English - Not British - Soccer Hooligans
A report in News in Brief (June16) refers to a violent incident that took place before a World Cup soccer match between England and Tunisia in Marseilles, France. The report refers to the unsavory reputation of "British" soccer fans. It would be more accurate to refer to the reputation of "English" soccer fans. Great Britain comprises England, Scotland, and Wales. Scotland is competing in the World Cup and its fans have thus far behaved in exemplary fashion during the competition.
I could not agree more with the opinion piece, "The Pseudo Patriotism of the Flag Amendment" (June 11).
Sadly I think that if you were to question many of the most passionate supporters of that proposed amendment, they would not even be able to tell you what is written in the existing Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States. It is appalling to think that soldiers may actually fight and die thinking they are defending a flag without comprehending the most fundamental principles for which it stands (not the least of which is freedom of speech). I lay the blame for this ignorance on the education system which teaches civics and US history haphazardly.
As Thomas Jefferson well knew, only an educated citizenry will be able to preserve a democracy and the freedom it embodies. It is only to be hoped that ignorance does not erode our right to disagree and our freedom to express that disagreement no matter how misguided, in the view of others, our actions or opinions may be.
New Urbanism and town planning
"Suburbia Revisited: Housing That Promotes Neighborliness Through Design" (June 3) offers a welcome review of increasing interest in what has been christened "New Urbanism" in America. While this movement is to be applauded and hopefully exploited more extensively in the US by replacing wasteful suburban sprawl that has little relation to professional town-planning principles, the article does not acknowledge the historic precedents that laid the foundation for much that is happening today.
New Urbanism is a misleading term. Readers may think that its philosophy and application are original and untried until now. Actually it is the reinvention of planned communities with town centers, narrow streets, mixed shopping and residential areas, neighborhood schools, and other amenities. New Urbanism and its practitioners often overlook many outstanding planned communities, still thriving and still available for others.
A number of today's esteemed architects and planners have acknowledged their indebtedness to past achievements of eminent town planner John Nolen and others. Unfortunately, many real estate developers, architects, and builders do not involve professional town planners in their enterprises, resulting in the inappropriate use of so much precious land.
Millard F. Rogers
President, Mariemont Preservation Foundation
I would like to express my disappointment with the Monitor over a cartoon published on June 9 in which a police officer is holding a radar gun with the words "Black Driver" on the screen of the gun. Such a thing is tasteless and a nasty insult to all those men and women of law enforcement who, risking their lives everyday, do the "job that can't be done" without prejudice toward anyone. The cartoon was inflammatory and unfair.
Fall River, Mass.
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