Oh, Big Brother!
Bravo to Joel Stein for his cover story on data mining [March 21]. His sarcasm and wit compelled me to read in its entirety a piece that otherwise would have had my eyes glazing over while thoughts of whatever else I ought to have been doing danced in my head. Now acutely aware that a cyberprofile of me exists, as I glance to my right and see the ad for "birth control you don't have to take every day," I wonder just what those "facts" state about me. Yikes!
Jane E. Donadio, ANDOVER, N.J.
How appropriate that in the online version of your article, a dozen companies are likely data mining for Time. I'm glad to hear that all the information being collected on me as I browse is being used for my benefit. (Insert sarcasm emoticon.) For those looking for additional protection when browsing, please try No Script and Taco Abine for Firefox as well as Ghostery, which is mentioned in the article.
Rick Blanke, RENTON, WASH.
The Limits of Strictness
Thank you, Nancy Gibbs, for bringing to light the stupidity of no-tolerance authority ["Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense," March 21]. During my sophomore year of high school, I received a two-hour extended detention for cutting class to attend a Holocaust survivor's book signing at our school that was open only to certain history classes and not mine. I am currently 19 years old, and in retrospect, I did learn a valuable lesson: authority is a mockery of itself in its inability to view the shades of gray.
Katherine Kula, BOURBONNAIS, ILL.
As a former principal, I think those school officials who adhere so strictly to the letter of zero-tolerance rules are cowards. They are afraid to make honorable decisions. They do not want to even have to make decisions. They want a prescription to follow so they can say they were just adhering to the rules.
James K. Gant, DENTON, TEXAS
Gibbs captured some of the absurdities in our school systems. We will suspend, expel or seek counseling for a child in possession of a Boy Scout tool or dinner knife. But when it comes to dealing with kids who harass or bully fellow students, we are woefully lacking in effective help for either victim or perpetrator.
Becky Weech, PARKER, COLO.
How to Help Libya
Re Fareed Zakaria's "The Libyan Conundrum" [March 21]: Libya is not a present danger to the U.S., but Gaddafi's fight to stay in power does threaten international security. The U.N. Security Council, not the U.S, should act decisively to end the fighting. Nothing will undermine the Libyan opposition faster than unilateral American intervention.
Paul Kozar, HARWICH, MASS.
Campaign 2012: An Ugly Start?
Re Joe Klein's "Huckabucking" [March 21]: President Obama's more cosmopolitan and nuanced worldview may well be influenced by his upbringing. Mike Huckabee's narrow worldview, dislike of the President and obsession with the anticolonial Mau Mau of Kenya are almost certainly influenced by his having spent his whole life in Arkansas. The state's antimiscegenation law would have prevented the President's parents from marrying.
Stanley Kalemaris, MELVILLE, N.Y.