January 2020 Discussion

Readers respond to our stories on crosswords, Fallingwater, and the Ingenuity Awards recipients

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Constitutional Clarity

I have long known that our Constitution (“The Funny Thing About the Law,” December 2019) was created and written by white men, but I never truly appreciated how dramatically it excluded everybody else. Ms. Schreck paints a brilliant picture and does it extraordinarily well. Thanks for the opportunity to enjoy it.

— Jon M. Jumper | Santa Ana, California

Invigorating Crosswords

Block Party” (December 2019) by Deb Amlen and Sam Ezersky, tracing the development of the crossword puzzle, brought a smile to my face. I am one of many who daily solve crosswords for personal entertainment, mental stimulation, and because, as the authors point out, it helps work through self-doubts by forging order out of chaos. Figuring out a clue sharpens my intuition, memory and appetite for life. Educators should include crosswords in their teaching lessons by homing in on key concepts and ideas; it will make their students’ homework come alive in captivating ways.

— Vasilios Vasilounis | Brooklyn, New York

American Architect

Fallingwater is a gem (“In the American Grain,” December 2019). I was amused by the fact that the ceilings are lower than one would expect: A docent told us that Wright’s belief was “anyone 6 feet tall was a weed.”

— Betty Ford | Facebook

The Hermit’s Dwelling

I recently visited the cave that was the last home of the hermit Giovanni Maria de Agostini (“Blessed Is the Hermit,” December 2019). It’s a solemn and stunning place to contemplate his story. I would urge all adventurers who love the outdoors and mountains to enjoy this beautiful area, but also the sadly profound last home of a truly life-embracing man.

— Aaron Taylor | Houston

Misrepresenting Che

Che’s Kid Hits the Road” (November 2019) presents a distorted image of Guevara as a “soulful, poetic introvert.” The real Che is at the Cuba Archive, with victims’ names and dates. At the Sierra Maestra (1959) he ordered 79 summary executions. At the U.N. in 1964 he responded to a question: “Executions? Yes, we have executed, we are executing, and we will continue to execute.” In his diary (January 1957) he writes: “Here, in the Cuban jungle, alive and thirsting for blood.” At Fort La Cabaña he showed how he ignored due process when he said: “The investigating officer is always right; he always has the truth.” In spite of widespread Cuban poverty today, Che’s son has access to “a dozen shiny new Harleys.” The author, Tony Perrottet, whitewashes the blood of innocents whom Che executed without due process by calling them “Batista’s thugs,” which most of them were not. “Heroic guerrillas” don’t have carte blanche to murder in the name of the revolution.

— Aida Levitan | chair, Facts About Cuban Exiles, Miami

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