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France’s New President

4 minute read

So in the end, the winner of the presidential election is François Hollande, a Mr. Nice Guy [Kiss Austerity Goodbye, May 21]. But did France really choose the most skilled of social peacemakers of the moment or simply reject a man who tried to speak the hard truth to his nation?

Unlike Nicolas Sarkozy, who collaborated with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hollande may want to do things his own way. This could lead to the possible splitting of the two giant pillars of the euro zone, which will not augur well for a fragile and turbulent Europe.

There’ve Been Better
Bobby Ghosh has gotten carried away by sentiment [The God of Big Things, May 21]. In his prime, Sachin Tendulkar was the best. But over the past decade, he has not done anything of note, bar getting 100 centuries. Tendulkar has considerably slowed down and has let his team down with his performance.
Anil Karumbaya, BANGALORE, INDIA

As the sports world is under the grip of performance-boosting drugs and other controversies, Tendulkar stands tall and clear from any such vices. He is a sportsman in its true sense.
Neena Mittal, SINGAPORE

Tendulkar as the “Master Blaster”? I think not. At least here in Australia, cricket fans recognize only one batsman as the Master Blaster, the incomparable big-hitting West Indian, Sir Vivian Richards.

Working for Free
Re “Hard Labor” [May 21]: Another facet of unpaid internships is the inequality they reinforce. There are professions for which such unpaid experience has become necessary to secure full employment, but interns generally need financial support from their families. This raises an unnecessary barrier to that profession for kids without monetary help from parents.
Charles Boulton, SEOUL

Backlash on Fracking
Sounds like a win-lose situation to me: cleaner air for dirtier water [The Golden Age, May 21]. If, indeed, natural gas will replace coal as the electricity source of choice, we will have cleaner air as a result, but it comes at the risk of contaminated groundwater and even small earthquakes due to fracking. Do we really want that? How about pushing renewable energy sources instead, which are clean and have no other adverse effects on the environment.
Mark Hartzheim, COLOGNE, GERMANY

Extreme Parenting
You claim that attachment parenting demands more from mothers than traditional parenting does, but that’s not the case [The Man Who Remade Motherhood, May 21]. Carrying a baby in a sling while going about one’s daily business gives the baby a chance to experience the world from a secure base without the burden of constantly being the center of her mother’s attention. Attachment parenting makes life with young children easier and more enjoyable.
Kirsten Caspers, ERKELENZ, GERMANY

Modern mothers face enormous challenges without a guilt trip being placed on them. In the parallel universe where Dr. Bill Sears appears to reside, parents have unlimited time, money and resources that allow mothers to partake in this attachment-parenting concept. He should perhaps take a look outside his glass bubble and view the world as it really is.
Lorraine Anderson, MARTON, NEW ZEALAND

Attachment parenting? African women have been practicing this for centuries, but unlike Dr. Sears, they don’t sell their baby slings on a website.
Ann Coburn, COCOA, FLA., U.S.

Universal Fatherhood
Re “The Detached Dad’s Manifesto” [May 21]: It is fascinating and satisfying to realize that writer Nathan Thornburgh and I, living in different parts of the world, have identical experiences of fatherhood, right from the desire to have kids to the feeling of inadequacy when enriching activities with the children have to be put on hold because of work and other engagements.
V. Rajesh Babu, AUCKLAND

Marriage Debate
President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex “marriage” is just another example of how Americans pervert the English language [Briefing, May 21]. Marriage is defined as the formal union of a man and a woman. In New Zealand, we have formalized in law the expression civil union to cover same-sex relationships and made changes to various laws such that people who are in a civil union enjoy most of the legal protections as those in a marriage. But whether one calls it civil union, same-gender couple or something similar, it is definitely not marriage.
Ivan Stanton, AUCKLAND

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