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Pelosi in Taiwan: Sharp Views All Around

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  • The Kansas Vote on Abortion
  • A Pep Talk to Nervous OB-GYNs
  • Justice for Coal Country, at Last
  • Rich-Poor Friendships
  • Single-Issue Voters

Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taiwan’s legislature in Taipei, the capital, on Wednesday.Credit…Ann Wang/Reuters

To the Editor:

Re “Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan Attracts Beijing’s Scorn but Bipartisan Support” (front page, Aug. 3):

Nancy Pelosi may have strong feelings about human rights in China, and that is a good thing. But her trip to Taiwan has many Americans scratching their heads.

The president didn’t want her to go. The military didn’t want her to go. There was never any real purpose for her going. And not least of all, back here in the United States we have a lot of issues that need attending to.

Her legacy would be better served if she focused on her own country.

Walter Zekanoski
Providence, R.I.

To the Editor:

Re “Pelosi Stood Up to Beijing. Good for Her,” by Bret Stephens (column, Aug. 3), and “Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan Is Reckless,” by Thomas L. Friedman (column, Aug. 2):

These two opinion pieces take opposing sides on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. One pointed to the folly of this reckless visit, while the other praised her for standing up to a bully. Both are respected writers, and it’s hard to dispute the foreign policy challenges that her visit may bring.

However, it’s time to smack a bully in the nose. To not do so would be to forever cower under every huff and puff China makes now or in the future. So, Speaker Pelosi: You go, girl. You showed guts and took a stand. Maybe the administration will take note?

Subir Mukerjee
Olympia, Wash.

To the Editor:

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan highlights once again concerns about China’s putative designs on its peaceful neighbor Taiwan and reminds me of one of the shrewdest events in 20th-century world politics. On July 31, 1988, King Hussein announced that Jordan would renounce all claims to the West Bank, thereby shedding Jordan of obligations for which the king was happy to be freed.

In that vein, China should renounce all claims to Taiwan. Its claim is mired in the whirlwind of post-World War II geopolitics and has become a lodestone that continues to affect world politics. The political good will, easing of tensions and economic benefits, both to the region and the world, of doing so can hardly be overstated.

The potential mass loss of life, the unimaginable property destruction and the lasting enmity of the Taiwanese that could create an East Asian equivalent of the Israeli-Palestinian situation in the West Bank would be avoided.

The folks in Oslo will notice. And in an instant, China’s influence and standing in the world would be heightened and burnished. A realpolitik win-win.

Jonathan Schmerling
Mount Lebanon, Pa.

The Kansas Vote on Abortion

Representative Sharice Davids spoke at an election watch party hosted by Kansans for Constitutional Freedom in Overland Park, Kan.Credit…Arin Yoon for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Kansas Retains Abortion Rights in Critical Post-Roe Referendum” (front page, Aug. 3):

While overturning Roe v. Wade was an egregious act of judicial activism on the part of the conservative members of the Supreme Court, the victory of abortion rights activists in Kansas reinforces that the people, and not the courts, should decide the limits they would like to place on abortions.

The people in Kansas decided, and one hopes that jurists like Samuel Alito will respect this vote and not attempt to find new ways for the judiciary to interfere in a woman’s right to choose.

Michael Scott
San Francisco

A Pep Talk to Nervous OB-GYNs

To the Editor:

Regarding your articles and letters about the fears of prosecution facing OB-GYNs dealing with problem pregnancies after the Dobbs decision:

My advice to OB-GYNs is to stand up for your patients, your wives, your daughters, your country! I believe that almost no jury will convict you, no judge would issue a harsh sentence, many other physicians would testify for you and the public would be outraged at any conviction.

I also think that many organizations would provide legal aid attorneys or cover your legal expenses. So just be the physician you are, and be brave.

As a 95-year-old person I could not protest for you, but I will send a big check to any organizations that mobilize to pay for your defense.

Shirley Strom
Southfield, Mich.

Justice for Coal Country, at Last

Senator Joe Manchin III also won concessions that require the president to establish several fossil fuel “priority” projects.Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Turning Manchin’s No to Yes Helped Fossil Fuel Industry and His State” (news article, July 31):

I spend a lot of time advocating for policies that will move us off fossil fuels as fast — make that faster — than we think is possible. And while I’m mostly happy and definitely relieved to see the climate-related tax breaks and incentives in the Schumer-Manchin bill, the parts of the proposal I am especially grateful for are the provisions that will bring clean energy jobs to coal country and ensure benefits for miners suffering from black lung disease.

Coal companies, including the business that has made Joe Manchin and his family rich, have made money off exploited and impoverished coal mining families and communities for decades, and the idea that these folks would be further disadvantaged by the inevitable shift to renewable energy is a moral dilemma that only the federal government can resolve.

Call it what you will, but the Inflation Reduction Act is truly an environmental justice bill that even Republicans should support.

Janet Cox
Oakland, Calif.
The writer is the legislation and policy director of 350 Silicon Valley, a group that partners with organizations in California to advocate for strong climate action.

Rich-Poor Friendships

Jimarielle Bowie at her alma mater, Angelo Rodriguez High School, in Fairfield, Calif. A lawyer, she credits some of her success to the friendships she made in high school.Credit…Marissa Leshnov for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Wealthy Friends May Be Ticket Out of Poverty” (front page, Aug. 2):

No one should be surprised by the finding that poor children profit from living near wealthier ones. But there are also important benefits to the students who would have otherwise been placed in the “gifted and talented classes” whether or not they are from wealthy or privileged families.

Without the opportunity to learn and play with people of different backgrounds and abilities, our perceptions can get skewed. Advantaged children can wrongly conclude that they are smarter, better, more up-to-date and desirable than the “others.”

They won’t have an opportunity to learn that some of the students in the regular classes are superior in some subjects, or are kinder, more thoughtful, ambitious, street-smart or community oriented, or even that they may live in happier families. They will have no evidence that people without the same sort of advantages they enjoy may nevertheless have a great deal to teach them.

Ruth J. Abram
New Lebanon, N.Y.
The writer is the founding president of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the International Coalition Sites of Conscience.

Single-Issue Voters

Republican and Democratic strategists worry they are losing voters to candidates willing to take absolute positions on vaccines and masks.Credit…Caroline Brehman/EPA, via Shutterstock

To the Editor:

Re “Pandemic Made Some Parents Fervent Anti-Mandate Voters” (front page, Aug. 1):

Single-issue voters, whether against vaccine or masking mandates, reproductive health care or gun regulation, are effectively enforcing the entire Republican anti-science, anti-justice, anti-safety, anti-government agenda. Can they seriously think that is good for their kids?

I watched a once thoughtful friend turn anti-vax. What a waste. A mind is a terrible thing to close.

Annlinn Kruger
Bar Harbor, Maine

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