Readers Write

Election 2000 was a gateway to reform for 2004

Thank you for your Dec. 14 editorial "Reconciliation, by the people." I agree that it's time to fix the system and that it's up to the citizens of the United States to fix it.

At first I was stunned that the election was so negative and confusing. But as I look at the big picture, I see that we are now in the beginning stages of a much-needed overhaul of many political processes. Nothing short of the incredibly even split would have set so much change in motion.

It may be a lot to hope for, but I'd like to believe the election of 2000 will pave the way for the most exciting election in history - 2004, with the greatest voter turnout, consistent voting processes, improved equipment, and perhaps a candidate supported by the people, not just a political party. And how about a woman? I look forward to it.

Karen T. Everbeck Stoneham, Mass.

Intellectual diversity is what matters

Regarding your Dec. 5 article "Law schools renew a drive for diversity": Academics seem to believe that they can build a superior university by finding ways to defy legislation and court rulings which dismantle affirmative action.

We are often told by academics that a "diverse student body," meaning a student body that is constructed along diverse racial lines, will "enrich" us. But I fail to see how I am enriched by other people simply because we have different shades of skin.

This nation was built upon intellectual diversity - and it is respect for intellectual diversity that unites us and distinguishes our heritage. Affirmative action may have been appropriate at one time, but it is time that it ended. Encouraging our citizens to continually define themselves by their racial group is dangerous and distinctly un-American.

Jonette Christian Holden, Maine

Peacekeeping skills come first

In responding to your Dec. 12 editorial "Preparing peacekeepers," letter writer F. Paul Crober, makes a good point, but the observation is incomplete. (Dec. 14 Readers Write "Even peacekeepers need combat skills.")

Both kinds of peacekeepers are needed: peacekeepers with combat skills and unarmed peacekeepers (both trained in mediation and peacekeeping skills).

The former are needed to keep the situation from getting out of hand; the latter will be better for many missions because no one will feel threatened by them.

Ken Champney Yellow Springs, Ohio

Girls have more to offer

I read with interest the poll cited in your Dec. 15 article "Results are in - and boys (still) win." According to the poll, people in the US still prefer having sons to having daughters. It has to be because they haven't had daughters!

I wanted a boy five times and now have five wonderful daughters. I wouldn't trade any one of them for a boy, and now I have an additional bonus - seven grandsons along with our two lovely granddaughters.

And when the time came to take foster children into our homes, we chose girls, too (since we had experience with girls). We had 14 foster children in all (only two were boys). So, I can tell folks something about having daughters.

There are countless bonuses that come with daughters that people don't even consider. Men, daughters really love their dads! Women, daughters have a much better track record of bringing their families back to live closer to their parents than do sons. All of ours live within a few miles of us with their families, and that is a real treat.

Don Griffith Decatur, Ga.

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