Letters to the Editor

Posted: March 20, 2011

Women live longer because they evolved

Re: "Longevity: Revenge of the female nerds," Monday:

Julia Baird is not correct in attributing female longevity to stress, or lack of it, social networks, degree of femininity, divorce, or no divorce.

Women outlive men principally due to evolutionary principles. Through the centuries, weaker women, in other words, died off because of the physical challenge of having children. Women physically unable to face the challenges simply died. Stronger women survived and passed along their superior genes.

For quick proof, visit the pre-Civil War graveyards. Graves show that men commonly had two, three, or more wives. Evolution made women constitutionally tougher than men.

Donald Middleman



Keep nuke plants away from fault lines

The lead editorial, "Our eyes are on Japan," said "we must heighten efforts to ensure U.S. nuclear plants can withstand earthquakes."

Shouldn't that instead read that we should avoid building nuclear plants anywhere near fault lines?

Bill Herzog

Columbus, N.J.


Cut states' funding, if they cut education

This is America. Who would have thought that we would have to fight for a good education for our children? But every time the states cuttheir budgets, it seems to be the children who suffer. We are shortchanging our children. Down the line, when they have to compete in the job market, it will be the foreign graduates who get the best jobs.

I suggest that the leaders in Washington make it a priority to educate our children, even if that means taking allocations away from the states until they comply. Keep teachers who do a great job and get rid of teachers who are just collecting a paycheck, waiting for retirement. Our children need us, and we need them to build a future for America.

Gloria Gelman


Racism the root of immigration rhetoric

I am appalled by the skewed, right-wing ideological bias of recent newspaper commentaries, and urge you to represent the immigration issue in a more complex, historically nuanced way that fulfills the journalist's responsibility to be fair.

What is under attack, in the specious anti-immigrant rhetoric spouted by Republicans, is a birthright Americans have had for more than a hundred years, a constitutional right as well as one that is ancient, and guarantees a home to those born on this soil, be they white settlers from England, slaves from Africa, indigenous native Americans, or, today, global immigrants.

Sociologist Saskia Sassen has usefully reminded us that Germany took away this birthright from Germans in the racist backlash against the Poles, who were migrating to Germany due to labor shortages in that country in the late 18th century, shifting the basis of citizenship to blood (jus sanguinis) instead of birth (jus soli). In a similarly racist move, the British government took away the same 200-year-old right from its citizens a few years ago.

Now, as a similar racist, anti-immigration feeling threatens to put blinders on our political discourse, and strip away a historic right from all Americans, it is important that journalists uphold their responsibility to report fairly, in an unbiased way, both sides of any debate. Let us think about what anxieties and fears are being manipulated in this debate, and pitch these against the hard facts of the situation.

Kavita Daiya

Associate professor of English

George Washington University


Prison guards need to know AIDS status

I am outraged that a bill that would require the AIDS status of inmates to be dislcosed to New Jersey's prison guards is stalled in the Law and Public Safety Committee chaired by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D., Bergen). Guards are at continuous risk of exposure each day they enter into the prisons. I believe that the correctional officers should be privy to the HIV/AIDS status of inmates, so they can be prepared and better protect themselves if an attack were to erupt.

Maybe New Jersey should segregate inmates as they do in Alabama and South Carolina, depending on the security levels of the inmates, and make them wear ID badges or armbands. But no, this cannot be done; it is a violation of human rights.

It's sad that back in 2000, a similar bill was written and the Department of Corrections opposed it, saying that the prison guards need to implement universal precautions. That bill died in the Senate. Will anyone advocate for the guards?

Sharee' C. Morgan

Cedar Brook

U.S. Muslims do have a responsibility

As an American Muslim, I have no problem with Rep. Peter King's congressional hearing if his true aim is to pinpoint and isolate the root causes for radicalization of a tiny minority of American Muslims. So, I encourage the American Muslim community to cooperate.

However, our primary responsibility as Muslims is to instill the true peaceful teachings of Islam in our children. We must strongly reject perverse interpretations of Islam that neither the Quran or the Prophet Muhammad's life support.

Nasir Ahmad, M.D.

Tinton Falls


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