English Por Favor: Keep America Unified

Regarding the cartoon "English Only: Why Stop With Just the Language?", Aug. 9: The effort to make English the only language in the United States is a serious, worthy activity to ensure against ruinous divisiveness growing to full bloom in America.

There is no objection to the use of a foreign language in social intercourse; the objection is against use in business, commerce, and industry.

The introduction of divisiveness into America negates our Pledge of Allegiance; Daniel Webster's declaration, "Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable"; and the American admonition, "United we stand, divided we fall." But it supports the military axiom, "Divide and conquer."

Herbert H. Thompson

Beaverton, Ore.

Taking issue with Yellowstone chief

I write to correct an inaccurate characterization of my remarks in the article "Yellowstone Chief Leads a Rebellion Over Park Funding," Aug. 5.

The author seems a tad too eager to accept the descriptions of my correspondence provided by Michael Finley, the Yellowstone National Park superintendent, who appears to thrive on describing himself as a maverick under constant attack. It is quite possible that, like all of us, he sometimes deserves a critical evaluation.

I did not and would not "excoriate" Mr. Finley personally. Nor was I criticizing him for opposing a proposed mine near Yellowstone. That's his right, though even as a newcomer he owns no patent on concern for that natural treasure.

What I found unacceptable were the superintendent's careless public statements that essentially branded state and fellow federal officials as untruthful and incompetent. Our state and the US Forest Service invited and encouraged the Park Service to participate in and review the draft environmental impact statement on the proposed mine near Yellowstone. The superintendent roundly condemned that impact statement.

Instead of participating in good faith, he condemned an unfinished product that his agency agreed to help draft. And he more-than-implied that those laboring to develop an honest, science-based statement would not do so. That is not an honest, good faith approach to performing the responsibilities assigned by law.

Marc Racicot

Helena, Mont.

Governor, (R) of Montana

Covering the economy

Regarding the article "Despite Growth, Families Struggle To Prosper in US," Aug. 7: Why was not a single avowedly conservative analyst or organization used or specifically identified?

The author is obviously buying the assumption that only government subsidies can keep the 2.6 million persons referred to off poverty. How defeatist! What about individual initiative and community-based support?

Robert L. Braun

Stonington, Maine

The author did as good a job on the economy as I've seen anywhere. It was informative, even-handed, and well-researched. He did not take arguments and data at face value, and was able to present the complexities of the economy and still sort it out for some greater trend and meaning to those of us who are trying to make sense of an expanded economy that offers shrinking income and diminished options.

Bill Edmonds

Tallahassee, Fla.

Op-ed Editor, Tallahassee Democrat

It was the Republicans, stupid

I vehemently disagree with the conclusions presented in the opinion-page article "Clinton Economics Hurt Small Businesses, Family Income," Aug. 6. The author's litany of facts do not once mention that during the Reagan years, the federal deficit climbed to astronomical heights, amassing debt so staggering that we will be paying this bill for decades to come. That is the reason for the passage of the 1993 tax increases, which sent a reassuring message to Wall Street that the US government was going to be responsible and realistic.

According to my calculations, the biggest tax-and-spend policies happened under Ronald Reagan and George Bush. The author's figures don't match reality.

Janet B. Palmer

Downington, Pa.

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