Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.
People are talking about immigration today, but they're also interested in letters and numbers and science.
- Immigration program
- Scrabble cheating
- Why people play the lottery
- Hypersonic test fails
- Mohawk guys and office goths
An executive order by President Barack Obama allows those who entered the country illegally as children to remain and work without fear of deportation for at least two years. The policy has proven controversial, and readers are debating the implications on the United States as well as the people who are applying.
One of the biggest concerns is whether the program in effect condones illegal immigration.
nothingleft: "I think the bigger question is how does someone who has been here illegally for 15+ years not get flagged either from the schools, jobs, social services or driver's license? It's places like these where reform has to start. Life flows in the path of least resistance and if it is easier to come illegally then that is the route people will take."
Some readers said the best way to fight illegal immigration is to make it easier for people to become legal.
Brational2: "If you are bothered by the idea, or the reality, that some of the taxes you pay as a legal immigrant, or as a citizen, are used to provide government services to illegal immigrants, there's a way to end that. Make them legal."
Do they owe society money?
joeblow9999: "Are these illegals going to pay back taxes on the free ride they got from taxpayers paying for their primary education? Most of their parents never paid tax other than sales tax. Wouldn't it be great to go through life never having to pay income tax while you make minimum wage and have the taxpayers pay tens of thousands of dollars to educate your kids?"
Think about our history, many readers said.
Guest12234: "The Pilgrims were illegal aliens. Their children, their children's children, their children's children's children, their children's children's children's children need to be shipped back from whence they came. It's just typical of the GOP and their ilk. They're OK with drawing a line of morality that suits their need. If you want to send back all illegal aliens to this country, let's go back several centuries. I'm willing to bet if the Indians were left to their own devices, our planet would not be in the shape it's in."
But is the United States being stretched too thin?
Mortarfire: "Great. The slices of the American pie are already so thin you can see through them. The 'land of opportunity' is out of opportunities. There are other countries, why does this one have to be the only one that people want to live in? Go fix your own!"
Or are people just too selfish?
myopinionz1: "What is wrong with people nowadays? Have we become so inhumane that we are mad at a mother who fled a cartel nation ... to come to a place they think is safe for their children. Humanity is going down the tubes. There was a time when Americans were looked to as the pinnacle of society, humanity, peace and hope."
Many readers said they want there to be consequences for entering the country illegally.
dangerkittie: "So let me see if I have this right. There aren't enough jobs for people whose parents didn't lie, cheat, steal and sneak their way into this country (and let's face it, these kids kept up the deception by not admitting who they were and asking what to do to make it right), but we're going to reward those same parents by making sure their kids get to stay here. Oh yeah, there's NO problem with that. There's NO incentive for people to come over in even MORE droves, bringing their kids with them, knowing that down the road all's great, forgiven and peachy. See ya later, United States. You've finally reached the lowest rung on the ladder, rewarding illegal activity."
This reader said the deferral will give the government the opportunity to learn more about the immigrants.
blackvector: "It’s only for two years. Once they have filled out the form and worked legally for those two years, the United States can start deportation. With this list the authorities will know their names, address, place of employment, etc. It’s a great plan to get a list of all illegal immigrants and have them admit their original illegal status. Make sure you get the SSN they are using also …"
The following person feels bad for people affected, but wants to see laws enforced.
KeninTexas: "I can understand the frustration of these kids who were brought to the U.S. illegally and are in limbo. What is so irritating is their apparent sense of entitlement that they have a 'right' to be here and the U.S. should just ignore their own laws to accommodate them. I'm sorry they are in a tough spot, but they need to put the blame where it belongs, their parents, not the people of the U.S."
Others said there are benefits to bringing illegal immigrants into the pool of legal folks.
Youngster: "If all these people want to come to U.S. ... make it easier for them!! Rather than forcing them to jump through the fire-burning hoops. That way 1) Additional revenue is generated via application fees collected from the visa applicants 2) Fewer illegal immigrants 3) More taxpayers (even if they are in the bottom bracket, still pay tax 4) Fewer ER from illegals costing $$$."
Should they stay or go?
Jason70: "Don't people understand that this only encourages illegal immigrants to keep breaking the law and bring their kids with them? ILLEGAL means just that. Come to the country legally or GET OUT!"
Citizen9: "I am Caucasion, two of my children are tribal members of the Choctaw Nation, one of my grandsons is half Latino, my first cousin's children are half Bangla, I have friends in inter-racial marriages. Yet, we are all one, members of the human race. America is and will always be the melting pot of the world. When will the xenophobia end?"
