Letters: FEMA, Boise, Quotations

Host Scott Simon reads listener comments about last week's show.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

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SIMON: Lots of responses to my interview last week with Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. He talked about his opposition to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and his view that disaster relief could be carried out by states and private citizens.

Why does all of a sudden somebody in Vermont need to get insurance from you if you live in Alexandria and, you know, you haven't been hurt. I mean what is the moral principle there?

Emma Stamas of Colrain, Massachusetts writes: My daughter in Brattleboro just witnessed a section of her town washed away and a major bridge almost destroyed. We're working hard to help each other rebuild small structures that we own or that we share, such as ball fields, farmers markets, homes, small farms and sheds.

But we don't have the equipment, expertise, or money to repair the hundreds of roads and bridges that were severely damaged by raging flood waters from 10-plus inches of rain in 10 hours. We are thankful that FEMA's here along with the National Guard.

Lou Cartier of Greeley, Colorado says he was glad just to hear Mr. Paul: Most of my friends on the left regard Mr. Paul's second run at the presidency to be a joke. Many on the right simply consider him unelectable. As such, his campaign is not to be taken seriously. Thanks to Mr. Simon's engaging interview, his listeners were given the opportunity for fresh insight into the Libertarian perspective on the proper role of government.

Our story on irony in popular culture after 9/11 struck Peter Mehlman in Los Angeles. He's one of the original writers of "Seinfeld" and the show's last executive producer.

It's our fault. We fed viewers the show about nothing concept, he writes. But actually, it's the only sitcom since "All in the Family" that dealt with everything. Morality, ethics, political correctness, abortion, AIDS, racism, politics. You name it, it was touched on. Massively popular shows like "Friends" and "Frasier" didn't even acknowledge the outside world. Beyond Jennifer Aniston's hair, "Friends" didn't put a dent on the cultural landscape of America.

Several Boise State fans wrote in to say they're glad that I root for their team, but wish I would say it Boy-see, not Boy-zee.

Finally, my essay last week about quotes that aren't quite, but are, paraphrases, misquotations, misattributions, and words wrenched out of context. Daniel Lusk sent this Tweet: The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln.

Thanks for listening, Mr. President. We welcome your comments. Go to NPR.org and click on the Contact Us link. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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SIMON: This is NPR News.

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