Regarding "Why Family Leave Deserves Republican Backing," Oct. 22: Any true Republican can see that the writer is a Democrat posing as a Republican. Republicans believe that the best government is that which governs least. The Democratic Party stands for the concept of lifetime government protection and control.The author writes as though the public at large has the prerogative to control business and industry in whatever way it pleases; the rights of company owners apparently don't count. The writer supports a congressional family-leave bill granting "exemption for businesses with less than 50 employees" and that sets the time of leave at 12 weeks. For some businesses the proposed legislation may be an unbearable imposition; for others an even more generous accommodation may be possible. We cannot batch companies together according to such arbitrary guidelines. There needs to be voluntary give and take on the part of both employer and employee. Employers already have to pay vacation, sick leave, medical benefits, half of Social Security, unemployment insurance, and meet all sorts of government regulations regarding the workplace. Where does it stop - after initiative to own a business has been stifled by too many controls? Times have changed, but our stand on this issue should remain the same. Time off for family commitments should be worked out on an individual basis, just as it always has been. Winston Stadig, North Kingstown, R.I.
Relaxation warning Regarding the column "How to Avoid Kindergarten Burnout," Oct. 22: I saw a segment on CNN about school programs in "relaxation techniques," and I too object to such practices. The child on CNN actually demonstrated self-induction of a hypnotic trance. "Relaxation techniques" are the same as inducing a light hypnotic trance state. Visualization, also discussed in the article, usually is associated with a slightly deeper trance state, but in a vulnerable patient - about 10 percent of adults and perhaps a higher number of children - it might accidentally induce a deep hypnotic trance state. As I physician, I can state that there are dangers in inducing such states, therefore I suggest that school boards ask advice from psychiatrists who use hypnosis before adding such curricula to their schools. N. K. O'Connor, M.D., Nanty Glo, Pa.
Advocating 'weatherpeople' Regarding the use of the term "weatherman's map" in the article "Wide Gap in State Jobless Rates," Oct. 22: There are many female meteorologists and there are many female weather broadcasters. Use of that term is dated and sexist. Michael Mark, Mechanicsburg, Pa.