You've got to hand it to Harry Potter.
He really is a wizard. This is an age when some children seem hopelessly addicted to television, movies, the Internet, compact discs, videotapes and computer games.
Yet young Harry has got hordes of youngsters clamoring to read a book -- a book that runs hundreds of pages.
Yes, as unlikely as it might seem, youngsters are lining up at stores to get their hands on a very thick book. ...
That doesn't happen every day, and thousands of teachers and parents surely must wish they could have the same effect on children that Harry apparently does.
Some parents disapprove of the Harry Potter books, and do not want their children to read them. That is their decision to make.
Many other parents feel differently, however, and see these books as opportunities for their children to gain an appreciation for reading.
If initial enthusiasm is any indicator, a great many youngsters will devote part of the summer of 2000 to reading a book instead of vegetating in front of a TV or playing some mindless computer game over and over again.
That's not a bad thing. For some youngsters, it could be the beginning of a lifetime reading habit.
-- Baton Rouge, (La.) Advocate
Let Nader debate
Ventura example shows that debates are vital to candidates
The best thing about the frantic presidential primary season was plenty of television and radio debates. On the Republican side, the worst thing about the primaries was that there were too many candidates for the time allowed. That meant lots of rhetorical heat and little enlightenment.
So we have some sympathy for the gatekeepers of debates slated for the general elections. To present substantive debates requires limiting participation to substantive, viable candidates. Provided that he continues to campaign aggressively, Ralph Nader, carrying the Green Party standard this year, is one of those candidates and should be included in this fall's presidential debates.
Trouble is, the Commission on Presidential Debates, composed of only Democrats and Republicans, puts up high barriers for third-party candidates. ... We aren't sure there is a magic (polling) number that puts a candidate over the threshold of seriousness. ... But we do know that Nader is a substantial candidate, one whose issues and priorities are different from Al Gore and George W. Bush. It makes a difference who is allowed to play in the prime time debates, as Minnesotans know from the last gubernatorial race that included third-party candidate Jesse Ventura. The presidential debates this year will be more valuable if Nader is invited to participate.
-- St. Paul Pioneer Press
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.