Backlash against Latino culture is narrow-minded and unhelpful

Regarding the July 19 article, "Backlash emerges against Latino culture": I am always surprised at how culturally isolated and narrow-minded some Americans are about other cultures. I blame it primarily on our educational system, which does not teach our children enough about other cultures and countries. Local media often don't cover enough news about other countries, either.

The United States of America is just that; it is made up of many peoples from many countries who came together to form the US. Let's learn to live with our neighbors and try not to restrict their movements and lives with silly policies such as preventing people from sitting on their front porches or eating tacos at a lunch stand.
Alexa Gordon
Hiroshima, Japan

As an American citizen and a Gwinnett County resident, I am extremely disappointed and embarrassed by our Board of Commissioners' decision to ban mobile taco stands. These people are trying to make an honest living and provide a good service for the community. I think they should be allowed to operate if they obtain a special license to operate in a specific area. But to say that they litter our streets is absurd and a downright lie.
Lisa Milton
Lilburn, Ga.

Neckties: Relevant or beside the point?

Regarding the July 19 article, "It's in. It's out. At last, your guide to necktie etiquette": I strongly agree with Colleen Abrie of the Association of Image Consultants International who believes people perform better when they feel more professional looking.

Casual Friday became sloppy Friday, since most did not really understand that casual did not mean dirty tennis shoes and sweat shirts.

I have been known to go into my bank and not know for sure if I am talking to the bank manager or the janitor.
Sandra Carr Owens
Tampa, Fla.

I write in response to the July 19 article on neckties, and particularly the anti-tie comments of Michael Saffran, a media- relations specialist at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Following his logic, women should abandon high heels, body-slimmers, skirts, and makeup, all of which are impractical, restricting, uncomfortable, and have no purpose beyond empowering "...the people you're trying to impress."

I have no sympathy for these men, who (tie issue aside) stride freely through life in khakis, button-downs, and sensible shoes, free of the dictates of the fashion industry and social prejudice.
C. Burch
Newport Beach, Calif.

Local farmers should be priority

Regarding the July 24 article, "Is buying local always best?": The wrong-headed opinions offered to justify outsourcing your local food producers are just astonishing. Local food producers are your neighbors, your taxpayers, and your local employers, and they are more accountable for their product than another producer half the world away. To call protecting your local economy and tax base "unhealthy provincialism" and "isolationist" is irresponsible at the least and dangerous at the worst.

I'm much more concerned about my neighbors and my community than I am for "dreamers in the developing world." Who wants to depend on food supply from outside the country in these politically tumultuous times? Think of our dependency on foreign oil before you answer.
Robert Scott
Bristol, Tenn.

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