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    Letters to the editor

    Readers respond to Jim Braude’s Perspective essay on the lottery, via e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook comment, and a disagreement over Miss Conduct.


    Jim Braude gets the sentiment exactly right in “The Gambling Problem We Already Have” (Perspective, June 1). The glamorized version of gambling is dangerously misleading. While it’s not easy to persuade the public to resist pro-gambling propaganda — and no doubt many people enjoy what the industry has to offer without suffering any harm — the costs to real human beings are substantial. That there is much money to be made is a powerful reason to be skeptical in the face of claims that gambling is harmless entertainment. We could make a fortune legalizing all sorts of destructive human activities, but at what cost to humanity? If gambling must be legal in this country, let it be in one remote location that costs a fortune to get to so that it saps the resources of only people with money to spare. Gambling should be made prohibitively expensive to access because it is a prohibitively expensive activity — and thus destructive — for the vast majority who participate.

    Wendy J. Murphy

    New England Law / Boston

    The metrics on per capita gambling and town variations need more attention (I can’t believe those stats!). The lower economic class in our state deserves charity, not the other way around. I am officially disgusted by the push for casinos. Our politicians need to come up with an alternate means to increase revenue.

    Emerson Olander



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    Thoughtful column by @jimbraude on the lottery, a regressive tax. Generating revenue at expense of those [with] addiction.

    Kevin P. Hill, M.D.

    posted on Twitter @drkevinhill

    Braude’s progressive solution is to increase the income tax, period. Why am I not surprised? Any thought to spending less?


    posted at


    We have millions of alcoholics yet we keep opening bars & liquor stores. Many shopaholics but we can’t outlaw stores & credit cards. Alcoholics will drink, shopaholics will buy, food addicts will eat & gamblaholics will gamble. It’s not our job to stop them. We can either collect the taxes & boost the economy or let CT, NJ, NV & other states do it.

    Kathleen Hamel Stevens

    posted on the Globe’s Facebook page


    When you have friends who may have suffered food poisoning, the last thing polite, civilized people would ever recommend is that you offer them “hilarious imitations of the sound of their bodily functions” (Miss Conduct, June 1). What kind of advice is that? This is repulsive and sophomoric. It is something that either a child or a vulgarian would offer. This advice is one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard. It is offensive and insulting to anyone with an iota of intelligence. Frankly, I’m stunned that such “advice” would be published by the Globe. Worse, this “advice” was likely seen by several editors who apparently didn’t have a problem with it and let it go to print.

    Debbie Kickham


    As you probably know, there are lots of “modern-day advice” columns out there online these days (Dear Prudence on Slate .com, Social Qs in the New York Times Style section, just to name two), and I usually pass on most of them, but I make it a habit to check out Miss Conduct’s column. She almost always has common-sense answers on just about every topic. I will continue to look forward to her column.

    F. Pat Englert



    COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine /Comments, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.