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The Results Are In

In our June 27 issue, we challenged readers to predict the winner of the 2012 GOP nomination, March-madness style. Though mail-in voters overwhelmingly chose Mitt Romney, more online votes were cast for Ron Paul, the apparent result of a well-organized — and passionate — campaign. Some voters nominated their own candidates. One seemingly straightfaced suggestion talked up someone who could "relate to young and old." The nominee? Bozo the Clown.


Over the Borderline

Tim Padgett's article on drug-cartel violence was a well-written, sobering look at what's going on in Mexico ["Day of the Dead," July 11]. But the text merely touched on the claim of the cover line, "Why Mexico's drug violence is America's problem too." The role of U.S. weapons trafficking and drug use should have been addressed more thoroughly.

Derek Dyer, SAN DIEGO

The U.S.-backed war on drugs in Mexico is creating the conditions for a mass Mexican exodus to the U.S. As a retired U.S. Border Patrol agent, I support mass asylum as a means to protest failed wars on drugs and immigration. The elite on both sides of the border profit from this nightmare, and it is all at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and the Mexican poor.

John Randolph, RIDGWAY, COLO.

Did anyone else get the chills after reading your cover story and then reading "Elizabethan Drama," on Elizabeth Warren and the new federal consumer-protection agency [July 11]? The stories were so much alike: Mexico has the billionaire drug crooks, and we have the billionaire corporate crooks, each working so hard against the governments and us regular folks.


I have seen how ineffective drug-use-prevention programs in schools are. The focus of these classes is on how drugs destroy the body, the mind, the family. From the violent drug wars of Mexico to the Taliban's use of opium to fund death, drugs affect the broader world, and it is time students learned that too.

Ashita Gona, CARY, N.C.

Buying the Farm

Re "Want to Make More than a Banker? Become a Farmer" [July 11]: It should have read, "If you want to make more than a banker, work like a farmer." A banker works a five-day, 40-hour week. Many farmers work a seven-day, 100-hour week and don't enjoy the banker's benefits, security and working conditions.

William Burns, BATH, MICH.

Those guys in that article aren't farmers; they're corporate plowboys enjoying taxpayer subsidies while sitting on their gigantic tractors so they never have to put their lily-white hands in the dirt.


Bachmann's Chances

Mike Murphy's assessment of Michele Bachmann fails to acknowledge that her gaffes are irrelevant ["The Bachmann Boomlet," July 11]. George W. Bush committed them repeatedly without repercussions. Iowans love anti-abortion, tax-cutting, corporation-deregulating pols. Bachmann is also an attractive, charismatic, natural-born Iowan. You watch: she will win the Iowa caucuses.


Murphy's excellent piece captures the current state of U.S. political theater. Bachmann may win an award for her performance, but not the GOP nomination.


Summer Reading

How excited I was to read "Pack Your (Book) Bag" [July 11] and how disappointed to find that many of the new books mentioned by your contributors are not scheduled for release until fall. So much for "summer reading." In the future, it would be great if you could provide selections that we, the general public, have access to.

Laura McCormick, APPLETON, WIS.

Texas Pride

As a Texan, I was deeply offended by the photo of two men dancing in New York's gay-pride parade [World, July 11]. No, not because two men were dancing. But come on, man: Cowboy boots and shorts?

Michael J. Lopez, NEDERLAND, TEXAS