Letters

The ups and downs of left-leaning campuses

Regarding "For more balance on campus" (May 6, Opinion): As a student at one of those ostensibly liberal institutions, I applaud Christina Hoff Sommers' opinion. Indeed, I agree with her objection to the imbalance found on college campuses, which favors Democrats over Republicans. Especially, I agree with her observation that there has been much discrimination on the part of "liberals" who have acted in a way that is divorced from the original principles of liberalism. Hence, the refusal of many students to acknowledge that even liberal ideas can be implemented via fascistic means.

However, though I see the imbalance as a major detriment to the educational system, it seems merely symptomatic of a larger, more insidious problem. That so many of the educators in the system upon which I depend have views that are simple enough to categorize as either Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, frightens me more.
Genevieve Butler
Boston, Mass.

Is it really surprising that few professors are conservative? Educators are, by and large, well-informed in history, politics, and current events. Apparently, most of these educators believe Americans fare better when liberals are ascendant. It's a matter of record that moderate-to-liberal policies have led to the greatest gains in safety, environmental and consumer protection, per-capita wealth, civil rights, worker benefits, and other areas. The fact that some of the best-educated people around lean to the left is quite revealing.
Mort Paulson
Silver Spring, Md.

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Allowing our kids to earn responsibly

Regarding "Parents' guilt + kids' costly ways equal big allowances" (May 6): The changes in how parents spend money on kids aren't all bad, nor are they the result of parents feeling guilty about spending too much time at work. I'm a single parent of a 12-year-old boy and I do about half of my work from home. Travis gets an allowance of $20 per week, mainly to learn how to use money. The first three months or so, every week was a trip to the toy store for the latest Dragon Ball Z video or Legos, but he soon realized he owned pretty much everything in that price range he wanted. He began to realize that other things he wanted were within range if he only saved for them – which he promptly started doing. My son acts far more responsibly with money than I did at his age, and to a large degree I credit that to the fact that he receives a high enough allowance. It's not a gift, it's an educational device.
Cliff Martin
Los Angeles

My son, at age 12, is right in the middle of his "tweener," years. Currently, he receives a $12-per-week allowance. With this money he's learning how to budget. He's on a 10-20-30-40 percent scheme – 10 percent tithe, 20 percent short-term savings (for a bike, or video game), 30 percent long-term savings (for a car, or college), and 40 percent cash. If he wants something special, he has to figure out how to fund it himself. The First National Bank of Dad's Wallet stays closed.

He's been on this plan for six years now, and I'm keeping him on it until he's 18. Parents must not allow themselves to believe they have to buy their children's affections.
Ken Burgan
Lucedale, Miss.

Peace activists in Israel

Regarding "For Israel's peace flank, dwindling ranks" (April 25): Although it's true, as your article suggests, that as more Israelis grow fearful, former peace activists are stopping their protests of the war, there are some groups hanging in there. The Israeli Coalition Against Home Demolitions, Bat Shalom, and Rabbis for Human Rights all continue to believe in the power of their voices
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Robert W. Hannum Lancaster, Pa.

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