Your Letters: Charlie Wilson; Men Who Shop

Host Scott Simon reads listener letters about the late Congressman Charlie Wilson, singer Josh Turner and men who shop.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time for your letters.

(Soundbite of typing and music)

SIMON: Last week, I shared a remembrance of Congressman Charlie Wilson, who died earlier this month at the age of 76. I noted his decision to help Afghan rebels stand up to Soviet forces in late 1980s. But several listeners said they didnt hold such a rosy picture of the late Charlie Wilson. Hardy Schmidt(ph) of Shaw Island, Washington writes: In my mind he was closer to a criminal than a hero. Our country has this thing called the Constitution that spells out the avenues that we go through before we get engaged in wars. To think that a rogue congressman from an obscured district in Texas could commit those kinds of resources to fight in a conflict that could have drawn us into full-scale war with the Soviet Union is not in the least bit heroic.

And Jane Levine(ph) of Pacific Palisades, California writes: I knew and adored Charlie Wilson. So I was mostly in agreement with Scott Simons piece on his death. But there is one qualification I'd add: Yes, Charlie championed the cause of the Afghans fighting the Russians, but keep in mind, he did all of that to the tune of many millions of U.S. dollars he basically single-handedly appropriated in support of a foreign policy he single-handedly forged.

This is not the way under our Constitution that foreign policy is to be pursued. Will anyone be there to check the next Charlie Wilson who picks a side in an arm conflict somewhere in the world?

Last week we brought you a report on the way men shop. Retailers are trying to figure out ways to keep men in stores longer so they may buy more. Some male listeners said that retail tactics wouldnt work on them. Scott Timons(ph) writes on npr.org: Half the fun for guys when buying something is doing the research.

If Im thinking of buying anything substantial - a TV, car, power tool, et cetera - I want to be able to walk into a store and talk circles around the dopey kid who is there to supposedly help me. You're simply not going to get a thorough or complete education about a product or service by standing there chatting it up for five minutes. Finally, a number of people wrote into say they were thrilled to hear Josh Turner on our show last week. Jim Foster(ph) of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania writes: His tremendous voice just oozes authenticity like George Jones. Style and sound he's probably closest to Randy Travis, which is some compliment.

Nett Gonzales(ph) of Albuquerque says: I cried listening to Josh Turner talking about his granny, God, and especially his boys. How wonderful to hear an artist speaks so freely.

(Soundbite of song, Ill Be There)

Mr. JOSH TURNER (Singer): (Singing) I'll be a tear dryer, a paper airplane flyer, a monster runner-offer, if you get scared, I'll be a sap, I'll be a sucker...

SIMON: Well, we'd like to hear from you. Send us your thoughts by going to npr.org and clicking on Contact Us. You can also reach us on Facebook, facebook.com/nprweekend, and on Twitter at nprweekend all one word - or tweet me at nprscottsimon, all one word.

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