'Bushonics' is a sad example for illiterate America

As an English instructor, I find it deeply disturbing that American entertainers, journalists, and various members of our society can actually joke about the president's syntax and diction (April 9 editorial "Bush whacking"). I feel that it is truly sad that the current leader representing the United States to the entire world would have the audacity to joke about his failure to polish his English skills prior to seeking a position of leadership.

Today, literacy continues to be an ongoing problem in our public schools across America and yet the president who wants to improve our schools is a poor example of literary excellence.

With all of the controversy over the teaching and use of Ebonics in the West Coast public schools, it is very confusing and sad that our president and society can accept and even laugh at his fumbling words and at the same time not take America's literary crisis seriously.

I guess "Bushonics" will eventually be accepted into our vocabulary and not looked upon as an example of a deeply critical dilemma.

Pier Smith-Penic Alexandria, Va.

Choosing referees - and judges

Regarding your March 20 article "Stiffer penalties for head-butting the referee": It is noteworthy that the parents and coaches physically assaulting referees at sports events conceivably could demand that, to counter what they regard as the manifest bias of referees in making calls, they be put in charge of selecting the referees. And to further ensure fairness to their kids, they would also be permitted to choose referees from among themselves. Obviously, the parents and coaches would be embarrassed to even suggest this.

However, on the national scene, political conservatives who began by bashing judges whose opinions upset them, have not been similarly embarrassed to put the machinery into place to make sure judges make their decisions in conformance with conservative principles of justice. With this in mind, the president has now chosen an attorney general and solicitor to oversee the operation. The American Bar Association which has been evenhanded in evaluating prospective judges for 50 years, will have its ability to do so severely limited, and the highly conservative Federalist Society will assume a significant role.

Having judges that will do the bidding of the conservative team confers estimable advantages, such as getting the right call on elections and enlarging corporate rights while curtailing those of individuals.

David Langer Chappaqua, N.Y.

A coddled but well-meaning generation

David Perlmutter paints a picture of self-absorbed youth in his March 29 opinion piece "A coddled generation." It's true they have not lived through an economic depression. But statistics show that younger generations show a higher commitment to volunteering and being of service than previous generations. That younger generation is also turning away from racism and embracing diversity - certainly a major contribution to the progress of our country.

Steve Lohr Boston

Three cheers for the boys of summer

Letter writer John A. Decker of Annapolis, Md., contends in the April 9 Monitor that baseball ticket prices are out of the reach of the average fan and blames "ridiculous" high salaries of the players. Ticket prices, like other prices, are determined by supply and demand. The owners charge what they can get. And they are getting it. Baseball has never been more popular.

Bob Hagen Peoria, Ariz.

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