From Our Listeners

Letters: Iraq Commentary, SPF Clothing, Intelligent Design

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Many listeners wrote in about Leroy Sievers' commentary about military personnel killed in Iraq and a Pentagon agreement to release photos of their caskets as they come home. Listeners also weighed in on stories about washing sunblock into clothing and teaching intelligent design in schools.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

This morning, like most Thursdays, we'll read from your letters.

SUSAN STAMBERG, host:

Many of you responded to Leroy Sievers' commentary about military personnel killed in Iraq and a Pentagon agreement to release photographs of their caskets as they come home.

INSKEEP: Robin Moore of Hoquiam, Washington, felt jarred when Mr. Siever said that many Americans don't know anyone serving in Iraq. `I know a number of people over there,' he writes. `I'm not connected with the military and this is not a military area, but I am from the working class,' he says, `and this is an area of little opportunity. This stresses the fact that this is a war fought by one segment of society for the profit of another.'

STAMBERG: Jay Scott, a master sergeant in the Army, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He writes, `I, too, have felt that hiding the caskets of my brothers was the wrong course. However, I have a great deal of fear--no, make that certainty--that instead of honoring our fallen, the anti-everything groups on the left will co-opt these images to further their efforts to undermine the cause these men and women have died for.'

INSKEEP: Some responses to our story on Internet access over power lines said the story did not adequately explain technological drawbacks. The writers say the industry hasn't really solved possible interference with radio signals. Jeff Russell of East Glastonbury, Connecticut, added, `From an engineering point of view, this is just bad technology. You let yourself be hornswoggled by industry mouthpieces.'

STAMBERG: Whooh! Our report on the teaching of creationist-based intelligent design in Kansas prompted R.W. Stavros of Poway, California, to write, `Science is not a popularity contest. Its whole foundation, going back to the Greek philosophers, is to look at all problems objectively, devoid of emotion, and to formulate explanations that are tested and vetted. What is happening in Kansas is a flashback to the Dark Ages.'

INSKEEP: But Christina Tracy of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, wrote us to say, `There is much that scientists do not understand about how the brain works, but we can marvel that it does work and strive to know as much about it as we can, in the same way an intelligent designer cannot be viewed under a microscope. But proof of such an existence is marvelously apparent in every aspect of our universe. What could be more natural,' she asks, `than at least mentioning this perspective in schools of free thought?'

STAMBERG: Finally, we had a story about detergents designed to wash sunblocks into your T-shirt, and we reported that regular laundering may work almost as well. Well, this came as no surprise to Robin Randall of Raleigh, North Carolina. `I've been able to wear my regular cotton clothing and not get sunburned. I work in my yard on the weekends and I usually have the greatest farmer's tan.'

(Soundbite of "Summer in the City")

THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL: (Singing) Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty...

INSKEEP: We don't necessarily need to hear about your tan lines, but you are welcome to drop us a line by going to npr.org. Click on the button that says `Contact us.'

(Soundbite of "Summer in the City")

THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL: (Singing) ...match head. But at night it's a different world, go out and find a girl, come on, come on and dance all night, despite the heat it'll be all right. And, babe, don't you know it's a pity that the days can't be like the nights in the summer, in the city, in the summer, in the city. Cool town, evening in the city, dressed so fine and looking so pretty. Cool cat, looking for a kitty, gonna look in every corner of the city, till I'm wheezing like a bus stop, running upstairs, going to meet you on the...

INSKEEP: This is tanning edition from NPR News.

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