Your June 1 article is right that Ralph Nader represents a significant threat to Al Gore's ability to carry key Western states such as California and Washington ("Nader's rise puts Gore on guard"). Not only does Mr. Nader have the potential to appeal to labor unions and environmental groups, but his announced running mate, Winona La Duke, should also help him garner the votes of women and minorities, two groups that Gore has to carry in order to win in November.
If Nader continues to grow in the polls in the West, Gore might well consider a female vice-presidential candidate. Regardless of Nader's progress, the Democratic party cannot take the women's vote for granted, and would therefore be wise to select a highly qualified woman to fill out the ticket.
George A. Dean Southport, Conn.
An extra point on your Ralph Nader article: Lots of us here in Seattle are still hopping mad at the Clinton-condoned WTO police riot last December.
I predict Seattle will go to Ralph Nader by a vast majority, as many of us here can't in good conscience condone the crackdown, where innocent people were clubbed, beaten, and tear-gassed on the way to the grocery store.
Since Clinton isn't up for election, the only way some of us can express our dissatisfaction without supporting Bush is to vote for Mr. Nader. If it throws the election, so be it. We're tired of the arrogance of the Clinton administration.
Loren Meissner Seattle
Higher pay, not more H-1B visas
Your June 1 article "Lament of the pocket-protector set" leaves out a conspicuous point. Our nation didn't accrue its bounteous supply of lawyers and MBAs by granting the right number of H-1B visas to carefully selected foreigners.
If the deployment of our collective intellectual capital is out of whack, why not look at fundamental imbalances in salaries and status? Apparently, having technical talent is important enough to get Congress involved, but not important enough to compensate technical talent more like executives or lawyers. I wonder why.
Todd Mansfield Cincinnati
I certainly share the reservations expressed in this article about any extension of the H1-B program. It seems this is yet another example of a well-intentioned governmental stopgap relief measure expanding into an endless bureaucratic entitlement now demanded by its beneficiaries.
In my view, the demand of the high-tech industry for an increased or unlimited number of H1-B visas is an effort to obtain an endless pool of relatively low-cost labor, primarily to the detriment of older, higher-paid, and even better qualified long-term workers. This can only exacerbate the already shameful compensation gap between corporate technological executives and their workforce. And in fact, just how many computer programmers does this nation need?
Kenneth Brown La Caada, Calif.
Kudos to regional language coverage
I loved your May 23 article about the revival of regional languages such as Breton and Gaelic ["At this school, teachers to teddy bears speak Gaelic"]. This is an example of the purely pleasant news about social developments with which the Monitor regales us when it can.
Knowledge of any extra language deepens one's perception of the others. I would also bet it improves all-around academic ability.
Guy Ottewell Greenville, S.C.
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