Letters

Immigration vs. stagnation

The June 25 article, "Charges of racism cloud immigration arguments" is the best succinct analysis of US immigration policy I have seen in print. It exposes how reckless charges of racism are being used to still debate about our current immigration numbers - a rate that the Census Bureau projects is hurtling us toward 1 billion people by the end of the century.

My only criticism is the unfortunate paragraph: "Camarota suspects that the California power crisis has arisen because of immigrants. Without them, California's population would have stagnated and its energy demand fallen." Per capita energy use in California has declined. Thus it is reasonable to attribute the increase in demand to the huge number of immigrants. Absent immigration, California's population would have likely stabilized, not stagnated. This is the desired state of every healthy ecosystem - sustainability!

Tim Aaronson El Cerrito, Calif.

Tired of Clintongates

I just read your June 12 piece, "Bush's rougher ride," about the president's honeymoon period. It's been more like a torrid affair. You mention several times the "scandal-ridden" Clinton presidency. The "Clinton scandals" - so-called by the right-wing press - make a good subject for investigation.

There were: Whitewater - turned out to be nothing; Travelgate - again no scandal; Hillary's "secret" healthcare meetings - didn't Cheney just do the same thing with energy and oil company executives? There were the fundraising scandals: all fully investigated. And let's not forget the "e-mail scandal." Republicans said that was going to be the worst, but it evaporated like the others.

Then there were the "pardon scandals." People may not agree with Clinton's pardons, but they were consistent with those given by previous administrations. Then there was Monica. Clinton had an affair. After investigating him nonstop for six years, the self-righteous Republicans finally got him. I don't agree, but if you want to put a "-gate" at the end of Monica, that's your call. Then most recently we were treated to "Vandalgate" and the "Air Force One scandals" - completely manufactured by the Bush White House.

I love when the press goes on about Bush changing the tone in Washington. The Republicans put on an eight-year campaign of lies, phony investigations, trumped up charges, and vicious personal attacks. They regain the White House under dubious circumstances. They stop their assaults because they got what they wanted. So now Bush is credited for "changing the tone?"

John Moody Studio City, Calif.

Hurrah for Latin lovers

Thanks for "A Latin lesson" (June 11). I had a good laugh, and recalled a similar experience. I only took two years of Latin in high school, but my older sister took considerably more. When she was reading "The Aeneid," she and my mother used to parade around the house reciting chunks in Latin. I guess some of it sunk in. On the first day of my 10th-grade English class, we discussed Hemmingway's "Arms and the Man," which had been summer reading.

"Does anyone know where the title came from?" the teacher asked.

I was stumped. Then, suddenly, it struck me like a bolt of lightning.

"Ooooooooooh. Arma virumque cano," I blurted out. Dead silence.

The teacher finally said, "Which means?"

"I sing of arms and the man," I said.

There were only two sounds in that classroom for the next few moments: the teacher's teeth clattering to the floor and supergeek being permanently plastered to my forehead. Afterward, I had to, uh, explain about my family's strange habits of reciting "The Aeneid." Ah, the trials and tribulations of being from a Latin-loving family.

Alice Hummer Natick, Mass.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles; all are subject to editing, and must include your name, address and phone number. Mail to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail oped@csps.com

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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