From Our Listeners

Letters: Sex Offender Registries

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Listeners and bloggers comment on sex offender registries, the Israel Lobby and U.S. foreign policy, and beloved items that have been lost ... and found.


It's Tuesday, the day we read from your e-mails and blog comments.

During our show on sex offender registries and whether they really protect children, many of you wrote in to explain how you used these online databases, including Laura(ph), a listener in St. Louis. She writes:

When I was looking for a new home, I searched the registered sex offender list for the communities that were under consideration. One house I was looking at was two doors down from a registrant, and I immediately crossed it off the list. As a mother of two young girls, I know that decision won't necessarily protect my girls from harm, but it eliminated an unnecessary risk.

Another listener peeked and wished she hadn't.

I looked at the sex offender registry in my old neighborhood just out of curiosity, she writes. I did find a neighbor, but not one I expected. In the end, I wish I hadn't read it. I didn't feel safer, I felt like a nosy neighbor. Once you know, you can't un-know. And I felt tainted by my knowledge. That e-mail from Anna(ph) in Indianapolis.

We also weighed it in to the debate over the new book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt called "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." And yes, as you might expect, we got plenty of e-mail after that segment on both sides. But Perry(ph), a listener in Indiana argued that it is not a simple two-sided issue. Here's what he wrote:

John Mearsheimer's distinction between those who support Israel and those who do not is too much of a zero-sum formulation. There are many of us - Jews and non-Jews alike - who are both critical of Israel's policies vis-a-vis Palestinians and settlements and supportive of Israel's secular normative foundations as a democratic society within a Jewish culture. Support for Israel in the U.S. is multidimensional and complex. Not all those who think of themselves as Zionists, including myself, think of critics of Israel as necessarily anti-Jewish or for that matter, anti-Israel.

And finally, we asked you to send us your stories of things you've lost or found. The one that really stood out came from Valerie(ph) in Tucson.

We had gone to Phoenix to buy a used car - a 90-mile drive, she writes. My husband led the way in our dying Impala. This way, if anything went wrong, we could pick him up - bad move on our part. As the kids and I were climbing one of the hills, the radiator hose broke. Daddy was too far ahead to notice. At first, I locked the car and began walking along the freeway with my kids. About a half mile from the car, I decided this was a really dumb idea. We turned around and there on the side of the road, I spied a radiator hose. I picked it up, and we trudged back to the car. I have many times thanked the angel that lost that radiator hose so we could find it on that September day.

If you missed any of the shows from last week, you can always download them as a podcast. Just go to for the details on that. And if you have any comments, questions or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by e-mail. Our address is Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

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