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Persecution at the Polls
(In re “Laboratory of Islamism,” August 19) I have read several articles stating that the Muslim Brotherhood actually threatened Coptic Christians into not voting last year in Egypt’s election. Yet the election was called “democratic.” Is this true that Christians and other non-Muslims were threatened with violence if they voted, and if so, doesn’t that bring into question the issue of how “democratic” the election was of Mr. Morsi?

Frank J. Russo
Port Washington, N.Y.

David Pryce-Jones replies: On several occasions before the election, mobs shouting “Allahu akbar” killed Copts and burnt out or vandalized Coptic churches and schools. Intimidation to prevent them from voting is only one aspect of the worst persecution the Coptic Christians have suffered in many centuries.

 

The Secret Life of Walter White
Perhaps it is more than a coincidence that Breaking Bad’s Walter shares a first name with another fictional Walter — Walter Mitty. Jonah Goldberg (“Life and Death on Basic Cable,” August 19) mentions that Walter sells his share in a start-up for a pittance, but doesn’t give the reason. The company becomes a love triangle, and when Walter loses the girl to the other guy, he skulks away, despite having invented the technology that makes the other two billionaires. He marries a beautiful woman, who then cheats on him with her boss. His high-school students show him no respect, and then life delivers the final insult by giving him terminal cancer. His entry into meth production begins from desperation, at first a way to obtain money for the advanced treatments his health insurance will not cover, then a means to provide for his family after the disease finally takes him. But the drug business is nasty, and survival forces him to put aside one moral scruple after another. Over time, he becomes addicted to a drug just as powerful as his blue meth: power. For the first time in his life, he is feared and respected. Mere survival is no longer enough. He wants to be the unchallenged king of meth and derives further pleasure from the anonymity his “Heisenberg” street name provides. While this does not make his actions less evil, anyone with a touch of Mitty can understand how he started down this path. I am conflicted. Evil should not triumph, but I cannot give up hope that Walter’s end will provide some redemption for the good man he once was.

Mark Lijek
Anacortes, Wash.

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