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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 its 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., U.S.

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.
J.P. Ryskamp,
South Haven, Mich., U.S.

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., U.S.

Northern Exposure
It is ethically flawed to dismiss the value of banning arms flowing into Mexico from the U.S. by reasoning that the drug barons would still be able to obtain them on the open market ["The Way Forward," July 11]. After all it is the U.S. that has the voracious appetite for illicit drugs fueling the present mayhem; doesn't the U.S. government have a moral obligation to curb the flow of these weapons that are contributing to the horrendous bloodletting?
Allan de Sousa,
Caldas Da Rainha, Portugal

Devoting only a few lines to the subject of legalization does not do the subject justice. Many of the problems that we generally attribute to drugs are most often more closely related to prohibitionist policies. From addiction and overdose to corruption and murder, prohibition causes more harm than the drugs themselves by far.
Grant Moore,
Copenhagen

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 antiabortion, tax-cutting, corporation-deregulating pols. Bachmann is also an attractive, charismatic, natural-born Iowan. You watch: she will win the Iowa caucuses.
Mark Challis,
West Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.

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.
Lila Moberg,
Minneapolis

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., U.S.

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.
Nancy Allen,
Brooksville, Maine, U.S.

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, U.S.

Weather's Windfall
Your Briefing page states that $485 billion is the estimated amount the weather costs the U.S. each year [July 11]. I presume you mean bad weather. But harvesting and feasting on upsides while simultaneously decrying inexplicably linked downsides illustrates much of human behavior.
Peter Aspinall,
Holmfirth, England