Letters

Regal Titles Bestow No Honor on Drug 'Lords'

I have always been puzzled by the Monitor's insistence on using words such as "lord" and "king" when describing anyone who deals in drugs. As I read "Alleged Death of Drug Lord Could Set Off Power Struggle" (July 7), the respectful titles confused me. To be called "Lord of the Skies," "powerful," "king," "lord," and, as a researcher is quoted, the "first Mexican of the international caliber of the legendary Colombian drug lords ..." would make any man feel like designated royalty or deity.

Perhaps the Monitor will institute a policy of giving drug dealers less glamorous titles - "scum," "worms," or "death-dealers." Do those who deal in drugs truly deserve any awe for their hideous powers?

Ann Cornell

Writer's note: No story about Amado Carrillo Fuentes would be complete without a reference to the nickname ("Lord of the Skies") by which he is widely known. As for the term "drug lord," it comes from the medieval idea of the lord with unlimited power over his fiefdom. Hardly a positive or glorifying use of the term "lord." My dispatch also referred to Carrillo Fuentes as Mexico's No. 1 "pusher" of drugs into the US, and that term does not have a positive connotation.

- Howard LaFranchi, Mexico City

Independence days

The Home Forum article "Why Fireworks Should Be July 2nd" (July 1) observes that the signing of the Declaration of Independence "wasn't completed until Aug. 2." The signing of the engrossed copy, the one carefully displayed in the National Archives, did not begin until Aug. 2, 1776. It continued at least until November when Matthew Thornton, a newly appointed delegate from New Hampshire, signed. Signing may have gone on until January 1777. The "unanimous declaration" did not become so until July 19,1776, when the New York delegation received permission to agree to the document.

Robert L. Hunt

Birmingham, Ala.

Second-class treatment for singles

Regarding the article "Going Solo Is Easy and Adventurous for Today's Travelers" (July 2): I am a widow and like to travel. I have gone alone, with another woman, and with tour groups. The "single supplement" is a deterrent, as the article points out. I pay it if I can afford it, stay home if I cannot.

Even more, I resent the too-prevalent practice of assigning less-attractive rooms to single women or even to two women traveling together. On one tour, the couples were enthusiastic about their "beautiful view of the harbor." My roommate and I looked out over an alley. I thought that perhaps at the next stop we might get our turn. But no, couples always got the view, we always got the alley. This has happened more than once. Next time I will make it clear that I expect my accommodation to equal the others.

Tour and hotel managers should treat singles or women traveling together as desirable clients. There are a lot of us, we like to travel, and we pay.

Bernice L. Youtz

Olympia, Wash.

Can't say sorry for deeds not done

Rep. Tony Hall's "An Apology Long Overdue" (July 9) implies that we, collectively, would have been participants in the holocaust of slavery. Neither my parents, nor I, nor my children bear any guilt for atrocities in the history of this nation. Had we lived at that time, we would have been conscientious objectors. We do not condone enslavement of any kind, including the genocide of American Indians.

My father languished for years in Nazi prisons for defying the ban on associating with Jews. No one ever apologized for his fate, nor was it expected from subsequent governments and later generations who were not responsible for the shame.

I refuse to participate in any guilt trip imposed by the government. We would never harm others, as we would not permit others to stain our conscience and honor.

Ralph E. Eissmann

Westcliffe, Colo.

* Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed (200 words maximum) to oped@csps.com

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