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Sep 02, 2010



The Sept 3 NYTimes editorial: It has always been a myth that New York City, in all its dizzying globalness, is a utopia of humanistic harmony. The city has a bloody history of ethnic and class strife.

We agree that the principles are fine; it is the principals we have to look carefully at. Now is a good time to examine ourselves; see the myths and prejudices we harbor, and try to understand where the hate comes from.

Terry G

There is a wonderful presentation and display at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia that explores the value of rights and priniciples laid out in the Constitution, including freedom of religion. It acknowledges that while they are central goals underlying the founding of our country, throughout our history we have never fully reached those marks; in many aspects falling far short. Nevertheless, these are still vital American principles we strive towards, and in many important cases, such as abolition, suffrage, and civil rights, through dedicated citizen advocacy and leadership they have been used to guide us forward (if not as far, fast, or readily as should be the cases). That is not to ignore that principles weren't the only thing driving some of these areas of progress (nor that they were nearly as much progress as called for). Historians can certainly point to shifts in economies as a powerful driver. However, having an articulated vision as clear and compelling as the priniciples in the Constitution is an important asset not to be undervalued.

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