Big Trouble for Boyhood
As the father of a 7-month-old, I read with keen interest your cover story "The Myth About Boys" [Aug. 6]. In our digitized, globalized 21st century society, we value orderliness and predictability. Yet boys are all about disorder: digging in the dirt, scuffed knees, taking apart Dad's favorite portable radio to "see how it works," learning the rules and etiquette of street basketball. As the article points out, boys learn best by doing. The inevitable bits of temporary pain that occur through mistakes and failures forge the common sense and confidence that allow young boys to successfully navigate through life as young men.
POMPANO BEACH, FLA.
Growing up in the 60's, I camped, canoed and played basketball with my dad. I helped him (or tried to help him) roof the garage, insulate the attic and tile the kitchen floor. He gave me a bow-and-arrow set for my ninth birthday, and we went to the archery range together so I could practice. He read to all his children, checked our homework and expected us to do well in school. When Dad was at work, I played cowboys, baseball, basketball and climbed trees with the neighborhood children. I rode my bike to the swimming hole and swung from a rope to drop into the lake. In short: I led the ideal boy's life. My dad's mentoring and fun-loving spirit filled my childhood with beautiful memories I will treasure for life. He made me a better person and a better mother to my own two daughters.
Lisa Lippitz, BOURBONNAIS, ILL.
No amount of photos of frolicking boys and shaky reasoning can hide the bare facts: boys are clearly lagging behind. It's feared that attention to the so-called boy crisis will hamper achievement by girls in the classroom. But education is not a zero-sum game. Boys and girls thrive under different conditions, and it's time we accommodate the learning styles of both. In a global competition for talent, we cannot afford to handicap any of our children.
Adam Habib, LOS ANGELES
The Fight for Justice
Your story of American University law professor Angela Davis and the conduct of prosecutors was welcome [Aug. 6]. The problem also needs to be examined beyond the legal community. "Perp walks" of those charged are staged like motion-picture galas. State and local press, weaned on the daily flow of announcements and tips, are none too anxious to bite--by critical analysis of conduct or budget--the law-enforcement hands that feed them. Staged press conferences, featuring a speaking prosecutor and a background of stern-looking, silent officials and assistant prosecutors, have become ubiquitous. In terms of the age-old question of who's watching security, the answer is, Davis--and not enough others.
Frank G. Capece, WESTFIELD, N.J.
An Army of Ambassadors
Mark Kukis' story on the Karbala attacks really put a human face on the cold statistics of the casualties and suffering in Iraq [Aug. 6]. It was impossible to deny the reality of violence and pain that so many soldiers see in Iraq. Regardless of varying opinions on the war, we can all agree that our soldiers are amazing heroes. Along with their families, they deserve our nation's continued love and support.
Jose Mendoza, GRANADA HILLS, CALIF.
'Oprah Winfrey has anointed Barack Obama as her "choice" in '08. By the sound of more than 20 million clicking TV remotes, she can determine the votes of her fans. Should an entertainer have such power?'
Robert L. Wolke, PITTSBURGH, PA. Restoring the Faith
As you pointed out in your cover story on the Democrats and religion [July 23], God has become pivotal in presidential campaigns—something I could not be more heartened to see. We are a country composed of atheists, agnostics and all brands of faith. In order to be an effective leader, you can’t just be the President of the Christians. It insults our intelligence to assume that we would let difference separate us. While faith is important, it does not negate our ability to make intelligent decisions about our leaders.
Bishop Thomas Dexter (T.D.) Jakes
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