• U.S.

Letters: Dec. 21, 1970

8 minute read

Not So Easy

Sir: Thank you for your cover article [Dec. 7] concerning the prisoners of war. After having read it, though, I could not help visualizing a great many of your subscribers scanning the magazine, setting it aside, and forgetting their sympathy for these men within the week. Please do not mistake my tone for that of bitterness. There is no guilt in this act; indeed, I have done it myself many times. In this instance, however, it is not so easy.

I am a young man in the midst of a college education. After all the politics and all the oratory, however, things remain the same. Neither my father’s story nor mine can be told fully until either his safety is secured or his death is substantiated. My mother is kept from the man she loves, my younger brothers are denied his guidance. Dad is caught in the middle, and my tears are worthless to all.


Sir: Since our heroic attempt to rescue P.O.W.s outside of Hanoi. I have been puzzled concerning the Government’s efforts to publicize the failure. It seems to me that the raid was meant to collapse. If North Vietnamese were present at the detention center, any skirmish would have resulted in a deliberate killing of our men. One can suspect that the raid was a desperate political gamble (a sign of diplomatic decay) to rescue a favorable climate for the Administration.


Sir: Is there really any means of ensuring the safe return of the American prisoners of war other than setting a firm date for the complete withdrawal of American military forces from Viet Nam?


Sir: What courageous men we have in the Senate, speaking out against our gallant soldiers risking their lives to rescue our precious youth from the camps in North Viet Nam. Kennedy and Fulbright seem to think that volunteering one’s life to save another is senseless.


The World’s Rose Bowl

Sir: I’ve been reading your article on the American emigrant [Nov. 30] and reminiscing about how I used to spend hours poring over TIME in my drab, unheated Sydney room. My interest then was not generated simply by memories of the friends and material comforts I had left behind but also by the feeling that America was “where it was at.” America is the world’s Rose Bowl, and I’m glad to have been allowed to come back to be a participant. WILL TURNER San Francisco

Sir: Although I am neither an expatriate nor an employee of an American firm, I have lived abroad for nearly two and a half years. I consider myself very much an American, but I don’t like being where the “action” is. In creating this action, America has paid a frightfully large price in dehumanization. It is undoubtedly exhilarating to survey the turmoil from the comfort of an air-conditioned office after having made it, but what about these who get their noses rubbed in “action” every day. We may be the center of things, but I wonder how long we−or the rest of the world−are going to endure it.

DAVID MILLER Järvenpää, Finland

Sir: Unfortunately, there is but a minority of people who really care about our country’s health. Their cries for reform are lost in the fights for higher wages and prices spurred on by the apathetic majority and those who now wallow in the muck of affluence. Rather than live in this society of increasing crime, pollution, racial unrest and inflation, they leave the country.

In this case, to run away from one’s problems is not the coward’s way out, it’s the only way out.

DAN BOWEN Spring Lake, Mich.

Sir: It is up to Irving Harrison to live anywhere he likes if he and his family are happier there. But does he really think that Spain is a good example of a country that shows compassion toward its poor and lack of repression toward its liberals?


Sir: An equally commendable alternative exists for Americans: reorder your priorities and leave the din of urban existence. I trust that nature will at least tolerate her prodigal son.


Sir: “If you’re not part of the solution, you must be part of the problem!”

RODNEY J. GASCH Chilton, Wis.

Political Ax

Sir: Talk about revolution! When a man like Walter Hickel gets the political ax [Dec. 7] for being more concerned with principles than politics, it looks to me like the system that is supposed to be working for me is really working against me.

NANCY WAEGEL Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Sir: Walter Hickel for President! Why not? When he came in, many of us thought he was the kind who’d sell the polar bears for fuel oil; but he turned out to be an able, conscientious conservationist.

He has vigor, determination, administrative experience—even an open mind. He looks like no warmed-over hero. And even his line about an arrow through the heart has such a nice, oldtime, country ring that we may be sure he thought of it himself.

He’s the nearest thing to an honest man to come to light in a long while, and America had better grab him before he and we become extinct.


Something Missing

Sir: Returning from a week’s holiday, I am deeply distressed to find in TIME’S Environment section [Nov. 30] an article on Communist pollution that draws heavily on the work of Professor Marshall Goldman but fails to give him credit. Professor Goldman, of Wellesley College and the Russian Research Center at Harvard, is a specialist in the Soviet economy, and has provided many of the details on Russia’s environmental pollution included in TIME’S piece. To print these facts without mentioning Goldman is to slight one of the most discerning and delightful experts on what is so frequently a gray and murky part of the world.


The Real Thing

Sir: In your article on the use of dummy policemen in Japan [Nov. 23], you advocate the use in the United States of dummy patrol cars.

The idea was tried and abandoned in California. Billboard cars were made and spotted around the state. Like signposts, they began to attract bullet holes. Inevitably, it happened: a passing motorist took a potshot at what he thought was a dummy and killed a patrolman.

CHARLES ALCOCK Salinas, Calif.

Unequivocal Statement

Sir: My purpose in writing is to bring to your attention serious misstatements of fact regarding the FBI which are contained in the item entitled “Muckraker’s Progress” [Oct. 26]. I have specific reference to the false allegation that the FBI paid “Klansmen $36,500 to persuade Kathy Ainsworth … to dynamite the home of a Jewish businessman” and the equally false implication that this Bureau was guilty of entrapment

I want to state unequivocally that the FBI did not pay any sum of money to any person in connection with the attempted dynamiting in Meridian, Miss., in June 1968, which resulted in the fatal shooting of Mrs. Ainsworth and the arrest of Thomas A. Tarrants III. Nor does the FBI tolerate, condone, or participate in entrapment.

J. EDGAR HOOVER Director Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington, D.C.

≫ TIME did not accuse the FBI of entrapment, it simply reported the account given in a new book by Jack Nelson, a newsman with a high reputation for accuracy.

Man of the Year

Sir: President Nixon. It’s about time:

JOSÉ LUIS RODRÍGUEZ VILLANCAÑAS Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Sir: The times call for levity, and Mrs. Mitchell is providing it. She is the flower child in Nixon’s defoliated hothouse. Martha for Man of the Year!

JAMES W. BROWN JR. Mexico City

Sir: The radic-libs. With luck, they may yet prove to be your salvation.

SIMON WALKER Rondebosch, Cape Town

Sir: You’ve got your Man of the Year: Robert I. White, president of Kent State University.

(MRS.) PRISCILLA H. WINGER New Cumberland, Pa.

Sir: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the greatest spiritual leader of our time.

GEORGE F. KLEMPERER Poland Springs, Me.

Sir: This year’s choice should be easy: Man as Polluter.

PETER THORPE Boulder, Colo.

Sir: My vote goes to Senator Edmund Muskie.

JOHN LOMBARDO Rutherford, N.J.

Sir: Ralph Nader&151;gentle, incorruptible, relentless and deliciously victorious.


Sir: We nominate Big Bird.



More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com