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Put politics above name-calling

September 20, 2008

Re "Willow, weep for us," Opinion, Sept. 14

I have ambivalent support for Joe Queenan's decrying of the breakdown of cultural standards. I too lament the acceptability and even celebration of people attending a classical recital in a T-shirt and a baseball cap.

However, when Queenan cites nontraditional children's names as part of the phenomenon, he has shown an underbelly of xenophobia. One would infer that he'd feel better and safer with all children named Michael, David, Mary and Laura. Isn't his worry about Piper and Willow the same worry people used to have about names like Juan and Abdul?

I have concerns about Sarah Palin as a leader, but the creative names of her children is not one of them. Let's focus on what's important: character and abilities, not just appearances.

Alan Prochaska

Pasadena

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I thought Barack Obama himself stated that the candidates' families should be off-limits. Doesn't that include their names? And what is so difficult about going through life with a name such as Willow, which is a type of plant? There have been many similar names for girls: Heather, Lily, Rose, Violet and Iris, to name a few.

No. We all know the reason Queenan wrote this article with the catchy and disparaging title. It's because he is most certainly opposed to Palin's positions on abortion, the war and of course, religion. But he didn't have the gumption to be direct. So he went ad hominem, as liberals always do.

By the way, Palin's other kids' names -- Piper, Bristol, Track and Trig -- are about as unusual as the name Barack, wouldn't you agree? But let's not open up that can of worms.

Michele Kilroy

Northridge

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