Letters to the Editor for the June 2, 2014 weekly magazine:
President Obama’s past and contemplated use of executive power to waive deportations makes clear to me that he has violated his oath to uphold the Constitution.
After reading Ruth Walker’s May 5 Verbal Energy column, 'Big ideas in small talk,' I had a chance to practice what I had learned on conversation starters.
Cincinnati and Old Town, Maine
Regarding the May 5 OneWeek article “Obama to curb deportations?” on President Obama’s past and contemplated use of executive power to waive deportations: It is clear to me that Mr. Obama has violated his oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
As someone who is utterly unable to wrangle Congress to get things done, Obama has resorted to unilateral executive action. Such action is not strength but weakness, and serves to only further divide the nation. Even the president, a constitutional “scholar,” has repeatedly said that he does not have the power to waive deportations on his own.
But Obama effectively did just that after Congress soundly defeated the DREAM Act, waiving deportations and giving millions of illegal immigrants the ability to work legally in the US. He is now contemplating giving more illegal immigrants the ability to work in the US. How that helps jobless Americans is unclear to me.
Michael G. Brautigam
After reading Ruth Walker’s May 5 Verbal Energy column, “Big ideas in small talk,” I had a chance to practice what I had learned on conversation starters.
In the academic community of which I am a member, this is not difficult. On the other side of my garden fence a faculty wife with her adult daughter were starting the spring garden. I walked over. “I really have nothing to say, but being seen with two such beautiful women will do my reputation much good.” Being an older gentleman, I can get away with this sort of stuff.
But the real test for “opening conversational gambits” is in the faculty dining room. Assistant librarians, physiologists, foresters – it’s a rich field to choose from. Once the target has been selected, the opening is easy: “You must have several applications for post-doc positions. What sort of things are they talking about these days?” Now you are off and running.
Having been appointed to the faculty in 1946, I have had much experience.
Richard C. Hill
Old Town, Maine