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An Oily Matter

Re "The Meaning of the Mess" [May 17]: Offshore drilling has been conducted for decades with relatively few problems. Unfortunately, all it takes is one calamity to bring out the alarmists who call for a ban on the activity in the calamity's aftermath. The BP oil spill is the exception, not the rule.

Stephen V. Gilmore, CHARLOTTE, N.C.

How much more evidence do we need to understand that the "Drill, baby, drill" philosophy is irresponsible and places our economic stability and environmental future in jeopardy? I hope this tragedy moves us to demand increased financial support for and political action toward renewable-energy development and implementation. It's time to stop making excuses and start insisting that Big Oil be held accountable for its negligent actions and profit-driven policies. Clearly, we can begin by showing the politicians who indulge oil executives the door with the exit sign.

Brad Hruska, SHAKER HEIGHTS, OHIO

Nods from Nashville

Re "The Moment: Nashville" [May 17]: Claire Suddath did what many other journalists and talking heads seem to be afraid to do: acknowledge that there was a major catastrophe in our city last week that caused billions of dollars in damage and stranded thousands of Nashvillians. In less than 200 words, she was able to highlight both the devastating effects of the flood that has ravaged our city and the miraculous efforts of our townspeople who have risen up to help their neighbors. This week has proved that there is a reason we are the Volunteer State.

Jennifer Aleman, NASHVILLE

Suddath's statement that "Nashville's worst flood in 80 years ... has destroyed a city" couldn't be further from the truth. A city is made not of buildings and things but of people with spirit and heart and soul who care enough to help other people, whether they know them or not. More than anything, the flood of 2010 showed the character of Nashvillians, a character of which any city in our country would be proud. Nashville wasn't "destroyed," as its strength and vitality continue to flourish.

George R. Bone, NASHVILLE

Thank you, from a grateful city that is very aware that the insidious menace of terrorism has forced a watching nation to put a historic flood on the back burner of news.

Amy Kerrigan, NASHVILLE

Deconstructing the Broadway Bomber

I am concerned with the Grand Theft Auto--esque depiction of Faisal Shahzad in the May 17 issue. In a world where people crash a state dinner to promote a reality show, we might be encouraging would-be terrorists with the promise of romanticized press coverage.

George Davis, WILLISTON, VT.

Shahzad's attempted bombing proves that Americans should be more concerned about the legal immigrants who want to harm us rather than the illegal immigrants who only want a job.

Kenneth Lee, RAYTOWN, MO.

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