Regarding Jim Nintzel's "Timber!" (Jan. 2), about the tree removal by the city of Tucson to accommodate a better view of, of all things, a billboard: I am outraged and dismayed that the city of Tucson would do such a thing. City employees need to direct their efforts toward a policy of more trees and fewer billboards everywhere in the city. In this case, the mesquite tree should be replaced and Clear Channel Communications forced to remove the illegal and unsightly billboard.
--Leigh M. Robinson
I have been thinking about Connie Tuttle's "We the Misogynists" (Jan. 23). She helps me understand how deep this contempt for women must be.
I am greatly concerned about the effects of depleted uranium (in U.S. bombs which hit Iraq the first time around). In my studies of depleted uranium, I stumbled onto a Web site containing photographs of Iraqi infants whose parents had been exposed to DU. I have never seen anything like this is my life of 55 years.
You've got to use your imagination here. One baby had no nose, mouth, ears or eyes. It had a fleshy protrusion on its forehead. Another had its intestines exposed and its face was completely misshapen; the features all misplaced. We are talking here about thousands of babies. Cancer is also increasing in Iraq.
The United States was supposed to go back in and clean up the contamination. More than 30,000 Gulf War American vets are experiencing liver problems, cancers and--guess what--birth defects in their children (such as webbed feet). Are we facing a future of freaks? This is the greatest crime against women I can imagine: the intentional disintegration of the DNA.
Is Bush's anti-choice movement going to care for them? This is what the male-dominated government of the United States is producing: extinction of humanity.
If any of the readers wish to see these pictures, be aware in advance that it is extremely disturbing, but therein lies the truth about the Bush Regime. He is a socially adept psychopath.
Let us analyze the facts:
1. The breakup occurred at a very great height, more than 40 miles. This excludes any possibility for an Earth-based attacker to shoot it down with existing land-to-air missiles, as none of them are able to reach the height of even close to 40 miles.
2. Some sources claim that a little fragment of shuttle's protective layer had fallen off the shuttle during its start on Jan. 16, which could have caused the formation of further splits, which then resulted in an explosion. Other sources, however, claim that during the time the Columbia was in the orbit, NASA specialists analyzed this problem and came to conclusion that it couldn't influence the flight. This sounds a bit odd, since unprotected areas can very easily get caught in fire--because of air friction.
So actually, there may be two explanations for Columbia's crash:
1. Hot air friction sparked a fire in the damaged (unprotected) area while Columbia was descending at a speed of about 3.8 miles per second. The problem with this scenario is that it could have easily occurred during the shuttle's takeoff.
2. It was shot down by extraterrestrials. Maybe they didn't use any weapons to crash it, but simply approached it in their craft, causing Columbia's electronics and engines to fail because of the effects of the alien starcraft's electromagnetic fields. It also may be that an alien craft had approached the Columbia without any malicious intent, but that its electromagnetic field's effects on Columbia's electronics and engines were unforeseen by the aliens.
This, however, doesn't explain why the shuttle exploded in the air, instead of merely plummeting to the Earth. Thus, the more likely scenario is that Columbia was shot down by the alien craft.
If so, the question arises: What did the aliens wish to show mankind by their action? Possibly that oil-based engines (which are used even by such advanced craft as space shuttles) have almost reached their peak effectiveness and reliability--and that it is time to develop and actively use alternative and more reliable engines.
But who on the Earth can know for sure what happened?