Regarding Pat Holt's May 4 Opinion column, "The kind of change America doesn't like": I take exception to Mr. Holt's concluding remarks that much of the opposition to immigration comes from people who fear the US is starting to look less like the country of Norman Rockwell or Mark Twain. That might have meant something in 1966, but the world has moved on these past 40 years.
Besides, America is an amalgam of ideas born of centuries of struggle over natural rights, religious freedom, the role of government, and the common good. America's social order and system of government have shown themselves to be the most effectual in all of human history.
While most Americans sympathize with the immigrant who comes here to improve his life, no American should be taken to task for holding a dim view of those who cross our borders illegally to benefit from the fruits of the American legacy while simultaneously displaying contempt and loathing for the very ideas and principles that made this country what it is.
Do we love apples but detest the apple tree? For some reason, all too many newcomers seem to fit this profile.
Robert L. Skillman
Yorba Linda, Calif.
Thank you, thank you to Debra Bruno for her May 12 Opinion piece, "End the mommy wars." I nearly fell over laughing at the part about Ms. Bruno's hope that the kitchens of "working Super Moms" were overrun with ants.
I've been home, I've worked, and I'm about to go back to school while still attempting to ride herd on a household - along with my sidekick, er, spouse. I've already decided I'm not going to lead the PTA. And, while I have a degree in science, one child's entry for the science fair was the overworked, baking-soda rocket demonstration. The kindergartener managed a Lego snail.
In 25 years of parenting, I've seen the mommy wars get worse. I think it's time we gave our daughters, and perhaps ourselves, some real options, and some of the freedom we thought we were aiming for.
Are you working? Not working? Debating over what to feed your kids, what kind of diapers to use, the merits of a playgroup vs. play-at-home? For pity's sake, raise your children as your gut directs you and your circumstances best allow.
Love your kids while you have them, and don't have a fit if you're out working to pay for summer camp (and they want you at home), or if you can't afford summer camp because you're at home (and they fuss because "everyone else is at camp").
Regarding the May 4 article, "Survey highlights problem of geographic illiteracy": Providing a globe for every school child may provide a solution.
Although traditional globes are more accurate (truly round) and more detailed, beach balls of various sizes are currently made with the features of a globe printed on them. These balls are available in toy stores. They are inexpensive (small balls are less than $5), easy for a child to handle, light weight, relatively sturdy, fun, and, of course, collapsible.
Without unlimited access to a globe, it is difficult to grasp the size of and relationships among landmasses and oceans. If we want young Americans to see how everything fits together, we need to put the model into their hands.
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