From Our Listeners

Letters: Republicans, Video Games, Cancer

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Listeners comment on what lies ahead for Republicans, Leroy Sievers and the first anniversary of his cancer diagnosis, and the changing market for video games.


It's Tuesday, the day we read from your e-mails. And we begin this week with a correction. A week ago we talked with the editors of a book of newly released photographs called “Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese-American Internment.” During the conversation it was mentioned that German-Americans were not interned in a similar fashion during the Second World War.

Jan Bowles(ph) e-mailed from Caldwell, Idaho, to tell us that's incorrect. Although not interned in numbers comparable to Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans also were forced into camps. The preponderance of reporting on World War II internees has centered on Japanese-Americans, but other affected groups have been overlooked.

And two weeks ago during my conversation with Ted Koppel about his documentary on Iran, he asked about my pronunciation of the word Neanderthal. Joe Voils(ph), a listener in Minneapolis, e-mailed to suggest while the correct pronunciation for the valley in Germany is Neanderthal, the heavy-browed human who lived in that area is called a Neanderthal. It can be confusing, but thal is now generally preferred and serves as a sort of shorthand to distinguish one from the other.

A week ago Monday, we talked to Republicans about what lies ahead for them now that they're in the minority party in the 110th Congress. Listener Dee King(ph) e-mailed to ask where have these reasonable, thoughtful Republican voices been for the past eight years or more? Why have we had to listen to nothing but the same old script over and over, often full of vitriol and deceit? I don't know whether to tell them all to just shut up now since they didn't do us any good over the last few years, or to hope that they will begin to finally speak with the force, thought, and graciousness they should have been using all along.

And before the Thanksgiving holiday last week, Leroy Sievers stopped by to reflect on the first anniversary of his diagnosis with cancer and to share what he's thankful for this year. Lindsey Sherry(ph) wrote us from Salt Lake City.

I am also a one-year survivor of breast cancer. After losing my hair, my left breast, and experiencing four months of chemo, I'm grateful for every day. I'm thankful to be able to get up, get dressed, and run an errand. I find myself smiling at strangers. I think I'm saying hi, I didn't die, it's so good to see you. I'm thankful for love, friendship, and prayer, and a great pin I got at my oncologist's office that says: Cancer sucks. It kind of says it all.

We took some time out last Wednesday for video games. As the market for games and consoles stagnates, game-makers are desperately trying to reach out to new gamers, including women and baby-boomers. But many of you complained that too many of the games today are just simple shoot-'em-up or sports games with no heart, no story, and no real challenge.

Grant Den(ph) e-mailed in with a suggestion. There's a game forthcoming by Will Wright called Spore, which is a combination of evolutionary theory, Pac-Man, and Star Wars, he wrote. Essentially, you start with a single-celled organism and evolve it up to a race of planet-conquerors. It looks cerebral and like a lot of fun.

If you have comments, questions or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by e-mail. The address is Be sure to let us know where you're writing from and please give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

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