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Letters to the editor

Readers write about dressing children in camouflage, hurricane Katrina, Social Security, and Israel's stake in peace.

November 20, 2009

Camo means honor

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The opinion piece "Dressed to kill: Why clothe kids in camouflage?" left me feeling riled up and misunderstood. While camo represents aggression and violence to the writer, for my family it symbolizes honor, service, humility, and sacrifice.

I understand why the author, living in New York, should question the prevalence of militaristic clothing for innocent young boys. Very few people in her city are hunters, and only a small portion of the population will ever consider serving in the armed forces. But isn't it an important part of our children's education to learn about the lifestyles of other people in their country, outside the big cities?

I respect the choice of parents who keep the complexities and heartache of war away from their young children. In our family, Daddy's job is to help with the war, so we are intimately connected to it. We make the best of our situation, and when we are able to connect to Iraq on a videochat, sometimes dad and son are both clothed in camo.

Michelle Hatfield

An 'unnatural' disaster

Regarding the Monitor's Nov. 1 feature article, "New Orleans in the forefront of a green building revolution": Husna Haq has helped readers see both hope and opportunity for the intelligent rebuilding of New Orleans, and as such deserves kudos.

However, shorthand about Katrina being "one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history" is inaccurate.

The true devastation of Katrina – the flooding of the city with its accompanying loss of life and property – was an entirely man-made disaster. The failure of the federal government-maintained levee system can be traced to the Army Corps of Engineers' shoddy building standards, which assured unnecessary and widespread destruction in the wake of Katrina.

This, coupled with a woefully inadequate government response, should make us angry, and demand a truly independent investigation of the whole affair, which is why I support

Frank Beau Davis

Belmont, Calif.

Who 'deserves' a wage increase?

In regard to David R. Francis's column, "Social Security pensioners deserve a $250 'raise'": That Social Security recipients, already the largest special-interest entitlement spenders in the nation, "deserve" an increase in their benefits at a time when millions are losing their jobs, homes, and physical health, is untenable.