Vouchers expand opportunities for all

As a supporter of vouchers, I was pleased with your Aug. 31 editorial, "Vouchers pass a test." However, it treats the use of vouchersand public schools as mutually exclusive. Adding vouchers would be better characterized as expanding choice within the public school system. It would make the public school system more responsive to the public's needs. I am no fan of monopolies;an educational monopoly such as we have today is no exception.

I have educated four sons.We lived in good school districts. Out of loyalty to the public school system, the older two boys were kept inpublic schools.

The results, beginning in junior high, were dismal. Accordingly, the younger boys were put in private schools. Both younger boys got good degrees from fine Eastern universities.The two older boys are also fine young men of whomweare very proud, but their mother and I do feel that in this respect we failed them.

I believe school vouchers will improve opportunities and choices for all.

Bruce D. McAllister Tahoe City, Calif.

A middle ground for Social Security

Your coverage of the present presidential campaign is great and even-handed. I do have one thing to offer: that the candidates change their approach to Social Security. Currently both are continuing the funding of the program, but fail to understand that the program perpetuates the "haves and the have-nots."

Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are based on percentage increases and the "haves" receive more in monthly benefits than the "have nots."

A better plan may be that a medium benefit of dollars per month be given to all equally. This would reduce the present income gap. I am sure that $20 more per month would benefit the lowest group more than those at the top.

Walt Stockman Douglass, Kan.

Dotcoms, no substitute for newspapers

Cheers for John Hughes' Aug. 16 opinion piece, "Print newspapers - so not dead."

Mr. Hughes comments on Max Frankel's farewell column in The New York Times. His input regarding dotcoms and print journalism is right on. The latter is a must for thinking individuals. Hopefully the economics will favor print journalism.

Carol P. Elwell Edmonds, Wash.

Privacy on the Net requires new laws

Thanks for your interesting articles on privacy ("Who's watching you shop?" Aug. 28; "Public records get a little more public," Aug. 21). There are several legal changes that are needed to correct privacy issues that have resulted directly from the Internet revolution.

The first change we need is an amendment to the Constitution. Technology has allowed privacy to be compromised in ways the Founding Fathers could not have imagined. Not only are our activities in cyberspace completely trackable, but the technology for the complete invasion of individual privacy is now widely available.

The second change that is needed is a system of "zones" for Internet sites that would be analogous to the zoning systems used throughout this country.

The Internet is an extension of our community, and just as we need zoning in our cities and towns, we need it on the Internet. I value the intellectual freedom and access to new ideas provided by the Internet. However, at the same time, I appreciate the protection afforded to my family by zoning in the city where I live.

Priscilla C. Frisch Chicago

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