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We have always been a nation that is willing to help other countries, but what do we get in return? A stab in the back. I think it's time we make getting into our country and becoming an American citizen much harder. I am furious that someone like Shahzad came into our country freely, got an education, then tried to hurt as many of us as possible. We as Americans need to put a stop to this injustice.

Lynne Gaylor, CLEARFIELD, PA.

Although the events in Times Square were certainly frightening, the political backlash against Pakistanis and Muslims was even more so. As a Pakistani American, I implore my fellow citizens to practice tolerance toward this culturally rich, peaceful community whose members have overwhelmingly turned their backs on the terrorism and violence that have plagued their native region. Don't make us pay for the mistakes of others.

Zoya Mehmoud, ALEXANDRIA, VA.

The Gold Standard

Re "Gold Fated" [May 17]: Most people who buy gold are simply self-directed investors who resist putting all their eggs in one investment basket. They are rational people who like having a portion of their money diversified into a portable and private investment that is not controlled by Wall Street. Perhaps David Von Drehle should have done a little more panning for gold information before he simply wrote off as fringe survivalists the millions of people who invest in gold as part of their overall investment strategy .

Scott Thomas, OKLAHOMA CITY

Spotlight on Shanghai

I visited Shanghai recently and was swept away by the energy and progress in this extraordinary city [May 17]. However, I thought your feature totally failed to visually make the case for why Shanghai might be "ready for its closeup." The main photo of the city was of a relatively nondescript intersection with a few people idling about. Though the story elaborated, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Norman Smith, PHILADELPHIA

Despite growing up in a predominately Asian city, I was one of the few Shanghainese natives at my high school. I am glad to see that Shanghai is finally in the spotlight and getting the same attention that Beijing has received over the past decade.

Diana Tan, ARCADIA, CALIF.

Salt of the Earth

I was surprised that Josh Ozersky's article "Kicking Our Addiction to Salt" states that no viable salt substitute has been developed [May 17]. Although there is no salt substitute, you can reduce sodium intake by using products like Morton Lite Salt. This salt has 290 mg of sodium per serving, as opposed to the 590 mg per serving of regular salt.

Manoj Ketkar, PLANO, TEXAS

Why so negative on such an important subject? When I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition five months ago and put on a strict low-salt diet, I discovered everything I could do with pepper, onions, garlic and other spices and started to enjoy food again. Human beings are incredibly adaptable, and I think everybody could make peace with a lot less salt in their food and like it too.

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