Concerns have been raised about the cost of Lockheed Martin's F-35… (Darin Russell / Lockheed…)
Exposing the truth
Re "Highflying costs," April 19
Revealing that the F-35 fighter jet program is in jeopardy because of its increasing costs could bring comfort to the enemy and potentially jeopardize national security. Reporting that Secret Service agents engaged in unacceptable behavior could compromise the reputation of the Secret Service and the security of the president. Showing photos of soldiers with body parts exposes unacceptable behavior by the troops and may increase resentment of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
Reporting government problems often causes short-term negative consequences. However, the alternative is that news embarrassing to the government is not reported at all, which would cause much greater problems in the long run: Think Watergate.
For the real, long-term security of the United States, the news media need to consistently err on the side of showing our problems to us all.
One Dream or another
Re "A GOP approach to immigration," April 18
Tamar Jacoby asserts that Mitt Romney could simply latch on to Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) transparent alternative to the Dream Act and magically attract Latinos. That notion is both laughable and insulting.
After months of demonizing Latinos while positioning himself to the right of his GOP rivals, Romney will try to Etch-A-Sketch his way to appear less hostile to Latinos than his record suggests. But Latinos will remember that Romney supports Arizona's draconian SB 1070 and favors "self-deportation" as a solution to the presence of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
How naive does Romney and his handlers think we are that we could fall for such a conspicuous maneuver? I fully expect to see Romney wearing a huge sombrero and eating a taco for the cameras in the coming weeks.
Except for the small percentage of indigenous peoples, we are all immigrants.
Though I applaud any reasoned attempt to fix our country's problems, illegal immigration being just one, I'm amused by Jacoby's line, "But in this case, the perfect may be the enemy of good." Makes sense.
But I would ask Jacoby why Republicans don't apply that same logic to the healthcare reform law, the economy, women's rights and other issues.
Moving forward on Cuba
Re "Time to include Cuba," Editorial, April 17
The failed 50-year-old U.S. trade embargo and its rejection by Latin America and the rest of the world show how easily American foreign policy toward Cuba has been co-opted by a small cartel of politicos in Florida.
Latin American leaders seem to know something that American politicians have ignored for far too long: that the best way to promote constructive change in Cuba is to do away with the embargo once and for all.
Cuba's substantial oil and gas reserves in the Straits of Florida virtually guarantee its energy self-sufficiency by the end of this decade and its potential emergence as an energy exporter, making the U.S. embargo even more irrelevant and counterproductive.
Scrapping the embargo now would also allow cooperation to prevent major ecological disasters down the line and help the U.S. repair its damaged image throughout Latin America.
In criticizing the United States for excluding Cuba from the Summit of the Americas, you argued that "engagement, not isolation, is the best way to encourage change." Cuba's record in other international forums demonstrates the opposite.
In 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council elected Cuba as a member and then dropped Havana from its watch list. In return for this engagement, Cuba has vehemently opposed efforts to scrutinize abuses by China, Iran, Sudan, Syria and other repressive regimes. Cuba takes a leading role in sponsoring resolutions that justify terrorism and advocate cultural relativism instead of universal human rights.
Should Raul Castro's communist government really be given another forum to subvert?
Hillel C. Neuer
The writer is executive director of U.N. Watch.
Realities of kindergarten
Re "How to succeed in kindergarten," Opinion, April 15
Changing the cutoff birthday for kindergarten from Dec. 1 to Sept. 1. will eliminate problems for students like the tiny boy I taught who had a Dec. 1 birthday; he was like a preschooler in kindergarten. It will also eliminate the "October boy" syndrome, with which kindergarten teachers are familiar. I remember the student who cried, saying, "I can't spell 'leaf.' "
It is not overparenting to make your vulnerable small child's life less stressful. If being teased and feeling inadequate are "typical childhood experiences that are important learning opportunities for dealing with life's challenges," perhaps we should make them less typical.