Readers write

Ralph Nader is not a sell-out

William Klein's Dec. 22 opinion piece, "Ralph Nader for sale," reminds me of those who criticized Mr. Nader when he disclosed assets totalling some $3 million - as though Nader's political platform is somehow contradictory to personal wealth. Besides, these critics willfully ignore the fact that Nader lives on $25,000 a year, devoting the rest of his income to public-interest campaigns.

Mr. Klein thinks that it's wrong for Nader to raise funds by selling campaign memorabilia. Nader's campaign was an indictment of corporate-funded elections - not those financed by small contributions from private citizens. Klein's conflation of these two fundraising methods is ridiculous, and he must know it. His disingenuous attack is unfortunately all too familiar.

Oliver Hall San Francisco

Hillary Clinton is bestseller material

Your Dec. 22 editorial"Hillary's publishing deal" puts Senator-elect Hillary Clinton's book dealin the same questionable categoryasdeals by Jim Wright and Newt Gingrich.

But there is a crucial difference.The soon-to-be junior senator from New Yorkis one of the most famous women in the world. Her "It Takes a Village" was a bestseller.

Whether or not she wasan elected official, book publishers would have scrambledto sign her up. This could not be said about the two House Speakers whose activities came under a cloud.

Tarja Black Lancaster, Calif.

US should push Israel to peace only

I must vehemently disagree with Daniel Pipes's Dec. 26 opinion piece, "US must firm up Israel's will."

The four policies that are urged upon the US make me wonder what world Mr. Pipes lives in.

His first policy is "No more Israeli territorial concessions." Doesn't Pipes know that there are 300,000 Israelis illegally occupying Palestine? His second policy is to "Encourage Israel to appear fearsome." Doesn't he see the photographs of heavily armed Israeli soldiers shooting at rock-throwing children?

His third policy is to "Maintain Israel's military edge." Doesn't Pipes see the helicopter gunships and tanks surrounding Israel's settlements? Doesn't he know Israel has the atomic bomb? His fourth policy is "Bind Israel more tightly and consistently to the United States." How much tighter can Israeli-US relations be?

The reason the US is disliked by much of the Muslim world is our protectionist policy toward Israel. The US must firm up Israel's will to sign a peace agreement.

E. Powick Cape May, N.J.

Board games still lure kids

Regarding your Dec. 26 story "In Internet era, board games make comeback": I recently had an interesting experience when I taught my fiancee's boys, age 11 and 12, to play Dungeons and Dragons.

They own several video games that claim to be "role-playing games," but they were unprepared for the fun of talking around a table and rolling dice instead of pushing a button. After their first "combat" against an evil ogre, the younger son cried "this is way more fun than a computer!"

On Christmas Eve, their mother and I gave them a set of Dungeons and Dragon books. Suddenly they are reading and thinking instead of staring at the TV screen.

My friends and I rarely see each other anymore, what with families and work; but we gather every two weeks to chat and play strategy war games. E-mail is a marvelous tool for getting together, but the real togetherness happens around our kitchen tables.

Matt Osborne Florence, Ala.

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