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Top 10 Letters

Race, Republicans, a ball girl speaks, Larry Miller's military coin, and more.

11:00 PM, Jan 19, 2003
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Simply put: If not this, then what? How do we ensure that the playing field is equitable if not with affirmative action? Please don't misunderstand my motives. As an African-American Republican, I abhor the predisposed notion that unless I receive some type of set-aside or handout from the benevolent majority, I can only aspire to be the product of my environment or circumstances. But I am a unique individual who believes wholeheartedly that the world owes me nothing and that if I want something, I must go get it.

Is affirmative action the best answer? No. But once again I pose the question, if not this then what? Lead the charge for a sensible solution before demonizing the only solution currently in use.

--Keith Trotter


Thank you Larry Miller. My son is a Marine. A heavy-machinegunner and Team Leader and is currently deployed far from home. He is just 20-years-old and carries more responsibility on a day-to-day basis than his corporate executive father has seen in a lifetime. He is--according to my experience with him and the e-mail I received today from his Battalion Commander--a man of honor, of duty, and of promise. When in a room with his Marine friends--all special operations Marines who specialize in insurgent and urban warfare--you are simply overcome with the power of their presence and the complete humility of these men.

I could not be more proud of our son. He is committed to service. It is a job that he chose freely. I want to thank Miller for so eloquently painting a portrait of Robert Ponce. In it, I can see the face of my Joshua and his friends. I miss my son; he is my best friend. It was good to see his face.

--Michael Becker


I couldn't agree more with Christopher Caldwell about the insidious influence of political nepotism, and I share his concern about the growing web of family ties in Washington (The Big Murkowski). I believe this should be examined further.

I suggest that The Weekly Standard assemble a crack team of reporters to investigate. The team could be led by John Podhoretz, Wes Pruden, and Daniel Wattenberg. For insightful analysis of the topic, you may wish to ask a few high-profile pundits such as Bill Kristol and Niger Innis.

Corruption of this sort is always open to ridicule, so perhaps a scathing satire by Christopher Buckley could be published. And, you might want to consider the possibility of turning the entire effort into a highly-rated TV exposé hosted by Chris Wallace.

--John Frey


I wanted Larry Miller to know how much I appreciated his column "Coin of the Realm." My husband is in the Navy (he's a submariner) and will be leaving soon for the Persian Gulf. The separations and the risks that we endure are incredibly difficult, but knowing that there are people out there like Miller who appreciate the sacrifices that our loved ones make in service to our country makes the separation so much easier to bear. Thank you, Mr. Miller.

--Lecia Wild


As a retired Paratrooper (101st Airborne) and the father of a career (18 years) Marine thank you to Larry Miller. My boy left for Kuwait this weekend. He liberated the place 11 years ago and I guess he's going to finish the job this time. Here's hoping they all come back healthy and soon.

--Vince Vitale


I suppose The Peacemongers are the price of democracy (Stephen F. Hayes). Perhaps, rather than travel for truth on a superficial level, they should spend a year or so in Iraq under its present regime and report back to us with their thoughts. Until then, everything they say, however noble, simply falls into an abyss of absurdity.

If I were an Iraqi moderate seeking enlightenment for my country I would not only be concerned but insulted and angry that such people could demean and disregard the horrors unleashed by a madman. Even more bizarre, like a Kafka nightmare, is their acknowledgement of playing the part of the fool. I'm lost in not only the logic, but the morality of it all.

--Alex Nicolo