Sinn Fein is more than just a violent party

Regarding the article "IRA apology: Some cry opportunism, some dry tears" (July 18): I was stunned by the word selection of the closing paragraph. To call Sinn Fein, the political arm of the IRA, a "party linked to violence for political gain" shocked me.

Whether it be an Irish Christian in Belfast 1972 (Bloody Friday) or a Palestinian Muslim in Jerusalem 2002 (Passover Massacre), the detonating of bombs in public places and killing of civilians is terrorism. Either for religious or political gain such "violence" can only be labeled "terror."
Ryan Potter
Randolph, Mass.

Don't stop the ballgame

Godfrey Sperling's "Fed up with baseball – but it's in my bones to stay" (Opinion, July 23) conveys my exact sentiments.

Growing up near New York with three teams, the Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants, I, too, was an avid baseball fan. Listening to the radio broadcasters Mel Allen and Red Barber, I could picture every player and play.

My hero was Smokey Joe Page, the fireball relief pitcher of the Yankees. At age 11, I cut the letters of his name from adhesive tape, had my mother put them on my back, worked on a suntan, then peeled off the tape. Voilà! My hero's name was imprinted in bold letters.

I've kept a 1947 Yankee program autographed by Al Jolson, who was there one day. And I can still recite from memory the names of the entire infield and outfield of those marvelous baseball years. So, players, please think of your fans and follow the call: "Let's play ball!"
Kardyne Steacy
Balfour, British Columbia

To war or not to war ...

Marc Lynch asks the right question in "Iraq: Why not do nothing?" (Opinion, July 31). His article is a breath of fresh air in the current climate.

On the question of Iraq, the Bush administration seems to be taking seriously the joke syllogism: "We must do something. This is something. Therefore we must do it."
Nicky Hardenbergh
Manchester, Mass.

Nanny-granny to the rescue

Found your article "Meet the nanny – 'Granny' " (Aug. 1) interesting as I am a nanny-granny for my three grandchildren. Believe me, they keep me going. We have many activities and fun learning new things each day. We go to the beach, play games, have storytime, nap time, and eat all the time. I also see to it that they are reprimanded when they should be.

I was a working mom when my children started first grade and kindergarten. I missed out on all their field trips and after-school activities and felt horrible. Now at my stage in life, I feel I can be a big part of my grandkids' lives and set up a good structure for them. I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Margaret Delehanty
Bonita Springs, Fla.

The "new" ways of raising children spawn endless measures aimed at one thing alone: shifting the parental responsibility away from the parents. Every approach which seeks to free a working-mother's hands only facilitates the growth of a crass society and alienated children. Delaying personal career goals which would have a negative effect on children is not an option but an obligation of those who choose (and all parents chose) to bring a life into this world.

As a baby boomer and a parent, I am ashamed and disgusted by the reluctance of parents to parent, and more broadly the absolute failure of this generation to act as responsible adults and stewards of the future. We have sought to undermine and replace every mainstay of a stable society, raiding the future for momentary whims.
Matt Langford
Union, Ky.

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