After hearing about this SCRABBLE cheating incident, people are talking about play strategies, perceived ills of society and challenges of parenting. Not to mention the finer points of SCRABBLE technique.
maestra730: "I'm a public school teacher. I have taught seventh and eighth graders (12-14 years old) from all socioeconomic backgrounds for almost 20 years. Cheating of all kinds (academic, athletic, etc.) has reached an all-time high among kids. Many of our students see nothing wrong with cheating or lying to get what they want because 'you gotta do what you gotta do.' It is very disheartening, especially when some of their parents do the same thing, demanding special 'exemptions' for their children because they say the rules are unfair, the child didn't mean to do it, etc. We as the adults must live with integrity ourselves, demonstrate that to our kids, and then insist that they live honestly and responsibly, too. Not easy at all, but better than ending up with a generation full of lying narcissists."
Is the United States going down the tubes? Or is it just youthful exuberance at work?
Jack 63: "You can start with the parents not teaching the values. But you have to finish up with the society we have today, which encourages that kind of behavior. From the highest office in the country to copy/paste school homework from the Internet, cheating has become the way to go in this country."
Keithlol: "I can't help but chuckle as grumpy Internet cynics all proclaim that this story is a perfect example of how the United States of America's values are crumbling. Are you serious? One kid cheats and you are going to use that as evidence to support your, frankly, childishly narrow view of American values. 'His parents must never have taught him a moral code' - give me a break! Do you always act according to how your parents raised you? Doubtful."
Wrong game, perhaps?
John Walsh: "He confused SCRABBLE for Monopoly ..."
On a lighter note, the word "cheater" can be used many ways on the board, as it turns out.
kevin: "You would only use all your tiles playing CHEATER if you were the first player, or if you played it next to an existing S. There are also the bonus squares to consider, depending where on the board it was played."
Raphe: "Adam, That is assuming you provided all the letters of the word cheater. If you used any letter already on the board to create cheater then you would use only six of your letters thus getting 12 points. Again this assumes you don't connect to any other word. As you can see currently I have too much time on my hands."
dan: "In all likelihood it would only be a 12-point word because you would use some letter from another word to spell it. The chance of it being spelled with all seven letters by extending an already existing word on the board is pretty unlikely. Nineteen out of 20 times it's a 12-point word."
sameeker: "The odds of winning are better than the odds of a rich CEO paying you a living wage to work for them. I also would be happy to come in second. That money would be life changing."
snsh: "Buying a lottery ticket, you're getting a dollar's worth of entertainment value. You can imagine that ticket winning a million dollars through the time of the drawing. Buying more than one ticket, well that's dumb. You're not getting value out of the extra tickets. You're just gambling, badly. The key is buying only one ticket."
Philo99: "The lottery is a tax on people who don't understand math. I wish there was a test if welfare recipients were buying lottery tickets."
cory: "The few dollars you spend on a casual soft drink, maybe a movie, or some fireworks is equally 'worthless.' It is fun to hope, no matter how slim it is. Did you ever dream about what you would do with that kind of money? Slivers of hope are very powerful and can be very real. You, however, are very pretentious."
angel611: "No worse than the haters here purchasing a condom they will never be able to use, for several reasons. LOL"
pjusa: "I have never bought a lottery ticket and I have never won. That is the same result as 99.9999% of all those who play. Just think how better off this country would be if everyone donated their lottery money to charity."
spdrwlf: "I spent less on lottery tickets than my sister does in a month of movies/pop music downloads. I think my entertainment is the better bargain."
beertoast: "The American middle class keeps on playing the lottery because it's the only chance they have to get ahead.
JoeD: "You're probably right; it's the only 'chance.' However, those who don't rely on chance, but instead on working hard, getting an education, mastering a craft in an in-demand field seem to get ahead fairly well. Seems like a more reachable way of getting ahead than relying on some random numbers."
Cat Nippy: "Why not? If you can spare a buck or two a week, it is a harmless bit of frivolity. While no one can EXPECT they are ever going to win big, it's fun to dream about it. And $1-$2 a week certainly doesn't buy a lot these days. It really amounts to exceptionally cheap entertainment. As I said, you may never win much of anything, but it's certain you won't if you don't play."
