Readers write: Voice from Moscow, Canada’s First Nations, and typing prowess

Letters to the editor for the April 22 & 29, 2019 weekly magazine.

Laura Cluthé/Special to The Christian Science Monitor
Workers at the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, head home after a shift. In the 1980s, some 23,000 people worked at the plant. The remaining 2,900 will be laid off when the plant closes at year’s end.

Voice from Moscow

After reading Fred Weir’s Feb. 21 Daily article “When Putin goes, will Putinism persist? Russians debate,” a similar question was triggered in my mind: When Nikita Khrushchev, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Boris Yeltsin went, why didn’t Khrushchevism, Gorbachevism, and Yeltsinism persist?

The answer is obvious. 

Russia’s modus vivendi is an endless territorial expansion, and the legacy of those Kremlin leaders who shrink it – be it by giving Crimea to Ukraine like Khrushchev or by dividing Soviet Russia into independent republics like Gorbachev and Yeltsin – is bound to perish and not persist.

But Vladimir Putin is different. 

To begin with, in Russia, Chechen separatism has been successfully crushed. NATO’s relentless expansion toward Russian borders has been halted by hypersonic missiles.

And last but not least, plans for further Russian territorial expansion will involve the moon and even Mars.

So, as Mr. Weir touched on in his article, Putin adviser Vladislav Surkov is 100% correct in claiming that “Putinism” will survive any challenges.

Mergen Mongush

Moscow

Canada’s First Nations

Many thanks to Sara Miller Llana for her balanced and in-depth reporting on Canada and how America is perceived by its northern neighbor in the Feb. 25 cover story, “Northern composure.” 

Hopefully the rage that is spreading through the world won’t gain a foothold there.

A follow-up article on Canada’s First Nations would be welcome. Can restorative justice prevail for indigenous peoples in the larger society?

Julia McBee

Decatur, Georgia

Typing prowess 

Pamela A. Lewis, the writer of the March 11 Home Forum essay “How I tapped into my success,” wrote a beautifully crafted essay that I lingered over. I enjoyed her phrasing, sentence structure, and storytelling ability.

I hope her essays continue to appear in the Monitor pages so we can all delight in other tales she might have to share.

Elaine Zavodni-Sjoquist

Portland, Maine

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.