of a spin on the information. When they do, it is much more clearly presented, as their egos and institutional reputations aren't as easily bruised. So in a twist, at times their lack of reputation and accountability makes them seem more "reliable."
Cris Martin writes:
I am not a teenager or in college. Do not discount the professionals. I use the internet for news for exactly all the reasons you mentioned. I haven't read a newspaper in years. I don't have the time. When you work all the hours most professionals do, you need to be able to access world and local events in a time frame that coincides with your personal schedule.
In response to Off Campus from the University of Cincinnati:
Ralph Tyler writes:
If we are threatened with terrorists here and our military forces are deployed, then it will be up to local law officers and any national guard and reserve troops left to deal with the problem. When you get down to it, according to an article I read in 1993 on the legal issue of the Second Amendment, every male in the U.S. is a member of the military from the age of 18 to 65 (U.S. Supreme Court) with combat age to age 45. You may not like the idea of citizens walking the streets with a "gun in a coat pocket," but there might be a time when you wouldn't mind.
Louis Erickson writes:
This country has changed from a republic to a democracy where the majority rules. When the majority lives in fear, the government is quick to fill that need by increasing its own power. Reverting our system back to the republic it was born as would do much to prevent the reactionary politics we have today.
Dennis Guillot writes:
Isn't it time to question the motives of those who would further their political agenda through the blood of those who have become victims of criminals? They were not the victims of an inanimate object. They were the victim of another human being. Only a fool fears an object.
Jane Thompson writes:
This is a lively statement of a feeling that seems rampant in the U.S. today. It's too bad that it's so difficult to get people to protest the erosion of rights and freedoms that we are witnessing all around us. Too often the victims of these new laws are minorities and people unable to defend themselves.