Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the meaning of 'culture,' Congressional spending, Israel's Tzipi Livni, hype in the news, and civil political debates

Livni's election good for Israeli-Palestinian relations

In regard to the Sept. 19 article, "Can Livni clean up Israeli politics?": The recent election of Tzipi Livni bodes well for Israel, and the prospect for a resolution with the Palestinians has become brighter.

Hopefully, the Israelis will recognize that their security is dependent not on military aggression, but on developing an understanding with disparate groups in occupied territories.

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Peace, in the broad sense of the word, is unlikely, but the question of borders, and how to deal with radical elements on both sides of the fence, perhaps can be better addressed under Ms. Livni's leadership. It is clear that Israel's direction and focus in the past 15 years has been misguided.

Don Holmes
Seattle

Balanced budget requires less spending by Congress

In response to the Sept. 11 article, "Next president faces swelling US debt": I am acutely aware I must save more and spend less to achieve financial security in my older years. The federal government must do the same thing.

Just once I would like to see Congress pass a budget where the growth in spending did not exceed the inflation rate. Rather than increasing individual or corporate tax rates, a lowering of taxes will boost economic growth and tax revenues. During the Bush years, tax revenues have increased but spending by Congress has increased at a faster rate.

If Congress could cut its spending, I would be more agreeable to paying more tax to help balance the budget.

Larry Watts
Shawnee, Kan.

Redefine the word 'culture' without political implications

Regarding the Sept. 12 editorial, "The Palin factor in the 'culture wars": It's interesting to note that the term "culture" is now referring to social issues. In terms of social issues, for the past 20 years, the word "abortion" has been in our faces constantly. The concept has polarized this country, causing people to be diverted from so many other issues and ideas.

Regardless of whether one believes that abortion is a civil right or not, as one way of uniting this country, wouldn't it be more helpful if we were to concentrate on what the term "culture" has referred to in the past – devotion to the arts, the classics?

Certainly if we were to focus on imbuing thought with the classics in literature, art, and music, it would be elevated. Then we could join together as Americans, regardless of political party, and establish a higher level of thinking wherein the whole subject of abortion wouldn't even be a factor in the first place.

Natalie Coleridge

Arlington, Va.

Journalists must not be swayed by hype

Regarding the Sept. 10 Opinion piece, "Don't be swept away by hype in the Palin campaign": As long as the public has more interest in sound bites than truth, in personality than competence, in being entertained than informed, in "eye candy" than the inner person, and in "fluff" than substance, journalists will have a hard row to hoe. Hopefully, there will remain enough journalists true to the task to inform those of us who truly care.

Marilyn Bryan
Taylor, Ark.

Political debate should be civil in order to appeal to more Americans

In regard to the Sept. 19 Opinion piece, "Real change in '08: Stop hating the other party": I believe we should discuss, debate, question, and do all the things necessary to get across our opinion and influence others. But we should stay away from the back-biting partisan rhetoric that makes politics so distasteful and unappealing to the majority of Americans.

Lee Humble
Rushford, Minn.

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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