I've never been more proud of any president than I was of President Obama for his brave and triumphant trip to the Middle East last week.In addition to standing ovations in Israel and the Palestinian territory of Ramallah, he came back with an award by Israel that not even Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton or any other American received.Obama has made real progress toward peace in the world's most dangerous area, has almost pulled America out of the "Great Recession" and is well on the way to restoring our great but elusive twin goals of peace and prosperity.-- Carl V. Flores, GrandviewBrick streetsI guess I understand the historic significance of keeping Camp Bowie Boulevard paved with brick. But this is a major thoroughfare. What if we pave it with 21st-century material and use the bricks to build sidewalks, flower beds, archways and future streetcar stops along Camp Bowie?With the bricks left over from that, build a building for a Camp Bowie museum! Or pave that quaint little street, Magnolia.-- Jon Van Winkle, Fort WorthScouts' honor"Morally straight" has been the Boy Scouts' standard since their founding in 1910. Over 100 years of moral integrity is in danger of being surrendered to those who will not respect any value except that which they place above all else -- that of forcing the approval of homosexuality upon all of us.Will the Boy Scouts fold and buckle like so many others are doing, in the name of false "tolerance," or will they stand true to their core principles? They will sink or stand based on whether their duty to God remains in their hearts and not just in their motto.Boy Scouts, do something rare by today's standards: Remain honorable, faithful to what made you great in the first place. Do not capitulate to this bullying. Do not surrender the high ground to those whose agenda contradicts your oath. Accept the criticism of those who are politically correct but morally wrong.Take their criticism as a badge of honor. In so doing, you will prove your character and courage to a watching world and receive support from those who are not at war with your values.-- Joe Goodson, TempleSobriety checkpointsAs a descendant of a Continental Army soldier, it frightens me when I hear of a "No-Refusal" weekend. I know how my patriot would have responded if pulled over because his horse was lame. He would have refused a field sobriety check on principle. I visualize him in 2013 sitting handcuffed in the back of a squad car, a syringe-wielding officer at his side. For that officer to be able to submit an affidavit for a warrant from a sympathetic judge is a mockery to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.I lived in a northern state for 12 years and have been subjected to several roadblocks, and I would hate to see those tactics used here.I have a family that includes grandchildren, and I pray for their safety every day. If any of them were to be harmed by a drunk driver, I would give my life to go after that individual -- not the bars or random drivers.-- Don Billings, Fort WorthSecondhand smokeWith all the research and evidence that shows secondhand smoke is deadly, it is appalling that Texas still allows it. Secondhand smoke causes nearly 42,000 deaths each year, so the solution seems obvious. Ban it.People should have the right to breathe air free of arsenic, chromium, lead, vinyl chloride and the numerous amounts of other deadly substances in secondhand smoke.Many smokers will argue that they have a "right" to smoke. Well, nonsmokers should have the right to not have to inhale secondhand smoke when they are in a public place. Think about the people who work or live in environments where they inhale smoke often, causing chest discomfort, lung problems, asthma and need for a shower.Twenty-six other states have laws making all nonhospitality workplaces, restaurants and bars smoke-free. Why can't Texas get with the program?-- Rian Worm, Fort WorthGun qualificationsRegarding "Gun laws often aid domestic abusers" on March 18: Our right to bear arms should be based on our qualifications to do so. What about a reckless driver who breaks the rules, and as a result, loses his driver's license and is no longer permitted to drive a car. Why is this logic not applicable to gun laws?Perhaps the NRA is in need of new leadership who are more in sync with their members who consider their responsibilities as well as their rights.-- Laura L. Adoue, Bedford
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