Letters to the Editor

Readers write about international aid, the US and secession, knife bans in Britain, and mandating Sundays as 'off' days.

The most applicable aid comes as currency

In response to the June 3 article, "New aid motto: Give cash, not food": The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) should adopt the policy of providing cash instead of tying aid to the purchase of American products, such as milk that some cannot digest, vehicles that are too wide for urban roads, or equipment for which there are no spare parts.

Fred Colbourne
Georgetown, Malaysia

US hypocritical on secession

Regarding Juan Gabriel Tokatlian's June 3 Opinion piece, "America the breakup artist": Mr. Tokatlian could have noted an ironic twist to this country's global secessionist agenda. From 1861 to 1865, the federal government in Washington waged a bloody civil war to stop Southern states from leaving the Union.

Was that wrong then, or wrong now? Apparently it depends on whose nation is being gored.

Kenric F. Ward
Vero Beach, Fla.

Laws against knives haven't helped UK

Regarding the June 11 article, "Britain faces growing knife-crime 'culture' ": Criminals do not obey laws that ban the lethal use of guns, knives, piano wires, or shards of glass to obtain by force what they cannot obtain by legitimate means. This is not because those objects are inherently wicked, but because criminals do not obey laws. This simple tautology seems to escape lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Donald Denton
Ashland, Va.

Better off with one no-commerce day?

Regarding your June 6 editorial, "When Sunday is just another day": When I moved to Massachusetts from California, the "blue laws" were still in effect. And it was hard getting used to them. I liked being able to shop any day I wanted, including Sunday.

But after a short while, I could see – and feel – the wisdom of having the same day off for everyone: the noise level went down, people felt more in control of their lives rather than allowing their employers to dictate every day of their week, and people came in on Mondays more rested.

Back home in Silicon Valley, where people feel pushed to work all the time, I'm thinking the blue laws weren't such a bad idea.

Marilyn Domerz
Sunnyvale, Calif.

In response to your recent editorial on "blue laws": Living in the vibrant city of Boston, it is a joy, after church services in the morning, to be a part of a certain vitality on Sunday. There is plenty of quiet in this city on Sunday mornings. In the afternoon, even during the colder winter months, the city comes alive. I don't see people on the streets as being frustrated shoppers, trying to jam many errands into a limited amount of time. I see people relaxed, being part of having an enjoyable stroll, having a leisurely lunch in one of our many cafes and restaurants, celebrating life.

Isn't this what Sunday is all about? Do we have to be secluded in our homes on Sunday to contemplate this life? I would rather be with my fellow beings, lifted up with this activity, which I find more inspiring than sitting alone at home and being quiet.

Steve Loher
Boston

Regarding your recent editorial on state blue laws: A few years ago I started a Sunday tradition of staying at home. The day is set aside for reading or writing letters. Since starting my Sunday retreats, I've learned so much about the world by taking the time to read history, current events, and literature books. Friends enjoy getting my handwritten letters, another lost, humanizing tradition. Retreating from modern life has helped me handle modern life.

Sonia Kovach
Chicago, Ill.

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 may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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