OmaHahn: "All these people who make ignorant comments like 'you're not going to win,' or 'it's stupid to play,' or 'the odds are too high,' etc. Well then tell me why all the lottery websites show thousands and thousands of winners? People hit the jackpots all the time! You have Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, Little Lottos, state lottos that start at $1M, etc. If NO one wins then why aren't the jackpots for all these lotteries at $4 billion and rising? Also, it's NOT the jackpot a lot of people play for but the second or third place prizes. If you play the PowerPlay option you can win $2M for second or $40k for third, etc. I don't smoke, eat fast food, buy junk-food/candy, etc. and I make a great living and stay within my means. So I can afford to buy lotto tickets – but I still don't go crazy, just $10-$15/week I know people who spend that in a days on smokes, 50-ounce sodas, energy drinks, junk food, etc. As far as charities I already give each month to several. But I think to myself how great would it be to win a $300M+ jackpot and make a trip to St. Jude Children's Hospital and write them a check for several million and give a million or so to ASPCA, Humane Society, Jimmy V Foundation, etc. And lastly give a bunch to family and friends – how great! As 'Wheel of Fortune' contestants say, 'come on big money!' "
Space is on the minds of many after the Mars rover Curiosity landed recently. The failed Air Force hypersonic test flight has readers reflecting on the ups and downs of science and the value of research versus the economic recession.
Chuck Yeager: "We land on Mars, and crash on Earth."
Mike: "+1, seems kind of weird that we can fly (and land) on Mars for $2.5 billion, but can't create a supersonic flying jet for $150 million."
Some readers said they don't think such research is worthwhile because of the current economy.
philip miller: "Just another several hundred billion dollars or so for another high-tech piece of junk that self-destructs. What angers me is that this is OUR hard-earned tax dollars, and while this country is falling apart economically, these characters are squandering it on stuff like this. Think of all the homeless people, people who can't afford their mortgages, lack of money for education, police, fire departments, much-needed social services, and the list goes on and on and on. This total lack of accountability with our tax dollars is simply outrageous and unacceptable."
Just a Reader: "I totally agree with you. I see the benefit of such things for such a war-loving country like ours, but in times such as these, the money would be better spent on the people who live here. Not one of the 'helps' of Obama's has done one thing for MY family. We make too much money to get mortgage help, but we owe $250K more than the value of our home. We don't want to let it go into foreclosure, but the good news is, we have no equity. It is a crazy world."
This person said they believe research is necessary to advance private industry.
Jacob: "After reading a lot of these comments, I now see America will fall. In a world that is ever more dependant on science and technology, people no longer want scientists do any work that will not lead DIRECTLY to a commercial product. There's nothing wrong with making money off science but the private sector won't do basic research because of its low likelihood to have an investment return. This is why our system used to be the best in the world, the government would fund basic research, then the private sector would develop all the spinoff technologies."
Speaking of space exploration ...
Mars rover guru Bobak Ferdowsi's famed haircut earned him the nickname "Mohawk Guy" on the Internet and ignited a whole conversation about workplace attire. That conversation extends to becoming "the goth at the office" or having other atypical characteristics.
BGMchocolate: "I don't care. I really don't. I have encountered countless people who dressed professionally and then don't deliver on what they promise. They either don't know what they're doing, procrastinate, deliver sub-par work, don't work well with others, misrepresent their company through their own actions and more. I'm at the point where I don't care what they dress like, as long as they are honest and deliver what I ask for. I don't care if I buy a nice watch or an expensive camera from a guy dressed like Pac Man or Hulk Hogan, as long as they can help me make an informed purchase without swindling my money."
herculez: "I really enjoy how clueless people are. I REALLY truly wish things like appearance didn't matter in this world, but the simple fact is, they do! Hopefully, that will change in the future, it's obviously progressing. But, until that point, don't expect everyone to accept your 'individuality' or 'eccentricity'. Simply put, I'm not gonna let you parade around like a clown in front of clients who, by the way, pay all our bills. Certain positions and careers may afford that luxury, but many cannot. People who think dress codes are oh so horrible and oppressive live in a bubble. The world is a complex place, which is exactly what you say about yourself when you defend your 'odd' attire, so keep that in mind. Maybe someday none of that superficial stuff will matter, I doubt I'll be around then, and frankly, if everyone expressed themselves like 'the Goth lady' I'm not sure I want to be around."
Of course, that all depends on how you feel about your job.
JeremyClarksonEsquire: "If you want your employees to think creatively and solve problems, then don't stifle their self-expression. If you want your employees to be good little robots and just input numbers on a computer and read from a script for cold calling, then by all means require a suit and tie.
Kevin Simmons: "Newsflash, genius: 99% of workers aren't hired to solved problems. They are hired to do a job via established processes and procedures. Being creative usually gets you fired. May not be fair, but that's the way it is."
What do you think about the day's many news stories? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.