Letters

Don't forget all the personal jabs at Clinton

I read with interest Godfrey Sperling's Nov. 4 column on the "personal" nature of current anti-Bush sentiment, noting his apt comparison to the "personal" attacks on President Franklin D. Roosevelt ("Plumbing the anti-Bush sentiment").

Might I offer a more recent example? We suffered years of nonstop chatter about Monica Lewinski (in all its details), seasoned with epithets of "draft dodger," "pot smoker," and "womanizer." These items constitute the most "personal" attacks on a sitting president in our entire history! To ignore them in such a column is telling. The pundits who seem so shocked and appalled by the so-called "Bush haters" have a convenient eight-year gap in their memories.
Mark M. Sloan
Blowing Rock, N.C.

Why is it a mistake to exercise justice?

Regarding your Oct. 30 editorial "Putin's Blunder": I cannot see why the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is accused of particular crimes, should necessarily induce a climate of uncertainty for foreign investors in Russia. President Vladimir Putin's move to arrest Mr. Khodorkovsky may have political motives, but I find it hypocritical for the modern democracies of the West to pretend that bringing justice to Khodorkovsky, a criminal, is a mistake of any kind or that this creates uncertainty about the stability of Russia as an investment place.
Christos Kasparis
Bristol, England

Navigating supermarket aisles

I enjoyed the Nov. 11 article Barbara Curtis wrote about too many choices ("The American sense of freedom is shifting from rights to choices"). I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who noticed. I was talking to my sister recently about health and beauty products. We had about three shampoos to pick from when we were children: Prell, Breck, and Johnson's. We did not feel cheated, either. As a matter of fact, I think we are getting rather spoiled in this country.

I love America, don't get me wrong. But this instant gratification and catering to everyone's whims is just too much. It also does not set a good example for our children, and it deters from what is really important: more quality time with people you care about. With all the food choices, it is no wonder this country is getting so obese while in many countries people are thrilled to have enough for one meal. Thank you, Barbara Curtis, for writing about something that has bothered me for years!
Trudy Hawkes-Henry
Orlando, Fla.

Barbara Curtis's article about the plethora of choices available today was illuminating because it enumerated the options we have available to us. We are blessed to live in such an amazing land of plenty, where even the poor are fat. How many countries can say this? But Ms. Curtis is not availing herself of the opportunities that come from having such choices available. We have the opportunity to learn how to make discriminating decisions based upon what we, as individuals, value.

Taking some time to ponder what exactly one values, and articulating it to oneself goes a long way toward cutting down the time it takes to make purchasing decisions.

Also, one should articulate to oneself what one needs and what one wants, and distinguish the one from the other. One choice - which most companies would prefer that we forget we have - is the choice not to buy at all and simply to wait for something better. I am a firm believer in the great wisdom of this choice, because I have proven it time and time again.

I embrace choice. It bothers me if I do not have it. I seek to know myself and what I want, because it helps me make wise choices. It's all about what you value.
Michaela Stephens
Austin

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Any letter accepted will appear in the print publication and on www.csmonitor.com.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters .

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