Letters: Feb. 22, 1963

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Sir: Your cover and cover story of Feb. 15 show much understanding and feeling for the man, Secretary McNamara, and the job. I do not envy Secretary McNamara—decision making for the nuclear security of the world must present a tremendous burden—but I applaud him for his firmness and foresight.

THOMAS W. HAWKINS Harbor City, Calif.

Sir: Secretary McNamara should be reminded, before it is too late, that some problems are too complex and ill-defined for the electronic computer. In meteorology, for instance, we do not have sufficiently valid and powerful theoretical concepts to make the use of the computer meaningful, so it helps very little in weather forecasting.

The computer is only a very rapid calculating machine—it is not a substitute for artistic genius, scientific understanding, or informed judgment.

JOHN C. TALBOT Los Angeles

Sir: At a time when a "balance of terror" is, sadly, the only realistic solution to the problem of keeping the free world out of the shadow of Communism, each of us must surely sleep more easily knowing that McNamara is at the helm of the Defense Department.

EMILY COSTELLO ('65) The College of St. Catherine St. Paul

Le Grand Charles

Sir: There seems to be a little confusion about De Gaulle.

In 1940 everybody fought to save his own skin: the English to save England, De Gaulle to save France—his alter ego. I can see nothing reprehensible today in his desire not to let himself and the French be pasteurized, sterilized and homogenized. Anyway, that's the way they feel about it.

OLGA GANNON Van Nuys, Calif.

Sir: Grandeur? What grandeur? M. De Gaulle mistakes height for depth. TIME confuses egomania with character.

De Gaulle's is the "greatness" of all petty and myopic troublemakers who can't see beyond their personal ambitions and/or the absurd glories of some manmade, artificially delineated space-on-a-map to the genuine glory: the ultimate unity of mankind. Spare us such self-appointed saviors.


Vim & Vigah

Sir: We now know [ Feb. 15] that U.S. Marine officers are as good men as their predecessors were in Theodore Roosevelt's day. But are Presidents?

Let's see whether President Kennedy can, in 20 hours, find forceful, effective means to: bust the trusts whose monopoly of labor threatens shipping, the space program and freedom of the press in the U.S. today; enforce the Monroe Doctrine; protect U.S. citizens who are kidnaped or robbed by foreign bandits, in or out of office. Teddy Roosevelt could have handled all three jobs in the allotted time and had eight hours left to go fishing.


Sir: I am amazed by the amount of publicity given to the announcement that Attorney General Robert Kennedy and some others managed to walk 50 miles. In December 1925, Miss Eleanora Sears walked from Providence to Boston, a distance of 47.8 miles, in 10 hrs. 20 min.

I know because I walked with her. Miss Sears entertained me for dinner that evening, and I took her to the theater. Miss Sears knows her age better than I do, but she was then in her 40s at least, and could probably outwalk the New Frontiersmen today.


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