Regarding your Feb. 23 article "New wild card: Nader joins race": In the interest of accurate and balanced reporting, at least one quote from someone in favor of Ralph Nader joining the presidential race should have been included in this article. There were plenty of quotes from disgruntled Democrats.
The Democrats' job is to rally unregistered, undecided, and repentant Bush voters to their candidate. If they spent as much energy and money party-building as they do Nader- bashing, they would probably easily garner the margin they need.
Noni Bookbinder Bell
Ralph Nader is once again going to be a spoiler, but this time in an election year with too many serious problems to tackle. I'm an Independent who is going to vote Democratic this year. Nader's campaign will be only a diversion.
Regarding Diana Spatz's Feb. 24 Opinion piece "Bush welfare agenda - married to a myth": As a minister to inner-city families in Houston, I am saddened both by Ms. Spatz's past experience and her current views on welfare reform. While President Bush's reform proposal certainly does leave much to be desired, it's a step in the proper direction, which is the extrication of government from being the financial provider for families.
I minister to children and their mothers in the same situation that Ms. Spatz found herself and all of them are from single-parent families. President Bush isn't trying to marry women off of welfare rolls - he is trying to encourage them to stop looking at the government as their "husband."
More government assistance isn't the answer to the generational poverty.
The Rev. Jeff Cokenour
Regarding your Feb. 24 article "As rebels gain, how to help Haiti?": The growing menace by the criminal rebels in the north of Haiti is the greatest threat we have had to our independence in the past 200 years.
I've lived in Haiti for 18 years, and as such have lived through many coups. All of the former governments have been corrupt, and that members of those former governments would accuse President Aristide of being corrupt is laughable. The opposition doesn't want Mr. Aristide because he isn't corrupt. They want to control the reigns of power themselves. The US has an obligation to help its neighbor in this hour of need. It shouldn't just sit back and let the snakes spew their poison until those it doesn't like are annihilated.
The Rev. Michael Graves
The writer is an Orthodox priest and missionary in Haiti.
Regarding Diana Rachel Goldenberg's Feb. 23 essay "Generation gap? Sometimes it's just words": I also live in Israel and teach English as a second language. We have discussed the connections between many Hebrew and English words. Quite often they are very useful in remembering a word in English. For example, the word "love" sounds like lev, which means heart.
But my own embarrassing moment was when I wanted to ask for chicken wings and asked for kanfayim (which has no meaning) instead of k'nafayim. At the supermarket I was saying over and over again, "Kanfayim, kanfayim," while moving my arms up and down like wings. It has actually helped me to realize how my English students can make a mistake by inverting two consonants or exchanging vowels.
Bat Yam, Israel
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 print 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