Letters to the Editor

Readers lament war on terror' language, call for an end to oversized homes and food portions, and celebrate world music

To defeat Islamic terrorists, Bush must alter his words

Regarding the April 18 article, "British shed 'war on terror' language,": Finally! It's what millions of intelligent minds worldwide have been waiting to hear out of the West for years: policies and language that solve the problem of Islamic terrorism and do not compound it.

As Tony Blair's international development secretary says, the White House's war-on-terror language encourages terrorism. It suggests that only military measures could be a useful response. It does not address the complexities of terrorism. It gives terrorists a boost.

If only now the White House would also abandon self-defeating language and policies that play into the enemies' hands.

Carl Mattioli
Newtonville, Mass.

Home sweet 500-square-foot home

In response to the April 20 article, "Incredible shrinking houses": Thanks for this spotlight on small homes. My beloved, our dog, and I have been living in a 500-square-foot passive solar home for 20 years now, after living in a VW van. Our home is so spacious, beautiful, and functional! It's also paid for – and we work parttime. I can't imagine what people do with those huge homes. How do they heat and cool them? How do they find each other in them?

Sara Rose
Blountsville, Ala.

Want less food waste? Give less food

In response to the April 18 article, "In Hong Kong, diners fined for leaving leftovers": There is another side to the article. I'm a senior citizen and can eat about one-third to half of most restaurant meals. Many places used to serve meals on dinner plates but are now serving them on platter-size dishes.

Only a few places offer senior or half-sized portions, and often those are too large. When traveling on a tour, one can't take home the extra food in a container. Cruise ships serve even larger portions and more courses and won't offer senior or half portions.

Many of my friends who are my age, and even those who are younger, complain about portions that are too large. The solution to preventing food waste is to offer smaller portions. We don't like to waste food either.

Marie E. Graser
Oregon City, Ore.

Celebrate world music, heritage

The March 29 article, "Short stuff: news for kids," mischaracterized my work about world music and my popular multicultural music. The article indicated that I felt children around the world all liked and listened to modern American music. On the contrary, with no offense intended to music from the US, many kids around the globe still grow up with vibrant traditional cultures.

Whether that's on a US reservation, in a Middle Eastern village, or crowded urban center, traditional music keeps communities connected and alive.

Later, kids are presented with modern music and often told their music is "weird," "primitive," or "second rate."

That is where musicians like myself can play an important role. We record, tour, perform, and produce music that embraces ethnic and world music. We sing and work for a better standard of living as well as a restored sense of dignity and pride for all the world's citizens.

I am proud to be a part of a movement of artists that uses music to build community, preserve traditions, and to offer listeners something more substantial to fill their ears and hearts. Our music has something important to say and it truly is worth a listen!

Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
Riegelsville, Pa.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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